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Why an old photo of Mitch McConnell is resurfacing amid Northam yearbook controversy

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaking at CPAC 2011 (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and many other prominent Democrats are calling for the resignation of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who has drawn sharp criticism over some overtly racist photos that appeared on his page in a 1984 yearbook. And while the Northam scandal rages on, a disturbing photo of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is being circulated via social media—one that shows the Kentucky Republican posing in front of a large Confederate flag.

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The photo, allegedly taken at a Sons of Confederate Veterans event in the early 1990s, has been circulated online in the past. And with Northam receiving such widespread criticism, the McConnell photo serves as a reminder that Republicans can be racist as well.

On February 2, Cameron Kasky (co-founder of March for Our Lives) tweeted, “Northam was in blackface and he’s awful and it’s great that he’s cancelled. Now can we do Mitch McConnell gleefully posing in front of a confederate flag with that big, bright McConnell smile?”

Another Twitter user, who goes by Resistance Rosie, posted, “Northam should resign. But I love how the GOP is indignant while supporting current GOP racists like Trump (Nazi’s are fine people), Steve King (open white supremacist), Cindy Hyde-Smith (wants to sit front row at a lynching), and confederate flag McConnell.  #Hypocrisy.”

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David Popp, a McConnell spokesman, told Time Magazine that McConnell’s critics have posted the photo online in the past.

Popp said, “This picture gets ‘attention on social media’ frequently. The left trots it out every time Sen. McConnell speaks out on race or the Confederate flag–as he did on Charlottesville, the Confederate flag over SC’s capitol, removing Jefferson Davis from the Kentucky capitol, his comments on Steve King, and so on. They’ve been doing this for many, many years.”

The photo has inspired a discussion on Reddit, where some users asserted that the photo of McConnell—who is up for reelection in 2020—won’t hurt him with his far-right base. A Reddit user who goes by justasapling posted, “The 30% of Americans who still love Trump are mostly probably on board with Mitch in front of the Confederate flag and Steve King and Northam.”

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Father and son behind bars after chasing down Black teens on ATVs and shooting at them

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A Mississippi father and son are behind bars after they allegedly used ATVs to chase down and attack two Black teens Sunday night, WLBT reports.

“Not only did they shoot at him, they also ran into the back of his four wheeler, and that could also have been murder right then and there,” said the mother of one of two black teens.

The teens were reportedly out for a ride on their ATVs on a popular road when Wade Oscar Twiner and his son Lane Twiner "pursued them and tried to stop them and to shoot them and bump them with the four wheeler," according to Sheriff Jacob Sheriff. The Twiners, who are white, have been charged with aggravated assault.

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2020 Election

‘Hero of the Hudson’ pilot Sully Sullenberger tears into Trump in stinging new ad from the Lincoln Project and VoteVets

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In a new joint ad from the Lincoln Project and VoteVets "Hero of the Hudson" Captain Sully Sullenberger, a lifelong Republican, tore into President Donald Trump's failure of leadership.

"Leadership is not just about sitting in the pilot's seat," said Sullenberger, who served in the Air Force before famously landing a distressed commercial jetliner on the Hudson River with no fatalities. "It's about knowing what you're doing, and taking responsibility for it. Being prepared, ready, and able to handle anything that might come your way."

"From my father, a Naval officer in World War II, I learned the awesome responsibility of command," said Sullenberger. "From my service as an Air Force officer and a fighter pilot, I knew that serving a cause greater than oneself is the highest calling. And it's in that highest calling of leadership that Donald Trump has failed us so miserably. Now, it's up to us to overcome his attacks on our very democracy, knowing nearly a quarter million Americans won't have a voice — casualties of his lethal lies and incompetence."

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Fascinating new study shows how Fox News’ use of the word ‘hate’ could be warping viewers’ perspectives

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Fox News is up to five times more likely to use the word “hate” in its programming than its main competitors, according to our new study of how cable news channels use language.

Fox particularly uses the term when explaining opposition to Donald Trump. His opponents are said to “hate” Trump, his values and his followers.

Our research, which ran from Jan. 1 to May 8, 2020, initially explored news of Trump’s impeachment. Then came the coronavirus. As we sifted through hundreds of cable news transcripts over five months, we noticed consistent differences between the vocabulary used on Fox News and that of MSNBC.

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