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‘People’s Convoy’ Failed to Disrupt DC’s Roads but Very Successful at Meeting With Far-Right MAGA Congress Members



The convoy of anti-vaccine-mandate, pro-Trump, and QAnon-conspiracy activists was determined to disrupt Washington, D.C., by circling the Beltway, the 64 miles of highway that’s generally a hellscape for commuters. Organizers of the “People’s Convoy” modeled their efforts after the trucker convoy in Canada that took over downtown Ottawa and shut down the bridge connecting Ontario to Michigan, disrupting trade and business in both countries. U.S. organizers demanded an end to vaccine and mask mandates and an end to the national emergency around COVID-19 that was declared under former President Donald Trump and extended under President Joe Biden.

On Monday, the truck convoy entered the Beltway with instructions to take up two lanes of traffic. By 2 p.m., the convoy was “struggling to occupy one lane of traffic let alone two,” The Daily Beast’s Zachary Petrizzo reported. Regular traffic separated convoy vehicles as it had on Sunday. With diesel hitting $4.75 this week, driving their gas-guzzlers slowly around the Beltway seemed like an expensive effort in futility, especially since D.C. had lifted its mask and vaccine mandate and the Biden administration and Congress had lifted their mask mandates.

Despite failing to disrupt Washington’s roads, members of the convoy were rewarded Tuesday with meetings with Republican members of Congress.

People’s Convoy co-organizer Brain Base and a representative from the American Foundation for Civil Liberties and Freedom, which has partnered with the People’s Convoy, met with Sens. Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson. Brase stated the convoy’s demands to “end the state of emergency, end the vaccine mandates” and to hold “our elected and unelected officials accountable for their actions that led to this,” according to Sara Aniano, a researcher of far-right rhetoric who has been following the convoy. The conversation also swung into QAnon rhetoric.

“This really is a spiritual war, and we’ve awakened a lot of people across the country,” the AFCLF representative told Cruz and Johnson. “We have a pendulum that’s swinging from ‘woke’ to ‘the great awakening’.”

Shortly thereafter, a larger group met with Reps. Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Thomas Massie for a “trucker round table” on Capitol Hill. The truckers and adjacent activists complained about rising gas prices, mask and vaccine mandates, critical race theory, and government tyranny, with one trucker calling on the legislators to simply stop funding the government. When one convoy member from Michigan asked how to prevent stolen elections, Gaetz repeated debunked voter fraud claims about the state.

“Michigan, where they waited, the center in Detroit, to see how the rest of the state voted to figure out how many ballots they needed,” Gaetz said. “You want to be very suspicious of federalizing elections. If we federalize elections, then we have the swamp and the Washington, D.C., Beltway telling you how to count votes in Lansing, Michigan.”

Massie decided to focus on mail-in ballots—which Trump baselessly insists was a source of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election—warning that “they may have to find some excuse to go back to mail-in ballots.”

Greene was in agreement. “The last thing you want is the federal government to be involved in your election,” she said.

Gaetz tried to wrap up the questions, joking that if the group stayed over its allotted time in the room he reserved, they would be accused of “an insurrection.”

“We don’t want to be accused of that,” Greene said. “It’s frowned upon here.”

The meeting with far-right members of Congress and the focus on the Big Lie from a convoy demanding an end to COVID-19-related mandates might be surprising to those just tuning in. But the rhetoric exhibited on rally stages and social media throughout the convoy’s two-week trek across the country and the organizations supporting the convoy have always indicated that this was never just about public health mandates.

A new report from the nonprofit research organization Advance Democracy, Inc., details the ties that three organizations supporting the effort have to the so-called Stop the Steal movement, whose massive rallies to overturn the 2020 presidential election attracted many of the same elements featured in the People’s Convoy.

AFCLF, whose representative met with Cruz and Johnson, has faced scrutiny over its connections to dubious efforts to overturn 2020 election results in Michigan. It claims to have raised more than $1.6 million for the convoy as of Monday, but it’s unclear how that money has been used.

