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Faith groups mount election turnout efforts that could help both parties

Voters go to the polls during early voting at the Hamilton County Board of Elections on Nov. 4, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(RNS) — Waves of religious groups are mustering passionate get-out-the-vote efforts in the final hours before the heated midterm elections, with clergy pushing the faithful to the polls in ways that stand to aid both Republicans and Democrats.

Convincing religious voters to cast ballots on Election Day on Tuesday (Nov. 6) is hardly a new phenomenon in American politics. But this year’s atypically heated midterm contests appear to have sparked unusually robust efforts by faith-based organizations to galvanize supporters and move the political needle in favor of their respective values, if not their preferred candidates.

The conservative Christian group Faith and Freedom Coalition has spent the past few months revving up political operations that have existed for years, hoping to help Republicans capitalize on largely unwavering support for Donald Trump among white evangelical Protestants.

According to the New York Times, the group is pumping $18 million into this cycle, a sizable sum compared to the $10 million it spent in 2016 and the $5 million it used during the 2014 midterms.

Last week the coalition sent an email soliciting funds for a “Home Stretch Mid-Term Blitz,” which includes shipping voter guides to churches across the country. According to the email, the goal is to prevent conservatives from losing the Senate to “ultra-left even socialist Senators” such as Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), whom the coalition accused of wanting to “attack Christian Churches who dare exercise their First Amendment Free Speech rights.”

Leaders of Watchmen on the Wall, a project of the Family Research Council, are also reportedly pushing conservative Christian pastors to encourage their flocks to cast ballots on Tuesday. At a Watchmen pastors’ briefing in Unionville, N.C., on Oct. 4, according to the New York Times, Tony Perkins, president of the FRC, told the gathering, “The members of your congregation need to vote. As pastors, you need to — I’m not going to say ‘challenge them’ — you need to tell them to vote.”

The Rev. Franklin Graham — son of famous evangelist Billy Graham and head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association — toured California earlier this year in what was widely seen as an effort to win back the state for conservatives. He recently declared Tuesday’s vote “the most important election of our lifetime.”

“I am encouraging everyone to go out on Nov. 6 and vote for the candidate who is most closely aligned with Biblical values,” he wrote. He later added: “Vote for those who are pro-life and who support the religious liberties that have undergirded our nation for centuries.”

These efforts are standard for the religious right, but this year their energy is being matched by another emerging camp: progressive faith groups, who are mustering their own robust campaigns to turn out voters in key states.

On Monday evening in Atlanta, high-profile faith leaders are scheduled to gather for a get-out-the-vote prayer rally at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the congregation where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached.

The Rev. William Barber II, right, speaks at a rally in opposition to Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore at a church in Birmingham, Ala., on Nov. 18, 2017.  Barber is again encouraging voting in the November 2018 midterms. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

Speakers and guests will include U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. William Barber II, a nationally known progressive faith activist who earlier this year co-led a revival of King’s Poor People’s Campaign. The Rev. Jim Wallis, head of social justice Christian advocacy group Sojourners, and the Rev. Traci Blackmon, pastor of a church in Ferguson, Mo., and a rising star within the religious left, will also attend.

The star-studded event, sponsored by a constellation of left-leaning faith groups, represents a return of progressive religious leaders to broad-based political campaigning, spurred by a desire to counteract reported attempts to disenfranchise minority communities and the poor.

The Rev. Jennifer Butler, head of the national left-leaning advocacy group Faith in Public Life, said her organization and its partners are using a combination of “new-style tactics and old-style tactics” to focus on constituencies often difficult to reach. They have been encouraging African-American and Hispanic communities to vote through a litany of revivals, “faithful voter” pledge card drives and relationship-based organizing.

The general idea, Butler said, was to help people “understand how voting is an act of faith.”

Butler noted she and Barber recently concluded a “Moral Revival” tour of cities in Georgia and Florida. One of their stops included the relatively rural area of Cuthbert, Ga., a mostly African-American region where election officials tried — and ultimately failed — to close seven of the county’s nine polling places.

“There is an incredible intensity — I’ve never seen so much activity since I’ve been doing this work,” said Butler, a longtime activist.

Organizers associated with Faith in Action, a nationwide network of congregations whose activism often leans left, have also been running sizable, highly organized turnout efforts in Florida, California and Indiana, among several other states. Richard Morales, policy and program director for FiA’s “Liberty. Action. Respect. Equity. Dignity.” program, told reporters on a press call last week that the group is “probably running one of the largest voter contact programs in the country.”

He said FiA and its various subgroups are focusing on targeted districts and, in many cases, demographics who could tip the scales in a close election if they turned out in force. Their goal is to have a million conversations with voters by Election Day — an uptick from 2016, when they reportedly hit 862,000.

