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Priest Calls Jeff Sessions "Disgraceful' for Using the Bible to Defend Tearing Apart Immigrant Families

June 14, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

Outrage about the administration's treatment of families at the border.


As pressure grows against the President Donald Trump administration's policy of separating immigrant children at the southern border from their parents, a Jesuit priest scolded Attorney General Jeff Sessions for defending the policy on Biblical grounds.

The Catholic Church has been deeply critical of the administration's policy. On Thursday, Sessions shot back at the criticism.

“Many of the criticisms raised in recent days are not fair, not logical, and some of contrary to plain law,” he said.

“I would cite you to the apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,” Sessions added.

“Disgraceful,” James Martin, a Jesuit and editor at large for American Magazine, said on Twitter of the comments.

He continued: ”Do not use St. Paul to justify unjust laws and acts of cruelty. St. Paul was an apostle not of laws (we are not justified by laws, he says in Romans), but an apostle of a person: Jesus Christ. “

Instead of pointing to Paul, Martin suggested taking a look a Jesus' own word, in particular, “I was a stranger and you did not welcome me” (Mt. 25). 

Watch Sessions' comments below:

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Source: ALTERNET

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Hillary Clinton Just Gave the Perfect Response to the Report on Her Email Probe

June 14, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

She took to Twitter to issue her response.


Hillary Clinton's email scandal dominated the coverage of her 2016 campaign for president, even though no criminal wrongdoing was ever uncovered after a thorough investigation.

On Thursday, after a Department of Justice inspector general's report backed up the conclusion of that investigation, the former secretary of state must have felt some additional relief. But one section of the report elicited a scathing response.

The IG found that despite his running the investigation into her use of private emails for work and his subsequent public criticism of her for this behavior, former FBI Director James Comey himself used private emails to conduct work business. Here's what she had to say about that:

“But her emails” became a meme after the election, meant to summarize the complete farce that was the media's obsession with Clinton's emails in the fact of wildly more egregious, damning, scandalous, and appalling behavior from then-candidate Donald Trump. That Comey, of all people, engaged in the same actions that consumed her campaign will go down in history as one of the great twisted ironies of our time.

 

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Source: ALTERNET

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Mr. Rogers Was a Total Revolutionary — Here's Why

June 14, 2018 in Blogs

By Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon

He based his career on his horror of what he saw going on in the world around him and was outspoken his whole life about it.


The woman next to me in the movie theater is crying. Not the kind of delicate, dab your tears away and sniffle crying like I did at “Blockers.” No, this woman is in full best friend's funeral heaving mode. We are watching a man tie his sneakers.

Fred Rogers always had talent for making adults sob. When he accepted his lifetime achievement Daytime Emmy in 1997, he moved an audience full of soap opera stars to tears in moments by simply asking them to take ten seconds to “think of the people who helped you become who you are, those who have cared about you and wanted what was best for you in life.”

In the fifteen years since his death, the absence of Mr. Rogers in the world only seems to grow more tear-jerkingly apparent. Not just because he was quiet and soothing and patient, but because he was ferocious and brave and radical. As Oscar winner Morgan Neville's timely, tear-duct lubricating documentary “Won't You Be My Neighbor?” makes clear, the easily parodied, often underestimated icon of children's television was a total badass.

Fred Rogers was an unlikely hero, an ordained Presbyterian minister and a puppeteer. Dismayed by the relentless pace, cruel slapstick and shameless commercialism of the still burgeoning medium of television — and concerned about its effects on children — he set out to create something different. As he once said, “I went into television because I hated it.” At the age of 40, he debuted “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood”on PBS. Unlike most broadcast fare, it was languorously paced, with sweater buttoning and fish feeding unfolding in real time. It was also, from the very beginning, not screwing around.

One of the bittersweet joys of “Won't You Be My Neighbor?” is how Neville portrays Rogers not as some squishy Teletubby but as a loving, curious, concerned and often fed up human being. Fred Rogers did not suffer fools. He based his career on his …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Watch Pence Straight-Up Lie About DACA to Defend Trump at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast

June 14, 2018 in Blogs

By Gabe Ortiz, Daily Kos

Perhaps he should consult the Scriptures about bearing false witness.


There’s sanctimonious blowhards, there’s hypocrites, and then there’s Mike Pence. Speaking at the 12th Annual National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast (think Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio types), Mr. Take-Me-Seriously-Because-Look-How-Furrowed-My-Eyebrows-Are claimed that “the Democrats have abandoned DACA,” “they don’t want to solve DACA,” and that “by their obstruction, they've abandoned the opportunity to enact compassionate and common-sense reforms to our immigration system”:

“And I can assure you, President Trump and I will continue to work for reforms that reflect the President’s priorities.  And we'll remain ready—we'll remain ready to move forward whenever the Democrats decide to end the obstruction and stop using the DACA issue as a part of a political process.”

