In a legislative flurry, 30 states instituted liability protections in late 2020 and early 2021 designed to protect businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits, out of fear that companies would be sued for exposing workers, clients or vendors to the swiftly spreading, deadly disease. Those lawsuits haven’t materialized. Proponents of the new laws say that’s because the statutes have scared off potential litigation. But critics say the actions have created a solution in search of a problem, because most employees who sue do so under existing workplace safety regulations, such as those enforced by the fed...
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Rick Wilson gives hilariously profane preview of 'bloody, brutal, gut-spilling fight' between DeSantis and Trump
Rick Wilson analyzed the threat Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis poses to Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential race in a hilariously profane rant on Twitter.
The former Republican strategist pointed out that whispers out of the governor's camp, including spokeswoman and registered foreign lobbyist Christina Pushaw, have gotten louder about a presidential run for DeSantis, regardless of whether Trump intends to run, and Wilson examined those signals for clues.
\u201c1/ You'll notice "sources close to DeSantis" (Pushaw, cough cough. Cox, cough cough) are becoming bolder in their framing of the 2024 race.\n\nThey're confident that've got the mojo to raise both the large $ corporate money (the do) and the small-dollar grassroots $.\u201d— Rick Wilson (@Rick Wilson) 1657113806
"You'll notice 'sources close to DeSantis' (Pushaw, cough cough. Cox, cough cough) are becoming bolder in their framing of the 2024 race," Wilson tweeted. "They're confident that've got the mojo to raise both the large $ corporate money (the do) and the small-dollar grassroots $."
Even more importantly, Wilson said, Rupert Murdoch and his sons have apparently given the governor their backing and the enthusiastic support of their conservative media empire.
"They've gotten so much love from the Fox world (and yes, Donald, the decision is made...they're just going to ignore you and give Ron sloppy blowjobs 24/7), from the gentry GOP media (National Review's 39th 'Ron is God' article is coming any time now)," Wilson wrote, "and from the DC consultant class ('Ron, you're the future. You're the cure. You're inevitable. You're the tallest, handsomest, smartest man in the room. Your farts smell like rainbows and flowers spring from your footprints.') that he feels inevitable."
His momentum is building from his authoritarian rollup of Florida's government, and Wilson noted with alarm how easily his attacks on personal liberties and free speech have worked.
"The planning for the 2023 Florida legislative session next spring is already building," Wilson wrote. "It's not about Florida; it's the DeSantis vs Trump 2024 primary platform. Expect a parade of deliberate provocations to feed the MAGA boob-bait machine and a number of increasingly obvious abrogations of legislative, judicial, and regulatory power into the hands of DeSantis. All of these will be falsely labeled as 'conservative' but will in fact be expansions of state power in the hands of one man."
"All the 'small government' and 'individual liberty' 'conservatives' (note sarcasm quotes) will cheer these decisions as the Second Coming," he added. "All the trolly fun that feeds the hamster wheel of MAGA fundraising is worth the radical expansion of the state, right, libertarians?"
However, he said, all that momentum means nothing when it comes to Trump's grip on his right-wing base, comparing his early chances to the path Jeb Bush faced to the White House in 2016.
"Oh, he'll hate that analogy, but it's correct," Wilson wrote. "All the alignments are there: Big $ support, mainstream GOP, NRO class, consultant class, money, conservative record...and then Trump happened. I don't want either in the White House, but I do want a bloody, brutal, gut-spilling fight between them. And we're going to get it. More later."
The school hysteria continues as right-wing parents criticize books dealing with racism and sexuality. As a result of the fights over controversial subjects, librarians have ultimately become the targets, a New York Times report explained.
In Florida, Texas and more than a dozen other states, the phobia manifested into bills in which LGBTQ+ teachers can no longer talk about their partners or family, or even post rainbow stickers. Students who are unsure of what to do as they struggle with their orientation or identity no longer have a safe space in schools. In some cases, LGBTQ+ alliances are being eliminated in schools after homophobic parents decided it was a grooming circle of impending abuse.
In Virginia, it's racists who are being triggered by books that make them uncomfortable. Generations after slavery, white parents fear teaching issues facing people of color will make their children sad.
One New Jersey school became a target over books that right-wing parents claim are "grooming" children to become victims of pedophiles.
“This amounts to an effort to groom our kids to make them more willing to participate in the heinous acts described in these books,” said parent Gina DeLusant in a school meeting that was taped. “It grooms them to accept the inappropriate advances of an adult.”
“You can imagine our librarians feel scared, like their character was in question," said Ami Uselman, the director of library and media services for Round Rock Independent School District, in Texas.
The overuse of the accusation of child abuse has become a key attack used by QAnon conspiracy theorists. Republican Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers said that supporters of former President Donald Trump were blasting loudspeakers outside his home calling him a pedophile.
“There were comments about library staff, calling us groomers and pedophiles and saying we needed to be fired, we need to be jailed, we needed to be locked up, that all the books needed to be burned,” said Tonya Ryals , former assistant director of the Jonesboro Public Library, in Craighead County, Arkansas. She quit over the attacks. “It got to a certain point where I thought, do I want to live here? Is this something I can subject myself to?”
Anotehr librarian who worked for 18 years left her job after a parent lost their minds over the book "Lawn Boy." Debbie Chavez met with the parent and recorded the conversation. She's released the tapes on Facebook and was attacked, saying she was “grooming children.”
“It was so horrific to see that my words were being used as a rallying cry for the book censors, and to see that my conversation had been misrepresented,” she said. “And I was supposed to still get dressed and go to school and do my job.”
Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone has worked out a deal with the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th Capitol riots to testify on Friday for a transcribed interview.
The appearance before the committee "will not be public," according to Haberman's source. What's more it's likely that Cipollone has only agreed to discuss a limited range of topics that will not infringe upon executive privilege concerns related to his work as the official White House counsel.
However, Haberman also reports that Cipollone's testimony is "expected to be videotaped, in the same way the committee has with other interviews, which they've then used during public hearings."
Cipollone has emerged as a key witness in the investigation after former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that he believed former President Donald Trump would be charged with multiple crimes if he followed through on his plans to march with supporters down to the Capitol building on January 6th, 2021.
What's more, former Trump Department of Justice officials testified that Cipollone pushed back against a plan hatched by former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark to send letters to state officials encouraging them to rescind their certifications of the 2020 election due to unspecified concerns about purported voter fraud.
Cipollone sat down for an informal interview with the J6 Committee this past April, but the committee has put more pressure on his to deliver formal testimony after several witnesses described key events where he was a central figure.