'We're both white Americans': SNL's Trump compares himself to Jesus and Ron DeSantis to Judas in Easter opener

“A famous, wonderful man arrested for no reason at all,” said SNL's fake Donald Trump — played by cast member James Austin Johnson — during the opening of this week's edition of Saturday Night Live.

Standing in front of a re-enactment of the Last Supper, fake Trump added, “If you haven’t put it together folks, I’m comparing myself to Jesus. Again. And what better time than on his birthday, Easter? ... We’re both very tall, very popular, and both, frankly, white Americans."

In a shout-out to the "stand back and stand by" crowd, SNL's Trump continued, “A lot of his followers got in big, big trouble, just like mine. All because I told them exactly what Jesus would have said: 'Get very violent and start a war.'"

“Because I’m a self-made billionaire and Christ was — let’s call it what it is — a nepo baby. I mean, his dad was God. It’s pretty easy to start a religion when your daddy’s God.”

SNL's Trump also attacked Ron DeSantis.

“And I’ve even got my very own Judas: Ron DeSantis. Ron DeSantis came to me with tears in his eyes. He said, ‘Help me, Mr. Trump. I’m going to lose my election.’ So I very generously pretended to like him. And then he did a Judas and now he can’t even get the gays out of Disney World. It’s an awful shame.”

Watch the full segment below or at this link.

Stephen Colbert loves the 'crystallized genius' of Trump's new nickname for Ron DeSantis

As Raw Story noted earlier on Tuesday, "Donald Trump loves to denigrate and define his opponents with mocking nicknames, and he's reportedly got a new one for his strongest would-be rival."

The New York Times reports Donald Trump is calling his potential 2024 rival “Meatball Ron” in private.

"Let’s be honest," the Daily Beast's Matt Lewis argued. "Trump is an equal opportunity offender. His goal is to come up with some way… any way to define, diminish, and humiliate his opponents. He works diligently at this effort, testing and revising his slurs. And while 'DeSanctimonious' was a good first effort, it also had too many syllables. Likewise, 'Shutdown Ron,' the other name he is reportedly toying with, doesn’t have the same ring as 'Meatball Ron.'"

“Oh, I do not like how much I love that,” CBS's Stephen Colbert said, reacting to the new moniker during his Tuesday night monologue, which also chided Nikki Haley's presidential campaign announcement.

"She doesn't put up with bullies," Colbert said, mocking Haley. "She only calls them on the phone to ask them if she can run for president. Because nothing says strength like picking your bully's brain before you can do anything."

But it was the revelation of Trump's new nickname for Ron DeSantis that made Colbert giddy. "It’s so dumb and accurate."

"The nickname is an apparent dig at DeSantis' appearance. Really? Let's see for ourselves..."

Colbert also shared that “Meatball Ron” can be worked into Billy Joel's hit “Uptown Girl,” before leading his audience into a hilarious rendition dedicated to Trump's presumed 2024 foe.

Meatball Ron

Marinara is his big turn on

Very scared of CRT

Loves to roll around in Spaghetti

You can watch the full monologue below or at this link.

Beans For Valentine's Day? | Nikki Hayley Is Stephen's Best Friend | "Meatball Ron" youtu.be

Marjorie Taylor Greene mocked after railing about rail safety after voting against infrastructure

In lockstep with a number of MAGA Republicans complaining that the recent train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio is "proof" that the Biden administration has started a "war against white people," Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) took to the airwaves on Tuesday night to help spread the meme.

During an appearance on Fox New's Tuesday edition of Hannity, Greene claimed that that money targeting rail safety in the U.S. House's bipartisan infrastructure bill was insufficient. And that's why she didn't vote for it.

"We need to make sure that our rails are safe. Democrats passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and only $5 billion went toward rail safety. This is a failure. It would’ve never happened under a Republican-controlled infrastructure bill," Greene said.

Fox News' Sean Hannity began the segment by asking, “I don’t hear anything from the New Green Deal climate alarmist cult about what is an environmental disaster by every measure. Why?”

