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The Internet Comes Together to Mock Dean Phillips’s Dumb Map

How could a House Democrat and presidential candidate be this clueless?

Representative Dean Phillips campaigning
Gaelen Morse/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Representative Dean Phillips campaigned in Windham, New Hampshire, on Tuesday.

Representative Dean Phillips thought he’d made a pretty good point Wednesday about the political division in the United States, but the internet was quick to show him just how badly he’d messed up.

Phillips is running a long-shot campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination against President Biden. If you’re wondering how that’s going for him, Phillips won just 19.6 percent of votes during New Hampshire’s unofficial Democratic primary on Tuesday. Biden won 55.8 percent—as a write-in candidate.

Following his New Hampshire loss, Phillips revealed Wednesday morning on Fox & Friends that he had attended one of Donald Trump’s rallies to try to connect with far-right voters. When his actions prompted backlash, Phillips spoke out against political divisions.

Phillips accompanied his tweet with what appeared to be an electoral map, which was indeed primarily red. But internet users were quick to point out that the map was massively misleading for two main reasons.

First, while the map makes it look like most people vote Republican, the areas that are blue actually have higher population numbers.

Second, the map isn’t even from the most recent election.

“There was probably a lane for someone to do reasonably well against Biden,” tweeted Osita Nwanevu, a columnist for The Guardian and contributing editor for The New Republic, “but being maximally annoying to every constituency in the Democratic Party at once wasn’t it, obviously.”

Ohio Republicans Force Through Cruel Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Minors

The GOP-controlled legislature ignored pleas for compassion in overriding the governor’s veto.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Governor Mike DeWine had vetoed the bill, but later signed an executive order banning gender-affirming surgeries for minors.

Ohio’s Republican-controlled General Assembly has voted to override Governor Mike DeWine’s veto of a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for minors. The measure will now become law, a further blow to LGBTQ Ohioans.

The state Senate voted 23–9 on Wednesday in favor of the override, primarily along party lines. The state House of Representatives passed the measure two weeks ago with a vote of 65–28.

Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio, a Democrat, urged her colleagues not to pass the bill. She pointed out that state residents had already rejected government intervention in health care when they voted in November to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution.

“The voters spoke when they voted in the last election that the government should not be in charge of their health care decisions,” Antonio said.

“If what we all agree on today is that this is a complicated issue that none of us have all the answers for, I don’t understand why we would just close the door,” she continued. “We don’t know what their lives are like, but the parents do. The families do.”

House Bill 68 bans gender-affirming care for transgender and nonbinary teenagers. The measure applies to treatments including puberty blockers, hormones, and medical procedures; it also prohibits trans high school and college students from participating on sports teams that match their gender identity.

DeWine shocked everyone when he vetoed the bill in late December, a rare bright spot in the current onslaught of measures restricting access to gender-affirming care. DeWine cited the medical community’s support for gender-affirming care as a factor in his decision, as well as conversations he had with trans teens and their parents.

“Parents have looked me in the eye and told me that but for this treatment, their child would be dead,” he said. “And youth who are transgender have told me they are thriving today because of their transition.”

But just a week later, DeWine undid everything when he signed an executive order banning gender-affirming surgeries for minors in Ohio and even restricting access to care for adults. Under the new rules, people of any age seeking gender-affirming care must get permission from multidisciplinary teams. Those teams could include an endocrinologist, a bioethicist, a psychiatrist, and more.

Ohio is now one of the few states to mandate these extra steps, which will add an undue burden for patients. The requirements will likely rack up significant medical expenses and dramatically extend how long people must wait to access what is widely viewed as lifesaving care.

Conservatives Are Totally Not Mad About Jon Stewart’s Return to The Daily Show

Apparently the political comedian pushes the right’s buttons without even saying a word.

Stewart in 2019
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Stewart in 2019, testifying in support of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund

Fans of The Daily Show rejoiced on Wednesday after Comedy Central announced the triumphant return of Jon Stewart, who will serve as an executive producer and Monday host through the rest of the election cycle. Prominent Substacker Charlotte Clymer compared the news to Michael Jordan’s return to the NBA, and a U.S. senator, Jon Tester, also extended a hand in welcoming Stewart back.

