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Watch: NRA-Backed Congress Members Refuse to Offer More than 'Thoughts and Prayers' as Student Survivors Mount Protests

February 17, 2018 in Blogs

By April M. Short, AlterNet

Their responses are telling.


A gunman killed 17 high school students last week in Parkland, Florida. A new video from NowThis shows the responses of NRA-backed representatives in Congress to a reporter who asked them for “any solutions at all, other than thoughts and prayers,” regarding gun control.

Their responses are telling.

After Rep. Masha Blackburn (R-TN) was asked, “Do you have anything besides thoughts and prayers to offer? Any solutions at all for this gun violence?” all she had to say was, “We are so concerned about those precious children and families.” Then she ducked into the elevator as fast as she could repeating, “This is a members' only elevator.”

The reporter pressed on, saying, “I know you’re concerned enough to pay for the funerals. Are you concerned enough to do anything else at all?”

She responded by crossing her arms over her chest and repeating, “This is a members' only elevator.” When pressed again for a solution, she said, “My heart breaks for these families.”

Rep. Ron Desantis (R-FL) responded to the reporter’s request for a solution to gun violence with “I gotta go,” as he scurried rapidly away from the reporter. The reporter walked with him and asked again, and Desantis responded with, “I mean praying for people, I don’t think you should diminish that.”

The reporter said he didn’t diminish it, just asked for anything in addition to prayers, referencing the Frederick Douglass quote: “I prayed for freedom for 20 years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”

Other representatives slammed doors in the reporter’s face and flat-out ignored the questions.  

Each of the congress members in the video has received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association.

Watch the video below:

In response to the general inaction on the part of Congress and the president when it comes to gun control, Douglass High School students in Florida are calling for a widespread movement including school walk-out protests across the nation. They want this shooting to mark a turning point for the U.S. on gun control.

 

“We are going to be the …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Because 'Nothing Has Changed Since Columbine,' Students, Teachers Call for Nationwide School Walkouts

February 17, 2018 in Blogs

By Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams

“The time to act is now.”


As families continue to grieve and hold funerals for the 17 victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla., students and educators are calling for a nationwide day of action including school walkouts to protest lawmakers' deadly inaction on gun control legislation.

The day set for the actions is April 20, which will be the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School.

The Twitter account National School Walkout, which was started Friday, declares, “We are the students, we are the victims, we are change.”

The April 20 walkout, it says, will be “polite, passionate, plea for peace.”

Change.org petition, which has gathered over 6,100 signatures as of this writing, and is linked to the Twitter account, says, “There has been too much complacency on the part of politicians when it comes to gun violence. The time to act is now!”

“The violence of guns is being performed in our schools and our communities. Not the Senate floor. As the future of America, it is time for teenagers to speak their minds and put their frustration into action,” it adds. It also encourages people to sign on to take part in the action, saying,” Nothing has changed since Columbine, let us start a movement that lets the government know the time for change is now.”

The students' call-to-action comes days after David Berliner, an educational psychologist and Regents' Professor of Education Emeritus at Arizona State University, issued a call for a national teachers' strike if lawmakers continue their failure to enact “sane gun laws.”

Berliner's call, which he sent in a message to education historian Diane Ravitch, states, in part, “Almost all of America's 3 million teachers—nurturers and guardians of our youth—want sensible gun laws. They deserve that. But they have to be ready to exert the power they have by walking out of their schools if they do not get what they want. They have to exert the reputational power that 3 …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Humans Would Rather Be in Contact with Aliens Than Artificial Life forms Made on Earth—Study

February 17, 2018 in Blogs

By Elana Glowatz, International Business Times

Are we alone in the universe?



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Source: ALTERNET

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Fox News Host Shep Smith Destroys Trump Claim That Russia Investigation Is a 'Hoax'

February 17, 2018 in Blogs

By AlterNet

“If there was ever any question, even a single question, there is no more.”


Fox News host Shep Smith forcefully shut down President Donald Trump's longtime questioning of the validity of special prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

Smith's words were especially pointed because the majority of his colleagues on the Fox network are sycophantic supporters of Trump.

“If there was ever any question, even a single question, there is no more,” Smith said, before explaining Mueller's indictment of 13 Russian nationals.

“Russia attacked the United States of America,” Smith continued. “A coordinated government-sponsored campaign to undermine America’s democracy, eventually in support of Donald Trump and against Hillary Clinton.”

“The Russian investigation is the opposite of a hoax,” Smith declared.

“Now we know how vulnerable we were and how effective the Russians became.”

Watch the segment below.

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Source: ALTERNET

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Intelligence Analyst Explains Why Nunes Is a 'Loser' After Mueller Indictment

February 17, 2018 in Blogs

By Noor Al-Sibai, Raw Story

His attempts at protecting the president are failing.


It’s been a few weeks since he dominated headlines, but House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) was passively proven wrong by special counsel Robert Mueller’s Friday indictment bombshells.

“One of the biggest losers in this case, in my judgment, is Devin Nunes,” former FBI counterintelligence chief Phil Mudd told a CNN panel, “the effort on the House committee to undermine this investigation.”

An ally to President Donald Trump and his White House, the California Republican has in recent months used his power as chairman of the House’s intelligence oversight panel to paint Mueller’s probe and the Justice Department and FBI at large as terminally infected with anti-Trump bias. Others, like Fox News host Sean Hannity and other conservative pundits, capitalized upon Nunes’ memo as proof the Russia investigations are a “hoax.”

Though right-wing news outlets capitalized upon details in the DOJ’s report charging Russian individuals with organizing in favor of other candidates and against Trump as proof that the indictments somehow “exonerate” the president, Mudd argued that those instances only show how successful they were in sowing division.

The reportedly Russian-organized “Trump is NOT my president” rally, which took place in New York City on November 12, 2016, was “clearly intended to divide American and bring American democracy to its knees.”

Watch below, via CNN:

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Source: ALTERNET

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Former Bush White House Official Sounds Alarm That Americans Are 'Sitting Ducks' Amid Russia Threats

February 17, 2018 in Blogs

By Bob Brigham, Raw Story

“You can’t overstate what is happening right now.”


Richard Painter, the former chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush adminstration, warned on MSNBC’s “The Beat with Ari Melber” that America remains a “sitting duck” for Russian interference in our politics.

“You can’t overstate what is happening right now, you are looking there at a Trump official announcing charges against Russians for helping the Trump campaign,” Melber noted. “We’re in new territory right now.”

“Bob Mueller said that Russians were communicating with people associated with the Trump campaign,” Melber reported. “I repeat, from the new Mueller indictment, these Russians — now indicted — were communicating with people associated with the Trump campaign.”

Prof. Richard Painter noted the indictments prove, “the Russia investigation is not a hoax, anybody who said it is a hoax is a fool and doesn’t belong in our government, whether they’re a Democrat or a Republican.”

“We’ve known for a long time that there’s been Russian interference in our election, the CIA and the FBI told us that over a year ago and this indictment is the first step toward legal action being taken,” Painter suggested.

“We’re sitting ducks for the Russians. We’re going to get taken over by the Russians,” Painter warned.

“We got to understand that there are other people in the Trump campaign, including Donald Trump, Jr and Jared Kushner who met with other Russian agents in the Trump Tower to get dirt on Hillary Clinton, so there was definitely willing collaboration with the Russians with respect to the other parts of the Russian operation,” Painter reminded.

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Source: ALTERNET