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Veteran Republican abandons the GOP – and drops a devastating rebuke on the Trump-dominated party

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Writing in the Atlantic, a former Republican explains why he left the party after decades in the GOP—and the surprising perks of being “politically homeless.”

Peter Wehner, a contributing editor at The Atlantic and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, explains what initially drew him to the GOP.

“I saw in the Republican Party a commitment to human freedom, democratic capitalism, and a traditional social order; to upward mobility through self-reliance; to the dignity of work; to the cultivation of character and respect for the Constitution; and to a foreign policy that placed a high priority on human rights, a strong national defense, and American leadership,” Wehner writes.

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“Republicans argued for limited government, economic growth, and free trade. The party respected the role of religion in public life and envisioned America as a welcoming society to immigrants and the unborn. It was hardly a perfect party. Like all political institutions, it fell short of its ideals; it was also led by some deeply flawed individuals. Yet in the main, it stood for principles that I believe promote human flourishing.”

That all changed with Trump—and the current crop of Republicans willing to do his bidding.

“But since the political rise of Donald Trump, I’ve found myself at first deeply disappointed and now often at odds with the GOP. The party of Reagan has been fundamentally transformed. It’s now Donald Trump’s party, through and through.”

Since leaving the party, Wehner has greatly evolved as a human being, he claims.

“People who are part of a tribe—political, philosophical, religious, ethnic—are less willing to call out their own side’s offenses. That’s human nature. To be sure, some are more willing to show independence of judgment than others, but none shows complete intellectual independence. I certainly didn’t.”

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Here’s his hope for the future.

“Here’s what I hope: Detaching myself from my longtime political party means that I find myself more willing than I was to hear the views of people I once tended to tune out, to listen to those I once thought didn’t have much to teach me, and that I now put a greater premium on epistemological modesty than I once did,” he concludes. “Aware of having been wrong in the past, I’m more open to being wrong today, and I trust that I’m more open to correction. “There are truths to be discovered,” in the words of the political scientist Harry Clor, “but truths complex and many-sided.”

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Julian Assange lawyer tells court: After pardon fell through, Trump administration resorted to ‘extortion’

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An attorney for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accused the Trump administration of extortion in a London court on Monday.

The WikiLeaks attorney appeared at Woolwich Crown Court along with U.S. prosecutors, who argued that Assange should be extradited the United States, where he faces 18 charges and up to 175 years in jail.

Attorneys for Assange previously told the court that former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) tried to broker a pardon deal between the White House and Assange if he would agree to say that Russia was not the source of hacked Democratic Party emails.

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Black teens shocked after basketball announcer calls their names ‘disgusting’

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A longtime announcer at high-school basketball games in Oklahoma sparked outrage last week when he said that black players on the Crooked Oak High School lady's basketball team had "disgusting" names.

Local news station KFOR reports that the announcer made the remarks during a game between Crooked Oak and rival Newkirk High School on Friday.

In a video taken at the game, the announcer can be heard saying, "The Crooked Oak Lady Ruff Necks, now their names are pretty disgusting."

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‘Money hungry mannequin’ Ivanka Trump buried for her taxpayer-funded ‘field trip’ to India with her dad

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Ivanka Trump was hammered on Twitter for posting pictures of her trip to India where she praised the "grandeur" of the Taj Mahal -- with herself featured front and center before it.

Donald Trump's daughter, a senior White House adviser, has taken to using her Twitter feed to promote herself (usually via photos or video clips) as she travels the world, presumably representing the United States. Monday morning's tweet was no exception, with the two pictures accompanied by, "The grandeur and beauty of the Taj Mahal is awe inspiring!" followed by emojis of the American flag and India's flag.

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