Jeb Bush: mental healthcare reform answer to mass shootings

Jeb Bush fights back against calls for stricter gun laws

During a town hall event on Saturday, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush fought back against calls from President Obama and other liberal Democrats for stricter gun control laws following the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Instead, he touted his record on guns as a way to balance public safety and Second Amendment rights. During his discussion he told the crowd that not a single one of the mass shootings in recent years would have been prevented by President Obama’s gun control ideas and that we need to be more focused on the role of mental health in gun violence.

Bush proudly touted his A+ rating with the National Rifle Association and called Florida a “freedom-loving state,” but also cited his efforts to combat crime through the “10-20-Life” law, a statute that he campaigned on and enacted as governor. The law which is still in effect in Florida issues a minimum 10-year sentence to anyone who pulls a gun while committing a crime, 20 years for pulling the trigger during a crime and 25 years to life for injuring or killing someone by firing a gun. He emphasized that he advertised the law in Spanish………

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NY manhunt now turns its full force on David Sweat

After spending 21 days searching for the two missing New York prison escaped murderers, a federal border patrol agent located prison inmate Richard Matt and shot him after he refused to lower his weapon. Officials on Friday have shot down reported accounts that Sweat was engaged in a gun battle with officers or that he had been shot or captured. Police believe Sweat is nearby and officers established a perimeter as they searched for him Friday night.

Matt was killed by a border patrol agent around 3:45 p.m. south of Malone. State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico confirmed the shooting of Matt late Friday. D’Amico said Matt did not fire his weapon, which authorities believe was stolen a week ago from an unattended hunting cabin around Black Cat Mountain. Matt was serving a 25-years-to-life sentence for the 1997 kidnapping, torture and hacksaw dismemberment of his boss when he and Sweat cut their way out of the maximum-security prison. Sweat was serving a life sentence without parole for killing a sheriff’s deputy. Matt fled to Mexico and was arrested for stabbing an American to death outside a bar in a robbery attempt. He was returned to the United States to face trial in the businessman’s killing.

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Supreme Court rules all 50 states now must allow same-sex marriage

The United States Supreme Court ruled on Friday to legalize marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. They declared that refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples violates the Constitution. The ruling produces the most significant change in laws governing marriage since the court ruled against state bans on inter-racial marriage almost 50 years ago. The Court ruled 5-4 in support of same-sex marriage.

36 states currently allow gay couples to marry and now the ruling means the ban ends in the other states including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas. In the past 18 months, court rulings struck down marriage bans in rapid succession — nearly 60 separate decisions in more than half the states.

Fourteen couples and two widowers challenged the bans. Attorneys Mary Bonauto and Doug Hallward-Driemeier presented their case before the Court, arguing that the freedom to marry is a fundamental right for all people and should not be left to popular vote. Three years after President Barack Obama first voiced his support for gay couples’ right to marry, his administration supported the same sex couples at the Supreme Court.

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Chief Justice Roberts led court upholds Obamacare subsidies

Supreme Court defends Obamacare for the second time

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court saved President Obama’s healthcare law on Thursday. This is the second time Chief Justice John Robert’s court defended Obamacare. The justices ruled that federal subsidies can be offered in both state and federal health care exchanges, or marketplaces, putting the landmark 2010 statute on solid legal footing for the immediate future and handing the law’s opponents a sound defeat. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the dissenters jokingly said Americans should start calling the law SCOTUScare.

More than six million lower-income Americans who get their health insurance through the federal marketplace or exchange — HealthCare.Gov — depend on the subsidies, reducing their premiums an average of 72 percent, saving an average of $270 a month. Opponents of the law claimed that the actual wording of the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress made subsidies available only to insurance customers who bought their policies through “an exchange established by the state” where the policyholders live. If the opposition prevailed, customers who purchased their insurance on the federal exchange, the majority of those insured by Obamacare would have lost the subsidies. Only 16 states have their own health exchanges up and running. Health industry experts warned that if the challenge succeeded the Affordable Care Act would enter a “death spiral leading costs to rise for a number of participants, eventually leading to the system to collapse.

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Families no longer facing threat of prosecution for terror ransom negotiations

President Obama spoke at a press conference on Wednesday unveiling new guidelines that would allow families to offer private ransom payments for relatives kidnapped overseas. The federal government will continue to refuse to negotiate and make payments while he confirmed that families will no longer face the threat of prosecution if they seek to do so privately. The new rules on dealings with hostage families result from a review Obama ordered after the killings of hostages by the Islamic State.

