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

Garland Fulfilling Commitments On Civil Rights, Police Reform

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

The Department of Justice had the kind of pro-police reform week that doesn't happen every year. In a seven-day period, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a ban on chokeholds and no-knock warrants, an overhaul on how to handle law enforcement oversight deals, and a promise to make sure the Justice Department wasn't funding agencies that engage in racial discrimination.

"This was a big week for civil rights at the DOJ," Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, shared in a thread about the progress on Twitter Thursday. "Proof that elections matter and that having civil rts attys in DOJ leadership matters. Let me walk you through what's happened in just this one week. It's actually astounding."

The first step forward on Ifill's list came in the form of a review of the Department of Justice's use of monitors who oversee implementation of consent decrees. The New York Timesdefined the legal mechanisms as "court-approved deals between the Justice Department and local governmental agencies that create a road map for changes to the way they operate." Garland rescinded Trump-era policy that blocked consent decrees from addressing police misconduct in April. "This has been a concern among community groups in cities where police dept's are covered by consent decrees after DOJ investigations," Ifill tweeted. Garland announced on Monday 19 actions the department will take to address that concern.

"The department has found that – while consent decrees and monitorships are important tools to increase transparency and accountability – the department can and should do more to improve their efficiency and efficacy," Garland said in a news release. "The Associate Attorney General has recommended – and I have accepted – a set of 19 actions that the department will take to address those concerns." Those actions include capping monitoring fees on consent decrees, requiring stakeholder input, imposing specified terms for monitors, and requiring a hearing after five years "so that jurisdictions can demonstrate the progress it has made, and if possible, to move for termination."

"Consent decrees have proven to be vital tools in upholding the rule of law and promoting transformational change in the state and local governmental entities where they are used," Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in the news release. "The department must do everything it can to guarantee that they remain so by working to ensure that the monitors who help implement these decrees do so efficiently, consistently and with meaningful input and participation from the communities they serve."

That was only Monday.

Kristen Clarke, who leades the Justice Department's civil rights division, announced on Tuesday that the Justice Department has launched an investigation into allegations of unconstitutional mistreatment of prisoners in Georgia, according to The New York Times. "Under the Eighth Amendment of our Constitution, those who have been convicted of crimes and sentenced to serve time in prison must never be subjected to 'cruel and unusual punishments,'" Clarke said in her announcement of the investigation.

At least 26 people died last year by "confirmed or suspected homicide" in Georgia prisons, and 18 homicides have been reported this year in the state. That's not including those who have been left to die in horrible conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inmates facing that threat rioted at Ware State Prison last August in a viral uprising. Two inmates at the facility had died of COVID-19, and 22 prisoners and 32 staff members had tested positive for the virus during the time of the riot, according to Georgia Department of Corrections recordsobtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"This is huge. The humanitarian crisis in southern prisons is a critically important issue," Ifill tweeted of Clarke's announcement."Then the DOJ announced that it will ban the use of no-knock entries and chokeholds by federal law enforcement officers (except in cases where deadly force is authorized - more to probe abt the exception to be sure) ."

The decision follows the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was sleeping when officers executing a no-knock drug warrant smashed in her door after midnight and shot her at least eight times in her Louisville, Kentucky, home on March 13, 2020. Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020 when a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than nine minutes despite Floyd saying repeatedly that he couldn't breathe. "Building trust and confidence between law enforcement and the public we serve is central to our mission at the Justice Department," Garland said in a news release. "The limitations implemented today on the use of 'chokeholds,' 'carotid restraints' and 'no-knock' warrants, combined with our recent expansion of body-worn cameras to DOJ's federal agents, are among the important steps the department is taking to improve law enforcement safety and accountability."

Also on Ifill's list of Justice Department wins is a review to make sure it isn't awarding grants to law enforcement agencies that engage in racial discrimination. That review could have wide-reaching effects, touching education, health care, transportation, pretty much every facet that receive federal funding, The New York Times reported. "Approximately $4.5 billion in federal funding flows through the department to police departments, courts and correctional facilities, as well as victim services groups, research organizations and nonprofit groups," Times writer Katie Benner wrote. "All of these organizations, not just police departments, could be affected by this review."

Ifill tweeted it's been a long time since she's seen a week like last week, with the Justice Department announcing multiple measures to reform criminal justice "each with the potential to result in fundamental shifts in longstanding discriminatory practices." "I'm remembering AG Garland's confirmation testimony in which he explained that he needed AAG @vanitaguptaCR & Asst AG for Civil Rights @KristenClarkeJD on his team in particular to help him with critical areas of the work with which he does not have experience.

"This week feels like an important return on his commitment to assembling this rich team."

Kristen Clarke, a longtime voting rights advocate, was confirmed on May 25, making her the first woman and the first Black woman to lead the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division since it was created in 1957. When Gupta was confirmed on April 21, she became the first woman of color and the first civil rights lawyer to serve as associate attorney general.

Ifill went on to tweet: "For many I know this all may seem slow and clunky - it is after all, the government. I'm gratified to see that they're using the tools they have to undertake measures civil rights groups have been asking for for years. And they're working carefully and smart."

‘They’ve Lost Control Of The Mob’: Trump Booed For Boosting Vaccination

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

You know we've reached a low point as a country when even the loyal-to-a-deadly-and-illogical-fault supporters of former President Donald Trump boo him when he recommends vaccinations against COVID-19. "I believe totally in your freedoms, I do, you gotta do what you gotta do, but I recommend take the vaccines," the former president said at a rally on Saturday in Cullman, Alabama. "I did it. It's good." The crowd responded with boos.

"That's okay, that's alright," Trump pressed on. "But I happen to take the vaccine. If it doesn't work, you'll be the first to know. But it is working. You do have your freedoms, you have to maintain that." Trump is only the latest Republican to make the 180-degree turn from denying the virus to falling in line with efforts to see the general public vaccinated. "These shots need to get in everybody's arm as rapidly as possible, or we're going to be back in a situation in the fall that we don't yearn for, that we went through last year," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said last month. "Ignore all of these other voices that are giving demonstrably bad advice."

