Kyrsten Sinema showered with cash from pharmaceutical industry as she threatens Dems' whole agenda

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) this past quarter raised $1.1 million -- and 90 percent of it came from out-of-state donors, including a who's who of pharmaceutical company executives.

Politico reports that Sinema "received $27,800 from PACs of pharmaceutical companies from July through September" and also received several individual donations from pharma execs, including $5,000 from Gilead CEO, Daniel O'Day, $2,900 from Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks, and $2,900 from Kenneth C. Frazier, the chairman of the board at Merck.

News of the donations comes as Sinema has been threatening to block Democrats from allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices with major pharmaceutical firms.

In addition to raking in cash from Big Pharma, Sinema also posted a substantial haul from the financial services industry, Politico reports.

"PACs for the financial services industry — another sector facing potential new regulation in Congress — gave more than $50,000," reports Politico. "Goldman Sachs president John Waldron made a maximum donation of $5,800. Two senior managing directors at Blackstone — Giovani Cutaia and Eli Nagler — collectively gave $5,700, and a managing director of government relations there, Alex Katz, donated $1,000."

Read the whole report here.

Texas school district apologizes after asking teachers to examine 'opposing views' about the Holocaust

A Texas school district has issued an apology one day after its executive director of curriculum instructed teachers to promote reading materials that offer "opposing views" about the Holocaust.

In a Facebook post, the Carroll Independent School District admitted that the administrator erred when she made the recommendations about teaching two different sides to the systematic murder of 6 million Jews during World War II.

"During the conversations with teachers during last week's meeting, the comments made were in no way to convey that the Holocaust was anything less than a terrible event in history," wrote Carroll Superintendent of Schools Lane Ledbetter. "Additionally, we recognize there are not two sides of the Holocaust."

The administrator's remarks came in response to a recent bill passed by the Texas legislature that demands students be presented with opposing viewpoints when it comes to "widely debated and currently controversial."

Ledbetter emphasized, however, that "as we continue to work through implementation of HB3979, we also understand this bill does not require an opposing viewpoint on historical facts."

Jeffrey Epstein said Bill Barr was really running the White House -- not 'moron' Trump: Michael Wolff

A new report from author Michael Wolff claims that billionaire child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein told former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2019 that then-President Donald Trump was not really calling the shots at the White House.

While Barak was visiting Epstein at his Manhattan penthouse, writes Wolff for The Daily Beast, he asked Epstein who was really running the government.

Epstein replied that Trump was "a moron" and was thus obviously not in charge.

"At the moment, Bill Barr is in charge," said Epstein, although he warned that could change at any minute given the way that Trump fired people in his administration.

"It's Donald's pattern," Epstein explained. "He lets someone else be in charge, until other people realize that someone, other than him, is in charge. When that happens, you're no longer in charge."

Epstein went on to claim that Barr decided to become attorney general because he believed he'd make lots of money afterward as a "savior" of Republican presidents who couldn't help getting themselves into legal jeopardy.

"Barr believes he'll get a big payday out of this," said Epstein. "If he keeps Donald in office, manages to hold the Justice Department together, and help the Republican Party survive Donald, he thinks this is worth big money to him. I speak from direct knowledge. Extremely direct. Trust me."

Read the whole report here.

Netflix fires employee who organized transgender walkout to protest Dave Chappelle's new special

Netflix has fired an employee who organized a walkout among transgender employees to protest against Dave Chappelle's new comedy special in which he makes several jokes targeting transgender people.

The Verge reports that the employee, who is remaining anonymous due to worries about being subjected to an online harassment campaign, was fired on suspicion of leaking financial numbers about how much Netflix paid Chappelle for his latest special.

"We have let go of an employee for sharing confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company," a Netflix spokesperson tells The Verge. "We understand this employee may have been motivated by disappointment and hurt with Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is core to our company."

Earlier this week, Netflix suspended another transgender employee for allegedly trying to attend a meeting to which she was not invited.

