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Tag: qanon

Lauren Boebert Has Been Working With The Oath Keepers For Years

With federal charges of seditious conspiracy raining down on the far-right extremist Oath Keepers outfit, there appears to be even greater scrutiny in terms of looking for any connections between that organization and elected officials. Not surprisingly, far-right loon Rep Lauren Boebert's (R-CO) name came up.

It seems Boebert was promoting the Oath Keepers and urging fellow extremists to attend their rallies years before she ran for Congress. Patriot Takes discovered the following post from Boebert’s Shooter’s Grill Twitter account, promoting the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters, another extremist group.

The rabidly reactionary Congresswoman's support of the Oath Keepers is of great concern, especially since the group is now accused of a seditious conspiracy connected to a mob effort to help lead a coup overturning the 2020 election in Trump's favor. Much like her crazy sister from another mother in Rep. Greene, Lauren Boebert has proven time and time again that unhinged zealots like her have no place in American society nonetheless Congress.

Five Shockingly Stupid (And Dangerous) Things Republicans Now Believe

Ever since a washed-up gameshow host and failed businessman turned nihilist and wannabe fascist infiltrated the Republican Party in 2016, it can be said that any principles and values the party once had were killed with every tweet and executive action. While some believed the authoritty of the Oval Office might lead to former "defeated" President Trump exhibiting some sort of humility and concern for the country, all it did was cause the malignant narcissist to unravel even more in his lust for hate, division and enriching himself. It will take historians years to make sense of all the damage this sociopath did to our Republic and how the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, and, to a lesser extent, Reagan and Bush was turned into a tailgate party for white nationalism and destruction of all facets of government and society.

Trying to weave all of this chaos together into a neat package is quite the herculean task, so we're just going to name the five most insane things Republicans now believe in the era of Trumpism.

1. Screw Fair And Free Elections

From their non-stop gerrymandering and voter ID laws, Republicans appeared hell-bent on disenfranchising potential Democratic voters. But ever since the 2020 presidential election and Trump's anti-democratic crusade to undo our election system while invalidating it, Republicans are now at the point of delegitimizing elections. For example, defeated former President trump and his cronies are working tirelessly to remove all the Governors and statewide officials who did their job by certifying Preieint Biden's victory. They are doing this by running a slew of stooges who promote the big lie and appear willing to do the bidding of Trump and the GOP by ignoring the will of the people.

2. Violence Should Be Used When You Don't Get Your Way

Despite the fact that many of the party's top leaders initially decried Trump's insurrection, many of them now are embracing the violent events of January 6th. Trump's leading lap dog and favorite sycophantic Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for example, went so far as to attack President Joe Biden's brilliantly honest retelling of the events of January 6 and how Trump is to blame.

3. Worship Insane Conspiracy Theories

America finds itself in a strenuous tug-of-war with two sides: there's one America that accepts basic science and verifiable facts and then there's America that embraces loony, dangerous and widely debunked conspiracies. From anti-vaxxers and far-right media nutjobs promoting non-stop fake Covid cures and denials of well-established science to far-right white nationalists claiming that the violence of January 6th was committed by leftist group Antifa (spoiler alert: it wasn't), old-school and sensible Republicans like Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney find themselves in a party gone completely off the rails. Even though Trump was badly defeated and kicked to the curb of social media, Republicans don't appear ready to break his grip on the party. In other words, expect even more crazy conspiracies leading up to the 2022 midterm elections.

4. Embrace White Nationalism

Hillary Clinton ran a terrible presidential campaign and managed to ignore large swaths of middle-class voters, but let's face it, here: Donald Trump winning the presidency in 2016 was a culmination of years of angry white resentment after having an African-American president for eight years. Call it a whitelash or whatever you want, but the fact remains that Trump knew how to tap into this rancor and use it for his own gain. and boy did he ever make sure to coddle white nationalism and ensure that he never explicitly called out any act of white nationalist terrorism. Notably the violent events of Charlottesville 2017, involving the white nationalist tiki torch parade and Trump's refusal to heed his adviser's words by calling them out.