JUST IN: "Take the vaccine" shouts Trump www.youtube.com

Fox pundits took similar stances. "Please take COVID seriously," Fox News host Sean Hannity told his viewers last month. I can't say it enough. Enough people have died. We don't need anymore death. Research like crazy." Hannity added: "Talk to your doctor, your doctors, medical professionals you trust based on your unique medical history, your current medical condition, and you and your doctor make a very important decision for your own safety. Take it seriously. You also have a right to medical privacy. Doctor-patient confidentiality's also important, and it absolutely makes sense for many Americans to get vaccinated. I believe in science. I believe in the science of vaccination."

GOP Rep. Barry Moore went from calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a "tyrant" for enforcing a mask mandate to encouraging people to talk to their doctors about getting the vaccine. Catching COVID-19 apparently led to the difference in messaging for him. Moore posted on Facebook Friday:

"I'm sad to share that Heather and I have tested positive for COVID-19. To every extent possible, I will continue working virtually while recovering in quarantine.
While I believe every American has the freedom to make their own health-related decisions, I encourage talking with your doctor about the different vaccines and therapies available and making an informed decision about the prevention and treatment that is best for you. Now is the time to act—don't wait until you or someone you love is sick.
Please join me and Heather in praying for our country and world as we fight this horrible virus. We're thankful for the support and prayers on our behalf."

Not every Republican leader, however, is embracing reality, and the result has been a dangerous trickle-down effect of conspiracy theories and lies. Since states have started re-implementing mask mandates and urging vaccinations amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, entitled protesters have taken to voicing their concerns in the most inappropriate ways, some also turning to violence. "A parent in Northern California barged into his daughter's elementary school and punched a teacher in the face over mask rules," Associated Press reporters wrote. "At a school in Texas, a parent ripped a mask off a teacher's face during a 'Meet the Teacher' event."

Dozens of unmasked demonstrators lined the entrance of Hawaii's Lt. Gov. Josh Green's condo building, where he lives with his wife, their 14-year-old, and their 10-year-old. "They should protest me at my place of work, where I'm the lieutenant governor," Green told the AP. "But it's different than flashing a strobe light into a 90-year-old woman's apartment or a strobe light into a family's apartment, where they have two kids under age 4."

Hawaii. Gov. David Ige told KHON last month that the only thing more alarming where the pandemic is concerned than the six-day triple-digit spike in COIVD-19 cases was the lagging number of people getting vaccinated. "We administered about 15,000 vaccinations per week in the month of July," Ige told the news station. "So that's significantly lower than, for example, in May, it was at 72,000 per week. So based at that pace, it would probably go into September before we hit 70%."

Ige "took a lot of heat" for keeping a mask mandate in place even in May when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised that those who are fully vaccinated don't have to wear masks, KHON writer Lauren Day wrote. The CDC has since changed that guidance to advise that masks be worn indoors.

Green, an emergency room doctor, told the AP he wasn't home during the recent anti-masking and anti-vaccination protest. Instead, he was treating COVID-19 patients on the Big Island. "I will personally be taking care of these individuals in the hospital as their doctor when they get sick from refusing to wear masks and refusing to be vaccinated," he said.

The California father banned from his daughter's school in the Amador County Unified School District could face criminal charges after he became enraged when his daughter returned from school one day wearing a mask, the AP reported. Vaccinated teachers were permitted to take their masks off, Amador County Unified School District Superintendent Torie Gibson told the Associated Press. When the parent caught wind of the rule, he went to the principal's office, and the teacher later joined them. That's when the father got violent, the AP reported. "The teacher had some lacerations and bruising on his face and a knot on the back of his head," Gibson said.

He was treated and able to return to the classroom the next day, but the incident triggered a fearful and hesitant atmosphere at the school. "The teachers have definitely been on edge. They are fearful because the last thing they want is to have an issue with a parent," Gibson told the AP. "They definitely looked over their shoulder for quite a few days, but I think things are now a little bit more calm."

DeSantis Leads Florida Into COVID Hell As Cases Hit New Record

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Two days after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order preventing schools from requiring students to wear masks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data showing the state broke records with 21,683 new cases of the virus in one day. In just two days, the number of new cases spiked from 17,093 to more than 21,000, beating a peak of 19,334 new cases reported on Jan. 7, 2021 in Florida, The Associated Press reported.

"The state has become the new national epicenter for the virus, accounting for around a fifth of all new cases in the U.S. as the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread," Associated Press writer Mike Schneider wrote on Saturday.

The new figures tracked on Friday and released on Saturday follow the governor's outright rejection of expert advice throughout the pandemic. "The federal government has no right to tell parents that in order for their kids to attend school in person, they must be forced to wear a mask all day, every day," DeSantis said in a news release on Friday. "Many Florida schoolchildren have suffered under forced masking policies, and it is prudent to protect the ability of parents to make decisions regarding the wearing of masks by their children." DeSantis attributed the recent spoke to "a seasonal increase—more Floridians are indoors because of the hot weather with air conditioning circulating the virus," according to The Associated Press.

DeSantis held a roundtable on Monday at the state Capitol to spread more anti-mask rhetoric, with teachers left out of the conversation, according to an account spokeswoman Taryn Fenske gave the Tallahassee Democrat. "With the recent uptick in discussion around mask mandates in schools this upcoming academic year, and indications that the federal government might advise masking children as young as 3 years old, Governor DeSantis wanted to exchange perspectives on this topic with experts like Dr. (Jay) Bhattacharya and other medical professionals, as well as a concerned parent, student, and school administrator," Fenske said. Bhattacharya, a Stanford University professor, has spoken on numerous roundtable panels addressing the pandemic, including one YouTube removed for "misinformation" in March because the doctor said schools should open "with no restrictions," the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

Bhattacharya said during the recent roundtable: "I don't think the Delta variant changes the calculus or the evidence in any fundamental way. Masks do actually cause some harm to children, developmentally." Mark McDonald, a clinical psychiatrist who spoke during the panel discussion via Zoom, said: "Masking children is child abuse. Children are being harmed by mask mandates. There is no scientific evidence that masks work. "The masks are nothing more than a symbol of fear and anxiety."

