The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag: conspiracy theories

Mike Flynn, Crank Felon, Warns Vaccines Will Turn Us Into Zombies

Retired Army Lieutenant General and disgraced ex-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is a notorious peddler of outlandish conspiracy theories, especially those that originate inside QAnon or spew from the pouty lips of former President Donald Trump.

In particular, Flynn, a Trump-pardoned convicted felon, has focused much of his paranoia on ginning up opposition to COVID-19 vaccines and sowing doubts about the nature of SARS-COV-2. For example, Flynn has claimed that the inoculations were covertly added to salad dressings by the "Deep State" to secretly poison unsuspecting Americans. Flynn has also stated that a “global elite type of people” engineered the coronavirus pandemic to prepare the world for their next artificially-concocted outbreak, which Flynn believes "is potentially another type of virus that’s imposed on the public."

Part of that scheme, Flynn maintained, was that a shadowy cabal of international powerbrokers intended to exploit the crisis as a means of stealing the 2020 election away from Trump.

But on Sunday, Flynn endorsed yet another fringe – and absolutely looney – conservative delusion about COVID-19 vaccinations during an appearance on right-wing radio host Clay Clark's ReAwaken America Tour.

This latest ill-begotten contention was put forth on May 1st by disinformation podcaster Jeffrey Prather. Here are the basics:

  • Vaccines contain inactive "lipid nanoparticles" embedded with deadly "chimeric pathogens" which were genetically programmed to animate when properly triggered.
  • The germs supposedly lying dormant include E. Coli, Ebola, Marburg – a highly fatal viral hemorrhagic fever, and brewers yeast – an ingredient added to ferment beer and bake bread.
  • The "pathogens" will be activated when 5G towers thrice broadcast an 18 gigahertz signal for one minute.
  • The specified frequency subsequently causes "1P36 gene deletion," turning vaccine recipients into zombies. More on that one in a moment.
Clark summarized Prather's assertions and then asked Flynn to share his thoughts.

"This pathogen that you just talked about; I think that there's been some great articles written about how it relates to the 5G technology that is being input basically globally," Flynn said of thoroughly debunked "alterative" research. "But my statement is that because this is a good versus evil time. It is actually one of the most consequential periods in history to be alive."

Next, Clark aired a brief clip of Prather discussing his unfounded ideas, which disturbed him greatly.

"That would cause you to begin to have seizures, begin to bite people, and to have problems with your frontal lobe," he declared. "It's a lot. It's heavy."

Watch below via PatriotTakes:

Accumulating data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy from the v-safe pregnancy registry adds to the growing body of evidence of the safety of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy.

  • No evidence of any increase in spontaneous abortion rate
  • No evidence of any disproportionate infant outcomes

The Twitterverse had a grand time mocking Flynn's misguided medical mania.









It takes some impressive careening off the rails to make Soviet-style propaganda seem legit. By golly, though, Flynn and his comrades are charging ahead at full speed. Perhaps somewhere down the line, a collapsed bridge awaits this hot mess express.







How Flynn managed to weasel his way into the uppermost echelons of American political power ignited some unsettling bewliderment.





Speaking of zombies...




Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Anti-Semitic, Homophobic Conspiracist Challenging Rep. Luria In Virginia

Republican House candidate Jarome Bell has a history of promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories and making exploitative comments about the Holocaust. On Wednesday, he touted the endorsement of Michele Bachmann, a former U.S. representative who has called for converting Jewish people to Christianity.

Bell, who is seeking his party's nomination to challenge Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria in Virginia's 2nd Congressional District, boasted on Facebook, "Congresswoman Bachmann recognizes, I am the only one capable of carrying the torch she vehemently carried through the halls of Congress. Bachmann carried this passion with strength and dedication while never backing down, being silenced, or caving into the demands of the Marxist agendas perpetuated by the communist left!"