The People’s Convoy also partnered with Freedom Fighter Nation on strategic and logistical planning, Brase, the convoy organizer, said on a Feb. 12 livestream.

“We don’t want to end up on the news for weird money stuff, we’re making sure that accountants and attorneys are handling it personally through They have helped set up a lot of this infrastructure. They are working with us one on one to help guide us,” Brase said.

Freedom Fighter Nation is led by Leigh Dundas, a COVID-19 and election conspiracy theorist who was seen near the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection. The day before the attack, she told Trump supporters at a D.C. rally that they would be “well within our rights to take any alleged American who acted in a turncoat fashion and sold us out and committed treason, we would be well within our rights to take ’em out back and shoot ’em or hang ’em, because that is what we did when they tried to overthrow our government by way of assassinating Abe Lincoln, and it is not too good of an end for the guys who sold out our government on our own soil.” Dundas and Chris Marston of AFCLF say they are working together on the People’s Convoy.

Before the convoy left from California to make its way across the country, it was also supported by The America Project, an organization founded by election conspiracy theorists Mike Flynn and Patrick Byrne. The organization frequently promotes election fraud claims and contributed $3.2 million to fund the 2020 election audit in Maricopa, Arizona. The group was listed as a supporter of the convoy in a Feb. 20 press release, but by Feb. 23—when the convoy began its trip and stated it would not go into D.C. proper to disrupt traffic for fear of a “false flag” operation—Byrne announced The America Project was “stepping away” from the convoy, alleging that it had been “penetrated by the left.”

The convoy—which an estimated 1,000 people committed time and money to join—doesn’t appear to be penetrated by the left in the least bit. At a Sunday night convoy rally in Hagerstown, Maryland, speakers railed against tyranny, stolen elections, and the mainstream media. QAnon conspiracy theorists like Ann Vandersteel, Christian nationalists, members of the Proud Boys hate group, and Trump loyalists who were at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, were all in attendance. Terry Bouton, a historian at University of Maryland Baltimore County who attended the convoy’s Sunday night, likened the rally to a “county fair,” with music, food, and speeches building community and connections among factions of the fringe right-wing.

The convoy continues its Beltway circling this week. It has yet to be as successful as its Canadian counterpart in bringing gridlock to the nation’s capital, but it has served a purpose for far-right organizers, attracting Republican star power and bringing activists from different factions of the movement together under the banner of “freedom.”


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

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‘Why So Much Hate From You?’: Mark Cuban Smacks Down Stephen Miller, Twice



A far-right wing pundit’s decision to go after a 29-year old woman’s TikTok video about her plans for a relaxing Saturday during a holiday weekend sparked a firestorm between billionaire businessman and TV personality Mark Cuban and former Trump White House aide Stephen Miller, with the woman revealing later some of the hate she received after being made a target.

It all started when “Theocratic fascist” Matt Walsh, as he calls himself, reposted a TikTok video on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter,  from a woman who says she’s “29 and single, and I don’t have kids yet.” The woman, identified by Mediaite as Julia Mazur, told her followers she slept in Saturday morning, woke up with a hangover and didn’t get up until 10:15 AM, after going to a Beyoncé concert the night before.

Mazur described her upcoming day, saying she enjoys not having plans, kids, a husband, or errands, and loves going wherever the day takes her. She was looking forward to watching some streaming shows on Netflix and Hulu, and possibly learning how to make shakshuka.

“I wouldn’t want to do anything else this Saturday,” she said happily.

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Walsh responded to Mazur’s casual celebration of a joyous weekend by saying, “Her life doesn’t revolve around her family and kids so instead it revolves around TV shows and pop stars. Worst of all she’s too stupid to realize how depressing this is.”

“If you don’t have a family at least do something interesting with your time,” Walsh continued. “These people have absurd amounts of free time and they do absolutely nothing with it. Wasting their lives staring at little glowing boxes. Absolutely soul crushing.”

