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Republican explains why he won’t wear a mask: ‘It’s part of the dehumanization of the children of God’

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Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) (Screen cap).

On Thursday, CNN spoke with GOP lawmakers who refuse to wear masks — and one of the more colorful responses came from Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA).

“Can you smell through that mask?” said Higgins. “Then you’re not stopping any sort of a virus. It’s part of the dehumanization of the children of God. You’re participating in it by wearing a mask.”

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“What you’re wearing is a bacteria trap; it’s not helping your health or anybody else’s,” Higgins added.

In reality, medical experts have broadly recommended wearing face masks not to protect yourself from coronavirus, but to suppress transmission to other people in case you are carrying the virus without symptoms. COVID-19 spreads from particles carried by coughing, sneezing, or exhaling, and can be present before symptoms begin — or even if they never develop.

“While most members in both parties wear face coverings throughout the Capitol, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, other than when they speak on camera, it’s a group of Republicans who choose not to wear face coverings while Democrats universally are spotted wearing masks while in the chamber,” reported congressional correspondent Manu Raju. “Police officers, aides, reporters in the Capitol and all but a couple of senators wear masks — but a group of House Republicans continue to choose not to, something President Donald Trump has refused to do as well.”


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Nicolle Wallace bashes ‘two-bit criminal’ Trump for ‘skivvy’ tweet pardoning Michael Flynn

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Retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn admitted his guilt to Judge Emmett Sullivan, but President Donald Trump announced that the former director of national intelligence would never see jail time. After issuing a pardon to Flynn the day before Thanksgiving, MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace attacked the manner in which Trump announced the pardon: by tweet.

"Of all the sordid tales of Trump's presidency, this one might take the cake," said Wallace. "We knew this might be coming. We know Donald Trump likes the power to pardon. There's some reporting he's looking at a pardon for lots of other people. I wonder what your sense is about what else Donald Trump has up his sleeve?"

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NRA tax filing alleges Wayne LaPierre used the group’s funds for ‘personal benefit and enrichment’: report

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According to a new IRS tax filing from the National Rifle Association (NRA), current and former executives used the nonprofit group’s money for personal benefit and enrichment, the Washington Post reports.

"The NRA said in the filing that it continues to review the alleged abuse of funds, as the tax-exempt organization curtails services and runs up multimillion-dollar legal bills," the Post's report states. "The assertion of impropriety comes four months after the attorney general of New York state filed a lawsuit accusing NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre and other top officials of using NRA funds for decades to provide inflated salaries and expense accounts."

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Trump and Bill Barr’s ‘bloodthirsty execution spree’ in his final months in office is unprecedented: op-ed

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In an op-ed for Slate this Tuesday, Austin Sarat says that the Trump administration's announcement that it would continue to carry out executions in the days and weeks leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden is a "bloodthirsty decision" that defies "the norms and conventions for modern presidential transitions."

"The Death Penalty Information Center reports that the last time an outgoing administration did anything remotely similar was more than a century ago, in 1889," Sarat writes. "At that time Grover Cleveland, the first Democrat to be elected president after the Civil War and the only president ever to have served as an executioner (when he was the sheriff in Erie County, New York), permitted three executions to proceed in the period between his electoral defeat and Benjamin Harrison’s inauguration in March 1889."

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