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Marjorie Taylor Greene Says Calling Her a White Supremacist Is the Same as Using the N-Word

Greene made the comment while lying about Jamaal Bowman, a Black congressman, and calling him “aggressive.”

Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks at a podium
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene says calling her a white supremacist is “like calling a person of color the n-word.”

Greene—who has called for a “national divorce,” spread conspiracy theories about 9/11 and Jewish space lasers setting forest fires in California, and expressed support for fatal violence against Democrats—made the statement Thursday as she announced her intention to introduce articles of impeachment against Joe Biden.

The Georgia representative was taking issue with Representative Jamaal Bowman calling her a white supremacist, and instead claimed that Bowman was in fact inflicting violence upon her. She complained about Bowman yelling and calling her a white supremacist, which she takes “great offense to.”

“His physical mannerisms are aggressive,” Greene said about Bowman, a Black man with an opinion. “I feel threatened by him.

Beyond Greene’s outrageous claim that calling her a white supremacist is the same as calling a Black person the n-word, Greene’s characterization of Bowman was tainted with racist stereotypes that he’s a “scary Black man”—a characterization Bowman notes spans way beyond a “dog whistle,” into “bullhorn” territory:

Greene claimed Bowman led a mob around her, referring to when she was surrounded by people at the New York City courthouse, amid former President Donald Trump’s criminal indictment last month. But Greene’s  suggestion belied what was actually the case: counterprotesters not related to Bowman were having none of her defenses of Trump. Greene’s fears of a “mob,” of course, are all the more comical given her encouragement and defense of rioters who attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Greene also lied and claimed Bowman “shoved” Representative Thomas Massie, seemingly referring to Bowman’s confrontation of Massie, in the aftermath of the Nashville school shooting, about Republican inaction on guns. While both were passionate, Bowman did not shove Massie.

Greene’s concerns over a “shove,” of course, are all the more comical given that her own close colleague Clay Higgins just assaulted a protester less than 24 hours prior. And even on the count of verbal assaults, Greene famously accosted a survivor of the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

In sum, Greene found a way to be incredibly racist, remarkably dishonest, and keen on reminding all of us how she and her colleagues are actually guilty of all the charges she leveled against Bowman.

Florida Traffic Sign Reads “Kill All Gays,” as State Completely Demolishes Queer Rights

Police noticed the sign the same day that Ron DeSantis signed multiple bills infringing on LGBTQ rights.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images
Downtown Orlando

A traffic sign in Florida was hacked to say “Kill All Gays,” the same day that Governor Ron DeSantis signed a raft of anti-LGBTQ measures into law.

Orlando police officers received reports about the sign Wednesday morning. They arrived just before 5:00 a.m. and found the sign in the city’s medical neighborhood.

Brandon Wolf, the press secretary for the rights group Equality Florida and a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, tweeted a photo of the sign. “This is what emboldened bigotry and extremism look like,” he said.

A city spokesperson told the local Fox channel that the original sign had been put out at the start of the week as part of preparations for an upcoming 5K race. It was removed Wednesday after it had been hacked to display the homophobic message. Orlando police are still trying to determine who is responsible.

In a cruel twist, Wednesday was the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. It was also the day that DeSantis signed multiple bills curbing LGBTQ rights into law. The new laws expand “Don’t Say Gay,” ban discussion of personal pronouns in schools, and prohibit transgender people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender on any public property (including schools).

One of the bills will let the state take trans children away from families if they are receiving gender-affirming care, and another could cancel all future Pride celebrations in the state from taking place.

DeSantis, who is expected to officially announce his presidential campaign next week, has made clamping down on LGBTQ rights a major part of his platform. He also recently signed a bill defunding diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at all state universities.

“The homophobia and transphobia needs to stop,” tweeted Democratic state Representative Anna Eskamani, who represents the district Orlando is in. “The rhetoric is already bad, the policies dangerous—and all of it has and will translate into violence.”

Wisconsin Teacher to Be Fired After Complaining About “Rainbowland” Song Ban

A Wisconsin schoolteacher is being punished for trying to have her students sing a popular song by Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus.

Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus, who sang “Rainbowland” together, perform onstage.

All the hurt and the hate going on here (It needs to stop here)

We are rainbows, me and you

Every color, every hue

Let’s shine through (through)

Together, we can

Start livin’ in a rainbowland

These are the lyrics that have prompted a Wisconsin school district superintendent to recommend a first-grade teacher be fired.

