'TELL IT LIKE IT IS' Talk Show Video

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

‘Down The Rabbit Hole': Arizona GOP Goes Full Fringe

A QAnon believer speaks to a crowd of President Donald Trump supporters outside of the Maricopa County
Recorder's Office where votes in the general election are being counted, in Phoenix. Ron Watkins, a prolific
promoter of false conspiracies about the 2020 election who is closely tied to the QAnon movement, says
he's running for Congress as a Republican in Arizona. | Dario Lopez-Mills/AP Photo

Republicans have reacted to the state’s leftward drift by stocking the 2022 ballot with conspiracy theorists and extremists.

Just when it seemed Arizona Republicans couldn’t make more of a spectacle, they found another way.

As the party hardens around its fealty to former President Donald Trump, the GOP is filling up its midterm ballot with a roster of conspiracy theorists and extremists that could threaten the party’s prospects in a state that’s drifted leftward in recent elections.

The latest of those candidates is Ron Watkins, a celebrity in the QAnon conspiracy world suspected of being Q, who announced his plans to run for Congress last week.

It isn’t just that Watkins embraces the baseless claim that the November election was stolen. It’s that an entire ticket is running on that falsehood now. The state’s congressional delegation features Rep. Paul Gosar, who spoke earlier this year at a conference organized by a white nationalist, and Rep. Andy Biggs, who falsely maintains “we don’t know” who won the presidential election in Arizona.

Mayor Steven L. Reed to Spotlight the Legacy of Montgomery Civil Rights Heroes with the Dedication of Fred D. Gray Avenue

MONTGOMERY | Jeff Davis Avenue, a street located in Montgomery, Alabama – the Birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, has been renamed Fred D. Gray Avenue by Mayor Steven L. Reed, the first Black mayor in the city’s 200 year history, in honor of famed Civil Rights attorney from Alabama’s Capital City, Fred D. Gray. Originally named for Confederate President Jefferson Davis, the street intersects with Rosa L. Parks Avenue. It is also the location of Attorney Gray’s childhood home.

“As our nation examines our shared history in an unflinching and honest way, there is no better statement for the Birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement to make than naming a street for one of the heroes of the struggle, Attorney Fred D. Gray,” Mayor Reed said. “I would not be where I am today without his courage, his selflessness, and his tireless pursuit of justice, freedom, and equality for all. We see this as a milestone for Montgomery, but it is also part of a larger effort to shift the narrative surrounding our community and honor the real heroes who fought here for the right to a fair, equitable and accessible America.”

Meghan McCain Tells All: ‘The View’s’ ‘Toxic Work Environment,’ Why She Really Left and Her Feud With Joy Behar

In the 25-year history of “The View,” Meghan McCain is one of the only co-hosts to leave on her own — without being fired.

McCain’s decision to quit the most-watched show on daytime TV wasn’t one that came easily for her. Her four years on “The View” were marked by ratings peaks in ABC daytime, as she succeeded at the Hot Topics table where other conservatives — who weren’t Elisabeth Hasselbeck — had failed.

But it was also a devastating time in her personal life. Her father, Sen. John McCain, who had encouraged Meghan to take the job at “The View” in October 2017, died of glioblastoma in August 2018. The country was consumed by Trump. Backstage at “The View,” Meghan felt like she couldn’t say or do anything without someone on the show leaking stories about her being “cold” or “difficult” to the tabloids. It all took a toll on her, she says.

When asked for comment, an ABC spokesperson responded: “Like all of the co-hosts, Meghan was an impactful editorial voice at the show influencing booking such guests as Steve Scalise, Lindsey Graham, Madison Cawthorn and Marsha Blackburn and discussing stories including Alexei Navalny, Biden transition plans, Afghanistan and paid family leave, to name a few.”

Facebook Is Reportedly Going to Change Its Corporate Name

What will Facebook’s new name be?

The social giant, amid one of the worst PR crises in its 17-year history, is expected to announce a new name before the end of the month, according to a report by tech-news site The Verge, citing an anonymous source.

Facebook’s new name is supposed to reflect CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s positioning of the company as moving beyond social media — into a developer of virtual “metaverse” experiences, per The Verge.

Zuckerberg plans to talk about the new name at the Facebook Connect conference on Oct. 28, but the new corporate name could be announced before then, according to The Verge report. Facebook is scheduled to report third-quarter earnings on Monday, Oct. 25, after the market closes.

