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GOP Watch Keeping an Eye on Republicans for You - Page 11

“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.” ― Theodore Roosevelt Welcome to GOP Watch keeping an eye on Republicans for you. The Republican Party is using lies, hate, fear, alterative facts and whataboutism to stay in power and protect a comprised and corrupt Donald J. Trump, the Republican Party and Putin. The GOP is a danger to America and Americans.

by Richard Galant, CNN

(CNN) "I know nothing." That was the response members of the Order of the Star Spangled Banner were supposed to give when asked about their secret society, which was founded in 1849. The fiercely anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic group evolved into the American Party, but it will be forever remembered by another name. The "Know Nothings" became a powerful political force, commanding the allegiance of more than 100 members of Congress in the 1850s, as Lorraine Boissoneault wrote in Smithsonian Magazine. Last week, a Republican member of Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene, lashed out at Speaker Nancy Pelosi, falsely accusing her of having "gazpacho police spying on members of Congress," apparently mistaking a cold vegetable soup from Spain for the Gestapo, the Nazi regime's secret police. The botched reference was widely mocked on social media, and Greene later made fun of herself, tweeting: "No soup for those who illegally spy on Members of Congress, but they will be thrown in the goulash."

Jazmin Tolliver

Laura Ingraham’s estranged gay brother, Curtis Ingraham, on Tuesday called the Fox News host “a monster” over her support for anti-LGBTQ legislation and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Curtis Ingraham responded to a clip from “The Ingraham Angle” in which his sister criticized schools for teaching students about sexuality and gender identity. “It’s dubbed a queer-inclusive curriculum,” Laura Ingraham said in a segment titled “Doom & Groom.” “Gone are the days when they’re just teaching about human reproduction. Now, by fifth grade, they’re taught about sexual expression.” Curtis Ingraham called out his sister’s supposed concern for children’s well-being in a tweet. “This is rich coming from my Putin-loving sister who seems okay with children being killed in Ukraine,” he wrote. “Looks like she has a new trope in hand to further rile and anger her followers. What a monster!”

Kathryn Joyce

From the first day of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic have been placed in an uneasy position. For more than two decades, right-wing activists and politicians have praised Russia as the unlikely wellspring of renewed traditionalism, as Vladimir Putin intertwined church and state in an effort to bolster Russian nationalism and, more quietly, his aspirations to reconstruct the Soviet empire. When the launch of Putin's war coincided with the first day of the Conservative Political Action conference in late February, a dizzying ideological switchback began. Speakers who had declared just days or hours earlier that they didn't care about the fate of Ukraine were rapidly forced to recalibrate. Fox News' Tucker Carlson, who in 2019 declared he was "root[ing] for Russia" in its conflict with Ukraine, was compelled to recant, at least temporarily. In Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who had celebrated his long and fond relationship with Putin in Moscow just weeks before Russia invaded, issued a tepid condemnation. (Hungary is a member state of both the EU and NATO, though its relationship with both is tense.)

Ellen Mitchell

The Republican chairman of a Virginia electoral board has stepped down after a racially charged Facebook post he made about Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and others came to light last week. David Dietrich, the former chairman of the Electoral Board in Hampton, resigned Saturday — two days after his social media posting was discovered and prompted Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) and other GOP lawmakers to call for his removal. In a post from February 2021, Dietrich targeted Austin and retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré — both Black men — in a post, using the N-word and calling for “a good public lynching.”

WPTV News - FL Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast
Gov. Ron DeSantis reaffirmed a vow to dismantle a minority-controlled congressional district in Florida

Opinion by Austin Sarat and Dennis Aftergut

Last Thursday, hours after the Senate voted to confirm Judge Katanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted: “The game has changed. Remember Amy Coney Barrett. Remember Brett Kavanaugh. I do.” Graham had already gone out of his way to connect his vote to grievances of the past and future threats. More than opposition to a particular judge, Graham’s remarks offered new grounds to worry about the eroding infrastructure of American democracy. Graham bemoaned what he saw as the mistreatment of a Republican  judicial nominee, Janice Rogers Brown, a Black woman who he said was blocked simply because she was a conservative. And, looking to the future he promised retribution: “I want [Democrats] to know right now the process you started to go to a simple majority vote is going to rear its head here pretty soon where we’re in charge.” “If we were in charge,” he said, “she would not have been before this committee.” Do Mitch McConnell and Merrick Garland circa 2016 come to mind?

My body my choice unless you are a woman or a member of the LGBTQ living in a Republican state.

The annual number of anti-LGBTQ bills to have been filed has skyrocketed over the past several years, from 41 in 2018 to 238 in less than three months of this year.
By Matt Lavietes and Elliott Ramos

State lawmakers have proposed a record 238 bills that would limit the rights of LGBTQ Americans this year — or more than three per day — with about half of them targeting transgender people specifically. Nearly 670 anti-LGBTQ bills have been filed since 2018, according to an NBC News analysis of data from the American Civil Liberties Union and LGBTQ advocacy group Freedom for All Americans, with nearly all of the country’s 50 state legislatures all having weighed at least one bill. Throughout that time, the annual number of anti-LGBTQ bills filed has skyrocketed from 41 bills in 2018 to 238 bills in less than three months of 2022. And this year’s historic tally quickly follows what some advocates had labeled the “worst year in recent history for LGBTQ state legislative attacks,” when 191 bills were proposed last year.

Vivian Kane

Copycat versions of Florida’s immensley cruel so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law are starting to pop up in states across the country. Versions of the legislation, which so far we’re seeing in at least Ohio, Louisiana, and Georgia, ban “classroom discussion” and “instruction” of “gender identity and sexual orientation.” Similarly, an Oklahoma Republican recently introduced a bill banning books that discuss, among other things, “gender identity.” All of this is terrifyingly regressive but it also begs the question: What exactly do these Republicans think gender identity is? Because if they truly succeeded in barring these discussions from classrooms, things would get very weird!What they all seem to be missing is the fact that things like “male,” “female,” “boy,” and “girl” are markers of gender identity. Separating boys and girls into teams in P.E. class? That’s instruction about gender identity. Reading a fairytale where a princess falls in love with a prince? That’s sexual orientation, as is literally any book where a character has two parents.

Former Peter Thiel employee Blake Masters is running for Senate in Arizona. He just can’t seem to stop promoting Thiel businesses.
Roger Sollenberger

Arizona Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters has made no secret of his connections to his longtime business partner and biggest political benefactor, billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel. But new reporting shows that Masters can’t seem to quit promoting Thiel businesses on the campaign trail—and that Thiel or Masters can’t seem to stop making questionable in-kind contributions. Masters announced last month that he had left his top positions at two organizations named after Thiel, who has poured more than $10 million of support into the Senate bid. But a Daily Beast review of business, campaign, and tax records reveals that Masters appears still far from severing his shared interests with his mentor. Brendan Fischer, deputy executive director at Documented, told The Daily Beast that the facts demonstrate an inextricable connection.

