25 thoughts on “News/Politics 10-19-18

  1. The Five Tribes.


    ““Every difference of opinion,” Thomas Jefferson warned in his first inaugural address, “is not a difference of principle.” Speaking to his countrymen after an election every bit as bitter as the one that put Donald J. Trump in the White House, Jefferson was trying to soothe the reigning animosity between the nation’s two dominant political parties. “We are all Republicans,” he added. “We are all Federalists.”

    Not anymore. In 21st century America, any notion that election results end the argument, however temporarily, is an anachronism. So, too, is the conceit that a nation this large and diverse is divided neatly along “50-50” lines, with half of America’s 253 million adults supporting Democrats, and the other half backing Republicans.

    Today, slightly more than one-fourth of registered voters in the United States have political views and social attitudes placing them in the camp of the “Resistance” — to President Trump and the Trump-era Republican Party.

    This is one of the five American “tribes” identified in a sweeping new public opinion survey conducted by RealClear Opinion Research, a new service offered by RealClearPolitics. The survey of 2,463 registered voters, conducted Sept. 18-28, was overseen by John Della Volpe, co-founder of SocialSphere Inc., a public opinion and analytics firm based in Cambridge, Mass.

    On the other side of the spectrum are two “tribes” of Trump voters, roughly evenly divided, which together make up another quarter of the electorate. One of these groups (12 percent) is the Trump base — the “Make America Great Again” crowd that attends his rallies and idolizes his brand of conservative populism. The other (14 percent) consists of traditional Republicans with less edgy views on issues ranging from trade to immigration to race relations.

    A fourth group, which Della Volpe has dubbed “The Detached,” is even harder to peg. This segment is the youngest of the five, and the most male. They tend to be disillusioned, even disgusted, by party politics, and represent 24 percent of registered voters in the United States.

    A fifth cohort, the “Independent Blues,” is the most pivotal group. In 2016 they cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton by a 12-percentage-point margin, and their skepticism toward Republicans has only grown in the ensuing two years. Just 16 percent of them say there is a strong likelihood they’ll vote for Donald Trump in 2020. By a margin of 47 percent to 28 percent they express a preference for a Democratic-controlled Congress.”


  2. Not at all shocking.

    But it should be.


    “Last week, a federal judge in California dismissed a lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union had filed in 2016 challenging the government’s award of grants to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to provide services to unaccompanied minor illegal aliens and trafficking victims. In the lawsuit, the ACLU argued the grants violated the Establishment Clause because the Department of Health and Human Services allowed the Catholic organization (and its sub-grantees) to deny girls and women in their care contraceptives and abortion.

    The court rejected the ACLU’s Establishment Clause claim in a methodical 34-page opinion, explaining that the federal funds were not used to endorse or advance religion. Further, as the San Francisco-based federal judge stressed, the government would transfer minors to other facilities if there were a conflict between the services sought and the religious tenets of the organization running the shelter.

    Buried in the middle of the court’s analysis was a shocking revelation: Obama administration officials transported pregnant minors in federal custody to New Mexico to obtain abortions in order to circumvent parental consent laws in other states.

    An email exchange between two Health and Human Services employees in April 2014 exposed this disturbing fact. In discussing Maria, a pregnant minor held at a temporary shelter, possibly in Texas or Florida—the workers noted that Maria stated she wanted an abortion and did not want her parents to know that she was pregnant. At the time, Maria’s parents, who were to be her sponsors, were located in Florida. Maria was in the custody of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement.

    After learning Maria had requested an abortion, according to government emails, “two ORR field specialists looked into the abortion laws in both Texas and Florida and reported that the general rule in both states was that minors could not have abortions without parental consent (absent exceptions, such as obtaining a waiver from a judge).” The Texas field specialist then emailed other ORR staff members, explaining: “This is why termination of pregnancies are done in New Mexico due to the fact that currently (by law) there is no parental consent requirement.”

