Nearly 22% of Republican legislators in the country have joined at least one far-right Facebook group, with Missouri ranking among the top five, a watchdog organization found in a study released this month. In a year-long review of the 7,383 seats in state legislatures in the 2021-2022 session, the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights found that 4,011 seats were held by Republicans. Of those GOP lawmakers, 872 — 21.74% — had joined far-right Facebook groups, according to the report, “Breaching the Mainstream.” “The numbers are staggering,” said Devin Burghart, executive directo...
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Texts show that MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell was in contact with then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows following former President Donald Trump's loss in the 2020 election.
In his new book, "The Breach," former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) described text messages from Meadows' phone as the "crown jewels" of the Jan. 6 investigation.
While reviewing the book, researcher and writer Parker Malloy highlighted text messages from Lindell, who was described as "out of his mind."
The messages were sent sometime between the 2020 election and President Joe Biden's inauguration.
"Hey Mark, I felt I was suppose [sic] to text you this message... You being a man a [sic] faith and on the front line of the decisions that are going to be historical! I would ask that you pray for wisdom and discernment from God!" Lindell wrote following the election. "You are one of the people the president trusts the most. That being said, I want to add my input… Everything Sidney [Powell] has said is true!"
"We have to get the machines and everything we already have proves the President won by millions of votes! I have read and not validated yet that you and others talked him out of seizing them… If true. I pray it is part of a bigger plan..." the pillow executive continued. "I am grateful that on the night of the election the algorithms of the corrupt machines broke and they realized our president would win in spite of the historical fraud!"
Lindell said that he had a "gift from God" allowing him to understand statistical deviations.
"From 11:15 pm on the night of the election I have spent all my time running impossible deviations and numbers from this election ... I also was blessed to be able to get info and help Sidney Lin General Flynn and everyone else out there gathering all the massive evidence!" he exclaimed. "I have been sickened by politicians (especially republicans) judges, the media not wanting to see truth (no matter what the truth would be!) This is the biggest cover up of one of the worst crimes in history!"
At that point, Lindell said that he had already spent over a million dollars to prove that the election was stolen.
"The only thing any of us should fear is fear of the Lord! Every person on this planet needs to know the truth and see the evidence!!!" he concluded. "God has his hand in all of this and has put you on the front line ……. I will continue praying for you to have great wisdom and discernment!"
"Thanks, brother," Meadows replied. "Pray for a miracle."
New anti-abortion guidance issued to employees at the University of Idaho last week exemplifies how the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade has threatened not only the health of millions of people across the U.S., but also Americans' right to free expression, said one free speech advocacy group late Monday.
"Human rights are interdependent, and the fall of Roe v. Wade sets in motion a dangerous array of consequences that will cascade far beyond the gutting of abortion rights."
The state university's general counsel sent an email to all faculty and staff on Friday warning that under Idaho's abortion ban which went into effect in August, they could face a felony conviction if they are accused of speaking in support of abortion rights, counseling a student on how to get abortion care, or talking about abortion care in a way that is not seen as "neutral on the topic."
"Academic freedom is not a defense to violation of law, and faculty or others in charge of classroom topics and discussion must themselves remain neutral on the topic and cannot conduct or engage in discussions in violation of these prohibitions without risking prosecution," read the memo.
PEN America noted that in the weeks after the Supreme Court overturned Roe and cleared the way for Republican-led states to ban abortion care, the group warned that the decision could imperil free expression.
"Human rights are interdependent, and the fall of Roe v. Wade sets in motion a dangerous array of consequences that will cascade far beyond the gutting of abortion rights," wrote Nadine Farid Johnson and Summer Lopez, who lead the group's free expression programs, at The Daily Beast. "Moves are being made around the country to curtail abortion-related speech... If enacted, these prohibitions on speech would drastically erode basic rights to free expression. But the stark truth is that even where they don’t become law, the specter of these legislative efforts can curb speech all on its own."
The general counsel at the University of Idaho warned that anyone working for the university who appears to speak in support of abortion could be permanently barred from working for a state institution or agency.
One employee who chose to remain anonymous told The Washington Post that students who serve as resident advisors for their peers will likely be afraid to advise other students if they disclose an unwanted pregnancy.
"I think there's a lot of fear," she told the Post. "I think about the resident hall advisers. This is the kind of advice they give out if students are sexually active and not ready for a family. Now it’s the kind of thing that could get them fired and charged with a felony."
The memo also advises employees that the university should no longer provide birth control to students, even though Idaho's ban does not specifically pertain to contraceptives. It remains unclear, the general counsel said, how the law will be enforced, and "a conservative approach" is being advised by the university to avoid prosecution of staff members or the school itself.
Along with allowing Idaho's abortion ban, which passed in 2020, to go into effect, Dobbs resurrected a 1972 measure which prohibited "advertising medicines or other means for preventing conception."
"The scope of what is meant by 'prevention of conception' and to have 'offered services by notice, advertisement, or otherwise…' is unclear and untested in the courts," the email said regarding Idaho's ban, which prohibits abortion at any point after conception and requires a police report to be filed if a pregnant person wants to terminate a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. "Since violation is considered a felony, we are advising a conservative approach here, that the university not provide standard birth control itself."
University employees can provide condoms "for the purpose of helping prevent the spread of STDs but not for purposes of birth control," said the memo.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said on Twitter that the memo shows how "Republican politicians are already criminalizing abortion, which has extreme consequences—but they won't stop there."
Rebecca Gibron, chief executive of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai'i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, called the university's announcement "an early sign of the larger, coordinated effort to attack birth control access."
"We always knew extremists wouldn't stop at banning abortion; they'd target birth control next," Gibron told the Post. "The University of Idaho's announcement is the canary in the coal mine."
Boosted by rising wages and falling gas prices, US consumers were much more upbeat about the state of the American economy now and in the months ahead, according to a closely-watched survey released Tuesday.
The consumer confidence index jumped nearly five points to 108.0 the second straight monthly gain, according to The Conference Board. The result was the highest level since April and far better than the modest improvement economists had expected.
The US Federal Reserve has been raising borrowing costs aggressively this year, and last week announced its third consecutive, 0.75 percentage point increase in the benchmark interest rate as it tries to cool the world's largest economy to bring down the fastest inflation in 40 years.
So far progress has been slow, as resilient consumers, flush with savings have continued to spend, supporting economic activity. But the survey showed expectations about inflation fell for third straight month, which is good news for the central bank.
"Concerns about inflation dissipated further in September -- prompted largely by declining prices at the gas pump -- and are now at their lowest level since the start of the year," said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.
Buoyed by a strong job market, respondents felt better about their present situation as well as expectations for the coming six months, the survey showed, but Franco cautioned that "recession risks nonetheless persist."
Intentions to make big-ticket purchases were mixed, with plans to buy cars and appliances increasing, but more reluctance to invest in a home, which Franco said reflected rising mortgage rates and the cooling housing market.
"Looking ahead, the improvement in confidence may bode well for consumer spending in the final months of 2022, but inflation and interest-rate hikes remain strong headwinds to growth in the short term," Franco said in a statement.
Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics cautioned that the good feelings "might not last as people absorb the hit from the recent drop in stock prices and the Fed's latest rate hikes, with the promise of more to come."
"For now, though, people's views of both the current and future economy have perked up, and the headline index is now just a few points shy of the pre-Ukraine invasion peak," he said.
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