The dangerous rhetoric flies in the face of actual expert advice. After earlier releasing guidance that vaccinated people could forego masks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course on Tuesday, recommending even vaccinated people wear masks indoors. That includes all teachers, staff, students, and school visitors. The agency wrote: "Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant.

However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others." Following the new recommendations, Disney World in Orlando and other theme parks in Florida changed their mask policies, again requiring visitors to wear masks indoors and in "enclosed transportation" regardless of vaccination status.

"There is no higher risk area in the United States than we're seeing here," infectious disease expert Aileen Marty, of Florida International University, told CBS Miami. "The numbers that we're seeing are unbelievable, just unbelievably frightening." Florida Rep. Carlos Smith tweeted: "JUST IN: Florida reports worst day ever for new COVID cases since the beginning of the pandemic with 21,683 cases. Exactly ZERO state mitigation efforts exist + @GovRonDeSantis signed a law banning local COVID restrictions. It didn't have to be this way."

Read DeSantis' executive order below:

WHEREAS, a right to normal education is imperative to the growth and development of our children and adolescents; and
WHEREAS, last summer, at my direction, Florida's Department of Education ordered schools to be open for in-person instruction for five days per week to ensure the continued well-being of students and families; and
WHEREAS, schools – including those that did not require students to be masked – did not drive community transmission of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, despite recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "guidance," forcing students to wear masks lacks a well-grounded scientific justification; indeed, a Brown University study analyzed COVID-19 data for schools in Florida and found no correlation with mask mandates; and
WHEREAS, masking children may lead to negative health and societal ramifications; and
WHEREAS, studies have shown that children are at a low risk of contracting a serious illness due to COVID-19 and do not play a significant role in the spread of the virus; and
WHEREAS, forcing children to wear masks could inhibit breathing, lead to the collection of dangerous impurities including bacteria, parasites, fungi, and other contaminants, and adversely affect communications in the classroom and student performance; and
WHEREAS, there is no statistically-significant evidence to suggest that counties with mask requirements have fared any better than those without mask requirements during the 2020-2021 school year; and
WHEREAS, on April 29, 2021, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees issued a Public Health Advisory stating that continuing COVID-19 restrictions on individuals, including long-term use of face coverings, pose a risk of adverse and unintended consequences; and
WHEREAS, on June 29, 2021, I signed into law H.B. 241, the Parents' Bill of Rights, which prevents the state, its subdivisions, or any governmental institution, from infringing on the fundamental rights of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, health care, or mental health of a minor child without demonstrating that such action is reasonable and necessary to achieve a compelling state interest and that such action is narrowly tailored and is not otherwise served by less restrictive means; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Florida law, all parents have the right to make health care decisions for their minor children; and
WHEREAS, many school districts are scheduled to begin classes on August 10, 2021, which is less than two weeks away, and within four weeks virtually all public schools across Florida will be underway; therefore immediate action is needed to protect the fundamental right of parents to make health and educational decisions for their children; and
WHEREAS, Section 1003.22(3), Florida Statutes, mandates the Florida Department of Health to adopt rules, in consultation with the Florida Department of Education, governing the control of preventable communicable diseases, including procedures for exempting children from immunization requirements; and
WHEREAS, Florida's State Board of Education, the chief implementing and coordinating body of public education in Florida, has the authority to adopt rules pursuant to Sections 120.536(1), 120.54, and 1001.02, Florida Statutes, and may delegate its general powers to the Commissioner of Education; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 1008.32(4), Florida Statutes, if the State Board of Education determines that a district school board is unwilling or unable to comply with the law, the State Board shall have the authority to, among other things, withhold the transfer of state funds, discretionary grant funds, discretionary lottery funds, or any other funds specified as eligible for this purpose by the Legislature until the school district complies with the law or state board rule and declare the school district ineligible for competitive grants; and
WHEREAS, given the historical data on COVID-19 and the ongoing debate over whether masks are more harmful than beneficial to children and to school environments in general, we should protect the freedoms and statutory rights of students and parents by resting with the parents the decision whether their children should wear masks in school; and
WHEREAS, we should equally and uniformly protect the freedoms and rights of students and parents across the state.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ron DeSantis, as Governor of Florida, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article IV, Section 1(a) of the Florida Constitution, and all other applicable laws, promulgate the following Executive Order, to take immediate effect:
Section 1. I hereby direct the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Education, working together, to immediately execute rules pursuant to section 120.54, Florida Statutes, and take any additional agency action necessary, using all legal means available, to ensure safety protocols for controlling the spread of COVID-19 in schools that:
  1. Do not violate Floridians' constitutional freedoms;
  2. Do not violate parents' right under Florida law to make health care decisions for their minor children; and
  3. Protect children with disabilities or health conditions who would be harmed by certain protocols such as face masking requirements.
Section 2. Any action taken pursuant to Section 1 above shall at minimum be in accordance with Florida's "Parents' Bill of Rights" and protect parents' right to make decisions regarding masking of their children in relation to COVID-19.
Section 3. The Florida Commissioner of Education shall pursue all legal means available to ensure school districts adhere to Florida law, including but not limited to withholding state funds from noncompliant school boards violating any rules or agency action taken pursuant to Section 1 above.
Section 4. This does not prohibit the Florida Legislature from exploring legislation to further protect the fundamental rights of students and parents to be free from excessive, harmful regulation in schools.
Section 5. This Executive Order is effective immediately.

LISTEN: Capitol Police Hero Receives Vile Trumpist Death Threats

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone testified before Congress on Tuesday that supporters of former President Donald Trump almost killed him in a violent beating at the Capitol insurrection on January 6, and to make matters worse someone left him a threatening voicemail message while he was giving his testimony. "It includes some incredibly offensive language, but we think people need to hear the kind of attacks that these officers are facing right now just for telling the truth about January 6," CNN host Don Lemon said. "Play it." An unnamed caller proceeded to accuse Fanone of lying, asking him if he wanted an Emmy or Oscar, and calling him an offensive slur.

Warning: Video in this story contains profane and highly offensive audio that may be triggering for some listeners.

