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New Florida law may let teachers carry concealed

The bill would also raise the age of purchase for firearms to 21, as well as providing funds to schools for mental health and security.

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A new bill that would allow faculty at Florida schools to carry firearms concealed onto campus made it through the state’s legislative bodies on Wednesday, and will now go to the Governor, Rick Scott, for its final approval.

Scott, however, has voiced opposition to such a measure, stating that “I don’t believe we should be arming teachers”, and could veto the package.

The bill would also raise the age of purchase for firearms to 21, as well as providing funds to schools for mental health and security.

It would also ban bump stock sales in Florida, but doesn’t address the AR-15, or the weapon that the shooter wielded during the February 14 attack on the Stoneman Douglas school.

The first piece of firearms control legislation to be approved in Florida in over two decades, it was welcomed by the families of the Parkland victims. The Guardian reports:

Florida’s lawmakers narrowly passed a controversial gun bill late on Wednesday that would allow armed teachers in the state’s classrooms, three weeks to the day after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school massacre in which 17 people were killed.

The new legislation, which must now be approved by the Florida governor, Rick Scott, also raises the age at which weapons can be purchased to 21 and provides extra money for school security and mental health support.

The package was backed by families of the Parkland victims, but strongly opposed by many Democrats, who failed to block its passage in a 67-50 vote.

It is unclear if Scott, who has also spoken out against putting guns in classrooms, will veto the bill.

“I’m going to take the time to read the bill,” Scott told reporters. “I have been clear. I don’t believe we should be arming teachers.”

Earlier on Wednesday, students at Stoneman Douglas clashed with Betsy DeVos after the US education secretary toured the school. According to at least two teenagers who were present when DeVos arrived, no students were allowed to ask her questions. One claimed DeVos refused to meet or even speak with them.

“You came to our school just for the publicity and avoided our questions for the 90 minutes you were actually here,” Aly Sheehy, a 12th-grade student and survivor of the shooting, said in a tweet. “How about you actually do your job?”

Another student, Carly Novell, the editor of the school’s newspaper, Eagle Eye, said she was allowed to photograph DeVos but not accompany her on the campus tour.

“I thought she would at least give us her ‘thoughts and prayers’, but she refused to even meet/speak with students,” Novell said in a tweet. “I don’t understand the point of her being here.”

DeVos’s visit to the Parkland school was closed to the press, and came on the first full day of lessons for students since the 14 February massacre that claimed the lives of three teachers and 14 of their classmates.

The final vote in Florida’s house of representatives late on Wednesday followed hours of intense debate, and marks the first time in 22 years that the state legislature has approved any kind of gun control measure.

The measure would outlaw the sale of so-called bump stocks, which give semi-automatic weapons firepower similar to automatics and will allow certain school personnel, including librarians, administrators and other support staff, to be armed, following Donald Trump’s repeated calls for some teachers to carry guns.

However, a ban on assault weapons such as the AR-15 used by the Parkland shooter, one of the main demands of the #neveragain movement set up by Stoneman Douglas students in the aftermath of the massacre, was missing from the proposed legislation.

A final vote in Florida’s house of representatives was expected later on Wednesday.

DeVos spoke briefly with reporters after what she said was “a very sobering and very inspiring visit” and contradicted the students’ account of the meeting.

“There were a number of student newspaper reporters who walked around with me and they are obviously very interested in seeing what adults are going to do about this whole situation,” she said.

“I give a lot of credit to the students here who have found their voices and encouraged them to continue to speak out about finding these solutions and having adults pay attention.”

DeVos also addressed the controversial issue of allowing teachers to carry weapons. As a concession by state lawmakers to Scott’s stance, the legislation does not put guns in the hands of teachers whose sole responsibilities lie in the classroom, but permits those who have additional or separate non-teaching roles to carry a concealed weapon. It also leaves the final decision of allowing armed staff up to the school board in each of Florida’s 67 counties.

“To say ‘arming teachers’ is an oversimplification and a mischaracterisation, really,” DeVos said. “The concept is for those schools and those communities that opt to do this, as they have in Texas, as they have in Polk county and other places around the country, to have people who are expert in being able to defend and having lots and lots of training in order to do so.

“That’s a model that can be adopted and should be an option, but certainly not one that needs to be required and mandated.”

DeVos was referring to a “sentinel” programme set up in Florida’s Polk county by Sheriff Grady Judd, in which volunteers in private educational establishments can carry weapons after extensive training.

The families of the Parkland victims wrote a joint letter to Florida’s lawmakers on Tuesday urging them to pass the $400m legislation.

“You must act to prevent mass murder from ever occurring again at any school,” they wrote in a letter signed by at least one relative from all 17 families. “This issue cannot wait. The moment to pass this bill is now. We must be the last families to suffer the loss of a loved one due to a mass shooting at a school.”

Prosecutors announced on Wednesday that Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former Stoneman Douglas student, had been indicted on 34 charges related to the shooting, 17 each of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

Cruz, who is being held in solitary confinement in the Broward county jail, had already been charged with murder but the formal grand jury indictments allow state attorneys to progress the case against him and potentially seek the death penalty.

