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We Should All Be Outraged By How Arizona GOP Blocked Abortion Bill

Republican leaders in the Arizona state House cut off discussion and then adjourned.

People hold up pro-abortion protest signs
Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images
An abortion rights protest in Tucson, Arizona, in July 2022

The Arizona legislature devolved into a state of chaos after Republicans abruptly shut down a discussion to repeal the state’s recently reinstituted draconian abortion ban, with Democrats chanting “Shame” at their colleagues across the aisle.

On Wednesday, Republican state Representative Matt Gress motioned to bring House Bill 2677—a formal effort to repeal the abortion law—up for a vote. But that effort was cut short when another GOP lawmaker motioned to go into recess, throwing the legislature into disarray.

“He does not care about the women who will die because of this horrific ban,” shouted one Democratic lawmaker, pointing at Gress.

“I absolutely—” started Gress, before getting cut off by other lawmakers, who shouted “absolutely not!”

Another effort to make a motion to repeal the law also failed after the recess. House Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci, a Republican, motioned to adjourn, gaveling the session out before the “nay” votes could even be heard. Meanwhile, in the Senate, a similar move by Democratic lawmakers to strip the law was also suddenly adjourned.

Following the bedlam, Republican House Speaker Ben Toma seemed more focused on scolding House Democrats than finding an immediate solution to the dangerous law.

“These are difficult conversations we all need to have, and we absolutely cannot have them when Democrat legislators act as uncivilly, and engage in appallingly childish behavior, as we saw on the House Floor today,” Toma wrote in a statement. “That’s not how we debate important issues down here and I find it completely unacceptable and disappointing.”

But Toma’s plea for more time falls flat considering that the legislature will only be meeting once per week now that state budget negotiations have begun, reported The Center Square.

The state’s Supreme Court decided Tuesday to revive a near-total abortion ban from 1864, before Arizona was even a state, that offers no exceptions for instances of rape or incest. But some Republicans in the state—especially the ones currently on the campaign trail—immediately came out against it, including Senate candidate Kari Lake, Representative David Schweikert, and Representative Juan Ciscomani.

Former Republican Governor Doug Doucey also lamented the decision, even though he appointed four of the justices who contributed to the court’s majority opinion.

The flip-flopping is no coincidence, especially as abortion has become a losing issue for Republicans nationwide. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn nationwide abortion access proved disastrous for Republicans last November, resulting in major losses in districts where abortion was a key talking point. Postelection, those raw numbers turned into some stunning platform reversals for the conservative party, with GOP consultants referring to the turning tide on the issue as a “major wake-up call.”

More on Republicans blocking abortion rights:

South Dakotans Hate Kristi Noem So Much, They Banned Her from Visiting

Three Native American tribes have take action after the South Dakota governor insulted Indigenous people.

Kristi Noem speaks at a podium
Kent Nishimura/Bloomberg/Getty Images

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem can no longer enter about 10 percent of the state she governs. And she has no one but herself to blame.

Noem has repeatedly accused Native American tribes in South Dakota of working with Mexican drug cartels, and accused Native parents in tribal areas of not being involved in their children’s lives, blaming them for poor academic performance. So three major tribes have voted to ban her from their land.

The Standing Rock Tribal Council voted Tuesday to formally banish Noem from its reservation. The move comes just a week after the Cheyenne River Sioux banished Noem from their lands. And on March 18, the Oglala Sioux did the same. There isn’t much she can do about it, either: South Dakota does not have criminal jurisdiction on any of its nine Native American reservations.

“It’s not acceptable for Kristi Noem to lie repeatedly, stoke further division, and endanger the people of the sovereign nations which pre-exist the United States and South Dakota, which have illegally annexed and occupied sovereign territory of the Oceti Sakowin,” said Chase Iron Eyes, the director of the Lakota People’s Law Center, in a statement.

But Noem is unrepentant. In an email to The Daily Beast, spokesman Ian Fury said, “Banishing Governor Noem does nothing to solve the problem. She calls on all our tribal leaders to banish the cartels from tribal lands.”