On Monday, Heyer Elementary first-grade teacher Melissa Tempel says, she was notified that Waukesha School District Superintendent Dr. Jim Sebert is recommending her termination, in retaliation for her complaining about the district’s decision to ban her students from singing Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton’s “Rainbowland,” a chart-leading song about hope, positivity, and love.

The escalation follows an ongoing drama that has left thousands of people across the nation scratching their heads.

In March, first graders were barred from singing “Rainbowland” at their spring concert. Tempel had been working with other teachers to prepare for the concert, and they had decided that “Rainbowland” would be a good addition to the set list. But administrators, including the school principal, barred the song’s inclusion. The opponents cited a district-wide policy on items “that may be considered political, controversial, or divisive.”

After Tempel tweeted about the ban, bringing mass public attention toward it, she was placed on administrative leave, with few details made available to the public.

“I am deeply concerned that Ms. Tempel was removed from her classroom for standing up for them and what she knows is right,” a parent from Tempel’s class said at the time.

Even State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly weighed in, sending a letter addressed directly to Waukesha Superintendent Sebert and the Waukesha School Board, saying she was “deeply troubled by the harm caused” by their actions, imploring them that “this damage is reversible. It is paramount that you change course now.”

Underly cited Waukesha’s own policies to argue what the administrators’ course of action should be. “The district can instead choose to foster inclusive environments where staff, students, and families are able to ‘identify important issues, explore fully and fairly all sides of an issue, weigh carefully the values and factors involved, and develop techniques for formulating and evaluating positions,’” she wrote, citing the very same policy that led to the song ban.

“You can choose to re-evaluate the decision to place a district employee on administrative leave and, instead, recognize that ‘acknowledging the rights of [the district’s] professional staff members as citizens in a democratic society is, in fact, in the best interests of the School District of Waukesha,’” Underly continued.

Yet it seems, instead of reflecting on whether they may have reacted too harshly, they decided to go even further and move to fire Tempel.

“I have missed my first graders every single day since I was removed from the classroom with no notice, no ability to provide plans and no ability to communicate with my first-grade families, Tempel said in a statement. “It will take me a long time to process how cruel the District’s actions were to those families and the chilling effect my termination will have on any other educators in the Waukesha community.”

The recommended firing follows a long-standing concern by parents and teachers about district administrators policing expression within the classroom. Waukesha’s Board Policy 2240, “Controversial Issues in the Classroom,” has set guidelines for when the district would “permit” a so-called “controversial issue” to be introduced in the classroom. Along with the innocent Cyrus and Parton song, the policy has also been applied to bar students, teachers, and even classroom walls from donning rainbow designs, because of their association with the LGBTQ community.

With regard to the song banning itself, Waukesha School Board President Dr. Kelly Piacsek and Superintendent Sebert previously insisted they did not “insert themselves into the song selection.” The pair has framed the decisions as ones made by Heyer Principal Mark Schneider and the school’s music teacher, insisting that they only reviewed and upheld decisions made by Heyer’s staff. Yet they interestingly took it upon themselves to explain the exact rationale of why the song was banned. They explained that the “subject matter addressed by the song’s lyrics” was not in line with the “the age and maturity level of the students.”

While Tempel has encouraged individuals not to call the district out of concern for taking time and resources away from students, she herself plans to pursue a First Amendment claim against the district. “I cannot allow others to be intimidated into silence. These are matters of public concern that the Waukesha Community has a right to know about and I stand by my decision to share the impact of Policy 2240 with the public. I will rest easy every night knowing that I did what was right for children.”

Republican Congressman Shoves Activist Trying to Ask Questions

The Republican claimed to respect the activist’s First Amendment rights, then began to push him so he would stop his line of questioning.

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images
Louisiana Republican Representative Clay Higgins

Louisiana Republican Representative Clay Higgins manhandled a protester on Wednesday, after the activist asked other GOP members questions about their personal lives.

In a video that has gone viral, Higgins can be seen grabbing a protester and shoving him away from a press conference, repeatedly saying, “You’re out, you’re out.” At one point, Higgins uses so much force that he lifts the young man off the ground. The protester continues to say, “Get off me!”

The protester has identified himself as a 25-year-old named Jake Burdett. He told Newsweek that he had been in D.C. for a Medicare for All rally hosted by Senator Bernie Sanders. When the event ended, Burdett saw that several Republicans, including Higgins, Lauren Boebert, and Paul Gosar, were holding a press conference, so he went over to ask questions.

In videos he posted on Twitter, Burdett asks Gosar about his apparent ties to neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes and his own family opposing his politics. Burdett also asks Boebert about her divorce and a food poisoning outbreak at her former restaurant Shooters Grill.

