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Gabrielle Giffords honors astronaut husband

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WASHINGTON — US lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head earlier this year, honored her NASA astronaut husband Mark Kelly Thursday, at his White House naval retirement ceremony.

Captain Kelly, who commanded one of the final space shuttle missions months after his wife was assaulted by a lone gunman in Arizona, is retiring after 5,000 airborne hours as a navy pilot and four trips into orbit.

In a poignant moment of the ceremony, Giffords, who underwent life-saving brain surgery, pinned a Distinguished Flying Cross medal, earned on the shuttle Endeavour flight in May, on her husband’s uniform.

Vice President Joe Biden, who presided at the ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in the White House complex, hailed the courage of both Giffords and Kelly.

“As vice president I get to work with an awful lot of people who devote their lives day to day to public service,” Biden said.

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“But it’s not every day you encounter examples of sheer, sheer courage, selflessness and dedication, like you see in this couple,” he said.

Speaking directly to Giffords, who was making a rare journey to Washington as she recuperates, Biden said: “I don’t use the word loosely. You are an inspiration. You’ve been inspirational.”

Kelly also paid tribute to his wife’s resilience since her injury.

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“Gabby, you remind me every day to deny the acceptance of failure,” Kelly said. “I look forward to the next phase of our life together and watching all of your future achievements.”

Giffords last touched hearts in Washington after she returned to vote in the House of Representatives on a key austerity bill in August, seven months after she was shot.

A gunman shot Giffords in the head on January 8 as she met constituents at a public forum at a grocery store in Tucson, Arizona. She has needed major rehabilitation to regain movement on the right side of her body.

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Six people were killed in the rampage, including a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl.


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‘Washington is no longer functional’: Brian Williams admits he’s sad to report that ‘our government is broken’

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MSNBC anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday reported that America's federal government is broken.

"This was day 908 of the Trump Administration and while there is no joy in it, one way of summing up today is this: Our government’s broken, our politics are broken, Washington is no longer functional, and the cracks in our society are deepening," Williams reported.

"Much of this day was taken up by the discussion of racist statements by the president. Then tonight came the news that had so many people thinking back to when we were different, the death just tonight of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens at the age of 99," he said.

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Trump ignored being condemned by Congress and instead praised Republicans on Twitter for defending his racism

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President Donald Trump celebrated on Tuesday night despite the House of Representatives having voted earlier in the day to condemn his racist statements.

By a final vote of 240 to 187, Congress voted for a resolution saying, "Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

The resolution said Congress “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should “go back” to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as “invaders,” and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.”

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The tortured madness of Donald Trump: It’s clear the president is out of his mind

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Where’s Shakespeare when we need him? Only the Bard of Avon could do literary justice to the tortured madness of Donald Trump, who fluctuates between petulant self-pity and weird self-praise.

His brags are especially weird because they usually involve achievements he hasn’t made. It’s as though his saying something makes it true — even though everyone except his most naive devotees can clearly see that he’s either hallucinating or lying. In June, for example, at a rally launching his reelection campaign, he retrumpeted an old campaign promise to “drain the swamp,” assuring the adoring crowd that “that’s exactly what we’re doing right now.”

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