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White supremacist arrested for racist Trump vandalism has history of stupid failed crimes

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Michael Todd Birkl — a man who’s been charged for leaving a KKK-referencing note on the door of a predominantly black church in Virginia weeks after Charlottesville — has a long history of failed crimes dating back more than 20 years.

According to Washington, D.C.’s WJLA news station, Birkl was arrested for leaving a note on the door of a church in Dumfries, Virginia last month that read “Now THATS WHiTE POWER, DAY of THe Rope IS Coming [sic].” Along with the epithet were clippings from KKK pamphlets, a photo of a Confederate flag and a cutout from a TIME magazine cover illustration of President Donald Trump in a white klan hood.

His racist threats towards the Dumfries church was not his first foray into white supremacist violence.

In 1994, Birkl, who was 26 and living in Pennsylvania, held a woman hostage for six-and-a-half hours. According to the Baltimore Sun, he did so because he is a “white supremacist” and saw it as his only way to spread his message. While police attempted to negotiate with him, he called a local TV station and told them “the end of the world is coming.” At the time, he claimed to have cancer.

Birkl was also arrested in 2015 in Dumfries for a foiled carjacking where he stabbed the man he was attempting to rob. He then tried to flee on foot, but officers caught up to him “a short distance away.”

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2020 Election

First Democratic debate: Elizabeth Warren persists — but Julián Castro is the star

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With two dozen candidates announced and the possibility of ousting Donald Trump in the 2020 elections on voters' brains, the anticipation for the first of many Democratic primary debates, held in Miami on Wednesday night, was at a high pitch. But that can only be matched by the cynicism of our era. It was worth wondering whether, despite all the hype, this debate could even matter?

Good news, for once: The answer is yes.

Because most voters just vote for whoever their party nominates, debates don't matter "once we get to the general," University of Wisconsin political science professor Kenneth Mayer recently told Salon in a video interview.

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2020 Election

Here are eight key moments from the first Democratic debate

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On Wednesday night, the 2020 Democratic primaries finally got underway in earnest as 10 of the 20 candidates who had met the party’s eligibility criteria took to the stage in Miami for the first of two nights of debating.

Through a random draw, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was alone among the top candidates in early polling on night one. She squared off against former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, New Jersey Sen Cory Booker, Julián Castro–Obama’s former HUD Secretary–Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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Two friends come forward to confirm Trump rape allegations by author E Jean Carroll

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Two women confirmed that author and columnist E. Jean Carroll told them that Donald Trump sexually assaulted her shortly after the attack more than 20 years ago.

The Elle advice columnist alleges in her new memoir that Trump raped her during a chance encounter at the Bergdorf Goodman luxury department store in 1995 or 1996, and two friends have come forward to corroborate her account, reported the New York Times.

Carol Martin, a former news anchor on WCBS-TV in New York, and Lisa Birnbach, a writer best known for The Official Preppy Handbook, confirmed to the newspaper that Carroll told them Trump had assaulted her in a dressing room at the Manhattan department store.

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