Greene responded by accusing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and other Democrats of only giving lip service to derailment-related wildlife deaths, saying, "Train derailment is happening every single day. And now, thousands of people, birds and animals,...they’re all sick and we don’t know the consequences of this horrible accident in East Palestine. But we have people like Ilhan Omar. She wants to crack down on corporate greed when it comes to rails and the privately-owned sections of rails."

Greene then set her sights on lambasting Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

“But the real problem, Sean, is Pete Buttigieg,” Greene argued. “He’s more interested in equity and inclusion in his hiring practices, and grant-giving schemes.”

Critics on Twitter were quick to mock the congresswoman's appearance on Fox:

Jack (but not THAT Jack): It was passed in August 2022. That's six months ago. If you think you can undertake "dirt-digging" on an major infrastructure project, you really have to learn how things in the real world work. Oh, and you voted against it. We remember that. And Georgia, you deserve better.

Ponderous Things: Did you guys talk about the Trump rollback of train braking safety regulations?

Musk's_Thin_Skin: You haven't read all 14 pages of the Green New Deal because it has words and not pictures.

Steafan Dubhuidhe: This is the corporation that operated the train causing the Ohio train derailment. Why are #MAGA hats like Marjorie Taylor Greene not pointing fingers at this corporation, but instead at Biden and other democrats?

Beachnut: That was awful, and you didn't even sound drunk. Are you on drugs?

RacquelMorris: Ok, when do the conspiracies start that the train derailment was a new world order plot to kill off our meat supply? To force population control, eat bugs or babies or people, maybe aliens or lizard people from eggs laid by Marjorie Taylor Greene & fertilized w demon seed. IDK??

Roy: Why would we pay for a private monopolys railroad improvements?

Jeffrey Duvall: I have to admit, Marjorie Taylor Greene has a certain appeal. It's akin to a train derailment or a gruesome injury. It's horrible to look at, but you just can't help yourself. I just have to see what she does next. Masked Singer, perhaps?

You can watch Greene's Tuesday night appearance on Fox News below or at this link.

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Democrats appear likely to flip two Alaska Senate seats

Moderate Republicans and Democrats appeared likely to win several seats in the Alaska Senate from more conservative Republican incumbents and challengers Tuesday night, increasing the odds that the Alaska Senate will be controlled by a bipartisan coalition in January.

If Election Day trends hold, Democrats would gain two seats from the Senate’s current makeup.

Of the 20 seats in the state Senate, 19 were on the ballot this year because of Alaska’s once-per-decade redistricting process.

Preliminary results Tuesday night showed Republicans leading in 11 of the 19 and Democrats leading in eight. (Democrats also control the one seat not up for election this year, the one held by Sen. Donny Olson, D-Golovin.)

The closest head-to-head race is in West Anchorage, where Democratic Rep. Matt Claman is challenging Republican incumbent Sen. Mia Costello and led Costello narrowly, by 139 votes out of more than 13,000 cast.

In South Anchorage, a three-way race between Republican Sen. Roger Holland, former Republican Senate President Cathy Giessel and Democratic candidate Roselynn Cacy is almost precisely split into thirds, with Giessel and Holland both having 34% of the vote and Cacy having 32%.

In close head-to-head races, a winner may not be known for a week or more. Tens of thousands of absentee ballots and early votes cast in person before Election Day have not yet been counted.

Ballots may arrive as late as 10 days after Election Day and still be counted, or as late as 15 days after Election Day for ballots mailed from overseas.

In addition, this year’s election uses ranked choice voting, and the final sorting process for races with three or more candidates and none reaching more than 50% of the initial votes will not take place until Nov. 23, adding another layer of uncertainty.

Political poller Ivan Moore, speaking on an analysis program hosted by the Alaska Landmine website, said he believes the preliminary Senate results “make a coalition in the Senate very likely.”

“I think it’s a win for balance. I think it’s a win for moderates,” he said.

Two Anchorage races head to ranked-choice sort

The West Anchorage election featuring Claman and Costello is likely to be decided by late-counted votes. As of Monday night, 4,271 absentee and early votes in the district had been received by the Division of Elections, and many of those remained uncounted early Wednesday morning.

Elections officials have previously said they intend to release updated results next Tuesday and next Friday but could also release additional incremental tallies before then.

