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Josh Hawley Says Quiet Part Out Loud on Christian Nationalism

Senator Josh Hawley is proudly revealing the truth about the Republican agenda.

Josh Hawley speaks while holding a mic and making a hand gesture
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

At the fourth National Conservatism Conference, known as NatCon 4, Senator Josh Hawley saw fit to tell the audience exactly what he stands for—and it’s Christian nationalism.

“Some will say I’m calling America a Christian nation. And so I am. Some will say I’m advocating Christian nationalism. And so I do. My question is: Is there any other kind worth having?” Hawley said at the conference’s gala dinner Monday night.

The Missouri Republican defended his statement by claiming that American democracy was founded by Christian nationalism, which is also America’s political tradition. He also spoke of replacing the Pride flag on federal buildings with the words “In God We Trust.”

Twitter screenshot David Wiegel: "They want the religion of the pride flag. We want the religion of the Bible. I have a suggestion: Why don't we take down the trans flag from all the federal buildings from which it's flying, and instead, inscribe on every federal building our national motto: In God We Trust?" 8:59 p.m. July 8, 2024

To his credit, Hawley did offer some unexpected suggestions in his speech, such as rejecting “blood and soil” authoritarianism and calling on Republicans to support unions (though not public-sector unions). But Hawley has given unions some token support and praise before, and it has never been backed up with any resolute or specific action.

In reality, his railing against elites and professed support for the working class belies his own private school, Ivy League background. Hawley has mistaken a white nationalist magazine’s words for a Patrick Henry quote, scuttled bills simply to hurt President Biden, and written a bizarre book titled Manhood extolling the virtues of masculinity.

While all of this shows a politician seeking to say certain things for attention without much action, his words on Christian nationalism should be taken seriously because he’s a true believer. For one, his wife is also part of the Christian nationalism movement, working for the extremist legal group Alliance Defending Freedom. Hawley happens to be up for reelection in November, and he faces a strong challenge from populist Democrat and military veteran Lucas Kunce. Will voters swallow his Christian nationalism and give him a second term in the Senate, or give a more genuine politician a chance?

Fox Business Runs the Most Insane Pro-Trump Commercial Ever

The ad is just as scammy as Donald Trump himself.

Donald Trump smiles while sitting in a courtroom
Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Bloomberg/Getty Images

As if the warped political landscape, ever-shrinking number of rights, and normalization of violent, racist rhetoric and policy weren’t enough, Fox Business is now advertising a new way to remember the worst president in history: a commemorative $2 bill, complete with Donald Trump’s mugshot!

Fox Business is apparently running ads for a product called the Trump “Never Surrender” Mugshot $2 Bill. The ad itself is so ridiculous, it needs to be seen to be believed.

The product itself is exactly what its name would suggest: an “enhanced” uncirculated $2 bill, plastered with Trump’s tough-guy glare, his signature, his inmate number, and the words “Never Surrender” and “Most Famous Mugshot in History.”

“Donald J. Trump makes history once again by becoming the first former president of the United States to ever be criminally indicted,” explains the chipper voiceover. “The powers that be made good on their threats to get him by indicting him four times.”

The eerie advertisement lists his indictments like badges of honor, and not genuine allegations of criminal wrongdoing, over infomercial-type animated graphics. If it didn’t feel dated already, the advertisement makes no mention of Trump’s recent convictions.

“In the photo, President Trump displays a furrowed brow and a determined gaze, showing he’s ready to fight,” the voiceover continues. “He says he will never surrender.”

“Whether or not you are a supporter of the forty-fifth president, there is no doubting the historic importance of this photo,” says the voiceover, a strange appeal to any non-MAGA viewers, as if they could be convinced to buy Trump merch anyway. While the bill seems to have been on the market for at least six months, Fox Business appears to be in on the move to make money off of Trump’s loyal followers.

The tchotchke is produced by the National Collector’s Mint, a private company that is not associated with the U.S. government and doesn’t appear to be directly associated with Trump, either.

