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Alabama GOP Senate Nominee Roy Moore’s Twitter Followers List Looks Like It’s Straight Out of the Moscow Phone Book

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Why are hundreds – or thousands – of Russian Twitter accounts, likely bots, following “Judge” Moore?

Republican U.S. Senate nominee “Judge” Roy Moore’s list of Twitter followers is packed with a lot of names that are pronounceable to most Americans only if they happen to speak Russian. The far right wing anti-gay twice-former state Supreme Court chief justice, booted both times for refusing to honor federal law, is following just 35 people. Among them, the usual right wing extremists: Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, Christian activists and former reality TV show hosts Phil Robertson, Sarah Palin, and Donald Trump. Anti-gay extremists Tony Perkins, the Family Research Council, Franklin Graham, Erick Erickson, Todd Starnes, and Bob Vader Plaats.

But take a look at who’s following Roy Moore, as Alabama’s The Ostrich did:

There appear to be at least hundreds of Russian Twitter accounts, likely bots, following “Judge” Moore.  

A screenshot:

moore_twitter_insert.jpg

Someone’s posted a video of “Roy Moore’s Bot Army”:

Why so many apparently Russian accounts?

Granted, the Moore campaign may not have control over who follows him on Twitter, but why would Russia be so interested in his campaign? Or is the Moore campaign paying for followers and tapped into a Russian bot bank?

Either way, it’s disturbing.

In case you’re wondering, Moore does not have a verified Twitter account, so NCRM went to the account linked on his campaign website, just to ensure @MooreSenate is not a fake or parody account. 

The Tuscaloosa County Democratic Party apparently has heard the news and posted this response to Moore’s new followers, to Twitter:

On Friday, Moore called for the impeachment of U.S Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.

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ANTI-LGBT DISCRIMINATION

Florida Republicans Advance Bill Banning Discussion of LGBTQ People in School Under Guise of ‘Parental Rights’

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Under the guise of “parental rights” and “student welfare” a Florida House committee has advanced legislation that would ban primary school discussion of LGBTQ people or topics, could require school officials to notify a parent if a student comes out as LGBTQ, bans schools from withholding that information from parents in many cases, and allows parents to sue if schools violate those policies.

Florida House Bill 1557, “Parental Rights in Education,” was advanced out of the Education and Employment Committee, The Tampa Bay Times reports. Its author, Rep. Joe Harding, the founder of a local lawn care company, was described by a local paper when he won his 2020 race as as “a supporter of anti-abortion legislation and the Second Amendment.”

The bill in part reads: “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

Jon Harris Maurer, Equality Florida’s Public Policy Director, spoke out against the legislation Thursday:

The bill must pass through one additional committee before being voted on by the full House.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), who is running for governor, weighed in:

A call to Rep. Harding’s office was not returned.

Image by Labpluto123 via Wikimedia and a CC license

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THIS IS WHAT FASCISM LOOKS LIKE

Draft Memo Reveals Trump Had Plan to Order Defense Secretary to Seize Voting Machines

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A draft executive order obtained by the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack reveals President Donald Trump had a plan, which he did not enact, to order the Secretary of Defense to seize voting machines in an attempt to stay in power after the January 20, 2021 inauguration of President Joe Biden.

There was also a plan for Trump to deliver a  speech titled “Remarks on National Healing.”

“I hereby order,” reads the draft executive order, dated December 16, 2020 and published Friday by Politico. “Effective immediately, the Secretary of Defense shall seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records required for retention,” citing a federal law.

Politico adds that “the draft order would have given the defense secretary 60 days to write an assessment of the 2020 election. That suggests it could have been a gambit to keep Trump in power until at least mid-February of 2021.”

The author of the executive order is unknown, with at least one expert suggesting it was likely written by someone outside the administration.

This is a breaking news and developing story. This article has been updated.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Exposé Reveals Ginni Thomas’ Ties to ‘Many Groups Directly Involved in Controversial Cases’ Before the Supreme Court

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A bombshell exposé by an award-winning investigative journalist takes a deep look into lobbyist and far right wing activist and conspiracy theorist Ginni Thomas, and the ties she has to people, groups – and money – that have or may have business before the U.S. Supreme Court, on which her conservative husband sits.

Is Ginni Thomas a Threat to the Supreme Court?” The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer asks point-blank. “Behind closed doors, Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife is working with many groups directly involved in controversial cases before the Court.”

Mayer writes that “Ginni Thomas has declared that America is in existential danger because of the ‘deep state’ and the ‘fascist left,’ which includes ‘transsexual fascists.'”

But that’s just a small piece of her massive reporting.

“Ginni Thomas’s political activism has caused controversy for years. For the most part, it has been dismissed as the harmless action of an independent spouse. But now the Court appears likely to secure victories for her allies in a number of highly polarizing cases—on abortion, affirmative action, and gun rights,” Mayer reveals.

How bad and how close are these ties? Thomas, unbeknownst to almost anyone, was “an undisclosed paid consultant at the conservative pressure group the Center for Security Policy, when its founder, Frank Gaffney, submitted an amicus brief to the Court supporting Trump’s Muslim travel ban.”

Did Justice Clarence Thomas know? Did the couple discuss the case, or her financial and political ties? No one knows.

And that’s just one example. Mayer notes that Ginni Thomas “has held leadership positions at conservative pressure groups that have either been involved in cases before the [Supreme] Court or have had members engaged in such cases.”

“In 2019, she announced a political project called Crowdsourcers, and said that one of her four partners would be the founder of Project Veritas, James O’Keefe. Project Veritas tries to embarrass progressives by making secret videos of them, and last year petitioned the Court to enjoin Massachusetts from enforcing a state law that bans the surreptitious taping of public officials. Another partner in Crowdsourcers, Ginni Thomas said in her announcement, was Cleta Mitchell, the chairman of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative election-law nonprofit. It, too, has had business before the Court, filing amicus briefs in cases centering on the democratic process. Thomas also currently serves on the advisory board of the National Association of Scholars, a group promoting conservative values in academia, which has filed an amicus brief before the Court in a potentially groundbreaking affirmative-action lawsuit against Harvard.”

Should Americans be concerned? Should Justice Thomas? Should Chief Justice John Roberts?

“If Ginni Thomas is intimately involved—financially or ideologically tied to the litigant—that strikes me as slicing the baloney a little thin,” David Luban, a professor of law and philosophy at Georgetown, who specializes in legal ethics, tells Mayer.

Surely Justice Thomas has the ability to separate his work and home life, right?

“Even before” Clarence Thomas’ controversial and contentious confirmation hearing, which included the accusations – labeled  “credible” by many – from Anita Hill, “a friend told the Washington Post, the couple was so bonded that ‘the one person [Clarence] really listens to is Virginia.'”

In 2019 then-Congressman Mark Meadows, who because White House Chief of Staff to President Donald Trump and now appears to have been intimately involved in aspects of the January 6 insurrection, told members of a “nonprofit that mobilizes conservative evangelical voters” that “Ginni was talking about how we ‘team up,’ and we actually have teamed up. And I’m going to give you something you won’t hear anywhere else—we worked through the first five days of the impeachment hearings.”

Mayer adds, “Ginni Thomas has her own links to the January 6th insurrection.”

The nearly 7000 word deep dive can be read here.

 

 

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