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Oregon GOP’s latest tantrum offers a ‘snapshot’ of growing anti-government extremism by Republican lawmakers

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All of Oregon’s Republican state senators walked out of the Capitol last week and fled to Idaho to end debate on a climate change bill, but that’s just the latest extreme measure they’ve taken as the GOP loses power there.

Minority parties have walked out before in several states to deny a quorum — Oregon Republicans did the same thing in May, to kill vaccine legislation — but the difference this time is the threat of violence, reported The Daily Beast.

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State Sen. Brian Boquist threatened to shoot state troopers ordered by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown to bring the absent senators back to Salem, and armed right-wing militia groups have offered their support to the GOP lawmakers.

Oregon is sharply divided along political and geographical lines, between its western urban centers and more rural areas in the eastern half of the state.

“Oregon is an interesting snapshot of the U.S. as a whole — that divide,” said author John Temple, whose new book covers the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation in 2016.

Democrats have won supermajorities on the strength of those more densely populated cities and suburbs, and the state GOP’s continuing loss of power has driven the party to the political fringe.

“They view it as a very dictatorship-type government,” said a spokesman for the Oregon Three Percenters, who declined to give his name.

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Racial divisions persist from Oregon’s origins as a white-only state — as outlined in its original constitution — and the mostly white areas where Republicans still hold power resent liberal enclaves in Portland and other urban centers.

“Portland is seen as this den of iniquity,” said Eric Ward, executive director of the left-leaning Western States Center nonprofit.

Oregon Republicans have rejected the militia groups’ offer to help in the latest standoff, but a local GOP group in Multnomah County passed a resolution in 2017 approving the Oregon Three Percenters and the Oathkeepers as official security details at their events.

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It’s not clear whether that arrangement remains in effect.


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‘People’s lives will be lost’: Psychiatrist warns ‘sociopath’ Trump is ‘getting worse’ — and failing in coronavirus response

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President Donald Trump's psychological problems are getting worse and could be consequential as America faces a potential COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday interviewed Dr. Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

"As you pointed out, Lawrence, this man is about himself. He really is not about the country, he's not about public health," Dr. Dodes said of Trump.

"Although he has already severely damaged the country by being a psychopath or sociopath -- in many ways, he's damaged democracy -- I think people's lives will be lost now," he warned. "Individual lives will be lost because of the way he's mishandling the coronavirus issue."

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2020 Election

‘Something really rotten’: Here’s the evidence of extensive voter suppression in Georgia’s notorious 2018 election

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As the 2020 presidential campaign cycle grinds on, there’s renewed concern about the 21st century’s newest form of warfare: cyber-sabotage of government systems, including elections and online disinformation intended to incite unrest. But as Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, a documentary from Brave New Films, makes clear, partisan voter suppression tactics with 20th-century roots remain and can thwart multitudes of voters from changing their state’s political leaders.

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The real story behind Trump’s new lawsuit against the New York Times

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Wednesday was an ominous day for freedom of the press in this country, and I want to tell you why.

You may have heard or seen that President Trump filed a libel suit against the New York Times. Perhaps you weren’t surprised: the president is known to frequently disparage the Times even as he reads it obsessively. Borrowing a page from what I’ve referred to before as a Mount Rushmore of totalitarians, Robespierre, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Trump loves to call the press the “enemy of the people.”

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