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Tag: far right republicans

‘We’re ALIVE!’ Anti-Vax YouTube Couple Dead After Posting Boastful Video

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Another day, another anti-vaxxer death. As the delta variant continues to spread across the country, anti-vaxxers are not only filling up hospitals but facing death. Almost every day, news of a popular anti-vaxxer being hospitalized or dying as a result of COVID-19 seems to make headlines.

In the most recent incident, two YouTubers from Alabama who were popular for online resale tips died as a result of COVID-19 days after they posted a video confirming they would never get vaccinated, AL.com reported. "We are ALIVE and still Reselling on eBay," the couple said in their last video.

The couple, Dusty Graham and Tristan Graham, known as "Alabama Pickers," posted quite a few videos on their YouTube channel denying COVID-19.

The channel has since then been taken down, but their last video remains online reposted through other accounts, including the channel "Vaxx Mann." That channel belongs to the website sorryanitvaxxer.com, which is dedicated to resharing social media posts from people who publicly opposed the COVID-19 vaccine only to later die from the virus.

According to a GoFundMe page set up by their children, Dusty died Thursday after battling COVID-19 for three weeks. His wife had "passed suddenly in her sleep" weeks earlier due to coronavirus complications on August 25.

"Unfortunately Dusty and Tristan have both passed away," the couple's daughter, Windsor Graham, said. "Thank you for all the kind words and helping us during this difficult time. We will be using the money to pay for funeral expenses." The announcement of their deaths follows an announcement from Dusty weeks earlier that he was in the ICU "battling it [COVID-19] out."

The 90-minute video came days before his announcement and addressed in detail why the couple would never get vaccinated and their stance on other COVID-19 measures. "Still haven't gotten the you know what," Dusty said before mimicking a syringe jab. "Still not planning on getting it."

"I've got my own passport. It's called the 'Bill of Rights.' I think this will be all behind us in a couple of years," Dusty continued, referring to his birth certificate. His comments were made around the 41:30 mark.

"I think this will be all behind us in a couple years," Dusty added. "Then they'll be like you don't need that anymore," referring to vaccine passports.

Dusty Graham also claimed that the COVID-19 vaccine is "technically not" a vaccine and called it an "immunity therapy." He noted that both he and his wife survived without a vaccine for a year alongside friends who had contracted the virus. They even spoke about Tristan's cancer trauma and that being a reason why they did not need to be vaccinated.

We are ALIVE and still Reselling on eBay youtu.be

Crazed GOP Candidates Compare Vaccine Mandates To Nazi Genocide

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Prominent Republicans in multiple states have compared President Joe Biden's recent announcement of vaccine mandates and increased testing to the actions of the Nazi regime in Europe during World War II.

Biden on September 9 announced a plan to be enforced by the Department of Labor requiring, among other efforts, that employers with 100 employees or more to ensure workers are either vaccinated against the coronavirus or tested weekly for it. The new initiative came in response to increased numbers of coronavirus infections, particularly due to the highly contagious delta variant infecting people who have not been vaccinated against the virus.

Mark McCloskey, who is running for the Republican nomination for the Missouri Senate seat held by retiring Sen. Roy Blunt, took offense at the executive order.

"Actually accusing us of being the enemy. That this is 'a pandemic of the unvaccinated.' I mean, if we had Stars of David on our chests 70 years ago, it would be absolutely no different," McCloskey told the audience at a candidate forum on Wednesday. "They're singling us out for persecution, prosecution, and eventually forced inoculation."

Vernon Jones, a Republican candidate for governor in Georgia, sounded a similar note in an interview broadcast Sunday on former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's radio show.

"We look at what Joe Biden is doing, he wants to mandate the COVID vaccination, and not even for Congress, they're exempt, his staff is exempt. He's acting like Hitler. This is not a police state," said Jones.

The comments echo other recent claims from Republican candidates like Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel, who tweeted, "Do NOT comply with the tyranny. When the gestapo show up at your front door, you know what to do," and Pennsylvania Senate candidate Kathy Barnette, who posted a photo of a couple with stars sewn to their clothing, a quote from the 1998 Holocaust documentary The Last Days, and the phrase "Americans are like the frog in boiling water." In May, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said rules requiring vaccinations or the use of masks were "just like" the Holocaust.

The Holocaust refers to the period before and during the Second World War during which the Nazi regime and its supporters murdered six million Jewish people and millions of others considered inferior or undesirable.

