31 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-9-18

  1. Although difficult to compete with porn star coverage, there is weightier news. Trump has agreed to a summit with Kim Jong Un. It looks like our friends and allies—-at least the key players—- are cautiously positive.

    ….The news that Trump had accepted the North Korean leader’s invitation to meet was greeted positively Friday by officials in China, Russia and South Korea — three major players in efforts to resolve the ongoing dispute between the U.S. and North Korea over the Hermit Kingdom’s nuclear ambitions.

    China’s foreign ministry said it hopes all parties to the dispute will “show their political courage” in restarting negotiations, and pledges its support in working toward that goal.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted by Russian state news agency Tass on Friday saying — during a visit to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa — that Russia considers the move by Trump and Kim to be “a step in the right direction.”

    South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said, during a visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, that her government was consulting with the U.S. on the planned summit — and hopes that if it does take place, “it’s a meaningful meeting with good outcome.”…..



  2. Trump promised Stormy that he would make her a contestant on his old TV game show. Of course, he was lying. However, there is a way to make things right. Hope Hicks was not a “normal” Director of Communications. She never spoke publicly to the media or the public and had no background in journalism. By all accounts her “job” was to calm Trump and massage his ego. That seems to be a critical job. Who could be Hope’s replacement? Yes! It’s Stormy to the White House as the new Hope, the lawsuit is dismissed and The Ego is massaged daily.



  3. I am very familiar with Gateway Church. I have friends on staff and many friends that are active members. The church and the pastor have a good reputation in the community and I know of lives that have been changed through the ministry of that church.

    However, blacks are not the only people who are leaving churches whose pastors even implicitly endorse Trump. You can add the young and some of the educated to that list.


  4. I don’t even know who Joy Behar is, but I heard about her comment.
    I notice that she has apologized.
    That is the decent thing to do. Glad to hear it.
    From Drudge:

    The View’s Joy Behar personally called Vice President Mike Pence to apologize for her “mental illness” joke that infuriated Christians.T


  5. Some folks seem to like Trump’s tariff ideas…


    “President Trump shared some amazing moments with American workers in the Oval Office Thursday.

    American workers got the chance to share their stories before President Trump signed new tariffs on steel and aluminum into law.

    One worker named Dusty Stevens said, “Right now, we’re running at 40 percent capacity. Two years ago, we shut down 60 percent of the capacity when we had a downturn in the market. My father worked in the industry and worked at that plant for 40 years, so this hits home for all of us.”

    “But these tariffs going into place, this gives us the ability to come back to 100 percent capacity and investing over $100 million to our plant and over 300 and some odd jobs will be brought back to the communities. So I’d like to say thank you,” he continued.”


  6. I always find it upsetting to hear of pastors who “endorse” political candidates. As our pastor has said, churches in the US are weak and underfed. I’d add dangerously distracted. Find a good church, everyone, and stay there.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. DJ, Some pastors underfeed their churches. Many feed garbage to their people.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Meanwhile, in more current, non-tabloid news…..


    “The U.S. economy enjoyed the biggest hiring spree since mid-2016 in February as workers streamed in from the sidelines of the labor force, but inflation pressures remained muted amid signs the pay gains that spooked financial markets last month haven’t taken hold.

    Payrolls rose 313,000 in February, compared with the 205,000 median estimate in a survey of economists, and the two prior months were revised higher by 54,000, Labor Department figures showed Friday. The jobless rate held at 4.1 percent, the fifth straight month at that level. Average hourly earnings increased 2.6 percent from a year earlier following a downwardly revised 2.8 percent gain.

    U.S. stock futures and bond yields rose, as the report signaled the labor market remains strong and will keep driving economic growth. The wage figures show a cooling from a pace that spurred financial turbulence last month on concern that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates faster.

    While the unemployment rate remains well below Fed estimates of levels sustainable in the long run, the rise in participation suggests the presence of slack that would keep policy makers to a gradual pace of hikes.

    “This is a report that’s going to strengthen the argument of some of the doves on the Fed, that people came back to the labor force last month — that’s a positive sign for the U.S. economy,” Alan Krueger, a Princeton University professor who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama, said on Bloomberg Television. “We’ll see how long that can continue.””

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes please, if only to convince Ginsburg that all is lost, and that she can retire without taking the blame for a conservative court.


    “Dean Heller knows he’s the most vulnerable Republican senator in the country. But he thinks Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy might just help him hang on to his seat.

    “Kennedy is going to retire around sometime early summer,” Heller predicted in Las Vegas last week, according to audio of an event he spoke at that was obtained by POLITICO. “Which I’m hoping will get our base a little motivated because right now they’re not very motivated. But I think a new Supreme Court justice will get them motivated.”

