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After Deadly Colorado Springs Shooting, Herschel Walker Releases Ad Attacking Transgender Athletes

Two trans people were killed in the attack in Colorado Springs. Walker somehow took that as a sign to double down on spreading anti-trans hate.

Herschel Walker speaks at a standing mic
Megan Varner/Getty Images

In the days since a gunman opened fire in a queer club in Colorado Springs, Herschel Walker has released an anti-trans ad and gone off on deeply anti-trans rants.

Five people were killed and at least 25 others wounded Saturday night when a gunman entered Club Q and started shooting. Many people were there to mark Transgender Day of Rememberance, a commemoration of people killed in anti-trans violence. Two of those killed were trans.

While there have been plenty of thoughts and prayers from Republicans, many have avoided mentioning that the LGBTQ community was specifically targeted. Georgia Senate candidate Walker went one step further, releasing an ad attacking transgender athletes.

The ad features NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines, who complained she had to compete against Lia Thomas, who is trans.

Walker said that letting Thomas compete against cisgender female swimmers was “unfair and wrong” and accused his opponent Raphael Warnock of being “afraid to stand up for female athletes.”

A day earlier, he delivered an unhinged speech laden with transphobia and bigotry.

Do y’all know what the definition of an enemy is? A enemy is somebody that don’t like you. But they been telling you they don’t know the definition of a woman either,” he said at a campaign event Sunday in Carrollton, Georgia.

“I’m going to tell you the definition of a woman. Because it written in my great book. It said ‘a man and a woman,’” which Walker failed to note is not actually a definition.

Walker, who has previously complained about “wokeness,” also condemned using people’s chosen pronouns in the military.

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson—who has previously said LGBTQ people are “filth” and that straight people are “superior” to queer people—spoke at the rally as well.

This is not Walker’s first horrendous foray into transgender policy. In September, he said trans kids won’t get into heaven because Jesus isn’t smart enough to recognize them.

Former CIA Chief Mike Pompeo Calls Teachers Union Leader “Most Dangerous Person in the World”

One person has pushed for drone strikes in Afghanistan. The other wants teachers to be treated fairly.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former Secretary of State and CIA Director Mike Pompeo claims the president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union, Randi Weingarten, is the “most dangerous person in the world.”

“I tell the story often — I get asked ‘Who’s the most dangerous person in the world? Is it Chairman Kim, is it Xi Jinping?’ The most dangerous person in the world is Randi Weingarten,” Pompeo, who pushed for covert drone strikes in Afghanistan, said in an interview with Semafor published Monday.

“It’s not a close call. If you ask, ‘Who’s the most likely to take this republic down?’ It would be the teacher’s unions, and the filth that they’re teaching our kids, and the fact that they don’t know math and reading or writing,” the former top U.S. diplomat added.

Pompeo, who in 2017 did not disclose that his business imported oilfield equipment from a Chinese government-owned company, tied his supposed concern for kids with an angst for China.

“If our kids don’t grow up understanding America is an exceptional nation, we’re done. If they think it’s an oppressor class and an oppressed class, if they think the 1619 Project, and we were founded on a racist idea — if those are the things people entered the seventh grade deeply embedded in their understanding of America, it’s difficult to understand how Xi Jinping’s claim that America is in decline won’t prove true,” Pompeo said.

“...We should ban every element of Chinese technology that sits inside our ecosystem,” Pompeo said later. “The Chinese Communist Party is coming for your kids.”

Weingarten responded to the interview on Twitter, focusing less on Pompeo’s attacks and more on an affirmative vision of AFT’s efforts:

If this is a preview of Pompeo’s 2024 run for president, his case is already falling flat.

Fox News Dedicates Entire Segment to Hunter Biden Laptop Repairman’s Book Tour

John Paul Mac Isaac said he received a “chilling” warning from the FBI, and then went on to talk about his new book.

ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images

The computer repairman who says he worked on Hunter Biden’s laptop claimed the FBI threatened him over going public about it—while giving an interview the day before his book about the laptop comes out.

John Paul Mac Isaac appeared Monday on Fox News, where he has been a semi-regular guest, to discuss what he called the “chilling” warning that federal agents gave him.

Sporting a jaunty Scottish balmoral cap, Mac Isaac said he was “overjoyed” when FBI agents subpoenaed him for the laptop. As they were leaving, “I made a comment to Agent Mike; I said, ‘Don’t worry lads, when I write the book, I’ll change your names,’” Mac Isaac said, revealing part of an agent’s real name on national television.