The group is especially active in Florida, where volunteers and activists working with the group — most fluent in both English and Spanish — report they reached out to 81,884 homes via door knocking and phone calls in Hillsborough, Osceola and Orange counties from Oct. 1 to Nov. 4. Nanci Palacios, lead organizer with Faith in Florida, said her group is also organizing Hispanic and Latino churches to bus their congregants to voting locations modeled on “Souls to the Polls” efforts often used by black churches.

Non-Christian groups are also encouraging their faithful to make it to the polls. Hillel International mustered a nonpartisan “MitzVote campaign” with the goal of reaching roughly 700,000 students before the election. Last month, the Council on American-Islamic Relations launched a “Muslims GOTV” website dedicated to upping Muslim turnout.

The shifting partisan divisions in these midterms have caused progressives to court faith constituencies along the margins of the Republican base that may be uncomfortable with President Trump’s personal morality or his perceived treatment of vulnerable populations.

Pastor, activist and author Brian McLaren said he joined up with a team of left-leaning evangelical Christians this year to create the Vote Common Good campaign, which targets evangelicals and conservative Christians unhappy with Trump and his evangelical supporters. The group embarked on a bus tour after Labor Day, holding rallies in around 30 battleground congressional districts across the country.

McLaren, who spoke at one of the events, said he didn’t expect to win over many of Trump’s “hardcore supporters,” whom he described as having “an almost religious devotion” to the president. But with polls tightening seemingly by the hour, he said pushing even the small number of disaffected evangelicals — alongside broader efforts to court religious progressives — could be enough to counter the religious right and tip the scales against Trump and the Republican Party.

“A lot of us know the Democratic Party hasn’t been nearly as strong as it needs to be reaching out to faith voters, and we also know that for the last 40 years the religious right has been very good at mobilizing voters,” McLaren said. “So a group of us … decided that we need to take things into our own hands and try to do a better job of mobilizing people to get out to vote — and especially to vote to flip Congress.”

About the author

Jack Jenkins

Jack Jenkins is a national reporter for RNS based in Washington, covering U.S. Catholics and the intersection of religion and politics.

71 Comments

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  • “November 2016: The Sequel” – starring Donald Trump, again.

    And The Oscar I mean The House goes to …

    4 more years, Trump
    4 more years, Trump

  • So, do the clergy in Italy pay the Imposta Municipale Unica?

    What about the Notional Income Tax?

  • Our clergy have been encouraging us to vote for the last few weeks. They didn’t tell us for whom to vote. They did encourage us to vote one way or another regarding initiatives on the ballot, which is the allowed social aspect clergy and congregations are granted with regard to ellections.

  • Interesting photo. Wouldn’t a preacher speaking against a federal candidate in a political rally held at his church constitute a violation of federal law?

    As for the actual thrust of the article, for decades my view has been that it is your civic duty to become informed on the issues and candidates, and then vote—but if you can’t be bothered to become informed, please don’t bother to vote. I would rather have people not vote than cast an uninformed vote.

    But thanks to the Left’s ongoing meltdown since Trump won, and especially with what they did to Kavanaugh and his family and their public attacks on Senators in an attempt to influence ther votes, I’m more leaning toward, if you would vote for Republicans get out and vote! If you would vote for Democrats, please don’t bother.

  • No, it is not against Federal law for a preacher to speak against or in favor of any candidate or issue.

    Due to the “Johnson Amendment” – yes, that Johnson – it MAY jeopardize the tax-exempt status of her or his church or denomination.

  • Nope. If they did it from the pulpit and/or used church resources to electioneer, they would. Like the LDS did with Prop 8 and Franklin Graham does when he gets up in the morning.

    BTW your need for validation over your support of incompetent miscreants like Trump and Kavannaugh is getting desperate. As if you require someone to agree with you in order to feel better about your past poor judgment.

    “if you would vote for Republicans get out and vote! If you would vote for Democrats, please don’t bother.”

    That was truly tasteless. You have no sense of decency or respect for the democratic process.

  • Just remember what you are voting for:

    The founder of a white nationalist website says Donald Trump is helping his cause
    https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-helping-white-supremacist-website-2015-12

    President Trump is pushing white nationalist ideas into the mainstream
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2018/08/24/president-trump-is-pushing-white-nationalist-ideas-into-mainstream/?utm_term=.5e4f40196eb6

    Trump just endorsed an apologist for white supremacy.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/06/13/trump-just-endorsed-an-apologist-for-white-supremacy-that-could-hurt-the-gop-this-fall/?utm_term=.849f1fe3e4b4

    Republicans just can’t seem to distance themselves from Nazis. Go figure.

