LANSING, Mich. — A Barry County resident asked Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to remove his sheriff, Dar Leaf, contending the conservative officeholder had abused his authority in an investigation of unsubstantiated claims about the 2020 election. Larry Osborne of Delton urged Whitmer's office to take action against Leaf this week, according to a Wednesday email obtained by The Detroit News. But by Thursday evening, Osborne said he had rescinded the request and declined to discuss what prompted his decision. Under state law, the governor can remove a sheriff under certain circumstances, includ...
An app used by more than 14,000 religious congregations has been turned into a place where anti-vaxxers can spread their conspiracy theories online, Mother Jones reports today.
Subsplash, a tech company founded in 2005 "to glorify God and proclaim Jesus is Lord" by helping churches communicate information online, has now become a major source of vaccine disinformation, the magazine reports.
"Since the beginning of the pandemic, Subsplash has given voice to and amplified messages from many religiously affiliated antivaccine activists. On one Subsplash-hosted website called "His Glory Me," viewers can watch videos that urge them not to yield to pressure to get vaccinated against COVID-19. In a video from a few weeks ago, featured guest chiropractor Dr. Bryan Ardis insists, "The Delta variant is not dangerous." The Church of Glad Tidings' "Free and Brave" video series hosted by Subsplash features noted antivaccine advocates, including Judy Mikovits, the personality behind the "Plandemic" conspiracy theory video. A September 12 video from Subsplash-hosted site Good Life Broadcasting spins theories about ominous connections among vaccines, the government, Bill Gates, and the Chinese Communist Party. Through Subsplash, the American Pastors Network runs a podcast series called "Stand in the Gap," which rails against mandatory vaccines and questions the seriousness of COVID-19. A July episode featured noted purveyor of vaccine misinformation Dr. Robert Malone, who claimed that "we don't have good information" about the vaccines' risks, and that he was being censored in trying to warn people about the potential dangers. Some sites hosted by Subsplash also promotemisinformation around the antiparasitic drug ivermectin, suggesting that it can prevent hospitalization. Other Subsplash sites host videos devoted to the QAnon conspiracy theory."
Subsplash is used by some of the largest churches in the country, small congregations in rural communities, and even a few synagogues, the magazine reports. And its features have expanded:
"Pastors can now use Subsplash to host podcasts, videos, and a tithing and charitable giving widget that allow users to easily donate to the church or other causes. Subsplash apps can send congregants push notifications with service times, daily Bible verses, or anything else their pastors deem worthy. The pandemic has accelerated Subsplash's growth: In March 2020, the company acquired a live streaming service that allowed churches to broadcast services as lockdowns began."
As Mother Jones reports, the app has turned into something far darker than merely a means for churches to communicate their gospel.
"Subsplash's hosting of antivaccine ideology isn't limited to churches. In addition, the company also developed an app for Texans for Vaccine Choice, a powerful antivaccine PAC that has helped Republican state representatives who oppose vaccines to win elections. In a recent Facebook video, Texans for Vaccine Choice director Jackie Schlegel offered an impassioned endorsement. "It's not a fancy-schmancy app," says Schlegel. "But it took a lot of work to find a developer who didn't want to censor us." Earlier in the video, Schlegel describes her own experience of leaving her church because its youth group leaders required kids to wear "masks outside in the summer heat, standing on socially distanced dots as if they were little socialist soldiers."
'The Republican Party is getting smaller' -- and now it's literally killing off its voters: Ex-GOP aide
The California recall election loss should serve as a warning to the Republican Party, according to a former GOP aide, but he doubts they'll learn the right lesson from it.
Kurt Bardella, a former staffer to two GOP lawmakers and current senior advisor to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the Republican Party was literally killing off its voters.
"It's getting smaller and smaller and smaller," Bardella said. "We have a party that, No. 1, is giving instructions to the most ardent supporters that will kill them. If you believe this iteration of the Republican Party, it could cost you your life. Your leaders, governors like the one in Mississippi, what we've seen in Alabama, with more deaths in Alabama than actual births in the last year, if you believe in this party, it could cost you your life."
"No. 2, if you are a woman in this country, this is a party that doesn't believe that your body is yours to command, that you have the right to make decisions about your health," he continued. "For all the things we hear from this party, so-called liberty and freedom and their ridiculous defense of why we shouldn't take the vaccine, that seemingly doesn't apply if you're a woman wanting to make a health care decision for yourself. If you're a minority, you're labeled as the enemy, dirt, a drug dealer or rapist or criminal or a virus."
"The Republican Party is getting smaller and smaller," Bardella added. "The Republican Party in California, 2003, during the recall that led to Arnold Schwarzenegger's election, that was a party that was fighting for the center. That was a party who chose an immigrant to be their standard bearer. He couldn't get past a primary in this iteration of the party. So as goes California, so goes the country. Just as the California Republican Party became a shell of it and became a third party, got wiped out of office statewide, lost control of the legislature. That is what's going to happen to the national Republican Party if they keep going down this path."
09 20 2021 07 56 28 www.youtube.com
A former Mitch McConnell adviser mocked Donald Trump on Monday for his effort to "depose" the Senate GOP leader.
On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump is working behind the scenes to recruit a Republican senator to challenge McConnell for his leadership position.
Scott Jennings, a conservative commentator and former adviser to McConnell, told CNN's "New Day" hosts on Monday that he doesn't think his former boss is overly worried about Trump's efforts.
"Honestly, this is a continuation of what Donald Trump's posture has been toward McConnell since McConnell decided that Joe Biden had been elected president of the United States," Jennings said, trying to contain his laughter. "What I thought was telling about the Wall Street Journal article, was that not a single person would take Donald Trump up on his offer. Even Mo Brooks, perhaps the Trumpiest candidate out there, wouldn't take him up. Josh Mandel in Ohio wouldn't take him up on it. And the sitting members of the Republican conference that they interviewed all said Mitch McConnell is doing a good job, and John Kennedy of Louisiana said this is like trying to teach a donkey how to fly."
"This is one of those situations where you have to have a plan," Jennings added. "The reason McConnell has been successful at getting elected leader, and when he has elections in Kentucky, is because he always has a plan. Donald Trump never has a plan and thinks he can speak these things into existence. But I would just say that McConnell has never lost an election, ever. He's never been beaten in Kentucky and he's never lost a leadership election. Donald Trump of course has tried twice and has gotten fewer votes than his opponent twice. So in a head to head matchup here on a leadership election, I think Mitch McConnell has a track record that tells us he'll be elected leader again if he'd like to be."
Scott Jennings on New Day www.youtube.com
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month