March 23, 2023 by the real Aj News/Politics 3-23-23 What’s interesting in the news today? Open Thread Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading... Related
Here’s 5 minutes of Rand Paul destroying the Moderna CEO and his lies over his unsafe and un-effective vaccine.
The guy is lying under oath.
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This is so wrong.
How about instead of cutting benefits to men and women who earned them you take away the benefits you’re handing out to millions of illegal invaders instead?
“CBO considering “means testing” for VA disability payments among other nasty ways to cut spending”
“There are some interesting suggestions in the Congressional Budget Office’s ideas for paring operating expenses, in particular, the Veteran’s Administration. Reading one of them late last night was pretty alarming – it discusses adding a “means test” or income threshold to veterans receiving disability payments.”
“Both hubs and I were, like, HO-LEE-SMOKES and we weren’t the only ones.
On the CBO’s page for “OPTIONS FOR REDUCING THE DEFICIT, 2023 TO 2032–VOLUME I: LARGER REDUCTIONS” with a sub-title of “Reduce Spending on Other Mandatory Programs” they go to town on VA expenditures as one of their budget reduction option calculations. Yes, it’s all in the name of budget science, but in this day and age, with this administration?
CBO periodically issues a compendium of policy options (called Options for Reducing the Deficit) covering a broad range of issues, as well as separate reports that include options for changing federal tax and spending policies in particular areas. This option appears in one of those publications. The options are derived from many sources and reflect a range of possibilities. For each option, CBO presents an estimate of its effects on the budget but makes no recommendations. Inclusion or exclusion of any particular option does not imply an endorsement or rejection by CBO.
What they’ve come up with – what these accounting types have brainstormed – is pretty upsetting for veterans, especially disabled ones.”
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Mark your calendars.
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“Get your go bag ready. Fill the water bottles. Make sure you have enough canned and dry goods.
The Trans Day of Vengeance will be upon us in a few days.
I’m not exactly sure what they will be avenging. They claim a trans genocide is upon us, but in their own propaganda, they claim that 6 trans people have been murdered this year. There were 26,031 murders in 2021. The TDOV people claim 60 murders in 2022 for trans people. 1.6 million people in the United States identify as trans. That works out, I think, to 3.75 murders per 100,000. That is less than half that of the general population.
Black men die by homicide at a rate of 55 per 100,000. Trans people: 3.75 per 100,000.
Every murder is a tragedy and a crime, no matter the victim. But what is shocking about the murder rate for transgender people is how low it is, not how high.
The Daily Wire did a deep dive into the FBI stats and found that there is statistically almost no hate crime against transgendered people, perhaps because, contra the propaganda, few people actually hate them. I, personally, feel sorry for them. Gender dysphoria is by definition mentally painful–that is what dysphoria means, after all–and the pain must be intolerable if you are willing to disfigure yourself in order to escape it.
People are angry about the full-on pressure to groom children who are not genuinely dysphoric into a trans cult, but that anger is directed at all the activists and has nothing to do with the trans or non-trans status of the groomer. Straight, gay, trans, or furry–stay away from the kids!
That isn’t genocide. It is self-defense. Stay away from kids and we are cool. Come for the kids and we have a problem. A big one.
When trans activists talk about a “genocide,” they are not actually talking about physical harm done to transgendered people. Their claim, actually, is that our desire to keep them from recruiting more people into their cult is a genocidal act, as they otherwise have no means to reproduce.
It’s a neat sleight of hand if you think about it. But it also gives the lie to their claim not to be recruiting. They want to expand their ranks because the alternative is not being able to reproduce. The grooming itself is the point.”
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“Realigning California Would Realign America”
“The conventional wisdom on the Right in most of the rest of America is that California is a lost cause. Rather than fight inside California, where you are up against the most powerful and monolithic alliance of progressive special interests in the world, dedicate resources to flipping purple states, and keeping red states red. But to invert a popular quote attributed to Nietzsche, even if you do not gaze into the abyss, the abyss will still gaze back into you.