Noem already had a fractious relationship with the tribes in her state. Her cavalier handling of the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a high number of cases in Native communities, and she tried to prevent the tribes from implementing their own pandemic safety measures.

Noem is reportedly on the shortlist for Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick, and her record among Natives could affect her standing. But considering Trump’s own crazy record with Native Americans before and during his presidency, he may not care.

Newsmax Host Makes Hilarious Blunder While Trying to Drag Biden

Rob Finnerty was trying to mock the president’s memory.

Joe Biden is seen in three-quarter profile
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Newsmax went light on the research on Thursday, airing a segment accusing President Joe Biden of forgetting that Africa was a country while apparently believing that Africa is a country.

“He said that Biden didn’t know that Africa was a country, he couldn’t remember the year his son died, he didn’t know the last names of staff members, he forgot when he was vice president, all very embarrassing stuff,” said Newsmax host Rob Finnerty, throwing a question to Representative James Comer about special counsel Robert Hur’s report on the president’s mental acuity.

But no mention of Africa was made in the 388-page report. So where did Finnerty get the idea that Biden had mixed up the continent’s geographical status?

Well, the rumor may stem from a speech Biden gave as a vice president at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in 2014. While addressing leaders of the continent, the text of Biden’s speech said that there was “no reason the nations of Africa cannot and should not join the ranks of the world’s most prosperous nations in the near term, in the decades ahead.” Except Biden stumbled on “nations,” dropping the -s and saying, instead, “nation of Africa.”

The Hits Just Keep Coming for Trump on Truth Social Value

Donald Trump’s media venture is worth less than when it debuted on the stock market.

The App Store page for Truth Social is seen on a phone
Anna Barclay/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s social media venture, Trump Media & Technology Group, debuted on the stock market in late March with a strong initial public offering of nearly $80 a share. Today? It’s less than half that, trading at just under $33.  

The company’s slide began shortly after it debuted, when its 2023 filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission were released. They showed only $4.1 million in revenue, coupled with a loss of a whopping $58 million. Days later, two of TMTG’s investors pleaded guilty to insider trading in connection to one of the major sources of the company’s value: its merger with Digital World Acquisition Corporation.

Since then, Trump Media’s stock has continuously plummeted, losing close to $2.7 billion. Not coincidentally, Donald Trump fell off the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which ranks the 500 richest people in the world every day. His bragging about the stock last week didn’t help at all and may have even violated SEC rules. 

In the past, Trump has hardly ever dealt with the SEC, since his businesses are usually privately held, and it’s showing. As Timothy Noah wrote for The New Republic last week, “It’s much harder to lie to the SEC than it is to lie to a bank or insurance company about a privately held business.”

Trump has a number of legal debts that he can’t begin to pay without the help of surety firms with questionable reputations. He also can’t dump or borrow against his Trump Media stock without the permission of his board for six months. And with the stock sliding further every day, he may not see much of a windfall by then, anyway. 

This Is Probably Donald Trump’s Craziest Anti-Biden Rant Yet

Trump went on a multi-post diatribe about his presidential election opponent.

Donald Trump wears a MAGA hat
Megan Varner/Getty Images

Donald Trump may have just issued one of the weirdest calls for a debate ever.

In a series of videotaped rants posted to his Truth Social account on Wednesday night, Trump attempted to turn all of the blame for his own legal problems onto Joe Biden, espousing debunked claims that the president is covertly behind Trump’s mountain of legal woes.

“He’s the worst president in the history of our country, and the only way he thinks he can get elected is to take me to trials, take me to courts, city, state and federal. They control them all,” Trump said. “All of these cases that you’re reading about are Crooked Joe Biden’s case because he can’t put two sentences together. He can’t do anything. So they weaponize government and they take me to court on bullshit.”

According to Trump, his legal comeuppance for committing bank fraud and sexual abuse are all the more reason to prosecute Biden—and not him.