But not everyone was sunshine and roses about Stewart’s new weekly gig, with some on the right complaining that the choice to bring back the show’s former 16-year host would only bring more volatility to American politics.

“Jon Stewart, who did so much to create the current political environment of inter-tribal vilification in place of argument, returns to survey the wreckage,” Dan McLaughlin, a senior writer at National Review, wrote in a post on X.

Nate Hochman, his former colleague at the conservative magazine, chimed in, “Jon Stewart’s brand of smirking, needling, speaking-truth-to-power liberalism made sense in the specific context of the Bush era, when there was at least a plausible case that the Left was ‘anti-establishment.’”

Others attempted to falsely conflate the industry’s recent wave of layoffs and hedge fund–induced instability with Stewart’s return. Right-wing podcaster and Substacker Stephen Miller tweeted:

But even some on the left dismissed the 61-year-old’s return on the basis of his canceled Apple TV+ show, The Problem With Jon Stewart. Ben Dreyfuss, formerly of Mother Jones, wrote:

No Labels Is Getting Sued by Its Own Donors for Its Third-Party Chicanery

A pair of deep-pocketed real estate moguls aim to hurt the organization that wants to hurt Joe Biden’s chances.

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New York City real estate developer Douglas Durst

New York City real estate titans Douglas and Jonathan Durst of the Durst Organization sued No Labels on Tuesday, claiming the centrist political advocacy nonprofit pulled a “bait and switch” after the group announced it had plans to run a third-party campaign in the upcoming presidential election.

The suit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, claimed that No Labels “lost its way” after receiving $145,000 from the cousins under the pretense that it would organize voters against partisanship and offer a home for the “politically homeless”—not stack the chances against President Joe Biden in an increasingly grave race for the White House.

The Dursts argue that the current iteration of No Labels—which claimed to be “not a third party, but rather a third bloc,” according to the moguls’ legal complaint—has “become the opposite” of what they initially set out to fund.

“The promise of promoting bipartisan government that No Labels made to donors such as the Dursts has now been irretrievably broken, and the Dursts, for one, want their money back,” reads the complaint. “They want no part of an organization that seems bent on pursuing a doomed third-party presidential bid outside the nation’s de facto two-party system.”

Although the nonprofit’s website says it has yet to commit to running a candidate in the race, it has clearly been paving the way for the possibility of doing so. Earlier this month, No Labels announced that it had gained ballot access in 13 states, from Hawaii to Maine.

“A third-party ticket option will only discourage bipartisan reform because it will take votes away from one of the major political candidates, giving an advantage to the other candidate,” the suit says.

But a leader and lawyer for No Labels, Dan Webb, described the suit to Courthouse News as “frivolous,” pointing out that the Durst cousins last sent checks to the nonprofit in 2020 and 2017. Webb told The New York Times that No Labels’s “fundamental mission has never changed.”

“This is nothing more than an organized distraction. Douglas’ last contribution was six years ago, and Jody’s last contribution was over three years ago. These contributions were spent on priorities that the Dursts had no complaints about at the time,” Webb told Courthouse News. But as they say, money—much like No Labels’ convictions—is fungible.

Donald Trump’s Relationship With Lindsey Graham Is About to Go Very Ba

A new book describes how the South Carolina senator threw the former president “under the bus.”

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President Donald Trump and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, in happier times

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham completely threw Donald Trump “under the bus” when the senator testified before the grand jury in Georgia’s election interference case, a new book reveals.

Graham, who has spent most of the last half-decade as a steadfast Trump loyalist, had been summoned to testify before the grand jury over a phone call he had made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. After fighting the subpoena for months, Graham finally appeared to testify—and flipped immediately, according to a new book by investigative reporters Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman.

