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Texas to pass bill allowing guns on college campuses

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WASHINGTON – Texas is poised to approve a measure allowing college students and professors to carry guns on campus, an initiative with strong support in the state legislature that critics concede they probably can’t stop.

The legislation has been championed by Gov. Rick Perry, co-sponsored by over half the lawmakers in the state House, and approved two years ago in the Senate. Texas would follow Utah, the only state in the nation to have a similar law.

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“It’s strictly a matter of self-defense,” state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, a Republican, told The Associated Press. “I don’t ever want to see repeated on a Texas college campus what happened at Virginia Tech, where some deranged, suicidal madman goes into a building and is able to pick off totally defenseless kids like sitting ducks.”

The measure’s supporters commonly argue that it would make campus shootings less likely, not more, wading into a key point of contention between opponents and proponents of looser gun laws.

College leaders across the nation have criticized the idea as dangerous, dismissing the view that a filling up the classrooms and dorm rooms with weapons would make inhabitants safer.

Glen Johnson, Oklahoma’s chancellor of high education envisioned “no scenario where allowing concealed weapons on college campuses will do anything other than create a more dangerous environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors.”

That the Texas legislature overwhelmingly disagrees is a testament to the state’s gun culture as well as the towering political influence of the pro-gun lobby.

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“Things do look bleak,” Colin Goddard of the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence, who was in Austin lobbying against the bill, told AP. “People want to be the hero, I understand that. They play video games and they think they understand the reality. It’s nothing like that.”

Nationwide, the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups have in the last two decades outspent gun-control advocates by over 20-to-1 on lobbying, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Texas ranks 32nd on the list of states with most permissive gun laws, and 23rd in per capita gun deaths, according to data compiled by The Daily Beast.

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Impeachment: Trump’s ‘hearsay’ defense just crashed and burned

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In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

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WATCH: Dejected Devin Nunes slumps back in his chair after he fails to yield his time to Elise Stefanik

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The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee was visibly frustrated after once again getting shut down while attempting a parliamentary maneuver.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has been attempting to ignore the rules governing the impeachment inquiry so that he can yield Republicans' time to fellow members of Congress, instead of just the professional GOP counsel.

Nunes has attempted to yield time to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who has been raising re-election funds off of her outbursts in the hearings.

Once again, Nunes attempted to yield his time to a fellow Republican and once again Nunes was told that is against the rules.

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Mike Pompeo wants to run for Senate — but can’t figure out a graceful way to resign: report

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For months, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been dogged by rumors that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is trying to recruit him to run for Senate in his home state of Kansas — a claim that he has flatly denied.

Now, Time reports that multipler Republican sources have confirmed Pompeo does in fact have a Kansas Senate run on his radar. The only problem is that he can't figure out a graceful way to exit the Trump administration.

Pompeo, who has largely remained in President Donald Trump's good graces, has come under national scrutiny for his role in the Ukraine scandal, which has seen several foreign service officers and national security officials testifying that Trump set up a backchannel with his lawyer Rudy Giuliani to Ukrainian leadership to demand political help against former Vice President Joe Biden.

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