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Eric Adams’s Staff Used Coffee to Create Fake Photo of Fallen Cop: Report

The mayor told the media about a cherished photo in his wallet, then made his staff create one to cover his tracks, according to The New York Times.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Congressman George Santos has gotten all the attention for being the liar extraordinaire of New York’s political scene, but Mayor Eric Adams is giving him a run for his money.

The New York Times reports that Adams has misled the media about a photo of a fallen police officer that the mayor suggested he’s been carrying in his wallet for decades. In fact, Adams allegedly instructed his staff to print the image after he first alluded to it last year, as a way of covering his tracks.

The deception began in January 2022, after two NYC cops were killed in action. Adams told reporters of another officer who had faced a similar fate in 1987: his friend Robert Venable. “I still think about Robert,” Adams said at a City Hall press conference. “I keep a picture of Robert in my wallet.”

A week later, Adams posed for a photograph for the Times, holding said photo. And he has repeated the story over and over since, even showing his apparently long-held photo of Venable at a Police Academy ceremony last year.

“I carry around a picture of Robert Venable, my close friend, that was shot several years ago during my early days of police, and I always have Robert’s picture,” Adams said on News 12 last April. “The pain never dissipates.”  

And apparently it’s all just a sham, the Times reports. According to close sources, Adams’s staffers were directed to produce the photo after the mayor’s news conference. They printed a black-and-white photo of Venable off of Google, and then made it look worn—even apparently splashing some coffee on it, to get that nice aged look.

“The Times’ efforts to attack the mayor here would be laughable if it were not so utterly offensive,” Adams spokesman Fabien Levy said in a statement on Wednesday, criticizing the newspaper’s reporting as part of a “campaign to paint the mayor as a liar.”

Levy did not, however, respond to any questions from the Times regarding the authenticity of the photo, or about whether it was manipulated to look older.

The tale adds to the long list of “contradictions,” as Politico calls them, or downright lies from Mayor Adams. He’s a self-proclaimed strict vegan who apparently also eats fish at high-end New York City restaurants. It wasn’t clear he actually lived in New York City when he running for mayor. He has said New York City schoolchildren “start their day going to the corner bodega buying cannabis and fentanyl,” and recently said that nearly half of the city’s hotel rooms were occupied by migrants, implying that asylum-seekers were hurting tourism.

And that’s just a taste of all the hyperbole or downright lies Adams has peddled—often for no apparent reason. “Stretching the truth in this context does question an elected official’s credibility, and that might be a problem for voters,” Betsy Gotbaum, executive director of Citizen Union, told the Times. “I don’t see why he does it. He doesn’t need to do it, so why does he do it?”

Conservatives’ White House Cocaine Theories Are Getting More Absurd by the Day

Trump, Fox News, and other right-wingers are suspiciously motormouthed about the news.

SSPL/Getty Images

It’s Hunter’s. It’s Jack Smith’s. It’s laced with fentanyl. It’s something else entirely.

Republicans are pushing theory after theory about the cocaine found in the White House earlier this week—and each idea is more bananas than the last.

A small amount of a white, powdery substance—first feared to be anthrax and later identified as cocaine—was found over the weekend in a busy area of the West Wing that both staff and visitors have access to. The Secret Service is investigating, but an anonymous law enforcement official told Politico that it’s unlikely the drug’s owner will ever be identified, given how highly trafficked that area is.

That hasn’t stopped right-wingers from speculating. Many have sought to pin the cocaine on President Biden’s son Hunter. Biden “continues to have somebody with a history of drug addiction in the White House,” Republican California Representative Darrell Issa told Fox News on Wednesday. “It is not a small problem that we find cocaine after Hunter Biden has been in the White House.”

Many right-wing activists have also shared an undated video of Hunter Biden scratching his nose while standing on the White House balcony. They either rhetorically ask who the cocaine might belong to, or they claim the clip shows Hunter actively snorting cocaine.

Some people are casting a slightly wider net. Conservative commentator Dan Bongino did not try to explicitly blame Hunter, but he did insist that a member of the Biden family brought in the cocaine. “There’s absolutely ZERO chance anyone other than a family member brought that cocaine inside the White House complex. No chance that would make it past the mag/security checkpoints. Family bypasses those,” he tweeted Wednesday night.

Former President Donald Trump had a different theory: “Has Deranged Jack Smith, the crazy, Trump hating Special Prosecutor, been seen in the area of the COCAINE?” he demanded Wednesday on Truth Social. “He looks like a crackhead to me!”

