Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.
Reprinted with permission from Alternet
Conservatives continue to reward Republicans who fought to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) was one of the most prominent proponents of the "Big Lie" that Donald Trump actually won the presidential election. Hawley refused to accept the outcome of the election even after the Electoral College voted to confirm Joe Biden's victory in December.
Hawley continued his efforts to overturn the election even after the fatal January. 6th insurrection by supporters of Trump who believed Hawley's misinformation.
While the senator has been harshly criticized in Missouri, he was cheered on Friday when he bragged about siding with the insurrectionists while speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando.
Many in the crowed even gave him a standing ovation.
Hawley gets a standing ovation after he brings up his January 6 vote to overthrow a free and fair election and Joe… https://t.co/xX6aGulcQa— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1614371695.0
The annual CPAC convention, which a variety of bonehead extremists, is a frightening microcosm of Trump's Republican Party. CPAC is the acronym for Conservative Political Action Committee, but that's a misleading moniker. Jimmy Kimmel sums up their annual event as "Comic-Con for Neo-cons and Neo-Nazis."
Kimmel takes dead aim at Mike Pence, CPAC's "uncanceled" theme, and much more. He roasts Trump for teasing a 2024 run -- an obvious scam -- and needles that flip-flopping phony Lindsey Graham.
Click it and cackle.
Trump returns to tighten tiny grip on Republican Party https://t.co/ReLYfRy3y3— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@Jimmy Kimmel Live)1614143109.0
Reprinted with permission from American Independent
Conservative activist Scott Presler, who has a background as an organizer for an anti-Muslim hate group, is set to speak at this week's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
"Hey, mom & dad. Your baby boy was invited to speak at @CPAC," Presler tweeted on Feb. 14.
Many of the CPAC panels are slated to discuss the topic of "voter fraud," the code language du jour used by the right to promote voter suppression. Presler has been touting his activism on the issue of "election integrity reform."
Presler also spoke at CPAC in 2020.
From 2017 to 2018, Presler worked as a lead organizer for Act for America, which the Associated Press described as a "hate group."
Act for America is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "the largest anti-Muslim group in America." The Anti-Defamation League describes Act for America similarly and notes that the group "stokes irrational fear of Muslims via a number of false claims" and "propagates the hateful conspiracy theory that Muslims are infiltrating US institutions in order to impose Sharia law."
Brigitte Gabriel, the founder of Act for America, has previously claimed that a Muslim "cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America."
During his time with Act for America, Presler was deeply involved in organizing the group's anti-Muslim "March Against Sharia" events, serving as the national coordinator for them.
NPR reported in June 2017 that the marches were "attracting many far-right sympathizers, including several who decorate their posts with Confederate flags."
White supremacist Billy Roper discussed the rallies on his podcast, saying, "We want to send a message to Muslims that they are not welcome in our communities." He also said, "We want to send a message to Muslims that they're not welcome in our nation and, of course, endgame, on our planet."
At the same time he made those comments, emails between Presler and Roper regarding the protests showed Presler writing, "You are approved and ready to go."
Presler was also involved in the "Stop the Steal" protest at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. In a Twitter post about the event, Presler described the pro-Trump assembly as a "civil rights protest." Many of the people who attacked the Capitol were a part of the protest.
Other scheduled CPAC speakers, most notably Donald Trump, have spoken favorably of the January 6 insurrection and promote extremist conspiracy theories.
Since leaving Act for America, Presler has worked for the Republican Party of Virginia and independently to promote Donald Trump.
In January 2019, Presler was temporarily suspended from Twitter after writing "Black lives murdered by criminal illegal aliens don't matter."
In March of 2020, as part of a campaign that sought to downplay fears of COVID-19, Presler posted video from outside a hospital in Virginia, noting, "I didn't see a lot of cars, a lot of people, or hardly any activity." At the time, some conservatives were claiming that images of "empty" hospitals purportedly proved that the virus was a hoax.
Over 7,300 people in Virginia have died from COVID-19.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
Reprinted with permission from Media MattersResearch contributions by Alex Walker
Update (2/22/21): CPAC has cancelled Young Pharaoh's scheduled appearance following the publication of this article. Young Pharaoh's information has also been removed from CPAC's website. The theme of this year's gathering is "American Uncanceled."
