Maddow airs soccer videos to show how thoroughly GOP audits failed in Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona

On MSNBC Friday, Rachel Maddow detailed a list of Republicans' "own goals" in trying to prove Trump's "Big Lie" that the 2020 election was stolen — complete with videos of soccer matches.

"Are you familiar with the concept of an own goal?" said Maddow. "Like two teams playing against each other, but when you own goal that means you accidentally scored a goal against yourself. In the beautiful game of soccer the phenomenon of an own goal happens infrequently. But it does happen."

Maddow started with Wisconsin. "In two big Democrat counties, Milwaukee and Dane county, Wisconsin, where Madison is. They paid for it. They hate paying for anything. But they were sure this would be money well spent. They were sure they won. It was worth it. Plunk down the millions. Sure it was it would overturn it the results in Wisconsin. That was an own goal? What was the results of them paying the money and paying for the recount? Quote, 'After the completion of the recount in Wisconsin's Milwaukee County and Dane County, there was little change in the hundreds of thousands of ballots cast in the jurisdictions.' In the end, Joe Biden's lead over Trump in the state grew by 87 votes. Own goal."

"In the case of Michigan, Republicans in the state legislature ... conducted a monthslong investigation of the election results in Michigan," said Maddow. "We show the report conclusions, quote, 'This committee found no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud in Michigan's prosecution of the 2020 election' ... beyond that, Michigan Republicans in the legislature recommended that the state's attorney general should consider bringing prosecutions against people who were still flogging the fake fraud claims about Michigan. Quote, 'The committee recommends the attorney general consider investigating those who have been utilizing misleading and false information about alleged fraud in the Michigan election to raise money or publicity for their own ends.' Own goal."

Finally, Maddow turned to Arizona, and the conclusion of the partisan GOP "Cyber Ninjas" audit.

"After their five months of trying and searching for secret bamboo fibers and using UV lights and putting the ballots on Lazy Susans and spinning them around and hiring the weirdest clown car imaginable of conspiracy theorists and QAnon promoters and crackpots to slice, dice, and julienne the ballots from the great state of Arizona, the end result of the five months long audit is that their count that Joe Biden's margin of victory in the state increased by 360 votes," said Maddow. "Trump lost even worse than he previously believed. Which is an own goal."

Watch below:

Rachel Maddow counts Republicans' "own goals" trying to audit election results www.youtube.com

Rudy Giuliani is mystified as to why Fox News won’t air him: ‘They just say I’m banned’

On Newsmax Friday, Rudy Giuliani complained that he's not allowed on Fox News anymore to discuss Hunter Biden — and that the network hasn't given him a full reason why.

"What's the problem between you and Fox?" asked anchor Greg Kelly.

"I don't know, they haven't given me a reason," said Giuliani. "They just said I'm banned."

Dominion Voting Systems has sued both Giuliani and Fox News for defamation.

Giuliani suggested it may actually have something to do with the president's son.

Republicans have sought to pursue a story about the FBI probing Hunter Biden, to the point where a Republican member of Congress hounded Secretary of State Tony Blinken about the issue in a hearing earlier this month. Giuliani in particular encouraged former President Donald Trump on the matter, which led to him extorting the president of Ukraine to release dirt on the Biden family — the subject of his first impeachment.

Watch below:

GOP Georgia official slams Mike Lindell's election conspiracies: He's 'on a different planet'

On Friday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," Republican Georgia elections director Gabriel Sterling tore into MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell for continuing to promulgate conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election.

"So Mike Lindell, as you know, has been pushing the lie and continues to do it day by day," said anchor Erin Burnett. "And today, he went on a podcast with the former Trump adviser Steve Bannon."

"If you are a politician and you are running for office, you know what?" said Lindell in the clip. "If you are not thinking about fixing 2020, first, you are not going to win any way and shame on you. If you don't know Donald Trump won that election, you have been living in a cave and you — you're not going to win. I have committed to — that I have said since February, since Absolute Proof, that we are getting this all — everything — all the evidence I have to the Supreme Court. That will be done before Thanksgiving. That's in stone."

"Gabe, how do you even — how do you even deal with this? Given that it does reverberate and have power?" asked Burnett.

"I don't know," said Sterling. "You sit back and you look at these things and you're like, okay. I feel so bad for you that you feel this way. That you have been lied to this hard. And here's the problem. There are millions and millions of good, hardworking, take care of their kids, god-fearing Americans who listen to this and want to believe it because it's kind of like the 1972 thing, when Nixon won and they talked to a woman in Manhattan who said, I don't know anybody that voted for him. It's the same thing, but more aggravated and more angry."