“At what point are the actions of a sitting president using lawfare and weaponization against his opponent for purposes of election interference considered illegal?” Trump demanded. “I believe, as do various highly respected legal scholars, that Crooked Joe Biden has long since crossed over that very sacred threshold. He is a criminal. He is a horrible president.”

After spending several videos harping on Biden and his alleged political antics—and criticizing Democrats for “killing social security and medicare” even though it’s the Republican Party that is attempting to raise the Social Security retirement age—Trump issued a brief invitation to debate the president “anytime, anywhere, any place.”

“It’s time for Crooked Joe Biden, the worst president in the history of the United States, and I to debate,” Trump said. “We have to talk about what he’s doing and where we’re going. We owe it to our country. We owe it to all Americans.”

Despite refusing to participate in any Republican primary debates, Trump and his team have increasingly started to demand the opportunity to debate Biden. Last week, Trump’s daughter-in-law and RNC co-chair Lara Trump insisted that Biden “has a lot of answers to give the American people.”

“I can only assume he doesn’t have the answers to the questions that he will be asked,” she then snidely and nonsensically quipped.

Trump Says He Won’t Sign an Abortion Ban. That’s Not a Good Thing

Don’t trust Trump’s latest comments on abortion.

Donald Trump gestures with his finger while he speaks
Megan Varner/Getty Images

Donald Trump claimed on Wednesday that if reelected, he would not sign a national abortion ban—but he’s not fooling anyone.

During an exchange with a reporter on the tarmac of Atlanta’s airport, Trump simultaneously managed to celebrate the overturning of Roe v. Wade as an “incredible achievement” while also slamming the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision to revive an abortion ban from 1864 as going too far.

“So for 52 years the people have wanted to end Roe v. Wade to get it back to the states. We did that. It was an incredible thing, an incredible achievement,” Trump said. “Now the states have it, and the states are putting out what they want. It’s the will of the people.

“So Florida’s probably going to change,” he continued. “Arizona is going to definitely change, everybody wants that to happen. And you’re getting the will of the people. It’s been pretty incredible when you think about it.”

Trump then went on to say that he would not sign any formal abortion bans that crossed his desk if he reclaimed the White House in November—though his track record, and his opponents, call that into question.

Trump has made abortion a key component of all three of his campaigns, repeatedly promising over the last eight years to ban the medical procedure at every available opportunity. While in office, he expressed support for a bill that would have banned abortion nationwide at 20 weeks.

Since then, he has used scare tactics to spread disinformation about the procedure, erroneously claiming as recently as Monday that Democrats support “execution after birth.” And Trump’s track record includes the most egregious offense against national access—the appointment of three Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.

What’s more, declining to sign a national abortion ban is just as dangerous as signing one. Abortion rights activists warned that by claiming he thinks states should set abortion regulations, Trump is really backing the cruelest laws, such as those in Texas and Florida.

“Actions speak louder than words,” posted Jim Messina, White House deputy chief of staff under President Barack Obama, noting that Trump is once again attempting to “muddy the waters.”

“That’s always been the case with Trump—what he says has never mattered,” Messina continued. “He just says what he needs to wiggle out of whatever situation he’s in. Trump has only one track record: overturning Roe v. Wade and ushering in these horrifying bans.”

Read more on Republicans' abortion lies:

You Won’t Believe the Sick Irony of Trump and Johnson’s Meeting

Mike Johnson will meet with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago.

Mike Johnson looks forward
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

House Speaker Mike Johnson is heading to Mar-a-Lago to meet with Donald Trump to discuss a topic with which neither is familiar: election integrity.

According to MSNBC, Johnson and Trump will speak together on Friday, presumably to reminisce about their last joint venture. In 2020, Johnson, then a little-known Louisiana congressman, led an amicus brief supporting the Texas lawsuit that sought to stop the Supreme Court from certifying the election by challenging vote counts in key swing states. One hundred thirty-nine House Republicans signed on to the brief, even in the wake of the January 6 insurrection (which Johnson defended), and the flimsy legal logic undergirding the lawsuit became the go-to line for election deniers, including Trump himself.