Bachmann, whose five terms representing Minnesota were marked by her anti-LGBTQ extremism and her suggestions that American Jews "sold out Israel" by electing President Barack Obama, told hate group leader Tony Perkins in 2015 that Christians needed to do a better job of convincing Jews to stop being Jewish.

"We recognize the shortness of the hour," she said, "and that's why we as a remnant want to be faithful in these days and do what it is that the Holy Spirit is speaking to each one of us, to be faithful in the Kingdom and to help bring in as many as we can — even among the Jews — share Jesus Christ with everyone that we possibly can because, again, He's coming soon."

A Bell campaign spokesperson did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.

But the candidate too has made antisemitic comments in the past.

In October, Bell told the right-wing site National File that Luria — the first Jewish woman ever to represent Virginia in Congress — was wrong to call out antisemitic dog whistle attacks against progressive philanthropist George Soros.

"Elaine Luria uses her Jewish heritage like Democrats use blacks when they race bait," Bell scolded. "Typical Democrat. She's a Soros puppet. Didn't Soros help round up the jewels of the Jewish of the Holocaust with the Nazis?" The right-wing smear that Soros (who is Jewish) was a Nazi sympathizer who stole from Jews has been widely debunked.

That same month, the Forward (a prominent news site aimed at a Jewish American audience) spotlighted Bell as one of a growing number of GOP candidates who "have promoted the idea that strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are comparable to the sufferings of Hitler's victims."

The story noted that he had compared vaccine requirements to Nazi eugenics programs, likened NFL players wearing bands showing whether they had been vaccinated to "Dachau or Auschwitz serial numbers," and argued that unvaccinated people's "lives shouldn't change nor should we be subjected the Nazi-style treatment of being marked."

In November, Bell likened COVID-19 safety requirements in Austria to the Holocaust, writing: "So maybe it will start to hit home now that it's happening in Austria. The people are being divided by Aryans and Jews. Uh…I mean Vaccinated and Unvaccinated."

He made a similar claim the following month, posting, "Germany has locked down the Jews, I mean the unvaccinated in the country."

The Auschwitz Memorial in Poland has explicitly condemned analogies of this type, warning, "Exploiting of the tragedy of all people who between 1933-45 suffered, were humiliated, tortured & murdered by the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany to argue against vaccination that saves human lives is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decay."

Bell, who received 22.1% of the vote in the 2020 GOP primary in the same district, is one of a handful of Republican candidates seeking the nomination this year.

He has repeatedly attacked one of his opponents, Republican state Sen. Jen Kiggans, for voting for a bipartisan 2020 law banning discrimination against LGBTQ Virginians in employment and public accommodations.

Last March, he falsely complained that LGBTQ rights supporters "just helped send tall, hairy men into your little girl's bathroom, locker[r]oom and girls sports."

Asked last year by the website Ballotpedia which representatives he wanted to model himself after, Bell named white-nationalist-linked Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and conspiracy theorist Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

Bell opposed the removal of Richmond's Robert E. Lee Monument last September, calling it part of a "Marxist and Communist takeover."

That same month, he made national headlines for tweeting conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump and demanding that everyone involved be killed. "Audit all 50 states," he demanded. "Arrest all involved. Try all involved. Convict all involved. Execute all involved.#MaricopaCountyFraud"

Bell's account was suspended by Twitter days later.

Bachmann is not the first GOP fringe figure to endorse Bell.

In August, he received backing from Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn was fired by Trump after less than a month in office for lying to the FBI and accepted a pardon in late 2020 for his crimes.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent


Lindell And Dark Money Outfit Pushed ’Snake-Oil Covid Cure’ --With Tragic Result

A variety of bogus “treatments” or “cures” for COVID-19 have been promoted in MAGA World, from hydroxychloroquine to oleandrin (an extract from the poisonous oleander plant). According to Daily Beast reporters Roger Sollenberger and William Bredderman, one of the companies that has promoted oleandrin as a COVID-19 miracle cure is Propter Strategies — which has ties to two major allies of former President Donald Trump: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.

