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Scott Olsen, marine wounded by Oakland police, in ‘critical condition’

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Update (below): Scott Olsen has been upgraded to “fair condition.”

In a video published early Thursday morning, ex-Marine Scott Olsen, the 24-year-old who suffered a fractured skull in Oakland on Tuesday night and is currently in “critical condition,” is seen standing peacefully in front of a police barricade next to a uniformed sailor just moments before officers deployed chemical agents to disperse the crowd.

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While the video does not show what hit Olsen, it suggests that he was shot in the head by a tear gas canister at near point-blank range.  Olsen did not appear to be provoking officers, who’d repeatedly announced their intent to disperse what they’d declared an “unlawful assembly.” Others speculated that he was hit by a beanbag round fired from a shotgun.

Either way, the aftermath of the blow he sustained was severe. Photos of the scene are grisly and not for the squeamish.

He’s now sedated and suffering from brain swelling. Doctors say Olsen is in “critical condition” and could die of his injury.

The incident has sparked a wave of outrage among 99 Percent protesters, and even among other Marines, and on Wednesday night Current TV news host Keith Olbermann called for Oakland’s mayor to fire the police chief or resign. Vigils in solidarity with Oakland were held in numerous cities last night, with another wave planned in even more cities for later tonight.

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Protesters were marching in response to a police action early Tuesday morning to clear out a camp demonstrators had been occupying for weeks, in solidarity with the protest that’s occupied a park near Wall Street for more than a month. Police claimed that some people threw paint and bottles at them, so they spent most of the night trying to disperse them at multiple spots around downtown. More than 100 people were arrested in the melee.

An update on Olsen’s condition is expected later this morning.

Update: Scott Olsen upgraded to “fair condition.”

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Olsen has survived the night. While he remains in critical care due to brain swelling, he has been upgraded by doctors to “fair condition,” according to The Associated Press.

The video below is from Vimeo user Raleigh Latham. Olsen can be seen at 1:33.

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Police use Tear Gas and Rubber Bullets at Occupy Oakland from Raleigh Latham on Vimeo.

The video below is from Vimeo user Raleigh Latham. It shows several perspectives on the attack on Olsen and how police responded when fellow protesters tried to help him.

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Footage of Scott Olsen being shot by Police at Occupy Oakland from Raleigh Latham on Vimeo.


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Texas Republicans are abandoning the state’s GOP Speaker: ‘We no longer support him’

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Some of the most powerful Texas House Republicans said Monday they no longer support GOP Speaker Dennis Bonnen, marking the biggest blow yet to his political future amid the fallout from a secret recording released last week by a hardline conservative activist.

Five Republicans considered senior members of the lower chamber issued a statement withdrawing support for him: State Reps. Four Price of Amarillo, Dan Huberty of Houston, Lyle Larson of San Antonio, Chris Paddie of Marshall and John Frullo of Lubbock.

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Donald Trump is making a mockery of Marco Rubio — and the Florida senator is letting him

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Sen. Marco Rubio was once one of Donald Trump’s most formidable opponents; now, the Florida senator bends over backward to excuse the president’s corruption.

In 2016, Rubio and Trump sparred frequently on the Republican primary debate stage. Trump picked the uninspired nickname “Little Marco” for the senator, which didn’t seem to do much damage on its own, but Rubio never gained the momentum or strength that his backers hoped would prove to be strong enough to take down the reality TV candidate. As Rubio grew desperate, he launched one of his most memorable and pitiful attacks by stooping to his opponent’s level, implying that Trump had a small penis. It was more of an embarrassing moment for Rubio than anyone else, though Trump helped himself with a crude rejoinder.

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The faith of Fox News: How the network’s propaganda warps viewers’ sense of reality

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A longtime sticking point among Fox News employees is their insistent differentiation between its news division, where employees practice actual journalism, and its opinion division, where employees practice actual nativism, spew misinformation, and have been actively campaigning for Donald Trump’s re-election since 2016.  Inside the organization, they claim to believe that the news side is separate from the opinion side, and insist that the audience can tell the difference.

News anchor Shepard Smith once characterized comparing the two as “apples and teaspoons.”

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