California’s role in influencing the future of the country is unparalleled. In addition to its economic and demographic weight, California remains the epicenter of America’s media and entertainment industry, as well as its high-tech industry. Even if several American states defy the momentum of California’s political class, laws governing California frequently end up becoming federal policy. The abyss is coming for us all, and its epicenter is in California.
It’s expensive to engage in public education in a state with a population of nearly 40 million, including 22 million registered voters. California’s political culture is almost completely dominated by social radicals and environmentalist extremists. But if the challenges to changing the political culture in California are daunting, the potential rewards are even greater.
There is an immediate financial incentive for the Right to take the fight into the belly of the beast, which is that whatever money California’s well-heeled public sector unions and progressive billionaires have to spend on defense in their own state is money that will not be used to swing close races in other states. The question then only becomes how to engage in asymmetric warfare to ensure that California’s progressives spend far more money on defense than their attackers spend on offense. In this manner, even if the political battle is lost, the money is well spent.
An example of this strategy is Proposition 32, waged in 2012 by reformers attempting to force government unions to obtain consent from their members before they could spend any of their dues on political campaigning. A lot was at stake for these public sector unions, which in California spend an estimated $600 million on political campaigning and lobbying each two-year election cycle. That’s a lot of money, even in California. Voters rejected Proposition 32, but proponents spent $10 million, whereas the union defenders spent over $108 million. That’s $98 million that did not flow into the other U.S. elections in the 2012 cycle.
In general, ballot initiatives are a good way to keep California’s progressive elites off balance and drain their treasuries. Qualifying a ballot initiative in California today will cost proponents between $5 and $10 million. But if it represents a serious threat to the environmentalist industrial complex, the woke tycoons, or the government unions, they will spend many times that amount to defeat it. And as proven as recently as November 2020, when eight of the nine state ballot propositions supported by unions were rejected by voters, California’s electorate should not be taken for granted.
California’s Electorate is Ready for a Change
The fact that voters sometimes can surprise the experts and completely flip the political script in a state or a nation is another reason for the Right to redouble efforts in California. Also unique to California is its demographic composition, which is likely to be mirrored in America within a generation. California’s population by ethnicity is roughly 40 percent Hispanic, 35 percent non-Hispanic white, 15 percent Asian, 5 percent black, and 5 percent multi-racial. Among Californians under 20 years of age, non-Hispanic whites are now less than 22 percent of the population.
Any effort to change political culture in California might benefit by first recognizing that the hardest bloc of big government supporters to convert are its diminishing cohort of white liberals. Living by the millions in inherited homes and thus not liable for either a mortgage or significant property taxes, they are exempt from the worst consequences of California’s failing institutions. For California’s financially secure white progressives, the rising cost of essentials is an inconvenience rather than an existential threat. They live in upscale neighborhoods where the public schools have better teachers and more resources, or, equally likely, they don’t have any school age children. And they are concentrated in areas where crime rates are low. California’s white voters support progressive Democrats because they don’t suffer the consequences of progressive Democratic policy failures. It’s much easier to believe the abstract Democratic mantras about climate change and systemic racism when more tangible challenges don’t exist. That’s the reality for millions of white progressives in California. Write them off.
When it comes to realigning California politics, white conservatives are already on board, and the white progressives are immovable fanatics. The future opportunity for the Right in California today are Asians and Hispanics who are increasingly receptive to three primary messages: 1) Policies that create scarcity and high prices are by design, and only benefit crony capitalists, 2) public education at all grade levels in California is failing, and 3) punishing crime deters crime. With respect to scarcity and the cost of living, and also with respect to rescuing public education, deregulation to encourage competition is the answer.
As for California’s crime problem—which like skyrocketing utility bills and lousy schools is disproportionately harming non-white communities—if criminal penalties were enhanced instead of being scrapped as per the progressive agenda, crime would be deterred. Eventually, fewer criminals would need to be incarcerated.
