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New York Fed Survey Finds Broad Optimism About Jobs And Income Under Biden

A survey released on Monday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that American households say they expect increased personal earnings and better employment prospects in President Joe Biden's second year in office.

The Survey of Consumer Expectations is a monthly survey of approximately 1,300 households giving their views on earnings growth, job prospects, inflation, and credit.

In the December 2021 survey, respondents said they expected their earnings growth for the year ahead to be 3.0 percent, which was an increase of 0.2 percent over the previous month's survey. The New York Fed said that the most optimistic expectations came from respondents "with an annual household income below $50,000."

People responding to the survey also expressed the view that unemployment will continue to decrease. Only 35.2 percent said they believe unemployment will be higher in a year, and even that was a 0.9-point drop from the November survey.

The number of respondents who said they perceived the possibility of losing their job in the next 12 months was also down 1.3 percent to 11.6 percent.

The national unemployment rate is currently 3.9 percent, down from the 6.3 percent that Biden inherited from former President Donald Trump in January 2021.

The survey also showed optimism about consumer costs in the coming year, in spite of Republican efforts to attack the Biden administration over the issue of inflation.

Respondents said that while they expected inflation to remain steady, they expect prices for gas and food to fall in the coming year.

In December, Biden said he believed supply chain problems have contributed to increased costs and expressed optimism for lowered prices in the near future.

"We are making progress on pandemic-related challenges to our supply chain which make it more expensive to get goods on shelves, and I expect more progress on that in the weeks ahead," Biden said in a December 10 statement.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Economy Near Full Employment With Seven Million Jobs Added Under Biden

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly jobs report for December 2021, which showed the U.S. economy regained 18.8 million jobs of the 20 million jobs that were lost at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020.

More than 7 million of the jobs that have been regained since the start of the pandemic were added in the last year alone, according to the bureau's report. The U.S. economy has been steadily adding jobs over the past year as the country continues to dig out from the devastating toll taken by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bureau found that the country added 199,000 jobs in December, which was below estimates, while revising its previous jobs report numbers to add 39,000 jobs to its November 2021 report and 102,000 jobs to its October 2021 report.

The report, which was recorded before U.S. case numbers surged due to the virus's highly contagious Omicron variant, also showed a decrease in the unemployment rate from 4.2 percent to 3.9 percent between November 2021 and December 2021. Unemployment, which stood at 6.3 percent when Biden took office, declined more in 2021 than in any previously recorded year.

The latest jobs report comes after the U.S. Department of Labor revealed on Tuesday that 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November, setting a new record. The passage of legislation like the American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law in March by President Biden with only Democratic votes in the House and Senate, provided benefits to millions of workers and families affected by the pandemic.

Experts have said that financial support has allowed workers to negotiate for better pay and working conditions as the economy has improved. Much of the turnover has been concentrated in low-paying jobs, as the tight labor market has given workers more leverage to seek better job opportunities.

"This Great Resignation story is really more about lower-wage workers finding new opportunities in a reopening labor market and seizing them," Nick Bunker, director of economic research at the Indeed Hiring Lab, told The New York Times.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Fauci Says ‘Kill Shot’ Fox Host Watters Should Be Fired

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday said Fox News host Jesse Watters should be "fired on the spot" after Watters encouraged attendees at a conservative conference to "ambush" Fauci with a rhetorical "kill shot."

Speaking to Turning Point USA's "AmericaFest" conference on Monday, Watters told attendees to go for the rhetorical "kill shot with an ambush" when confronting Fauci, which would be "deadly" because "he doesn't see it coming."

At the conference, Watters encouraged attendees to confront Fauci with the allegation that he purportedly funded "gain-of-function" research at laboratories in Wuhan, China — a claim that Fauci has repeatedly denied. The allegation is central to conservative attempts to blame Fauci and the Chinese government for former President Donald Trump's poor response to the outbreak of the virus.

"Boom, he is dead," Watters told the conference attendees.

Asked about Watters' incendiary rhetoric on CNN's New Day on Tuesday, Fauci said the Fox News host should be fired.

