Defiant Bannon vows to ‘pour gasoline’ on his war with the GOP establishment: report

A new report suggests that Breitbart boss Steve Bannon is unbowed by the humiliating defeat of his chosen candidate, Roy Moore, in the Alabama Senate race.

A “source close to Bannon” tells Bloomberg TV reporter Kevin Cirilli that the former Trump political strategist is as determined as ever to wage war against the Republican establishment, which includes plans to run multiple insurgent primary challengers against GOP incumbents in 2018.

“This doesn’t stop Steve’s war against the establishment, all it does is pour gasoline on top of it,” the source tells Cirilli.
Kevin Cirilli

@kevcirilli
Source close to Bannon re: #AlSen: “This doesn’t stop Steve’s war against the establishment, all it does is pour gasoline on top of it.”
7:43 AM – Dec 13, 2017
241 241 Replies 164 164 Retweets 327 327 likes

The right-wing Wall Street Journal editorial page on Wednesday called out Bannon for his decision to back Moore’s campaign, and warned Republican donors and voters against supporting Bannon-backed insurgent candidates in the future.

“The Alabama result shows that Mr. Bannon cares less about conservative policy victories than he does personal king-making,” the editors wrote. “He wants to depose Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader even if it costs Republicans Senate control. GOP voters, take note: Mr. Bannon is for losers.”

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Our ‘integrity is severely tarnished’: Christianity Today editor says ‘no one will believe a word we say’ after Alabama

The editor-in-chief of Christianity Today posted a provocative editorial that concludes “Christian faith” was the clear loser in the Alabama special election.

“No matter the outcome of today’s special election in Alabama for a coveted US Senate seat, there is already one loser: Christian faith. When it comes to either matters of life and death or personal commitments of the human heart, no one will believe a word we say, perhaps for a generation,” the editorial explained. “Christianity’s integrity is severely tarnished.”

Democrat Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore in the special election.

The editorial noted the Alabama special election, “put an exclamation point on a problem that has been festering for a year and a half—ever since a core of strident conservative Christians began to cheer for Donald Trump without qualification and a chorus of other believers decried that support as immoral.”

“The Christian leaders who have excused, ignored, or justified his unscrupulous behavior and his indecent rhetoric have only given credence to their critics who accuse them of hypocrisy,” the editorial continued.

 “When a public Christian is accused of some immorality, the honorable and moral thing to do has been to take a leave of absence until the matter of settled,” Christianity Today noted. “This is precisely what Moore, who sees himself as a godly and moral candidate, has refused to do.”

The Republicanism of some evangelical Christians harms the gospel of Jesus, the editorial argued.

“When combative conservative Christians refuse to suffer patiently in the public square, retaliate when insults are hurled at them, and do not refrain from the appearance of evil, they sabotage not only their political cause but the cause they care about the most: the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Christianity Today concluded.

Read the powerful editorial.

By BOB BRIGHAM/RawStory

Posted by The NON-Conformist

GOP State Rep. Accused of Raping 17-Year-Old Sings Hymn Before Declaring: ‘No Reason I Would Resign’

It seems like every day a new media or political figure is accused of having committed some form of a sex crime. Oh wait, it is every day, sometimes multiple times in one day. Yipes.

Today’s contender in the “worst male in the world” contest is Kentucky Rep. Dan Johnson, who has been accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl at a New Year’s Eve party while he was acting as her preacher.

More from Mediate

Posted by Libergirl

 

Recount Of Atlanta Mayor’s Race Still Looms After Razor Thin Margin Certified

The vote tallies for the runoff election in the Atlanta mayoral race are official, but with a razor-thin margin remaining, the trailing candidate said Monday that she plans to ask  for for a recount.

Image: David Goldman/AP

Election officials in Fulton and DeKalb counties, which both include parts of Atlanta, certified their votes, which still have Keisha Lance Bottoms winning the race. Bottoms’ lead grew from 759 votes in unofficial tallies released last week to 832 votes in the certified results. That still amounts to less than 1 percent of the votes.

The candidates have 48 hours from the certification in each county to request a recount, and Mary Norwood told reporters she would likely do so Tuesday.

“It is absolutely imperative that we take a look at every single ballot,” Norwood said.

More from TPM

Posted by Libergirl

 

The Confederacy Endures

There was a right side and a wrong side in the late war, that no sentiment ought to cause us to forget … the South has suffered to be sure, but she has been the author of her own suffering.”

—Frederick Douglass, remarks at Madison Square, New York City (1878)

I’ve always loved to stir the pot. For instance, when I taught American history at West Point (from 2014 to 2016), I amused myself and challenged overwhelmingly conservative students with provocative discussion questions. Here was a favorite: “Who was responsible for more American deaths—Osama bin Laden or Robert E. Lee?” The answer is as obvious as it is (for some) inflammatory. Lee, the West Point graduate and treasonous general, wins the perverse contest by at least a factor of 10. Heck, about as many soldiers from Maine died in the gruesome Civil War as did New Yorkers on 9/11.