Two misconceptions have driven unsuccessful efforts to change the political culture in California. First, that the primary political concern of nonwhites, primarily Hispanics, are social issues such as pro-life sentiments, and second, that more generally, nonwhites favor bigger government. Neither of these assumptions is true. To be clear, California’s non-white residents care greatly about social issues, and are generally pro-life voters but there is more to them than this. And while their consistent support for Democrats might imply a big government bias, all it really indicates is that Democrats have made more alluring promises to nonwhites, while successfully stigmatizing Republicans as racist. Those promises have not been kept, and as the Democratic mantra of equity ascends into the stratosphere of absurdities, accusations of racism are wearing thin. The most urgent concerns for non-white voters in California, becoming more urgent all the time, are to live in a state with an affordable cost of living, good schools, and safe streets. Consequently, efforts to realign California should target Asians and Hispanics and should emphasize pro-abundance policies, school choice, and support for law enforcement.
When running the numbers, realigning California isn’t that far-fetched. Not generally acknowledged is the fact that more voters in California in 2020 supported Trump—over 6 million—than in any other state. More than Texas. More than Florida.”
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They’re getting their just desserts….
They earned this.
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Well I guess it’s true. The post the other day about French and Moore teaming to create a curriculum for churches to guide them through politics is in the works according to an article by Moore linked by DJ on the Daily Thread. I’m curious to see what they’re promoting.
Regardless of the politics they’re promoting, it has no business being spoken from the pastor’s pulpit.
I don’t care if it’s accurate and takes “our” side (which we know it won’t), it’s inappropriate from the pulpit. Period, full stop.
All while Biden has his Hollywood donors over, and puts LBGQXYZ “rights” and climate change as the goal of our foreign policy.
Ruled. By. Clowns.
“Xi, Putin Vow to ‘Significantly Increase’ Trade, Replace U.S. Dollar With Chinese Currency For Cross-Border Transactions
With Biden at the helm, Xi tells Putin: “Change is coming that hasn’t happened in 100 years. And we are driving this change together.”
“China and Russia vowed to strengthen economic ties during President Xi Jinping’s 3-day visit to Moscow that ended on Wednesday. The Chinese leader’s visit also cemented the emerging China-Russia axis that seeks to realign the world order in Beijing’s favor.
With President Joe Biden in the White House, the Chinese president gleefully told his Russian counterpart that the century-long U.S. dominance on the world stage was now coming to an end. “Change is coming that hasn’t happened in 100 years. And we are driving this change together,” Xi told triumphantly President Putin on Tuesday.
Beijing and Moscow agreed to ‘significantly increase’ bilateral trade and reduce the use of the U.S. dollar in cross-border transactions. “Xi said China is prepared to expand cooperation with Russia in areas including trade, investment, supply chain, energy, and innovation,” Germany’s DW TV reported citing Chinese state media. “The two leaders also signed two agreements to deepen the strategic partnership of coordination and economic cooperation,” the broadcaster added.
The Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post reported Xi’s visit:
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged on Tuesday to “significantly increase” trade between their two countries by 2030, and Putin threw his weight behind wider globalisation of the yuan, a move aimed at weakening the power of the US dollar.
“We are for the use of the Chinese yuan in settlements between Russia and Asian countries, Africa, Latin America,” Putin said, according to the RIA Novosti news service.
“This practice should be further encouraged.” Xi and Putin held a second round of talks on Tuesday discussing security and economic issues, including energy, resources and information technology; the leaders also signed a joint statement pledging cooperation through 2030.
Additionally, Xi invited Putin to China for this year’s Belt and Road Forum, both Xinhua and Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported.
Russia and China have long decried the inordinate strength of the US dollar – the de facto global currency – and the leverage it gives Washington to flex its muscles well beyond the confines of finance.
In the wake of the U.S. and Western sanctions following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, China has emerged as Russia’s key trading partner. In 2022, China-Russia trade reached a record US$190.27 billion, a 30 percent year-on-year increase. The bilateral trade hit “US$33.69 billion in the first two months of this year,” the Hong Kong-based Asia Times newspaper reported.