"That's such a reflection of the craziness that goes on in society," Fauci said. "That's awful that he said that and he's going to go very likely unaccountable, I mean, whatever network he's on is not going to do anything, basically."

Fauci has been the target of death threats after months of attacks from conservatives as he has served as the public face of the U.S. government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fox News host Lara Logan recently compared Fauci to the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. The network did not take any disciplinary action against Logan for her remarks.

Watters, who is co-host of Fox News' The Five and hosts the weekend show Watters World, has been criticized for aggressive behavior in the past. In 2009, while working for Fox's now-defunct program The O'Reilly Factor, Watters followed HuffPost reporter Amanda Terkel while she was on vacation and hounded her on camera.

Watters' boss at the time, former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, once led a campaign against abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in which O'Reilly referred to the doctor as "Tiller, the baby killer." In May of 2009, Tiller was killed by an anti-abortion activist in his church.

O'Reilly was ousted from Fox News after it was revealed that the network had covered up multiple instances of the host sexually harassing women in the workplace.

Article reprinted with permission from The American Independent

Sen. Johnson Spreads Lie That Vaccines Caused 'Over 19,000 Deaths'

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on Wednesday falsely claimed that the COVID-19 vaccine had caused "over 19,000 deaths worldwide," citing the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a database of raw, unverified information.

Johnson made the claim during an appearance on Fox News Radio's Brian Kilmeade Show.

"I've talked to the vaccine-injured. Vaccine injuries are real," said Johnson. "The VAERS system, today, the latest report, over 19,000 deaths worldwide associated with these three vaccines, over 900,000 adverse events, and the CDC, the FDA is just looking the other way, they're going, What, me worry? What's there to look at here?"

VAERS is a government website for collecting information on possible adverse effects related to vaccines. It is a database of raw information that allows anyone to contribute a report.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes on its website:

Healthcare providers, vaccine manufacturers, and the public can submit reports to VAERS. While very important in monitoring vaccine safety, VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness. The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. Most reports to VAERS are voluntary, which means they are subject to biases.

The CDC also notes:

Reports of death after COVID-19 vaccinations are rare. More than 459 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through November 29, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 10,128 reports of death (0.0022%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. FDA requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS, even if it’s unclear whether the vaccine was the cause. Reports of adverse events to VAERS following vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem.

Fox News Ignores Its Own Poll Showing Strong Support For Government Action

Fox News claimed as the House of Representatives was voting to pass President Joe Biden's $1.75 trillion jobs bill, that voters "don't like" what Biden is "selling," criticizing the investment package and suggesting it was unpopular.

"The Democratic answer seems to be 'spend more,'" Bill Hemmer, co-anchor of America's Newsroom, said in a segment Friday morning. "...We did our polling, we released it last night, and you look at Virginia results, in New Jersey, other places, it just doesn't seem like the American people are buying what this administration is selling."

The Fox News poll to which Hemmer was presumably referring, released last Thursday, in fact showed nearly half of respondents in support of more government action.

The poll, which surveyed 1,003 registered voters across the country from November14-17, asked respondents to weigh in on whether the federal government is "doing too much and is too involved in things better left to individuals and businesses" or whether it should "do more to solve the problems facing the country today."

A plurality of those surveyed, 49 percent, said the government should do more to help while 11 percent said the current level of government action is "about right."

That figure is the highest it's ever been, in the 11 years Fox News has asked the question on comparable surveys.

Additionally, the number of respondents who say the government is doing "too much" is at a low in Fox's polling. In 2010, 50 percent of respondents answered in the affirmative. In the current poll, only 34 percent answered that the government was doing "too much."

The poll results stand in contrast with the conservative mantra frequently embedded in Fox News programming, which argues against government intervention and opposes most measures intended to assist Americans, most recently those included in the Build Back Better plan.

For months, the Fox News has hosted guests like former Trump aide Stephen Miller, who appeared on the network to describe the purported impact of legislation like the investment package as "the complete destruction of the American economy."

The conservative network has also mocked provisions in the bill meant to address climate change and environmental injustice, describing it as a "socialist wish list."

At the same time, polling has repeatedly shown that the bill is popular with many Americans. A Morning Consult/Politico released on November 2 showed broad support across the board for the package's investments in clean energy, child care, health care, and affordable housing.

