21 thoughts on “News/Politics 11-13-18

  1. In-fighting in the SBC.


    “Preachers, Activists Demanding Largest U.S. Denomination Confront ‘White Privilege’

    When language such as ‘postmodern ideology,’ ‘intersectionality,’ and ‘radical feminism’ are being deployed in a very conservative wing of a denomination like the Southern Baptist Convention, well, those are fighting words.”


    “The Southern Baptist Convention is no stranger to internal religious disputes, but a new divide over racial politics is threatening to spill dramatically into the public square and split the convention. This disagreement differs from the normal clashes over theology and church polity with which the SBC is accustomed to dealing.

    The nation’s largest affiliation of Protestant churches faces a controversy that contains a potent admixture of politics and theology. While politics writ large have circulated in the background of the religious debates of the SBC, purely political disputes have rarely been front and center. But all that has changed in the past year.

    At the MLK50 Conference held this spring in Memphis, Tenn., the SBC took on one of the most politically charged debates in America — the effects of racism on American society today. As the conference title indicates, the subject was the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., and the emphasis was on how racism continues to be a blight on American society and the Christian church.

    While it’s no surprise the topic of race was discussed at the MLK50 event, what may have surprised some in the SBC was how race and the church was discussed and by whom. Pastor Matt Chandler — certainly no theological liberal — in his lecture at the MLK50 conference asserted that the white members of his congregation in Texas are racist in ways they don’t understand and don’t want to understand.

    They don’t know what they don’t know and they are part of a system that encourages their not knowing. … We don’t know about housing disparities because we’re snuggled in affluent suburbs where no one will lay that data in front of us. And even if that data is in front of us, our education has taught us, ‘That’s not on us, that’s on y’all.’ … I am … taught [by this system] that racism is unleashing dogs and spraying with hoses, so I certainly cannot be a racist. There is a seed of doubt sewn in the minds of whites, that blacks have a work ethic or the capacity to help us.

    MLK50 was then punctuated by a similar conference known as Together for the Gospel (T4G) held the following month. It was at the T4G conference where the brewing division was felt most strongly. Normally, the T4G conference showcases the standard topics, lectures, and speakers of what has come to be known as the “Reformed Baptist” movement within the SBC, a doctrinally conservative group. Not so with this year’s conference.

    Two very clear agendas seemed to be afoot at the gathering. The clear intention of the conference organizers was to emphasize racial reconciliation in the SBC. Several key speakers and panelists addressed this issue. The counter agenda, if you will, were those who seemed intent at avoiding the topic and sticking with the status quo. The tension between the two programs was palpable to those familiar with the players.”


  2. Dispatch From Real America: How the Media Can Restore Trust With the Public

    “With so much consternation about how the White House treats the press, journalists miss the bigger picture. From the outside looking in, I worry the vast majority of those who proclaim to defend a great pillar of American democracy, daily partake in its destruction.

    How do I have the grounds to say this? Because I am from the inside. For a decade, I worked as a national news anchor in the epicenter of American media. I chose to leave on my own accord, in part because I saw the opportunity to create a new path for news delivery. I left everything and everyone familiar in New York City and took a leap of faith, moving with my family to Texas and into the unknown.

    Walking away from a career I loved and worked so hard to build has resulted in moments of both extreme doubt and great epiphanies. I share the following not lecturing from a pulpit but as a by-product of the detachment that allowed me to see my profession, and America, in a completely new way. It led to this ultimate conclusion: we cannot underestimate this crucial moment for the American People and the American Press.

    I realize now that Americans don’t simply dislike certain journalists, but feel a deep, palpable sense of betrayal by the news media. And they’re justified.

    In stepping away from the 24-hour news cycle, the most shocking realization for me was how little something I cared so much about really matters, how far away it feels, and how wrongly the audience is perceived. The media’s constant grating of the same topics over and over clouds the issues and fails to provide the service intended – clarity on current events. I get the same question repeatedly from those in search of unbiased sources of information: “Where can I go to get ‘the news’?”