    According to the court, whether Maria eventually obtained an abortion was unclear. But what is clear from the court’s discussion is that under the Obama administration, HHS and ORR employees purposefully sidestepped state parental notification and consent laws as a matter of policy. And there was no good reason to do so.

    The location of Maria’s parents was known and nothing indicated her parents were abusive; rather, Maria merely stated she did not want her parents to know she was pregnant. Had Maria claimed her parents were abusive, a judicial bypass would allow an abortion without parental notification and consent. The only reason, then, to transport minors such as Maria to New Mexico was the one acknowledged in the email: because that state’s law did not require parental involvement.

    When asked whether the Trump administration continues to follow the Obama administration’s lead, a spokesperson from HHS’s Administration for Children and Families stressed, “It is not the policy of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Trump administration to transfer pregnant girls in the unaccompanied alien children program across state lines to evade state laws requiring parental consent or notification for abortions.”

    In fact, under the Trump administration, the ORR adopted a policy not to facilitate abortions for minors. Under this policy, shelters were prohibited from helping minors obtain abortions or releasing minors from custody to obtain an abortion. Instead, the illegal alien minor could voluntary return to her native country or be released to an approved sponsor.”


  3. On a related note…..


    “The poorest people tend to have the highest birth rates, which threatens to reverse historic progress in reducing world poverty, says the world’s largest philanthropy in a recent report.

    “[D]ecades of stunning progress in the fight against poverty and disease may be on the verge of stalling,” write Bill and Melinda Gates in their foundation’s latest “Goalkeepers” report. “This is because the poorest parts of the world are growing faster than everywhere else; more babies are being born in the places where it’s hardest to lead a healthy and productive life. If current trends continue, the number of poor people in the world will stop falling—and could even start to rise.”

    In a podcast with Vox’s Ezra Klein, Bill Gates pointed out that in the next century the world’s share of babies born on the continent of Africa will rise from one-quarter to one-half, if current trends continue. This is troublesome, he says, because Africa is the poorest, most disease-ridden and poorly governed continent in the world currently.

    Gates’s report prefaced more pointed anti-fertility remarks about Africa this week from France’s president, Emmanuel Macron.

    “Present me the woman who decided, being perfectly educated, to have seven, eight or nine children,” he said. “Please present me with the young girl who decided to leave school at 10 in order to be married at 12. This is just because a lot of girls were not properly educated, sometimes because these countries decided the rights of these girls were not exactly the same rights as the young man.”

    This is a regular talking point for him. In response, women clapped back at Macron under the Twitter hashtag #PostcardsForMacron. A sampling:”


  4. I guess this is how they plan to defeat Cruz.


    “The Texas Democratic Party asked non-citizens to register to vote, sending out applications to immigrants with the box citizenship already checked “Yes,” according to new complaints filed Thursday asking prosecutors to see what laws may have been broken.

    The Public Interest Legal Foundation alerted district attorneys and the federal Justice Department to the pre-checked applications, and also included a signed affidavit from a man who said some of his relatives, who aren’t citizens, received the mailing.

    “This is how the Texas Democratic Party is inviting foreign influence in an election in a federal election cycle,” said Logan Churchwell, spokesman for the PILF, a group that’s made its mark policing states’ voter registration practices.

    The Texas secretary of state’s office said it, too, had gotten complaints both from immigrants and from relatives of dead people who said they got mailings asking them to register.

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to investigate.

    “If true there will be serious consequences,” he said.”


  5. 6:41 is a very interesting article. When I read it yesterday, I was at first encouraged to read that only 12% of the people were Trump Cultists. However, the fact that only 14% were traditional conservative Republicans is disturbing. I am not sure I agree with their groupings.

    If you look at the generic ballot polls and Trump approval ratings, the split is now about 54-55% Democrats and 45-46% Republicans if you take out the undecideds. The good news there is that with all his shenanigans, Trump has only cost the Rs a net of around 5% of the voters. Of course, he has driven off a much higher percentage of educated women, but these have been partially offset by uneducated Obama-supporting whites that Trump has added to the Trumpublican Party.