John Paul Mac Isaac speaks with Bill Hemmer on Fox News.

That’s when Agent Mike turned around and told me that, in their experience, nothing ever happens to people that don’t talk about these things, which was kind of chilling.”

Mac Isaac said he has faced retaliation on “multiple fronts” since reporting the laptop two years ago. He has appeared on Fox News multiple times since the news broke to discuss his struggles, and spoken on the channel once a week since the start of November.

In May, he sued House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff and multiple media outlets, including CNN and Politico, for defamation. He also wrote a book titled American Injustice: My Battle to Expose the Truth, which came out Tuesday.

Since Republicans squeaked out control of the House of Representatives, they have said with their whole chest that investigating Hunter Biden—and by extension his father, President Joe Biden—is one of their top priorities.

Not, say, inflation or antitrust or cryptocurrency crashes.

Oregon Governor Pardons 45,000 People Convicted on Marijuana Charges

Governor Kate Brown’s pardon applies to people convicted for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana before 2016.

Kate Brown
Meg Roussos/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Outgoing Oregon Governor Kate Brown on Monday pardoned 45,000 state residents with minimum marijuana offenses.

The pardon applies to convictions for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana in cases before 2016 where the person involved was 21 or older. The measure applies to 47,000 state convictions and will forgive about $14,000 total in fines and fees linked to prior offenses.

“Oregonians should never face housing insecurity, employment barriers, and educational obstacles as a result of doing something that is now completely legal, and has been for years,” Brown said in a statement. Oregon legalized recreational weed use in July 2015.

She acknowledged that while state residents “use marijuana at similar rates, Black and Latina/o/x people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates.”

Brown’s decision comes about a month and a half after President Joe Biden pardoned more than 6,500 U.S. citizens federally convicted of simple marijuana possession, as well as those charged in Washington, D.C. He called on governors nationwide at the time to follow in his footsteps. He also instructed Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Attorney General Merrick Garland to review how marijuana is classified under federal drug laws.

Recreational marijuana use is legal in 21 states and D.C. Maryland and Missouri are the two latest states to legalize weed, with state residents voting to pass amendments in favor of the move during the midterm elections.

Arrests for marijuana possession account for between 40 to 50 percent of all annual drug arrests nationwide, according to the ACLU, but “Black people are still more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people in every state, including those that have legalized marijuana.”

Krispy Kreme Forced to Give $1.2 Million to Workers After Massive Wage Theft

The Labor Department ordered Krispy Kreme to pay the sum after “overtime violations in multiple locations.”

Krispy Kreme building
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

On November 17, the Department of Labor announced that Krispy Kreme would be paying nearly $1.2 million in back wages and damages to 516 workers “to resolve overtime violations in multiple locations.” In other words, there was massive wage theft at the doughnut company and now it has to pay up.

The department first began its investigation at a Louisville, Kentucky-based Krispy Kreme, but it soon found violations to be “widespread and systemic” and expanded its probe to all 242 locations across the country.

The department determined that the $2.5 billion company had failed to include monthly bonuses in some employees’ regular pay rates, consequently paying workers less overtime.

“Overtime and minimum wage violations are common violations found in food service industry investigations,” said Principal Deputy Wage and Hour Administrator Jessica Looman in the Labor Department’s directive.

Because of that, actions like this directive would ideally serve both as consequence for malpractice and also as a warning to other companies that there indeed are accountability mechanisms for stealing from workers.

Meanwhile, Krispy Kreme denies it did anything wrong at all. “We do not agree with the department’s findings and the basis for them,” Krispy Kreme said to USA Today. “However, we have agreed to settle this matter with no admission of wrong-doing in the best interests of our business and our team members.”

While the amount owed back to each worker varies, the math averages out to about $2,300 per worker. According to court documents obtained by the Winston-Salem Journal, some workers are due upward of $13,000.

Right-Wing Media Responds to Colorado Springs Shooting by Doubling Down on Anti-LGBTQ Hate

After a deadly shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, right-wing pundits are lashing out at the left.

Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Candace Owens and Ben Shapiro

In the aftermath of the hate-fueled shooting at a Colorado Springs gay nightclub that left five people dead and at least 25 injured, many right-wing pundits are grotesquely doubling down on the kind of rhetoric that helped lead to such violence in the first place.

