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Georgia Republican Says Trump Has “Moral Compass” of “Ax Murderer”

Former Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan is not mincing words.

Geoff Duncan surrounded by a crowd. (He looks pretty orange, but it may just be the sun.)
Ben Hendren/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Geoff Duncan, the Republican former lieutenant governor of Georgia

Former Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan tore into Donald Trump for his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, slamming the former president as having the “moral compass” of an “ax murderer.”

Trump surrendered to Georgia authorities last week on charges of felony racketeering for trying to overturn the state’s election results after the 2020 general election. Duncan, a Republican, was serving as lieutenant governor to Brian Kemp at the time.

“As a Republican, the dashboard is going off with lights and bells and whistles telling us all the warning things we need to know,” Duncan told CNN Monday night. “Ninety-one indictments, fake Republican, $8 trillion worth of debt—everything we need to see to not choose him as our nominee, including the fact he’s got the moral compass of, more like an ax murderer than a president.”

Duncan also described Trump’s wrongdoings as a “Ponzi scheme of lies” and a “two-plus-year crime spree from coast to coast.”

Trump and his 18 co-defendants will be arraigned in Georgia on September 6. Trump has repeatedly insisted that he did nothing wrong. But the state’s Republican leaders aren’t having any of it.

In addition to Duncan, Kemp is one of the few Republicans to have explicitly shut down Trump’s claims. Trump pleaded with Kemp to get the state legislature to override the election results and appoint new electors who would back Trump, but Kemp refused to cave.

“The 2020 election in Georgia was not stolen,” Kemp tweeted after Trump was indicted. “For nearly three years now, anyone with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward—under oath—and prove anything in a court of law. Our elections in Georgia are secure, accessible, and fair and will continue to be as long as I am governor.”

Trump also infamously begged former Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes—the exact number needed to flip the state’s election results to Trump. Raffensperger has refused to play ball too.

“The most basic principles of a strong democracy are accountability and respect for the Constitution and rule of law,” he said after Trump was indicted. “You either have it, or you don’t.

Eminem Has Had Enough, Sends Cease and Desist to Vivek Ramaswamy

Eminem is fed up with the 2024 Republican candidate for using his music.

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Eminem has asked Vivek Ramaswamy to stop using the rapper’s songs on his presidential campaign.

Ramaswamy often performed (badly) as a libertarian rapper while he was at Harvard, and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” was one of his favorite songs. Ramaswamy has since tried to reclaim his rapper status, freestyling terribly on Fox & Friends and performing “Lose Yourself” at the Iowa State Fair.

In a letter dated August 23, Eminem’s lawyer informed Ramaswamy’s campaign that Eminem objected to their repeated use of his music during their campaign stops.

It shouldn’t be surprising that Eminem opposes Ramaswamy using his music. The rapper has long made his political stances clear. He released a protest song against George W. Bush in 2004 that criticized the then president for invading Iraq and Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11. In 2017, Eminem wrote a song in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and released a freestyle rap railing against Donald Trump’s morals, policies, and racist behavior.

Ramaswamy, on the other hand, is more interested in sucking up to Trump, battling “wokeness,” and insisting that 9/11 was an inside job.

Ted Cruz Appears to Endorse Plowing Into Climate Protesters With Cars

The Texas senator approvingly shared a video of law enforcement ramming into peaceful protesters.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Ted Cruz on Monday seemed to endorse using trucks to plow into peaceful protesters, when he shared a video of law enforcement doing exactly that.

Protesters set up a blockade on the road to Burning Man on Sunday to demand the Nevada festival ban the use of private jets and single-use plastics. Video captured by one demonstrator shows a police ranger driving a pickup truck into the blockade, knocking one person out of the way. The ranger then gets out, aims a weapon at the protesters and shouts at them to get on the ground. As one protester screams at the rangers that they are peaceful and unarmed and begs them to stop, the officer pushes another protester to the ground and kneels on top of them while handcuffing them.

Cruz retweeted the video, writing, “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”

This isn’t the first time that Cruz has denigrated peaceful protesters. When the Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade leaked last year, crowds of peaceful protesters gathered outside the homes of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts. Cruz inaccurately slammed the demonstrations as “mob violence.”

For someone who talks so much about protecting First Amendment rights, Cruz seems to have forgotten that the First Amendment includes the freedom of assembly.

