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

Crazed GOP Candidates Compare Vaccine Mandates To Nazi Genocide

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Prominent Republicans in multiple states have compared President Joe Biden's recent announcement of vaccine mandates and increased testing to the actions of the Nazi regime in Europe during World War II.

Biden on September 9 announced a plan to be enforced by the Department of Labor requiring, among other efforts, that employers with 100 employees or more to ensure workers are either vaccinated against the coronavirus or tested weekly for it. The new initiative came in response to increased numbers of coronavirus infections, particularly due to the highly contagious delta variant infecting people who have not been vaccinated against the virus.

Mark McCloskey, who is running for the Republican nomination for the Missouri Senate seat held by retiring Sen. Roy Blunt, took offense at the executive order.

"Actually accusing us of being the enemy. That this is 'a pandemic of the unvaccinated.' I mean, if we had Stars of David on our chests 70 years ago, it would be absolutely no different," McCloskey told the audience at a candidate forum on Wednesday. "They're singling us out for persecution, prosecution, and eventually forced inoculation."

Vernon Jones, a Republican candidate for governor in Georgia, sounded a similar note in an interview broadcast Sunday on former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's radio show.

"We look at what Joe Biden is doing, he wants to mandate the COVID vaccination, and not even for Congress, they're exempt, his staff is exempt. He's acting like Hitler. This is not a police state," said Jones.

The comments echo other recent claims from Republican candidates like Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel, who tweeted, "Do NOT comply with the tyranny. When the gestapo show up at your front door, you know what to do," and Pennsylvania Senate candidate Kathy Barnette, who posted a photo of a couple with stars sewn to their clothing, a quote from the 1998 Holocaust documentary The Last Days, and the phrase "Americans are like the frog in boiling water." In May, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said rules requiring vaccinations or the use of masks were "just like" the Holocaust.

The Holocaust refers to the period before and during the Second World War during which the Nazi regime and its supporters murdered six million Jewish people and millions of others considered inferior or undesirable.

Although Republicans continue to compare vaccine safety measures to Nazi persecution, the Biden administration's efforts are based on constitutional authority of the federal government that has been reaffirmed under judicial scrutiny. Donald B. Verrilli Jr., who served as solicitor general under President Barack Obama, told the New York Times, "The constitutionality of this regulatory effort is completely clear."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Stefanik Invokes Racist ‘Great Replacement’ Theory In Campaign Ads

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, the third-ranked Republican in the House, began running a series of campaign ads on Facebook on Wednesday invoking a racist conspiracy theory that falsely alleges that immigrants are being invited to the United States to replace white voters.

The campaign for Stefanik, who is up for reelection in November 2022 for New York's 22nd Congressional District, is promoting ads that read:" Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Nancy Pelosi are attempting to flood our voter roles with 11 MILLION NEW VOTERS by giving illegal immigrants amnesty."

The ads link to a fundraising page featuring similar copy, which alleges, "Democrats want citizenship for 11 MILLION illegal immigrants… so they can stuff the ballot box for socialism."

Stefanik's ads make reference to efforts made by Democrats, including President Joe Biden, to create a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 10.3 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States.

The ads also invoke the conspiracy theory known as "the great replacement," which the Anti-Defamation League has defined as "the hateful notion that the white race is in danger of being 'replaced' by a rising tide of non-whites."

Messages that promote the theory have become increasingly common among Republican elected officials and in conservative media.

In 2016, as he was running for office, former President Donald Trump said, "I think this will be the last election that the Republicans have a chance of winning because you're going to have people flowing across the border, you're going to have illegal immigrants coming in and they're going to be legalized and they're going to be able to vote and once that all happens you can forget it."

Fox News has also latched on to the message and many of its on-air personalities have spent the ensuing years repeating and amplifying the racist smear.

The most prominent advocate on the network has been host Tucker Carlson, who has invoked the idea on numerous occasions.

"I have less political power because they are importing a brand new electorate. Why should I sit back and take that?" Carlson said on the April 8 edition of his program.

In an April 9 letter to Fox News executives, Anti-Defamation League CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt called on Fox News to fire Carlson for using the trope.

"It is dangerous race-baiting, extreme rhetoric. And yet, unfortunately, it is the culmination of a pattern of increasingly divisive rhetoric used by Carlson over the past few years," the letter read.

But Carlson was undeterred. On April 12, Carlson said on his program, "Demographic change is the key to the Democratic Party's political ambitions." And on April 21, Carlson told his audience, "You're being replaced, and there's nothing you can do about it."