Still, strange as it sounds, as recently as 2016, I began my mornings at West Point with a run along Lee Road, through the scenic Lee Housing Area, before grabbing a pre-class haircut in Lee Barracks. These bizarre, if not outright absurd, symbols raise so many questions. Are these commemoratives acceptable, offensive or inappropriate? Are they normal? After all, it is hard to imagine other national militaries offering ubiquitous tributes to the losing side of their civil wars and revolutions. You’ll find no Fort Himmler in Germany or Oliver Cromwell (or, for that matter, King James II) Barracks in the United Kingdom. Oh, how the United States insists on being “exceptional.”

Nevertheless, until the 2015 Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting in Charleston, S.C., and the deadly rallies in Charlottesville, Va., in August, such American military dedications seemed curiously normal. I can’t remember a single mention in my four years (from 2001 to 2005) as a young cadet at the military academy.

Truthfully, no one ought to be shocked. The inconvenient truth is that the military, especially the Army, has long reflected a growing political and cultural divide in the United States. There are 10 Army bases named for Confederate generals: Camp Beauregard and Forts Rucker, Benning, Lee, Polk, Bragg, Gordon, Pickett and Hood, as well as my personal “favorite,” Fort A.P. Hill, named after one of Lee’s corps commanders, a man whose troops executed surrendering black Union troops.

Whence They Came

Studies demonstrate that young people are more likely to enlist if they live in close proximity to military bases and communities, which makes perfect sense. Thus, it’s highly significant that there are so many more Army bases per capita in former Confederate states. With the exception of California, the active-duty Army has at most three major bases in what constituted Union states during the Civil War. There are 18 such sites in the former Confederate states. Even in the relatively young (formed in 1947) Air Force, basing is skewed toward the South. Again, discounting California, there are only nine active-duty installations in the Union states, versus at least 29 in the old Confederacy.

At a national level, contemporary culture wars demonstrate the enduring legacy of the North-South divide in politics and culture. Presidential election maps have, in this sense, been remarkably consistent since the Civil War. Secessionist candidates John Breckenridge and John Bell won every future Confederate state in 1860. For nearly a century, the Confederacy was solidly Democratic—a party then traditionally affiliated with segregation and white supremacy. After President Lyndon Johnson had the Civil and Voting Rights Acts passed, Republicans soon dominated in Southern states.

Here’s the rub: Statistically, more soldiers and officers hail from the South, and they’re also more likely to be politically conservative. Since 1968, Republicans have owned the Deep South. Richard Nixon won every former Confederate state in 1972, Ronald Reagan carried all but one in 1980 and the whole South in 1984. So did George H.W. Bush in 1988. Even in defeat, he carried seven of 12 Confederate states in 1992, as did Bob Dole in 1996. More recently, George W. Bush “won” the whole Confederacy in 2000 and 2004. Even in victory, Democrat Barack Obama won just five Southern states between his two elections. Which brings us to 2016, when Donald Trump rode to victory carrying all but one secessionist state.

These very states provide a disproportionate number of new recruits, and the military has (at least since the end of the draft in 1973) been increasingly unreflective of the national demographics. Soldiers, to generalize, are considerably more Southern and rural than the population at large. For example, today, seven of 12 Confederate states rank among the top 20 in per capita military recruits, versus just two of 23 Union states. Most of the others hail from the rural mountain West and such overseas territories as Samoa. That’s a staggering imbalance in a supposedly representative, national institution and one all but certain to influence the culture and attitudes within the martial profession.

A Tragic (Not-So-Hypothetical) Path

So, back to the military, and the human consequences for a not-so-atypical American soldier. Today, in the United States—the world’s “indispensable nation”—a young African-American woman from Montgomery, Ala., might graduate from Jefferson Davis High School (92 percent black and named for the president of the Confederacy), and, awash with patriotic fervor, choose to enlist in the Army. Basic training might then commence at Fort Benning, Ga., whose namesake—Confederate Gen. Henry Benning—said of the war: “The north shall have attained power, the black race will be in a large majority, and then we will have black governors, black legislatures, black juries, black everything. Is it to be supposed that the white race will stand for that?” How lovely.

Being interested in a future career in communications, our brave young woman would then attend advanced individual training at Fort Gordon, Ga. Home of the Army Signal Corps, the fort is named for Gen. John Gordon, who, before the outbreak of war, declared that “slavery is the hand-maiden of civil liberty.” He also led the Georgia branch of the Ku Klux Klan. What a proud commemoration for an installation, especially in an Army officially dedicated to values of “respect, honor, and integrity.”

