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Oops! Fox News Host Accidentally Makes the Case for Roe v. Wade on Air

Jesse Watters apparently believes in your body, your choice.

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Fox News host Jesse Watters

Fox News host Jesse Watters accidentally made a great case for abortion rights while trying to humiliate one of his co-hosts over vaccines.

Watters and his co-hosts of The Five on Thursday discussed Robert Kennedy Jr.’s congressional testimony from earlier in the day. Republicans had invited Kennedy to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on censorship and free speech—a move that Democrats slammed as wildly irresponsible.

During the show, host Jessica Tarlov (rightly) warned that Kennedy’s anti-vaccine and conspiracy-theorist stances were “dangerous,” which set Watters off.

“If he believes certain vaccines are dangerous, so what, Jessica? So what?” Watters demanded, before admitting that he vaccinated his own children on the advice of his pediatrician.

“It’s actually kind of weird that you’re so upset about what one Democrat thinks about vaccines!” Watters continued. “You can do whatever you want with your body; you can do whatever you want with your kid’s body; your doctor can decide with you what to do with your body. What does it have to do with RFK Jr.?”

“Thanks for advocating for Roe!” Tarlov replied.

Tarlov was of course referring to Roe v. Wade, the seminal Supreme Court decision that legalized the nationwide right to abortion—and that the newly conservative high court rolled back last year. Since then, Republicans across the country have rushed to restrict access to the procedure, shredding bodily autonomy for millions of people.

Watters’s rant perfectly encapsulates the right wing’s approach to individual rights. It’s your body, your choice, until you try to do something they disagree with, such as get an abortion or give a transgender person gender-affirming care.

Ron DeSantis Wants to Sue Bud Light, As His Campaign Keeps Tanking

DeSantis’s campaign is tanking, and this is what he comes up with.

Ron DeSantis
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Ron DeSantis

On Thursday night, Ron DeSantis announced his brave move to launch a state-led inquiry into Bud Light, for … making a sponsored Instagram video.

“We believe that when you take your eye off the ball like that,” DeSantis said on Jesse Watters’s show on Fox, while appearing to perhaps be holding in a burp, “you’re not following your fiduciary duty to do the best you can for your shareholders. So we’re going to be launching an inquiry about Bud Light and InBev. And it could be something that leads to a derivative lawsuit filed on behalf of the shareholders of the Florida pension fund.”

And DeSantis has delivered, announcing in a letter Friday that he is calling for an investigation into AB InBev (the parent company of Bud Light) “regarding their Bud Light marketing campaign,” referring to the company’s single simple sponsored video with the massively famous actress and influencer Dylan Mulvaney, who is also trans.

The Florida governor and presidential candidate’s letter blames the company for falling stock prices, and potentially harming Florida pension fund shareholders, because of the 45-second sponsorship ad—a video that was perfectly fine and did no harm until DeSantis and his allies made it a problem. (So if anyone is to blame for shareholders’ financial loss, they could probably have just as meritable a case against DeSantis himself.)

“At the end of the day, there’s gotta be penalties for when you put business aside to focus on your social agenda at the expense of hardworking people,” DeSantis continued on Watters’s show, ignoring that his own radical agenda has so far targeted millions of hardworking people in Florida and America.

Speaking of poor prioritization, while DeSantis has spent his time attacking LGBTQ people, immigrants, and “woke” companies, he’s welcoming the phosphate industry to pave Florida’s roads with the industry’s toxic waste; his constituents are exposed to some of the hottest temperatures on record; and insurance companies are fleeing his state en masse, thanks to the climate risk that Republicans have expressed no interest in mitigating.

Even fellow Republican Representative Greg Stuebe chimed in, responding to Florida’s insurance premiums soaring 206 percent since DeSantis took office. “The result of the state’s top elected official failing to focus on (and be present in) Florida,” Steube tweeted Thursday. “This is a major crisis for Floridians.”

Georgia Prosecutor to Give Donald Trump the Label He’s Deserved for Years: Racketeer

Indictment number four is coming for Trump.