  • On November 6th the choice is clear.

    You can vote for America.

    Or vote for Democrats.

    Your choice.

  • I’ve seen how little decency and respect for the democratic process the Left has since Trump won, and especially during the Kavanaugh confirmation. So yes, while I’m still not willing to vote for Trump in 2020, beyond that it’s becoming all about the Tribe. I don’t think the Left is leaving the Populists and Conservatives much choice.

  • Your judgment on such things is a bit unreliable. You are constantly seeking validation for objectively poor choices in political figures to support.

    Conservatives have dropped any pretense of any normative standards in the last few years. Supporting outright miscreants, deliberately malicious policies and flat out lying in support of their agenda.

    ” Populists and Conservatives”

    aka White supremacist Christians.

  • You know, if you keep insisting that it’s all about race, eventually significant numbers of White citizens will begin acting as if it’s all about race. And there are still more Whites than all others combined.

  • When you have white supremacists setting policy for an administration and those following it, it is about race. Its about using political power to attack people who are minorities of various stripes.
    Republicans make malice and bigotry their primary motivations and policy platforms.

  • Like I said, keep repeating the White supremacist nonsense, and you might start getting the real thing–Whites deciding that if Blacks, Hispanics, every minority but Asians can make their race their primary tribe, they can as well.

  • WRONG & HA-HA: “The angry left was rejected and Trump was rewarded”!

    (1) “US midterm elections: Democrats disappointed at lack of ‘blue wave'”, The Straits Times, November 7, 2018.

    (2) “Democrats won the House, but Trump won the election: For the most part, when voters had to decide, the angry left was rejected and Trump was rewarded”, Washington Post, November 7, 2018.

  • And “remember”, Americans did. VOILA:

    (1) “US midterm elections: Democrats disappointed at lack of ‘blue wave'”, The Straits Times, November 7, 2018.

    (2) “Democrats won the House, but Trump won the election: For the most part, when voters had to decide, the angry left was rejected and Trump was rewarded”, Washington Post, November 7, 2018.

  • And choose they did:

    (1) “US midterm elections: Democrats disappointed at lack of ‘blue wave'”, The Straits Times, November 7, 2018.

    (2) “Democrats won the House, but Trump won the election: For the most part, when voters had to decide, the angry left was rejected and Trump was rewarded”, Washington Post, November 7, 2018.

  • My hearty congrats to these Dems!

    “Among the historic wins for the Democrats were Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who both became the first Muslim women elected to Congress, Deb Haaland (D-NM), the first Native American woman elected to Congress, [and] Jared Polis, the first openly gay governor in US history”!

    Source: “Blue wave? Democrats win House, but it looks more like a trickle”, RT, November 7, 2018.

  • You don’t actually contribute do you? You just post hit & run comments to call folks names and badmouth other people who are participating.

  • Now we can start various hearings on House investigations of any or all of the following:

    President Trump’s tax returns

    Trump family businesses — and whether they comply with the Constitution’s emoluments clause, including the Chinese trademark grant to the Trump Organization

    Trump’s dealings with Russia, including the president’s preparation for his meeting with Vladimir Putin

    The payment to Stephanie Clifford—a.k.a. Stormy Daniels

    James Comey’s firing

    Trump’s firing of U.S. attorneys

    Trump’s proposed transgender ban for the military

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s business dealings

    White House staff’s personal email use

    Cabinet secretary travel, office expenses, and other misused perks

    Discussion of classified information at Mar-a-Lago

    Jared Kushner’s ethics law compliance

    Dismissal of members of the EPA board of scientific counselors

    The travel ban

    Family separation policy

    Hurricane response in Puerto Rico

    Election security and hacking attempts

    White House security clearances

  • Sorry if facts make you feel bad, but Trump does follow a white supremacist agenda. Especially when it comes to immigration and civil liberties. Its telling that in the last 10 years the GOP has demolished every effort by GW Bush had done to court minority groups.

  • See my prior posts here. I linked to several articles detailing such things. I have no need to engage in confirmation trolling when I have already laid such things out.

    Don’t worry he is so compulsive that I will point it out in every news item on this site where it applies. 😀

    You already made it clear you have no interest in seeing such facts laid out for you.

  • I didn’t ask for acts or statements, I asked for the White Supremacist agenda that Trump is supposedly following. He’s been in office almost two years, it should be easy to point to official policies and decisions that are all about advancing White Supremacy.

