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MSNBC's Kasie Hunt Promotes Jeff Flake's Stalin Smear on Trump

NewsBusters - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 17:07
<p>It’s astonishing that the same people who think Donald Trump exaggerates things out of proportion can happily promote a forthcoming Senate floor speech making the assertion that Trump is comparable to Josef Stalin, a mass-murdering totalitarian. But that’s just what happened Sunday night on Kasie Hunt’s MSNBC show. She blithely introduced an interview: “He gave me a preview comparing the president’s words to dictators past.”</p>

Lefty Journalists Offer Bribe For Someone to Ask Trump About Fake Country

NewsBusters - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 16:49
<p>American journalists have decided to take a page out of a Russian troll’s book, in order to build their own narrative. Jezebel contributor and purported comedian Sara Benincasa tweeted out on January 13 that she would offer $300 to “the journalist who very seriously asks Trump his opinion on our nation’s relations with Wakanda and gets the question and answer recorded live on video.” </p> <p> </p>

Kathy Bates Laughs About Smoking Pot at Nancy Reagan's Funeral in Netflix Stoner Comedy

NewsBusters - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 16:40
<p>Season Two of Netflix’s Kathy Bates comedy <em>Disjointed</em> was released on January 12 with 10 half-hour episodes. The series is clearly liberal in its writing and dialogue but most episodes are done in a light-hearted way. Except for an obligatory swipe at the California left’s favorite villains, the Reagans.</p>

CBS, NBC Omit Illegal Immigrant Status of Greyhound Hostage Taker

NewsBusters - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 15:02
<p>Over the weekend, as the broadcast networks informed viewers of a hostage situation that took place on a Greyhound bus in Illinois, CBS and NBC both neglected to inform viewers that the perpetrator was an illegal immigrant while ABC's <em>World News Tonight</em> on Saturday identified Marguerito Vargas Rosas as an "undocumented immigrant." CNN's <em>New Day Sunday</em> also described him as an "undocumented immigrant," while FNC tagged him as an "illegal immigrant," and additionally informed viewers that he had been deported five times already.</p>

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Diverse Leaders Dream of the Next Big Step for Racial Equality

The Stream - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 13:44

As Americans mark the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., few deny that racial tensions have come to the forefront of society. A recent Pew Research study showed 58 percent of Americans believe racism is a "big problem" in the nation. That number has doubled just since 2011.

Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, a prominent Latino faith adviser to the White House, sees the issues more clearly than most. "We have not been this divided since the tensions of the 1960's, when we were doing away with segregation laws," he says.

He also proposes a step towards a solution. "It's time for a national commission on racial reconciliation," he urges. Other faith leaders are joining his call. They see tensions reaching a crisis point in the wake of violent protests in Charlottesville.

Jenny Yang leads advocacy efforts at World Relief. The faith-based group has served in over 100 nations. "Our sinful nature has perpetuated systemic policies and structures that have led to fissures in our society and the dehumanization of others," says Yang. "I think that still continues today, in different forms."

It's not only voices on Capitol Hill who believe such a commission can do good. In 2014, Pastor Jonathan Tremaine Thomas moved his family to Ferguson, Missouri. His focus is what he calls civil righteousness. He contends seeking racial unity is acting on values expressed during America's trying genesis.

"The beauty of humanity is its diversity," says Thomas. "Any patriotic American should care about the issues and history surrounding race in our nation if they desire for us to fully embody the values that we espouse in our founding articles."

Sacred Mission in an Uncertain World

The three faith leaders -- Latino, Black and Asian-American -- are quick to note believers carry a biblical mandate to be peacemakers.

"I believe the church has not only an opportunity but a responsibility to lead the charge in binding up the brokenness of our nation," says Thomas. He often serves as a mediator between "activist groups, community members, public servants and faith leaders" in Ferguson. The St. Louis suburb has been a flashpoint of racial tensions. Last fall, a court verdict sparked riots.

Rodriguez believes the commission will have "a very Christian premise," he says. "It begins with the doctrine of Imago Dei. Every single American, without exception, in or out of the womb, carries the image of God. Therefore, we should treat each other with mutual love and respect -- even when we disagree."