Democrats spent heavily to flip the seat from Costello, helping make it the most expensive state Senate race in Alaska. Third-party groups also bought ads on both sides of the race.

The three-way South Anchorage race among Holland, Giessel and Cacy isn’t the only one that will be decided by ranked choice voting. Democratic Anchorage Assembly member Forrest Dunbar leads a three-way race for Senate District J in Mountain View with just under 49% of the votes cast. The seat is a new one, created in the redistricting process, and it effectively replaces a Republican seat elsewhere in the city that was held by Sen. Natasha von Imhof, a Republican.

Dunbar’s two opponents are Republican Andrew Satterfield, who has 35% of the vote, and Democratic Rep. Geran Tarr, with just over 16% of the vote.

If that margin holds until the 23rd, when the ranked choice vote sort takes place, it likely will result in Dunbar’s victory, with second-choice votes from Tarr supporters lifting his total in the Democratic-leaning district.

In a head-to-head race for South Anchorage Senate District F, Republican Rep. James Kaufman led Democratic candidate Janice Park by a margin of 55.9% to 43.9%. Kaufman’s lead of 1,432 votes out of 12,295 cast appeared to be enough to ensure victory in the head-to-head race, even with more ballots yet to be counted.

As of Monday night, the Division of Elections reported about 3,926 absentee and early votes cast in the district. Many were not included in the Election Day tally.

If his victory is certified, Kaufman will replace Republican Josh Revak in the state Senate.

In Senate District G, which covers most of midtown Anchorage, Democratic Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson led Republican challenger Marcus Sanders by 899 votes out of 9,610 cast. Sanders raised less than $5,200 for his campaign and ran about 10% behind Gray-Jackson, who had been expected to win the Democrat-leaning district.

In downtown Anchorage’s Senate District I, Democratic candidate Löki Tobin led undeclared candidate Heather Herndon by more than 30 percentage points. Tobin was the chief of staff to Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich, who held the seat until announcing his retirement shortly before the candidate registration deadline.

Longtime Democratic Sen. Bill Wielechowski was on pace to win re-election in Senate District K, with more than 56% of the vote against Republican John Cunningham.

Merrick overcomes Republican critics

In Eagle River, Republican Rep. Kelly Merrick leads fellow Republican Rep. Ken McCarty by more than 16 percentage points in the race for Senate District L, currently held by Republican Sen. Lora Reinbold.

Reinbold has been one of the most staunchly conservative members of the Senate, while Merrick was one of only two Republicans to join the House’s multipartisan coalition and campaigned on the need to elect someone who can work across party lines.

Merrick was censured by local Republican Party officials but raised significantly more money than McCarty, and her victory has the potential to significantly alter the balance of power in the Senate if she chooses to again join a coalition majority.

Kawasaki leads in Fairbanks

Democratic Sen. Scott Kawasaki led Republican challenger Jim Matherly by 383 votes on election night, or about 5.3% of the 7,258 cast in the race, but the race isn’t decided yet.

Critically, Kawasaki has just under the 50% threshold needed to avoid ranked choice voting. A third candidate in the race, Republican Alex Jafre, has 464 votes, and though Jafre asked his supporters to pick Kawasaki for their second choice, if they select a fellow Republican instead, it could be enough for Matherly to win.

Many absentee and early votes remain to be counted in the race as well, adding to the uncertainty.

In the two other Fairbanks-area Senate races, the result is certain, even with more votes to be counted. Incumbent Republican Sen. Click Bishop had more than 56% of the vote in Senate District R, which includes a vast swath of Interior Alaska, and incumbent Sen. Robert Myers had over 64% of the vote in his North Pole-area Senate seat.

Conservative Republicans lead in the Mat-Su

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough appeared to favor its conservative incumbents on Tuesday, with Senate Majority Leader Shelley Hughes receiving just under 76% of the vote with 11 of 14 precincts reporting results.

Sen. Mike Shower, R-Wasilla, held a smaller lead over Republican challenger Doug Massie, with 16 of 21 precincts reporting. Shower had 51.5% of the vote, to Massie’s 47.6%. Write-ins accounted for the remainder.

