Raw Exclusives

‘GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY !!!’: Emails detail outrage over cancellation of LGBTQ-themed play in Indiana

Some emails contained vitriolic screeds. Others expressed concern for gay teachers. One offered a plaintive plea from a high school student bewildered by the conduct of adults.

Taken together, emails obtained by Raw Story help tell the inside story of what would this week become a national news event — the resurrection of an LGBTQ-themed play, "Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood," following its cancellation by a public high school in Fort Wayne, Ind.

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‘It just strains credibility’: Washington state congressmen struggle to comply with conflicts-of-interest law

A Washington state congressman is the latest lawmaker to violate a federal conflicts-of-interest and financial disclosure law by failing to properly report up to $765,000 in personal stock transactions, according to a Raw Story analysis of federal financial documents.

In some cases, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) reported stock trades a year-and-a-half late.

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On student loan repayments, McCarthy didn’t get what he said he got

Now that the US House has passed legislation that lifts the debt ceiling, we can expect to emerge an array of narratives that rationalize votes for or against it. With respect to progressive Democrats, one of those narratives will almost certainly be this: It ends the pause of student-loan repayments? No thanks.

That narrative will be rooted not in what Joe Biden has said but in what the House speaker has said. “The pause is gone within 60 days of this being signed,” Kevin McCarthy said after a White House meeting. “So that is another victory because that brings in $5 billion each month to the American public.”

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The GOP's evil plans for the Little Mermaid and fascism have surfaced

Ron DeSantis has a problem. No matter how hard he tries to kill off The [“woke” Black] Little Mermaid by taking down the company that brought her to life, it’s not going to help him beat Donald Trump in the GOP primary.

Nobody in the Republican Party, in fact, can successfully “run to the right of Trump” because Trump is running as an open fascist. And the only thing to the right of an open fascist is a total dictator who has utterly shattered even the façade of fascist democracy (remember that Putin and many other modern autocrats were “elected” repeatedly).

Donald Trump is running to be something between Viktor Orbán and Vladimir Putin — what Orbán calls “illiberal democracy” and I’m calling “fascism” — and the only way to successfully beat him, to “run to the right of him,” would be to run as an absolute autocrat like Saudi Arabia’s MBS or China’s Xi.

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Neo-Nazi Marine Corps vet accused of plotting terror attack possessed classified military materials: sources

A neo-Nazi Marine Corps veteran jailed for allegedly plotting to attack the power grid and commit acts of racial terror stands accused by the government of possessing classified Defense Department materials on a computer drive at the time of his arrest, Raw Story has exclusively learned.

The nature of the classified materials found on Jordan Duncan’s hard drive upon his arrest in Idaho in October 2020 is unclear. The government has not described the contents of the materials, which were found amid a tranche of documents about chemicals and bomb-making, or provided any explanation about how Duncan allegedly obtained them.

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The Republican vote thieves strike again

The first rule of business and marketing is that if you make it easy for folks to buy your product or engage with you, more people will do so. If you don’t want people to buy or use your product or service, on the other hand, just make them jump through hoops to complete the transaction and many won’t bother.

Republicans know this and have been applying it to voting for the better part of 50 years; recently they’ve turned it into a science.

Polling before the 2020 election in Texas, for example, showed that Joe Biden may beat Trump just as he did in so many other swing states across the country. From Trump failing there, the Republican elders in the state knew, it would be a short jump to flipping the entire state Blue, as happened with Michigan and Wisconsin.

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'No idea how evil': Tucker Carlson's counterpart recalls their forgotten C-SPAN segment

The young journalist looked a bit tired in his tan sport coat and striped bow tie.

It was early on a Saturday, after all — the 8 a.m. hour on New Year's Eve eve of 1995 — and he spoke in soft, sometimes halting tones about trimming government and encouraging tax cuts. He praised the Washington Post's watchdog reporting. He waxed philosophical about legislative processes in a fashion fit for a history professor.

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Deepfake democracy: How AI is bamboozling Congress and threatening Election 2024

WASHINGTON — America’s in the midst of its first AI-fueled election. Duping voters in 2024 — a year where “deepfakes” are expected to supplant our current meme-driven political unreality — will be easier than ever.

Bogus but hyper-realistic videos of Donald Trump secretly plotting with Russian President Vladimir Putin or President Joe Biden in a secret White House confab with antifa activists? Entirely fake speeches delivered by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) or Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)?

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QAnon Shaman: I'm 'reinforced' in the views that led me to Jan. 6

The man who attained national notoriety as the face of the January 6 Capitol riot has emerged from prison with his conspiratorial views “reinforced. ...If anything, they're stronger than they were."

