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Trump’s New Whine About Gag Order Is Ridiculous

Hours after his second gag order, Donald Trump has an absurd attack on Judge Tanya Chutkan.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Donald Trump can’t seem to help himself from trash talking the judges of his trials, even with a second gag order in place.

On Monday, Judge Tanya Chutkan imposed a gag order on the former president’s D.C. trial, which hinges on four felony charges related to his effort to subvert the 2020 election. In a statement issued alongside the order, Chutkan said that Trump’s First Amendment protections “yield to the administration of justice” and that his presidential candidacy does not give him “carte blanche” to vilify public servants “who are simply doing their job.”

Within hours, however, Trump was onstage in Iowa, complaining about the decision.

“A judge gave a gag order today,” Trump said. “The judge doesn’t like me too much. Her whole life is not liking me.”

“You know what a gag order is? ‘You can’t speak badly about your opponent,’” Trump added in a mocking tone.

“I’ll be the politician in history that runs with a gag order where I’m not allowed to criticize people. Can you imagine this?” he continued. “It’s so unconstitutional.”

Previously, Trump used his speaking arrangements and social media presence to lambaste prosecutors and office clerks associated with the case, snubbing the Justice Department’s special counsel Jack Smith as “deranged” and his underlings as “thugs.”

Chutkan said she would consider “sanctions” against Trump if she witnessed any violations.

It’s the second such gag order issued so far in his legal proceedings, after Judge Arthur Engoron came down on the former president earlier this month in his business fraud case for attacking one of the judge’s staffers.

Queer Arizona State University Professor Injured by Right-Wing Activists

A film crew affiliated with Turning Point USA allegedly pushed an ASU English professor to the ground while trying to confront him about a drag story hour group he co-founded.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Turning Point USA Founder Charlie Kirk speaking at an event earlier this year

The right-wing group Turning Point USA has found itself at the center of a hate crime investigation after two local members of the group allegedly assaulted a queer professor at Arizona State University on Wednesday.

Two people identified as members of the conservative group waited outside the classroom of David Boyles, an English professor at the college and co-founder of Drag Story Hour Arizona, according to a statement by ASU President Michael Crow. The pair then harassed and shoved him to the ground, “bloodying his face,” Crow wrote in a letter to faculty and staff.

“This is the kind of outrageous conduct that you would expect to see from bullies in a high school cafeteria,” wrote Crow.

In security camera footage captured by the ASU Police Department, two men clad in all-black clothing can be seen surrounding Boyles as he passes through a courtyard. As Boyles reaches his arm out toward their camera, one of the men, identified as Kalen D’Almeida, runs up behind Boyles and forcefully knocks him to the ground.

“You can’t run,” D’Almeida told Boyles in a clip of the altercation posted the following day, according to NBC. “It’s best if you just talk to me on why you want to push sodomy to young people.”

In a Facebook post sharing his condition, Boyles said his injuries were “relatively minor” but that the incident left him feeling “angry, violated, embarrassed, and despairing” that society has come to “normalize this kind of harassment and violence against anyone who tries to support LGBTQ+ youth.”

Police are investigating the altercation as a “potential bias or prejudicially motivated incident,” reported KPNX-TV.

“Cowards that they are and so confident in the legality and appropriateness of their actions, the Turning Point USA ‘reporter’ and ‘cameraman’ then ran away from the scene before police arrived,” Crow noted.

The House of Representatives Is About to Get Even Crazier

Jim Jordan nearly has the votes he needs to become the next speaker of the House. Yikes!

Rep. Jim Jordan
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Representative Jim Jordan, possibly the next speaker of the House

Not so long ago, Ohio Republican Representative Jim Jordan’s candidacy for speaker of the House looked dead in the water. Jordan, a founder of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, is not particularly popular even within his own party. An ardent anti-institutionalist, he is a bomb-thrower, not a legislator—not exactly typical speaker material. Less than two weeks ago, Jordan handily lost a vote to become his party’s nominee for speaker to the somewhat more institutionally minded Steve Scalise. Scalise then withdrew his name more or less immediately, realizing he would not have the requisite votes needed to be speaker. And so it was Jordan’s time to shine.

Jordan’s candidacy seemed doomed before the start of the weekend. On Friday, 55 Republicans voted against his candidacy, even though there wasn’t another alternative. Jordan promised a Tuesday floor vote—even if he did not have the votes needed to take the gavel—but the conventional wisdom was that there was no way he could unify his caucus (more or less—he can only lose a handful of votes to be elected speaker) in time.