Seriously, Mike? You just flat-out lied at a HISPANIC PRAYER event about your boss ending DACA and then sabotaging at least six bipartisan efforts to permanently protect undocumented immigrant youth from his mass deportation force? We know Pence needs Mother in the room in order to have a group dinner, but what are the rules when it comes to lying? By the way Mike, did you happen to mention the migrant children your administration currently has locked up and separated from their desperate parents? Guessing not.

We do deserve better, and it’s definitely not you.

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Source: ALTERNET

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Here Are 7 Key Parts of the DOJ's New Clinton Probe Report — And Why They Won't Make Trump Happy

June 14, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

The new bombshell report has a lot of information — and it doesn't support Trump's FBI conspiracy theories.


A bombshell new report from the Department of Justice examined the FBI's conduct during the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails, and many of its key findings completely contradict President Donald Trump's narrative of a politically motivated bureau that is determined to bring him down.

At more the 500 pages, the meticulously crafted report is filled with countless details and appears to be the result of a painstaking investigation. With all this information, there is certain to be enough facts that partisans on any side can use to support almost any conclusion they want — the war of political spin surrounding the report has already begun.

But Trump's claim that former FBI Director James Comey is inherently biased against him and that larger forces within the FBI were arrayed against him in the run-up to the election is completely undermined by the new report.

Here are seven key findings of the report that conflict with Trump's now entirely debunked narrative about the FBI:

1. Clinton was rightfully exonerated in the email probe.

While many conservatives are still completely convinced that Hillary Clinton was guilty of egregious wrongdoing in the email case — this fact served as a major argument during Trump's campaign — the inspector general believes Comey made the right call when he concluded that she wasn't guilty of a crime.

The report says Comey's determination was “consistent with the Department's historical approach in prior cases under different leadership.”

2. Comey's decision to criticize Clinton in a July press conference was unjustified. 

Comey called a press conference, without consulting his superiors, at the end of his investigation to announce that no charges would be brought against Clinton, but he included many sharp criticisms of her conduct. He has acknowledged that this was an unusual choice, but he argued that the difficult circumstances of the case warranted it.

The IG disagrees, writing: “While we found no evidence that Comey’s statement was the result of bias or an effort to influence the election, we did not find his justifications for issuing the statement …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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A Naval Race with China Is Unnecessary and Will Likely Backfire

June 14, 2018 in Economics

By John Glaser

John Glaser

WASHINGTON – Policymakers increasingly perceive China’s growing
naval strength in Asia as an acute threat to American interests
that must be met with a corresponding surge in U.S. naval power in
the Pacific.

However, precisely what tangible threat a few more Chinese
frigates on the other side of the planet poses to U.S. national
security interests is rather difficult to identify. And exactly
what objective is supposed to be achieved by boosting the U.S.
Navy’s presence in the region is something of a mystery.

Hawks point to Chinese territorial claims and naval activity in
the South China Sea as a signal of Beijing’s growing ability to
undermine freedom of navigation. But capability does not equal
intent. Indeed, any interruption in commercial shipping in the
Pacific would be devastating for China’s own economic and security
interests.

China’s naval expansion
threatens not so much America’s security, but its
prestige.

China is the largest trading nation in the world and relies on
the South China Sea for almost 40 percent of all its trade, valued
at roughly $1.5 trillion per year. If anything, Beijing’s more
assertive posture suggests a determination not to close off vital
sea lanes, but to keep them open.

It is notable, in addition, that the United States perceives a
grave threat from China’s naval expansion that China’s own
neighbors seem to miss.

Average defense spending as a percentage of GDP among the 11
East Asian states along China’s periphery has declined by almost
half over the past 30 years. Moreover, none of them have engaged in
their own freedom of navigation operations to directly challenge
China, despite encouragement to do so from Washington.

The Philippines had a major dispute with China over maritime and
territorial claims, which led to multiple naval standoffs, but now
Manila appears to be buddying up to Beijing, not balancing against
it. If China’s own proximate rivals don’t see a major threat, why
should we?

Even stipulating that Chinese naval power is a problem, one is
still left to wonder what effect beefing up the U.S. Pacific Fleet
is expected to have on Beijing’s calculations.

Are we to believe Beijing will respond to a proliferation of
U.S. warships off its shore by slashing its naval budget,
decommissioning scores of ships, and eagerly forfeiting its
regional ambitions?

There is a glaring logical contradiction in depicting China as a
nascent peer competitor doggedly seeking to supplant America as the
global juggernaut by whatever means necessary, but which will
abruptly cower in response to a mild U.S. naval buildup in the
Pacific Ocean.

More likely, cranking up a Sino-American naval competition will
generate heightened fear and suspicion in Beijing.

Combined with President Trump’s …read more

Source: OP-EDS