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These Desperate Far-Right Grifters Are Trying to Recruit a Militia

A new report reveals that a group of fascist has-beens is launching the most cringe militia.

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A collective of far-right media figures have launched a militia—and like any serious militarized group of extremist quacks, they’re recruiting on Instagram, according to a new report from researchers at media watchdog Media Matters for America.

Dubbed “North American Patriot and Liberty Militia,” or “NAPALM” for short, the group is led by people whose names you’re better off not remembering, such as white supremacist conspiracy theorist Stew Peters, who, between naps in the tanning bed, spends his days screaming at a camera that “Jews control media” and “diversity isn’t America’s strength” while directing his viewers to buy guns.

Joining Stew Peters—whose name matches his mind perfectly if you say it very quickly—is QAnon-loving podcaster Ann Vandersteel, right-wing radio host Pete Santilli, who routinely threatens public officials with violence (how else do you get enough listeners to turn ad revenue?), and former Fox host Rochelle Richardson, who still goes by “Silk” of the MAGA duo “Diamond and Silk,” even though it disbanded after Diamond died. Joining the media blabbernauts are a man so obsessed with violence he was banned from running for office and a woman who was involved in the 2022 ultracringe “People’s Convoy”—an anti-vax protest where conspiracy theorists and QAnon adherents literally drove around in circles while living in a parking lot.

While any calls for far-right mobilizing around violence is cause for concern, “NAPALM” looks at first blush to be a QVC-rebrand of the Oath Keepers, itself a deeply embarrassing movement endeared by former cops and retired military desperate to find meaning by cosplaying as G.I. Joes instead of discussing their midlife crises to a licensed therapist. On announcing its creation, the group’s website claims to already have “300+ local chapters” and “over 20,000+ members” spanning “active sheriffs, former military, farmers, and pastors.”

The group also insists, in defiance of reality and for the feds, who are most definitely watching, “This is not a fringe / extremist group.” Shortly after Media Matters published its article announcing the group’s use of Instagram to recruit, Instagram nuked—or should I say napalmed—their account, as recruiting for militias and extremist groups is strictly against Meta’s terms of service.

Internet Rallies Around Dolly Parton After Bizarre Right-Wing Attack

A far-right outlet accused the musical legend of pushing a “false gospel.”

Dolly Parton waves as she holds a microphone
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Fans of 11-time Grammy Award–winning singer Dolly Parton came to her aid this week, in response to a tacky, homophobic hit piece published by a right-wing magazine.

The Federalist is a conservative outlet that has previously taken aim at Taylor Swift, accusing her of indoctrinating her listeners into man-hating feminism, a thinly veiled grievance about their inability to control the thoughts of young women. Now it’s taken aim at the Queen of Country herself, likely for much the same reason.

The newest article took issue with Parton using her Christian faith as a rationale for her acceptance of all people, including those who identify as LGBTQ+.

“Parton’s version of love, which includes condoning immoral sexual behavior, (be who you are she said), is unaligned with God’s vision for humanity,” the author wrote, going on to compare Parton to a secular leader spreading “false gospel.”

Trying to cut down such a beloved figure and awarded philanthropist is pretty ridiculous, and especially ironic for a publication that previously published an article pushing for her to be the next president of the United States.

The publication of this wildly homophobic tirade was timed to hitch a ride on the wave of attention Parton has received since announcing her new musical, Hello, I’m Dolly! Now, as one user on X declared, “they came for Dolly. we ride at dawn.”

Screenshot of a tweet

Users warned conservatives not to hurt themselves, dying on a hill against the army of the Backwoods Barbie. “If you ever doubted that MAGA is a suicide cult, they’re coming after Dolly Parton. Kool-aid can’t be far behind,” wrote one user.

“Folks, a land war in Asia is the SECOND biggest blunder anyone can make. The first? Coming for Dolly Parton,” wrote another.

A different user simply proclaimed, “No. You do not come after Dolly Parton. You absolutely do not.”

Screenshot of a tweet

Hundreds of X users joined in a chorus of support for their beautiful, blonde, big-haired leader. At the end of the day, old homophobes can’t hold a candle to the influence of stars like Parton—no one can light up the masses like they do. And as the old Parton adage goes: “A loose tongue can lead to broken teeth.”

GOP Judges Strike Down Far-Right Religious Liberty Training Punishment

Even the Fifth Circuit said punishing Southwest Airlines with an Alliance Defending Freedom training was too much.

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Lawyer Kristen Waggoner of the Alliance Defending Freedom speaks outside the Supreme Court on December 5, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

Lawyers representing Southwest Airlines no longer have to undergo “religious liberty training” from a far-right Christian hate group, a federal appeals court ruled Friday, overturning a ruling from August. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the training would likely violate the lawyers’ constitutional rights and exceed the court’s authority. Three Republican judges sat on the panel making the decision, two of whom were appointed by Donald Trump.