5. Super-Wealthy People Should Never Have To Pay Their Fair Share

Okay, so maybe this isn't exactly a new phenomenon. After all, Republicans have been quoting the failed gospel of Ronald Reagan and his unworkable trickle-down economics for more than 30 years, leaving the middle and working-class even poorer and at an even greater disadvantage than they were years ago. But ever since defeated former President Trump (never going to stop saying that) enacted his Tax Cuts And Joba Act in 2017, corporations have gotten even more power than ever before. Although it initially did some good for middle-class families, their taxes recently went up while tax cuts for corporations are permanent. President Biden hopes to level the playing field and restore power back to the middle-class with his Build Back Bette plan, but Republicans (and Joe Manchin) appear willing to fight tooth and nail for their corporate donors while throwing their working-class constituents under the bus.

H/T Alternet

Michael Hayne is a comedian, writer, voice artist, podcaster, and impressionist. Follow his work on Facebook and TikTok

Trump's Money Grubbing Grifters Turn On Each Other

If there's one quality that defines Donald Trump and his cronies, it's that every single one of them is out to line their pockets by manipulating Trump's delusional flock. Whether they're getting paid to speak at rallies, hocking pro-Trump merch, or making fundraising appeals, every single one of them is hooked on the easy cash of bleeding Trump's zealots dry.

Only now, they have a problem: They're stuck on a stale narrative with no new material to sell and a restive audience that's both finite and fracturing.

Enter Donald Trump and his chief deplorables: former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, attorneys Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, and Trump's ragtag crew of QAnon cultists who no longer even agree on who's giving the marching orders.

All of them have avidly entertained a vicious mix of conspiracy theories, scapegoating, and far-right extremism that has begun to turn inward and eat its own, according to a delicious piece by The Washington Post's Drew Harwell.

Flynn, once a QAnon icon, alienated the delusional flock after calling their quackery "jumbled nonsense." Powell and Wood, both facing possible disbarment alongside owing roughly $175,000 in legal fees for their election trickery, have turned on each other. Even Trump isn't immune, with some of his acolytes labeling him a sellout "vaccine salesman" for plugging the booster shot. The fact that Trump mysteriously canceled his Jan. 6 press conference was an even further blow.

For many Americans, much of the far-right sniping is taking place out of sight as these provocateurs skewer each other on podcasts, social media, and right-wing chat forums. But for those following the right, it's a virtual feast of infighting.

The warring factions are mainly the result of a power vacuum now that Trump isn't dominating the mediascape and the perennially inaccurate soothsayer Q has gone silent.

“In the absence of a president like Trump and in the absence of a figure like Q, there’s this void where nobody knows who to follow,” explained Sara Aniano, a Monmouth University graduate student who studies far-right rhetoric and conspiracy theories. “At one point it seemed like Q was gospel. Now there’s a million different bibles, and no one knows which one is most accurate."

Good news! They're all crap. There, that was easy.

One of the first shoes to drop came when a newly acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse went on Fox News in November and accused his former attorney, Wood, a QAnon agitator, of being "insane" and fundraising off his court case for his "own benefit."

Wood quickly turned on everyone. Wood used the chat service Telegram to question whether Rittenhouse is “literally under the supervision and control of a ‘director?’"—whatever that means. He tagged right-wing media personalities Tucker Carlson, Dan Bongino, Sean Hannity, and Charlie Kirk as the “Deep State members of the media," and said he's considering suing some of them for airing Rittenhouse's claims allegedly without contacting him.

Wood also posted a recording of a phone call with Flynn, who dismisses QAnon as either kooky "nonsense" or a "CIA operation." (Gasp.) Anyway, looks like Wood has a recording habit—surely that's comforting to his former partners in crime.

