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GOP Senators Who Voted For Abortion Ban Flip-Flop Under Midterm Pressure

A number of Republican senators who just two years ago voted to ban abortion nationwide are now trying to distance themselves from that position as polling shows their anti-abortion stance could sink their chances in the November midterm election.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, John Thune of South Dakota, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin all voted for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act when it was introduced in the Senate in 2020 and 2018. That bill, introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), made it a crime to perform an abortion after 20 weeks' gestation.

But after Graham on September 13 introduced S.4840, listed officially as "A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to protect pain-capable unborn children, and for other purposes," which would criminalize abortion after 15 weeks' gestation, those same Republicans now say regulation of abortion should be left to the states.

Asked whether Republicans would put the bill to a vote if they regained a majority in the Senate, McConnell said, "I think most of the members of my conference prefer that this be dealt with at the state level."

But in 2018, when McConnell was Senate majority leader, he put a nationwide 20-week abortion ban on the floor for a vote.

"There is no reason why this should be a partisan issue," McConnell said on the Senate floor on January 29, 2018. "I hope that my Democratic colleagues will not obstruct the Senate from taking up this bill."

Cornyn has also reversed his position on a nationwide abortion ban.

According to Politico, Cornyn said of Graham's bill: "There's obviously a split of opinion in terms of whether abortion law should be decided by the states … and those who want to set some sort of minimum standard. I would keep an open mind on this but my preference would be for those decisions to be made on a state-by-state basis."

But in January 2018, Cornyn supported Graham's 20-week ban and lamented the fact that it didn't pass, tweeting: "Who among us thinks it's appropriate to have an elective abortion after five months when a child can feel pain? I'm disappointed in my colleagues who voted to block the pain-capable legislation today."

Polling has shown that public opinion about abortion is dramatically different from that of Republican lawmakers since the Supreme Court ruling in June in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that affirmed the right nationwide to abortion before fetal viability, which takes place around 24 weeks' gestation.

Surveys show that large majorities of voters want abortion to remain legal in all or most cases, and that they do not support bans.

A poll of registered voters conducted by the Wall Street Journal in late August found that 60 percent say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, a 5-point jump since March.

Graham introduced his bill after some Republican operatives had been lamenting that the party hadn't presented a unified message about their position on abortion after the Dobbs decision.

"Not having pro-life battleground candidates stake out a clear, unified position on something like a 15-week ban on the day that Dobbs was announced seems like a strategic blunder," GOP pollster Patrick Ruffini tweeted on September 8.

However, the ban contained in Graham's bill is also overwhelmingly unpopular: The Journal poll found 57 percent of voters oppose a ban on abortion at 15 weeks.

Prior to Roe's reversal, Republicans had a two-point average lead on the generic congressional ballot, a measure of which party voters want to see gain control in Congress. Now that lead has evaporated, with Democrats now holding a 1.4-point average lead over Republicans, according to FiveThirtyEight's tracker.

Before the Roe reversal, Republicans were the favorite to capture control in the Senate. However, FiveThirtyEight now gives Democrats a 71 percent chance at keeping the Senate majority.

Democrats, for their part, have been hammering Republicans on the abortion issue, with ad after ad calling the GOP's push to ban the procedure extreme and dangerous.

"Republicans got what they wanted (overturning Roe v. Wade and passing bans in a variety of states) and assumed that voters would be fine with it. They're not, and now Republicans are scrambling to try to stick with their agenda and still appeal to voters," Christina Reynolds, vice president of communications for the pro-abortion rights PAC EMILY's List, tweeted on September 13. "Good luck with that..."

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

Hostility Erupts Among Top Senate Republicans Over Abortion, Trump

No one in the Republican Party has done more to push the U.S. Supreme Court to the radical right than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who infamously blocked President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, in 2016 before doing everything he could to ram all three of Donald Trump’s nominees through the U.S. Senate: Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Justice Amy Coney Barrett in 2020. Thanks largely to McConnell, the High Court is way to right of where it was during the 1990s and 2000s.