  • You were looking for excuses and denials for what is plainly obvious to those who are honest and objective as to what is going on. For two years we have seen Trump demonize various minorities, show support for neo nazis here and abroad, use their rhetoric and put their positions into the mainstream. It’s not an issue if naming one, its where to stop.

    He has tried to ban people from the country in the basis of religion, he attacks the notion of people of color immigrating here, he supports ignoring police abuses in minority communities, the goddamn wall is nothing but a white supremacy wet dream. Plus the incitement to racist based violence with the refugee caravan 1000 mikes away. These are facts.

    Great example his decrying of “chain migration” and “green card lottery”. Purely bigoted positions adopted entirely to keep a white majority. Both family based immigration and diversity visas are wildly successful and beneficial to our nation. But a threat to white supremacy.

    Your take on such things is nothing to me. You are not looking for an informed discussion here.

  • Bigots here are not denying such things. Just showing what kind of snowflakes they are about hearing such things.

  • Names like “uncle?” Fundabagelist? Lying sack of cr*p? Names like that?

    Tater and everyone familiar with her knows what I’m talking about — somehow commenting about Islamic terrorism makes one an “ISIS stooge” but cluttering up every thread with “Nazi” and “white supremacist” hysteria doesn’t similarly make one a “white supremacist stooge.”

    You consider that kind of spew “participating” but I will continue to point out hypocrisy when I see it.

  • Nobody CARES about such things. They’re laughing at you because you can’t come up with anything else.

  • So you admit that you don’t participate, you just post to call folks names and fall behind the anonymous everyone in defense. Power from the faceless numbers you claim to represent!

    Understood. That is all.

  • You haven’t been here that long. I have a long commenting history upon the subjects of scripture, history, language, and law — which is usually met by the usual suspects with the likes of the above.

    I am “hiding” behind nothing, and there is no “anonymous everyone” at all. Those with some experience here know precisely to whom I refer (and probably so do you). And of course, you recognize yourself.

  • You actually provided a list! Of course, it’s mixed in with the usual attacks, and it’s too bad not a single one of the six policies you mentioned mean he’s a White Supremacist instead of a standard Nationalist–or Patriot, more traditionally said, but Nationalist seems to be the current label.

  • Not to your liking? Too bad. How long do you think you can weaselword and equivocate your way around basic underlying facts you want to deny?

    “He’s a White Supremacist instead of a standard Nationalist–or Patriot, ”

    So far such distinctions among conservatives are non existent. Republicans have gone all in with white supremacy as a party platform. It’s not that minorities are tricked into voting Democrat. It’s that they run for cover when Republicans target them in their rhetoric and actions.

  • Rule of law is not a waste of taxpayer money.

    So where was your concern for federal spending for:

    Rampant embezzlement from the Cabinet, golfing trips, a $1.5T giveaway to the wealthy, funnelling FEMA funds to immigration detention and letting a US territory slip into Mad Max conditions for a year?

    Oh right, spending and deficits only matter when a Democrat is president.

    Never mind.

  • “Rule of law is not a waste of the taxpayer’s money”. It is when it has zero chance of reaching any fruition, and is directly meant to obstruct the workings of government.

    If I had my drive handy I would wake up my Spuddie sock puppet to comment on whataboutism. Oh well, maybe later.

    But don’t get me wrong— I WANT you guys to do it. I want the voters (who care as little about Mueller’s garden party as they do about climate change) to see the small House majority they gave you frittering away government time and money on fruitless nonsense instead of working on the voters’ number one priority which is a healthcare solution. That ought to work as well for us in 2020 as the Kav circus did in 2018.

  • Such desperation in your response. Firing an AG for showing the bare minimum of a professional ethical duty is not a good sign for the president. Neither are 6 (and counting) convictions of people who worked for him in various capacities.

    Frankly the Trump administration can use some obstruction. Having full control of Congress for two years didn’t do the nation any favors. Its about time he face the consequences of acting badly for so long.

    “If I had my drive handy I would wake up my Spuddie sock puppet to comment on whataboutism. Oh well, maybe later.”

    Looking to get out of a conversation by doxxing. That is just pathetic.

    “who care as little about Mueller’s garden party as they do about climate change)”

    Funny analogy there. Conservative denial of obvious facts and occurrences are noted in both.

  • “Desperation?” You remind me of Joseph J accusing every person he dialogues with of “frustration.” Whatever makes bitter people feel better, I guess.

    “Looking to get out of a conversation by doxxing. That is just pathetic.” You’d be hard pressed to ever find me running away from discussion like you routinely do when you reach the limit of Wikipedia’s ability to save you. Showcasing liberal hypocrisy is only a side entertainment to a primary discussion.

