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Trump Adds Greg Abbott to Dumpster Fire V.P. Short List

by News7

Donald Trump says he is “absolutely” considering plucking Texas Governor Greg Abbott out of the Lone Star state to plop him into the West Wing.

“Certainly, he would be somebody that I would very much consider,” Trump said in a joint appearance with Abbott on Fox News’s Hannity Thursday, describing the Texan as a “spectacular man.”

So far, Abbott has played a key (if informal) role in Trump’s campaign, bolstering the GOP front-runner’s fearmongering on border security by prolonging a standoff between Texas law enforcement and the federal government over a length of concertina wire along the Rio Grande section of the U.S.-Mexico border. That showdown radically escalated in January when 25 Republican governors threw their hat behind Abbott, warning they would send their state’s National Guard troops down to defend Texas’s cause if President Joe Biden attempted to enforce a Supreme Court ruling declaring that the state had stepped outside of its jurisdiction by preventing federal agents from doing their jobs.

On the other side of things, Trump has been urging Republican lawmakers to kill any deals on border security in an effort to artificially inflame the issue with U.S. voters and hurt Biden’s chances at reelection. And it’s worked: Immigration is now the central topic of the 2024 presidential election, with 28 percent of Americans claiming it is their top concern—8 percent more than reported in January, according to a February Gallup poll.

Abbott’s name joins a fairly long short list that Trump confirmed last week during a Fox News town hall. Those options include onetime Democratic presidential primary candidate Tulsi Gabbard, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, Florida Representative Byron Donalds, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis—the last of whom has already, adamantly, announced that he is “not doing that.”

CVS and Walgreens, the two largest pharmacy chains in the United States, announced Friday that they will start dispensing the abortion pill this month, increasing access to the procedure.

Spokespeople for the two companies told The New York Times that the pharmacies will begin dispensing mifepristone, one of the two drugs used to induce an abortion, in a few states in March. The chains will monitor the situation in other states, where laws are less clear or where abortion bans have been temporarily blocked by courts, to see if they can expand where they dispense mifepristone.

Walgreens will not dispense mifepristone in “states where the laws are unclear” in order to protect its staff from potential lawsuits, the company spokesman said.

CVS will “continually monitor and evaluate changes in state laws and will dispense mifepristone in any state where it is or becomes legally permissible to do so,” the spokeswoman said.

Medication abortions make up more than half of all abortions in the U.S. and are considered a crucial tool in maintaining access to the procedure since Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022. Republicans have sought to make it harder to access mifepristone, including by suing to ban it from the market entirely. Misoprostol, the other medication used to induce an abortion, is already available in pharmacies because it has multiple other uses.

CVS and Walgreens announced in January 2023 that they would seek certification from the Food and Drug Administration to dispense mifepristone. But Walgreens changed course a month later, following intense pressure from almost two dozen Republican attorneys general.

Walgreens agreed not to dispense mifepristone in the jurisdictions of those 21 attorneys general, even though abortion is legal in nearly half of those states. The move sparked talks of boycotts, including from California Governor Gavin Newsom. Friday’s statement did not address whether Walgreens still intended to abide by that promise.

CVS’s and Walgreens’ decision to dispense mifepristone will make it easier for people to get hold of the medication faster. Mifepristone is already available in clinics or via telemedecine, when it is sent through the mail. But now all people don’t need to wait for a mail delivery. All they need is a prescription.

The pharmacy chains may be forced to stop selling the drug, though, depending on the outcome of an upcoming Supreme Court case. A coalition of anti-abortion groups, represented by the extremist legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, sued to block access to mifepristone in November 2022. The pill, which has repeatedly been proven safe, has gone through a legal roller-coaster on its way to the Supreme Court as ultraconservative judges used bogus studies to determine that the FDA improperly approved mifepristone decades ago.

Mifepristone’s status currently remains unchanged, because the Supreme Court in April halted the lower court rulings that would have yanked the pill from the market. Mifepristone will remain nationally available until the Supreme Court hears the lawsuit later this month and issues a ruling.

Republicans have gotten really good at talking about how much they want to protect access to in vitro fertilization, without actually doing anything to protect the procedure.

