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RFK Jr.’s Running Mate Has Truly Unhinged Ideas on IVF and Sunlight

Nicole Shanahan, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s vice president pick, hates IVF.

Nicole Shanahan stands standing at a podium with two mics
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

While the Republican Party grapples with the realization that it’s losing elections thanks to its own extreme positions on abortion and IVF, one political candidate on the national stage has decided to go even more extreme on the issue.

Robert F. Kennedy’s vice presidential pick, Nicole Shanahan, has attacked in vitro fertilization for years, and is apparently doing the heavy lifting on more extreme conservative talking points on reproductive rights while Kennedy himself remains relatively quiet.

“It became abundantly clear that we just don’t have enough science for the things that we are telling and selling women,” Shanahan told the Australian Financial Review in February, referring to IVF. “It’s one of the biggest lies that’s being told about women’s health today.”

Shanahan’s beef with IVF reportedly began when she was turned away as a candidate for the procedure, with a clinic identifying her as a poor candidate due to a prior diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome, according to an interview she gave to The New Yorker last year.

Since then, Shanahan has invested millions into research that offers alternatives to the procedure, including funding some truly wacky ideas, like examining the “effects of two hours of morning sunlight on reproductive health.”

Between 2020 and 2021, the 38-year-old gave $7 million to the Buck Institute, a biomedical research group, for “reproductive longevity and equality” and a “healthy and livable planet,” according to financial disclosure forms obtained by Politico.

“I try to imagine where we would be as a field if all of the money that has been invested in IVF, and all of the money that’s been invested into marketing IVF, and all of the government money that has been invested in subsidizing IVF, if just 10 percent of that went into reproductive longevity research and fundamental research, where we would be today,” Shanahan said in a Buck Institute webinar in 2021.

A Judge Finally Found Fraudulent Votes. They’re All From a Republican.

A Republican official has voted illegally an astonishing number of times.

"Vote here" sign with an arrow

A prominent Georgia state Republican, who has repeatedly claimed the 2020 election was stolen, was found to have voted illegally nine times.

Brian Pritchard, the first vice chairman of the state Republican Party, violated state election laws when he voted illegally in nine elections from 2008 to 2010, a Georgia judge ruled Wednesday. At the time he cast those votes, Pritchard was still on probation after being convicted of a forgery felony in Pennsylvania in 1996.

Georgia is one of 15 states that bars people from voting until they have completed their sentence, including probation. Judge Lisa Boggs ordered Pritchard to pay a $5,000 fine for his illegal votes. He will also receive a public reprimand.

Pritchard told Boggs he believed he had completed his sentence when he cast the illegal votes. He said he was not aware that the Pennsylvania criminal court had extended his probation until 2011 for allegedly failing to pay $38,000 in restitution.

The confusing nature of the U.S. sentencing system is a real issue when it comes to voting rights. Multiple people, particularly Black people, have been charged for trying to vote while ineligible due to felony convictions. But Boggs said she did not believe this was the case for Pritchard.

In her ruling, Boggs wrote that she did not find Pritchard’s defense credible because he had appeared in court multiple times while his probation was extended. So he should have known he had not completed his sentence.

Pritchard, like many Republicans, has repeatedly insisted that the 2020 election was fraudulent, tipped in Joe Biden’s favor by thousands of illegal votes. No one, including investigators hired by former President Donald Trump, has found any evidence to back up this conspiracy.

Idiot Republicans Confuse Bus of Basketball Players With Migrant Bus

Republicans whining about “illegal invaders” were actually talking about an NCAA basketball team.

Pete Hoekstra close-up
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Several members of the Michigan GOP—including the head of the party—made an incredibly embarrassing mistake about why a group of buses arrived at the Wayne County Airport.

On Wednesday, Michigan state Representative Matt Maddock posted a couple of photos capturing three buses waiting outside a hangar at Detroit Metro accompanied by a police escort. And the Republican didn’t waste any time looking for an answer before catapulting his theory into the social media stratosphere: It was the arrival of an army of undocumented immigrants.