Of course, both Wood and Powell got excoriated by a federal judge in Michigan for committing a "profound abuse of judicial process," ordering them to cough up the attorney fees incurred by the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan while defending their wildly bogus election lawsuit.

But if Wood is hurting, Powell is in a world of hurt, facing defamation lawsuits by Dominion Voting Systems that could result in billions in damages.

Not surprisingly, all of Trump's chief deplorables have developed their own brands of conspiracy merch. Depending on one's preferences, they can get Powell's “Release the Kraken: Defending the Republic” drink tumblers; Wood's “#FightBack” unisex fleece hoodies; or Flynn's "General Flynn: #FightLikeAFlynn” women’s racerback tank tops.

But the QAnon fracturing among a now leaderless cult is perhaps one of the most interesting post-2020 developments. When the infamous "storm" that would restore Trump to power and lay waste to all his enemies failed to manifest, the cult went into freefall.

Some followers have dropped the "Q," now simply referring to themselves as "anons" while essentially clinging to the same credo. As Q promoters like Flynn get unmasked and Wood casts the sect as "likely a Deep State operation," believers have been left to argue over who to trust and whether people like Flynn and Wood are friend or foe.

One gathering of QAnon cultists spent more than a month camped out in Dallas awaiting the supposed return of President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963, and his son John F. Kennedy Jr., who perished in a plane crash in 1999. The pair were expected to reinstate Trump to power (because who's more JFK-esque than Trump?).

But for any Trumper dependent on the grift, they must continue to string along as many Q followers as possible.

QAnon is “the easiest money that you could possibly make if you don’t have a conscience, but there’s only a certain number of people you can fleece. It’s not a renewable resource,” said Mike Rothschild, author of the QAnon book, The Storm Is Upon Us. “The fact that they’re all mad at each other, that’s all a byproduct of the fact that they’re just desperate for money, and there’s only a certain amount,” he added.

The bright side of all this right-wing tumult is the potential for a far-right implosion. Instead of Trump's cultists being united in an us-versus-them battle against American democracy, they're increasingly engaged in a circular firing squad that is indeed existential. And while many true believers will never be dissuaded, the threat they pose to the republic cracks a little bit more with each new fissure.

Article reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Twitter Finally Kicked Marjorie Taylor Greene To The Curb

Twitter has permanently suspended one of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's accounts for "repeated violations" of its COVID-19 misinformation policy, a spokesperson for the service confirmed Sunday.

The suspended account, @mtgreenee, was her personal and more prolific account. She will still be allowed to post from her official Congressional page, @RepMTG.

Her final tweet falsely referenced "extremely high amounts of Covid vaccine deaths" — a phenomenon with no basis in reality that nonetheless has been often repeated across right-wing media. The social media giant called it her fifth and final "strike."

The controversial representative has been suspended from Twitter temporarily in the past for spreading false information about COVID-19 and conspiracies related to the 2020 election. The company warned her back in August that it would permanently take down her account if she violated its policies again, calling a post about vaccines "failing" her fourth "strike." She was also suspended from the platform less than a month earlier for another post that claimed COVID-19 was not dangerous to anyone unless they are obese or elderly.

"We've been clear that, per our strike system for this policy, we will permanently suspend accounts for repeated violations of the policy," Katie Rosborough, a Twitter spokeswoman, told The New York Times in a statement.

Twitter's decision to permanently ban a sitting congressperson comes just one year after it decided to hand down a similar ban to then-President Donald Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

In response to the ban, Greene released a statement on alternative social platform Telegram, a favorite of the far-right for its lax moderation strategies.

"Social media platforms can't stop the truth from being spread far and wide. Big Tech can't stop the truth. Communist Democrats can't stop the truth. I stand with the truth and the people. We will overcome!"

