Giuliani’s Loopy Witness Announces Run For Office

Melissa Carone (screen capture)

Oh, wait – she’s not done yet!

Via Deadline Detroit:

Mellissa Carone, who rose to memedom last month during a Michigan legislative hearing on election fraud, hopes to parlay her infamy into a state House seat.

The former contractor for Dominion Voting Systems confirmed Friday that she’s running for Michigan’s 46th house district in Oakland County on a platform of election integrity after claiming, without evidence, that she witnessed rampant fraud at TCF Center in Detroit in November.

“My ultimate goal is to get our ballots hand-counted and clean out Lansing just like draining the swamp in D.C. because that’s what we need,” she said.

After her statements at that infamous legislative hearing, Dominion sent her a cease-and-desist notice about her misinformation campaign.

Lawyers for Dominion also noted that Carone is NOT a technology or elections expert. She was reportedly hired through a staffing agency “for one day to clean glass on machines and complete other menial tasks.”

News Round-Up: September 17, 2020

Bear Week 2019 in Sitges, Spain

Some news items you might have missed:

TBT: Remembering a year ago when we discovered Sitges, Spain, for the first time (above) – and it just happened to be Bear Week 🙂

WSVN Miami: A man was convicted of hate crime charges and sent to prison after he yelled homophobic slurs and beat up two gay men while they were walking their dog in downtown Miami. Quenton Moss, the assailant, was recorded on police body cams bragging to officers, “I split him good. He’s a [expletive]. [Expletive] should die, die.”

OUT: Author and activist Sarah McBride is poised to become the first out trans person serving in the upper chamber of a state legislature. The former Obama administration staffer and current National Press Secretary for Human Rights Campaign won the Democratic primary for Delaware’s first state senate district. The seat is considered a sure-bet for Democrats and McBride is expected to win the general election in November.

GLAAD: Bisexual+ Awareness Week seeks to accelerate acceptance of the bi+ (bisexual, pansexual, fluid, no label, queer, etc.) community. BiWeek draws attention to the experiences, while also celebrating the resiliency of, the bisexual+ community. Throughout BiWeek, allies and bi+ people learn about the history, culture, community, and current policy priorities of bi+ communities.

Associated Press: Germany’s Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer apologized on Thursday for 65 years of discrimination against gay military service members. “I very much regret the practice of discrimination against homosexuals in the Bundeswehr, which stood for the policy of that time,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer said in a statement. “I apologize to those who suffered because of it.”

Washington Post: A seven-hour “flight to nowhere” advertised by Australian airline Qantas sold out within 10 minutes on Thursday. The flight will depart Sydney on Oct. 10 and return on the same day, with no stops along the way. But passengers are promised views of the Great Barrier Reef, the Uluru monolith and the Australian outback as the plane flies over the country at low altitudes. The 134 available tickets ranged from $787 to $3,787 in Australian dollars, the equivalent of $575 and $2,765.

HuffPost: Donald Trump was called out on Wednesday for bragging that the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus would be lower if one subtracted the deaths from “blue” states. “The blue states had tremendous death rates,” Trump said. “If you take the blue states out, we’re at a level that I don’t think anybody in the world would be at, we’re really at a very low level.”

According to data collected by The New York Times, 3 of the top 6 states in terms of deaths have Republican governors and 5 of the top 10 voted for Trump in 2016.

Jake Tapper Ends Scrappy Interview With Peter Navarro Over Trump’s COVID Lies

L-R CNN anchor Jake Tapper, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro

There’s a strategy in public relations.

During a scandal or debacle, send out a representative to do an interview with a news outlet. When asked a question about the scandal, begin spewing the talking points you’ve been told to repeat.

When asked to get back to the question at hand, repeat the talking points to continue killing time out of the 7 or so minutes of the segment.

When the host tries to get back to the question at hand AGAIN, become irate and say, “You’re not letting me answer the question” when you KNOW you’re just running out the clock AND you’re just repeating the scripted talking points without addressing the actual issue.

This is what happens in the clip below between CNN anchor Jake Tapper and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro.

Now, you might wonder why a trade adviser is speaking to the news about the coronavirus pandemic. It has nothing to do with his background, he’s just the kind of pugnacious scrapper that Donald Trump likes to see defend him. That’s why he’s doing the interview. In this appearance, Navarro has an audience of one. His boss.

When Tapper asked Navarro to explain why Trump privately acknowledged the coronavirus was deadlier than the flu but said otherwise publicly, Navarro repeatedly goes down a rabbit hole with his talking points.

At one point, as Navarro throws out the false statement that Trump was “called a xenophobe and a racist by Joe Biden” (he wasn’t) and later apologized for it (he didn’t), Tapper corrects him.