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos earlier this month sent out an internal email acknowledging that trans employees are upset over the Chappelle special, but he said that the company would not be removing it.

"We don't allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don't believe [the latest Chappelle special] crosses that line," he wrote. "I recognize, however, that distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries. Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean spirited but our members enjoy it, and it's an important part of our content offering."

Trump supporters hurl profanities at Joe Biden as he greets children at a daycare center: report

President Joe Biden was greeted with profane taunts from Trump supporters on Friday despite the fact that he was in the presence of children.

According to NPR White House correspondent Scott Detrow, Biden on Friday travelled to a daycare center in Hartford, Connecticut to promote childcare plans that are part of his "Build Back Better" agenda.

While there, he greeted several children at a playground, only to be interrupted at one point by Trump supporters who were yelling at him from across the street.

As recounted by Voice of America News reporter Patsy Widakuswara, "at one point Biden put a twisty blue tube toy on his head" while meeting with the children and "as this happened you could clearly hear Trump supporters across the street yelling 'traitor' and "f*ck Joe Biden."

Despite this, Biden continued into the daycare center and delivered a speech talking about Democratic policies such as the expanded child tax credit and universal pre-K.

Capitol cop indicted for obstruction of justice after he allegedly tipped off MAGA rioter on Facebook

A veteran of the Capitol Police has been indicted for obstructing justice after he allegedly tipped off a Trump supporter on Facebook and advised him to take down photos he posted of himself at the MAGA riot.

Via Law and Crime's Adam Klasfeld, a newly unsealed indictment charges that U.S. Capitol Police Officer Michael Angelo Riley went on Facebook the day after the Capitol riots and advised an unidentified rioter to remove photos he'd posted of himself at the siege.

"Hey I'm a Capitol Police officer who agrees with your political stance," Riley allegedly wrote. "Take down the part about being in the building they are currently investigating and everyone who was in the building is going to be charged. Just looking out!"

Prosecutors say that this was the first time that Riley and the rioter had been in contact one another, although Riley mysteriously sent the rioter a friend request days earlier. According to prosecutors, both Riley and the rioter "were avid fisherman and members of fishing-related Facebook groups."

See a portion of the indictment below.

'Our patience is not infinite': Capitol riot committee's Adam Kinzinger warns Trump allies against stalling

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) on Thursday had a warning for Trump allies who are not negotiating in good faith with the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th Capitol riots.

Appearing on CNN, Kinzinger told host Anderson Cooper that the committee had agreed to delay appearances by former Trump officials Kash Patel and Mark Meadows -- but he said that members were wary of these officials engaging with the committee simply as a way to stall their testimonies.

"That could be a delay tactic," he said. "It very well may be. But it is important for us, I think, to engage in good will. But I'm going to tell you, our patience is not infinite and in fact, if we start to sniff that this is in fact a delay tactic, I think you can expect, in essence, more of what you're going to see with Bannon."

The Capitol riot committee is expected to give the United States Department of Justice a criminal contempt referral for former Trump political strategist Bannon after he defied its subpoena this week.

Watch the video below.


'Our patience is not infinite': Capitol riot committee's Adam Kinzinger warns Trump allies www.youtube.com

Ivanka and other Trump family members now 'fair game' for Capitol riot committee subpoenas: CNN reporter

CNN reporter Jamie Gangel said on Thursday that the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th Capitol riots appears to be moving aggressively and could soon ensnare members of former President Donald Trump's family.

While talking about the committee's referral for criminal contempt of Trump ally Steve Bannon for failing to comply with its subpoena, Gangel explained how the committee is showing that it's not messing around.

"If [Trump] thinks he can get away with being cute with his press releases, he has another thing coming," Gangel predicted.

Host Wolf Blitzer pointed out that the committee has even left the door open to subpoenaing Trump himself, and Gangel replied that it could expand beyond the former president.