Seven-Month Search for New VA Health Care Leader Abandoned, Agency Starts Over

WASHINGTON | The Department of Veterans Affairs abandoned its initial search for someone to lead its massive health care system and is starting the process over again, the agency announced.

The VA is establishing another commission to help choose a candidate for the role of undersecretary for health – a position that oversees hundreds of hospitals and clinics that comprise the largest health care system in the country. Whoever takes the job will be responsible for hundreds of thousands of employees and an annual budget of about $61 billion.

The VA, under the leadership of a new presidential administration, first established a commission in March to choose a candidate for the job. However, after seven months, the commission didn’t select anyone.

Department spokesman Randy Noller said Tuesday that the agency “received information that there may have been some irregularities in the consideration of the previous slate of candidates.” The VA did not provide specifics about the situation.

Out of an “abundance of caution,” the agency is restarting the search, he said.

Pentagon Abandons Its Support for Merging the Commissary and Exchange Systems

The Defense Department has scuttled efforts to merge the Defense Commissary Agency and the military services' three separate exchange systems, finding that the plan would not result in the billions in savings originally projected in 2018.

In a report obtained by 'TELL IT LIKE IT IS' this week and sent to Congress in late August, defense officials said a new business case analysis of the proposal found no economic benefit to the consolidation and that it actually would cost the department an additional $1.5 billion.

"The 2021 business case analysis update shows that all the signs are pointing in the wrong direction for consolidation," stated the report, signed by Virginia Penrod, acting under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

For decades, Pentagon officials have eyed the consolidation of the military's resale systems as a cost-savings measure and conducted numerous analyses over the years on the proposal.

Alabama's Bencheikh, Hiser Crowned ITA Southern Regional Doubles Champions

Loudmilla Bencheikh and Anne Marie Hiser won the regional doubles title to earn a spot at the ITA National Fall Championships in San Diego, Calif.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. | Alabama women's tennis partners Loudmilla Bencheikh and Anne Marie Hiser were named ITA Southern Regionals Doubles Champions Tuesday after the Crimson Tide duo won the final match in two sets.

Bencheikh and Hiser cruised to victory in the finals of the doubles draw against Kelsey Mize and Ludmila Kareisova from Ole Miss. The UA pair dropped three games in the opening set to go up 6-3 in the match. Capitalizing on the momentum, Bencheikh and Hiser put together a dominate 6-0 performance in the second set to clinch the match and win the regional title.

'TELL IT LIKE IT IS' Sports Senior spotlight: Auburn receiver Demetris Robertson

AUBURN, Ala. |
When Demetris Robertson considered coming to Auburn for his final season of college football, he found alignment.

"Coach Harsin and how he runs things here aligns with my values and how I try to live my life," said Robertson, who leads the Tigers in with 23 receptions, 312 receiving yards and three touchdown catches through seven games.

Auburn University at Montgomery's Ylenia De Mango Captures Gulf South Conference Freshman Of The Week

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. | Auburn University at Montgomery freshman middle blocker Ylenia De Mango has won Gulf South Conference Freshman of The Week after aiding the Warhawks to a perfect 3-0 week with wins over Montevallo, Shorter, and Lee.

This is the first weekly award for the freshman from Bari, Italy, and the second weekly award the Warhawks have won this season.

De Mango was the most consistent player in the conference last week, getting it done in almost every area of the game. The middle tallied a 15-kill performance against rival Montevallo at home and netted five kills in each of the next two games.

Overall, she finished with 25 kills, 10 digs, seven blocks, and four service aces. On the year, De Mango sits with 127 kills, good for fourth on the team. She has netted 12 aces on the year with 36 blocks. She currently ranks ninth in the conference in hitting percentage as she is swinging at a .261 clip.

De Mango and the Warhawks will return to action this weekend when they travel to Winter Haven, Florida, to participate in the Sunshine State/Gulf South Crossover. AUM will open with Florida Southern College before meeting with Nova Southeastern and Barry for the second time this year.


-- James Thomas can be reached at JThomas.1300WTLS@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @1300wtlsJthomas. 

© Copyright 2021 JWT Communications. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
Founded in 1962, The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children. For 54 years, we’ve been providing access to affordable education for the children of Marine and Navy Corpsman attending post-high school, under-graduate and career technical education programs. In that time, we have provided more than 37,000 scholarships worth nearly $110 million.