Other Fox News hosts, including Laura Ingraham, Brian Kilmeade, and Jesse Watters, have also promoted the same racist "replacement" trope.

And Republicans in Congress have followed suit.

In a campaign video released on April 11, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) falsely claimed that Democrats "want borders wide open," alleging that this "helped Democrats take over the entire state of California" in the past.

During a congressional hearing on April 14, Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) claimed, "We're replacing national-born American — native-born Americans to permanently transform the political landscape of this very nation."

Two days later, on April 16, while appearing on Fox Business, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) attacked Democrats on immigration, asking, "Is it really they want to remake the demographics of America, to ensure their — that they stay in power forever? Is that what's happening here?"

The theory has had deadly real-world implications. It was cited in a manifesto left behind by the white supremacist who shot and killed 51 people and injured 40 in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019. The idea was also invoked by neo-Nazis who protested in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, using the slogan, "Jews will not replace us."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Gaetz Complaint: Feds Treat Jan. 6 Rioters As ‘Threat’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

In an interview on Tuesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) complained that the pro-Trump rioters who broke into the U.S. Capitol on January 6 were being treated like a "threat" by the federal government, continuing a months-long campaign to defend those arrested for crimes related to the event.

On Tuesday, in an appearance on Newsmax TV's The Chris Salcedo Show, Gaetz claimed, "The Department of Justice has to maintain this theory that the January 6 detainees maintain an ongoing threat to the government of the United States so that they are able to take the national security apparatus and turn it against our people."

Gaetz has repeatedly offered excuses for Capitol attackers, who made threats of violence against members of Congress and former Vice President Mike Pence during their attempt to prevent the certification of the presidential election. Hundreds of arrests have been made since the incident.

He has previously promoted a conspiracy theory that the FBI "organized" the attack, and along with other far-right members of the House, has accused the Justice Department of 'harassment and persecution of Trump supporters' for investigating the events on Jan. 6. Gaetz also complained about efforts to secure the Capitol after the riot.

Over 500 people have been arrested and charged with federal crimes relating to the riot, which followed former President Donald Trump's speech at a rally promoting election conspiracy theories.

Evidence shows members of the rioting mob chanting for the death of Pence and attempting to break down the doors of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's offices.

Pence and other lawmakers were evacuated from the building by Capitol Police in response to the threats made against them, and one rioter was shot and killedby a police officer while trying to break down a door leading to an area where members of Congress were being evacuated.

At the July 19 sentencing hearing for Paul Hodgkins, a rioter convicted after he walked onto the Senate floor during the attack, U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss made clear that the attack was a serious criminal offense.

"Because of the actions of Mr. Hodgkins and others that day, members of U.S. Congress were forced to flee their respective chambers," Moss said.

"I think it's worth pausing for a moment to think about that — that is an extraordinary event under any circumstances that the members of the United States Congress are forced to flee the building fearing for their physical safety."

Moss noted that the damage from the attack "will persist in this country for several decades."

Hodgkins pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding and received a sentence of eight months in federal prison and two years of supervised release.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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.

Carlson Accuses Biden Of Importing Afghan Rapist — But Border Officials Flagged Perp

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

On Monday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has a history of making racist and xenophobic comments, attacked the effort to rescue Afghan refugees and bring them to America as a program to "import some rapists." He also threw in a white supremacist talking point to suggest that the Biden administration was using the refugee crisis as part of a plan to "change our country."

Carlson's smear was based on an article published in the Washington Times earlier that day.

Discussing the U.S. evacuation of Afghan refugees from Kabul, Carlson said during a segment of his program Tucker Carlson Tonight, "So they look around and they say, Hmm, how can we make this a little bit worse? I have an idea, let's import some rapists. That would make it worse than we've already made it. And they have."

Carlson said "that a previously deported rapist was among the Afghan refugees that just landed at Dulles Airport" in Virginia. "Of course, let's import rapists, 'cause it's not bad enough," Carlson repeated.

But according to the story Carlson cited, the existing process of screening would-be refugees worked to identify the person.

The Washington Times reported that Ghader Heydari, a convicted rapist, was flagged by border officials at Dulles, noting they "spotted his criminal and immigration history and derailed his entry."

The paper said, "Heydari's exact path to entry is not clear, though it's unlikely he holds a Special Immigrant Visa. Those were reserved for Afghans who provided significant support for the U.S. in the war effort. It's also not likely he is a refugee, given his immigration history."

