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‘What a Turnout!’: Trump in Texas Thinks His Hurricane Harvey Visit is a Campaign Stop

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‘This Is Historic. It’s Epic!’ President Says

President Donald Trump left for Texas at about 9:30 AM, presumably to offer support, help, and hope to the millions of victims of Hurricane Harvey who have lost their homes, their businesses, their belongings, and even their loved ones. As President and head of the executive branch, presumably he was also there to ensure the federal government was operating as it’s supposed to, and to help state and local partners get what they need.

But that’s not exactly what happened.

In Corpus Christie, Trump sat down at a long U-shaped set of tables, with a fire truck as a prop behind him, its compartment doors open to expose important life-saving tools. At a briefing including local, state, and federal government officials, the president praised Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, whom he called a friend. Not once did he mention the fact that at the latest count, 15 people have died from Harvey, and in the coming days that number, sadly, will likely grow exponentially.

Reporters heard no mention of the dead, dying or displaced Texans and no expression of sympathy for them,” Dallas Morning News poolers reported, per White House pool reporters. “The message was services are coming and Texans will be OK.”

After exiting the status update meeting, Trump decided to climb atop a fire truck parked in the firehouse driveway, and address the victims who stood across the street.

“Thank you everybody,” Trump said, speaking with a microphone. “We love you, you are special, we’re here to take care, it’s going well. I want to thank you for coming out. We’re going to get you back and operating immediately,” he said – a promise he cannot keep.

“What a crowd, what a turnout,” he concluded.

Video:

CNN reported “Trump remarked on the crowd size gathered to hear him speak — as if he were at a rally.”

Local Texas newspaper San Antonio Express-News reported “Corpus Christi was among the cities hard hit by the Category 4 storm,” and Trump “said in a press conference he hoped the response to Harvey would serve as an example in future disasters.”

“Nobody has seen something like this,” Trump said, flanked by First Lady Melania Trump, and Gov. Greg Abbott. “We won’t say congratulations. We don’t want to do that. We’ll congratulate each other when it’s all finished.”

The president said he hoped citizens would look back at how government officials handled Harvey five or 10 years from now and say, “This is the way to do it.”

On social media many were stunned at the president’s lack of empathy and staggering arrogance.

UPDATE: 3:16 PM EDT –

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Absolutely Repulsive’: Some House Republicans Are Now Wearing an Assault Weapon Lapel Pin

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At least three House Republicans this week began wearing pins in the shape of an assault weapon on their clothing. U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY), U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), and U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) were all caught on camera with the pins, leading some to express outrage.

U.S. Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) was among the first to circulate images of the two Republicans wearing the pins.

“Where are these assault weapon pins coming from? Who is passing these out?” he asked.

Aaron Fritschner, the Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), captured an image of Congressman Clyde wearing the pin on his tie.

“Absolutely repulsive,” Duke University Professor of Global Health and Public Policy, Gavin Yamey said in response to the assault weapon pins. “We have mass shootings almost daily, and the Republicans are wearing assault weapon pins FFS.”

READ MORE: Watch: Angry, Santos Reacts to News DOJ is Investigating His Alleged ‘Ghosting’ With $3000 Raised for Veteran’s Dying Dog

One of the Members wearing the pins, Congresswoman Luna, on Wednesday also participated in a House Natural Resources panel debate to push back on Democrats’ attempt to ban firearms inside the Committee’s hearing room.

She tweeted later, “The same Democrats who are voting to send firearms to Ukraine are telling me I can’t carry one.”

Politico reports the meeting (video below) was “raucous.”

Sociology professor and author Samuel Perry observed, “Republican members of congress are wearing AR-15 lapel pins. That’s not just tone deaf. We find Republicans value gun rights more than any other right, including freedom of speech or religion. No need for a flag or cross pin. The gun is both their patriotic & religious symbol.”

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) called wearing the pins “freaking sick,” and noted “they are doing it during #GVSurvivorsWeek,” the hashtag for National Gun Violence Survivors Week.

READ MORE: Hunter Biden Is Fighting Back

U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) also pointed to National Gun Violence Survivors Week.

“While gun violence continues to be the leading cause of death for children in our country,
@GOP members are wearing assault rifle pins during #GVSurvivorsWeek. Shameful.”

American historian of Christianity Diana Butler Bass did not mince words: “Always said it was just a matter of time before the GOP replaced the cross with an assault rifle. Guns are their god.”

Democratic Texas state Rep. Gene Wu said the GOP “has stopped playing coy and is now openly and unabashedly praising mass shooters. Will there be special versions to celebrate specific mass shootings?”

Professor of International Relations Nicholas Grossman said: “Legislators from party that defends recent coup attempt by their up-til-recently—and possibly still—party leader replace traditional patriotic flag pin with a pin depicting a rifle.”

California state Sen. Dave Min weighed in, saying, “The debate over 2A [the Second Amendment] has never been about 2A. It’s about ‘disrupting’ civilized society as we know it, and trolling the ordinary Americans concerned about our insane levels of gun violence. That’s why it’s the biggest assholes who are most loudly touting irresponsible gun access.”

