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Greene And Gaetz Falsely Blame Poor Families In Formula Shortage

Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene are defending their vote to restrict low-income families' ability to buy formula during the ongoing shortage.

Two Republican lawmakers are upset that Congress overwhelmingly voted to ease restrictions for poor families to purchase infant formula during the current shortage, saying that allowing low-income families to obtain life-sustaining nutrition for their infants comes at the expense of more well-off families.

Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) were two of just nine House Republicans who voted against the Access to Baby Formula Act, which would allow low-income families who use benefits from the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program to purchase a wider variety of sizes of formula containers. WIC has rules on the size of cans beneficiaries can purchase, which has made obtaining formula during the shortage even harder for low-income families.

Greene justified her vote against the bipartisan bill by falsely claiming it would somehow hurt families who do not receive government assistance.

"The WIC program is making it more difficult for [parents not on WIC] to buy baby formula," Greene told a right-wing cable show on Thursday.

Greene went on to lie about lower-income families who use WIC, claiming they can "buy as much baby formula" as they want while non-WIC families are limited.

WIC still has maximum monthly allowances for ounces of formula a beneficiary can purchase. The law Congress passed would simply allow WIC beneficiaries to purchase a wider variety of sizes of formula cans to get to that allowance.


Gaetz made similar false claims about the impact of eliminating some restrictions on WIC formula benefits.

"H.R. 7791 would make baby formula shortages worse for most Americans," Gaetz tweeted on Wednesday. "It will allow WIC to utilize a far greater portion of the baby formula market, crowding out many hard-working American families."

Gaetz and Greene's position is far out of the mainstream, even among their own party.

They were two of just nine House Republicans to vote against the bill, which will ease restrictions for WIC beneficiaries and gives the Secretary of Agriculture the ability to "modify or waive any qualified administrative requirement" for state agencies that administer WIC benefits. The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent.

"The Senate has just passed legislation to help ease the terrible nightmare parents are facing trying to find baby formula for their kids," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday. "It's rare that we have unanimity in the Senate on important measures, and I wish we had more. But this is one of these important issues and I'm glad we're acting with one voice."

According to the White House, about half of the formula in the United States is purchased by WIC beneficiaries. Florida and Georgia — where Gaetz and Greene hail from, respectively — have some of the highest WIC participation rates, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2021, about 403,000 families used the program in Florida, while about 185,000 families used it in Georgia.

While states determine the exact income eligibility for WIC, the federal government says that states cannot provide WIC benefits to people earning more than 185% of the federal poverty level, or roughly $51,000 a year for a family of four. On May 12, President Joe Biden's administration recommended that states ease restrictions on the size and types of formula WIC beneficiaries could buy in the wake of the formula shortage.

Infant formula has been in short supply since February, when Abbott Nutrition, one of the largest formula producers in the United States, recalled formula made at its plant in Sturgis, Michigan. Four infants who consumed formula from the plant were hospitalized with dangerous bacterial infections, two of whom died.

The Sturgis plant currently remains closed, and the few other domestic formula producers cannot keep up with the increased demand. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it has reached an agreement with Abbott on the criteria needed to reopen the plant, it's unclear when the company will meet the criteria. Even when formula production at the plant resumes, it will still take six to eight weeks for the new formula to hit shelves.

This week, Biden announced more measures to help alleviate the formula shortage, including invoking the Defense Production Act to increase supply and using federal resources to quickly import more formula from other countries.

On Wednesday, the House passed a separate emergency funding bill on Wednesday to address the ongoing formula shortage, with almost every single House Republican voting against it.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

Upstate Paper Blasted Stefanik For Parroting ‘Replacement’ Rhetoric Months Ago

Saturday’s mass shooting in New York occurred less than eight months after a local newspaper scolded a Republican congresswoman for pushing the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory.