Carlson's guest during the segment, Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-WI), offered no rebuttal as Carlson continued to smear refugees.

Tiffany said that refugees currently staying at U.S. Army Garrison Fort McCoy in Wisconsin were not being vetted, did not hold the Special Immigrant Visas allocated to those who had assisted the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, and were there "on parole" on the authority of the secretary of homeland security, "and he can just wave people in. They have circumvented, the Biden administration has circumvented the SIV process and they're just bringing people in on parole." Tiffany added that people were able to leave the base without the authority of the general who oversees it.

Carlson said, "If we're going to import thousands of unvetted Afghan Pashtun tribesmen, why aren't we moving them to the places where the people who make these decisions live?" specifically the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Tiffany answered, "Well, that would really be a good idea," before saying that refugees need to be vetted in a "safe third country like Qatar, someplace like that."

But the refugees at Fort McCoy are being vetted, despite the accusations from both men.

At a briefing on August 23, White House officials told reporters that refugees brought to the facility are subject to multiple screenings — biometric, biographic, and health screenings — before they reach the base.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted that the Fort McCoy arrivals include people in the middle of the Special Immigrant Visa process, green card holders, and vulnerable populations that include professors, female journalists, and female students.

Carlson concluded the segment by invoking the white supremacist "great replacement" conspiracy theory, alleging that Afghan refugees are being brought to America by Democrats who "are just using a crisis to change our country — they'll never lose another election, that's the point, as you know."

Tiffany nodded.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Virus Cases Spiked 500 Percent Since Sturgis Rally Promoted By Noem

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

The number of new coronavirus infections in South Dakota rose by nearly 500 percent after Republican Gov. Kristi Noem allowed the state's annual Sturgis motorcycle rally to take place.

Despite ongoing concerns about the virus, Noem actively encouraged attendance at the rally and appeared at a charity event held there.

South Dakota reported 3,819 new virus cases in the past two weeks, up from 644 cases in the previous 14 days. The Sturgis bike rally took place from August 6 to 15.

The rally and the subsequent rise in virus transmission numbers mirrors what happened in the state in 2020. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that people attending the 2020 rally had spread the virus, including to people in other states.

Medical experts expressed concern ahead of the 2021 event, which was held even though the vaccination rate in the area is only 44 percent for people age 12 and older.

On August 8, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC's Meet the Press that he was "very concerned" that a COVID surge would be associated with the rally. Organizers did not mandate masks or vaccines for attendees.

A few days later, appearing on Fox News, Noem lashed out at Fauci and the Biden administration.

"It's shocking to me that he continues to pick on Republican governors, people who love their freedoms, and he ignores what's happening at the border," Noem said of Fauci. She also said Fauci "has discredited his entire profession by the positions he has taken during this pandemic."

Since Noem's statement, South Dakota has had the largest percentage increase in virus cases in the United States.

Dr. Shankar Kurra, vice president of medical affairs at Monument Health in Rapid City, South Dakota, told the Daily Beast, "It happened last year. It was just playing a reboot of last year pretty much."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Rick Scott Gives GOP ‘Freedom’ Award To Raving Racist

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

The Republican Party's Senate campaign arm has given an award to a conservative activist who complained in 2012 that "racial hypocrisy" had increased in America under President Barack Obama and that "the heat has really been turned up by the Blacks in this country."

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) on August 17 announced that the National Republican Senatorial Committee's "Champion of Freedom" award had been given to Colorado-based activist Maria Weese. Scott is chair of the committee.

In a remote broadcast on earlier in August from his office, Scott described Weese as someone who "has promoted the ideas that have made this country prosperous, a country which she became a citizen of at age 21. People like Maria make our country so great."

Weese has in the past made racist comments about Blacks in America, President Barack Obama, and South African President and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Nelson Mandela.

In a July 1, 2012, post to her Facebook account, Weese wrote, "Every excuse is being made to create the impression that the Whites in America are still persecuting and suppressing the Blacks in America. ... It must be an election year and you can see the wagons circling around Obama led by the Blacks, the far left liberalists, the unions, environmental activists, the members of the American communist party, the minorities getting government checks in the mail, the fat cats in the entertainment industry, and the rest of the uninformed and naive liberals in this country."

In 2013, according to the website Colorado Pols, Weese wrote on Facebook after the death of South African President Nelson Mandela:

Call it for what it is ,
Mandela was a Communist and and Obama is too….
Mandela won an election based on his race Obama won an election based on his race…
Mandela was made famous world wide by media for his Marxist ideology, Obama was made famous world wide for the media hiding his Marxist ideology…
Mandela endured prison Obama endured Michelle….