  6. From Drudge”

    Sochi (Russia) (AFP) – Russians will “go to heaven” as martyrs in the event of nuclear war because Moscow will only ever use nuclear weapons in retaliation, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

    “We have no concept of a preemptive strike,” Putin told a forum of international experts in the southern city of Sochi in response to a question from the audience.


  7. I have been teasing my Democrat friends this morning that Cruz is about to convince me to vote for Beto while reminding them that like Rhett Butler, I have a soft spot for lost causes, especially when they are truly lost.

    Cruz here contends that Beto supports both of my highest priorities:
    1. The impeachment of Trump; and
    2. The complete paralysis of the federal government for two years.

    Beto on the tape confirmed the accuracy of #1. He has also promised that he would not run for President if he beats Cruz. Beto strikes me as a very earnest, goofier version of Obama.


  8. I only read the Rod Dreher columns from yesterday late in the afternoon before dinner.

    I was so depressed, it was difficult to rally the rest of the evening.

    Fortunately, the choir was fun last night so I felt more cheerful when I went to bed–to not sleep, of course.

    What a discouraging take on Christianity and the future of a successful culture.

    As many of you know, I’ve spent the last couple of years reading through the challenging Old Testament which is all about doom. I cannot help but see the US in this portrayal–when it’s not excoriating the Catholic priests–and the similar wolves in sheep’s clothing filling the many Protestant church pulpits.

    I think it’s important to note, the people talking about their situations, now, in their thirties are young and facing them. I don’t believe my generation’s experience is pertinent to them now.

    They’ve grown up in a society that emphasizes success and explains what it is. The deck, frankly, is stacked against them financially. I can understand their despair.

    I’ve been apologizing to this generation of young people for years. My generation took it all, and has left them a mountain of debt. I don’t know what to do but support the ones nearest me–kids and young friends alike.

    May God have mercy on the USA. We don’t deserve it.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I love the hair. 🙂

    And I suppose this is a step up for the left.

    At least baby Trump isn’t being lynched or burned in effigy, so that’s something, right?….😳

    Liked by 1 person

  10. If this doesn’t motivate you to vote, nothing will.


    “In her Ingraham Angle commentary, Laura Ingraham listed the far-left Democrats who are poised to take over the House of Representative’s most important committees if their party wins in November — and what that means for you.

    Besides Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) likely making a run for speaker of the House and Rep. Adam Schiff projected to take over for fellow Californian Devin Nunes in the Intelligence Committee, Ingraham said that there are many more obscure but noteworthy politicians who will have great effect on the average American.

    Every voting member of the House faces reelection in 2018, but with the assumption that all of the high-profile Democrats will be reelected, Ingraham said there is much concern for the future.

    Rep. Maxine Waters of California, who has repeatedly said she wants to impeach President Trump, could be the chairwoman of the powerful financial services committee.

    Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a longtime Democratic fixture from Manhattan’s Upper West Side, is reportedly hoping to ascend to the chairmanship of the judiciary committee.

    Ingraham said Nadler is anxious to further investigate Justice Brett Kavanaugh and sexual misconduct claims against him.”


  11. Good news for US producers, bad news for their Russian counterparts.


    “Poland has signed a long-term gas deal to buy natural gas from the United States to ease its reliance on Moscow.

    Polish state-run energy company PGNiG signed a 20-year supply contract with Louisiana-based Venture Global LNG. “Today we can fulfill our efforts to improve the sovereignty, security, and competitiveness of our gas sector,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters on Wednesday.

    Under the deal that comes into effect in 2022, Poland will import 2 million tons of liquefied natural gas each year. The Polish oil company did not disclose the terms of the agreement but confirmed that they were “better than the terms on which Poland was currently buying gas from Russia.” Currently, the country relies on Russia for nearly two-thirds of its gas needs.