Tweet screenshot: Chris Geidner

Last year, a federal judge in Texas appointed by Trump ordered three senior lawyers for the airline to take eight hours of training from the Alliance Defending Freedom as part of sanctions resulting from a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by a former flight attendant.

The attendant, Charlene Carter, sued Southwest for firing her in 2017 after she sent anti-abortion messages to her union’s former president. Carter argued she had been discriminated against based on her religious beliefs, and U.S. District Judge Brantley Starr ruled in her favor, ordering she be reinstated. Starr also ordered Southwest to issue a statement to its employees saying that the airline “may not” engage in religious discrimination against them.

When Southwest said that it “does not” do so, Carter demanded additional sanctions against the company, to which Starr responded by requiring the religious liberty training. Why Starr brought in the ADF is unclear, as they weren’t representing Carter and had no involvement in the case whatsoever.

The Alliance Defending Freedom is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for advocating laws promoting discrimination against LBGTQ people. ADF recently represented the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case 303 Creative v. Elenis, where a web designer sued to have the right to refuse services to LGBTQ people based on an entirely fabricated premise. The group has also fought against reproductive rights, helping to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Hypocrite James Comer’s Email Aliases Exposed After China Weed Scandal

The House Oversight chair has been accusing Biden of using fake emails. But a new report reveals the truth about his own email addresses.

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Charlatan Comer was caught yet again doing something he’s criticized Biden for. In a desperate attempt to impeach Biden, the House Oversight chair has long accused Biden of using pseudonymous emails to dodge public records and help obscure his involvement in his messy son’s chaos. In a pristine example of “every accusation is a confession” theory, it turns out Comer did exactly that.

While serving as Kentucky’s commissioner of agriculture, Comer sent numerous emails using pseudonyms. Two Kentucky government email accounts named for Comer’s son, Harlan—who at the time was just 7 years old—were uncovered by The Daily Beast during a records request related to Comer’s 2014 marijuana mishap exposed earlier this week.

One email to an aide with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture purportedly sent from the 7-year-old reads, “I’ll touch base with you today about Hemp. Some things have happened over night [sic] with respect to hemp so we may be growing it this year.” Though kids sometimes pick up odd hobbies, The New Republic was unable to find any evidence that Harlan was growing hemp in his early childhood, let alone sending emails to state agencies.

Other emails were signed to “Jamie”—an incredibly uninventive pseudonym for someone who has gone by Jamie throughout his life—with an automated “Sent from my iPhone” signature. A spokesperson for Comer rebuffed queries into the emails, claiming all of Comer’s emails were “monitored and maintained” by staff, which naturally begs the question as to why staff for Comer were handling emails related to his private business dealings with a Chinese company.

“As the Commissioner of Agriculture, Congressman Comer’s email accounts were solely monitored and maintained by staff,” the unnamed spokesperson told The Daily Beast. “All communications are publicly available through the Kentucky Open Records Act.”

Given his lackluster aptitude for creativity, it’s no wonder Comer reached so close to home to find things to lob at Biden. If that’s the case, we can reasonably expect to hear Comer claim Biden abused his college girlfriend.

More details on Comer’s weed scandal:

Nancy Pelosi Trashes Democratic Leadership for Netanyahu Invite

She said she thought it was “very sad” the Israeli prime minister had been asked to address Congress.

Nancy Pelosi speaks into a microphone
Graeme Sloan/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Not even California Representative Nancy Pelosi believes that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should address Congress.

Speaking to CNN on Friday, the former House speaker said that it was “wrong” to invite Netanyahu, and that she would “absolutely not” have invited him if she were still leading the chamber.

“Frankly, I didn’t approve of his being invited the last time, but the Speaker just on his own invited him without consulting the rest of the leadership,” Pelosi said, recalling when former House Speaker John Boehner called on Netanyahu to address Congress in 2015. “And he came, and he criticized President Obama for the masterful work that he had done with the nuclear agreement regarding Iran to stop them from developing a nuclear weapon.

“And I thought it was completely inappropriate,” she continued. “I feel very sad that he has been invited. But who knows, by then will he still be prime minister?”

“Everything I read is they’re unhappy about this, they’re unhappy about that,” Pelosi said, referring to Benny Gantz, the Israeli minister without portfolio who has given Netanyahu an ultimatum: Adopt Gantz’s party’s objectives by Saturday or witness the National Unity Party’s exit from government. “I wish that he would be a statesman and do what is right for Israel.”

Pelosi then quickly rotated through her usual positions on the conflict: advocating for a two-state solution, decrying Hamas as a “terrorist organization” that is “dedicated to the destruction of Israel,” and lamenting that the hostages are not free and that the “people of Gaza are suffering.”

