What is Christian Nationalism? An Interesting CNN Segment Delved Into It

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An interesting segment on CNN’s Reliable Sources show (07/31/22) delved into the new hot political topic, and that is, Christian Nationalism. So what is Christian Nationalism? Host Brian Stelter brought in Katherine Stewart, who has studied this topic for years, to shed some light on the issue. Stewart is the author of the book “The Power Worshippers–Inside The Dangerous Rise Of Religious Nationalism”.

This intro by host Brian Stelter is important for establishing the context for the ensuing debate:“Roughly 70% of Americans identify as Christian, and this segment is not about most of them. This segment is about the rise of a White Christian Nationalist movement in the U.S. It’s emerging in the news more and more, you are probably hearing the term Christian Nationalism more and more. Here is one expert’s definition:’Christian Nationalism is the belief that the American nation is defined by Christianity, and that the government should take active steps to keep it that way.’ Many observers feel that would threaten our diverse, healthy democracy in the U.S. We are seeing some Republicans in the U.S. embrace the term Christian Nationalism, for example [Reps] Marjorie Taylor Greene…Lauren Boebert…”

Here’s how Katherine Stewart defined Christian Nationalism (video at ):“Christian Nationalism is basically the idea that America was founded as a so-called Christian nation, our law should be based on the Bible, and supposedly right-thinking believers need to reclaim America’s past.”

Stewart said this is dangerous because “it’s a radically anti-democratic ideology. It rejects the principles of pluralism and equality, that represent the best of the American promise. The movement, it’s not just an ideology, it’s also an organized quest for political power.. it’s a political movement. This movement has built up…a sort of a dense organizational infrastructure over decades, that includes right wing policy groups, legal advocacy groups, networking initiatives, that get the leadership on the same page…[including] Supreme Court Justices.”

Stewart went on to expound on her argument re the U.S. Supreme Court saying, all the six conservative justices on the high court are either current or former members of the Federalist Society, which she says “is an organization that plays an outsized role in shaping our courts.” Just so you know, the Federalist Society is part of the “dense organizational infrastructure” Stewart alluded to earlier.

Stewart said Trump’s presidency was key to the Christian Nationalist movement because he “threw open the doors to leaders of this movement. It’s a leadership-driven movement, it’s not defined by the attitudes of the rank and file. Those attitudes are actually shaped by the leadership of the movement. He [Trump] offered them unprecedented political access, offered them of course the justices they wanted. This is a movement that represents the minority of our country. Most American Christians reject the politics of conquest and division this movement represents.”

There’s no other way to interpret Katherine Stewart’s remarks on CNN’s Reliable Sources other than(I’ll be happy to stand corrected of course), power hungry conservatives have schemed for decades on how to use Chritianity to achieve political power, and they finally got their opening with the Trump presidency. Trump elevated the leaders of this movement, and what we’re witnessing today with Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and others, are simply efforts to make Christian Nationalism a mainstream movement in America. Remember, as Katen Stewart correctly pointed out, a majority of Christians don’t agree with this effort to essentially hijack Christianity for political gain.

The CNN segment singled out Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene(R-GA) and Lauren Boebert(R-CO) as illustrations of this budding Christian Nationalist movement, but if anyone out there is looking for the classic example to date, it is, in my humble opinion, none other than former Arkansas Governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, a former Pastor, who has now fully embraced Trumpism. Mike Huckabee not only got his daughter Sarah to work in Trump’s White House, but also made sure she secured Trump’s endorsement for her run for Arkansas Governor, a job she is largely expected to bag.

Huckabee has also recently authored “christian” books themed around the Trump presidency. If Mike Huckabee, and his daughter Sarah for that matter, are not the classic examples of the abuse-Christianity-for-political-power-movement, I don’t know who is.

An important piece of advice Karen Stewart gave to the mainstream media when covering this Christian Nationalism movement, is to never forget that it is a leadership-driven movement. In other words, don’t focus too much on what the rank and file go out there and do in furtherance of the movement(often viral videos on social media attacking gays, pro-choice activists, etc), but rather, on the leaders of the movement, who indoctrinate them into doing this stuff. Hmm, very interesting.

Bottom line folks, many Christians, including Yours Truly, regarded former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura (Texas pride–deal with it), as very good representations of a Christian family–despite whatever differences one might have had with their political beliefs. Interestingly, Trump, the leader of the “christian” nationalist movement, has never humbled himself to say anything good about the God-fearing Bushes. That, my friends, is all you need to know about this “christian” nationalist movement. It is anything, but Christian.