The Fox News poll this week also showed voters rejected the network's position and disinformation other issues. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said that the COVID-19 vaccines are "safe and effective," including for children, a contrast to the network's frequent segments criticizing vaccines and related mandates.

On the same night the poll was released, the network's lead primetime show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, hosted vaccine conspiracy theorist Alex Berenson, who falsely claimed that there is "no evidence" the vaccine halts infection or transmission of the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and prevention, in its guidance has repeatedly cited multiple studies from around the world showing that the vaccine is effective at preventing COVID-19.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Fox News Pushes To Defund PBS After 'Sesame Street' Adds Asian American Puppet

Fox News is promoting a conservative campaign to defund the Public Broadcasting Service for "bringing race into" its programming and encouraging viewers to get vaccinated. At the center of conservatives' latest culture war is Sesame Street, the iconic children's television show.

In a Thursday Fox & Friends First appearance, American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp called to defund PBS over the network's attempts to make its programming more inclusive of race and gender identity. Schlapp specifically attacked the producers of Sesame Street for recently adding an Asian American puppet to its regular cast of characters.

"They're trying to bring race into Ernie and Bert," Schlapp said, referring to two male puppets who live together on the fictional Sesame Street.

On Monday, Sesame Workshop announced that it would introduce the character Ji-Young — the first Asian American puppet in Sesame Street history — as part of an upcoming special titled See Us Coming Together. The show's producers told the Associated Press that the new character is part of an effort to teach children how to be a good "upstander."

"Being an upstander means you point out things that are wrong or something that someone does or says that is based on their negative attitude towards the person because of the color of their skin or the language they speak or where they're from," Wilson Stallings, executive vice-president of Creative and Production for Sesame Workshop, told the news outlet.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has seen a wave of hate crimes against Asian Americans. Bystanders have often played witness to such attacks without stepping in to stop them, leading some advocacy groups to organize bystander intervention training sessions. Former President Donald Trump, for his part, has fanned the flames of racist violence by repeatedly using the term "China flu" to refer to the virus.


Fox Host Bartiromo Attacks Security Measures At Biden Home

Fox News and Fox Business are criticizing the building by the Secret Service of a fence around the Delaware vacation home of President Joe Biden and his family. In segments broadcast on both networks, the building of the fence was juxtaposed with the halt in construction of former President Donald Trump's border wall on the border between the United States and Mexico. Biden halted work on the wall on Jan. 20, his first day in office.

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Murdoch Media, GOP Fabricate Tale Of White House Cutting Biden’s Mic

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

The Republican Party and two media outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch pushed a false story about President Joe Biden that made its way into questioning of Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.

During Blinken's appearance, Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, the ranking Republican on the committee, asked him about a video clip shared the day before by the Republican National Committee on both its RNC Research Twitter feed and GOP War Room YouTube account and picked up by Fox News and the New York Post.

On Monday, Biden met with federal and state fire officials to receive a briefing at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. The video clip shared by the RNC, which it titled "White House feed cuts out as Biden starts to ask a question," was taken from the White House feed of that meeting and shows the president asking a question, in the middle of which the feed ends.

The clip was included later that day in a story published by Fox News with the headline "White House abruptly cuts feed of Biden mid-sentence as he asks question at wildfires briefing."

The New York Post ran the story under the headline "White House livestream cuts Biden mid-sentence as he goes off script."

Risch told Blinken, "Look, we've all seen this, we saw it as recently as yesterday — somebody in the White House has authority to press the button and stop the president, cut off the president's speaking ability and sound. Who is that person?"

Laughing, Blinken responded, "I think anyone who knows the president, including members of this committee, knows that he speaks very clearly and very deliberately for himself. No one else does."

Risch persisted, asking, "Are you saying that there's no one in the White House that can cut him off, because yesterday that happened, and it's happened a number of times before then. It's been widely reported that somebody has the ability to push the button and cut off his sound and stop him from speaking. Who is that person?"

"There is no such person," Blinken replied.

After the exchange, having previously amplified the video from the Republican Party, Fox News then broadcast Risch's questioning of Blinken about it.