    “Funny analogy there.” Apropos, as well. Both tend to cost too much, go on for too long, and be very boring. But there’s no conservative denial here — CNN themselves published exit polls the other day which indicated that neither Mueller nor environment figured into the voters’ priorities. Healthcare, immigration, economy and guns are what they care about.

    https://www.cnn.com/election/2018/exit-polls

  • Dr David Duke Tweets: By Defiance to Z.O.G. Ilhan Omar is NOW the most important Member of the US Congress! https://mobile.twitter.com/DrDavidDuke/status/1103893600293740545

    Dr Duke & Mark Collett EXPOSE how the Zio-Media response to Ilhan Omar PROVED her point. https://mobile.twitter.com/DrDavidDuke/status/1104072133615874049

    Dr David Duke Tweets: I made this provocative statement cause the worst enemy of the USA, Europeans and the Middle East & the whole world & true peace are the Zionist tyrants who rule media and politics. Sadly, This 100lb girl [Ilhan Omar] has more guts than any white member of congress! https://mobile.twitter.com/DrDavidDuke/status/1103766675223130112

  • Chabad sometimes openly teaches that “the soul of the Jew is different than the soul of the non-Jew,” https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/148995/jewish/On-Intermarriage.htm
    What, then, is a Jew? After studying the matter for many years and having countless conversations with Jews of every degree of observance and belief, I think that the most convincing and coherent answer is that the distinguishing element of the Jew is the Neshamah (soul) that every Jew possesses. The soul of the Jew is different than the soul of the non-Jew. They have different characteristics, potentials and needs. Every Jew has essentially the same type of soul as any other Jew. This Jewish soul is inherited from his or her mother.

    Trump meets with Chabad rabbis in Oval Office. https://www.timesofisrael.com/trump-meets-with-chabad-rabbis-in-oval-office/

  • The Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s counterterrorism related travel ban. Writing for the 5-4 majority, Chief Justice John Roberts noted that Trump has the broad executive authority to impose his ban to further specific national security interests. Moreover, Roberts explains that the plaintiffs argument renders ludicrous existing legal judgments over presidential power in relation to national security. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/chief-justice-john-roberts-upholds-trumps-travel-ban-and-makes-trumps-legal-foes-look-silly

  • Bolsonaro’s Son Meets Kushner to Discuss Moving Brazilian Embassy to Jerusalem. ‘Not a question of whether we will do it, but when we will do it,’ Eduardo Bolsonaro reportedly told Kushner. https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-bolsonaro-s-son-meets-kushner-to-discuss-moving-brazilian-embassy-to-jerusalem-1.6698900

    An educational organization focusing on the Jewish Temple said Wednesday it has minted a coin bearing US President Donald Trump’s image to honor his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

    The Mikdash Educational Center said the “Temple Coin” features Trump alongside King Cyrus, who 2,500 years ago allowed Jews to return to Jerusalem from their exile in Babylon. https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-group-mints-trump-coin-to-honor-jerusalem-recognition/

    Sheldon Adelson: the casino mogul driving Trump’s Middle East policy. The Las Vegas billionaire gave Republicans $82m for the 2016 elections and his views, notably staunch support for Netanyahu’s Israel, are now the official US line. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/08/sheldon-adelson-trump-middle-east-policy

  • “For perhaps another generation, an optimistic forecast, the Jewish community is thus in a position where it will be able to DIVIDE AND CONQUER and enter into selective coalitions that support our agendas.” — (Stephen Steinlight, National Director of the American Jewish Committee, writing in the article: “The Jewish Stake in America’s Changing Demography: Reconsidering a Misguided Immigration Policy.”) https://cis.org/Report/Jewish-Stake-Americas-Changing-Demography

  • DeSantis immediately stirred a hornet’s nest of controversy by warning Florida voters not to “monkey this up” by voting for Gillum, which many took to be an implicit racial slur. Read more: Jewish Megadonors Give $1.2M To Florida Republican In ‘Monkey’ Controversy. By Ben Fractenberg, August 29, 2018 https://forward.com/news/409281/jewish-megadonors-give-12m-to-florida-governor-candidate-in-monkey/

    One of Israel’s chief rabbis, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, called black people “monkeys” during his weekly sermon. During his weekly sermon, the rabbi used a derogatory Hebrew term for a black person, before going on to call a black person a “monkey,” according to footage published by the Ynet news site. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-cheif-rabbi-black-people-monkeys-yitzhak-yosef-talmud-sephardic-a8267666.html

  • U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Enshrine $38-billion Military Aid Package to Israel Into Law. The act gives the defense package the imprimatur of Congress, which would keep any future president from reneging. https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/senate-passes-bill-to-enshrine-military-aid-package-to-israel-into-law-1.6340748