In the third Mat-Su seat, incumbent Sen. David Wilson had 44.4% of a three-way contest featuring two other Republicans. As of 1 a.m. Wednesday, 10 of 12 precincts had reported results in that race.

Kenai, Kodiak and rural Alaska stay with moderates

Republican candidate Jesse Bjorkman appeared on pace Tuesday night to upset fellow Republican Tuckerman Babcock, a former head of the Alaska Republican Party and former chief of staff to Gov. Mike Dunleavy, in a race to replace Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna.

With 15 of 17 precincts reporting, Bjorkman had 46% of the vote to Babcock’s 42%. Nonpartisan candidate Andy Cizek had about 11% of the vote, and observers believe many of Cizek’s votes will go to Bjorkman during the Nov. 23 ranked choice sort.

Babcock campaigned in favor of a strong Republican-led Senate majority, while Bjorkman emphasized the need to work across party lines. By phone on Tuesday night, he declined to say whether he would join a coalition if elected, explaining that many votes remain to be counted.

In the south Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak, incumbent Sen. Gary Stevens had just over 55% of the vote in a race against two Republican challengers. In Southwest Alaska, Democratic Sen. Lyman Hoffman, the longest serving member of the Alaska Legislature, remained on track to win another term, having earned about 63% of the vote with fewer than half of precincts reporting results.

Southeast Alaska races uneventful

In Southeast Alaska, Democratic Sen. Jesse Kiehl was unopposed for the Senate seat covering Juneau and northern Southeast Alaska. In southern Southeast, incumbent Republican Sen. Bert Stedman was on pace to resoundingly defeat Republican challenger Mike Sheldon.

“I’m ahead of him on everything but Courtview,” Stedman said of Sheldon on the Alaska Landmine show, referring to the website that lists court records.



Alaska Beacon is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Alaska Beacon maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Andrew Kitchenman for questions: info@alaskabeacon.com. Follow Alaska Beacon on Facebook and Twitter.

Raw Story wins first place award for riveting piece by Oath Keeper founder's son

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Raw Story, an investigative news site, won a first place award in Editor & Publisher’s 26th annual awards contest for an opinion piece written by the son of an anti-government militia group that had a key role in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack.

Dakota Adams, the son of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, describes his gradual deprogramming from the paranoid, far-right worldview of his father’s militia group, in “How I left the far right,” published by Raw Story in July.

In his vividly written essay, Adams describes how he “went from being a teenage militiaman who believed in Pizzagate to casting off [his] birth name of Dakota Stewart Rhodes and joining BLM and pro-choice protests.”

With typical humility, Adams offers some insights into his own peculiar path as his father and four co-defendants currently stand trial for seditious conspiracy in a historic proceeding underway in Washington, D.C.

“If we are ever to understand and solve the most significant social problem plaguing America today — the modern rise of violent extremism, oftentimes tacitly encouraged and condoned by some of our own political leaders — we need to hear from more folks like Dakota Adams,” noted Raw Story Editor-in-Chief Roxanne Cooper.

Adams became estranged from his father Stewart Rhodes in 2020 as he embarked on an ever more radical path that eventually led him to the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Along with his mother, Rhodes’ ex-wife, Adams has become increasingly vocal about the abuse his father allegedly subjected their family to as well as the danger he says his father poses to the future of democracy in the United States.

In his essay for Raw Story, Adams outlined a dual responsibility for himself — to share his particular experience about how he extracted himself from the Oath Keepers to help “millions of people who have lost family and friends to right-wing cult behavior.”

Adams vividly explains how he was made “vulnerable to exploitation” by a “belief in the end of days and sinister conspiracy theories” that his father and other movement leaders instilled in him. As someone raised in the Libertarian antigovernment movement, Adams surprisingly sidestepped a number of far-right outgrowths, including the alt-right, the misogynist GamerGate campaign, hardcore white supremacy and QAnon, but it was the MAGA cult that eventually swept him up in 2015 and 2016.

In Trump, Adams writes, he saw “a glimmer of hope that things might be fixed, and certainly a chance to strike back at the Establishment that I blamed for the awful state of the country and my life.” In his despairing assessment of the country in 2016, Adams saw Trump, not so much as a savior, but as “the Bigly-est brick the American people could pick up and throw through the White House windows.”

