December 9, 2021


Kinda disheartening to see how some prominent people prop Kyle Rittenhouse up as a hero, yet the brave men and women who fought and defended the Capitol on 1/6 have to continue to fight just for the TRUTH to be told about that day…….-- Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who was among those honored for defending the Capitol on Jan 6.

"That's okay. I'm just gonna do my job, and I'm gonna be saving lives, and they're gonna be lying.” -- Dr. Fauci on Ted Cruz and other Republicans scapegoating him.

"He was also going to cure cancer, if I remember correctly. Everyone said, 'Oh, that's great, we should definitely elect him.. "I haven't seen much movement on that.” -- Trump Jr. to Fox host Dan Bongino, attacked President Joe Biden for not curing cancer during his first 10 months in office.

“In our own caucus, our own members, if they go the wrong direction, I mean, it has to be called out,” — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson saying House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy should condemn GOP Rep. Boebert’s anti-Muslim remarks.

"You don't hear about what's going on as it relates to the riots in Europe on a daily basis now against the vaccine mandates. Because our media wants to block that out. They're going to make sure that you never hear about it because they don't want you getting these kind of ideas that freedom may actually still exist in some parts the world. I mean, Europe is pushing back, and America is sitting there like sheep... 'Oh, this is great, we'll just go along with what these guys who've gotten nothing right in the last two years tell us.' It's absolute insanity.” — Trump Jr., who also appeared to lament that there haven't been riots against COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the U.S.

Covid was intentionally released on the world by “Global Elites,” but “their little plan with covid didn’t work” because “digital warriors” exposed the truth. Now he says the “elites” are about to unleash another virus to control the population. — Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Here comes the MEV — the Midterm Election Variant! They NEED a reason to push unsolicited nationwide mail-in ballots Democrats will do anything to CHEAT during an election — but we’re not going to let them!” — Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), the former White House physician, saying that omicron is just the latest deep state plot to distract America.

“I think if you want to see a revolution, go ahead, outlaw Roe v. Wade and see what the response is…” — Sen Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), on new abortion restrictions going into effect in N.H. & the upcoming Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case.

“We are going to take power after this next election. When we do, it’s not going to be the days of Paul Ryan, and Trey Gowdy, and no real oversight, and no real subpoenas. It’s going to be the days of Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Dr. Gosar, and myself.”— Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)


Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX)  trashes ‘Freedom Caucus’ members Greene, Brooks, Gohmert, Gosar, Jordan, etc, as “performance artists” while defending Kinzinger. “We have grifters in our midst .. lie after lie after lie.” —

Litigation Tracker: Pending Criminal and Civil Cases Against Donald Trump


      IN THE NEWS  

      Andy Borowitz: Devin Nunes Idiotically Thinks Trump Will Pay Him

      Representative Devin Nunes has announced that he is leaving Congress to run Donald J. Trump’s media company in the idiotic belief that Trump will pay him.

      As news broke of Nunes’s decision, thousands of venders who have waited decades for Trump to pay them expressed bafflement that the California congressman would make such a boneheaded career move.

      “It’s inconceivable to me that he thinks he will get paid,” Carol Foyler, one of the unremunerated venders, said. “Has he even Googled Trump?”

      As Nunes packed his bags, his soon-to-be-former colleagues in Congress celebrated his departure into the wee hours of the morning.

      Representative Adam Schiff, however, sounded a cautious note. “It’s essential that Devin not find out that he won’t get paid,” Schiff said. “He might change his mind and stay here.”

      Trump allies work to place supporters in key election posts across the country, spurring fears about future vote challenges

      A year after local and state election officials came under immense pressure from Trump to subvert the results of the 2020 White House race, he and his supporters are pushing an ambitious plan to place Trump loyalists in key positions across the administration of U.S. elections.

      The effort goes far beyond the former president’s public broadsides against well-known Republican state officials who certified President Biden’s victory, such as Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. Citing the need to make elections more secure, Trump allies are also seeking to replace officials across the nation, including volunteer poll watchers, paid precinct judges, elected county clerks and state attorneys general, according to state and local officials, as well as rally speeches, social media posts and campaign appearances by those seeking the positions.

      If they succeed, Trump and his allies could pull down some of the guardrails that prevented him from overturning Biden’s win by creating openings to challenge the results next time, election officials and watchdog groups say.

      “The attacks right now are no longer about 2020,” said Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D).