The clash of perspectives may be inevitable in a polarized culture. "2017 has been a challenging year," says Yang. She often speaks in churches across America for World Relief, particularly those ministering to immigrants. "There's a palpable level of fear people have of being separated from their families."

"I believe the church has not only an opportunity but a responsibility to lead the charge in binding up the brokenness of our nation."

To illustrate, Yang recalls a recent trip to a church in Ridgecrest, North Carolina. "After I was done speaking about the Christian response to immigration, a group of women came up to talk. One told me, We love what you said. It's interesting because a group of Hispanic leaders in our denomination were going to come. But they didn't want to drive the hours in their van."

The woman explained, "They were afraid they'd get pulled over on the long drive. They feared they would immediately be deported and have to leave their children behind. But they would've been encouraged by your talk."

Yang views the church as a force for unity. "The government can't do everything," she says. "They should partner with churches in having these conversations and building trust. The two play complementary roles."

Past Victories, Future Opportunities

Thomas sees recent history as a guide. "Between the 1970’s and mid-2000’s, over 35 commissions dedicated to truth and reconciliation were set up," he says. "These were in Africa, Asia, Central and Latin America -- even in Canada!"

"Of those, South Africa’s has been the most visible," Thomas continues. "The U.S. shares similarities in the historic challenges that they sought to address. We can learn from, adapt and build upon components of their model. This initiative would work in partnership with educational and religious institutions, mental health groups, and state and local governments."

Passed under Nelson Mandela's leadership, the South African effort was chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded in 2003. It published a lengthy report detailing its discoveries and activities.

A similar effort in the U.S. would face its own challenges. Rev. Samuel Rodriguez believes two figures could convene an authentically diverse, bipartisan group. "In my dream world, the co-chairs would be Bernice King, daughter of Dr. King, and Vice President Mike Pence," he says. Bernice King serves as CEO of The King Center in Atlanta, Georgia and speaks often on her father's legacy.

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Knowing some would question his latter pick, he explains. "Vice President Pence took me aside one time. He said, Reverend Rodriguez, let me tell you who motivated me most in my journey other than Christ. It was Martin Luther King, Jr."

"So our Vice President, this man from Indiana, this evangelical, began to explain to me the justice passion of Dr. King," he says.

Rodriguez first offered his proposal to the Trump Administration last January. Now he isn't sure whether the White House or Congress should issue the mandate. "The Executive Branch is extremely busy on multiple fronts," he says. "Time is of the essence, so maybe a Congressional impetus behind this commission would serve in a more valid way because it's coming from the people's house. Congress is representative of the collective American body politic."

He also cites Senators Tim Scott, Marco Rubio and James Lankford as leaders who "have a heart for racial reconciliation." Whomever in Washington runs with the vision, emerging voices caution not to forget the next generation.

"A commission has to be intergenerational," says Yang. "Many justice movements in our country have taken place at the community level by really young people who don't have institutional ties."

In the Interest of Justice

As to what policy issues the commission might address, the three leaders were unanimous on their top priority.

"The final institution that needs to experience a purging of all vestiges of racism is our criminal justice system," says Rodriguez. "We cannot deny that young men of color face more severe criminal sentencing than those who are not of color. We know this as a matter of fact." Recent bipartisan efforts nationwide have led to incarceration rates on the decline. Still, they say much work is yet to be done.

The Sacramento pastor ventures a bold claim. "If we address the criminal justice system, immediately I believe about 75 percent of race-related tensions would go away," says Rodriguez.

"We need to do away with any sort of fear that exists in the African American and Latino communities regarding law enforcement," he continues. "The intent is to establish dialogue between them and communities of color. It creates bridges."

"If we address the criminal justice system, immediately I believe about 75 percent of race-related tensions would go away."

According to Pew Research, 79 percent of Americans believe bringing racially diverse people together to discuss these issues will help achieve equality. Yang also perceives a real need for open dialogue.

"A lot of people feel like they're impacted by policy decisions," she says. "But there's no avenue for them to express their insecurities and fears to anyone within government."

