State law requires all school children to get a battery of vaccinations when they reach a certain age. But parents are allowed to opt-out if they write a letter simply stating "immunization interferes with the free exercise" of their family's religious rights.
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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver started off his show mocking Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) for being forced to steal migrants who came into Texas to deploy his plot to deport immigrants.
Both the Fox network and Republicans have desperately tried to turn immigration into a huge issue for the 2022 midterm election at a time when most Americans actually care about other things like democracy or women's liberty and rights.
"Yes, it certainly was a 'surprising scene on Martha's Vineyard,'" said Oliver. "Obviously, sending a group of migrants there was extremely reckless because Martha's Vineyard isn't set up with any key resources that migrants need. Unless, they're desperate for a fishmonger to over-describe what it was like to sell Jackie O. a pound of scallops in 1983."
He went on to say that if it seems like a stunt made for the Fox network, then you're correct, it is. Several months ago, right-wing host Tucker Carlson did a segment on the whiteness of Martha's Vineyard and he had a "fun" proposal. It was to send 300,000 migrants to the island. The island actually has under 20,000 people who live there year-round. It's a place where rich people "summer" after the Hamptons got too conservative.
"So, suggesting you send 300,000 people there is about like suggesting you let Tucker Carlson bring you to sexual completion," Oliver said. "It is just a disgusting idea. It's a logistically impossible one. But it seems DeSantis took the idea and ran with it. So, I guess it's like they say, good artists borrow, great artists steal and racist governors get their ideas yelled at them by the human equivalent of the boat shoe found at the scene of a hazing."
Oliver called it grim and cynical," talking about the ways in which they were lured by fake brochures lying to them about where they were going and what would be available for them when they arrived. The brochure was so poorly designed that it didn't even have the real flag of the state of Massachusetts on the front. It was a flag that a guy on Imgur, who posted it saying, "The current one blows so I made this one."
Ironically, Ron DeSantis lived in Massachusetts for at least three years when he went to Harvard. So, "you would think that Ron DeSantis would have caught that error."
A San Antonio sheriff announced that he'd be launching an investigation into DeSantis for kidnapping the migrants from Texas and lying to them about where they were going.
"And if you're thinking, hold on, why a Texas sheriff and not a Florida one?" Oliver continued. "Well, it turns out for all DeSantis' talk about the urgency of this issue for his voters, these migrants didn't even come from his state. Why not? You know what? I'll just let him explain."
As it turns out, DeSantis said that there's not a huge flood of migrants coming into Florida. On the whole, it might just be a few.
"That's not enough to stop the mass migration if it's just coming in onesie-twosies," said DeSantis.
"It seems this huge problem for his state, mass migration, is actually so little of a problem he had to borrow 50 migrants from a state halfway across the country," said Oliver. "But, credit where it's due. Nothing says, 'I'm against illegal immigration and human trafficking quite like making fake documents to smuggle people across a border."
It was also reported by the New York Times on Sunday, that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who is also up for reelection, is furious at DeSantis for the plot. It's not clear, however, if Abbott will try and get DeSantis back by sending a bus of migrants to Disney World.
Oliver also noted that DeSantis always looks like he's wearing his suit over another suit.
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver 9/25/22 FULL | HBO Last Week Tonight Sep 25, 2022 youtu.be
In 1994, the Republican Party announced a "Contract with America" which was not only a list of promises but a "blueprint for governing," wrote Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty.
In 2006, when Democrats were about to take over the House they announced their own list of promises, which was a list of 10 laws they promised to pass if enough were elected to take over the House.
This year, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced his own list, complete with a video showing families that were actually from Russia and Ukraine. But his list is more of a list of MAGA conspiracies and promises that the GOP can never keep. McCarthy, for example, announced that any parent who was on the terrorist watch list for threatening a member of a school board would be removed. McCarthy and Congress has no control over the terrorist watch list.
"The Pittsburgh-area event was a telling indication of the difficulties that lie ahead for McCarthy if he is given the gavel he has so long coveted — and, with it, the responsibility to actually govern at the head of a fractious, fragile majority in which the most extreme members are determined to call the shots," explained Tumulty. "The hard-right Freedom Caucus has indicated that its support for McCarthy will hinge on rules changes that would curb the speaker’s power and make it easier to oust him."
Tumulty called McCarthy's list of promises nothing more than a bunch of slogans like “curb wasteful government spending” and “fight inflation and lower the cost of living.” They also pledged to “defend fairness by ensuring that only women can compete in women’s sports." They have no real hope of achieving any of the promises, but the everyday voter doesn't fully understand.
McCarthy's top priority, he said would, on its “very first day,” “repeal 87,000 IRS agents,” which is a conspiracy theory about a bill that hired more staff able to go after millionaires and billionaires who refuse to pay their taxes. The IRS has been in desperate need of funding for decades and as a result, many wealthy taxpayers have gotten away with dodging their part of the economy.
McCarthy went on to address abortion, saying they'd “protect the lives of unborn children and their mothers," but didn't clarify how.
It's just a few of the GOP examples, including the impeachment of Biden and various investigations.
"McCarthy, for all his challenges, knows there is at least one situation in which House Republicans will stand together, and that is when they are on the attack," said Tumulty. "It’s a 'Commitment' they can be counted on to keep."
Read the full column in the Washington Post.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg spoke to the Texas Tribune Festival about the crisis of asylum seekers coming in from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Speaking to the group in Austin, Texas over the weekend, he explained that the reason that Republicans want to talk so much about problems at the border is that they gain more by there not being a solution than if there was one.
“It’s one thing to call attention to the problem… It’s another thing to just call attention to the problem because the problem is actually more useful to you than the solution, and that helps call attention to yourself," said Buttigieg.
It has been a consistent concept for Republicans who are excellent at naming and attacking the problems but not having solutions to fix it. It infamously happened after Donald Trump took office in 2017 when Republicans held the House and Senate. There was an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. After years of pledging to repeal and replace Obamacare they were prepared for the repeal part but were never able to craft a replacement.
The same is now true for immigration, according to Buttigieg. Republicans benefit more from the problem than from a solution.
See the video below:
\u201cOn DeSantis and border hysteria: \u201cIt\u2019s one thing to call attention to the problem\u2026 It\u2019s another thing to just call attention to the problem because the problem is actually more useful to you than the solution, and that helps call attention to yourself.\u201d\u201d— Tim Steller (@Tim Steller) 1664157618