Obama signed into law an executive order creating a new office whose main job will be dealing with hostage families including the facilitation of communications with terrorist groups that could hypothetically be used to organize ransom payments. White House officials released a statement saying they would work with hostage families “on exploring all appropriate options to ensure the safe recovery of their loved ones,” and that the Justice Department “does not intend to add to families’ pain in such cases by suggesting that they could face criminal prosecution.”

Various families of hostage victims have criticized the Obama administration over the treatment they have received saying they have been occasionally callous and bullying as they considered possible rescues of loves ones.

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2016 GOP candidates return funds to hate group linked to Charleston Shooting

Ted Cruz was among the first to return CoCC’s political donations

Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Rand Paul announced on Mondy they received funds from white supremacist group Council of Conservative Citizens’ leader Earl Holt. They have returned the funds after learning that the group is believed to have inspired Dylann Roof’s shooting at the South Carolina church. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the Council of Conservative Citizens as a white supremacist extremist group.

The Council of Conservative Citizens is defined by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white supremacist organization that opposes “race mixing” and describes blacks as inferior. According to the Guardian, Santorum received $1,500 from Holt and RandPAC, political action committee, received $1,740. The candidates plan to donated the funds to a fund created to aid the families of those killed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, last week.

The three Republicans are far from the only political donations Holt has made. Federal Election Commission records show Holt has donated to a number of current and former GOP members of Congress that has totaled $65,000 in recent years, according to the Guardian. Roof claims to have learned about black-on-white murders from the Council of Conservative Citizens website.

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Secret Agent pleading guilty to Silk Road bitcoin theft

Former Secret Service special agent Shaun W. Bridges plead guilty to skimming hundreds of thousands of dollars in bitcoin and routing the funds to his own accounts. Court officials announced the guilty plea on Sunday. Bridges is one of many federal agents involved in digging up evidence that brought up charges against Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht and the shutdown in 2013 of Silk Road. Bridges was a computer crime expert with the Secret Service task force assigned to the Silk Road case. Ulbricht eventually was convicted of narcotics trafficking, computer hacking, running a criminal enterprise and money laundering and was sentenced to life in prison last month.

Bridges discovered more than just evidence, according to criminal complaints filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Bridges accessed Silk Road’s systems in January 2013, reset several passwords and transferred about 20,000 bitcoin from the accounts, according to the complaint. He then converted the bitcoin into cash through a Japan-based bitcoin exchange and from there sent the money to the shell company’s investment accounts, investigators said. Along with Bridges, Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Carl Force is suspected of also stealing thousands ofbitcoins seized during a raid of the Silk Road.

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Jeb Bush discusses Terri Schiavo and abortion at Faith and Freedom Coalition summit

Jeb Bush Reminds Conservatives That He ‘Stood’ With Terri Schiavo

Current Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush appeared at a conservative conference in the nation’s capital on Friday morning discussing his role in the controversial case of Terri Schiavo, reminding the audience his role during his time as governor of Florida. He told the folks at the Faith and Freedom Coalition that he is against the belief that when there is a conflict of ideas that people of faith must yield.

On Monday, Bush formally entered the 2016 presidential campaign. Many evangelical conservatives in the GOP believe that Bush is too moderate to be the party’s standard bearer. Bush appeared to be once again trying to assure these voters that he will fight for their interests. Bush intervened in the long fight over keeping Schiavo on life support ruling that Schiavo’s feeding tube should be reinstated, siding with pro-life advocates. The issue spent years traveling through the court system and became a political hot button both in Florida and nationally. He continued to explained how he stood beside Terri Schiavo and her parents who strongly attempted to pass measures preventing her husband from allowing her feeding tube to be removed. Doctors ruled that she was in a permanent vegetative state.

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Disgraced Brian Williams accepts new role with NBC News

Brian Williams given chance to ‘earn back everyone’s trust’

News outlets reported on Wednesday that CNN will keep former NBC News anchor Brian Williams as an employee but will hold a different position within the company. CNN first reported the development within the company. Both NBC and Bob Barnett have remained silent over the deal. The New York Times confirmed the details of the negotiations. Current NBC News anchor Lester Holt is expected to become the permanent NBC Nightly News anchor. NBC is likely to make an announcement about Williams’ future on Thursday. Lester Holt will become the first black solo anchor of a weekday network newscast. Holt is on vacation this week — his first extended period of time off since Williams was suspended in February.

The New York Times reported Thursday evening that Williams’ new role will primarily be at the cable channel, “probably in a breaking-news capacity in the beginning.” NBC employees suspect that Williams future will involve MSNBC. The decision — reached by NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke and new NBC News chair Andy Lack — will come as a relief to the people that have been rooting for Williams, but will also raise questions about what exactly NBC found in its internal investigation of the anchorman.

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