"It's come to the point, John, where senators are now asking about this in hearing rooms," noted host Sandra Smith on the program America Reports.

"It does seem to happen a lot," replied host John Roberts.

But the entire series of events, from the Republican Party to Fox News to the Senate hearing and back to Fox News, is based on the false premise that the video feed cutting off during an event involving the president is unusual.

In Biden's schedule from Monday the video feed of his briefing with federal and state fire agencies in Idaho is designated as "Out-of-Town Pool Spray at the Top."

That means that the video presented online and fed to television outlets was always intended to include only the comments from Biden and other officials made before the start of the event, not the entirety of the meeting.

"Translation of 'pool spray at top' -- reporters will hear some opening remarks and then leave as the president begins to engage in the briefing," noted Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler.

CNN fact checker Daniel Dale tweeted, "Prompted by a Republican National Committee tweet, right-wing media covered this like the White House was nervously censoring Biden as he went off script. In fact, as you've probably seen, it's entirely normal for the press to be ushered out/the cam to be shut off mid-meeting."

Observers noted the circularity of the entire episode: the Republican Party claiming that ordinary operations are somehow an example of a White House feeling the need to shield the president from his own words; right-wing outlets Fox News and the New York Post boosting the false claim; a Republican senator calling the false story "widely reported" and asking a Cabinet secretary to confirm it during a Senate hearing; and Fox then picking up the hearing as news.

Wrote Kessler, "It's especially dismaying that a senior senator like Risch would fall prey to such nonsense and waste valuable time on it during an important national security hearing."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Flattened By Vote, Recall Activists Wanly Claim 'Success'

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

On Wednesday, after the GOP effort to recall California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom officially came to an end in a resounding loss, Fox News hosted a roundtable of anti-Newsom activists who claimed they had achieved "success."

The recall results were not close. The ballot against recalling Newsom received 64 percent of the vote and held a lead of over 2.5 million votes, with 70 percent of the total counted.

However, Fox & Friends invited several guests who were a part of the recall movement to react to the results of the election, and many of them declared successes.

"I do think this was a huge success because a small group of people did put some fear into the governor to the point that he actually had to fly out the vice president and the president," Erica Kious, the former owner of a San Francisco hair salon, said, after saying she was "devastated" by the recall results.

In September 2020, Kious had released a video of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting her salon despite COVID restrictions.

"It was a huge grassroots effort," guest Aaron Bergh said. "It was great to see this revolution of small business owners and dissatisfied parents and just ordinary Californians to put their foot down and say we need change here."

The GOP effort to oust Newsom lost despite national support and fundraising campaigns.

While Newsom outraised his opponents, there were millions raised in favor of the recall campaign. The Los Angeles Times reported that pro-recall efforts received over $45.2 million in donations.

The recall campaign also had the support of the national Republican Party and the California Republican Party.

"Gavin Newsom has had three years to solve California's problems. He has only made them worse. His time in office is up," Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote in an op-ed column on FoxNews.com on Tuesday.

Jessica Millan Patterson, chair of the California Republican Party, wrote a few hours before the election, "@CAGOP has grown to 72,000 volunteers and made 18 million voter contacts to #RecallGavinNewsom - the excitement and enthusiasm is there, Californians are hungry for change."

And then there was Fox News. As polling began showing a likely Newsom win, Fox began to promote baseless conspiracy theories alleging that the election would be stolen.

"The only thing that will save Gavin Newsom is voter fraud," Fox host Tomi Lahren claimed on the September 7 edition of the program Outnumbered.

On August 22, Fox contributor Newt Gingrich similarly alleged that "this is going to be an election where they go all-out to steal the referendum."

And on August 25, Fox host Tucker Carlson claimed that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris campaigning for Newsom was a threat to democracy: "Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are now set to campaign against the recall — 'No more democracy for you!' You've got to wonder, will the state survive this? Will there be a free and fair election?"

Despite the efforts of the state and national Republicans and their allies at Fox, the leading Republican candidate in the recall, Larry Elder, conceded on Tuesday night.

