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Watchdog demands probe of Rep. Bachmann’s anti-health bill care rally

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Poor Michelle Bachmann can’t seem to catch a break lately.

Less than a week after Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, of all people, poked holes in a Fox report on her November 5th tea party healthcare protest which utilized falsified footage to inflate the attendance, a Washington D.C. based watchdog is calling for a House probe of the Republican congresswoman from Minnesota.

“CREW contends that Rep. Bachmann misused her official congressional website by urging people to come to the Capitol to protest the legislation despite House rules restricting members from using their websites to engage in ‘grassroots lobbying or solicit support for a Member’s position,” states a press release on the website for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “Rep. Bachmann’s website urged people to come to the Capitol rally ‘and tell their Representatives to vote no’ on the health care reform bill.”

CREW excutive director Melanie Sloan adds, “Taxpayers fund members’ websites and because of that those sites may not be used to organize a public rally for or against any particular legislation.”

CREW also asked OCE to determine if Rep. Bachmann and other members violated House rules by failing to acquire a permit for the Nov. 5 rally and by falsely calling the event a “press conference,” though no questions were asked by the media. Politico quoted from a Republican Study Committee email directing staff members to “please make sure your boss does not term this event a rally.” A Capitol Police spokeswoman confirmed the lawmakers had no permit for a demonstration. In a TV interview, however, Rep. Bachmann urged opponents of the bill “to come to Washington, D.C. by the car load.”

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“Whoever heard of a press conference without questions?” asked Sloan. “Calling a rally a press conference to circumvent congressional rules is like calling a Hummer a Prius to meet fuel efficiency standards.” Sloan continued, “The OCE needs to make clear that members must abide by all rules, even those they find politically inconvenient.”

The Hill reports,

Bachmann’s office, however, has so far steered clear of these criticisms.

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When Democratic strategists first lobbed those charges at Bachmann last week, her spokeswoman told reporters the Minnesota Republican’s Web site merely “encourages the American people to exercise their right to petition” — hinting that the congresswoman’s advertisements were within the confines of House rules.

Her spokesperson was not immediately available Tuesday for comment.

Links to CREW’s letter requesting a probe and exhibit docs can be found at this link and here.


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‘Fat people don’t wear shorts’: North Carolina girl goes viral after being body shamed in church

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On Wednesday, WCTI News Channel 12 reported on a viral video circulating of a girl in North Carolina being body-shamed at her own church by a community leader.

"She had came [sic] in and said you're too fat to wear those shorts, fat girls don't wear shorts," said 19-year-old Jenna Munger, describing the encounter, which happened as she was visiting the restroom while singing in the church choir.

On the video, which has already gathered more than 5 million views, the woman can be heard saying, "She's a chubby girl, but she's got a dress on that's appropriate; it comes down to the top of her knees."

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Trump administration diverts development aid meant for Guatemala and Honduras to boost Venezuela’s Guaido

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President Donald Trump's administration is diverting nearly $42 million intended for development aid in Guatemala and Honduras to support Venezuela's opposition chief Juan Guaido, including staff salaries, an internal document showed.

In a memo obtained by AFP, the US Agency for International Development called Venezuela's political crisis "a significant, exigent event in the US national interest" that required a switch in $41.9 million in funds.

The United States and more than 50 other countries recognize Guaido as president of Venezuela, but leftist leader Nicolas Maduro remains in power despite nearly half a year of international efforts.

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Former federal prosecutor says Southern District of New York may be waiting to indict Trump when he’s out of office

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Former federal prosecutor Glen Kirschner explained why the Southern District of New York might be holding back on the campaign finance charges against Michael Cohen.

President Donald Trump signed multiple hush-money payments as president of the United States.

Kirschner said that he reread Judge William Pauley's orders from Wednesday to understand what the Southern District of New York prosecutors said about the documents being sealed or not.

Pauley said that the "government represents that it has concluded aspects of the investigation that justified the continued sealing of the portions of the materials related to Cohen's campaign finance violations."

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