“A white 18-year-old wearing military gear and live-streaming with a helmet camera opened fire with a rifle at a supermarket in Buffalo, killing 10 people and wounding three others Saturday in what authorities described as ‘racially motived violent extremism.’ The gunman wore body armor and military-style clothing during the attack on mostly Black shoppers and workers at Tops Friendly Market,” the Times Union reported Saturday.

The suspect was identified by the newspaper as Payton Gendron, of Conklin, New York.

Prior to the shooting, the white 18-year-old reportedly posted a 106-page manifesto citing the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory as motivation.

In September of 2021, the newspaper’s editorial board wrote about the conspiracy theory.

“Back in 2017, white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Va., carrying torches and chanting, ‘You will not replace us’ and ‘Jews will not replace us.’ Decent Americans recoiled at the undeniable echo of Nazi Germany,” began the editorial, which was illustrated with a photo of the notorious Charlottesville tiki torch march.

“That rhetoric has been resonating ever since in the right wing, repackaged lately in what’s known as ‘replacement theory,’ espoused by conservative media figures like Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. And it has seeped into the mainstream political discourse in the Capital Region, where Rep. Elise Stefanik has adapted this despicable tactic for campaign ads,” the editorial board wrote.

Stefanik, the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, is the third-ranking Republican in Congress.

Saturday’s mass shooting in New York occurred less than eight months after a local newspaper scolded a Republican congresswoman for pushing the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory.

“A white 18-year-old wearing military gear and live-streaming with a helmet camera opened fire with a rifle at a supermarket in Buffalo, killing 10 people and wounding three others Saturday in what authorities described as ‘racially motived violent extremism.’ The gunman wore body armor and military-style clothing during the attack on mostly Black shoppers and workers at Tops Friendly Market,” the Times Union reported Saturday.

The suspect was identified by the newspaper as Payton Gendron, of Conklin, New York.

Prior to the shooting, the white 18-year-old reportedly posted a 106-page manifesto citing the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory as motivation.

In September of 2021, the newspaper’s editorial board wrote about the conspiracy theory.

“Back in 2017, white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Va., carrying torches and chanting, ‘You will not replace us’ and ‘Jews will not replace us.’ Decent Americans recoiled at the undeniable echo of Nazi Germany,” began the editorial, which was illustrated with a photo of the notorious Charlottesville tiki torch march.

“That rhetoric has been resonating ever since in the right wing, repackaged lately in what’s known as ‘replacement theory,’ espoused by conservative media figures like Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. And it has seeped into the mainstream political discourse in the Capital Region, where Rep. Elise Stefanik has adapted this despicable tactic for campaign ads,” the editorial board wrote.

Stefanik, the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, is the third-ranking Republican in Congress.

“Ms. Stefanik isn’t so brazen as to use the slogans themselves; rather, she couches the hate in alarmist anti-immigrant rhetoric that’s become standard fare for the party of Donald Trump. And she doesn’t quite attack immigrants directly; instead, she alleges that Democrats are looking to grant citizenship to undocumented immigrants in order to gain a permanent liberal majority, or, as she calls it, a ‘permanent election insurrection.’ Quite a choice of words, of course, considering that the country is still suffering the aftershocks of the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington by supporters of Mr. Trump who tried to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election,” the newspaper wrote.

The editorial board wrote that Stefanik knew what she was doing was wrong.

“The Harvard-educated Ms. Stefanik surely knows the sordid history and context of this. The idea of stoking racial, ethnic, and religious tribalism among voters dates back to this country’s earliest days. At various times, politicians have warned that Catholics, Jews, or Muslims were out to change the ‘culture,’ or that Irish, Italian, Asian or eastern European immigrants would take the jobs — to ‘replace’ white, Protestant Americans,” the editorial board explained. “If there’s anything that needs replacing in this country — and in the Republican party — it’s the hateful rhetoric that Ms. Stefanik and far too many of her colleagues so shamelessly spew.”

Stefanik did not mention racism in her statement on the shooting, but did mention National Police Week.

Stefanik is not the only Republican member of Congress with history on the issue.

