In the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a key witness for the defense was the former Maryland chief medical examiner, Dr. David Fowler, who contradicted most other expert witnesses in the trial and suggested heart trouble and other issues, not the police restraint, caused George Floyd's death. The decision by Chauvin's legal team to rely on Fowler's testimony shocked many in Maryland, where he is being sued by the family of 19-year-old Anton Black, an African American teenager from Maryland who died in 2018 after he was electrocuted with a Taser, pinned in a prone position and crushed under the weight of three white police officers and a white civilian as he struggled to breathe and lost consciousness. After an autopsy, Dr. Fowler ruled Black's death an accident, and no one was charged with a crime. The wrongful death lawsuit says Dr. Fowler delayed release of an autopsy report for months and covered up police responsibility for Black's death. Sonia Kumar, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Maryland, says there is "a pattern of conduct in Maryland involving police violence against Black people that then are characterized as anything other than homicides." We also speak with Richard Potter, the founder of the Coalition for Justice for Anton Black and president of the Talbot County branch of the NAACP, who says officials in Anton Black's case spent months dragging their feet after the teenager's death. "Nobody was giving the family any information in terms of a cause of death," he says.
Liz Cheney may be the first casualty of the GOP's lapse in consciousness -- but she likely will not be the last
In the Trump era, the Republican Party underwent numerous changes that have shifted its ideologies and belief systems. Gone are the days when Republican lawmakers trained their focus on decreasing federal spending while placing an emphasis on traditional, conservative policy. Now, it appears former President Donald Trump's demands are being prioritized over the party's overall goals.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is a prime example of that, according to an editorial published by Flux. However, Republicans' current belief systems signal that she likely will not be the last casualty of this political war. Flux editor Matthew Sheffield highlights the rise of Republican lawmakers' fears of their own support base.
While Trump and right-wing media's dangerous rhetoric have contributed to the uptick in right-wing extremism, Sheffield also attributes the enhancement of these belief systems to the "long-term epistemic collapse of Christian fundamentalism."
"That Republicans would move to subvert democracy so soon after being attacked by violent seditionists set upon them by Trump himself is the product of GOP elites' fears of their own voters who have become increasingly extremist as they've been subjected to noxious news and infotainment for decades," Sheffield wrote. "But while right-wing media has been the means by which American conservatives have become reactionaries, the long-term epistemic collapse of Christian fundamentalism that has been in motion for decades is the reason that it happened, and why the mass violence of Jan. 6 is more likely to be a harbinger than a singularity."
Sheffield also noted that Cheney's ousting also underscores the war against truth. After losing the presidential election to President Joe Biden, Trump intensified his war on fact and truth often lambasting members of the media, Republican leaders, lawmakers, and any others who did not support his unfounded claims of election fraud.
The domino effect of Trump's actions has also "tapped into a new fundamentalist strain of thought which had been propagating the idea for years that nothing can truly be known about the world," Sheffield wrote.
He referenced the words of Charles Kesler, editor of the conservative Claremont Review of Books, who delivered a targeted synopsis of the Trump supporter mentality in a piece he'd written for his own publication. At the time, Kesler continued to blindly support the former president's disturbing, unfounded claims: "claims are 'baseless' only until such time as a base of evidence appears for them," he wrote.
Kesler's words were eerily similar to the words of Trump's former White House advisor Kellyanne Conway who coined the term "alternative facts." Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani also went on record expressing similar beliefs when he argued that "truth isn't truth."
For decades, the same ideology gradually making its way into the political space has been seen in the history books. Truth has often been denied while myths about the past have been pushed to the forefront.
"Though somewhat new to the political realm, such disingenuous assertions have become increasingly common among the few beleaguered academics stuck with the impossible task of defending literalist claims about scripture," Sheffield wrote. "Leaning heavily on secular deconstructionist writers, fundamentalists of every stripe have begun taking refuge in the idea that the reason their books' factual claims rarely pan out is that true history is the real myth and that the ancient past is so shrouded in the mists of time that it is essentially inscrutable."
With the war on truth, Cheney's ousting comes as no surprise and it signals a shift in the Republican Party's handling of those who push back against impropriety. As Republicans continue to do Trump's bidding, the only question that remains is: "Who's next?"
Mitch McConnell caught off guard when Fox News grills him over GOP support for Trump's election lies
During a Fox News appearance this week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed that the GOP is moving on from fights over the 2020 election and focusing on opposing President Joe Biden. But Fox host Bret Baier wanted to know why the former president's name appears in so many Republican fundraising e-mails if it has really left Trump, and the election he continues to dispute, in the past.
When McConnell tried to dodge Baier's question, the host didn't back down and told the Senate minority leader, "I'm going to try one more time. Since April 24, fundraising e-mails from Republicans have mentioned the former president 97 times — an average of more than five times a day. You're saying the focus is not on the past, but you're using the former president's name — and Republicans are — to raise money for 2022."
Baier: Alright, I’m going to try one more time... You’re saying the focus is not on the past but you’re using the f… https://t.co/j6BODGp8Gj— Acyn (@Acyn)1620858949.0
The 79-year-old McConnell, who was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984, remained evasive — telling Baier, "Well, look, each individual candidate is going to use whatever appeal they think works to try to raise money. I'm not in the money-raising business; I'm in the Senate business. And what we're trying to do here is to make some progress for the country."
Here are responses to McConnell's Fox News appearance that have been posted on Twitter:
@Acyn McConnell: We’re trying to make progress for the country Also McConnell: https://t.co/0Occ1sq53S— Bryan Harnsberger Psy.D (@Bryan Harnsberger Psy.D)1620859069.0
@Acyn Oh my God that is some prime comic stylings from ol’ Mitch. I may have an aneurysm from the endless laughter.— Mitch Solomon (@Mitch Solomon)1620859099.0
@Acyn I hate to tell you. Mitch.. you aren’t in the Senate business either! You’re in business for yourself!— yankeegirl2 (@yankeegirl2)1620859351.0
@Acyn Mitch is the father of modern campaign finance, he basically pioneered dark money in politics as we know it t… https://t.co/ihWMicsAat— Jack Sterling IV (@Jack Sterling IV)1620861818.0
@Acyn McConnell in the appeasing Trump and obstructing Biden business with raising money as a major side hustle.— nancy cronvich (@nancy cronvich)1620867269.0
InfoWars video editor Sam Montoya pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges stemming from the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
A family member submitted a tip to the FBI that Montoya had been inside the capitol.
The FBI located a 44-minute video Montoya had reportedly posted titled, "Patriots Storm Congress Raw Footage Includes Execution of Ashli Babbitt."
At one point, he turned the camera on himself and said, "It feels good to be in the Capitol baby!"
NBC Washington correspondent Scott MacFarlane reports Montoya pleaded not guilty.
NEW: InfoWars staffer Sam Montoya pleads NOT GUILTY in US Capitol attack case. Montoya is accused of saying the f… https://t.co/6kdizrReP5— Scott MacFarlane (@Scott MacFarlane)1621041180.0
DOJ statement of facts against Samuel Christopher Montoya.Screengrab.
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