Cruz’s public defender has said Cruz will plead guilty and avoid a trial if prosecutors take the death penalty off the table, an offer to which they have yet to respond.

Naturally, the bill saw much opposition from Democratic legislators, whose votes were not enough to block the passage of the bill. With teachers now holding the right to carry guns in schools, perhaps potential school shooters will think twice before beginning another rampage on a school campus.

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Lori Loughlin’s daughter was aboard USC official’s yacht in Bahamas when mom was charged

Lori Loughlin’s daughter was on the yacht of USC’s Board of Trustees when her mom was accused in scheme.

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Via Fox News


Lori Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli was spending spring break on a University of Southern California official’s yacht when her mother was accused Tuesday of involvement in a college admissions scheme, reports said.

Giannulli, 19, was on Rick Caruso’s luxury yacht Invictus in the Bahamas, a report said. Caruso is chairman of USC’s Board of Trustees.

Giannulli, who currently attends USC, was with Caruso’s daughter Gianna and several other friends, the outlet reported.

“My daughter and a group of students left for spring break prior to the government’s announcement yesterday,” Caruso told TMZ. “Once we became aware of the investigation, the young woman decided it would be in her best interests to return home.”

Loughlin’s daughter has since returned to Los Angeles to face the allegations that could result in her getting expelled from USC.

USC’s Board of Trustees will not decide the status of Giannulli and the other students involved in the case, but rather, the university’s president will make the decisions, according to TMZ.

Business deals in jeopardy?

Giannulli is a YouTube beauty vlogger and social media star, but in the midst of her mother’s charges, she may lose the lucrative brand-sponsorship deals she has landed over the years, Variety reported.

HP, having cut ties with Giannulli, said in a statement, “HP worked with Lori Loughlin and Olivia Jade in 2017 for a one-time product campaign. HP has removed the content from its properties.”

Giannulli also cut brand deals with partners including Amazon, Dolce & Gabbana, Lulus, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Sephora, Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics, Smile Direct Club, Too Faced Cosmetics, Boohoo, and Unilever’s TRESemmé, the report said.

Giannulli’s rep declined to comment, Variety reported. Estée Lauder Companies, which owns Smashbox and Too Faced, also declined to comment, while the other brands or companies the magazine reached out to did not immediately respond to their requests for comment.

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$250M Lawsuit Against CNN Imminent; Covington High MAGA Student Suffered “Direct Attacks”

CNN will be the second MSM outlet sued over their reporting of the incident, after Sandmann launched a $250 million lawsuit against the Washington Post in late February. 

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Via Zerohedge


CNN is about to be sued for more than $250 million for spreading fake news about 16-year-old Covington High School student Nicholas Sandmann.

Sandmann was viciously attacked by left-leaning news outlets over a deceptively edited video clip from the January March for Life rally at the Lincoln Memorial, in which the MAGA-hat-wearing teenager appeared to be mocking a Native American man beating a drum. Around a day later, a longer version of the video revealed that Sandmann did absolutely nothing wrong – after the media had played judge, jury and executioner of Sandmann’s reputation.

CNN will be the second MSM outlet sued over their reporting of the incident, after Sandmann launched a $250 million lawsuit against the Washington Post in late February.

Speaking with Fox News host Mark Levin in an interview set to air Sunday, Sandmann’s attorney, L. Lin Wood, said “CNN was probably more vicious in its direct attacks on Nicholas than The Washington Post. And CNN goes into millions of individuals’ homes. It’s broadcast into their homes.”

They really went after Nicholas with the idea that he was part of a mob that was attacking the Black Hebrew Israelites, yelling racist slurs at the Black Hebrew Israelites,” continued Wood. “Totally false. Saying things like that Nicholas was part of a group that was threatening the Black Hebrew Israelites, that they thought it was going to be a lynching.”

Why didn’t they stop and just take an hour and look through the internet and find the truth and then report it?” Wood asked. “Maybe do that before you report the lies. They didn’t do it. They were vicious. It was false. CNN will be sued next week, and the dollar figure in the CNN case may be higher than it was [against] The Washington Post.”

Watch: 

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Rand Paul refuses to support emergency declaration, deepening problem

Rand Paul gives a principled reason for his refusal, and he cannot be faulted for that, but it leaves the borders open and unsafe.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Senator Rand Paul indicated he will vote to terminate President Trump’s National Emergency Declaration on Sunday. This continues a story that seems to want no resolution.

Weeks ago, the seed to this news piece started this way:

One 35-day partial government shutdown and almost three weeks later, the debate over a statistically tiny amount of money in the US budget for the building of a border wall drags on with no solution. On February 15th, if there is no agreement that is to President Trump’s satisfaction, the government will once again descend into a partial shutdown.

And on February 15th, the President signed a continuing resolution to keep the government open through the rest of the fiscal year. This CR gave sharply limited authority of funds with regards to the border wall. This prompted the President to take it a step farther and declare a National Emergency.