"I think it opens up the Trump family," she explained. "Remember, Ivanka Trump was with her father on January 6th. She was in and out of the Oval Office. I think that there are going to be a lot of people who are fair game who are very close to the former president."

Watch the video below.


Ivanka and other Trump family members now 'fair game' for Capitol riot committee subpoenas www.youtube.com

'LEAVE ME ALONE!' Newsmax host posts all-caps freak out after being contacted by Gawker reporter

Newsmax host Greg Kelly on Thursday posted an all-caps freak out on Thursday after apparently being contacted by a reporter from Gawker.

Kelly began by expressing frustration that Gawker still existed, as it was shut down years ago after losing a lawsuit by professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.

"I THOUGHT GAWKER WAS SHUT DOWN BY HOLK (sic) HOGAN," Kelly began. "WHY ARE THEY 'SNOOPING AROUND.'"

He then informed the reporters that he would not talk to them under any circumstances.

"I'M NOT TALKING!" he wrote. "NOT 'NICE' WHAT THEY DID TO MY BUDDY PETER THIEL.LEAVE ME ALONE ! ANYTHING I WANT YOU TO KNOW I WILL SAY ON TWITTER OR PODCAST OR TV OR RADIO."

It is unknown at this point what Gawker reporters were asking Kelly about.

See the tweet below.


Republicans are 'privately frustrated' that Trump won't shut up about 2020 election: CNN reporter

CNN reporter Melanie Zanona on Thursday revealed that GOP lawmakers are privately getting fed up with former President Donald Trump refusing to shut up about the 2020 election.

In fact, she said, Republicans were particularly annoyed when Trump issued a veiled threat that his supporters wouldn't vote in 2022 and 2024 if the GOP didn't make investigating the 2020 election their top priority.

"Republicans are privately frustrated that Trump keeps trying to rehash the 2020 election," she said. "They would rather keep their midterm message focused on Joe Biden, the economy, or the border, and even some of Trump's most loyal supporters in Congress want to put 2020 in the rearview mirror."

Zanona also said that some Republicans are worried that "Trump's false claims of voter fraud and false talk of a rigged election could actually depress voter turnout among Republicans and turn off moderates and independents, just like we saw in the Georgia Senate races earlier this year when Republicans lost both seats."

Despite all this, however, she said no Republicans are willing to come out and criticize the former president publicly.

Watch the video below.


Republicans are 'privately frustrated' that Trump won't shut up about 2020 election www.youtube.com

Virginia's Glenn Youngkin distances himself from Bannon rally where attendees pledged allegiance to January 6th flag

Trump-endorsed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin on Thursday distanced himself from an event held by Trump ally Steve Bannon last night in which attendees pledged a allegiance to a flag that was supposedly flown at the January 6th "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the Capitol riots.

NBC News reports that Youngkin told reporters that he was generally unaware of the events that occurred on Wednesday, when former President Donald Trump phoned in to give Youngkin his endorsement for governor even though the candidate himself was not present.

"I wasn't involved, so I don't know," Youngkin said when asked about pledging allegiance to the January 6th flag. "But if that was the case, then we shouldn't pledge allegiance to that flag. And by the way, I've been so clear, there is no place for violence — none, none — in America today. We have our rights to assemble and protest protected... but there is no room for violence."

Youngkin also wouldn't say whether he'd want Trump to campaign for him in Virginia as he heads into the final stretch in a tight race against Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

"The person that's going to be campaigning here for the next two-and-half weeks is Glenn Youngkin," he said. "I am on the ballot."

Marjorie Taylor Greene attacks 'fascist' NBA with scientifically illiterate comparison of COVID-19 and HIV

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is lashing out at the Brooklyn Nets for telling star point guard Kyrie Irving that he can't play or even practice with the team unless he gets vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a tweet posted Thursday afternoon, Greene accused the NBA of hypocrisy because they still let Magic Johnson play even after he'd contracted HIV.

