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‘Go Home!’: Hundreds Of Protestors, Many Armed, Greet Obama As He Visits Oregon Victims’ Families

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As President Obama was traveling to Oregon today to honor the victims of the 45th school shooting this year, hundreds lined the highway to protest his gun policies. As all that was happening, the 46th and 47th school shootings took place.

Early Friday morning a gunman shot and killed one person and wounded three others at Northern Arizona University. Police arrested 18-year-old freshman student Steven Jones for the shootings.

Early Friday afternoon police arrested two gunmen and are still searching for a third in a shooting at Texas Southern University in southeast Houston. An 18-year-old freshman college student is dead, and one other person is reported injured.

Friday morning’s shooting is the 46th school shooting this year, Friday afternoon’s is the 47th. 

Last Thursday in Roseburg, Oregon, a 26-year old college student shot and killed nine people at Umpqua Community College, where President Barack Obama right now is visiting with families of the victims.

UPDATE: Breaking: America Just Had Its Third School Shooting Of The Day

Hundreds of “gun rights” supporters who oppose gun control lined the highway into town to send a strong message to the President as he drove to meet with the families of the victims of last Thursday’s massacre: “Go home!” 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFhcc0Wykvc

Here are a few photos of folks lining the highway to greet the President in Oregon:

 

Image by Joseph Hoyt via Twitter 

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GOP ATTACKING SENIORS

Watch: McCarthy, Trying to Cut Federal Spending on Critical Social Safety Net Programs, Mocks President Biden’s Age

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Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, whose stated goal is to drastically cut federal spending and is targeting critical and life-saving social safety net programs that protect low-income families, children, and the elderly, on Thursday attacked President Joe Biden by mocking his age.

McCarthy, who weeks ago admitted House Republicans would not meet an April 1 deadline to submit their budget, has repeatedly attacked President Biden’s budget, as have many House Republicans who during the Trump administration passed prohibitively expensive tax cuts for the wealthy that have blown up the debt.

In early March, President Biden unveiled his fiscal 2024 budget, which he said was designed to “give working people a fighting chance.”

“My budget reflects what we can do to lift the burden and hardworking Americans and there’s more than one way to do that,” Biden said, as Spectrum News reported, noting he touted “a number of the initiatives in the proposal — from lowering prescription drug prices to investing in paid family and medical leave — calling them crucial to reducing costs for the American people and bolstering the economy.”

READ MORE: Favoring Right Wing Christians, Texas Judge Voids ACA’s Mandate That Insurance Cover Full Cost of HIV Drugs Including PrEP

“All the things are going to help folks go to work, generate economic growth in our nation and still take care of their families,” the President also said. “The point is that when every time I talk about things, people talk about like ‘this is an overwhelming burden on the taxpayer.’ It’s going to save money for the taxpayers. It really does! Save money for the taxpayers and generate growth. That’s how the economy grows.”

McCarthy has been trying to play offense, attacking the President’s plan, not presenting even a rough draft of the Republican’s budget, and demanding Biden meet with him even though the President has said he will only when there is a full set of numbers on the table.

The Speaker’s goal in part is “requiring more people on welfare to work,” as a USA Today headline on Thursday states. Bloomberg News reports McCarthy wants to impose “tougher work requirements on anti-poverty benefits.”

“I put forward specific proposals for how to cut deficits by nearly $3 trillion over 10 years by having big corporations and the super wealthy pay their fair share, cutting special interest subsidies like tax breaks for the oil and gas industry – some of the most profitable companies in America, and expanding Medicare’s new ability to negotiate lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. My proposals enable us to lower costs for families and invest in our economic growth, all while reducing the deficit,” President Biden said Wednesday in a letter (below) to McCarthy.

“Unfortunately, the tax proposals from the House Republican Conference would exacerbate the debt problem I inherited by adding over $3 trillion in new tax spending skewed to the same constituencies who should be paying more, like multinational corporations and the richest taxpayers,” Biden added.

“That is one reason why seeing your full set of proposals would be useful before we meet, so we can understand the full, combined impact on the deficit, the economy, and American families.”

READ MORE: Here’s How Five Republicans in Congress Are Responding to the Mass Shooting of 3 Children and 3 Adults in Nashville (Video)

“My hope is that House Republicans can present the American public with your budget plan before the Congress leaves for the Easter recess [next week], so that we can have an in-depth conversation when you return. As I have repeatedly said, that conversation must be separate from prompt action on the Congress’ basic obligation to pay the Nation’s bills and avoid economic catastrophe,” Biden added.