Also in September of 2021, after the Anti-Defamation League called on the network to fire Tucker Carlson for pushing the racist conspiracy theory, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) declared the ADL “a racist organization” and claimed Carlson “is CORRECT about Replacement Theory as he explains what is happening to America.”



Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

When Did Admitting A Mistake Become 'Weakness' For Republicans?

In 2002, Trent Lott of Mississippi tried, awkwardly, to make amends.

What did the then-Senate majority leader do to merit penance? Waxing poetic and perhaps feeling a bit nostalgic, Lott gave a speech honoring the 100th birthday of fellow Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, the onetime Dixiecrat who once broke off from the Democratic Party with a group of the like-minded to form the States’ Rights Democratic Party, built on segregation and steeped in white supremacy.

“I want to say this about my state,” said Lott, harking back to Thurmond’s 1948 folly. “When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.”

First, Lott backtracked by saying he did not mean what he clearly said, calling the celebration “lighthearted.” Next, the apology, “to anyone who was offended.”

“A poor choice of words conveyed to some that I embraced the discarded policies of the past,” he said in a statement. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

He resigned as majority leader after receiving criticism mostly from Democrats but also from some Republicans, worried they might lose support of Black conservative voters for whom whistling Dixie was a step too far.I’m not sure if Lott’s motive was genuine moral growth or reading the room. But at the very least, it acknowledged that longing for the bad old days was not a good thing.

For reasons exemplary or political or both, anything that name-checked the divisive and ugly politics of Dixiecrat days of glory was seen as a drag for a politician and his or her party. This was true even when the words honored Thurmond, a longtime senator, one whose hypocrisy moved front and center when his Black daughter, Essie Mae Washington-Williams, in 2003 claimed her truth and her birthright.

Was 2002 really that long ago? In political years, apparently, yes.

Today, Lott’s apology would be seen as “weakness,” in GOP canon a deal-breaker, and his resignation a sign of capitulating to the “woke mob,” whatever that means. The savvy move would be for Lott to double down, make outraged appearances on right-wing news outlets and field as many fundraising pleas as possible.

Or, he could just deny having said the offensive words in the first place, since refusing to admit the provable, recorded truth is not only acceptable but also encouraged.

It’s not that by 2002, or at any time in American history, appeals to racial and cultural grievance — a wish by those on top that everyone else should “know their place” — had lost their ability to work.

But comparing then to now is an eye-opener for those who believe progress and justice move one way, forward. The landscape in 2022 is a reminder that the Southern strategy can morph into the tea party, which can morph into “Make America Great Again,” with hardly a tweak.

The fact of a two-term Black president doesn’t disprove that theory, and could actually be one reason for the politics of fear getting a reboot. After President Barack Obama, America elected President Donald Trump, still president of the Republican Party if not the United States of America, and his critic and slavish supplicant, Kevin McCarthy, a leader without apology, honesty or shame.

It’s become increasingly clear that House Minority Leader McCarthy — longing to change that “Minority” title to “Majority,” and seeing it within his grasp come the midterm elections — has no problem distinguishing right from wrong or truth from lies. We know that for a fact, thanks to the slow drip of tapes and reporting from New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns in advance of the official release of their book.

McCarthy’s own voice reveals this witness to the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol not only blaming Trump but also worrying that members of his own caucus would be complicit in undermining democracy and would put “people in jeopardy.”

In audio that contradicts his repeated denials, McCarthy name-checks Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama and others, citing their incendiary rhetoric and verbal attacks on congressional colleagues such as Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the same House member McCarthy would force out of leadership when she stood up to Trump’s lies and castigated his involvement in January 6.

Gaetz, of course, responded this week, using the phrase “weak men” to describe McCarthy and Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 House Republican, both of whom had questioned the legality of Gaetz’s posturing.

Back then, McCarthy fretted about the rantings of Alabama Republican Rep. Barry Moore, who added the obligatory racism, with tweets about supposedly fraudulent votes in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Detroit, and comments on the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt, on the front line of rioters. “It was a Black police officer who shot the white female veteran.”

