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WATCH: Kentucky lawmaker in the heart of Trump country sides with students — and gives up his A rating from the NRA

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A state representative from rural Kentucky says he’s had “a change of heart” and will support common-sense gun control.

Rep. Chris Harris represents Pike County, where Donald Trump won 80 percent of the vote. He previously had an A rating from the NRA. Now, Harris says wants to see a ban on assault weapons, the outlawing of bump stocks, and deeper background checks for gun buyers.

“I have always been a strong advocate for the 2nd Amendment and I will continue to be, but the time has come for common sense action,” he said on the floor of the statehouse, according to a local newspaper.

Harris is already acting on his new convictions, co-sponsoring a bill that would end Kentucky’s bizarre practice of auctioning off murder weapons to the public. Thanks to that law, a gun that was used in a recent Kentucky school shooting in which two children were killed and 14 others wounded will be auctioned off.

“I’m tired of all the prayers without action,” Harris said. “We do nothing to try to minimize these ever-escalating mass shootings with their ever-escalating death tolls. We offer our prayers and we talk about our faith but we do not act. Without action, without good works, our faith and our prayers are dead.”

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“A lot of people give things up for Lent. I’m giving up my NRA rating,” he said.

You can watch Harris’ stirring testimony below.

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BUSTED: CNN’s panel of women defending Trump’s racism were literally the ‘Trumpettes’

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CNN aired a panel that featured “Republican women” defending President Trump’s racist tweets, but failed to mention that they were actually part of a pro-Trump group whose members the network had interviewed in the past.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Ben Carson is Donald Trump’s faulty human shield against accusations of racism

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Ben Carson is back in the news — after another long absence — because Donald Trump has once again been accused of racism.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

The secretary of Housing and Urban Development is the only African-American member of the president’s Cabinet, and is often trotted out to clean up after Trump makes a mess too obviously problematic for the media to ignore. While Trump has tried to spin his recent racist attacks on four progressive freshman congresswomen as a strategic maneuver meant to manipulate Democratic infighting to his advantage, Carson's re-emergence from his stupor should be a clear indication that the president’s team recognizes the damage that can be caused by his unforced errors.

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An illegal trend could be emerging after Trump let Kellyanne Conway off the hook for breaking federal law

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Federal workplaces are supposed to be free of politics, but a Trump administration appointee used a government forum Wednesday to express support for the president’s reelection.

At a conference on religious freedom hosted by the State Department, an official told the crowd of several hundred people that “hopefully he will be reelected,” referring to President Donald Trump.

It’s illegal for federal employees to engage in political activities while they are on the job.

“It’s a violation of the Hatch Act for a federal official, to say in her official capacity, to hope that the president will be reelected,” said Kathleen Clark, an expert on legal ethics at the Washington University in St. Louis.

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