Article reprinted with permission from Alternet

The QAnon Cult Isn’t Flaming Out, But Morphing Into A Dangerous Political Movement

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

In early 2021, there was speculation that the movement built around the QAnon conspiracy theory had finally reached an end, with “Q” -- the central figure of QAnon -- having gone silent in December 2020. But the year started with dozens of QAnon supporters participating in an assault on the United States Capitol, fueled by a belief in false claims of large-scale voter fraud the QAnon community helped spread. And the events of January 6 were the harbinger of what was to come: a year in which QAnon influencers and adherents promoted conspiracy theories and falsehoods about the 2020 presidential election, helped organize efforts to challenge or “audit” the election results, and aided in an alleged plot that, if successful, may help sway the outcome of future elections at the state and national level.

An alleged plot announced by Jim Marchant, a former member of the Nevada state Assembly and now a Nevada secretary of state candidate, is a primary example of how dangerous QAnon became in 2021. On October 25, Marchant took the stage at the QAnon-supporting “Patriot Double Down” conference, claiming that he lost his congressional campaign due to voter fraud. Marchant then said he was asked to “put together a coalition” in swing states “of other like-minded secretary of state candidates” -- referring to the officials that help run elections -- and that he had successes with the involvement and recruitment of QAnon-connected figures thus far.

Although there had been discussion about QAnon dying out in 2021, efforts like Marchant’s show that QAnon has continued to erode our democratic system and may even pose threaten a constitutional crisis -- even without “Q.” Though several social media platforms had finally announced crackdowns on QAnon by early 2021, these efforts were too little too late. By not dealing with QAnon earlier on (Facebook even spent years algorithmically promoting it), these platforms enabled the community to grow, becoming so big and organized that adherents no longer need their titular leader. Meanwhile, it’s become an easy vehicle for political figures to advance anti-democratic agendas.

Some Thought 2021 Was The Year QAnon Would Flame Out -- And They Were Wrong

After Q fell silent in December 2020, some speculated that 2021 would be the end of QAnon. The conspiracy theory had been around for more than three years at that point, starting in October 2017, when an anonymous figure known as Q posted on message board site 4chan (and later on 8chan/8kun), claiming to have “Q” government clearance and promising to have an inside scoop showing then-President Donald Trump had a secret plot that would take down his perceived enemies, the “deep state,” and a cabal of pedophiles.

Over the following years, the conspiracy theory grew on mainstream social media platforms, slowly but steadily building a network of Twitter hashtags, Facebook pages and groups, and YouTube channels, and it was boosted by other conspiracy theory figures like Infowars founder Alex Jones. During that time, some of its followers engaged in violent or threatening acts, including murders and kidnappings, and multiple government agencies issued internal warnings about it. (The FBI issued a warning as recently as June of this year).

The conspiracy theory had a breakthrough year in 2020, when consumption of QAnon-related content boomed on social media due to the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, two people who had expressed some level of support for QAnon were elected to Congress, and Trump praised the conspiracy theory’s followers.

But starting in summer 2020 and through January 2021, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok finally announced crackdowns on QAnon ( resulting in a decrease in QAnon-connected phrases on those platforms). Q went dark after December, and despite the January 6 insurrection and the QAnon community’s predictions that Trump would somehow stay in office, Joe Biden was inaugurated as president. Although this did confuse and disappoint some followers, the result was not the end of QAnon, but a shift in the community.

Rather than give up, QAnon supporters said that “the task of Q was completed” because “the Q team [had] put out enough info” and had “created an army of digital soldiers” that would not “exist if there was no Q.” Supporters also claimed that Q was “a way to teach people how to research and how to look into things themselves” and that thanks to Q’s “guidance,” it was now time for individuals to “fight for our country.” One QAnon show host (who participated in part of the insurrection) even said that additional Q posts were not needed as “the point had been made. They were meant to wake people up, to push us to stop looking outside ourselves.” In fact, throughout the year, the community -- including political figures like Marchant -- actively tried to escape the “QAnon” tag, echoing Q’s “camouflage” command in 2020, which asked followers to deny that QAnon existed.