But with the Court having overturned Roe v. Wade with its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, countless Democrats are using the abortion issue to bash Republican candidates — a fact of which McConnell is well aware. And McConnell finds himself butting heads with two prominent members of his caucus: Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Sen. Rick Scott of Florida. Journalists Alayna Treene and Andrew Solender describe some of those tensions in an article published by Axios.

McConnell has voiced his displeasure with an anti-abortion bill Graham has proposed, and he has made it clear that he isn’t happy with some of the far-right MAGA candidates Scott has been pushing as chairman of the National Senatorial Campaign Committee (NSCC).

On September 13, Graham unveiled a bill that would ban abortion nationwide not long after a pregnancy’s first trimester. McConnell is anti-abortion, and he supports the Dobbs ruling. But he objected to Graham’s bill, saying that the legality or illegality of abortion should be left up to individual states. Pro-choice Washington Post opinion columnist Jennifer Rubin, who has voted Republican in many presidential elections but is a scathing critic of Trump and the MAGA movement, has described Graham’s bill as a “gift to Democrats” and urged them to use it to bash the Republican Party in the 2022 midterms.

“Two of the highest-profile Republicans in the Senate are publicly defying Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY.) on high-stakes issues vital to the GOP's chances of retaking the majority next year,” Treene and Solender report. “The big picture: In interviews with Axios, GOP senators and party strategists declined to blame McConnell for the antics of Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). They see the ‘freelancing’ — as one source close to the leader described it — as a sign of the Senate as an institution breaking down under modern incentive structures.”

According to Treene and Solender, “Graham admitted to Axios that he did not get permission from McConnell to release the proposal. McConnell, like many GOP senators, has said the abortion question should be left to the states.”

In August, McConnell told a crowd in Kentucky that while he still believes that Republicans will “flip” the House of Representatives in November, he considers the Senate a toss-up. And he criticized the “quality” of some GOP Senate candidates, much to Scott’s chagrin. McConnell has also been critical of Scott’s “Rescue America” plan for the Senate, especially a proposal to raise taxes on lower income earners — a proposal that Democrats have been vehemently campaigning against.

McConnell also parts company with Graham and Scott when it comes to Trump. Although McConnell avoids talking about Trump, there is clearly bad blood between McConnell and the former president — who McConnell blames for the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Graham and Scott, however, continue to be strident Trump defenders.

A source described by Treene and Solender as a “Senate GOP leadership aide” and interviewed on condition of anonymity, believes that Graham and Scott’s antics are hurting the Republican Party in the midterms.

That aide told Axios, “Rick Scott’s plan and Graham’s announcement yesterday have sent candidates running for cover and distancing themselves from these proposals — exactly the opposite of what we want right now.”

Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota believes that the environment among Senate Republicans is much different from what it was when the late Republican Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas was serving as Senate majority leader.

Cramer told Axios, “I just think in today's multimedia/24-hour cycle world, it's just different. It's hard to know whether a guy like Bob Dole could have been able to keep everyone in line today."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Fun! GOP Senate Leadership Vendetta Keeps Blowing Up

The feud in the Senate Republican conference gets juicier by the day, with more and more senators feeling the need—when pressed by reporters—to take sides. The tension between Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, who is heading up the election arm of the party at National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC), and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been simmering for months, reaching the knives-out point this week when The New York Times published its investigation into all the millions of dollars Scott has blown this cycle.

August was already bad enough. In an attempt to set low expectations for Republicans taking the majority this election, McConnell suggested that there’s a problem of “quality” in the candidates who advanced in the primaries. Scott answered in an op-ed, not mentioning McConnell by name, saying it was tantamount to “treason” to question any Republican candidate. That’s after other public spats involving Scott’s decision to release a radical and frightening platform for Republicans, which McConnell then trashed.

