On Saturday, The New York Times profiled an Arizona campaign event headed by Donald Trump, Jr. — and noted the omnipresent conspiracy theories and paranoid falsehoods being spread at the event.
“Inside, around 500 chairs were lined up as tightly as airplane seats,” reported Hank Stephenson. “When those filled up, hundreds more people crammed in, standing shoulder to shoulder. When the ballroom could hold no more, organizers swung open its double doors and urged attendees to just keep squeezing in. Only a handful wore masks. One man made the sign of the cross as he entered.”
“Onstage, [Turning Point USA founder Charlie] Kirk, the younger Mr. Trump and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, offered up red meat to the crowd, much of it wildly exaggerated or without basis in fact,” said the report. “They complained about the persecution of conservatives, bantered about the ’96 genders’ that they said Democrats now recognized, suggested that Mr. Biden has dementia, and claimed that Osama bin Laden had once endorsed Mr. Biden.”
They also heavily implied that Democrats are in league with pedophiles — a central pillar of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
“‘You know what the left is doing? They’re justifying ‘Cuties,’ they’re justifying pedophilia,’ Mr. Trump said, pointing to a recently passed law in California that aims to end discrimination against L.G.B.T.Q. young adults in statutory rape convictions,” said the report. “Conspiracy theorists associated with the QAnon movement have claimed that the law favors pedophiles, which it does not.”
According to the report, at least one Republican who attended the event, college student Jonathan Gross, was disappointed that everything had gone off the rails. “They were just throwing out a bunch of stuff, saying Joe Biden is basically brain-dead for having to read off a teleprompter, calling the left sheep, and that ‘Cuties’ argument,” said Gross. “I came to hear about what Trump is planning to do with his re-election, but it felt like just slander of the left.”
You can read more here.
‘Truly grotesque’: On way out the door, Trump prioritizes bringing back executions by firing squad and electrocution
Among the slew of potentially destructive policy changes the Trump administration is rushing to implement on its way out of power is a rule that would authorize the return of electrocutions and firing squads for federal executions, an effort critics slammed as a twisted priority amid deadly public health and economic crises.
ProPublica reported Wednesday that the rule, first published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Justice Department in August, "has raced through the process with little notice but unusual speed—and deadly consequences."
"This rule could reintroduce firing squads and electrocutions for federal executions, giving the government more options for administering capital punishment as drugs used in lethal injections become unavailable," ProPublica noted. "The Justice Department surfaced the proposal in August and accepted public comments for only 30 days, instead of the usual 60. The rule cleared White House review on Nov. 6, meaning it could be finalized any day."
Americans ‘won’t stand’ for election results not being honored: Biden
US President-elect Joe Biden said Wednesday that Americans "won't stand" for the results of the November 3 election not being honored.
"Our democracy was tested this year," Biden said in a Thanksgiving Day address in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. "And what we learned is this: The people of this nation are up to the task.
"In America, we have full and fair and free elections, and then we honor the results," he said. "The people of this nation and the laws of the land won't stand for anything else."
Biden did not mention Donald Trump by name but he was clearly referring to the president's refusal to accept the results of the election.
The strange truth about our Trump addiction
Are we addicted to Donald Trump? It's a question that's haunting journalists and political commentators, most of whom hate Trump but cannot deny that his name drives traffic and ratings. Even though Trump lost the election and Joe Biden will be the next president, Trump continues to be the big attention draw for political websites and cable news networks.
Part of that is completely understandable. Trump is still big news. He literally spent the past few weeks attempting a coup. While he failed, that doesn't change the history-making fact that he even tried, or that he got so much support. Certainly Biden, whose main activity is finding boring-but-competent people to staff his administration, can't compete with that, and there's no real indication that he wants to. (Unlike Trump, Biden views governing as a job and not just an opportunity to get attention.)