House Republican Calls Out Biden Impeachment: “There’s No Evidence”

Kevin McCarthy wants to move forward the Biden impeachment inquiry—and many in his party aren’t happy about it.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is making it increasingly clear that he intends to open an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden—but some of his Republicans are furious with him for it.

Republicans have insisted for months that Biden is guilty of corruption and influence peddling overseas, despite producing no actual evidence. McCarthy has suggested opening an impeachment inquiry into Biden next month, once Congress returns from recess, so that Republicans can access more information and witnesses, which will supposedly lead them to the truth.

McCarthy is doubling down on his threat behind closed doors, CNN reported Monday, but Republicans are not unified behind him.

“There’s no evidence that Joe Biden got money, or that Joe Biden, you know, agreed to do something so that Hunter could get money. There’s just no evidence of that,” one GOP lawmaker, speaking anonymously, told CNN. “And they can’t impeach without that evidence. And I don’t I don’t think the evidence exists.”

Republicans have (inadvertently) admitted before that they have zero proof of wrongdoing by Biden. But even lawmakers who support impeachment proceedings don’t back opening an inquiry now.

Representative Matt Rosendale, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, on Monday called an impeachment inquiry into Biden “long overdue” but accused McCarthy of using the threat to distract from upcoming appropriations votes.

“I’m afraid now that he’s bringing it up just to use it as a distraction so that he can try and push forward this continued resolution which many of us are not going to sign off on,” Rosendale told Newsmax.

Congress has not passed all the necessary appropriations bills, and it is unlikely to do so by its September 30 deadline. Party leaders on both sides have suggested passing a continuing resolution to keep funds flowing until all the bills have passed. But the Freedom Caucus, a group of far-right House Republicans, says it will not support a stopgap. If Congress fails to pass the stopgap measure, the government is at risk of a shutdown.

McCarthy has warned a shutdown would prevent Republicans from continuing to investigate Biden, including by opening an impeachment inquiry, in an attempt to bridge the gap between sides. But it doesn’t seem to be working.

Ken Buck, another member of the Freedom Caucus, slammed all the impeachment inquiry talk in July. “This is impeachment theater,” the Colorado Republican told CNN’s Dana Bash.

“What [McCarthy’s] doing is he’s saying, ‘There’s a shiny object over here, and we’re really going to focus on that. We just need to get all these things done so that we can focus on the shiny object,’” Buck said. “Most of us are concerned about spending.”

Trump Will Go to Trial for Coup Attempt One Day Before Super Tuesday

Trump’s trial is set to begin in March 2024, right as the primary season kicks off.

Donald Trump
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s election interference case is set to begin on March 4, 2024, the day before Super Tuesday.

District Judge Tanya Chutkan made the decision on Monday. The trial date makes Trump’s upcoming campaign calendar incredibly tricky. Super Tuesday is one of the most important days in the primary calendar. It is the day when the largest number of states hold primary elections and caucuses. Trump will have a harder time rallying voters ahead of Super Tuesday because he needs to prepare for the trial.

Trump was indicted for his role in the January 6 insurrection and other attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, one of four indictments. He faces four counts that include conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to corruptly obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against the right to vote.

Special counsel Jack Smith, who investigated Trump for this indictment and for his alleged mishandling of classified documents, requested that the trial begin in January. Trump’s team proposed the trial begin in April 2026, well after the presidential election. The hope was likely that Trump would have been re-elected by then and could avoid federal charges.

“These proposals are obviously very far apart,” Chutkan said Monday. “Neither of them is acceptable.”

She said Trump will have to prioritize the trial, and the schedule will not change based on his professional obligations, meaning campaign events. She pointed out that this is no different from how she would treat any other defendant.

This trial will also land just two months before Trump’s trial in the classified documents case. The second trial, which is set for May 20, is expected to take two weeks. If it does, it will overlap with primaries in Kentucky and Oregon. The schedule also would leave no time to host events ahead of primaries in Washington, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota, which will all occur immediately after the trial.

This article has been updated.

Ramaswamy Doubles Down on Comparing Ayanna Pressley to KKK Grand Wizard

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is not backing down from his incendiary rhetoric.

Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is doubling down on his comparison of Representative Ayanna Pressley to a Ku Klux Klan grand wizard.

On Sunday, Ramaswamy received a grilling from CNN’s Dana Bash on his remarks.