The company is co-directed by former U.S. Representative Barry Goldwater Jr., son of the failed Republican presidential candidate, and conservative political commentator Angela Marie Buchanan.

While Goldwater and Buchanan’s positions on Trump are unclear, they appear to be leaning in to make a buck off his MAGA fans. Goldwater, who also serves as director of the archconservative think tank the Goldwater Institute, dismissed Trump as “an authoritarian” and “a cowboy” ahead of the 2016 elections.

Goldwater has made a few appearances on Fox Business in recent months, and in May appeared on Cavuto: Coast to Coast. Americans are “looking for someone who is going to stand up and take charge. We don’t have that with Biden,” Goldwater said at the time, insisting that Trump’s convictions would not prevent him from winning the presidency.

Buchanan served as treasury secretary under President Ronald Reagan. Her brother, paleoconservative Pat Buchanan, also worked for Reagan, as well as Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

The commemorative bill can be purchased for only $19.95, so about $17.95 more than it’s probably worth. Only five can be bought at a time, so make sure to plan your spending, and remember, in the United States it’s illegal to burn money.

White House Torches Latest MAGA Biden Conspiracy

The White House debunked claims that a Parkinson’s specialist has repeatedly visited Joe Biden.

Joe Biden exits a room in the White House
Andrew Harnik/Getty Images

The White House has shut down the burgeoning conspiracy that President Joe Biden has Parkinson’s disease, releasing the job specifics for Dr. Kevin Cannard, a neurology consultant that Fox News and Republican lawmakers irresponsibly and incorrectly pinned as a Parkinson’s expert.

In a news release Monday night, White House medical experts outlined that Cannard, who has reportedly visited the White House eight times since last summer, has been a member of the White House medical unit since 2012 and is the “longest serving Neurologist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and in the Military Healthcare System.”

His routine visits in the last year were a part of neurology clinics for active-duty members working in the White House, wrote Dr. Kevin O’Connor, physician to the president.

“Many military personnel experience neurological issues related to their service, and Dr. Cannard regularly visits the WHMU as part of this General Neurology practice,” the letter read.

Aside from that, Cannard’s other duties in the White House—which include examining Biden’s neurological condition during his annual physical—have been nothing out of the ordinary, per the letter.

“As I have written in each of the President’s medical reports, as part of the President’s annual physical, he sees a team of specialists that have included Optometry, Dentistry, Orthopedics (Foot and Ankle), Orthopedics (Spine), Physical Therapy, Neurology, Sleep Medicine, Cardiology, Radiology, and Dermatology,” O’Connor wrote in the release. “Dr. Cannard was the neurological specialist that examined President Biden for each of his annual physicals. His findings have been made public each time I have released the results of the President’s annual physical. President Biden has not seen a neurologist outside of his annual physical.”

O’Connor further cited his February examination of the president, which made mention of Cannard’s “extremely detailed neurological exam.”

“This exam did again support a finding of peripheral neuropathy in both feet,” O’Connor wrote at the time, referring to the results of the neurological exam that found no signs of neurological disorder. “No motor weakness was detected. He exhibits no tremor, either at rest or with activity. He demonstrates excellent fine motor dexterity.”

Cannard’s visits were reported breathlessly by multiple outlets over the weekend and into Monday, amid concerns that the White House press team isn’t being transparent about Biden’s health condition. But his visits have also been seized just as breathlessly by the far right to push factless conspiracies about Biden’s fitness for office.

Alex Jones Turns Against Donald Trump Over Project 2025

Alex Jones is suddenly pissed at Trump.

Alex Jones speaks and points to something or someone off camera
Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images

Bankrupted conspiracy theorist Alex Jones turned on Donald Trump on Monday over the former president recently distancing himself from Project 2025. Jones suggested that Trump is being controlled by his advisers as part of a power struggle—echoing the same criticism as white supremacist livestreamer Nick Fuentes.

