Thursday, August 8, 2019

Last Call For The State Of Church And State

Knowing full well that the Trump regime isn't about to lift a finger to enforce the Johnson Amendment to the US tax code to stop churches from directly endorsing Trump, Christian evangelical organizations are happy to roll out their game plan for becoming an officially sanctioned arm of the Trump 2020 campaign.

Roughly 400 pastors and faith leaders will descend on Lynchburg, Virginia later this week as two major evangelical forces unite together in the beginning efforts of a 2020 national ground game aimed at restoring Judeo-Christian principles across the country and mobilizing an evangelical army of pastors to lead the way.

The closed-door two-day event will be held at Liberty University, one of the largest evangelical universities in the country and is organized by the American Renewal Project, led by influential political mechanic David Lane.
They're bringing in the pastors for the affair, many of whom are expected to take part in a political training session as they mull whether to run for local or statewide office.

"The Pastor and Pews events have been extremely valuable in mobilizing church-going voters and illuminating critical issues for elections," said former presidential candidate and Fox News Contributor Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee, a former pastor himself, has spoken at these events many times before and understands their value.

"I am convinced that the pastor and pews model was instrumental in the 2016 election of President Trump and has been instrumental in numerous statewide elections for congressional, US Senate and gubernatorial races."
President Trump won 81 percent of the white conservative evangelical vote in 2016 and during it all, the American Renewal Project was on the ground and extremely active. In the 60 days before the General Election, ARP spent $9 million in six battleground states, including some big prizes like Florida, Ohio and North Carolina. Now they're back at it looking for a repeat.

"It is the single, largest, most cohesive voter bloc in the last election," said Doug Wead, a noted historian, and best-selling author and advisor to two U.S. Presidents. "Now its all about voter ID and turnout."

With all the extra vitriol, animosity and energy aimed at Trump this time around, the president will need a similar showing or even better to win in 2020.

"Evangelicals propelled Donald Trump to victory in 2016 and if he's going to win again in 2020, it must be an all hands on deck approach," said Scott Lamb, senior vice president for the office of communications and public engagement for Liberty University. "Pastor events like this one truly are the Ground Zero launching pad for mobilizing the evangelical crowd."

Donald Trump and the GOP have a network of megachurches and the pastors running them in order to get their congregations to vote Republican.  That's what we're up against in 2020.

Never forget it.  Trump voters will be there to vote.  There has to be more of us.

Trump Trades Blows, Con't

As Trump escalates his trade war with China, and China now saying it will no longer buy any crop imports from the US, American farmers are letting the GOP know just how much they stand to lose at the ballot box next year.

Farmers’ discontent over President Donald Trump’s escalating trade war with China erupted into the open Wednesday as his agriculture secretary was confronted at a fair in rural Minnesota.

Gary Wertish, president of the Minnesota Farmers Union, drew applause as he leveled criticism of the administration’s trade policy at a forum with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in front of thousands of farmers gathered in a metal barn for a panel discussion.

American farmers took a fresh financial hit from Trump’s trade war over the weekend as China announced a halt to all U.S. agricultural imports after the president threatened Beijing with another tariff increase.

Wertish criticized Trump’s “go-it-alone approach” and the trade dispute’s “devastating damage not only to rural communities.” He expressed fears Trump’s $28 billion in trade aid will undermine public support for federal farm subsidies, saying the assistance is already being pilloried “as a welfare program, as bailouts.”

Others joined in. Brian Thalmann, president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, complained about Trump statements that farmers are doing “great” again. “We are not starting to do great again,” he said. “We are starting to go down very quickly.”

Joel Schreurs of the American Soybean Association warned American producers are in danger of long-term losses in market share in China, the world’s largest importer of soybeans.

Perdue sought to soothe the crowd as he defended the president’s policies. “Obviously this is a popular opinion. A lot of applause,” he joked after the audience reacted to Democratic Representative Angie Craig saying aid is not substitute for a strategy on trade. “There is a lot of stress out there.”

