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Witness: Census worker’s body found naked, bound, gagged

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The Associated Press reported on Friday evening that according to a witness, the Kentucky teacher and part-time census worker who was found dead and with a rope around his neck in a remote area of a national forest on September 12 was also naked, bound, and gagged when his body was discovered.

Jerry Weaver was attending a family reunion when he and a group of relatives went to visit family graves at a cemetery in the forest and found the body of Bill Sparkman.

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Weaver told the AP, “The only thing he had on was a pair of socks. And they had duct-taped his hands, his wrists. He had duct tape over his eyes, and they gagged him with a red rag or something. And they even had duct tape around his neck. And they had like his identification tag on his neck. They had it duct-taped to the side of his neck, on the right side, almost on his right shoulder.”

Weaver also said that a pickup was parked nearby with Sparkman’s clothes in the bed of the truck. “I thought he could have been killed somewhere else and brought there and hanged up for display, or they actually could have killed him right there,” Weaver stated. “It was a bad, bad scene.”

Police would not comment on Weaver’s remarks, but two people with knowledge of the investigation did confirm certain details, such as the fact that Sparkman’s census identification badge was taped in the area of his head and shoulder.

Authorities have revealed that the word “fed” had been written on Sparkman’s chest with a marker, but state police have refused to speculate on whether the death was homicide, suicide, or an accident. According to a story which appeared in the Washington Post prior to the latest revelations, “State and federal law enforcement officials on Thursday dismissed the suggestion from a news service report that the man, William Sparkman, 51, may have been targeted because he worked for the federal government, calling that speculative.”

Those speculations are certain to increase now that it seems undeniable Sparkman’s death was homicide. Time Magazine noted on Friday, “The discovery of the body of Bill Sparkman, 51, a substitute teacher and a field worker for the bureau, comes at a time when talk media, tea parties and white-hot town-hall meetings have fanned antigovernment sentiment. Speculation has run rampant that the Sparkman case may be related to the vitriol. Kentucky, like many other Southern states, voted overwhelmingly for Senator John McCain during the 2008 presidential election.”

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Time went on to argue that the murder may have more to do with the region’s history of moonshine liquor — and the recent reputation of the Daniel Boone National Forest as a haven for pot growers — than with anti-government or anti-Obama sentiment. The fresh details seem certain to fan the arguments on both sides.


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2020 Election

Trump can’t attack Kamala Harris without contradicting his own message: Bakari Sellers

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former South Carolina lawmaker Bakari Sellers broke down why Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) poses such a challenge for President Donald Trump.

"What we're seeing with the two parties is the narrow focus is going to be on the fact that Donald Trump and the Trump campaign have no way, and they do not know how to deal, with Kamala Harris," said Sellers. "It very difficult to say 'Kamala is a cop' and be a 'law and order president.' Those two things simply do not mesh. Not only ahistorical and inaccurate, but the messages, they collide."

"But second, it shows that the Republican Party and Democratic Party are going in two vastly different directions," continued Sellers. "The country is becoming more diverse, the country is becoming more brown. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris represent the demographics of what the country will be, and Donald Trump and Steven Miller and Mike Pence represent a day that's passed. So what I would say tonight is while Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to cheer on the Confederacy, we're trying to re-imagine what this country will look like. It goes back to a time where Americans can feel good about being first and about thinking about what our country can be: full of hope and faith."

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2020 Election

WATCH: Tucker Carlson flips out after guest teaches him how to pronounce ‘Kamala Harris’

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Fox News personality Tucker Carlson repeated mispronounced the first name of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who is Joe Biden's running mate.

"On Fox, Tucker Carlson keeps calling her KAM-uh-luh, which is not how it's pronounced," Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel noted.

He linked to a tweet with a picture of Harris explaining in her memoir how to pronounce her name.

Harris wrote, "my name is pronounced 'comma-la' like the punctuation mark. It means 'lotus flower,' which is a symbol of significance in Indian culture. A lotus grows underwater, its flower rising above the surface while its roots are planted firmly in the river bottom."

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Bishop falsely claims Joe Biden is not a Catholic — and it doesn’t go well for him

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On Tuesday, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island attacked former Vice President Joe Biden's faith, claiming that he is not really a Catholic.

Biden-Harris. First time in awhile that the Democratic ticket hasn’t had a Catholic on it. Sad.

— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) August 11, 2020

Biden is a lifelong, practicing Catholic, and he was also on the 2012 ticket, so Tobin's claim doesn't make any sense. But Tobin is an extreme right-wing firebrand with a history of politicizing the church — in 2007 he denied communion to former Rep. Patrick Kennedy for his pro-choice views, and in 2019 he called Gay Pride events "harmful for children" and demanded Catholics not attend them.

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