“Trump gets told by his advisers and people who really just don’t want competition in his new White House.… ‘Oh God, these are radicals, sir. You’ve got to come out and distance yourself,’” Jones said, according to Newsweek. “It’s the Heritage Foundation, Trump. And again, Trump’s really smart; he’s got good instincts. He doesn’t understand Republican machinery,” Jones continued.

After Trump publicly denied association with Project 2025 on Friday, claiming to have no idea what it is, white supremacist livestreamer Nick Fuentes claimed Trump’s disavowal was proof of Trump’s “assimilation into the establishment” and that his campaign is “controlled by billionaires”—which for Fuentes and his white supremacist followers is a not-so-subtle antisemitic dog whistle raising the specter of Jewish billionaires.

Twitter screenshot Nicholas J. Fuentes @NickJFuentes: I hate to say I told you so… but Trump’s disavowal of Project 2025 is the latest and most undeniable proof that the second term will be plagued by the same personnel problems as the first. P2025 has been attacked by the media because it is actually Right Wing, and Trump folded. 12:28 PM · Jul 5, 2024
Twitter screenshot Nicholas J. Fuentes @NickJFuentes: I have been sounding the alarm about Trump’s assimilation into the establishment for some time now… people told me “but Project 2025!” Lol. 12:33 p.m. July 5, 2024 What’s the cope now? Face the reality: Trump24 is controlled by billionaires and will be staffed by the worst personnel imaginable.

Project 2025 is a 900-page document crafted by conservative think tanks, led by the Heritage Foundation, as a sort of Trumpian wish list, with detailed tactics for how Trump can manifest various extreme policies once he’s in office. Trump has claimed it’s been a thorn in his side for a while, with his campaign spokespeople repeatedly insisting it isn’t affiliated with Trump. Despite those efforts, Project 2025 exists with the intention of being used by Trump, is based on Trump’s desired policies, and was created by Trump’s former and current associates. Project 2025 has claimed it’s intended for any incoming conservative president, not just Trump, but Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee.

The criticism among the right wing is an ultra-niche split between the belief among white supremacists like Fuentes that Project 2025 is a purist white supremacist effort in line with “America First” policies, and Trump’s “Make America Great Again” posture itself as more open to a wider variety of conservatives and less inclined toward explicit virulent racism. It’s the difference that all comes out in the wash: Project 2025 is modeled after Trump’s aspirations, and a Trump presidency would end up ticking off boxes on its wish list, regardless of whether Trump follows Project 2025’s step-by-step directions on how to get there.

Why Does Trump Suddenly Love the CNN Debate Moderators?

After bashing Jake Tapper and Dana Bash ahead of the debate, Donald Trump suddenly has only good things to say.

Donald Trump smiles and holds up a finger
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump has been flying high since his first matchup with President Joe Biden last month. In the weeks since, the 78-year-old has elevated calls for show trials and all-out revenge against his political rivals, including Biden, and hasn’t shied away from sycophantic fans likening his candidacy to divine ordainment. But now, Trump has done something that had been previously thought unconscionable for the former president: He complimented CNN.

“I do have to say, the CNN, Jake [Tapper] and Dana [Bash], were really, they were pretty good,” Trump told Fox News Monday night. “I thought they were fair. I thought they were fair, in the questions I thought from him to me.”

Ahead of the debate, Trump and his team repeatedly accused Tapper and Bash of being biased against him. But after the debate, Tapper and Bash came under heavy fire for letting Trump lie pretty much the entire time. He spewed falsehoods and misinformation, and neither the moderators nor Biden made any effort to fact-check him.

In the same Fox interview, Trump suggested that a terror attack was imminent and “100 percent certain” and that he intends to “have the largest deportation in our history” if elected because migrants are “poisoning the country.” He also claimed that Jimmy Carter—the 99-year-old former president currently in hospice—is “the happiest guy around” since Biden’s disastrous performance in the first debate.