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

History was made on Thursday in the United States Senate. And neither Lindsey Graham nor Rand Paul could be bothered to be on the floor for it. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to be the next Supreme Court Justice by a 53-47 margin, with three Republicans joining every Democrat in voting for her. That vote paves the way for Jackson to become the first Black woman to hold a seat on the nation's highest court. South Carolina's Graham and Kentucky's Paul voted against Jackson, which was not surprising. But it was the way they did it that's worth calling out. Neither senator was allowed to vote on the Senate floor because they were not wearing ties, as noted by CNN's Ali Zaslav and Ted Barrett. Graham arrived to the vote wearing a quarter-zip and a blazer, even though video from a press conference Graham participated in on Thursday shows that he was wearing a tie earlier in the day. He voted "no" from the Senate cloakroom, which essentially amounts to a members' lounge off of the floor.

Jason Lemon

A Republican official in Virginia is being pushed to resign by the local GOP after a Facebook post was discovered in which he used the N-word and floated the idea of "lynching" Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and other leaders in Washington, D.C. The Republican Party of Hampton, Virginia last week became aware of a February 2021 Facebook post by Hampton Electoral Board Chair David Dietrich. In the post, Dietrich attacked Austin—the first Black Defense Secretary in U.S. history—and other Democratic leaders. The controversy was first reported by local WAVY News 10. Dietrich said in the post that Austin's efforts to root out white nationalists in the military was actually a ploy "to remove conservative, freedom-loving Americans from the roles." He said Austin and other Democratic leaders are "vile and racist," describing them as "stinking" N-words. "If it is a civil war they want, they will get it in spades," he wrote. "Perhaps the best way to pull us back from the brink is a good public lynching."

by: Regina Mobley, Jane Alvarez-Wertz

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – The Chairman of the Hampton GOP has called upon the appointing authority for all electoral board members to remove Electoral Board Chair David Dietrich from his position because of racist comments posted on Facebook. A racist Facebook post believed to be posted by Dietrich came to light last week. “In the post, Mr. Dietrich uses abhorrent and unacceptable racist language that has no place in our Party or our Commonwealth,” stated a news release from the Republican Party of Hampton. The organization’s Facebook Page includes a screenshot of a disturbing post attributed to Dietrich.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi discuss the need to battle Russian disinformation within the United States.

wrojas@insider.com (Warren Rojas)

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas — one of the Republican Party's more hawkish members — received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign cash from a hedge fund investor who's reportedly made millions of dollars from commodity speculations that have paid off since Russia invaded Ukraine, according to federal campaign finance records. Federal Election Committee records show that Soroban Capital Partners LP founder Eric Mandelblatt and his wife, Danielle Mandelblatt, last year spread $43,000 in political contributions between political action committees that support Cotton.

After Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Trump's pro-Putin comments are dividing his GOP base. Could this be what causes the 'cult of Trump' to crack? CNN senior global affairs analyst Bianna Golodryga joins John Avlon on this week's Reality Check to give her perspective on whether the GOP might rediscover its commitment to freedom.

Joe Sonka | Louisville Courier Journal

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., was again this week one of the few members of the U.S. House to vote against legislation targeting Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. This time it was a resolution directing the White House to detail efforts to collect evidence on war crimes in the conflict. Massie is now the only member of the U.S. House to vote against each of the four bills and resolutions aimed at Russia over the past month, including ones expressing support for Ukraine, banning imports of Russian oil and suspending normal trade relations with Russia.

By Maria Caspani

April 7 (Reuters) - Alabama lawmakers passed a bill on Thursday that would criminalize gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth, with a threat of 10 years in prison for medical providers. The legislation, passed 66-28 by the state's House of Representatives on the last day of the legislative session, is the latest in a flurry of measures in Republican-led states dealing with transgender youth. The American Civil Liberties Union called it the first bill of its kind to make healthcare for transgender youth a felony and said it would challenge the bill in court if Republican Governor Kay Ivey signed it into law.

Emily Brooks

Ahandful of House Republicans have been voting against bills aimed at holding Russia accountable for its invasion of Ukraine, giving Democrats an avenue to accuse the GOP of harboring a faction that is sympathetic to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Six Republicans on Wednesday opposed a bill directing the government to collect evidence “related to war crimes and other atrocities committed during the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.” Every other member of the House present voted “yes.” The six Republicans who voted “no” were Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Warren Davidson (Ohio), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Thomas Massie (Ky.) and Scott Perry (Pa.).  

Michael Luciano

In September, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) announced he was placing holds on every civilian nominee to the departments of Defense and State until secretaries Lloyd Austin and Antony Blinken resign from the agencies, respectively. A single lawmaker is able to do this because the United States Senate has dumber rules than a persnickety HOA. On Thursday, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) took to the floor and excoriated his Republican counterpart for preventing the departments from being adequately staffed, focusing on defense in particular. The normally low-key Schatz thundered about Hawley for more than two minutes. In his speech, Schatz eviscerated him for demanding Austin’s resignation, which he called “not a serious request.” He also pointed to the Republican’s complaint that aid is being delivered to Ukraine too slowly, even after he voted against said aid. The Democrat also noted that Hawley voted to exonerate then-President Donald Trump in his first impeachment trial. Trump made Ukraine’s receipt of foreign aid contingent on the country investigating Biden family business dealings. Here is Schatz’s full speech:

CNN's Manu Raju and Gloria Borger discuss how Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) was the only Republican to stand to applaud after Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation vote.

Lindsay Kornick

CNN's White House reporter John Harwood compared Republican senators who voted against the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Confederacy. On Thursday, Jackson was confirmed into the Supreme Court by a 53-47 vote. Every Democrat senator voted in favor of confirming Jackson along with Republican Sens. Mitt Romney, Utah, Susan Collins, Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, Alaska. Harwood criticized Republicans opposition to Jackson suggesting they are comparable to Confederate sympathizers who voted against Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

tporter@businessinsider.com (Tom Porter)

Republicans walked out of the Senate chamber during a standing ovation as Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed as the Black female Supreme Court justice in US history. Video footage showed several Republican senators leaving their seats and heading to the exits as applause erupted in the chamber after the Senate voted 53-47 to confirm her to the Supreme Court on Thursday. The one Republican senator filmed joining the applause as colleagues filed past was Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who was one of only three moderate Republicans who voted to confirm Joe Biden's nominee. The others were Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

jzeballos@businessinsider.com (Joseph Zeballos-Roig)

Congress approved a bill on Thursday afternoon to suspend trade relations with Russia. It's the first time that lawmakers sent legislation to punish the Kremlin to President Joe Biden's desk since Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine over a month ago. Appetite has grown in Congress to further isolate Moscow with new reports of Russian soldiers indiscriminately killing Ukrainian civilians. Both the House and Senate cleared the bill with blowout bipartisan margins. Earlier in the day, the Senate approved the measure to freeze free trade with Russia in a 100-0 vote.