Raw Story’s Eppy Awards win comes on the heels of another honor for a Raw Story piece that exposed South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s use of a government aircraft for personal and political travel. That piece was a finalist for a 2022 Florida Society for Professional Journalism’s Barbara A. Petersen Freedom of Information Act award.


With more than 10 million readers per month, Raw Story is the largest independently-owned progressive news site in the U.S. The site has a long history of tracking anti-government militia groups and predicted the Jan. 6, 2020 Capitol riot in a piece published the morning of the attack entitled “We’re gonna kill Congress”: Trump’s far-right supporters promise violence at today’s DC protests.”

Editor & Publisher, in print since 1901, is considered the “bible” of the U.S. newspaper industry and provides extensive coverage of digital media. Its annual awards recognize print and digital media in an array of categories including enterprise, opinion and business reporting.

Queen Elizabeth II dead at 96

The reign of Britain's longest-serving monarch came to an end on Thursday when it was announced Queen Elizabeth II had died at the age of 96. It is presumed that Prince Charles, her eldest son, will assume the crown.

"The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow," the royal family said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth postponed a meeting of her Privy Council advisory group after doctors advised her to rest, Buckingham Palace said Wednesday, the day after she appointed Liz Truss as Britain's new prime minister.

"After a full day yesterday, Her Majesty has this afternoon accepted doctors' advice to rest," the palace said in a statement.

"This means that the Privy Council meeting that had been due to take place this evening will be rearranged."

The 96-year-old monarch, who was on her traditional summer retreat at Balmoral in the Scottish Highlands, has been dogged by problems walking and standing since last year, forcing her to cancel a series of public engagements.

Fears about a flare-up of what royal officials call "episodic mobility problems" prevented her returning to London to accept outgoing leader Boris Johnson's resignation and to appoint Truss on Tuesday.

The constitutional role -- the so-called "kissing of the hands" ceremony -- usually takes place at Buckingham Palace in London.

It was the first time it had been held outside London since 1952, when Winston Churchill met the new queen at Heathrow Airport after the death of her father, George VI.

Last week, Elizabeth skipped the Highland Games event, a traditional highlight of her summer in Scotland.

The latest cancellations revived concerns about her health.

She was also hit by a bout of Covid earlier this year, that she said left her "exhausted."

With additional reporting from AFP.

Hitler-praising Carl Paladino loses GOP primary for Congress — and 'deals a blow' to Elise Stefanik

After wishing Barack Obama would die of mad cow disease, praising Hitler, spreading covid misinformation on Facebook and calling for US Attorney General Merrick Garland to be executed, Carl Paladino lost his party's nomination tonight to New York state Republican Party Chair Nick Langworthy.

As Raw Story reported earlier today, Paladino's campaign was most recently advised by staunch Trump supporter Elise Stefanik's staff.

As reporter Bob Brigham noted:

The New York Times reported in June, "Carl P. Paladino, a Republican running for a House seat in Western New York, praised Adolf Hitler last year for inspiring his followers, describing the fascist dictator as 'the kind of leader we need today.' Mr. Paladino did not specifically condone Hitler’s actions in his remarks, which he made in a 2021 radio interview that was unearthed on Thursday. But he said he was impressed by how the German leader and head of the Nazi Party 'aroused the crowd' in his speeches and suggested that Republicans in New York and Washington ought to emulate his approach."

"On the eve of the NY primary, Elise Stefanik held a telephone rally for controversial GOP candidate Carl Paladino, per source. In another sign of Stefanik’s investment in the race, 2 aides from her political operation are on the ground advising Paladino on comms/strategy," CNN's Melanie Zanona reported,

"Stefanik endorsed Paladino, who has long history of controversial remarks, early on," Zanona explained. "And she has continued to not only stand by him, but also stump for him — even after he most recently suggested AG Merrick Garland should be 'executed.' (He later said he was being facetious.)"

Earlier tonight, Langworthy declared victory, while Paladino refused to concede.