The caller said in his disgusting message:

"Yeah, this is for Michael Fanone, Metropolitan Police officer. You're on trial right now, lying and not. You want an Emmy? An Oscar? What are you trying to go for here? You're so full of s---, you little f----- f---er. You're a little p----, man. I could slap you up the side of your head with a backhand and knock you out, you little f-----.
"You're a punk f-----. You're a lying f---. How about all that scummy Black f---ing scum for two years destroying our cities and burning 'em and stealing all that s--- out of the stores and everything? How about that? Assaulting cops and killing people? How about that, you f---er?
"That was s--- on the goddamn Capitol. I wish they would have killed all you scumbags, 'cause you people are scum. They stole the election from Trump and you know that, you scumbag. And you, f---ing too bad they didn't beat the s--- out of you more. You're a piece of s---. You're a little f--, you f---ing scumbag."

Fanone asked CNN not to censor the audio when the network played it. "I remember like my first reaction immediately after listening to that phone call, which I actually received while I was testifying in the hearing today," Fanone said. "This is what happens to people that tell the truth in Trump's America."

Fanone's body-camera footage showed the brutal attack he suffered at the hands of rioters, one of whom tased him amid shouts of "I got one," CNN reported in May. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn compared the insurrectionists to a hired hit man in his closing remarks Tuesday to the House committee investigating the riot. "If a hit man is hired and he kills somebody, the hit man goes to jail. But not only does the hit man go to jail, but the person who hired them does. It was an attack carried out on Jan. 6 and a hit man sent them. I want you to get to the bottom of that," Dunn said.

He was called the N-word multiple times when he revealed during the insurrection that he voted for President Joe Biden. Dunn said he told people to leave during the riot and was told: "No man, this is our house. President Trump invited us here. We're here to stop the steal. Joe Biden is not the president. Nobody voted for Joe Biden." Dunn told lawmakers he usually does his best to keep politics out of his job but in that circumstance, he responded. "'Well, I voted for Joe Biden. Does my vote not count? Am I nobody?'" Dunn said he asked rioters. "That prompted a torrent of racial epithets."

Prominent GOP commentators used less triggering language but bolstered the same sentiment of support for rioters. Fox News host Laura Ingraham mocked Fanone and Dunn on Tuesday. "The award for blatant use of partisan politics when facts fail—the Angle Award goes to Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn," she said. Of Fanone the Republican broadcaster said: "And for best performance in an action role, the winner is Michael Fanone."

Fox News' Tucker Carlson made similar remarks, mocking Fanone's trauma. "Not to in anyway underplay the crimes that were committed on January 6—and there were crimes on January 6— but compared to what," Carlson said.

WATCH: Montana Man Tells Carlson: ‘You’re The Worst Human Being Known To Mankind’

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

A fly fishing guide in Montana had the kind of opportunity many of us only wish we could tap, and that is to tell Fox host Tucker Carlson, an irresponsibly vocal anti-vaxxer, how much damage he has done. "You are the worst human being known to mankind. I want you to know that," Dan Bailey is seen telling Carlson in video posted to the Montana man's Instagram page on Friday.

Bailey encountered Carlson in Dan Bailey's Fly Shop in Livingston, but neither is affiliated with the shop, according to a statement shared both on the business's website and at HuffPost. "On July 23rd, a well-known television personality, Tucker Carlson, was affronted while shopping at Dan Bailey's Outdoor Company. Coincidentally, the person engaging Mr. Carlson was a local resident named Dan Bailey," the store's owner Dale Sexton said in the statement. "This person has no affiliation with our business, other than he shares the same name as our founder, who passed away in 1982. To be clear, we treat every customer equally and respectfully. Our staff was professional and cordial to Mr. Carlson, as we are with all of our customers."

The Dan Bailey in the video was hilariously unprofessional and uncordial. "It's not everyday you get to tell someone they are the worst person in the world and really mean it!" he said in the caption of his Instagram post after approaching Carlson. "What an a--hole! This man has killed more people with vaccine misinformation, he has supported extreme racism, he is a fascist and does more to rip this country apart than anyone that calls themselves an American."

In support of Carlson, the former president's son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted his own form of bigotry against transgender parents. "Is the loser who went out of his way to have someone video him harassing Tucker in public for some viral content the model for the new Pregnant Male Emoji? The likeness is uncanny! #SoBrave" he said in the tweet on Sunday.

Film producer Evan Shapiro tweeted about the encounter: "Dan Bailey calmly spoke facts. Tucker tried to use his kid to shield himself from hearing them. Monday @TuckerCarlson will say Bailey attacked him. He will cry like a baby. He will try to dox Bailey in retaliation. Watch. Share. Don't let him."

Carlson has been casting doubt on the effectiveness of vaccines for months now. "If vaccines work, why are vaccinated people still banned from living normal lives," he asked on April 13, before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did in fact issue revised guidance that it was safe for vaccinated people to interact without masks. "Honestly, what's the answer to that? It doesn't make any sense at all," Carlson added in April. "If the vaccine is effective, there is no reason for people who have received the vaccine to wear masks or avoid physical contact."

Ex-Fox reporter reveals why Tucker Carlson is lying about vaccines www.youtube.com

What Carlson's rudimentary argument failed to take into account was how the unvaccinated population affects public health in total. As of Friday, only 49 percent of the U.S. population was fully vaccinated, the CDC reported. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN host Anderson Cooper: "There have been multiple times when we have been fooled by Covid-19, when cases went down and we thought we were in the clear and then cases went up again. It means we shouldn't let down our guard until cases not only come down but stay down, and right now cases are actually going up. Cases are going up, hospitalizations are going up, death rates are ticking up."

Dr. Brytney Cobia wrote in a heartbreaking Facebook post last Sunday: "I'm admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections. One of the last things they do before they're intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I'm sorry, but it's too late."

Texas Governor Doesn’t Want King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ Speech Taught In Public Schools

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Already trying to peel away voting rights in the state, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is also pushing a bill that would practically remove women and people of color from a portion of required social studies curriculum. Senate Bill 3 would no longer require teachers to teach civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream," the Emancipation Proclamation, and women's suffrage; What's worse the Senate in a 18-4 vote along party lines on Friday passed the governor's racist political vendetta branded as a ban on critical race theory.

The list of social studies elements stripped from required teachings includes "Native American history, work by civil rights activists Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, historical documents related to the Chicano movement and women's suffrage, and writings by Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass," according to The Texas Tribune.