    The 45-minute recording of the media-shy Heller shows a senator defending President Donald Trump repeatedly, breaking only delicately with the president on issues like trade and gun control. It’s in line with the tightrope Heller has to walk to have any hope of winning reelection against a Trump-inspired Republican primary opponent and a highly touted Democratic general election challenger — in a state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

    Heller can’t afford to lose conservatives by breaking with Trump, yet must keep a lane to the center open to win a general election. It’s the trickiest political equation facing any GOP senator on the ballot this year.

    “I’m not going to sit here and criticize him,” Heller said when asked about Trump’s flirtation with Democrats on gun control. “Because everything else he’s touched, like this economy, has been just incredible. So, I don’t want to get too far in front of some of these policies.”

    Many Republicans credit the Supreme Court vacancy in 2016 with keeping the Senate in GOP control — and making Trump president. Heller went on to float Sen. Mike Lee for the job, calling the Utah Republican the type of conservative who could energize Nevada’s electorate in the June 12 primary. Lee’s office declined to comment.”


  10. Ricky W,

    What is it that the NYT articles ‘says’ to you? What do you infer from it? As in, what do you believe the phenomenon of black people leaving pro-Trump churches means beyond the numbers? What deeper thing(s) does the phenomenon indicate to you?


  11. To me, it says I wasted my time on the NY Times again.

    And white majority churches are racist, which is probably why they voted for Trump. It’s also why Ricky likes it, ‘cuz you know, Trump.

    I wish someone would have just summed it up before I wasted my time. I could have done something more useful, like watch the snow melt………..


  12. Quick. Someone remind me again who the Russian pawns supposedly are?


    “Former national security advisor Susan Rice issued a stand down order to national security council officials developing aggressive options to respond to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, a new excerpt from Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump reveals.

    NSC officials were reportedly alarmed by Russia’s attempts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, including the hacking of Democratic National Committee officials’ emails, and those belonging to Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

    Michael Daniel, an NSC official responsible for the Russia portfolio, told to the book’s authors of multiple plans to strike fear in Russian President Vladimir Putin with the aim of ending Russia’s election meddling. These plans included surreptitiously releasing personal information about Putin’s family, which revealed corruption in Putin’s political party, and even crafting a large cybersecurity exercise as a public threat to Russia.

    Daniel additionally told the authors that when Rice caught wind of his planning, she called him and berated him.

    One day in late August, national security adviser Susan Rice called Daniel into her office and demanded he cease and desist from working on the cyber options he was developing. “Don’t get ahead of us,” she warned him. The White House was not prepared to endorse any of these ideas. Daniel and his team in the White House cyber response group were given strict orders: “Stand down.” She told Daniel to “knock it off,” he recalled.”


  13. If it’s not a crime when anyone in power does it all the time, then minor one-time infractions shouldn’t be either.

    Also note, he didn’t get away with it, was convicted, served his sentence, and now is pardoned. All this does is remove it from his permanent record.


    “President Trump issued the second pardon of his presidency Friday to former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier, who learned the news while driving a garbage truck, the only job he could find with a felony conviction.

    Saucier was sentenced to a year in prison during the 2016 campaign for taking pictures inside a nuclear submarine. Trump invoked his case repeatedly on the campaign trail, saying he was “ruined” for doing “nothing” compared to Hillary Clinton.

    Still, Trump allowed Saucier to serve his full prison sentence. He was released in September and returned to the Vermont home he shared with his wife Sadie and their two-year-old daughter.

    Saucier, now 31, was 22 years old when he took the cellphone photos in 2009. He pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized possession and retention of national defense information and his attorneys unsuccessfully requested the “Clinton deal,” meaning little if any punishment.

    The six photos found on a cellphone Saucier discarded were deemed “confidential,” meaning the lowest level of classification, even though some depicted the vessel’s nuclear reactor. Clinton, by contrast, sent and received more highly classified information on a private and insecure email server. In pleading guilty, Saucier admitted to destroying evidence after being questioned.”


  14. SolarP @1:50, I know quite a few black people who (over the last several years) left largely black churches in D/FW to join largely white, suburban churches. It seems they have done so for at least two reasons:

    1. They live in the suburbs and they (or their children) are more comfortable in a suburban church culture; and/or

    2. They felt the theology in their old black church was flawed with too much emotionalism, too little emphasis on repentance and too little emphasis on sanctification.

    I think that many black, brown, white and yellow people would question the theology of a pastor who praised Trump or Hillary from the pulpit. Many would question the judgment of any pastor who would praise any politician from the pulpit. I think some blacks who moved to white churches for reason #2 above could rightly conclude that the theology of a Trumpist pastor is at least as bad as their old black pastor.