Giulia Carbonaro

Seven Republicans have voted against investigating evidence of war crimes potentially committed by Russian troops in Ukraine, including U.S. Representative Liz Cheney, who voted 'no' by mistake.

oseddiq@insider.com (Oma Seddiq)

Republicans called out liberal dark money spending during Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation hearings. Democrats on Tuesday released a report to highlight the long-running dark money spending by right-wing donors on judicial nominations. "The Judicial Crisis Network lurks at the center of a web of right-wing front groups built to control the Supreme Court," Sen. Whitehouse said. During last month's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Republicans unleashed a myriad of complaints about "far-left dark money groups" that they argued played a part in Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination process. Sen. Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, aired concerns about "the troubling role of far-left dark money" that is "attacking the independence of the judiciary." One after the other, Republicans echoed that messaging. The scenes were reminiscent of when Democrats, notably Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, raised concerns about right-wing dark money influence over the Supreme Court during the 2020 confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump's nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Whitehouse said millions of dollars in undisclosed donations went toward boosting conservative judicial nominees.

Opinion: They are not just outliers within the state, or the Republican Party, but within humanity.
EJ Montini | Arizona Republic

Just when you thought Arizona Republican Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs could bring no greater disgrace to the GOP than their connection to the Big Lie and their alleged association with organizers of what became the Jan. 6 insurrection … Stop. I take that back. If you’ve lived in Arizona for any amount of time and follow politics even a little you know that Gosar and Biggs are more than capable of bringing even greater ignominious disgrace to the GOP. And they have, with recent actions placing them squarely in the forefront of what Republican Rep. Liz Cheney derisively calls the “Putin wing” of the Republican party.

As if Adolf Hitler 'isn't a good thing'
First there was Gosar, speaking via prerecorded video at the America First Political Action Conference, a convention of white nationalists where the chant was “Putin! Putin!” Organizer Nicholas Fuentes called the United States “the evil empire of the world” and added, “Now, they’re going and saying, ‘Vladimir Putin is Adolf Hitler,’ as if that isn’t a good thing.”

Andrew Stanton

Ohio Senate Candidate J.D. Vance asked Ohio voters if they "hate Mexicans" in a new political advertisement released Tuesday. During the 30-second advertisement, Vance—the author of the book Hillbilly Elegy who is running as a Republican to replace outgoing Senator Rob Portman—slammed the media for calling people who want to build a wall at the southern border "racist." But some opponents accused the advertisement itself of provoking racism toward Mexicans.

The lies Republicans tell the American people and some believe them.

Ben Adler

Republican politicians routinely claim that cities run by Democrats have been experiencing crime waves caused by failed governance, but a new study shows murder rates are actually higher in states and cities controlled by Republicans. “We’re seeing murders in our cities, all Democrat-run,” former President Donald Trump asserted at a March 26 rally in Georgia. “People are afraid to go out.” In February, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., blamed Democrats for a 2018 law that reduced some federal prison sentences — even though it was signed by Trump after passing a GOP-controlled Congress. “It’s your party who voted in lockstep for the First Step Act that let thousands of violent felons on the street who have now committed innumerable violent crimes,” Cotton said during a speech in the Senate.

By the Editorial Board

During the hearings, Republicans such as Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) have congratulated themselves for declining to treat Judge Jackson the way Democrats handled the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh. In fact, by the most relevant measures, Mr. Graham and a handful of other Judiciary Committee Republicans have handled themselves worse. A woman credibly accused Mr. Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Democrats rightly asked the committee to investigate. After a superficial FBI review, Republicans pressed forward his nomination. In the end, it was Mr. Kavanaugh who behaved intemperately, personally attacking Democratic senators and revealing partisan instincts that raised questions about his commitment to impartiality.

More than one reactionary in the Senate attacked Jackson for her sentencing record—but she schooled them on the way federal sentencing actually works. “I was doing what judges do,” she said.
By Cristian Farias

When Thurgood Marshall, the first Black man to be nominated for the Supreme Court, faced the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1967, he sat across from hostile Southern senators who sought, in the event of his confirmation, to lay at his feet the problem of rising crime gripping American cities. “I do not ask you these questions for any other purpose than to try to meet a responsibility here, before I again vote to confirm someone on that court whose philosophy, I think, if pursued without restraint and without being checked, would contribute to a menace that threatens our society,” Senator John McClellan, a Democrat of Arkansas, told Marshall during the hearings to consider his nomination.

Christopher Wilson

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., on Monday launched an outlandish attack against three Republican senators who support Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, accusing them of somehow being “pro-pedophile.” The line of attack echoes Greene’s past support for the QAnon conspiracy theory that alleged former President Donald Trump was working to take down a powerful cabal of child traffickers typically portrayed as the Democratic elite. Believers in the debunked belief frequently allege that their political opponents support pedophiles.

“The Palin model—failed as it was: a proud lack of political knowledge, mixed with attention-grabbing antics—set the mold for today's Republican troll caucus,” says Chris Hayes. “And now, 15 years later after creating the genre, Palin is back trying make a run to join them.”

Opinion by The Daily Beast

You know who’s telling on themselves? The American conservatives cheering about Putin pal and proto-fascist Viktor Orban’s big re-election win in Hungary, that’s who. “It’s a pretty good litmus test,” says The New Abnormal co-host Molly Jong. “If you are celebrating that, you’re probably a bad guy, like the people who are still supporting Putin.” And those people are doing so, says co-host Andy Levy, even though “Russia doesn’t seem to be working even all that hard at” winning people over. “And it’s because they don’t really have to. They can just play clips of Tucker Carlson Tonight and their job is done for the most part. They're basically Alex Jones-level right now with talking about crisis actors and all that stuff. And then they have like different stories: The bombing never happened. And then it’s ‘No, well the bombing happened, but it’s a false flag. The Ukrainians did it.’ Right. And there's like three or four more stories down the road and they don’t settle on any one thing. This is the same thing we see from the Q people…

Facts do not matter to Republicans. One more in a one long line of lies that Republicans tell us, now they want us to believe Trump killed Osama bin Laden, no Trump did not get Osama bin Laden Obama did.