The leaders noted immigration reform as a secondary priority. "We learned something when President Trump brought together a bipartisan group of Congressional members," she noted of the recent televised White House meeting. "It's that we have a lot more in common around immigration than what divides us."

Yang has faith that mutual respect can point the way to solutions. "Broad labeling of either side is not helpful," she says. "About Republicans, I've heard people say, Oh, they're heartless. They're compassionless. I don't think that's true."

What It Can Achieve

The prospect of such a commission animates these diverse leaders. From such a federal mandate, they see positive outcomes for the common good.

"First, there would be acknowledgement that there is tension," says Rodriguez. "Second, there'd be a deliberate commitment to address the problems in an expedited manner. Third, it would move towards specifics. It could include legislative proposals and perhaps a national PSA campaign with messages of unity."

Yang advocates for a clear, actionable report. "Concrete ideas would be really effective," she says. "We need recommendations anyone can read -- a pastor, local leader or whomever. They should see themselves in it. They'd say, This is something I can do within my community or sphere of influence."

Elevating voices of substance and moral clarity has potential to shift the national narrative around racial tensions, states Thomas.

"The intent is to bring unbiased, empirical evidence to support open dialogue and help facilitate truth-telling," he says. "This is the clearest way forward that I see in terms of maturing the national conversation on racial justice with measurable and sustainable outcomes."

Gunmen Target Egyptian Christians, Shoot Down Man In Sinai

The Stream - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 13:09

Three gunmen shot and killed a man in Egypt's Sinai peninsula in what authorities said is only the latest attack explicitly targeting Egypt's Christians.

Egyptian officials spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity and said the victim was Bassem Attallah, a 35-year-old Christian man. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, however, officials said it bears all the signs of an attack by Islamic State insurgents, who have targeted Christians in Egypt since 2016.

The attack comes in the wake of another shooting on New Year's Eve, in which a gunman killed two Coptic Christian brothers and shot up their liquor store. Authorities said it was not clear whether the attack was an act of Islamic extremism or the result of New Year's revelry. The incident happened only days after ISIS' attack on a Coptic church in Cairo where gunmen killed nine people before being confronted by local residents and shot down by police.

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ISIS insurgents continue to carry out guerrilla attacks throughout North Africa and the Middle East despite suffering near eradication in Iraq and Syria. They have led an insurgency in northern Sinai for years and have killed over 100 Egyptian Christians since December 2016, and some experts fear that such attacks could increase as ISIS sends more militants to Sinai and other places in response to being disbanded in Iraq and Syria.

Coptic Christians are Egypt's largest religious minority, numbering at 10 percent of Egypt's population of 93 million people.


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Double Suicide Bombing in Baghdad Kills at Least 38 People

The Stream - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 12:57

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a busy street market in central Baghdad on Monday, in back-to-back explosions that killed at least 38 people, Iraqi health and police officials said -- the deadliest attack since last month’s declaration of victory over the Islamic State group.

The bombings came just two days after a suicide bomber struck a police checkpoint in northern Baghdad, killing eight people there.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for either attack but they bore all the hallmarks of ISIS, which has claimed many such attacks in the past.

Monday’s bombers struck during rush hour in the city’s Tayran Square, which is usually crowded by laborers seeking work. The twin explosions also wounded at least 105 people, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Ambulances rushed to the scene as security forces sealed off the area with yellow tape. Slippers could be seen scattered about on the blood-stained pavement as cleaners hurried to clear the debris. Photographs posted on social media showed lifeless bodies and pieces of limbs.

The twin explosions shocked residents in the Iraqi capital because large attacks had decreased significantly in Baghdad and other parts of country since security forces retook nearly all territory once held by ISIS militants.

Munthir Falah, a vendor who sells secondhand clothes at the street market, survived Monday’s attack with shrapnel injuries to his chest and right leg.

“It was a tremendous, I felt the ground shaking under my feet,” he described the explosions to The Associated Press. “I fell on the ground and lost conscious to find myself later in the hospital.”

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Falah, a father of three, blamed the government forces for not doing enough to secure the capital and its residents.