Against the background of debate reactions, Trump has been leveraging his social media accounts to say what he really thinks. Over the last few days, Trump has shared an image of himself and Melania Trump at the White House, superimposed with the QAnon catchphrase, “Where We Go One We Go All.” He also used his social media platform to amplify an attack against billionaire financier George Soros and his family, vaguely accusing the investor and his connections of being “treasonous traitors.”

On top of all that, he shared an image of several prominent lawmakers that he believed should be headed to prison instead of his far-right ally Steve Bannon, who began his federal sentence last week for defying a congressional subpoena. Those politicians include former Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who all committed the egregious crime—according to Trump—of hiding “the January 6 footage.”

Trump’s Deranged Platform Is Already Sending RNC Into Chaos

Not everyone is pleased with Donald Trump’s newly unveiled policy plan.

Donald Trump points to his own head
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Republicans are pushing a new policy platform to better align with Donald Trump, but not all party members are happy about aspects of it.

The Republican Party approved a new platform Monday, ahead of next week’s national convention, where it will be officially voted in, and notably missing from the list is a federal ban on abortion.

The absence represents a policy shift for the party as it cowers behind its champion, Trump, who stopped advocating for a federal ban shortly after the midterms, when he realized it was an insanely unpopular policy with voters.

But not everyone is on board with the change, or how it happened.

WISN12 News’s political director Matt Smith spoke with Gayle Ruzicka, a disgruntled member of the Republican National Committee platform committee from Utah. Ruzicka is also the president of the Utah Eagle Forum, the conservative lobbying group founded by Phyllis Schafly, who opposed the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment.

“It’s never happened before. I mean, I guess I’ve done this several times. There was no committees. We always had subcommittees, where we can go in and rework … a section of the platform; we can propose amendments, debate them, add them. It always happens,” said Ruzicka. “They didn’t allow any amendments. They didn’t allow any discussion.

“They rolled us. That’s what they did.

“You know, we spent thousands of dollars to be here, and everything they told us they were going to do isn’t what happened. None of it happened. I’ve never seen this happen before. I don’t understand why they did it. And I’m extremely disappointed that we do not have any pro-life language,” she said.

Buried on page 15, the new policy platform gives a new spin for Republicans’ tireless efforts to ban abortion across the nation. It reads, “After 51 years, because of us, that power has been given to the States and to a vote of the People. We will oppose Late Term Abortion, while supporting mothers and policies that advance Prenatal Care, access to Birth Control, and IVF (fertility treatments).”

That wasn’t good enough for Ruzicka. “The platform simply says that we oppose late-term abortion. Well, what about before that?” she said. So why did she vote for it?

She also said she was bamboozled by the voting process.

“I’ve never been treated so badly, to have them force this vote on us, before we even have a chance to read the platform,” Ruzicka said, explaining that it was passed out shortly before a meeting that required the members’ attention.

“We glanced through it, but we didn’t have the time to study it and read it. And then all of a sudden somebody made a motion to vote on the platform. And that was it. And then they sent us home.”

It seems that the Republican Party was anxious to pass Trump’s slightly unorthodox platform through, even if the policies don’t represent the opinions of its committee members, let alone the position the GOP has had for the past 50 years. Uniformly adopting Trump’s policy platform goes to show how far the Trump takeover of the GOP has come: He’s in the party’s bloodstream now, changing its very DNA.

In 2020, the Republican Party didn’t even deign to write a platform, amid rumors that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner planned to shorten it significantly and streamline (upend) the drafting process, according to Vox. Perhaps some of Kushner’s plans are latent within the party, intent on making decisions that align with the candidate, rather than the people.

Mike Johnson Vows to Back Trump on Most Horrifying Campaign Promise

Donald Trump’s biggest supporters are busy defending his most racist immigration proposals.