"Let's be gracious in defeat. By the way, we may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war," Elder said.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

As Major Defeat Loomed, McCarthy Said Recall Is ‘Pretty Big Victory’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday claimed that even if the Republican-led campaign to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in California fails, it will still be a "pretty big victory" for his party. McCarthy represents California's 23rd Congressional District in Congress.

In an appearance on Fox News' Fox and Friends, he was asked what his expectations were for the outcome of the recall attempt, with polls set to close in California at 8 p.m. PT on Tuesday.

"Gavin Newsom has all the money, we just have the issues on our side," said McCarthy, adding, "Just getting it to a recall is a pretty big victory in itself."

California has some of the most lenient laws in the country as far as recalling a governor or other statewide official. The state requires that a petition collect signatures amounting to 12 percent of the votes cast in the last election for the office, the smallest percentage of signatures needed of all states. And due to the pandemic, recall hopefuls were granted an additional 120 days to gather signatures.

In spite of these advantages favoring the Republican-backed recall, polling has consistently shown opposition to the effort. In FiveThirtyEight's average of recall polls, 57.8 percent of respondents support keeping Newsom in office, while support for removal is at 41.5 percent.

The 12 most recent polls listed on the FiveThirtyEight site show the option to retain Newsom with a double-digit lead, ranging from 10 to 19 points.

From the September 14 edition of Fox & Friends:

AINSLEY EARHARDT, Fox News: What do you expect in California today, your state, with this recall?

KEVIN MCCARTHY: It's going to be interesting. Because here we are in California, Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one, but you're going to have to really watch what turns out today.

If Republicans are – independents are voting to remove Gavin Newsom, because think about it for one moment, if you travel California, there's homelessness in every place of it. Crime rising. There's not one national park in California open because there's mismanagement of forest that comes every single year. And do you want to reward that?

He's been in Sacramento for more than a decade and he has no plan to turn it around. All he does is bring in Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and others to say, "Keep me, otherwise a Republican will win."

This is an opportunity to change the course. If we have a deficit going into election day, of a million or less, there's an opportunity that we can be successful here. But, you know, Gavin Newsom has all the money, we just have the issues on our side. Just getting it to a recall is a pretty big victory in itself.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Tom Cotton Can't Decide Whether US Should Abandon Or Protect Afghan Refugees

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

In a Tuesday appearance on Fox News, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) slammed the U.S. military's effort to help Afghan refugees, complaining that service members are being used as "nannies and babysitters and daycare operators" while they "should be" focusing on military training.

In mid-July, the Department of Defense announced Operation Allies Refuge, an effort "to support the relocations of interested and eligible Afghan nationals and their immediate families who supported the U.S. Government and applied for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV)."

The department said at the end of August that it was approved to help up to 50,000 people as part of that mission, "providing essential support at secure locations, where these Afghan citizens and their families can safely complete the necessary steps for residing in the United States."

Conservatives began attacking the operation as reports surfaced this weekend that military bases were preparing for thousands of refugees.

"I've been to the border earlier this year. We saw Border Patrol officers who signed up to be law enforcement actually having to work as nannies and babysitters and daycare operators, watching out for all of the children who are showing up at the border," Cotton said, prompted by Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade, who expressed opposition to the ongoing effort to help refugees. "Now we're impressing soldiers into doing the same thing, when you're right, they should be training."

Cotton also implied that the mission to help refugees is harming U.S. military preparedness. "They should be focusing on the mission of deterring our adversaries, to say nothing of the billions of dollars this is going to cost American taxpayers," he said.

But Cotton and other Republicans have simultaneously criticized Biden for not evacuating enough people. On Thursday, Cotton and other GOP senators sent a letter to the administration demanding accountability for those left behind in Afghanistan, noting, "Our immediate priority is the safety and well-being of American citizens, permanent residents, and allies who were left behind in Afghanistan."

They have also in recent days sought to frame Afghan refugees as potentially dangerous terrorist threats. However, several federal-level and local fficials have confirmed that refugees seeking resettlement in the United States will undergo background checks as well as health screenings.

American military bases have been used as temporary housing for refugees at several points in history. They were used to house anti-communist refugees from Hungary during the Cold War, as well as for over 100,000 Vietnamese who fled Vietnam at the end of the Vietnam War.