Although Republicans continue to compare vaccine safety measures to Nazi persecution, the Biden administration's efforts are based on constitutional authority of the federal government that has been reaffirmed under judicial scrutiny. Donald B. Verrilli Jr., who served as solicitor general under President Barack Obama, told the New York Times, "The constitutionality of this regulatory effort is completely clear."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Stefanik Invokes Racist ‘Great Replacement’ Theory In Campaign Ads

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, the third-ranked Republican in the House, began running a series of campaign ads on Facebook on Wednesday invoking a racist conspiracy theory that falsely alleges that immigrants are being invited to the United States to replace white voters.

The campaign for Stefanik, who is up for reelection in November 2022 for New York's 22nd Congressional District, is promoting ads that read:" Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Nancy Pelosi are attempting to flood our voter roles with 11 MILLION NEW VOTERS by giving illegal immigrants amnesty."

The ads link to a fundraising page featuring similar copy, which alleges, "Democrats want citizenship for 11 MILLION illegal immigrants… so they can stuff the ballot box for socialism."

Stefanik's ads make reference to efforts made by Democrats, including President Joe Biden, to create a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 10.3 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States.

The ads also invoke the conspiracy theory known as "the great replacement," which the Anti-Defamation League has defined as "the hateful notion that the white race is in danger of being 'replaced' by a rising tide of non-whites."

Messages that promote the theory have become increasingly common among Republican elected officials and in conservative media.

In 2016, as he was running for office, former President Donald Trump said, "I think this will be the last election that the Republicans have a chance of winning because you're going to have people flowing across the border, you're going to have illegal immigrants coming in and they're going to be legalized and they're going to be able to vote and once that all happens you can forget it."

Fox News has also latched on to the message and many of its on-air personalities have spent the ensuing years repeating and amplifying the racist smear.

The most prominent advocate on the network has been host Tucker Carlson, who has invoked the idea on numerous occasions.

"I have less political power because they are importing a brand new electorate. Why should I sit back and take that?" Carlson said on the April 8 edition of his program.

In an April 9 letter to Fox News executives, Anti-Defamation League CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt called on Fox News to fire Carlson for using the trope.

"It is dangerous race-baiting, extreme rhetoric. And yet, unfortunately, it is the culmination of a pattern of increasingly divisive rhetoric used by Carlson over the past few years," the letter read.

But Carlson was undeterred. On April 12, Carlson said on his program, "Demographic change is the key to the Democratic Party's political ambitions." And on April 21, Carlson told his audience, "You're being replaced, and there's nothing you can do about it."

Other Fox News hosts, including Laura Ingraham, Brian Kilmeade, and Jesse Watters, have also promoted the same racist "replacement" trope.

And Republicans in Congress have followed suit.

In a campaign video released on April 11, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) falsely claimed that Democrats "want borders wide open," alleging that this "helped Democrats take over the entire state of California" in the past.

During a congressional hearing on April 14, Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) claimed, "We're replacing national-born American — native-born Americans to permanently transform the political landscape of this very nation."

Two days later, on April 16, while appearing on Fox Business, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) attacked Democrats on immigration, asking, "Is it really they want to remake the demographics of America, to ensure their — that they stay in power forever? Is that what's happening here?"

The theory has had deadly real-world implications. It was cited in a manifesto left behind by the white supremacist who shot and killed 51 people and injured 40 in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019. The idea was also invoked by neo-Nazis who protested in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, using the slogan, "Jews will not replace us."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Gaetz Complaint: Feds Treat Jan. 6 Rioters As ‘Threat’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

In an interview on Tuesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) complained that the pro-Trump rioters who broke into the U.S. Capitol on January 6 were being treated like a "threat" by the federal government, continuing a months-long campaign to defend those arrested for crimes related to the event.

On Tuesday, in an appearance on Newsmax TV's The Chris Salcedo Show, Gaetz claimed, "The Department of Justice has to maintain this theory that the January 6 detainees maintain an ongoing threat to the government of the United States so that they are able to take the national security apparatus and turn it against our people."

Gaetz has repeatedly offered excuses for Capitol attackers, who made threats of violence against members of Congress and former Vice President Mike Pence during their attempt to prevent the certification of the presidential election. Hundreds of arrests have been made since the incident.

He has previously promoted a conspiracy theory that the FBI "organized" the attack, and along with other far-right members of the House, has accused the Justice Department of 'harassment and persecution of Trump supporters' for investigating the events on Jan. 6. Gaetz also complained about efforts to secure the Capitol after the riot.

Over 500 people have been arrested and charged with federal crimes relating to the riot, which followed former President Donald Trump's speech at a rally promoting election conspiracy theories.

Evidence shows members of the rioting mob chanting for the death of Pence and attempting to break down the doors of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's offices.