"Lindell is just off on his own thing talking about a cave," said Sterling. "He is on a different planet. We all know this. I mean, on some level, I actually feel sorry for the man because he's — he's — he was a sort of a, you know, American story of success. And he is throwing away millions and millions of dollars to con artists who are telling him these things. I mean, it's kind of like Rudy Giuliani talking to the president saying, over and over again, you have been cheated. You have been duped. This is all happening and the president wanted to hear that. So he believed it. And it's just terrifying."

Watch below:

Gabriel Sterling says Mike Lindell is "on a different planet" www.youtube.com

Trump vows to financially strangle GOP foes -- including all Republicans who backed his impeachment

On Friday, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported that former President Donald Trump is vowing to stop the House GOP and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from fundraising for members who voted to impeach him for the January 6 attack.

"Trump, in an interview on The John Fredericks Radio Show, vowed to make sure that [John] Katko and four other House Republicans who voted for impeachment are cut off from future financial support from McCarthy's committee," reported Mark Weiner. "'I'm going to see who he's funding,' Trump said of McCarthy, 'and if he is, I'll stop the whole deal. I'll stop it.'"

Trump has been telegraphing his intent to seek political revenge on this group of Republicans for weeks. This conflicts with McCarthy's goal of winning control of the House in 2022, for which he would only need five seats.

"McCarthy's joint fundraising committee has supported five of the 10 Republicans who voted for impeachment. In addition to Katko, the others are GOP Reps. Peter Meijer of Michigan, David Valadao of California, Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington," said the report. "'Everybody other than one – Katko in New York, he's not popular, and I think he'll de districted out – but there's a primary for every one of them,' Trump told Fredericks."

You can read more here.

Idaho anti-maskers force school district office to lock down: report

On Friday, KXLY reported that anti-mask demonstrators in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho forced the city's school district office into lockdown.

"The protesters originally gathered outside of a school board special meeting that was intended to discuss the possibility of implementing a district-wide mask mandate. The meeting was called in response to the rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in North Idaho," reported Erin Robinson. "However, because of the large crowd, the district postponed the meeting just minutes before it was set to start. The district said there were too many people and they wanted to keep them safe. They also had received reports of fights outside."

Idaho has been a hotbed of right-wing opposition to COVID health orders. The state has seen multiple "mask burnings" where parents even brought their children to the events, which one doctor likened to "child abuse."

With the blessing of the local GOP, Central District Health, an agency that oversees care for a third of the state's residents, recently appointed Dr. Ryan Cole, a conspiracy theorist who has called vaccines "needle rape." One Idaho man recently made headlines for threatening to shoot a doctor who wouldn't treat his COVID-infected father-in-law with ivermectin, an unproven drug used as a deworming medication in livestock.

All of this is taking place as COVID rates in Idaho have reached such high levels that some facilities have been authorized to ration care.

Arizona Republican demands a new audit after the Cyber Ninjas audit crashed and burned

The Republican-backed "audit" of ballots in Maricopa County that Trump supporters were hoping to confirm widespread election fraud in Arizona has ended — and not only did it fail to find any substantial fraud, it actually slightly revised down the number of Trump ballots and up the number of Biden ballots.

But Arizona GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward had a different conclusion. On Friday, she called for a do-over of the whole thing.

"Dr. Shiva" is a reference to Shiva Ayyadurai, an election conspiracist and anti-vaccine truther who has claimed he was the inventor of email and that Dr. Anthony Fauci is a "Deep State" agent. He was hired by the Arizona State Senate to take part in the audit.

The audit swiftly grew controversial due to giving selective access to right-wing news organizations and for pursuing conspiracy theories, including hunting for bamboo fibers in ballots to prove they were forgeries from Asia. Even some Trump supporters, like right-wing talk radio host Mike Broomhead, ultimately turned on the effort.

When did Kevin McCarthy call Trump on Jan. 6 ? Here's why it matters

On Friday, writing for The Washington Post, Aaron Blake highlighted the massive scope of the House January 6 committee's investigation suggested by the subpoenas of Trump allies and the possibility the White House could turn over additional records — and, if they do, the most important questions the committee could answer.

"Should the Biden White House do this — which hasn't been fully decided and would be subject to a court challenge — it would be significant," wrote Blake. "However little regard Biden's White House might have for Trump's, even White Houses of opposing parties generally avoid this kind of thing. No White House wants to potentially undermine its claims to executive privilege or to set a precedent that its inner workings could one day be disclosed by its successors."