The QAnon Shaman, whose real name is Jacob Chansley but who now wants to be known as Jake Angeli, walked out of an Arizona halfway house Thursday after being sentenced to 41 months in prison for his role in the incitement. His image as he strutted through the Capitol bare-chested, his face smeared with red, white and blue paint and his head and shoulders draped in a fur, bison-horned headdress, became world famous.

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Stewart Rhodes' son fears Trump or DeSantis will pardon his father

Dakota Adams, eldest son of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, was somewhat disappointed with the 18-year prison sentence a federal judge imposed Thursday on his convicted seditionist father.

Adams considers it too short.

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Can’t stop, won’t stop: Another congressman violates STOCK Act

A dozen lawmakers have now violated a federal conflicts-of-interest and financial disclosure law in 2023 — the latest a Republican representative from Nebraska, according to a Raw Story analysis of congressional financial documents.

Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE) was more than a year late disclosing some of his wife’s purchases of stock in CarterBaldwin, an executive search firm, according to a new congressional financial disclosure.

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'Inherently cowardly': Stewart Rhodes' son explains why he rejected his seditious father

Editor's note: Judge Amit Mehta today sentenced Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to 18 years in federal prison following Rhodes' conviction last year of seditious conspiracy and other charges in connection to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. This commentary, written by Rhodes' son, Dakota Adams, originally appeared in Raw Story on July 12, 2022.

My name is Dakota Adams.

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The devious plan to screw the 2024 election on Trump’s behalf

Russia and Saudi Arabia — or, more specifically, Putin and MBS — are desperate for Donald Trump or another autocrat like him to take the White House in 2024. America’s largest fossil fuel company executives share their goal, as we saw in the run-up to the 2022 election when gas prices topped $5/gallon.

Putin, of course, wants a compliant American president who will look the other way as he continues his attempted rape of Ukraine, his infiltration of Moldova and Georgia, and his plans to take Poland and the Baltic states back into the Russian empire. Like with Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, he’s eager to have more allies willing to help him make the world safer for billionaire autocrats.

Mohammad Bin Salman was so pleased with the top-secret intelligence that Jared Kushner is alleged to have given him — that let him stage a successful coup to take over Saudi Arabia and its trillions in wealth — that he gave the Trump family billions and continues to subsidize Donald Trump himself by laundering what appears to be hundreds of millions of dollars through the LIV golf tournaments at Trump properties.

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Angry, violent and abusive: Unsealed court docs allege Stewart Rhodes created ‘constant fear’ at home

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes — a key figure in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — beat his kids, used the toilet in their presence, encouraged them to use drugs and harbored an “obsession with sex (that) led him to incredibly inappropriate behavior around the children,” newly released court filings obtained by Raw Story allege.

A 2018 affidavit, filed by Rhodes’ ex-wife, Tasha Adams, as part of her divorce proceedings, alleged that Rhodes’ emotional and physical abuse of their children included punching and choking them.

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How Des Moines forced Donald Trump to pay his bills

Ahead of Donald Trump’s campaign visit to Iowa last week, the Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation made sure it was financially protected from the nation’s bill-skipper-in-chief.

According to documents obtained by Raw Story through an Iowa public records request, the public operator of Lauridsen Amphitheater in Des Moines, Iowa, compelled the Trump 2024 campaign committee to sign a six-page contract to use the facility for a May 13 rally that was ultimately canceled because of potential tornadoes in the area.

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. inoculates himself against financial disclosure — for now

The Federal Election Commission granted Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. more time to reveal his personal finances, buying the member of the wealthy Kennedy family an extra 45 days to disclose his assets, income and liabilities as required for all presidential hopefuls.

Kennedy joins several other members of a growing field of presidential candidates who requested and received extensions until June 29 or beyond to file public financial disclosures, including former President Donald J. Trump, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy — all Republicans — and author Marianne Williamson, a Democrat, according to a Raw Story analysis of FEC records.

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Rudy Giuliani is still an honored man at these five colleges — despite a tsunami of legal scandal

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a central figure during Donald Trump’s presidency, stands accused of sexually assaulting an ex-employee.

He is also accused of offering to sell presidential pardons for $2 million each — he denies wrongdoing.

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Donald Trump, Matthew Kacsmaryk and 'the man who hated women'

You’ve probably never heard of Anthony Comstock, a Civil War Union soldier and New York Postmaster, who died in 1915. You need to learn about him and his legacy, however, as his long fingers are about to reach up out of the grave and wrap themselves around the necks of every American woman of childbearing years.