Texas Senate Committee advances Critical Race Theory Bill | KVUE www.youtube.com

Sen. Bryan Hughes, author of the bill, wrote in its text that a teacher or other school district employee may not "require or make part of a course inculcation" any concept that holds one race or sex superior to another, define a "hard work ethic" as racist or sexist, or assigns moral character with a particular race or sex. The bill would also prevent teachers and school employees from teaching that: "the advent of slavery in the territory that is now the United States constituted the true founding of the United States; or (...) with respect to their relationship to American values, slavery and racism are anything other than deviations from, betrayals of, or failures to live up to the authentic founding principles of the United States, which include liberty and equality..."

The Senate bill follows earlier House legislation that similarly banned instruction that holds one race or sex superior to another or defines a "hard work ethic" as racist or sexist, or assigns moral character with a particular race or sex, and Abbott signed the bill into law during the regular legislative session. That legislation, however, added the requirement that diverse literature on race be included in school instruction. Abbott wants to change the law back to a version that doesn't include the diverse literature requirement, KVUE reported.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick released the following statement obtained Friday by ABC-affiliated KVUE:

"Texans roundly reject 'woke' philosophies that espouse that one race or sex is better than another and that someone, by virtue of their race or sex, is innately racist, oppressive or sexist.
"Senate Bill 3 will make certain that critical race philosophies, including the debunked 1619 founding myth, are removed from our school curriculums statewide. Texas parents do not want their children to be taught these false ideas. Parents want their students to learn how to think critically, not be indoctrinated by the ridiculous leftist narrative that America and our Constitution are rooted in racism.
"Final passage of this bill into law will require the House Democrats who have fled the state to return to the House for a quorum. If they do not, this bill will die, but the Senate will pass Senate Bill 3 over and over again until the House finally has a quorum. I am grateful for Sen. Hughes' leadership on this important issue."

Hughes said in debate The Texas Tribune covered on the chamber floor that the Senate bill counteracts the "pernicious, wrong, harmful" effects of critical race theory. The race theory, however, is not taught in Texas schools and has been defined by scholars as a framework that suggests the U.S. legal system and laws that govern this nation are rooted in race and racism.

"When a fire starts in the kitchen, we don't wait for it to spread to the living room and bathroom, but we start to put it out," the Republican said. Democratic Sen. Juan Hinojosa countered with: "I don't see a fire in the kitchen."

Does Lara Trump Belong In Jail? Twitter Says Yes

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Guillermo Garcia, a soccer coach, was fundraising for his daughter's soccer team outside of an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on August 3, 2019 when a white supremacist opened fire, killing him and 22 others in what The New York Times called "the deadliest anti-Latino attack in modern American history." El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen told The Dallas Morning News that Patrick Crusius, who was 21 years old at the time, purchased a 7.62 mm caliber gun and drove some 10 hours west from Allen, Texas, to carry out the massacre.

But when Lara Trump—former President Donald Trump's daughter-in-law and former senior adviser to the regrettable ex-president—described potential violence at the southern border, the victims in El Paso apparently couldn't have been further from her mind. She invoked racist sentiments while describing immigrants in an interview Saturday on Fox News' Justice with Judge Jeanine.

"And I don't know what you tell the people that live at the southern border," Lara Trump said. "I guess they better arm up and get guns and be ready, and maybe they're gonna have to take matters into their own hands.

"It should never happen. These people should never make this dangerous journey here."

Her remarks follow a warning from Vice President Kamala Harris to Guatemalans on her first trip abroad since being elected to the White House. "I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come," she said last Monday. "Do not come." White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki later clarified Harris' message. "What the vice president was simply conveying is that there's more work to be done, that we don't have these systems in place yet," Psaki told reporters last Tuesday. "It's still a dangerous journey, as we've said many times from here and from many forums before, and we need more time to get the work done to ensure that asylum processing is where it should be."

That's not exactly the message Lara Trump was conveying, and social media users underlined that difference. Russell Foster, who's running for Congress in Texas, tweeted on Tuesday: "This is dangerous. The former president's daughter-in-law is calling for people to shoot immigrants. It's worse after multiple mass shootings over the last few days in Texas & elsewhere. This could lead to an uptick in hate crimes across the country." Author John Pavlovitz called Lara Trump a "violent" extremist "who belongs in prison" in a tweet Monday.

Read more social media responses to Lara Trump's remarks below:

Alabama Republicans Target Disabled With New Voting Restrictions

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

First, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey came after women, signing into law in 2019 a bill outlawing abortions, even for victims of rape and incest, except when medically necessary. Then, she targeted transgender youth and signed into law on April 23 a bill prohibiting those children from participating in public school sports. Now, Ivey's targeting people with disabilities.

The Republican governor signed a bill into law on Wednesday to ban curbside voting and in effect make casting ballots more difficult for people with disabilities. The unfortunate law prohibits placing voting machines outside of voting places and prevents poll workers from taking ballots into or out of voting places except when done as part of the established process to transport ballots. The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Wes Allen was passed by the Alabama House of Representatives in a 74-to-25 vote on March 18 and pushed through by the Senate in a 25-to-6 vote on May 17, the last day of the legislative session, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. The ACLU of Alabama tweeted: "With our state in the middle of a devastating pandemic and economic downturn, what is the Alabama Legislature doing? Passing bills that burden or attack Alabamians."

Ivey didn't mention the curbside voting ban's potential impact on people with disabilities in her press release bragging about rubber stamping Republican Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill's voter suppression effort. "Our freedom of speech is rooted in our ability to vote," she instead said. "A strong election process is what sets our democracy apart from every other country in the world." Protecting the electoral process has become a popular guise for voter suppression tactics embraced throughout the country among Republicans, following a triple loss for the party last year in the White House and in two U.S. Senate runoff races, effectively flipping the Senate from majority Republican to majority Democratic.

Maria Schell-Cannon, a mother and educator, called the new Alabama law "disgraceful' in a tweet on Wednesday. "This doesn't prevent fraud, just makes it more difficult 4 the disabled & elderly 2 gt 2 the polls," she said in the tweet. "Sad! The GOP is destroying democracy." Randy Wilson, a real estate investor and father, tweeted on Thursday: "No lottery. No expanded medicaid. No effort to rewrite the antiquated constitution. BUT, we made it a priority on the last day in session to ban curb side voting without a single case of curbside voting or any significant voter fraud. C'mon Alabama..."