    Israeli Law Declares the Country the ‘Nation-State of the Jewish People’ https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/19/world/middleeast/israel-law-jews-arabic.html
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has long demanded that the Palestinians acknowledge his country’s existence as the “nation-state of the Jewish people.” On Thursday, his governing coalition stopped waiting around and pushed through a law that made it a fact. In an incendiary move hailed as historic by Mr. Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition but denounced by centrists and leftists as racist and anti-democratic, Israel’s Parliament enacted a law that enshrines the right of national self-determination as “unique to the Jewish people” — not all citizens. The legislation, a “basic law” — giving it the weight of a constitutional amendment — omits any mention of democracy or the principle of equality.

  • As a result of a dispute over the release of Justice Department documents related to the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal, Attorney General Eric Holder became the first sitting member of the Cabinet of the United States to be held in contempt of Congress on June 28, 2012. https://edition.cnn.com/2012/06/28/politics/holder-contempt/index.html
    https://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/us/politics/fast-and-furious-holder-contempt-citation-battle.html?pagewanted=all

    At Eric Holder’s request, President Barack Obama had invoked executive privilege for the first time in his presidency in order to withhold documents that “were not generated in the course of the conduct of Fast and Furious.” http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2012/06/obama-team-fast-and-furious-documents-are-privileged/1#.T-I8kpGnfqs

    Why were Nancy Pelosi and Robert O’Rourke meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto? Note: El Chapo paid $100m bribe to former Mexican president Peña Nieto, witness says. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/15/el-chapo-trial-100m-bribe-former-mexican-president-pena-nieto-witness

    Mexico City, Mexico. 3rd May 2016. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto walks with U.S House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, and Rep. Henry Cuellar during a meeting at the presidential palace May 3, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico. [Robert O’Rourke in background]. https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-mexico-city-mexico-3rd-may-2016-mexican-president-enrique-pena-nieto-103760815.html

    The notorious cartel boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has been found guilty of 10 counts of drug trafficking, at the end of a three-month New York trial that featured dramatic testimony of prison escapes, gruesome killings and million-dollar political payoffs. Guzmán, who rose from poverty in rural Mexico to build a drug empire worth billions of dollars, is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/12/el-chapo-mexican-drug-kingpin-guilty-drug-trafficking

  • Photo from 2005 shows Barack Hussein Obama with controversial Nation of Islam leader, Reverend Louis Farrakhan. Michael Smerconish gives his take on whether this photo could have prevented Obama from becoming president. Read more here: https://edition.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/02/03/obama-farrakhan-2005-photo-released-smerconish.cnn
    https://youtu.be/jnkCfB3rd_Q

    Obama’s portrait artist Kehinde Wiley painted black women beheading white women. https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/feb/13/kehinde-wiley-barack-obamas-portrait-artist-painte/

    Kehinde Wiley, a New York City-based artist who became the first black American to ever paint an official presidential portrait, unveiled two paintings in 2012 that began circulating on social media this week.

    “It’s sort of a play on the ‘kill whitey’ thing,” Mr. Wiley told The New Yorker in a 2012 interview. https://nymag.com/arts/art/rules/kehinde-wiley-2012-4/

    The FBI’s New U.S. Terrorist Threat: ‘Black Identity Extremists’ https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/10/06/the-fbi-has-identified-a-new-domestic-terrorist-threat-and-its-black-identity-extremists/

  • https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Protests-in-Dallas-Over-Alton-Sterling-Death-385784431.html
    Five officers are dead — four Dallas police officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer — in what authorities called a sniper ambush on police officers at the end of a peaceful protest against nationwide officer-involved shootings Thursday night.

    Dallas Police Chief David Brown said Friday officers cornered a suspect — later identified as Micah Xavier Johnson, of Mesquite — and tried to negotiate with him for several hours before talks broke down. Johnson told police he was upset by recent police shootings and “wanted to kill white people.”

    After an exchange of gunfire, officers attached explosives to a bomb robot and detonated them near Johnson, killing him.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/06/fbi-black-identity-extremists-racial-profiling
    The US government has declared “black identity extremists” a violent threat, according to a leaked report from the FBI’s counter-terrorism division. The report, dated August 2017 and compiled by the Domestic Terrorism Analysis Unit, said:

    “The FBI assesses it is very likely Black Identity Extremist (BIE) perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence.”