Trump has repeatedly tried to smear Smith since he was appointed to investigate Trump for allegedly mishandling classified documents and for his role in trying to overturn the 2020 election.

Fox News joined the reckless speculation race on Thursday, positing that the cocaine may have been laced with something more deadly. “We don’t know if there’s fentanyl in that cocaine too, that’s the problem,” Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade said Thursday morning, citing zero evidence.

“It’s scary!” former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany agreed. “This is a huge national security threat, and the press, well, they’re just laughing it off. But what would you expect?”

Peaky Blinders Slams DeSantis for Using Clips in Homophobic Campaign Ad

The team behind the Netflix show says it “strongly disapproves” of the presidential candidate’s anti-LGBTQ campaign ad.


Last weekend, Ron DeSantis’s rapid response team shared an insane manospheric video going after twice-impeached and twice-indicted former President Donald Trump for his previous expressions of support for the LGBTQ community—proudly contrasting that record with DeSantis’s own relentless crusade against LGBTQ people in his home state.

The incredibly weird ad featured headlines like “DeSantis is evil” interspersed with recognizable pop culture figures, including Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby in the popular Netflix show Peaky Blinders. Murphy and his team say the footage was used without permission and that they “do not support nor endorse the video’s narrative.”

Murphy himself has not been too active in the political arena throughout his career, save for a few notable exceptions, including on the topic of abortion. The Peaky Blinders star strongly urged men to “come out and support women” by voting to affirm abortion rights in Ireland’s 2018 abortion referendum.

Earlier this year, DeSantis signed a six-week abortion ban in Florida, one of the most extreme bans in the country, which applies before many people even know they are pregnant.

Who would’ve thought the star of a show depicting the rise of fascism and nationalism, and the literal and psychological ravages of war and violence, might not be totally aligned with DeSantis?

The Florida governor is standing by the ad. Going after Trump in the video was “totally fair game,” he told conservative commentator Tomi Lahren in an interview.

Wisconsin Governor Increases School Funding for 400 Years in Brilliant Use of Veto Power

Peak chaotic good

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers stands in front of a school bus
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Wednesday partially vetoed the new state budget—a move that actually guarantees funding increases for public schools for the next four centuries.

The Republican-controlled state legislature had passed a budget bill that included a funding increase of $325 per student for the 2023–2024 and 2024–2025 school years. It also implemented a $3.5 billion tax cut that would primarily provide relief to the wealthiest Wisconsinites.

But Evers, a Democrat and a former public school educator, used his line-item veto power to make about four dozen changes before signing the bill into law. First up, he struck out a hyphen and the “20” in the reference to the 2024–25 school year. As a result, Wisconsin public schools will now get an annual funding increase of $325 per student until 2425.

The bump of $325 per student is the highest single-year increase in revenue limits in state history, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The paper said that Evers’s move will create a permanent annual revenue stream for public schools, as well as potentially end a major debate between Democrats and Republicans during budget writing.

Evers also slashed the proposed tax relief. Wisconsin has four income tax brackets, the lower three of which have seen tax rate reductions in recent years. The budget pill would have condensed the brackets down to three and cut rates for all of them.

With Evers’s partial veto, the four brackets remain, and the top two brackets will not see a rate reduction. The budget now only accounts for $175 million in tax cuts.

Evers’s move to secure public school funding is welcome news, particularly as Republicans nationwide seem bent on kneecapping public education. State governments are gutting what can be taught and read and banning discussions of gender and sexuality and books about racism.

In June, Republicans on Capitol Hill proposed eliminating universal free school meals.

UPS Workers Could Soon Deliver One of the Biggest Strikes in U.S. History

Contract negotiations between UPS and its unionized workers broke down, and workers have already authorized a strike.

UPS truck
Ron Wurzer/Getty Images

UPS workers may be on their way to delivering the largest labor strike in America since the 1950s.

On Wednesday morning, the Teamsters union announced that contract negotiations between workers and the company broke down, after “UPS walked away from the bargaining table after presenting an unacceptable offer to the Teamsters that did not address members’ needs. The UPS Teamsters National Negotiating Committee unanimously rejected the package.”

UPS, meanwhile, blamed Teamsters for rejecting the offer and walking away from the table.

Either way, the UPS Teamsters contract is set to expire in just over three weeks, with no additional negotiations on the calendar. There are over 340,000 workers covered by the contract.