QAnon also continued to gather significant support among Republicans. The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer said in November that a pollster told him that “QAnon’s never been more popular in her polls of fellow Republicans.”

A main reason for the QAnon community’s resilience is the motivating power of false claims that “we've got fraudulent elections … to deal with” and that Biden was not the rightful president, which meant the election -- and the presidency -- could be “restor[ed] … back to Trump.”

QAnon, Trump-connected Figures, And The Idea Of Trump’s 'Reinstatement'

After Biden took office, the QAnon community used false voter fraud claims to rationalize that somehow Biden was a “fake president” and would be removed from office, or that Trump and/or other forces were still in control.

Some even called for a military coup against Biden, with one QAnon influencer, David Hayes (known online as “Praying Medic”), saying the military was “the last line of defense against tyranny, and I think they're going to be forced to step in.” This narrative played out most starkly when the QAnon community applauded Myanmar’s military in February for overthrowing the civilian government and imprisoning its leaders over claims of voter fraud, calling it a model for what should happen in the United States.

QAnon supporters also claimed Trump would somehow be reinstated as president -- even initially settling on a specific date of March 4. The false claim gained enough traction that it became one of the reasons almost 5,000 National Guard troops remained in Washington, D.C., after January 6. One QAnon supporter told an on-duty soldier outside the Capitol on March 3 that he was considering “test[ing] the National Guard tomorrow to see if they were loyal to the people or to the President.”

After nothing happened on March 4, some QAnon supporters continued to claim that Trump would be “reinstated.” In particular, some focused on claims from pro-Trump businessman Mike Lindell, one of four prominent QAnon-connected players -- along with Sidney Powell, Michael Flynn, and Patrick Byrne -- to push the reinstatement claim. And all four are central to QAnon’s political influence.

Mike Lindell

Lindell had met with Trump days before Biden’s inauguration to float the idea that Trump use martial law to stay in office, a call that had been pushed by QAnon supporters. Lindell also has other ties to QAnon, including helping the community financially.

Originally, Lindell claimed that based on the supposed evidence of voter fraud he had, “Trump will be back in office in August” -- a claim that Trump himself reportedly came to believe. Lindell moved the date back of this reinstatement and, in November, released a supposed complaint that he promised would get the Supreme Court to act.

In response to Lindell’s claim, one QAnon influencer named Terpsichore Maras-Lindeman, known online as “Tore,” launched a “#jointhesuit” campaign to urge her followers to get state attorneys general to sign on, with some of her followers saying they had spoken with Republican state officials in multiple states about it. Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers even participated in a #jointhesuit event to get the attorney general of Arizona to sign on, and Tore joined her in person.

Wendy Rogers Tore

Sidney Powell

Former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell is another QAnon-connected figure who promised Trump’s reinstatement. Powell helped Trump in his legal campaign to overturn the election, including by citing multiple QAnon-connected figures and claims, and Trump considered naming her a special counsel on voter fraud. At a QAnon conference in Dallas in May, Powell said that due to voter fraud, Trump “can simply be reinstated.”

Michael Flynn

Another figure with deep ties to the QAnon community is former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn -- whom Trump considered making the FBI director and who also met with Trump post-election. At one point before Biden’s inauguration, Flynn called for martial law, and at the QAnon conference in Dallas, he echoed the community’s support for a Myanmar-style coup in the U.S. On QAnon supporter Ann Vandersteel’s show in June, Flynn said that due to voter fraud, “you reinstate the guy [Trump] and you get rid of the guy [Biden] that’s there.”

Patrick Byrne

Former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, who has a number of connections to QAnon shows and influencers, also met with Trump post-election. Byrne has a significant number of QAnon connections, including apparently having a QAnon influencer on his group’s leadership committee and endorsing QAnon’sdigital soldiers.” He claimed, “You’ll see Donald Trump back in [office] sometime next year.” In separate videos, Byrne promoted Lindell’s Supreme Court complaint before it was released, along with Tore’s campaign for it.