The surge in bilateral trade is largely due to increased Chinese import of Russian gas and oil since the war in Ukraine started in late February 2021. “Beijing’s spending on Russian energy, including crude oil and products, coal and natural gas, ballooned to $88 billion in the year through February,” Bloomberg reported Tuesday, quoting Chinese sources. “That compared to $57 billion in the previous 12 months,” the news outlet noted.
China, Russia push to “de-dollarize” global trade
The latest joint China-Russia bid to “de-dollarize” their bilateral trade is part of a Beijing-led initiative to erode the status of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
Earlier this month, media reports said that China, Russia, and some emerging economies were trying to float a new global reserve currency, which will be backed by gold and other commodities. “China and Russia have announced they, along with Brazil, India and South Africa, are “working to develop a new global reserve currency” to compete with the U.S. dollar,” the Washington Times reported on March 3.
According to the International Monetary Fund, “[t]he share of US dollar reserves held by central banks fell to 59 percent—its lowest level in 25 years—during the fourth quarter of 2020.” Before the euro was introduced in 1999, the U.S. dollar accounted for around 71 percent of the global foreign exchange reserve.”
But no mean tweets, right?
Joe and the low info suckers who voted for him built this too.
“Stock Market Down After Federal Reserve Chair Issues Warning on Inflation
Sec. Yellen’s announcement that US Treasury is not considering ‘blanket insurance’ for all U.S. bank deposits also a contributing factor.”
“The stock market went up at opening today, with the hope that the Federal Reserve would soon be halting its interest rate hikes (which are designed to quell inflation).
The Dow, S&P 500, and the Nasdaq rose at the start of the day after Chairman Jerome Powell announced that the Federal Reserve delivered a 25 basis-point interest rate hike.
The three major indexes at first climbed higher as Chair Jerome Powell indicated the Fed might pause its rate hikes due to turmoil in the banking sector.
“We no longer state that we anticipate that ongoing rate increases will be appropriate to quell inflation. Instead, we now anticipate that some additional policy firming may be appropriate.”
That hope was quashed during the question-and-answer session that followed.
However, in his press conference, Powell reiterated his desire to tame inflation by saying that the Fed will do “enough” to bring inflation down to 2%, and that it will raise rates higher if it needs to.
The hawkish note drove U.S. stocks lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 1.63%, the S&P 500 (.SPX) dropped 1.64%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC) pulled back to end down 1.6%.
“Should the stresses in the financial system be reduced in short order, we cannot rule out that stronger macro data will lead the Fed to put in additional rate hikes beyond May,” said Michael Gapen, an economist at Bank of America Securities.
“But for now, we think that risks are in the direction of an earlier end to the tightening cycle.”
To be fair to Powell, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s announcement that she has not considered or discussed “blanket insurance” to U.S. banking deposits probably didn’t help any.
Her comments before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing dashed industry hopes for a quick government guarantee to stem the threat of further bank runs and contributed to a 15.5% fall in the shares of struggling First Republic Bank (FRC.N) on Wednesday.
Some banking groups have urged the Biden administration and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) to temporarily guarantee all U.S. bank deposits, a move they say will help quell a crisis of confidence after the failure of Silicon Valley Bank (SIVB.O) and Signature Bank (SBNY.O).
Reuters reported on Tuesday that government officials discussed the idea of raising the $250,000 insurance limit per depositor without congressional approval following the SVB and Signature closures.”
Never mind what the babbling idiot says, this is what his handlers meant for him to say.
This is fine. Totally normal, right?
I feel like some people definitely need a slap. 🙂
Bought and paid for by the Chicoms.
Newsflash for the WaPo clowns, this is how democracy dies.
This is what a shakedown looks like. All Dem run crap holes.
They refuse to prosecute criminals, yet someone else is to blame for crime.
Madison, Seattle, and numerous other Dem run cities all did the same in a coordinated effort.
This is persecution, not prosecution.
It’s just a coincidence, right?