The Speaker appears to be setting the stage to allow the United States to default on its debt, while pinning the blame on President Biden.

McCarthy is demanding massive cuts be attached to any efforts to raise the debt ceiling, while President Biden has repeatedly asked for a “clean” bill, one without any other measures attached.

If Congress does not pass legislation raising or eliminating the debt ceiling by June, the nation and the world would face “an unprecedented and potentially catastrophic default on U.S. debt,” as NPR noted.

Rather than appear willing to negotiate on the debt ceiling, on Thursday McCarthy at a GOP press conference attacked President Biden’s age.

President Biden “apparently doesn’t want to meet. I don’t understand why,” the Speaker said, as Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman reports.

“Mr. President, I’m ready at any time, at any moment. I’ll come tonight,” he added.

And then, clearly mocking President Biden’s age, McCarthy said: “I would bring lunch to the White House. I would make it soft food.”

HuffPost adds, “House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), 57, and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), 62, were among those laughing along with McCarthy.”

“When HuffPost asked Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), who was among those speaking at the press conference, what sort of soft food McCarthy might bring to Biden, she laughed uncomfortably. ‘Oh, you’ll have to ask Kevin about that,’ she said.”

Watch McCarthy’s remarks below or at this link.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: Watch: Kevin McCarthy Leads Over a Dozen Republicans in Prayer at Event Co-Sponsored by Five Anti-LGBTQ Hate Groups

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Favoring Right Wing Christians, Texas Judge Voids ACA’s Mandate That Insurance Cover Full Cost of HIV Drugs Including PrEP

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A Texas federal judge has voided Obamacare’s requirements that insurance companies cover the full costs of life-saving HIV prevention and treatment drugs, claiming requiring Christian employers to do so violates their rights under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

In that same ruling on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, who has a lengthy history of deciding against LGBTQ people and in favor of the far Christian right, also voided requirements insurance companies, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), cover other life-saving medications and procedures including cancer screenings, mental health services, and diabetes treatments, although for reasons unrelated to religion.

“In September,” Reuters reports, “O’Connor held that the US Preventive Services Task Force, which determines what qualifies as a covered preventive measure under the ACA, can’t validly do so because its members aren’t subject to Senate confirmation and their recommendations aren’t reviewed by constitutionally appointed government officials.”

Thursday’s decision is an extension of Judge O’Connor’s September ruling, in the same case, Braidwood Mgmt., Inc. v. Becerra.

Slate’s legal expert Mark Joseph Stern calls Judge O’Connor’s ruling “nothing short of catastrophic to the U.S. health care system.”

READ MORE: New Poll Sends Trump Damning Message About 2024 if He’s Criminally Indicted

“Millions of Americans, including many pregnant women, will have to forgo basic care if it is upheld,” he adds.

The case was brought by Dr. Steven Hotze, a far-right Republican activist and religious extremist who has attacked the LGBTQ community for decades. Last fall The New York Times identified Braidwood Management’s owner as “Dr. Steven F. Hotze, a well-known Republican donor and doctor from Houston, has previously challenged the Affordable Care Act on other grounds.”

The Times reports in that September ruling in this same case, Judge O’Connor wrote: “The PrEP mandate substantially burdens the religious exercise of Braidwood’s owners.” O’Connor, The Times added, wrote “that Dr. Hotze believes that covering PrEP drugs ‘facilitates and encourages homosexual behavior, intravenous drug use and sexual activity outside of marriage between one man and one woman.'”

HIV is not exclusive to people who engage in same-sex intimate relations, drug use, or sexual activity outside of marriage between one man and one woman.

In 2015, Dr. Hotze compared same-sex marriage to the Holocaust and gay people to murderers, defending his belief that Texas should ignore the impending Supreme Court ruling that found same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage.

Just two weeks ago Dr. Hotze was “kicked out of a state senate session,” The Daily Beast reported, “after he called transgender people ‘pedophiles.'”

“Major medical and patient groups,” Bloomberg Law reported on Thursday, “had argued that a nationwide order would jeopardize health care for millions of Americans, leading to preventable deaths and higher costs for treating diseases that could have been detected earlier by free screenings.”

READ MORE: Here’s How Five Republicans in Congress Are Responding to the Mass Shooting of 3 Children and 3 Adults in Nashville (Video)

According to Forbes, Judge O’Connor’s ruling on Thursday also voids required coverage for other “preventive services,” including “screenings for such cancers as breast cancer, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer and lung cancer, diabetes screenings, various screenings and interventions for pregnant people, statin use to prevent cardiovascular disease, vision screening for children and more.”