    The American people aren’t blind to the nuances of headlines; they’re busy living real lives and depend upon the press to quickly illuminate why an issue matters. The disproportionate coverage on the President’s treatment of journalists or the “heated political rhetoric” rather than what truly impacts the average citizen reflects both misguided priorities and a lack of respect.

    To put it more plainly, our modern American news service lacks customer service.”

    The majority of the news media too often operates like a pretentious fancy restaurant where the servers size up their customers as not quite smart or worldly enough to appreciate what’s on the menu. The disrespect, so subtle and degrading, is not just found in the chosen content, but in the delivery. Such a restaurant could never survive if it blamed dissatisfied customers for an unsophisticated palate, bias against the chef, or on the undue influence of a powerful critic; and neither will the American Press survive by blaming the consumer, or the chief critic in the White House.

    Opinion journalism is an excuse for a lack of discipline. It’s also a choice.

    At a time when reporters are being jailed, kidnapped and murdered in other countries in record numbers, American journalists should celebrate the freedoms we enjoy by putting their customer first: provide non-partisan, well-researched, historically-grounded and multi-sourced stories based on facts in order to provide excellent service to someone they value and respect: the American public.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This certainly doesn’t help elevate the public’s trust.

    But kudos to the HC for dealing with this properly and fessing up. Admitting you have a problem is always the first step.


    “The Houston Chronicle has retracted eight stories by a former political reporter after an independent investigation found they were based on sources whose existence couldn’t be confirmed. Nearly half of 275 individuals quoted by reporter Mike Ward could not be found by the paper.

    In a statement posted on the newspaper’s website, Chronicle Executive Editor Nancy Barnes said the newspaper also was correcting 64 other stories on which Ward reported that contained unconfirmed sources upon which the premise did not rest.

    “These are challenging times for our country, and for journalism. That makes it all the more important that readers trust that we will ferret out the truth, even if it concerns ourselves,” Barnes said in the statement.

    The Chronicle reported in September that Ward resigned after questions arose about the existence of persons quoted in one of his stories.

    David Wood, an independent investigative reporter that the Chronicle retained to investigate Ward’s sourcing, said he reviewed 744 stories, from early August 2018 back to January 2014, when Ward was hired after a long career at the Austin American-Statesman.

    “A team of three pulled out the names of 275 individuals who were presented as ordinary Texans and made every effort to find them,” Wood wrote in his investigative report. “Of the 275 people quoted, 122, or 44 percent, could not be found. Those 122 people appeared in 72 stories.

    “It’s impossible to prove that these people do not exist, only that with extensive research and digging, the team could not find them. And in this age of online records, including property ownership and court filings, almost everyone can be found quickly,” Wood noted.”


  4. Front man for the globalists.


    “The French like to think of themselves a rationalists, but this is a conceit. Actually, they are champions of convoluted thought. Case in point are the French President’s Emmanuel Macron comments on nationalism as a betrayal of patriotism. Here, Macron butchered the meaning of words and inserted his confused language into the public dialogue.

    But of course, Macron knew what he was saying. His ill-mannered comment was a premeditated jab aimed at President Trump, who recently proclaimed that he himself was a proud ‘nationalist.’ The French president’s remark was a backhanded way of saying that Trump, his MAGA supporters, and the people of Eastern Europe were unpatriotic. I might add that the Chinese and Russians are nationalistic on steroids. In fact, the only group of people across the globe which tries to squelch their own nationalism is liberal Western man. Personally, I think it’s due to a combination of too much prosperity and a guilt feeling for the prosperity and Western achievement which leads to this suicidal attitude.

    But back to Monsieur Macron. His poor semantics aside, a straightforward translation of the French president’s words into proper English is that nationalism is a betrayal to the allegiance (patriotism) of globalism. And that is quite true. Too bad Macron did not have the courage to say what he actually meant. Instead he hid his beliefs behind convoluted language.

