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Elon Musk’s Neuralink Is Under Federal Investigation for Animal Abuse

Musk reportedly pressured staff, telling them to “imagine they had a bomb strapped to their heads,” leading to rushed animal testing.

Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Elon Musk’s medical implant company Neuralink is facing a federal probe over potential animal welfare violations.

Reuters first reported Monday evening that the company, which Musk says could begin human trials in the next six months, is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture over how Neuralink treats and conducts tests on animals.

Neuralink has killed about 1,500 animals during testing since 2018, Reuters said, citing internal documents and anonymous sources “with direct knowledge of the company’s animal-testing operations.”

Current and former Neuralink employees told Reuters that they worked under a constant state of pressure, with Musk repeatedly demanding that they work faster and encouraging them to “imagine they had a bomb strapped to their heads” or threatening to trigger a “market failure” at the company if they didn’t meet his goals.

As a result, animal testing was often rushed, meaning that the data sometimes contained errors and tests had to be repeated, causing unnecessary deaths. Other times, there were human errors during the surgeries to implant Neuralink chips, which employees attributed to lack of preparation.

Both Neuralink and Musk have publicly stated that their animal testing is used as the last step in the research process, with Musk describing it as “confirmatory, not exploratory” at a presentation in late November. But Reuters found that in October, Neuralink scrubbed the word “exploration” from study titles and banned employees from using it in the future.

What’s more, there have been numerous exploratory surgeries over several years, Reuters said, again citing company documents and anonymous internal sources.

Musk has previously been called out for his company’s use of animal testing. A few days before his November presentation, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit research and advocacy group, set up a website detailing the effects of Neuralink tests on animals.

“Monkeys suffered paralysis, seizures, and such poor psychological health that they pulled out their own hair,” the group said.

The group’s director of research advocacy, Ryan Merkley, slammed Musk as “a modern-day P.T. Barnum.”

He’s a showman who makes big promises while hiding the grisly details from the public.”

Musk’s slapdash approach to Neuralink testing should come as no surprise, given the way he has handled Twitter since taking over the social media platform in late October.

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Republicans Begin Speaking Against Trump’s Call to Terminate Democracy

After a period of radio silence, Republicans are finally condemning Donald Trump’s call to terminate the U.S. Constitution and restore him to power.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

After a remarkable period of radio silence, some Republicans are finally saying something about their party leader calling to terminate the Constitution, counteract democracy, and crown him as an unelected president.

On Saturday, former President Donald Trump called to terminate the U.S. Constitution and reinstate himself back to power. He then tried to briefly walk back the comments, before doubling down on Monday, claiming yet again that there was massive fraud in the 2020 election.

Now Senate Republicans are beginning to finally speak out against Trump’s ridiculous remarks.

“I swear an oath to uphold the Constitution and it is a bedrock principle—it is the principle, the bedrock of our country. I couldn’t disagree more,” said Senator John Thune, the number two Senate Republican. “If you’re one of these other people who’s interested in running this year, this is certainly an opportunity that would create some contrast.”

Senator Roy Blunt echoed Thune, saying, “I think you take an oath to the Constitution. You don’t take it provisionally. And I can’t imagine that a former president would make that statement.”

Senator Mike Rounds released a full statement, saying, “Anyone who desires to lead our country must commit to protecting the Constitution. They should not threaten to terminate it.” He also noted “there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would alter the results of the 2020 election.”

Senator John Cornyn said Trump’s tirade was “not a responsible thing to say.”

Late Sunday, Senator Lisa Murkowski tweeted, “Suggesting the termination of the Constitution is not only a betrayal of our Oath of Office, it’s an affront to our Republic.”

Nevertheless, none of these explicitly, once and for all, denounce Trump. And these quotes come from just a smattering of Republicans among a larger party apparatus that refuses to stand unequivocally against Trump’s anti-democratic impulses. Senator Mitch McConnell, for example, has yet to say anything.

And if an entire political party largely refuses to defend basic democracy, all in deference to one individual, one could rightly denote that party as divested from democracy—or, as the White House said earlier this year, invested in fascism.

Twitter Janitors Are Striking After Being Laid Off With No Warning

Vicious layoffs continue at Elon Musk’s Twitter.

