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Cristina Cabrera

Cristina Cabrera is the social media editor at TPM based in New York. Previously, she worked for Vocativ and interned at USA Today and New York 1 News. She received her B.A at NYU. Follow her on Twitter @crismcabrera

Articles by Cristina

Republicans in the Colorado state legislature have introduced a bill that could land teachers who go on strike in jail.

Local station Denver7 News reported on Sunday that the Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Bob Gardner (R) and state Rep. Paul Lundeen (R), would allow school districts to seek an injunction in the event of a strike. Any teacher who refuses to comply would be considered in “contempt of court” and could face up to six months in jail.

The bill would also allow school districts to fire those teachers without a proper hearing.

Colorado teachers plan to walk out this Thursday and Friday to demand more school funding and higher wages. Their protest follows a nationwide trend of teacher strikes in Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia. Last week, teachers in Arizona voted to strike on April 26.

The protesting teachers decry below-average wages, and an overwhelming majority of Americans agree with them: A new AP poll found that 78 percent of Americans believe public school teachers are underpaid.

Denver7 noted that average salaries for Colorado teachers rank 46th in the nation, and that they spend approximately $656 out of pocket for school supplies every year.

H/t the Hill.

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Hedge-fund billionaire Seth Klarman, a major Republican donor, is using the money he got under President Donald Trump’s tax cut to bankroll Democrats.

“I received a tax cut I neither need nor want,” Klarman, CEO of the Baupost Group hedge fund, told the Boston Globe in an article published Sunday. “I’m choosing to invest it to fight the administration’s flawed policies and to elect Democrats to the Senate and House of Representatives.”

Klarman said that Republicans “have failed to hold the President accountable and have abandoned their historic beliefs and values,” and that Democrats need to win one or both chambers of Congress in the midterms “for the good of the country.”

The Globe noted Klarman’s long-standing opposition to Trump. “Tragically, Donald Trump has displayed few of the character traits required in a US president, and no aptitude for or interest in developing them,” Klarman said. He donated $5,400 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign once Trump became the GOP’s candidate for the general election.

Klarman has already given about $222,000 to 78 Democrats running for Congress since the 2016 election, according to the Globe.

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United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley told the UN Security Council on Saturday that the U.S. plans to keep pressure on Syria to prevent further use of chemical weapons.

Haley said she had spoken to President Donald Trump, who told her: “If the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded.”

“When our President draws a red line, our President enforces a red line,” said Haley.

The ambassador’s remarks came during an emergency UN Security Council meeting held after the U.S. led a series of airstrikes against Syria on Friday. Trump had ordered the strikes in response to the Syrian regime’s alleged chemical attacks on a rebel-controlled town last weekend.

U.S. military leaders said that the strikes, coordinated with France and the U.K., targeted the Syria’s chemical weapon facilities.

Trump posted a Bush-esque “Mission Accomplished!” tweet on Saturday morning, though there has been no indication so far that the strikes have effectively prevented Syrian president Bashar al-Assad from using chemical weapons.

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Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (R) claimed on Friday that children were “sexually assaulted” or “introduced to drugs for the first time” because they were “left alone at home” during the teacher rally that day.

“I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them,” Bevin told reporters in a video captured by WDRB reporter Marcus Green. “I guarantee you somewhere today a child was physically harmed, or ingested poison, because they were home alone. Because a single parent didn’t have money to take care of them.”

The GOP governor said he was “offended” that people “so cavalierly disregarded what’s truly best for our children.”

“As surely as we’re having this conversation, children were harmed, some physically, some sexually, some were introduced to drugs for the first time, because they were vulnerable and left alone,” Bevin said.

Amid teachers’ protests statewide to increase school funding, Bevin had vetoed what he called a “sugary” measure aimed to boost funding with a $480 million tax increase. Kentucky House lawmakers proceeded to override the governor’s veto on Friday, securing a victory for the teachers rallying outside the state capital.