“They think that Daesh is done with the territorial loses and they do not bother themselves to exert efforts to secure Baghdad,” he said, using the Arabic name for ISIS.

Jalal Ali, owner of a mobile phone store, recounted how he saw bodies of some of those killed in the explosion lying on the street as he stepped off a minibus.

“Me and others on the bus were so shocked to see this,” said Ali, adding that he sought shelter between nearby cars and walls. He said he expected such attacks after the government announced national elections for May.

“I’m sure they will increase,” he said.

Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri denounced the attack as a “cowardly act against innocent people” and called on the government to take all necessary security measures.

Iraqi and U.S. officials have warned that ISIS would continue with insurgent-style attacks even after the Iraqi military and U.S.-led coalition succeeded in uprooting the Islamic State group across the country.

The cost of victory has been nearly incalculable as the three years of war against ISIS devastated much of northern and western Iraq -- roughly a third of the country -- where Islamic State militants had held most of the territory.


Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

What MLK Teaches Us About Human Nature, Morality, The Law, And Loving Our Enemies

The Stream - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 12:10

As we commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the year that will also mark the 50th anniversary of his assassination, I thought it would be appropriate to visit some of the truths his life can teach us about ourselves and that which makes up a just society. Unlike most of us, King presented much more than persuasive arguments. He put his beliefs into action concerning the depravity of humanity, the existence of a transcendent moral law, and the necessary steps to heal a broken world.

A View of Human Nature That is Both Optimistic and Realistic

There have been many views of human nature in the history of thought. The prominent political philosopher Thomas Hobbes, for example, thought human nature was dominated with desires and passions that would lead (without an all-powerful state) to a constant war in which life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” King’s understanding of the human condition was more balanced.

In his address to the Fellowship of the Concerned in November of 1961 he argued:

Plato centuries ago said that the human personality is like a charioteer with two headstrong horses, each wanting to go in different directions, so that within our own individual lives we see this conflict and certainly when we come to the collective life of man, we see a strange badness. But in spite of this there is something in human nature that can respond to goodness.

King thought men have the capacity to turn from their evil ways. We too, should look to adopt this cautious optimism. If we are too cynical, we will not have much incentive to push for real positive change. I suspect we recognize capacities for both good and evil in our own hearts. I also suspect we have hope for ourselves. We don’t want to give up on ourselves. So too, we should not give up on others.

A Civil Disobedience That Recognizes A Law that Judges the Laws of Men

King’s recognition of our capacity for both good and evil requires good and evil to exist in the first place. King brought this reality to light in pointing out unjust laws. We are all able to recognize unjust laws when we see them, and Martin Luther King, Jr., helped us identify more than any other, what an unjust law entails in his Letter from Birmingham Jail:

How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law, or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law.

King was arrested for protesting the unfair treatment of blacks in Birmingham, Alabama when he wrote this letter. His life was itself a demonstration of the execution of unjust laws. He was jailed nearly 30 times in the course of his lifetime, most of which for reasons we would undoubtedly recognize as unjust. Yet we learn there is no basis to call any man-made law unjust unless we appeal to a higher moral law that sits in judgment of it.

To say God is the source of the moral law, as King claimed, is not to say you have to believe in God to recognize the existence of the moral law. This is like claiming you must believe God is the creator of the universe in order to recognize the universe exists. No. We can acknowledge the existence of both objective realities while at the same time debating the source or grounding of these objective realities.

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I believe God is the best explanation for the existence of both the universe and an objective moral realm, but that is another debate. King, at the very least, helps us see the necessity of this higher moral law. Armed with the knowledge that man is not the arbiter of the good, we can have the courage to peacefully resist unjust laws with confidence.

Redeem Your Opponents Rather Than Destroy Them

It was also out of this cautious yet optimistic view of human nature that King sought to win over the hearts and consciences of those who opposed him. Rather than “defeat” his enemies, King sought to redeem them. He argued:

And so the non-violent resister never lets this idea go, that there is something within human nature that can respond to goodness. So that a Jesus of Nazareth or a Mohandas Gandhi can appeal to human beings and appeal to that element of goodness within them, and a Hitler can appeal to the element of evil within them. But we must never forget that there is something within human nature that can respond to goodness, that man is not totally depraved, to put it in theological terms, the image of God is never totally gone.