Twitter logo on brick wall
Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress

As Elon Musk continues on his quest to make Twitter as garbage as possible, he is ensuring no one will be around to clean it up—online or off.

On Monday, janitors and allies picketed outside of Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, in response to more than 20 workers being haphazardly laid off, according to a representative from SEIU Local 87, the union that represents the workers. Late last week, workers were told with no notice that Friday would be their last day.

Workers have been picketing most of Monday morning, and the union representative said they will continue until their demands for recourse are met—whether it’s getting their job back or attaining some form of compensation for lost wages and being abruptly fired with no notice.

This is not the first time Musk laid off unionized workers. At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic (shortly after Musk had said, “The coronavirus panic is dumb,” before over one million Americans would proceed to die from the virus), the Tesla CEO laid off 280 janitors and bus drivers. This, while fellow tech giants, including Facebook and Google, committed to keep paying their hourly workers during the pandemic.

This is a developing story.

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Herschel Walker’s Ex-Girlfriend Details Abuse: “I Have to Say What I Know”

Cheryl Parsa, who says she dated Herschel Walker, said the Georgia Senate candidate grabbed her throat and threw a punch that missed.

Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

A woman who says she was in a romantic relationship with Herschel Walker says the Georgia Senate candidate abused her and is lying to American voters.

Cheryl Parsa, who dated Walker for five years in the early 2000s, told NBC that he physically attacked her in 2005 after she caught him with another woman.

When Parsa confronted him, Walker backed her against a wall and grabbed her throat. “You want to see a man? I’ll show you a man!” he shouted, his face so close to hers that he sprayed her with saliva.

Walker then tried to punch her, but Parsa says she was able to dodge and get away.

“I believe the deception now is on the American people, and I have to say what I know,” she said in an interview Sunday.

Parsa has also described Walker’s manipulative tendencies. She attended a few of his sessions with a therapist helping him work to control his dissociative identity disorder, or DID, a mental health condition where people have multiple, distinct personalities. Both Walker and his therapist convinced her to stay in the relationship longer than she wanted, insisting she was the only one who could save him from himself.

He knows how to manipulate his disease, in order to manipulate people, while at times being simultaneously completely out of control,” she told The Daily Beast on Friday.

“He is not well.… He cannot be a senator. He cannot have control over a state when he has little to no control of his mind.”

Walker has been accused multiple times of physical abuse and emotional manipulation. His ex-wife and son have both said he threatened to kill them. The Daily Beast spoke with four other women, in addition to Parsa, whom Walker dated from the 1990s to the early 2010s, sometimes simultaneously.

The other women, who spoke anonymously, describe how Walker would overwhelm them with expressions of almost aggressive affection, known as “love-bombing.” He also proposed to at least one of the women while seeing some of the others.

Walker has branded himself on the campaign trail as a MAGA Republican and ultraconservative traditionalist. He has condemned absentee Black fathers and does not believe in abortion.

He has not responded to Parsa’s accusations, but he has denied the accusations from his ex-wife and son, who says his father is not present in his life. Walker has also denied allegations from two other women, who came forward anonymously in October, that he forced them to get abortions while they were dating.

This article has been updated to clarify Parsa’s allegations.

GOP Leadership Silent on Trump’s Calls to Terminate Constitution

Republican officials have remained largely silent after former President Donald Trump suggested the Constitution be terminated.

Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy stand in the background, Trump sits in the foreground (not in focus)

Over two years after he lost the 2020 election, former President Donald Trump whined on Saturday once again about it, this time calling to terminate the U.S. Constitution and reinstate him back to power.

“Do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!”

Following Trump’s call to throw out the results of an election he lost by seven million votes, Republicans have largely remained silent—particularly party leadership. Neither Senator Mitch McConnell nor Representative Kevin McCarthy have said a word. This after McCarthy pledged to read the Constitution on the first day of the next congressional session.

RNC chair and election denialist Ronna McDaniel has also remained mum.

Among the Republicans who have spoken out, there’s little that gives confidence.

Representative David Joyce, chairman of the Republican Governance Group, a coalition of self-proclaimed “moderate” Republicans, refused to denounce Trump on ABC Sunday. After confirming he would support “whoever the Republican nominee is,” he said Trump simply “says a lot of things.”