Donald Trump, who has been indicted twice and expects to be indicted a third time any day now, is already staring down the barrel of his fourth indictment. And the latest one could include racketeering charges.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been investigating Trump for nearly two years over his role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election. She is expected to start seeking indictments in a matter of weeks.

And one of those indictments could be a “sprawling” racketeering indictment, The Guardian reported Friday, citing two anonymous sources who were briefed on the pending charges. Willis apparently has enough evidence to show Trump had created an “enterprise,” according to state law.

Georgia’s racketeering statute requires a pattern of activity based on at least two “qualifying” crimes. Willis’s indictment will reportedly be predicated on charges of influencing witnesses and computer trespass.

It’s not clear what exactly those charges relate to, but influencing witnesses could refer to Trump’s phone calls begging Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes—the exact amount needed to flip the state’s election results to Trump.

Computer trespass could include the breach of voting machines in Coffee County, which is a few hours south of Fulton. A group of pro-Trump people, paid by Trump’s then-lawyer Sidney Powell, accessed voting machines at the county’s election office. They copied sensitive data and uploaded them to a site for election deniers to access and use to try to prove the election had been rigged.

Coffee County is not in Fulton’s jurisdiction, but the racketeering charge would let prosecutors point to the data breach as part of a pattern of behavior to corruptly keep Trump in office.

Trump is scrambling to fend off the growing pile of indictments. Last week, he sought a new court order to essentially have the Georgia case thrown out. His legal team also argued to postpone the trial for how he handled classified documents until after the election. That trial date was just set for May 2024.

Trump Classified Docs Trial Set for May 2024—Smack in the Middle of Primary Season

This election is going to be a bumpy one.

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Donald Trump is going to trial. All the way in May of 2024.

The twice-impeached, twice-indicted, and liable for sexual abuse presidential candidate faces 37 criminal counts trial for allegedly seizing and mishandling top secret government documents. The counts make him the first former president to now also be federally indicted.

And Friday, Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump-appointed judge, announced that Trump will face trial on May 20, 2024 in the classified documents case.

The trial will likely take two weeks, meaning it will overlap with the primaries in Kentucky and Oregon. Several primaries will also take place immediately after the trial, in Washington, D.C., Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota. The Republican National Convention is set for July 15, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Trump is reportedly already prepping for the convention, in case his nomination is blocked.)

While Trump had gone to efforts to push his trial till after the election, the date set by Cannon still lands at a time when Trump may very well have clinched the GOP nomination.

Though his opponents could use the looming trial as campaign fodder, most of his opponents have hesitated to attack the former president directly on any number of weak points: being impeached twice, losing the popular vote twice, potentially racking up to four indictments, being held liable for sexual abuse and defamation—or any of his previous criminality related to swindling Trump University attendees or evading taxes.

This story has been updated.

Republicans Release FBI Doc at Heart of Biden Bribery Claims—And It Shows Nothing

The unverified document does nothing but quote a Rudy Giuliani conspiracy theory.

Senator Chuck Grassley
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Senator Chuck Grassley

Senator Chuck Grassley on Thursday released the FBI report that Republicans claim proves the Bidens accepted bribes from Ukraine. But there’s just one problem: There’s still no evidence.

House Republicans have accused the Biden family of corruption for months but have been unable to provide any actual evidence linking President Joe Biden or his son Hunter to any wrongdoing. The GOP has repeatedly insisted that the just-released FBI document, which House members were initially allowed to see in June, proves the two men accepted bribes.

But this is an unverified form, and it relies on a Rudy Giuliani conspiracy theory.

Donald Trump and Giuliani, his personal attorney at the time, first pushed the conspiracy that the Biden family accepted a $10 million bribe to remove former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin in 2016 to stop a probe into Hunter Biden’s role at the oil company Burisma Holdings. Several Republican lawmakers have since said that not only does the FBI’s FD 10-23 form mention this bribe but a Burisma executive has audio recordings of Biden and Hunter Biden accepting the money. Both Anna Paulina Luna and Marjorie Taylor Greene said in June that the executive is Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky.

Grassley has now released the form, which does mention that Zlochevsky made the initial bribery allegations. Republicans are celebrating the move, insisting it proves that the Bidens are guilty of corruption.