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Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro’s Interview On Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Show

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Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson show (06/30/22)

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro sat down with visiting Fox News host Tucker Carlson (06/30/22) for a wide ranging, and quite interesting interview, that covered issues such as his upcoming reelection fight, China’s expansion into Latin America, COVID, Christianity, the media, LGBTQ rights, and even a pitch by Tucker Carlson to Bolsonaro to allow Fox News in Brazil (yeah, he really did that, I promise).

President Bolsonaro and Hungary’s President Viktor Orban, are two notable world leaders who have struck a resonance with Trump’s wing of the Republican Party, which appears to be on a path towards Christian Nationalism. Yours Truly was therefore very interested to hear what President Bolsonaro had to say regarding a whole host of issues, and so should you.

The first topic of discussion was Bolsonaro’s very interesting, even miraculous rise to the presidency. Here’s how he described it (video at 5:22): “My election itself was almost a miracle. I had nothing going for me to be elected. I was just an isolated member of Congress, known as the lower segment of national Congress in Brazil. I conducted my campaign anchored on a Biblical passage John 3:33–‘Thou shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’ The media never gave me any visibility or space, much to the contrary, they attacked me all the time throughout the campaign. On 09/06/2018, on the eve of the election, I suffered an attempted assassination. Doctors said my survival was a miracle. The same is true for my election, and a very important factor which you may perhaps not be aware of, is the fact that Brazil is a country that upon taking office as the President, the incumbent President surrenders strategic positions in the cabinet and political parties, including the cabinet ministries, state banks, state companies. I did not do that.”

Bolsonaro then went on to attack his left wing opponent, Lula da Silva, using strikingly similar attacks you hear Republicans in the United States leveling against Democrats. Bolsonaro, for example insinuated that the left was planning to rig the upcoming elections, that they are using the pandemic to bring down his administration, and importantly, that if the left defeats him, they will never lose any election again after that–an argument strikingly similar to the one used by former President Trump during his 2020 reelection campaign, and after his loss to Joe Biden. Bolsonaro then went on to list a long laundry list of Republican-like attacks against Lula/the left wing; that they want unfettered abortions, they are soft on crime, that the left is anti-freedom, that the left wants to disarm the public (Brazil’s “second amendment”, I guess), that the left wants amnesty, that the left is manufacturing opinion polls which show him losing, so as to suppress his vote. Very interesting indeed.

Asked how he plans to win reelection despite what Tucker Carlson characterized as “the entire Brazilian media” against him, Bolsonaro responded (11:25): “Yes, there is the weight of the media against me. True, but social media has been doing a great job in Brazil. My social media channels are the most interactive in the world. I believe that today we have 40% of the population who has not yet expressed their voting intentions. Most of the voters we believe, will vote for me in the elections.”

Tucker then pulled the quintessential “shameless plug” and pitched Fox News to President Bolsonaro (11:49): “Why is there no Fox News in Brazil? CNN is here, you got over 50 million votes in the last elections, CNN’s a political player here, so is Globo, but there’s no TV channel for your voter?” Bolsonaro responded to Tucker Carlson’s pitch saying (12:00): “Well if I could launch an appeal for you, I can only say that you will be the most welcome in Brazil. You will be an excellent counterpart to the other vehicles or outlets. There are very few media outlets that are really unbiased in Brazil.” Hmm, again sounds awfully similar to what Republicans say in the U.S.

Asked how he felt about opposition to him, not only inside Brazil, but also from virtually all the neighboring countries, Bolsonaro gave this interesting answer (12:50): “Brazil is an economic powerhouse in South America. The 10 countries with which we have political, geopolitical, physical borders are not that economically strong as compared to Brazil. We are what you might describe as a cherry on the cake. If Brazil goes down or collapses, the whole of South America will go down, and be colored red(bloodshed) if you understand…”

The interview then moved to the topic that shot President Bolsonaro into the international spotlight, and that is, his opposition/refusal to take the COVID vaccine at a time when COVID cases were sky high in Brazil. This move endeared him to anti-vaxxer movements worldwide, but alienated him from Western governments who were at that time (height of the pandemic), desperately trying to get sufficient numbers of their populations vaccinated.

Asked why he refused to take the COVID vaccine, here’s how he responded (22:05 ): “As I said before, maybe I was the only head of state in the world who did not accept restrictive measures, or was against restrictive measures, and perhaps one of the few heads of state in the world who did not take the vaccine because I had already contracted the virus. The left was so worried about taking me out of office that they wanted me to take the vaccine, and I said well, ‘let me die, just let me die then and choose my policy.’ In South America we are the one country that best addressed the issue involving the need for vaccines, and we very properly and adequately equipped our hospitals with equipment and medications, and I believe we have pretty much turned the page there.”

