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Tag: josh hawley

My Daughter Was Murdered And My Senators Don’t Give A Damn

Reprinted with permission from DC Report

My oldest daughter was shot in the head in April while reading in her Kansas City apartment by someone who aimed through her first-floor window. Aviva lived for two more days, kept alive by machines until her brain swelled enough that she could be pronounced brain dead.

I watched as a doctor removed Aviva from the ventilator to see if she could breathe on her own, the final test, and then recorded the rising amount of carbon dioxide in her blood. My daughter was 24 and had her whole life ahead of her — or should have.

NRA-funded Republicans like Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, my senators in Missouri, care more about pimping for the gun industry than the murders of their constituents. They have made our country a killing ground where any of us can be told that their daughter is in a hospital miles away and expected to die.

President Joe Biden asked Congress for only a modest five percent increase in funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Biden has nominated David Chipman to run the agency, a nomination that's in trouble because of opposition from the NRA and other gun groups. Biden has said he wants to ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Anti-gun violence groups would like to see:

Rising Murder Rates

Homicide rates in our country have largely declined since the early 1990s. But those rates rose about 30 percent in large cities in 2020, according to the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice. Kansas City was not included because researchers "were unable to validate incident-level data to published … data," said research specialist Ernesto Lopez.

The national jump in 2020 could eclipse the 1968 record jump of 12.7 percent when final numbers are released. In the first six months of 2021, the number of homicides in large cities rose by 16 percent, or 259 more deaths,compared with 2020.

Researchers Richard Rosenfeld and Thomas Abt wrote that the pandemic, protests and other factors appear to have created a perfect storm in our country to push killings to record levels. Violent crime rates did not increase in other countries.

So far this year, more than 28,000 people have been killed in our country by guns, according to the Gun Violence Archive. More than 43,570 were killed last year. More than half the gun deaths were suicides.

Mass shootings spiked 47 percent in 2020, compared with 2019. Five hundred and thirteen people died in 611 shootings. Another 2,543 were injured. The initial hospital costs of firearm injuries are estimated at more than $1 billion a year.

'Numb to the Numbers'

"We are numb to the numbers," said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) at a hearing in March on gun violence. "Unless we are personally touched, it's just another statistic."

When Durbin spoke these words, my daughter was still alive.

I learned Aviva had been shot after receiving a message on Twitter and drove through the rain to reach Truman Medical Center shortly before midnight. There my daughter was intubated and still, unable to see or hear the people crying over her. I learned in a phone call in a parking lot that she was expected to die.

Aviva, an idealistic public radio reporter less than two years out of college, lived in Kansas City's Santa Fe neighborhood, once the home of Walt Disney and baseball great Satchel Paige.

Now liquor stores nearly outnumber neighborhood churches. A Kansas City Star article described sex workers loitering two blocks from a police department building. People living in disadvantaged minority neighborhoods such as Santa Fe are particularly at risk of being shot.

During the pandemic, gun sales have soared. About one fifth of all Americans who bought guns last year were first-time buyers. About 39 percent of American households own guns.

California researchers looked at the increase in gun buys and didn't find a relationship between the excess gun buys and the increase in shootings, except shootings in domestic violence.

Gun company profits soared, too. Smith & Wesson had the most successful fiscal year since it was founded in 1852 by Horace Smith and D.B. Wesson, making more than $252 million in profit. Ammunition manufacturer Ammo Inc. is building a new factory in Wisconsin.

Our country has more firearms than people. Americans make up less than five percent of the world's population, but we own about 45 percent of the world's privately held firearms. Americans are 25 times more likely to be killed by a gun than people in other wealthy countries.

Biden's ATF is trying to regulate ghost guns, so named because criminals can buy kits to make firearms that can't be traced. Almost 24,000 suspected ghost guns were found by police at potential crime scenes from 2016 to 2020, including in 325 homicides or attempted homicides.

Bryan Muehlberger's 15-year-old daughter Gracie Anne, a high school freshman, was killed with a ghost gun in November 2019 at her California school. Another student shot her in the back. The bullet punctured her left lung, and Gracie drowned in her own blood.

"I just remember saying, you know, like, 'Please, no. Don't – don't tell me the bad news please,'" Muehlberger said.