And just weeks ago, an overwhelming 97 percent of workers voted to authorize a strike if a contract was not agreed upon.

“This vote shows that hundreds of thousands of Teamsters are united and determined to get the best contract in our history at UPS. If this multibillion-dollar corporation fails to deliver on the contract that our hardworking members deserve, UPS will be striking itself,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “The strongest leverage our members have is their labor and they are prepared to withhold it to ensure UPS acts accordingly.”

Both full- and part-time workers have been vying for a contract guaranteeing higher wages, more full-time jobs, an end to forced overtime and harassment from management (like surveillance cameras on trucks), the elimination of a two-tier wage system, and protections from hazards like dangerous heat.

Hundreds of delivery workers have been known to have fallen sick and even hospitalized from heat exposure while on the job. Last year, a UPS driver collapsed to his death one day after his twenty-fourth birthday; his family believes he died of heat stroke.

Days ago, UPS did agree to some of the demands, including ending the two-tier wage system, establishing Martin Luther King Day as a paid holiday, and ending forced overtime on unscheduled workdays. Last month, UPS made the brave commitment to install air conditioning and fans in most trucks.

“But make no mistake—we are not done,” O’Brien still said after those demands were met. “UPS knows we must reach full agreement on other economic issues, including higher wages, within the next few days.”

And it seems UPS was not willing to budge any further.

While there are still a few weeks left, and some demands have been met, the pressure is on for the shipping giant to ensure it will take care of its hundreds of thousands of well-recognized workers. If not, the company may cede massive ground to competitors, all while dramatically upending the U.S. economy.

“Is Barbie Communist?” How One Scene Dragged the Barbie Movie Into Controversy

She’s a Communist. He’s just Ken.


Is Barbie a Communist? According to Republicans, the answer seems to be, “Most likely.”

A growing number of voices on the right are accusing the upcoming Barbie movie of pushing Chinese propaganda. The film, which comes out July 21, stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, who leave Barbie Land to explore the real world. In one scene before they leave, a rough, hand-drawn map of the world can be seen in the background. The map includes the so-called nine-dash line, a much-disputed division of territory in the South China Sea.

“I guess Barbie is made in China …” Ted Cruz tweeted Monday.

The next day, a spokesperson for the Texas senator told the Daily Mail, “China wants to control what Americans see, hear, and ultimately think, and they leverage their massive film markets to coerce American companies into pushing [Chinese Communist Party] propaganda—just like the way the Barbie film seems to have done with the map.”

Fox News anchor Rachel Campos-Duffy, while covering Cruz’s reaction, mused on air, “Is Barbie Communist?”

“Maybe!” her colleague replied.

China has used the nine-dash line to mark its controversial territorial claims in the South China Sea. Over the years, Beijing has tried to claim sovereignty over 90 percent of the region. Even though The Hague ruled in 2016 that China has no legal basis for its claims, the country has pressed on, building military installations on otherwise uninhabited islands in the sea.

Vietnam has already banned the Barbie movie for its inclusion of the nine-dash line. Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei all say the marker violates their sovereignty.

The Philippines is also considering banning the film. “If the invalidated nine-dash line was indeed depicted in the movie Barbie, then it is incumbent upon the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board of the Philippines to ban the same as it denigrates Philippine sovereignty,” Filipino Senator Francis Tolentino told CNN Philippines on Tuesday.

For those wondering, this is the shot in question of the nine-dash line:

Republicans Are Already Blaming Trans People for the Philadelphia Shooting

There is no evidence that the mass shooter was trans, but that isn’t stopping the far right.

Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Officials from the Crime Scene Unit investigate the mass shooting in Philadelphia on July 3.

Republicans are spreading false information about one of Philadelphia’s deadliest mass shootings in order to push their own transphobic agenda.

A shooter opened fire on a neighborhood Monday night, killing five people including a 15-year-old boy. It is the deadliest attack in Philly since 2000. The alleged gunman has been identified as Kimbrady Carriker, and it is not yet known what his motive was.

Before police had even officially identified Carriker, the far right seized on a few pictures posted on his now-deleted Facebook account that show him wearing a stereotypically feminine outfit, with his hair in long braids. Despite there being no other evidence, Republicans are now claiming Carriker was transgender and are blaming the LGBTQ community, and trans people specifically, for the violence.

“Another trans shooter,” tweeted Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, linking to an article from the far-right conspiracy blog the Post Millennial.