This is because very few people in the US government actually desire a solution to close and secure the American-Mexican border. In fact, what we see is a government that is largely aligned against the will of its citizens.

President Trump has made repeated statements and speeches in which he outlines a fair array of facts concerning the problems experienced in the US by illegal border crossings of both people and controlled substances.

However, the issue of border security remains something that Congress only supports with words. We saw this in action both last week and the week before with the Democrat led House of Representatives voting 245-182 to terminate the National Emergency declaration. While this was to be expected in the House, on March 3rd, libertarian Senator Rand Paul, a known strong supporter of President Trump, nonetheless penned an Op-Ed piece on Fox News in which he said he planned to also vote against the National Emergency in the Republican-led Senate (emphasis added):

In September of 2014,  I had these words to say: “The president acts like he’s a king. He ignores the Constitution.  He arrogantly says, ‘If Congress will not act, then I must.’

Donald J. Trump agreed with me when he said in November 2014 that President Barack Obama couldn’t make a deal on immigration so “now he has to use executive action, and this is a very, very dangerous thing that should be overridden easily by the Supreme Court.”

I support President Trump. I supported his fight to get funding for the wall from Republicans and Democrats alike, and I share his view that we need more and better border security.

However, I cannot support the use of emergency powers to get more funding, so I will be voting to disapprove of his declaration when it comes before the Senate.

Every single Republican I know decried President Obama’s use of executive power to legislate. We were right then. But the only way to be an honest officeholder is to stand up for the same principles no matter who is in power…

There are really two questions involved in the decision about emergency funding:

  • First, does statutory law allow for the president’s emergency orders,
  • and, second, does the Constitution permit these emergency orders?

As far as the statute goes, the answer is maybe — although no president has previously used emergency powers to spend money denied by Congress, and it was clearly not intended to do that.

But there is a much larger question: the question of whether or not this power and therefore this action are constitutional. With regard to the Constitution, the Supreme Court made it very clear in Youngstown Steel in 1952, in a case that is being closely reexamined in the discussion of executive power.  In Youngstown, the Court ruled that there are three kinds of executive order: orders that carry out an expressly voiced congressional position, orders where Congress’ will is unclear, and, finally, orders clearly opposed to the will of Congress.

To my mind, like it or not, we had this conversation.  In fact, the government was shut down in a public battle over how much money would be spent on the wall and border security.  It ended with a deal that Congress passed and the president signed into law, thus determining the amount.

Congress clearly expressed its will not to spend more than $1.3 billion and to restrict how much of that money could go to barriers.  Therefore, President Trump’s emergency order is clearly in opposition to the will of Congress.

Moreover, the broad principle of separation of powers in the Constitution delegates the power of the purse to Congress.  This turns that principle on its head.

Some are attempting to say that there isn’t a good analogy between President Obama’s orders or the Youngstown case. I disagree. Not only are the issues similar, but I think Youngstown Steel implications are even more profound in the case of emergency appropriations. We spent the last two months debating how much money should be spent on a wall, and Congress came to a clear conclusion: $1.3 billion. Without question, the president’s order for more wall money contradicts the will of Congress and will, in all likelihood, be struck down by the Supreme Court.

In fact, I think the president’s own picks to the Supreme Court may rebuke him on this.

Regardless, I must vote how my principles dictate. My oath is to the Constitution, not to any man or political party. I stand with the president often, and I do so with a loud voice. Today, I think he’s wrong, not on policy, but in seeking to expand the powers of the presidency beyond their constitutional limits. I understand his frustration. Dealing with Congress can be pretty difficult sometimes. But Congress appropriates money, and his only constitutional recourse, if he does not like the amount they appropriate, is to veto the bill.

This statement by Rand Paul is extremely – and painfully – fair. It marks not the actions of a liberal but of someone who is trying to do things truly “by the book.” He cannot be faulted for this.

But his “Nay” is very poorly placed because it comes in the context of a Congress that is full of people far less committed to the vision of America and its sovereignty than he or the President are. One of the reasons stated for lax border security is that cutting off illegal immigration also cuts off very cheap labor for several industries. Some of those industry leaders donate lavishly to political campaigns, ergo, corruption.

Rand Paul, in trying to fight for what is right by the letter of the law, may be correct, but in the short term it appears to exacerbate the problem of the porous US-Mexico border.

President Trump is trying to do the right thing in the company of a Congress who does not want this, for various reasons. Some of it is because some Congressmen and women are petty, Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer being the crabby National Grandparents in this aspect. But add to the “resist Trump because he is Trump” lobby those people who gain from illegal immigration in the short term, and those like the new socialist crop of Congressional members who are ready to change the very nature of the United States into something like their cannabis-induced dream of Sweden (which didn’t even work in Sweden!) and we see that border security is every bit the uphill climb that President Trump has shown it to be.

The government shutdown did one very good thing: It got the American focus on the border and some opinions on the matter moved – at least among the American people.

But since when did our representatives and senators really represent us, the American people?

It has been a long, long time.

 

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