Pence and other lawmakers were evacuated from the building by Capitol Police in response to the threats made against them, and one rioter was shot and killedby a police officer while trying to break down a door leading to an area where members of Congress were being evacuated.

At the July 19 sentencing hearing for Paul Hodgkins, a rioter convicted after he walked onto the Senate floor during the attack, U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss made clear that the attack was a serious criminal offense.

"Because of the actions of Mr. Hodgkins and others that day, members of U.S. Congress were forced to flee their respective chambers," Moss said.

"I think it's worth pausing for a moment to think about that — that is an extraordinary event under any circumstances that the members of the United States Congress are forced to flee the building fearing for their physical safety."

Moss noted that the damage from the attack "will persist in this country for several decades."

Hodgkins pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding and received a sentence of eight months in federal prison and two years of supervised release.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Recall Results Show Trumpism On The Run

Reprinted with permission from DC Report

The overwhelming failure in the recall of California Gov. Gavin Newsom should send a powerful message to those Republicans who think their future lies with Donald Trump and Trumpism. It doesn't.

By any measure, the vote to retain Newsom was a landslide. Almost 64 percent of voters cast ballots against recalling Newsom.

That's better than the record margin by which Newsom won in 2018. He won that race with just under 62 percent of the vote. It also equals the share of California votes for Biden against Trump in 2020.

The recall vote is a clear repudiation of the Trumpian tactic of trying to disrupt and delegitimize government when anyone but a Trumper wins the popular vote. Havoc will continue, but it can be defeated – always — if enough sensible Americans cast ballots.

Trumpism isn't dead, not yet. But it's not attracting new adherents, either. That's because all it offers is anger, the lethal rejection of medical science and cultish devotion to a deeply disturbed con artist who just makes stuff up like his very recent delusional claim of being rescued on 9/11 by two firefighters.

Trumpism is not an ideology, just political masturbation.

And no one in America is more captured by self-love than Donald Trump.

General elections, especially when the presidency is on the ballot, draw far more voters than special elections. That's why the Republican Party has long relied on them to put its people in office. The GOP simply does better at turning out the vote than the Democrats, or at least it did until 2020.

In spring, it looked like Newsom could become the third governor in American history to be recalled because rank-and-file Democrats weren't paying attention. Neither were the independents, whose numbers equal those of Republicans in California.

Newsom had loaded himself up with political baggage in the way he handled the worst of the Covid pandemic. His public health emergency order last fall imposed mask and indoor activities limits that infuriated not just the freedumb crowd but some struggling small business owners.

In an act of maddening arrogance and political stupidity, the governor enjoyed dinner in a Napa Valley French restaurant without a mask. He violated other Covid protocols as well. And he got photographed.

"Do as I say and not as I do" has ended the careers of more than a few politicians, yet Newsom is coming out of the recall much stronger than ever.

Newsom got lucky, but that stroke of political luck contains a valuable lesson for defeating Trumpism.

The leading candidate to succeed Newsom if the recall won was Larry Elder, a deranged Trumper radio talk show host. Elder made clear the recall was a referendum on Trumpism, a novice political move that professional Democrats exploited fully.

Under California's century-old populist recall rules, a small minority can force an election. Then if 50 percent plus one voter favor recall, the new governor is whomever gets the most votes the same day. That could, literally, be someone who earns less than ten percent of the vote. Elder polled at about 18 percent but won 45 percent of the vote in a field of almost 50 gubernatorial wannabes. Still, Elder secured far fewer votes than the number of votes favoring recall.

Let us hope the populist California recall, initiative and referendum rules will get modernized to make putting items on the ballot harder.

There is a lesson in what happened between June and September 14.

Elder is a longtime fixture in the Los Angeles radio market, a robust marketplace of music, news, ideas, and nonsense.

A true-red Trumper, Elder spouts crazy, illogical, half-baked, fact-free, absurd, and downright offensive ideas, sometimes contradicting himself just like his hero does.

After Elder complained that Los Angeles Times never reviewed his books, the paper obliged. The devastating result is an object lesson in being careful what you wish for because it may come true. Wrote reviewer David L. Ulin after reading four of Elder's seven books:

Elder is not a writer but a brand. As such, he is always on brand, regardless of the issue: the economy, the unhoused, law enforcement, immigration rights. His columns represent not so much a voice in conversation as a series of diatribes. When it comes to public policy, Elder offers neither subtlety nor nuance, not least because that isn't what his audience wants.

Facts are to Elder just as they are to Trump: They don't matter. Like Trump, Elder creates his own reality.