With less than 24 hours to go before that floor vote, Jordan is on the verge of winning over the holdouts in his party. On Monday, Jordan was able to flip nearly all of the most important holdouts, including Representative Mike Rogers, who had suggested only a few days earlier that he was willing to hear from Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries about a possible deal. Jordan doesn’t yet have the votes he needs. But he’s extremely close.

Jordan would make Kevin McCarthy look like a master of compromise. There is every indication he would lead the House in a more radical, obstructionist way. He is, it should be noted, scandal-plagued: In 2018, a number of former Ohio State wrestlers accused Jordan, then an assistant coach, of knowing about sexual abuse that was happening within the program between 1986 and 1994, but doing nothing to stop it. Jordan has claimed he did not know of the abuse but has also claimed that the allegations against him are part of a vast left-wing conspiracy to derail his political career.

Nevertheless, that scandal has hardly derailed his career: Because Republicans have shown little interest in it, he has remained a star of right-wing cable news and is a favorite of Donald Trump’s. Jordan’s ascension to the speakership would be remarkable: both because he has no interest in actually governing and because it seemed impossible only a few days ago. And yet the most remarkable thing is that the House of Representatives might somehow become even less functional than it is now.

The Right-Wing Funder Behind Harvard Billboards Targeting Pro-Palestine Students

A Guardian investigation revealed the source of billboards that doxxed students at the Ivy League university who had criticized Israeli strikes against Palestinian civilians.

Harvard University students show their support for Palestinians in Gaza
A rally at Harvard University on October 13 supporting Palestine

A prominent conservative donor is behind the controversial Harvard Square billboard that doxxed students who signed a letter critical of Israel’s role in its war with Palestine.

The billboard truck, which appeared on campus on Wednesday and emblazoned the names and faces of students under the banner “Harvard’s Leading Anti-Semites,” was organized by the conservative watchdog Accuracy in Media. However, the money fueling the initiative ran much deeper, reported The Guardian.

The nonprofit’s single largest donor in 2022 was the Informing America Foundation, according to IRS filings obtained by the outlet. That year, Informing America signed a check to the watchdog for more than $166,000, roughly 18 percent of the donations received by the nonprofit that year.

Elsewhere, Informing America doled out more than $8 million to 12 different media and activist groups that same year. Causes under their umbrella included Star News Digital Media, a for-profit news network founded by former Tea Party activists whose sites have been likened to “pink slime” and dubbed “Baby Breitbarts.”

The group has also contributed to Real Clear Foundation, a news nonprofit whose aggregated news and original reporting headlines “anti-MAGA” initiatives, highlights random violence in liberal cities, and levels its criticisms at Joe Biden and his family.

Behind Informing America, however, is the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, a $1.5 billion institution that played a significant part in funding a network of voter suppression groups following the 2020 election, according to a report by the Center for Media and Democracy.

The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation’s founder, executive chairman, and namesake , Diana Davis Spencer, was not only identified as Informing America Foundation’s single largest donor, providing $1.5 million in 2021, but also a board member of the conservative group.

Tom Cotton’s Gaza Comments Are Horrifying

The Arkansas Republican senator cheered on indiscriminate killing, during a Fox News interview on Sunday.

Photo by Tom Williams/Pool/Getty Images
Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton in 2021

Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton called for the indiscriminate massacre of Palestinians on Sunday, during an interview with Shannon Bream on Fox News.

“As far as I’m concerned, Israel can bounce the rubble in Gaza. Anything that happens in Gaza is the responsibility of Hamas—Hamas killed women and children in Israel last weekend,” Cotton said. 

Over the past week, Israel has killed at least 2,800 people and injured nearly 10,000, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, in an onslaught of retaliatory strikes after the terrorist group Hamas made a deadly incursion into Israeli territory, killing 1,400 Israelis.  

Cotton did not bother to make a distinction between Hamas, the terrorist organization, and the millions of Palestinian civilians who are now facing a humanitarian crisis as Israel denies them food, water, and electricity. Instead, Cotton insisted that Hamas was to blame for the thousands of Palestinians suffering as a result of Israeli bombs. 

Cotton explicitly blamed Hamas for the Israeli military’s slaughter of Palestinian children, implying that the terrorist group was trying to force the hand of the United States by causing Israel to commit heinous war crimes. “If Hamas uses schools, and kindergartens, and mosques for military purposes, Israel has every right under the laws of war to strike back,” Cotton said. “It is Hamas that is committing war crimes by using those civilians to create the imagery to try to put pressure on the Biden administration,” he added.

While Democratic support for Palestinians has increased in the face of Israeli aggression, the Biden administration has not signaled much more than sympathy for the Palestinians, and continued to vocally back Israel. 

