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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

No Trump this week but still: Sparked by the wild spirit of Billy Porter, Saturday Night Live’s version of the Democratic presidential candidates’ LGBT town hall is amusing and even charming.

Playing himself as the emcee, alongside Alex  Moffat as CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, Porter introduces a cavalcade of talent satirizing the Democrats, featuring guests Lin-Manuel Miranda as a hilariously ingratiating Julian Castro and Woody Harrelson as Joe Biden, who replies to an audience question with a meandering “false memory” and a kiss for Moffat.

SNL cast members reprise roles they’ve played before, including Chris Redd as Cory Booker and Colin Jost as Pete Buttigieg, and they’re all funny but it’s impossible to outshine Kate McKinnon’s explosive Elizabeth Warren, who springs onto the stage and never stops bouncing: “I had some apple slices backstage, and they are hitting me like cocaine!”

Click and laugh. SNL will resume the Trumpsters’ true crime show next week.

 

 

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Mark Levin

Politico reported Friday that John Eastman, the disgraced ex-law professor who formulated many of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, was also apparently in communication with Fox News host Mark Levin. The story gets even more interesting from there, revealing the shell game that right-wing media personalities engage in while doubling as political operatives.

A legal filing by Eastman’s attorneys reveals that, among the messages Eastman is still attempting to conceal from the House January 6 committee are 12 pieces of correspondence with an individual matching Levin’s description as “a radio talk show host, is also an attorney, former long-time President (and current board chairman) of a public interest law firm, and also a former fellow at The Claremont Institute.” Other details, including a sloppy attempt to redact an email address, also connect to Levin, who did not respond to Politico’s requests for comment.

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Sen. Wendy Rogers

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There have been powerful indicators of the full-bore radicalization of the Republican Party in the past year: the 100-plus extremist candidates it fielded this year, the apparent takeover of the party apparatus in Oregon, the appearance of Republican officials at white nationalist gatherings. All of those are mostly rough gauges or anecdotal evidence, however; it’s been difficult to get a clear picture of just how deeply the extremism has penetrated the party.

Using social media as a kind of proxy for their real-world outreach—a reasonable approach, since there are few politicians now who don’t use social media—the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights decided to get a clearer picture of the reach of extremist influences in official halls of power by examining how many elected officials participate in extremist Facebook groups. What it found was deeply troubling: 875 legislators in all 50 states, constituting nearly 22% of all elected GOP lawmakers, identified as participating members of extremist Facebook groups.

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