Voters and activists brought up the subject of curbside voting last year in a federal lawsuit criticizing voting laws that didn't take into account health risks during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a federal judge sided with activists, AL.com reported. Merrill and Attorney General Steve Marshall, however, successfully appealed the decision, getting the U.S. Supreme Court's permission to ban curbside voting. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in the dissenting opinion that Merrill "does not meaningfully dispute that the plaintiffs have disabilities, that COVID-19 is disproportionately likely to be fatal to these plaintiffs, and that traditional-in-person voting will meaningfully increase their risk of exposure."

Sotomayor also highlighted in her dissent the account of Howard Porter, Jr., a plaintiff in the case and a Black man in his 70s with asthma and Parkinson's Disease. He said in district court "many of my (ancestors) even died to vote. And while I don't mind dying to vote, I think we're past that. We're past that time." Alabama Republicans apparently disagree.

Oregon Legislator Charged After Letting Trumpist Rioters Into State Capitol

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Video shows a Republican state lawmaker in Oregon opening a door to the State Capitol last year to let rioters in, but he was only recently charged with misdemeanor offenses despite his decision making way for a faceoff between demonstrators and police officers. Rep. Mike Nearman was caught on surveillance video in the incident last December 21 and charged last Friday with second-degree trespassing and first-degree official misconduct, according to court documents multiple news outlets obtained.

"He literally opened the door so rioters could enter the state capitol - and they charged him with misdemeanors," civil rights and criminal defense attorney Rebecca Kavanagh tweeted late Sunday. And yet, prosecutors will charge Black and Brown people with serious felonies in a heartbeat if they're even present at the scene of a crime."

Marion County prosecutors accused Nearman, "a public servant," in court documents of "unlawfully and knowingly" performing "an act which constituted an unauthorized exercise of his official duties, with intent to obtain a benefit or to harm another." With about 150 protesters gathered outside, the surveillance video shows Nearman letting demonstrators into the state building who wore no masks and held signs in support of President Donald Trump. More than 30 protesters made their way inside the building, Oregon state's legislative administrator told The New York Times. At least five rioters were arrested and one man charged allegedly for spraying bear spray on officers during the incident, according to The Associated Press.

Nearman is the same conservative legislator who tried to pressure the state attorney general into joining a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn results of the 2020 presidential election, the newspaper reported. He sued Gov. Kate Brown because she had the audacity to put COVID-19 restrictions in place to protect her constituents, and he has advocated for requirements attempting to force voters to prove citizenship to vote. In short, he's a racist.

Nearman is scheduled for court May 11 and has already been removed from committee assignments, The Denver Gazette reported. Democrats called Nearman's actions "completely unacceptable, reckless, and so severe that it will affect people's ability to feel safe working in the Capitol or even for the legislature" in a formal complaint they filed in January. "Rep. Nearman put every person in the Capitol in serious danger and created fear among Capitol staff and legislators," state House Speaker Tina Kotek tweeted on Friday. "I called on him to resign in January and renew my call in light of today's charges."

Nearman, who hasn't responded to charges filed against him, issued a statement The Denver Gazetteo btained upon the initial release of video of the lawmaker on January13. In his statement, he accused Kotek of deliberately releasing the footage after the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and he attempted to defend his support of Oregon insurrectionists.

"I don't condone violence nor participate in it," Nearman said in the statement. "I do think that when Article IV, Section 14 of the Oregon Constitution says that the legislative proceedings shall be 'open,' it means open, and as anyone who has spent the last nine months staring at a screen doing virtual meetings will tell you, it's not the same thing as being open."

Arizona ‘Audit’ Bolsters 2020 Lies -- And GOP's Growing Insurrection Caucus

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

The GOP likes to pretend that the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol in January armed with former President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated claims of election fraud don't represent the Republican party, and I understand why. Association with an attempted coup is never a positive link for a national political party, but with each passing month, there are new indicators that those insurrectionists are not the political outliers Republicans contend they are.

A new CNN poll found that of the 1,004 people interviewed, 70 percent of Republicans don't think President Joe Biden won the election despite him winning both the popular and Electoral College votes. Asked was he disappointed Trump lost the election, a demonstrator at a rally for former WWE wrestler Dan "Big Dan" Rodimer's congressional campaign told CNN he was "disappointed in the lack of truth and the election fraud that took place within it." As if Trump had somehow inhabited his body, the demonstrator referenced hoped-for results of a recount of 2.1 million ballots in Arizona's most populous county, Maricopa County. "And it's coming out right now in Arizona, and it's going to be a domino effect to the truth moving forward," the demonstrator said. "What happens after that I don't know, but I know that the truth is there's only so many voters that are in one county that can vote, and the numbers far exceed that. It's common sense mathematics." No, actually it's false hope and lies.

Maricopa County has 2.6 million registered voters. Just fewer than 2.1 million of them voted in the 2020 presidential election, and 49.8% of them voted for Biden, according to the Maricopa County Elections Department. Still, now more than 100 days into the new president's first term, Trump is zeroing in on any flicker of hope election results could sway in his favor, The Washington Post reported on Thursday. The Republican-controlled Arizona Senate is giving him exactly that flicker he desires in its decision to turn over election results to a private contractor led by a Trump conspiracy theorist at Cyber Ninjas.

The Post described a former president "ensconced at his private club in Florida" repeatedly questioning aides about the process underway in Arizona. He's especially interested in UV lights to used to evaluate the ballots—"a method that has bewildered election experts, who say it could damage the votes," ThePost reported. "He talks about it constantly," an unnamed source told the Post.

Trump suggested to a crowd of supporters on Thursday at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida that there was something to find from scrutinizing ballots cast in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire. "Let's see what they find," the former president said. "I wouldn't be surprised if they found thousands and thousands and thousands of votes, so we're going to watch that very closely."