Cotton’s abhorrent call for violence ignores the fact that the Israeli military has previously engaged in disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks against Palestinian civilians, in blatant violation of international law. Most crucially, international law obligations are nonreciprocal, meaning that if one side commits war crimes, that doesn’t mean the other can, according to Sari Bashi, the program director at Human Rights Watch. 

More than anything, Cotton’s calls for indiscriminate violence do nothing to wind down a conflict that has already cost thousands of innocent lives and that threatens to expand into a devastating regional war. 

Israel Is Blocking Vital Humanitarian Aid From Gaza

As a ground invasion looms, Gaza’s hospitals are buckling and trucks carrying food and lifesaving medical equipment are stuck at Israel’s border.

Photo by SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images
Smoke billows after Israeli missiles hit the Rafah crossing.

Trucks transporting badly needed humanitarian aid to Gaza are stuck outside Israel’s border with Egypt, ahead of a planned ground offensive that has strangled the region’s access to fuel, medicine, food, and water.

The Rafah crossing, Gaza’s “lifeline” for international aid, has been closed for more than a week after Israel bombed the checkpoint, rendering the passageway inoperable, reported Reuters; Israel has continued to bomb the area.

Egypt has “been seeking to keep the crossing operational and in a way that allows the entry of humanitarian aid,” the country’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told ABC News on Monday.

“Until now, unfortunately, the Israeli government has not taken a position to allow the opening of the crossing from the Gaza side for the entry of aid or the exit of nationals of [other] countries,” he added.

More than 400,000 Palestinians in cities across the region’s south took shelter in hospitals and schools on Monday, reported the Associated Press. Israel has called on more than a million people to evacuate the enclave’s northern region for the south as Israel enters a new phase of its all-out assault on Hamas.

While Israeli airstrikes pounded the southern city of Khan Younis, Israel’s government denied reports that it had agreed to a ceasefire to permit the transport of humanitarian aid and safe passage of Palestinian refugees and foreign nationals to Egypt. “At the moment there is no ceasefire for humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip and the exit of foreigners,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Israel has distributed orders to evacuate residents along its northern border with Lebanon, preparing for an exchange of fire with Hezbollah after the militant group announced it targeted five positions in northern Israel.

At least 2,800 people have been killed in Palestine, with 10,850 wounded, according to a statement from the Gaza Government Press Office obtained by The New York Times, which noted that more than 60 percent of those killed were women and children.

The situation in Gaza’s hospitals is particularly dire, with an Israeli ground invasion on the horizon. “It’s absolutely impossible to evacuate the hospital,” Dr. Muhammad Abu Salima, the director of Gaza City’s largest medical complex told The New York Times. “There is nowhere in Gaza that can accept the number of patients in our intensive care unit or neonatal intensive care unit or even the operating rooms.”

On the other side of the conflict, more than 1,400 Israelis have died, the majority of whom were civilians killed during Hamas’s three-pronged surprise attack against Israel on October 7.

Israeli authorities reported on Monday that 199 hostages had been retrieved from Gaza and that the head of Hamas’s general intelligence had been assassinated during air raids in Khan Younis.

George Santos’s Campaign Is Broke

The scandal-addicted New York Republican brought in just $674 in new donations between July and September.

Representative George Santos
Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Indiscriminate lies, criminal charges, and intraparty calls to resign can’t seem to topple Representative George Santos—but bankruptcy might.

Numerous donors to the political pariah’s campaign wanted their money back amid the Long Island Republican’s numerous scandals over the summer. New filings with the Federal Election Commission show a significant overdraft between July and September: negative $16,526.09. That consists of $17,200 in refunds, along with $674 in new donations.

Santos’s campaign has spent lavishly even though it has brought in almost no new donations. In those same months, the New York Republican’s campaign spent $42,000, leaving him with less than $23,000 in the bank by the end of September. The bulk of that spending went to the D.C.-based legal firm Dickinson Wright, which Santos owes another $70,000, reported Axios.

On top of that, Santos’s campaign treasurer seemingly “became aware” of more than $120,000 in previously undisclosed debts within the last three months owed to several aides and vendors, according to the filings.

Added to the $630,000 that Santos still owes himself thanks to a fake (and then suddenly real) 2022 campaign contribution, that leaves the congressmen more than $800,000 in the red.

On Tuesday, Santos was hit with a dozen charges related to stealing his donors’ identification and credit card information, allegedly wiring tens of thousands of dollars to his personal bank account while using the rest to jack up his campaign numbers.