McCarthy understood everything, including the implications of members of his party excusing insurrection and violence.

But when the political winds drifted, McCarthy bent the knee to Trump in his Mar-a-Lago Xanadu. No wonder Trump has forgiven him.

McCarthy knew and knows better — and it doesn’t matter. Party, tribe and Trump over country and the Constitution.

If McCarthy gets his wish, he might have a devil of a time keeping his GOP caucus in line, though.

To start, there’s Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, who was at the rally before the storming of the Capitol, as he is at Trump’s side whenever possible. Cawthorn is not much good at legislating but great at racking up traffic violations and toting loaded weapons into airports.

And, of course, there’s Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene, so bold in her texts contemplating “Marshall law” to overturn the results of a free and fair presidential election, so timid with “I don’t remember” answers when questioned about the same under oath.

If McCarthy comes out on top in the fall, we’ll get to see how a House majority leader operates without a conscience.

In retrospect, Lott’s 2002 apology seems almost quaint, recalling a brief period when, even if you didn’t mean it, you acted as though you did, as though having character — and a soul — actually counted.

Mary C. Curtis has worked at The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Charlotte Observer, as national correspondent for Politics Daily, and is a senior facilitator with The OpEd Project. Follow her on Twitter @mcurtisnc3. Her Roll Call columns won the 2022 National Headliner Award.

GOP House Leaders Kowtow To Far Right Over McCarthy Leaks

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Minority whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) clashed with top Trump allies in a private meeting over leaked audio of the two leaders blasting far-right GOP members of Congress for their role in inciting the violent mob that attacked the Capitol on January 6, endangering other lawmakers.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tore into both leaders, describing them as “weak men” for their “sniveling calls” with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), which took place before the House GOP leadership booted Cheney from its leadership.

The New York Times published new audio clips on Tuesday in which McCarthy, on a conference call with Scalise, Cheney, Rep. Tim Emmer (R-MN), and congressional aides, voiced his worries that the statements of a far-right minority of the House GOP could incite violence.

McCarthy and other leaders discussed Gaetz, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), and other Republican lawmakers they believed posed threats to their colleagues.

McCarthy accused the congressman from Florida, Gaetz, of “putting people in danger” for calling some Republican lawmakers “anti-Trump” days after the January 6 Capitol attack. “He’s putting people in jeopardy. And he doesn’t need to be doing this. We saw what people would do in the Capitol, you know, and these people came prepared with rope, with everything else,” McCarthy said.

Scalise chimed in. “It’s potentially illegal what he’s doing,” he said, speaking of Gaetz.

Gaetz fired back in a statement on Tuesday night, saying, “This is the behavior of weak men, not leaders.”

“While I was protecting President Trump from impeachment, they were protecting Liz Cheney from criticism. They deemed it incendiary or illegal to call Cheney and [GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger] ‘Anti-Trump,’ a label both proudly advertise today,” Gaetz added.

Gaetz also challenged Scalise in the private meeting to state which of his comments were “illegal,” according to NBC News.

Scalise didn’t specify any comments as Gaetz had requested. Instead, he blamed the excess information “flying around” after the insurrection for the confusion and said he was reacting to a Cheney aide who accused Gaetz of endangering her safety.

Both leaders were also challenged by another Trump loyalist, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who is battling a group of her constituents in court over her alleged role in the insurrection. Greene demanded that both leaders apologize for discussing GOP lawmakers on a private call, but neither leader apologized, per NBC.

After the meeting, Gaetz assailed Scalise again on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight.

“If you accuse someone of breaking the law, you have to say what law you think they broke and you have to present what evidence you think you have,” Gaetz fumed. “If there is no evidence, you need to acknowledge that.”

Scalise caved and met Gaetz privately after the meeting to apologize. Speaking to NBC News of the meeting afterward, Scalise said he told Gaetz that he wanted to "ratchet down the rhetoric" because members of Congress on both sides had received death threats.