When Johnson emerged as a possible replacement speaker in the wake of Kevin McCarthy’s ouster as speaker of the House, Trump threw his support behind his candidacy on Truth Social.

No details were yet available Wednesday about the exact topics Johnson and Trump will discuss, but any sign of Trump continuing to support Johnson could prove hugely beneficial to the embattled House speaker.

Since becoming speaker, Johnson has faced questions about his leadership. He’s been unable to rein in the right flank of his caucus and has been criticized as “weak” and an “appeaser.” To the extent that the GOP has united around him, it has done so to stifle criticism of his election denialism. A seal of approval from Trump could help bring the party together on actual legislation efforts too.

Johnson has insisted that Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, is “not calling the shots.” In one respect, he is correct, and it has nothing to do with “election integrity.” Both he and Trump are in perfect lockstep about subverting democratic elections in the United States.

Trump’s Bonkers Comments on Jews Need to Be Heard to Be Believed

The self-described pro-Israel presidential nominee attacked Jewish voters.

Megan Varner/Getty Images

Donald Trump is drawing another line in the sand, this time of the antisemitic variety. According to the GOP presidential nominee, if you’re Jewish, you can’t vote Democrat.

Trump traveled to Atlanta on Wednesday for a campaign event. While at the airport, when one reporter asked if he had spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump went off on a wild rant.

“[President Joe] Biden has totally lost control of the Israel situation. He has abandoned Israel. He’s totally abandoned Israel,” Trump replied. “And frankly, he’s a low-IQ individual. He has no idea where he is and who he’s supporting.

“He doesn’t know if he’s supporting the Palestinians, but he knows one thing: He’s not supporting Israel. He has abandoned Israel,” Trump said. “And any Jewish person that votes for a Democrat or votes for Biden should have their head examined.”

Trump’s been thinking a lot about Jewish votes recently, and how he can convince the demographic to vote for him in November. During an interview on Real America’s Voice on Tuesday, Trump argued that “any Jewish person that votes for Biden does not love Israel” and ominously commented that those people “should be spoken to.”

“How a Jewish person person can vote for Biden is—or a Democrat, because they are on the side, 100 percent, of the Palestinians, and he doesn’t know how to get out of it. He’s stuck. But he is—if you look at what he’s done—he is totally on the side of the Palestinians,” Trump said, deriding the decision to vote blue as a “bad habit.”

“And frankly, it’s incredible that historically Jewish people vote for Democrats. To me, I cannot. And I know you’re Jewish, Wayne, and I know you vote for me, but I don’t understand it. And you probably don’t understand it either.”

On the other side of the aisle, progressives have continually slammed Biden for refusing to take a hard line with Netanyahu, either by calling for a cease-fire or pausing weapons shipments, even after the war has cost the lives of more than 32,000 Palestinians.

Biden’s harshest critique of Netanyahu came Tuesday, a week after an Israeli airstrike killed seven aid workers with World Central Kitchen in Gaza, including one Canadian American dual citizen. Biden described Netanyahu’s strategy as a “mistake” and added that he didn’t “agree with his approach.”

Trump’s Bond Is So Weak, Letitia James May Still Seize His Assets

The New York attorney general has some doubts about Donald Trump’s fraud bond.

Letitia James smiles
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Donald Trump, with the help of “the king of subprime car loans,” has posted the $175 million bond for his civil fraud case, ostensibly giving him time to appeal the $454 million judgment against him for inflating his wealth in his business dealings. There’s just one problem: New York Attorney General Letitia James isn’t buying it.

By posting the bond, which was lowered upon appeal of the original figure, Trump theoretically delayed the state of New York seizing his assets. After all, as the bond supposedly indicates, he’s good for the money. But as more information on the surety backing the bond surfaces, it’s not clear that’s true.