Libs of TikTok founder Chaya Raichik and director turned right-wing activist Robby Starbuck also shared the false claim on Twitter. Right-wing influencer Rogan O’Handley insisted it was time to “start having a national dialogue on Trans mass shooters that target children.”

This isn’t the first time that Republicans have sickeningly used a tragedy—one with very obvious political implications—to push their own prejudiced agenda. In March, a shooter opened fire at a private Christian elementary school in Nashville, killing at least three children and three adults. Police have identified the attacker as Audrey Hale, a former student. Officials said they believed Hale was trans, but they didn’t know if that played a role in the attack.

Republicans immediately seized on Hale’s identity, insisting that the real problem in the United States is the existence of trans people, not the state of gun regulation. Many falsely claimed that there has been a rise in trans shooters in recent years. In reality, the vast majority of mass shootings are carried out by cisgender white men.

Now Republicans are similarly ignoring the fact that Carriker repeatedly posted online about his support for the Second Amendment and former President Donald Trump (who is under investigation for allegedly encouraging violence from his followers to overturn the election).

Meanwhile, the real problem is—as always—the lack of gun control. “It is disgusting, the lack of proper gun legislation that we have in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said during a press conference Tuesday. “It is time for everybody in our legislature, including the ones who would like to walk around with an AR-15 lapel pin, it is time for every one of them to face the voters. And if they’re not going to do something, then the voters are going to have to vote them out.

“Because that’s what that lapel pin means, it means ‘Vote me out. I am against you, and I am against your safety.’”

Josh Hawley Quotes White Nationalist Magazine to Celebrate Fourth of July

The Republican senator claimed the quote came from Founding Father Patrick Henry.

Senator Josh Hawley
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Senator Josh Hawley

On the Fourth of July, Senator Josh Hawley decided to celebrate America by posting a fake quote from a Founding Father. Even a minute of critical thinking should have stopped him from doing so.

Beyond Hawley using his Independence Day message as a vessel to rear for Christian nationalism, he also attributed the quote to Founding Father Patrick Henry.

Henry, known for declaring at the Second Virginia Convention, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” passed away in June 1799. This was famously before America had built any history of affording “asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship” to anyone. Nevertheless, Hawley seems to think that it made sense for Henry to hail America for somehow doing all that just years after the nation was founded.

The quote Hawley tweeted is actually from an article written almost 200 years after the revolutionary war, a 1956 piece from the viciously antisemitic and white nationalist magazine The Virginian.

The article was responding to what it calls an “insidious campaign of false propaganda being waged today, to the effect that our country is not a Christian country but a religious one—that it was not founded on Christianity but on freedom of religion.” The author cited Henry’s will, in which he wrote about how he wishes he could also give his family “the Christian Religion,” as apparent proof of this notion.

As Seth Cotlar, a professor of U.S. history at Williamette University, pointed out, The Virginian is certainly not the kind of magazine you’d want to be citing from. Beyond its yearning for America to be a Christian nation, it has decried “race mixing in [the] army” and made a donation pitch to readers by whipping up fears about “the conspiracy to mongrelize white America [that] lies in the powerful, wealthy Jewish organizations.”

Besides either the stupidity or malice behind the tweet, the core message is not an aberration for Hawley. Just two weeks ago, he appeared at a religious-right activist conference where he asserted that Christianity had “formed the soul of this country” and cried that “the time for Christians to rise is now.”

Either Hawley (or his staff) didn’t know that Henry never actually said the quote (and they didn’t bother to think more than five seconds about the basic logic behind it), or Hawley willfully misquoted Henry and even knew where the quote came from and was happy to do so.

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Calls for Lifting Taboo on Quoting Hitler

Mark Robinson made the declaration at the far-right Moms for Liberty summit.

Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images
North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson thinks it’s not bad to quote Hitler because history textbooks do it.

Robinson spoke Sunday during the second annual summit for Moms for Liberty, a far-right “parental rights” organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center recently categorized as an extremist group. Other speakers at the weekend-long Philadelphia event included 2024 presidential candidates Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Nikki Haley, and Asa Hutchinson.

A clip of Robinson’s talk went viral on Wednesday. During his speech, Robinson seems to imply that quoting Hitler isn’t actually a sign of espousing what he stood for. “Because you quoted Hitler, you support Hitler. I guess every history book in America supports Hitler now. They all quote him,” he says.

