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GOP megadonor to rape victims: Stop ‘getting mileage’ from your trauma if you want to heal

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According to Molly Redden at Mother Jones, several Republican “superdonors” — foremost among them, a Nevada hypnotherapist who believes he can “heal” the trauma of rape and incest victims so long as they don’t get “mileage” out of having been victimized — are convinced that they can pick up Senate seats in Oregon because races there are relatively inexpensive.

“You could dump money here which would be insignificant in some races, but not in Oregon,” Len Bergstein told Mother Jones. “And I’m sure there’s some Republican gnome somewhere in a basement in Virginia figuring out that for X amount of money, hey, we could have a pickup here.”

A political novice named Monica Wehby hopes Bergstein is correct, as she seeks the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent Jeffery Merkley on a platform based on her opposition to Obamacare. She will skip the primary’s only televised debate and plans on avoiding contact with the media, relying instead on six-figure contributions from donors to drum up support for her campaign.

One of her benefactors — Loren Parks, of Nevada — has already contributed $75,000 to the political action committee called “If He Votes Like That in Salem Imagine What He Will Do in Congress,” which has financed a number of attack advertisements against her Republican primary opponent, state Representative Jason Conger.

Parks also contributed $50,000 to the Taxpayers Association of Oregon PAC, which on Tuesday released a poll — the accuracy of which has been questioned — indicating that Wehby had a substantial, 21-point lead over Rep. Conger.

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The involvement of Parks in the Wehby campaign has upset many within Oregon, who see Parks as an out-of-state opportunist trying to poach a Senate seat. They are also concerned with associating the GOP brand with Parks, who hosts a YouTube series in which he claims to be able to cure women of sexual dysfunction via hypnotherapy.

In the past, he has claimed that he can heal the trauma of rape and incest so long as the victim is not “getting mileage out of it, if you’re getting status, satisfaction from telling your story again and again.” In that video, he claimed that when he “sound[s] the buzzer and say[s] ‘Disconnect,’ it will disconnect you completely from all the emotional upset related to the incest or rape experience that you totally want to get rid of.”

He then sounds a loud, annoying buzzer and yells “Disconnect!” three times:

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Another contributor to political action committees supporting Wehby’s campaign is Andrew Miller, a lumber mill owner who contributed $31,000 to the If He Votes Like That in Salem Imagine What He Will Do in Congress PAC. Late last month, The Oregonian reported that Miller is dating candidate Wehby, a situation which — if true — would raise questions about illegal coordination between candidate and super-PAC.

[Screen capture of Parks via YouTube]


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Hundreds of thousands protest in Puerto Rico, calling for governor to resign

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Hundreds of thousands of people marched in San Juan on Monday to demand Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló resign over offensive chat messages, the latest scandal to hit a bankrupt island struggling to recover from 2017 hurricanes.

Rosselló's announcement on Sunday that he would not seek re-election next year and would step down as head of the New Progressive Party failed to appease the crowds, who called for him to immediately surrender the governorship.

The island’s largest newspaper called on the first-term governor to leave office and reported over 500,000 protesters took to the streets in San Juan.

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Harrowing new report: Malicious browser extensions are stealing your personal information

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Web browsers have become the equivalent of safe deposit boxes, digital spaces where we stuff our personal information and expect it to be kept safe. While the websites that harbor sensitive data generally swear that this information is private and protected, a detailed report by cybersecurity researcher Sam Jadali, explained in depth by Dan Goodin at Ars Technica, found that eight browser extensions for Google Chrome and Firefox were harvesting personal data from millions of people, unbeknownst to both them and to the makers of those browsers.

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What drove the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer into Al Franken denialism?

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The defenders of Sen. Al Franken are perhaps the single most embarrassing group of allegedly progressive people in the Democratic coalition. Franken, who resigned from the Senate in January 2018, was accused by eight different women of sexual impropriety. Most of these accusations were both serious and credible, in that the women making them were mostly liberals who had no apparent reason to lie about Franken's behavior toward them. Despite this, Franken's defenders are married to the delusional belief that it's all just a frame-up and that if he'd had "due process" in the form of a Senate ethics investigation (run by Republicans, who control that chamber) he would have somehow managed to prove this.

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