Also on Sunday, Representative Mike Turner said he “vehemently disagree[s]” with Trump’s statement, saying it’s “certainly not consistent with the oath we all take.”

Incoming Representative Mike Lawler said, “The Constitution is set for a reason, to protect the rights of every American. So I certainly don’t endorse that language or that sentiment.”

Representatives and outspoken Trump critics Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger both criticized the former president’s comments. Both are outgoing members of Congress.

All this radio silence follows a refusal by many Republicans, including the leadership, to simply and clearly denounce Trump’s antisemitic proclivities. Then, as now, reveals how pathetically submissive the Republican Party is.

Herschel Walker Seems Unclear on What Chamber of Congress He’s Running for

The Georgia Senate candidate forgot he was a Georgia Senate candidate.

Megan Varner/Getty Images
Megan Varner/Getty Images

Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker may not even know what chamber of Congress he’s running for.

In the final weekend before Tuesday’s runoff race, Walker and his opponent, Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock, both hosted multiple events to try and galvanize supporters.

But in an interview with Politico, Walker seemed confused about which house he was running for. He also seemed to think that a victory would mean Republican control of that chamber.

They’re not [less motivated] because they know right now that the House will be even so they don’t want to understand what is happening right now,” he said Saturday about Georgia voters. “You get the House, you get the committees. You get all the committees even, they just stall things within there.”

Republicans have taken control of the House of Representatives, but only by a handful of seats. It also remains unclear if the entire party—which is split between Donald Trump loyalists and more moderate lawmakers—will be able to present a united front.

Democrats, however, have kept control of the Senate. A Warnock victory is not necessary for a majority but is still important. If he wins reelection, then Democrats will have an outright 51-49 majority, meaning control over the committees, as opposed to a 50-50 split with a tiebreak.

Walker has made gaffe after gaffe since he started running. He has lied repeatedly and been accused of domestic abuse and forcing partners to get abortions. At his events, he mostly focuses on far-right dog-whistle topics, such as boosting transphobia or railing against pronouns and “wokeness.” Republicans rarely let him speak alone in interviews.

Warnock, meanwhile, has pushed hard on issues such as the economy and health care. He has tried to appeal to younger voters and independent or more center-leaning Republicans.

This is not about Republican and Democrat. This is not about right and left. This is about the difference between right and wrong,” Warnock said at a rally on December 1.

Democrats Vote to Make South Carolina First Primary State

The plan will still need to be approved by the full DNC, but is likely to pass.


On Friday, the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee voted to make South Carolina the first state on the presidential primary calendar. South Carolina would replace Iowa, which has hosted the first presidential nominating contests for 50 years.

The upheaval of the nominating calendar comes largely from an effort spearheaded by President Joe Biden to readjust the order, ostensibly to make the primaries more demographically representative of the nation.

Per Biden’s recommendations, the DNC ordered Nevada and New Hampshire to concurrently vote second, three days after South Carolina, with Georgia to follow the week after, and Michigan to round out the first five contests two weeks after Georgia.

The proposal will still need to be approved by the full DNC at a meeting that will take place early next year, but as of now it seems unlikely to fail.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, South Carolina’s only congressional Democrat (whose endorsement of Biden helped generate a media storm during the primaries), said the move to prioritize South Carolina was apparently a surprise. “I didn’t ask to be first,” he said. “It was his idea.”

“He knows what South Carolina did for him, and he’s demonstrated that time and time again, by giving respect to South Carolina,” Clyburn said.

DNC Chair Jaime Harrison of South Carolina echoed Clyburn, saying he did not know Biden was recommending South Carolina to lead the presidential nomination calendar until Thursday evening. He claimed to want the process to play out without his influence.

“Folks, the Democratic Party looks like America,” he said. “This proposal reflects the best of our party as a whole, and it will continue to make our party and our country stronger.”

Report: Expanded Child Tax Credit Created Largest Drop in Child Poverty in a Single Year

The expanded tax credit, which Congress let expire, helped dramatically reduce child poverty.