Representative Nancy Mace introduced a nonbinding resolution on Friday expressing support for IVF and calling on elected officials to protect access to the treatment. The measure does not actually do anything concrete to protect IVF.

The resolution “expresses strong support” for continued access to fertility treatments and “commends” the work of fertility care specialists. The measure condemns “any judicial ruling” restricting access to fertility care, and urges elected officials at all levels to “proactively pass” legislation that would protect access to assisted reproductive technology.

Again, the resolution is nonbinding. This means that Mace and her six co-sponsors, all elected officials, are doing exactly nothing to actually protect IVF.

What’s more, five of the resolution’s co-sponsors—Don Bacon, Anthony D’Esposito, Jen Kiggans, Nick LaLota, and David Schweikert—are vulnerable to being voted out. Those lawmakers represent districts that voted for President Joe Biden in 2020, so they are likely using this resolution as a way to pretend that they are listening to their more left-leaning constituents.

In the nearly two weeks since the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that embryos created through IVF can be considered children, torpedoing the state’s fertility industry, Republicans have scrambled to express support for the procedure. Even some of the most conservative members of Congress, such as House Speaker Mike Johnson, are falsely insisting they have always supported IVF.

A Mace spokesperson pointed out earlier this week that the congresswoman co-sponsored another resolution last year expressing support for fertility treatments. That resolution was also nonbinding, meaning Mace has done precisely squat to actually support IVF—much like the rest of her party.

In fact, Mace has actively worked against preserving IVF access. She was a co-sponsor of the Life at Conception Act, a measure that was introduced first in 2021 with 166 co-sponsors and then again in 2023 with 124. The bill, which has not advanced since, would have established that life begins at fertilization.

Like the Alabama ruling, the Life at Conception Act would have severely restricted—if not effectively banned—IVF treatments as well, because it grants “equal protection” to “preborn” humans, including embryos. Since it’s common for fertilized eggs not to survive the IVF process, the act would put doctors at risk of being charged for wrongful death of embryos. That risk would be enough to scupper the IVF industry, as it has already begun to do in Alabama.

While Republicans have talked a good game in recent days, their actions tell a very different story. When Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth introduced a bill on Wednesday to protect IVF, Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith killed the measure. And that same day in the House, Representative Anna Paulina Luna—the only Republican in either chamber co-sponsoring legislation to codify IVF protections—withdrew her support from the companion bill to Duckworth’s.

Donald Trump still can’t get over how he “aced” a cognitive test that required him to correctly recite the words “person, woman, man, camera, TV.”

On Thursday, Trump leveraged an interview on Fox News’s Hannity to deride President Joe Biden’s mental health while celebrating his own, claiming the test used to measure dementia and cognitive decline was “very tough.”

“He could not do this interview. He couldn’t do an interview where you ask even a few questions,” Trump began. “And I said this morning, I say it loud and clear, you should take a cognitive test.”

“I took two of them, and I aced both of them. I’m very proud to say. Meaning, I got it all right.”

“They’re not that easy, you know,” Trump continued. “They—they show you the first ones are pretty easy. And then you get up, you get into the middle category, then you get to the end questions. There are very few people could answer those questions. They’re actually very tough.”

Trump has taken to arguing that cognitive exams should be mandatory for higher office since special counsel Robert Hur issued a damning, 388-page analysis of Biden’s mental acuity in which he described the 81-year-old president as having “significant limitations.”

“It’s easy the answer, but I don’t like doing it. He’s got some difficulty,” Trump told Hannity. “But it’s not the age because I know a lot of people that are much older than him that are 100 percent sharp and I think most people agree with that.”

He had no problem throwing mud earlier that morning, however.

“Crooked Joe Biden must take a Cognitive Test. Maybe that way we would be able to find out why he makes such terrible decisions,” the 77-year-old posted on Truth Social. “I took two of them, and ACED them both (no mistakes!). All Presidents, or people wanting to become President, should mandatorily take this test!”

In 2018, Representative Ronny Jackson—then the president’s physician—said he provided a cognitive exam to Trump because he “asked me to do it.”

In the years since, Trump has invariably tweaked the questions he allegedly received on the test, at times boasting that he had correctly recited five words and performed basic multiplication while at other times insisting that he had passed thanks to correctly identifying a whale. That is, in spite of the fact that the test’s authors claim that none of the three versions in circulation actually have a whale on them.