Debra, this is what Moore wrote about the project:
~ My friends David French and Curtis Chang were with me in Washington this week, where we participated in a Trinity Forum event about our soon-coming church curriculum on navigating polarization and hyper-partisanship. One thing we’ve seen is churches becoming exhausted by the ways the spirit of the age has ripped through congregations and morphed the way we bear witness to the gospel.
The original name of this project was The Post-Partisan Church, but Nancy French wisely suggested a better, more fun name: The After Party. There’s a double meaning here—not just what happens on the other side of partisan warfare but, more importantly, the marriage supper of the Lamb, the party for which we are really waiting. When the kingdom of God is first in priority, we learn to reorder our other priorities in ways that actually free us to pursue those other priorities better.
Politics is a necessary good but a terrible identity—and an even worse god. There’s a different way. ~
Good family men, right?
Continuing from 5:28, a bit more here:
~ THE PROBLEM
Evangelicals, which constitute 22.5% of the American population, comprise a key group in the political landscape. Unfortunately, for many evangelicals, the role of forming their political identity has been seized by partisan forces, not by true Biblical faith.
As a result, their politics have become deformed into hatred of political opponents, susceptibility to lies, and other practices that threaten the common good.
Church leaders seeking to counter this dangerous trend need help. If pastors preach about politics from the pulpit, they risk blowback from the most vocal and extreme voices within their congregations. Many local leaders feel like they lack the resources to deal with the political complexities of the day. Political tensions have already fractured many churches. And 2024 is right around the corner with a new wave of pressure.
The After Party does the heavy lifting to support local leaders. By presenting national trusted evangelical voices, local leaders do not have to take all the fire by themselves. They only need to sponsor this curriculum into their small group communities, and let us make the case. We directly engage people through our video-based and highly interactive video format.
The curriculum does the complex – but absolutely necessary – theological work of reframing Christian political identity from today’s divisive partisan options. Whereas the partisan identity defines political engagement in the “what” of ideologies, policies, parties, and politicians, The After Party redefines Christian politics around a Biblical emphasis on the “how” of virtues like mercy, humility, and justice (Micah 6:8). In today’s political environment, faithfulness to this Biblical “how” of political engagement will shine as a radical alternative to both the Right and the Left.
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I’d say courses or similar studies — focusing on “how” Christians should engage in politics biblically (and not as the world engages in politics) — would be refreshing and beneficial in these times.
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D J, I think AJ is probably right on this one and we should just stick to the Bible. That is the truth that is more powerful than the sword. Of course, people who view David French as a trusted evangelical leader will probably be interested in what he has to say. I don’t trust him, but I am still interested in what he has to say in this context. I do listen to both sides in politics. Not, however, at church. And I have no desire to hear my pastor parroting his ideas.
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Debra, this is not something that is part of a church service, just to clarify. Nor should it be, no argument there.
In a voluntary adult class setting, it appears to me this focuses more on how politics should (right?) look different when being discussed by Christians. Whatever “side” one takes, shouldn’t our discourse and our process for weighing candidates and issues be informed by the Bible and not by the public whirlwind? I think many pastors have been hit by this political storm and likely struggle with how they see it sometimes impacting their congregations.
My impression just from the short synopsis is those are the issues being looked at here, how we come to political decisions based on our foundation which is Christ and the Scriptures — and that includes “how” we are to behave in the public square.
In a unique way, I think, the political windstorms that have taken hold of our nation in the past several years are impacting believers (often not in a good way), affecting relationships and perhaps even pulling us away from our first love at times. We’re taking our cues from the secular world around us and it’s not playing out too well (in my view).
How should the approach to politics look and sound in a Bible-believing community?
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And separating it from any particular names that may come with ‘trigger’ warnings, the topic itself is what I think has some merit. It can be crafted independently, maybe as part of a home group discussion in churches which seems maybe most appropriate?
The 2 years ahead could (will) be tough in this current environment. As a believer, I’m concerned about how churches and Christians will be dealing with it. Dropping out of the worst of the arguing (my tendency these days) probably isn’t the best option. But maybe not the worst, either, and better than some other avenues.
