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Rapper  Forgiato Blow shows off his Trump jewelry this weekend at CPAC 2024.
Further

Be Not Afraid: All Glory to God, Trump, Newsmax and Bigots

CPAC is back! Weirder, shriller, fringier, more paranoid than ever, with many empty seats but God allegedly still on the side of the cranks and zealots. Cue vapid, vicious, fear-mongering goons who, now saying the ugly part aloud, bray about evil trans people, stampeding "aliens," looming communists and pet-marrying while heralding Christian nationalism, "cool" dictators, the "Bible Uncancelled" and the glad "end of democracy." A republic if you can keep it: Welcome to today's forsaken, brutish GOP.

Of course CPAC 2024, in all its shabby lunacy, reflects the increasingly rabid party - Free J6! - from which it sprang. Once a marquee conservative event that drew top GOP lawmakers and presidential contenders, it's become an "emptier, jankier, lower-rent" affair by a party lunging ever further into the wingnut galaxy, its hapless denizens endlessly spouting stupid, awful things. Klan Mom MTG: Judge Arthur Engeron should be "disrobed" for undervaluing Mar-A-Hellhole. Trump lackey: His overlord's "Never Surrender High-Tops" will get him black votes because "Black America loves sneakers, especially in the inner city." DeSantis: Their V.P. should be a white man because "we don't want people representing 10 or 15% of the party to be in the driver’s seat." Tommy Tuberville: "These socialists and Marxists (want) to control our children" like Hillary's "it takes a village" because "she doesn’t like your home (and) she wants to indoctrinate your children"; also, the government "has become the father, they hate Christianity, they are going to come after you."

The creepy avatar for this assemblage of "craven rodeo clowns" is House Speaker Mike Johnson, a smarmy, doe-eyed, coup-plotting, Christian fundamentalist who's spent his career working for hate groups, arguing deviant" homosexuals will destroy democracy, same-sex marriage is like people marrying their pets, and abortion is the killing of both "unborn children" and potential "able-bodied workers in the economy." Boasting the Bible is "my worldview," he took his then-13-year-old daughter to a Purity Ball where she pledged to him and God her "purity of mind, body and soul," he promotes a "Covenant Eyes" app that allows him and his 17-year-old son/ "accountability partner" to monitor each other's porn habits - clean slates all around! - and before he became Speaker God began waking him at night to prepare him to serve as Moses leading the nation through a "Red Sea moment...The Lord impressed upon my heart something was going to occur." And it was: The House was in such chaos they chose a backbench demagogue who thought governance meant saving America from heathens.

Evidently, it doesn't. Teetering with a bare majority and boisterous hard-right clique, having lost another special election, seen its fake Biden impeachment implode and failed to address not just a looming shutdown but in fact anything at all, the bumbling House threw a dim-witted Hail Mary and decided to impeach Homeland Security head Alejandro Mayorkas - a move widely derided as "ridiculous" - for failing to fix the border after they sabotaged a bi-partisan bill to fix the border. Then they holed up at a Miami resort to lick their wounds at a leadership retreat where, rather than giving them leadership, Johnson gave them a sermon complete with Biblical references about America's ungodly moral decline, which made lawmakers worried about keeping their jobs grumble they were "not at church" and what the hell? Meanwhile, with the GOP's SCOTUS-facilitated war on women, IVF, and even "recreational sex" in full swing, Johnson fudges on his past (and future?) efforts to go after contraception - "I really don't remember any of those measures" - and lurches ahead crafting the patriarchal theocracy of his dreams.

In that he's in step with The Big Orange Guy, who says once in power he'll create a task force to fight imaginary "anti-Christian bias" by "Marxists and fascists" (FYI not the same); he's also plotting with a right-wing think tank whose mission is to re-define America as "a nation under God," with a mandate declaring, "Freedom is defined by God, not man." In pursuit of Gilead - and because last month his PAC raised $8,508 as he spent $3.9 million, mostly on lawyers - he just spoke to a gathering of evangelical broadcasters while hawking gold IRAs "to protect your retirement from D.C.'s policies" and Ivermectin: "Make Care Great Again." He decried Dems murdering babies, "taking away knocker fields from children" and creating "dirty roads, crime, graffiti, swastickers." He also boasted "everybody on both sides" agrees Roe had to go, he's beating Haley by 91 points, "Israel is the capital of Israel," and "you're going to say as you want (and) believe in God" through "the love of Christ and the voices of famed...evangell...lllical....people and...eee-vangelis." Ok, so he can't say evangelical, but sure he's your guy.