Figures like Matt Walsh, Candace Owens, and Ben Shapiro apparently didn’t have time to denounce the shooter or the hate crime. Instead, they focused on what they see as the real violence: some imagined progressive agenda to violate children. That actual people died, and why they did, was of less interest to them.

These posts not only show little actual concern for those harmed in the shooting, but they also come from individuals who have been on the forefront of fomenting brain-melting, blood-pressure-rising conspiracy about LGBTQ people.

Just last week, Shapiro warned that any Republican who voted to codify same-sex marriage “should not be in the Republican party.”

Walsh, alongside reactionary Twitter account ‘Libs of Tiktok’ (run by Chaya Raichik), was a leading voice claiming that bomb threats against Boston Children’s Hospital were hoaxes—until a woman was arrested and charged in September for making one of these threats. Walsh and Raichik have spread conspiracies about, and incited harassment towards, hospitals like Boston Children’s Hospital that provide gender-affirming care. Boston’s Children Hospital has faced numerous threats since then.

Even after the shooting, Libs of TikTok posted a tweet Sunday singling out a Colorado drag organization.

Walsh, Owens, Shapiro, and company dismiss those who rightly identify them as contributors to violent discontent, calling them pawns of the Democratic agenda, or the liberal media, or leftists, or some other amorphous bucket to slander. The shtick works to a point, but there are more than enough people—politically-engaged or not, LGBTQ or not—who plainly see how monstrous it is to demonize people for simply wanting to be who they are and love who they love.

Colorado’s Republican Reps Conveniently Forget LGBTQ People in Statements on Shooting

All three representatives avoided mentioning LGBTQ people in their statements on the attack in Colorado Springs.

JASON CONNOLLY/AFP via Getty Images
Bouquets of flowers and a sign reading "Love Over Hate" are left near Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, November 20, 2022.

All three of Colorado’s Republican representatives neglected to mention that LGBTQ people were targeted in the Colorado Springs mass shooting over the weekend when making statements about the tragedy.

Five people were killed and at least 25 wounded when a gunman entered the queer Club Q and opened fire Saturday night. The shooter has since been charged with murder and hate crimes.

On Sunday, Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck, and Doug Lamborn shared bland, anodyne statements expressing their condolences and, of course, their prayers. Not a single one of them mentioned that the LGBTQ community was specifically attacked.

Their comments were quickly flooded with people calling out their complicity in creating an atmosphere that led to the attack. All three have a history of homophobia and opposition to gun control.

Conspiracy theorist and election denier Boebert, in particular, has a long track record of horrific bigotry towards the LGBTQ community. She has repeatedly accused queer people of grooming children and spewed vitriol at drag shows.

Coincidentally, the last event advertised on Club Q’s Facebook page before the shooting was a drag brunch.

Boebert also appeared on a livestream hosted by a far-right activist who has supported the death penalty for gay people.

And she is staunchly pro-gun. She appeared in a Zoom congressional hearing with a bookshelf full of guns in the background; she and her three children posed with automatic rifles in front of their Christmas tree; and prior to being in Congress, she owned a gun-themed restaurant called Shooters Grill.

Since the Club Q shooting, her website continues to sell a mug, a hat, and stickers mocking trans and non-binary people that say, “Non-Bidenary,” and a baseball cap that says her name, with the L replaced by the outline of a handgun.

Elon Musk Says He Won’t Allow Alex Jones on Twitter. Remember What He Said About Trump?

Elon Musk promised not to restore Alex Jones' Twitter account, just one day after letting Donald Trump come back to the platform.

Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Elon Musk says he won’t let conspiracy theorist Alex Jones back on Twitter, but there’s no guarantee he’ll stick to that.

His announcement came less than a day after he reinstated former President Donald Trump’s account on the platform, despite earlier assurances that he would not make such unilateral decisions.

When asked Sunday night if he would let the InfoWars host back on Twitter, Musk paraphrased a Bible quote to explain why he won’t.

He then said he has “no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame.”

Jones has been court-ordered to pay nearly $1.5 billion in damages to the families of victims of the Sandy Hook massacre, who sued him for saying the shooting was staged. He admitted he understands the attack was real.