While the "Champion of Freedom" award is new in 2021, Weese is not the first person to receive it, nor the first with a history of racist comments.

The first person given the award was former President Donald Trump, who received it in April despite his own legacy of racist remarks.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Fox & Friends Lied About Successful Afghan Rescue Mission

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

On Tuesday, Fox News host Brian Kilmeade claimed "the government" played no role in the rescue of an Afghan police officer who assisted the U.S. military, but the inaccurate statement was immediately shot down by his guest, a retired Army Special Forces commander who was a part of the mission.

On Fox & Friends, Kilmeade was discussing the rescue, named Operation Promises Kept, which successfully evacuated Mohammad Khalid Wardak and his family. His guest was Ryan Brummond, who served in the military from 2003 to 2017, in both the Army Special Forces and in the Marines.

"Ryan, so glad you put this operation together. You're doing something our government can't," Kilmeade said at the beginning of the exchange.

"Really, this was a huge effort. It was a combined effort of both folks that are in and out of government," Brummond replied. "This did involve our government, in some ways, I mean... We had the help of senators, representatives, folks at the State Department, and it was just kind of a huge effort of those that are both in and out of government in order to make it happen."

In recent days, Fox News has been promoting a narrative that the Biden administration is abandoning allies and American citizens in Afghanistan, despite the ongoing rescue operations being executed on President Joe Biden's orders.

The Associated Press reported on Friday that Wardak and his family were hiding from the Taliban in Kabul because Wardak was well known for assisting the U.S. military during the war there and publicly spoke out against the Taliban.

They were taken out of the region by helicopter on August 18. Former George W. Bush administration official Robert McCreary told the AP that the family was "carried out under cover of darkness by the U.S. military and its allies."

McCreary said Wardak and his family are in an undisclosed location "under the protection of the United States."

On Monday, the Biden administration said that approximately 48,000 people had been evacuated from Afghanistan since August 14.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

As Tens Of Thousands Evacuate, Fox Reporter Claims Biden Left Americans ‘Stranded’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Peter Doocy, a White House correspondent for Fox News, on Monday accused the Biden administration of leaving Americans in Afghanistan "stranded," even as tens of thousands have been evacuated from the region.

During a White House briefing, Doocy asked press secretary Jen Psaki, "Does the president have the sense that most of the criticism is not of leaving Afghanistan, it's the way that he has ordered it to happen, by pulling the troops before getting these Americans who are now stranded?"

Psaki responded that she thought it was "irresponsible to say Americans are stranded," noting, "We are committed to bringing Americans who want to come home, home."

Doocy then asked if her reply meant it was the White House's "official position" that "there are no Americans stranded."

She responded, "I'm just calling you out for stating that we are stranding Americans in Afghanistan."

Doocy's accusation comes a day after the Department of Defense reported that at least 37,000 people had been evacuated from the region since August 14, with 10,400 of those evacuations happening Saturday and Sunday.

President Joe Biden told reporters on Sunday that the United States is currently executing a plan to transport Americans in Afghanistan to the airport in Kabul for evacuation. U.S. forces have expanded the existing perimeter of the "safe zone" around the airport in order to accomplish the mission, Biden said.

From the Aug. 23 White House press briefing:

PETER DOOCY, Fox News: Does the president have the sense that most of the criticism is not of leaving Afghanistan, it's the way that he has ordered it to happen, by pulling the troops before getting these Americans who are now stranded? Does he have a sense of that?
JEN PSAKI: First of all, I think it's irresponsible to say Americans are stranded. They are not. We are committed to bringing Americans who want to come home, home.
We are in touch with them via phone, via text, via email, via any way that we can possibly reach Americans to get them home if they want to return home.
DOOCY: There are no Americans stranded is the White House's official position on what's happening in Afghanistan right now?
PSAKI: I'm just calling you out for stating that we are stranding Americans in Afghanistan when I said – when we have been very clear that we are not leaving Americans who want to return home. We are going to bring them home, and I think that's important for the American public to hear and understand.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Boebert Pushed Energy Bills That Could Benefit Husband’s Firm

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) has proposed energy legislation and attacked green energy initiatives over the past several months without disclosing that her husband has been earning hundreds of thousands for consulting on energy issues.

According to financial disclosures that were revealed on Thursday, first flagged by the Associated Press, Jayson Boebert has been working as a consultant for an energy firm listed only as "Terra Energy Productions." The disclosures revealed that in 2019, he earned $460,000 from the firm and in 2020 he earned $478,000.