But one of the most significant questions the move could answer, wrote Blake is the timeline of when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had his infamous phone call with Trump — and what it could reveal.

"If the call to McCarthy came earlier, it would suggest Trump's response was even more delayed. If it came later, it would suggest Trump's callousness about the scenes lasted well into the situation," said Blake. "Even if we might not know the full content of these calls, in other words, the timing of them would fill out the picture of Trump's slow response and possibly how much he liked what he was seeing, even as the situation progressively spiraled out of control."

You can read more here.

Far-right 'Moms for Liberty' group demands schools stop exposing kids to 'sexy' pictures of seahorses

On Friday, The Daily Beast reported that a far-right group in Williamson County, Tennessee, is demanding schools censor a number of books and subjects — including an unusual demand regarding pictures of marine life.

"Registering its website in late 2020, the group 'Moms For Liberty' is one of a series of conservative education groups to spring up in the wake of 2020's racial justice protests," reported Kelly Weill. "The group is currently involved in battles against in-school mask mandates, as well as a particularly heated fight over school books in Tennessee's Williamson County."

Among their demands are that lessons about Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ruby Bridges be cut for being divisive, lessons about civil rights crackdowns be cut for "negative views of firemen and police," and lessons about Galileo be revised for being too anti-church. The story of Johnny Appleseed was also condemned as "sad and dark," Greek and Roman mythology for depicting the goddess Venus naked, and textbooks explaining the effects of hurricanes as too violent for first graders.

But one of the oddest crusades of the group is against a children's picture book on seahorses, which they believe, according to Weill, "is too sexy."

"MFL's Williamson County chapter also takes issue with a picture book about seahorses, in part because it depicted 'mating seahorses with pictures of postions [sic] and discussion of the male carrying the eggs,'" said the report. "The Daily Beast reviewed the text in question via a children's story time YouTube channel. Readers looking for a Kama Sutra of seahorse sex will be disappointed. Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish In The Sea contains nothing more risqué than watercolor illustrations of two seahorses holding tails or touching bellies (never — heavens — at the same time)."

This comes as right-wing activists all around the country seek to stamp out the teaching of "critical race theory" in public schools — an advanced theory of systemic racism that is rarely if ever taught in public schools to begin with. Often, activists are instead turning on people who even teach about racism in any form, or even simply Black educators.

'Doesn't make any sense at all': CNN panel laughs at Trump's newest demand to audit Texas

This week, just as the GOP-backed Arizona "audit" ended in yet another confirmation President Joe Biden carried the state, Texas announced they would be conducting an audit of their own vote at former President Donald Trump's request — even though he won the state by more than 600,000 votes.

A CNN panel on Friday was bewildered what Trump is even attempting to accomplish.

"In Arizona, when you look at the count that has been released and we're waiting this public unveiling by Senate Republicans, state Senate Republicans who are behind this, Joe Biden gained votes. Donald Trump lost votes in this audit, this sham audit in Maricopa County," said anchor Brianna Keilar. "What does that say to you?"

"Look, it says that this is going to — the more Trump pushes this, the more his supporters push this, the adverse effect is what's going to come out," said The New Republic reporter Daniel Strauss. "He's probably going to lose votes elsewhere if more of these tallies happen. But it also sort of highlights that this isn't about that for them. This is about showing fealty to the ongoing leader of the Republican Party, which is Donald Trump. and the core argument that the Republican Party is making right now concerning the 2020 election is that there need to be a lot more audits, especially in super conservative states like Texas."

"Why, though, in Texas, does President Trump, former President Trump want audits when he won Texas?" asked Keilar.

"I mean, I don't know. Do you know?" said analyst Kasie Hunt, laughing. "It doesn't make any sense at all?"

"I thought you knew more than me, Kasie," chuckled Keilar. "That's why I have you here. I don't know, really."

"It's completely — you know, I feel like we spent four years trying to explain why the former president was doing what he was doing, and at the end of the day, it just seems like he wants to get people to follow him," said Hunt. "And I think that there is some of that going on here. I think that this broader campaign too is part of an attempt to undermine the system regardless of whether the outcome was, you know, what the former president actually wanted. But it is — i mean it is head-scratching.

