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Let’s clear this up from the get-go: Billionaire Democratic donor George Soros is not quietly bankrolling major GOP legislators, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sens. Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Marco Rubio.

Rather, private individuals who work at hedge funds that are financed by Soros have donated their own cash to Republican candidates, according to publicly available data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

These data do not show that Soros, his foundation or his company have ever donated to these Republican candidates. His company couldn’t donate to them anyway, as the law bars contributions from companies to federal candidates.

But you wouldn’t know that from reading WND, Breitbart News, the Drudge Report or from listening to talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.

WND was the first to circulate this ridiculous story, and they did so in an article titled, “12 top Republicans backed by Soros in 2016.”

The article, which was published this weekend, used language that stated explicitly that Soros had personally financed Republican candidates: “… the Republicans he supported,” “Republican presidential candidate John Kasich was also a big recipient of Soros largesse…”, “the Soros Fund Management … spent $31,400 on Republicans…” and “Other GOP congressional recipients of Soros contributions …”

Breitbart News published a similar story Monday, citing the exact same figures as the WND story.

“Records: Soros Fund Execs Funded Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, John McCain, John Kasich, Lindsey Graham in 2016,” read the headline.

Though the Breitbart article isn’t quite as wrong as the WND story, and that some of its details are technically correct, the implications are still the same: Certain Republican lawmakers are quietly taking money from a big league progressive Democratic donor. The story even refers to the donations, which, again, came from private individuals, as “Soros-connected cash.”

Cruz, Sanders find common ground on drug prices

Also from the Washington Examiner

Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz is a quintessential odd couple on healthcare, but the two senators did agree on one issue: drug re-importation.

The two senators and former presidential candidates squared off during a cordial debate on Tuesday on CNN on the future of Obamacare. Throughout the debate, the senators offered diametrically opposite views of the government’s role in healthcare.

However, there was common ground on the issue of whether people should be able to buy cheaper drugs from other countries in an effort to curb higher prices in the U.S.

“You can walk in tomorrow to your pharmacy and the cost could be double or triple and there is nothing they can do about it,” said Sanders, the Vermont senator who ran in the

02/07/17 10:57 PM

The idea that Soros has quietly financed GOP lawmakers was amplified this week on social media by the Drudge Report, which tweeted this headline: “Paul Ryan, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush Took Campaign Cash from Soros.”

Good grief.

The WND-instigated story made its way eventually to Rush Limbaugh, who faithfully read the Breitbart story on his program Tuesday afternoon. The only problem for the man who refers to himself fondly as “America’s anchorman” is that the narrative is total bunko.

“George Soros has never given a penny to Lindsey Graham. George Soros Fund Management has never given a penny to Lindsey Graham,” the senator’s spokesman, Kevin Bishop, told the Washington Examiner.

He continued, explaining the Open Secrets data cited by the ultra-right-wing websites: “Soros Fund Management is the donors employer, which the FEC requires.”

Cruz objects to 'these mandates' for birth control, Obamacare

Also from the Washington Examiner

Ted Cruz shied away from taking away Obamacare’s mandate for insurers to cover all of birth control.

“It is going to be a choice for each patient to make,” the Republican Texas senator said during a CNN debate Tuesday on the future of Obamacare.

He added, “Obamacare is all about these mandates.”

Cruz then referenced a quote from former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

“The problem with socialism is you eventually run out of people’s money,” he said.

Cruz’s opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, took umbrage with the response.

“If you repeal the Affordable Care Act we are going to provide $346 billion in tax breaks to the top 2 percent,” he said.

02/07/17 10:48 PM

“Would be no different than a Trump Organization employee in NYC – John Doe – contributing $1,000 to Bernie Sanders,” Bishop said. “So Donald Trump backed Bernie Sanders? No. The donation came from John Doe – an individual employed by the Trump Organization.”

Mediaite’s Alex Griswold, who picked apart Breitbart’s “scoop” Tuesday, noted the same flaw in the WND/Breitbart story.

“Here’s an easy counterexample: According to the same publicly available source, Bernie Sanders received $1,697 in individual contributions from employees of Koch Industries. By Breitbart’s standards, Sanders is in the pocket of the Koch Brothers,” Griswold wrote.

“Suffice it to say, he’s not; the Kochs just employ a guy who likes Bernie Sanders, because mature adults can disagree with their co-workers,” he added.

Now it may come as a surprise to some, but given the sheer size and scope of Soros’ hedge fund operation, the law of averages states that there’d be at least a few GOP-leaning employees who’d donate their own cash to Republican candidates.

Shocking stuff, I know.

“This story is a fake,” Rubio’s spokesman, Matt Wolking, told Breitbart. “Senator Rubio has never received any contribution from George Soros. And he has never received any contribution from the Soros company because, among other things, companies can’t donate to federal candidates.”

Trump immigration ban comes under fire in court showdown

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The Justice Department’s August Flentje argued for the 9th Circuit to stay the restraining order.

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