As WKBW noted earlier today, "Langworthy racked up more endorsements from local Republicans in the district, although Paladino had the backing of Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), who is the No. 3 Republican in the House. Paladino’s loss is also a blow to Stefanik and her clout. When the seat opened up in June with the retirement of Rep. Chris Jacobs (N.Y.), Stefanik quickly backed Paladino — reportedly much to the surprise and frustration of other House GOP leaders, not to mention Langworthy."

NOW WATCH: Liz Cheney presidential run could 'could single-handedly swing the election' to Donald Trump

Liz Cheney presidential run could 'could single handedly swing the election' to Donald Trump report www.youtube.com

Watch: Jamie Raskin lambasts Republicans for 'turning a total blind eye' to January 6th violence

United States Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland), a ranking member on the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, tore into former President Donald Trump and his Republican enablers on Friday morning hours after the bipartisan commission held its first public hearing.

“Well we dispelled the thick fog of propaganda that Trump and his supporters continue to emit about what happened" on January 6th, Raskin told MSNBC's Willie Geist.

The panel on Thursday evening outlined how Trump inspired the events on that bloody day.

"It's pretty clear,“ Raskin continued. "Donald Trump was hellbent on staying in office regardless of what the American people had to say about it. He promoted the Big Lie. They propagandized people with the Big Lie and then he engaged in this multi-step conspiracy to try to destroy [President] Joe Biden's lawful majority in the Electoral College, culminating on January 6th, where they unleashed terrible mob violence against our police officers."

Raskin then dinged the GOP for its empty pledges of allegiance to the rule of law.

"I was thinking last night," Raskin said, "the thing that jumped out at me looking at this is you have a party which now claims to be on the side of law enforcement and the police and yet are turning a total blind eye to the most vicious, massive assault on police officers any of us has ever seen in our lifetime."

Watch below via The Recount:

Raskin also teased what should be expected in the next five hearings.

“What you’ve seen so far, as shocking as it is, is just a fraction of the evidence that we have assembled,” he said.

More than 15 Republicans are testing the waters for 2024 -- 'even if Trump runs': report

Mike Pence, Tom Cotton and Ron DeSantis are already dipping their toes into the race for the Republican Party's 2024 presidential nomination, according to a new report in the Washington Post. But, they're not the only ones.

"With months to go before the midterm elections, the shadow campaign for the 2024 Republican nomination is well underway, with at least 15 potential candidates traveling the country, drawing up plans, huddling with donors or testing out messages at various levels of preparation. The quadrennial circus — described by more than 20 people with direct knowledge who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private machinations — has kicked into gear despite the public hints from Trump that he too plans to join the scrum 'a third time,' says the report.

"Interviews with over a dozen GOP operatives indicate he is not clearing the field, and a range of candidates plan to take him on from different angles."

Included in the list of prominent Republicans making the rounds through Iowa and New Hampshire are Tim Scott, Chris Christie, Mike Pompeo, Larry Hogan, Nikki Haley, Ted Cruz, Rick Scott and would-be Trump nemesis Liz Cheney.

The Post notes, that 'they have been encouraged by growing concern among deep-pocketed Republican donors that another Trump run — especially an announcement before the midterms — would help Democrats."

READ: Domestic extremism expert explains why the Proud Boys would follow Trump -- and lead the Jan. 6 breach on the Capitol

But, as the report also observes, Trump challengers are in for a hard slog, as the former president still dominates both internal and external polls "by a country mile."

Campaign experts cited in the report see hitting Trump hard from the right is the only hope a challenger has to defeat the former president.

“If you come at Trump from the left — say a Mitt Romney approach — I don’t think that would ever work. If you came at Trump from the right — more like a Pence or a Pompeo or a Ted Cruz or a DeSantis — then I think people would be willing to listen.”

You can read the full report here.

Bush ethics lawyer: The Jan. 6 committee needs to follow the money

In an opinion piece for MSNBC, Richard Painter -- the chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration from 2005 to 2007 -- brings up what many see as a 'critical' question about the aims of the House Select Committee's public hearings regarding the events of January 6, 2021, as well as identifies "several key areas where the Jan. 6 committee should be directing their focus."

