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Baltimore Representative Elijah Cummings Dead At 68; Trump Tweets Condolences

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Rep. Elijah Cummings, a powerful House Democrat and representative of the people of Baltimore for more than twenty years, passed away early Thursday morning following a battle with health problems according to his office and family.

Cummings was an ardent and vocal critic of President Trump’s, the pair often verbally sparring on social media, including a recent dust up where the president mocked Cummings poor performance and its contribution to the filthy condition of the city.

Here are more details from Fox News:

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Cummings, who was 68, died at Gilchrist Hospice Care, a Johns Hopkins affiliate. As chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, he was one of the most powerful Democrats in Washington, and played a key role in the House Democrats’ ongoing efforts to impeach Trump.

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Tributes poured in Thursday from lawmakers and others in politics on both sides of the aisle.

“I was shocked and saddened to learn the news this morning of my dear friend’s passing,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a fellow Maryland Democrat, said in a statement. “Elijah Cummings was a man of principle, patriotism, and conviction, whose loss will be deeply felt throughout the State of Maryland and our country.”

The White House has lowered the flag to half-staff.

Despite their differences, President Trump sent out a rather warm, heartfelt message to the family and friends of Cummings for the loss of their loved one:

“My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings,” Trump tweeted. “I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!”

Cummings office released a statement saying that he died “due to complications concerning longstanding health challenges.” Cummings has had health problems consistently over the last few years, often navigating the Capitol in a motorized cart or with the aid of a walker.

During his time in office Cummings managed to build a rather substantial power base, being the chairman of the House Oversight Committee and becoming a top voice in the Black Caucus.

He also played a rather large roll in getting the impeachment inquiry against Trump initiated.

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Gretchen Whitmer Takes Heat For Marching With Protesters After Months Of Cracking Down With Social Distancing Orders

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is taking a whole lot of heat after she decided to violate her own lockdown orders in order to march shoulder-to-shoulder with protesters in a march to support George Floyd who was killed at the hands of a law enforcement officer in Minneapolis. Whitmer was photographed participating in the event, sitting side-by-side with activists who were demanding that police brutality be brought to an end. The photograph has angered many residents, along with GOP Rep. Lynn Afendoulis. Here’s more from The Washington Examiner: “Social distancing is critical to stop the spread of COVID-19—unless you have a great photo op. ⁦And control,” Afendoulis tweeted. https://twitter.com/LynnAfendoulis/status/1268623499142279168 Whitmer maintained some of the strictest social distancing guidelines in the nation throughout the coronavirus pandemic, many of which are still in effect — including a mandate to maintain 6 feet of separation in public gatherings. A spokeswoman for Whitmer, Tiffany Brown, denied the governor violated her own social distancing guidelines by attending the protests. “The governor took precautions for engaging in an outdoor activity, including wearing a mask even though it is not required outdoors under the order,” Brown told the Detroit News. She also noted that the order included a provision that said: “Nothing in this order shall be taken to abridge protections guaranteed by the state or federal constitution.” Brown went on to add that “includes the right to peaceful protest. The state’s website has a FAQ section that says any protest requires participants to be six feet apart as per the usual social distancing guidelines. “Persons may engage in expressive activities protected by the First Amendment within the State of Michigan but must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including remaining at least six feet from people from outside the…

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Stacey Abrams Says She’s Not Joined In Protesting So As Not To ‘Distract From Their Message’

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Failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams came out and stated that she’s not joined in the protests happening across her state because she’s afraid her presence will distract from the message being pushed by those who are putting on these events. Abrams, who failed to win the governorship of Georgia, appeared on CNN where she revealed the reason for her absence during an interview. “I appreciate the instinct of leaders to join in these protests, but too often, our presence distracts from their message,” she said. Reports indicate that Abrams is actually on the short list of potential vice president candidates for Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. Abrams did reveal that she’s helping the movement responsible for the protests by helping to secure money for bail and lawyers for those who are arrested. “I understand the instinct to be there. But having been on the other side, having been an activist and a protester, I have a very visceral reaction, and my conscience tells me I need to stay out of the way and let the attention focus on the demonstrators,” Abrams added. Check out more from The Washington Examiner: As a college student, Abrams helped lead protests after Los Angeles police officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King, a black construction worker, in 1992. Floyd, an unarmed black man, died last week after a white police officer in Minneapolis pressed a knee to his neck for more than nine minutes. Floyd lost consciousness and was later pronounced dead at a hospital. It seems more likely that Abrams is just trying to keep herself out of trouble by not joining in on the protests. However, she’s definitely doing her part to keep the unruly chaos active by bailing out criminals and vandals, so perhaps it’s best she not show up…

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