Watch below:

CNN panel laughs at Trump's push to audit Texas vote www.youtube.com

'No one is off the table': Adam Schiff vows that Capitol riot committee subpoenas are just getting started

On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) elaborated on what happens next now that the January 6 committee has issued subpoenas against four prominent Trump allies.

"These are four important witnesses and they're all very close to the former president and some were in direct communication with him on January 5th, on January 6th, and they are reportedly in communication about how to overturn their results of the election," said Schiff. "Mark Meadows, for example, involved with the Justice Department trying to get the Justice Department to put pressure on Georgia, to decertify the results of the election."

"What does it tell us, though, about the direction of the inquiry, and how Trump-centered is your focus?" asked Chris Cuomo.

"Well, I think it tells you this," said Schiff. "No one is off the table. We'll determine what went wrong in the lead-up to January 6th and we're going to find out who was involved and who was knowledgeable and what roles they played in the planning, what expectation they had of violence, and what the former president was doing. Among the biggest unknowns is what was going on within the White House on January 5th and 6th at that critical time when our democracy was being threatened with a violent insurrection? So we're not wasting time ... we've made a lot of strides in requiring documents that we need for the investigation."

"Do you anticipate one or more of these men saying, I can't testify, I have immunity?" asked Cuomo.

"If past is prologue, we can certainly anticipate that some may seek to thwart our investigation, and certainly the former president has been talking along those lines, and if you look at all of the obstruction and all of the stonewalling of the subpoenas by some of these same people in the prior administration ... we experienced that kind of stonewalling before," said Schiff. "But unlike the last four years, these witnesses are not going to be able to count on the former president to protect them if they essentially thwart the law, and I would hope that we can move expeditiously to enforce the subpoenas. If that's necessary, I hope it won't be, but if it is, but also that the Justice Department would be open to considering potential criminal contempt charges against anyone who ignores the law."

Watch below:

Adam Schiff discusses new Trump ally subpoenas www.youtube.com

Conservatives' ban of anti-racism books backfires after students fight back to get them reinstated

On Thursday, CNN reported that a move by the Central York school district in southern Pennsylvania to restrict anti-racist books, including by some authors of color, has been reversed after a sharp backlash from the students.

"Last year, the all-White school board unanimously banned a list of educational resources that included a children's book about Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafzai's autobiography, and CNN's Sesame Street town hall on racism," reported Mirna Alsharif and Liam Reilly. "School officials had said that the materials had not been banned, but were 'frozen' while the board vetted them. But that process took nearly a year."

After that decision, said the report, students leapt into action.

Ben Hodges, a Central York High School teacher, told CNN that five students at his school organized a peaceful walk-in protest "to help make sure that our district heard that they (and many others) did not feel represented by this resource ban."

Hodges also told the network how proud he was of these students.

"They are heroes and should be celebrated as bastions of American freedom and democracy," he said. "I want to be clear, these kids did this."

In the past year, school districts have erupted in turmoil as right-wing activists have sought to stop the teaching of "critical race theory" — a social theory of systemic racism that is virtually never taught in K-12 schools in the first place. School officials have been targeted for even discussing racism at all, including a Black principal in the Dallas, Texas area.

The Capitol riot committee will 'draw a circle -- with Donald Trump in the middle': CNN's Elie Honig

On CNN Thursday, following the announcement of the first four January 6 committee subpoenas issued against former President Donald Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows, strategist Steve Bannon, social media director Dan Scavino, and defense official Kash Patel, former federal prosecutor Elie Honig weighed in on the significance.

"What level of cooperation are you going to get?" asked anchor Erin Burnett. "Are they going to completely defy it, is there any way to get them to comply?"

"Here is how this will play out," said Honig. "I would not expect any of these people to comply, to come in and testify because that is the history of the pattern we have seen from Trump White House when it was in power and now. Here is what happens next. It's up to the committee to decide are we going to go to court and fight this. Are we going to go to court and say we need a specific order from you requiring them to come in and testify and the key there is timing ... in past, it's taken House Democrats way too long to get into courts and these disputes have dragged on for months and years to the point where nobody even cared. The committee has to be ready to act quickly and demand expedited, sped up review from the courts here."

"What do these tell you about where this investigation is headed?" asked Burnett. "There's a whole lot of reasons why you may have started here, but these are four people they are starting with?

"This shows me they are looking at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," said Honig. "These are people who we know and letter confirms they were this direct communication with Donald Trump or having key conversations in days, hours leading up to January 6th and during January 6th. The questions for Mark Meadows and the other folks is you walk me through January 6th, minute by minute, phone call by phone call. This is at heart of the investigation."