And yet, Judge O’Connor’s decision tossed “other arguments that tried to invalidate the contraceptive mandate in the ACA, so coverage for contraception will remain unaffected by Thursday’s ruling.”

The Biden Administration is expected to appeal, and according to Forbes because insurance policies are generally in effect for a calendar year, it’s unlikely any possible changes would be implemented before January.

Meanwhile, Judge O’Connor in 2019 overturned protections written into ObamaCare for transgender people, ruling they violate the religious rights of healthcare providers who hold religious beliefs that oppose the existence of transgender people.

Three years earlier, in 2016, O’Connor – who at that point already had a record of opposing LGBT rights – handed down a 38-page order in a lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on behalf of 13 states, blocking the Obama administration from enforcing its guidance that said public schools should allow transgender students to use restroom and locker rooms based on their gender identity.

 

Image: Judge Reed O’Connor

 

 

 

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New Poll Sends Trump Damning Message About 2024 if He’s Criminally Indicted

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Biden Beats Trump – But Barely – in Latest Poll

A new Quinnipiac poll is offering damning news to Donald Trump: The majority of Americans think he should not even be allowed to run for president if criminal charges are filed against him.

That majority, 57%, includes nearly nine in ten Democrats (88%), more than half (55%) of independents, and even close to one-quarter (23%) of Republicans.

“Yes, say Americans, it was all about him and not the country’s well-being when Trump proclaimed he was targeted for arrest,” says Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy. “And, yes he should be forever banished from office if he is charged as a criminal.”

The poll serves up even more bad news for the ex-president. Despite the right’s attempts to paint Trump’s alleged hush money payoff as a mere bookkeeping issue, or Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg‘s case against him, as one GOP lawmaker said recently, “wrongful persecution,” the majority of Americans – 55% – say the accusations against Trump are “serious.”

READ MORE: New WSJ Poll Is Devastating for DeSantis and His ‘Anti-Woke’ Policies

Conservatives’ attempts to paint the investigation as political, however, appear to be working, at least among Republicans and independents.

More than nine out of ten Republicans (93%) and 70% of independents say they believe the investigation is motivated by politics, while two-thirds of Democrats (66%) say it is motived by the law.

Still more troubling news for the Trump team.

Exposing the growing partisan divide across the country, the majority of Americans, nearly six in ten (58%) say Trump has had a mainly negative impact on the Republican Party.

But inside the GOP, the view is far different.

The vast majority of Republicans (72%) say Trump has had a positive impact. Just 21% say he has had a negative impact. (The poll does not appear to take into account former Republicans who left the GOP because of Trump.)

READ MORE: Watch: House Dem Mocks Republicans by Thanking Them for Taking Time Away From ‘Trump’s Memorial Service to David Koresh’

Echoing the “positive impact” they believe Trump has had on their party, 79% of registered Republicans say they are supporters of his MAGA movement. The poll does not appear to define “support,” nor the various “levels” of support some Republicans now express, including “ultra MAGA.”

Meanwhile, when offered a choice between Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, or 11 other Republican candidates or potential candidates, Trump gets a plurality of voters: 47%. DeSantis gets one-third, 33%. Pence gets just 5%, and Haley – who has already officially declared she is running – gets even less, at 4%.

There’s little change when GOP voters are asked who they would choose in a head-to-head matchup between Trump and DeSantis. Trump gets 52%, DeSantis 42%.

And even more bad news for Team Trump: In a head-to-head matchup among registered voters, President Joe Biden would beat Donald Trump, although by a slim margin: 48% to 46%.

There is one piece of good news for the DeSantis campaign, which technically does not exist yet. DeSantis would beat Biden, also by a slim margin: 48% to 46%.

But some believe DeSantis will not run, especially given his poor campaign pre-launch. Others, like top Trump critic and former Republican George Conway, say DeSantis shouldn’t even bother.

“It makes no sense for DeSantis to run this cycle,” Conway said Thursday morning, unrelated to the Quinnipiac poll. “To beat Trump, DeSantis would have to go hammer and tong in a one-on-one race against him. DeSantis isn’t capable of that, it isn’t going to be one-on-one, and even if he were and it was, DeSantis would end up alienating a good chunk of the GOP base. And no matter what, Trump would try to destroy the GOP if it ever became clear he wouldn’t get the nomination. Trump would run as a third-party candidate to take the GOP nominee down. The smart play for DeSantis is to fleece donors by pretending to run, and pocket the cash for 2028, when he’ll still be only 49.”

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