Assault Ban Expired

Since 1994, when President Bill Clinton signed the crime bill that included a 10-year ban on the sale of assault weapons, Congress has not passed any major laws restricting access to weapons. The ban expired in 2004. A study published in April found that 30 mass shootings that killed 339 people and injured 1,139 could have been prevented if the ban had remained.

NRA-funded Republicans are helping the gun industry profit. House Republicans are pressuring the Biden administration to drop its proposed ghost gun rule. Our nation's lawmakers have even blocked the ATF from making a searchable database to trace weapons used in my daughter's killing and other crimes.

Our nation's federal system for tracing guns is so bad that even the online card catalog of a small-town public library is more advanced.

In Texas, where the NRA wanted to reorganize after it filed for bankruptcy, people will be able to carry a gun without a permit or training starting September 1. At least 20 other states, including Missouri, have similar laws.

The NRA spent $16.3 million to try to reelect Trump and $12.2 million across 145 congressional races, helping to reelect Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

Tillis, who has taken more than $4.4 million from the NRA, ranks fourth among senators receiving NRA campaign donations, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Ernst with more than $3.1 million is seventh; Cornyn, who has accepted almost $79,000, is 35th.

In Missouri, which has an average of 1,074 guns deaths a year, Blunt is a lifetime member of the NRA. He is third among our nation's senators taking cash from the NRA with more than $4.5 million. Blunt, whose son has served on the NRA board, has opposed federal funding to study gun violence and voted against banning gun magazines holding more than 10 bullets.

Hawley, Missouri's junior senator, is one of the politicians named in a lawsuit filed by Giffords, a nonprofit founded by former Congresswoman and gun victim Gabby Giffords, against the Federal Election Commission. The lawsuit said the NRA used a network of shell corporations to illegally coordinate spending millions with the campaigns of Trump, Hawley, and at least five other federal candidates.

Hawley has been in office less than three years, but he is 15th among senators taking NRA cash with almost $1.4 million in donations.

Casualties Surged In Afghanistan Under Trump, But Nobody Urged Him To Resign

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Multiple Republican members of Congress have called on President Joe Biden to resign or be impeached after ISIS carried out a terror attack in Afghanistan on Thursday that killed 13 American troops and more than 150 Afghan citizens.

But Republican lawmakers never called on former President Donald Trump to resign or face impeachment for his record in Afghanistan, even with a dramatic increase in Afghan civilian deaths during his term and the deaths of 63 troops from 2017 to 2020, according to a count from the Defense Department.

The GOP lawmakers calling for Biden to face consequences for the attack are some of Trump's biggest supporters on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is circulating an article of impeachment against Biden, tweeting Friday morning: "Biden and all key decision makers are responsible for the deaths of 13 soldiers. The Taliban allowed the ISIS attacks. US officials gave them a kill list. And we have not retaliated? There should be harsh punishment against the Taliban and ISIS-K. And we must #ImpeachBiden!"

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) said he co-sponsored the article of impeachment against Biden that Greene is circulating, adding in a statement, "The President promised to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, but it is evident the President has failed to fulfill this charge."

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) also called for Biden's resignation, tweetingThursday afternoon, "To say that today's loss of American lives in Kabul is sickening does not begin to do justice to what has happened. It is enraging. And Joe Biden is responsible. It is now clear beyond all doubt that he has neither the capacity nor the will to lead. He must resign."

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) — who is running in a crowded GOP primary for Missouri's open Senate seat —called on Biden to resign over the attack as well.

"President Biden must resign," she tweeted Friday morning. "His standing in America, and the world, is forever diminished. It is time he realize this and acknowledge our recovery begins with his resignation as president. It is the right thing to do."

Hawley and Duncan had supported Trump's Afghanistan withdrawal plan and pushed Biden to follow through with it — only to now call on Biden to resign.

While Thursday was the deadliest single day of the war in Afghanistan since 2011, according to the New York Times, American troops have died in the conflict every year since it began nearly 20 years ago.

In 2020, for example, 11 American troops were killed in the war, while 23 died in 2019, according to Defense Department data.

Republicans never called on Trump to resign for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic either. By the time he left office, 400,000 people had died in the United States from COVID-19.

Biden expressed deep remorse for the deaths of the American troops who died trying to evacuate American citizens and Afghan allies who helped the United States during the 20-year conflict.