According to Newsweek, James is arguing that Trump must file a motion by Monday guaranteeing that either he or the surety can be “justified.” She cited a statute that dictates Trump or Knight Specialty Insurance Company, which underwrote his bond, have 10 days to prove they are good for the bond. If they can’t, the bond will be declared “without effect” and James can begin seizing Trump’s assets to cover the judgment.

It would be an embarrassing end to the bond saga, which has seen the former president and former ultrarich person reduced to hawking sneakers and meme stocks to cover his legal fees. Most recently, he’s enlisted the help of Knight Specialty Insurance Company to back the $175 million. After Trump put up the bond on April 1, the court’s filing system rejected it due to paperwork errors, prompting James to question the solvency of Knight Specialty, which is not licensed as an insurer in New York.

As it turns out, the company has nowhere near the capital and surplus to guarantee Trump’s bond. What’s more, the legal document it produced does not seem to promise to pay the full penalty if Trump’s appeal fails.

As a result, Trump may not be off the hook after all. It might just cost him a few of his favorite properties.

Mike Johnson’s Reign of Chaos Could Soon Be Coming to an End

The House speaker is struggling to control his Republican caucus.

Mike Johnson is seen in profile
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

House Speaker Mike Johnson is in a terrible political position, and his caucus knows it.

With a razor-thin margin to spare on any vote, Johnson has spent much of his term either stalling on advancing conservative policy goals or working with Democrats in order to pass anything—much to the chagrin of his party. If Johnson was hoping that last week’s recess would cool in-party tensions and help him rein in his caucus, then his plan hasn’t panned out in the slightest.

“Certainly, the speaker has a tough time right now trying to figure out, sort of, the path forward with the slim majority that we have,” Republican Study Committee Chair Representative Kevin Hern told The Daily Beast.

So far, Johnson has wavered on sending more aid to Ukraine amid its ongoing war with Russia, reauthorizing a surveillance program, and sending articles of impeachment for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate. The aide described holding off on sending the Mayorkas impeachment articles as “another example of the clusterfuck that is the House under Speaker Johnson.”

Unfortunately for Johnson, at this point, any decision could be fatal for the speaker’s tenure at the top of the House.

“Look, this is not your father’s Republican Party, as that old saying goes, this is a different breed of cat. This is … Trump runs that party. He maintains a sort of a death grip on it,” President Joe Biden told Univision News on Tuesday, adding that he believes Johnson is “worried about losing the speakership” under the circumstances.

Since taking the gavel in a surprise election that saw more seasoned Republican leaders fail to galvanize the party, Johnson has struggled to carry out even the most basic responsibilities of Congress. It doesn’t help that he inherited a historically divided GOP that, even before he took over, constituted the majority of one of the least productive congressional sessions in U.S. history.

Meanwhile, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s effort to remove Johnson from his office looms large. She resumed her attacks against him on Tuesday, issuing a memo to her Republican colleagues in an attempt to curry support for Johnson’s ousting.

“If these actions by the leader of our conference continue, then we are not a Republican Party—we are a uniparty that is hellbent on remaining on the path of self-inflicted destruction,” she wrote. “I will neither support nor take part in any of that, and neither will the people we represent.”

Last month, Greene filed a motion to vacate Johnson after he worked with Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to pass a $1.2 trillion omnibus bill, putting a cap on a half-year ordeal to accomplish one of the legislature’s primary annual responsibilities: funding the government.

But biding time seems to be a winning strategy for the Georgia Republican. As the weeks pass, more Republicans have started to openly voice their frustrations with Johnson, including Representative Thomas Massie, who accused the Louisiana lawmaker of failing to meet conservative goals.

Each dissenting voice is critical. A vote to strip the gavel from Johnson needs just three GOP dissenters under the current makeup of the House, but could drop down to two if Greene decides to wait for Wisconsin Representative Mike Gallagher’s retirement on April 19.