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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

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#EndorseThis: Colbert Takes A Hard Look At Vindman’s Critics

In his latest, Stephen Colbert reviews the opening statement by impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — and how his account contradicts the sanitized version offered by Gordon Sondland, the EU Ambassador caught up in the quid pro quo plot. He examines Vindman’s sterling military record as well as his inspiring immigrant story — and reserves the harshest rebuke for those Trump “toadies” who questioned Vindman’s loyalty. He’s especially tough on CNN commentator Sean Duffy, his fellow Irish-American who learns how it feels to be named an “asshole” on network TV.

The monologue brims with tricks and treats, from White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham’s proclamation of presidential “genius” to a tease of Speaker Pelosi’s appearance on Halloween after the impeachment vote.

Click and chortle.

#EndorseThis: Chris Cuomo Grills ‘Extreme Vetter’ Congressman

After the bombing Saturday night of New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood and subsequent discovery of many more bombs around New York and New Jersey, Donald Trump and his klan have been out in force, calling again for shutting down immigration from entire religions and regions of the world.

Donald Trump Jr., for example, who is openly buddies with a white supremacist, recently Tweeted a picture of a bowl of skittles, with the caption, “If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you. [sic] Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”

It’s wrong on its face: many more terrorist acts are committed by Americans than refugees or immigrants, and the bowl of Skittles, as reported by the Washington Post (and mentioned by Chris Cuomo this morning) would have to be one and a half olympic swimming pools large to accurately represent the risk of an attack. Also, though a poisonous Skittle may kill you, personally, there is no terrorist attack large enough to kill all of America, and deaths from terror attacks are a minuscule threat relative to things like heart disease or unstable living room furniture.

But when Chris Cuomo interviewed Trump surrogate Rep. Sean Duffy this morning, it was a bizarre display of just how irrelevant these facts have become.

No matter how frequently and accurately Cuomo insisted that our vetting system for refugees has been thoroughly effective (no Syrian refugees have attacked the United States), Duffy changed the conversation.

Ultimately, without the facts on his side, Duffy tuned to public opinion about “hot regions,” which we can assume from his description means any country with brown people in it. “America wants you to keep them safe,” he said, abdicating responsibility for his policy decisions to reflect reality.

It sure would be helpful if politicians like Duffy stopped letting the blind, politically-potent fear of their constituents drive America’s immigration policy.

Walker Supporter Tells Bill Clinton Sex Joke At Campaign Rally

One of Scott Walker’s supporters made a personal joke about Bill and Hillary Clinton’s marriage on Monday, while warming up the crowd at the Wisconsin governor’s campaign kickoff rally.

Rachel Campos-Duffy, a conservative pundit, former reality show star of MTV’s The Real World, and wife of Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI), spoke of Scott Walker’s marriage to his wife Tonette — and then took a swipe at the Clintons.

Sara Murray of CNN reports:

Photo: Rachel Campos-Duffy speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

Anti-Vaxxers Coming Out Of The Woodwork On The Right

There’s been an outbreak on the right wing — of paranoia against big government making you get those insidious vaccinations against terrible diseases.

To be clear, anti-vaccination hysteria is a problem on the fringes of both the left and the right. (Possibly more so on the left, at least among regular civilians.) But in the case of the conservative extremes, they now have actual public officials and prominent commentators voicing the discredited idea that vaccines are dangerous — creating a new headache for more responsible GOP leaders to deal with.

It all started this week with some strange comments by New Jersey governor Chris Christie about finding a “balance” between governmental and parental choice. But pretty soon, Christie and his office tried to backpedal.

The poster child at this point is now Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who after some earlier comments dug in even further in a particularly disastrous appearance on CNBC: “I have heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.”

Paul later released a statement, hoping to clear this up: “I did not say vaccines caused disorders, just that they were temporally related — I did not allege causation.” However, it has since been discovered by the right-wing Washington Free Beacon that in 2009 Paul appeared on fringe talk-radio host Alex Jones’ show, denounced mandatory vaccinations as the first step towards “martial law,” and said vaccines themselves were dangerous.

And now Paul has posted this photo of himself getting a booster shot on Tuesday — practically daring the liberal media to try and twist it around.

Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI) has also gotten in on the action. During an appearance on MSNBC, he said that vaccinating kids should be up to parents instead of “an oppressive state telling us what to do.” He even went out of his way to defend anti-vaccination parents as smart and well-read people — in contrast to less informed people who are vaccinating — as opposed to simply being “a bunch of crackpots.”

In a segment on his Fox News show, Sean Hannity probably summed up the conspiratorial ideas quite nicely: “I’m not trusting President Obama to tell me whether to vaccinate my kids, by the way.”