  • Pittsburgh synagogue accused shooter Robert Gregory Bowers said in one post on Gab that he did not vote for Mr. Trump and had never “owned, worn or even touched” a Make America Great Again hat. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pittsburgh-synagogue-shooting-suspect-identified-as-robert-bowers-what-we-know-2018-10-27/

    Bowers himself has registered his discontent with the president. “Trump is a globalist, not a nationalist,” read one of Bowers’s posts on Gab, a social-media site popular with the alt-right. He also wrote, “Trump is surrounded by kikes, things will stay the course.” https://edition-m.cnn.com/2018/10/27/us/synagogue-attack-suspect-robert-bowers-profile/index.html?r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww-theatlantic-com.cdn.ampproject.org%2Fv%2Fs%2Fwww.theatlantic.com%2Famp%2Farticle%2F574732%2F%3Famp_js_v%3D0.1%26usqp%3Dmq331AQECAEoAQ%253D%253D

  • You stated that: “the wall is nothing but a white supremacy wet dream.”

    https://m.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Israels-border-walls-A-case-study-For-Trumps-mantra-574517
    The “wall” most comparable to what Trump is suggesting is the one along the southern border with Egypt. That barrier—a “smart” barbed-wire structure equipped with cameras, radar and motion detectors—“was erected to prevent illegal [African] migrants from crossing over a once- porous border into Israel,” Yehuda Ben Meir, head of the National Security and Public Opinion Project at the Tel Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies, related to The Media Line.

    After breaking ground in 2010, Israel completed the 242-km. (150-mile) fence in December 2013 at a cost of around $450 million. Whereas about 9,500 Africans crossed into Israel illegally in the first six months of 2012, less than three dozen did so in the first six months of 2013, at which time the major components of the barrier had been completed. Illegal immigration through Sinai dropped to 11 cases in 2016 and 0 in 2017.

    https://m.jpost.com/Israel-News/Israel-completes-heightened-Egypt-border-fence-478840
    Israel finished raising the height of the electronic “smart” fence along part of the border with Egypt to stop infiltration into the country by migrants, the Defense Ministry reported. Construction of the original barrier, equipped with information collection centers and warning systems and known as the Hourglass Project, was completed in 2014 at a height of five meters along 242 kilometers, from the Gaza Strip to Eilat on the Red Sea. The government built the fence in the hope that it would stop illegal migration, drug and weapons trafficking and terrorist infiltrations. The fence has already slashed the number of illegal African migrants arriving in Israel, with 213 breaching the barrier in 2015. The number of successful infiltrations prompted authorities to raise the height from 5 meters to 8 meters along a 17-kilometer stretch, the ministry said. The raising of the fence along with additional detection devices “significantly curbed the flow of illegal infiltration into Israel, with only 11 successful attempts to cross the fence throughout 2016,” it said.

  • Update on Trump’s proposed transgender ban for the military. Unsurprisingly, once again, the law is on President Trump’s side. I can already hear the howls of outrage from triggered, lawless leftist snowflakes.

    The Trump administration signaled Friday it intends to implement a ban on transgender people serving in the military after a federal court struck down the last injunction against the policy the previous day. “In light of the district court’s decision yesterday to stay the preliminary injunction in Stone v. Trump … there is no longer any impediment to the military’s implementation of the Mattis policy,” Justice Department lawyers wrote in a filing in federal court in Washington, D.C. U.S. District Judge George Russell III, an appointee of former President Obama, (😂🤣🤣🤣) announced Thursday he was striking down the last of four injunctions against the transgender service member ban, citing in his ruling the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in January to stay two of the injunctions. https://thehill.com/policy/defense/433310-trump-admin-plans-to-implement-transgender-military-ban-after-court-ruling

    U.S. Supreme Court allows President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban to go into effect dealing a blow to LGBT activists who call the ban cruel and irrational. https://edition-m.cnn.com/2019/01/22/politics/scotus-transgender-ban/index.html?r=https://www.google.com/

  • More than 100,000 undocumented adult immigrants in California would be eligible for state-subsidized health coverage under a major budget push announced by Assembly Democrats on Monday. Lawmakers are asking Gov. Jerry Brown for $1 billion, a large portion of which would fund a major expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s low-income health care program. Roughly a quarter of the request – $250 million – would extend Medi-Cal to undocumented immigrant adults who are ineligible for coverage. https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article210645664.html

    California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), [who was recently elected governor of California], said in an interview released Tuesday that he would like to see the state pay for universal healthcare for all illegal immigrants. https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/404036-dem-calif-gov-candidate-government-should-give-undocumented-immigrants

  • The is virtually never on Trump’s side. He usually has to neuter or take back actions to pass through any kind of scrutiny.