Big Awful Guy's implausible fervor was dutifully, garishly replicated atCPAC, held at the fantastically named Gaylord Convention Center outside D.C., where his and God's faithful touted "the greatest nation in all the world," except for, you know, the swastickers. Amidst red, white and blue everything and pounding bad music, the meager crowd drifted through a half-empty exhibit hall offering a Jan. 6-themed pinball game, a vibrating board to stand on to magically lose weight, an 18th-century-style booth likening Biden to King George lll, and a mountain of tawdry MAGA merch: "Woke Tears" water - "identifies as transparent" - rhinestone hats blaring "I Love Jesus" and "Fuck Biden," Trump shirts, hammocks, bobbleheads, sparkly gun-shaped purses. Sponsors were fewer and tackier: Moms For America, many groups with the word "liberty," Newsmax with ads shouting "you don't need those woke streaming services," and now they're letting their fascist flag fly proudly, the previously banished John Birch Society. Streaming was by the insurrectionist-favored Rumble; links often didn't work, but went to a donation page.

Attendance was much sparser than previously, down from around 13,000 to the hundreds; when photos emerged of speakers facing a sea of empty seats, a right-wing site wailed, "What an embarrassment." Country singer Natasha Owens sang the national anthem in a huge black dress declaring "2nd Amendment Protects the First," and a banner trumpeted the new theme, tweaked from the unfortunately DeSantis-themed "woke" shtick: "Where Globalism (WHO and the UN) Goes To Die." Speakers were mostly not totalitarian BA-listers: The mayor of Riverton, Utah, an Oklahoma rep, the head of CPAC Australia, Peter Navarro who's headed to jail, a "businessman" who like everyone railed against transgender health care: "Woke doctors should be in prison." But there were several big shots: Stephen 'Goebbels' Miller, Mike 'Pillow' Lindell, Disgrace to All Brain Surgeons Ben Carson, the new authoritarian presidents of Argentina and El Salvador, and a ragged array of VP hopefuls - Noem, Vance, Scott, Stefanik, Gabbard, Ramaswamy - all of whom, in a relative universe, Big Guy has called "good" and "solid."

Welcome speeches were by CPAC's devout Queen and molesting King, Mercedes and Matt Schlapp. Greeted with limp applause - "Lemme hear you! Wake up!" - Mercedes declaimed, "Be not afraid!" before telling her 17 listeners, "We're gonna take this country back (from the) leftist propaganda machine." "You are instruments," she said. "God has put you here at this time to do this great work that needs to be done...Communism pushes the culture of death, we push the culture of life. You are assembled here in front of God to be the front line in this battle." Facing multi-million-dollar sexual assault - and now document-shredding - charges by several young men, Matt announced, "This is our time, this is our moment." Pledging his support for the "unique American who is being persecuted, who is being tortured" by communist "lawfare," he turned to his sorcerer in the sky: "Lord God, you said that if we trust in you we will mount up with wings like eagles. Well, God, we're ready to soar." Like many, Tik Toker Incrediberry is dubious in a country where, in an election between Jesus and Satan with an "R" by his name, "Jesus would lose in a landslide."


Still, they gathered for workshops titled The Bible Uncancelled, No Woke Warriors, God's Children Are Not For Sale, Bidenomics: Bad For America's Health, Would Moses Go to Harvard?, Putting Our Heads in the Gas Stove, Ramaswamy Unplugged, Going Full Hungarian: Stopping Georgey (sic) Soros, From Gaza to Greenwich Village: A Guide to Fighting Contemporary Jew-Hatred, and What You Talkin' Bout Fani Willis, presented by esteemed legal scholar and Black linguist Jim Jordan. He was also among a host of out-Trumping-Trump speakers - paranoid losers, zealots, liars, a "who’s who of who won’t accept the results of the election" with wildly unintelligible notions and short attention spans - to offer 20-minute rants about an amorphous, all-powerful "left" who control damn near everything, which is why they can't have nice things. "The left controls big media, big tech, big corporations, big sports, academia, Hollywood, the Senate and White House," he whined, before bravely adding, "But the left doesn’t control we the people."