That goes over well among the American Taliban and their uncouth cousins, the American Yahoos. California is not poor Alabama or Mississippi or home to Covidiocy leaders as in Texas and Florida.

California, where I grew up and lived for 36 years, is rich. It would boast Earth's fifth-biggest economy if it were a nation because of education and science.

Be it growing strawberries year-round, making movies, or splicing genes, California's economy is science-driven. Trumpism rejects science as it preys on the minds of people who didn't pay attention in high school and couldn't explain the function of RNA if their lives depended on it. Among Trumpers, it's OK, indeed more than OK, to be ignorant.

Elder promotes some wildly crazy ideas. He proposed reparations for slave owners because their "property" was taken away by President Abraham Lincoln. He also said he would have voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

By the way, Elder is Black.

On the day before the recall vote ended, Elder posted on his website assertions that the recall vote results were fraud and statistical analysis proved that.

That's a remarkable claim to make before any vote results are known and before the election ends. But it's consistent with the Trumpism practice of just making stuff up. The week before the election, Trump said the election was rigged for Newsom. He reiterated that on election day.

Elder's campaign also made clear that he intended to govern California in pure Trumpian style, by tweet rather than substance. That also alarmed voters in a state whose economy is heavily based on science.

Most Californians had never heard of Elder before the recall. Only when Democratic strategists started to get out the word about what a crazy loon Elder is, Democrats, independents and those Republicans not infected with Trumpism began mailing in their ballots in large numbers.

The lesson: Who votes is all that matters in elections.

Trumpers are a slowly dwindling minority. As a class, they don't understand how the world works, don't embrace logic, think they are smarter than the scientists they denounce, embrace stupidity and incompetence [see Dunning-Krueger Effect] and are easily taken in by slogans rather than substance. Many are as closed-minded as the Taliban.

Those people love Trump because he freed the inner racism of the Republican Party, which has always been there. Witness opposition to civil rights and voting rights. Trump told his followers that it was OK to use racial slurs and that violently attacking those you disagree with meant you were "fine people."

The insurmountable problem for Republicans – unless they steal elections – is that white supremacy continues to slowly fade despite its vicious public displays during the brief Trump era. That's because humans evolved toward cooperation, not Trump's Hobbesian notions of brutal power abused to make life nasty, brutish, and short for the many.

The lesson about building a better America is that to defeat Trumpism its opponents must make sure they get out the story of who Trumper candidates are and what they believe. Letting them hide behind slogans is a terrible strategy.

But most of all, people must vote. All that matters is turning out the vote. Period. Elections are won by those who cast ballots.

That's the whole point of the GOP proposing — and in many states enacting — laws to suppress the votes of people not in line with what's left of traditional Republicanism and politically flaccid Trumpism.

America is home to far more good, decent and caring people than losers drawn to Trump.

Vote. Be an owner of our government, not a renter or, worst of all, a squatter.

‘Have At It’: Biden Defiant As Anti-Vax Governors Threaten To Fight Mandates

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Joe Biden has a stern message for Republican governors ready to challenge his "vaccine-or-weekly-testing mandate" as a means of mitigating COVID-19.

On Friday, September 10, the president spoke at a Washington, D.C., middle school where he shared details about his next initiatives to mitigate the spread of the virus in schools. At one point during his speech, Biden addressed Republican governors who have railed against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health recommendations to combat COVID-19.

Toward the end of his speech, one reporter echoed concerns of the president's opponents who oppose his latest attempts to mitigate the virus. According to Mother Jones, the reporter noted that some have deemed Biden's initiative as an "overreach" as they vow "to challenge it in court."

In response to the reporter's remarks, Biden said:

Have at it. Look, I am so disappointed that particularly some Republican governors have been so cavalier with the health of these kids, so cavalier with the health of their communities. We're playing for real here. This isn't a game. And I don't know of any scientist out there in this field who doesn't think it makes considerable sense to do the six things I have suggested. But you know—let me conclude with this:

One of the lessons I hope our students can unlearn is that politics doesn't have to be this way. Politics doesn't have to be this way. They're growing up in an environment where they see it's like a war, like a bitter feud. If a Democrat says right, everybody says left….I mean, it's not how we are. It's not who we are as a nation. And it's not how we beat every other crisis in our history. We got to come together. I think the vast majority—look at the polling data—the vast majority of the American people know we have to do these things. They're hard but necessary. We're going to get them done.

Of the Republican governors vowing to fight back in court, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) has released a statement on her opposition to the Biden administration's efforts. Speaking to Fox News, Noem insisted that her legal team is already working to push back against what she describes as an "unlawful mandate."