    It is no secret that much of France and Western Europe greatly envies the U.S. Accordingly, the French public enjoys Macron’s disrespectful antics towards Donald Trump and indirectly America. However, more astute observers in France are comparing their diminutive president as a ‘frog trying to be an ox.’ This is in reference to an Aesopian fable where a pretentious frog tries to blow himself up to be the size of an ox. The results? The frog explodes in the process. The moral of the story is that conceit can lead to self-destruction.

    People find it rather puzzling how Macron dares taunt the U.S. president when his own popularity at home is a mere 29%. If Trump’s approval rating were that low, he would have been impeached by the Democrats long ago.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hurrah for the nerds!

    538 predicted a net gain of 38 House seats by the Dems last week. There is still some doubt about the outcome of 10 seats. If all go the way they are currently leaning, the Dems will have gained ….. 38 House seats. It looks like 538 will have missed their projected Senate outcome by one seat. However, a surprise in Florida or the Mississippi runoff could result in them hitting that projection right on the head as well.

    Larry Sabato’s group and the Cook Political Report were not far off, but as in 2012 (when they called every state correctly) and in 2016 (when they alone gave a significant possibility of a Trump win), the nerds of 538 were the best prognosticators. Mathematical ability combined with a fair amount of political knowledge is amazing. It is a reminder that there are two halves to Murray’s famous book.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I look forward to the trip to Gatlinburg in a few days to pay my respects to Ricky’s big House win and to Pythagorean cultists and the secular prophets (aka ‘the nerds’) everywhere. I think a new ring is about to be added to the circus. How exciting. :–)

    Ricky since you are spreading it around, I was going to get you more than one box if that will not cause a problem at your PO box, so let me know if it will. :–)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The preacher fights that go on at the conventions haven’t affected the Baptists in the pew.
    So far. Some, but not much over the moderate-liberal fight that occurred decades ago.

    It seems strange to me that “racism” is such an issue now that it has been erased compared to prior days.

    “Racist” is an epithet, it has no meaning now. It is used inappropriately so much that it lost it’s meaning.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Get ready for a massive waste of time, money, and resources that will fail to do what they hope anyway. Without the Senate there is no hope for impeachment.

    So Trump should blow it all up now. Do a massive document release before the new Congress convenes. Get it all declassified and out there. You can do it, so do it.

    And then fire Mueller and set it all off. If they want all out political war, by any and all means, let’s give it to them.


    “House Democrats plan to probe every aspect of President Trump’s life and work, from family business dealings to the Space Force to his tax returns to possible “leverage” by Russia, top Democrats tell us.

    What they’re saying: One senior Democratic source said the new majority, which takes power in January, is preparing a “subpoena cannon,” like an arena T-shirt cannon.

    Based on our reporting and other public sources, Axios’ Zach Basu has assembled a list of at least 85 potential Trump-related investigation and subpoena targets for the new majority. (See the list.)

    Incoming House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told “Axios on HBO” that he expects Trump to resist the committees’ requests, demands and subpoenas — likely pushing fights over documents and testimony as far as the Supreme Court.

    Why it matters: The fight will test the power of the presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court.

    Top Democrats, who had largely avoided the subject during the campaign, now tell us they plan to almost immediately begin exploring possible grounds for impeachment. A public report by Robert Mueller would ignite the kindling.

    Tom Steyer, the liberal activist who spent more than $100 million during the campaign to build support for impeachment, said establishment leaders who are trying to postpone talk of impeachment are “the outliers”: “80 percent of registered Democrats think … we’re right.”

    Two of the most powerful incoming chairs tell “Axios on HBO” that they are plotting action far beyond Russian interference in the 2016 elections.1) Schiff, the top Democrat on the intelligence committee, told us he wants to help special counsel Robert Mueller, and plans to release — with some redactions of classified material — transcripts of dozens of interviews the committee conducted during its own Russia probe.”


