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GOP lawmaker accuses Rep. Matt Gaetz of creating ‘a game’ where politicians get ‘points’ for sleeping with interns and married colleagues

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In Florida politics, Rep. Matt Gaetz is not only known for getting into bitter arguments with Democrats — he is also known for his feuds with fellow Republicans. And this week, things turned ugly after Gaetz attacked Republican State Rep. Chris Latvala for tweeting a photo of him meeting with the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Monday on Twitter, Latvala wrote, “It was an honor to meet @TheRevAl today.” And when Gaetz (who serves in the U.S. House of Representatives via Florida’s 1st Congressional District) saw the tweet and the photo of Latvala with Sharpton — who hosts “Politics Nation” on MSNBC — the 37-year-old far-right Republican responded, “Sharpton has called Cops ‘pigs;’ Whites ‘interlopers;’ Greeks ‘homos’ and Jews ‘diamond merchants. So that is pretty disgusting.”

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Latvala (the 38-year-old son of former Florida State Sen. Jack Latvala, now 68) responded by accusing Gaetz of inventing a sleazy game for Florida legislators that included a sexual scoring system. In 2013, Politico’s Marc Caputo reported that according to the rules of the alleged game, legislators received one point for sleeping with a lobbyist, two points for sleeping with legislative staff, three points for sleeping with another legislator and six points for sleeping with a married legislator.

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Gaetz responded by telling the Tampa Bay Times that he “had no idea what Chris was talking about” and attacking Jack Latvala. Gaetz told the Tampa Bay Times, “I know Jack Latvala (had) to resign in disgrace over demanding sexual favors from lobbyists in exchange for appropriations. So, it was likely Chris projecting. I don’t start conversations with people on Twitter about their sex lives, especially Latvalas.”

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Jack Latvala resigned from the Florida State Senate in December 2017.

On Twitter, Gaetz told Chris Latvala, “Just because I own you on Twitter, don’t confuse me for your daddy when it comes to abusing power for sex. Also, I missed the defense of Sharpton in your reply.”

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Chris Latvala then brought up Gaetz’ arrest in 2008 in Okaloosa County, Florida for allegedly driving under the influence; that case was later dropped. The Florida representative tweeted, “Have you been drinking tonight? I hope you don’t get behind the wheel. I know you have had a rough few days up there.”

Before entering the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2017, Gaetz served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2010-2016.

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Japan’s prime minister calls for nationwide closure of schools for a month over coronavirus

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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday urged schools nationwide to close for several weeks to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, as authorities reported the country's fourth death linked to the outbreak.

The move comes as crew members from the Diamond Princess, a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship quarantined off Japan, began leaving the vessel where more than 700 people have tested positive for the disease.

"The government considers the health and safety of children above anything else," Abe said.

"We request all primary, junior high and high schools... across the nation to close temporarily from March 2 next week until their spring break."

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The Constitution prohibits Trump from pardoning Roger Stone: law professor

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President Donald Trump has been dropping hints for a long time that he will pardon ally Roger Stone, the man who lied to Congress and obstructed justice to conceal the truth about his efforts to acquire emails that Russian hackers stole from Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.

Corey Brettschneider, a professor of political science at Brown University and visiting professor of law at Fordham Law School, argues in an editorial for Politico that the Constitution might prohibit Trump from issuing this particular pardon, despite the fact that the president's clemency powers are generally seen as very broad.

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A historian points out a startling fact about the current racial divisions in the Trump era

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America is a deeply divided nation. That fact may be the only thing that Americans of all racial, ethnic, and political groups can agree about. A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll conducted in late 2017 indicated that 70 percent of the American people think the country is “as divided as during the Vietnam War.”

This division manifests itself in political ways exemplified by the partisan impeachment proceedings and gridlock. The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed 298 bills in 2019, yet the Republican-led Senate refused to consider hardly any of that legislation.

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