After what must have been a really fun Republican leadership meeting Tuesday, Scott emerged to insist that he wasn’t talking about McConnell in the op-ed, it was the other traitorous Republicans. He insisted that he and McConnell “are in the same position, we want to win the races and he’s working hard. … He’s committed to win, I’m committed to win.” McConnell, on the other hand, “simply raised his eyebrows when asked if he and Scott were now on the same page.”

McConnell apparently thinks it’s time to just freeze Scott out. He has taken on the task of fundraising for his big super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, to make sure it has enough funding to make up for all the NRSC losses. He’s also, according to CNN’s sources, told fellow Republican senators to transfer money from their PACs to his instead of giving it to the NRSC. “McConnell decided rather than fight this to focus all his efforts on SLF,” one source told CNN.

The sides-taking is clear here. Asked about how the NRSC is burning through money with little to show for it, Texas Sen. John Cornyn told CNN, “Well, it concerns me a lot.” He’s on McConnell’s leadership team and formerly served as NRSC chairman. “The Democrats are going to vastly outspend Republicans across the board. But as long as we have enough money to tell our story and to defend our opposition, I think we’ll be fine.” McConnell’s number two, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, has been talking directly with candidates, bypassing the NRSC, to set up joint fundraising committees.

There are those on Scott’s side, too, even though Scott has insisted that he’s not taking on McConnell. “McConnell’s comments hurt Republican candidates,” a source close to Scott said. “Anyone who disagrees with that is either an idiot or on McConnell’s payroll.”

A strategist on McConnell’s side fired back: “If you don’t know the difference between how House and Senate campaigns are financed, you probably shouldn’t advertise that in September of an election year if you’re in charge of Senate elections.” That was in reference to Scott’s decision to appear at a fundraiser for a House candidate in Iowa, a likely indication of his own 2024 presidential aspirations.

Meanwhile, the “nothing to see here” ploy isn’t working at all as Republican senators fall over themselves to talk about how bad it is that they’re fighting in public.

“I think we need to be united in our message,” West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said Tuesday. “We have a great opportunity here and so I don’t think it’s a good strategy to be feuding two months before the election.”

“It’s clear to me that Republicans need to rally around their candidates if we are ever going to have success, and we can’t afford to have divisions within our conference,” said Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran.

“It’s always best to stand behind Mitch McConnell,” Utah Sen. Mitt Romney told CNN.

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis said this is all “a distraction from what voters are going to be motivated by,” and says he thinks Scott is doing a fine job. “I don’t think it ever makes sense—I’ve been doing this since 2007—and it always makes sense to focus on who you want to defeat in November, not each other,” he said.

As they all continue to dish to reporters about the feud. Too, too delicious.

Add on a nuclear secrets-stealing former president to whom Republicans are supposed to still be declaring fealty and an electorate fired up about the loss of abortion rights at the hands of Republicans, and now is a bad time to be a Republican in the Senate.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Republicans 'Frustrated' As Trump Drowns Out Their Midterm Script

Republican consultants and commenters, the people whose livelihoods depend on the success of Republican politicians, had a plan for this midterm election: Stick to the traditional midterm message of the minority and bash the Democratic president and leadership. Exploit a shaky economy, high gas prices, and inflation, and paint President Joe Biden as a failure. That’s not working so great for them because the orange elephant in the room just refuses to stop stomping on their plans. Even worse for them, Democrats are seizing the moment and running with it.

“There is enormous frustration,” one person described as a “top Republican fundraiser” told Politico. “The question is, is there willingness to express that frustration,” they continued. “I don’t know the answer to that. But there is real frustration, and with the exception of people who are too stupid to understand the need to be frustrated, it is nearly universal.” There are apparently an awful lot of Republicans who have not yet woken up to the need to be frustrated with Dear Leader.

But when even an unprincipled hack like Newt Gingrich sees the Trump problem, you know there are a lot of furrowed brows. Not that Gingrich is abandoning Trump—he just would rather no one running for office acknowledges Dear Leader’s existence. “Republicans should focus on defeating Democrats, and every Democrat should have the word Biden in front of their name,” Gingrich said. “The Republican focus should be to win the election in November. Trump will do a fine job defending himself. He’ll be fine.”