      “They’re about 2022 and 2024. It’s about chipping away at confidence and chipping away at the reality of safe and secure elections. And the next time there’s a close election, it will be easier to achieve their goals. That’s what this is all about.”

      DOJ: Bannon attempting ‘frivolous’ effort to turn court case into media spectacle

      The Justice Department on Sunday night accused Steve Bannon’s defense team of lodging “frivolous” legal complaints in order to cause a public dust-up with prosecutors as he battles criminal charges for attempting to thwart the House’s Jan. 6 select committee.

      “The defense’s misleading claims, failure to confer, unexplained wholesale opposition, and extrajudicial statements make clear the defense’s real purpose: to abuse criminal discovery to try this case in the media rather than in court,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Vaughn wrote.

      GOP courts anti-vaxxers with jobless aid

      Republican officials around the country are testing a creative mechanism to build loyalty with unvaccinated Americans while undermining Biden administration mandates: unemployment benefits.

      Florida, Iowa, Kansas and Tennessee have changed their unemployment insurance rules to allow workers who are fired or quit over vaccine mandates to receive benefits.

      Nine GOP-controlled states have passed laws requiring exemptions for the Biden administration's vaccine mandate, or banning private companies from requiring altogether, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy.

      These policies undermine federal efforts to get the pandemic under control, which the right then blames Biden for not controlling. They also might help sabotage the economic recovery, which the right will also blame Biden for not sufficiently juicing. Of course, the magnitude of the economic effect of these unemployment-benefit policies alone may be tiny, at least based on that recent experience with other unemployment benefit expansions. But that’s not what Republicans have said they believe.

      Whatever their motivation, Republicans seem to be rooting for the virus — and against the country.

      Fox Nation host goes on conspiracy-laden rant comparing Dr Fauci to Nazi doctor Josef Mengele

      Fox Nation anchor Lara Logan has compared Dr Anthony Fauci to infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele while complaining about Covid measures impacting rights and economy.

      “This is what people say to me: that he [Dr Fauci] doesn’t represent science to them, he represents Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who did experiments on Jews during the second world war in the concentration camps,” Ms Logan said on Fox News on Monday.

      She added that “people all across the world are saying this,” without qualifying her comment with examples or proof. Josef Mengele was dubbed the “Angel of Death” for his deadly experiments on prisoners during the Holocaust at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

      Trump called aides hours before Capitol riot to discuss how to stop Biden victory

      Hours before the deadly attack on the US Capitol this year, Donald Trump made several calls from the White House to top lieutenants at the Willard hotel in Washington and talked about ways to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election win from taking place on 6 January.

      The former president first told the lieutenants his vice-president, Mike Pence, was reluctant to go along with the plan to commandeer his largely ceremonial role at the joint session of Congress in a way that would allow Trump to retain the presidency for a second term.

      But as Trump relayed to them the situation with Pence, he pressed his lieutenants about how to stop Biden’s certification from taking place on 6 January, and delay the certification process to get alternate slates of electors for Trump sent to Congress.

      The former president’s remarks came as part of strategy discussions he had from the White House with the lieutenants at the Willard – a team led by Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Boris Epshteyn and Trump strategist Steve Bannon – about delaying the certification.

      He Voted to Impeach, can he survive in the GOP

      “On the House floor, moments before the vote, Meijer approached a member who appeared on the verge of a breakdown. He asked his new colleague if he was okay. The member responded that he was not; that no matter his belief in the legitimacy of the election, he could no longer vote to certify the results, because he feared for his family’s safety. ‘Remember, this wasn’t a hypothetical. You were casting that vote after seeing with your own two eyes what some of these people are capable of,’ Meijer says. ‘If they’re willing to come after you inside the U.S. Capitol, what will they do when you’re at home with your kids?’”

      Conservative Media Makes Up a Fake Florida Mansion for Nancy Pelosi

      Over the weekend, Conservatism Inc. found a new scandal to promote: A false report that Nancy Pelosi had purchased a $25 million mansion in Florida, home to 2024 hopeful, Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Trump. To underscore: This story is false. Nancy Pelosi has not bought a $25 million mansion in Florida.

      The lib-owning idea went something like this: Nancy Pelosi and her ilk have overreacted to COVID-19 at every turn. Ron DeSantis is a freedom loving governor of the greatest state in America. And now Pelosi was all but admitting that DeSantis was right by spending $25 million on Florida real estate. What an elitist hypocrite!