Watch the video below:

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Michael Avenatti, the lawyer of adult film actress Stormy Daniels, said on Friday that it’s “very possible” Daniels will appear at Michael Cohen’s Monday hearing, according to the Associated Press.

Avenatti also tweeted: “I checked and the weather forecast for Mon looks very Stormy.”

Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, was raided by the FBI on Monday in pursuit of records on Cohen’s $130,000 hush payment to Daniels, who allegedly had an affair with Trump in 2006. Investigators sought emails and other documents on the exchange, which took place shortly before the 2016 election and could thus possibly be considered a campaign finance law violation.

After the raids, Cohen’s lawyers asked on Friday for a chance to look over the seized evidence before allowing prosecutors to do so. The lawyers argued that the raids affected other Cohen’s clients and were a violation of attorney-client privilege.

Federal prosecutors then revealed that Cohen had been under investigation for alleged criminal behavior for months, largely in connection to “his personal business dealings.”

A judge ordered Cohen to appear in person at a hearing set for Monday.

H/t the Hill.

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President Donald Trump on Saturday morning praised the “perfectly executed” airstrike in Syria coordinated by American, British, and French forces late Friday night.

“Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military,” Trump tweeted. “Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!”

In a following tweet, Trump said he was “so proud of our great Military.”

The U.S. and its allies coordinated three airstrikes targeting the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons facilities in response to the regime’s alleged chemical attacks in the rebel-occupied town of Douma earlier this month.

Russian president Vladimir Putin, a key Syria ally, condemned the strikes as an “act of aggression against a sovereign state that is on the frontline of the fight against terrorism.” Russia had previously threatened to shoot down any American missiles aimed at Syria.

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The Atlantic has fired conservative columnist Kevin Williamson, who tweeted that women who have abortions should be hanged.

“Late yesterday afternoon, information came to our attention that has caused us to reconsider this relationship,” Atlantic editor-in-chief Goldberg wrote in a memo to employees on Thursday. “Specifically, the subject of one of Kevin’s most controversial tweets was also a centerpiece of a podcast discussion in which Kevin explained his views on the subject of the death penalty and abortion.”

He added: “The language he used in this podcast—and in my conversations with him in recent days—made it clear that the original tweet did, in fact, represent his carefully considered views.”

Goldberg had previously responded to the backlash over Williams’ hiring by defending his decision, saying that “I don’t think that taking a person’s worst tweets, or assertions, in isolation is the best journalistic practice.”

On Wednesday, MediaMatters resurfaced a National Review podcast from 2014 in which Williamson said he “would totally go with treating [abortion] like any other crime, up to and including hanging,” and repeated the sentiment several times throughout.

The Atlantic provided TPM with Goldberg’s full letter below:

Dear All,

Last week, I wrote you about our decision to hire Kevin Williamson. In that note, I mentioned my belief that Kevin would represent an important addition to our roster of Ideas columnists, and I addressed the controversy surrounding some of his past tweeting and writing. I expressed my belief that no one’s life work should be judged by an intemperate tweet, and that such an episode should not necessarily stop someone from having a fruitful career at The Atlantic.

Late yesterday afternoon, information came to our attention that has caused us to reconsider this relationship. Specifically, the subject of one of Kevin’s most controversial tweets was also a centerpiece of a podcast discussion in which Kevin explained his views on the subject of the death penalty and abortion. The language he used in this podcast—and in my conversations with him in recent days—made it clear that the original tweet did, in fact, represent his carefully considered views. The tweet was not merely an impulsive, decontextualized, heat-of-the-moment post, as Kevin had explained it. Furthermore, the language used in the podcast was callous and violent. This runs contrary to The Atlantic’s tradition of respectful, well-reasoned debate, and to the values of our workplace.

Kevin is a gifted writer, and he has been nothing but professional in all of our interactions. But I have come to the conclusion that The Atlantic is not the best fit for his talents, and so we are parting ways.

