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Gingrich condemns black congressman, claims street gangs grew ‘by 40 percent’ under Obama

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During a forum on race relations published online by CNN Sunday, CNN employee and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) condemned a black congressman for failing to stop gang violence in his district, saying that gang membership has increased “by 40 percent” since President Barack Obama was elected.

Speaking about Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), Gingrich said: “You have a congressman who represents the most violent city in America. You have a congressman who represents a city in which over 500 people were killed last year, 74 percent of them African-American. You have a congressman who represents a city in which 80 percent of the killings, according to police, are by gangs.”

“Gangs have increased… by 40 percent since this president was elected,” he said. “There is no federal program to stop it. No one wants to have an honest conversation about it. So you have a congressman whose own district is bleeding, who puts on a hoodie as a symbolic act, but he doesn’t do anything about the gangs in his own district.”

Rush looked surprised. “That’s a charge Newt, that doesn’t hold water. I hav been working relentlessly since I’ve been in Congress, even when you were speaker in Congress and did not want to hear of these matters, I have been working on trying to deal with this violence. I am astounded and ashamed by this violence.”

Rush added that he’s organized the Congressional Black Caucus to come to Chicago later this month and hold a summit on urban violence. “This was before the [Zimmerman] verdict, we had planned this,” he said.

While Gingrich is right to say that gang membership is up in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s crime statistics, the bureau itself attributes the increase from 2009-2011 “primarily to improved reporting” as its first reason. It also cites opportunities with drug cartels, “gangster rap culture” and the prevalence of social media as a reason for “more aggressive recruitment” in recent years.

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However, Gingrich failed to note that during that same period, violent crime in the U.S. went down, from 1,318,398 reported violent crimes in 2009 to 1,203,564 in 2011 — a decrease of 8.7 percent, according to the FBI’s own statistics.

This is a subject Gingrich is surely familiar with, having written about FBI crime statistics in February with an eye toward the violence in Chicago. He took note that the FBI says most firearms used in gang violence are usually “acquired through illegal purchases; straw purchases via surrogates or middle-men, and thefts” — and claimed that as proof “new gun laws are very unlikely to stop the flow of guns to gangs.”

Then again, the very thing the FBI cites — straw purchasing and using middle men to complete a weapons transfer through a private sale — is entirely legal in many places around the U.S., much to the dismay of gun control advocates who’ve been pointing at this loophole for years.

Laws specifically allowing such sales are what led to the whole “Fast and Furious” scandal, in which a misrepresented, sensationalized and highly partisan version of events was popularized in conservative media, but the “scandal” ultimately turned out to be the result of a legal struggle between federal agents and the prosecutors who told them the law allowed young straw purchasers to turn weapons over to suspected drug cartel representatives in private sales.

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This video is from CNN’s “State of the Union,” aired Sunday, July 21, 2013.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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‘Dangerous linguistic power’: A historian explains how Trump weaponizes nicknames

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Is Donald Trump the modern day Earl Long?

A three-time Louisiana governor, Long mastered the art of political ridicule seven decades ago by weaponizing nicknames. The hilarious names Long pinned on his rivals, and the rollicking stories he told about them, riveted audiences bored by puffed-up rhetoric.

While Long’s stunts may be remembered as silly hijinks, there was a sly, often deadly serious, purpose to his technique. He used it to get voters to laugh at his foes and to put them on the defensive––a place politicians never want to be. Tucked within Long’s jests were razor-sharp attacks aimed at exploiting opposition weaknesses––hidden swords inside a pea-patch cloak.

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Walmart got a $2.2 billion tax cut — now it’s laying off workers

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Walmart announced it will lay off hundreds of workers in North Carolina despite receiving billions in tax cuts that the Republican Party and President Trump claimed would spur job growth.

The giant retailer will lay off about 570 employees and close its corporate office near the Charlotte airport, despite signing a 12-year lease just four years earlier, the Charlotte Business Journal reported.

The work done at the Charlotte facility will be outsourced to a firm in Arkansas, according to the report.

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Melania Trump ripped for bragging about helping children while her husband runs concentration camps for kids

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Melania Trump was ripped on Monday for pushing her signature "Be Best" campaign against bullying while her husband, President Donald Trump, runs concentration camps for children along the southern border.

"Looking forward to collaborating with all of our #BeBest Ambassadors. Delighted to be working alongside so many people both inside and outside of government to better the lives of children everywhere!" Melania Trump tweeted Monday.

The response was some of the harshest since she wore an "I Don't Care" jacked to visit the border.

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 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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