Honig then gave an explanation for the legal strategy behind the committee's moves.

"What they are trying to do is draw a circle here, with Donald Trump in the middle," said Honig. "Who did he talk to? What were they talking about? Were they talking about what would happen on January 6th? Were they talking about the rigged election and et cetera, et cetera? I think they are kind of working their way in with Donald Trump in the center and I think they are going to be a lot of other circles, but these four people are people who are known to have communicated directly with the former president and that's important."

Watch below:

Elie Honig on new Capitol riot commission subpoenas www.youtube.com

GOP lawmaker drops the mic on Lindsey Graham's Trump worship: 'He just needs a strongman to tell him where to go'

On Thursday, The Atlantic released an interview between Jeffrey Goldberg and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who made it clear he no longer feels at home in the Republican Party and has lost respect for its leadership.

"I don't have a tribe," Kinzinger told Goldberg. "The good thing is, I don't really care. The only reason this hurts me is that it reminds me of how frigging crazy the Republican Party has become. It's not my tribe anymore."

"I think it's just power," he said in the interview. "[Mike] Pompeo convinced himself that he would help temper some of the more isolationist tendencies of Trump, and then he bought into the idea that he could one day be president. And Lindsey [Graham] — well, Lindsey just needs somebody to tell him where to go, a strongman. [John] McCain was that guy. Now it's Trump. It's sad."

"You always think that everyone has a red line," added Kinzinger. "No matter how much politics a person can play, there's a red line that people can't cross. I was naive. There are some people who only care about access to power. I'm still coming to terms with this."

Kinzinger has increasingly been on the outs with GOP leadership. He was a frequent critic of former President Donald Trump, voted to impeach him after the January 6 attack on the Capitol fomented by his conspiracy theories, and is currently working on the Congressional committee investigating the attack.

'Not what it was intended for!' Anti-abortion activists cry foul after law they created sparks chaotic lawsuit frenzy

On Thursday, Reason reported that the architects of the Texas abortion law are enraged — because the core provision of the law is being hijacked and exploited by activists who hope to have it defeated in court.

Specifically, noted Jacob Sullum, the bill's enforcement mechanism where anyone who facilitates an abortion after six weeks of gestation can be sued by any outside private party is now triggering lawsuits from people who deliberately want the lawsuits to provoke a constitutional challenge.

"The first two S.B. 8 lawsuits both target San Antonio gynecologist Alan Braid, who recently announced in a Washington Post opinion piece that he had deliberately violated the law," wrote Sullum. "Braid's intent was to invite lawsuits that would help settle the issue of whether S.B. 8 is constitutional. That is also the avowed aim of the two plaintiffs who have sued him, Oscar Stilley and Felipe Gomez. Stilley, a disbarred Arkansas attorney who is serving a home-based federal sentence for tax fraud, said he was troubled by the fact that S.B. 8's reliance on private civil actions had frustrated constitutional challenges. Gomez, an Illinois lawyer whose license has been suspended, describes himself as a 'pro-choice plaintiff' who likewise would welcome a ruling against S.B. 8."

According to the report, the proponents of the bill are upset that the only lawsuits so far are coming from people who want to bring down the law.

"These out-of-state suits are not what the bill is intended for," said Chelsey Youman of the anti-abortion group the Human Coalition. She said that her organization does not plan to file a real lawsuit against Dr. Braid.

If it were to ultimately be upheld, the Texas law would essentially demolish current case law on abortion rights laid out in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The Supreme Court is also separately considering a more traditional 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi.

'We will be replacing' you: New York governor issues warning to anti-vax nurses who refuse to comply with state mandate

On Thursday, Fox News reported that Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) is warning New York will take a hard line against nurses who do not comply with vaccine mandates.

"To all the healthcare providers, doctors and nurses in particular who are vaccinated, I say thank you. Because you are keeping true to your oath," said Hochul on Wednesday, as she was visiting Rochester. "To those who won't, we will be replacing people."

"We are sending out a call statewide," Hochul continued. "There are facilities, for example in New York City, that 98% of their staff are vaccinated, they don't have a worker shortage. We are working closely with these hospitals to find out where we can get other individuals to come in and supplement nursing homes and other facilities."

Hochul's predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, issued the vaccination mandate for health care workers in New York in August.

Some anti-vaccine nurses all around the country have threatened to walk out of their jobs rather than comply with similar mandates. However, in some cases these threats have not been followed with action. A planned wave of mass resignations in Maine never happened, for example.

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