By Daniel Dale, CNN

Washington (CNN) Michigan Rep. Lisa McClain, a freshman Republican member of Congress, made a series of false claims in a short speech at former President Donald Trump's rally outside Detroit on Saturday -- notably including an assertion that Trump, who has endorsed her for re-election, was the president who caught terrorist Osama bin Laden. McClain's office didn't respond to requests for comment on her false claims in the rally speech, which ran for under six minutes. McClain tweeted Monday: "Joe Biden misspeaks every single day and the media pays no attention to it. Isn't it ironic how I'm under attack for an honest mistake." She didn't specify, however, which of the claims she was calling "an honest mistake." If she was referring to the remark about bin Laden, that wouldn't explain the three other remarks we debunk below.

By Jason Lemon

Representative Lisa McClain, a Michigan Republican, claimed on Saturday that former President Donald Trump "caught" former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. McClain, who first entered Congress during the 2020 election with Trump's endorsement, made the comment as she spoke ahead of the former president during a rally in Washington Township, Michigan. The GOP congresswoman lamented how she and many others view the country to be worse off under President Joe Biden than it was under Trump.

By Jacob Heilbrunn

J.D. Vance was on the warpath. “Using American power to do the dirty work of Europe is a pretty bad idea,” he told a crowd on Thursday, warning against the U.S. getting more involved in Ukraine. “We don’t have that many non-insane people in Washington. I need you to be some of them.” Vance wasn’t speaking at a campaign stop in Ohio, where he is running for the U.S. Senate, but at the Marriott Marquis hotel in downtown Washington. The audience consisted of over one hundred mostly younger conservatives, and he was sounding the alarm about not just foreign intervention, but about other conservatives — the worrisome resurgence of the Republican establishment. The event was the “Up From Chaos” conference, a self-described “emergency” meeting organized by the Trumpian wing of the GOP to grapple with the political fallout from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The young men, almost all of them soberly dressed in dark suits, and women, almost uniformly wearing dresses, listened attentively as one speaker after another warned about the perils of intervention for their very own lives. A return to the thinking that led to Iraq and Afghanistan could result in nothing less than World War III over Ukraine, they were warned.

Andrew Stanton

Representative Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican, turned against Nick Fuentes on Friday after facing criticism for recently attending his America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC). Gosar, along with GOP Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, received bipartisan backlash for attending the event hosted by Fuentes, who has faced accusations of espousing white nationalist views. Democrats and Republicans took issue with their appearance, prompting House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to plan meetings with both representatives. Last year, Gosar appeared at AFPAC in-person, and recorded a welcome message for the conference this year. While Greene has sought to distance herself from Fuentes in the weeks following their appearance in February, Gosar remained quiet until now.

Barbara Sprunt

Madison Cawthorn, the freshman Republican congressman from North Carolina, found himself in hot water with GOP leadership after he made comments — without evidence — linking members of his own party with cocaine use and orgies. The 26-year-old described the "sexual perversion that goes on in Washington" during an appearance of the Warrior Poet Society podcast, saying he was asked to join a "sexual get-together" at a politician's home. Cawthorn did not provide specific details that could be used to verify his claims. "And I'm like, 'What did you just ask me to come to?' And then you realize they're asking you to come to an orgy," Cawthorn said.

Jon Skolnik

A circuit judge on Thursday found the Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican, in contempt of court for refusing to turn over documents relating to the state's recount of the 2020 presidential election. "Robin Vos had delegated the search for contractors' records to an employee who did nothing more than send one vague email to one contractor," wrote Dane County Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn. "Putting aside for the moment the impropriety of making a contractor responsible for a records request … Robin Vos did not tell [sic] that contractor which records to produce, did not ask any of the other contractors to produce records, and did not even review the records ultimately received. Still worse, the Assembly did nothing at all." Bailey-Rihn has ordered Vos to release the materials within fourteen days or pay a daily fine of $1,000 any time after that, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Bailey-Rihn established that, if the documents aren't provided, Vos must provide an explanation.

Ginni Thomas’ suggested hires included known bigots and at least one suspected foreign spy, sources say.
Asawin Suebsaeng, Adam Rawnsley

Years before she became one of then-President Donald Trump’s most prominent coup supporters, Ginni Thomas was already notorious in his West Wing for, among other things, ruining staffers’ afternoons by working Trump into fits of vengeful rage. “We all knew that within minutes after Ginni left her meeting with the president, he would start yelling about firing people for being disloyal,” said a former senior Trump administration official. “When Ginni Thomas showed up, you knew your day was wrecked.” Ever since she became a welcome guest at Trump’s residences, Thomas—an influential and longtime conservative activist, and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—had perfected a proven formula of enthralling and manipulating the president’s emotions and mood. On multiple occasions throughout the Trump era, Thomas would show up in the White House, sometimes for a private meeting or a luncheon with the president. She often came armed with written memos of who she and her allies believed Trump should hire for plum jobs—and who she thought Trump should promptly purge—that she distributed to Trump and other high-ranking government officials.

Several Republicans see this as a moment for a new take on foreign policy.
By Rick Klein, Averi Harper, and Alisa Wiersema

It's an awful war with an American ally asking for more than an increasingly unpopular Democratic president is willing to give -- and gas prices are showing voters the costs along the way. A range of ambitious Republicans see this as a moment for a new take on foreign policy that gets the party back to its traditional roots. But there's a contrarian voice that happens to be a loud one, and it isn't going away. Former President Donald Trump's latest call for Russian President Vladimir Putin to release what he knows about Hunter Biden -- "I think he should release it," Trump said in an interview this week, referring to information on financial relationships involving Biden's son -- is particularly ill-timed for the GOP.

Republican faces condemnation from House minority leader over podcast remarks but will not face immediate discipline
Martin Pengelly

The North Carolina congressman Madison Cawthorn will not face immediate disciplinary action over his claim to have been invited to orgies and to have seen Washington figures using cocaine. After meeting Cawthorn on Wednesday, the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, told reporters the comments were “unacceptable”. “There’s a lot of different things that can happen,” McCarthy added, regarding possible consequences.

By Alexander Bolton

Centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said the way Republican senators treated Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson at last week’s hearings was “disgraceful” and “embarrassing” after they repeatedly brought up her record of sentencing child pornography offenders. Manchin said the behavior of GOP colleagues who repeatedly cut off Jackson while she tried to answer their questions about her sentencing decision crossed the line to become inappropriate. “It was disgraceful, it really was, what I saw. And I met with her and I read all the transcripts. I listened to basically the hearings and it just was embarrassing,” he told reporters Tuesday morning.