"These American service members who gave their lives — it's an overused word, but it's totally appropriate — they were heroes," Biden said in remarks from the White House Thursday evening. "Heroes who have been engaged in a dangerous, selfless mission to save the lives of others."

He vowed retribution against the terrorists whose attack killed the troops and Afghans who were trying to leave the country.

"To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay," Biden said. "I will defend our interests and our people with every measure at my command."

More than 110,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan since late July, according to a White House official. The vast majority — or 105,000 — have been evacuated since August 14.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Hawley Seeks To Strip Federal Funding From Schools With Mask Mandates

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) wants to strip school districts of federal funding if they require students to wear masks or get the COVID-19 vaccine — even as the delta variant continues to tear through the country.

Hawley announced on Monday that he will introduce measures to restrict funding to schools over COVID safety precautions as part of 15 amendments he wants to tack to the budget resolution Democrats released earlier that day. Democrats are hoping to use the budget resolution to pass a major infrastructure bill that includes many of President Joe Biden's priorities.

Hawley's proposals come as states across the country are seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases, thanks to the highly contagious delta variant.

Cases among children have skyrocketed, with the American Academy of Pediatrics announcing on August 5 they've seen a "substantial increase" in the number of children contracting the virus.

Doctors in hotspots including Florida and Louisiana — which are currently experiencing the worst outbreaks in the country — say they are seeing more and more children admitted to hospitals and intensive care units.

But Republican lawmakers like Hawley have been fighting efforts that public health experts say can end the pandemic.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy let slip that nearly one-third of Republicans in his caucus have refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine at all. And many House Republicans are also against wearing masks.

Doctors say masks are especially important now for kids ages 11 and under, as they are currently ineligible to receive the vaccine and thus do not have immunity.

It looks unlikely that Hawley's amendments will pass, as Democrats have a majority in the Senate.

However, Florida's GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis has already threatened schools that require masks, saying they could risk state education funding for implementing the policy. Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has made similar threats, saying that schools or businesses that require masks could risk fines.

Major school districts are already defying both DeSantis and Abbott, announcing mask requirements amid the surge of COVID-19 cases.

The Dallas Independent School District on Monday announced that it will require all students, staff, and visitors to wear masks in order "to protect staff and students from the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus."

And a handful of school districts in Florida are also defying DeSantis' ban on mask requirements, including Leon County schools, which includes Florida's capital of Tallahassee. Cases there are skyrocketing, and intensive care unit beds are nearly all full, according to data from the New York Times.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

GOP Bill Whitewashes History, Requires Students To Memorize ‘Patriotic’ Texts

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) wants to make sure kids are taught to be patriotic in their schools. His new bill would strip federal funding from any school that does not force them to memorize his selected historical texts.

On Wednesday, Smith filed H.R.4923, the Love America Act. If enacted, it would, according to its official title, "prohibit Federal funding for educational agencies and schools whose students do not read certain foundational texts of the United States and are not able to recite those texts or that teach that those texts are products of white supremacy or racism."

Reps. Yvette Herrell (R-NM) and Barry Moore (R-AL) signed on as original co-sponsors. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) filed a companion bill in the Senate on July 26.

"Americans have every reason to be proud of the ideals our country was founded on, but radical, left-wing education activists are hijacking school curriculums and injecting poisonous ideology onto our nation's youth," Smith was quoted as saying in a press release issued by his office. "These Critical Race Theory advocates seek to reframe our founding as racist in an effort to turn America into an unrecognizable socialist country. America's foundational texts are the shining lights for every free and prosperous nation across the globe. This legislation will empower those who love our country to instill the same sense of pride in America that has been passed down through the generations."

The bills as currently written would not just encourage patriotic education; they would block all federal funding to any school that does not teach U.S. history as the bills mandate.

According to the Senate version:

Federal funds shall only be provided to an educational agency or school in which —

(1) students in the first grade read and are able to recite the Pledge of Allegiance;
(2) students in the fourth grade read the Constitution of the United States and are able to recite its preamble;
(3) students in the eighth grade read the Declaration of Independence and are able to recite its preamble; and
(4) students in the tenth grade read and are able to identify the Bill of Rights.

