Trump, these days little more than a babbling fool-- whether in a tuxedo or in a tutu-- told brain impaired Mike Lindell that "they" (The Deep State? The Democrats? Mitch McConnell?) "basically used COVID-19 or the China virus to rig the election, and it’s a shame." It's also patently false and behind it is the root cause of one of our country's most severe tragedies ever. The U.S. is closing in on 800,000 certified COVID deaths. You could argue that not every single one of them is attributable to Trump. OK; how's this? Trump and his allies killed 750,000 Americans by ignoring COVID-19 warnings and then by politicizing the response. Even now, over a thousand Americans a day are dying of COVID, as Trump and his allies work overtime to undermine mask and vaccine mandates, which is how America handled-- successfully-- every other pandemic we've ever dealt with. Vaccine refusal, new cases, hospitalizations and deaths are especially high in counties where extremely low IQ voters, unable to think abstractly, worship Trump.
New cases have been spiking dangerously in 7 states, but the counties responsible (proportionally)-- whether in a red state of a blue state-- are counties that voted for Trump. Keep in mind that vaccination rates under 67% are extremely dangerous; vaccination rates under 75% are dangerous.
Minnesota- 59% vaccinated (45.3% Trump)
Benton Co.- 37% vaccinated (64.6% Trump)
Kanabec Co.- 38% vaccinated (67.9% Trump)
Todd Co.- 38% vaccinated (73.6% Trump)
Pennsylvania- 62% vaccinated (48.8% Trump)
Potter Co.- 31% vaccinated (79.9% Trump)
Fulton Co.- 32% vaccinated (85.5% Trump)
Bedford Co.- 35% vaccinated (83.5% Trump)
Ohio- 53% vaccinated (53.3% Trump)
Holmes Co.- 17% vaccinated (83.2% Trump)
Adams Co.- 31% vaccinated (81.3% Trump)
Shelby Co.- 33% vaccinated (80.7% Trump)
California- 62% vaccinated (34.3% Trump)
Lassen Co.- 25% vaccinated (74.5% Trump)
Mariposa Co.- 38% vaccinated (57.9% Trump)
Modoc Co.- 39% vaccinated (71.2% Trump)
Texas- 54% vaccinated (52.1% Trump)
King Co.- 17% vaccinated (95.0% Trump)
Loving Co.- 19% vaccinated (90.9% Trump)
Gaines Co.- 20% vaccinated (89.3% Trump)
Wisconsin- 59% vaccinated (48.8% Trump)
Taylor Co.- 33% vaccinated (71.6% Trump)
Clark Co.- 34% vaccinated (67% Trump)
Rusk Co.- 38% vaccinated (66.7% Trump)
New York- 68% vaccinated (37.7% Trump)
Allegany Co.- 40% vaccinated (68.2% Trump)
Wyoming Co.- 47% vaccinated (71.6% Trump)
Lewis Co.- 48% vaccinated (68.7% Trump)
Trump and the GOP want the country to focus on anything but their culpability for the pandemic. This morning Trump was ranting and raving about Republican Senate leader McConnell's treachery again...:
... and stoking the embers of a Republican Party civil war, threatening to tear his own party apart if it dares oppose his insane QAnon claims that he really won the election. He is insisting that the GOP retaliate against anyone he labels a RINO, meaning someone who stands up to him on anything, ever. While 3 bipartisan votes were passing today to censure white nationalist crackpot Paul Gosar (R-AZ), the far right wing of the GOP, which is virtually all of it these days, was fighting about how to punish John Katko (NY), Nicole Malliotakis (NY), Tom Reed (NY), Andrew Garbarino (NY), Chris Smith (NJ), Jeff Van Drew (NJ), Don Bacon (NE), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Don Young (AK), Fred Upton (MI), David McKinley (WV), Anthony Gonzales (OH) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA).
Scott Wong reported that "That jarring contrast was on display during a bizarre closed-door GOP conference meeting on Tuesday that highlighted the deep divisions that continue to exist between the pro-Trump and anti-Trump factions of the party, 10 months after the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. The divisions do not appear to be narrowing, either, pointing to the challenges the GOP could face in governing the House if they are successful in taking back the majority in next fall’s midterms. In the private meeting in the Capitol basement, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy warned his rank-and-file Republicans that they need to stick together and stay unified-- not attack each other-- as they focus on defeating Democrats, sources in the room said. That message was primarily aimed at Trump allies who have demanded that the 13 Republicans be stripped of their committee assignments for handing Biden a big bipartisan victory on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package. Trump has called Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill 'RINOs, sellouts, and known losers.'" McCarthy's message was not the neo-fascist wing was ready to listen to, probably sealing his fate as the guy who almost-but-never became Speaker twice.