We, like Martin Luther King, should seek to give our opponents opportunities for redemption, not destruction. King encourages us to love others with agape love. “Agape is understanding, creative, redemptive, good will to all men. It is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return.” If we can love those who oppose us with the agape love King exhibited, we would have the tool necessary to develop the society of healing and fellowship King hoped for.

God’s Will Was King’s Dominant Aim

What was the source of King’s uncanny ability to love others in this sacrificial way? King himself claims the God of the Bible as the source. Speaking of the nature of agape love, King continues,

Theologians would say that it is the love of God operating in the human heart. So that when one rises to love on this level, he loves men not because he likes them, not because their ways appeal to him, but he loves every man because God loves him.

It was this preoccupation for God’s will that drove King to love his enemies until his last day. The night before he would be assassinated, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his final speech. Though those close to him noted he had spoken these words on other occasions, you cannot help but think them prophetic:

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the Promised Land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

Perhaps if we make God’s will the aim for our lives, we will be able to effect change we didn’t think possible; in others as well as ourselves.


The Trump Economy, the Anti-Trump Media, and His Worst Enemy

The Stream - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 10:00

The economy is extraordinary. Even media skeptical, or even hostile, to President Trump have to admit this. 

Trump’s Triumphs

"Bright Outlook for Economy and Stocks," cries the respected financial paper Barron's. CNBC says "Trump's economy" is providing a rate of growth "unlike anything seen in 13 years." 

"U.S. Job Market's Strength Is Allowing More to Share in Pay Gains," announces the New York Times. I imagine the headline writer had to grit his teeth to draft it, given the Times' constant hostility toward anything good coming out of the current Administration.

Sadly, Mr. Trump's latest reported coarse comments and supposed payments to pornographic actresses (he denies all of these charges) are burying welcome news about our economic growth. But that news deserves to be made very clear:

The manufacturing sector, long seen by economists as a declining part of the economy, saw an increase in 184,000 jobs since last January. New manufacturing orders are "increasing at their fastest pace since January 2004." The stock market has gained 5,000 points since Mr. Trump took office, a historic 27 percent increase. Over the past year, due to the massive increase in stock values, "some $6 trillion of wealth has been created for Americans." African-American unemployment is at 6.8 percent, the "lowest in 44 years." Many major firms are giving their employees bonuses or hourly-wage increases.

Since the new tax plan (for which not a single Democrat voted) was enacted into law, "the economic news has been overwhelmingly positive. The stock market smashed records. Job creation is up, and according to (the forecasting firm) Challenger, Gray and Christmas, job cut announcements last year were the fewest since 1990."

There's an expression that is in some use: "Party like it’s 1999!" It hearkens back to a year of memorable abundance. In future years, it's likely that the date will be changed to 2018.

Some Problems

Of course, in a fallen world, there are always issues. In America's case, some of them are very serious. Americans are not having enough children to sustain an adequate workforce for our future needs. Social Security and Medicare need market-based modernization. Debt and deficit are like undertakers waiting in the wings.

But the reality is that unlike any period for decades, real economic growth and its benefits with respect to job creation, higher incomes, and total compensation is here.

Why isn't there more celebration?

Negative Media

A major reason is the media. The press thrives on controversy. Disaster, conflict, dark undersides: These are the things that sell papers, raise ratings, generate retweets.

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But -- more crucially -- the media, overwhelmingly, cannot stand Donald Trump.

This is hardly a news flash to conservatives. Many of us are troubled by Mr. Trump's past conduct and current tendency to say outlandish things. But the relentless attacks on him not only diminish him in the eyes of all Americans. They displace other, important, and, yes, encouraging news.

In October, Pew Research published a study showing that "62 percent of the coverage (of President Trump) was negative and only 5 percent was positive. In contrast, President Barack Obama’s coverage in early 2009 was 42 percent positive and 20 percent negative."

Media bias is anything but a new story. That it is so evident in the coverage of the current President is hard to debate. Some of the coverage of Mr. Trump is so obviously full of contempt that discernment isn't needed to find it. 

