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Every Republican is now required to be just as ‘dumb’ as Trump: columnist

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Esquire columnist Jack Holmes cited President Donald Trump’s ally Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) as an indication that Republicans have officially become just as illogical and ridiculous as their party’s leader.

Trump was in Kennedy’s state Wednesday night where other far-right personalities like a former star of Duck Dynasty took the stage to assail Democrats.

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Kennedy “bills himself as a no-frills, common-sense type who’s just trying to make sense of the highfalutin activities in Washington on behalf of the everyman back home,” wrote Holmes.

Kennedy has supported progressive policies in the past, like defending internet neutrality. “But in this political age, you can only keep the ‘R’ next to your name for so long until you are forced to embrace—or do so gleefully—the aesthetics of Donald Trump, American president. Kennedy was proof of that last night,” he explained.

“I don’t mean any disrespect,” Kennedy said from the rally podium about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “but it must suck to be that dumb.”

It’s an ironic insult given Kennedy prefaced it by saying he meant no disrespect.

“It’s a perfect illustration of how, in the Age of Trump, The Base now demands the performance of bludgeoning the various Enemies,” Holmes explained.

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Indeed, Trump rallies are not merely about hearing the president speak or endorse whatever right-wing candidate is pulled from the annals of the tea party. They’re a show with hours of propaganda-fueled speeches, chanting and attacks for anyone with a “D” next to their name.

Conservative Bill Kristol made a similar observation Wednesday night, saying that a central tenet of Trumpism is “petty vindictiveness and cowardly bullying.”

Trump’s campaign has turned it into part of a kind of political vaudeville show.

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“At every one of these traveling arena shows, there’s a list of heels that folks on stage are expected to mention and bash until the crowd can join in with lusty boos and, possibly, a chant demanding extrajudicial punishment,” he wrote. “Kennedy is well aware that if he sticks to talking about the tax cut or gutting Obamacare, it’s no longer enough. People want a show—the uglier the better, in order to reinforce who’s Us and who’s Them.”

He said it had reached a level of absurdity when the right goes from saying they disagree with Pelosi to saying she’s an idiot. “Particularly when it comes to navigating political disputes and the parliamentary machinations of Congress,” Holmes wrote.

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Kennedy, however, is the same person who called sitting officials in Congress “wackjobs” and claimed they were “the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” He seems to prize hyperbole over reality.

“The point is not to make arguments that your policy platform is superior to the other party’s in order to win majority support,” Holmes closed. It’s not even to criticize your opponents based on their political choices. If you are a Republican in the Year of Our Lord 2019, you are required to bludgeon the Enemies. Whatever you must say to do so, regardless of facts or reason or basic decency, will suffice. As a reward, you get to feel the roar of the crowd.”

Read the full op-ed at Esquire.

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‘A mockery of independence’: Trump to nominate White House lawyer to oversee $4.5 trillion coronavirus relief bill

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A late Friday announcement regarding President Donald Trump's nominee to oversee the implementation of the recently-passed $4.5 trillion coronavirus relief bill was regarded by government watchdogs as the president's latest attempt to protect the interests of powerful corporations while Americans are focused on the coronavirus pandemic.

The White House announced that Trump would nominate Brian D. Miller, a special assistant to the president and senior associate counsel in the White House Counsel office, to oversee the prevention of fraud and abuse in the relief program. The law includes minimal relief for the public and what progressives have derided as a $500 billion "slush fund" for corporations, allowing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to "bail out any corporation he pleases, with almost no conditions," as Patriotic Millionaires chair Morris Pearl wrote last month.

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Louisiana pastor grilled on CNN for plan to pack 27 buses full of worshipers and haul them to church during COVID-19 crisis

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A Louisiana pastor was put on the spot on Sunday morning by CNN's Victor Blackwell for his plan to load up his buses and haul worshipers to his planned Sunday service at a time when the highly-c0ntagious COVID-19 pandemic has claimed thousands of lives throughout the country.

Speaking with the CNN host, Life Tabernacle Church pastor Tony Spell said he was ignoring advice from local officials to not host the service because it would endanger the health of his followers.

Asked whether he planned to go forward despite warnings, the pastor replied, "This morning, yes, sir, 10:00 AM. We will actually run our buses. We have 27 buses that we cover in a 50-mile radius of our city. We bring people into the house of God, feed them natural food and spiritual food and then we go right back into our respective places. It takes us about eight hours to run into service on Sunday morning and then we come back in tonight."

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Trump brutally fact-checked by CNN host for lying and blame-shifting about shortages of US pandemic supplies

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The morning after Donald Trump held yet another coronavirus press conference where he said that the country is about to enter into a week with a sharp increase in COVID-19 deaths, CNN's Victor Blackwell brutally dissected the president's lies that the government is helpless because of a shortage of medical supplies because former President Barack Obama left the shelves bare.

Using clips of the president's ever-evolving excuses and contradictions, the CNN host took apart Trump's blame-spreading.

"This morning, a fact check," the CNN host began. "Hospitals across the country are desperate to find the gowns and the gloves and the face shields. And some states have received millions of pieces of that personal protective equipment and the N95 masks from the federal government, but now President Trump says that the strategic national stockpile is nearly depleted of those supplies."

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