“And here’s the thing,” Robinson says. “Whether you’re talking about Adolf Hitler; whether you’re talking about Chairman Mao; whether you’re talking about Stalin; whether you’re talking about Pol Pot; whether you’re talking about Castro in Cuba; or whether you’re talking about a dozen other despots all around the globe; it is time for us to get back and start reading some of those quotes.”

But the originally shared clip cuts off what Robinson says next. “It’s time for us to start teaching our children about the dirty, despicable, awful things that those communist and socialist despots did in our history,” he continues.

It makes sense that Robinson would condemn leftist revolutionaries such as Mao, Stalin, Castro, and Pol Pot. But you would be forgiven for thinking that maybe he really did suggest giving Hitler another look. Robinson, who took office in 2021, has a long history of spreading aggressively antisemitic, anti-Black, and homophobic rhetoric online. A deep dive by Talking Points Memo into the past seven years of Robinson’s Facebook activity also found that he shared conspiracy theories, 2020 election falsehoods, and even Holocaust denialism. He also previously said that communism is a greater threat to the world than Nazism was.

Still, despite Robinson’s explanation, it’s pretty hard to justify quoting Hitler in anything other than historical context. For an example, look no further than Moms for Liberty. An Indiana chapter of the organization got in trouble two weeks ago when it quoted Hitler in its newsletter. The Hamilton County, Indiana, chapter didn’t even try to hide that it was a Hitler quotation, citing the Nazi leader just under the text. The group apologized and first tried to add context to justify using the quotation. But when the blowback grew, they quietly removed the quote altogether.

This piece was updated to note additional context about Robinson’s speech.

Mondaire Jones Is Pitching a Comeback

The former Democratic congressman from New York wants to win back his seat—after the former DCCC chair essentially bullied him out and then lost the race to a Republican.

Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Take Back the Court Action Fund
Mondaire Jones

A year after being pushed out of his district by losing Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Sean Patrick Maloney, Mondaire Jones is pitching a comeback to Congress.

The former New York congressman announced his bid to take back his seat on Wednesday morning:

Jones is running for New York’s 17th congressional district, one he used to represent before a messy redistricting process pushed him out. With redrawn congressional maps prompted by former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s stacked conservative state court, DCCC chair Maloney decided to run in Jones’s district, essentially bullying Jones out. Maloney then got egg on his face by losing to Republican Mike Lawler in a redistricted map that would have voted for Biden by 10 percentage points.

In his video announcement Wednesday, Jones focused especially on gun violence, his role in increasing police funding, and his specific roots to Rockland County.

“Gun violence is a uniquely American problem, and it’s frightening to be a parent and know that I could send my kid off to school and never see them again,” parent Beth Davidson says in the video. “Mondaire has been a champion for keeping people safe.”

Jones also brought out Dave Ryan of the Hudson Valley Police to express his support for Jones because he “funded the police.” While the New York suburbs are actually among the safest communities in the country, they are also home to many of the officers who police New York City. Lawler, among other successful New York Republicans from the last election cycle, peddled fears around crime despite those facts. Many other New York Republicans who secured surprising victories, like Lawler, enjoyed the support of the likes of then-president of the New York City police union Patrick Lynch. Jones seems eager to head off that dynamic—not by pointing out the contradiction but instead by placating those interests.

And given the shaky precedent of Jones being pushed out, then being forced to run in a district he had less connection with, all to come back and run in his old (now slightly modified by redistricting) district, Jones is paying special focus on highlighting his roots to the area.

“I was lucky to grow up in Rockland County,” Jones said in his video. “Raised by a young single mom, who like so many incredible women throughout this district, still had to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.”

In the last election, when all was said and done, Jones was in part victim to the series of dramas that helped Democrats narrowly lose the House majority, setting course for what the day-to-day activity of Congress would look like until 2024.

In November, Maloney became the first party chair to lose an election in four decades. Jones didn’t even make it out of the crowded primary he then ran in, losing to wealthy and massively self-funded Daniel Goldman (who also benefited from a New York Times endorsement, having connections with Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger).

The crowded primary pitted Jones against other progressives, including Yuh-Line Niou, who took second, and Carlina Rivera, who came in fourth behind Jones. Their combined vote totals far outpaced Goldman’s.

Now Jones will be vying to take on Lawler, the vulnerable Republican who beat Maloney. But first he must win a primary that already perhaps feels somewhat resonant of his previous primary. Among others, Jones will be facing off against Liz Geregthy Whitmer, sister to Michigan governor and rising Democratic star Gretchen Whitmer.