    The @&$#hole comments from Trump were particularly offensive to large groups of people and contributed to the view that Trump is a racist. This was made worse when pastors like Jeffress essentially defended those comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. RickyW, I agree parishioners who hear pastors endorse Trump may question the theology coming from those pulpits, but when you consider a few things, isn’t that ultimately trivial? For starters, I’m skeptical that Trump support would be the *first* red flag in many of those cases. I would think a pastor endorsing Trump from the pulpit (?) or even broadcasting that support publicly in other settings, would also be making other strange proclamations. I don’t know if you agree with me about this, but I think American evangelical churches have *long* been suspect; this Trump support stuff is only a small part of the church’s errors.

    And judging from parts of that article, I’m not entirely convinced the people leaving those churches are particularly discerning, either. Without elaborating, here are a few items or quotes that may raise suspicions on that matter:

    –Woman leaving a Trump church determines the alternative by drawing church names out of a hat

    –The Trump church she had been attending for two years featured “soaring anthems of the praise bands”

    –Same woman hasn’t attended any church regularly since leaving in 2016

    –Fruits of (supposedly) true and good preaching and church life are (supposedly) found in “nondenominational megachurches that gleam from the roadsides”

    –For a few years prior to 2016, “black congregants” who had been attending churches fostering integration were being turned off “as they watched their white pastors fail to address police shootings of African-Americans.”

    And a bunch more stuff. I just don’t think support for Trump in evangelical churches is indicative of anything more egregious than other problems we already knew those churches, by and large, have had.


  16. Good points, SolarP.

    In theory, I would agree with you that support for Trump should not have been the first “red flag”. However, I have several friends who go to solid, orthodox Baptist, Bible or nondenominational churches who were somewhat surprised when their pastors publicly embraced Trump in 2016. Many of those pastors (and many of my friends) literally thought a President Hillary would destroy the country.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Yes, Ricky W(?), I agree there are some otherwise good pastors and church officers who went a little out there with that Hillary take (although don’t get me started on how church polity there might, in itself, be a red flag!). I know a number of my fellow church members voted for Trump, but I don’t consider that nearly as troublesome as a pastor advocating doing so. My pastor made a number of facebook posts urging not to vote for either major candidate, but said nothing from the pulpit, as the pulpit isn’t purposed for that kind of detail.


  18. Why am I not shocked?

    Poor little snowflake……



    “A former New York Times executive editor keeps a Barack Obama therapy doll in her purse, she wrote of herself in an op-ed The Guardian published Wednesday.

    Jill Abramson, 63, the former executive editor for The New York Times from 2011 to 2014, claimed she keeps a therapy doll of the 44th president to get her through the Trump Administration, she wrote in The Guardian Mar. 7th. The Harvard educated journalist previously wrote an Obama Administration book, “Obama: The Historic Journey,” published in 2009.

    Abramson discussed a so-called “Trump rebellion,” alleging there is a solid chance Democrats will win the Senate, House and possibly the White House in 2020. The Ivy League educated journalist is carrying the “little plastic Obama doll” until the possible Democratic victory.

    “It’s easy to look at what’s happening in Washington, D.C. and despair. That’s why I carry a little plastic Obama doll in my purse. I pull him out every now and then to remind myself that the United States had a progressive, African American president until very recently. Some people find this strange, but you have to take comfort where you can find it in Donald Trump’s America,” Abramson wrote.”


  19. Guilty plea in the Rand Paul case.


    “On Friday, the man who assaulted Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) late last year pleaded guilty to a felony assault charge in a Kentucky federal courtroom.

    Paul’s neighbor, registered Democrat Rene Boucher, pled guilty to one felony charge of assaulting a member of Congress resulting in personal injury. That charge stemmed from when he tackled Paul on November 3. Federal prosecutors are reportedly pursuing a 21-month jail sentence against Boucher.

    Regarding sentencing, defense attorney Matthew Baker told CNN that they will “ask in general terms for mercy and leniency and hope the court will give it thoughtful consideration and consider a probated sentence.”


  20. I tell my Bible study ladies all the time, when you hear Jesus, money, power and political figures in the same setting, you’re in the wrong place.

    Our church is definitely conservative but we would NOT be happy to hear politics preached from the pulpit. I was horrified the one day the pastor was triumphant Sadaam Hussein had been captured.

    I’d be leaving with the congregants detailed in the story, but I wouldn’t stay home–I’d find another church. What does organized religion necessarily have to do with Jesus?

    Solar P has good points.


  21. Like

  22. When I saw that congregants were thrilled at the first-ever MLKing day reference (from the pulpit), I thought what on earth does this have to do with church? But then, for all my lifetime most churches have honored Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, even July 4, and sometimes have sung a song or two for Veteran’s Day. By the time you are celebrating all those “holidays” in the church, it’s a little hard to tell people that their own favorite holiday is not worthy of mention!

    Liked by 1 person

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