Robert Reich

Putin’s lies, and the lies coming from America’s extreme right, are mutually supporting. There’s a reason for that. In a speech delivered last Friday from his office in the Kremlin, Putin criticized the west’s “cancel culture”, which, he charged, is “canceling” Russia – “an entire thousand-year-old country, our people”. It was the third time in recent months Putin has blasted the so-called “cancel culture”. Which is exactly what Trump, Tucker Carlson, and the Republican party have blasted for several years. “The goal of cancel culture is to make decent Americans live in fear of being fired, expelled, shamed, humiliated and driven from society as we know it,” Trump said as he accepted his party’s nomination at the Republican National Convention in 2020. Tucker Carlson, one of Fox News’s most prominent personalities, has charged that liberals have been trying to cancel everything from Space Jam to the Fourth of July.

Susan Rinkunas

Long before he was a menace to airport workers, Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) clerked for federal appeals court judge, Michael Luttig, and developed a strong relationship with him. The New York Times wrote in 2016 that Cruz had described Luttig—a President George H.W. Bush appointee—as “like a father to me.” Luttig is now retired, and he used some of his free time to talk to The Washington Post for its investigation of Cruz’ involvement in efforts to overturn the 2020 election and keep former President Donald Trump in power. The Post reports that the Cruz work directly with Trump to challenge the election and that his efforts are “of interest” to the House of Representatives January 6th Select committee. Here’s a top-level summary of Cruz’s plan:

"Gays are recruiting kids" and "being transgender is contagious" have become mainstream GOP talking points.
By Hayes Brown

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed what’s become known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, thus codifying in state law a prohibition that doesn’t promote the well-being of Florida’s children but instead drags dangerous, homophobic lies back into the mainstream. DeSantis and his fellow Republicans insist that the Parental Rights in Education bill, as it is officially known, is all about protecting children from “age inappropriate” material. That includes an explicit ban on teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity to kids in kindergarten through third grade and a softer ban for older students on materials that are “not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

Sarah K. Burris

The Republican Party is drawing criticism after its "research" Twitter account posted a video of President Joe Biden reaffirming that Vladimir Putin has no business being in power. It prompted many to ask if they were posting it as a criticism because the GOP believes Putin should stay in power. It recalls the 2016 decision by the Republican Party to change the platform saying that they will not give weapons to Ukraine in a fight against Russia or rebel forces. Those in the national security committee platform meeting were on the other side of the issue. A Washington Post report at the time cited platform committee member Diana Denma saying that most wanted to see the GOP support greater sanctions against Russia. It took just a few years for the GOP to flip to support Putin's attempt to takeover northeastern Ukraine, claiming the people there wanted to be in Russia.

By Albert Hunt, opinion contributor

Russia's unprovoked war upon Ukraine is causing a political schizophrenia for many Republicans. They assail President Biden as too weak in taking on Russia, but don't want to offend their own party's leader, Donald Trump, a fan of Vladimir Putin. Most of all, they don't want this crisis to interfere with their plans to take back control of Congress in the midterm elections. Rattling Trump's cage isn’t in that playbook. You can see their contortions in plain view — and by a little monitoring of their preferred venue, Fox News. During the State of the Union — always a political Kabuki dance — Republicans applauded the Ukrainians during that part of the president's speech, but didn't look happy about it: House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) seemed busy checking messages on his phone; Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) looked even stiffer than usual, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) appeared to smirk. McCarthy had blasted Biden for not providing more military

Travis Gettys

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough blasted Republican lawmakers for using the Ukraine crisis to score domestic political points on President Joe Biden. Daily Beast columnist David Rothkopf appeared Monday on "Morning Joe" to discuss Biden's ab-libbed comments on regime change in Russia, and he and Scarborough agreed that showing strength against Vladimir Putin was better than whatever Donald Trump displayed during his presidency. "I think the message of the speech from beginning to end was of strength, and I also think that it was a speech that resonated not just in the context of Ukraine but in the context of a shift," Rothkopf said. "The United States and Europe and our allies are looking at Russia in terms of a long-term threat. They're not going to be satisfied simply to end this war, hopefully to win this war, but they're going to require that Russia stays where it is, that it stops its talk of aggression."

Sarah K. Burris

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) revealed that Washington, D.C.'s world of elected officials consists of 60 and 70-year-old elected officials inviting him to sex parties and snorting cocaine. "The sexual perversion that goes on in Washington, I mean being kind of a young guy in Washington with the average age of probably 60 or 70," said Cawthorn. "And I look at all these people, a lot of them that I, you know, I've looked up to through my life. I've always paid attention to politics guys that, you know, then all of the sudden you get invited to like, well, hey, we're going to have kind of a sexual get together at one of our homes. You should come there, like... What, what did you just ask me to come to? And then you realize they're asking you to come to an orgy. Or the fact that, you know, there's some of the people that are leading on the movement to try and remove addiction in our country and then you watch them doing, you know, a key bump of cocaine right in front of you and it's like wow this is wild." As one observer noted, Cawthorn doesn't generally "hang out" with Democrats. He hangs out with other Republicans, so his observations are coming from those he's observed.

Matthew Chapman

On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Lead," anchor Jake Tapper tore apart former President Donald Trump's claim that the Russian invasion of Ukraine wouldn't have happened had he been elected to a second term. "Former President Donald Trump and his allies have been engaging in quite a bit of revisionist history about this matter," said Tapper, playing a clip of Trump saying, "It is so sad. This would have never happened if we had the Trump administration. There was no chance this would happen. And I know [Vladimir Putin] well. And this was not something that was going to happen at all." Tapper proceeded to spell out exactly why this claim is nonsense. "Trump, of course, failing to mention his own actions and inactions, and that of his administration that may have enabled Putin in many ways, instead of calling out Russia's decades of invasion, in Georgia in 2008, annexing Crimea in 2014," said Tapper. "Trump in this day seems to find room to even praise Putin as a genius for the brutal attack. Even some of Trump's foreign advisers wonder if his approach may have empowered the Russian president on the world stage."

Meryl Phair

On Monday, the Washington Post released an investigation into Ted Cruz's involvement with Donald Trump between Election Day and Jan. 6, 2021. The report outlines the Texas senator's plan to keep the then president in power and provides a detailed timeline of Cruz's actions leading up to the capital riot. Cruz's activity during this time is relevant to the ongoing House committee investigation of the U.S. Capitol attack looking at how Trump's allies collaborated with members of Congress. The House committee is specifically interested in the senator's interactions with Trump lawyer John Eastman. The attorney wrote legal memos regarding stopping election certification and mentioned that Cruz, a Republican, would be able to play a pivotal roll in overturning the results. Soon after the 2020 election, Trump contacted Cruz over a phone call where the senator agreed to argue his case of a fraudulent election, starting a month's long collaboration between the two republican politicians.