Mike Johnson, seated, speaks and makes a hand gesture in front of Hudson Institute backdrop.
Andrew Harnik/Getty Images

During an appearance at conservative think-tank the Hudson Institute on Monday, House Speaker Mike Johnson endorsed Trump’s nightmarish desire to deport 15 to 20 million undocumented immigrants from the United States, saying it’s “needed.”

“We will be dealing with this for decades to come. President Trump has said we want to start the largest deportation effort in history,” said Johnson. “It’s needed. We need to find all these dangerous people, criminals. They’ve emptied out prisons in Central America and sent them all over the border.”

Beyond endorsing Trump’s horrific anti-immigration policy, Johnson called for an isolationist approach to U.S. foreign policy, saying, “The Republican Party is not one of nation builders or careless interventionists. We don’t believe we should be the world’s policemen.” Johnson also called to cut costs on “overall spending” to prioritize funding the country’s defense budget, describing the cuts “essential for our long-term survival.”

The Hudson Institute advertised Johnson’s appearance ahead of time as a discussion about “threats to the U.S.-led world order,” specifically from China, Russia, and Iran, and a conversation that would detail “the speaker’s agenda to bolster the credibility of US deterrence, strengthen alliances, improve America’s hard power, and maintain freedom, security, and prosperity for the American people.”

“We are realists,” claimed Johnson about the Republican Party and his endorsement of the largest deportation in U.S. history, despite Pew Research data suggesting the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. as of 2021 was roughly half of the 20 million Trump wants to deport. “We don’t seek out a fight. But we know we have to be prepared. We have to be prepared to fight, and if we must fight, we fight with the gloves off.”

Greg Abbott Traipses Off to Asia as Hurricane Beryl Pummels Texas

It seems the Texas governor is taking inspiration from Ted Cruz’s infamous Cancun trip, dipping just as a natural disaster hits his state.

Greg Abbott rolls his wheelchair forward on the sidewalk and makes a thumbs up sign. A black fence is behind him.
Peter Nicholls/Getty Images

While Tropical Storm Beryl made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on Monday on the Texas coast, knocking out power to at least two million homes and killing at least two people, Governor Greg Abbott was enjoying a trip to East Asia.

Abbott left for South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan on Friday as the storm was forecast to hit Texas on Monday. He went ahead with his nine-day trip anyway to “drive forward progress in industries critical to the future of the global economy,” according to a press release from his office.

Many in Texas and on social media didn’t see it that way, as Abbott’s trip seems quite similar to Senator Ted Cruz’s infamous 2021 trip to Cancun when the state was hit with a winter disaster. The Lose Cruz PAC pointed out that Cruz was also whale-watching in Southern California over the weekend.

Twitter screenshot Lose Cruz @LoseCruzPAC: While Hurricane Beryl closed in on Texas, Greg Abbott was visiting South Korea and Ted Cruz was whale watching in Southern California. Texans deserve better.

Cruz himself did post a video on Monday near a flooded highway in Houston.

One Texan pointed out the arrogance from Texas Republicans.

Twitter screenshot Matt Angle @LSPmatt: Don't think @GregAbbott_TX schmoozing in east Asia while a hurricane hits Texas leaving 2M w/o power is him being stupid. It's stunning arrogance - like going to a fundraiser the evening of the Uvalde massacre. Abbott doesn't care & is daring voters to do something about it.

Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell pointed out Cruz’s history, and wondered about Abbott and those like him facing any accountability in the Lone Star state.

Twitter screenshot Rep. Eric Swalwell @RepSwalwell: My family in Texas are about to be slammed by #HurricaneBeryl. And shocker!..Governor @GregAbbott_TX is out of the country. Sound familiar, @tedcruz ? My God. Who the hell are these leaders? And why aren’t they held to account?

Abbott seemed to foresee a backlash on Sunday, posting a statement that he was “in daily contact with Texas Division of Emergency Management & local officials to ensure preparation for Hurricane Beryl.”

“Your safety is our top concern.”

Others weren’t convinced.

Twitter screenshot 0mega6 @noCinErik: Uh, hey, man... you think your timing is appropriate?

