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Some key right-wing influencers are rallying behind Kevin McCarthy's ___ bid for speaker of the House.
The California Republican has been cultivating relationships with the extreme right for years, which is paying off now that some hardline conservative lawmakers are challenging his leadership bid over the incoming Republican majority, reported Axios.
Five House Republicans -- Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Bob Good (R-VA), Ralph Norman (R-NC) and Matt Rosendale (R-MT) -- have indicated they will oppose McCarthy as speaker, but he's getting some assistance from radio host Mark Levin, influencer Mike Cernovich and Breitbart's Matt Boyle.
Levin called McCarthy's opponents "saboteurs," while Breitbart warned of a "doomsday scenario" if he wasn't elected speaker, and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk and Human Events publisher Will Chamberlain also threw their support behind his leadership bid.
McCarthy can't be elected speaker if all five remain opposed, and both of his most viable challengers -- Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and House minority whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) -- have publicly supported his candidacy.
Florida cop accidentally kills deputy roommate while playing with gun he thought was unloaded: report
On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that a sheriff's deputy in Brevard County, Florida accidentally shot and killed another deputy, his best friend and roommate, with a gun that he thought wasn't loaded.
"Austin Walsh, 23, was off duty at home in Palm Bay with his friend Andrew Lawson when the fatal shot was fired, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said. After Walsh was hit in the early hours of Saturday, Lawson immediately called 911 to get help for his friend, but Walsh 'succumbed immediately,' Ivey said," reported Dan Ladden-Hall. "In a video shared on Facebook Sunday, Ivey described the circumstances in which Walsh’s tragic death unfolded. 'This afternoon I have to stand here and talk about the loss of one of my deputies who I love so much as the result of the reckless actions of another one of our deputies, who I also love,' he said."
"In the moments before the shooting took place, Ivey said, Walsh and Lawson had taken a break from playing an online game with a few of their friends," said the report. "The pair were 'just kind of standing around, talking,' Ivey said. 'Lawson was holding a handgun which he believed he had unloaded and at one point in their conversation Lawson — thinking that the gun was unloaded — jokingly pointed the gun in Austin’s direction and pulled the trigger.'"
“Austin and Andrew were the best of friends, and Andrew is completely devastated over what happened,” said Ivey in the statement. “Even with that, there is no excuse for this tragic, and totally avoidable death.”
A standard part of firearm safety training is to assume all guns are loaded with safety disabled or nonfunctional, and to never point a gun at anything or anyone you are not actively prepared to shoot.
One of the most highly-publicized accidental shootings of the year occurred on the set of the Western film "Rust," when actor Alec Baldwin fired a gun he believed to be unloaded, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
In an attempt to try to understand exactly why Donald Trump took the radical step to suggest "terminating" the Constitution because he feels the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, CNN's Stephen Collinson suggested the former person is so deep in his desperation to remain center stage that he has lost touch with reality.
Days ago the former president took to Truth Social where he ranted, "So, with the revelation of MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION in working closely with Big Tech Companies, the DNC, & the Democrat Party, do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great 'Founders' did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!"
That, in turn, has led to almost universal condemnation, with the CNN analyst claiming Trump's proposal is nothing less than a fantasy, but still dangerous.
According to Collinson, Trump's outburst may be the direct result of his announcement that he will run for president a third time landing with a thud among conservatives.
Suggesting that controversial comments "reflect desperation on the part of the former president to whip up controversy and fury among his core supporters in order to inject some energy into a so-far lackluster 2024 White House bid," he added, "And while it is far too early to write off his chances in the 2024 GOP nominating contest, Trump’s behavior since announcing his third presidential bid also suggests his never-ending quest to shock and to fire up his base now means going so far right he ends up on the extremist fringe and almost in self-parody."
"Trump’s doubling down on authoritarianism also follows a moment when much of the country, at least in crucial swing states, rejected his 2020 election denialism and anti-democratic chaos candidates he picked for the midterms – with a final test on Tuesday in Georgia’s Senate runoff," the CNN political analyst wrote. "It appears to make it even more unlikely that the ex-president, even if he wins the Republican nomination, will be the kind of candidate who could win among the broader national electorate. After all, his message failed in two consecutive elections in 2020 and 2022. And even in the wilder reaches of the GOP, which Trump has dominated since 2015, a call to simply trash the Constitution might seem a stretch – and reflect the former president’s increasing distance from reality."
He then added, "But even if his idea of crushing the Constitution looks far-fetched, his behavior needs to be taken seriously because of its possible future consequences. That’s because Trump remains an extraordinarily influential force in the Republican Party. His acolytes hold outsized power in the new House majority set to take over in January, which they plan to use as a political weapon to promote his restoration in the White House."
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