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Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (R) signed a bill into law that would ultimately protect drivers who injure or kill protesters while attempting to flee the scene of demonstrations. The law also imposes more rigid penalties for protesters obstructing public roadways.
According to KHOU, House Bill (HB) 1674 signed the controversial bill on Wednesday, April 21 after the state's Republican-led Senate voted 38-10 in favor of the measure last week. Under the new law, it is considered "a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine for anyone who obstructs a public street during the course of a protest, according to the legislation."
It also notes that "drivers cannot be held criminally or civilly liable for killing or injuring a protestor if they are 'fleeing from a riot,' and there is 'reasonable belief' that they are in danger."
"We are sending a message today in Oklahoma that rioters who threaten law-abiding citizens' safety will not be tolerated. I remain unequivocally committed to protecting every Oklahoman's First Amendment right to peacefully protest as well as their right to feel safe in their community," Stitt said.
The bill comes as various, nationwide debates are taking place all across the country. Police brutality, racial inequality, voting rights, and the right to peaceful protest and demonstration have all been critical topics of discussion that remain strong points of contention in the United States.
In fact, a group protesting the controversial bill was granted access to the House Chambers located inside the Oklahoma State Capitol. Once the group left the Capitol building the session resumed.
The Republican Party seems dead set on running a Trump-style presidential campaign in 2024 -- or perhaps even nominating former President Donald Trump to run again.
However, economist Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute is warning the GOP that a Trump-style campaign is very likely to flop if they try it three years from now.
Writing in Bloomberg, Strain argues that the economy in three years will likely look very different from the economy that let Trump eke out an electoral college win in 2016 despite losing the popular vote to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
"The 2008 recession was particularly traumatic," he writes. "The benefits of the eventual recovery took a long time to reach the bottom half of workers. Inflation-adjusted wages were above their 2007 level over the entire period from 2008 to 2019 for workers in the top 20 percent. But as late as 2014 — five years after the recession officially ended — wages for the bottom half of workers were lower than in 2007."
Given that the United States at the moment is projected to post strong economic growth numbers coming out of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the appeal of a Trump-style demagogue likely won't have the same appeal as it once did, Strain concludes.
"Populism peters out as incomes grow," he writes. "The sooner Republicans realize this, the better."
'What am I, Stalin?': GOP lawmaker snaps at CNN host after brutal grilling over voter suppression law
On Friday morning, CNN "New Day" host Brianna Keilar confronted a GOP lawmaker from Arizona who was attempting to defend a new voting law in his state that will likely purge voters from the rolls. The clash led to the Republican to accuse her of treating him like "Stalin" and saying she was being ridiculous when she fact-checked him.
During the long interview, a portion of which can be viewed below, the CNN host put Arizona State Representative John Kavanaugh (R) on the spot over previous comments he made in early March when he blurted, "Not everybody wants to vote, and if somebody is uninterested in voting, that probably means that they're totally uninformed on the issues. Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes, as well."
That led to a testy exchange as the CNN host and the Republican lawmaker talked over each other, and Kavanaugh accusing Keilar of using "spin."
Things turned particularly contentious when they battled over what would happen to ballots belonging to military families who are registered in Arizona but may have been moved due to deployments. That was when Kavanaugh objected to Keilar's choice of words.
"You are really twisting the facts to make your point here, all they're doing is trying to --," Kavanaugh protested to which the CNN host cut in, "I'm talking about being purged from the early voting rolls. I'm talking about people who are purged from that early voting list."
"Can we use neutral names? They are being removed after multiple checks to make sure that they actually aren't there. They aren't being purged," he shot back.
"That is your -- that is how you describe it, sir, and we do appreciate you coming on," the CNN host replied.
"I'm not spinning it, I'm doing the truth," he complained.
"I'm not spinning it either," Keilar replied.
"Purge? What am I, Stalin?" he retorted. "Come on, don't be ridiculous. this is really -- this is why we can't have reasonable discussions across the political divide because everybody wants to throw gasoline on what should be a critical intellectual discussion."
"Sir, you're not being honest and what you're saying doesn't even line up with --" Keilar stated.
"When am I dishonest?" Kavanaugh interrupted.
"You talk about quality votes over quantity. I think that is loud and clear," Keilar replied.
CNN 04 23 2021 08 23 33 www.youtube.com
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