Members of the military have expressed their support for the current mission.

"It's an opportunity to make a difference in a situation where it really is necessary: working directly with displaced nationals, helping them settle, and keeping them safe," Lt. Col. Lisa Weaver of the Washington National Guard toldthe Army's official online publication.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Republican Civil War Erupts Over Infrastructure Vote

Reprinted with permission American Independent

Conservative Republican members of Congress appeared on Fox News and Newsmax on Tuesday night to lament the fact that 19 Republican senators voted for the bipartisan infrastructure package, along with every Democratic senator.

The $1.2 trillion package provides funds to repair and construct roads, bridges, and railroad systems across the country, among other projects.

Despite polling repeatedly showing widespread support for the infrastructure plan — across party lines — conservative outlets have frequently attacked it.

On Newsmax TV's Rob Schmitt Tonight, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) described the legislation as part of an agenda of "crazy ideas" offered up by Democrats.

He said the infrastructure bill was part of a package of "four stupid ideas" and said, "This is ridiculous, and the American people know it. Why senators, Republican senators, voted for it, I'll never know."

Appearing on Fox News' Hannity, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) sounded a similar note.

Kennedy said that Democrats wanted the bill's passage "like Ben [Affleck] wants J-Lo [Jennifer Lopez" and said Republicans "just got out-maneuvered, intelligence was chasing us and we got beat."

Conservative host Sean Hannity said Republicans "beat themselves" by voting for the bill and Kennedy agreed, replying, "that's what I'm saying." He went on to describe the bill as a "dumpster fire."

Fox News host Mark Levin on Tuesday called for a primary challenge to the Republicans who voted for the legislation, while the network has repeatedly attempted to claim that the infrastructure spending in the bill is not really infrastructure.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Mo Brooks Pays $25K To Trump Resort After Former Guy Endorses Senate Bid

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who is currently a candidate for Alabama's U.S. Senate seat, paid out over $25,000 to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort just days after receiving an endorsement from Trump.

Brooks is running for the seat being vacated by Sen. Richard Shelby, who has announced he will not run for reelection in 2022. The seat has been rated as "solid" for the Republican Party by multiple political ratings organizations.

On Thursday, in a federal campaign finance filing, Brooks' campaign disclosed that it had paid over $25,000 to Mar-a-Lago for catering and event space. Shelby held a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago on April 23 and Trump, who currently lives at the resort after losing the presidential election, was scheduled to be in attendance.

Just a few weeks before, on April 7, Trump endorsed Brooks over the three other Republican candidates who have already declared their candidacy.

"Few Republicans have as much COURAGE and FIGHT as Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks," Trump wrote in a statement, noting that the candidate "has my Complete and Total Endorsement."

Trump told Fox News on April 20 that Brooks would have "clear sailing" in his campaign for the seat and asserted he "just went up 41 points" even though no poll to support that claim has been released.

During his presidency, members of the Republican Party and businesses and governments seeking Trump's influence frequently spent money at his properties, with Trump businesses profiting throughout his term in office.

Brooks has deeply integrated the Trump endorsement into his campaign. On his official campaign Twitter account, Brooks refers to himself as "Mo Brooks – Endorsed by President Trump." The phrase "Endorsed by Trump" appears in the banner of the account as well, and the same language appears on Brooks' official campaign website and Facebook account.

Brooks has been under fire for a speech given on January 6 at a "Save America" rally protesting the outcome of the 2020 election. Before Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol, Brooks told the crowd to "stop at the Capitol" and that "today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass."

Several members of Congress called for Brooks to be formally censured for inciting the crowd.

"Censure seems too trifling a punishment in this horrific case, but it's the minimal level of accountability Congressman Brooks should face from the same Congress he goaded rioters to assault," Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement in January.

Brooks is also being sued by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) for his role in the insurrection. Swalwell alleges that Brooks, along with Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, broke the law by inciting the riot.