To be clear, Bolsonaro’s argument was that he did not need a COVID vaccine because he had already contracted the virus. He therefore sought medications instead (including in Africa), that were being advertised at the time as cures for COVID. He says even though he was personally against the vaccines, he did make them readily available to the Brazilian public. He also said that part of his reluctance to take the vaccines, was the fine print from the vaccine manufacturers, which said they were not responsible for any side effects from their vaccines.

The interview then moved on to religion, and specifically, Christianity. Asked how he thought his opponent Lula and the left viewed Christianity, Bolsonaro responded (35:27): “The left wing, I mean the vast majority of them are atheists. They do not respect anything. They criticize priests and pastors and Lula himself has said that he will, if elected, he will place priests and pastors and the military in their rightful place, or in the right place in society. For instance, when the U.S. Supreme Court recently changed its understanding and ruling on abortion, the left wing in Brazil did not like that. We did like the new stance taken by the U.S. Supreme Court because we defend life from its very conception, but not so among the left wing people and Lula. Lula and the left wing, they often say that abortion is a matter of public health, and it is the woman that should decide. We believe that the life that has been given to a woman does not belong to the woman, and that is a stance espoused by our religion.” Hmm, interesting. Is this the TrumpGOP stance on abortion, too?

Asked about racism in Brazil, Bolsonaro, much like Republicans in the United States, blamed it on weaponized identity politics pushed by the left. He specifically said this about identity politics (38:17) :“It is a way to divide and conquer. Even before Lula took office in 2003, the left wing would already preach that, I mean, the division of people along identity lines such as Blacks and Whites, and employers and employees, and people from northeastern Brazil vis-a-vis southern Brazil. They have gained followers as a result of that approach, and the major divisionary split today is between employers and employees…and they say that, ‘hey you are not doing well today because of your employer’, and that divide approach or policy… has gained them at least one-fourth of the Brazil population. They have always been supported by at least one-fourth of the Brazilian population. My father-in-Law is…a Black man, and I am a blue-eyed White man. Racism is there in Brazil, yes, but not as it is often described. Most of our main football (soccer) players are, you know, people of African descent, no worries.”

The topic then shifted to gun control, where he was asked why he chose to make it easier for Brazilians to acquire firearms. He responded (39:25) :”I was unable to actually change the Brazilian law, but by means of a presidential decree, and also through ministerial orders, we interpreted the existing legislation as best as possible, and there has been a substantial increase in the number of people who legally own firearms in Brazil, and the consequences you see in the Brazilian media, is a drop in the number of people who are killed by firearms in Brazil. We understand that once people get armed, the crooks, the thieves will think twice before they break into other people’s property. If of course the number had gone up, I would be blamed, but just the opposite is going on today, and if reelected, if everything goes well, we will have a substantial support in Congress, and we’ll be able to pass laws on firearms, very much along the same lines as in the U.S.”

The topic then shifted to the Amazon rain forest, and specifically, whether it was being destroyed (deforestation) at an alarming rate causing global climate problems. Climate activists blame Bolsonaro’s administration for the deforestation. Here’s what Bolsonaro said when asked whether the Amazon was being destroyed at the high rates claimed by the news media (46:25): “No, that is not true. Two-thirds of the Brazilian territory are currently preserved, and remain pristine, just as they were back in the 1500s when this country was discovered by the Portuguese. The criminal acts that do happen, we will not deny that, are ultimately given too much visibility because there is a huge interest in making our sovereignty over the Amazonian region a relative fact, or perceived in a relative light. I met with President Putin and thanked him because on two occasions when this issue was discussed with other countries, he stated that the Amazon region belongs to the Brazilian people, not to anyone else. The Amazon region is as vast as eastern Europe. It’s huge, it’s wonderful, it’s just not possible to, you know, take care of every square meter in the Amazon region. There is illegal deforestation, yes, there are fire outbreaks, yes, but not at the rate that is announced out there. California itself always you know, catches fire, and it’s not given that much visibility, French Guyana likewise, I mean, you can’t possibly set a rain forest to fire, but there is illegal deforestation, yes, and we are working to tackle that.”

Asked about criticism regarding the Amazon, by celebrities-turned-climate activists, like Mark Ruffalo, Bolsonaro said (49:30):”These are people who do not understand anything about Brazil. I think these people have never been to the Amazon region, and I would actually invite them to come to the Amazon region, and overfly the region…They talk about the Amazon region because it’s trendy, it’s a fad. I mean, in Europe, if someone says that the Amazon region is not being devastated, they are politically doomed to fiasco. So, it’s politically good for them, you know, the criticism yields power, yields media visibility, yields votes, and that’s what celebrities feed on. They are not at all familiar with the Amazon region. They are not at all knowledgeable about the region, and the difficulty of investing in it. They just criticize it because it’s a fad.”