Cuban stepped in, snarking on Walsh: “Says the guy who’s life revolves around Twitter/X.”

“How do you know she isnt trying to make it her job ? She has really good engagement and increasing numbers,” Cuban added.

That’s when Miller jumped in.

“You have a large following,” Miller, the architect of the Trump administration’s family separation policy, began. “People listen to your advice. What would you say is a more fulfilling path for adults: starting a family, or sleeping late and watching TV? What advice would you give to someone who suggests they wish to be childless so they can stream more shows?”

“Thanks for asking Stephen,” Cuban said in his lengthy response, which included him saying Mazur having a family or not is “none of my fucking business.”

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He also asked Miller, “what happened that causes you to hate so much. Seriously Stephen. Why so much hate from you?”:

“1. I wouldn’t give her advice unless she asked. 2. After looking at the comments to her posts, I would thank her for offering a place for people who can relate to her, to engage and have a conversation. She replies to the comments and based on that, people seem to appreciate it 3. From a business perspective, I would tell her that the Wellness Space is crowded but if she does this in addition to her job, she might be able to build a nice business. 4. As far as a family. I would tell her to do whatever she thinks is best for her. It’s none of my fucking business 5. If I had you both in a room , I would point at her and thank her for trying to bring joy to others and I would point at you and ask what happened that causes you to hate so much. Seriously Stephen. Why so much hate from you?”

The exchange didn’t end there.

“In the interests of time I will respond with two points,” Miller replied. “1. No society can succeed where the constant message from our elites leaders is do whatever the hell you want and don’t worry about children. Children are simply the most important thing in the whole world and the foundation of civilization and all human flourishing. 2. Could you be more specific with your crass (and, I think you would acknowledge, unprovoked) smear on point 5? The issue/work with which I’m arguably most associated, stopping human smuggling and trafficking, is quite literally about saving human lives.”

Cuban replied, in an even lengthier response that included saying, “What any individual does in terms of having children or not is their choice. Full Stop.”

“Maybe I’m wrong , but if one of those children is born to an illegal immigrant, my understanding is that you do not want to help them and you want to deport them ?” he added, calling that “hateful.”

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Ultimately, Mazur posted another video, detailing some of the hate messages she’s received since Walsh’s initial post.

Walsh’s platform often revolves around attacking the LGBTQ community, including especially transgender girls and women, He has been included in reporting on white Christian nationalism, and “far-right media instigators.” He also recently warned, “whites are trending towards extinction in the United States.”

Mazur said Walsh’s followers told her, “I should actually die and never leave my house. I should be sexually assaulted,” she said, adding she was told, “I’m a whore.”

“These people were really really really riled up about my choices,” she said.

But Mazur concluded, “life’s too short figuring out what Matt Walsh wants us to do.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

Image of Mark Cuban via Shutterstock

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Liberal Fox News Co-Host Destroys Conservatives’ Claims the Right Holds the Majority Opinion on Culture War Issues



Fox News co-host Jessica Tarlov, the lone liberal on the the right-wing cable channel’s very popular afternoon show “The Five,” destroyed her conservative co-hosts’ talking points on a wide variety of culture war issues.

Behind a chyron of “Tyranny of the Minority” – related to remark made by Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy – Tarlov on Wednesday fed facts to the conservatives who tried to claim the majority of Americans oppose the right to choose an abortion, and the majority of Americans do not support transgender people.

“On the trans issue, for instance,” Tarlov offered, “our own Fox polling shows that 57% of Americans think that trans kids and their families being the target of political attacks, as in these anti-trans bills, is a major problem.”

“When you look at the actual numbers of kids that are, for instance, they have gender dysphoria, and they’re getting top surgery. How many kids do you think got top surgery last year?” she asked, not receiving a response from any of her co-hosts.

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“Under 300,” answered Tarlov, who “holds two Master’s degrees in political science and public policy, as well as a Ph.D. in Government from the London School of Economics and Political Science,” according to Variety.