Despite this criticism, Brooks recently spoke at CPAC in Dallas, Texas, on July 9 and told attendees, "Our choice is simple: We can surrender and submit, or we can fight back."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Under Trafficking Probe, Gaetz Likens FBI To ‘Worst Days Of Soviet Union’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) compared efforts by the FBI to combat violent extremism to actions taken by the former Soviet Union, which he called a "repressive security state."

Gaetz appeared on the conservative Newsmax TV's Cortes & Pellegrino to discuss a recent tweet that was released by the FBI.

In the July 11 tweet, the FBI wrote, "family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence" and gives advice on signs to look out for to "prevent homegrown violent extremism."

Gaetz criticized the tone of the tweet.

"This harkens to a darker day," said Gaetz. "Back during the worst days of the Soviet Union, 1 out of every 3 of the folks in that country was providing some sort of information to a centralized governing authority and so snitching really is a tool of the repressive security state."

Gaetz also claimed later in the interview that the tweet wasn't "really a sincere attempt to engage in law enforcement" and "is an attempt to identify people based on their politics."

Despite Gaetz's allegations, neither the FBI's tweet nor the document the tweet links to suggests reporting people over their political beliefs.

The agency is currently in the midst of a massive investigation of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, when several violent extremists supporting former President Donald Trump breached the building in an attempt to overturn Trump's loss in the 2020 presidential election. Over 500 people have been arrested and charged with federal offenses.

In recent months, Gaetz has repeatedly attacked the FBI. Along with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), he has even pushed a baseless claim that the agency organized the Capitol attack. He has also suggested that the FBI was to blame for the COVID-19 viral outbreak.

Gaetz's attack on the FBI comes at the same time that he has been under federal investigation relating to the possible sex trafficking of an underage girl.

Gaetz has not been alone in attacking the FBI for investigating violent extremism. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TX) recently described the tweet in question from the FBI as "over the top."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

GOP Senator Objects To FBI Mobilization Against Violent Extremism

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Monday criticized the FBI for requesting the public's help in combating violent extremism.

Blackburn appeared on the conservative Newsmax TV network's National Report program and was asked by host Emma Rechenberg for her reaction to what she called "a quite controversial tweet" posted on the official FBI Twitter account that read, "Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence. Help prevent homegrown violent extremism."

The agency is currently in the middle of a massive investigation of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. Over 500 people have been arrested so far.

Rechenberg said people fear the tweet is calling for "reporting people who might have different views from your own, not necessarily extremist one[s]."

After accusing the FBI without evidence of spying on Donald Trump's presidential campaign, Blackburn told Rechenberg:

Tennesseans are very upset with what they see as a double standard with how the FBI and other federal agencies move forward. But bear in mind, they were there collecting information or surveilling the Trump campaign. And for them to put this out, encourage people to do this — I have some questions about it and many others have questions about it. Of course, everyone wants to do their part to keep out nation safe and to keep our communities safe. But to put this out and to encourage people to begin to snitch on their family members if they have a difference of opinion is something that is a little bit over the top.

Despite what Rechenberg and Blackburn say, the FBI's tweet did not call opinions or political disagreements criteria for reporting concerns about violent extremism. The document linked in the tweet never mentions the word "opinion."

Republicans in Congress have attacked efforts to combat violent extremism, voting in both the House and the Senate against authorizing congressional investigations of the riot at the Capitol.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

GOP Candidate Violently Disrupts Rep. Porter’s Town Hall

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Nick Taurus, a Republican running for the seat in California's 45th Congressional District currently held by Democratic Rep. Katie Porter, was reportedly involved in what the Los Angeles Times called a "scuffle" at a town hall Porter held on Sunday in Irvine, California.

According to the Times' reporting, Taurus and a group of his supporters interrupted Porter with chants and shouting as she spoke, leading to physical confrontations between his supporters and hers that were broken up by police.

On July 8, Taurus had posted a call on his Instagram account for his supporters to cause disruption at the event. "CONFRONT KATIE PORTER!" Taurus wrote, adding, "Her America Last policies are awful for the 45th district and we intend to voice our displeasure."

"It is disappointing that a small but vocal group of attendees, who advertised a 'confrontation rally,' created unsafe conditions at a planned family-friendly event," Porter said in a statement after the event. "My team and I are evaluating next steps, but my promise to Orange County families is that I will continue to hold town halls and to be in conversation with them."