“As alleged, Santos is charged with stealing people’s identities and making charges on his own donors’ credit cards without their authorization, lying to the FEC and, by extension, the public about the financial state of his campaign. Santos falsely inflated the campaign’s reported receipts with non-existent loans and contributions that were either fabricated or stolen,” said United States Attorney Breon Peace in a release announcing the indictment.

The congressman is due in federal court in Suffolk County on October 27.

Eyewitness Account From Gaza: “It Is Impossible to Live”

Anyone who does not die in the raids will die of hunger and thirst.

Aris Messinis/Getty Images
A fireball erupts during Israeli bombardment in the northern Gaza Strip on October 14.

The Gaza Strip is experiencing a humanitarian catastrophe that is unprecedented since 1967. At least 2,300 lost their lives. This is the number who have arrived at the hospitals. There are hundreds of people who were buried under the rubble, and no one could reach them.

The unprecedented destruction of infrastructure has made life a living hell open to everyone. It is the harshest on women, children, and the disabled. There are 8,000 wounded in hospitals within the first week. This is close to the number of wounded in the 51-day war in 2014. This would exceed the capacity of the most advanced health systems in the world, let alone a fragile health system that has been suffering for years from a shortage of medicines and equipment. Medical teams are no longer able to work.

The Israeli army order for 1.1 million residents of the Gaza Strip to evacuate their homes and flee to the southern regions, while at the same time bombing the cars carrying them, contradicts humanity. The decision to impose a complete siege on Gaza, cut off electricity, stop fuel, and prevent the delivery of infant formula and medicines threatens to turn the whole Gaza Strip into a real grave.

It is impossible for two million people to live in less than a third of Gaza’s area. Not allowing humanitarian aid or a humanitarian truce that allows people to catch their breath represents in itself unbearable suffering for the population. Anyone who does not die in the raids will die of hunger and thirst.

What is required is a 48-hour humanitarian truce now, before Sunday, in which people can get their needs. The most important thing is a ceasefire to prevent further loss of life and prevent more suffering of the hell that opened its doors wide in the past seven days.

The House GOP’s Crazy Week Gets Even Weirder With George Santos Tirade

The disgraced New York representative erupted at a man he called an “animal” and “terrorist sympathizer.”

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Representatve George Santos yelling on Friday

Tensions in the Longsworth Building boiled over on Friday afternoon, when Representative George Santos erupted at a huddle of reporters, shouting profanities at a man he accused of being an anti-Israel protester.

“He’s an animal,” the disgraced congressman and accused fraudster shouted. “He’s a terrorist sympathizer that has no business in this building. What is happening in Israel is abhorrent. What is happening to the people of Israel should not be defended. Nobody defending Hamas has any business in this building, whether you’re an elected official or a civilian.” Santos also was carrying a baby when the confrontation began. It’s not clear whose baby it was.

The subject of Santos’s tirade was identified as Shabd Singh, according to Fox News’s Chad Pergram. Singh is Jewish but critical of the state of Israel.

Singh was allegedly attempting to question former Speaker Kevin McCarthy on “what he is doing to stop the ongoing committing of war crimes by the Israeli military,” Singh told Pergram, though when McCarthy failed to respond he pointed the question at Santos, who was walking from the opposite direction.

“He then found me here in this hallway and accosted me and began yelling at me, essentially framing what I am saying as some sort of antisemitic trope,” the Fox correspondent quoted Singh.

Singh was detained by Capitol Police shortly after the incident occurred.

The State Department Doesn’t Want Diplomats to Call for “De-Escalation” or an “End to Violence” in Gaza

A memo published on Friday encouraged officials to resist public calls for peace.


State Department officials warned diplomats not to use words such as “ceasefire” in a memo released shortly after the Israeli government ordered over one million Gazans to evacuate their homes within 24 hours late Thursday.

Staff were specifically asked not to publish press pieces containing the phrases “end to violence/bloodshed,” “restoring calm,” and “de-escalation/ceasefire,” according to HuffPost.

A State Department official refused to comment on the internal communication. Nevertheless, the memo itself suggests that the Biden administration will do little—at least publicly—to encourage Israel to de-escalate or to reduce airstrikes that have already claimed hundreds of civilian lives.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken hoped to address Hamas’s militant attacks in Israel while visiting the country on Wednesday. “The United States has Israel’s back,” Blinken said, shortly after Hamas terrorists killed more than 1,000 Israelis, including a number of children and hundreds who were attending a music festival.

Defense Secratary Lloyd Austin met with Israeli leaders on Friday and said that Israel has the right to defend itself when asked about the likelihood of civilian casualties in Gaza after Israel’s evacuation orders, the Associated Press reported.

Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed at least 1,800 people this week, according to the Palestinian health ministry on Friday.