Leading Republican officials are set to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this week along with a virulently anti-Semitic speaker named Young Pharaoh.
Young Pharaoh is an online commentator who has told followers that Judaism is a "complete lie" and "made up for political gain," said that Jewish people are "thieving fake Jews," tweeted that "all the censorship & pedophilia on social media is being done by Israeli Jews," and claimed that "all of these big tech [companies], media, & social media platforms are controlled by CCP & Israel through Jewish CEO & corrupt Democrats." Young Pharaoh has also attacked conservative commentator Ben Shapiro for being Jewish. He's additionally promoted the QAnon and Pizzagate conspiracy theories and falsely claimed that coronavirus vaccines will "alter your DNA."
The American Conservative Union and ACU Chair Matt Schlapp run CPAC, which is scheduled for February 25-28 in Orlando, Florida. On its website, CPAC describes itself as "the largest and most influential gathering of conservatives in the world. Launched in 1974, CPAC brings together hundreds of conservative organizations, thousands of activists, millions of viewers and the best and brightest leaders in the world." This year's speakers include former President Donald Trump, Govs. Ron DeSantis (FL) and Kristi Noem (SD), and numerous other leading Republicans.
According to its schedule, CPAC is hosting Young Pharaoh during a Sunday session called "Please Check the Number and Dial Again: Doubt, Dysfunction, and the Price of Missed Opportunities." CPAC states on its website that Young Pharaoh is a "Philosopher, Scholar, Musician" and links to his Twitter account. CPAC also links to youngpharaoh.net -- that site redirects to "Pharaoh Aten University," which features Young Pharaoh's videos spreading conspiracy theories about vaccines and the "new world order."
Young Pharaoh has posted numerous anti-Semitic tweets. He's also frequently promoted dangerous conspiracy theories. Here is a sampling of the tweets on his CPAC-promoted account.
Young Pharaoh: "THERE IS NO #HISTORICAL OR #SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE PROVING THE EXISTENCE OF #JEWS OR #JUDAISM... ITS ALL A COMPLETE #LIE. … COMPLETELY MADE UP FOR #POLITICAL GAIN."
Young Pharaoh: "'AMEN' IS A STOLEN TERM BY THIEVING #FAKE #JEWS. … THE HEBREW #LANGUAGE I MADE UP FANTASY."
Young Pharaoh: "ALL THE #CENSORSHIP & #PEDOPHILIA ON #SOCIALMEDIA IS BEING DONE BY #ISRAELI #JEWS."
Young Pharaoh: "ALL OF THESE #BIGTECH COMAPNIES, #MEDIA, & #SOCIALMEDIA PLATFORMS ARE CONTROLLED BY #CCP & #ISRAEL THROUGH #JEWISH #CEO & CORRUPT #DEMOCRATS."
Young Pharaoh: "YOU SOUND STUPID, THERE ISNT A #JEW ON THIS PLANET I WOULDBT DESTROY IN A #DEBATE."
Young Pharaoh: "HEARD YOUR A #JEW, YOU MAN ENOUGH YO TAKE THIS #DEBATE & GET DESTROYED?"
Young Pharaoh: "IM GETTING #READY TO EXPOSE #ISRAEL, #WAYFAIR, & MUCH MORE... ALOT OF THE CONTENT TOWARDS THE #JEWS WILL BE POSTED INSIDE OF MY WEBSITE."
Young Pharaoh: "@realDonaldTrump @FBI #INVESTIGATE @Twitter #QANON #WEG1WGA." Young Pharaoh has also repeatedly promoted the QAnon hashtag "WWG1WGA."
Young Pharaoh: "THE #CORONAVIRUS DIDNT WORK SO THEY STAGED A #RIOT TO TRY & #INSTITUTE #MARTIALLAW."
Young Pharaoh pushed the false claim that coronavirus vaccines will "alter your DNA." The coronavirus vaccine will not alter people's DNA.
Young Pharaoh promoted the "Frazzledrip" conspiracy theory. For more on the "Frazzledrip" conspiracy theory, which was also promoted by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) go here.