In June, the Department of Homeland Security expressed alarm about the Trump reinstatement claim, noting its spread among “Qanon conspiracy theory adherents.”

QAnon, Arizona, and the “audit” and “decertify” movement

As part of this push for reinstatement, much of the QAnon community latched onto an effort to launch “audits” in swing states Biden won -- in particular Arizona -- to prove voter fraud. QAnon supporters believed that the supposed audit, launched by the Arizona state Senate to look into ballots cast in Maricopa County, would start a domino effect of audits in other states, leading states to “decertify” their election results and causing Trump’s reinstatement.

The Arizona audit was extensively intertwined with QAnon:

  • Doug Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas, the company conducting the audit, was involved with efforts by Powell, Flynn, and Byrne to push voter fraud claims, along with QAnon-supporting attorney Lin Wood.
  • Logan helped with a lawsuit from lawyer Matthew DePerno in Michigan, where DePerno is also running for attorney general in 2022. DePerno appeared to follow and amplified multiple QAnon influencers including former 8kun administrator Ron Watkins (known online as “CodeMonekyZ”) and Praying Medic, the QAnon influencer who called for a military coup.
  • Some of the biggest boosters of the audit in the Arizona state legislature have affiliated themselves with QAnon. Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers has promoted QAnon and repeatedly gone on QAnon shows to promote the audit and other “decertification” efforts. State Rep. Mark Finchem (who is running for Arizona secretary of state in 2022) has promoted QAnon narratives. And state Senate Majority Whip Sonny Borrelli has also gone on multiple QAnon shows. All three (along with another state representative) attended a QAnon conference in Las Vegas to discuss the audit.

Another connection between the audit and QAnon was a conspiracy theory, based on a Q post, that Trump watermarked ballots so that Democrats would be caught cheating by using fake ballots without watermarks. The audit workers reportedly used UV light to examine ballots to look for supposed watermarks, and some 2022 state secretary of state candidates, including Arizona’s Finchem, have now called for watermarked ballots to prevent supposed fraud.

While the audit did not find the promised fraud, the audit movement did spread elsewhere -- along with more QAnon connections.

In Wisconsin, one of the most prominent advocates for the decertification of the state’s results was Wisconsin state Rep. Timothy Ramthun. Ramthun called for Cyber Ninjas to aid with an audit in the state in a video titled “The Calm Before The Storm” -- a key phrase in QAnon lore. He also appeared on a QAnon channel to push for an audit.

And in Pennsylvania, one of the most prominent advocates for an audit was state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who also visited Arizona to observe its audit. Mastriano has previously expressed support for QAnon. The founder of Audit The Vote PA -- a group associated with Mastriano -- is also a QAnon supporter.

An alleged QAnon-connected plot that could lead to a constitutional crisis

As the audit movement spread around the country, Nevada secretary of state candidate Jim Marchant took the stage at the QAnon conference in October in Las Vegas. Marchant -- who is friendly with the conference organizer, who is also a QAnon influencer -- baselessly complained that he was “a victim of voter fraud” in his 2020 congressional bid and said that he worked with Juan O. Savin, a QAnon influencer who some QAnon supporters believe is John F. Kennedy Jr., to supposedly “expose … the fraudulent election here in Nevada.”

Video fileVideo Player

Marchant suggested election fraud had supposedly been occurring “for a long time” and involved Democrats winning secretary of state offices around the country and “in key swing states.” He said that “we need to take back” those offices in 2022 because “they are the most important election in our country in 2022” as they “control the election system.” And he claimed he was asked to run for secretary of state in Nevada and to “put together a coalition of other like minded secretary of state candidates.”

Marchant said the “coalition,” which he developed with Savin, in May had its “inaugural meeting to start strategizing,” which included Lindell, Byrne, Jim Hoft and Joe Hoft of The Gateway Pundit, and Brian Kennedy of the Claremont Institute. The Gateway Pundit is a far-right blog that has previously given credence to QAnon and has played a major role spreading voter fraud misinformation. The Claremont Institute also has far-right ties.