      Chris Christie aims to shape future for GOP and for himself

      The former New Jersey governor and onetime Republican presidential candidate denounced “conspiracy theorists” during a September appearance at the Ronald Reagan Library in California. He followed up with a speech this month to influential Republicans in Las Vegas, warning that the party will only succeed if it offers a “plan for tomorrow, not a grievance about yesterday.”

      In between, he’s been interviewed by everyone from Laura Ingraham on Fox News to David Axelrod, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, on CNN.

      On its face, Christie’s publicity campaign is in service of “Republican Rescue,” his new book that offers a simple prescription for his party: stop talking nonsense about 2020 and focus on the future — or keep losing elections. But the frenzied pace of his appearances and the increasingly obvious jabs at Donald Trump suggest Christie is plotting a political comeback with the 2024 campaign in mind.

      Trump’s Senate picks stumble out of the gate

      Donald Trump’s favorite in the Alabama Senate race is treading water. His pick in Pennsylvania just bowed out of the GOP primary after losing custody of his children. In Alaska and North Carolina, two other Trump-endorsed Senate candidates are behind in primary election polls.

      Trump may still have an iron grip on the Republican Party, but the limits of his powers are being exposed in 2022 Senate primaries. A number of his preferred Senate candidates are discovering that the former president’s endorsement is no guarantee of success in a crowded primary, leaving Trump to decide just how much political capital to further expend on their behalf.

      Trump Could Pay $156,000 For Every Jan. 6 Rioter’s Defense, But So Far Has Spent Nothing

      Former President Donald Trump could pay $156,000 in legal expenses for every person arrested thus far in the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol using the $105 million he has collected by spreading the same lies he used to incite the attack, but so far has not helped a single one of the nearly 700 rioters.

      “Many people who went there that day are disappointed by his lack of support,” said one defense lawyer on the condition of anonymity so as not to hurt his Jan. 6 client’s case. “If President Trump was ever going to step up and step in, the time to do it is right now.”

      Albert Watkins, the lawyer for the self-described “QAnon Shaman” who last week was sentenced to three and half years in federal prison for his role in the attack, was far more blunt speaking to reporters afterward about what Trump should do.

      “I’d tell him, ’You know what? You’ve got a few fucking things to do. Including clearing this fucking mess up and taking care of a lot of the jackasses that you fucked up because of January 6,’” he said.

      In all, 670 of Trump’s Jan. 6 mob face permanent criminal records and five- and six-figure legal bills for believing Trump’s lies that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from him, and acting on his requests that they do something about it.

      Trump, though, appears to have done nothing to support his followers, outside of the occasional public statement claiming they are being “persecuted” by his successor’s administration.

      Rep. Greene introduces bill to award Congress’s highest honor to Kyle Rittenhouse, who fatally shot two men

      Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has introduced a bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal — the legislative branch’s highest honor — to Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who last week was found not guilty of homicide and other charges related to his fatal shooting of two men during a protest against police violence last year.

      Past recipients, according to a Congressional Research Service report, have been an eclectic group, including Sir Winston Churchill, Bob Hope, George Washington, Robert Frost, Joe Louis, the Dalai Lama, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and Mother Teresa of Kolkata.

      Greene was, notably, one of 21 House Republicans who voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to U.S. Capitol Police and D.C. police officers who defended the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack by a pro-Trump mob.

      Greene told news organizations that she voted against those honors because she didn’t believe the legislation behind them should refer to the Jan. 6 riot as an “insurrection.” She also said she had an issue with how the bill described the Capitol as a “temple of our American Democracy.”

      Lara Trump claims pricier turkeys are a liberal plot against Thanksgiving

      Lara Trump, the Fox News contributor and wife of Eric Trump, has bizarrely claimed that the rising cost of the Thanksgiving turkey is part of a liberal plot to “chip away” at American traditions.

      During a discussion on Fox News about inflation and its impact on Thanksgiving-related purchases, the former president’s daughter-in law claimed leftwing Americans “want to fundamentally transform America” and were using the humble Thanksgiving turkey as a vehicle for their nefarious plot.

      “Well, how do you that? You have to change America from the inside-out. You have to take away our traditions. So it might seem a little funny and a little ridiculous. ‘Oh, don’t have a turkey, then people won’t come over.’”