"Now, clearly, those didn’t ultimately come to fruition because there were no charges that were brought, but what we were being told were some pretty alarming things — some from law enforcement, some from other members," Scalise told NBC News.

"And so I shared that with Matt. I’m sorry that those comments caused him problems because it was things that [were] conveyed to me from a number of places."

GOP Members Furious With Leadership As McCarthy Recordings Emerge

The Kevin McCarthy tapes just keep coming, and the latest round have the far-far-right annoyed at not just McCarthy and Rep. Liz Cheney but other members of Republican leadership as well. All because in the days after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, McCarthy and other Republican leaders were a little bit honest, in private, about what had happened and the role of some Republican House members in inciting an insurrection.

New recordings released by The New York Times have McCarthy saying, of comments by Rep. Matt Gaetz about Cheney: “He’s putting people in jeopardy. And he doesn’t need to be doing this. We saw what people would do in the Capitol, you know, and these people came prepared with rope, with everything else.”

“It’s potentially illegal what he’s doing,” Rep. Steve Scalise, the second-ranking House Republican, said of Gaetz.

In response to their comments about him, Gaetz released a statement saying that McCarthy and Scalise “held views about President Trump and me that they shared on sniveling calls with Liz Cheney, not us. This is the behavior of weak men, not leaders.”

Gaetz … has a point? McCarthy is sniveling and weak and not a leader—but his failure to lead comes in his failure to follow through on his comments in these recordings from January 2021. The collapse of any interest he had in penalizing people like Trump and Gaetz and Brooks for their actions. One interesting question is whether McCarthy did call Gaetz in January 2021 to tell him to “cut this shit out,” as he indicated in that recording he planned to do. But don’t look for McCarthy to rebut Gaetz by proving that he did call him to say that.

House Republican leaders also discussed Rep. Mo Brooks’ rally speech on Jan. 6, in which he said it was “the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”

”You think the president deserves to be impeached for his comments?” McCarthy responded to that line. “That’s almost something that goes further than what the president said.”

In response to hearing about deleted tweets by Rep. Barry Moore of Alabama—including one saying, “it was a Black police officer who shot the white female veteran”—McCarthy muttered, “Can’t they take their Twitter accounts away, too?”

These and other comments in the recordings have McCarthy and other Republican leaders under fire from more than just Gaetz. Tucker Carlson is big mad. McCarthy “sounds like an MSNBC contributor,” Carlson said, warning that “unless conservatives get their act together right away, Kevin McCarthy or one of his highly liberal allies like Elise Stefanik is very likely to be speaker of the House in January. That would mean we will have a Republican Congress led by a puppet of the Democratic Party.”

Stefanik, mind you, replaced Cheney in Republican leadership because she managed to meet the Trump loyalty test. Apparently that’s no longer good enough.

“Heck, yeah,” he was concerned about McCarthy wanting Republicans kicked off Twitter, Rep. Andy Biggs told CNN. Taking away Twitter accounts is “not something I’m for,” said Rep. Scott Perry, head of the House Freedom Caucus.

The Republican Party is in disarray, but with the extremists and inciters of insurrection poised to come out on top, and McCarthy scrambling to appease them in any way he can, that’s not as much fun as it usually is. These recordings put into stark relief the utter collapse of any significant opposition by Republican leaders to a violent attempt to overturn an election. Less than 18 months after McCarthy was hoping for some of his members of be kicked off Twitter and claiming he was going to tell Gaetz to “cut this shit out” and urge Trump to resign, he has become entirely committed to sucking up to the far right to bolster his hopes of becoming speaker. Those hopes may have taken a hit, but that doesn’t mean anything good for the Republican Party’s support for democracy.

Printed with permission from DailyKos.

Is There Any Way To Isolate Political Extremists? Yes

There is probably no easy cure for the Marjorie Taylor Greene phenomenon. She's a repellent clown whose presence on the national stage has yielded nothing but degradation — except for the guffaw she afforded us when denouncing Nancy Pelosi's "Gazpacho police."