In both videos, Higgins approaches Burdett to make him stop asking questions. It’s during the questions to Boebert that Higgins begins shoving Burdett away. Burdett said on Twitter that Capitol Police officers took him to the side and questioned him. A third video shows officers asking him what happened, and someone out of frame says, “He tried to attack a member of Congress,” which was quickly refuted by other protesters. Burdett said he did not see Capitol Police questioning Higgins.

There is widespread outrage online over Higgins’s actions, including a petition calling for him to be charged with assault and battery. Retired U.S. Army General Mark Hertling called Higgins’s actions “BS” and said the representative should be charged.

Higgins did not respond to a request from The New Republic for comment.

But Higgins has a history of taking things way too far. He joined the Opelousas City Police Department in 2004, and within three years, the police chief was prepared to take major disciplinary action against Higgins for using “unnecessary force on a subject” and then later giving false statements during the investigation. Higgins resigned before he could be disciplined.

A few years later, Higgins joined St. Landry Parish sheriff’s office, where he made videos for the local Crime Stoppers program. He repeatedly got into trouble for using aggressive language about suspects in the videos. Another video he made for the state police drew pushback from the ACLU.

The St. Landry Parish sheriff accused Higgins of using his badge and uniform for personal gain, by wearing them in an ad for a security firm and using them to sell personal merchandise. Salon magazine also reported that Higgins would negotiate large speaker’s fees for events, in cash, and one time asked that the fee also cover shopping money for his wife and fuel for a friend’s private plane.

Is Ron DeSantis a Robot? An Investigation (in Pictures)

The Florida governor seems to have a hard time acting fun and normal in public.

Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Many politicians have gotten away with behaving slightly weird, if not totally unsettlingly, especially in recent years. Perhaps that’s helped by the former president being as absurdly unusual and villainously criminal as he is. But still, Ron DeSantis is finding a way to make sure his bizarre behavior not only cuts through the headlines but remains burned into our minds forever.

As the Florida governor gets closer to finally announcing his run for president, he has had more and more time in the public eye, which means more opportunities to show how normal and fun he is—in case his vicious agenda against queer people, migrants, women, students, and teachers didn’t already win you over.

Last week, as DeSantis was soft-campaigning in Iowa, he made some friendly banter and refocused people’s attention on his … jovial behavior.

The moment brought back memories of just weeks ago, when DeSantis had a warm back-and-forth with Piers Morgan, in which the Florida governor robotically laughed while denying reports of his eating chocolate pudding with three fingers.

There was also the time DeSantis short-circuited in Tokyo when he was asked about his falling poll numbers in the 2024 primary.

To be clear, DeSantis’s aesthetics are just incidental. Emotion and expression aren’t bad things for a politician to display, even if you laugh like a Chuck-e Cheese animatronic. What’s more important is how little emotion or sorrow DeSantis seems to genuinely express about the pains of our world. Mass shootings, climate disaster, the plight of migrants; the struggle for people to find out who they are and who they love—all things any good-willed politician might express some sort of something about; instead, DeSantis is the front-runner in exacerbating those pains.

So while he may not end up winning the presidency, DeSantis can take solace knowing his leadership in hurting millions of people, with a show-stopping personality to match.

Republicans Literally Laugh Off Idea of Taxing the Rich to Fix Budget

As the debt ceiling crisis continues, we get ever closer to the threat of a national default. And Republicans seem determined to take us there.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy laughs
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Republicans have said they want to reduce government spending and increase U.S. revenue—but not if it inconveniences rich people, apparently.

When a reporter asked House Speaker Kevin McCarthy if he would consider raising taxes on wealthy Americans, he answered with a short “No” before the question was even finished. Republicans standing around him groaned and shook their heads. They then began laughing when McCarthy asked where the reporter was earlier.

McCarthy explained that wealth taxes weren’t necessary because the United States has a revenue of 20 percent of gross domestic product, as opposed to 17 percent in previous years. Instead, inflation was due to the Democrats spending $6 trillion after winning the presidential election in 2020.

McCarthy’s statement about revenue is technically true: The U.S. revenues in 2022 totaled 19.6 percent of GDP, according to the Congressional Budget Office, compared to the annual average of 17.4 percent in the five decades prior. Most of that revenue comes from income taxes.

But raising taxes on the wealthy, even by a little bit, would produce huge amounts of revenue. In 2021, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders proposed charging billionaires a 3 percent wealth tax, and households and trusts worth between $50 million and $1 billion a tax of just 2 percent per year.

This would only apply to a tiny fraction of Americans, but it could produce about $3 trillion in revenue over the next decade, University of Berkeley economists predicted.