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And I absolutely – and always will think we can disagree with other believers on issues and still view and treat one another as brothers and sisters, without the malice that’s so prevalent around us.
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That was my impression of it, that it is about how to approach politics as Christians, not what kind of political view Christians should have.
Giuliani explains how Trump paid his lawyer back for the Stormy Daniels pay-off. . .
I have not read everything David French has written. I’ve agreed with him on some issues. Not on others. But I’ve always found his arguments to be rational and well thought-out, even when I still come down on another view. So? (as Chas would say … )
I trust and accept that he is a believer. I don’t think differences in these areas should undermine or end that fraternal relationship and understanding; we should still recognize and treat one another as mutual followers of Jesus, as imperfectly as we all do that.
We have Democrats in our church. We have some pretty right-leaning folks in our church. I would hope we all see and treat one another as believers and that “politics” isn’t dividing us to that extreme.
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DJ, The people creating the “curriculum” are Never-Trumpers. French, particularly, is a political animal with presidential ambitions. It’s not impartial.
It sounds like a great never -Trumper Bible study if you’re into that. Not something I would find beneficial, but out of sheer curiosity I would be interested in reading the curriculum.
I have often learned things from people I disagree with—even when we come to vastly different conclusions from some of the same evidence. But to sit in a class with such a curriculum would be indoctrinating, I think. And I agree with AJ that I wouldn’t want it from the other side either.
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The thing about never-trumpers in the leadership class is they don’t just despise Trump’s character; they despise his ideas as much or more. Scratch the veneer on French and it comes out.
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But I think you’re getting sidetracked — forget the ‘curriculum.’ I’m talking about how believers should address and approach today’s volatile political environment.
I’m sorry Trump became such a divisive figure, but he did. People have strong feelings about him on both sides. He’s something of a lightning rod.
So yes, there were believers who could not support him and likely became more convinced of that decision after he left office. Two of my pastors, past and more current, opted also to refrain from voting for president in the past two cycles (or one, I think, wrote in someone). The feelings were, indeed strong. I won’t deny that fact.
I don’t know French personally so can’t say if what you say about his character is true. I haven’t picked that up in his writing.
I didn’t mention the curriculum (or even read about it) until you’d questioned it so then I checked it out. I dreaded posting it here, to be honest, because of the French “Connection” and knowing what strong reactions he brings to some.
So again, forget him. Forget the curriculum.
My point was focused on the topics related to it.
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While French is on Twitter, he’s not nearly as prolific, by the way — or as uncontrolled or angry-sounding — as Trump has been through the years. I feel I have a pretty strong sense of Trump’s character through much of that and it’s simply not a temperament I can support in a high office.
Has French written similar volatile, openly hostile posts? I haven’t seen them. Maybe he’s horrible, a complete and utter hypocrite, has a fake veneer as you say, not a believer at all. But I just haven’t ever seen anything resembling that.
DJ, French has been critical of Trump supporters. I’m not saying French is not a believer. Trump has said he’s one too. I usually take someone’s word for it until they make me feel stupid for believing it. I may have a higher toleration for foolishness than some. If you want to compare Trump and French i’m pretty sure Trump is more narcissistic or at least more voluble in it, certainly on Twitter.
But the point is, I wouldn’t trust either one of them to teach pastors how to teach their flocks to communicate about politics. If Christians can’t figure that out from the Bible–well, then maybe that’s where we should start, rather than with politically divisive ‘teachers’. The Bible is filled with politics and interpersonal relationships. And sometimes it’s tragic.
We have to be willing to allow each other strong opinions and know our own strong opinions will not always be welcomed with the credibility we think they deserve. And if avoiding conflict is the goal, sometimes that means just avoiding the topics that are hot buttons. You may be looking for a silver bullet, and I don’t think there is one. Both love and politics are messy. And always have been, I think.
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So one of the worst partisans out there, the NTer French, is going to lecture everyone on his “proper” response to a problem he helped cause?