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Feds investigating conservative firms after millions of fake comments given as evidence to support Trump’s end to net neutrality: report

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The Justice Department is now investigating a fraud case involving millions of comments posted during the contentious fight over net neutrality, reports BuzzFeed News.

The situation involves the Trump administration’s repeal of net neutrality, which prevented internet providers from choosing to serve certain content faster than other content.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai rolled out his plans to spike the popular Obama-era rules in April 2017. That meant opening a public commenting period, where the FCC received about 20 million comments.

But many of those comments were fake, says the New York Attorney General’s office. The organization now estimates that up to 9.5 million of them were filed in people’s names without their consent, most supporting the Trump administration’s policy change. There were also some fake comments supporting net neutrality.

Federal investigators have now issued subpoenas to the groups involved in advocating, most of which were conservative.

Pai cited the fake comments as proof that his decision to end net neutrality was “actually a popular decision,” Buzzfeed reports, even though a Stanford study found that “with all automated, bot-aided, and fake comments removed, 99.7% of commenters preferred keeping net neutrality.”

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The FCC did not respond to Buzzfeed’s request for comment.

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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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