"This is not a power that is delegated to the federal government," Noem said. "My legal team is already working. And we will defend and protect our people from this unlawful mandate."

The United States is facing an accelerated spread of COVID-19 as the Delta variant continues to ravage many states across the country, particularly in areas with lower vaccination rates.

Trailing In Recall Polls, Elder Spews Election Fraud Lies

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

As polling grows grimmer for him, California gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder is baselessly warning of"election fraud" — parroting the same lies former President Donald Trump and his GOP defenders told in the wake of the 2020 contest.

"I believe that there might very well be shenanigans, as it were in the 2020 election," Elder, currently the GOP's top candidate in the race, told reporters on Wednesday, after he cast his recall ballot for himself.

Elder's comments came amid a spate of polling showing that Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has opened up a wide lead and is heavily favored to hold on to his position — despite the Republican effort to remove him.

A Suffolk University poll released Wednesday found 58 percent of California voters want to keep Newsom, while 41 percent want to remove him, giving Newsom a 17-point advantage. According to the FiveThirtyEight polling average, voters want to keep Newsom as governor by a 12-point spread.

Election handicapping outlets also say Newsom is the favorite, with Inside Elections rating it a "likely Democratic" contest and the Cook Political Report rating it a "lean Democratic" race.

If voters choose to keep Newsom as governor in the recall election, the race for who will replace him won't matter; however, if Republicans manage to oust Newsom, Elder is the leading GOP candidate in the race.

The Suffolk University poll showed Elder having the support of 39 percent of voters, with "undecided" taking the second-place spot at 28 percent. No other major candidate received more than five percent support.

Elder has echoed many of former President Donald Trump's voter fraud lies, questioning the results of the 2020 election with the same kind of rhetoric repeated by Trump and his defenders both before and after the election and the riot by his supporters, stoked by such lies, at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

"The 2020 election, in my opinion, was full of shenanigans," Elder said in a Fox News interview on Sunday. "And my fear is they're going to try that in this election right here and recall."

Elder also said Wednesday that he's gearing up to file lawsuits if he loses.

"We have a voter integrity project, we have lawyers all set up all ready to go to file lawsuits in a timely fashion," Elder said.

He added falsely that the reason for the failure of the many lawsuits filed by Trump supporters and lawyers in an effort to overturn the 2020 election was that they were "filed too late."

In fact, the lawsuits failed because Trump's legal team and others who filed them provided no evidence that there was fraud, with judges dressing down the lawyers who filed the suits for their efforts to undo the democratic process.

In Pennsylvania, Trump-appointed Judge Stephanos Bibas of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit wrote in a decision in one of the cases, "Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here."

And a number of lawyers who filed lawsuits to overturn the 2020 election, including conspiracy theorist lawyer Sidney Powell, have been sanctioned by a federal judge and face further disciplinary actions.

As of Tuesday, a week before the recall election in California, nearly 6.2 million ballots had already been returned, according to political handicapper Ryan Matsumoto, with Democratic voters far outpacing Republicans in the number of returned ballots.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Florida Judge Slaps Down DeSantis School Masking Ban, Again

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

A state circuit court judge who not only decimated Gov. Ron DeSantis late last month but his team of advisors and his administration's legal arguments over the Florida Republican's ban on mask mandates is back, and he's doubling down.

Judge John Cooper had ruled from the bench that DeSantis' ban on mask mandates was "arbitrary and capricious," and "without legal authority" – meaning, unlawful. He placed a stay on his ruling knowing that DeSantis would appeal.

On Wednesday afternoon Judge Cooper once again rued against DeSantis, explaining as he did the first time that the law is the law and DeSantis' ban on mask mandates violated a law DeSantis himself signed months earlier, the Parents' Bill of Rights.

"This isn't whether I agree with masking or not," Judge Cooper said Wednesday (video below). "The issue is, have I decided that the governor has to comply with the laws passed by the Florida legislature. I say, everybody has to do that."

"You can't take an action which violates the Florida Parents Bill of Rights," Cooper concluded, handing DeSantis another defeat.

"It's undisputed that the Delta variant is far more infectious than the prior to their prior version of the virus, and that children are more susceptible to the Delta variant than to the form from a year ago," Cooper said, as CNN reports. "In particular for children under 12, they cannot be vaccinated. Therefore, there's really only one or two means to protect them against the virus as either stay at home, or mask."

CNN adds that effective immediately, "the state of Florida must stop their enforcement of a mask ban, which ends sanctions against several school districts who have implemented mask mandates."

At least 13 school districts have implemented mask mandates to fight the coronavirus pandemic, which had been surging through Florida in per-capita numbers greater than any other state.