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Republican who voted to shut down government asks park ranger why part of government shut down

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A Republican lawmaker who voted for a budget measure that set up the government shutdown confronted a park ranger to ask why a particular portion of the government was shut down.

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) asked the U.S. Park Service Ranger why she was keeping out most tourists from the World War II Memorial, although veterans have been permitted to go inside.

“How do you look at them and deny them access?” Neugebauer said, with an American flag tucked into his lapel pocket.

The ranger told Neugebauer, who voted Sunday with most House Republicans to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act while funding the federal government, that it was difficult to keep out tourists.

The congressman told the ranger it should be difficult, and he suggested Park Service employees should be ashamed of themselves.

“I’m not ashamed,” the ranger said, and a crowd of onlookers joined the confrontation.

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“This woman is doing her job, just like me,” a bicyclist said. “I’m a 30-year federal veteran, (and) I’m out of work.”

Neugebauer blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for the shutdown, but the bicyclist said it was the government’s fault for not passing a budget.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint against Neugebauer on Friday, saying his conduct was inconsistent with House rules.

Access to the memorial and other monuments in Washington, D.C., has become a political flashpoint after the government shut down Tuesday.

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Two other House Republicans who voted for the budget measure rejected by the Senate, as promised, opened a barricade to the World War II Memorial to a group of veterans who’d arrived Tuesday morning as part of an Honor Flight visit.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) complained that House Republicans were trying to fund parts of the government they liked, such as the memorial, through smaller bills instead of voting on a comprehensive package that didn’t include a provision on Obamacare.

“They took hostages by shutting down the government,” Pelosi said. “Now they’re releasing one hostage at a time.”

The conservative Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request related to the order to close the memorial, and the Republican National Committee chairman offered to cover costs to keep the memorial open.

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A White House spokesman said Tuesday that the Interior Department would permit World War II veterans inside the memorial grounds, and an Honor Flight spokesman said the park service had “bent over backward” to accommodate them.

[Updated at 1:30 p.m. Friday to include information about CREW’s ethics complaint.]

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2020 Election

New report targets 15 House Democrats who ‘deserve’ progressive primary challengers

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As progressive candidates continue to announce their intentions to oust corporate Democrats, a new report names 15 House Democrats to unseat in primary challenges.

Published Monday by the left-leaning group RootsAction, the new report is entitled Bad Blues: Some of the House Democrats Who Deserve to Be 'Primaried.'

The list, the report notes, "is by no means exhaustive—only illustrative."

"There may well be a Democratic member of Congress near you not included here who serves corporate interests more than majority interests, or has simply grown tired or complacent in the never-ending struggles for social, racial, and economic justice as well as environmental sanity and peace," the report notes. "Perhaps you live in a district where voters are ready to be inspired by a progressive primary candidate because the Democrat in Congress is not up to the job."

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People are calling Denver’s newest city council member a communist — but she’d rather be called an anarchist

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On April 10, Candi CdeBaca’s 33rd birthday, Denver’s second “bomb cyclone” of the year brought snow and heavy wind, and knocked out power in some areas, including at CdeBaca’s house in Elyria-Swansea. When CdeBaca, then a Denver City Council candidate, finally got power back and turned on her phone, she saw she had an unusually high number of missed calls and messages. Birthday wishes, she assumed.

“There was a death threat,” she said. “There were two of them within an hour. One of them said, ‘I was trained to kill commie shit like you.’”

The context: At a candidate forum on April 7, CdeBaca offered some remarks that, to many, sounded like she was advocating a Communist form of government.

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Iran says new ‘mentally retarded’ Trump sanctions mean ‘permanent closure’ of diplomacy

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Iran said Tuesday that new US sanctions targeting its supreme leader meant a “permanent closure” of diplomacy, while the country’s president labelled the White House “mentally retarded” as tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated.

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order imposing the sanctions against Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday, taking a dramatic and unprecedented step to increase pressure on Iran after Tehran’s downing of an American drone last week.

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