In his budget, President Joe Biden proposed increasing taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations and using the revenue to expand health care, childcare assistance, and housing aid. Not only have Republicans fought this plan, but their own budget proposes punishing lower-income Americans to benefit the wealthy.

Republicans’ solution to the debt ceiling crisis is focused on mere pennies in comparison to what a wealth tax would do. The bill calls for work requirements for Medicaid, food stamps, and cash assistance programs—which would barely make a dent in U.S. debt. Work requirements would save the government only about $1 billion per year, according to the CBO, nowhere near how much actually needs to be recouped. And that’s assuming, of course, that such requirements actually work.

The U.S. is just weeks away from defaulting on its debt, but Republicans and Democrats remain at a logjam over how to solve the problem. The GOP seems ready to take it out on the backs of people who can least afford it.

Some Rare, Temporary Good News From the Supreme Court on Guns

The Supreme Court has declined to block an assault weapons ban in Illinois ... for now.

Supreme Court building
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Supreme Court refused Wednesday to block Illinois’s law banning assault weapons, a rare bit of good news as the U.S. continues to struggle with skyrocketing gun violence.

A total of 10 states and Washington, D.C., have laws banning assault-style weapons. Illinois joined the list in January when Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill prohibiting the possession or sale of such firearms, as well as high-capacity magazines. The ban came six months after a mass shooter opened fire on a Fourth of July parade in a Chicago suburb, killing seven people with a legally purchased semiautomatic weapon.

“This assault weapons ban is a step in the right direction,” Pritzker said at the time. “But there’s no magic fix, no single law that will end gun violence once and for all. So we must keep fighting, voting, and protesting to ensure that future generations will only have to read about massacres like Highland Park, Sandy Hook, and Uvalde in their history books.”

Gun rights advocates in Illinois sued to block the law, saying the measure violates their Second Amendment Rights. But the Supreme Court issued a one-sentence unsigned order on Wednesday declining to block the measure.

But the fight in Illinois is not over. There are six cases challenging the law working their way through the appeals process.

The Supreme Court also refused in January to block New York’s expanded gun restrictions, while the legal challenge to the law plays out. The decisions are not necessarily indications that the justices support gun control, however. The court ruled 6-3 in June to strike down a form of gun carry restriction that only six states use, dramatically expanding gun access nationwide. Instead, the New York and Illinois rulings are more likely a sign that the high court is giving lower courts more time to weigh the potential effects of the June ruling.

Meanwhile, the effects of increased gun access are wreaking havoc on the U.S. People are being shot just for approaching the wrong house. There have been 226 mass shootings since the start of the year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Many states have weakened gun restrictions, and violence soon follows.

Ron DeSantis Signs Drag Ban So Extreme It Could Cancel All Pride Parades in the State

The bill is so vaguely worded that Pride in Florida this year is sure to look different.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill Wednesday that will effectively stop all Pride parades and festivals in the state, a massive attack on LGBTQ visibility.

The new law prohibits government entities and employees from issuing permits to organizations that may hold “adult live performances” in the presence of minors. Anyone that does can be charged with a misdemeanor. The law is so vaguely worded, and the punishment so high, that at least one Pride Parade has already been canceled this year.

The measure would also ban businesses from allowing minors to attend an “adult live performance,” which is defined as a show performed in front of a live audience that “depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or specific sexual activities … lewd conduct, or the lewd exposure of prosthetic or imitation genitals or breasts.” Any business that breaks this law will face a fine of up to $10,000 and could lose its license.

The law’s supporters say that they are not targeting drag queens but instead trying to protect children. But Democratic Representative Fentrice Driskell pointed out that Florida already has laws in place to protect children.

“Even though the plain text of the bill may not say ‘drag’ … there’s a greater context happening here, and we all know it,” she said, just before the bill passed the House last month by a vote of 82–32, along party lines.

Critics have slammed the bill as being overly broad, which could have unintended consequences. Republicans admitted that the measure would prevent performances of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and the musical Hair.

But the measure will also have an intended consequence: “erasing” LGBTQ people from existence. Florida Republican Representative Randy Fine said outright that if passing the bill “means erasing a community because you have to target children, then, damn right, we ought to do it!”

Florida is now the second state to pass a law attacking drag performances, which have become a particular target for the right wing in recent years. In March, Tennessee became the first state to pass such a law, although the measure was blocked by a judge before it could go into effect on the grounds that it was overly broad and violated free speech rights.