If farmers are laying into Sonny Perdue out in the open like this, then Trump may have badly miscalculated the support of farmers heading into 2020.  They're no longer willing to wait 15 months to vote for Trump if the China trade war explodes and their farms go under in six.  By no means does it mean farmers will start voting for Democrats in 2020, but they're not going to vote for Trump much either if the man's personally responsible for wrecking their farms.

One major miscalculation by either the US or China on this and it's global recession time anyway.

Big Orange Takes Over

Twitter slapped Team Mitch's account in limbo over a tweet of protesters outside the Senate GOP leader's house.

After sharing a video of a profanity-laced protest outside of the Kentucky Republican's home in Louisville, the campaign Twitter account, Team Mitch, has been locked out. 
"This morning, Twitter locked our account for posting the video of real-world, violent threats made against Mitch McConnell. This is a problem with the speech police in America today," McConnell campaign manager Kevin Golden told the Courier Journal. "The Lexington Herald-Leader can attack Mitch with cartoon tombstones of his opponents. But we can’t mock it. 
"Twitter will allow the words of “Massacre Mitch” to trend nationally on their platform, but locks our account for posting actual threats against us," Golden added. "We appealed and Twitter stood by their decision, saying our account will remain locked until we delete the video." 
According to Twitter spokesperson Katie Rosborough, “The user was temporarily locked out of their account for a Tweet that violated our violent threats policy, specifically threats involving physical safety.”

Twitter's policy states that users "may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people" and that the social network prohibits "the glorification of violence." 
McConnell, who fractured his shoulder on Sunday, has been under a heated spotlight after two mass shootings that killed more than 30 people and injured several more. 
Democrats and other critics have been urging McConnell to take up several gun control measures that proponents believe will stem the violence.

The response from the Trump regime was swift. By yesterday afternoon, the White House was already warning that it would soon be following through on threats to bring social media services like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube under Trump's control with a new executive order regulating the industry.

The White House is circulating drafts of a proposed executive order that would address allegations of anti-conservative bias by social media companies, according to a White House official and two other people familiar with the matter — a month after President Donald Trump pledged to explore "all regulatory and legislative solutions" on the issue.

None of the three would describe the contents of the order, which one person cautioned has already taken many different forms and remains in flux. But its existence, and the deliberations surrounding it, are evidence that the administration is taking a serious look at wielding the federal government’s power against Silicon Valley.

“If the internet is going to be presented as this egalitarian platform and most of Twitter is liberal cesspools of venom, then at least the president wants some fairness in the system,” the White House official said. “But look, we also think that social media plays a vital role. They have a vital role and an increasing responsibility to the culture that has helped make them so profitable and so prominent."

Two other people knowledgeable about the discussions also confirmed the existence of the draft order.

None of the three people could say what penalties, if any, the order would envision for companies deemed to be censoring political viewpoints. The order, which deals with other topics besides tech bias, is still in the early drafting stages and is not expected to be issued imminently.

"The President announced at this month’s social media summit that we were going to address this and the administration is exploring all policy solutions," a second White House official said Wednesday when asked about the draft order.

Now, on the surface this smells like a massive bluff to me considering not even the Roberts Court is a guaranteed win for Trump on a screamingly obvious First Amendment issue like this.  But the last thing that social media companies want is a long, expensive, drawn-out court fight that wrecks their bottom line and drives off both users and investors.  Even if Trump is blowing smoke, this is going to cost the social media giants billions.

Bluff or not, just issuing the order would be serious trouble for the social media companies, and they know it.  The question now is finding out what Trump is trying to extort from them.

Then again, with Trump, the cruelty is the point.  A Twitter that has the balls to actually apply the rules to Mitch McConnell is a Twitter that might actually apply them to Donald Trump, and that can never be allowed to happen.

This isn't a shot across the bow, this is one right up the tailpipe.


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