“After fighting a four-month legal battle all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to block his grand jury subpoena—and losing—South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham turned on a dime ‘and threw Trump under the bus,’” Isikoff and Klaidman wrote in their book Find Me the Votes: A Hard-Charging Georgia Prosecutor, a Rogue President, and the Plot to Steal an American Election, citing anonymous sources.

According to the testimony, which the authors confirmed, Graham said that if you told Trump “that Martians came and stole the election, he’d probably believe you.”

Outside of the pages of Isikoff and Klaidman’s book, Graham has positioned himself as one of the president’s most ardent defenders. Last month, he took a harsh stance against the effort among a handful of secretaries of state to kick Trump off their presidential ballots via the language of Article 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. And as recently as three weeks ago, Graham defended the former president’s actions on January 6, 2021, telling Face the Nation that Trump’s claim of presidential immunity was “valid.”

“Now, if you’re doing your job as president,” Graham said, a defense substantially at odds with the account documented in Isikoff and Klaidman’s book, “and January the sixth, he was still president trying to find out if the election, you know, was on the up and up—I think his immunity claim, I don’t know how it will bear out, but I think it’s a legitimate claim.”

In a hilarious side note, Graham also hinted that Trump cheated at golf, a sharp contrast to comments he made a few years earlier. In 2017, a more deferential Graham insisted that Trump “shot a 73 in windy and wet conditions!”

After his grand jury testimony, Isikoff and Klaidman wrote, Graham bumped into Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who led the investigation into Trump and ultimately indicted the former president. Graham actually thanked Willis for letting him share his side of the story.

“That was so cathartic,” he said. “I feel so much better.”

Graham then hugged Willis, who seemed unperturbed by the encounter, an eyewitness told Isikoff and Klaidman.

The backstory will live in infamy: Graham called Raffensperger on Trump’s behalf soon after the 2020 election, after it became clear that Joe Biden was set to take the White House. According to Raffensperger, Graham asked whether the secretary had the power to throw out all mail-in ballots from certain counties.

Raffensperger told The Washington Post he felt Graham was asking him to illegally discount valid ballots. This phone call occurred a week before Trump’s own infamous phone call to Raffensperger, during which he begged the secretary to “find” the exact number of votes needed to flip Georgia to Trump. Raffensperger held firm in both cases.

Graham was so involved in the scheme that the special grand jury actually recommended he be indicted for his actions. The special grand jury’s full report was released in September, and it revealed that Graham and former Georgia Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue all narrowly escaped charges for their role in trying to overturn the 2020 election.

Everyone Agrees the GOP Primary Is Over—Except Nikki Haley

The former South Carolina governor is hell-bent on pressing on, but Republicans are closing ranks.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s double-digit win in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary has pretty much everyone arguing that it’s time to either rally around Donald Trump as the GOP candidate or, if you’re not so inclined, to begin the campaign against him in earnest.  There is, however, one person not on board with this plan—Nikki Haley.

“You’ve all heard the chatter among the political class. They’re falling all over themselves saying this race is over,” Haley told a crowd of supporters after acknowledging Trump’s win in the Granite State. “Well I have news for all of them—New Hampshire is first in the nation. It is not the last in the nation.”

“This race is far from over. There are dozens of states left to go,” Haley added.

Technically, that is true. But positioning herself once again as Trump’s leading rival doesn’t seem to be convincing anyone—including President Joe Biden, whose campaign took Trump’s Tuesday night win as the starting gun for “one of the longest and most grueling general elections in modern American history,” according to Politico.

Typically, a candidate needs to win 1,215 delegates across the country to secure their party’s nomination for the White House. But the resilience of Trump’s personality-cult fandom and his nationalist appeal to the Republican base, which at times has put him more than 55 percentage points ahead of his opponents in nation-wide polls, have singled him out as an “unbeatable” candidate in the GOP race, even with just 32 delegates in the bag. 

“I’m looking at the math and the path going forward, and I don’t see it for Nikki Haley,” Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel told Fox News’s Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum on Tuesday. “I think she’s run a great campaign, but I do think there is a message that’s coming out from the voters, which is very clear.”