“It’s an all-too-familiar story at this point: A person pushing an unproven COVID-19 cure — and pushing back against the vaccines — pays the ultimate price for their skepticism,” Sollenberger and Bredderman report. “But this time, there’s a new wrinkle. It’s not just one person dabbling in COVID quackery with tragic results; it’s actually a mysterious dark money organization, with ties to influential MAGA figures like Steve Bannon and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.”


The organization, according to Sollenberger and Bredderman, was Propter Strategies — and the person who became a “victim” of its “secretive work” was partner Kenneth Happel.

“To this day, Propter Strategies is a black hole, despite its high-profile connections and multi-million-dollar budget,” the Beast reporters explain. “Aside from Happel’s account, there is no evidence of Propter’s activities anywhere in the public record. And that might be with good reason: Those activities included hawking the snake-oil COVID treatment oleandrin at the highest levels of the government, as the pandemic’s lethal second wave peaked across the country.”Happel, according to Sollenberger and Bredderman, is presently hospitalized with his second COVID-19 infection — and his wife died from COVID-19 in January.

“In a phone interview from his hospital bed, Happel, 72, remained unrepentant and defiant about the numerous baseless theories that quite likely landed him back in the hospital, and killed the wife he loved dearly,” Sollenberger and Bredderman write. “Happel still places hope in the pseudo-science that he, Propter Strategies, and Lindell had pushed so hard — a proprietary compound derived from oleander extract, which the pillow tycoon and at least one Propter official had invested in.”

Registration data, according to Sollenberger and Bredderman, shows that Happel is the owner of Proper’s website, needsp.us, and Happel has “confirmed” to the Beast “that the Propter Strategies cited on his page was, in fact, the same group linked to those leading MAGA figures.”

“Happel, a former Tea Party activist with an entrepreneurial history that intersects with biotechnology, recounted working on oleandrin in 2020 with Propter board member Andrew Whitney,” Sollenberger and Bredderman note. “A serial entrepreneur and former Bain Capital investor, Whitney was actually pulling oleandrin double-duty — he was on the board at the nonprofit Propter, as well as at Texas-based Phoenix Biotechnologies, whose research centered on the product. Happel also acknowledged the connection to Lindell, who, it turns out, also holds a financial stake in Phoenix Biotechnologies.”

Whitney and Lindell, according to the Beast reporters, “paired up for a MAGA media parade” and promoted oleandrin “as a neglected medical miracle” on right-wing outlets such as Newsmax and Diamond & Silk’s YouTube show. And Lindell “confirmed he still has a financial stake in Phoenix.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

NBC Reporter Says 'Chances Are Higher' Gaetz Will Be Indicted--Here's Why (VIDEO)

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has positioned himself to be Donald Trump's favorite toadie in his bizarre quest to pretend he's one of the defeated president's sons. He's usually the first Republican to parrot all of Trump's most outrageous lies and conspiracies.

But with all his legal drama, Gaetz might as well be related to Trump.

Indeed, the far-right, conspiracy-spouting Congressman's legal woes got worse this week when his ex- girlfriend testified to authorities. That disclosure left NBC reporter Marc Caputo believing that Gaetz will ultimately be indicted.

When this broke, the ex-girlfriend was talking to another woman who was talking to prosecutors that felt the woman may have recorded the call and may have patched in Matt Gaetz at the time and prosecutors suspect he tried to elicit or entice or suborn obstruction of justice and his ex-girlfriend may have participated in that. That was the basis of her getting an immunity deal; ‘don’t charge me for this and I’ll tell you the things you want to know," said Caputo.

He went even further:

“Exactly what she told them is key but what’s important to note here is that she’s an important bridge that unlocks the case or unstalls it. It was stuck in neutral. Now the case is clearly going forward. I can’t promise he’s going to be indicted but the chances are higher."