“We need to help them and not have him stand in the way of that for such a long time,” Pelosi said. “I think it’s going to invite more of what we have seen in terms of discontent among our own people about what’s happening there.”

Pelosi’s comments are a surprising shift for the California Democrat, who has been unyielding in her support for Israel. In January, she came under fire for accusing pro-Palestine protesters of having ties to Russia and the Kremlin.

Clarence Thomas Finally Reports Gifts From GOP Billionaire Harlan Crow

The Supreme Court justice amended some of his old financial disclosure forms.

Clarence Thomas looks to the side
Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas amended his previous financial disclosures Friday, retroactively acknowledging that the lavish trips he had taken in 2019 were financed by the Republican megadonor, billionaire real estate developer, and Nazi memorabilia collector Harlan Crow.

The expenses were first revealed last year in a series of investigations by ProPublica that found the conservative justice had been pocketing favors from Crow in a number of ways, including private school tuition for his nephew; the renovation of the home where his mother still lives; and undisclosed trips on the billionaire’s yacht, private jet, and at his private resort.

The annual financial disclosures are one of the few insights into the private lives of the nation’s highest judiciary. In his 2023 report, Thomas included an unusual addendum, defending his decision to accept luxurious gifts from Crow while admitting that he had “inadvertently omitted” details about the favors on his previous disclosures, blaming the leaked Roe v. Wade decision for his reasoning to avoid commercial air travel.

“Because of the increased security risk following the Dobbs opinion leak, the May flights were by private plane for official travel as filer’s security detail recommended noncommercial travel whenever possible,” Thomas wrote at the time.

The court, which had long avoided the kinds of formal ethics regulations imposed on lower courts due to its special constitutional status, implemented its first ethics code in November—in part to respond to public scrutiny over the undocumented gifts embraced by Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito, who failed to report a luxury fishing vacation to Alaska with hedge fund billionaire ​​Paul Singer in 2008.

Here’s How Much Nancy Mace May Have Fleeced From Taxpayers

The South Carolina representative may have overcharged a reimbursement system by thousands of dollars.

Nancy Mace looks to the side
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A new analysis of Representative Nancy Mace’s finances reveals that the South Carolina Republican overcharged Congress thousands of dollars to cover housing expenses on her $1.6 million Washington, D.C., townhouse.

Mace was accused of “secretly fleecing taxpayers” in an ethics complaint filed earlier this week, alleging she sought higher monthly lodging reimbursements than what was actually warranted per her expenses.

A closer analysis of bills from her home—including Washington Gas, Pepco water, Xfinity internet, insurance, and taxes—indicates that Mace charged the government for more than $8,900 over what she was eligible for, reported Punchbowl News.

In a statement to Punchbowl News, Mace’s communications director Gabrielle Lipsky said that the representative’s office follows “all the rules for reimbursements” and “returned over $300,000 in taxpayer dollars from our office budget last year.”

Mace’s former staffers gladly dished the dirt on her, though, disclosing to The Washington Post last week that Mace repeatedly directed her team to file for reimbursements to the tune of $2,000 a month, despite being informed by people involved in her office finances that she could not justify claiming more than $1,726 a month. During some months of the year, she filed to be reimbursed upward of $3,000—nearly double what her team had calculated.

“Representative Mace has violated House Ethics Rules by repeatedly seeking reimbursement for lodging in excess of the actual monthly expense of maintaining her co-owned townhouse in  Washington, D.C., resulting in a misuse of taxpayer funds for purposes unrelated to her official duties,” read a copy of the ethics complaint.

Mace’s requests violated two key rules of a congressional reimbursement program, according to the complaint: Lawmakers cannot be repaid for interest or principal on their mortgage payments, and they cannot ask to be repaid for more than their actual expenses.

Trump in Even More Legal Trouble—This Time, in the U.K.

Donald Trump is facing enforcement after a legal breach in the Steele dossier trial.

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Donald Trump is in trouble in the United Kingdom for not paying the legal costs of the company owned by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, after losing a lawsuit over Steele’s infamous Russia dossier.

According to a report from Sky News, Trump is in breach of a British High Court ruling in March that ordered him to pay 300,000 pounds (approximately $385,000), after he lost his lawsuit against against Orbis Business Intelligence, which in 2016 put together a dossier alleging that Trump and his close associates were compromised by Russian intelligence. The dossier included salacious details claiming that Trump had participated in sex parties in St. Petersburg, Russia, with the country’s intelligence allegedly possessing video of the now-convicted felon receiving “golden showers” from Russian sex workers. 

Trump denied all of the claims made in the dossier, which was compiled by Steele, and claimed in his lawsuit that he “suffered personal and reputational damage and distress,” particularly from the sex-related claims. In the end, he lost the trial and was ordered to reimburse Orbis for its legal fees.