Nyamekye Daniel

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has made it known that he will vote against confirming President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson to become the first Black woman to sit on the nation’s highest judicial bench. As GOP leader in the U.S. Senate, McConnell’s announcement was not a surprise to many, although Jackson most likely will not need his vote. McConnell claimed on Twitter on March 24 that his decision was nonpartisan. Some say it may be because of another bias. “I went into the Senate’s consideration of Judge Jackson’s nomination with an open mind,” McConnell said in a March 24 tweet. “But after studying the nominee’s record and watching her performance this week, I cannot and will not support Judge Jackson for a lifetime appointment to our highest Court.”

Indoctrinating kids where is the Republican outrage, if a democrat was doing, this Republicans would be outrage but since it is a Republican, they are good with it.

By Andrea Blanco For Dailymail.Com
Daily Mail

A California mother was left horrified by a video of her preschooler daughter and her classmates chanting 'We want Biden out' during a President's Day lesson. Christina McFadden, of Norco, said the private Turning Point Christian School was 'indoctrinating' her daughter and her 5- and 4-year-old classmates against the Democrat president. 'The teacher is indoctrinating her students. Everybody has a right to believe in what they want and my daughter wasn't given that opportunity,' McFadden told local news station KTLA. 'And especially at that age, I don't even think that she can comprehend to make an informed decision on who and what she should believe in.'

Sarah K. Burris

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) was ridiculed this week for tweeting out a quote from the Declaration of Independence that she claimed was in the Constitution.

Sarah K. Burris

Former President Donald Trump gave his blessing to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) after Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was removed from the House Republican leadership. But, behind closed doors, Stefanik was trashing Trump. In Jan. 2022, Trump welcomed Stefanik to Mar-a-Lago and showered her with praise, even going so far as to say that in six years, she could become the first female president of the United States.

Sharon Sullivan, Colorado Newsline

After opening the Mesa County Republican Assembly in Grand Junction with a prayer, a singing of the national anthem, and recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, county GOP chairman Kevin McCarney invited his “adopted daughter” Rep. Lauren Boebert to the stage. “One of the things I’m most proud of is being one of 147 who voted against certification of the 2020 election,” Boebert told the crowd of delegates and alternates gathered at the DoubleTree by Hilton on March 26. “It’s why we need Republicans in the majority. We can’t work with Biden, but we can sure investigate Biden.” Local, state and national candidates were invited to speak for three minutes to the approximately 390 people attending the assembly. Delegates elected during the GOP caucus in early March were there to vote on county candidates they want on the primary ballot in June. State candidates will be decided in April at the Republican Convention and Assembly in Colorado Springs.

Brad Reed

Steve Bannon and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell on Wednesday had an epic meltdown over the arrest and indictment of MAGA Colorado election clerk Tina Peters, who was charged with ten counts related to an investigation into election equipment tampering.

Tom Boggioni

According to a report from the Daily Beast's Will Sommer, a man whose namer popped up in the texts sent by Ginni Thomas to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has a long history of spinning fantastical conspiracy theories that grew more and more extreme to the point where he was banished from InfoWars by host Alex Jones. As the report notes, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who is now facing increasing scrutiny over her part in the Jan 6th insurrection, mentioned Steve Pieczenik during her flurry of texts, exhorting Meadows to examine some of his election claims. According to Sommers, Pieczenik has a long history of histrionic claims that range from calling mass shootings false flags to stating that he once arrested Pope Francis. According to the report, "Thomas appeared to have wholly embraced Pieczenik’s off-the-wall claims in her texts, including the idea that Trump’s election defeat was really a ruse meant to entrap Democratic voter fraudsters."

Roland S. Martin

Sen. Lindsey Graham stormed out of Tuesday’s confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson after melting down over his desire for the Guantanamo Bay detention camp to remain open indefinitely.

Justin Baragona

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) dramatically stormed out of Tuesday’s confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, capping off a half-hour “festivus” of grievance by melting down over his desire for the Guantanamo Bay detention camp to remain open indefinitely. Graham, who has already voted twice to confirm Jackson to the federal bench, devoted much of his Q&A session on Tuesday to both airing a host of conservative grievances and seemingly finding any reason to justify not voting to place Jackson on the Supreme Court. Apparently, Jackson’s previous work representing detainees at Guantánamo Bay as a public defender was just the opening Graham—an extreme war hawk—needed.

Peony Hirwani

Ron Perlman has slammed Ted Cruz’s line of questioning for Ketanji Brown Jackson at one of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings. The Texas senator posed a question to Ms Brown Jackson on critical race theory, a buzzword for the country’s conservatives, at Tuesday’s hearing by asking if she believed babies were racist. He specifically pointed to a book called Antiracist Baby by Dr Ibram Kendi and highlighted an illustration depicting a child with a header that said one should “confess when being racist”. Soon after the hearing, Perlman hit out at Mr Cruz. “Hi Ted, Ron here,” the actor said in a video posted on Twitter. “Listen, I know how tempting it is to appeal to the real lowest form of humanity here in the United States, the bottom feeders, people who pride themselves on hatred and un-education and inability to read and inability to understand the difference between true patriotism and the bulls*** you’re selling.

The conservative activist and wife of a Supreme Court justice said in a November 2020 email that Republicans weren't doing enough to help Trump and needed to be "out in the streets."
By Scott Wong

WASHINGTON — Shortly after the 2020 election, Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, sent an email to an aide to a prominent House conservative saying she would have nothing to do with his group until his members go “out in the streets,” a congressional source familiar with the exchange told NBC News. Thomas told an aide to incoming Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks, R-Ind., that she was more aligned with the far-right House Freedom Caucus, whose leaders just two months later would lead the fight in Congress to overturn the results of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory. The RSC was long representative of the most conservative House members, but in the past several years, it has been replaced by the tea party-driven Freedom Caucus.

Kate Riga

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) got what they set out to achieve in their performances during Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings Wednesday: airtime on Fox News.  The four hectored her, with raised voices and constant interruptions, on her record of sentencing people in possession of child pornography. Their theatrical intent was clear at the time: many repeatedly asked questions that she’d already answered, and cut her off when she tried to explain the complicated process of sentencing those crimes. Hawley asked repeatedly if Jackson “regrets” her sentences, picking out lines from a handful of cases he thought sounded damning for her. Graham slapped the dias, and dramatically stormed from the chamber when his time concluded. Cruz appeared to check his mentions on Twitter after shouting at Jackson and trying to prevent the next questioner, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), from taking over.

Jackson will likely be confirmed. But Americans will also remain stuck with this brand of Congress — with its pandering and toxic dysfunction — for the foreseeable future.
By Norman Eisen, senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institute and Dennis Aftergut, former federal prosecutor

Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has made it through the first three days of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation gantlet with grace under fire and forceful conviction. But her steely patience has clearly been tested by the panel’s GOP senators. Their partisan attacks and showboating offer a typology of current Republican dysfunction. We should expect more of the same in what remains of this hearing — and, alas, this Congress.