Hunter Biden’s attorneys negotiated for months to get his closed-door hearing before the House Oversight Committee on the public record, and thank God they did.

By all means, the hearing did not look like a success for Republicans, who spent the better part of the day being roundly accused of ignoring evidence supporting the president’s innocence and failing to find any sort of smoking gun.

But a transcript of the meeting, released late Thursday, shows a snippy exchange between the president’s son and Representative Matt Gaetz when the Florida Republican attempted to push Biden on the topic of addiction.

“Were you on drugs when you were on the Burisma board?” prompted Gaetz, referencing the committee’s former lead impeachment theory that Joe Biden had profited millions from his son’s connections to the Ukrainian company—even though the only witness leading that theory has since admitted to making the whole thing up with the help of top Russian intelligence officials.

“Mr. Gaetz, look me in the eye. You really think that’s appropriate to ask me?” Biden replied.

“Absolutely,” Gaetz said.

“Of all the people sitting around this table, do you think that’s appropriate to ask me?” Biden spit back.

He has a point. Gaetz’s own drug habits have been the subject of regular scrutiny for the MAGA lawmaker. In 2021, he was reported to have attended drug-fueled parties, snorting cocaine with strippers and paying them for sex. He also allegedly boasted to other politicians about chasing erectile dysfunction meds with sports drinks so he could “go all night.”

Gaetz is also under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegations of sexual misconduct and illicit drug use. Gaetz has categorically denied the accusations.

“I will answer it this way: I have been absolutely transparent about my drug use,” Biden continued. “Again, I spoke to you all earlier this morning about that. I’m sorry; I’m an addict. I was an addict. I have been in recovery for over four and a half years now, Mr. Gaetz. I work really, really hard at it.”

“What does that have to do with whether or not you’re going to go forward with an impeachment of my father other than to simply try to embarrass me?”

In what should be a shock to no one, the man who bragged about overturning Roe v. Wade is now talking about banning abortion after 15 weeks.

Donald Trump floated the new number during his bizarre trip Thursday to the U.S.-Mexico border. While there, he sat down for an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, who asked about abortion.

Republicans are “coming in with a certain number of weeks, and the number 15 is mentioned,” Trump said. “I haven’t agreed to any number. I’m gonna see. We wanna take an issue that was very polarizing and get it settled and solved so everybody can be happy.”

Trump suggests he might be open to a 15 week national abortion ban pic.twitter.com/iUh8gltOb0

— Acyn (@Acyn) March 1, 2024 Many Republican lawmakers have suggested banning abortion after 15 weeks as some sort of compromise. The argument is generally that fetuses can feel pain after that point. But just two years ago, Republicans were arguing that a 22-week cutoff was reasonable because that was when fetuses started to feel pain.

In reality, most medical experts agree that fetuses don’t develop the necessary physical sensors to experience pain until at least 24 weeks, possibly not even until 28 weeks. So it’s more likely that, now that the protection of Roe is gone, Republicans are just trying to shift the goal posts and ban abortion sooner.

The surprising thing about Trump’s interview is not that he expressed openness toward limiting abortion. Just two weeks ago, Trump suggested a 16-week federal abortion ban.So it’s possible—likely, even—Trump will keep reducing what he considers a reasonable number of weeks to allow abortions until he’s reached zero.

Trump has bragged about his role in overturning Roe and even demanded credit for individual state abortion bans. He is reportedly planning to gut reproductive rights if he is reelected, likely by relying heavily on the Comstock Act, a century-old law that conservatives are using to ban access to abortion and abortion medication.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of Americans—61 percent, according to the Pew Research Center—think abortion should be legal in all or most cases. This is why, even in otherwise deep red states, people keep voting to increase abortion access.

Unfortunately More on Trump:

Donald Trump seems to have a weird idea of who’s entering through our borders, claiming on Thursday that a good chunk of them are people “who don’t speak languages.”

“Everybody I speak to says how horrible it is,” Trump said, adding that there were “millions of people” arriving from “places unknown,” from “countries unknown” with no language.

That is, at best, a woefully missed opportunity for a one-of-a-kind anthropological study, or at worst, an unfortunate admission from the reputed monolinguist. Trump apparently was having a tough time recalling any of the 350 different languages spoken by U.S. communities—maybe chief among them Spanish, which ranks as the second-most-popular language in the nation, and which the vast majority of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border speak.