The addition of the assault weapon pins to Republican Members’ clothing comes on the heels of U.S. Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) distributing grenades to fellow Members last week. In a note he declared they are “inert.”

See video and photos above or at this link.

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Kyle Rittenhouse to Face Wrongful Death Lawsuit After 100-Hour Hunt to Find Him

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Kyle Rittenhouse, who skyrocketed to fame in right-wing circles after shooting and killing two protesters during a social rights march in 2020, is now facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the victim’s father, according to PBS.

The lawsuit was filed by John Huber, the father of one of the two victims, and also includes city officials and police officers. U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman dismissed motions from the city officials, police officers and Rittenhouse to dismiss the civil rights case in its entirety.

Huber’s lawsuit states that Rittenhouse conspired with police officers to intentionally cause harm to the protesters who were marching in reaction to the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was injured by a Wisconsin police officer.

Rittenhouse, an Illinois resident, drove to the demonstrations in Wisconsin and was a minor at age 17 at the time.

In the ruling Adelman said Huber’s death “could plausibly be regarded as having been proximately caused by the actions of the government defendants. Huber was killed after Rittenhouse was running after he shot and killed his first victim in the parking lot of a car dealership and Huber hit Rittenhouse with a skateboard to disarm him. After falling to the ground Rittenhouse fatally shot Huber and wounded another protester Gaige Grosskreutz, who also has filed a civil lawsuit against Rittenhouse.

Huber’s lawyers and private investigators needed over 100 hours to locate Rittenhouse to serve him with the civil lawsuit paperwork, eventually serving him at his sister’s house. Rittenhouse’s lawyers tried to argue the case should be dismissed because he was not properly served. The judge dismissed that claim.

Rittenhouse has become a popular Republican right-wing speaker at public events and has nearly 1 million followers on Twitter.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Jacob Blake was shot and injured, but not killed, as originally reported.

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Hunter Biden Is Fighting Back

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After years of being the right wing’s punching bag, Hunter Biden is fighting back.

The 52-year old attorney, investor, lobbyist, father of five, and Navy veteran who just happens to be the son of the President of the United States, is calling for state and federal investigations into how his personal, private information from his now-infamous laptop was disseminated, according to CBS News.

Biden is also threatening a defamation lawsuit against Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

READ MORE: Watch: Angry, Santos Reacts to News DOJ is Investigating His Alleged ‘Ghosting’ With $3000 Raised for Veteran’s Dying Dog

The “flurry of letters to the Delaware attorney general, the Department of Justice, the I.R.S. and attorneys for Fox News and Carlson,” CBS reports, “represent an aggressive new strategy for the president’s son, who is facing long-running federal criminal investigations, as well as new probes promised by congressional Republicans, according to a source familiar with Biden’s approach.”

“This marks a new approach by Hunter Biden and his team,” the source told CBS News. “He is not going to sit quietly by as questionable characters continue to violate his rights and media organizations peddling in lies try to defame him.”

Biden lost his mother and sister in a car crash injuring him and his brother when he was just two years old, and later, that same brother, Beau Biden, the longtime Delaware Attorney General, died from an aggressive cancer of the brain.

CBS reports Biden’s “computer data that was turned over to the FBI showed no evidence of tampering or fabrication, according to an independent review commissioned by CBS News.”

READ MORE: ‘His Big Plan Is to Ask the President a Question?’: McCarthy Mocked for His Handling of Debt Ceiling Negotiations

But The Washington Post last year hired two forensic investigators, and they reached different conclusions.

“From a forensics standpoint, it’s a disaster,” said Jake Williams, who the Post describes as “a forensics expert and former National Security Agency operative who once hacked the computers of foreign adversaries.” The other investigator, Matt Green, the Post says is “a Johns Hopkins University security researcher who specializes in cryptography.”

“The drive is a mess,” Green told The Post.

The Post found that “the lack of what experts call a ‘clean chain of custody’ undermined Green’s and Williams’s ability to determine the authenticity of most of the drive’s contents.” The “clean chain of custody” refers to the fact that countless individuals have had access to the hard drive.

“The vast majority of the data — and most of the nearly 129,000 emails it contained — could not be verified by either of the two security experts who reviewed the data for The Post,” the newspaper reported. “Neither found clear evidence of tampering in their examinations, but some of the records that might have helped verify contents were not available for analysis, they said. The Post was able in some instances to find documents from other sources that matched content on the laptop that the experts were not able to assess.”

Meanwhile, CBS News also reports that in a ” letter sent Wednesday, Biden attorney Bryan Sullivan demanded that Fox News and Tucker Carlson devote airtime to retracting statements made about Biden paying ‘rent’ to his father, ‘in what Mr. Carlson implied was essentially a money laundering scheme to finance President Biden’s lifestyle prior to his election … and alluding to Mr. Biden having unauthorized access to classified documents because of his presence at President Biden’s house.’ Sullivan writes that the claims were false, and even after others acknowledged as much, Carlson continued to make them.”

“The letter, which cites California’s defamation statute, notes that the Daily Caller website retracted an article that made similar claims.”

Image via Wikimedia and a CC license

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