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Texas House installing panic buttons after ‘hostile’ encounters with open carry advocates

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In the wake of increasingly large and frequent protests by the open carry movement, the Texas House of Representatives approved rules that would allow for the installation of panic buttons and give representatives the power to have “hostile” citizens summarily ejected from their offices, The Houston Chronicle reports.

The day before these rules were passed, members of Open Carry Tarrant County spent time visiting the offices of lawmakers who opposed House Bill 195, which would overturn the state’s 125-year-long ban on openly carrying handguns.

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Two Democratic representatives — Poncho Nevarez and Celia Israel — claimed that members of Open Carry Tarrant County harassed them. A Facebook post by group member Kory Watkins bears out Nevarez’s claim:

In the video, activists can be heard berating the seated representative. “You’re a tyrant to the Constitution!” one yelled. “You won’t be here very long!” shouted another.

“I’m asking you to leave my office,” Rep. Nevarez told Watkins.

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“You need to leave my state,” Watkins replied.

When the representative attempted to retreat into his office, the activist placed his foot in the door to prevent him from doing so.

Watkins replied to criticism of that particular action on Facebook, writing that “[i]f a foot in the door of a tyrant’s office bothers you more than a tyrant mocking the people and the Constitution, you are the problem.” He then added, “[w]onder how the Jews turned out begging Hitler for their rights back. Maybe they should have put their foot in the door!”

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Upon being contacted for comment about the rules that would allow for the installation of panic buttons and ejection of protesters, Watkins posted the following on Facebook:

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Rep. Martinez Fischer, who is sponsoring the new rules, said that it “sounded to me like it was a very hostile situation that not only impacted the offices’ environment, but also bled out into the hallway — and I don’t think any of that is appropriate.”


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2020 Election

HBO’s Maher taunts Trump fans over president hiding in a bunker from protesters: ‘Is America great enough for you yet?’

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In his opening monologue on Friday night, HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher both ridiculed Donald Trump and taunted his fans over reports the president was whisked away to an underground bunker to protect him from anti-police brutality protesters.

According to the HBO comedian, "As soon as some shit started outside the White House he went straight to the bunker, five floors below ground. He says he wasn't hiding, he said, I love this, it was more of an inspection -- and he didn't piss himself, he was watering his shoes."

"I tell you, deranged authoritarians and bunkers, always a winning combination," he added.

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Steve Schmidt breaks down why Joe Biden should be an ‘easy’ choice for moderate Republicans

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On MSNBC Friday, former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt criticized Sen. Lisa Murkowski's (R-AK) claim that she was struggling over whether to support the president — and laid out why she should unequivocally decide she doesn't.

"We saw the president direct violence against peaceful protesters this week, and seen the president lie to the country nearly 20,000 times," said Schmidt. "We've seen the president divide the country and incite violence. And we've seen a level of ineptitude in this historic pandemic that defied description, but included standing in front of the nation when tens of thousands are dead, talking about his ratings or telling the American people that it is a good idea to ingest or household disinfectants. We've seen a president preside over the shattering of an economy. We have seen a president race-bait, demean, disgrace his office, to desecrate the bonds of affection that exist between us as Americans."

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‘Not appropriate at all’: GOP senator admits it was wrong to gas protesters for Trump’s photo-op

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The decision to gas protesters so President Donald Trump could hold a photo-op holding a Bible were criticized by a Republican senator on Friday as cracks start to emerge in Republicans' support for the president.

"As you know, outside the White House when protesters were peacefully exercising their rights, there were rubber bullets and tear gas, they were disbursed so he could go for the pictures, the photo-op at the church," CNN's Erin Burnett reported.

She noted criticism by former General Mattis and asked Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) if he agreed.

"I would say no question the scene that I understand occurred there with the tear gas and rubber bullets was unnecessary, not appropriate at all," he replied.

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