“Happening right now. Three busses just loaded up with illegal invaders at Detroit Metro. Anyone have any idea where they’re headed with their police escort?” Maddock posted on X, tagging the state’s GOP chairman, Pete Hoekstra.

A local radio host, Justin Barclay, also joined in on elevating the lie, quote-tweeting it with a side-eye emoji, which was then reposted by Hoekstra.

But the buses in question were actually arriving to scoop up a group of college-age American boys, better known as the Gonzaga men’s basketball team, who had just arrived by plane for March Madness.

After being roundly criticized—and thoroughly corrected—on the platform, Maddock doubled down on Thursday, refusing to admit that his unfounded allegation was completely incorrect.

“We know this is happening. 100,000’s of illegals are pouring into our country. We know it’s happening in Michigan. Our own governor is offering money to take them in!” Maddock wrote, referring to a controversial program, announced last month by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration, offering $500 subsidies to households that volunteer to shelter refugees. “Since we can’t trust the #FakeNews to investigate, citizens will. The process of investigating these issues takes time.”

Maddock also showcased he was far more interested in rummaging up trouble than finding a legitimate answer to his incensed query, brushing off the truth as if it were conspiracy.

“Probably teams for the NCAA Mens Sweet 16 playing at LCA on Friday and Sunday,” responded one user.

“Sure kommie. Good talking point,” Maddock replied.

One Blistering Line Takes Down Trump’s Disbarred 2020 Election Lawyer

John Eastman was crucial to Donald Trump’s efforts to overthrow the 2020 election. And a judge just recommended his disbarment.

David Swanson/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s former lawyer has been recommended for disbarment, and according to the presiding judge, it’s for a very good reason.

State Bar Court of California Judge Yvette Roland recommended Wednesday that Eastman’s law license be put on “involuntary inactive” status starting three days after her ruling. Roland also recommended that he pay a $10,000 fine to the State Bar of California Client Security Fund.

“The court rejects Eastman’s contention that this disciplinary proceeding and Eastman’s resultant discipline is motivated by his political views or his representation of President Trump or President Trump’s Campaign,” Roland said in her ruling. “Rather, Eastman’s wrongdoing constitutes exceptionally serious ethical violations warranting severe professional discipline.”

But one other line in particular stood out in the ruling: “The scale and egregiousness of Eastman’s unethical actions far surpasses the misconduct at issue in Segretti.”

Donald Segretti, of course, was the lawyer who worked on Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign and who coined the term “ratfucking.” Segretti first came up with “ratfucking” when he was at the University of Southern California, where he and his friends would sabotage campus elections, including by stuffing ballot boxes, planting spies on opponents’ teams, and spreading disinformation.

Investigations into the Watergate scandal found that Segretti had applied those same strategies to Nixon’s campaign and took a leading role in the political sabotage efforts.

But Eastman’s transgressions are worse, according to Wednesday’s ruling, because he took those actions in the course of his role as Trump’s lawyer. Segretti’s actions occurred outside his legal role.

What’s more, when Segretti faced trial, the “court found compelling mitigation based on his expressed remorse and recognition of his wrongdoing,” Roland wrote. But “no such mitigating factor is present with Eastman. To the contrary, Eastman has exhibited an unwillingness to acknowledge any ethical lapses regarding his actions, demonstrating an apparent inability to accept responsibility.”

Eastman helped lead Trump’s legal efforts to undermine the election results and prevent certification of the votes, including by appealing directly to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He also helped try to implement the plan to create slates of fake pro-Trump electors in states that Joe Biden had won.

He can appeal Wednesday’s decision. And the California Supreme Court still has to issue a final ruling.

The California bar association opened disbarment proceedings against Eastman in January, for helping Trump spread election fraud falsehoods, including at the January 6, 2021, rally in Washington, D.C., that turned into the insurrection at the Capitol. His trial was set to begin in August, but it was delayed so Eastman could surrender himself to Georgia authorities for allegedly trying to overturn the 2020 election.