Hypocrisy 101
Several of the panel’s GOP senators repeated a hypocritical criticism of Jackson’s “troubling” support by dark money liberal groups. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, all sought to tie Jackson and her judicial philosophy to groups that wield political influence while concealing the origins of their funding.

Dark-money groups criticizing dark money, and a new appreciation for Justice Breyer.
Stephanie Mencimer

While you wouldn’t know it from the attacks Republicans are lobbing at Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden’s nominee to the Supreme Court, her confirmation is a foregone conclusion. She’s been on the Democratic Supreme Court shortlist since the Obama administration. As a former US District Court judge for eight years and a member of the US Sentencing Commission, and newly appointed to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Jackson has been through three separate Senate confirmation proceedings since 2010. Three Republican senators voted to confirm her to the DC Circuit in June. In short, not only is she extremely qualified for the job, but she has already been thoroughly vetted. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has conceded that she has an impressive resume.

Ed Pilkington

Solemn proceedings of confirmation hearing took a nosedive into farce with bizarre moments in Jackson’s epic inquisition. At 2.54pm on the second day of Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings that will determine whether she takes a seat on the US supreme court, the solemn proceedings took a nosedive into farce. Ted Cruz, the Republican senator from Texas, turned theatrically to an outsized blow-up of a children’s book, Antiracist Baby by Ibram X Kendi. Pointing to a cartoon from its pages of an infant in diapers taking their first walk, he asked Jackson: “Do you agree with this book … that babies are racist?” “Senator,” Jackson began with a sigh. And then she paused for seven full seconds, which in the august setting of the Senate judiciary committee hearing felt like a year. For the one and only time in the 13 hours of questioning that Jackson endured that day, the nominee appeared flummoxed. Or was it flabbergasted?

Timothy Evans

The Republican senators who attempted to smear Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearing this week are being denounced by The Washington Post editorial board for their "clownish" behavior. In a scathing editorial, the newspaper writes: "During the hearings, Republicans such as Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) have congratulated themselves for declining to treat Judge Jackson the way Democrats handled the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh. In fact, by the most relevant measures, Mr. Graham and a handful of other Judiciary Committee Republicans have handled themselves worse." Graham's attempt to paint the judge as friendly to child pornographers obviously was hollow, the editorial points out, as demonstrated by sentences Jackson meted out in cases that have come before her. The paper also singled out Graham's attack on Jackson's work defending detainees at Guantánamo Bay - after saying he wouldn't do exactly that. Other Republicans were singled out in the editorial for their obvious posturing.

The first Black woman nominated to the court will likely be confirmed soon.
By Rick Klein,Averi Harper, and Alisa Wiersema

What started with a GOP promise of turning the temperature down is becoming a broader effort to dial it up -- and to light new fires in familiar places. With a second full day of questions coming Wednesday at Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Republican senators have so far played to long-running culture wars in sometimes obscure but nonetheless intentional ways. Searing attacks from GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have centered on her sentencing of child porn offenders and drug kingpins to her defense of terrorist suspects and her knowledge of and familiarity with critical race theory. "Do you agree with this book that is being taught to kids, that babies are racist?" Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, asked Jackson in one of the most strange and tense exchanges of a long day Tuesday.

By Dominick Mastrangelo

The editorial board of The Washington Post said Thursday that the Senate Republicans have treated President Biden's Supreme Court nominee Kentanji Brown Jackson worse than Senate Democrats treated then-nominee Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. "During the hearings, Republicans such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) have congratulated themselves for declining to treat Judge Jackson the way Democrats handled the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh," the Post's editorial board wrote on Wednesday. "In fact, by the most relevant measures, Mr. Graham and a handful of other Judiciary Committee Republicans have handled themselves worse."

Her experience and accolades are making it hard for Republicans to find a line of attack that sticks. Their questions prove it.
By Ja'han Jones

On the second day of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Republicans made clear with their ineffective questions that they have no salient arguments to justify keeping her off the court. Jackson is about as unimpeachable a candidate as one could hope for. As a Washington Post graphic laid out so clearly, if confirmed, she’d have more expansive experience working across the judicial field than anyone else sitting on the Supreme Court. She’s been confirmed by the Senate three times previously. She’s been endorsed by organizations as varied as the Fraternal Order of Police and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. In many ways, she embodies the instruction many Black parents give their kids to be twice as good as their competition if they hope to receive the accolades they deserve. So, given all this, how are Republicans attacking her? Clumsily.

Analysis by Brandon Tensley, CNN

Washington (CNN) If confirmed, Ketanji Brown Jackson would be the first Black woman to serve on the US Supreme Court. However, many Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are wasting no time embracing the kind of bad-faith scrutiny often reserved for women and Black nominees -- beneficiaries of affirmative action, in one GOP senator's parlance. Some Republicans, lacking a coherent strategy, are pressing Jackson for her views on The 1619 Project and the children's book "Antiracist Baby" (because "critical race theory"), though neither has anything to do with the job she's being considered for. Others are trying with great effort to cast the nominee as weak on crime by distorting her past work defending Guantanamo Bay detainees and her sentencing in child pornography cases. This wafer-thin opposition is revealing.

By Alex Aronson

Of all the grasping-at-straws attacks we watched Republican senators level against Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in her first two days of hearings for confirmation to the Supreme Court, their complaints that Jackson is the product of “dark money groups on the left” were perhaps the most grasping. These grievances are more than a little hard to take coming from the Senate GOP, whose own ruthless dark-money judicial politics have been a driving force behind the court’s present legitimacy crisis. On the right, private groups—led by the unabashedly partisan Federalist Society—have tightly controlled judicial nominations since at least the second Bush administration. Bush-era documents produced during Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, for example, revealed that the Federalist Society ran a secret “judicial umbrella” group, which included not only other anonymously funded outside groups like the Heritage Foundation, but also lawyers inside the Bush White House responsible for the president’s judicial selections.

Imaginary children have been a focal point of GOP attacks on the Supreme Court nominee. This strategy is hardly new.
Natasha Lennard

On Tuesday, the second day of Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Senate confirmation hearings, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, asked the esteemed jurist whether she believed that “babies are racist.” It was a low point that came early on in the contemptible GOP questioning. Cruz displayed large printouts from a children’s book, “Antiracist Baby” by Ibram X. Kendi, which is taught in Georgetown Day School, where Jackson is on the board of trustees. Whether it is a good pedagogical tool or not, “Antiracist Baby” is not about babies being racists or being told that they are racists. Presumably, since Cruz can read, he knows this. Yet he nonetheless asked the judge, “Do you agree with this book that is being taught with kids that babies are racist?” She sighed, paused, and tilted her head, exasperated.

