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Georgia Republican caught driving drunk loves forcing drug tests on poor people

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On April 7, Georgia Rep. Tom Taylor was caught careening through a 45-mile-an-hour zone at 72 mph. In the car were four underaged exchange students, a water bottle that smelled like booze, and a gun: quite the party for 2:46 in the afternoon.

This article was originally published by The Influence, a news site that covers the full spectrum of human relationships with drugs. Follow The Influence on Facebook or Twitter.

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Taylor told the officer he’d had a glass of wine the night before and nothing to drink that day, but blew a .225 on a breathalyzer test—close to three times the legal limit, according to the police report.

This week, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported that following his arrest, Taylor received at total of $20,000 from groups associated with the liquor industry, as well as from a handful of lawmakers. It’s not hard to see why. Taylor is a member of the House Regulated Industries Committee, which oversees liquor laws. In 2015, he voted to expand Sunday sale times for alcohol. 
But Taylor’s liberal attitude towards mind-altering substances does not stretch to the poorer people living in his state. In 2012 and 2014 Taylor voted for measures that would have forced welfare applicants to take a drug test before receiving government aid. The 2012 measure applied to people requesting TANF, or welfare benefits. The 2014 one would have forced people applying for food stamps to take a drug test if they raised “reasonable” suspicion of using drugs.
As the Influence has noted, drug-testing welfare and food stamp recipients is ludicrously ineffective: It basically blows a ton of state money on not catching large numbers of drug users. It’s seen as a) good political theater for Republicans who get to vilify the poor by implying they’re getting wasted on the taxpayers’ dime, and b) a way to discourage people from applying for aid.
Lawmakers who’ve opposed the legislation make the obvious point that recipients of far larger amounts of government money—like, say, politicians—do not have to undergo testing for irresponsible or problematic substance use.
This article was originally published by The Influence, a news site that covers the full spectrum of human relationships with drugs. Follow The Influence on Facebook or Twitter.

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Trump is openly colluding with Ukraine to smear Biden

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President Donald Trump is defending his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, one that recent media reports suggest may have been made in order to dig up dirt about one of Trump's likeliest and strongest opponents in the 2020 election, former Vice President Joe Biden.

This article first appeared on Salon.

"The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, want to stay as far away as possible from the Joe Biden demand that the Ukrainian Government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son, or they won’t get a very large amount of U.S. money, so they fabricate a story about me and a perfectly fine and routine conversation I had with the new President of the Ukraine," Trump tweeted on Saturday. "Nothing was said that was in any way wrong, but Biden’s demand, on the other hand, was a complete and total disaster. The Fake News knows this but doesn’t want to report!"

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Democrats’ refusal to impeach Trump is a ‘bigger national scandal’ than him breaking the law: Ocasio-Cortez

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., criticized House Democrats on Saturday for their unwillingness to impeach President Donald Trump despite new revelations that he may have pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on one of his potential Democratic rivals in 2020, former Vice President Joe Biden.

This article first appeared in Salon.

"At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior - it is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him for it," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Saturday night.

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Mnuchin admits White House has transcript of Ukraine call and ‘they’re going to be kept confidential’

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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin confirmed on Sunday that the White House does have a transcript of President Donald Trump's call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

During an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd asked Mnuchin if he had an objection to Congress' request to see a transcript in which Trump allegedly asks Zelensky to open an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

While confirming that a transcript of the call exists, Mnuchin said that House Democrats have no right to see it.

"What I have a problem with is Congress asking for a transcript between world leaders," he told Todd. "I think that those are confidential discussions and that’s a difficult precedent."

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