On Friday morning, Steele pointed out that Trump hasn’t complied with the court order for two months, opening him up to legal enforcement if he travels to the U.K.

Twitter Screenshot: Christopher Steele

Trump has racked up several fines as a result of his legal issues since losing the 2020 presidential election. He had to pay a $175 million bond for his civil fraud case, reduced from $454 million after an appeal, while he tries to appeal the ruling. He owes writer E. Jean Carroll $88.3 million for sexually abusing and defaming her, and racked up $10,000 in fines after repeatedly violating a gag order in his hush-money trial.

As a result of his felony conviction in his hush-money trial, in which he still awaits sentencing, Trump is technically barred from traveling to 38 countries that don’t allow felons to cross their borders, including the U.K. Perhaps the British government can make an exception in its travel ban, if only to collect on his debt. Of course, Trump has a long history of not paying what he owes.

Team Trump Brags About Letting Supporters Pass Out From Heat Stroke

Donald Trump does not care about his cult of supporters, as evidenced by what happened at his Arizona rally.

Several people stand in the sun wearing red shirts and red Trump caps. Two people raise their hands in the air.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
People pray during a campaign rally attended by Donald Trump in Mesa, Arizona, October 9, 2022.

Team Trump boasted about people “braving” extreme heat in Arizona while waiting to watch Trump ramble incoherently at a campaign rally for over an hour on Thursday, making no mention that at least 11 people collapsed and were hospitalized for heat exhaustion.

“That’s an enthusiasm that Joe Biden will never see,” Trump’s newsletter proclaimed of the crowds stuck roasting on unshaded concrete. “That’s the enthusiasm Americans have to Make America Great Again!”

The intense loyalty to Trump from his supporters—largely elderly and more prone to heat stroke—is a disturbing example of how far his extremist base is willing to suffer just for a glimpse of their dear leader. Their queasy dedication speaks to the religious fervor cultivated by Trump who touts himself as a messiah who has come to save the masses from the satanic swamp, a Jesus preaching gobbledygook from the mountaintop of Dream City megachurch in Phoenix. On Friday, Trump boasted about a song that refers to him as “the chosen one”—words he has explicitly said in the past.

That Team Trump apparently took no measures to meet its base’s most basic human needs amid an anticipated high of 108 degrees on Thursday—neither handing out water nor setting up cooling tents in anticipation of the heat—and instead touted their suffering as “enthusiasm” speaks to the level of appreciation Trump has for those who support him, which is to say obviously none.

Byron Donalds Cannot Stop Praising the Jim Crow Era

Even Fox News has grown incredulous about his obsession.

Byron Donalds looks down
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Byron Donalds just can’t escape his insane comment suggesting that Black Americans were better off during the Jim Crow era, a time period defined by laws institutionalizing racial segregation in the United States. It’s gotten so bad, he’s even getting grief about it from Fox News.

“During Jim Crow, the Black family was together,” Donalds said during an event earlier this week. “During Jim Crow, more Black people were not just conservative, because Black people have always been conservative-minded, but more Black people voted conservatively.” Ever since, he has continued to double down on this demented sentiment, despite drawing an insane amount of backlash.

Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer incredulously asked Donalds during an interview Friday about his belief that Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society program in the 1960s, which expanded Social Security benefits and Medicare and raised the minimum wage, among other things, had “led African Americans down a worse road.”

“Let’s be clear, it’s not about belief—it’s the empirical fact,” Donalds said. “The marriage rate in Black America declined rapidly after the passage of a lot of the Great Society policies.”

MSNBC anchor Joy Reid also slammed Donalds for his ridiculous comment during an interview the night before and pushed him to get real about his assertion that the Jim Crow era had somehow been better for Black people. “Is there a specific period between 1867 and 1968 that you thought was this golden era for Black families or a time that was good for Black families?” Reid asked.

Donalds was incensed by the question and accused Reid of “gaslighting” him, because he’d never said it was the “golden age,” only better for marriage rates. In context, Donalds clearly hadn’t said it was just better for marriage rates—he’d said it was better for the conservative party.

Reid continued to lambaste Donalds’s longing for that era of American policies. “During Jim Crow, could your family have existed? You are in an interracial marriage, your wife is a white conservative activist,” she said. “Could your family have existed at all during Jim Crow?”

“No it could not, Joy, we all know that. But that’s why I am blessed to live in America today, as opposed to America during that time,” he said, insisting that it was important for Black men to be present fathers—somehow completely missing that his response indicates that Jim Crow wasn’t so great for Black people after all, a point Reid seized upon.

“What I am grateful for is that we do not live in the Jim Crow era and that fathers do not face the threat of lynching,” Reid replied. “And perhaps don’t bring up Jim Crow when you’re trying to make that example.”