"GEORGE FLOYD, RIOTS, & ANNONYMOUS EXPOSED AS DEEP STATE PSYOP FOR NWO!" Young Pharaoh's conspiracy theory video was posted on YouTube.
The annual Conservative Political Action Conference — traditionally the who's who of Republican politics — will look a lot different in 2021.
For the first time since the event began in 1974, CPAC will not take place in the Washington, D.C., area, but rather in Florida, because the Republican-run state is allowing the conference to take place without coronavirus restrictions as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.
It's not a marked difference from CPAC 2020, which was one of the first potential superspreader events of the pandemic in February 2020, forcing a number of Republican lawmakers into quarantine after they were exposed to a positive coronavirus case at the annual gathering.
"@GovRonDeSantis believes that schools, churches & football should be open for business. So, we decided that @CPAC should move to #FL to allow Americans a healthy outlet in an attempt to fight lockdowns & cancel culture," Matt Schlapp, the chair of the group that puts on CPAC, tweeted on Tuesday. "We are also hoping to have a beer with America's Governor."
Also not on the list of this year's speakers is Donald Trump, nor anyone who shares his last name — though it's unclear whether they'll be added at the last minute.
That's a marked difference from the past four years, when Trump delivered rambling, lie-filled diatribes from the stage as the event's headliner. Trump's children — Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump — also received prime speaking roles during his term.
Yet CPAC will still be a who's who of Republican lawmakers looking to raise their national profiles, whether it's ahead of rumored 2024 presidential bids or other runs for higher offices, alongside right-wing media personalities looking to push the Republican culture war du jour.
Here's a list of who is coming to this year's event:
The 2024 GOP Hopefuls
A speech at CPAC has in years past been an item on the checklist for Republicans running in presidential primaries.
In 2015, CPAC was a must-attend event for the large slate of Republicans running for the 2016 nomination. Those GOP hopefuls ended up being steamrolled by Trump, who went on to win the Republican nomination that year.
With Trump toying with a possible 2024 comeback bid, the GOP presidential field is thus far frozen.
However, some of the Republicans rumored to be eyeing runs are speaking at this year's event.
They include South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who has been boasting about her refusal to follow expert advice to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Rick Scott of Florida are also on the list of speakers.
The Pro-Insurrection Caucus
Some of the loudest voices in the House whose lies about voter fraud helped lead to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol will also be speaking.
Reps. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) are on the list of speakers.
Brooks organized a group of GOP lawmakers to travel to the White House to strategize with Trump about the effort to block certification of President Joe Biden's win. That strategy session preceded the insurrection, which left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer.
Gosar was also said to be working with the White House on the Electoral College objections.
Freshman Reps. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Lauren Boebert of Colorado are also on the list. Cawthorn called for Trump supporters to "lightly threaten" lawmakers to overturn Biden's victory. While Boebert — who has dabbled in the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory that a number of the insurrectionists followed — also pushed voter fraud lies and called for Jan. 6 to be "1776."
Two of Trump's biggest defenders — Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Jim Jordan of Ohio — are also slated to speak. Both men propped up Trump's election lies, and have since been trying to absolve Trump of guilt for inciting the Jan. 6 riot by trying to shift blame onto House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Far-Right Media Personalities
Right-wing media figures also use CPAC to keep up the following to continue their Fox News contracts or other conservative media programs.
James O'Keefe, who runs Project Veritas — which releases altered and misleading "sting" footage on left-leaning groups and mainstream media outlets — is slated to speak. His group's Twitter account was permanently suspended last week for "repeated violations of Twitter's private information policy," the Verge reported.
Also slated is Dan Bongino, a Fox News contributor who has run multiple failed bids for Congress. Bongino was recently ordered to pay $30,000 in legal fees to the Daily Beast, which he sued for defamation for reporting that he was let go from his gig working for the National Rifle Association's failed television network. The Daily Beast article was not deemed defamatory, and Bongino lost the case.
Matthew Boyle, a pro-Trump Breitbart reporter, and Kurt Schlichter, another right-wing commentator, are also on the lineup.
Scattered among the GOP politicians and conservative media personalities this year are people thrust into the right-wing spotlight for their refusal to adhere to coronavirus regulations to slow the spread of the deadly virus.