Eastman also has been identified as one of the unnamed co-conspirators in special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment against Trump for trying to overturn the 2020 election.

GOP Lawmaker Has Unbelievable Reaction to Baltimore Bridge Collapse

Representative Dan Meuser isn’t all that bothered by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Representative Dan Meuser had an unusual take on the collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge: It’s not the government’s job to fix it.

During an interview on Fox Business on Thursday, the Pennsylvania Republican slammed President Joe Biden for daring to say the multibillion-dollar reconstruction job is a responsibility of the federal government.

“Is Congress going to need to pony up more money, or is there enough money in the infrastructure package?” asked host Maria Bartiromo.

“Yea, it was kind of outrageous immediately for Biden to express in this tragedy the idea that he’s going to use federal funds to pay for the—in the entirety,” Meuser responded, suggesting instead that Biden use the money set aside for electric vehicle infrastructure to fund the collapsed bridge. “You know, he doesn’t refer to it as the American taxpayer dollars on anything. You know, the first reaction, in fact the only reaction, tends to be to spend.”

But Meuser’s comments completely overlook the role the federal government has to play in repairing federal property. The Key Bridge was a section of Interstate 695, an alternative route passing Baltimore on Interstate 95—both of which are a part of the federal highway system, funded by the national government by as much as 90 percent, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

On Wednesday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that the federal government has approximately $950 million set aside in an emergency fund that could be used to reconstruct the bridge—though that may only cover part of the bill, which federal officials estimate could cost as much as $2 billion.

All the while, Baltimore is bleeding approximately $15 million a day in economic activity as the major artery, and the Port of Baltimore, remains closed “until further notice.”

But maintaining critical infrastructure might not be that important to Meuser. In 2021, the GOP lawmaker joined several dozen other Republicans in voting against a $1 trillion infrastructure package that promised to fix outdated roads, bridges, and other transit systems—though it passed without their help.

Scamming FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Hit With 25 Years in Prison

The serial scammer was hit with a sentence far less than what was recommended.

Sam Bankman-Fried walks as cameras surround him
Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Former billionaire and tech wunderkind Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years on Thursday for defrauding clients around the world out of billions of dollars via his crypto exchange, FTX.

Once a poster boy for the emerging virtual market, Bankman-Fried was found guilty on all charges in November, including seven federal counts of fraud and conspiracy for stealing as much as $10 billion in customer funds, transferring them to another one of his companies, Alameda Research.

The sentencing was significantly less than the one recommended by federal prosecutors, who suggested the 32-year-old be put away for upward of 40 years, or by the Probation Department, which recommended a maximum sentence of 105 years.

“I know a lot of people felt very let down, and they were very let down. I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry about what happened at every stage—things I should have done and said and things I shouldn’t have,” Bankman-Fried told the court moments before his sentencing. “I failed everyone I care about and everything I cared about too.”

In his closing words, Judge Lewis Kaplan noted that Bankman-Fried “knew it was wrong.”

A man willing to flip a coin as to the continued existence of life on earth. Mr. Bankman-Fried knew that Alameda was spending customer funds on risky investments, political contributions, and Bahamas real estate,” said Kaplan. “The funds were not his to use.”

“People need to feel it’s fair, or we’re back to trial by combat, folks, or something like it,” Kaplan continued. “So punishment must fit the seriousness of the crime. And this … was a serious crime.”

The Worst Person You Know Considers a Return to Team Trump

Kellyanne Conway wants back in Trumpworld.

Kellyanne Conway
Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who coined the phrase “alternative facts,” may soon rejoin Team Trump.

Conway is considering an offer to join Trump’s team again, Axios reported Thursday, citing an anonymous person close to Conway. The source would not specify who had offered her a position or what the role even was.

