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Louisiana candidate stands by wild Facebook rants about ‘f*ggots, bums, OUR HITLER PRESIDENT’

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A Louisiana school board candidate facing a runoff election next month is defending a series of inflammatory Facebook posts he made over the past several months, reported KATC-TV.

“Coach Don” Gagnard, who’s running for District 1 Lafayette Parish School Board, used widely understood racial and homophobic slurs on the social media site to express his frustration with “faggots, bums, illegal aliens, Veterans mistreatment and most of all: OUR HITLER PRESIDENT.”

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“OUR PRESIDENT HATES OUR COUNTRY AND YOU ARE REDISTRIBUTING PEOPLES MONEY TO AFRICANS,” Gagnard posted Aug. 11.

In another post, from June 27, the candidate complained “others have to pay for the idiots because they are too lazy to do something for themselves except pass the blame on white people.”

He also claimed in a Sept. 29 post that global warming was a communist plot to keep Americans from getting good jobs and, thus, remaining free of “government control.”

Gagnard, who has deactivated his Facebook page ahead of the Dec. 6 runoff against Mary Morrison, also urged President Barack Obama to “go away and bring your urangutan (sp) with you.”

The candidate admits to making the comments, and he doesn’t deny hating gay people, “bums,” and illegal immigrants.

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But he denied antipathy toward black people, saying “coaches are not racists.”

“I’ve bailed black people out of jail and bought them trucks,” Gagnard told the station. “If you call me a racist, that’s going to flip back on you. But the f*ggot thing — yeah, you can stick with that.”

Gagnard garnered more than 36 percent of the vote in last week’s election, setting up a runoff against Morrison, who received more than 44 percent of the vote.

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He changed his party affiliation shortly before the Nov. 4 election, switching from Republican to independent.

“I don’t want to be a Democrat or a Republican, I want to be me,” Gagnard said. “If I say I am Republican, people will profile me and say, ‘Oh, he represents this.’ If I say I’m a Democrat, they’ll say, ‘Oh, he represents that.’”

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The longtime coach and educator said he hoped his social media posts wouldn’t distract from his interest in helping others.

“I’m here to help my people — poor people,” he said. “There should be a party called the ‘Triple P,’ Poor People Party.”


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Trump administration quietly guts COVID-19 paid leave provision that already excluded 75 percent of workers

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The Trump administration has quietly issued new guidance that will exempt many small businesses from having to provide some workers with paid leave during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Department of Labor issued a temporary rule Wednesday that effectively exempted businesses with fewer than 50 workers from being required to provide 12 weeks of paid leave for workers whose children are suddenly at home from school or child care under the coronavirus stimulus package signed by President Donald Trump.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Trump is deploying national guardsman to provide pandemic support without any health benefits: report

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The National Guard are an essential part of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and thousands of them have potentially been exposed to infected civilians, making it a particularly dangerous and important time to serve.

But according to The Daily Beast, the guard has been deployed in a way that prevents them from being eligible for the military's health care system.

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Vaccine researchers grew ‘alarmed’ as Trump’s CDC wasted weeks of their time with a flawed coronavirus test: report

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According to a report from the Washington Post, in the early days as health officials became concerned about the possibility of the COVID-19 pandemic blossoming out of China, researchers sat and wasted days they could have used to start developing a vaccine because they were assured by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that a testing kit was on its way.

As it turned out, that test was flawed.

Relying on emails and interviews, the Post is reporting, "On a Jan. 15 conference call, a leading scientist at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assured local and state public health officials from across the nation that there would soon be a test to detect a mysterious virus spreading from China. Stephen Lindstrom told them the threat was remote and they may not need the test his team was developing 'unless the scope gets much larger than we anticipate,' according to an email summarizing the call."

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