It would also bar funding if a school teaches that any of those documents is a "product of white supremacy or racism."

According to information found on the website of children's book publisher Scholastic, not all first graders can typically read unfamiliar multisyllabic words like "indivisible" and "allegiance." And reciting the more than 200-word preamble to the Declaration of Independence might prove challenging to adults, let alone eighth graders.

A spokesperson for Smith did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.

In October 2017, Smith told students that he believed in local control of schools. "Missouri educators are the best people to make curriculum decisions for Missouri students," he argued. "We don't need the federal government stepping in at every turn."

The bill is the latest in a series of GOP proposals to bar anti-racism education.

They seek to remove from school curriculums basic details of American history, including that the Constitution contained a clause counting slaves as three-fifths of a person for apportionment of congressional seats; that anti-slavery language included by Thomas Jefferson in the draft of the Declaration of Independence was deleted before its adoption; and that the final Declaration included a clause calling Native Americans "the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

#EndorseThis: Randy Rainbow Puts GOP ‘Crackpot Villains’ On Blast

Randy Rainbow returns in a brilliant new video parody that opens with an "interview" of Sen. Josh Hawley.

The Missouri Republican who has “been canceled more times than [Rainbow's] subscription to Aaron Carter's OnlyFans page" was just the beginning, as he mercilessly roasted every notable Republican “crackpot" -- from Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, and Kevin McCarthy to Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and beyond.

“All the crackpot villains in the GOP only care to cover their behinds," Rainbow warbles to the tune of The Trolley Song from Meet Me in St. Louis . "And since the last election caused an insurrection, they've lost their goddamn minds."

Click and cackle! It's one of his best.

Clang, Clang, Clang Went Josh Hawley! - A Randy Rainbow Song Parody

Hawley Casts Sole Vote Opposing Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Bill

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley on Thursday cast the sole vote against a bill aimed at tackling hate crimes against Asian Americans, amid an alarming uptick of violence against the community over the past year.

The Senate voted by an overwhelming 94-1 to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which would designate a Department of Justice official to oversee the issue and expedite investigations of coronavirus-related hate crimes. Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono sponsored the bill.

"PASSED: Today, the US Senate rejects anti-Asian hate," Hirono tweeted Wednesday. "This historic, bipartisan vote on the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act is a powerful message of solidarity to our AAPI [Asian American and Pacific Islander] community. Now, I urge the House to swiftly pass this legislation so President Biden can sign it into law."

The Senate, that is, except for Hawley, who bucked his colleagues, Republicans included, to vote nay on the effort to combat hate crimes.

The Missouri senator's vote is in line with his history of racist behavior.

Earlier this year, during a speech a the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, he, for example, rebuked the New York Times' "1619 Project," a collection of articles on the history of slavery in the United States. He also denied that systemic racism exists and stressed that the country liberated slaves.

"We heard that we are systemically racist," Hawley said. "We heard that the real founding of the country wasn't in 1776, it was in 1619 or whatever. We heard that America is founded in lies and evil. That's what we've been told. All of that is false. All of that is a lie."

He continued, "We're proud to have lived in a country that started with nothing and became the greatest country in the face of the earth. We're proud to be in a country that liberated slaves."

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawley repeatedly summoned racist tropes about the coronavirus and incessantly blamed China for the outbreak.

"Since day one, the Chinese Communist Party intentionally lied to the world about the origin of this pandemic," Hawley said last March. "It is time for an international investigation into the role their cover-up played in the spread of this devastating pandemic. The CCP must be held to account for what the world is now suffering."

His comments are consistent with Donald Trump's scapegoating of China for his own botched coronavirus response.

He also targeted the Chinese government. In July 2020, he introduced the Civil Justice for Victims of China-Originated Viral Infectious Diseases (COVID) Actto strip China of its sovereign immunity and allow federal courts to freeze Chinese assets.

"I'm proud to stand with my colleagues and lead the effort to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for the devastation they have unleashed on the world. This pandemic is far from over, and every day Americans continue to suffer thanks to the CCP's incompetence and lies. The victims deserve to have their day in court," he said then.

Hawley separately introduced the Justice for Victims of Coronavirus Act in April 2020 to allow U.S. citizens and states to sue the Chinese government for damages related to the coronavirus pandemic.

