Thursday, February 2, 2017

Last Call For Church And State Of Insanity

The Trump regime's version of the National Prayer Breakfast turned into a spat about how people should pray for Trump's TV show "Celebrity Apprentice" because replacement host Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't doing so hot in the ratings, ha ha ha what a card that Trump.

President Trump vowed Thursday to overturn a law restricting political speech by tax-exempt churches, a potentially huge victory for the religious right and a gesture to his political base. 
Mr. Trump said his administration would “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits churches from engaging in political activity at the risk of losing their tax-exempt status. 
Repealing the law would require approval by Congress. Certain tax-exempt organizations — in this case, churches — are not allowed to openly endorse or campaign for political candidates. If they do, under existing law, they risk losing the benefits of their tax-exempt status. 
Speaking to a gathering of religious leaders, the president also defended his immigration policy, brushed aside concern about his harsh phone calls with foreign leaders, and ridiculed Arnold Schwarzenegger for his poor ratings in replacing Mr. Trump as host of “Celebrity Apprentice.” 
He did not mention an executive order on religious freedom, which critics said would restrict the rights of lesbians and gay men; a draft of the order has circulated, but administration officials have denied that it will be adopted. 
In addressing the issue of churches and political speech, Mr. Trump said, “I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution.” 
He added that “freedom of religion is a sacred right, but it is under serious threat.” 
During his presidential campaign, Mr. Trump promised to push for repeal of the law, which was passed in 1954 and named for then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, who proposed the change to the tax code.

Churches would then be free to endorse candidates and donate millions while still remaining tax-exempt, something that would certainly tip the balance of power in US politics permanently towards the GOP.  But hey, no difference between the parties, right?

Flag, Still Burning

So we've apparently solved that little mystery involving the military vehicle convoy here in Kentucky flying the Trump campaign flag and yeah, it's completely not cool.

The military convoy spotted on Sunday flying a Donald Trump flag near Louisville belonged to an East Coast-based SEAL unit, a Navy spokesperson told ABC News. 
Military officials have launched an inquiry to determine if any misconduct can be linked to the incident. Regulations do not permit an unauthorized flag on a military vehicle. 
Photos and a video of the convoy spread quickly on social media, with many questioning the identity of the occupants and whether the vehicles belonged to a military unit or were military surplus. 
The video shot on Sunday on a highway near Louisville showed the lead vehicle of a convoy flying a large blue Donald Trump flag from an antenna. 
The vehicles did not have any identifiable markings and the mystery deepened when local military bases in Kentucky said that the vehicles did not belong to their units. 
"The convoy were service members assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit driving vehicles while transiting between two training locations," Lieutenant Jacqui Maxwell, a spokesperson for Naval Special Warfare Group 2, told ABC News. Naval Special Warfare Units is the official Navy term for its elite SEAL special operations teams.

So, yeah, nothing to worry about, except the guys who are supposed to stay under the radar are apparently super cool trucking around with a Trump flag on their ride to let everybody know who they're really loyal to,

Cult of Personality in the military praising a leader rather than a country they're sworn to protect? Gosh, that's never gone horribly wrong in world history, right?

Exit question: Does Trump hear about this story and start tweeting that he'll protect these guys? Where does that leave us?

Our Little Domestic Terror Problem Magically Goes Away

Did you really think the Trump regime was ever going to lift a finger to try to stop the next Dylan Roof when A) white people can't be terrorists duh have you heard and B) those who are most likely are already working for law enforcement and the military anyway?

The Trump administration wants to revamp and rename a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism, five people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The program, "Countering Violent Extremism," or CVE, would be changed to "Countering Islamic Extremism" or "Countering Radical Islamic Extremism," the sources said, and would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States.

Such a change would reflect Trump's election campaign rhetoric and criticism of former President Barack Obama for being weak in the fight against Islamic State and for refusing to use the phrase "radical Islam" in describing it. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for attacks on civilians in several countries.

You can thank our new DHS Secretary for that.  John Kelly has decided that since the white supremacists he knows of are kind of his bosses at the White House, it's best not to investigate them at all.

A source who has worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the program said Trump transition team members first met with a CVE task force in December and floated the idea of changing the name and focus.

In a meeting last Thursday attended by senior staff for DHS Secretary John Kelly, government employees were asked to defend why they chose certain community organizations as recipients of CVE program grants, said the source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussions.

Although CVE funding has been appropriated by Congress and the grant recipients were notified in the final days of the Obama administration, the money still may not go out the door, the source said, adding that Kelly is reviewing the matter.

No, I wouldn't expect the program to see a dime and for it to be converted into the Trump regime's new anti-immigrant police force.  That's coming soon to a neighborhood near you, folks.


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