Mike Johnson Exposes Republicans’ Grim Priorities if Trump Wins

The House speaker warned that social services would get cut in favor of the military budget.

Mike Johnson gestures as he speaks
Andrew Harnik/Getty Images

House Speaker Mike Johnson promised Monday to slash government spending, so that he can bulk up America’s already massive military budget.

During a speech at an event hosted by the Hudson Institute, the Louisiana Republican outlined the Republican Party’s vision to strengthen America’s foreign policy, and subsequently weaken other essential facets of its government.

“To meet our defense needs, Congress has to work to grow our economy and significantly reduce our overall spending,” Johnson said. “I promise you that come 2025, spending reform will become a top priority for our new Republican majority.

“They’re not going to be easy conversations, but they’re essential for our long-term survival. Congress has to prioritize truly essential needs of our nation, and national security has to be top of that list,” he added.

If they keep the majority in 2025, Johnson and the House Republicans will likely continue to push for cuts to health programs such as Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and of course, Social Security.

In 2023, the United States spent $1.4 trillion, or 21 percent of its total spending, on Social Security, the most of any spending area. In a sign of how crucial that program is, the government expected that year to provide essential retirement benefits to 48.6 million retired Americans, 2.7 million spouses and children of workers, 5.9 million surviving spouses and children of deceased workers, and 8.8 million disabled or injured workers.

The same year, the U.S. spent $820 billion on national defense, accounting for nearly 13 percent of the nation’s total spending and dwarfing the spending of the next nine nations. Defense spending increased by $55 million from 2022 to 2023, accounting for aid to Ukraine. One can only imagine how much it will increase with America’s continued support of Israel’s deadly military campaign in Gaza.

Republicans’ 2024 Platform Makes Veiled Threat of “Secure Elections”

Consider this a threat to the next election.

Donald Trump stands in front of a large U.S. flag.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The Republican National Committee’s policy panel overwhelmingly approved a Trump-crafted platform proposal on Monday ahead of a formal vote later this week, cementing Trump’s particular brand of politics as the official platform of the Republican Party. As part of the 20-point list of “promises” should Republicans win an electoral trifecta in November, the platform promises to “secure our elections,” hinting that the party is prepared to re-elevate conspiracies on election fraud and push renewed restrictions on voting.

The proposed platform section on election security states: “We will implement measures to secure our Elections, including Voter ID, highly sophisticated paper ballots, proof of Citizenship, and same day Voting. We will not allow the Democrats to give Voting Rights to illegal Aliens.”

Republicans have frequently railed against noncitizen voting, making it a centerpiece of their messaging during the 2024 election despite it being illegal in federal elections, extremely rare, and typically an accident. In 2020, calls by Trump for unofficial “poll watchers” to monitor polling places and ballot drop boxes led to concerns of voter intimidation. During the 2024 election season, Trump has taken to floating baseless conspiracy theories that Democrats are encouraging illegal immigration to register them to vote and secure their support.

Critics of voter ID laws, such as the ACLU, argue they’re merely an effort to restrict access to voting, hurting registered voters who can’t afford a new ID, have lost access to documents required to obtain an ID, or who are without means to travel long distances to obtain an ID, for instance those living in rural areas and those with disabilities.

Trump has frequently railed against absentee and early voting, decrying both as rife with election fraud to benefit Democrats. The reality is much simpler: Republicans have spent years decrying early and absentee voting, which in turn reduced the number of Republicans who used alternative methods to vote, while Democrats encouraged increased access to voting. While Trump has lobbed conspiratorial attacks against early voting, he himself voted absentee and through early voting in 2020, and, alongside Republican leadership, suddenly changed course on his previous stance, now describing early, absentee, and same-day voting as “all good options.” The impending RNC platform on voting access again diverts the Republican Party from embracing increased voter access, with the possibility that early and absentee voting will be banned in their entirety should Republicans win in November.