On the list of speakers is Shelley Luther, a hair salon owner in Texas who was jailed for not following coronavirus restrictions. Luther has become a darling of Fox News, who ran her story as the network fought against virus mitigation measures.
And Ian Smith, a New Jersey gym owner who was also arrested for refusing to follow statewide orders regarding gyms, is also speaking. Smith's gym now faces more than $1.2 million in fines for refusing to follow virus prevention regulations.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
Reprinted with permission from Alternet
Two Republican congressmen who recently interacted with President Donald Trump are placing themselves in self-quarantine because of potential exposure to the coronavirus.
Reps. Doug Collins of Georgia and Matt Gaetz of Florida have said publicly that they came into contact with a person at the conservative conference CPAC who has since tested positive for the virus.
"This afternoon, I was notified by CPAC that they discovered a photo of myself and the patient who has tested positive for coronavirus," said Collins in a statement. "While I feel completely healthy and I am not experiencing any symptoms, I have decided to self-quarantine at my home for the remainder of the 14-day period out of an abundance of caution. I will follow the recommendations of the House Physician and my office will provide updates as appropriate."
The Florida congressman made a similar announcement on Twitter:
Congressman Gaetz was informed today that he came into contact with a CPAC attendee 11 days ago who tested positive for COVID-19.— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@Rep. Matt Gaetz)1583783826.0
While the Congressman is not experiencing symptoms, he received testing today and expects results soon. Under doc… https://t.co/YyY35w7j9B— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@Rep. Matt Gaetz)1583783826.0
Reporters quickly pointed out that the president has recently come into contact with both Collins and Gaetz.
The Daily Beast's Sam Stein noted:
Doug Collins, who has self-quarantined, greeting Trump in Georgia last week (AFTER CPAC) https://t.co/EY0qeVIIHe— Sam Stein (@Sam Stein)1583782427.0
Gaetz, meanwhile, was seen by the White House press pool boarding Air Force One to travel with the president on Monday.
Bloomberg's Justin Sink also reported that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who placed himself under quarantine on Sunday night for the same reason, also met at the White House on Thursday. He said that White House "officials have stressed that Trump has been religious about hand washing and other precautions."
There's no reason to believe that Gaetz, Cruz, or Collins passed the virus to Trump, since it has not been confirmed that any of them contracted it in the first place. But the totality of the contacts shows how easily such an outbreak could spread and can even impact top officials in the federal government. In Iran, where the outbreak has spiraled out of control, two officials have already died from the infection.
Trump, too, attended CPAC, though it has not been reported that he interacted with the person since diagnosed with the virus. But the Washington Post reported:
Trump was photographed shaking hands with Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, who confirmed that he had been in direct contact with the infected man during the Conservative Political Action Conference last month.
Gaetz was the subject of criticism after he wore a gas mask to congressional proceedings last week as lawmakers passed funding to fight the outbreak. Gaetz voted to approve the measure, even while voicing ridiculous concerns about paying for the funds:
I voted for the Coronavirus legislation because we must have resources now to prevent further spread. But I didn’… https://t.co/xkoSnSALaS— Matt Gaetz (@Matt Gaetz)1583362468.0
Now his office is trying to say that he wore the mask not to mock the seriousness of the disease but to demonstrate "his concern … on the House Floor."
However, there was no sign at the time that he was taking the issue seriously. And if he was, wearing a gas mask is the last thing he should have done. Officials have urged the public not to wear face masks unless they are themselves infected, and Gaetz's actions could have muddled the message. And when he spoke to TMZ about the matter, he was clearly in a jocular mood:
When asked by TMZ where he got the gas mask from, Gaetz remained coy.
"I gotta keep that confidential…Top secret. You don't wanna know what underground lair I pulled this from. It's not made in China though," he said.
The congressman said he doesn't expect President Trump to follow his lead and get himself a matching gas mask, mostly "based on what it does to the hair."
Just before entering the office building and finishing the impromptu interview, Gaetz decided against advising spring break travelers to cancel their planned trips to Florida.
"In my experience, the things that you consume on spring break will typically kill the coronavirus."
