Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that over the course of the 2020 election, the Trump campaign ripped off unwitting supporters for tens of millions of dollars. It did so through an extremely simple yet wildly deceitful scheme in which the default option for donations authorized the campaign to transfer the pledged amount from people’s bank accounts not once but every single week. Later, the campaign introduced a second prechecked box that doubled a person’s contribution and was known internally as a “money bomb.” In order for people to have picked up on this before it was too late, they would have had to wade through “lines of text in bold and capital letters that overwhelmed the opt-out language.” Few people did, hence why the two and half months leading up the the election, the Trump campaign, the RNC, and their shared accounts were forced to issue a whopping 530,000 refunds worth $64.3 million to online donors, compared to the 37,000 online refunds of $5.6 million that Joe Biden‘s campaign and his equivalent Democratic committees refunded. “Bandits!” Victor Amelino, a 78-year-old Californian whose $990 donation turned into nearly $8,000, told the Times of the scheme, and you can probably understand why!
Yet apparently, Republicans associated with Donald Trump have not changed their tactics in light of the very bad press; they’ve upped the ante. By which we mean that in addition to continuing to use prechecked boxes to bilk supporters, they’re threatening to rat out anyone who doesn’t agree to recurring donations to the ex-president.
Per the Times:
The political arm of House Republicans is deploying a prechecked box to enroll donors into repeating monthly donations—and using ominous language to warn them of the consequences if they opt out: “If you UNCHECK this box, we will have to tell Trump you’re a DEFECTOR.”
The language appears to be an effort by the National Republican Congressional Committee to increase its volume of recurring donations, which are highly lucrative, while invoking former President Donald J. Trump’s popularity with the conservative base. Those donors who do not proactively uncheck the box will have their credit cards billed or bank accounts deducted for donations every month.
Here’s what the box looks like, in all its psychotic glory:
In a statement, Michael McAdams, a spokesman for the NRCC, said the committee “employs the same standards that are accepted and utilized by Democrats and Republicans across the digital fund-raising ecosystem.” He did not say if he’d ever come across a Democratic fundraising notice that read “If you UNCHECK this box, we will have to tell Joe Biden you’re a dirty rotten scoundrel and a traitor to the party.”
Anyway, it’s presumably a matter of time until these messages escalate to “If you UNCHECK this box, we will have to tell Trump you’re a traitor who deserves to die” or “If you UNCHECK this box we’ll kill your whole family and make it look like an accident!”
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Rudy Giuliani’s son is threatening to run for governor of New York
“Outside of anybody named Trump, I think I have the best chance to win and take the state back, and I think there’s an opportunity in 2022 with a wounded Democratic candidate, whether it’s going to be Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo, whether it’s going to be a radical [Attorney General] Letitia James, whether it’s going to be a no-name lieutenant governor, I think there’s a very, very real chance to win,” Andrew Giuliani told the Washington Examiner. “I believe I can win the race. I think I’m the right candidate, and this is the right time to help change New York State, and we’ve got a playbook that works.”
What, exactly, are the younger Giuliani’s qualifications to be governor outside of being the son of a guy who once served as mayor of New York City before his descent into madness? Well, to be honest, there aren’t many. He‘s never been elected to public office. He did work in the Trump White House, but not necessarily something to write home about, or to campaign on, given that Trump is despised by most New Yorkers. According to the Washington Examiner, Giuliani “has been encouraged to enter the race by several big donors and allies, including former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.” Not mentioned is the fact that Kerik is a convicted felon who pleaded guilty in 2010 to tax fraud and other charges. (Naturally, he was pardoned by Donald Trump.) Kerik also made a name for himself, according to The New York Times, by conducting an affair at an apartment near Ground Zero that was reserved for 9/11 rescue workers.
Trump has not yet endorsed a candidate for the 2022 governor’s race, though he has reportedly been advising Giuliani, who he has known for decades. Andrew apparently considers the ex-president an uncle, and the two often golfed together over the last four years. And speaking of golf:
In case you were wondering: In the lawsuit, Giuliani “acknowledged that he may have misbehaved in February when he tossed an apple in a teammate’s face, flipped his putter a few feet, threw and broke a club and gunned his engine in a parking lot.” According to The New York Times, Giuliani had been told that he could keep his spot if every member of the team said they wanted him to stay and why, though apparently they didn’t. Five players emailed him to explain that they preferred he be cut, making it clear that they weren‘t saying so under duress by the coaching staff.
Four Republican lawmakers want to make it extremely clear they don’t believe in science (or doing things for the greater good)
You probably won’t be surprised to hear Ron Johnson is a member of the group. Per The Washington Post:
At least four GOP senators have not been vaccinated, nor are they sharing any plans to do so in the near future. An ophthalmologist, a businessman, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and one of the GOP’s most frequent spreaders of conspiracy theories are among the lawmakers who have previously provided reporters with varying reasons for why they haven’t been jabbed yet. GOP Sens. Rick Scott (Fla.) and Ron Johnson (Wis.) did not respond to Power Up’s request for comment on if and when they plan to receive the coronavirus vaccine as Republican voters—and GOP men in particular—has emerged as one of the most vaccine hesitant demographics. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) has cited concerns about the vaccine’s ties to abortion as a reason he had not yet been vaccinated. In a statement provided to Power Up, Braun declined to disclose his vaccination status and scolded those “keeping tabs on who has or has not received a vaccine through ‘passports’ or lists.”
A spokesperson for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) reiterated the Kentucky lawmaker’s claims he’s “developed an immune defense to the virus” after testing positive for coronavirus last March, and is “following the science on the vaccines and masks for those who have developed immunity.” There’s no such evidence, however, that people who have already contracted the virus are now immune to it, according to widespread public health guidance.
Paul has recently carved out a niche for himself by publicly fighting with Dr. Anthony Fauci over the need for people to wear masks amidst a public health crisis concerning a highly contagious virus, and in news that may or may not shock you, the lawmaker is on the anti-mask side.
A reasonable request that will undoubtedly be ignored
Hospitals are seeing more young adults with severe COVID symptoms, CDC says (CNBC)
White House Considering Nearly Doubling Obama’s Climate Pledge (Bloomberg)
SEC Accuses Actor of $690 Million Fraud Based on Fake Netflix Deal (Bloomberg)
McConnell’s threat to punish corporations opposing GOP policies is unconstitutional (Vox)
How right-wing media keeps smearing George Floyd with the racist “no angel” narrative (Washington Post)
The power of televising Derek Chauvin’s trial (Vox)
Biden open to negotiating on corporate tax hike, but says U.S. must take bold action on infrastructure (CNBC)
You’re Going Back to the Office. What Happens to Your Nap Habit? (WSJ)
“No vaccine, no vag-een” (Glamour)
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