"Where did the money come from? Who paid for this over two-month effort to reverse the results of an election that President Joe Biden won by over eight million votes? And who paid for what almost became a military coup as well as a violent insurrection?" Painter writes. "It is also illegal to use campaign funds to pay for an insurrection or any other illegal conduct."

As Painter further points out, "Many of the insurrectionists came to Washington on bus trips organized and paid for by political organizations in their states of origin, in many cases with funds from state Republican Party organizations, campaigns or related political entities. Political funds can be used for legal challenges to the results of an election when a legitimate challenge can be made. Likewise, campaign funds can be used to stage a rally to support the election of a candidate before the election or a rally to claim victory or concede defeat after the election."

"But campaign funds cannot legally be used to attempt to overturn an election by anti-democratic means. Moreover, campaign funds cannot legally be used to encourage political supporters to break the law. Both the Trump campaign and state GOP organizations should have known as much," Painter writes.

RELATED: Exclusive: New video shows Trump rally organizer -- who previously distanced from attack -- celebrating 'taking our House back' on Jan. 6

Painter also points a finger both at conservative media and social media platforms.

"The second source of funding that should be considered wasn’t cash, but the in-kind donations that came from the conservative media outlets that spread the Big Lie. Fox News of course comes to mind, but there were many others, including talk radio stations, blogs and more ...the Jan. 6 committee should expose the actions of the largest media companies, including not just cable television and radio stations but social media giants like Facebook as well. Congress already has heard from the Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen about how Facebook was adjusting its rules to accommodate false statements posted by Trump, his campaign and his supporters up to Jan. 6. Likewise, these companies were happy to take campaign money to post and air ads that spread these lies after the election."

Many of the organizations that helped spread Trump's "Big Lie" are publicly traded companies that owe an explanation to their shareholders and other investors, as Painter indicates.

The former Bush administration official also identifies another important funder of Jan. 6 -- the US taxpayer.

You can read all of Richard Painter's commentary here.

Elon Musk accuser claims he exposed himself to her and then offered to buy her a horse

A former SpaceX flight attendant is alleging that while on Elon Musk's Gulfstream G650ER, Musk exposed himself to her and then offered to give her a horse in exchange for sexual favors.

During the incident, which Musk's accuser states took place in a private cabin on the aircraft en route to London in 2016, Musk rubbed the woman's leg and pleaded for a sexual massage, which she firmly declined. The details of the offense were laid out in a signed declaration, and Musk threw $250,000 at the problem in 2018, hoping it would all go away. But, unfortunately for him, the internet is forever.

In emails and other documentation obtained by Insider, the woman worked as a contracted member of the SpaceX cabin crew and, shortly after taking the position, was encouraged by Musk to also become a licensed masseuse for the sole purpose of giving him massages while onboard. It was during one of these massages that Musk is said to have asked her to "do more." After entering into a private cabin on the aircraft, the woman states that she was met by a fully naked Musk covered only by a sheet laid over his privates, which was later moved to expose his erect penis.

After being asked by Insider to explain himself, Musk reportedly asked for more time to craft his response and then returned with the following:

"If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light." Musk then referred to the claim as a "politically motivated hit piece," according to Insider.

The flight attendant, who is choosing to remain anonymous, told a friend that professional opportunities took a dive after refusing Musk's proposition. In 2018, assuming her lack of work was linked to turning Musk down, she hired an employment lawyer and human resources was contacted. Rather than go to court, Musk offered a severance agreement amounting to $250,000 and made the woman promise not to pursue the matter further. The woman's friend, whose intel was included in the signed declaration against Musk, decided to speak up about the incident now and she herself is a survivor of sexual assault.

"I absolutely felt a responsibility to come forward with it, especially now," the accuser's friend said to Insider. "He is the richest man in the world. Someone with that level of power causing that kind of harm and then throwing some money at the situation, that's not accountability."

According to Pet Rogue Science, the cost of a horse ranges from $100 – $10,000, but the most expensive breeds such as an Arabian or Thoroughbred can run almost exactly $250,000.

John Fetterman has a 'secret weapon' to draw Pennsylvania voters to the polls: report

Recently in the news for having a widely-publicized stroke just days before the Pennsylvania primary, the current Democratic Party front runner for the state's contentious US Senate race, John Fetterman has at least one legislative priority that sets him far apart from his opponent, Conor Lamb: His unapologetic record for supporting marijuana legalization.