But Musk’s promise about Jones came a day after the Tesla founder reinstated Trump’s Twitter account. Musk has previously said he planned to form a “content moderation council” to review major decisions such as reinstating banned accounts. Instead, it seems that content moderation council has been reduced to a Twitter poll, influenced by the voting of bots

It should come as no surprise that Musk seems to be doing just whatever he wants with Twitter. Since acquiring the platform in a $44-billion court-ordered deal, he has fired the top executives, the board of directors, and about half of the employees. The rest are leaving in droves.

Advertisers have similarly dropped Twitter like a hot potato over concerns about Musk’s content moderation policies, or lack thereof.

Iran’s Team Refuses To Sing National Anthem at World Cup Opener

Amid nationwide protests in Iran, Iran's national team chose to stay silent during the national anthem before its game against England.

Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Members of Iran’s national soccer team made a statement to millions across the globe on Monday, as they refused to sing the national anthem during their match against England in Qatar’s World Cup.

The players’ dissent is the latest act of resistance against the government, amid monthslong nationwide  protests following the mid-September killing of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini. Amini was arrested by the country’s morality police for allegedly not wearing a hijab in accordance with government standards, and was killed in police custody.

While Iran’s players remained silent during the anthem, fans could be heard throughout the stadium booing and whistling to drown out the song. Spectators were seen sporting banners and clothes styled in the Iranian flag’s colors, reading “women, life, freedom,” which has become the main rallying cry for these protests.

During a press conference Sunday, Iranian team captain Ehsan Hajsafi expressed support for the anti-government protests, sharing condolences to families mourning lost loved ones.

Hajsafi began his comments saying “In the name of the God of rainbows,” in reference to a sentence said by nine-year-old Kian Pirfalak, who was killed last week amid protests in Izeh, Khuzestan, Iran.

Since the protests began, more than 380 people have been killed, including at least 58 children, according to Human Rights Activists in Iran.

The Iranian team’s statement comes against a government that has not only violently suppressed public protest, but also stifled dissent from public figures. Actresses, athletes, musicians, and others have all been targeted and even arrested for acts of solidarity with the protestors. Such pressure had forestalled the Iranian team from speaking out until now, fostering discontent from many Iranians.

Nevertheless, as they took to perhaps the world’s largest stage—where the risks of disobedience couldn’t be higher—the players of Iran’s national team spoke out anyway.

The Colorado Springs Shooting Suspect Is The Grandson of MAGA Republican Randy Voepel

The suspected gunman opened fire in a queer club in Colorado Springs, killing five people and injuring at least 25 others.

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The gunman who opened fire in a queer club in Colorado Springs over the weekend is the grandson of a California MAGA Republican lawmaker, multiple media outlets reported Monday.

Anderson Lee Aldrich has been arrested for entering Club Q and shooting at clubgoers Saturday night, killing five people and wounding at least 25 others. Two patrons managed to stop him, taking his gun and hitting him with it to subdue him.

It has the trappings of a hate crime, but we are going to have to see what the investigation shows…to make a clear determination exactly what the motive was,” Colorado Springs mayor John Suthers said Monday.

Early reports indicate that Aldrich is the grandson of outgoing MAGA Republican California Assemblyman Randy Voepel.

Voepel drew serious condemnation last year, including calls for his removal from office, over his support for the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. “This is Lexington and Concord. First shots fired against tyranny,” Voepel told The San Diego Union-Tribune three days after the riot. “Tyranny will follow in the aftermath of the Biden swear-in on January 20th.”

This is not Aldrich’s first instance of violence. A year and a half prior to the shooting, he allegedly threatened his mother, Voepel’s daughter, with a homemade bomb. Neighbors had to evacuate while the bomb squad and crisis negotiators talked him down.

But there is no public record that he was charged with anything, nor that police or relatives tried to trigger Colorado’s “red flag” law that would have allowed authorities to seize any weapons or ammunition he had.

Had that law been triggered, it might have helped prevent Saturday night’s tragedy.

Aldrich is reportedly also a Mormon, a community with a long and fraught history of prejudice against LGBTQ people. Although the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints recently backed the marriage equality bill—which is headed to a final vote in the Senate—that support may be too little, too late.

It comes only a year after senior apostle Jeffrey R. Holland gave an inflammatory speech urging the Brigham Young University faculty and staff to take up metaphorical muskets in defense of their faith—including against same-sex relationships and marriage.