“We need to unite around our eventual nominee, which is going to be Donald Trump, and we need to make sure we beat Joe Biden,” McDaniel added.

Other prominent figures from Republican leadership agreed with the sentiment, pushing Trump forward as their nominee after just one primary.

“It’s time for Republicans to unite around President Donald Trump and make Biden a one-term president,” Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer said in an announcement endorsing Trump. 

Donald Trump Is Galactically Angry at Nikki Haley for the Funniest Reason

The former president is suddenly very much opposed to anyone who fails to accept an election loss.

Al Drago/Getty Images

Donald Trump celebrated winning the New Hampshire primary in his signature style: a series of deluded ravings. But connoisseurs of the former president’s rants were treated to an unexpected dollop of irony last night, as Trump came out against the losers of elections laying claim to victory.

Trump was the victor Tuesday night, winning the Granite State’s Republican primary with 54.5 percent of the vote. Nikki Haley came second, but her 43.2 percent support was far higher than anyone initially expected—a fact she celebrated as she promised supporters she would keep pushing.

Haley’s resilience immediately infuriated Trump, who turned his victory speech into a Haley roast. “I find in life, you can’t let people get away with bullshit,” he said, flanked by the nightmare blunt rotation of Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott, and Eric Trump.

“And when I watched her in the fancy dress—that probably wasn’t so fancy—come up, I said, ‘What’s she doing? We won.’ And she did the same thing last week,” Trump said, referring to Haley celebrating after coming third in Iowa.

Having failed to fully purge himself of his excess emotions during his speech, Trump then took his grievances to social media, at one point writing on Truth Social, “Could somebody please explain to Nikki Haley that she lost—and lost really badly. She also lost Iowa, BIG, last week.”

It’s pretty rich for Trump to say that people who lose should just accept their loss. After all, he has been indicted twice, once at the federal level and once at the state, for failing to accept a loss so hard that he tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Trump also suddenly seemed to become clairvoyant and declared himself the winner of the Nevada caucus, which doesn’t take place until next week.


For the most part, Trump spent the rest of the night blasting his Truth Social followers with dozens of news clips talking about how he had swept to victory. At one point, he bragged that he “BROKE THE ALL-TIME RECORD FOR VOTES CAST—BOTH SIDES, DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN—IN THE HISTORY OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY!”

This isn’t quite accurate. Voter turnout for the Republican primary did hit a record high, with more than 300,000 people showing up to vote. But Trump performed poorly among moderates, nonaffiliated voters, and younger voters.

Marjorie Taylor Greene Threatens Eradication of Anti-Trump Republicans

The Republican Party will not tolerate any dissent.

Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene had some choice words for Republicans who don’t back Donald Trump, yet another sign of how much sway the former president still has over the GOP.

Trump is facing off against Nikki Haley in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday. Many lawmakers, such as Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Nancy Mace, have already called the race for Trump. Haley isn’t backing down, but Greene thinks she should.

“Not only do [Republicans] support President Trump, we support his policies,” Greene told MSNBC Monday night. “And any Republican that isn’t willing to adapt these policies, we’re completely eradicating from the party. So it’s up to Nikki Haley, what she does.”

Greene’s use of the word “eradicate” is chilling, as it mirrors several of Trump’s recent fascistic comments. It also indicates that Trump and his allies intend to leave no room for dissent, even within their own party.

While calling out Haley may be understandable, as she’s the last major obstacle to Trump in the Republican primary, Greene’s inflammatory comments show just how little Trump criticism is tolerated in the party. Obviously, Haley is running against Trump for the Republican nomination. But she has been very careful not to outright criticize him in instances when it really mattered.

Haley was quick to defend Trump when he was indicted multiple times last summer, claiming the charges were part of a political agenda. She has twice said she would pardon Trump if he is found guilty of trying to overturn the 2020 election. And just last week, she said Trump was “innocent” of sexual assault until proven guilty—despite the fact that he has already been proven guilty of assault.