Navarro says, “We’ll do the fact-checker on that.” “I just did,” responds Tapper.

In the end, Tapper ends the segment and reminded viewers of the facts: “I would just like to remind the American people that the United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, and the United States has more than 20 percent of the world’s coronavirus deaths. That is a fact. It does not matter how many times he insults CNN.”

Trump’s Convention Speech Draws Fewer Viewers Than Biden

L-R President Donald Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden

I realize I haven’t posted much on this week’s Republican National Convention, mainly because who could possibly keep up with the fact-checking needed to counter the huge amount of misinformation coming from the speakers.

CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale does a great job of pointing out many of Donald Trump’s lies from his renomination speech last night.

By the way, CNN’s Brian Stelter reports news that is sure to burn the Donald: more folks tuned in for former Vice President Joe Biden’s speech at the Democratic National Convention last week than Trump’s lie-fest on Thursday night.

Laughable: Quisling Touts Trump As “Most Pro-Gay President” In History

Richard Grenell for Log Cabin Republicans (screen capture)

The Log Cabin Republicans, an organization representing conservative LGBTQ voters, recently released a misleading video featuring Richard Grenell, the openly gay former Ambassador to Germany, praising the Donald as the “most pro-gay president in American history.”

That’s certainly some serious hyperbole (and a lie), but it was right up the Donald’s alley as he retweeted the clip with the caption, “My great honor!!!”

The video, which has been viewed over 5.2 million times on Twitter at this writing, is meant to attack former Vice President Joe Biden’s record on LGBTQ issues.

In the clip, Grenell (who briefly served as acting Director of National Intelligence) points to Trump being the “first president in history to be pro-gay marriage from his first day in office.”

What Grenell doesn’t note is that marriage equality was the law of the land by that time, decided in 2015 by the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s not exactly an act of courage to acknowledge the law.

When asked about the issue shortly after his electoral win in 2016, Trump told CBS News reporter Lesley Stahl his personal view on the matter was “irrelevant” and that he considered the matter “settled.” He added, “I’m fine with that.”

Hardly a glowing endorsement of marriage equality. Especially when, during the campaign, he sent mixed signals about gay rights.

While Trump mentioned “L. G. B. T. citizens” during his nominating convention speech (in a halting cadence that sounded like he’d never used the phrase in his life), he went on to tell Fox News he would “strongly consider” appointing judges who might overturn same-sex marriage.

Grenell also mentions the Trump administration’s supposed push to end the criminalization of homosexuality around the world.

You might recall the initiative, announced to be headed up by Grenell himself, was unknown to Trump when he was asked about it. And, since the announcement of the campaign, there’s been no news or apparent action on the issue.

NBC News also reported that State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino downplayed Grenell’s new effort, describing it as “long-standing,” “bipartisan” and “really is not a big policy departure.”

Additionally, Trump’s administration has attacked the LGBTQ community on numerous fronts including the transgender military ban, arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court LGBTQ people shouldn’t be protected under federal civil rights law, and supporting taxpayer-funded religious adoption agencies that refuse to place children in LGBTQ homes.

Just this week, the Trump Administration intrinsically erased LGBTQ people from an updated foreign policy on gender and women’s empowerment by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Throughout the video, Grenell ignores that transgender people even exist as he only uses the terms “gay and lesbian.”

Grenell also alleges that Biden believes “gays are security risks,” which is a pretty far stretch as Grenell is referencing an off-hand statement made almost 47 years ago.

Biden was reportedly ‘startled’ by a question about gays serving in the military and civil service at an informal event with neighbors in 1973.

According to the conservative Free Beacon, Biden responded, “My gut reaction is that they [gay people] are security risks but I must admit I haven’t given this much thought,” he said. “I’ll be darned!”

You’ll note Grenell doesn’t mention the incident happened back in 1973, and he also doesn’t include the part of Biden’s response that said he hadn’t given the subject much thought.

In reality, Biden’s movement on LGBTQ rights has pretty much mirrored the nation’s perspective.

He’s publicly evolved to become a champion for gay rights – most memorably coming out in support of same-sex marriage in 2012 just days before President Obama.

While Joe Biden has promised full-throated support for the Equality Act, which would extend existing civil rights protections to LGBTQ people, Trump and the majority of his fellow Republicans have stood firmly against the legislation.

Biden has also named a fierce Black lesbian, Karine Jean-Pierre, as the chief of staff for vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris.

If you want the facts, click over to GLAAD for an extensive list of Trump’s attacks on the LGBTQ community.

For information about Biden’s plans for LGBTQ equality, check out my report on his proposals for our community here.