And she has lots of company. Her colleagues in the House include Paul Gosar and Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert and Louie Gohmert and, sigh, many more. And even among the members who probably do know the difference between the Nazi secret police and a summer soup, there are alarming numbers who are extremist-adjacent. There are, for example, more sitting GOP congressmen who voted not to certify the 2020 election than there are Republicans who voted for a resolution to support NATO.

Democrats are not immune to the extremism virus either. While the Democratic Party hasn't lost its bearings in the way the Republican Party has, it is skewed by its own zealots. In the 2020 presidential primaries, for example, progressive activists pushed candidates to impose a moratorium on deportations, to abolish private health insurance and to ban fracking, among other demands. Those issues weren't top of mind for average Democrats, let alone for average voters.

In the pre-Internet era, our political parties seemed to be bulwarks of stability. But that has long since ceased to be the case. Rather than forming, directing and discipling their members, these institutions have become hollow shells. Unable to control fundraising due to the rise of small-dollar, internet contributions, and stripped even of the formerly coveted power of attaching earmarks to legislation, the parties, as Yuval Levin has argued, are mere soapboxes that permit members to flaunt their personal brands.

The party duopoly empowers the most extreme voters and leaves the vast middle unrepresented and feeling that in general elections they must choose the lesser of two evils. As Katherine Gehl, founder of the Institute for Political Innovation, notes, about 10 percent of voters (those who vote in primaries) determine the outcome of 83 percent of congressional races. And because primary voters tend to be more ideological and extreme than others, candidates pander to them to get elected and then to remain in office. The term "primary" became a verb only in the last decade or so, as the power of the party zealots became a cudgel to use against any member who even considered compromising with the other party.

There's one more factor aggravating the lurch to extremism, at least among Republicans (Democrats have different rules), and that's the winner-take-all system in presidential primaries. In 2016, Donald Trump lost Iowa and then won New Hampshire with 35 percent of the vote. A solid majority, 57 percent, was divided among five other candidates.

So, are we doomed to be at the mercy of the mad and bad? It's possible, but then again, one reform that seems to be getting traction is ranked-choice voting (also known as instant runoff elections).

It's already the law in Alaska and Maine for state, congressional, and presidential contests and has been adopted by more than 20 cities. In Virginia, the Republican Party used a ranked-choice system to choose its gubernatorial candidate in 2021, with the result that Glenn Youngkin rather than Amanda Chase ("Trump in heels") secured the nomination. In New York City, predictions that the city's 5.6 million voters would find the ranked-choice system confusing were not borne out. Turnout was up compared with the last contested mayoral primary, and 95 percent of voters said the system was easy. There were no differences among ethnic groups in understanding the system, and the winner was a moderate former cop.

There are many different approaches to ranked-choice voting, and experimentation will determine which is best. But even with the small sample we have, we can judge that the incentives seem better. Among the three GOP senators who voted to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, only one is up for reelection in 2022 — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Murkowski could uphold the norm of confirming the other party's qualified nominee and not fear a Trumpist primary challenger because Alaska now holds an open primary in which anyone from any party can participate. The four candidates who win the most votes go on to the general election. Voters rank their choices. If one candidate gets over 50 percent, he or she is the winner. If not, the bottom polling candidate is dropped, and the second choices on ballots are distributed, and so on until someone has a majority.

Not only does the ranked-choice system disempower party extremists; it also discourages candidates from savage personal attacks, the persistence of which arguably keeps some fine people out of politics altogether.

The two-party system has not proven to be a solid foundation for democracy. Time to disarm the crazies.

