Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday he would have been stunned if he knew a year ago that the United States’ COVID-19 death toll would reach such devastating levels — and blamed the grim tally partially on politics. “We had such divisiveness in our country that even simple, commonsense public health measures took on a political connotation,” Fauci said on NBC’s “Today” show. The country’s top infectious disease expert said the country diverged into two distinct tribes in a year that brought more than half a million COVID-19 deaths. “If you wanted to wear a mask, you were on this side,” Fauci said....
MAGA rioter arrested after boasting to acquaintance of being just feet away from Ashli Babbitt before she was shot
Michael Eckerman of Wichita was arrested Monday by the FBI for shoving a police officer down a stairway after being among the first to breach the Capitol during the January 6 insurrection.
But the 37-year-old Eckerman's claim to fame, such that it is, will likely be that he was in the room when an officer shot Ashli Babbitt as she tried to climb through a broken window to gain access to the House chambers.
The FBI report states that video evidence captures Eckerman "near the back entrance to the House Chamber, where Ashli Babbitt was shot by a law enforcement officer as she attempted to climb through one of the doors where glass was broken out to access the House Chamber. Just after the shooting, video captures Eckerman and his companions exiting the Capitol through the upper House doors at approximately 2:44."
Afterward, Eckerman was not shy about what he saw in talking with an interviewing at a source identified as "FreedomNews.tv," according to the report.
"I don't know her (Babbitt's) name, all I know is we went there as patriots. She is dead because we're here. These mother fuckers are traitors, they are fucking traitors!" he shouted.
The FBI also stated that companions of Eckerman can be seen pulling him away from the camera.
One of two witnesses who reported Eckerman to the FBI said he was told by Eckerman that he was just several feet away from Babbitt when she was killed.
Eckerman is accused by an officer of having "made his way to the front of the crowd and pushed (the officer) with aggressive force. The push caused Officer K.Y. to lose his balance and fall down a small set of stairs. After being knocked to the ground, Officer K.Y. was sprayed in the face with a fire extinguisher by an unknown individual."
Eckerman also posed in front of a portrait of George Washington in the Capitol wearing a load bearing tactical vest and red Trump hat, the FBI stated. One of the witnesses who tipped off the bureau stated they were able to identify him after he shared that photo with friends.
Eckerman was charged "assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers" along with a variety of illegal entry and disorderly conduct charges. You can read the FBI report here.
Kevin McCarthy called out Trump for leaking news of his groveling pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago: Woodward
In the new book Peril, by Robert Costa and Bob Woodward, Donald Trump was so desperate for media attention that he leaked that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was crawling back to him.
When McCarthy arrived at Mar-a-Lago in late January, Trump met him with the question, "Hey, did you leak this lunch?"
McCarthy said he didn't, noting that Trump's staff must have because he never even told his staffers.
"You think my staff did it?" asked Trump.
"No. I don't think your staff did it," McCarthy replied.
"Well, who do you think did it?" Trump asked.
"You," McCarthy said
The book notes that "Trump seemed very eager to be back in the headlines" and that he bragged that Melania told him, "this has more press than when I met Putin."
In the wake of Trump's time in the White House, he has struggled for attention, sending out, at times, three-word or one-sentence press releases that he normally would have tweeted were he not banned from the website. His comments are filled with flame-throwing language, occasionally curse words and perpetuate his election fraud conspiracies. News networks have largely ignored it.
Political analysts have questioned if Trump is losing his influence, particularly after the Sept. 18 rally had only a few hundred attendees.
While he hosted a rally in Alabama and pledged to have one in Iowa, 2021 hasn't been flooded with Trump events the way it was during his political campaigns.
Al Franken targets 'political roadkill' Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham in comedy tour recalling Senate years: report
Comedian and former Democratic Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is taking aim at his erstwhile colleagues from both sides of the aisle — but especially Texas Republican Ted Cruz — as part of a new 15-city standup tour.
"I like Ted Cruz more than most of my colleagues like Ted Cruz. And I really hate Ted Cruz," Franken told a nearly sold-out crowd in Northampton, Mass., on Saturday, according to a report from the Washington Post.
"Franken's finest Cruz bit, his chef's kiss, involves fellow Minnesota Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a luxury ocean liner and an unprintable bodily function. It rarely fails to kill," the Post reported.
Franken launched his "The Only Former U.S. Senator Currently on Tour Tour" more than three years after resigning from the Senate in the wake of allegations that he groped and inappropriately kissed several women. Franken has adamantly denied the allegations, and fans attending his show said they believe he was "railroaded."
"For more than eight years in the Senate, Al Franken largely stifled the funny, as though he coexisted with a powerful alter ego in desperate need of submission: Senator Franken and 'Saturday Night Live' Al," the Post reports. "He had to watch everything he said. He dared to be dull. No longer. Now, everything is political roadkill for his new comedy tour. ... He can swear like a sailor — or, more precisely, a comic — and call Cruz any invective he wishes."
In addition to Cruz, Franken mocks and "occasionally drubs" Republicans Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley, Lindsey Graham and former Sen. Tom Coburn — as well as Democrats Bernie Sanders, Dianne Feinstein and Charles Schumer. His act even includes a bit about Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger that features Franken impersonating McConnell by "slowing his speech to the velocity of an impaired turtle."
"Did he slam former president Donald Trump? Indeed, but not nearly as much as Cruz or the minority leader," the Post reports."Mitch McConnell has systematically ruined the Senate," Franken said.
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