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GOP Intellectual Malpractice: Syrian Refugees And Paris Attacks Edition

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Opinion: 25 GOP governors now illegally refusing refugees, and all based on a fake Syrian passport. 

The level of Republican inhumanity and stupidity, and refusal to look for facts has reached new heights.

Remember George W. Bush and the lies he and his administration told in the run up to the Iraq War? 

Bush didn’t look for facts, and when confronted with them, he dismissed them. You’re seeing today by Republicans that same level of intellectual malpractice, a lack of curiosity about facts, a pandering to the base and an almost viral race to the bottom of the barrel of stupidity.

At least 25 of America’s 31 Republican governors today (and sadly, Democratic governor Maggie Hassan) have issued press releases, tweets, and executive orders mandating – and boasting – their state will not accept any Syrian refugees. Unfortunately, it appears none of them bothered to actually check if they have the authority to refuse refugees here legally, though an extremely rigorous federal process.

And, of course, these “pro-life” “conservative Christian” governors, it turns out, do not have the authority to refuse refugees.

But what they do have is the ability to grandstand and to turn the tide of public opinion against the very people running from terrorists, and have Americans see them as terrorists, so when they do get to America (insert obligatory “land of the free, home of the brave” quote here) many will likely become victimized by a pathetically ignorant, Fox News watching populace that equates “Muslim” with “terrorist.”

To be clear, even France has called the murder of 129 people in the Paris attacks, not to mention the hundreds who have suffered injuries, “an issue of internal domestic security.”

Or, to be even more clear, as ThinkProgress reports, “All of the attackers from Friday’s massacre in Paris so far have been identified as European Union nationals, according to a top EU official.”

That story about one of the terrorists having a Syrian passport is either fake, or his passport was.

Here’s the list of Republicans who have stated America should refuse Syrian refugees, or have stated they will not allow them in their state, all based on a false story about a Paris attacks terrorist with a fake Syrian passport.

Republican Governors:

Robert Bentley of Alabama
Doug Ducey of Arizona
Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas
Rick Scott of Florida
Nathan Deal of Georgia
Butch Otter of Idaho
Mike Pence of Indiana
Terry Branstad of Iowa
Bruce Rauner of Illinois
Sam Brownback of Kansas
Bobby Jindal of Louisiana
Paul LePage of Maine
Charlie Baker of Massachusetts
Rick Snyder of Michigan
Phil Bryant of Mississippi
Pete Ricketts of Nebraska
Chris Christie of New Jersey
Pat McCrory of North Carolina
John Kasich of Ohio
Mary Fallin of Oklahoma
Nikki Haley of South Carolina
Bill Haslam of Tennessee
Greg Abbott of Texas
Scott Walker of Wisconsin
Matt Bevin, governor-elect of Kentucky

GOP Presidential Candidates:

Donald Trump
Ben Carson – no religious test, but an “ideological” one
Marco Rubio
Ted Cruz
John Kasich
Rand Paul 
Jeb Bush – only Christian refugees
Carly Fiorina
Chris Christie – no Syrian refugees, “not even 5-year-old orphans
Lindsey Graham
Mike Huckabee
George Pataki
Rick Santorum

Image by Mike Licht via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump’s Latest Racist Lie: ‘If You’re White You Don’t Get Therapeutics’

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Former President Donald Trump spoke at rally with Arizona Republicans on Saturday, where he made false and racially inflammatory comments claiming that white people are being denied access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. At the event, which was sponsored by Trump’s Save America PAC, he falsely charged “the left” with “discriminating against and denigrating, just denigrating, white people to determine who lives and who dies,” adding, “If you’re white, you don’t get the vaccine, or if you’re white, you don’t get therapeutics.”

Trump’s wildly irresponsible charge was tailor-made to promote racial resentment and stoke the kind of anger and grievance that is fomented by white nationalists and has led to violence and mass murder. But it didn’t seem to bother his fans, including Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, who tweeted his praise for Trump’s “epic speech,” adding, “This is how you win big in November.”

Indeed, Trump was in Florence, Arizona, “drumming up support for Arizona Republicans running for office,” reported the local Fox affiliate. His hour-and-a-half speech also included his standard lies about the 2020 presidential election nationally and in Arizona specifically and about the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol Insurrection.

Among the Arizona politicians who spoke at the rally were Rep. Paul Gosar, who represents the area where the event was held, and state Sen. Wendy Rogers. Both of them are associated with white nationalist Nick Fuentes. Right Wing Watch has documented multiple recent examples of Fuentes using his streaming show to spout blatant racism,  most recently to defend his use of the N-word.

In December, Rogers bragged about having been called “based” by Fuentes, describing it as “like knighthood.” At Saturday’s rally, she insisted that Trump won and is the “true president.” Rogers, who describes herself as a member of the Oath Keepers, was one of several rally speakers who sounded Christian nationalist themes. She ended her remarks with “Jesus is King!”—a declaration reminiscent of the chants of “Christ is King!” that could be heard repeatedly at Fuentes’s America First conference last year.

Gosar gave the QAnon adherents in attendance reason to cheer when he asked, “Do you feel the storm building?” and encouraged rally attendees to keep “building on this storm.” Central to the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory is belief in “the Storm,” a day of reckoning when high-ranking Democratic officials and others would be rounded up and arrested for their alleged crimes.