Asked whether he has enjoyed being President of Brazil, Bolsonaro said (50:30): “I must admit, you know, I first launched myself as a candidate, of course I intended to become the President, but I was all too aware of the challenges and the difficulties, and the experiences we have undergone, or I have undergone, I could never ever have imagined what it would look like, but I am comforted by the fact that the other candidate, the Workers Party candidate, Haddad, if he had won, Brazil would certainly be what Venezuela is today. So that’s a source of comfort to me, and that encourages me to say to the population that God is the one who has placed me where I am today…A message to the Americans–God, the homeland, family and freedom.”

The final topic of discussion was China, which Tucker Carlson said, was the primary reason for his visit to Brazil. Carlson contends that China is on a quest to colonize Africa and S. America–basically invest heavily in these regions and then take them over as colonies.

Tucker Carlson(58:50): “Given your natural resources, are you worried about the level of Chinese investment in Brazil.”

Bolsonaro:”I would very much like the Americans to also take part in more investments in Brazil. We of course have trade flows with China, and they have of course at least at first shown interest in ensuring their food security.”

Bottom line folks, I came out with the impression that President Bolsonaro is trying very hard to identify himself with the Republican Party in the United States, and specifically,, Trump’s wing of the party. His campaign message appears to be:“If you want Brazil to be God-fearing, rich, prosperous, and free, like the United States, vote for me. If Lula wins, Brazil will become a socialist nation and descend into bloodshed. I am the only one standing between Brazil and socialism/bloodshed, so vote wisely.” Will this campaign pitch be enough to earn Bolsonaro a reelection victory? Hmm, we’ll see what happens.

***Updated to include the fact that on 08/04/2022, Hungary’s President Viktor Orban addressed the CPAC Conference in Dallas, Texas. Orban and Bolsonaro appear to be playing from the same playbook re American conservatives–Christian Nationalism ***

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Uvalde Police Enlisted A Biker Group To Harass Members Of The Media

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Members of a Texas biker group seemingly harassing a photojournalist covering the Uvalde school shooting incident

As if the senseless massacre of 19 innocent fourth graders, and two of their teachers in their classrooms in Uvalde Texas is not shocking enough, we now find out that the people whose job it was to keep the little kids safe, Uvalde police, are also caught up in a shocking story of their own–an attempted cover up. Norah Lopez, Executive Editor of the San Antonio Express-News, and President of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, said on CNN’s Reliable  Sources(06/05/22) that police in Uvalde have apparently enlisted a biker group to harass and intimidate journalists trying to make sense of their(police)conflicting public statements regarding the shooting–a shocking development indeed. Needless to say, this Uvalde incident has also raised serious questions as to whether moving forward, the mainstream media should treat initial incident reports from police as Gospel truth, as it sadly happens often.

Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter opened the segment with these remarks:“The children had to hide from the attacker at Robb Elementary. They had to run, they had to jump, they had to hide so they would not be shot to pieces. And now it’s the police that are hiding. They are hiding from the press. They have to hide from what? The truth? The public getting the truth?”

Stelter continued:“I think everybody is pretty angry at this point, some truly shocking state of affairs in Texas, because at first the officials misled the public, shared incorrect information about the massacre, now they are not sharing much at all. In Uvalde this week, reporters have been stonewalled, doors shut in their faces, some even threatened with arrest just for standing on school property…Most outrageous of all, police apparently sent some bikers to intimidate journalists and prevent them from doing their jobs…”

Asked by host Stelter whether, given what has transpired thus far, the public can trust anything they are told by law enforcement in Uvalde, Norah Lopez responded(video at 1:31):“It’s become increasingly difficult for us to trust what authorities and what the police are telling us, and as a former police reporter, that’s just extraordinary to me that I’m actually saying that, because I’ve always trusted what the police was telling us, what the sergent on duty was telling you was happening. But every day it seems like we get one more little bit of information that directly contradicts what was initially told to us…They are trying to control the narrative, it looks like, keeping us away from talking to people who can help clarify the situation, and what’s happening on the ground.”

There’s no other way to interpret Norah Lopez’s statements on CNN(I’ll be happy to stand corrected of course) other than police in Uvalde are not only lying to the media about circumstances surrounding the horrific shooting at Robb Elementary School, but they are shockingly, also preventing the media from getting the truth directly from the grieving families. The extent of the attempted cover up is so severe, that they’ve even enlisted a biker group to intimidate and harass journalists who try to talk directly to the grieving families. This is truly shocking, even by Texas standards, where reports of these proxy harassment tactics by law enforcement are prevalent. For law enforcement in Uvalde to engage in such despicable conduct towards the media, knowing full well that the eyes of the world are currently on the city, speaks to a much deeper problem with Uvalde Police Department specifically, and Texas law enforcement generally–a culture of impunity.