    The long-term energy deal is a major success for President Donald Trump’s strategy to boost U.S. gas exports. Europe “wants to import more liquefied natural gas, LNG, from the United States, ” he said in July, “We’re going to make it much easier for them, but they’re going to be a massive buyer of LNG.”

    British newspaper Financial Times reported the details of the U.S.-Polish gas deal:

    Poland’s state-run energy company PGNiG has struck a 20-year deal to buy liquified natural gas from the US, as the country pushes to reduce its dependence on imports of Russian gas.

    PGNiG said on Wednesday that the contracts signed with subsidiaries of US group Venture Global LNG would provide it with 2m tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year, or 2.7bn cubic meters of natural gas after re-gasification. The deliveries are due to start from 2022.

    Poland’s prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that the agreements would boost both the “sovereignty” and the “competitiveness” of Poland’s energy sector.

    Poland’s energy ministry, Krzysztof Tchorzewski, said the deal would help Poland diversify its gas supplies. “In the Polish context, this gas is a civilisational good,” he said. (…)

    Poland imports almost two thirds of its gas from Russia, but has been working to reduce its dependency on Moscow, which showed in Ukraine that it is willing to use its gas supplies as a geo-political tool. Warsaw’s search for new suppliers chimes in with US president Donald Trump’s goal of boosting the US LNG exports.

    The deal comes as Germany is betting big on a multi-billion dollar Russian pipeline project, or Nord Steam 2, to bring Russian gas to Europe. President Donald Trump has described Germany as a “captive to Russia” over its dependence on Russian energy supplies and called Chancellor Angela Merkel to reconsider investments in Moscow’s 1,200 km pipeline project. “They pay billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia,” Trump said during the NATO summit in July.”


  12. Uh-oh.

    Somewhere in Texas a beef cow laughs nervously and tell itself “Nah, never happen….”

    And yet in the back of it’s mind the feeling of foreboding lingers…….



    “Could Republicans do the unthinkable on November 6th and keep a majority in the House? Politico’s Rachel Bade calls it “unlikely,” but not impossible. Bade hears from Republicans and “even a few Democrats” that the political winds have shifted enough this month that it might result in a slight GOP majority once all the votes have been counted.

    I want to believe:”

    The cow however, does not.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. One surely is struck in reading the OT of how there’s (really) nothing new under the sun.

    None really “deserves” God’s mercy, but he gives it nevertheless, amen?

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Obama was burned in effigy by some of those on the right. I think there were also portrayals of him being lynched, too.

    Hatred is a human thing. Neither left nor right has a monopoly on it.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. AJ, from a post a day or two ago, it isn’t that you can’t disagree with a Christian, but that being aware that someone is a faithful Christian might temper the reflex reaction to oppose him. All of us are wrong at times, but I would hope that someone would take a second look before assigning bad motives when realizing someone is a Christian and not just “in name only.”

    Trump doesn’t show the slightest hint of understanding Christianity, so that’s apples and oranges. A mere “claim” to be a Christian means little.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. We can’t ultimately determine the genuineness of anyone’s faith. But there are evidences that can be seen and weighed.

    None of us knows either of these men personally (I assume?).

    But from what is known publicly, I feel more ensured that Sasse is a believer than I do of Trump.

    At this point.

    That doesn’t mean Trump isn’t a believer. But I’d say if he is, he’s a fairly immature believer at this point in his life. Nothing wrong with that, we should pray that he (a) is a believer who will find faithful mentors and grow in the faith or, if not, (b) that he will hear and receive the gospel.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I read Sasse’s book last year and it was very well thought out and written. I plan to read his new one when it becomes available. He’s intelligent. I think he makes a decent senator. But I would not want him to be President if he’s unwise enough to try to undo the small gains that have been made to reign in globalism. And given some of his comments, I fear he may just be that unwise….reformed Christianity notwithstanding.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.