The first-term congresswoman did not disclose the income during her successful 2020 congressional campaign.

The Associated Press noted that there is no company with that name registered in Colorado, but that a company named Terra Energy Partners "has a heavy presence in Boebert's district."

On its website, Terra Energy Partners describes itself as "one of the largest producers of natural gas in Colorado and one of the largest privately-held natural gas producers in the United States." A report in the Colorado-based Post Independent noted that Terra "oversees hundreds of oil and gas wells in northwest Colorado's Piceance Basin."

In a September 2020 Instagram post from the congresswoman, Jayson Boebert can be seen wearing a helmet with the same logo as Terra Energy Partners. In the caption, Boebert wrote, "Pro-Energy."

Officials from Boebert's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story. Attempts to reach Terra Energy Partners were unsuccessful.

Since taking office in January, Boebert has offered up pro-fossil fuel legislation and other similar bills while attacking energy-related initiatives from the Biden administration and congressional Democrats, without indicating that her family's income or work could be positively impacted.

Successful passage of some of that legislation would likely be a boon to the oil and gas industries.

In January, the congresswoman introduced the "Paris Agreement Constitutional Treaty Act" which would prevent the United States from reentering the Paris Climate Accords. In February, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the accords, reversing a decision from the Trump administration.

The Paris agreement calls for a cut in greenhouse gas emissions, a byproduct of the oil and and natural gas industries.

In February, Boebert proposed the "Protecting American Energy Jobs Act" which would undo Biden's executive orders on several energy-related topics. The act would end a ban on new oil and gas leasing on federal lands, reverse the decision to cancel the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, and prevent the Interior Department from halting oil and gas drilling.

A 2018 report noted that Terra was petitioning the government for the ability to drill on federal lands.

In April, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) reintroduced the Green New Deal resolution with the goal of addressing climate change.

Boebert attacked the legislation in an April 2021 statement, describing it as an attempt to "appease environmental extremists" and claiming it would throw the country into "a literal energy dark age."

The congresswoman serves in the minority on the House Natural Resources Committee. In May she praised herself for an "energy victory" after successfully adding two amendments to pending legislation regarding energy concerns.

A month later, Boebert joined with other House Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, in signing a letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland criticizing a moratorium on energy leases.

Boebert claimed the moratorium was "illegal" and was "punishing energy workers to appease the Green New Deal radical leftists."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Opposing Masks And Vaccines, Ghoulish Greene Chirps: ‘We Can’t Live Forever’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said on Wednesday in response to the recent surge in COVID-19 infections, "We're human, we can't live forever, we are going to catch all kinds of diseases and illnesses and other viruses and we get hurt sometimes."

Greene's comments came during an interview on the Real America's Voice network program The Water Cooler.

Greene also said, "I don't think the FDA should approve a vaccine that doesn't seem to be that effective ... yes, the waiting rooms get full, but guess what? The waiting rooms are full of all kinds of things. Not just COVID. You know, car accidents, trauma, other illnesses, cancer and so forth."

Multiple scientific studies have shown that the vaccines available against the coronavirus are effective in stopping its transmission.

And data provided by state medical offices has shown that hospital beds are increasingly being occupied by COVID patients, particularly by people who had not been vaccinated.

On Tuesday, Rep. Greene was once again suspended from Twitter after using her account to make false claims about COVID-19. In an August 9 tweet, Greene wrote, "These vaccines are failing & do not reduce the spread of the virus & neither do masks" in violation of Twitter's terms of service, which prohibit transmitting misinformation about topics like the outbreak.

It's the fourth time her account has been suspended.

From the Aug. 11 edition of Real America's Voice's The Water Cooler:

MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE: I don't think the FDA should approve a vaccine that doesn't seem to be that effective, especially with COVID-19 raging all over the country, at least that's what the media tells us every single day.

I talked to local hospitals here in my district and here in my state. Yes, the waiting rooms get full, but guess what? The waiting rooms are full of all kinds of things, not just COVID. You know, car accidents, trauma, other illnesses, cancer, and so forth.

But they're seeing about 30% of those numbers being COVID cases. So while the news tries to tell us the hospitals are slam-packed with COVID, that's just not the case. Everyone needs to get back down, back down to common sense and remember that, you know, we're human, we can't live forever, we are going to catch all kinds of diseases and illnesses and other viruses and we get hurt sometimes.