  9. Link at 6:40 — my former editor’s response:

    I’m not hopeful. Just watch the next time a dem is in the WH. The media will go back to sitting on its hands. Just watching the two competing media sides cover the Florida vote count tells you everything you need to know. Left media hardly mentions all the law breaking. Right media screams fraud. Truth is in between, but you don’t hear anyone really presenting both sides.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So it’s all estimates and might be possibles at this point, since they have no idea what govt will do to lessen any damage to these already heavily subsidized farmers. It sounds like just a play for a bailout and more subsidies. Wake me when you have hard numbers.


  11. As I said, sounds like a play for more cash.

    “Robb Ewoldt, shown in a soybean field near Davenport, Iowa, said he is hopeful that the Trump administration’s planned $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers hurt by Chinese tariffs will help offset the drop in soybean prices. ”


    Not hard numbers, estimates and guesses.

    “Iowa State’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Development used several analytical models and calculated the average loss for Iowa’s soybean industry at $545 million; for corn, $333 million; and hogs, $776 million. A projected fall in ethanol prices would cost the state’s ethanol producers about $105 million. Iowa is the country’s No. 1 ethanol producer, with Nebraska second. The Iowa State analysis cites additional costs: lost labor income ($245 million to $484 million, depending on how the Trump administration’s federal relief payments are handled) and lost tax revenue ($75 million to $110 million).

    Those figures are the short-term cost. The long-term cost involves the possible loss of overseas markets, says John Crespi, an economics professor and interim director of the Iowa State rural development center.”



  12. Good thing we have Trump to put a stop to this nonsense. Now these people can do what they were hired for, or they can leave and be replaced by people who actually will do the job they get hired for.


    “Believe it or not, the Department of Veterans Affairs has 430 medical professionals who, instead of performing their duties as nurses or doctors, spend some or all of their time working for their federal employees unions.

    All of that happens on the taxpayers’ dime.

    Not anymore, according to the VA’s recent announcement.

    As of Nov. 15, the VA will repudiate part of its master collective-bargaining agreement. In particular, it will eliminate all forms of taxpayer-funded “official time” for its roughly 104,000 Title 38 medical profession employees.

    According to the Federal Labor Relations Authority, official time is that in which “an employee’s activities are not directed by the agency, but for which an employee is nevertheless entitled to compensation from the agency.”

    In other words, official time refers to taxpayers paying federal employees to perform non-federal activities unrelated to the jobs they were hired to perform.

    That means that hundreds of doctors and nurses at the VA receive their full federal salaries—averaging $74,000 a year for nurses and $187,000 for doctors, not including generous federal benefits—even if they don’t care for a single veteran.

    As acting VA Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration Jacquelyn Hayes-Byrd said, “President [Donald] Trump has made it clear: VA employees should always put veterans first. And when we hire medical professionals to take care of veterans, that’s what they should do at all times. No excuses. No exceptions.”

    Of course, that same argument should extend to the entire federal workforce. Federal employees should perform the duties they were hired to do—and nothing else.

    While the administration does not have the power to prohibit official time for the rest of the federal workforce, or even all of the VA’s 380,000 employees, it can do so for the VA’s Title 38 medical professionals on the basis that official time negatively impacts patient care.

    For anyone who would challenge that negative impact, it’s hard to imagine how having hundreds of medical professionals not taking care of veterans as they were hired to do could not negatively affect veterans’ care.

    According to a 2017 Government Accountability Office report that examined official time at the VA, “a manager … interviewed said it can be especially challenging to find other staff to fill in for employees who are responsible for serving patients yet spend most of their work time on official time.”

    Without a complete prohibition on all official-time activities at the VA and across the entire federal government, taxpayers will pay a heavy price—upward of $163 billion a year—for federal employees to perform union activities.”


  13. Poor General Kelly. Now Zsa Zsa is on the warpath.


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