But we the people, it turns out, often make little sense. Lara Trump said Dems think "you can change your gender like you change your shoes, and that at night she and the other son lead their kids in saying their prayers and the Pledge of Allegiance. Elise Stefanik said Ivy League campuses are "dens of anti-Semitism" where "radical leftist rot (is) destroying the minds of the next generation." The Daily Wire's Michael Knowles, quoting Humpty Dumpty - "the question is which is to be master?" - said trans people reveal the decline of religion and marriage, which is "nothing other than a sign of God's love." "Liberals think they're God, but they can't really turn a couple of men, or a couple of women, or three men and a billy goat for that matter into a marriage." Former Trump something Monica Crowley warned patriots to beware an upcoming "CATFIGHT: Michelle v. Kamala" - it was a workshop - because "Democrats (are) communists, and communists always have a plan...The left has a host group of power brokers working with the deep state, which is real."

Kristi Noem said right now "there are people who love America and there are those who hate America" and "Joe Biden is destroying America." Stephen Miller said Trump's legal cases "are proof big broad laws will be used to crush us." Kurt Schlichter said "Joe Biden is the capo of a criminal organization." The U.K.'s Liz Truss said "we need a bigger bazooka against the deep state" after Joe Biden helped destroy her 7-week reign; nobody knew who she was, but one guy thought her speech was "on the same parallel" as U.S. politics. El Salvador's Nayib Bukele, "the world's coolest dictator," who's detained 80,000 people in his.war on gangs, said he welcomes the fight against "dark forces" in America. And conspiracist Jack Posobiec said when liberals "say democracy, they mean authoritarianism." "Welcome to the end of democracy! We’re here to overthrow it completely," he crowed. "We didn’t get all the way there on Jan. 6, but we'll endeavor to get rid of it and replace it with this right here.” Going full clerical fascist, he clutched a cross. "Because all glory is not to government. All glory to God.”

Meanwhile, Orange Jesus keeps jabbering. On Friday, he told a Black Conservative Gala his criming makes him just like them: “I got indicted and a lot of people said that's why the Black people like me." At CPAC on Saturday, after a tinny national anthem by Jan. 6 rioters on a prison phone, he launched into a garbled, bilious, endless tirade, spewing apocalyptic visions of a fever-dream country and "Judgment Day" that will be "my ultimate and absolute revenge." He said "millions of illegal aliens (are) stampeding across our border" from insane asylums like Hannibal Lecter and "they have languages that nobody in this country has ever heard of - it's a very horrible thing." He said "ruthless gangs will explode (into) the suburbs" and while "weaponized law enforcement hunts for conservatives and people of faith, Hamas and Antifa will terrorize our streets (with) their brutal iDEEEo-ology." He said he's "a proud political dissident," Biden is "surrounded by some very bad fascists," he flew into Iraq with "the best-looking human beings I've ever seen" and maybe a guy named "Raisin Cane," and "they'll say 'he rambled'" but "it's total genius." Sweet Jesus. Be afraid.

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Plastic pollution
News

Big Oil, Plastics Industry Led 'Campaign of Deception' to Push Recycling Fraud

The petrochemical industry—including major oil companies like ExxonMobil—knew for decades that recycling was not a sustainable solution to the problem of plastic waste, yet continued to promote it in order to avoid regulation and deceive consumers into continuing to buy and use their products, a report released Thursday by the Center for Climate Integrity reveals.

The report, titled The Fraud of Plastic Recycling: How Big Oil and the Plastics Industry Deceived the Public for Decades and Caused the Plastic Waste Crisis, includes newly disclosed industry documents proving that companies and trade groups knew that plastics could not be recycled indefinitely in the 1980s and 90s even as they launched a massive public relations campaign to sell voters and policymakers on the process.

"This evidence shows that many of the same fossil fuel companies that knew and lied for decades about how their products cause climate change have also known and lied to the public about plastic recycling," Center for Climate Integrity (CCI) president Richard Wiles said in a statement. "The oil industry's lies are at the heart of the two most catastrophic pollution crises in human history."

Plastic pollution is a major environmental and public health crisis. If current trends continue, plastics are expected to outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050, and the toxic fumes from plastic production facilities and incineration are a major environmental justice hazard for frontline communities. Humans in general also ingest an estimated credit-card's worth of plastic each week, with unknown but potentially serious health impacts.

Recycling is often touted as a solution for keeping plastic out of the environment, but this has proven to be ineffective and insufficient: More than 90% of the plastics disposed of between 1950 and 2015 were either burnt, sent to landfills, or dumped into the environment. There are several technical and economic reasons why plastic recycling doesn't work at scale. Plastics lose quality as they are recycled and can only really be reused once or potentially twice. The decline in quality also means that recycled plastics are more likely to leach toxins added during production or picked up from other waste items. Economically, it is cheaper to produce new plastics than recycle older ones, and only two types of plastic—PET and HDPE—actually attract markets that will recycle them.