Peace inside the GOP was short-lived. Moments later, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC), a member of the Trump-aligned conservative House Freedom Caucus, filed a motion to oust New York Rep. John Katko as the top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee. Bishop, not usually known for making headlines, serves under Katko on the Homeland panel.
McCarthy quickly referred the motion to the GOP Steering Committee, an influential panel dominated by McCarthy allies that could either vote to refer the Bishop motion to the full 213-member GOP conference or, more likely, table and ignore it.
Asked after the gathering whether Katko should be removed from his post, McCarthy told The Hill: “We’ve got a busy week.”
Later in the closed-door meeting, McCarthy had to deal with another Freedom Caucus problem. He got into a testy exchange with Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who complained to the leader that GOP voters are furious with him because 13 of his GOP colleagues voted for the Biden infrastructure plan. McCarthy fired back, saying he’s personally had to defend some controversial votes that Roy has taken.
“Name one! Name one!” Roy yelled at McCarthy, according to a source who saw the heated exchange.
Tuesday’s messy conference meeting neatly encapsulated the tightrope McCarthy is walking in his quest to lead his party back to the majority and win the Speaker’s gavel: To capture the top job, he needs to stay in the good graces of Trump and win support from at least some members of his Freedom Caucus acolytes, while at the same time not alienating swing-district moderates like Katko who will be key to a GOP majority.
“I believe [Katko’s] a Democrat. I don’t believe that leadership should be voting against the majority of the conference, ” said Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), a Freedom Caucus member and vocal Trump ally. “The ‘Biden 13’ need to be primaried.”
But other Republicans, even those who voted against the infrastructure bill, defended Katko, saying he represents a district in a blue state that favored Biden over Trump by 9 points. Katko also was one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 attack, and negotiated a deal with Democrats to create a 9/11-style commission to probe the insurrection by a pro-Trump mob.
“Katko represents a very difficult district. He does everything he possibly can to win. And I think he does the best he can to represent his district as effectively as he can,” Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), an ally of both Katko and McCarthy, told The Hill.
“It’s always a situation where we have to vote what we think is right for our districts,” Valadao added. “And you look at the whole Northeast, it’s just a different population. I don’t know John’s district that well, but I think he does what he thinks is best.”
Katko and some of the dozen other Republicans who backed Biden’s infrastructure package, including Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), have received death threats and other threats of violence.
...After months of headlines about Democratic dysfunction over their massive $1.75 trillion climate and social spending bill, party leaders were thrilled to talk about Republican intraparty warfare.
“The House Republican Conference is all about chaos, crisis, confusion, corruption and controversy. They are trying to sanction members and strip them of committees, not because of outrageous violent threats but because they supported … a bipartisan infrastructure agreement that will make a positive difference in the lives of everyday Americans,” Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) told eporters.
“This is what the House Republican Conference under Kevin McCarthy’s leadership is all about right now-- they’re out of control.”
While this was going on, one of Trump's grifty super PACs, Saving America released a heavy metal video calling for Republican voters to defeat incumbents, a mix of Republicans who voted to impeach Trump and others who voted for the infrastructure bill: Tom Rice (SC), John Katko (NY), Don Bacon (NE), Don Young (AK), Fred Upton (MI), Andrew Garbarino (NY), Peter Meijer (MI), David McKinley (WV), Nancy Mace (SC), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), Chris Smith (NJ), Liz Cheney (WY), Lisa Murkowski (AK)-- and then crowing how 3 of Trump's enemies who won't run for reelection (Tom Reed, Adam Kinzinger and Anthony Gonzalez).
Interestingly, Trump's endorsements are not driving determined Republican Senate candidates who he didn't endorse out of their races. The most high-profile of them is in Pennsylvania, where Trump endorsed vicious wife-beater Scott Parnell, causing his Republican opponent, Jeff Bartos, to redouble his efforts to utterly destroy Parnell's reputation, which will help whichever Democrat runs isn the general election. Senate candidates in North Carolina and Georgia, where Trump endorsed weak candidates, respectively Tedd Budd and Herschel Walker, have also ignored Trump's endorsements.