All of Hawley's actions occurred amid an increase in brutal hate incidents and crimes against the AAPI community that has largely been fueled by anti-Asian racism and COVID-19 lies.

A March 2021 report from the Stop AAPI Hate tracking initiative found 3,795 anti-Asian hate incidents from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to February this year.

Racist rhetoric from GOP lawmakers and Trump had contributed to the rise in anti-Asian hate, an earlier Stop AAPI Hate report found.

In Atlanta-area shootings on March 16, a white male opened fire at three spas where eight people died, six of whom were Asian women. The tragedy was a watershed moment and became a rallying cry against racism and sexism.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Astroturf Money: How Hawley And Greene Jacked Their Fundraising Numbers

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica

Two of the leading Republican firebrands in Congress touted big fundraising hauls as a show of grassroots support for their high-profile stands against accepting the 2020 election results.

But new financial disclosures show that Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), relied on an email marketing vendor that takes as much as 80 cents on the dollar. That means their headline-grabbing numbers were more the product of expensively soliciting hardcore Republicans than an organic groundswell of far-reaching support.

Hawley and Greene each reported raising more than $3 million in the first three months of the year, an unusually large sum for freshman lawmakers, according to new filings with the Federal Election Commission. That's more than the average House member raises in an entire two-year cycle, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. The tallies generated favorable press coverage for Hawley and Greene, and they both seized on the numbers to claim a popular mandate.

Politico called Greene's result "eye-popping" and "staggering," a sign that she "appears to have actually benefited from all the controversies that have consumed her first few months in office." The House voted in February to remove Greene from her committee assignments because of her social media posts that promoted far-right conspiracy theories; racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim rhetoric; and violence against Democratic leaders.

"I am humbled, overjoyed and so excited to announce what happened over the past few months as I have been the most attacked freshman member of Congress in history," Greene said in an emailed statement on April 7. "Accumulating $3.2 million with small dollar donations is the absolute BEST support I could possibly ask for!"

As for Hawley, who was the first senator to say he'd object to certifying the Electoral College results on January 6, Politico proclaimed that his massive increase showed "how anti-establishment Republicans are parlaying controversy into small-dollar fundraising success." Hawley's pollster, Wes Anderson with the political consulting firm OnMessage, said in a memo distributed to supporters that the "fundraising surge" made "crystal clear that a strong majority of Missouri voters and donors stand firmly with Senator Hawley, in spite of the continued false attacks coming from the radical left."

It wasn't until later, when the campaigns disclosed their spending details in last week's FEC reports, that it became clearer how they raised so much money: by paying to borrow another organization's mailing list.

"List rental" was the No. 1 expense for both campaigns, totaling almost $600,000 for each of them. It's common for campaigns to rent lists from outside groups or other candidates to broaden their reach. But for Hawley and Greene, the cost was unusually high, amounting to almost 20 percent of all the money they raised in January, February and March.

The actual return on renting the lists was likely even lower, since it's probable that not all their donations came from emailing those lists. It's not possible to tell from the FEC filings which contributions resulted from which solicitations. Firms that sell lists sometimes demand huge cuts: The top vendor for Hawley and Greene, LGM Consulting Group, charges as much as 80 percent, according to a contract disclosed in Florida court records as part of a dispute involving Lacy Johnson's long-shot bid to unseat Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)

The Hawley and Greene campaigns did not respond to requests for comment. LGM Consulting Group's principal, Bryan G. Rudnick, also did not respond to phone messages or an email.

Far beyond these two campaigns or this one company, small-dollar fundraising has exploded thanks to easy online payments, which are rewriting the playbook for campaign finance in both parties. At the same time, the rise of email fundraising has spawned some aggressive or even deceptive marketing tactics and made plenty of room for consultants and vendors to profit. A move by then-President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign to sign up supporters for recurring payments by default led to as much as three percent of all credit card fraud claims filed with major banks, according to The New York Times. In some long-shot congressional races, consultants could walk away with almost half of all the money raised, The Washington Post reported.

Hawley's and Greene's list rentals show how politicians can pad their fundraising figures — if they're willing to pay for it. There's scant evidence that fundraising success represents broad popular support for a politician outside the narrow slice of Americans who make political contributions, and many of the people on the rented mailing lists may not have been constituents of Hawley's or Greene's. Still, the money is real, and the perception of fundraising star power is its own kind of success in Washington.