The problem is that Trump defending his classified document-stealing self is knocking every other message Republicans come up with off the front pages. He kicked off this week demanding that either he be immediately reinstated as president or that there be a do-over election. He followed that up Tuesday by posting 4chan and QAnon messages and conspiracy theories on his Truth Social account, everything from anti-vaxx comments to pushing the narrative that it was actually FBI and antifa attacking the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

That feeds right into the message President Biden has turned to, blasting the “semi-fascist” MAGA Republicans who remain in Trump’s thrall. During his speech last Thursday at a rally for Maryland gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore, Biden warned that the Republican Party was destroying itself and threatening to tear the nation apart. He’s following that speech with another this week, where he will speak about “the continued battle for the soul of the nation” in a prime time address in front of Independence Hall.

It’s a message with resonance, with “threats to democracy” becoming the top issue facing the country in a recent NBC News poll. That’s ahead of inflation worries and the cost of living.

With gas prices experiencing a historic drop over the past two months, that worry is lessening for voters and becoming a far less salient talking point for Republicans. Not that they could stay on that message with Trump stomping all over it.

Voters are also stubbornly, persistently caring about abortion and planning to vote on the issue, dashing the expectations of plenty of pundits and Republicans. All of this is shaping up to be a difficult and Trump-dominated few months of campaigning for Republicans. They’re still in a position to take the House, and while the Senate is looking better for Democrats, it’s still a fight.

But it’s a fight for which Democrats are well positioned. I mean, even The New York Times has decided to take some time away from talking to Trump supporters in Rust Belt diners to talk about it. “Republicans in disarray,” reads a recent headline there. “The G.O.P. is still favored in the fall House races,” politics editor Blake Hounshell writes, “but Trump and abortion are scrambling the picture in ways that distress Republican insiders.”

Let’s keep them distressed.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

McConnell Admits There's 'Very Little' Voter Fraud In America's 'Solid' Democracy

On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted that election fraud is not the major concern that he and his party have made it out to be.

In an appearance in Georgetown, Kentucky, captured by NBC News, the Kentucky Republican was asked about growing public concerns about threats to America's system of government. He responded that the United States is a "very solid democracy."

"Very little election fraud," he said. "There is some, we've had people in Kentucky go to jail for that. It happens occasionally. But our democracy is solid and I don't think, of the things we need to be worried about, I wouldn't be worried about that."

But just last year, McConnell claimed there is "considerable evidence that voter fraud still exists."

McConnell is right that election and voter fraud are basically nonexistent in the United States. Research by the Brennan Center for Justice has documented that widespread voter fraud is a myth.

"It is more likely that an individual will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls," a 2007 report by the center found.

But that has not stopped former President Donald Trump and other Republicans from fearmongering about the issue to sow doubt when Republicans lose elections and to push for strict voter identification laws and other steps to make it harder for Americans to vote.

The Republican National Committee's platform, which was adopted in 2016 and kept in place in 2020, includes a section called "Honest elections and the right to vote." In it, the party expresses concern that "some voting procedures may be open to abuse" and endorses "legislation to require proof of citizenship when registering to vote and secure photo ID when voting."

The National Republican Senatorial Committee's chair, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), released a March 2021 memo in which he vowed that "Republicans will push to eliminate all voter fraud, all of it, and we will no longer be intimidated by the Democrats playing the race card with their BIG LIE."

Far more Black voters than white voters lack the valid photo identification required to cast their ballot, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

McConnell himself has repeatedly helped spread the voter fraud myth.

"There is considerable evidence that voter fraud still exists. [Democrats] act like it is nonexistent," he told th in November 2021.

In March 2021, McConnell scolded congressional Democrats for trying to pass the For the People Act, a landmark pro-democracy and voting rights bill. His remarks came during an interview with Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a hate group.