“We have languages coming into our country, nobody that speaks those languages,” Trump droned. “They’re truly foreign languages. Nobody speaks them.”

Trump: People who don’t speak languages. We have languages coming in to our country, nobody that speaks those languages. They’re truly foreign languages. Nobody speaks them pic.twitter.com/IzRKM5TOue

— Acyn (@Acyn) February 29, 2024 In the last few months, Trump has made a number of increasingly worrying verbal gaffes, including claiming that he would stop banks from “debanking” Americans, mixing up former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and his only remaining rival in the GOP race, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and describing his plan for America’s missile defense system by going, “Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.… Boom. OK. Missile launch. Woosh. Boom.”

He has also appeared with mysterious, unexplained red sores on his hands that political commentators couldn’t help but notice looked an awful lot like syphilis.

But have no fear: The 77-year-old wants you to know he is totally, undoubtedly, mentally all there. He recently “aced” a cognitive test that required him to correctly identify a giraffe, a tiger, and a whale. According to Trump, that meant his “mind is stronger now than it was 25 years ago.” In reality, that test is meant to measure dementia or cognitive decline, and it has never included the combination of animals Trump mentioned.

More on Trump’s mental state:

Donald Trump has had to admit that he can’t afford his legal comeuppance—a punishment that might have been even worse for the self-proclaimed billionaire than the actual $454 million penalty in his New York civil fraud trial.

“Well, of course, he’s embarrassed because his entire net worth, the constant reiteration that ‘I’m worth at least $10 billion,’ maybe even more, obviously goes to his id, his ego, his super-ego,” former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen told CNN on Thursday.

“And that’s now super deflated because it’s just not true,” he continued. “They had to acknowledge that they don’t have it. It wasn’t that long ago that he stood on the stand, and he told everybody that he was worth many, many, many, many billions of dollars and has a very low debt-to-value ratio.”

Trump’s last-ditch effort to postpone paying the full amount in lieu of a $100 million bond was rejected by a New York appeals court judge on Wednesday. The judge did, however, grant some relief after Trump’s legal team argued in an 1,800-page court filing that it would be “impossible” to secure a bond covering the full amount of the multimillion-dollar ruling. The granted request will allow Trump to continue borrowing money, though the ruling is temporary until a full panel of judges deliberates on the order.

Failing to obtain a loan, however, could result in the seizure of Trump’s assets, warned New York Attorney General Letitia James.

“I mean, what is he going to do?” Cohen continued. “What’s he going to call like a J.G. Wentworth and say, ‘I need cash now’? How was he going to raise more than this half a billion?”

Justice Arthur Engoron had originally slapped a $354 million fine on Trump for committing real estate–related fraud in New York, but by last week, that sum had grown to $454.2 million thanks to added interest, which is tacking on an additional $112,000 with each passing day.

The penalty also came with an addendum that Trump cannot serve as an officer or director of a New York company for three years, including his own Trump Organization. His two adult sons were also penalized by the ruling: They were fined $4 million each and will have to stay out of New York business for two years. They will also be prevented from obtaining loans from any New York financial institutes for three years.

The story around Tyler Boebert’s arrest just keeps getting worse.

Representative Lauren Boebert’s 18-year-old son allegedly made a sex tape with a minor, according to an affidavit following his arrest on Tuesday.

The younger Boebert was arrested over “a recent string of vehicle trespass and property thefts” in Rifle, a town in Colorado’s 3rd congressional district, which his mom currently represents, said police. He is facing 22 charges, including criminal possession of a financial device and criminal possession of ID documents.

But if that wasn’t bad enough, an arrest affidavit released by the Garfield County Clerk of Court noted Tyler “supposedly made a sex tape with” one of the other suspects, a female minor. That tape was reportedly sent around to people they knew. It’s not clear from the affidavit how old Boebert or the suspect were at the time they did so.

The four suspects involved are reportedly two female minors, one male minor, and the 18-year-old Boebert.

The affidavit also sheds more light on how exactly the four friends were caught. The investigation reportedly began on February 20, when a woman informed police that someone broke into her parked car and took her wallet the day before. The wallet contained a stolen card that was then used at various locations on February 19 and 20.