“Then think about an issue that’s really important to Democrats –” she suggested, trying to continue before co-host Greg Gutfeld interjected, asking: “Children?”

“Minors,” she responded, referring to the question of top surgery.

“That’s an atrocity,” Gutfeld declared. “But continue,” he added, laughing.

“But over 5800 kids were victims of gun violence, for instance,” Tarlov pointed out. “I don’t hear Republicans talking about that. Tyranny of the minority –” she again tried to continue before Gutfeld interrupted.

“Oh, what a false comparison,” he snarked.

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“It absolutely isn’t,” responded Tarlov. “It’s a priority on the right to talk about trans issues, a priority on the left to talk about gun violence. Which affects more people?” she asked.

“Abortion is another instance of the tyranny of the minority,” Tarlov continued. “I get it, federalism – you send it back to the states where a group of elected officials have decided, for instance, in like Texas, Louisiana, that women should not be able to get abortions after six weeks. We have women that are bleeding out, going into sepsis. In Louisiana, a woman was forced to carry a baby that had no skull.”

Gutfeld, apparently outraged, screamed, “What does this have to do with this topic?”

“What are you talking about?” she replied. “This is, he says tyranny of the minority.”

“But that had to do with LGBTQ,” Jeanine Pirro interjected, “not with all of your favorite issues.”

“He’s running to be president of the United States of America,” Tarlov argued.

“But that’s not what we’re talking about, we’re talking about –  I asked you specifically about pronouns,” Pirro complained.

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“And I said he was wrong to act as if the GOP is the party of the majority opinion – they are not. They’re taking minority positions and running with them,” Tarlov explained.

An agitated Gutfeld again interjected, “Pro-life isn’t a minority position.”

“It is, actually,” she replied.

“What, are you gonna talk about the fact that it’s like 48%,” Gutfeld, hands raised, again snarked.

“No, I’m going to talk about the 69% – it’s the highest it’s ever been recorded – that now support abortion at least through the first trimester,” she replied. “And what’s happening then in Ohio and Kansas and Kentucky.”

“What’s the Democrat stance on abortion?” Gutfeld asked.

“That it’s between a woman and her doctor to make those decisions,” she said.

“No, what’s the what’s the cut off?” Gutfeld asked. “Is that what you call that tyranny of minority as well?”

Frustrated, Gutfeld added, “I think the logic here is that you’re slicing these issues –”

“Are you talking about, ‘we want to kill live babies’?” Tarlov asked, referring to conservative talking points.

“I didn’t say that,” Gutfeld replied.

“I’m just pointing out that this isn’t actually the right argument, but go ahead,” he offered, before Pirro took over and said, “I’d like to get back to the issue.”

Watch below or at this link.


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‘That’s How Fascists Talk’: Matt Gaetz Slammed for Threat of Violence



According to an expert on authoritarianism, comments made by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Saturday while standing with former president Donald Trump should raise flags as he promised to use “force” to create change in Washington, D.C.

Considering the former president was recently indicted for conspiracy related to the Jan. 6 insurrection that led to lawmakers fleeing for their lives, historian and author Ruth Ben-Ghiat called Gaetz comments alarming.

Speaking before a crowd at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday, Gaetz stated, “Mr. President, I cannot stand these people that are destroying our country. They are opening our borders. They are weaponizing our federal law enforcement against patriotic Americans who love this nation as we should,” before adding, “But we know that only through force do we make any change in a corrupt town like Washington, D.C. And so to all my friends here in Iowa, when you see them come for this man, know that they are coming for our movement and they are coming for all of us.”

Reacting to Gaetz’s proclamations, Ben-Ghiat told MSNBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin, “What he is saying is that they are not going to have change through elections or through legislation or through reform. They are going to have change through violence.”

“And that’s how fascists talk,” she added. “So, even if Trump is out of the picture, these are people who have adopted methods very familiar to me as a historian of fascism, that violence and corruption and lying that’s what the party is today.”

Watch below or at the link:

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