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Utah Republican sponsors bill declaring porn a ‘public health crisis’ — even worse than cocaine

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Living in a state that leads the nation in adult film rentals, a Utah Republican lawmaker has proposed a bill that would declare pornography a “public health crisis,” and a national epidemic.

According to State Sen. Todd Weiler, pornography and adult films create a “sexually toxic environment,” which increases demand for prostitutes and ultimately destroys families, reports the New York Daily News.

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“I have read books and I have experts tell me pornography is more difficult to overcome than cocaine,” Weiler said, adding he wants to take on the “pornography epidemic that is harming the citizens of Utah and the nation.”

Along with its reputation for being one of the most conservative states in the U.S., Utah also has the dubious distinction of being one of the country’s largest consumers of adult entertainment. A study by Harvard Business School professor Benjamin Edelman in 2009 demonstrated that more than 5 out of every 1,000 households in Utah were paying for porn.

“Even when I control for income, age, education and marital status, Utah residents still consume disproportionately more than people from other states,” Edelman told the Salt Lake Tribune.

According to Weiler, citizens of Utah seek out porn on the Internet because it affords them anonymity and because sex shops are rare in the state that is predominately Mormon and conservative.

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“I think porn is higher in Utah because of the culture here,” Weiler explained. “On the internet, porn is anonymous and it’s accessible.”

Weiler said he hopes to change the public perception of porn, and compared the damage it causes to climate change.

“These are scientific facts, just like global warming,” he said.

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The senator also noted that, as a divorce attorney, he has seen first-hand the damage adult films can do to marriages.

Specifically addressing the wording of his bill, Weiler said he said even it has its limitations.

“My resolution does not deal with masturbation, I think that’s beyond the scope of what I’m doing,” he said. “We’re not going to outlaw masturbation in Utah.”

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WATCH: Lewandowski’s lawyer freaks out, tries to block Congress from asking any further questions

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During the House Judiciary Committee testimony of President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski about the Russia investigation, Lewandowski's attorney frantically crashed the witness table and demanded that Congress stop asking questions of his client.

"Mister Chairman, as you know I am counsel for Mr. Lewandowski—" began the attorney.

"You are not a witness and you should not be seated at that table," cut in House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) sharply.

"I understand that," said Lewandowski's attorney. "I will leave after I register a formal protest based upon the debate that I heard. These seem to be unauthorized questions and I know you choose your words carefully—"

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Lewandowski’s testimony will let Democrats build Nixon-like articles of impeachment: Ex-prosecutor

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As President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski combatively testified before the House Judiciary Committee, he admitted that Trump asked him to communicate to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions that former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation must be shut down. Aside from that revelation, most of the testimony was unproductive, with Lewandowski lashing out at members of Congress and running interference for the president.

But as former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti wrote on Twitter, these outbursts — and the fact that Trump sanctioned the way that Lewandowski behaved in the hearing — could be the basis for Democrats to write up articles of impeachment against Trump similar to those drafted against Richard Nixon in 1974:

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Putin aims a weaponized barb at Trump over Saudi attack – and hits the mark

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Russian President Vladimir Putin joked this week about selling defense systems to Riyadh following weekend attacks on Saudi oil facilities. The gag was aimed at US President Donald Trump and it hit the mark with the precision of a guided weapon.

It was a masterful piece of trolling by the czar of trolls – a snide, disparaging jibe with an element of truth twisted into absurdity for maximum effect and laughs. At a joint press conference with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts in Ankara on Monday, Putin cast his bait into the volatile Persian Gulf region just days after devastating attacks on Saudi oil facilities exposed the limits of the Gulf kingdom’s expensive defense systems.

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