Larry French/Getty Images/SKDK

The expanded child tax credit, or CTC, created the largest drop in child poverty in a single year, according to a new report from the Joint Economic Committee Democrats. In 2021, child poverty nearly halved, dropping from 9.7 percent to 5.2 percent.

The CTC, expanded under the 2021 American Rescue Plan, lifted 5.3 million people, including 2.9 million children, out of poverty in 2021. According to the report, 2.1 million of those children were lifted out of poverty specifically due to the expansion.

The expansion increased the value of the CTC from $2,000 per child to up to $3,600 per child under 6 years of age, and to $3,000 per child between the ages of 6 and 17. The credit was available to couples that made up to $150,000, or single heads of households that made up to $112,500.

Lifting millions out of poverty, the measure made 19 million more children eligible for the credit. The credit was also made fully refundable, allowing previously ineligible low-income families to receive the full credit, which accounted for some 80 percent of the reduction in child poverty.

Such effects dramatically impacted the lives of millions across the country. One man told The New York Times how his family was able to take a vacation for the first time, camping for a night in state park. Another woman explained how she worked a second job as night janitor to pay for her daughters’ cheerleading classes; with the expansion, she was able to quit and actually take the girls to the practices.

Congress, particularly Joe Manchin and Republicans, prevented the life-altering measure from being extended through the Inflation Reduction Act. Such glimmers of hope for families—like being able to go camping for the first time or quit a second job and go to a kid’s practice—have been left to fade away.

Now advocates for the CTC, like Senators Michael Bennett, Sherrod Brown, and Cory Booker and Representatives Rosa DeLauro and Suzan DelBene, are hoping to renew the measure in an end-of-year tax deal. But, as it remains unclear how Congress will complete a government funding bill for fiscal year 2023, so the fate of the CTC is subject to those negotiations.

In the meantime, the dramatic, life-changing impacts of the CTC cannot be forgotten—and they cannot be left to fade away without a fight.

Read the rest of the report here.

Elon Musk’s Twitter Restores Account of Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin

Anglin founded the neo-Nazi publication The Daily Stormer, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as having “nurtured a new generation of white supremacists online.”

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Andrew Anglin, founder of the neo-Nazi publication The Daily Stormer, has been allowed back on Twitter, even as platform owner Elon Musk banned Kanye West for being a Nazi sympathizer.

Anglin was kicked off Twitter in 2013. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes him as “a prolific internet troll” and a “serial harasser,” while it says The Daily Stormer “nurtured a new generation of white supremacists online.”

Late Thursday night, Musk banned West for posting a swastika on Twitter, saying the rapper “violated our rule against incitement to violence.”

On Thursday, West had appeared alongside white supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes on InfoWars, hosted by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. During the multihour interview, West expressed support for Hitler, shared Nazi propaganda, and denied the Holocaust.

Since Musk’s chaotic takeover of Twitter, hate speech on the platform has skyrocketed. Antisemitic posts jumped 61 percent in the two weeks after he completed the purchase.

Most of Twitter’s employees were either fired or have quit, and Musk has yet to create the promised content moderation team. Instead, he seems to be governing by whim—and personal affront—when it comes to suspending accounts.

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Infowars’ Alex Jones Files for Bankruptcy After Sandy Hook Verdict

The Infowars host and conspiracy theorist was ordered to pay $1.5 billion in damages earlier this year.

Alex Jones at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021
Jon Cherry/Getty Images

InfoWars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones filed for personal bankruptcy on Friday, citing the damages he owes to families of victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.

Jones was ordered earlier this year to pay $1.5 billion in damages to the families for lying for years about the school shooting. He has since been accused of improperly siphoning financial assets away from his business empire while claiming to be broke, in an effort to avoid paying.

This filing comes after Free Speech Systems, InfoWars’ parent company, also filed for bankruptcy in July.

Jones filed for bankruptcy the day after he hosted antisemites and Holocaust deniers Kanye West and Nick Fuentes on InfoWars. West’s comments, which included saying he liked Hitler and thought the Nazis had done some “good things,” helped get him banned from Twitter just a few weeks after being reinstated.

Twitter owner Elon Musk has insisted that Jones, however, will never be reinstated.

You can read more on Jones’s financial situation at The New York Times.