"It undermines photo ID at the polls. Any effort to verify that the person voting is who they say they are," McConnell said at the time. "It requires what we call ballot harvesting, that is the ability to go around a collect a whole bunch of ballots and turn them in for somebody else. Fraught with the potential for fraud."

And in February 2019, after Republican political operatives were caught illegally collecting and forging absentee ballots for a 2018 North Carolina House race, McConnell suggested that highly unusual situation was proof that voter fraud was a serious concern even though the problems were caught under existing laws.

In a floor speech, he said:

Now, for years and years, every Republican who dared to call for commonsense safeguards for Americans’ ballots was demonized by Democrats and their allies. We were hit with left-wing talking points insisting that voter fraud wasn’t real. That fraud just didn’t happen. That modest efforts to ensure that voters are who they say they are and are voting in the proper place were really some sinister right-wing plot.

As you might expect, now that an incident of very real voter fraud has become national news and the Republican candidate seems to have benefitted, these long-standing Democrat talking points have quieted. Now, some are singing a different tune. Now there is new interest in ensuring the sanctity of American elections. I’ve been focused for decades on protecting the integrity of our elections. So I would like to welcome my friends on the left to their new realization that this subject really matters. But I have yet to see evidence they’re actually interested in cleaning up the conditions that lead to messes like this one.

In November 2020, Kentucky's Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams confirmed that there were "no known cases" of voter fraud in the state that year.

McConnell's abrupt turnabout on voter fraud comes in the wake of ongoing efforts by Trump and his supporters to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, culminating in the U.S. Capitol insurrection that took place on January 6, 2021.

In an NBC News poll released Sunday, a plurality of American voters surveyed ranked "threats to democracy" as the most important issue facing the country.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

'Team Normal': A One-Act Play

Scene 1:

The study at the Bedminster Golf Club. Donald Trump is meeting with a visitor, his former international trade advisor and January 6th co-conspirator, Peter Navarro.

TRUMP: Jared’s memoir? No, not going to read it, Peter. Nope, not a snowball’s chance in Hell’s Kitchen.

PETER NAVARRO: That thyroid cancer thing, that came out of nowhere. I saw the guy every day. There's no sign that he was in any pain or danger or whatever. I think it’s just a ploy to get sympathy to try to sell his book. Fake news. Did you know, Mr. President?

TRUMP: Maybe.

NAVARRO: Did Ivanka talk to you about it?

TRUMP: I don’t recall. You know, Peter, that’s a better answer than the Fifth Amendment. You should consider it. Maybe you can’t recall whether Jared had cancer—and a few other things. The Green Bay Sweep, with the electors, I don’t recall. Doesn’t that feel better? Where did you get that Green Bay business? Why not the Tampa Bay touchdown? I told Jared that Tom Brady was after Ivanka.

NAVARRO: It’s in the book.

TRUMP: I said to Jared, “Why does she have to convert? Why don’t you convert?” Tom Brady, conversion is an extra point. Most people think I'm Jewish anyway. Most of my friends are Jewish. I have all these awards from the synagogues. They love me in Israel. I’ve got to hand it to Jared. Cancer works for him. You’re right, Peter, makes him more sympathetic, a victim, too. I beat Covid. Maybe I should say I beat cancer.

NAVARRO: Mr. President, did you have cancer?

TRUMP: Maybe. We’ll see if I need to have beaten it. The lawyers are negotiating with DOJ. Doctor Ronnie said I’m in the top ten percent of everyone my age. The golf, the rallies, the steak—top ten. Now take Rudy, in and out of the hospital. And the second wife—or is she the third? Remember the annulment? Not many people do. A cousin, second cousin, first wife, hard to keep track. But the second wife, really the third, wants a new chunk of change, another pound of flesh. Would Ivana have done that to me? Not in a million years. Best first wife.

NAVARRO: A remarkable woman.

TRUMP: If you have time, Peter, do down just past the first tee. Just the name and the years. Very, very tasteful. Classy.

(A youthful aide enters.)

AIDE: Mr. President, that caller you were expecting...