"They're juicing their numbers, but their return on investment is still a net gain," said Jessica Baldwin-Philippi, a professor at Fordham University who researches how political campaigns use digital communications. "The money matters, the articles about the money matter and convey power, and it adds to their clout."

The cost to rent a list can be a flat fee, a percentage cut of money raised, or even all money raised after a campaign clears a certain threshold. Donors have limited visibility into where their money goes and may not realize how much is being diverted from the candidate they mean to support.

Renting lists can pay dividends for campaigns because people who respond by donating then enter the candidates' own databases of supporters, and past contributors are much more likely to give again. Candidates with big donor bases can tap them for more money later or turn around and rent their own list to others.

Political professionals have gotten more sophisticated about efficiently converting online outrage into campaign cash. At the same time, candidates who court controversy may increasingly rely on rage-fueled online fundraising as more traditional donors freeze them out. In the aftermath of January 6, Hawley lost the support of some big donors, and major companies such as AT&T and Honeywell pledged to withhold donations from lawmakers who objected to the Electoral College vote.

"The news cycle that emerges out of controversial behavior by a candidate is like a strong gust of wind, and these mechanisms like list-building are the equivalent of sails," said Eric Wilson, a digital strategist who has advised Sen. Marco Rubio and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "For candidates like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Josh Hawley, who have largely been shunned by traditional corporate donors who are frequently the mainstays for elected officials, especially in off years, they have no choice but to pursue grassroots fundraising. And in order for that to work, they have to continue to make more noise. It is a feedback loop in that regard."

It's not clear how Rudnick compiled his list (or lists). But one clue to the audience that Rudnick may help unlock is who else has hired him. Besides Hawley and Greene, FEC records show that last quarter LGM Consulting also rented a list or provided online fundraising solicitations to:

In the 2020 campaign cycle, the firm's clients included then-Rep. Doug Collins, a Trump ally who lost the Georgia Senate primary; Madison Cawthorn, the 25-year-old congressman from North Carolina who spoke at the January 6 rally; and Laura Loomer, a far-right internet personality who calls herself a "proud Islamophobe" and lost a run for a Florida congressional seat.

Rudnick has his own history of controversy. He was fired by the Pennsylvania Republican Party in 2008 after sending emails to Jewish voters likening a vote for Barack Obama to the lead-up to the Holocaust. "Many of our ancestors ignored the warning signs in the 1930s and 1940s and made a tragic mistake," the email said. "Let's not make a similar one this year!" Rudnick told the Associated Press at the time that party officials authorized the message, but he declined to name them.

Campaigns don't have to disclose whose list an email is being sent to, and fundraising emails aren't comprehensively made public, so it's not possible to tell exactly how Hawley and Greene used the lists they rented. But several of Hawley's fundraising emails contained digital fingerprints tying them to Rudnick: They were sent from a web domain that shares an address with one of Rudnick's companies, and the links to donate include "ASG," short for Rudnick's Alliance Strategies Group.

In one email, sent on March 6, Hawley touted his interview on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show, in which Hawley said Democrats would use the January 6 insurrection "as an excuse to seize power, to control more power, to step on people's Second Amendment rights, to take away their First Amendment rights." Following up on a major media appearance with a fundraising email is an effective technique, Wilson said.

In a second email using the Rudnick-linked domain, Hawley explicitly laid out his goal of posting an impressive fundraising number.

"I will be filing the first FEC financial report I have filed since I stood up for the integrity of our nation's election and the left began their attempts to cancel me," Hawley said in the email. "With your donation of $25, $50, $100 or more before the critical deadline on March 31, we will shock the left — they won't be able to ignore us any longer."

GOP Senators Abuse Power To Punish Major League Baseball

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah are proposing so-called "antitrust" legislation designed to punish Major-League Baseball for moving its 2021 All-Star Game from Georgia to Colorado to protest the Peach State's new voter suppression law. And the far-right GOP senators are being slammed on Twitter for their grandstanding.

The GOP senators have said they want to "end MLB's special immunity from antitrust laws." MSNBC's Chris Hayes tweeted a response:

Here are some other responses to the senators' proposal: