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Trump-loving Nazi troll indicted in election fraud scheme that targeted Black voters

One of former President Donald Trump's most notoriously racist Twitter reply guys has now been charged with taking part in an election fraud scheme that targeted Black voters.

The United States Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that 31-year-old Florida man Douglass Mackey -- best known for posting racist pro-Trump propaganda under the Twitter pseudonym Ricky Vaughn -- was arrested and charged with "conspiring with others in advance of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election to use various social media platforms to disseminate misinformation designed to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote."

According to the DOJ, Mackey and his allies used their Twitter accounts to push out misinformation targeting Black voters that falsely told them they could vote via text messages.

"For example, on Nov. 1, 2016, Mackey allegedly tweeted an image that featured an African American woman standing in front of an 'African Americans for [the Candidate]' sign," the DOJ alleges. "The image included the following text: 'Avoid the Line. Vote from Home. Text '[Candidate's first name]' to 59925[.] Vote for [the Candidate] and be a part of history.'"

Fellow Trump-loving Twitter troll Jacob Wohl was indicted last year in multiple states and charged with similarly targeting Black voters with robocalls that made false claims about mail-in voting.

Read the full indictment here.

Notorious 'shock jock' investor complains about being cyberbullied after Reddit spoils his short selling

Andrew Left, a notorious short seller and founder of Citron Research, complained in an interview with the Wall Street Journal this week about being cyberbullied after a group of Reddit users spoiled his plans to short shares of video game retailer GameStop.

According to WSJ's sources, Left is feeling distraught after hackers "shared his personal information, hacked into Mr. Left's social-media accounts and texted Mr. Left and his two children, using threatening, profane and personal language."

"It makes you feel vulnerable," Left told the Journal. "We live in a world where we're all exposed and people don't understand boundaries."

However, Left himself is no stranger to conflict.

In a 2015 WSJ profile of Left, the Beverly Hills-based investor is described as "the shock jock of short sellers" who is known for authoring "reports laced with profanity, vivid anatomical descriptions and taunts directed at corporate executives."

Short sellers make money by placing bets that a company's share price is overvalued, which means that they are only successful if a company fails.

This process involves borrowing shares from investors, selling the shares, then buying them back at a later date when their price has significantly dropped.

However, if a company's share price increases by the time they have to give shares back to their original investors, then the short seller can lose massive sums of money, which is what happened to Left's attempt to short GameStop.

Left told the WSJ that he's been disturbed at the zeal smaller investors have shown in blowing up his trades.

"It's extreme capitalism gone wild," he said. "We're a nation of gamblers."

'WE OWN YOU NOW!' Redditors triumphantly taunt hedge funds after spoiling effort to short GameStop stock

The big story in the financial world on Wednesday has been the stunning rise in the share price of video game retailer GameStop, which had been the target of a short-selling campaign by big hedge funds.

The reason for GameStop's surge has been the actions of a Reddit page called /r/WallStreetBets that has been urging readers to spoil the short sellers' bet by buying up shares at ever-escalating prices.

The campaign so far has been a massive success: GameStop shares were selling for over $350 as of Wednesday morning, after beginning the year trading at just over $17 per share.

This has made life miserable for hedge funds such as Melvin Capital Management, which has lost an estimated 30 percent of its $12.5 billion under management this year thanks in large part to its failed GameStop short.

Redditors at /r/WallStreetBets took a victory lap over the hedge funds on Wednesday, and one user's triumphant taunt of rich Wall Street firms shot up to the top of Reddit's front page in just one hour.



Read the whole thread here.

Capitol Hill Republican goes on profane rant about Fox News

A longtime adviser to retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) went on a profane rant about Fox News while talking about how miserable it is to be a pragmatic Republican lawmaker right now.

In talking with National Journal's Josh Kraushaar, Portman adviser and GOP strategist Corry Bliss bluntly laid out the dilemma facing Republican lawmakers.

"If you want to spend all your time going on Fox and be an assh*le, there's never been a better time to serve," he explained. "But if you want to spend all your time being thoughtful and getting sh*t done, there's never been a worse time to serve."

Portman's retirement sent shockwaves through Washington D.C. this week, and Kraushaar writes that the race to replace him will say a lot about the direction of the GOP.

"The Republican primary, in a state that Trump comfortably carried the previous two elections, will be a test of whether there's still a market for pragmatism within the party," he writes, while also warning that "nominating hard-line conservative candidates would carry greater risk in states like Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina, four battleground states where Republicans are also facing wide-open primaries."

Right-wing extremists wage 'meme war' in race to attract angry Trump fanatics

Trump supporters who are angry and disillusioned in the wake of President Joe Biden's inauguration last week are being targeted by far-right groups who are using internet memes to recruit new followers.

The Los Angeles Times reports that groups including the Proud Boys, the Boogaloo Bois, the Three Percenters are flooding the internet with memes aimed at pulling Trump supporters in even more extreme directions.

"We want people who walk away from Trump... to join us," Mike Dunn, a Boogaloo Bois member, told the LA Times. "Memes play a role on the younger generation and we are winning."

The Boogaloo Intel Drop Telegram channel was even more explicit about its goals in reaching out to Trump supporters.

"Whichever group is the most firm in its devotion and has the best mimetic potential will win," the channel wrote to its followers just before Biden's inauguration. "Civic nationalists and libertarians will find themselves in the white nationalist boat before long."

The goal of the memes is to wean Trump supporters away from backing the former president by claiming that he didn't go far enough in promoting the white nationalist cause.

"Followers who click on these channels' memes are led to even more extreme 'terrorgram' channels featuring racist and anti-Semitic memes, including a recently posted cartoon of Trump wearing a Star of David while stabbing a MAGA-hat-wearing supporter in the back," reports the LA Times.

'Crazy has started to metastasize at every single level in the GOP': Ex-Republican Congressman

Former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA) on Wednesday told CNN's John Berman that he is deeply concerned about the direction his party has taken ever since former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election.

During the interview, Berman noted that state Republican parties have been embracing conspiracy theories about the pro-Trump Capitol riots being "false flag" operations intended to frame Trump supporters as criminals.

Riggleman said that this was a very worrisome sign for the GOP as a whole.

"Crazy has started to metastasize at every single level in the GOP," he said. "I'm seeing it here in Virginia. And I'll tell both of you, I was in a town here in central Virginia and saw that there were Trump/Pence signs on the road. Someone had taken a black can of spray paint and painted out Pence's name on some of these signs and put some very nasty words there [that] rhymed with, 'Luck Pence.'"

Riggleman held particular scorn for QAnon-loving Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who was revealed this week to be supportive of a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton murdering an infant.

"Not only is it crazy, it is par for the course with Marjorie Taylor Greene," he said. "I have to wonder at this point if there's something mentally there that we have to worry about."

Watch the video below.

'Blaring siren': Arizona Republicans spooked after party registration drops in wake of Capitol riots

Even though the Arizona Republican Party is doubling down on its support for former President Donald Trump, some within the party are worried that more moderate voters in the state are fleeing them in the wake of the Capitol riots.

CNN's Kyung Lah on Wednesday reported that "the Arizona secretary of state's office says 9,944 registered Republicans, that's almost 10,000 of them, have officially switched their party registration since the U.S. capitol riots."

And although Arizona state GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward doesn't appear concerned about shedding voters, Lah says others within the party fear they're heading in the wrong direction given how their state has been trending blue.

"Establishment Republicans here in Arizona say that is not just a warning, it is a blaring siren," she said.

Former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) backed up Lah's assertions and warned that the party was on the verge of making itself irrelevant if it continued down the Trump rabbit hole.

"It really is driving normal, regular, rational people from the Republican Party," he said. "And we can't afford to lose many more."

Watch the video below.

'Verbally violent' Trump supporters have been swarming Palm Beach ever since his loss -- and locals are worried

Former President Donald Trump has taken up residence in Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, and it's become something of a Mecca for his supporters.

Palm Beach County Democratic Party Secretary Sophia Nelson tells TMZ that she's worried about the effect that Trump will have on local politics.

"Nelson says she and others have already seen changes in town, especially near Trump properties, where upwards of 100 supporters have been gathering daily to show their love since Trump's arrival last week," reports TMZ. "She calls them 'verbally violent.'"

Nelson also worries that Trump-loving radicals will feel emboldened to challenge local elected Republicans in primary fights, which will make governing much more difficult than it has traditionally been.

Just one week after his departure from the White House, there are already signs that residents of Palm Beach County are tired of his presence. Residents at the condominium complex formerly known as Trump Plaza, for instance, openly celebrated after the condo board unanimously voted to change its name.

Trump supporter finally accepts his defeat -- and says God removed him for being too pro-LGBT

A one-time supporter of former President Donald Trump has finally accepted the results of the 2020 election -- but now he thinks the LGBT community is to blame.

Right Wing Watch reports that Scott Lively, the anti-LGBT crusader who in the past accused former President Barack Obama of supporting "sexual anarchy," has come to grips with the fact that Trump really did lose the 2020 election.

In fact, Lively believes that Trump's loss was God's punishment against the former president for not enacting hardline anti-LGBT laws along the lines of what Russian President Vladimir Putin has enacted in his country.

"He defied God on a fundamental tenet of the Bible and never repented of it," Lively said. "The one thing that he did during that time that would virtually guarantee God's favor being removed was to put his own personal stamp of approval on behavior that God condemns in the harshest possible terms in the Bible, which is specifically male homosexuality."

As evidence, Lively pointed to Trump's appointment of Richard Grenell, perhaps the former president's most high-profile gay supporter, to serve in his administration.

"Trump fully endorsed and backed and applauded Grenell, [who] was an outspoken advocate for the central doctrine of the progressive movement, which is queer theory," Lively claimed.

'A long time coming': Residents rejoice after unanimous vote to remove Trump's name from their condo complex

The board of the Trump Plaza condominium complex in West Palm Beach, Florida has voted to change its name in the wake of former President Donald Trump's incitement of deadly riots earlier this month.

The Palm Beach Post reports that the board voted unanimously last week to change the condo complex's name, and is now giving residents a chance to vote for a new name.

Some residents tell the Palm Beach Post that the Trump-inspired insurrection at the United States Capitol building on January 6th was the final straw that pushed them to completely eliminate any association between their buildings and the former president.

"It's been a long time in coming," one Trump Plaza owner tells the newspaper. "Most of us are relieved that the name will finally be off the buildings."

Trump Plaza residents just last year voted overwhelmingly to keep signs bearing the president's name off their buildings, as they made the complex a target for vandals.

Multiple Trump-branded properties removed his name after his election in 2016, as many buildings want to avoid being magnets for political controversy.

Trump DOD slapped new restrictions on DC National Guard commander ahead of MAGA riots

The commander of the Washington D.C. National Guard said that the Department of Defense restricted his authority in a way that made it significantly harder for him to respond to the January 6th riots at the United States Capitol building.

The Washington Post reports that Maj. Gen. William J. Walker says that the Pentagon forced him to seek a higher level sign-off before sending in troops to break up the pro-Trump riots that left five people dead.

"All military commanders normally have immediate response authority to protect property, life, and in my case, federal functions — federal property and life," Walker tells the Post. "But in this instance I did not have that authority."

Former Army secretary Ryan McCarthy tells the Post that new restrictions were put in place after the DoD received criticism for using heavy handed tactics to control Black Lives Matter protests, including flying helicopters low over demonstrators.

"After June, the authorities were pulled back up to the secretary of defense's office," McCarthy told the paper. "Any time we would employ troops and guardsmen in the city, you had to go through a rigorous process. As you recall, there were events in the summer that got a lot of attention, and that was part of this."