      “It all goes to fundamentally transforming this country, and the way you do that is you make sure that we have no commonality whatsoever, no traditions as Americans whatsoever,” she said. “You start chipping away at that, and they don’t care that Thanksgiving costs a lot more.”

      “They don’t want us to have any common ground. They don’t want us to have any shared traditions like Thanksgiving. A lot of places last month actually did away with Halloween because they wanted to be inclusive of the people that didn’t celebrate Halloween,” Trump added.

      Fox News Has The Audacity To Publicly Attack President Biden For Spending “Lush” Thanksgiving With Family, Conveniently Forgets Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Habits

      On Wednesday, Fox News was unsurprisingly chock full of segments, publicly attacking President Joe Biden for daring to leave the White House to spend a “lush” (as they called it) Thanksgiving holiday with his family and friends. Frankly, their attacks aren’t all that surprising, and neither is the fact that they seemed to conveniently forget and/or ignore Donald Trump’s holiday habits involving his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort during his presidency.

      One segment featured Fox host Sandra Smith reporting that President Biden had plans to meet a “billionaire friend” during his time away from the White House for the holiday.

      “So is Scranton Joe looking out of touch with the working class?” Smith asked during the show. “A lot of critics say, yes, indeed.”

      All the while, the Trump-loving Conservative network was displaying graphics that read, “Let Them Eat Cake” and “Critics slam Biden for Lush Thanksgiving Vacation.”

      Fox reporters conveniently left out the very relevant fact that ex-President Donald Trump spent numerous Thanksgivings, as well as pretty much every other conceivable holiday, at his Mar-a-Lago resort while he was president. In fact, they didn’t even mention a word of him.

      Funny how that works for these people, huh?


      “Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies, Rep. Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments. She instead doubled down on her rhetoric and I decided to end the unproductive call.” I believe in engaging with those we disagree with respectfully, but not when that disagreement is rooted in outright bigotry and hate. To date, the Republican Party leadership has done nothing to condemn and hold their own members accountable for repeated instances of anti-Muslim hate and harassment. This is not about one hateful statement or one politician; it is about a party that has mainstreamed bigotry and hatred. It is time for Republican Leader McCarthy to actually hold his party accountable.” — Rep. Ilhan Omar


      ‘She said that she still wanted a public apology, because what I had done wasn’t good enough. . . . So I told Ilhan Omar that she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, antisemitic, anti-police rhetoric. She continued to press, and I continued to press back. And then, Representative Omar hung up on me. Rejecting an apology and hanging up on someone is part of ‘Cancel Culture 101’ and a pillar of the Democrat Party.”  —Rep. Lauren Boebert in a video she posted to Instagram after the phone call.“


      Eugene Robinson: On voting rights, Democratic senators need to face reality

      The holiday season has just begun, and I already know what I want for Christmas: full and fair voting rights for all Americans. Note that I didn’t say please. This is a demand, not a request.

      Republicans have practically fallen over themselves in a rush to enact laws that limit or dilute the voting power of Americans of color — who, not coincidentally, tend to vote for Democrats. They limit the number of polling places in selected neighborhoods so that voters of color have to wait in long lines. They try to structure rules on early and absentee voting in ways that disadvantage minorities. They draw congressional district boundaries to dilute the Black and Hispanic vote — and do the same with state legislative districts so that Republicans can continue to be the ones who make, and distort, election rules.

      Some Republican-held states are going even further to seek control over how votes are counted. Georgia, for example, has given its GOP-controlled state legislature a role in deciding who won an election and who lost. In January, the state elected two Democrats to the U.S. Senate, and Republicans seem determined not to let anything like that happen again.

      All attempts by Congress to guarantee that all qualified citizens in every state have the right and ability to vote have been stymied by the Senate filibuster. The John Lewis Act is no radical departure; essentially, it would just return us to the status quo before 2013. If there are not the necessary 10 Republican votes to do even that, the prospects for stronger and more comprehensive pro-democracy legislation are nonexistent.

      The right to vote should not be a partisan issue. But it is.

      The Republican senators who voted in the past for the provisions of the John Lewis Act should vote for them again now. But they won’t.

      This isn’t about saving the Democratic Party. It’s about giving all Americans a vote, and thus a voice, in electing our leaders. Senators, do the right thing.