As Fetterman noted in a December 2020 op-ed in the Washington Post, many Democrats haven't kept up with public opinion on legalizing weed.

"Not only isn’t weed “taboo,” but everyone wants to talk about it. It might be the most hotly discussed public policy topic in our commonwealth over the past 50 years," Fetterman said.

"Yet one group doesn’t seem to be keeping up: the Democratic Party. Its platform on weed is now officially and politically to the right of the state of South Dakota. I’m in the camp that says that if you’re to the right of South Dakota on anything, you should use that as a moment to recalibrate your core values."

As Politico notes, "Fetterman is arguably the nation’s most outspoken pro-weed politician" and if you "head over to Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s website, or drop by one of his rallies, and that’s what you’ll find. 'It’s high time that we get our sh*t together and legalize weed in PA + USA. More justice, jobs, revenue, and freedom,' the top-selling T-shirt’s description reads."

Fetterman is betting his support for legal weed will help secure his spot on the ballot in November.

"Political strategists say a bold position on cannabis could be an important piece of a winning policy portfolio for both the primary and general elections in a race that will help determine control of the Senate. Progressives respond well to it — but even more than that, marijuana may do something very important in a state where election margins are razor-thin: bring new voters to the polls."

RELATED: Kathy Barnette slams Trump and his 'bad advisers' for 'unfortunate' robocall attacking her

Should Fetterman win the primary, it's thought he'd face off against Trump-endorsed Dr. Mehmet Oz in November's general election.

In an April interview, Oz drew controversy by saying that he had "strong sentiments against the legalization of marijuana because we already have a problem with getting young people to work."

“And if you build a psychological addiction, right, that tells people you can’t get through the day unless you smoke a joint, which is what Fetterman is saying is okay, we’re going to have even fewer people engaged in life and they lose their dignity when that happens," Oz said.

Pennsylvanians go to the polls today, which close at 8 p.m. ET tonight.

'I am angry!': Elizabeth Warren unleashes in fiery speech against 'extremist' court

"I am angry because the United States Congress can change all of this," Sen. Elizabeth Warren declared with passion Tuesday on Capitol Hill as she responded to news that the right-wing majority on the U.S. Supreme Court has voted in favor of a draft decision that, if finalized, would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Warren's fury was visible as she warned that the damage the high court is preparing to do will fall disproportionately "on the poorest women" and those who are most vulnerable.

"The United States Supreme Court thinks they can impose their extremist views on all the women in this country, and they are wrong," said the Massachusetts Democrat.

"This will fall on the young women who have been abused, who are victims of incest," she added. "This will fall on those who have been raped. This will fall on mothers who are already struggling to work three jobs to be able to support the children they have."

Warren has long advocated for Congress to pass the Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA), which was passed by the U.S. House last year but has been obstructed in the Senate by Republicans and right-wing Democrats including Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who oppose eliminating the filibuster in order to pass a Democratic agenda.

The WHPA would codify the right to obtain and provide abortion care into federal law. As Common Dreams reported Monday, Republican senators are currently developing their own strategy to pass legislation regarding the right to an abortion; theirs would ban all abortion across the country after six weeks of pregnancy.

"They have been out there plotting, carefully cultivating the Supreme Court justices so they could have a majority on the bench who would accomplish something that the majority of Americans do not want," Warren told reporters after her speech.

Warren's call for federal lawmakers to "change all of this" contrasted with the comments made by other top Democrats on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced the Senate would soon vote on codifying the right to abortion care into law, but did not comment on pressuring Sinema and Manchin to drop their opposition to killing the filibuster rule so the legislation can be passed.

"Every senator, now under the real glare of Roe v. Wade being repealed by the courts, is going to have to show which side they're on," Schumer told reporters.

President Joe Biden did not push for filibuster reform when asked whether it was needed to codify Roe, saying he was "not prepared to make those judgements now."

"I am angry and upset and determined," said Warren to a reporter. "The United States Congress can keep Roe v. Wade the law of the land, they just need to do it."