The industry has long been aware of these limitations. In 1969, the American Chemical Society declared, "It is always possible that scientists and engineers will learn to recycle or dispose of wastes at a profit, but that does not seem likely to happen soon on a broad basis."

"We are committed to the activities, but not committed to the results."

Despite this, petrochemical companies and their trade groups began to push plastic recycling in the 1980s and 90s as a response to growing public concern over plastic waste, and the threat that this would lead to bans on plastic products.

"No doubt about it, legislation is the single most important reason why we are looking at recycling," Wayne Pearson, the executive director of industry front group the Plastics Recycling Foundation and a DuPont marketing director, said in 1988.

The plastics industry used various strategies to sell the public on recycling, according to the report. These included:

  1. Funding front groups to promote recycling;
  2. Running ad and PR campaigns;
  3. Investing in recycling research to convince the public that it was taking action;
  4. Setting unrealistic internal recycling goals;
  5. Writing educational material promoting recycling to school children;
  6. Advocating for "advanced recycling," a term for breaking plastics down to chemical components that can theoretically be reused but are not in practice; and
  7. Claiming, against evidence, that recycling can be part of a "circular economy."
CCI provides new evidence that, while the industry was employing these strategies, it was simultaneously aware of recycling's limitations.

For example, a report from the Vinyl Institute trade group concluded in 1986 that "recycling cannot be considered a permanent solid waste solution, as it merely prolongs the time until an item is disposed of."

In 1994, Exxon Chemical Vice President Irwin Levowitz told employees of the American Plastics Council that "we are committed to the activities, but not committed to the results."

CCI argued that the petrochemical industry should face legal consequences for its "campaign of deception" similar to suits brought against tobacco and opioid companies.

"When corporations and trade groups know that their products pose grave risks to society, and then lie to the public and policymakers about it, they must be held accountable," Wiles said. "Accountability means stopping the lying, telling the truth, and paying for the damage they've caused."

CCI vice president of legal and general counsel Alyssa Johl added: "Big Oil and the plastics industry's decades-long campaign to deceive the public about plastic recycling has likely violated laws designed to protect consumers and the public from corporate misconduct and pollution."

"Attorneys general and other officials should carefully consider the evidence that these companies defrauded the public and take appropriate action to hold them accountable," Johl said.

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Grocery bag
News

'Greedflation' Among New Words Added to Dictionary.com

Several of the 1,700 new or updated definitions Dictionary.com added to its online catalogue of terms on Thursday were inspired by recent news events.

"Climate breakdown" was identified by the website as "the collective effects of harmful and potentially irreversible trends in climate, specifically those resulting from unchecked global warming," while "energy poverty" is "a lack of adequate access to safe, affordable sources of electricity or fuel for warmth, light, cooking, etc."

Another, "greedflation," was informed by growing evidence that has shown in recent years how rising prices are not always the result of supply chain woes or other market pressures, but can be "caused by corporate executives or boards of directors, property owners, etc., solely to increase profits that are already healthy or excessive."

The dictionary's addition of the word, said economic justice think tank Groundwork Collaborative, solidifies "its place in how we understand" recent inflation.

As Common Dreamsreported last month, a Groundwork analysis showed that corporate CEOs have "openly" bragged to their shareholders that they can continue raising prices to increase profits, even as the cost of doing business goes down.

According to the group, corporate profits were what drove 53% of price increases in the second and third quarters of 2023. Business costs rose just 1% in 2023—and went down in some sectors due to drops in transportation, warehousing, and fuel costs—but consumers saw the price of goods go up by 3.4% in the same time period.

Recent polling—and Dictionary.com's word addition—shows a growing understanding of greedflation among the public.

A Navigator Research survey showed on Wednesday that 4 in 5 people believe inflation is being caused by corporations raising prices, and 3 in 5 say greedflation is a "major" cause.

"So many people recognize that corporations are keeping prices artificially high that 'greedflation' is now a word on dictionary.com," said Lindsay Owens, executive director of Groundwork. "Greedflation rightly identifies who is responsible for this inflation crisis and opens up the range of policy solutions we have at our disposal to fight high prices and deliver relief for families."

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U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib
News

Tlaib Urges Michigan to Send Biden a Message on Gaza by Voting Uncommitted

Speaking outside an early voting site on Saturday, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib urged fellow Michigan Democrats to vote uncommitted in the February 27 primary to send President Joe Biden a message about U.S. support for Israel as it wages a genocidal war on the Gaza Strip.