Anthony Comstock was a mama’s boy who hated sex. His mother died when he was 10 years old and the shock apparently never left him; women who didn’t live up to her ideal were his open and declared enemies, as were pornography, masturbation, and abortion. He was so ignorant of sex and reproduction that he believed a visible human-like fetus developed “within seconds” of sexual intercourse.

Comstock spent decades scouring the country collecting pornography, which he enthusiastically shared with men in Congress, and harassing “loose women.” For example, when he visited a belly-dancing show (then a new craze) in Chicago at the Cairo Theatre during the World’s Fair of 1893, he demanded the show be shut down.

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Busted: These 6 members of Congress violated a federal conflicts-of-interest law

At least six more members of Congress have violated the STOCK Act by failing to disclose transactions — up to $376,280 collectively — within a 45-day federal deadline, according to a Raw Story analysis of congressional financial documents.

The majority of the late disclosure dollars came from Rep. Jonathan Jackson (D-IL) who was late in disclosing up to $300,000 in stock transactions from a joint trust.

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The real story behind the Durham report is the people reporting on it

The real story behind the Durham report is more disturbing than what’s being reported this week, because the people reporting on the Durham report are avoiding putting themselves at the center of the story. They are the real story.

The truth, meanwhile, is beside the point.

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Revealed: The secret plan to break the 'independent spirit' of the Supreme Court

We have, today, the most extreme Supreme Court since the early 1930s, and it didn’t just get that way through Republican appointments. Breaking two centuries of tradition, wealthy GOP donors are now using money, gifts, and other enticements to keep the Court in line.

In this, they’re exploiting the lifetime tenure given federal judges by the Constitution. If a billionaire or industry can suck up to and build a relationship with a Supreme Court justice early enough in their career, they can be confident of decades of decisions that favor them and their interests, as we’ve seen most shockingly in the case of Harlan Crow and Clarence Thomas.

This is the exact opposite of the intention of the Framers of the Constitution.

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Jim Jordan concedes Jan. 6 prosecutions are unprecedented because it was an unprecedented event

WASHINGTON — Rep. Jim Jordan's (R-OH) weaponization committee held a Thursday hearing with what he called FBI whistleblowers alleging the Bureau has become a political arm of the Justice Department's attacks on conservatives.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday evening that the FBI whistleblowers may have had an axe to grind. The men lost their top security clearance due to their support for the Jan. 6 attackers. Losing the higher level clearance almost certainly meant that they were limited in the kinds of jobs they could do.

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Republican work requirements: a solution to an imaginary problem

It’s still unclear whether the president is open to putting work requirements on citizens who are receiving federal jobless assistance, namely food stamps, amid this week’s negotiations over the debt ceiling with House Republicans.

The House Republicans visited the White House Tuesday. Various headlines have said work requirements are on the table. A close reading of the news, however, reveals that Joe Biden’s remarks are more ambiguous than reported.

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Trump couldn't possibly be a Russian asset...could he?

Imagine you’re in the FBI overseeing national security and a candidate for President for the United States hired to run his campaign a man who’d:

taken $66 million from Russian intelligence services via Putin-friendly oligarchs,
— helped Russia install their own puppet government in Ukraine in 2010,
— was paid $1 million a year to help the corrupt dictator Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), solidify his relationship with Moscow,
— forced his party to remove references in their platform to defending Ukrainian democracy,
— gave a Russian intelligence agent top-secret insider campaign information about voters in 6 swing states so they could run an ultimately successful micro-targeted Facebook campaign to help the candidate,
— offered to run the campaign for free because he’d been well-compensated by Russian intelligence services,
— and then repeatedly lied to the FBI about his connections to Putin and Russia, leading to his being charged, convicted, and imprisoned until that candidate pardoned him.

Imagine that candidate had visited Moscow with his Soviet-citizen wife — whose father was a Soviet agent — and been groomed all the way back in 1987 by Russian intelligence (then Soviet intelligence, the KGB) to run for president.

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‘We are at war’: Anti-trans activists lock arms with North Carolina GOP gubernatorial frontrunner

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson praised Moms for Liberty, a conservative group that opposes transgender rights, as the modern-day equivalent of Betsy Ross, Rosie the Riveter and Rosa Parks.

Members of the group, who are in Raleigh to lobby the North Carolina General Assembly for legislation prohibiting transgender girls and women from participating in female sports and to ban gender reassignment surgery for minors, greeted Robinson by saying, “We love you, Mark!”

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