DeSantis also signed an anti-trans bill the same day, which allows the state to remove trans kids from their families if they receive gender-affirming care. You can read more about that bill here.

Ron DeSantis Signs Law Allowing Trans Kids to Be Taken From Their Families

The state can now kidnap kids in Florida.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis waves and looks over his shoulder
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a horrifying bill Wednesday that will let the state take transgender minors away from their families if they are receiving gender-affirming care.

The new law will allow the state to take custody of a child if they have been “subjected to or [are] threatened with being subjected to” gender-affirming care, which includes puberty blockers and hormone replacement therapy. Florida courts could modify custody agreements from a different state if the minor is likely to receive gender-affirming care in that second state. The text refers to gender-affirming care as “sex-reassignment prescriptions or procedures” and qualifies this care as a form of “physical harm.”

Medical facilities would have to give the state Department of Health a signed attestation that they neither provide gender-affirming care to any patients under the age of 18 nor refer people to providers that do. Their medical license renewal is contingent upon sending in this attestation.

But the bill also targets trans adults: Only physicians are allowed to offer gender-affirming care (not nurse practitioners). Anyone who violates the law could be charged with a misdemeanor.

Minors who have already begun transitioning will be allowed to continue to do so, but they are no longer allowed to receive care via telehealth, including for prescriptions. Their doctors have to tell them about the “risks” of gender-affirming care, and patients will have to sign an informed consent form, which the ACLU has pointed out often contains misinformation. Doctors who violate any of these new rules could be charged with a felony.

Republicans across the country have introduced bills targeting gender-affirming care, but this is one of the most extreme measures yet. The people who support these bills insist that they are trying to protect children, but forcibly taking a kid from their loving family sounds more likely to traumatize them. What’s more, by passing legislation that describes LGBTQ health care as something that should be penalized, lawmakers are putting people of all ages at risk of real harm.

DeSantis also signed an anti-drag bill the same day, which is expected to end all Pride Parades in the state due to its vague wording. You can read more about that bill here.

Trump Says He Deserves Credit for Every State Abortion Ban

The Republican Party’s front-runner is bragging about getting rid of abortion rights. When people tell you who they are ...

Donald Trump

Republicans have lost election after election in no small part because of their assault on, and now successful erosion of, abortion rights in America. From the crash of the predicted “red wave” in the midterm elections to numerous referendums protecting abortion in red states, to a key victory in Wisconsin just last month, attacking people’s bodily autonomy is a continually losing issue for Republicans. And Donald Trump, the party’s leading 2024 nominee, is now bragging about getting rid of people’s right to choose.

“I’m the one that got rid of Roe v. Wade,” twice-impeached, criminally indicted, and liable-for-sexual-abuse former President Trump boasted on Newsmax.

The comments came in response to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis criticizing Trump for not giving a definitive answer on whether the former president would sign the same six-week abortion ban that he had.

Trump, who up to this point seemed to have a comfortable hold on his relationship toward DeSantis, seems to be bungling his response now. Since his remarks on Tuesday, Trump has only doubled down on eroding abortion rights, an unpopular position among most Americans, while also trying to maintain his posturing that in doing so, he opened up room for the opposing sides of the debate to “negotiate.”

“I was able to kill Roe v. Wade, much to the ‘shock’ of everyone,” Trump posted on Truth Social Wednesday, “and for the first time put the Pro Life movement in a strong negotiating position.… Without me there would be no 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 15 weeks, or whatever is finally agreed to,” he continued, curiously showing he has no concern with what an actual outcome might look like. He oddly—and, at least, candidly—positions himself as someone who doesn’t care what people’s actual abortion rights are, as much as purports himself to be an effective mediator between the two sides.

“Without me the pro Life movement would have just kept losing. Thank you President TRUMP!!!” he finished.

Trump’s shakiness previews a likely continued messy debate between Trump and DeSantis. Up to this point, the Florida governor has not been avidly boasting about his radical move to ban abortions beyond six weeks—which, again, makes sense given how unpopular the policy is. But now DeSantis will likely see Trump’s vacillation as a gap for him to attack. The outcomes of such a circumstance bode very badly for the GOP. Trump may triple down on saying he was the one to get rid of Roe v. Wade, which basically writes the Democratic attack ads themselves. Or Trump may continue to appear confused and apathetic on the issue, which could actually generate some level of momentum for DeSantis or other candidates, making the entire primary much more competitive and potentially divisive. Trump may prevail in any case—but he’ll either come to be seen by the general public as the icon of the attack on abortion rights or, by Republicans, as weak and potentially marred by a much more competitive primary.

Go forth, DeSantis, take your shot.