From casting doubt over her credentials to insinuating she's a radical who “does not believe in the rule of law,” the right is sketching out their attacks on Biden's Supreme Court nominee, with an eye toward the midterms.
By Eric Lutz

In all likelihood, nothing Republicans or their allies in the right-wing media say about Ketanji Brown Jackson will keep her from becoming the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s high court. Despite the Democrats’ difficulty getting other key agenda items through, they are almost certain to stick together to confirm Joe Biden’s Supreme Court pick — and may even do so with a few GOP votes. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans from beginning a bad faith campaign against the nominee: They may not ultimately prevent her confirmation, but they could work to undermine her legitimacy — and to use her proceedings as a proxy battle against Biden and the Democrats ahead of this year’s midterms. Many in the GOP have made a point to emphasize the qualifications of the Harvard-educated, ten-year veteran of the bench. “She’s a very smart, very accomplished attorney,” Senator Josh Hawley told the Washington Post. “I imagine she’ll be able to defend her litigation.” But the attacks some in the party have previewed in recent days have nevertheless amounted to little more than political smears:

By Joe DePaolo

Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) believes a number of his GOP colleagues were “off course” in their attacks of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during Tuesday’s confirmation hearing. Speaking to the Washington Post, the Utah senator took a shot at the Republican senators who went after Jackson. “It struck me that it was off course, meaning the attacks were off course that came from some,” Romney told the Post. “And there is no ‘there’ there.” Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) has been widely condemned for saying Jackson ‘endangers children’ with her record on cases involving child porn. Hawley’s claims have been thoroughly dismissed by independent fact checkers. “It’s Hawley, right?” Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said. “Take that for what it’s worth.”

By Caroline Vakil

Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) on Tuesday expressed — and then walked back — opposition to the Supreme Court ruling that legalized interracial marriage. Braun was on a conference call with reporters from Indiana, discussing court rulings he viewed as federal overreach, according to The Times of Northwest Indiana. The news outlet shared a clip of his remarks in which he was asked whether he would consider it to be judicial activism or legislating from the bench if the Supreme Court strikes down the right to an abortion. zAThe court is set to rule on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban later this year, with many expecting the 6-3 conservative court to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that enshrined abortion rights.

By Alexander Bolton

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday grew increasingly combative in his line of questioning of Ketanji Brown Jackson, asking President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee about her religious faith, her defense of Guantánamo Bay prisoners and whether she was aware of what he said were left-wing attacks on his preferred nominee to the court. Graham has been seen as a swing GOP vote on Jackson given his support for previous Democratic judicial nominees, but he has signaled he is likely to vote “no” on this nomination. The Republican senator has also made it clear he disliked Democratic questioning during confirmation hearings for former President Trump's Supreme Court nominees and has repeatedly sought to underscore a double standard in how nominees from different presidents are treated.

Christopher Wilson

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson began her second day of Supreme Court nomination hearings by defending herself against Republican accusations she had been too lenient when sentencing child porn offenders. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., used the first round of questioning Tuesday morning to let Jackson rebut the charges, which senators had mentioned in Monday’s opening session of the hearings. Two of the committee’s members — Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. — referred to cases where Jackson issued sentences on child porn offenders in her time as a federal judge, while Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., encouraged his colleagues to pursue that line of questioning.

David G. Savage, Nolan D. McCaskill

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden's Supreme Court nominee, hit back Tuesday against Republican claims that she was lenient toward criminal defendants, including those convicted of possessing child pornography. She also promised to serve as an "even-handed" justice who would be independent and impartial. In response to questions from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jackson described child pornography as a "sickening and egregious crime" that she had to deal with regularly as a sentencing judge. She said that, as a mother with two daughters, she found it disturbing that this sexual abuse of minors circulates on the internet. She rejected the allegation from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) that she favored light treatment for these defendants. "Nothing could be further from the truth," she said. During sentencing hearings, she said she made sure "the children's voices" are heard. She said she not only sent these defendants off to prison but also prohibited them from using computers and the internet for decades.

By The Kansas City Star Editorial Board

Even before it was Missouri Showboat Josh Hawley’s turn to question Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson at her confirmation hearing on Monday, our junior senator had succeeded in getting himself name-checked by two Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Eat your heart out, Ted Cruz. Committee Chairman Dick Durbin of Illinois and Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal both approvingly quoted a piece by Andrew McCarthy, of the conservative National Review, whose Monday column noted that Hawley’s spurious attack on the nominee as a coddler of pedophiles “appears meritless to the point of demagoguery.” Yes, that’s our senator. And unlike Hawley, McCarthy has years of experience in actually trying child porn cases.

The Missouri Republican meant to make Judge Jackson look awful. He denigrated himself in the process.
By Steve Benen

As Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings approached, Senate Republicans boasted about how responsible they’d be. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, for example, the process “will be thoroughly respectable, quite different from the way the Democrats treated Clarence Thomas, quite different from the way the Democrats treated Brett Kavanaugh.” It came on the heels of related rhetoric from Sen. Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I think you’re not going to find Republicans getting in the gutter like the Democrats did with Kavanaugh,” the Iowa senator claimed.

Brent D. Griffiths,Oma Seddiq

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin kicked off Monday's historic Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson by taking a thinly-veiled swipe at Republican Sen. Josh Hawley. Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, went after Hawley over the Missouri senator's recent claim on Twitter that he'd "noticed an alarming pattern when it comes to Judge Jackson's treatment of sex offenders, especially those preying on children." "These baseless charges are unfair. A conservative National Review columnist called claims brought by one of my colleagues, 'meritless to the point of demagoguery," Durbin said in his opening statement. "They fly in the face of pledges my colleagues made that they would approach your nomination with civility and respect."

The right claims it hates cancel culture except they do not, RINO is how republicans cancel their own. If you do not go along with party line, you are a RINO.  In the GOP if you think for yourself you are a RINO.

An insult once reserved for Republican moderates has been weaponized
By David Siders

In speeches, ads and on social media, it is fast becoming the defining smear of the 2022 primary campaign season: RINO. The acronym — short for ‘Republican-In-Name-Only’ — is hardly new. But former President Donald Trump’s frequent use of the term has given it a new life, weaponizing a description once largely reserved for party moderates and turning it into a slur to be avoided at all costs. The mushrooming of the insult is measurable. In 2018, during the last midterm election, RINO barely registered as a mention in TV ads, according to an analysis compiled for POLITICO by the ad tracking firm AdImpact. But so far in 2022, candidates have already spent more than $4 million on TV ads employing RINO as an attack, in races ranging from House and Senate contests to state House races.

Donald J. Trump:

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