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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Republicans Push New $25 Billion Bill to Fund Trump’s Wall – by Tightening Access to Programs Like Food Stamps

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Four Republican Senators, including Ted Cruz of Texas and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, are introducing the WALL Act, a new bill that would authorize $25 billion to fully-fund President Trump’s border wall. There are no direct offsets – known as “PAYGO” – in the legislation to pay for a wall many consider both unnecessary and racist. But the bill would attempt to squeeze $25 billion from  immigrant and low-income parents and workers, including those who receive federal benefits like food stamps.

Instead of taking the funds directly from elsewhere in the federal budget, according to a statement from Senator Cruz, the wall would be funded by tightening requirements of government programs for low-income workers. Among them, the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Other federal programs, like food stamps, would require recipients to prove citizenship.

Those who cannot prove they meet the new standards, namely, that they are U.S. citizens or legally permitted to receive benefits, would be kicked out of the programs. Others who are eligible but fearful of the new regulations may also neglect to collect them. And some may not learn they need to produce proof.

Cruz says additional funding would come by increasing “the minimum fines on illegal border crossers” and establishing a “minimum penalty for visa overstays.”

Senator Cruz provided no proof these federal welfare programs are being abused by non-citizens or ineligible workers, or that increasing fines would net $25 billion.

“Currently only the child needs a SSN, not the parent benefiting from the refundable child tax credit. The WALL Act would require the parent to have a valid work-eligible social security number,” Cruz says. “Before 2003, the Social Security Agency did not distinguish between work-eligible and non-work eligible SSNs. Therefore, there are individuals benefiting from the EITC they are not authorized to receive because they are non-work eligible.”

Cruz’s bill could prevent legal child citizens from being able to access government programs like food stamps.

HuffPost reports the claim that undocumented immigrants are “are stealing benefits from Americans” is “divorced from reality.”

But legal immigrants who are eligible for programs like food stamps are refusing to sign up, for fear they will be deported. That means some children are not getting the food they need. The WALL Act feeds those fears, not the children who need help the most.

“I have long called for building a wall as a necessary step in defending our border and stopping the flow of illegal immigration into our country,” Cruz says in his statement. “The overwhelming majority of Texans and Americans want to see the border secured.”

But polling makes clear the majority of Americans do not want a border wall.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement announcing the WALL Act, Senator Inhofe took the opportunity to advocate for his bill, the Asylum Abuse Reduction Act. Sen. Inhofe’s statement is riddled with falsehoods.

“Currently, migrants who cross the border illegally and declare asylum are released pending credible fear screenings and other legal procedures, but rarely show up for proceedings – never completing the asylum process,” he claims.

Inhofe also claims, “most migrants don’t show up for their court date.”

Both claims are 100% false.

According to PunditFact, a fact-checking offshoot of PolitiFact, an Obama-era program for asylum seekers that President Trump has since killed, boasted a 100% attendance record at court hearings. It also had a 99% show rate of check-ins and appointments with ICE.

“Around 60-75 percent of non-detained migrants have attended their immigration court proceedings, according to Justice Department data from the last five available years,” PunditFact reports, expanding their review to all migrants. “Some limited data suggests rates may be higher for asylum-seekers.”

Inhofe’s bill would also turn local police departments and court systems into arms of ICE, forcing them to issue “a criminal bench warrant for immigrants that have failed to appear for immigration court.”

Legally, that’s at best problematic, and possibly unconstitutional.

The other two GOP Senators introducing the bill are Mike Rounds of South Dakota and John Kennedy of Louisiana.

President Trump for over a year promised voters Mexico would pay for the wall. He then said it would be paid for by some sort of tariff system, and ultimately insisted U.S. taxpayers fund it so he could keep his campaign promise.

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Groveling Before White Supremacists’: GOP Senate Candidate Slammed for ‘Going Fully Anti-Semitic’

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A Republican candidate for the seat currently held by retiring U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) was both criticized for antisemitism and mocked for accidentally yet accurately linking extremism with conservatism on Monday.

Venture capitalist J.D. Vance, whose former boss, billionaire PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel has invested $10 million in a PAC supporting him, posted the strange tweet attacking the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL is a civil rights organization dedicated to “monitoring, tracking and responding to antisemitism in the United States.” Vance is the author of “Hillbilly Elegy.”

He retweeted this post from disclose.tv and called the ADL “a joke of an organization that just goes after conservatives.”

Some slammed Vance’s tweet as antisemitic:

Others just mocked him for accidentally speaking the truth about “extremist and hate movements.”

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Evil in the World’: Anti-Mask Lawmaker Pushes Conspiracy Theory in Claim He and His Wife Have COVID – Again

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U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) announced on Sunday he, his wife, and son all have contracted the coronavirus and tested positive for COVID-19. This is the second time he and his wife, Higgins claims, have had COVID. Like about half of the House GOP caucus, Higgins refuses to reveal his vaccination status.