      Jonathan Bernstein: Omicron Is Feeding the Republican Conspiracy Beast

      Is anyone surprised that it took only a couple of days for Republicans to spread obviously nonsensical conspiracy theories about the omicron coronavirus variant? U.S. Representative Ronny Jackson, a Texas Republican and former White House physician, took to Twitter on Sunday to claim: “Here comes the MEV — the Midterm Election Variant! They NEED a reason to push unsolicited nationwide mail-in ballots. Democrats will do anything to CHEAT during an election — but we're not going to let them!”

      I suppose I should point out how unlikely it is, to put it mildly, that Democrats would be capable of getting the entire world to pretend there’s a new, potentially dangerous variant of the virus that causes Covid-19, which would then serve as a pretext for absentee voting, which somehow Democrats would supposedly be able to use to cheat, even though no such cheating was detected by a series of Republican states in 2020 — and even though those all-powerful, devious Democrats also, for this to make sense, wouldn’t be able to find any other way of cheating. Oh, and that’s not to mention that the timing is all wrong. And that surely more devastation from the pandemic would be, you know, actually really bad for the incumbent party. 

      I suppose this is why one political scientist despaired about the adequacy of the tools scholars use to understand such things: “It is difficult lately to be a political scientist trained in the understanding of the various institutional practices of normal American politics when that offers little contribution to situating the truly crazy set of conspiracy theories that seem to arise each day now in US,” tweeted Scott W. Barclay of Arizona State University.

      Jason Easley: Trump Described As Mob Boss Who Is Retaliating Against Republicans Who Didn’t Support Coup

      America no longer has two political parties. There is the pro-democracy Democratic Party, and there is the authoritarian cult of personality Trump party.

      Anyone who thought that Trump would go away or fade from the scene after he lost had not been paying attention for the last six years. The Republican Party had a chance to boot Trump, but they were too weak, and the natural right-wing impulse toward authoritarianism was too strong to resist Trump.

      Trump is running the Republican Party.

      The media needs to understand what the Republican Party has become and stop treating it like it is a  normal party. Trump is trying to clean out the people who opposed his coup so that when he tries the same overthrow again in 2024, there won’t be anyone left within the Republican Party to stop him.

      Trump is acting like a mob boss, and that is the exact way that prosecutors should take him down.

      Charles Sykes: Charlottesville verdict another missed opportunity for Republicans to disavow hate

      Despite a jury’s $25 million verdict against a group of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and organizers of the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia, "Unite the Right" rally, Republican leaders, once again, will not take the opportunity to repudiate the alt-right.

      By now, this is an old story with a familiar pattern: denial, silence and historical revisionism.

      Four years ago, after former President Donald Trump referred to some of the participants in the deadly rally as “very fine people,” Republicans had a chance to make it clear where they stood.

      Torch-carrying bigots chanted, “Jews will not replace us!” An avowed neo-Nazi drove his car into counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

      It was an easy call for a normal political party.

      Instead, for the most part, Republicans either looked the other way, kept quiet or went along with Trump’s gaslighting denials that he had, in fact, said what he said.

      In many ways, the response to Charlottesville was a dress rehearsal for the right’s response to the Jan. 6 insurrection. The same group that adamantly denied that Trump had praised racists as “very fine people” are now pushing revisionist versions of what happened at the Capitol.

      Cynthia Miller-Idriss, America's democracy is failing — and the world knows it

      A number of non-governmental organizations that have long worked to rebuild communities in countries beset by violent and intractable conflicts — places that have collapsed under the weight of mass atrocities, political assassinations, authoritarian take overs, and widespread citizen violence — have shifted focus to a new subject: The United States.

      For a country that has long thought of itself as a beacon of democracy, this is a wake-up call.

      At this moment, our country is in great need of lessons on what it takes to restore crumbling political systems.

      This week, the United States was added to a list of “backsliding” democracies in an annual report on the global state of democracy, marking a serious decline in international observers’ assessments of our political stability.

      In naming the U.S. to the list for the first time, the report’s authors — Sweden’s International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) — pointed to the “visible deterioration of democracy” in the United States on several criteria, including unwillingness to accept credible election results, voter participation suppression efforts, increasing polarization, and declines in civil liberties.