As much as journalists hate being accused of bias, many of them deserve it -- and some don't really seem to care. They use their continued outrage that Donald Trump is president as a justification for hateful coverage of him. They are now more propagandists than reporters. And they are fine being just that.

His Own Worst Enemy

But Mr. Trump is often his own worst enemy. Publicly attacking members of his own Cabinet and calling people names are regular occurrences. His insensitivity to issues of race and ethnicity, among other things, is also difficult for many who want a President to be proud of.

I like much of what President Trump has done. Most of it, in fact. I remain, every day, grateful that Hillary Clinton is not nor ever will be President. Mr. Trump deserves a far bigger break than his relentless, almost pathological critics will ever give him. The economy is one of the principal things for which he deserves substantial credit.

A man of his temperament, age and experience is unlikely to change. Without Christ, that is. He Who can raise the dead can restrain a mouth and transform a heart.

To which end, let us pray for the President of the United States.

Military Photo of the Day: Besmaya Training Complex in Iraq

The Stream - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 08:00

A U.S. Army soldier speaks to Iraqi Border Guard Forces on January 3, 2018, at the Besmaya Training Complex in Iraq.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to the hundreds of thousands of African-Americans serving in the U.S. military. We are grateful for your sacrifices.





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'American Heroes' Invoke 25th Amendment, Remove 'Unfit' President in Liberal Fantasy Show

NewsBusters - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 07:28
<p>It's finally happened! The 25th Amendment has been invoked and an unstable president removed from the White House! Unfortunately for liberals, however, that fantasy only occurred in the world of CBS's <em>Madam Secretary </em>which showed a newfound respect for our founders and Constitution.</p>

'Shameless' Crosses New Line with 'Church of Gay Jesus'

NewsBusters - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 07:16
<p>As the latest season of <em>Shameless</em> nears its conclusion, they're working hard to make sure no Christians will be watching next year. In the January 14 episode "Church of Gay Jesus," Ian (Cameron Monaghan) finds that he is getting more and more famous for being a guy who will "just kind of show up to these conversion things and argue with assholes," and his dad Frank (William H. Macy) decides to cash in.</p>

CBS Police Drama Portrays Courage and Compassion of Officers in Midst of 'Anti-Cop Sentiment'

NewsBusters - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 06:24
<p>CBS’s cop drama <em>Blue Bloods </em>once again did a masterful job of defending the honor and sacrifice of hardworking police officers while addressing the controversial topic of race relations and the hostile, thankless environment today’s officers must work in.</p>

Christian Lead Turns Atheist in Premiere of 'Crashing'

NewsBusters - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 05:35
<p>The premiere episode of the new season of HBO’s <em>Crashing</em> took a hard turn from its original, pro-Christian season. Sunday’s second season premiere, “The Atheist,” had formerly Christian Pete Holmes lose his faith after one conversation at a bar with famous magician and atheist Penn Jillette. The conversation between the two begins humorously, but quickly turns into a harsh interrogation, with Penn asking, “You actually believe that there's a being that cares about, forgive me, but your masturbation?” As per usual with liberal TV, the Christian can only defend his faith by claiming that it provides him with a comfortable “certainty” and claiming, “This is all I have."</p>

Get Ready for Athlete Activism to Snowball, Says Blogger for The Undefeated

NewsBusters - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 03:18
<p>Despite its unpopularity with the public, sports fans can expect more athlete activism ahead, says Jesse Washington, senior writer for ESPN's black blog, <em>The Undefeated. </em>Appearing as a guest on ESPN Radio's The Sporting Life with fellow leftist Jeremy Schaap, Washington said he expects activism to proliferate.</p>

Ben Carson: Martin Luther King’s Message is ‘Urgently Needed to Heal the Divisions’ Now

The Stream - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 03:00

Ben Carson praised Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy Friday at the White House, where President Donald Trump signed a proclamation honoring the civil rights leader.

"I thank you for signing legislation to designate the birthplace, church, and tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King as a national historic park," Carson said at the White House ceremony. "His monumental struggle for civil rights earned these places in his life, faith, and death, the same honor as Mount Vernon and that famous, humble log cabin in Illinois."