Mona Charen is policy editor of The Bulwark and host of the Beg to Differ podcast. Her most recent book is Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

‘Florida Man’ Gaetz Announces Re-Election Bid With Illiterate Tweet

With a single tweet, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida proved once again why there are few men more qualified than he to embarrass the Sunshine State. He couldn’t just let a well-trained journalist announce that he would be seeking reelection this year. He had to try and add a little razzle dazzle. "It’s chose your fighter time,” Gaetz tweeted on Saturday with a link to a Northwest Florida Daily News article. “I’m you’re [sic] Florida Man!"

And with that, the mockery began.

“Stay in school kids,” one Twitter user, Amy Lou, cautioned. “You won't embarrass yourself with 3rd grade grammatical errors, and could earn your way to a Congressional seat instead of having your dad buy your way there 😃”

Steven Specht, a Democrat who attempted unsuccessfully to unseat Gaetz in 2016, told Mother Jones in a 2019 interview that Matt, a third-generation politician, “would be an assistant manager at Walmart if it weren’t for his father."

Don Gaetz, Matt's father, sold his hospice company for $400 million in 2004 and had a net worth of $25 million by the time he ran for Senate in 2006, Mother Jones reported. When it was Matt Gaetz's time to run for office, he raised almost $480,000, nearly five times more than his rivals raked in. "Many people who had backed Don Gaetz donated to his son that year, including the biggest monied interests in the district: local real estate developers, health care companies, and a Pensacola beer baron," writer Stephanie Mencimer said in the Mother Jones piece.

Mencimer laid out exactly what the younger Gaetz has to offer his constituents. The short answer is nothing.

The longer answer: After less than a year on the job at a law firm, he was pulled over for speeding in his dad's BMW on the way home from a nightclub on Okaloosa Island. Allegedly smelling of alcohol, he refused a breathalyzer and was arrested. All charges against him were later dropped.

"Gaetz’s driving record is the subject of many jokes in his district,” Mencimer wrote. “In 2014, he rear-ended one of his constituents while talking on his cellphone."

Ken Russell, a Democrat hoping to challenge Sen. Marco Rubio this year, reminded Twitter users that also on Matt Gaetz’s political resume is a history of denying best efforts to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Russell tweeted: "BREAKING NEWS: Florida man goes on 3 year tirade denying science and pretending that we live in 1950’s America."

Majid Padellan, a blogger and influencer who goes by "Brooklyn Dad" on social media, added to the list spotlit allegations that Gaetz is guilty of statutory rape involving a 17-year-old girl—allegations that the congressman has, of course, denied.

“BREAKING: Matt Gaetz will be running for reelection on a ‘Florida Man who uses Venmo to pay for sex with underaged girls’ platform,” Padellan tweeted.

Matt Gaetz is also the subject of a Justice Department investigation in which he is accused of paying a teen to travel out of state with him, The Washington Post reported.

RELATED: Matt Gaetz took trip to Bahamas where flight, hotel, and women were provided by 'ganjapreneur'

Padellan said in another tweet: “Matt Gaetz shouldn't be in Congress voting against measures to hold (Vladimir) Putin accountable. He should be in prison.”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

On House Floor, Gaetz Warns Against Sexual Predators Escaping Justice (VIDEO)

While speaking out in favor of a bill that would end mandatory arbitration for workplace sexual harassment cases, scandal-plagued Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) talked about the importance of holding sex offenders accountable.

During a speech on the House floor Monday, Gaetz explained why he was one of the few Republicans in support of this particular measure.

"Here is the question presented: Should sexual harassers who work for big businesses get to pick their juries in advance?" Gaetz asked rhetorically. "I believe that the populist, nationalist right approach is to believe that the Article 3 courts, that we have set up for any and all, function as the proper venue. But for tens of millions of American workers, that courthouse door is locked!"

Gaetz added that corporations have a distinct advantage when it comes to arbitration hearings, and that "shouldn't be a reason that someone is more likely to have to endure sexual harassment in the workplace, or more likely, to evade consequence as a result of predatory behavior."

Gaetz at the moment is facing a criminal investigation into whether he potentially paid for sex with a girl who was at the time under the legal age of 18.

Watch The Speech Below:

Reprinted with permission from Alternet