But the thing is, FD 10-23s are used to record unverified information. All this document does is confirm that someone said that Zlochesvky made the accusation. It doesn’t actually provide concrete proof. This claim has been repeatedly debunked by multiple State Department officials and intelligence experts on Russia and Ukraine. This week, even former Giuliani associate Lev Parnas said the theory has no merit, calling it a “wild goose chase.”

What’s more, the confidential human source, or CHS, admits in the same document that the information might not be true. The source told the FBI that it’s common for Ukrainian businessmen to “brag or show-off,” according to the document.

“As such, CHS is not able to provide any further opinion as to the veracity of Zlochevsky’s aforementioned statements,” the document concludes.

Zlochevsky himself has also said he never received any help from the Bidens. When asked by Politico in 2020 whether Biden had ever assisted Burisma while he was vice president, he said simply, “No.” Zlochevsky also said that “no one from Burisma ever had any contacts with VP Biden or people working for him” while Hunter was on the company board.

But Republicans, led by Comer, have insisted that Biden is guilty of corruption, despite repeatedly admitting that they have no evidence, they don’t know if their information is legitimate, and they don’t even really care if the accusations are accurate. Their star witness was also just charged with acting as a foreign agent and arms trafficking.

While Grassley may have scored major brownie points with his party by releasing the form, he also likely just landed himself in hot water with the FBI. The bureau last month warned House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, who has spearheaded the Biden investigation, that he was being too lax with security restrictions on the FD 10-23.

“We are concerned that Members disregarded the Committee’s agreement that information from the document should not be further disclosed,” the FBI said in a letter. “Several Committee Members publicized specific details regarding their recollection of confidential source reporting purportedly referenced in the document.”

“The conduct of some Committee Members during the June 8 review flagrantly disregarded our agreement and has the potential to cause grave harm.”

Libertarian Party Thinks It’s OK to Tweet at Black People About Picking Crops

The Libertarian Party compared slavery to affordable health care in an attack on former Ohio state Senator Nina Turner.

Former Ohio state Senator Nina Turner speaks at a podium
Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for MoveOn & Debt Collective
Former Ohio state Senator Nina Turner

The Libertarian Party is arguing that calling for insulin—a life-sustaining medicine for millions of people—to be free is “equally offensive” as slavery. And who prompted them to make the comparison? Former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, who is Black.

On Tuesday, Turner tweeted, “Insulin should be free. Medicine should be free.” Certainly not a radical demand for lifesaving drugs, nor more broadly in the context of 73 other countries having free or universal health care. Nor when recalling that the average cost of insulin in the United States is nearly $100; the next closest is Chile, at a little over $20; the cost in the following 31 countries ranges from $2.64 to $16.48.

But instead of even remotely engaging with any of those facts, the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire tried something different.

“Nina Turner picking crops should be free,” the state party tweeted.

“‘Insulin should be free’ is equally offensive as calling for someone to be compelled to pick crops,” the party later added, after facing an initial wave of backlash. “They are the same moral statement, and we should react to them with identical moral abhorrence,” it continued, displaying the same intellectual rigor as a 15-year-old who just found a thesaurus and Jordan Peterson’s YouTube channel for the first time.

But it wasn’t just a rogue social media employee pushing the line.

“None of the things you advocate for are ‘free’. They require labor and materials which need to be compensated for,” the national Libertarian Party added. “Otherwise you are advocating for slavery. Hope this helps.”

“Being black does not give you a free pass to advocate for modern slavery, just with more steps.  You are not virtuous. You are covetous and evil under a veneer of respectability that would cause untold human dystopian misery,” tweeted Libertarian National Convention Secretary Caryn Ann Harlos. “Spare me your outrage.”

Was there any dredge of an actual claim to be recovered beneath it all? Harlos, in another tweet, seemed to distill some of the argument that “coercively taking a portion of nearly everyone’s labor is just more respectable slavery.”

