Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin -- the co-founder of "Cowboys for Trump" who took part in the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6th that took five lives -- has been moved to isolation in jail for refusing to take a COVID-19 test.
According to a report from Yahoo, Griffin has been fighting for his release, and now is saying "he was struggling in isolation," after he refused the test for the safety of all around him.
According to Yahoo, Griffin is currently being held for "knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority" and "intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business."
His arrest was made easier after he posted videos of himself during the riot online.
The new report states, "Griffin's lawyer filed a motion for his client's release, saying that he was struggling in isolation. In response, the judge said that "simply taking a COVID-19 test, something hundreds of millions of people have safely done across the world, will allow the defendant to exit isolation."
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On Saturday, it became clear that the fallout from Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) forming an "America First" caucus to uphold "Anglo-Saxon traditions" — immediately derided by historians as a racist dog-whistle — is fracturing the House GOP.
According to POLITICO Playbook: "All eyes are on House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who last night tweeted his disapproval of the proposed new group — but who will no doubt be called on to do more to stop it entirely." But as the report noted, the situation is complicated for him: "A few years ago, McCarthy stripped then-Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) of his committee assignments over repeated racist comments." But in this case, Greene has already been stripped of her assignments, so it's unclear what he can and will do.
Meanwhile, according to Forbes, the "America First" Caucus has already been rejected by key members of the Freedom Caucus, an infamously far-right gang of lawmakers who include some of former President Donald Trump's most prominent loyalists.
"The hatefulness ... is only surpassed by its ignorance of American history and values," said Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), a major Freedom Caucus member, another, Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT) — one of the only two Black Republicans in the House — also confirmed to Forbes he wants nothing to do with the new group.
The America First Caucus' establishing document clearly outlines white nationalist ideology, including the idea of renouncing as un-American all immigrants who came to America after 1965, the year that the U.S. immigration system was reformed to eliminate explicit racial quotas.
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is adamantly refusing to consider increasing unemployment benefits in his state as many works are still struggling due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a news conference held on Friday, April 16, the Republican governor was asked about the possibility of him supporting an increase in unemployment benefits, reports The Tampa Bay Times. Currently, the state is paying unemployed workers $275 per week, an amount considered to be one of the lowest in the United States. While state lawmakers insist the amount is not substantial, DeSantis made it clear that he has a different take.
According to the governor, $275 is enough and he has no intention to support an increase. "Increase benefits?" he said. "Look, no, I think we're getting people back to work." When asked a second time, DeSantis doubled down on his take. "Our unemployment is what it is. It's fine," he said. "The federal government obviously is putting in a lot of money."
The Florida governor also argued that his goal is to get people back to work although the pandemic continues to spread in his state. Despite DeSantis' take, Florida's unemployment benefits are severely underwhelming as it is only equivalent to approximately $6.87 per hour. In wake of the governor's latest remarks, lawmakers and critics have taken to Twitter to fire back.
Florida Democratic lawmaker Jason Pizzo tweeted, "Aug. 2020, [Gov. Ron DeSantis] said two important things: 1) he couldn't change weekly amount - that's the legislature's purview 2) roadblocks to benefits looked intentional The House and Senate need to hold firm and do what's fair and decent for today, and tomorrow."
Aug. 2020, @GovRonDeSantis said two important things: 1) he couldn’t change weekly amount - that’s the legislature… https://t.co/xzEtP8pCWA— Jason Pizzo (@Jason Pizzo)1618592238.0
Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando, Fla.) also pushed back against DeSantis' claims as she criticized the state's "embarrassingly low" unemployment rate. She tweeted, "Unemployment is NOT fine. It's broken & benefits are embarrassingly low."
The Governor likes to call out “elites” but this this comment from him is offensive & elite! Unemployment is NOT f… https://t.co/XWlkaSGXhN— Rep. Anna V. Eskamani 🔨 (@Rep. Anna V. Eskamani 🔨)1618594039.0
Senate Bill 1906 advanced in the Florida Senat4e on Thursday, April 15, and is now poised for a vote on the floor. If passed, it would increase the statement's minimum and maximum amount for weekly unemployment benefits. The bill also includes an extension of the duration of time a person can receive unemployment benefits. Instead of 12 weeks, recipients will be entitled to 14 weeks.
On Saturday, Newsweek profiled a number of historians outraged at the effort by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to create an "America First" congressional caucus that would defend "Anglo-Saxon political traditions."
Grand View University associate professor of medieval history Thomas Lacaque did not mince words: "These American fascists have no relation to Anglos or Saxons, the terminology is clearly chosen on far right lines. They do remind me of Beowulf, though —violent, vain, boasting oafs who think killing is governance and will die doing dumb shit leaving the nation in ruins."
"There is no such thing as 'Anglo-Saxon' political traditions' unless Margorie [sic] Taylor Greene is talking about Old English charters and she isn't," wrote University of Toronto medieval scholar Mary Rambaran-Olm. "If she wants to return to those, she'll have to stop advocating for gun use. 'Anglo-Saxon' is being weaponized by the far-right." She added that the very term "Anglo-Saxon" is a "racist dog-whistle, inaccurate and generally sucks balls."
The new caucus, which Greene co-founded with Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and has attracted membership interest from Reps. Barry Moore (R-AL) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX), has even drawn criticism from other Republicans.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) responded to the news by saying, "The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln & the party of more opportunity for all Americans — not nativist dog whistles." And Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), a frequent critic of Trump loyalists, has called for any Republican who joins the caucus to be stripped of committee assignments and expelled from the Republican conference.
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