Watch the entire interview below:

'Deficit Hawk’ Greene Profits From U.S. Debt — And Budget Brinksmanship

During her year in Congress, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has tried to paint herself as a hardcore fiscal conservative — angrily slamming President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for increasing the United States’ federal deficit even though she never had a problem with former President Donald Trump doing that. But according to the Daily Beast’s Roger Sollenberger, the far-right MAGA Republican has found a way to profit from the government debt she complains about.

“Last September, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) called for a shutdown to stop government spending,” Sollenberger explains. “Four days later, she lent the government money. Financial disclosures show that on September 21, the anti-government conspiracy theorist bought between $250,000 and $500,000 in U.S. Treasury bills — low-yield financial instruments that help the government fund the debt and pay expenses such as salaries.”

In May 2021, Greene was among the Republicans who co-sponsored a bill introduced by Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona: the Recognizing the National Debt as a Threat to National Security Act.

Sollenberger comments, “Greene must not think it’s much of a threat: The T-bill purchase was her largest transaction of the year, and it’s not even close. Greene, who is a multimillionaire, has traded heavily in securities since she joined Congress a year ago, executing 76 purchases and 14 sales. Of those 90 transactions, the second-largest purchase range behind the T-bill buy was between $15,001 and $50,000 — a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Congressional disclosures only give dollar amounts in ranges.”

Liberal economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman predicted that when Biden was sworn in as president, Republicans who had no problem with the federal deficit when Trump was president would magically rediscover fiscal conservatism — and sure enough, Republicans are now worried about government debt once again. One of them is unwavering Trump sycophant Greene.

“In her short time in Congress,” Sollenberger observes, “Greene has endorsed multiple government shutdowns over Democratic spending packages…. Last month Greene was back at it, calling to ‘shut it down’ over the $29 trillion national debt she had just supported with her own money.”

Article reprinted with permission from Alternet

One America News Is Top Cable Choice For Insurrection And ‘Mass Executions’

The January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump was a watershed moment for conservative media. The “peaceful transition of power” that has long been a force in the mythologization of American democracy broke down that day, and rather than owning up to the gravity of a violent attack on that tradition, One America News Network stuck to its familiar playbook of lies and deceit – this time in service of increasing voter suppression.

A survey performed in September 2021 found that 68% of Republicans wrongly believed that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. Among Republicans who primarily trust far-right outlets like OAN, 97% believed the election was stolen. This correlation is no coincidence, and right-wing media’s continued lies about the 2020 election have provided fuel for nationwide voter suppression efforts by the GOP. In the wake of the Capitol attack, OAN became an important part of the conservative media campaign pushing a whopping 440 bills in state legislatures in 2021 that attempted to restrict voting access.

Voter suppression is nothing new for the conservative movement, but OAN used the aftermath of January 6 to double down on election lies and promote efforts to make voting more difficult for its fellow Americans – while priming its right-wing audience for a potential civil war.

OAN helped drive a frenzy for fraudulent election audits

OAN correspondent Christina Bobb disputed the 2020 election results before a winner was even declared, a moment which was a harbinger for her coverage in 2021. Fueled by a passionate embrace of the Big Lie that the election had been stolen, Bobb essentially became a salesperson for election audits in any state that would entertain the idea.

Bobb provided documents and testimony to get the Arizona audit in motion, and founded a nonprofit to raise money for the audit. Her group Voices & Votes raised $605,000 for the Arizona audit, or about 10% of its cost, undoubtedly in part because of Bobb’s frequent fundraising during her audit coverage on OAN.

The amateurish operation in Arizona appears to be the playbook for other so-called “audits” going forward, even though it confirmed both President Joe Biden’s victory in the state and the oft-asserted fact that there was no significant fraud. But that didn’t stop Bobb or other audit extremists.