Carson, now the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said King's life and death impacted him as a young person.

"This April, we will observe the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination," Carson said, adding:

I remember so vividly that day, as a high school student in Detroit. Far from silencing his dream, death wrought him immortal in the American heart. His message of equality, justice, and the common dignity of man resounds today, urgently needed to heal the divisions of our age.

The legacy of the civil rights leader should shape the character of society today, Carson said.

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"Today we honor the legacy of the man who marched on Washington, for jobs and freedom, achieving both for millions of Americans of all races and backgrounds," Carson said. "But his legacy also calls us to remember, where these ideas, equality, freedom liberty, get their power. Our good efforts alone are not enough to lend them meaning."

Carson reinforced King's stance on the importance of character for equality in humanity.

For by what shall I be called equal to another man? It cannot be by wealth, for there will always be one richer than me, it cannot be by strength, for there will always be one stronger than me, it cannot be by success or happiness or beauty, or any other pieces of the human condition which are distributed through providence. So perhaps providence alone is the answer.

He quoted the Declaration of Independence to illustrate the importance of providence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


Rachel del Guidice is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation's Young Leaders Program.

Copyright 2018 The Daily Signal

Pro-Trump Pundit on NPR: Top Immigrants 'Treated Worse Than the Tsarnaev Family'

NewsBusters - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 02:29
<p>In the midst of reports of the president’s unfortunate reference to immigration from “s---hole” countries, the <em>PBS NewsHour </em>analysts were agreeing with each other on everything on Friday, but NPR’s Week in Review segment brought listeners an actual debate. Conservative <em>Orange County Register</em> columnist John Phillips was back to shock NPR snobs with a pro-Trump set of arguments. </p>

NY Times and CNN Take Their Anti-Trump Psychobabble to the Dogs

NewsBusters - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 01:09
<p>In a January 8 <em>New York Times</em> column, novelist and self-proclaimed dog lover Jennifer Weiner (rhymes with "diner") showed that she has problems with the Trump family not owning a dog. In the process, she lied like one about Trump's attitude towards the family pets of Vice President Mike Pence, and repeated the lie on Saturday when she appeared on Michael Smerconish's CNN show.</p>

Trump Says Program to Protect ‘Dreamers’ is ‘Probably Dead’

The Stream - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 23:09

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- President Donald Trump said Sunday that a program that protects immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children is “probably dead,” casting a cloud over already tenuous negotiations just days before a deadline on a government funding deal that Democrats have tied to immigration.

At issue is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created by President Barack Obama, via executive order, to shield hundreds of thousands of these individuals, known as “Dreamers,” from deportation. Trump, who has taken a hard stance against illegal immigration, announced last year that he will end the program unless Congress comes up with a solution by March.

“DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military,” the Republican president tweeted. “I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in through a system based on MERIT. No more Lotteries! #AMERICA FIRST.”

Republicans and Democrats were already at odds over funding the government, and the negotiations became more complicated after Democrats -- whose votes are needed to pass a government funding bill -- insisted immigration be included. Government funding expires midnight Friday without a deal in place, and some government functions will begin to go dark.

Further roiling the talks are comments by Trump during an Oval Office meeting in which he questioned the need to admit more Haitians to the U.S., along with Africans from “s***hole” countries, according to people briefed on the conversation but not authorized to describe it publicly. He also said in the Thursday meeting he would prefer immigrants from countries like Norway instead. The White House has not denied that Trump said the vulgarity though Trump did push back on some depictions of the meeting.

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A confidant of Trump’s told The Associated Press that the president spent Thursday evening calling friends and outside advisers to judge their reaction on his inflammatory remarks. Trump wasn’t apologetic and denied he was racist, instead blaming the media for distorting his meaning, said the confidant, who wasn’t authorized to disclose a private conversation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The president also rejected as insufficient an immigration deal drafted by the bipartisan group of lawmakers who attended that meeting. The deal had included a pathway to citizenship for the “Dreamers” that would take up to 12 years, as well as $1.6 billion for border security, including Trump’s promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump’s staunchest supporters consider any route to citizenship for the “Dreamers” amnesty for lawbreakers.

