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Georgia sheriff brags about ‘politically incorrect’ county with new sign: We say Merry Christmas

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A Georgia sheriff has staked out his ground in the U.S. culture wars by posting a large sign cautioning visitors that his community is proud to be “politically incorrect.”

“WARNING: Harris County is politically incorrect,” reads the sign posted on Tuesday under a welcome banner and the official seal of the county, located in central Georgia near the border with Alabama.

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“We say: Merry Christmas, God Bless America and In God We Trust. We salute our troops and our flag,” says the sign placed in front of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. “If this offends you … LEAVE!”

Sheriff Mike Jolley said the concept was suggested by his staff members, who “saw the verbiage on the Internet somewhere.”

The elected sheriff, a U.S. Army retiree who has been in the position for 23 years, personally paid for the $553 sign, which includes an image of the county’s official seal.

“I believe it’s time for the silent majority to speak their minds,” Jolley told Reuters on Wednesday in a phone interview.

So far the response has been “overwhelmingly, humbling positive,” said Jolley, noting that his office has received phone calls of support from as far away as Hawaii. He has also heard from critics.

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“There are some people who don’t like it, and I respect that,” the sheriff said. “That’s why I put on the sign that if you don’t like it, leave.”

The sign has gained the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, which is exploring the situation.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the nonprofit group Freedom from Religion Foundation, called the sign inappropriate.

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“It reminds me of the ‘don’t get caught in this town after sundown’ signs that used to go up in segregated America,” she said.

Jolley said he expects a lawsuit challenging the sign as a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s separation of church and state provisions.

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“If a judge tells me to take it down, I’ll move it to private property,” he said. “I’m not here to cost the county any money.”

(Editing by Letitia Stein and Paul Simao)


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PG&E agrees to $13.5 billion payout for deadly California fires

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California's Pacific Gas and Electric will pay $13.5 billion to settle lawsuits over its role in a series of wildfires that killed scores of people and destroyed thousands of homes, the utility giant said Friday.

Faulty PG&E powerlines were blamed for sparking last year's so-called Camp Fire in northern California -- the deadliest in the state's history -- that left 86 people dead.

Outdated facilities including vulnerable wooden poles and failure to deforest land surrounding high-voltage transmission lines were blamed for the inferno, prompting accusations the San Francisco-based firm had put profit before safety.

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Russia likely listened to Trump when he used unsecured phone to call Giuliani: security officials

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Russia likely learned of President Donald Trump’s Ukraine dealings months before they were exposed by a whistleblower report, because he used unsecured phone lines to speak with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, current and former officials told The Washington Post.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Phone records released in the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report this week showed that Giuliani made multiple calls to a blocked number listed as “-1.” Though Trump is not identified by name in the records, investigators believe the number belongs to Trump, and administration officials confirmed that Trump spoke with Giuliani on unsecured lines.

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Maddow destroys ‘bad faith’ complaints about impeachment from Republican Trump supporters

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The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on Friday blasted "bad faith" arguments from Republicans about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Maddow recounted the process complaints by Republicans -- each of which has disappeared.

"After going through all of that, they now have unveiled a new objection as to why President Trump cannot actually be subject to this impeachment proceeding, a new noble stand they're taking for fairness and the American way -- they have rolled it out with our friends at the Fox News channel," Maddow said.

She played a clip of former GOP Speaker Newt Gingrich on Fox News.

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