#5A: “Desantis for President” FEC filing
We were filing our quarterly reports for our Saving America 2024 PAC, which uses data-driven analytics to target Congressional races in which insurrectionist GOP members are up for re-election next year, when I noticed a peculiar filing.
I was looking to fact check the Trump claim about raising $1.5 million after his premature arrestulation post in March.
The itemized contributions aren’t available on the FEC yet to check this claim for the week of his false flag arrest.
We do know that his official campaign committee, Donald J. Trump for President 2024, only raised $16,361.04 from individuals between November 15, 2022 and March 31, 2023.
However, most of Trump’s fundraising is done by the “Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee,” not his campaign committee.
I ventured over to the main fundraising page for the FEC, looking at other candidates for President, and I noticed two things.
First, John Castro has $40 million. I don’t know who that is or how he has outraised Trump. I as about to start looking into Castro but was immediately distracted by the second thing I saw: an April 8 filing for “DeSantis for President.”
I immediately tweeted the “breaking news” about DeSantis quietly filing his campaign paperwork.
The filing was digitally signed by “Ronald Dion Desantis” on April 8, 2023, per the FEC records.
The FEC enacted policies in 2016 to prevent abuse of their systems, yet the “Desantis for President” committee was submitted, processed, posted and still active 10 days later.
Less than 30 minutes later, I was informed by Laura Loomer that the filing was a fake.
I corrected my tweet, deleting the original one and adding a note about the alleged unauthorized filing.
Despite the news of the unauthorized filing spreading like wildfire online, the FEC website still had the campaign paperwork up as of April 18, 2023.
We’re still not sure what’s going on, but the committee does authorize DeSantis to campaign for President whether it’s a fake or not. However, since the Florida resign-to-run law has not yet passed in the state legislature, fake or not, the filing requires his immediate resignation.
The change of the resign to run bill is scheduled to be heard in committee Thursday, April 20, 2023 at 9:30 AM ET.
#5B: Fake Trump Posts
With the allegedly unauthorized “Desantis for President” filing came a flurry of fake Truth Social posts by Donald Trump.
Admittedly, we fell for it.
Within minutes, Ron Filipowski (the man who became a mainstream critic of DeSantis and the GOP after publicly resigning over the 2020 raid on my home) posted that the Truth Social Trump posts were fake, too.
Apparently quite a few fake Trump posts popped up about that time, but Filipowski debunked them all.
#4: TYT TERF goes berserk
Last week I received a link to a YouTube video by Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks (TYT).
Kasparian, recently in the news for a bizarre anti-trans rant on Twitter, “came across” a Daily Mail article from 2020 and a National[ist] Review blog post from 2021, both about me and both widely debunked, and did an entire segment based solely on those two articles.
Pretending she was breaking an investigative story, Kasparian regurgitated just about every lie the DeSantis administration has told about me and my whistleblower case in less than 18 minutes.
A friend of mine with a show at TYT suggested we do a play-by-play on every bit of propaganda Kasparian parroted, so we did.
I had already been working on putting together a comprehensive timeline of the viral life I’ve lived since 2020, posted here, so much of the defamatory allegations in the YouTube video had already been addressed.
#3: Ralph Yarl, Kaylin Gillis, mass shootings and the lie of the good guy with a gun; Media framing of Ralph Yarl
A white man shot an unarmed black teenager on April 13, 2023.
Ralph Yarl, 16, went to pick up his younger brothers from a friend’s house and rang the doorbell of the wrong address.
Andrew Lester then shot Ralph in the head through his glass screen door with a .32 caliber revolver. According to the shooter’s own statements, Lester looked Ralph in the eye and shot him in the head once, then shot him again in the arm after the teen fell to the ground.
By some miracle, Ralph was able to stumble away and seek help.
He went to three different homes of people who refused to help him, until someone finally told him to lay on the ground with his hands up and called police.
The shooter, Andrew Lester, has been reported to be either 84 or 85 in various media outlets.
He was questioned and released by police, who falsely claimed they were unable to get a statement from Ralph while he was in the hospital.
Only after public outcry and protests did Kansas City prosecutors step in and charge Lester with felony assault in first degree and armed criminal action.
Missouri does not have an attempted murder charge, so the felony assault charge is the harshest charge possible in this case. The assault charge carries a sentence of 10 to 30 years, or life imprisonment, and armed criminal action 3 to 15 years.
The police chief claimed on Sunday that there was no indication that the shooting was racially motivated.
On Monday, the prosecutor said he believed there was a racial component to the case. The prosecutor said a hate crime charge would not be possible under Missouri law.
Even more miraculously, Ralph went home this weekend and is expected to make a full recovery in time.
It’s worth noting that this shooting happened just days after Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced he planned to pardon a recently-convicted racist who shot and killed 28-year-old veteran Garrett Foster.
Media ethics question of the week: When do we report on race in stories like that of Ralph Yarl? And when does race become the focal point of the story?