      Bess Levin: Tucker Carlson Is One Week Away From Adding Kyle Rittenhouse To His Family Cell Phone Plan

      In the year 2021, it was never going to be enough for the right to simply nod approvingly as Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty on homicide and reckless-endangerment charges that could have put him in prison for life, despite the fact that he did, in fact, kill two people. Instead, Republican lawmakers and the conservative media have made the 18-year-old—the same one who, to reiterate, killed two people in August 2020 out of a supposed desire to defend a car dealership—their new mascot. Representative Matt Gaetz has suggested making him a congressional intern.

      Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has dubbed him one of the “good guys.” Senator Tom Cotton has demanded Joe Biden apologize to him. And Tucker Carlson is effectively two shows away from publicly inviting Rittenhouse to come and live with his family and insisting before signing off that it would be an honor.

      How do we know Carlson feels this way? Because he more or less told us on Monday night, during a cringeworthy, stomach-churning interview in which he lavished so much praise on the teen vigilante it should be considered an FCC violation. Introducing the segment, the Fox News host boldly claimed that the U.S. would be better off if there were more people in it like Rittenhouse, which fact-checkers tell us is only true if the majority of the population has a death wish. Then he described the guy as “bright,” “decent,” “sincere,” “dutiful,” and “hardworking.”

      Later, during a break, Carlson told viewers, “What a sweet kid. I think that comes through loud and clear.” Sweet kid is usually a turn of phrase you’d use for a neighbor who clears the snow from your driveway without being asked, or the Girl Scout down the street who always remembers your cookie order, not someone who shot and killed two people, but potato, po-tah-to!

      Carlson’s final product will be a documentary film, “The Trial of Kyle,” that will air next month on the streaming service Fox Nation, which also broadcast his three-part series about the Jan. 6 insurrection, “Patriot Purge,” earlier this month, in which several of the participants floated an unfounded conspiracy theory that the federal government facilitated the storming of the U.S. Capitol.

      Dana Milbank: Lauren Boebert is what George W. Bush called the ‘worst of humankind’

      Over the holiday weekend, while the rest of the country paused to express gratitude for our many blessings. Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, a QAnon-admiring Republican, referred to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who is Muslim, as part of a “Jihad Squad” and told an audience a false story of a worried Capitol Police officer chasing down Omar. Boebert claimed she said: “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine.”

      There have always been clowns like Greene, Gosar and Boebert. Over the past two decades, the Rev. Jerry Falwell referred to the prophet Mohammed as a “terrorist,” the Rev. Franklin Graham called Islam “evil,” Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson likened Muslims to Hitler, and conservative activist Paul Weyrich condemned Bush’s “constant promotion of Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance” because “it is neither.”

      There’s plenty to fault in the Bush presidency and its wars, but his defense of Muslim Americans was the essence of moral leadership. “Those who feel like they can intimidate our fellow citizens to take out their anger,” he said at the Washington mosque that day in 2001, “represent the worst of humankind, and they should be ashamed of that kind of behavior.” America “is a great country,” he said, “because we share the same values of respect and dignity and human worth.”

      Twenty years later, Boebert, Gosar, Greene and too many of their colleagues have abandoned those shared values. And Republican leaders, divesting themselves of shame, now tolerate the worst of humankind.

      Colleen Longand Will Weissert: Can Biden find the right balance on immigration?

      Democrats wielded demands to fix the nation’s broken immigration system as a cudgel against Republicans in the 2020 campaign. Elect us, went the argument, and we’ll stop the cruel treatment of migrants at the border and put in place lasting and humane policies that work.

      A year into the Biden presidency, though, action on the issue has been hard to find and there is growing consternation privately among some in the party that the Biden administration can’t find the right balance on immigration.

      Publicly, it’s another story. Most Washington lawmakers are largely holding their tongues, unwilling to criticize their leader on a polarizing topic that has created divisions within the party — especially as concerns mount over whether Democrats can hold on to power come next year.

      It’s a hard balancing act to pull off, said Douglas Rivlin, a spokesman for America’s Voice, an immigration reform group. And especially when Republicans are unrelenting in their negativity toward the president, even a little friendly fire can be a challenge.

      “It’s hard, but they’ve got to do it,” he said. “They’re going to face voters next year, all the people on [Capitol] Hill. Biden isn’t, they are. And they have to be clear they’re pushing Biden to be the Democratic president we elected, rather than being scared of the issues because the politics are difficult.”