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18 and Counting: United Just Severed Ties With the NRA

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NRA Becomes Toxic

Add United Airlines to the list of companies that are severing partnerships with the NRA. Earlier Saturday morning Delta Airlines also cut ties to the gun group.

The NRA is facing a massive backlash unlike ever before, after 17 people were shot to death last week in a tragic high school massacre. Student survivors and activists and celebrities and many other Americans have been urging companies that partner with the NRA to stop their support of the gun lobby.

ThinkProgress has been one of the organizations leading the charge by identifying companies that have developed partnerships with the gun lobby. A story it published Tuesday has led to the now 18 companies, including United and Delta, who are finding the NRA is toxic.

RELATED: Delta Just Became the Latest Company to Join the Flight From Toxic NRA

Among them are these:

Alamo
Avis
Budget
Chubb
Delta
Enterprise
FNB Omaha
Hertz
LifeLock
MetLife
National
Norton
SimpliSafe
Teladoc
TrueCar
United

Image by InSapphoWeTrust via Flickr and a CC license

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News

Santos Denies Sexually Assaulting Prospective Staffer Working in His Office – Calls Allegations ‘Comical’

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U.S. Rep. George Santos is denying an allegation he sexually assaulted a prospective staffer he had offered a $50,000 a year job to who was on his second day of work in the embattled and disgraced New York Republican’s Capitol Hill office.

“It’s comical,” Congressman Santos, often referred to as a “serial liar,told CNN’s Kit Maher.

“Of course, I deny that claim,” he insisted.

The staffer, working as a volunteer because, he says, the Santos office was waiting for the congressional payroll department to complete his paperwork, filed an official complaint with the House Ethics Office and, he says, the Capitol Police.

In that two-page letter of complaint to the Ethics Committee dated Friday requesting an investigation, Derek Myers alleges Rep. Santos invited him to a karaoke club on his second day of work, then “proceeded to take his hand and move it down my leg into my inner-thigh and proceeded to touch my groin.”

READ MORE: ‘Whatever Side Bet on Stupid Won Big’: Steve Schmidt Scorches Marco Rubio for ‘Kernels of Imbecility’ on Balloongate

Myers, a former Ohio journalist who also secretly recorded at least one of his other conversations with Santos, alleges the congressman told him: “My husband is out of town tonight if you want to come over,” and told him where he lived.

“The Congressman earlier in the day had asked me if I had a Grindr profile, which is widely-known as an LGBTQ+ social networking app, more commonly used for sexual intercourse,” Myers says in his letter. “The Congressman shared with me that he, himself had a profile.”

Santos called him “buddy,” and “insisted I sit next to him on a small sofa,” he also alleges.

MSNBC columnist Marisa Kabas, pointing to Santos’ characterization of the allegations, says, “however you feel about the veracity of these particular claims, calling them ‘comical’ is quite the choice.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Whatever Side Bet on Stupid Won Big’: Steve Schmidt Scorches Marco Rubio for ‘Kernels of Imbecility’ on Balloongate

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The Chinese spy balloon traversing the United States last week with its intelligence-gathering systems disabled by the Pentagon until it was shot down over the ocean a few days later on orders of the Commander-in -Chief brought out the worst in Republicans, especially U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who serves as the Vice Chair of the Intelligence Committee, says political strategist and Lincoln Project founder Steve Schmidt.

Rubio toured the Sunday shows yesterday, using the balloon to try to paint President Biden as weak over a balloon that multiple reports say posed no threat to the U.S.

Schmidt attacked Rubio’s “silliness and vapidity,” lamenting that, “a serious matter has been taken and twisted into kernels of imbecility by an American politician who routinely lies, dissembles and accuses his opponents of being enemies, while treating adversaries with delusion and disregard.”

READ MORE: ‘Volunteer’ Santos Congressional Staffer Alleges Sexual Harassment: ‘Proceeded to Touch My Groin’

“Marco Rubio believes the balloon was a deliberate provocation aimed at showing the world that America is a decaying superpower that will never meet its treaty obligations and defend Taiwan, Japan, Korea or the Philippines. The proof of this is the helplessness of America as the balloon floated overhead. Rubio’s position seems to be rooted in pretending the balloon wasn’t actually shot down — which of course it was,” Schmidt said in his Substack newsletter, pointing to the Florida Senators appearance on ABC News Sunday morning.