Bobb has been concentrating her efforts to spread audits to Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Michigan, counting on friendly GOP legislatures to indulge in the Big Lie. Some states, like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, are making moves toward their own audits. In Texas, which Trump won handily, preliminary results of an audit have once again confirmed earlier counts.

Besides its own correspondent, OAN has helped create a second star of the right-wing election fraud movement. MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell was already known before the 2020 election to be a prolific, unhinged Trump supporter, but Lindell’s delusions turned into an erratic fusillade of election lies, and -- unprecedented in television news -- the wealthy pillow CEO acquired vast swaths of OAN airtime in 2021 to zealously push his own false claims and conspiracy theories.

OAN repeatedly aired at least three different Lindell “documentaries” alleging to unravel the conspiratorial web behind the 2020 election. Additionally, OAN ran ads for Lindell’s three-day “cyber symposium” over 150 times in a single week, before devoting more than 30 hours of live coverage to his erratic event. Just before Lindell's symposium began, OAN was sued by Dominion Voting Systems for defamation over spreading other election lies; later the network was hit with another defamation suit from voting technology company Smartmatic.

OAN followed the symposium and defamation suit by letting Lindell take over its evening programming on at least three occasions. In his “The Lindell Report” the businessman aired even more potentially defamatory election lies.

OAN backed voter suppression attempts nationwide

Pursuant to its whole-of-network embrace of the Big Lie, OAN gave friendly coverage to or expressed outright support of several voter suppression efforts in states all over the country.

OAN’s prime-time shows became important stops for Texas state legislators to promote Senate Bill 7, which “includes provisions to limit early voting hours, curtail local voting options and further tighten voting by mail.” On June 1, OAN’s Natalie Harp hosted GOP state Rep. Kyle Biedermann to raise concerns about “a lot of things going on against the laws” in 2020, like “drive-thru voting” and “ballots that were mailed out that shouldn’t have been mailed out.” OAN’s Dan Ball hosted state Sen. Bob Hall, who claimed that SB 7 would guard against what he called “soft fraud” by “election officials taking advantage of rules to bend them as much as they could in their favor.” According to Media Matters’ data, since December 2020, eight Texas state legislators have made at least 23 appearances on OAN prime time, many of them clustered around the SB 7 debate.

The Georgia omnibus election bill was another focal point of OAN programming, particularly since the network is also interested in fomenting an election audit in Georgia. In ostensible news segments, OAN reports called Senate Bill 202 a “voting rights bill” that is “securing integrity for future elections,” and literally laughed at the notion that anyone would take issue with these “common-sense changes.” The Justice Department filed suit against Georgia over a long list of “racially discriminatory” provisions in the law, including “the prohibition on efforts by churches and civic groups to provide food or water to persons waiting in long lines to vote.”

OAN frequently turns to one guest in particular for Georgia political commentary: former state representative and current gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones. According to Media Matters' data, Jones has made at least 26 appearances on OAN prime time since December 2020 -- often dedicated to promoting his campaign for governor while pushing election lies and audit attempts.

Video fileVideo Player00:0001:35SHARE

CitationFrom the October 5, 2021, edition of OAN's Real America with Dan Ball

OAN primed its audience for more political violence

On June 23, correspondent Pearson Sharp drew widespread condemnation for an OAN segment suggesting mass executions of Democrats for supposedly stealing the election from Trump.

Declaring the 2020 election was actually “overthrown,” Sharp told his audience: “Any American involved in these efforts, from those who ran the voting machines to the very highest government officials, is guilty of treason under U.S. Code. 2381, which carries with it the penalty of death.”

Despite the unmistakable clarity of Sharp’s words, he told Talking Points Memo, “Neither I, nor OAN, are suggesting anyone should be executed,” but added, “That is for the appropriate law enforcement agencies to determine.”

Sharp’s midsummer bloodlust wasn’t much of an aberration for One America News Network. OAN guests have casually gamed out civil war scenarios on-air, and the network has aired reports accusing “retired Democrat generals” of spreading civil war allegations against Republicans, while falsely claiming “evidence indicates that it is actually the left that is at war.”