According toThe Detroit News, Tlaib "is the first member of Congress in Michigan and the highest-profile official to date to get behind the Listen to Michigan campaign," which launched earlier this month and is led by her sister, Dearborn community organizer Layla Elabed.

The only Palestinian American in Congress, Tlaib recorded a 70-second video—shared on social media by the campaign—outside the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn, which is open for early voting February 17-25 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

"It is important, as you all know, to not only march against the genocide, not only make sure that we're calling our members of Congress and local electeds and passing city resolutions all throughout our country," Tlaib said. "It is also important to create a voting bloc, something that is a bullhorn to say enough is enough. We don't want a country that supports wars and bombs and destruction. We want to support life. We want to stand up for every single life killed in Gaza."

Since declaring war in retaliation for a Hamas-led attack on October 7, Israel has been widely accused of genocide, including in a South Africa-led case before the International Court of Justice. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have killed nearly 29,000 Palestinians in Gaza and destroyed homes, hospitals, schools, mosques, and other civilian infrastructure.

Though Biden said Friday that he has told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that "I feel very strongly... there has to be a temporary cease-fire... to get the hostages out," the president has also rejected growing global demands for a permanent cease-fire, publicly cast doubt on the death toll from officials in Hamas-governed Gaza, bypassed Congress to arm the IDF, and sought a $14 billion package on top of the almost $4 billion in annual U.S. military aid to Israel.

"I want you to think of all of the amazing young children and the people—again, lives were lost in Gaza," Tlaib said in the video for Listen to Michigan. "This is the way you can raise our voices. Don't make us even more invisible. Right now, we feel completely neglected and just unseen by our government. If you want us to be louder, then come here and vote uncommitted."

As NBC Newsreported Saturday:

Asked about Tlaib's message urging voters to vote uncommitted in the Democratic primary, Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes reiterated support for Biden.

"President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were elected because they promised to deliver for Michigan's families, workers, and communities—and they kept their promises," he told NBC News.

However, there has been mounting frustration with the president in Michigan, a swing state that Biden narrowly won in 2020 and which is home to significant numbers of Arab and Muslim Americans, including many with relatives impacted by the war.

Dozens of city council members, mayors, state representatives, and other current and former elected officials have endorsed the campaign urging Michiganders to vote uncommitted in the Democratic primary, as has Our Revolution, which has plans for phone and text banking as well as events on college campuses.

Biden "has lost the people," Abbas Alawieh, a Dearborn activist involved in Listen to Michigan, toldUSA Today. "People feel not a vague sense of betrayal. People feel a deep sense of betrayal, a bone-deep sense of betrayal."

"It's time for him to take action, and he's failing to do so," Alawieh said of Biden. "And that's going to have political consequences."

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IVF
News

Alabama University Pauses IVF Treatments After Court Rules Embryos Are 'Children'

Alabama's leading medical school said Wednesday that it has paused in vitro fertilization procedures due to fear of prosecution after the state's highest court ruled that frozen embryos are "children."

"We must evaluate the potential that our patients and our physicians could be prosecuted criminally or face punitive damages for following the standard of care for IVF treatments," University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) spokesperson Hannah Echols toldAL.com, adding that she is "saddened" for patients seeking the treatment.

"Alabamans in the midst of seeking treatment have had their lives and their hopes and dreams crushed."

UAB's move follows Friday's theology-ridden ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court that embryos are "extrauterine children." Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Parker—who espoused Christian fundamentalist control of U.S. society during a recent interview with a QAnon conspiracy theorist—wrote in the ruling that "human life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God."

Barbara Collura, president and CEO of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, said in a statement that the organization is "absolutely heartbroken for the Alabama family building community."

"The University of Alabama at Birmingham health system—the largest healthcare system in the state—has been forced to make an impossible decision: Pause IVF procedures for those hoping to build their families, or put their patients and doctors at risk of prosecution," she added.

As AL.com's Amy Yurkanin explained:

There are many reasons families turn to IVF treatment. Some women may have blocked fallopian tubes that won't allow fertilized eggs to travel to the uterus. In other cases, families can carry genes that cause fatal diseases and may want to create embryos that can be tested. In those cases, families will transfer healthy embryos and may discard or donate those that carry genetic diseases.

"There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who are right now in the middle of a physically and emotionally challenging medical process to fulfill their dream of a baby," Collura said. "Would-be parents have invested their hearts, time, and resources. Now, less than a week after the Alabama Supreme Court's devastating ruling, Alabamans in the midst of seeking treatment have had their lives and their hopes and dreams crushed."