Sen. Rubio also went on CNN, claiming that President Biden should have gone in national television to address the American people to talk about the balloon – which posed no threat to the U.S., especially after the Pentagon minimized its surveillance capabilities.

“I don’t understand why he wouldn’t do that, and that is the beginning of dereliction of duty,” Rubio claimed.

Rubio was part of the GOP attack on President Joe Biden over the balloon, which was not the first balloon to spy on the United States – several did during the Trump years, but that administration either kept it quiet or was unaware, The Washington Post reports.

READ MORE: Ethics Complaint Against Sinema Urges Investigation Into Staffers’ Duties and Her Possible ‘Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars’

“Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) told CBS, ‘I think this entire episode telegraphed weakness to [President] Xi [Jinping] and the Chinese government,'” The Post noted.

On Saturday U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) unleashed a series of rapid-fire tweets, making remrks like, “Was Biden concerned with upsetting his friends and Hunter’s business partners over in China when assessing the Chinese spy balloon?” and, “Almost 48 hours after public discovery, the Chinese spying balloon has been shot down. It makes you wonder, would Biden’s Department of Defense have shot it down if the American people hadn’t found out?”

Observing Rubio had many topics to choose from on Sunday, Schmidt noted he “could have talked about the staggering Chinese naval arms race that has created a fleet with more warships than the US Navy, though with a fleet far less capable. He could have talked about the vulnerability of a US fleet carrier to a precision hypersonic missile, and questioned whether the age of the carrier might be ending, given its enormous capacity for staggering casualties. He could have talked about the Chinese submarine program, or they’re out of control espionage activities in the United States.”

“Rubio chose to do none of those things. Instead, he chose to fearmonger over a balloon.”

Schmidt continued.

“Maybe the ‘decline’ Rubio is talking about is evidenced by Rubio talking. Maybe the ‘decline’ that the Chinese were watching was America’s political and media ‘decline.’ Maybe they wanted to see the stupidity play out second by second like an MRI scanning a body injected with contrast dye. Maybe they wanted to settle a debate between two factions of American observers and predictors who disagreed on how we would respond. One thing is for sure: whatever side bet on stupid, won big.”

“The silliness and vapidity of Marco Rubio and his colleagues were certainly exposed by the balloon. They absolutely demonstrated a lack of capacity to measure up in a real crisis. They also demanded a response that will give the Chinese a chance to reciprocate the favor. That happened in 2001, in the months before 9/11. Like now, the event was regarded as a distraction, but was it?”

Watch the video above or at this link.

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Morning Joe Reminds Viewers of the Last Time the Koch Network ‘Stopped the Craziness’ in GOP Primaries

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The powerful Koch network is taking a stand against Donald Trump heading into the 2024 election cycle, and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough examined the historical parallel to the Tea Party insurgency a decade ago.

A memo released by Americans for Prosperity shows the conservative heavyweights will oppose the former president’s GOP primary bid after a lackluster showing by Republicans in the 2022 midterms, and the “Morning Joe” host said that reminded him of the Koch brothers taking on the right-wing Tea Party movement.

“The fact the Koch network, so powerful in the Republican Party, is saying, ‘Hey, we don’t usually get involved in primaries but we’re getting involved now,'” Scarborough said. “It reminds me so much of 2014. I don’t know if you remember 2010, Tea Partiers had a massive time, 2012, more Tea Party type candidates were getting nominated, and Republicans started losing races they should never have lost statewide. In 2014, the Koch network, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, other sort of mainstream Republican outfits said, ‘Enough.’ They started getting involved in early primaries. I remember an Alabama one being a special election very early on where they said, ‘We are going in and stopping this craziness and madness.’ That’s what they did.”

READ MORE: GOP faces ‘potentially catastrophic problem’ if Trump loses nomination: conservative

“Looks like that’s what the Koch brothers or the Koch network is looking to do now,” Scarborough added. “It’s one thing when politicians say Donald Trump shouldn’t run again. Explain how powerful and how important the Koch donor network is to the Republican Party in deciding who is going to be the next nominee.”

Watch the video below or at this link.

 

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