The headlines for this story were all over the place.
The Wall Street Journal went out of its way to avoid mentioning not just the race of the shooter, but also the race of the victim. Local affiliates and even The New York Times included the race of the victim, but not the race of the shooter.
Others awkwardly referred to the shooter by his housing status of “homeowner,” a passive means of establishing credibility and diminishing fault in news.
CNN included all of it.
I’m of the opinion that things like race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality and other protected statuses shouldn’t make headlines unless those aspects played a fundamental role in the events.
In the case of the convicted murderer in Texas, the killer targeted his victim because of his race. The man who shot Ralph gave a statement specifically saying he looked at the teenager, shot him and then told him “not to come around here.”
Both the race of the perpetrator and the race of the victim were key determinants in those stories.
However, that’s not always the case.
I argued this following the Covenant School shooting in Tennessee, as well, which is still mired in controversy and slim on the details as to motive.
As there is no indication at this point that the shooter’s gender identity played any part in motivating the shooting, or that the school’s religious affiliation made them a target, neither of those aspects should take up space in the headline.
Homeowner is never a relevant detail in describing murder, unless you’re dealing specifically with a homeowner vs renter situation, e.g. “Renter shoots homeowner who tried to evict him.”
In that case, the relationship of homeowner and renter is the story.
Had the headline about Ralph’s story read “Home renter shoots unarmed black teen” readers would be struck and confused by the detail of home ownership status being included as the only description of the shooter.
#2: WACO/OK Bombing anniversary
Growing up, I knew very little about what happened at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas in 1993.
I knew there was a religious cult and a stand off, but not much more than that.
I knew even less about the Oklahoma City bombing two years later.
I had no idea the two were connected. I had never heard of the incident at Ruby Ridge. I was blissfully unaware of the conspiracy theories about all three events until very recently.
We’re recording this episode one day before the 30th anniversary marking the end of the siege at Waco, which means you’ll see it one day after.
This anniversary “inspired” subsequent acts of domestic terrorism, including the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the Oklahoma City bombing in 2004, a near-act of terrorism in Birmingham, Alabama in 2004, ,the Bundy standoff in 2014
So let’s break down what is known about what happened in Waco, keeping in mind that all accounts of the incidents there come from one of two sources, each necessitating extreme scrutiny and skepticism: the federal agencies involved in the standoff and the Branch Davidians survivors.
Vernon Howell, who changed his name to David Koresh in 1990, led a religious group called the Branch Davidians in a small town near Waco, Texas.
The group had been amassing illegal weapons for what Koresh believed was the opening of the “Fifth Seal,” which he claimed would be a firefight between his followers and the government.
A mailman reported the group to the ATF because he believed he was delivering grenades to the compound. ATF went to serve the warrant and all hell broke loose.
Those are the only indisputable facts aside from the number of dead.
#1: Our 4/20 DARE decimation
We could host an entire series looking only at the disinformation and propaganda spread as part of the so-called “War on Drugs.”
Drug and alcohol prohibition laws in America pre-date the Louisiana Purchase, but the majority of modern drug laws started during the Puritan scare following World War I.
The first national ban on drugs was passed in 1914. The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act sought to control the production and distribution of opium and coca.
Five years later, the 18th Amendment banned alcohol. A year after that, we passed the National Prohibition Act. The combined post-war addiction of wounded and traumatized soldiers and the rise of pseudo-Evangelical nationalism led to massive, costly and deadly anti-drug policies in the United States during the 1920’s.
Realizing what a mistake prohibition was, the United States passed the 21st Amendment to repeal the 18th Amendment in 1933.
The official “War on Drugs” started with the creation of the US Drug Enforcement Agency decades later.
If you’ve never read Merchants of Doubt, you should.
Merchants of Doubt details how the Heartland Institute and others deliberately misled the public about the dangers of everything from smoking cigarettes to climate change. This of course overlapped with the same period that ads warning about the dangers of marijuana aired frequently as PSAs.
The resources dedicated to waging the failed “War on Drugs” run us about $51 billion annually, but cumulatively total more than $1 trillion of taxpayer funding.
For now, let’s talk about one of these failed programs: DARE.
The Raegan administration waged war on the gay community, porn, weed, poor people, working people and pretty much everything targeted , the impacts of which still pervert society today.
DARE was founded in 1983, the year after Raegan was elected. By the early 1990s, DARE was government-funded and forced into 75% of schools in the country.
Initially part of Raegan’s “War on Drugs,” it also warned small children about the “dangers” of graffiti and tattoos.
DARE officials even tried to sue to prevent the publications of studies showing that the program led to INCREASED drug use.
Anti-pot hysteria: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR9sDYPjNfI
Funniest anti-weed commercials from back in the day: https://www.westword.com/marijuana/ten-funniest-anti-marijuana-ads-from-the-past-10092790