Chick-Fil-A causes a dean to dropout, teen sexting leads to anal sex, and paying off a mistress proves your family values. No, you’re not in Kansas, Dorothy. It’s This Week in Crazy!
5. Ronald Beaty, Jr.
This county commissioner from Cape Cod, Massachusetts is known for putting out some idiotic tweets. However, he took the cake last month when he tweeted out the following:
Barnstable official criticized over Twitter poll asking if gay politicians are ‘too self-absorbed’ to be effective – The Boston Globe https://t.co/6oehMaNeUc
— Ron Beaty (@ronbeatyjr) February 21, 2019
Beaty posted this tweet, reacting to two LGBTQ members being granted leadership roles in his legislature. Clearly, this Barnstable County resident forgot that Provincetown (a gay Mecca) is in his county. Or perhaps the homophobe knows all too well. So, what did this closeted bigot do when the media scrutiny hit? He pulled his Trump card. “I pretty much only do what President Donald Trump does relative to his social media postings. If it is good enough for our president, whom I support 100 percent, then it is good enough for me as well.” Hear that? Golden showers for Beaty on his next trip to P-Town!
4. Cynthia Newman
Okay, what’s in the chicken at Chick-Fil-A? Chick-Fil-A has a long-standing history of donating millions to companies that push religious agendas…including conversion therapy for homosexuals. And they’re using chicken lovers to bankroll the operation. In fact, now some of their devotees are even willing to commit career suicide. Currently, ten universities have decided against allowing the bigots who own Chick-Fil-A to open up shop on their campus. One of these colleges is Rider University’s College of Business. Their decision not to do business with Chick-Fil-A had Dean Cynthia Newman crowing, “What the cluck!” Ms. Newman stepped down as dean over what she perceived as an attack on religion. The cock-a-doodle-dean stated, “I endeavor every day to do exactly what Chick-fil-A puts forward as its overarching corporate value: to glorify God.” Newman added a touch of unintentional comedy when she added that all her accomplishments are “God’s working in and through me.”
3. Turning Point USA
I’ve been to a white party, but this past week, Turning Point USA threw a white privilege party. Turning Point USA describes itself as a “youth organization that promotes the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government.” Naturally, they invited Donald Trump, Jr., some Proud Boys, conspiracy theorist Jack Burkman, and a bunch of other deplorables. The invite to this soiree included a dabbing astronaut and concluded with the Shakespearean-esque, “Dilly dilly.” Things got even more crunk with a drink list that captured the rapey vibe perfectly:
Cocktail list at TPUSA CPAC party
— Jared Holt (@jaredlholt) March 1, 2019
Come to think of it, This Week in Crazy regular, Laura Loomer, was there too. Yikes, hope she didn’t have a Kavanaugh along with those red pills she was talking about.
2. Mike Rounds
If you love your spouse, you will not let them know you cheated on them…by any means necessary. That is the marks of a true man and a true president. At least, in the eyes of Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD). Rounds is making the media rounds (see what I did there). The conservative senator is defending President Trump for arranging hush money payoffs with Stormy Daniels while he was on the job.
Rounds has a point. Trump paid off Stormy because he loves his family. It’s the same reason why he slept with her in the first place, right? The South Dakotan senator hit the nail on the head when he concluded, “it has as much to do with trying not to have public discussions about something that is, for him, a private matter that he didn’t want to have discussed with his family.”
1. Brad Klippert
If you thought hickeys leading to sex was a problem, well, sexting is a gateway portal to anal. So says Washington State Rep. Brad Klippert. Washington’s legislature passed House Bill 1742, decriminalizing sexts between minors. This set Klippert off on a rant that would make a gaggle of sailors blush:
Under HB 1742, a minor in possession of explicit content sent from another minor will be charged with a misdemeanor rather than a felony. This bill passed on the grounds that the underage sender knowingly distributed the photo to the consenting minor.According to Klippert, HB 1742 also subjects minors to “oral to genital, anal-genital, oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex, or between humans and animals.” He concluded with a stirring rendition of the definition of sodomy. Was it from a text he picked up during his dinner date with Ronald Beaty, Jr. at Chick-Fil-A? Hopefully, they’ll have a lot more to talk about after appearing in This Week in Crazy!
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