“I have COVID, Becca has COVID, my son has COVID,” Higgins declared in a Facebook post Sunday. “Becca” is Higgins’ fourth wife.

“I keep my family’s private business very quiet, because of the evil in the world, yet we are uplifted by the love of God’s children, and quiet privacy does not mean secrecy, so, here’s the update,” Higgins wrote.

“Becca and I had COVID before, early on, in January 2020, before the world really knew what it was. So, this is our second experience with the CCP biological attack weaponized virus,” he said, baselessly, promoting a right wing conspiracy theory, “and this episode is far more challenging. It has required all of my devoted energy.”

Higgins may be best known for for shooting a selfie political video inside the Auschwitz gas chamber.

In May Higgins and other Republicans announced they would no longer wear a mask while in the House, because, as one said, “We’re just tired of it.”

In March Higgins – who once appeared to have threatened a retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice – railed against gun control legislation because, he said, murder is in the Bible.

And last year Higgins threatened to shoot Black armed protestors.

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Marjorie Taylor Greene Says Impeach Biden, Fire Fauci and Expel Waters in Red-Meat Alabama Speech

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke Friday night to the Alabama Federation of Republican Women, an event for which the media had been told to leave after a press availability beforehand.

But the conservative Alabama website www.yellowhammer.com managed to be in position to report on Greene’s remarks. It happily described the event as one that “went off with no disruptions and instead, spells of raucous applause from the attendees.”

The reporting did offer a glimpse into what Greene says behind closed doors when tossing out the rarest of the red meat. Here’s how that went:

“Greene kicked off her speech by reiterating three of her ‘favorite things’ she often says while speaking before crowds,” Yellowhammer reports.

“That’s like three of my favorite things: impeach Joe Biden, expel Maxine Waters — we’ve got to take out the trash in Washington, D.C. — and fire Dr. Anthony Fauci,” she said to applause.

“I’m not going to apologize for saying what I’m about to say, but I’m a big fan of President Donald J. Trump,” she continued. “That’s how I always test my crowd. Then I’m going to tell you something else: I believe Trump won the election.”

The website added, “Greene spoke for an hour and hit some highlights of her first seven months in the U.S. House of Representatives, including her interactions with U.S. Reps. Marie Newman (D-IL), Cori Bush (D-MO) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

What she had to say about those three was left to the imagination. But Yellowhammer did report that Greene reiterated her comments from earlier in July distancing herself from fellow wacko Mike Lindell’s claims that Donald Trump would be reinstalled as president in August.

That’s not news: Greene pushed back against Lindell publicly earlier in July. But unbiased observers would have been choking on their fried green tomatoes listening to Greene impersonating a sober voice of reason in Alabama:

“I will tell you this: Sometimes you hear people saying crazy things like, ‘President Trump is going to be back in the White House in August,'” she said. “That is not going to happen. Please don’t believe anyone who is telling you those kinds of things. I get so frustrated with that. There are three members of Congress sitting right here that will tell you that’s not going to happen. The process for putting President Trump back in the White House — it’s not there.”

“We don’t have a constitutional process for that,” Greene continued. “So, I don’t want anyone to get their hopes up over something that is not going to happen. What we’ve got to do is reveal the fraud that took place in the 2020 election — reveal it, then hold people accountable that made it take place, make sure we have good election laws, get rid of this crazy absentee ballot voting, make sure our machines are OK. Then we win in 2022 and 2024.”

Somehow, hearing Greene use the phrase “crazy things” when discussing someone else’s conspiracy theories is a bit much. She gets “so frustrated” with people becoming misinformed by this one? Really?

Greene is just a few short years away from spreading the grossest of QAnon craziness, from 911 denial to Pizzagate to Frazzledrip to Jewish space lasers and more. She was not some QAnon apologist: She was full Q.

Here’s how that was recaptured in a Business Insider analysis laying out the litany of Greene’s wildness:

“Greene said “Q” is “someone that very much loves his country, and he’s on the same page as us, and he is very pro-Trump.” And she said, “There’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles out, and I think we have the president to do it.”

That was four years ago, not four decades. Within a year came Greene’s unspeakably cruel deceits claiming that mass shootings at Parkland, Sandy Hook and Las Vegas were “false flag” events staged to promote gun control.

As Business Insider noted, “A recently resurfaced video from earlier that year shows Greene accosting David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, who was 17 at the time, in Washington, DC. Hogg was in town to advocate for gun control at the Capitol. Greene followed the teen down the street, calling him a “coward,” just weeks after the shooting at his high school killed 17 people.”

Now, instead of stalking some poor young survivor on the streets outside the nation’s Capitol, Greene works in the building. In another time, Greene was the sort of individual who might have been housed in an institution for troubled souls.

In 2021, tragically, that’s the Republican caucus in Congress.

 

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