“Libs of TikTok” Creator Gets a Real Job: Advising School Libraries

Yes, be worried.

Anna Rose Layden/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Chaya Raichik, the woman behind the far-right, anti-LGBTQ+ social media account “Libs of TikTok,” has landed herself a government position supervising school libraries.

The professional agitator was appointed to the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s Library Media Advisory Committee by Oklahoma’s education superintendent, Ryan Walters, a Republican who has previously described teachers’ unions as terrorist organizations and has attended events hosted by Moms for Liberty.

Raichik’s new role will see her deciding what public school students in the state—which ranks fourth in the nation for the most banned books, according to a 2022 report by PEN America—are allowed to read.

That’s despite Raichik’s history of making extremely inflammatory and heavily edited posts that at one point led to bomb threats in Oklahoma schools after Walters reshared them across his own platforms.

“Chaya is on the front lines showing the world exactly what the radical left is all about—lowering standards, porn in schools, and pushing woke indoctrination on our kids,” Walters said in a statement on Tuesday. “Because of her work, families across the country know just what is going on in schools around the country. Her unique perspective is invaluable as part of my plan to make Oklahoma schools safer for kids and friendly to parents. Chaya has a much-needed and powerful voice as well as a tremendous platform that will benefit Oklahoma students and their families.”

Besides her extreme politics, Raichik is a notably odd choice for the job. For starters, she does not appear to have any experience in schools or government, and she does not live in Oklahoma. Though according to some locals, that’s not so different from the qualifications of the man who appointed her to the position.

“Elections have consequences,” Crystal LaGrone, the chair of the Wagoner County Democratic Party, told The Daily Beast in August. “And we get people like Ryan Walters in positions of authority, where they really don’t have any expertise, and are attention-seeking. It feels like he wants to make a name for himself, not help the kids of Oklahoma.”

House Ethics Probe Into Matt Gaetz Is Ramping Up—With New Witnesses

Trouble is on the horizon for Republican Representative Matt Gaetz.

Representative Matt Gaetz
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The congressional investigation into Florida Representative Matt Gaetz has entered a new phase, reportedly making contact with several new witnesses in recent weeks as it probes allegations of sexual misconduct, drug use, and public corruption by the MAGA Republican.

The Republican-led House Ethics Committee has expanded its contact with individuals connected to the original Department of Justice investigation that identified Gaetz as an associate and client of a sex trafficker, reported ABC News.

“It’s great to see the Ethics Committee has interests beyond trading stocks. They seem to be quite the unusual whales,” Gaetz told ABC, responding to the committee’s recent developments.

The House reopened its probe in July after the Justice Department closed its own with no formal charges issued against Gaetz, who criticized the renewed House probe for “trying to weaponize their process.”

The accusations against Gaetz arise from a DOJ sex-trafficking probe into one of Gaetz’s friends, Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector for Seminole County, who was later convicted of sex trafficking. The initial probe also named Gaetz, who Greenberg claimed had paid him via Venmo in order to have sex with an underage girl in 2017.

Eight months after Greenberg warned Gaetz to “steer clear” of the girl, the lawmaker Venmo’d Greenberg $900 in back-to-back payments, per The Daily Beast, telling the taxman to “hit up” the girl on his behalf. At that point, she was five months past her eighteenth birthday, while Gaetz had just turned 36.

Greenberg was later convicted of sex trafficking an underaged girl.

Gaetz has repeatedly denied the allegations, though that hasn’t assuaged the nation’s voters, some of whom have shown up to Trump rallies to troll the MAGA Floridian over the accusations.

On Sunday, Gaetz encountered an audience member during a campaign meet and greet who asked if Gaetz would be interested in a “bag full of underage girls,” before emerging with a sack containing a blow-up sex doll.

And in December, Gaetz received a facetious award under similar circumstances at an Ohio GOP event. On a livestream of the Strongsville Republican Party’s Christmas gathering, Gaetz was handed a trophy lauding him for his alleged dedication to using Venmo to pay for sex with underage girls.