Police say that Tyler and his friends were out to steal people’s wallets and credit cards in order to use them for purchases. One of the victims included a woman with a brain tumor who said she had just $75 “left to her name,” according to police.

And how were they caught? Surveillance footage from one of the stores the cohort stopped at reveals Tyler wearing a gray “Shooters Grill” hoodie—the name of his mother’s former restaurant in Rifle, Colorado.

Lauren Boebert, for her part, said in a statement that her son “will take responsibility for his actions and should be held accountable for poor decisions just like any other citizen.”

“I love my son Tyler, who has been through some very difficult, public challenges for a young man, and the subject of attention that he didn’t ask for,” she said. “It breaks my heart to see my child struggling and, in this situation, especially when he has been provided multiple opportunities to get his life on track. I will never give up on him and I will continue to be there for him.”

Still, it’s a rough spot to be in for the Colorado representative who likes to rail about the “Biden crime family” every chance she gets. She’s already facing a tough congressional bid this primary season. Beobert chose late last year to move to and run in Colorado’s 4th congressional district, a much more right-leaning seat and thus one that should theoretically be an easier election win for her. That decision followed a rather embarrassing national spectacle when she and a date were caught on security cameras groping each other, vaping, and eventually getting kicked out of a performance of Beetlejuice.

Unfortunately, things still aren’t looking good for Boebert. During a campaign event earlier this month, Republicans weren’t impressed.

“I don’t appreciate, as a Christian, people saying they’re Christian to get your vote and then turning out to be a lowlife, and now I just kind of think of her as a lowlife,” one voter told The Wall Street Journal.

Lauren Boebert’s worst date ever:

It wasn’t all too long ago that political candidates would be disowned by their parties upon the discovery of ties to hate groups. But the first candidate listed on the unofficial Republican gubernatorial ballot in Missouri has been outed as a white supremacist—and nothing seems to be happening.

Darrell Leon McClanahan III’s name appeared even higher than the party’s front-runners due to the names being drawn in ballot order, with the lowest ballot numbers—such as McClanahan’s—appearing first. This is now the second time that the state Republican Party has accepted a filing fee and candidacy paperwork from McClanahan. The known white supremacist had a failed run for U.S. Senate in 2022, when he placed fifteenth in a group of 21 candidates, pulling more than 1,100 votes.

“Hey @MissouriGOP I just learned the candidate listed first on our primary ballot for Governor is a cross-burning KKK member who ran for US Senate 2 years ago and freely admits his KKK membership & white supremacist beliefs,” former Missouri State Representative Shamed Dogan wrote on social media, calling on the party to reject the “racist loser” as a candidate.

McClanahan has tried to downplay the facts, saying he is just an “honorary” member instead of a formal member of the Knight’s Party Ku Klux Klan. He identifies with the racist religious sect Christian Identity, and has attended several events hosted by the Arkansas-based Christian Identity Klan, including a cross burning in which he is pictured performing a Nazi salute beside a man clad in the KKK’s white-hooded garb. McClanahan tried to brush that off by describing the event as “religious Christian Identity Cross lighting ceremony.”

He has, however, advertised his membership in the League of the South, a white extremist group demanding a “white-dominated South,” according to the Anti Defamation League.

McClanahan also attended the 2017 Charlottesville “Unite the Right” protest—an experience that he wrote positively about for the Knights Party’s newsletter, The Torch, cataloging his descent into far-right, race-based radicalization.

In a defamation suit he filed against the ADL for aligning him with white supremacists and antisemites, McClanahan described himself as a “Pro-White man, horseman, politician, political prisoner-activist who is dedicated to traditional Christian values,” reported the RiverFrontTimes. The lawsuit has since been dismissed.

“Shamed Dogan I would like to respectfully request that you cease and desist from making defamatory statements about me on the X platform. Your statement about me being a cross-burning KKK member and white supremacist is false and damaging to my reputation,” McClanahan said in a statement to the RiverFrontTimes addressed directly to Dogan.

It is currently unclear if the Missouri Republican Party can or will reject McClanahan’s candidacy, or if he’ll make the official ballot come August.

What’s happening in Missouri:

Source : New Republic

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