Senior Trump advisers denied that an offer had been made. But Conway, now a Fox News commentator, has recently been front and center, speaking out about multiple contentious issues, including TikTok, abortion, and race. Many Republicans see this as an attempt to make herself relevant and ingratiate herself to Trump, according to Axios.

There is no denying Conway’s ability to deliver a message. Once Trump was elected, she became one of his primary spokespeople and demonstrated a terrifying skill for spinning reality to try to make it seem more favorable to Trump.

“She is the go-to messenger when it comes to hot-button issues,” one source, speaking anonymously, told Axios. “Anytime she talks about a topic, Republicans and Trump’s orbit take it very seriously.”

But that line to Trump’s ear means that even some people who like her don’t want to publicly associate with her, Axios reported.

In recent months, Conway has tried to help the GOP rebrand on abortion, advocating for a 15-week abortion ban as a compromise. Trump later backed this position.

Conway wrote an essay in The New York Times last month decrying “identity politics” but urging Trump to pick a person of color as his running mate. Trump is reportedly considering Senators Tim Scott and Marco Rubio, and former House and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson. He also briefly considered Vivek Ramaswamy.

Conway works for the conservative super PAC Club for Growth, lobbying against the bipartisan bill in Congress to ban TikTok. She recently urged Trump to highlight the app’s usefulness to his supporters, according to Axios. Trump has come out against the bill.

Conway was one of the few people who left Trump’s White House by choice, not because he fired them. She stepped down in 2020 after she and her husband, George Conway, made the country watch their opposing political ideologies battle it out on social media for years. (They divorced last year.) Conway said at the time that her resignation was prompted by a desire to focus on her family.

“In time, I will announce future plans. For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama,” she said, in what may be the cringiest resignation announcement ever.

Man Accusing Matt Schlapp of Sexual Assault Was Paid to Drop Lawsuit

Schlapp’s accuser was paid a boatload of money to end his lawsuit against the CPAC head.

Matt Schlapp stands in front of a huge CPAC logo
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Matt Schlapp

On Tuesday, conservative leader and Trump ally Matt Schlapp claimed that the sexual battery case against him had been dropped, and that it hadn’t cost the American Conservative Union a dime. But that’s not the whole story.

Sources familiar with the situation that spoke to CNN confirmed that a $480,000 settlement was paid to Carlton Huffman, a former staffer for the 2022 Herschel Walker Senate campaign, through an insurance policy. In the days following the end of Walker’s campaign, Huffman alleged that Schlapp had “pummeled” his crotch while he chauffeured the conservative icon back to his hotel in Atlanta and that his wife had defamed him in an attempt to swipe away the allegations. Huffman originally sought $9.4 million in damages. The workaround settlement got Schlapp the best of both worlds—his accuser’s bought silence and the wiggle room to tell the press that he was off scot-free. But not entirely.

Since the lawsuit was dropped, Schlapp has claimed online that he was “exonerated” and “cleared” of wrongdoing, and that Huffman had “apologized”—a detail that went too far and threatened to breach the agreement’s nondisparagement clause, resulting in a warning from Huffman’s legal counsel and the subsequent removal of those posts from Schlapp’s social media feeds, according to The Daily Beast.

“It’s not exoneration,” a source told CNN, “if you paid the guy off.”

When reached out for a statement by CNN, Schlapp passed along not just his own words but also Huffman’s, the language of which had been coordinated via a private agreement between the two parties.

“From the beginning, I asserted my innocence,” Schlapp told the outlet. “Our family was attacked, especially by a left-wing media that is focused on the destruction of conservatives regardless of the truth and the facts.”

Huffman’s subsequent statement chalked up his initial allegations to a “complete misunderstanding” that he said he regrets. “Neither the Schlapps nor the ACU paid me anything to dismiss my claims against them,” he added.

Ex-Giuliani Associate Shares Video “Republicans Don’t Want You to See”

Lev Parnas has just destroyed Republicans’ Biden impeachment crusade with one video.