TRUMP: (To Navarro) Dinner later, the steak. Second term, the pardons. And, remember, I don’t recall. (Leads Navarro out and points toward the golf course) Just past the first tee.

Scene 2:

(Navarro exits. Trump picks up the phone to speak with Alex Jones.)

TRUMP: Hell of a performance at the trial, Alex. Are they going to put you in the witness protection program to protect you from your lawyer? If they can’t find you, you don’t have to pay.

ALEX JONES: Mr. President, the lawyer screwed up royally. Said the text messages and emails weren’t privileged. I am the one who should collect punitive damages.

TRUMP: Are you on the phone I told you to call on—the burner phone? And don’t give it to your lawyer when you’re done.

JONES: I’ve been accused of a lot of things, but not that stupid.

TRUMP: Well, I’ve been reading the coverage.

JONES: They got all my messages with Roger Stone!

TRUMP: Roger is someone you should have been studying. Roger always uses the burner when he calls me. Hanging with the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers—stand by and stand back—burners. I’d use the phone of a Secret Service agent. Fail safe. I wonder where all those text messages went. They all disappeared except for yours, Alex.

JONES: Mr. President, we’re surrounded by traitors.

TRUMP: You watch those hearings? You see what I had to deal with. Team Normal, that’s what they call themselves now. They used to be the adults in the room. When I was giving political donations to Hillary and Chuck Schumer, and I was pro-abortion big-time, where was Team Normal? Abu Ghraib. And, now, they’re a bunch of crybabies.

JONES: Congratulations on beating Team Normal in the primaries! You belted them. What a lineup! Murderer’s Row.

TRUMP: J.D. Vance, Dr. Oz, Blake Masters, Kari Lake, Doug Mastriano, that Laxalt—how did they win? They all said the election was stolen. It’s not Team Normal’s party—and they can cry if they want to.

JONES: But it was stolen! Not a hoax!

TRUMP: Alex, you always tell it like it is.

JONES: Mitch McConnell is not too happy with your candidates beating his.

TRUMP: The Old Crow is going to eat more than crow. He says he doesn’t know if he’ll win the Senate. And they call him the smart one. He can’t see what’s happening in front of him. He doesn’t get it. None of the pundits get it. Team Normal, dumb as rocks.

JONES: So, what’s the strategy?

TRUMP: My candidates win the primaries—I win, McConnell loses. My candidates lose their elections—McConnell loses, I win. His dream is over. He’s finished. Beaten forever. Never majority leader again. Done and done. I win again. Who do they blame? Not me. They blame Mitch. They blame Team Normal. They’ll need me more than ever. Republicans lose the Senate and I’m the savior.

JONES: Genius.

TRUMP: Don’t forget to ditch the phone. Nobody will find it if you bury it at a golf course.

Sidney Blumenthal, former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, has published three books of a projected five-volume political life of Abraham Lincoln: A Self-Made Man, Wrestling With His Angel ,and All the Powers of Earth. His play This Town, about a scandalous White House dog, was produced in 1995 by LA TheatreWorks. This is the fifteenth in "The Trump Cycle," his series of one-act plays published in The National Memo, including The Pardon, Epstein's Ghost, Ivanka's Choice, Sunset Boulevard, The Exclusive, The Role Model, A Modest Proposal, The Exit Interview, The Hitler Gospel, Father Knows Best, The Gold Medal Winner, All I Want For Christmas Is Melania’s Non-Fungible Token, Puppet Theater, and Master Class.

Endorse This! Jon Stewart Says "F*ck GOP Caucus" After They Ignore Veterans

At a press conference on Capitol Hill, Jon Stewart angrily called out hypocritical Republicans by name (ahem, Mitch McConnell) for doing what they do best: Pretending compassion for veterans while blocking legislation critical to their health and well-being. The bill in question would extend health care benefits to veterans exposed to toxins from burn pits. And they had already voted yes before they voted no!

“Ain’t this a bitch? America’s heroes, who fought in our wars, outside sweating their asses off, while these mother-f—ers sit in the air conditioning, walled off from any of it.”