Cindy McCain, a businesswoman and widow of late Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, called the whole process underway in Arizona "ludicrous" on CNN Sunday. "The election is over. Biden won," she said. "I know many of them don't like the outcome, but you know elections have consequences."

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, a Republican by the way, told The Washington Post she is "very concerned" about the ramifications Arizona's process could have for every state. "This is politicizing an administrative process with no real structure or laws or rules in place to guide how it goes," Wyman said. "Every time in the future the party in control loses, they will use some post-election administrative process to call it into question, and people will no longer have confidence that we have fair elections." Gabriel Sterling, a top election official in Georgia who also happens to be Republican, tweeted on Tuesday that Arizona's audit is "another step in undermining confidence in elections. "This process is neither transparent nor, likely, legal," he added in the tweet. "Any "findings" will be highly suspect now that chain of custody has been violated by partisan actors."

GOP Senators Underestimated Stacey Abrams — And Got An Earful

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

File this under asked and answered. Former Georgia House minority leader and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams trended much of the day on Wednesday after Republican Sen. John Kennedy questioned whether she thought a restrictive voting bill signed into law last month is racist. "I think there are provisions of it that are racist, yes," the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate answered. Abrams was speaking during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on voting rights on Tuesday when Kennedy made the mistake of asking her for a list of the provisions she objects to in the Georgia legislation.

The former state legislator, who is nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize for her work to register voters of color in Georgia was perfectly prepared to fulfill Kennedy's request.

"It shortens the federal run-off period from nine weeks to four weeks," Abrams said. "It restricts the time a voter can request and return an absentee ballot application.

"It requires that a voter have a photo identification or some other form of identification that they're willing to surrender in order to participate in the absentee ballot process. It eliminates ..." Apparently seeing that she wasn't the stumbling, ill-equipped naysayer he might've assumed she was, Kennedy cut Abrams off to ask her other questions. Then he cut her off again when she attempted to answer them. "What else? What else?" the Louisiana Republican demanded. Abrams ignored the slights and just kept listing.

"It eliminates over 300 hours of drop box availability," she said. Kennedy responded with a hurried, "Okay, what else?"

"It bans nearly all out-of-precinct votes," Abrams said, "meaning that if you get to a precinct and you are in line for four hours and you get to the end of the line and you are not there between 5 and 7 PM, you have to start all over again."

Kennedy interrupted: "Is that everything?"

"No it is not. No, sir," Abrams responded with a chuckle. "It restricts the hours of operation because it now, under the guise of setting a standardized timeline, it makes it optional for counties that may not want to see expanded access to the right to vote. They can now limit their hours. Instead of those hours being from 7 to 7, they're now from 9 to 5, which may have an effect on voters who can not vote during business hours during early voting. It limits the voting hours ..."

Kennedy interrupted yet again. "Okay, I get the idea. I get the idea," he said.

Georgia Democrats had been fighting elements of the bill spread among other proposed legislation in the state for months when Republicans decided in the final days of the legislative session to hijack a tangentially related piece of legislation. They turned a two-page bill to make sure eligible voters didn't repeatedly receive absentee ballot applications into nearly 100 pages of voter suppression tactics. "The GOP just won't stop when it comes to making it harder for Georgians to vote," the Democratic Party of Georgia said in an earlier statement.

Abrams told Republican Sen. John Cornyn at the same committee hearing that she thought Georgia lawmakers made "deliberate attempts to suppress the minority vote."

When asked if she thought the law in question was a "racist piece of legislation," she responded that she did indeed. "I think there are components of it that are indeed racist because they use racial animus as a means of targeting the behaviors of certain voters to eliminate their participant and limit their participation in elections," Abrams said.

Mike Huckabee Tweets Weirdly Racist Attack On ‘Chinese’ —And Gets Hosed Down

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Former Arkansas Governor and Baptist minister Mike Huckabee chose Easter weekend to sink to an unimaginable low, practically spitting in the face of Asian American communities, apparently because Republicans lost a presidential election. Democrats argue that the 2020 defeat, coupled with twin losses in Senate runoff elections in Georgia. triggered more restrictive voting laws throughout the country and especially in the Peach State, where a recently passed law makes it illegal to give water and food to voters standing in line to cast ballots. Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian and Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey spoke out against the law and Major League Baseball vowed to move its 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta because of the law.

Applying the usual nonsensical GOP logic, Huckabee decided those moves were somehow connected to an outpouring of support for Asian Americans following a spike in racist and violent acts against the community. "I've decided to 'identify' as Chinese," he tweeted sarcastically on Saturday. "Coke will like me, Delta will agree with my 'values' and I'll probably get shoes from Nike & tickets to @MLB games. Ain't America great?"

The tweet earned Huckabee well-earned criticism on social media. Rep. Ted Lieu tweeted on Saturday: "Hey Mike Huckabee, I asked around and Coke likes me, Delta agrees with my values, I wear Nikes and my hometown Dodgers won the World Series. But it's not because of my ethnicity. It's because I'm not a sh*thead like you who is adding fuel to anti-Asian hate. #StopAAPIHate" Comedian John Fugelsang tweeted: "Yes except for the part where racist Mike Huckabee fans accuse you of spreading a virus."

Democrat Jake Lobin tweeted: "I can't believe Mike Huckabee's job has been to actually govern people. Holy shit." Author and unitarian pastor John Pavlovitz tweeted: "Mike Huckabee motivated me to do this work. The day of the Sandy Hook shooting he inexplicably used the murder of children to spread a cancerous religion. It made me realize as a pastor that I needed to explicitly oppose monsters like him who bastardize my faith tradition."

"He and his party are antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and adversarial to diverse humanity," Pavlovitz added in another tweet. "Good people can simply not allow them to steer this nation into the abyss—and we won't."

Black corporate leaders have advocated for other corporations to take a stand against the restrictive new Georgia law, The New York Times reported. "There is no middle ground here," former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault said. "You either are for more people voting, or you want to suppress the vote." His remarks followed Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's decision to sign into law a bill state Republicans rushed through the legislature in the final hour, slithering just outside of the public eye after earlier criticism for similarly restrictive voting bills.

With only eight days left in the state legislative session, Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Greg Bluestein tweeted that the Georgia House adopted the measure on a party-line vote working to "restrict drop boxes, require voter ID for mail-in ballots and gives the Republican-controlled Legislature more authority over local elections officials." The state Senate followed suit.