Porter won reelection in 2020 by seven percentage points over Republican Greg Raths.

Taurus, who filed official paperwork declaring his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on June 15, says on his official campaign website, "Our Movement of 'Christ, Country, Community,' Starts in Orange County!"

"I am an American nationalist and Roman Catholic who is most concerned with addressing the issues surrounding immigration, vaccination and Critical Race Theory," the site reads.

A review of Taurus' social media posts reveals a history of homophobic, racist, and conspiracy theory-related rants.

"No longer will AMERICANS bow to the billionaires, anti-White extremists and the GAY mafia," he wrote on June 19.

On June 1, Taurus called LGBTQ Pride month "#GROSS."

Taurus defended widely condemned anti-LGBTQ laws in Hungary, writing on July 8, "For the simple crime of merely refusing drag queens the right to read to their children, the Hungarian nation faces the full ire of the Globalist American Empire." In the same post, he referred to "the CULTURE OF DEATH associated with the LGBT movement."

Referencing Caitlin Jenner's campaign for governor of California, Taurus wroteon April 26, "How could anyone that identifies as Christian or Conservative, vote for a h0m0sexu@l or tr@nny? Their very lifestyle is an affront to God."

Taurus has also praised white supremacist Nick Fuentes.

In the caption of a selfie with Fuentes he posted on June 30, Taurus wrote, "This guy is the truth and it was an absolute honor to meet him! AMERICA FIRST IS INEVITABLE!" The slogan "America First is inevitable" has been usedby Fuentes and his white supremacist allies as a rallying cry.

After former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on April 20 in the murder of George Floyd, Taurus unleashed a barrage of posts, writing, "Current mood following the Chauvin verdict. #JOKECOUNTRY #DEATHTOAMERICA."

"White America: GUILTY AS CHARGED! The Derek Chauvin trial was a farce. A joke. An absolute charade. The 'justice' system in this country is concerned with persecuting the enemies of their preferred pawns rather than ensuring law & order," he wrote in another post.

In a post using the hashtag "#CHAUVINDIDNOTHINGWRONG," Taurus wrote, "Black people are so oppressed in America that their families receive millions in settlement money despite using counterfeit bills & resisting arrest (George Floyd) or selling drugs and hiding bodies in their car (Breonna Taylor)."

Attacking the NFL for a statement in support of Chauvin's conviction, Fuentes wrote, "If you're White I'd highly suggest that you stop contributing to backdoor reparations otherwise known as American sports leagues."

The Republican candidate attacked the decision to make Juneteenth, which celebrates Black liberation from slavery, describing it as "summer Kwanzaa." Taurus posted in June, "July 4th, 1776. Original White Boy Summer."

On Independence Day, Taurus wrote, "George Washington forever, George Floyd never!"

Taurus also claimed in another post, "The level of violence perpetrated by Blacks in our inner cities on a normal day exceeds anything done by supposed 'White Supremacists.'"

Taurus has repeatedly praised and supported the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

He called in May for the immediate release of everyone involved in the attack, and also said, "Everything about January 6th was a lie. Everyone that was arrested is a political prisoner." He also described Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by a Capitol Police officer as she attempted to break into the Capitol, as a "great veteran."

Taurus has also promoted conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and vaccines against COVID-19.

"COVID is fake and g@y," Taurus claimed. "If you get the vaccine you are a slave."

He described the vaccine as "the Mark of the Beast" and wrote, "Welcome to California where you can spread AIDS without repercussions but if you refuse an experimental vaccine, you're barred from society."

Taurus has posted anti-vaccination misinformation and alleged that the vaccines were part of a plot by pharmaceutical companies to kill people. In a post on May 19, he falsely claimed that as many people have died from COVID vaccines as have Americans fighting in the Iraq War.

The candidate referred to Donald Trump as "the last legitimate American President" and described him as "a man in the mold of Washington & Jackson, a true American hero." He added, "Standing back, standing by sir!" referring to Trump's direction to the extremist Proud Boys movement after he was asked to condemn them during a 2020 presidential debate.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.