Other officials and candidates who addressed the crowd included Reps. Andy Biggs and Debbie Lesko, former Trump administration official Richard Grenell, state Sen. Sonny Borrelli, state Senate candidate Anthony Kern, Trump-endorsed secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem, and Trump-endorsed candidate for governor Kari Lake.

Their speeches collectively document the extent to which Trump has corrupted the Republican Party, with speakers repeating Trump’s lies about the election, calling on the state legislature to decertify the 2020 presidential election results, and denouncing Dr. Anthony Fauci (eliciting chants of “Lock him up!”). Biggs denounced the “fascistic Biden regime” and promoted the right-wing lie that the Biden administration is investigating parents simply for showing up at school board meetings.

Also speaking at the Florence event was Arizona’s Trumpist GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward, who claimed that there was cheating back in 2016 but that “we deplorables, we people who love this country, overwhelmed their cheating algorithm, and we’ve got to do it again in 2022, 2024, and beyond.” She said Arizona’s “audit” is still ongoing and that she hopes that “we’re gonna decertify 2020.”

in recognition that Black, Hispanic, and Native Americans are, according to CDC data cited by the New York Times, “about twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than white Americans,” the guidelines suggest that in prioritizing care for people with COVID-19, race should be considered one risk factor along with other factors like age, diabetes, and heart disease.

It is not clear that anyone in Trump’s Republican Party—which has made a bogeyman out of critical race theory and stokes white grievance as a power-building strategy—takes issue with the former president lying about white people being “denigrated” and denied access to COVID-19 care. That false claim was apparently in response to media reports about a December memo from the New York Department of Health. In recognition of the fact that Black, Hispanic, and Native Americans are, according to CDC data cited by the New York Times, about twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as white Americans, the department’s guidelines suggest that in prioritizing care for people with COVID-19, race should be considered one risk factor along with other factors like age, diabetes, and heart disease. The guidelines do not disqualify white patients from receiving any treatments.

Some right-wing media responded to the guidelines with characteristic truthfulness and nuance; for example, writer Karol Markowicz tweeted, “white people need not apply.”

 

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished by permission.

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‘Sinema Is Hurting All Democrats’: Former Top Democratic Aide Reveals Dems Could Lose Senate Over Her Filibuster Failure

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A well-known former top Democratic aide is warning that U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema‘s refusal to support changes to the filibuster could help hand control of the Senate to Republicans in the November election.

Adam Jentleson, who served as Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Deputy Chief of Staff and is an expert on the Senate, says the Arizona Democrat is “hurting all Democrats.”

He points to this tweet from CNN’s Manu Raju: “GOP planning to use Sinema against Mark Kelly.” Kelly is the freshman Democratic Senator, also from Arizona who serves with Sinema. His seat is a prime target for Republicans.

Raju quotes a top Republican, Sen. John Cornyn, who says: “I think there’s going to be a big contrast in Arizona where one senator said not withstanding her support for the legislation she believes it’s important … to have bipartisanship and one senator that doesn’t.”

Sinema and Cornyn in June (photo above) toured U.S. Customs and Border Protection migrant facilities in her home state of Arizona, as she held a press conference praising the filibuster.

Jentleson, who literally wrote the book on the filibuster, explains:

Up to nine Democratic groups and PACs, NARAL being the latest, have indicated they will pull support and funding from Sen. Sinema if she refuses to support necessary changes to the Jim Crow era filibuster.

 

 

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Utah’s Top GOP Lawmaker Tested Positive for COVID Twice Just Hours Before ‘Conducting Business as Normal’ – With No Mask

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Utah’s hydroxychloroquine-pushing right wing Republican Senate President opened the chamber’s 2022 session Tuesday by announcing he had just tested positive for COVID – twice. He then “joked,” saying he was actually negative.

But in fact Senator J. Stuart Adams had indeed tested positive for COVID, twice, just hours before heading off to work and “conducting business as normal,” The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Sen. Adams had been symptomatic last Wednesday and tested positive the following day.

Senate deputy chief of staff Aundrea Peterson falsely “said the senator has followed the CDC guidelines, has not had a fever since Saturday, and his symptoms had subsided.”

CDC guidelines make clear anyone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19 should isolate for five days or, if symptoms are declining, they must wear a mask around others.

“Adams was maskless when he opened the session Tuesday, including when he greeted Elder Gerrit W. Gong, one of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who offered an opening prayer,” the Tribune notes. “Adams wore a mask when he met with news media later in the day but was unmasked again when the Senate resumed business in the afternoon.”

Mother Jones reported that in April of 2020 Utah’s “legislature met in special session and set aside $6 million for the state to purchase and stockpile medications. Turns out a suburban pharmacist with connections to Senate President Stuart Adams had stockpiled hundreds of thousands of doses of hydroxychloroquine and zinc, the scientifically questionable treatment championed by President Trump.”

As it turns out, “the state had already purchased $800,000 worth of the drug from this pharmacy, Meds in Motion, at vastly inflated prices.”

Laster on Tuesday, the Senate voted to void local mask mandates.

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