"The fascist NBA won't let Kyrie Irving play for refusing a vaccine," she wrote. "But yet they still let Magic Johnson play with HIV."

The novel coronavirus is a highly transmissible virus that spreads through the air, whereas HIV is usually spread through people sharing needles for intravenous drug use or from having unprotected sex.

Additionally, COVID-19 has proven to be far deadlier than HIV was even during its worst years.

In 1995, at the peak of the HIV epidemic in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 50,000 people died from the virus.

COVID-19, meanwhile, has already killed more than 720,000 Americans in less than two years.

Hacker who created 'monster' pro-Trump fake news empire regrets his actions -- and wants to make amends

A man who helped design and run a pro-Trump fake news empire during the 2016 presidential campaign now regrets his actions -- and he tells Ars Technica that he wants to make amends.

The hacker in question is named Robert Willis and he tells Ars Technica that he was hired in 2015 by a company called Koala Media whose stated goal was denying Hillary Clinton the presidency.

While working at the company he created a network of fake news websites that all syndicated one another's content and then spammed stories out to Facebook.

They quickly found that Trump supporters on Facebook were highly engaged and would share any pro-Trump, anti-Clinton articles they wrote, no matter how outlandish.

"Pieces that ran... claimed, among other things, that Clinton had plans to 'criminalize' gun owners, to kill the free press, to forcefully 'drug' conservatives, to vaccinate people against their wills, to euthanize some adults, and to ban the US flag," notes Ars Technica.

Willis quit the company in 2017, and Koala Media is now a shell of its former self after having been thoroughly banned from Facebook.

That said, Willis says he sees the same tactics that worked to elect Trump now being used to sow doubt about the novel coronavirus vaccines.

"COVID has shown me the deadly side of fake news and anti-vaccination people," Willis explains. "After multiple conversations with my father, who refuses to wear a mask or get vaccinated, I was getting very concerned. I asked him what sites he would read the conspiracy-based things on, and he mentioned the website that ran the network I had built the machine on."

Read the whole interview with Willis here.

Trump-loving Colorado county clerk barred by judge from participating in November election

Tina Peters, the Trump-loving Mesa County, Colorado clerk who has indulged in multiple election fraud conspiracies, has now been barred from participating in this year's November elections.

The Denver Post reports that District Court Judge Valerie J. Robison ruled on Wednesday that a lawsuit filed in August by Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold "met the burden of showing that Peters... committed a breach and neglect of duty and other wrongful act."

Peters is under investigation for possibly allowing another person to tamper with voting equipment in her county, and she at one point reportedly went into hiding with the help of MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who invited her to speak this past summer at his "Cyber Symposium" that failed to prove the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.

Peters blasted the ruling against her and vowed to appeal it.

"This power grab is a stunning abuse of office and overreach by Secretary of State Jena Griswold, which should alarm all Coloradans," she said, according to the Denver Post. "If this decision stands, it will fundamentally shift the power of running local elections from the county clerk to a Secretary of State in Denver, eroding the checks and balances that make our elections fair."

Capitol riot committee grilled Trump's former acting AG for eight hours: report

Former Trump acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen reportedly talked at length with the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th Capitol riots.

The Washington Post reports that Rosen testified for eight hours on Wednesday about his final days working at the Trump White House, in which he resisted efforts by Trump to have the Department of Justice declare the 2020 election fraudulent.

According to the Post's sources, many questions at Rosen's hearing revolved around his interactions with former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, whom the committee subpoenaed on Wednesday.

"Clark authored and circulated a draft letter dated Dec. 28, addressed to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) that urged officials in the state to investigate unfounded claims of fraud," writes the paper. "The Washington Post has previously reported that in early January, Trump entertained a plan to oust acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen and replace him with Clark, who was open to pursuing Trump's attempts to overturn the election results."

It is unclear so far whether Clark will comply with the committee's subpoena.

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