So I'm all for, let's be rational with this, let's be careful, let's be cautious, and let's not turn into an authoritarian regime that forces shots in arms of people that don't want it.

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.

Huckabee Sanders Says She’d Enforce No COVID Safety Rules In Arkansas

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former Trump White House press secretary and Fox News pundit who is running for governor of Arkansas, said during a Friday appearance on Fox News that she would not institute mask or vaccine mandates if elected.

Sanders' comments come as Arkansas has had a resurgence of COVID-19. On Thursday, the Arkansas Department of Health reported that active cases of COVID-19 in the state had increased by more than 800, up to 12,779.

The department reported the deaths of two children from COVID-19 on the day Sanders said she wouldn't impose any safety regulations against the spread of the coronavirus.

"If I'm elected governor here in Arkansas, we will not have mask mandates, we will not have mandates on the vaccine ... because we believe in personal freedom and responsibility. That's one of the key cornerstones, frankly, of our country," Sanders told the hosts of Fox & Friends.

According to the Mayo Clinic, 44.4 percent of the total population in Arkansas has had at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, ranking it among the bottom 10 states in the country. By comparison, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Vermont have vaccination rates above 70 percent, and the national average is 56.6 percent.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control, told a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education and Labor on Wednesday that 83 percent of new COVID cases are caused by the Delta variant of the virus, and that most of those infected are unvaccinated.

In contrast to Sanders' blanket statement, some institutions in Arkansas have instituted vaccine mandates. Arkansas Children's Hospital and the state's Washington Regional Medical Network said that all new hires would be required to be vaccinated.

In the interview, Sanders also said that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had "cast doubt" on the Operation Warp Speed program that was intended to help fund and accelerate the development of vaccines against the coronavirus and should "give President Trump and his administration the credit they are due" for the vaccine being developed and distributed.

But when Biden became president on January 20, the government had not yet secured millions of doses of vaccine from manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna, and agreements were not secured until the Biden administration was in place. The agreement for a total of 600 million doses to cover the entire population was not reached until February 11.

During her tenure as Donald Trump's spokesperson, Sanders made a habit of repeatedly lying to reporters.

Defending Trump's decision to fire then-FBI director James Comey in 2017, Sanders claimed that FBI agents had "lost confidence" in the director. But under oath during the Mueller investigation, she admitted fabricating the story.

She also lied about job creation figures under President Barack Obama, which she was forced later to acknowledge.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Texas Republican Urges Election Audit — In Counties Biden Won

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Texas state Rep. Steve Toth (R) on Monday announced that he had filed legislation calling for a "forensic audit" of the state's 2020 election results.

Former President Donald Trump won Texas in 2020 by nearly six percentage points despite ultimately losing the national electoral college and popular vote to President Joe Biden.

Toth's bill, the "Texas Voter Confidence Act," would not audit all of the 11 million-plus votes that were cast in the state. Instead, the legislation calls for an audit in "every precinct in each county with a population of 415,000 or more."

This would disproportionately target counties that voted for Biden.

According to a list of Texas counties by population, only three that voted for Trump — Collin, Denton, and Montgomery — would be audited under the bill if it became law. The remaining 10 counties voted for Biden, including Texas' two most populous counties, Harris County (where Houston is located) and Dallas County.

"We need a forensic audit to uncover all the voter fraud," Toth said in a statement accompanying his announcement.

He added, "Texans want to know more about the claims of voter fraud and deserve to have confidence in their elections."

Toth did not offer any proof to back his claims of widespread fraud. However, he echoed other Republicans in Texas, including Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Sen. Ted Cruz, who have made baseless accusations of voter fraud in the 2020 election, allegations that have no basis in reality.

Toth's bill may be on hold for the time being. Currently, the Texas Legislature is unable to form a quorum, and thus cannot consider legislation, after Democratic lawmakers left the state in protest of a GOP proposal empowering several voter suppression efforts.

The audit request follows a similar controversial "audit" of the 2020 vote in Arizona, undertaken by conservative activists. That process has been criticizedfor using unscientific protocols, promoting conspiracy theories, and allegedly damaging state-owned election equipment.

Republicans across the country have also considered replicating that process, including in places Trump won.

Utah state Rep. Steve Christiansen, for instance, visited the Arizona "audit" earlier in June, telling the Daily Beast he wanted to hold the same sort of process in his home state, where Trump won by more than 20 percentage points.

In North Carolina, Republican members of the state legislature are also pushing for an audit. Trump won the state by 1.3 points in 2020.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.