Virginia cops who posed for selfies after breaking into Capitol get fired

Two police officers from Rocky Mount, Virginia have been fired after they photographed themselves at the infamous pro-Trump riots in the United States Capitol building.

The Roanoke Times reports that former Rocky Mount Police Department Sgt. Thomas "T.J." Robertson and former Officer Jacob Fracker were terminated this week after they posted selfies of themselves inside the Capitol on January 6th.

Rocky Mount Town Manager James Ervin said that their actions led to outrage among many residents, though he defended the town's meticulous approach to holding the officers accountable.

"We hear those who have communicated their anger and frustration about the actions of these individuals or our response to those actions," Ervin said. "We have treated the process of review seriously from the beginning and thank those who contributed and in coordinating a response in a quick, objective and lawful manner."

The two officers earlier this month were charged with a misdemeanor of knowingly entering a restricted building without authority to do so to engage in conduct that disrupts government business; and a petty offense of engaging in disruptive conduct in the Capitol in order to interfere with a session of Congress.

Josh Hawley mocked for claiming he's being 'silenced' while promoting yet another appearance on national TV

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) is once again complaining that Democrats were trying to "silence" him even as he promoted a recent appearance on a national cable news network.

In a tweet posted Tuesday morning, Hawley shared a video of a Monday appearance on Fox News in which he decried Democrats and Big Tech companies for purportedly trying to censor him.

"Democrats in DC say they want unity," Hawley wrote. "They don't want unity. They want total control. Control of what we say, what we think, and who we support. And they are working in lockstep with Big Tech and Big corporations to silence us."

Hawley's claims of being a victim of censorship drew immediate ridicule given that he just had an editorial published on the front page of the New York Post two days ago, in addition to the multiple Fox News appearances and tweets he has made in the time since that editorial was published.

Check out some reactions to Hawley below.

There are witnesses who can testify that Trump enjoyed watching MAGA riots: NYT's Haberman

Former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial is scheduled to begin in the United States Senate next month, and New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman believes that there are witnesses who could make things significantly more uncomfortable for Republicans.

Appearing on CNN Tuesday, Haberman reiterated that her own sources have said they personally saw Trump enjoying watching his supporters riot at the United States Capitol building on January 6th.

"He was watching, enjoying what he was seeing in part because he was enjoying just people defending him and in part because... it stopped the certification [of Biden's election]," she said. "That was what he wanted to see."

Haberman would not reveal any of her sources, but she speculated that Democrats could track some of them down and call them as witnesses at the president's Senate trial if they wanted to do so.

"I think if witnesses are called for this trial, I don't know that they will be, but if witnesses are called for this trial, I suspect they can find some people who they might be able to try to get to talk about this," she said.

Trump has been impeached in the House of Representatives for inciting an insurrection at the Capitol building while Congress was working to certify the results of the 2020 election.

Watch the video below.

GOP is 'dooming' itself to 'minority status' by clinging to Trump: Republican operative

The Republican Party is weathering internal fights about the need to maintain total loyalty to former President Donald Trump, and at least one longtime GOP operative is warning that it could massively hurt the party in the coming years.

Michael Steel, a former top aide to House Speaker John Boehner, tells CNN's Michael Warren that he is particularly disturbed at seeing the Arizona Republican Party censure Gov. Doug Ducey because he refused to overturn his state's election results for Trump's benefit.

"If you say to the people of Arizona that your successful, conservative, two-term governor is somehow a problem, you are dooming yourself to minority status," he said.

Conservative talk radio host Erick Erickson, who has frequently been critical of Trump despite voting for him in this year's election, similarly said that his party cannot afford to become any smaller.

"A party that isn't big enough for Dick Cheney's daughter, Trump's secretary of transportation's husband, John McCain's wife, and the sitting governors of Arizona and Georgia is a party not big enough to win," he said.