“The KKK wasn’t just about rhetoric—they lynched people, they murdered people, they raped people, they burned their homes,” Bash argued. “If you want to have an intellectual discussion do you think that maybe comparing [Pressley] to the grand wizard and the notion of what she said to being a modern leader of the KKK was maybe a step too far, or you stand by what you said?”

Ramaswamy told Bash he stands by what he said.

Ramaswamy first compared Pressley to the KKK grand wizard during a campaign stop in Iowa on Friday.

He was criticizing Pressley, the first Black representative from Massachusetts, for remarks she made in 2019 on how “we don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice.”

The GOP presidential candidate also attacked How to Be an Antiracist author Ibram X. Kendi, pushing the idea that progressives are the real racists. 

“The greatest racism I’ve experienced—and I have experienced racism—comes from the modern left at a scale unimaginable,” Ramaswamy said. “These are the words of the modern grand wizards of the modern KKK.”

Ramaswamy refused to back down from the incendiary words on Sunday, telling Bash he believed Pressley’s comment had the same “spirit” as the KKK.

“I stand by what I said to provoke an open and honest discussion in this country,” he said. “We need to have real, open, honest, raw conversations as Americans. That is our path to national unity.”

Pressley, for her part, called Ramaswamy’s comments “deeply offensive.”

“The verbal assault lobbied against myself and Dr. Kendi is shameful. It is deeply offensive. And it is dangerous,” she said. “I remain squarely focused on the work of undoing the centuries of harm that has precisely been done to Black Americans and charting a path of true restorative justice and racial justice forward.”

Ron DeSantis Booed at Vigil for Victims of Racist Shooting in Florida

What exactly did the Florida governor think was going to happen here?

Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was loudly booed while at a weekend vigil for victims of a racist mass shooting in Jacksonville.

A white man opened fire in a Dollar General store in a predominantly Black neighborhood on Saturday, killing three people, all of whom were Black. The shooter, who then killed himself, used a Glock handgun and an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, at least one of which was painted with a swastika. Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said the shooter “hated Black people” and acted alone.

DeSantis attended a vigil Sunday night. But when he tried to give a speech, the crowd began booing him so loudly that he was drowned out. Some people also shouted “Black Lives Matter!” and “Black history matters!” This was a reference to DeSantis’s administration blocking an AP African American Studies course and rewriting the state’s Black history curriculum, which now requires teachers to tell students that enslaved people learned valuable skills from slavery.

Jacksonville Councilwoman Ju’Coby Pittman stepped in and told the crowd to stop, saying, “It ain’t about parties today. A bullet don’t know a party.”

But the boos for DeSantis are understandable. In addition to his attacks on Black history, the governor has signed multiple bills this year that make it easier for people to access firearms. In April, DeSantis signed a law that would allow people to carry concealed loaded guns without any permits, training, or background checks. A month later, he signed a law preventing credit card companies from tracking firearm and ammunition sales, making it harder to track suspicious weapons purchases.

“Rich Men North of Richmond” Singer Says It’s Ironic His Song Was Played at GOP Debate

Oliver Anthony singer says he wrote the song for the very people on that stage.


The first Republican presidential debate started on an odd note—literally—when the moderators played a song called “Rich Men North of Richmond” for the candidates. The singer and songwriter, Oliver Anthony, thinks it’s extra weird they used his song.

“I wrote that song about those people,” he said in a YouTube video posted Friday, referring to the candidates. “It’s aggravating seeing people on conservative news trying to identify with me like I’m one of them.”

He also addressed how many conservatives have embraced the song as a new right-wing protest anthem. “The one thing has bothered me is seeing people wrap politics up in this,” he said. “It’s aggravating to see certain musicians and politicians act like we’re buddies, like we’re fighting the same struggle here.”

As of Friday, “Rich Men North of Richmond” is number one on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart. The song decries the rich and powerful who exploit working classes.

Despite Anthony’s protests, the debate moderators, Fox News anchors Brett Baier and Martha MacCallum, told Politico Friday they got his permission to use the song.

The song also does have a vein of QAnon conspiracy theory running through it, as well as extremist political undertones. In “Rich Men North of Richmond” and in other songs of his, Anthony appears to embrace popular conservative talking points and conspiracies.

In one line of “Rich Men North of Richmond,” Anthony judges the grocery purchases of overweight “welfare queens.” He also makes references to human trafficking and people taking advantage of children, a clear reference to the QAnon conspiracy theory that Democrats and Hollywood elites run a global sex trafficking ring. And in another song, released Wednesday, Anthony says the U.S. is on the cusp of a new world war—something to which right-wing leaders have also alluded.

