The belief that Donald Trump will become the Republican Party's kingmaker since his re-election loss will be put to the test in a key Ohio district in 2022's midterm election reports Politico.
As Republicans flock to Trump Mar-a-Lago resort to court the former president for both his endorsement and support from his cash-flush PAC, Trump is reportedly focused on seeking retribution against any Republican in the House or Senate who voted to impeach him just prior to the 2020 re-election.
In Ohio, Trump's GOP target is Rep. Anthony Gonzalez who has amassed a war chest of his own and will likely face a Trump-anointed primary challenger with a thin resume other than a Trump endorsement and a wealthy family.
"In a normal political world and in a normal political time, a second-generation Cuban-American former NFL player from the Rust Belt with an MBA from Stanford would be considered practically by definition a rising GOP star," Politico's Michael Kruse wrote. "But Gonzalez's impeachment decision made him a traitor in the eyes of the man who is manifestly the unofficial leader of the party. It's the reason Trump wasted no time endorsing Max Miller—a former aide with next to no name ID plus an arrest record—to try to take out Gonzalez. And it's why the 16th District of Ohio is now a singular early battlefield in the former president's intensifying intraparty war."
While one Trump-aligned political consultant stated, "Max is going to beat the hell out of Anthony," others who live in the district say not so fast.
"As battlefields go, Ohio as a whole is more red than purple, and so is the 16th District—but it's replete as well with warning signs for Trump that his quest for retaliation might succeed only in further tearing the party apart," Kruse wrote. " [Miller] is an electoral novice and the scion of a wealthy, politically connected family from the opposite side of Cleveland in a city in which many believe that divide still matters. And since he announced his bid, his critics say, he's been hanging around the Trump stronghold of Southeast Florida more conspicuously than he's been out and about in Northeast Ohio."
According to Gonzalez ally, the incumbent is not going to go down without a fight, saying, "It ain't gonna be pretty. It's just not."
With Kruse writing, "All of this makes Ohio's 16th worth watching as an early, distilled look at the potential limits and pitfalls of Trump's shoot-first, aim-later style, his personality-driven, fealty-fueled, viscerally scattershot politics of retribution," David Pepper, the former chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, added, "It's a perfect example of how Trump could really hurt not just the near term but the future of the Republican Party. It's all about a loyalty test to him that almost will put targets on the backs of some of their best people."
As for Miller's arrest record, Politico reports, "He was charged with assault and disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in 2007 after a fight in which he punched another man in the back of the head and ran from police. He pleaded no contest to a pair of misdemeanors, and the case was dismissed on account of a program for first offenders. He was charged with underage drinking in 2009, the case dismissed due to the same program. And he was charged with disorderly conduct in 2010 following a fight after leaving a hookah bar in the wee hours in which he bloodied his wrist by punching a glass door," which is sure to become a central theme in Gonzalez's campaign
You can read more about the battle between the two here.
Canada has fined two Americans for providing counterfeit fake vaccination documents and lying about being tested before traveling, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports.
"The Public Health Agency of Canada says the travelers also didn't comply with requirements to stay at a government authorized hotel or to get tested upon arrival," the outlet reported. "Canada eased quarantine requirements on July 5 for fully vaccinated Canadians and foreign nationals with an exemption to enter the country, but they must upload their proof of vaccination documents to the ArriveCAN app before entry."
Each traveler was fined a total of $19,720, though the Public Health Agency of Canada noted the two could've been fined $750,000 and sentenced to six months in prison under the country's Quarantine Act.
On Saturday, the watchdog group Media Matters for America reported that Google is profiting from ads for counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards.
"Google Shopping lists a counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination card as the first sponsored result under the search terms 'blank vaccination card,' 'blank cdc card,' 'cdc card,' and 'vaccination card.' The 'sponsored' label on the section indicates that Google is 'compensated for clicks' on the ads and that 'advertiser payment to Google may also influence how items are ranked and grouped' in results," MMFA reported.
"The product appears to carry the logos of the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The product title says, 'Fill the information yourself.' According to the website, all of the most recent transactions come from buyers in the United States. The lowest price for the counterfeit cards is $0.99 for a set of 20," MMFA added.
MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace on Friday offered her analysis after a bombshell new report by The New York Times detailing former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
"On December 27, 2020 — just 11 days before his supporters would storm the U.S. Capitol with the stated goal of hanging Mike Pence and disrupting the certification of Joe Biden's win, Donald Trump engaged in an insurrection of his own, calling the acting attorney general of the United States and directing him to declare the election corrupt and then, 'leave the rest to me,'" Wallace reported.
She then went over DOJ officials' notes in which the document how Trump asked them to declare the 2020 election "corrupt" as a pretext for staying in power.
"The notes pointing to Trump's perceived coup accomplices are now in the hands of those members' peers in the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which is investigating Trump's efforts to overturn his defeat," she explained. "The notes also illuminate a well worn theme of the Trump presidency, the ex-president's imperviousness to facts."
Wallace interviewed former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman, who teaches law and is a legal columnist for the Los Angeles Times.
Litman said, "it couldn't have been more flagrantly improper. The exact thing the Department of Justice never can do is simply announce something corrupt without taking action, they must file a lawsuit based on evidence."
"This is going to be amplified and a lot more where this came from," Litman predicted.
Nicolle Wallace www.youtube.com
'I don't understand the question': White House spokeswoman baffled by Newsmax reporter's scientific illiteracy
A Newsmax reporter on Friday left White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre baffled after asking a bizarre question about whether White House officials were personally conducting tests to make sure the delta variant had become the dominant strain of the novel coronavirus.
During the Friday White House press briefing, the Newsmax reporter asked, "How do you know test whether it's the dominant strain in the area when people just test whether they're COVID-positive?"
"We don't test it, we listen to public health and scientists and they tell us it's the delta variant," Jean-Pierre said.
The reporter then asked if the health experts explained their "process" for testing.
"I don't even understand the question," she replied. "That's what they are telling us. I just laid out how contagious it was."
The reporter then complained that a lot of answers we get about public health questions are "because [public health experts] say so."
"Well they're the experts!" a baffled Jean-Pierre replied.
Watch the video below.
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