Senator Marco Rubio may be setting up to run for president in 2020. The Florida Republican has just snagged a huge name in conservative politics to become his chief of staff. Michael Needham, 36, is the CEO of a powerful anti-gay Koch Brothers-funded ultra-conservative activist organization, Heritage Action, the lobbying arm of the right-wing think tank Heritage Foundation.
The New York Times calls Needham “a leading practitioner of the uncompromising, scorched-earth style of political combat.”
Heritage Action has posted dozens of tweets advocating against LGBT and especially transgender people.
Obama’s preparing to veto the bill that sets budgets for our nation’s fighting forces to get his radical LGBT agenda https://t.co/svlY77Lwne
— Heritage Action (@Heritage_Action) October 28, 2016
Transgender ideology in society today is hurting children & undermining scientific research, these doctors say: https://t.co/L3UMrDeXvf
— Heritage Action (@Heritage_Action) November 3, 2017
Pointing out that a transgender service member becomes nondeployable after surgery doesn’t make you a bigot https://t.co/9qeNvliE3s
— Heritage Action (@Heritage_Action) August 8, 2017
“The move is certain to raise questions about whether Mr. Rubio, whose hopes of becoming president in 2016 were dashed by Mr. Trump, may be positioning himself for another run,” The New York Times reports. “And it underscores how unsettled the conservative movement remains nearly two years after Mr. Trump won the Republican presidential nomination and became the party’s improbable leader.”
Needham was a leader of the charge to repeal ObamaCare, and in 2013 the federal government shutdown.
Heritage Action’s parent organization, the Heritage Foundation, has steadfastly attacked the LGBT community and worked to oppose same-sex marriage and rights for transgender people. Heritage senior research fellow Ryan T. Anderson is a leading anti-LGBT activist.
Heritage Action has also worked to destroy ObamaCare, food stamps, and immigration reform.
And it has worked hard to push the pro-discrimination First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), a federal “religious liberty” bill that would carve out special rights for people who oppose same-sex marriage.
“It is imperative that we protect religious liberty for all Americans by passing the First Amendment Defense Act,” Needham said in 2016.
If Marco Rubio is exploring a 2020 presidential run, hiring Needham will definitely move him further to the right.
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Listen: GOP Candidate for Congress Says Garland Should ‘Probably’ Be ‘Executed’ – Later Claims He Was Just Being ‘Facetious’
New York Republican Carl Paladino, running for a U.S. House seat, said Attorney General Merrick Garland should probably be “executed” in a radio interview this past weekend, and later when pressed backtracked, claiming he was just being “facetious,” as The Buffalo News first reported.
“So we have a couple of unelected people who are running our government with an administration of people like Garland,” Paladino said in an attack on President Joe Biden in a Saturday interview with the far-right wing Breitbart media site.
Garland “should be not only impeached he should probably, should be executed, the guy is just lost,” Paladino said.
Paladino called Garland, a former U.S. Supreme Court nominee and former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a “lost soul” who is “trying to get an image and his image, his methodology is just terrible.”
“To raid the home of a former president is just, people are scratching their heads and they’re saying, ‘What is wrong with this guy?’ ”
Later in the interview Breitbart Radio host Matthew Boyle asked Paladino, “Carl, what you just said about Garland, you said you think ‘he should be impeached and probably executed.’ Can you explain that? What do you mean by that?”
“I’m just being facetious,” Paladino replied. “The man should be removed from office. He’s shows his incompetence. He wants to get his face in front of the people. And in short, he’s got some mettle to him, but his choice of issues and his choice of methodology is is is very sad. And then he wants to take full blame for it, you know he’ll he’ll stand there.”
Paladino, who is strongly endorsed by U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the Chair of the House Republican Conference, has a long history of controversial remarks and actions.
Just last month the New York Post reported he “has a convicted sex offender on his company payroll who also now works as ‘assistant treasurer’ of his campaign.”
“Joel Sartori was controller of Ellicott Development when he was busted in 2013 for accessing child porn on a company computer,” The Post adds. “Sartori was convicted of two felonies — possessing and promoting kiddie porn — and sentenced to 10 years’ probation in 2017, court records show.”
As CNN has reported, Paladino has called Black people “dumb and hungry,” claimed they are “conditioned” to only vote for Democrats, while insisting he’s not “a racist.” He also said a woman who had accused Donald Trump of sexual assault “probably enjoyed” it.
Stefanik, the third most powerful House Republican, on June 3 praised Paladino as an “inspirational” leader, a “doer,” and “the kind of leader we need today.” That endorsement came just days before it was revealed Paladino in 2021 had called Adolf Hitler “inspirational,” and “the kind of leader we need today” (audio.)
Stefanik later doubled down on her endorsement despite Paladino’s praise for Hitler, a genocidal fascist responsible for the murders of approximately 17 million people.
As CNN also reported, in 2016, “Paladino had said he would like to see Michelle Obama ‘return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla,’ and that he hoped Barack Obama would die of Mad Cow Disease after having sex with a cow.”
Listen to Paladino’s remarks about Attorney General Garland below or at this link:
Image: Screenshot via Facebook
Watch: Republican Wrongly Tells Constituents ‘Of Course’ Inflation Is 40% in Ad Shopping, Complaining About Prices
A sitting U.S. Congresswoman who may have violated a federal conflict of interest law by incorrectly reporting receipt of $500,000 in stocks took a page out of Dr. Oz’s playbook Wednesday, cutting an ad showing her shopping – not for crudité, but for back-to-school supplies as she complains about prices while falsely claiming U.S. inflation is 40%.
