On Monday, during a discussion about Texas' harsh new anti-abortion law, right-wing conspiracy theorist webcaster Alex Jones dropped a confession: He has paid for women to get abortions.
But Jones, who often laces his programming with messages about the Biblical end times, made clear he isn't proud of having done so.
"Some of the people that do abortions, some doctors that do abortions believe in it, they think it's a service, I can see their perspective, and they got a hard job," said Jones. "And I paid for abortions, so I'm not a hypocrite in this, many, many years ago, and I haven't done it since, and I'm repentant of it. The point is, I don't blame people that are deceived about it, or don't understand the big picture, or are poor or scared or whatever. God judges the heart."
'Where is everybody?' Rachel Maddow delivers brutal takedown of last weekend's sparsely attended MAGA rally
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow began her Monday show addressing the crowd size in Washington, D.C., for the protest against arrests for the Jan. 6 attack.
"Where is everybody?" she asked, laughing at the small crowd.
She explained that there seemed to be multiple police and guard troops for every protester in attendance. At one point, Maddow said that even the media seemed to outnumber the crowd.
"When there is a big march or rally in Washington, a big gathering sometimes news outlets will use like, you know, crowd size experts or aerial views of the crowd to do a bunch of complicated math to try to approximate the size of the crowd. In this case, you could just literally just kind of eenie, meenie money, moe, count them all up by hand," said Maddow. "Capitol Police said in total there were around 400 people or so milling around that site at the front of the Capitol on Saturday but most of the 400 were not actually protesters. If you actually zoom in on the crowd, this is what it looked like."
She showed a photo of a man who appeared to be wearing a dead badger on his head surrounded by cameras.
"This guy was counted as two though because of him and his badger," joked Maddow. "Why wouldn't you count the badger?"
She noted that there were so few people at the event the press lined up to do interviews for individual protesters because there simply weren't enough protesters to do interviews.
Maddow then pointed out a man and his dog wearing his own military-looking outfit. She noted that the dog, which appeared to be a Great Dane, actually looked a little like a small horse.
"The rally turned out to be such a nothing burger that the poor police horses didn't really have anything to do either," she said, showing photos. "It was a nice day for them to be out there. They all seemed to have gotten a little extra horsey kibble as a treat. I don't know if you call it kibble when it comes to horses. This rally on Saturday sort of turned into the easiest possible game of Where's Waldo? There was a lot of space. There are literally more people currently being prosecuted for trying to violently overthrow the government than there were people at this rally arguing all those people should be set free."
She speculated if perhaps supporters of Donald Trump mistook Washington state for Washington, D.C. and ended up in the wrong place.
"The sad little trombone womp, womp, womp, was supposed to be the triumphant return of Trump supporters to Washington, D.C. for the first time since they violently attacked the U.S. Capitol in January in an effort to try to physically stop the election results from being certified and thereby to block Joe Biden from becoming president," she explained. "They all stormed the capitol on Jan. 6 because Donald Trump said the election was stolen from him."
She noted that this Saturday was supposed to be the powerful stand for Trump supporters. Ultimately, however, it ended up just being some dude and his dog.
Meanwhile, she noted that Trump sent out a profanity-filled press release after the rally that sounded nonsensical even for him.
See the opener below:
The Trump rally that wasn't www.youtube.com
After a trio of moderate House Democrats, led by Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif, blocked a provision in President Joe Biden's landmark infrastructure package allowing health officials to negotiate excessively high drug prices with large pharmaceutical giants last week, Arizona's senior Democratic Sen. Krysten Sinema has reportedly joined her centrist collegagues in expressing opposition to the White House's proposed prescription drug pricing reforms.
Throwing a wrench in the Democrats' agenda to make life-saving drugs more affordable for millions of Americans, Politico reports that Sinema has told the White House she does not support a provision of the reconciliation bill currently being debated in the House of Representatives that would allow Medicare to negotiate prices for prescription drugs. While running for office in 2018, however, Sinema expressed clear support for lowering prescription drug prices.
"We need to make health care more affordable, lower prescription drug prices, and fix the problems in the system – not go back to letting insurance companies call all the shots," posted Sinema.
Over in the House, Peters was joined by centrists Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., and Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., all of whom voted "no" during a three-day markup of the bill by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, according to Politico. The bill consequently saw a 29-29 tie, preventing it from passing out of committee.
People familiar with the matter told Politico that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had spent days convincing the moderates to back down. The committee's, Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., also made multiple public pleas to the coalition.
The provision is estimated to bear a windfall for the average drug consumer, saving them $700 billion over a decade – a sum that would shore up other elements of the healthcare system, like Obamacare and Medicare, per The Los Angeles Times.
Back in July, Salon reported on Peters' apparent flip-flop on H.R. 3, a Democratic-backed House bill aimed at radically reducing the price of high-cost drugs. Peters supported the measure in 2019. But in the years following, he received hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions from Big Pharma. Later he told Roll Call that the bill was a bad idea, saying that it would "dry up all the private investment that does that research."
Despite the intra-party opposition, Democrats have signaled that they will stand their ground on the drug pricing provision now that it's being tucked into Biden's infrastructure plan. Pelosi spokesperson Henry Connelly told Politico that the policy "will remain a cornerstone of the Build Back Better Act as work continues between the House, Senate and White House on the final bill."
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., long a crusader against Big Pharma, called the industry "the most powerful industry on Capitol Hill."
"The pharmaceutical industry has spent over $4.5 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions over the past 20 years and has hired some 1,200 lobbyists to get Congress to do its bidding," Sanders tweeted on Wednesday. "Now is the time for Congress to show courage and stand up to the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. The American people will not accept surrender."
On Wednesday, Democrats launched an alternative effort to ram the bill through the legislature, Politico reported, passing identical language on drug pricing through the House and Ways Committee with a 24-19 party line vote. Still, the bill is sure to face an uphill battle in being greenlit by the House and Senate.
Peters has said that the measure will not move forward unless the party finds a compromise. "I'll be around all week and happy to talk to any senators who want to finalize something so that we can get done before next week," he told The Los Angeles Times. "Enough of us have expressed concern that we should be working on a different course. I want to be constructive."
The drug lobby has by and large backed the centrist's offensive, citing the apparent need to balance innovation with affordability. However, as Salon noted back in July, many drug price advocates have argued that this concern may be overblown.
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