Libertarianism tends toward a disbelief in the notion of a society, in the idea of individuals coming together to support each other in their shared, inexplicable journey on earth. But unless one proposes that everyone lives entirely separate lives, with no common bonds guaranteeing some solid standard of living—water or electricity access or transportation, for easy examples—a reasonable person ought to be able to engage in imagining what else might be part of a baseline standard of living. Like essential health care.

But with such disregard not only for the reality we are a part of but for the one that we could help create, libertarians have deluded themselves enough to make the ridiculous comparison between enslaved people being kidnapped, raped, whipped, compelled to work in the heat for hours on end and … a society that believes taxpayer dollars going toward lifesaving medicine is a good thing.

Senate Judiciary Finally Passes Bill to Go After Corrupt Supreme Court Justices

After dozens of reports on Supreme Court justices’ ethics scandals, a new bill aims to clean up the court.

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Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin

The Senate Judiciary Committee finally made a move Thursday to tackle corruption on the Supreme Court, advancing a bill that would require the justices to adopt a code of ethics.

The high court has come under fire in the wake of reports that Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito have accepted lavish gifts from billionaire Republican donors. Many people have called on the court to establish an ethics code to help prevent such situations in the future—which the justices have resisted.

The Senate Judiciary voted 11–10, along party lines, to approve the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act, which would require the court to establish a code of conduct. It would also create a process for people to submit ethics complaints against the justices.

The measure would require justices to adhere to new rigorous disclosure rules for any gifts, travel, or income that they or their clerks receive—clearly a direct response to the gifts that Thomas and Alito have accepted over the years. The bill would also set up a panel of judges from the lower courts to investigate complaints against the justices and make recommendations for any consequences.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin called the legislation “a crucial first step in restoring confidence in the court,” after a “steady stream of reports of justices’ ethical failures.”

But committee Republicans filed 61 amendments, in an effort to drag out the committee hearing. Ranking member Lindsey Graham accused Democrats of doing “just about everything there is to do to delegitimize this court.”

But the justices have managed that just fine on their own. Thomas has for years accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts from GOP megadonor Harlan Crow in the form of island-hopping yacht vacations; the Nazi memorabilia collector also paid for Thomas’s nephew’s tuition, and he bought a Thomas family property, where Thomas’s mother still lives.

Thomas has repeatedly refused to recuse himself from cases that relate to the January 6 riot—despite the fact that his wife, Ginni Thomas, is a major right-wing activist.

Alito accepted a luxury vacation from a billionaire Republican megadonor, as well. Right-wing activist (and then–head of the Federalist Society) Leonard Leo helped organize the trip, and also attended.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice John Roberts’s wife, Jane Roberts, has allegedly been paid more than $10 million by multiple law firms, at least one of which argued a case before her husband—after it had already paid her hundreds of thousands of dollars.

And the scrutiny is not limited to the conservative justices: Justice Sonia Sotomayor is under fire after the Associated Press reported that her staffers have pressured institutions where she was scheduled to speak to buy hundreds, even thousands, of copies of her books.

Leading Anti-Vaxxer RFK Jr. Baselessly Claims He’s Never Been Anti-Vax

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. testified before Congress, where he lied about his anti-vax history.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
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Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., one of the nation’s leading anti-vaccine propagators, just said under oath that he is not anti-vax nor has he told the public to avoid vaccination.

The comments came during the presidential candidate’s appearance before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, in a hearing focused on alleged social media censorship.

And Kennedy—who has been boosted by Big Tech CEO Elon Musk—wanted to set the record straight on something else while he had the platform.

“I have never been anti-vax,” said the man who chairs an anti-vaccine organization that has spread conspiracy theories about the Covid-19 vaccine. “I have never told the public, ‘Avoid vaccination.’”

Kennedy noted that his children are vaccinated and that he’s fully vaccinated, except with regard to Covid. “The only thing I’ve asked for … I believe vaccines should be tested with the same rigor as other medicines and medication,” he claimed, positioning his insistent, specific antagonism toward the rigorously tested Covid-19 vaccine as just reasonable inquiry.

Earlier in the hearing, Kennedy also said, “While I’m under oath, in my entire life, I have never uttered a phrase that was either racist or antisemitic.” Days ago, Kennedy claimed that Covid was “targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people,” while sparing those who are “Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.”

