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Alabama Republican lawmaker gets hauled to jail after corruption investigation

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A Republican Alabama state lawmaker, a former chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, and a health care executive were all arrested on federal bribery charges on Monday.

AL.com reports that Alabama State Rep. Jack Williams and former Alabama GOP chairman Marty Connors were arrested and brought to the U.S. Marshals holding unit at the federal courthouse in Montgomery, Alabama.

According to federal officials, Williams and Connors both took part in a bribery scheme hatched by G. Ford Gilbert, the owner of California-based Trina Health, a company that runs diabetes treatment clinics throughout the United States.

Shortly after Gilbert’s company opened up facilities in Alabama, the state’s largest insurer — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama — said that it would not cover its treatments. The government alleges that Gilbert then lobbied to push a bill through the Alabama state legislature that would force Blue Cross to cover his company’s treatments — and he directly paid State of Alabama House Majority Leader Micky Hammon in exchange for pushing the bill.

Hammon then recruited both Williams and Connors, whom federal officials say both knew of the payments, to get the bill passed.

“Based on these events, the indictment charges all three defendants with conspiracy to commit bribery related to federal programs, conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, and honest services wire fraud,” a press release detailing Monday’s arrest states. “Additionally, the indictment alleges that Gilbert and Connors committed the substantive offense of bribery related to federal programs.”

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Hammon, who is not named as a defendant in the indictment, pleaded guilty to mail fraud last year.

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QAnon authors in a fight over doing an audiobook — because they think their followers can’t read

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On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that the authors of a popular book for believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory are in a bitter fight over whether or not to release an audiobook version.

QAnon: An Invitation to The Great Awakening came out last year and peaked near the top of the Amazon bestseller list in March. One of the book's co-authors, Dustin Nemos, is publicly attacking another co-author, who goes by the name of "JoeM," for his "petty and hostile and paranoid" refusal to help produce an audiobook, and notes that it is necessary because a disproportionate number of QAnon believers are elderly, have bad eyesight, and may not be able to read the book as text. JoeM, for his part, has accused Nemos of being a "grifter" who is trying to make a buck off of true believers.

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Missouri governor appoints judge who fundraised for crisis pregnancy center to help decide Planned Parenthood’s license

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On Monday, the Associated Press reported that Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO) has appointed former Macon County Associate Circuit Judge Philip Prewitt to the Administrative Hearing Commission, a state agency that oversees disputes between the state and organizations seeking licensure.

Prewitt, a former Republican candidate for office, once fundraised on Facebook for Ray of Hope Pregnancy Care Ministeries, a "crisis pregnancy center" that masquerades as a health care facility in order to trick women seeking abortions into listening to anti-abortion propaganda. In 2015, the Missouri Supreme Court reprimanded Prewitt for the post encouraging people to donate, saying that it violated judicial ethics rules.

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Trump being a ‘compulsive liar and erratic ignoramus’ is why he failed on Iran: Conservative columnist

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President Donald Trump's highly-criticized decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal has resulted as was warned, with the country reviving its nuclear program, a conservative columnist explained in The Washington Post on Monday.

Conservative Max Boot took a victory lap in the hard-hitting column, reminding that he had signed a March 2016 letter by 121 Republican foreign policy analysts warning about Trump's approach.

"I wish we had been wrong, but we were all too right," Boot wrote.

"Trump has shown no ability to grow in office; but then it’s hard to learn if you all you read is Fox News chyrons. He is today the same compulsive liar and erratic ignoramus he was at the start of the 2016 campaign," Boot said. "Only now, the stakes are much higher."

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