How AT&T helped build far-right One America News

A Reuters review of court records shows the role AT&T played in creating and funding OAN, a network that continues to spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic.

OAN founder and chief executive Robert Herring Sr has testified that the inspiration to launch OAN in 2013 came from AT&T executives.

“They told us they wanted a conservative network,” Herring said during a 2019 deposition seen by Reuters. “They only had one, which was Fox News, and they had seven others on the other [leftwing] side. When they said that, I jumped to it and built one.”

Reuters

Right-Wing Solution to Hiring Problems: Cut Unemployment Pay. Impose Desperation for Low-Wage Jobs. Right-Wing Philosophy: Sticks are Better Than Carrots.

This right-wing website expends a great deal of effort bemoaning the inability of companies to find workers (mostly low-wage workers).

The problem, according to this right-wing view: The government’s unemployment pay assistance. The solution appears to be: Make workers suffer low income so they are forced to take low-wage jobs.

Completely ignored: The pandemic, workers’ fear of catching the virus, and one other solution: Increase wages.

Republicans Screwed Up on Biden’s Relief Bill

Numerous Republican politicians have been denouncing the relief bill recently passed by Democrats. It’s part of a planned, coordinated, strategy by Republicans to turn public opinion against the bill (75% of the public likes the bill).

“The [Republican National Committee] circulated rapid response emails and put together research documents on the legislation that they blasted out to reporters.”

“Republicans lost credibility on that issue during the Trump years, especially the first couple years when we had the power to do something about it,” said Brendan Steinhauser, a Republican consultant and former campaign manager to Texas Sen. John Cornyn. “There was no interest in doing anything about it. It was just, ‘let’s not even talk about spending or the debt or deficit or anything like that.’”

Politico

Texas Power Failure: Thank “Free Market Economics” and Hatred of Federal Government

Millions of Texans have gone days without power or heat in subfreezing temperatures brought on by snow and ice storms. Limited regulations on companies that generate power and a history of isolating Texas from federal oversight help explain the crisis, energy and policy experts told The Texas Tribune.

Policy observers blamed the power system failure on the legislators and state agencies who they say did not properly heed the warnings of previous storms or account for more extreme weather events warned of by climate scientists. Instead, Texas prioritized the free market.

Texas Tribune

Rebekah Mercer: As Dangerous as Trump?

Mercer has been financing a host of right-wing individuals and groups involved in the storming of the Capitol, The Intercept reported earlier this month, from Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward to “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander, in addition to her role as a financier of news website Breitbart and the social network Parler. In 2020, Mercer’s father, Robert Mercer, donated $1.5 million to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, and the Mercers donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Republican National Committee.

The Mercers also own a firearms company, Centre Firearms Co., with a warehouse in Queens, New York, that includes “an Mk 19 belt-fed grenade launcher, capable of hurling 60 explosives per minute.”

“It’s clear that Mercer is not only funding extremist and far-right groups, but she is also reading their rhetoric on her platform, Parler,” said Margaret Huang, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “It’s no surprise that her language mirrors that of the hate groups — they are all on the same team. We need to start seeing donors like Mercer as part of the problem; she is enabling those who are trying to overturn the government.”

The Intercept

Republican Attorneys General Dark Money Group Organized Protest Preceding Capitol Mob Attack

The Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF), a 501(c)(4) arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), helped organize the protest preceding the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol that took place on January 6, 2021. 

As a 501(c)(4), RLDF is not required to reveal its donors. RLDF has received at least $175,000 from the Koch-backed Freedom Partners. Other RLDF donors include Judicial Crisis Network, the Rule of Law Project, and the Edison Electric Institute.

Documented

Why Are Conservatives More Susceptible to Believing Lies?

An interplay between how all humans think and how conservatives tend to act might actually explain a lot about our current moment.

Many conservatives have a loose relationship with facts. The right-wing denial of what most people think of as accepted reality starts with political issues: As recently as 2016, 45 percent of Republicans still believed that the Affordable Care Act included “death panels” (it doesn’t). A 2015 poll found that 54 percent of GOP primary voters believed then-President Obama to be a Muslim (…he isn’t).

Then there are the false beliefs about generally accepted science. Only 25 percent of self-proclaimed Trump voters agree that climate change is caused by human activities. Only 43 percent of Republicans overall believe that humans have evolved over time.

And then it gets really crazy. Almost 1 in 6 Trump voters, while simultaneously viewing photographs of the crowds at the 2016 inauguration of Donald Trump and at the 2012 inauguration of Barack Obama , insisted that the former were larger. Sixty-six percent of self-described “very conservative” Americans seriously believe that “Muslims are covertly implementing Sharia law in American courts.” Forty-six percent of Trump voters polled just after the 2016 election either thought that Hillary Clinton was connected to a child sex trafficking ring run out of the basement of a pizzeria in Washington, D.C., or weren’t sure if it was true.

…the right seems to specialize in it. “Misinformation is currently predominantly a pathology of the right,” concluded a team of scholars from the Harvard Kennedy School and Northeastern University at a February 2017 conference. A BuzzFeed analysis found that three main hyperconservative Facebook pages were roughly twice as likely as three leading ultraliberal Facebook pages to publish fake or misleading information.

Slate.com

How Trump Is Losing His Base

Focus groups with working-class and rural voters show the deep health care crisis in America, and trouble for Trump’s re-election.

The heartbreaking health care crisis that is ravaging working-class and rural communities threatens to cut short Donald Trump’s political career, and demands a forceful response from opposition Democrats. It will teach big lessons about how to reach working people who are struggling, regardless of color.

The American Prospect

What McConnell, others said about Merrick Garland in 2016 vs. after Ginsburg’s death

When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, Senate Republicans came out of the gate insisting that his seat not be filled due to the presidential election about nine months away. The Democrats vehemently disagreed. But ultimately, President Barack Obama’s last Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland — a judge who mainly agreed with now Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative, when they served together on the appeals court — never received a hearing.

USA Today

Here’s what Mitch McConnell said about not filing a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year