Republicans’ Star Whistleblower Admits Trump Officials to Blame in Hunter Biden Case

Republicans’ Biden corruption “investigation” isn’t going too well.

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IRS criminal investigator Joseph Ziegler

The star witness strategy Republicans laid out with regard to the Hunter Biden case does not seem to be going according to plan.

On Wednesday, during a House Oversight Committee hearing—amid the haywire of Marjorie Taylor Greene waving around nude photos of Hunter Biden (and subsequently perhaps illegally sending those nudes to a bunch of minors)—Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi used his line of questioning to establish a basic point. Many of the complaints about alleged investigation interference should actually be addressed to Trump appointees.

Krishnamoorthi had addressed his questions toward Joseph Ziegler and Gary Shapley, two IRS whistleblowers who allege the Justice Department slow-walked its investigation into Hunter Biden. The witnesses are part of Republican efforts to charge the Bidens with corruption, though they’ve been scant of any smoking guns.

“You had a concern about … Attorney General Bill Barr consolidating the series of cases into the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware,” Krishnamoorthi started. “Now, of course, Bill Barr was appointed by Donald Trump, correct?” he continued, prompting an affirmative response from Ziegler.

Krishnamoorthi prompted the same response from Ziegler about U.S. Attorney David Weiss as well.

“You said that warrants were ready as soon as April 2020 to begin searching for records, but actions weren’t taken with regard to those warrants,” Krishnamoorthi then asked Shapley. “Again, Joe Biden was not the president in April of 2020. Was he?”

Shapley eventually agreed, popping yet another tire in James Comer’s chaotic clown-car committee hearings.

Dem Congresswoman Wrecks RFK Jr. for His “Idiotic, Bigoted Messaging”

Representative Stacy Plaskett called out Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and the Republicans who invited him to testify on “censorship.”

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Representative Stacey Plaskett absolutely destroyed Republicans on Thursday for their decision to let Robert Kennedy Jr. testify before Congress—calling them out for co-signing on his “idiotic, bigoted messaging.”

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the supposed weaponization of the federal government, a favorite talking point of Chair Jim Jordan. Jordan and House Oversight Chair James Comer, close allies of each other and of Donald Trump, have repeatedly argued that the Biden family is using the government to cover up its own wrongdoing while going after the former president.

Prominent anti-vaccine advocate and conspiracy theorist Kennedy, who is running against Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination, was invited to speak on censorship and freedom of speech. But Plaskett, the Judiciary’s ranking member, was not having it.

“Many of my Republican colleagues across the dais will rush to cover that they have Mr. Kennedy here because they want to protect his free speech,” said Plaskett, a former attorney. “This is not the kind of free speech that I know of.”

She called Kennedy out for his previous racist and antisemitic comments, saying, “Free speech is not an absolute. The Supreme Court has stated that. And others’ free speech that is allowed—hateful, abusive rhetoric—does not need to be promoted in the halls of the people’s house.”

“Our right does not mean that we as Americans are … free from accountability. And that’s what’s distressing about this hearing,” Plaskett continued. “Even knowing what they know about Mr. Kennedy’s hateful, evidence-free rhetoric.… Speaker McCarthy, Chairman Jordan affirmatively chose to give this a platform.”

In addition to promoting the long-debunked conspiracy theory that vaccines cause autism, Kennedy came under fire over the weekend for claiming that Covid-19 was “targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people,” while sparing those who are “Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.”

He has said Black children don’t need vaccines because they have supercharged immune systems. He also implied that Jews in Nazi Germany had more freedom of movement than unvaccinated people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Even though he is running on the Democratic ticket, Kennedy has many Republican donors. He also agreed to speak at the far-right Moms for Liberty summit, although he later backed out.

“These folks have a plan,” Plaskett said of Republicans. “They want to give expression to the most vile sorts of speech here in this committee room because it prepares the ground for their own conspiracy theories and pseudoscience.”

“And they apparently don’t care how many people are hurt or die as a consequence of their actions.… Because nothing, nothing is more important to them than power.”