Merck pharmaceutical company CEO Kenneth Frazier told The New York Times he and other executives began emailing and texting each other following the passage of Georgia's law. Their goal is to stop other restrictive voting bills from passing across the country. "As African-American business executives, we don't have the luxury of being bystanders to injustice," Frazier said. "We don't have the luxury of sitting on the sidelines when these kinds of injustices are happening all around us."

Lindsey Graham Accuses President Of ‘Playing Race Card’ On HR 1

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Sen. Lindsey Graham seemed to have quite a lot to say on Sunday about President Joe Biden's stance against restrictive voting rights bills like one quickly passed by Georgia's majority-Republican Legislature and signed into law. When taken to task nationally over proposed legislation to ban no-excuse absentee voting and restrict voting on the weekends, GOP lawmakers abandoned those elements not for naught though.

Instead, Republicans quietly turned a two-page bill to make sure eligible voters didn't repeatedly receive absentee ballot applications into what Georgia Democrats called "a 93-page voter suppression omnibus bill." Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Greg Bluestein tweeted that the recently passed policy works to "restrict drop boxes, require voter ID for mail-in ballots and gives the Republican-controlled Legislature more authority over local elections officials." The president called the new Georgia law and similar efforts "un-American" and "sick" at his press conference on Thursday, he dubbed the suppressive legislative push "Jim Crow in the 21st Century" in a statement on Friday.

When asked by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace if Republicans were going too far, Graham responded: "You know what's sick is that the president of the United States to play the race card continuously in such a hypocritical way. He said the fillibuster was a relic of the Jim Crow era." And Biden's not wrong.

Senate Republicans have used the filibuster, an operational instrument requiring 60 votes instead of a simple majority to stall or block a vote, to delay civil rights legislation for decades. "It's been a tool used overwhelmingly by racists," Princeton University race historian Kevin Kruse told Vox magazine. Sen. Harry Reid told the magazine that a modern version of filibuster rules originally unassociated with race was used "consistently" to block civil rights bills.

The filibuster is similarly being used today to block voting rights legislation. In response, Democrats have called for an end to the filibuster, which would otherwise be subject to the limitations of another Senate procedure known as cloture. The Senate defines that tool as "the only procedure by which the Senate can vote to place a time limit on consideration of a bill or other matter, and thereby overcome a filibuster." "When people talk about ending the filibuster, what they really mean is reinterpreting Senate rules around cloture so that legislation could pass by a simple majority instead of being held up by a minority," CNN reported.

Biden had earlier refrained from calling for an end to the filibuster, opting instead for a return to a talking filibuster, in which senators "had to stand up and command the floor, you had to keep talking," the president told ABC News. He signaled at the presser last week that for legislation about rights as fundamental to the democracy as voting, he'd be willing to "go beyond" his fight for a talking filibuster.

Graham seemed to interpret the president's remarks as hypocrisy serving what Graham deemed a "sick" legislative effort in the For the People Act, also known as HR 1.

"So every time a Republican does anything, we're a racist," Graham said. "If you're a white conservative, you're a racist. If you're a Black Republican you're either a prop or a uncle Tom. They use the racism card to advance a liberal agenda, and we're tired of it. HR 1 is sick, not what they're doing in Georgia."

In the same interview, however, Graham acknowledged how ridiculous the Georgia law is, which also makes it a crime to give voters standing in line food or water. "Well, we uh, all I can say is that that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me," Graham said.

The For the People Act, which passed in the House and was introduced in the Senate earlier this month, is aimed at driving out state efforts to undermine voter protections. It would require states to allow automatic voter registration when residents for example get driver's licenses or other services through the Department of Motor Vehicles. It would also "end congressional gerrymandering, overhaul federal campaign finance laws, increase safeguards against foreign interference, (and) strengthen government ethics rules," according to the policy institute, the Brennen Center for Justice.

Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams has been tirelessly pushing the legislation as a response to more than 250 legislative bills aiming to peel back voting rights across the country. "Now more than ever, we need federal action to protect voting rights as we continue to fight against these blatantly unconstitutional efforts that are nothing less than Jim Crow 2.0," she tweeted on Thursday.

Sen. Rubio Jumps Line For Vaccine Despite History Of Covid Denial

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

In the true spirit of GOP service, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida showed his support for vaccinating the state's most vulnerable residents by scoring one of those vaccinations in short supply himself. "I know I looked away from the needle. And yes, I know I need a tan But I am so confident that the #Covid19 vaccine is safe & effective that I decided to take it myself," he said in a weekend tweet.

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Loeffler Silent After Ossoff-Warnock Campaigner Suffers Violent Attack

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

It should come as no surprise that the same GOP senator who did nothing as President Donald Trump spread a dangerous denial of his election loss to a Georgia crowd remained silent following a violent attack on a man holding a sign for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Sen. Kelly Loeffler didn't dedicate as much as a social media post to condemn violence Sunday morning, and she apparently didn't find responding to Newsweek's request for comment on the incident worthy of her time either. Both Democrats competing to unseat Republicans in the upcoming Senate runoff did.

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Trump Accuses Justice Department Of Conspiring To Fix Election For Biden

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

President Donald Trump isn't even listening to himself these days. He tweeted on Saturday how Fox News daytime is "virtually unwatchable, especially during the weekends." Then, in the spirit of true hypocrisy, he gave Fox News his first televised interview since he lost the election against President-elect Joe Biden 26 days ago on November 3.

In a phone interview on Sunday with host Maria Bartiromo, the soon-to-be-former president used the opportunity to tote his usual baseless allegations of voter fraud. He went from suggesting that the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) are involved in a conspiracy against him to alleging that dead people applied for mail-in ballots and poll watchers were thrown out of counting rooms by "thugs" in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Nevada.

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Trump Lawyers Are ‘National Embarrassment’, Complains Christie

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Just as one did in Georgia, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Saturday launched by President Donald Trump's campaign to bar Pennsylvania state election officials from certifying the state's election results, CBS News reported. U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann wrote in his order that Trump's attorneys employed "strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence. In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state."

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