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Obama to Visit Louisiana Next Week but ‘Wants to Ensure His Presence Does Not Interfere’

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President Coordinated With Governor ‘To Determine an Appropriate Time for Him to Visit’

President Barack Obama will visit Louisiana next week on Tuesday to view the severe flooding in the Baton Rouge area. 13 people have died and 40,000 homes have been damaged. First responders are busy responding to emergencies and engaged in recovery efforts, but one Louisiana newspaper blasted the Commander in Chief for not cutting his vacation short to tour the flood zones.

The President today directed his team to coordinate with Louisiana officials to determine an appropriate time for him to visit, and together they have determined that the President will visit Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Tuesday, August 23rd,” a statement Friday afternoon from White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reads.

“The President is mindful of the impact that his travel has on first responders and wants to ensure that his presence does not interfere with ongoing recovery efforts. He is also eager to get a first-hand look at the impact of the devastating floods, hear from more officials about the response, including how the federal government can assist and tell the people of Louisiana that the American people will be with them as they rebuild their community and come back stronger than ever.”

Thursday Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told MSNBC that he would prefer for President Obama to wait “another couple weeks,” noting assistance from the federal government has been exemplary.

“It is a major ordeal, they free up the interstate for him,” Gov. John Bel Edwards told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Thursday. “We have to take hundreds of local first responders, police officers, sheriffs, deputies and state troopers to provide security for that type of visit. I would just as soon have those people engaged in the response rather than trying to secure the president. So I’d ask him to wait, if he would, another couple weeks.”

Republicans have slammed President Obama for not coming to visit, noting Democrats attacked President George W. Bush for appearing aloof and unconcerned about Hurricane Katrina. By comparison, the Bush administration was woefully prepared to deal with Katrina, and ignored the full scope of its devastation, whereas Louisiana officials have praised the Obama administration for the immediate response they’ve received from the federal government.

Donald Trump ignored Gov. Bel Edwards’ request to not use his visit as a “photo-op,” flying his personal jet in to baton Rouge Friday afternoon. Trump, who did not even notify the governor of his plans, toured the devastated areas and spent time with Tony Perkins and Franklin Graham. 

 

Image: Flooded Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Aug. 15, 2016 
Photo by U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Leake via Flickr

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CRIME

Man Shoots and Kills Atlanta Supermarket Cashier, Wounds Guard Over Mask Policy: Police

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A man pulled out a gun and shot and killed an Atlanta-area Big Bear Supermarket cashier over the store’s mask policy, according to police. Two people, including a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office reserve unit deputy who was inside the supermarket working as a security guard, and the suspect, were also wounded.

“The subject pulled out a weapon and shot a cashier at the location,” DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said, according to 11Alive. “The individual is deceased.”

“Although details are not complete, authorities say that the male suspect was involved in a dispute with a young woman before he began firing at her inside the store,” the spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said.

There apparently was an altercation over the mask policy, which is clearly posted on the store’s door.

“A witness, identified as Alan Williams, said a man walked into the store, struck the woman with a gun, then shot her. That’s when the deputy and the suspect exchanged gunfire.”

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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'CAN’T HANDLE COLD OR HEAT'

#AbbottFailedTexas Trends as State Electric Authority Warns of Possible Power Outages Again – This Time in Heat Wave

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Over the winter at least 151 Texans died as 4.5 million homes and businesses went without power in a massive failure created by poor planning, lack of regulation, and sheer greed.

Last week Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott promised he had fixed the problem.

On Monday, less than seven days later, ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, urged customers to turn air conditioning to no cooler than 78 degrees and to conserve power, as it expects more blackouts throughout the week – this time during extreme heat.

In a statement ERCOT also asked Texans to not use ovens, washing machines, or dryers.

“If you don’t need something – we are asking you to turn it off and unplug it if possible.”

Many Texans, and many Americans, are furious.

 

 

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THE GOP IS NOW THE QANON PARTY

FBI Warns Congress of More Possible QAnon Violence Targeting Democratic Lawmakers

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The FBI has briefed members of Congress that QAnon “digital soldiers” may become violent and engage in more acts of domestic violent extremism, like the January 6 insurrection. In an unclassified version of the threat assessment delivered to top lawmakers in April the Bureau warns that Democrats may be targeted.

Rather than walking away from the far right wing conspiracy movement that paints some top Democrats as part of a dark cabal of cannibalistic Satan-worshipping pedophiles being fought by Donald Trump, some QAnon cultists think “that individuals need to take greater control of the direction of the movement than before,” CNN reports in an exclusive.

The shift is fueled by a belief among some of the conspiracy’s more militant followers that they “can no longer ‘trust the plan” set forth by its mysterious standard-bearer, known simply as “Q,” according an unclassified FBI threat assessment on QAnon sent to lawmakers last week, which was obtained by CNN.

This might lead followers to seek to harm “perceived members of the ‘cabal’ such as Democrats and other political opposition — instead of continually awaiting Q’s promised actions which have not occurred,” according to the assessment.

CNN also reports FBI Director Christopher Wray “made clear the bureau is not investigating” the QAnon movement, but only crimes committed by its adherents.

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