    Interestingly the most important opposition to the Anti trans bigots’ position comes from the military’s own research think tank. The RAND study on the subject supports letting them serve. (By all means make me laugh with a nonsense assertion they are leftist) As opposed to chickenhawk conservatives trying to pander to a mob mentality looking for easy victims to attack.

  • How American Citizens Finance $18.5 Billion In Health Care For Unauthorized Immigrants. https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2018/02/26/how-american-citizens-finance-health-care-for-undocumented-immigrants/#15bc568a12c4

    Every year, American taxpayers are billed about $2.4 billion to pay for the births of illegal aliens, according to research by the Center for Immigration Studies Director of Research, Steven Camarotta. The children of illegal aliens are commonly known as “anchor babies,” as they anchor their illegal alien and noncitizen parents in the U.S. and eventually are allowed to bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the country through the process known as “chain migration.” https://cis.org/Report/Births-Legal-and-Illegal-Immigrants-US

    The swelling population of illegal immigrants and their kids is costing American taxpayers $135 billion a year. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/record-135-billion-a-year-for-illegal-immigration-average-8-075-each-25-000-in-ny

  • This week the U.S. Supreme Court granted the Trump administrations request to hear arguments this term about the Trump administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census ahead of a ruling from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. SCOTUS decided to skip over a regional appeals court and review a district court ruling that bars the Trump administration from adding the controversial question to the decennial population count. https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/430239-supreme-court-agrees-to-hear-controversial-census-case-this-term

  • The Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s counterterrorism related travel ban. Writing for the 5-4 majority, Chief Justice John Roberts noted that Trump has the broad executive authority to impose his ban to further specific national security interests. Moreover, Roberts explains that the plaintiffs argument renders ludicrous existing legal judgments over presidential power in relation to national security. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/chief-justice-john-roberts-upholds-trumps-travel-ban-and-makes-trumps-legal-foes-look-silly

  • The California-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court ruling that sided with the Trump administration in a lawsuit challenging its authority to waive environmental and public participation laws to expedite the border construction projects. https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/429444-appeals-court-sides-with-trump-in-border-wall-prototype-dispute

    It’s only going to get worse for the left from here on in, even at the California based Ninth Circuit.

    California Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris lashed out at the White House after President Trump, under pressure from conservative activists, re-nominated two conservative California judges to the 9th Circuit federal appeals court over their opposition. The White House announced the nomination of Collins and Lee, among other judicial designees. Daniel A. Bress was also nominated to the 9th Circuit. The nomination of Collins and Lee bypasses the traditional “blue-slip” process in which the senators of the home state of the nominee give their consent to the pick. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/harris-feinstein-fume-after-white-house-re-nominates-two-conservative-california-judges

    Senate Republicans confirmed a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals nominee on Tuesday even though neither home-state senator returned a “blue slip” for the judge nominated by President Trump. Senators voted 53-46 on Eric Miller’s nomination, making him the 31st appeals judge confirmed since Trump took office in January 2017. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/431717-senate-confirms-trump-court-nominee-despite-missing-two-blue-slips

    President Trump’s record-shattering 84 confirmed judges are already 76 percent male and 91 percent white. The next six are also all white men. By DAHLIA LITHWICK, JAN 23, 2019. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/01/mcconnell-shutdown-judge-confirmations-trump.html

  • Way to prove my point. That ban was neutered to next to nothing by the third time it reached the court. Trump did not have the law on his side from the outset.

    Good to know you can’t find the merits of the ban besides bare bigotry.

  • Newly released data from the State Department reveals that Trump’s constitutional travel ban on eight foreign countries, designated as either dangerous or sponsors of terrorism, has warranted big results. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-ban/u-s-denied-tens-of-thousands-more-visas-in-2018-due-to-travel-ban-data-idUSKCN1QF2KF

    The travel ban, State Department data finds, has reduced legal immigration from the eight foreign countries by about 80 percent, compared to 2016 when the ban had not been implemented yet. Six of the eight countries included in Trump’s travel ban have either sponsored Islamic terrorism in the past or have major issues with terrorism.

    The impacted countries include: Chad, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen.

    The U.S. State Department refused more than 37,000 visa applications in 2018 due to the Trump administration’s travel ban, up from less than 1,000 the previous year when the ban had not fully taken effect — including 15,384 foreign nationals seeking to permanently resettle in the U.S. and 21,645 foreign nationals wanting non-immigrant visas.

    In the fiscal year from Oct. 1, 2017 through Sept. 30, 2018, citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen – the five countries consistently on the travel ban list throughout its different iterations – received approximately 14,600 U.S. visas. That is down 80 percent from approximately 72,000 visas issued for citizens of those countries in the 2016 fiscal year, when no such ban was in place.

    #MAGA!!!

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