Marchant named some secretary of state candidates who have expressed support for QAnon as part of this recruitment effort: Arizona’s Finchem and California’s Rachel Hamm, both of whom also attended the conference. Marchant also mentioned trying to recruit Pennsylvania’s Mastriano to run for governor because in Pennsylvania, the governor appoints the secretary of state. Another secretary of state candidate who attended the conference, Michigan’s Kristina Karamo, said she had been “asked to be a part of the coalition” and that “we came here to Vegas and we sat in the room and we met and we talked, all of us on the coalition together.”

Trump has also endorsed some of the candidates connected to the effort. If elected, these figures could potentially try to use their office to cast doubt on or even reverse a future presidential election result.

Even without Q, QAnon has continued to corrode our democratic system -- and social media made that possible

Despite Q’s disappearance, the crackdowns by the platforms, and Biden’s assumption of office, QAnon did not go away. Animated by a belief that Trump was somehow still in power or would be reinstated, the community focused intensely on proving voter fraud. QAnon’s influence on the audit and the decertify movement, particularly in Arizona, is an extension of the influence QAnon had on Trump post-election, via some of the same figures.

The continued political influence of QAnon traces back to the original sin of the social media platforms. Failing to take action on QAnon sooner let it grow unchecked, becoming big and organized enough to influence politics. As Rogers herself said, the audiences of QAnon shows were, in part, helping “mov[e] the needle.”

And now this QAnon infrastructure -- in place due to the catastrophic mistake of the social media companies -- has helped cause an insurrection, struck at the integrity of our democracy, and sowed the seeds for a potential constitutional crisis.8

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Two Maskhole Republicans Hit With Huge Fines For Defying House Rules

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Two Republican lawmakers have gone to great lengths to defy House mask mandates put in place to combat COVID-19, according to The New York Times. Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Andrew Clyde (R-GA) "have racked up more than $100,000 in fines for refusing to comply with the House of Representatives' mask mandate."

Per the New York Times' Luke Broadwater, "Greene has been fined more than 30 times for violating the mask rules, accumulating more than $80,000 in penalties, according to her office. She was fined five days in a row during one stretch this fall."

Clyde has incurred more than $30,000 in House penalties for violating the House mask mandate than 14 times.

But despite the violations and the fines, Greene has made it clear that she will not back down from her opinion on the mask mandates. Speaking to Newsmax, the Georgia lawmaker complained about the fines imposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

“She’s fined me over $60,500 in mask fines. I refuse to wear a mask... I’m not vaccinated. And I will be standing strong, standing up for the people across this country that refuse to get vaccinated.”

Greene added, "I will continue my stand on the House floor against authoritarian Democrat mandates, because I don't want the American people to stand alone."

Despite Greene's arguments, Douglas Letter, the general counsel of the House of Representatives, weighed in with a different perspective. Per Business Insider, Letter said, "that proceeding with a mask mandate falls under the body's constitutional powers to 'govern its own chamber proceedings and to discipline its own members.'"

He added, "This is particularly true here ... where the resolution at issue is designed to protect the health of members and staff in the place where all full House debates and votes take place."

Greene's latest opposition toward mask mandates follow her previous argument comparing vaccine mandates to the Holocaust. At that time, the lawmaker claimed President Joe Biden's aggressive push to vaccinate Americans was somehow similar to the Nazi regime.

MAGA World Falling Apart Over Its Cult Leader's Support Of Vaccines

Multiple factions of right-wing extremists in MAGA World are not pleased with former President Donald Trump's praise of the COVID vaccine, according to Business Insider.

On two separate occasions, Trump embraced COVID vaccination this week and even revealed he'd also taken the COVID booster shot. First, on Sunday, December 19, he appeared on Bill O'Reilly's No Spin News where he shared his pro-vaccination stance. Then on Wednesday, December 22, the former president sat down for an interview with infamous right-wing commentator Candace Owens, where he lauded the COVID vaccine as "one of the greatest achievements of mankind."