Put another way. It’s one thing for Texas law enforcement to enlist some biker gang to harass some local whistleblower who say, sued the department, or exposed some shady dealings within the department(quite common in Texas), but when you start pulling such moves on the mainstream media, covering a huge national story, then reasonable people will agree that something is seriously wrong with the police department.

Norah Lopez specifically said regarding the biker harassment(video at 3:21):“The bikers are the ones who told us that they were there on the invitation of the police…We’ve tried to reach out to the police chief to register these concerns about how they are treating the media out there. We’ve not gotten a response from them yet. It has just been a really incredible difficult situation the way they are trying to control access…Reporters are getting told ‘You can’t be here, this is private property’…”

According to Nora, the bikers are apparently also discouraging families who are willing to speak to the media, from doing so. So they are not just harassing members of the media, they are also actively discouraging  grieving families who wish to speak to the media from doing so. A sad state of affairs indeed.

Bottom line folks, proxy harassment and intimidation by Texas law enforcement, towards those who raise issues that cast them in negative light–lawsuits, grievances etc–is nothing new. Reasonable people will agree however, that when such despicable police tactics are directed towards members of the media, just trying to do their job covering a huge story of national/international significance–the senseless massacre of 19 elementary school children and two teachers in their classrooms–then the ethical breach is so flagrant, that it calls for an immediate dismissal of the officers involved. Simply put, a thorough investigation needs to be conducted into who in the Uvalde Police Department, brought in the bikers to harass journalists, after which the officers implicated need to be fired immediately.  

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WaPo’s Taylor Lorenz Addresses Charges That She Doxxed A Conservative Twitter Influencer

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Washington Post’s Columnist Taylor Lorenz has caused a lot of uproar from conservatives after she published identifying details about the creator of a prominent conservative influencer on Twitter. Conservatives have since lashed out at Lorenz, accusing her of unethical doxxing. Lorenz denies the doxxing accusations, arguing that because the Twitter account in question(“Libs of TikTok”) is used to go after LGBTQ personalities, knowledge of the person behind the account is newsworthy. She appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources(04/24/22) to defend her position.

Host Brian Stelter(video at 3:05):“So there are several arguments against your article. One is that this person’s identity is simply not newsworthy, that it doesn’t matter who this anonymous conservative woman is, and that you naming her is targeting her, trying to hurt her. What do you say to those folks?”

Taylor Lorenz:“Well, first of all, this woman is targeting LGBTQ folks. I mean, she brags about getting multiple teachers fired. The entire goal of the account is to direct hate to Trans and LGBTQ people. She has said that she doesn’t believe gay people who come out should be allowed to teach children, she attacked the Trevor Project calling it a ‘groomer’ organization, so I don’t know what she’s talking about in that sense…I think you can have concern about what your children are learning in school, and not follow an LGBTQ hate account that the whole goal is to get Trans and LGBTQ people sort of excluded from public life, and drive these very harmful narratives around Trans people…Those are two very very very very different things. She’s also talked about mobilizing her base to run for local school boards, and is collecting email lists which 100% are going to be used for political purposes, so this is a political force, this is an influential media force, the idea that this woman is not newsworthy is nonsense…I cover influencers for a living and I’m telling you this woman is more influential than a lot of people that I cover…the right will make those arguments because they don’t want scrutiny.”

So there you have it, folks. Team “Libs of TiKTok” is claiming unethical doxxing by WaPo’s Taylor Lorenz, and TeamLorenz is countering with the argument that “Libs of TikTok”, and right wingers generally, are simply afraid of legitimate scrutiny.

$1 million question now is, what does TeamPublic think?

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Tulsi Gabbard Issues Cease And Desist Letters Against Senator Romney, Keith Olbermann

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Former Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson show (04/20/22) where she revealed that she has issued cease and desist letters to Senator Mitt Romney(R-UT) and liberal media personality Keith Olbermann over treason accusations leveled at her by the two, for what they perceive as her support for Russia. Gabbard said treason is one of the most serious crimes in the United States, adding that the invocation of such a serious crime by Sen Romney and Olbermann, is only intended to scare her(and others), into silence–the so-called “chilling effect”. As you know, a cease and desist letter is a precursor to a lawsuit, so she’s basically telling Romney and Olbermann, “knock it off, or I’ll see you in federal court.”

Gabbard told host Tucker Carlson(video at 0:42): “As you mentioned, I still serve in the U.S. Army Reserves today, I’m a Lieutenant Colonel, and 19 years ago when I enlisted in the military, I took an oath to support and defend our constitution. I took that very same oath when I was elected to serve in Congress, where I served for 8 years. Senator Mitt Romney has taken that oath, as has every other member of Congress who has had the priviledge of serving, and if Mitt Romney had read the constitution, he would know that treason, the crime that he is accusing me of, that is punishable by death, is so serious, that our founders deemed it to be the only crime worthy of being defined in our constitution. So the situation we are facing here is a very serious one, not because its about me, but because it has a much bigger impact on our country. When powerful and influential people basically threaten and intimidate people into silence, as Mitt Romney, Keith Olbermann and others are doing, they are hoping to achieve that effect, that if anybody dare speak out against the government, that if anybody dares criticize whatever the permanent Washington establishment’s narrative is, then you’ll be smeared as a treasonous traitor”

So what do you think? Is Tulsi Gabbard right in standing up for freedom of speech, especially unpopular speech, or do you think the treason accusations are justified?

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Trump Lashes Out At AG Barr For Not Going After Hunter Biden

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Former President Donald Trump called into Fox News’ Sean Hannity show(04/13/22) where he among other things, lamented the weaponization of law enforcement for political purposes. Trump joked that in the last five years, he has gone through “more investigations than Al Capone, Jesse James and Billy the kid put together.” Yours Truly found this quite interesting because even though weaponization of the criminal justice system for political purposes is a legitimate topic of concern, Trump’s DOJ was brazenly political, especially under Attorney General William Barr. As a matter of fact, Trump admitted to host Sean Hannity that he was frustrated with AG Barr’s refusal to prosecute President Biden’s son Hunter, during the 2020 campaign season.

Trump specifically told Hannity(video at 32:00 onwards): “I’ve gone through in five years, more investigations than Al Capone, Jesse James and Billy the kid put together…They’ve weaponized law enforcement essentially, they’ve weaponized the AGs in the states..and district attorneys…I mean, it’s such a horrible thing that they are doing, and I just don’t think the people of the country are going to take it. but I just, based on past, I think probably nothing will happen[to Hunter Biden]. Look, we also had a chance, but Bill Barr, the Attorney General, didn’t want to be impeached, they[Democrats] were vicious with him…How do you not get impeached? You just sit back and relax and wait out for your term to end, and that’s what he did, and it was a sad thing and a sad day for this country, then he writes his crummy book, which was so false…He was so afraid of being impeached, that he refused to do his job.”

There’s no other way to interpret Trump’s remarks on Hannity other than, he was infuriated by his own AG Bill Barr, for not prosecuting Hunter Biden during the runup to the 2020 presidential elections, a move that Trump knew would give him political advantage over his opponent Joe Biden. This, needless to say, would have been the quintessential weaponization of the criminal justice system. Put another way, Trump is not concerned about the legitimate problem surrounding the weaponization of the criminal justice system, he is just mad that his own AG refused to go along with it when it came to Hunter Biden.

Bottom line folks, as we have seen with many other issues involving former President Trump, projection is always a major theme. As Trump is now complaining about weaponization of the criminal justice system, it must not be left unsaid that his own DOJ was notorious for that. Trump’s remarks also raise serious questions about the Hunter Biden criminal investigation. If Bill Barr was against the investigation while he was AG, why is he now saying on cable TV that Hunter should be investigated?

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Why Is Putin’s Mistress Living A Life Of Luxury In Switzerland Amid Sanctions?

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President Vladimir Putin with former Olympic Gymnast Alina Kabaeva, believed to be the mother of his four children, and currently living in Switzerland

An interesting segment on CNN’s Outfront w/Erin Burnett show(04/06/22) delved into Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s very secretive family ties, and the effect the recently imposed economic sanctions may have on them. According to Russia expert Alina Polyakova who was a guest on the show, Putin has two adult daughters, Katerina Tikhonova and Maria Putina, from his previous marriage to Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, who currently resides in the Netherlands. Alina Polyakova also dropped a bombshell on the show saying Putin’s current mistress, former Olympic Gymnast Alina Kabaeva, who he put in charge of a powerful Russia media group, is apparently living in luxury with his four children in Switzerland. Alina rightly wondered why the West has not targeted Kabaeva with the kind of stiff sanctions they’ve meted out to Russian Oligarchs worldwide?

She told host Erin Burnett: “Alina Kabaeva has been kept really like a state secret from the media, from everyone else. Reportedly, in her role as leading this media group, she makes something around $11 million a year, quite significant. There are reports that she lives in Switzerland with four of Putin’s children, supposedly two boys, and a set of twin girls that were born in Switzerland, presumably have Swiss passports, presumably she does as well. Putin as a former KGB agent sees close ties and personal connection as a potential vulnerability, which is why he is likely hiding her…he is keeping her as protected as possible because he knows that she can be used as leverage against him, so certainly, this in my view, is absolutely the time to hit Putin where it hurts, where he fears it the most, where he sees his vulnerability. The war in Ukraine is absolutely brutal and it’s frankly absurd that his closest partner, the mother of potentially four of his children is getting to live a luxurious life in Switzerland. That just doesn’t make sense.”

Spot on, Alina Polyakova, it makes zero sense. Switzerland should immediately revoke Alina Kabaeva’s citizenship and deport her, with her children, back to Russia. Whatever financial assets she has in Switzerland should remain in Switzerland, or preferably be used to assist with humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

Bottom line folks, the Biden administration and indeed all the democracy-loving Western governments, need to see to it that Putin’s family is not allowed to live in luxury overseas, as he butchers and maims Ukrainian families. As Alina Polyakova correctly stated, “this is absolutely the time to hit Putin where it hurts, where he fears it the most, where he sees his vulnerability.”

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New Jan 6th Video Shows Officers Being Attacked With Crutches, Flagpoles And Fists

The Justice Department has released a new troubling body cam video from the January 6th DC insurrection, which shows former President Trump’s supporters verbally assaulting, and attacking Capitol Police officers with crutches, flagpoles and fists. The video, which was aired on CNN’s OutFront with Erin Burnett (7/09/2021), yet again flies in the face of arguments by Republican politicians and their allies on Fox News, downplaying the January 6th incident as some form of made-up liberal myth, aimed at destroying Trump politically.

In the newly released video, the violent Trump supporters can be heard hurling verbal assaults like “f*ck you” and “f*cking traitor”, at the Capitol Police officers. According to host Erin Burnett, the officers had gone into the crowd to save the life of one of Trump’s supporters who had been trampled. The violent Trump thugs then turned on the officers, assaulting them with crutches, flag poles and fists. One of the officers, whose face appears on the video (with a Sheriff vest), sustained very serious injuries from the incident and according to Erin Burnett, “was hospitalized after the attack, needing staples in his head to stop the bleeding.”

Bottom line folks, these and other gruesome details from the January 6th incident, must be used to push back against the counter narrative currently being conjured up by congressional Republicans and their allies on Fox News, that January 6th was “no big deal”. More importantly, gruesome videos like these must be used by congressional Democrats to demand a complete and thorough investigation into the January 6th insurrection, so that all responsible parties, especially the behind-the-scene planners, are held to account. We owe this to the families of the Capitol Police officers, who will have to live with the trauma of January 6th for the rest of their lives. It’s the least we can do for them.

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NYT’s Maggie Haberman Addresses Backlash Over Trump Coverage

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman appeared on CNN NewDay (06/02/21), where she addressed the recent backlash on social media, over her reporting that former President Trump is telling his supporters he’ll be reinstated by August. Haberman, a constant target of liberals still seething with rage over her “role” in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss to Trump, took a lot of Twitter attacks from the same liberals, who accused her of helping deplatformed Trump spread his propaganda.

In her appearance on CNN’s NewDay, Haberman countered these accusations saying her reporting was newsworthy because it sheds light on the ongoing incitement by Trump and his allies(didn’t stop on Jan 6th). She also pushed back at her sharpest critics, Biden-loving liberals, who she said, have settled on an erroneous strategy of wishing Trump away. Haberman’s full segment on NewDay is available here, but the relevant clip is below

Haberman specifically said in response to her critics, “This is an ongoing incitement and I think that there’s a valid reason to use that term. Why people are attacking me for reporting this has always been a bit of a mystery. As I said before, people are in their own media ecosystems, and there are a lot of people around[President]Biden, and a lot of people who support Biden, who want to pretend that if they call Trump the former guy, and if you don’t say his name, that the only thing that would matter is if you give him attention. He’s the former President, he is in control of the Republican Party to a big extent, people in that party[Republican] are having a big debate that I would say is parallel to what we saw in 2015 which was, how do you deal with Trump, who according to Republican leaders at the time for the most part, had no chance of becoming the Republican nominee, and obviously that didn’t work out. Ignoring him was not the answer in 2015. Will it be the answer now? I guess we are going to find out….I think what a former President, and possible future nominee, as unlikely as that might be at the moment is saying…is newsworthy.”

Haberman is essentially arguing that whether liberals like it or not, Trump is still in many respects, the leader of the modern Republican Party, and what he says is newsworthy, especially in this case, where he appears to be inciting his supporters towards the same kind of violence we witnessed January 6th. She adds that efforts by establishment Republicans to ignore Trump into irrelevance in 2015, ended up with him scooping the GOP nomination and the presidency in 2016, and that it is foolhardy for liberals to repeat the same mistake, and expect a different outcome–probably her strongest argument.

Bottom line folks, even though I’m one of the aforementioned “liberals still seething with rage” over Haberman’s “role” in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss, I readily admit that on this issue, she’s absolutely right. As much as we liberals would like to wish Trump away, the fact of the matter is, he’s still in charge of the Republican Party. Where, as here, he appears to be inciting his supporters towards the same kind of violence we witnessed on January 6th, Maggie Haberman is being a good journalist in reporting that. Simply put, the Maggie-bashing on Twitter is totally unwarranted in this case.

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From George Floyd To Ronald Greene;The Epidemic Of Lying In Police Reports

George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police on 05/25/2020, will go down in history as one of the seminole moments in the push for policing reform, not just in the United States, but globally. It was one of those rare occasions where people on both sides of the police reform debate, after viewing video footage of the incident, agreed that there needs to be changes in the way police officials interract with people of color, and especially, Black people.

Another major takeaway from the George Floyd incident, that rarely gets it’s deserved mainstream media coverage, was the stark difference between how the Minneapolis Police Department(MPD) characterized the event in their police report, and what the public actually saw on the video footage. Simply put, but for the cell phone video footage from a teenage girl, the world would never know what really happened to George Floyd on that fateful day, even after going through the MPD incident report. Police Departments lying on police reports is a very serious issue, so it’s very encouraging to see the mainstream media beginning to address it as such, a good example being this CNN piece by Josh Campbell.

Josh Campbell’s piece highlights the cases of George Floyd, Walter Scott, Laquan McDonald, Breonna Taylor and Ronald Greene, all Black victims whose deaths at the hands of police, resulted in very stark differences between the narratives in the initial police reports, and video footage of the events. The initial police reports basically lied about what actually led to the deaths of these Black suspects in their custody, a sad state of affairs indeed. Naturally, this has raised two elephant-in-the-room questions among members of the public; (1) What else do police lie about? and (2) Is lying in police reports more prevalent than we think?

The latest incident involving Ronald Greene, where Louisiana State Patrol officers put out outright lies in their police report about the circumstances of Greene’s death, will certainly lead any reasonable person to conclude that lying in police reports, is probably more prevalent than the public wishes to admit. Think about that, Louisiana State Patrol officers had video footage of the event, yet continued lying to the public for two years. The truth about the incident only came out after a reporter dug into the story, forcing the release of the video footage. There is nothing to suggest that Louisiana State Patrol officers would have ultimately done the right thing, and told the public the truth about Ronald Greene’s death, absent the dogged journalism by this reporter. This just goes to show the very crucial part good journalism plays in not only the fight for police reform, but also good governance generally.

Yours Truly has raised this “good journalism” issue before, with mainstream media taboo topics like “targeted individuals” and “gangstalking”. For those of you not familiar with these terms(not sure what rock you live under), there are growing complaints from individuals in the United States, believing to have been watchlisted, claiming that they are often the targets of abuse by various U.S. law enforcement agencies. Among the most common abuses cited by these people is “organized stalking” or “gangstalking”, conduct if proven to be true, would constitute torture(violation of Geneva Conventions). Despite the seriousness of these allegations, the mainstream media has chosen to totally ignore them, choosing instead to characterize people who make such claims as paranoid nutjobs, or dismissing them as “conspiracy theorists”.

With the rising epidemic of lying in police reports about the circumstances of minorities dying in police custody, one has to wonder whether time has come for the mainstream media to lift it’s embargo on discussing targeted individuals, gangstalking, and many other taboo topics related to law enforcement. Given what we know now about police departments’ propensity to lie to cover up their injustices, can the mainstream media justify it’s embargo on discussing targeted individuals, gangstalking et al, any longer? What if targeted individuals have been telling the truth all along?

Bottom line folks, the number one lesson from George Floyd to Ronald Greene, is that there is an urgent need for policing reform in this country, and legislative fixes like the proposed George Floyd Justice In Policing Act will go a long way in achieving these desired reforms. True policing reform however, will only be achieved and sustained, if we have accompanying “media reform”, meaning, going back to our good old fashioned investigative journalism days, and ditching the present “access journalism”. Simply put, the media must go back to posing tough questions to law enforcement/government officials instead of always seeking ways to be liked by them for the sake of “access”.

Yours Truly has been consistent on the importance of good journalism, and so should you.

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