The former Comedy Central star cited a tweet from Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), in which he wrote of an event on Wednesday, “I was honored to join @the_uso today and make care packages for our brave military members in gratitude of their sacrifice and service to our nation.”

“I’m used to the hypocrisy,” Stewart said. He then called out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, contending that he lied to veterans he met with, and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), claiming he would not meet with veterans groups.

Every second of this appropriately profane speech deserves your attention:

Extremist Supreme Court Nullifies States Authority To Regulate Guns

When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was confronted over his support for the bipartisan bill addressing elements of gun violence, he defended his Second Amendment record, telling reporters: “I spent my career supporting, defending and expanding” gun rights, and stressing that he had “spent years” confirming conservative judges. McConnell made that statement in full confidence that the Supreme Court he packed with three illegitimate justices would do precisely what it did: ensure that sensible gun regulations anywhere would be eliminated.

The court decided the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen case Thursday in 6-3 decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas, striking down that state’s 108-year-old provision requiring anyone who wants to get a license to carry a concealed handgun outside the home to show “proper cause” before being granted a permit. The Court’s extremists, Thomas writes, find that New York's strict limits on the concealed carry of firearms in public violates the Second Amendment. It essentially throws out the previous restrictions the Court upheld in its last big gun control case, the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller.




In his concurrence, Alito essentially rubbed salt in the wound, snidely asking “And how does the dissent account for the fact that one of the mass shootings near the top of its list took place in Buffalo? The New York law at issue in this case obviously did not stop that perpetrator.”


Justice Stephen Breyer provides a lengthy dissent, including a comprehensive retelling of the mass deaths in an age when weapons of war are widely available to all citizens. “The primary difference between the Court's view and mine is that I believe the [Second] Amendment allows States to take account of the serious problems posed by gun violence that I have just described,” he writes. “I fear that the Court's interpretation ignores these significant dangers and leaves States without the ability to address them.”

The decision could mean as many as 20,000 more guns on the streets in New York City. The city is working to determine how to craft new rules to meet this outcome, and how to designate certain areas, including public transportation, as “sensitive places” to try to bar firearms.

“It’s gonna be a complete disaster and shows how anti-urban the Supreme Court is at foundation,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member Norman Brown predicted. “This is both a practical fear and a marketing fear. How do you market the train if you are assuming the guy with the heavy coat has a gun under his?” Brown said.

That’s exactly the scenario Justice Samuel Alito raised in oral arguments on the case. But he was imagining a subway system teeming with armed criminals against whom the rest of the population was defenseless. “All these people with illegal guns: They’re on the subway, walking around the streets, but ordinary, hard-working, law-abiding people, no,” Alito told New York State Solicitor General Barbara Underwood. “They can’t be armed.” The reality will be closer to Brown’s supposition: Those ordinary, law-abiding people are going to be worried about being surrounded by guns.

The decision also sets up challenges to regulations in every state that has them, including immediate those in six other states: California, New Jersey, Maryland, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. In fact, the decision is so broad that the concealed carry restrictions that protect some 83 million people are going to be wiped out.

“How the court interprets the Second Amendment is far from an abstract exercise,” Eric Tirschwell of Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group, told The Washington Post. “If the court forces New York to allow more people to carry guns in public, the result will be more people shot and more people killed, and that’s what the evidence and social science tells you.”

A belligerent gun rights community is there to make sure that other blue states are forced to buckle and loosen permit rules. “If they don’t do that,” said Matthew Larosiere, with the Firearms Policy Coalition, “we’ll certainly be suing them.” He foresees the states trying to preempt those suits. “Perhaps there will be a state or two on the West Coast that doesn’t want to do this and we will insist that they be dragged to court,” he said. “That’s something we’d rather avoid as it’s better to have people’s rights respected.”

Which sounds an awful lot like a threat, one that has the potential to rile up a lot of gun owners in these states who are feeling increasingly emboldened.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.