Rep. María Elvira Salazar, Republican of Florida, who voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, recorded the ad (below) in Spanish with English subtitles inside a Target and posted it to her personal Twitter account.
In it she falsely states the rate of inflation. Current U.S. inflation is 8.5% annually. For the month of July it was at zero percent, which caused the annual rate to drop from 9.1% in June to 8.5%.
Many other countries have much higher inflation. The UK’s annual rate just jumped to 10.1%, a quarter of what she claimed the U.S. inflation rate is. Inflation is highest in Venezuela at 1198%. Sudan is at 340%. Argentina is at 51.2%, and Turkey is at 36.1%.
Congresswoman Salazar voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, as did every House and Senate Republican. Defensively, after she posted her video, on Twitter she wrote: “Let me be clear: the Inflation Reduction Act will do NOTHING to reduce inflation. Instead, it’s going to raise your taxes, send American jobs overseas, and weaponize the IRS to come for your hard-earned dollars.” All of which is false for the vast majority of Americans.
In a press release targeting Rep. Salazar the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced the House passed “the Inflation Reduction Act, broadly popular legislation that will lower the cost of prescription drugs, health insurance, and everyday energy costs — all while reducing the deficit and carbon emissions, by making the wealthiest corporations finally pay their fair share.”
According to reported Insider, Salazar “appears to have violated a federal conflicts-of-interest law by improperly disclosing a 6-figure stock trade.”
“On June 10, Salazar disclosed in a congressional financial filing that, on February 14, she had received up to $500,000 worth of publicly traded stock in Cano Health Inc., a company that provides health care services for seniors.”
Watch Rep. Salazar’s video below or at this link:
Hoy es el primer día de clases en Miami-Dade y los precios de los útiles escolares están por las nubes. El aumento de la inflación en Miami es el resultado directo de las malas decisiones tomadas en Washington… ¡Los padres no pueden pagar esto!
— María Elvira Salazar 🇺🇸 (@MaElviraSalazar) August 17, 2022
‘Arsonist’ Trump Criticized for Ratcheting Up Anger in Fox News Interview as He Claims He ‘Will Do Whatever’ to Help
Donald Trump and Fox News are both being criticized for a Monday interview in which the right wing media outlet quotes the former president repeatedly ratcheting up the anger in his base over the FBI’s lawful execution of a search warrant while claiming he will do whatever he can to help the country.
“Interesting … stenographic choices in the morning’s lead story,” notes Wayne State journalism professor Fred Vultee, pointing out Fox News’ uncritical copying of whatever the former President told them despite appearing to be under criminal investigation for possible violations of the Espionage Act and other federal laws. Vultee, who teaches news editing, political communication, and content analysis, according to his bio, also notes Fox News incorrectly spelled dangerous as “dangrous.”
— Fred Vultee (@fredvultee) August 15, 2022
Media Matters’ Matthew Gertz described it as: “Arsonist tells accomplice that the fire has gotten out of hand.”
Attorney and former Republican Ron Filipkowski made a similar observation: “Arsonist Offers To Help Put Out Fire.”
In its “exclusive” article Fox News writes, “Former President Trump said he ‘will do whatever’ he can ‘to help the country,’ after the FBI’s raid of his Mar-a-Lago home last week, telling Fox News Digital that the ‘temperature has to be brought down,’ while stressing that the American people are ‘not going to stand for another scam.'”
Rather than trying to bring the temperature of his supporters down, Trump appeared to stoke the fire.
“The country is in a very dangerous position. There is tremendous anger, like I’ve never seen before, over all of the scams, and this new one—years of scams and witch hunts, and now this,” Trump told Fox News. “There has never been a time like this where law enforcement has been used to break into the house of a former president of the United States, and there is tremendous anger in the country—at a level that has never been seen before, other than during very perilous times.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Trump continued. “It is a very dangerous time for our country.”
Visiting Georgetown University professor Thomas Zimmer observes: “Unity; avoiding tensions; lowering the temperature – It all sounds fine in a vacuum. But in the concrete context of the current political conflict, it all basically means the same thing: Impunity for Trump, surrendering to the Right; sacrificing democracy and the rule of law.
Fox News also reports “Trump said he had his representatives reach out to the Justice Department to offer to help amid outrage over the FBI’s unprecedented raid on his private residence last week,” and he “told Fox News that his team ‘has not heard yet’ from the Justice Department on whether they will accept his offer for help.”
“People are so angry at what is taking place,” Trump added. “Whatever we can do to help—because the temperature has to be brought down in the country. If it isn’t, terrible things are going to happen.”
Trump re-upped the claim that the FBI could have planted evidence, even after falsely declaring all documents were legally declassified.
“They could take anything they want, and put anything they want in,” Trump said, adding, baselessly, they “could have planted anything they wanted.”
Fox News did not appear to offer any clarification or push back against anything Trump said. It also offered no balance, including any quotes from legal experts or political experts, nor did the Fox News article offer any reaction from the left, where there too is tremendous anger over Trump allegedly taking and refusing to return 35 cartons of materials from the White House, including highly classified documents, according to the federal warrant and news reports.
The Fox News article ends by saying, “sources close to Trump told Fox News that the former president will soon be making an announcement about a potential presidential run in 2024.”
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