Lev Parnas walks in a Capitol room. One hand is on his suit jacket and he is pointing in the air to something off camera with the other.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Lev Parnas

Lev Parnas, a former associate of Rudy Giuliani, has delivered perhaps the most damning blow yet to Republicans’ effort to impeach Joe Biden: a video of Giuliani being told the president is not guilty of corruption.

Parnas, a Ukrainian American businessman, has become one of the most outspoken critics of the Biden impeachment inquiry. Parnas helped Giuliani get in touch with Ukrainian officials during the latter’s efforts to find incriminating evidence on Biden and his son Hunter. One of those officials was former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

Parnas shared a video on social media Wednesday night that showed him and Giuliani speaking on the phone. Parnas, who dubbed the clip “THE VIDEO THE REPUBLICANS DONT WANT YOU TO SEE,” identifies the man on the phone as Shokin.

“Was there any specific act that any of these people performed?” Giuliani asks. “Did they get a kickback? Did they get a bribe?”

“No,” Shokin replies.

Shokin was fired in 2016 for corruption. Three years later, Donald Trump and Giuliani started a conspiracy theory that the Biden family accepted a $10 million bribe to remove Shokin to stop a probe into Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that Hunter was working with at the time. Republicans have also repeatedly claimed that Biden, while serving as vice president, said the United States would withhold aid money to Ukraine unless Kyiv fired Shokin. Both these claims have been repeatedly debunked by U.S. intelligence, the former Ukrainian president, and the owner of Burisma.

But that hasn’t stopped Republicans, including Giuliani, from continuing to accuse the Bidens of corruption. That allegation forms the entire basis of the impeachment inquiry.

Parnas has repeatedly said there is nothing to those allegations, a statement further bolstered by the video he shared Wednesday night. In fact, according to Parnas, the impeachment effort is really based on Russian disinformation.

Parnas’s accusation is backed up by the arrest of former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov. Smirnov alleged that Biden and his son accepted bribes from a Ukrainian oligarch, sparking the impeachment investigation. When the Justice Department charged Smirnov with providing false information to the FBI, he reportedly admitted that his story had been fed to him by a Russian intelligence operative.

Jeffrey Clark Screws Over Donald Trump Big-Time in 2020 Election Case

The former Justice Department official who helped Trump with his efforts to overthrow the 2020 election just gave a damning testimony in court.

Jeffrey Clark sits at a table during a congressional hearing, a mic in front of him.
Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images

Former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark made a major slip-up on Wednesday, admitting during a disciplinary hearing to save his law license that he had one client in mind while dodging questions on the basis of attorney-client privilege: former President Donald Trump.

“Mr. Clark, you asserted a number of times attorney-client privilege,” prompted a committeewoman for the D.C. bar, Patricia Matthews. “For whom were you the attorney?”

“For President Trump, the head of the executive branch, the sole head, the unitary head of Article Two, the executive branch of the United States government,” Clark replied.

That was, however, more than Clark’s attorney expected him to share, thereafter urging his client to plead the Fifth in an attempt to avoid incriminating himself further.

“I would respectfully request my client to invoke questions about the basis for attorney-client privilege because those answers would be intimidating to them as well,” said Harry MacDougald, Clark’s attorney. “So respectfully, I would ask him to invoke.”

But the singular defense only made Clark more combative as the hearing went on. At one point, he accused the hearing’s lead investigator, Hamilton Fox, of attempting to humiliate him, reported Politico.

Clark stands accused of attempting to engage in dishonest conduct on behalf of Trump in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. That included Clark’s suggestion to send a letter to Georgia officials, underlining a DOJ investigation into the voting process in the state and suggesting that they should void President Joe Biden’s win. Clark also held multiple meetings with Trump that violated proper DOJ procedure, actions that the lead investigator described on Tuesday as “essentially a coup attempt at the Department of Justice.”

Clark is charged alongside Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and more than a dozen others in an alleged racketeering conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. He has also been identified—but not charged—by federal prosecutors in Trump’s D.C. trial as part of a larger scheme to help Trump retain power.