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Robert Mercer’s shunning of Milo Yiannopoulos leaves allies stunned — but is a lawsuit to blame?

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Allies of shadowy hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer were shocked at the vehemence with which Mercer denounced provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos on Thursday, as well as Mercer’s disavowal of the “alt right” movement and the white supremacist values it espouses.

“Holy sh*t!” one Yiannopoulos supporter texted to Vanity Fair‘s Tina Nguyen after Mercer’s announcement. “I think it means Milo is officially de-funded.”

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In his statement on Thursday, Mercer said, “[I]n my opinion, actions of and statements by Mr. Yiannopoulos have caused pain and divisiveness undermining the open and productive discourse that I had hoped to facilitate. I was mistaken to have supported him, and for several weeks have been in the process of severing all ties with him.”

Yiannopoulos — whose fortunes have been spiraling downward for nearly a year — was the subject of a BuzzFeed exposé last month that revealed his cozy relationship with white supremacists and even cozier relationship with the ghost writers who did the bulk of Yiannopoulos’ writing, uncredited and largely unpaid.

Mercer’s public statement from Thursday said that he is particularly bothered by accusations that he is a white supremacist.

“Of the many mischaracterizations made of me by the press, the most repugnant to me, have been the intimations that I am a white supremacist or a member of some other noxious group,” he wrote.

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The Daily Beast’s Matt Lewis excoriated Mercer, however, for pumping millions of dollars into his various media projects, which Lewis contends have “destroy(ed) the conservative movement.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Mercer, you don’t get to play Thoughtful Libertarian Man after bankrolling nativism, populism, and racism,” Lewis said.

Others, however, dismissed Mercer’s departure from Renaissance Technologies and sale of his share of Breitbart.com as a PR ploy designed to create public distance between Mercer’s business reputation and the increasingly toxic “alt right” brand of white supremacy.

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“This seems to me much more like Robert Mercer separating…his image from his money-making capacity than an actual disassociation with the people he funded for so long,” said former Breitbart.com editor Ben Shapiro. “The only person who’s really damaged here is Yiannopoulos. Rebekah’s gonna continue funding Breitbart, [and] there’s no repentance or shift here…it’s just a P.R. maneuver to [take] pressure off his hedge-fund investors.”

One possible reason that Mercer is urgently attempting to rehabilitate his public image is a lawsuit filed by former Renaissance Technologies partner David Magerman, who has publicly accused Mercer of being a racist.

Magerman’s lawsuit revealed that Mercer told him that he believes the following things:

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a) The United States began to go in the wrong direction after the passage of the Civl Rights Act in the 1960s;

b) African Americans were doing fine in the late-1950s and early-1960s before the Civil Rights Act;

c) The Civil Rights Act “infantilized” African Americas by making them dependent on government and removing any incentive to work;

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d) The only racist people remaining in the United States are black; and

e) White people have no racial animus toward African Americans anymore, and if there is any, is it not something that the government should be concerned with.


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Why you should sell your house now — and not wait for the climate to change

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Cities across the United States are already seeing the impacts of climate change. Sea levels are on the rise in Miami, Florida, where ocean waters creep into the streets, even when it isn't raining. Massive wildfires have taken out whole neighborhoods in California and in Alaska, about 2.5 million acres have burned since July 3. Wildfires there are getting worse, according to experts.

The problem of climate change has reached a dangerous level for some homeowners in areas that are no longer insurable. In Miami, for example, the "street-level" is now considered the basement and insurers are dropping coverage for basements. According to the Daily Beast, at least 340,000 California homeowners lost their property insurance coverage between 2015 and 2018 because the wildfires are getting worse and companies don't want to pay out when homes are destroyed.

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GOP lawmakers working behind the scenes with Democrats to curb Trump’s tariff madness

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According to a report from Wall Street Journal, Republican lawmakers are working behind the scenes to rein in Donald Trump's penchant for declaring tariffs willy-nilly depending on how he feels about other countries and their leaders at any given time.

As the president trade war rages on -- impacting manufacturers, farmers and consumers alike -- Republicans looking at the 2020 election are desperate to turn around a U.S. economy that looks headed for a recession.

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Beto O’Rourke doubles down on gun buybacks

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Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a Texas Democrat who is running for president in 2020, told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that he believes assault weapons are "instruments of terror" and the government should implement a mandatory buyback policy.

I was asked about @SenToomey saying mandatory buybacks are "awful."

I said the priorities in D.C. are screwed up.

What's awful is a 17 month-old baby shot in the face with an AR-15 in Odessa. What's awful is 22 people killed in a Walmart buying school supplies in El Paso. pic.twitter.com/JAN1xfrQYS

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