Trump Retweets Game Show Host’s COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories

L-R Chuck Woolery, Donald Trump

Donald Trump retweeted messages from politically conservative former game show host Chuck Woolery that accuses the Centers for Disease Control and physicians of “outrageous lies” about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Woolery alleges in one tweet that doctors and scientists, among others, are exaggerating the fallout of the coronavirus in order to hurt Trump’s reelection prospects.

“The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19,” read Woolery’s tweet. “Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most, that we are told to trust. I think it’s all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election. I’m sick of it.”

That was followed by another tweet (also retweeted by Trump) declaring “This is so much evidence, yes scientific evidence, that schools should open this fall. It’s worldwide and it’s overwhelming. BUT NO.”

It’s not clear what “lies” Woolery was accusing the CDC of making.

But it’s disconcerting that the president of the United States would further dangerous remarks like these leading his followers into deeper disbelief about the ravaging effects of the coronavirus.

It’s worth noting that other countries are re-opening schools because they took far more stringent steps against the pandemic as it began.

Why Does The US Have Far More Deaths From COVID-19 Than EU?

L-R Donald Trump, VP Mike Pence (image: public domain/Flickr)

Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have argued in recent weeks the increase in confirmed U.S. cases of COVID-19 is primarily the result of more testing for the virus being conducted.

However, that’s not true, as The New York Times explains. The U.S., which once trailed the European Union in per capita overall deaths, has now racked up many more.

From the New York Times:

Most other high-income countries are dealing with modest numbers of new cases — often an inevitable consequence of reopening — and the countries are responding aggressively. Many are following the advice of public health experts, ordering social distancing, mask-wearing and partial lockdowns and doing their best to track people who came in contact with new patients.

The United States is not. President Trump and many governors continue to flout scientific advice and send mixed messages about the seriousness of the virus.

As the U.S. soars past the EU in coronavirus-related deaths, it’s worth noting that the population of the EU (446 million) eclipses the U.S. (328 million) by nearly 120 million.

In the graphic below, check out how many more deaths due to COVID-19 the U.S. has suffered versus the EU.

Also, Japan – which has a population of 128 million – has far fewer deaths. But wearing a face mask in the Asian country is a common practice, year in, year out.

(graphic via New York Times)

Washington Post: How Fox News Flip-Flopped On Coronavirus Threat

The Washington Post illustrates how Fox News hosts initially denounced any kind of serious measures to be taken against the coronavirus as they stood lockstep with Donald Trump’s tamping down of the threat.

For weeks, some of Fox News’s most popular hosts downplayed the threat of the coronavirus, characterizing it as a conspiracy by media organizations and Democrats to undermine President Trump.

Fox News personalities such as Sean Hannity and Laura In­graham accused the news media of whipping up “mass hysteria” and being “panic pushers.” Fox Business host Trish Regan called the alleged media-Democratic alliance “yet another attempt to impeach the president.”

But that was then.

With Trump’s declaration on Friday that the virus constitutes a national emergency, the tone on Fox News has quickly shifted.

In the video, each of the political personalities quickly flip-flops when the reality of the situation became apparent, even to Trump.

You can read more details about each hypocritical u-turn by the Fox News folks here.

Tucker Carlson: ‘Let’s Just Agree Trump Is A Racist Liar And Move On’

Tucker Carlson (screen capture)

Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson admitted to his television audience last night what most Americans already know – that Donald Trump consistently lies and his followers don’t care.

In a lengthy monologue on his show last night, Carlson told the nation, “Trump is a racist liar.”

The statement was borne out of Carlson noting the Washington Post has been taking notes in regard to the Donald’s lies and exaggerations as if it’s a bad thing to hold the president of the United States accountable.

“The crowd at the 2017 inauguration was not the largest ever measured on the national mall. Sorry, it wasn’t. Why did the president claim it was? Because that’s who he is. Donald Trump is a salesman: A talker, a boaster, a booster, a compulsive self-promoter. At times, he’s a full-blown BS artist.

“If Trump hadn’t gotten rich in real estate he could have made a fortune selling cars. Most people know this. It’s transparent, really. 

“Is lying really the reason the left despises Donald Trump? Or could the real problem be, as is so often the case, the exact opposite of what they claim it is? Think back over the last four years. When have the CNN anchors been the angriest?

“Was it when Trump told some whopper or exaggerated his own accomplishments? Nope. They’re used to that kind of lying. Everyone who spends time around politicians is. What infuriates official Washington is not when Trump lies, but when he tells the truth.

And that’s where Carlson goes off into the underbrush on the way to Poughkeepsie as he slices and dices language & logic to address multiple topics – Haiti, MS-13, justifying Saudi Arabia’s killing of a journalist – often using ‘absolute’ positions as reality.

But by the end, he does circle back to say:

“Let’s just agree that Trump is a racist liar and move on. By the way, did you know he’s up to almost 14,000 lies by now? My gosh, what a bad person he is. Unlike us.”