The president has said any deal must include funding for the wall as well as changes to make the immigration system more merit-based.

Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, the first black female Republican in Congress and the daughter of Haitian immigrants, denounced Trump’s comments and called on him to apologize. “I think that would show real leadership,” she said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., who was at Thursday’s Oval Office meeting, insisted Sunday that Trump did not say the vulgarity in referring to African countries.

“I am telling you that he did not use that word. And I’m telling you it’s a gross misrepresentation,” Perdue said on ABC’s This Week. He said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., were mistaken in indicating earlier that that was the case.

Perdue and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., had issued a joint statement Friday saying they “do not recall the President saying those comments specifically.” Cotton said Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation that he “didn’t hear” the vulgar word used.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who also attended Thursday’s meeting at the Oval Office, said, “I don’t recall that specific phrase being used.”

Nielsen did dispute, however, Trump’s assertion that DACA was “probably dead.”

“I do not believe DACA is dead,” Nielsen said on Fox News Sunday. She said that the bipartisan proposal rejected by Trump did not address core security issues facing her department and that Trump’s administration was not interested in “half measures.”

Perdue said that “the potential is there” for a deal to protect the “Dreamers” but that Democrats needed to get serious.


Associated Press writer Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report.


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Southern States Join to Promote Civil Rights Tourism

The Stream - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 22:24

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Southern states that once fought to maintain racial segregation are now banding together to promote civil rights tourism at sites including the building where the Confederacy was born and the motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died.

Fourteen states stretching from Kansas to Delaware, including all of the Deep South, are joining to promote the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, which will highlight about 130 sites linked to the modern civil rights movement. The joint effort is being unveiled as part of the MLK holiday weekend.

Individual Southern states have used such promotions for years, beginning with a black history trail launched by Alabama in the 1980s, but never before have they joined together in a single push to bolster civil rights tourism, said Lee Sentell, a leader of the effort.

“Everyone wants to showcase their landmarks. For the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, we’re saying ‘What happened here changed the world,'” said Sentell, Alabama’s tourism director.

Most states participating in the promotion are part of the Atlanta-based Travel South USA, which is funded by state tourism agencies to lure visitors to the region. The organization has launched and is placing advertisements in national magazines to promote the trail.

Landmarks on the trial include churches, courthouses, schools, businesses and other sites that played a role in the civil rights movement in the 1950s and ’60s, plus memorials and museums that document the period.

Some of the sites on the list are familiar, like Alabama’s Capitol.

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Delegates met in the white-domed building to form the Confederate States of America in 1861, and King spoke outside the building at the end of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march in 1965. The trail also features the National Civil Rights Museum, located at the Lorraine Motel where King was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, and the MLK National Historic Historic Site in Atlanta.

Other locations are less well-known, like schools in Topeka, Kansas, that were part of the Brown vs. Board of Education case that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court decision outlawing segregated schools in 1954, or Howard High School of Technology, part of another desegregation case in Wilmington, Delaware.

The trail includes locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. It also features the District of Columbia, with attractions including the Lincoln Memorial, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the U.S. Supreme Court building.

The trail is the product of a suggestion made two years ago by then-National Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis, who wanted historians to document surviving civil rights landmarks, Sentell said. Researchers at Georgia State University located 60 sites, and states added about 70 more.

Alabama, which was the site of racial violence and multiple civil rights protests in the early 1960s, has the most locations featured on the trail at 29. That doesn’t include a new memorial to lynching victims scheduled to open later this year in Montgomery.

Sentell said the main goal of the trial is “to get tourists to cross state lines and to learn about things that happened in various cities.”

“If someone is going to Montgomery and Selma, and we want them to go to Jackson, Mississippi, to learn about the story there and go to the Mississippi Delta and then to Memphis,” he said. European visitors are a primary target of the campaign, he said.

It’s unclear exactly how many tourists visit sites related to the civil rights movement each year, but as many as 1.2 million people paid for admission at locations which charge admission last year in 12 Southern states, Sentell said.


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