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Florida woman in ‘Catholic Warrior’ t-shirt destroys Satanic Temple’s holiday display

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Police have arrested a woman accused of destroying the Satanic Temple’s “holiday display” in the Florida Capitol, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

The controversial display — in which an angel can be seen descending into a pit of fire — stood alongside both traditional Christian Nativity scenes and an 8-foot-tall “Festivus pole” made of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans until 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, when Susan Hemeryck walked up to two Florida Department of Law Enforcement Capitol Police officers and told them that she was “sorry, but I have to take this down.”

Hemeryck, who was wearing a “Catholic Warrior” t-shirt at the time, told the Associated Press that “it’s just wrong, when you remove baby Jesus two days before Christmas and put Satan in his place? I was there at the right time and the right moment and I needed to take a stand against Satan.”

The Florida director of American Atheists, John Porgal, said “the angel’s dead. We’ve been tolerant of their [Nativity] display. We didn’t like it, but we tolerated it. You see what they did to our display.” He called the damaged display “a sign of what the religious right’s idea of tolerance is.”

Hemeryck’s only regret is that she was unable to do further damage to the display before Capitol Police arrested her on criminal mischief charges.

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“I just yanked that little devil off the fishing line,” she said. “I should have just done a better job and finished it off for good.”

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State issued a statement, saying “[t]his act of mindless vandalism should be condemned by all decent people and all those who support true freedom of religion. It’s important to remember that free speech in an open forum is for all groups, even those whose message some deem controversial or unpopular.”

“Our attorneys fought hard for our clients to win the right to display their diorama in the Capitol Rotunda, and we don’t intend to buckle under to this type of senseless destruction.”

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Jon Stewart blasts ‘abomination’ of Rand Paul trying to ‘balance the budget on the backs of’ 9/11 responders

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On Wednesday's edition of Fox News' "Special Report," comedian and activist Jon Stewart slammed Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) for blocking unanimous consent for a bill to support health care for 9/11 first responders.

"Pardon me if I'm not impressed in any way by Rand Paul's fiscal responsibility virtue signaling," said Stewart to anchor Bret Baier, who appeared on the show with first responder and activist John Feal.

He added that Paul's complaint, that the bill was unfunded, rings hollow given that he "added hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit" with the GOP tax cuts for billionaires. He castigated Paul for trying to "balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community."

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Republicans will never say that racism is ‘racism’ — basically because they’re racist

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Is there any expression of racism that Republicans will actually admit is racism? It's a question on a lot of progressive minds in the wake of Donald Trump demonizing female congresswomen of color with the "go back" canard that white nationalists and other assorted racists have long used to abuse anyone with heritage they dislike, whether that heritage is Jewish, Irish, Italian, African, Latin American or Muslim. Telling someone to "go back" is, in the ranks of racist statements, right up there with calling a person the N-word or some other rank slur. Yet, there still appears to be resistance among Republicans to admitting that is racism, which leads many on the left to wonder: If this doesn't count, then what could possibly count?

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This explains why Trump picked a fight with the four Congresswomen of color: analysis

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On one hand, President Donald Trump almost certainly chose to mark out Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) because of his own deep-seated racism.

But there is likely another reason he is doing it, wrote Aaron Blake of the Washington Post's "The Fix" on Wednesday: because his core voters hate them as much as he does.

Blake cited a new The Economist/YouGov poll of 2016 Trump voters' opinions on several politicians. "As you peruse it, it becomes clear that the conventional wisdom about why Trump picked these targets is right: They were ripe for motivating the GOP base ... All of them are better known among Republicans than Democrats, which suggests that a steady stream of coverage in conservative media has elevated them as potential Democratic bogeywomen. Trump is tilling fertile soil. And in fact, they might already be his most effective foils."

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