We remain committed to grappling with complex moral issues in our journalism. Some of our colleagues are pro-life, and some are pro-choice; we have pro-death-penalty and anti-death-penalty writers; we have liberals and conservatives. We obviously understood that Kevin himself is pro-life when we asked him to write for us. This is not about Kevin’s views on abortion.

We are striving here to be a big-tent journalism organization at a time of national fracturing. We will continue to build a newsroom that is, as The Atlantic’s founding manifesto states, “of no party or clique.” We are also an organization that values a spirit of generosity and collegiality. We must strive to uphold that standard as well.

Jeff

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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) on Tuesday said that the teachers currently protesting for increases in school funding were like “a teenage kid that wants a better car.”

Teachers statewide have been on strike and protesting in front of the Capitol since Monday, forcing hundreds of schools to close for three days in a row. Pointing to shabby education materials and Oklahoma’s ranking as 49th in teacher pay, they demand higher wages and more school funding.

Last week, Oklahoma’s GOP-controlled legislature passed a bill that would increase the average teacher salary by about $6,000 and bring an extra $50 million for school funding, falling far short of the $200 million the teachers were asking for.

“Teachers want more, but it’s kinda like having a teenage kid that wants a better car,” Fallin told CBS correspondent Omar Villafranca.

Villafranca pointed out that “their car has been taken away over the last 10 years.”

“Well, it has been a difficult time,” Fallin responded. “And that’s why I’m very proud that this year we were able to get something done for our teachers.”

Vox reporter Alexia Campbell posted several pictures showing the crumbling textbooks students are forced to use:

Villafranca tweeted on Wednesday that Fallin had also said “outside groups” were involved in the protests, including “ANTIFA,” a left-leaning anti-fascist group often disparaged by conservatives.

The governor’s office did not respond to TPM’s request for clarification on her comments.

h/t Tulsa World.

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Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI) has scrubbed all traces of his pro-gun stance and A/A+ rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) from his campaign site.

The Detroit News reported on the change Wednesday, days after the massive nationwide March For Our Lives rallies that called for tighter gun control measures in wake of the Parkland high school shooting.

The move could signal at least one Republican’s concern that the gun group’s mark of approval may not go over well with voters amid the burgeoning gun control movement.

Campaign spokesman Stu Standler told TPM in an email that the change merely “reflects an update for a Congressman who has served for 2 terms and has worked on several pieces of legislation that have been signed into law and are helping the community,” and that “Mike Bishop has not changed positions on these issues.”

“The last version of the website was written when Mike Bishop was a candidate in 2014 and never served in Congress,” Standler added.

Bishop’s district is one of the Democrats’ targets in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” program for the 2018 midterms, and the Detroit News noted that Democratic candidate Elissa Slotkin raised more money than Bishop during the last two quarters of 2017.

This story has been updated to include the campaign’s statement to TPM.

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Fox News host Laura Ingraham apologized to Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg on Thursday “for any upset or hurt” after she mocked the student’s GPA and his rejection from several colleges.

“On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland,” Ingraham tweeted.

Hogg dismissed the apology, however, telling the Fox host that “an apology in an effort just to save your advertisers is not enough.”

“I will only accept your apology only if you denounce the way your network has treated my friends and I in this fight,” he wrote in a tweet. “It’s time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children.”

On Wednesday, Ingraham tweeted a Daily Wire story about Hogg being rejected from four colleges he applied to, saying, “David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA…totally predictable given acceptance rates.)”

Where Ingraham got 4.1 was unclear. As the article she linked to states, Hogg’s GPA is 4.2.

The teen responded by asking Ingraham who her biggest advertisers were.

“Asking for a friend. #BoycottingIngramAdverts” he tweeted. He later posted a list of companies for his followers to contact.

Several advertisers subsequently announced they were pulling their ads from Ingraham’s show.

This story has been updated.

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