Despite ongoing conspiracy theories about the COVID vaccine's safety and efficacy, Trump made it clear that the vaccine does work.

"No, the vaccine worked. But some people aren't taking it. The ones that get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don't take their vaccine," Trump told Owens.

He added, "If you take the vaccine, you're protected. Look, the results of the vaccine are very good. And if you do get [COVID-19], it's a very minor form. People aren't dying when they take their vaccine."

In the wake of Trump's latest remarks, right-wingers have adamantly pushed back with criticism of the former president. From InfoWars talk show host Alex Jones to Ali Alexander, the "Stop the Steal" organizer who was recently subpoenaed by the House Select Committee, right-wing extremists have gone off the rails.

On Thursday, December 23, Alexander took to Telegram to sound off about Trump's pro-vaccination remarks. "Remember when Trump said you would be playing right into the Democrat's hands by mocking the rushed, ineffective shot? Yeah, Joe Biden praises him and his booster shot," Alexander wrote on Telegram.

He continued with a personal message to the former president. "Trump, stop. Just stop. Have your position (backed by Fauci) and allow us to have ours (which is backed by science). This losing is getting boomer level annoying," Alexander wrote.

Some of the influencers' followers also slammed the former president. Per Insider, one social media user following conservative Arizona congressional candidate and QAnon believer Ron Watkins admitted that Trump's latest remarks have led to him finally giving up on Trump.

"I guess God lead me to it and then I had my doubts about Trump. So I give up on him saving America," one user wrote.. "My beliefs …. He came into presidency making America great … so that we could all trust him … and let our guards down … and then he leaves us and betrays us to Bidan [sic] and the CCP and all these evil SOBs."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

QAnon Cult Freaks Out Over Trump’s Booster Vaccination

QAnon believers, also known for their adamant disapproval of COVID vaccinations, have been left befuddled by former President Donald Trump admitting that he'd taken the COVID vaccine booster shot.

Following Trump's appearance on Bill O'Reilly's No Spin News, Trump confirmed his third jab. When O'Reilly asked, "Did you get the booster?" Trump replied: "Yes. I got it too."

In addition to boos from the crowd, QAnon believers are speaking out. According to Newsweek, disgruntled QAnon believers have criticized and "turned on" Trump due to his latest announcement.

In wake of the latest controversy, John Sabal, also known as QAnon John, explained why he believes Trump made the decision as he suggested that it would be a form of "political suicide" if he publicly disavowed the COVID vaccine and booster shot. He also urged QAnon believers to make their own decision.

"Knowing what we know. Whenever POTUS 45 promotes something, the other side does the total opposite. They get disgusted by that thing," Sabal said. "Trump derangement still runs deep. Trump still says that those who don't want the vax should not be forced to take it. That is the most important thing he said. The messaging here is clear. Imagine for one second what would happen if Trump all of a sudden started to backtrack on the vax. Operation Warp Speed was necessary for reasons I already discussed. He would lose all credibility with those who took the jab. It would be political suicide for him."

One QAnon influencer offered a delusional explanation for the former president's remarks but also condemned his support of the vaccination. Sharing a message with his 58,000 followers on Telegram, he admitted that he disagreed with Trump but still expressed support for him.

"We don't always understand everything," the influencer said, per Newsweek. "I love President Trump. I disagree here. I think we may find out something about this soon imo [in my opinion] either way, think for yourself. You are in the right spot here. Just don't cuss up a storm, we have so many twists and turns already."

The influencer continued, "I believe the end will explain the middle. But, we are all to think for ourselves and most of you guys are still with me on this vax crap. If we are confused by Pres Trump's comments, I'm sure Deep State is. Maybe he would be a danger to society arrested otherwise idk [I don't know] but I'm gonna continue locally and here doing what we all must every day."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet