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Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Race War...Being Waged By Two White People

Matt Vespa

No, I’m not talking about a race war in the Charles Manson sense, but it’s more than entertaining, albeit also somewhat terrifying, that the latest salvos in the Trump/Clinton war will be who said what alleged racist statement and where. It’s going to be a few days of Trump said this, or Clinton said that, as both camps are vying to declare the other the racist of the year. Hence, why this game of “he said, she said” is probably going to get extraordinarily nasty since neither side wants to be pegged as a racist.

Clinton can’t let that narrative settle in since she needs to consolidate as much Democratic support as she can. While her strength with older black voters is strong, younger blacks seem slightly more hesitant in embracing the former first lady, namely due to her support for her husband’s 1994 crime bill. For Trump, besides the horrible optics of being labeled a racist, he doesn’t take kindly to attacks, as we’ve seen, especially ones where he’s labeled a bigot, racist, misogynist, or xenophobic. He’s not going to crawl away into some hole.

Trump has already slammed Clinton for using racist undertones in her support for the 1994 crime bill. He has hit Clinton for acting the same way during her 2008 campaign against then-Sen. Barack Obama.

On the other side, Clinton is doling out ads where she connects Trump to the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists. She also slammed the Republican nominee and his allies on the “alt-right” (alternative right), which do espouse racist views. Does that make him the candidate for the Klan? I’m sure there were many racists in this country that voted for Reagan. Doesn’t make him a racist president, though I’m sure liberals would disagree. Moreover, for the millions of Democrats who voted for Reagan in ’84, are they racist since it’s bound that more than a few Klansmen probably casted votes for the Republican that year? 


This concerted line of attack was a long time coming. It was already saturated in the media, where anti-Trump liberals pretty much said that Trump is a racist, who says things that hurt people’s feelings. Some on the Right have said the same things, though it appears to have had zero impact. Trump won the Republican nomination, and even with all the shenanigans he has partaken in—some of which were entirely avoidable—he’s still within striking distance of Hillary Clinton in the polls. The RCP average only has her six points ahead of Trump. We all know Clinton is terrible. Is she really that awful that she can’t put this guy away, or even break 50 percent? 

Allahpundit wrote over at Hot Air that Clinton’s speech probably gave the alt-right the biggest public relations boost they’re ever going to get—and they’re basking in the glory of her condemnation. The New Republic’s Jeet Heer described the speech as a “mafia kiss” to the GOP, noting that it was a warning to Republicans reluctantly supporting Trump: get off the Trump train or live in disgrace forever. Yet, Allah also pointed out that it’s in Clinton and the Democrats’ best interest to label the GOP as the party of the alt-right, especially with the changing demographics that are upon us:

If Hillary equates Trump with traditional conservative Republicanism, conservative Republicans will be more inclined to rally to his side while he’s taking fire from her. What she wants to do is deepen the divide by convincing moderate GOPers that Trump and his allies are a malignant usurpation to which they owe no allegiance. That’s why she mentioned Ryan — and Ted Cruz, and John McCain, and George W. Bush — as examples of Republicans whose values Trump has affronted. This is Hillary’s “vote for me or stay home” pitch to righties who loathe the alt-right as much as the alt-right loathes them.


In a country that’s trending towards majority-minority, it’s to Democrats’ advantage in a narrow sense to help the other party along in becoming white nationalist; that’s a winning proposition numerically for the left. Whether having an overtly white party forever pitted against an overtly brown party is good for America is a separate question. I’m sanguine about the short-term consequences of elevating the alt-right, though: So long as Republican voters really know what they’re getting into, i.e. that “alt-right” means more than “people Hillary doesn’t like,” I’d rather know how many prefer alt-rightism on the merits than have to guess. Let’s not be under any more illusions about what the American right is and what its values really are. The sooner everyone has a clear sense of the numbers in both camps, the sooner the third-party calculations can begin for one group or the other.

Yet, for now, while Clinton and Trump may hit at each other for being racist. The Clinton Foundation’s ethically questionable inter-workings continue to trickle into the news, while Wikileaks’ Julian Assange promises a data dump that could hurt Hillary. Things are about to get more ugly as Election Day approaches, to which I say, grab a beer (or bourbon) and pop a lot of popcorn. The fireworks show is going to be great, though I cannot say the same about the future of the country. We’re in a mess—and I think both candidates are terrible. But Clinton scares me a lot more.

Last Note: Trump says he doesn't want white supremacists to vote for him:

Obama’s Iran Strategy Creates Support for the Islamic State

Democrats Have Nothing to Fear but Losing Black Votes

Bannon's ex-wife: 'He didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews'

By Evelyn Rupert - 08-26-16 22:18 PM EDT

Donald Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon's ex-wife said in divorce proceedings that he didn't want their daughters to attend a Los Angeles school because of "the number of Jews."

The former Brietbart News executive's ex-wife signed a court document in 2007, the New York Daily News reported, that Bannon was concerned about the effect Jewish students at the Archer School for Girls would have on their twins.

"The biggest problem he had with Archer is the number of Jews that attend," read the woman's June 2007 statement.

"He said that he doesn't like the way they raise their kids to be 'whiny brats' and that he didn't want the girls going to school with Jews."

The woman said that he asked for numbers on the population of Jewish students at a competing private school.

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Bannon's spokeswoman Alexandra Preate denied that he ever made such comments and said the girls did end up attending the school.

"Mr. Bannon said he never said anything like that and proudly sent the girls to Archer for their middle school and high school education," Preate said.

The new court documents are a second hit to Bannon this week. Excerpts from the pair's divorce documents and a police report surfaced Thursday that revealed allegations of domestic violence.

Bannon allegedly grabbed his then-wife by the throat and arm during a 1996 argument. He was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness, but the charges were ultimately dropped when the woman did not appear at trial.

Bannon was brought on to the Trump campaign last week, along with new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.

Trump's Democratic rival Hillary Clinton went after Bannon and Breitbart in a speech Thursday as she tried to link Trump to the "alt-right" movement and associate him with racist and anti-Semitic groups.

The Democratic Party released a video this week highlighting some of Breitbart's controversial headlines, including one about Never Trump Republican and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol: "Republican spoiler, renegade Jew.

Social media fires back at Trump for tweet about Dwyane Wade's cousin

By Paulina Firozi - 08-27-16 10:13 AM EDT

Donald Trump is facing heavy criticism on social media for his response to reports that NBA star Dwyane Wade's cousin was fatally shot in Chicago on Friday.

"Dwayne Wade's cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!," he tweeted on Saturday morning.

The tweet is in line with Trump's recent minority outreach attempts. He has specifically included rhetoric in his rally speeches that he hopes will appeal to black voters, including asking them "what do you have to lose" by voting for Trump.

"Look at how badly things are going under decades of Democratic leadership - look at the schools, look at the 58 percent of young African-Americans not working," Trump said to black voters at a rally in North Carolina last week.

But many have pointed to Trump's tweet as tone deaf and opportunistic in light of the tragic death, and criticized him for misspelling Dwyane Wade's name in the tweet.

Memo sheds new light on Clinton-Russia uranium scandal

(Paul Mirengoff)

Of all the Clinton Foundation/Clinton cash scandals, the one I’ve always considered most disturbing involves the Russians gaining control over a large share of America’s uranium. Relying on a New York Times report, I wrote about this scandal here.

Newly uncovered State Department documents shed additional light on this scandal. But before getting to the new material, I’ll summarize what the New York Times reported.

What we knew already

In 2005, Bill Clinton and Frank Giustra visited Kazakhstan. Giustra is a massive donor to the Clinton Foundation.

Giustra’s goal was to buy uranium mines in Kazakhstan. To this end, he and Bill Clinton met with leaders of the Kazakhstan government.

As a result of the visit, Giustra got major mining concessions, which were approved by the Kazakhstan government. Kazakhstan got Bill Clinton publicly to praise its alleged progress in democracy and human rights. The Clintons received a $31 million donation to their Foundation from Giustra, along with a pledge to donate $100 million more.

The deal with Kazakhstan made Giustra’s company, Uranium One, a major player. It proceeded to buy large amounts of holdings in the United States, and became an attractive target for Russia. A Russian company made a hugely attractive offer to purchase the company. Uranium One agreed to the purchase.

The deal required approval by the U.S. government, including by the Secretary of State — Hillary Clinton. During the period when the deal with Russia was under consideration, the Clinton Foundation reportedly $2.6 million from Uranium One. Its contributions were not disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Hillary had reached with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors.

During this period, Bill Clinton also received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank that was promoting Uranium One stock. This was more than his usual speaking fee.

Hillary Clinton duly approved the deal. It made the Russian company Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Vladimir Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

The deal left huge amounts of U.S. uranium under the control of Russia. The New York Times estimates this share at 20 percent. But Peter Schweizer, the author of Clinton Cash, say that it amounts to up to 50 percent of projected U.S. uranium output.

What we have recently learned

When Hillary Clinton was questioned about the deal, she said she had no reason to intervene in the decision. But Raphael Williams of Circa reports that memos contained on WikiLeaks show Clinton was warned about Russian attempts to flex its muscle in uranium markets. And members of Congress also sounded the alarm.

The State Department had obtained a “strategy paper” from Rosatom, the Russian company seeking to purchase Uranium One. The strategy paper alarmed U.S. diplomats because it confirmed fears that Russia was moving to control the long-term supply of nuclear fuel, shut Westinghouse out of the market, and extend Moscow’s influence over Europe.

The resulting diplomatic cable lays out what Williams calls “a clear warning from career U.S. officials about why expanding Russia’s control of uranium markets was bad for the United States and for its allies in Europe.”

In addition, members of Congress pointed to the dangers of the Rosatom deal. Sen. John Barasso said it “would give the Russian government control over a sizable portion of America’s uranium production capacity.” Rep. Peter King said it “would pose great potential harm to the national security of the United States.”

Clinton, then, had ample reason to intervene in the decision. But doing so would have been inconsistent with the interests of those who were donating so generously to her Foundation.

Despite the warnings from her own diplomats and from Congress, Clinton let the deal go through.

Who were the winners in the transactions that began with Bill Clinton’s visit to Kazakhstan and ended when the U.S. approved the Uranium One-Rosatom deal? The Russians, obviously, but not just them.

Frank Giustra won big. So did the Clintons who raised tens of millions, if not more, in this saga. Even Kazakhstan came away with something, though whether it contemplated Russia controlling its uranium is another matter.

Only America is the loser.


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LGBT Activists Have Left No Middle Ground in the Culture War

No Win-Win LGBT - 900

Progressive evangelical David Gushee recently issued an ominous warning to Christians who hold to orthodox beliefs on marriage and sexuality:

It turns out that you are either for full and unequivocal social and legal equality for LGBT people, or you are against it, and your answer will at some point be revealed. This is true both for individuals and for institutions.

Neutrality is not an option. Neither is polite half-acceptance. Nor is avoiding the subject. Hide as you might, the issue will come and find you.

Gushee's confrontational piece underscores the big differences that make it hard to believe that LGBT activists could ever be persuaded to play nice with Christian institutions committed to orthodox standards on marriage and sexuality. But there are those who keep dreaming the dream. One such person is Oklahoma Baptist University professor Alan Noble.

In an article for The Atlantic, the OBU professor and editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture eschews the "absolute and uncompromising terms" in which both sides frame the problem. He believes there is a third way "that would allow for both religious freedom and protections for LGBT students while minimizing further litigation."

Noble admits that clouds are on the horizon for traditional Christian institutions, but he also worries that homosexual students who change their minds mid-degree about the morality of their behavior might feel uncomfortable or "embattled." According to another Atlantic article he links to, some students have been shocked and confused to find that a ban on homosexual romance and dating comes with the territory of banning homosexual sex. The question for Noble is how to resolve this situation while staying within the lines of Christian orthodoxy and causing as few hurt feelings as possible.

First, Noble urges maximal transparency regarding codes of conduct and values. So far, so good. But what to do with students who change their views mid-degree? Noble anticipates this question and suggests that the school should offer "administrative, emotional and practical support" in the transfer process for students who "cannot abide by the codes of conduct." Meanwhile, it should enforce a zero-tolerance policy on "bullying" or "abuse."

Unfortunately, as soon as Noble has sketched these suggestions in broad outline, he abruptly ends his article without filling in the gaps in a satisfying way. If, for example, he meant allowing a student to finish out the semester in which that student's behavior was discovered, how could a school in good conscience allow that student to continue flouting the code for the remaining months of his tenure? If the school allowed that student to finish the term but meanwhile continued enforcing their ban on same-sex romance, in what sense would such a student view this as "emotional support?"

Also, what about the "T" in "LGBT"? Does Noble believe Christian schools should tolerate a male student who suddenly decides to show up to class in drag?

The problem is that Noble's article considers only one hypothetical: the students who, as he puts it, "decide they can no longer attend in good conscience." But one gay Bible college de-convert asks the obvious follow-up questions in response: "What if the student, like me, is in their junior year of studies when they begin changing their perspectives? Why should a student be forced to leave the community that they have cultivated because the institution's doctrinal statement says they are flawed or less than?"

And there's the rub: Not every student is going to be so cooperative in his own gentle expulsion. What then? Noble leaves us with no answers, only vague wishes.

Further, as Noble must know, the tide is shifting on what constitutes "bullying" or "abuse." Here again, our de-convert presses the point: Noble's proposed "safe space" is a myth, he argues, because by definition no orthodox Christian university is "safe" for "LGBT+ people" to "flourish." (Read: Openly act out on their sexual inclinations.) This nullifies all promises to crack down on bullying, since "bullying comes as part of the theological belief system being taught."

So, to the full de-convert, there is little difference between the trauma of physical harassment and the psychological trauma of being forced to hear a sermon quoting Scripture against homosexuality. Once again, the "T" comes into play here as questions about pronouns inevitably arise. Should "creating a safe space" free of bullying entail that students be charged not to use the "wrong" pronouns?

This is the prevailing cultural wind, and David Gushee can feel it at his back. Noble himself tweeted out Gushee's article with the minimalist comment, "If you think my Atlantic piece was alarmist, let David Gushee assure you that trad[itional] Christian sexual ethics are doomed."

One follower defiantly replied that he didn't see the punishment of traditional institutions as a bad thing if it meant less LGBT discrimination. Noble pushed back with rhetorical questions: "You don't think it's bad that people and institutions who adhere to their traditional religious thinking will be punished?" "You don't think we can respect LGBT rights and preserve religious liberties?"

As often happens on Twitter, the conversation fizzled with no specifics offered. One is left to speculate about what exactly constitutes an "LGBT right" in Noble's mind. The right to serve in the military or the civil service? Perhaps the right to be housed with roommates on a Christian campus? Aside from the problem of dealing with active homosexuals, privacy concerns make such "rights" questionable even for the celibate.

Meanwhile, in another recent Twitter conversation (click "view other replies"), Noble blames "evangelical leaders [who] still have a culture warrior mindset. And support trump." Aside from the ludicrousness of lumping all culture warriors in with Trump supporters, his general impatience towards the "culture warrior mindset" is revealing.

In the end, Noble and many like him seem genuinely to desire a workable system where both sides of the culture war can split the social pie. But the effort to negotiate a cease-fire is doomed to fail when the LGBT side has declared war. For Christians with orthodox beliefs on sex and marriage, Gushee's warning shot reminds us that LGBT activists don't want to play nice. They want to conquer.

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