Though she did not directly suggest violence, Bobb brought in the new year by strongly denouncing the Biden administration as “fascist” and “illegitimate,” in part for having “faked an insurrection on the Capitol” and stealing the 2020 election. For a conservative steeped in Second Amendment mythology about “the tree of liberty” and “the blood of tyrants,” the dots don’t need to be connected.

Wayne Allyn Root, a radio host and far-right conspiracy theorist, appeared on OAN in December and denounced Biden’s “communist dictatorship” for stealing both the 2020 election and Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats, giving Democrats their current tie-breaking Senate majority “destroying this country.” Root accused Democrats of “looking for a civil war,” which he claimed conservatives like him do not want -- but later in the same rant, Root said that the oppression of conservatives by the Democratic Party “is a lot worse” than the conditions that merited the American Revolution.

“The worst is yet to come,” Root warned.

Video fileVideo Player00:0006:46SHARE

CitationFrom the December 29, 2021, edition of OAN's The Real Story with Natalie Harp

OAN is headed into 2022 with more of the same lies, and little care for any negative consequences

From OAN’s perspective, 2021 was a good year for “election integrity.” OAN’s Bobb fought for and secured an Arizona election audit, and successfully spun the mundane results into enough fuel to keep pushing for more audits. OAN collected viewers and money from airing MyPillow’s Lindell, even if it did help get the network sued for defamation. Several of the voter suppression initiatives OAN supported became law. OAN’s suggestions of political violence have retained a veneer of plausible deniability while priming the audience with fury and fear to keep pushing for more voter suppression.

Reckless, false commentary about stolen elections and calls for punishing enemies are how we got Trump supporters invading the Capitol, menacing members of Congress, and chanting to execute Trump’s vice president one year ago. But it’s all just good business for OAN.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Anti-Vaxxers Make Insane Claim About Betty White's Death

Anti-vaxxers are insidious pests that refuse to shut up or go away (until Covid ends them), and it's the job of every patriotic American to mock and shame them out of existence. Just when you thought these lunatics couldn't possibly stoop any lower in their infinite quest to spread lies and misinformation, they managed to find a new bottom in their claims surrounding the passing of beloved actress Betty White.

On New Year's Eve, the celebrated and universally admired Golden Girl actress Betty White died at age 99, just weeks shy of her 100th birthday. While every single normal human being in America was weeping with sorrow and racing to post condolences on social media, bottom-feeding anti-vaxxers were blatantly lying about her death.

Users on Twitter and Facebook shared an image containing a quote reading, “‘Eat healthy and get all your vaccines. I just got boosted today.’ - Betty White, Dec. 28th, 2021,” alongside a link to an article in Minnesota news outlet Crow River Media, titled, “Betty White: I’m lucky to still be in good health.” And one poster stooped even lower by sharing a totally fabricated quote with a caption that reads, “Died 3 days later! Coincidence."

Here's a collection of completely false quotes/images via Snopes.com:


Sigh. Is there truly no end to these vile people's stupidity and despicable lies?

The fabricated posts forced Jeff Witjas, the late actress' agent, to respond. He noted that he had no idea of White’s vaccination status overall.


“But I do know for a fact that a booster was not involved at all in Betty’s passing,” Witjas told The News. “That seems to be the story out there, and it’s just not true. Betty passed due to natural causes.”

He said she had been “well taken care of” by people who were supremely careful about their shots.

“People can do what they want to do. But they shouldn’t hang it on Betty for any reason. It’s just not right. It’s not her legacy,” Witjas said. “She was never a political person when she lived. I would certainly hate to see her become politicized in passing.”

Of course, leave it to these downright vile cretins to not only keep politicizing a public health emergency nearly two years in. Worse yet, they smear the legacy of one of the most beloved actresses to walk the planet.