"This cruel ruling, and the subsequent decision by UAB's health system, are horrifying signals of what's to come across the country," she added. "We will continue to fight to maintain and increase access to care for the 1 in 6 adults nationwide who struggle with infertility."

Calling the Alabama ruling "so deeply fucked up," HuffPost senior politics reporter Jennifer Bendery noted that former U.S. President Donald Trump, the 2024 GOP front-runner, "spent years putting people forward for lifetime federal judgeships who had grave concerns with fertility treatments like IVF and then Senate Republicans confirmed them."

"Anyone who knows about IVF treatments knows how financially and emotionally exhaustive this process can be," Bendery added. "And that it might not even work, after years of this. I feel for these Alabama women being turned away now as they're already going through this."

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Jewish protesters in NYC hold a banner reading, "AIPAC funds genocide"
News

Jewish-Led NYC Rally Targets AIPAC, Dem Allies Who Oppose Gaza Cease-Fire

Thousands of Jewish-led protesters descended on the New York offices of the American Israel Public Affairs Council on Thursday, taking aim at both AIPAC and Democratic lawmakers who take millions of combined dollars from the lobby group while opposing a Gaza cease-fire.

Led by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), the demonstrators marched from Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza outside the United Nations—where earlier this week the U.S. for the third time vetoed a Security Council cease-fire resolution—to AIPAC's nearby New York headquarters on Third Street.

During the march, protesters carried large letters spelling "DUMP AIPAC" and a banner reading "AIPAC Funds Genocide," as well as signs listing the names of New York Democrats who take campaign cash from the group while opposing a Gaza cease-fire. Members of Congress named and shamed at the rally include House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries ($829,835 in lifetime AIPAC contributions), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ($348,818), and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer ($101,570).

Other activists occupied the offices of Schumer and Gillibrand. JVP said 18 people were arrested for refusing to obey police orders to leave.

"If you want to know one reason why more electeds aren't calling for a cease-fire—even though a cease-fire is the overwhelming demand from the people—look no further than AIPAC," said JVP. "AIPAC uses money and racist bullying to ensure congressional complicity in the genocide of Gaza."

"Last cycle, AIPAC endorsed over 100 lawmakers who voted to decertify the results of the 2020 election, allying themselves with the far-right," the group added. "AIPAC is threatening our safety here in the U.S. in order to ensure unconditional U.S. support for Israeli violence."

Jewish Voice for Peace Action said the demonstrators are "calling on Congress to listen to the will of the people and reject AIPAC as the extremist warmongers they've always been."

JVP posted on social media: "With over 30,000 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, we demand our electeds stop answering to a far-right group and start listening to their constituents. #DumpAIPAC now!"

The protest came a day after progressive Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) led condemnation of AIPAC for a social media post accusing progressive cease-fire supporters of keeping Hamas' "rapist monsters armed and in power in Gaza."

"It is appalling that AIPAC is targeting women members of Congress who have survived sexual assault with this horrific rhetoric," Ocasio-Cortez fired back. "Each and every day, their role in U.S. politics becomes a greater scandal. They are the NRA of foreign policy."

Many of Israel's staunchest supporters on both sides of the partisan aisle have taken AIPAC contributions. The group was the number one donor to both Jeffries and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) during the last election cycle.

AIPAC has also been a top contributor to lawmakers like Reps. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), who not only vocally support Israel, but also attack colleagues like Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)—the only Palestinian American in Congress—and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for their pro-Palestinian views. AIPAC was by far Gottheimer's largest contributor in the 2022 electoral cycle, donating more than $216,000 to his campaign. The same goes for Torres, who received over $141,000 from the group during the same period.

Last month, over 200 House lawmakers from both parties sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemning the South Africa-led genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice. Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Kathy Manning (D-N.C.) led the letter. AIPAC is the top donor to both of their campaigns.

AIPAC is expected to spend upward of $100 million this cycle in an effort unseat over half a dozen progressive U.S. lawmakers who have been critical of Israeli genocide, apartheid, occupation, settler colonization, and other human rights crimes against the Palestinian people.

Meanwhile, Jewish-led groups like JVP and IfNotNow have led a historic nationwide wave of protests against the ongoing Israeli onslaught on Gaza, in which more than 100,000 Palestinians have been killed or wounded. These demonstrations have filled the streets of cities from coast to coast, shut down major transit hubs, occupied landmarks, disrupted President Joe Biden's campaign events, and much more.

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