Companies That Try to Union-Bust Will Be Forced to Recognize Union, NLRB Says

The National Labor Relations Board just made it a whole lot harder to union-bust.

Starbucks workers protest with signs that read "Baristas over billionaires," "Honk for Unions," and "Starbucks Workers on ULP Strike."
Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram/Getty Images

The National Labor Relations Board issued new rules Friday that will make it easier for workers to form unions—and much more difficult for companies to stop them.

The new unionization process framework is part of a decision in a case between Cemex Construction Materials Pacific and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. If a majority of workers ask a company to recognize their union, under the new rules, the company must now immediately either recognize the union or petition the NLRB to hold a union election.

However, if an employer who seeks an election commits any unfair labor practice that would require setting aside the election, the petition will be dismissed, and—rather than re-running the election—the Board will order the employer to recognize and bargain with the union,” the NLRB said in a statement announcing the ruling.

Essentially, if a company tries to union-bust, it will instead be forced to automatically recognize the union and start negotiating with them.

“The Cemex decision reaffirms that elections are not the only appropriate path for seeking union representation, while also ensuring that, when elections take place, they occur in a fair election environment,” NLRB Chair Lauren McFerran said in the statement. “An employer is free to use the Board’s election procedure, but is never free to abuse it—it’s as simple as that.”

The decision comes near the end of a banner season for workers’ rights. Earlier this week, Teamsters ratified a historic contract with UPS. The so-called “hot labor summer” has also seen Trader Joe’s workers, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema employees, and students and interns start to unionize. Screenwriters and actors who are members of SAG-AFTRA have been on a historic strike for months.

Ohio Republicans Sneak in Sinister Change to Abortion Ballot Language

Republicans are betting their fearmongering will work when people read the new ballot language at the polls.

Justin Merriman/Getty Images
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose

Ohio Republicans are trying once more to thwart an amendment that would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution, this time by amending the ballot initiative language to be more extreme.

The Ohio Ballot Board voted 32, along party lines, on Thursday to reject using the full text of the proposed amendment on the ballot in November. Instead, the ballot will have a summary of the proposal written by Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose, using language such as “unborn child” instead of “fetus.” The summary also removes all mention that the amendment would protect non-abortion forms of reproductive health.

The full text of the amendment has not changed. The amendment would allow people to decide for themselves about all reproductive health, including abortion, contraception, fertility treatments, and miscarriage treatment. The state could only restrict abortion access after a doctor determines the fetus is viable or could survive outside the uterus. Even then, abortions can be performed if the patient’s health or life is at risk. The text also explicitly states that the state cannot “burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against” someone exercising their reproductive rights.

Still, the summary language is sure to sway some people at the polls. In addition to replacing the word “fetus” with “unborn child,” the summary also uses the phrase “pregnant person” instead of “pregnant woman” and refers to the procedures as “medical treatment” instead of a “decision.”

The new text makes two other crucial changes: First, it says that “citizens of the State of Ohio” cannot infringe upon reproductive rights, instead of the state, making it appear as if state officials could still intervene. The summary also says the amendment will “always allow an unborn child to be aborted at any stage of pregnancy, regardless of viability if, in the treating physician’s determination, the abortion is necessary to protect the pregnant woman’s life or health.” In doing so, the summary invokes the right-wing bogeyman of “late-term abortions,” a term designed to make it seem that pro-choice policies border on infanticide.

These changes are a clear attempt to make the amendment seem far more extreme and dangerous than it actually is. LaRose said the full amendment text will still be available at election boards and on posters at voting stations, but people will need to know to look or ask for this extra information. All they’ll have in the actual voting booth is LaRose’s summary.

Lauren Blauvelt, co-chair of Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, slammed the summary as “propaganda.” Even one of the Republican Ballot Board members, anti-abortion Senator Theresa Garavone, warned that the amendment’s true nature would now be “hidden behind overly broad language.”

But Blauvelt was confident that the pro-choice side would prevail in November. She may well be right. Republicans have already tried once—and failed spectacularly—to block the abortion amendment. Ohio voters in early August overwhelmingly rejected an amendment to raise the threshold for ballot initiatives to 60 percent of votes, which would have paved the way for minority rule in the state. What’s more, A USA Today Network/Suffolk University poll released in July found that 58 percent of Ohioans support enshrining abortion rights, while just 32 percent oppose it.