After several months of training, our new young private might then earn an assignment to one of North America’s largest military bases—Fort Hood, Texas. Gen. John Bell Hood lost a leg and the use of an arm in the service of a secessionist slaveholding republic. Hood so cherished the Confederate battle flag that he enthusiastically exclaimed, “I can assure you, that the gallant hearts that throb beneath its sacred folds will only be content when this glorious banner is planted first and foremost in the coming struggle for our independence.” Isn’t that nice?

Now, some will inevitably argue that the South fought for some vague notion of “state’s rights,” not slavery. There’s so much evidence to refute this claim that a serious scholar is tempted to ignore the contention. But, unable to help myself, I’d ask such readers to consider just one example—Texas’ secession declaration—which unambiguously declared:

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race. …

Others might argue that our young military recruit should quit being such a snowflake and not take offense. But isn’t that a lot to ask of a black youth seeking only to serve her country without being surrounded by, and constantly reminded of, the slave society that sought to defeat America’s Army and enslave her ancestors?

So, how to make it right? Here’s a good, if symbolic, start: Ditch the traitorous, Confederate regalia nonsense. Move these historic symbols where they belong—into museums. Ironically, perhaps the best spokesman for such a policy is Gen. Robert E. Lee himself. After the war, Lee consistently opposed Confederate statues and commemoration, and didn’t want the Confederate battle flag to fly over Washington College—of which he was then president. The military, as one of the few—ostensibly—national institutions, ought to bridge the cultural divide and once again reflect the whole nation, unite disparate individuals and mirror America’s purported values.

E pluribus unum—out of many, one. At least in theory.

By Maj. Danny Sjursen/Truthdig

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Bullied Tennessee Boy’s Mom Embraces Confederate Flag, Black Celebs Question Support

Scores of A-list celebs have reached out to a young Knoxville, Tennessee boy who shared a heartbreaking video recounting his experience of being bullied at school – but past photos of the boy’s family posing with the Confederate flag has caused some to debate whether African Americans celebs should voice their support.

Cardi B, Snoop Dogg, Rihanna, Heather Headley and a number of black athletes have joined the multitude of famous names supporting elementary school student Keaton Jones. On Friday, his mom, Kimberly Jones, posted his tearful video on Facebook, shortly after picking up Keaton from school because he was too afraid and upset to go to lunch. Keaton describes having milk poured on him and being called ugly for the head scars left from a tumor operation.

“Just out of curiosity, why do they bully?,” Keaton asks. “What’s the point of it? Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to ’em? It’s not okay. It’s not okay! People that are different don’t need to be criticized about it. It’s not their fault.” The boy also says, “They make fun of my nose. They call me ugly. They say I have no friends.”

In a message accompanying the video, Kimberly Jones wrote, “My kids are by no stretch perfect, and at home, he’s as all boy as they come, but by all accounts he’s good at school. Talk to your kids. I’ve even had friends of mine tell me kids were only nice to him to get him to mess with people. We all know how it feels to want to belong, but only a select few know how it really feels not to belong anywhere.”

Within 24 hours, the FB post had racked up more than 10 million views and is closing in on 20 million. Stars like Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Eva Longoria, Millie Bobby Brown, Hailee Steinfeld came out in droves to tweet Keaton messages of support. Many prominent African Americans from Hollywood, music, sports and politics were among those coming to his defense.

“I’m so Sad and angry like I’m OD hot 😡😪Please teach your kids not to be bullies,” Cardi B. tweeted in response. “Teach them how to be tough 👊🏽but not too pick on others.”

I’m so Sad and angry like I’m OD hot 😡😪Please teach your kids not to be bullies .Teach them how to be tough 👊🏽but not too pick on others

Bernice King tweeted: “You may have heard of my parents, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (#MLK) and #CorettaScottKing. I try to honor them and their legacies. I’m so sorry about the pain you’re experiencing because of bullying. You matter. I love you.”

@Lakyn_Jones Hello, Keaton (via your sister)! You may have heard of my parents, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. () and . I try to honor them and their legacies. I’m so sorry about the pain you’re experiencing because of bullying. You matter. I love you.

Snoop Dogg also reached out to Keaton, saying, “Lil Man U gotta friend in me for life hit me on dm so we can chop it up love is the only way to beat hate 👊🏾☝🏾”

But things took a left turn on Monday.

As the video continued to pick up steam, Keaton and his family were discovered to be proud confederate-flag owners, and the conversation online inevitably shifted.

Twitter uses began digging up receipts showing Keaton’s mom being quite hostile on Facebook regarding African American protesters back in August.

That viral video of talking about being bullied is heartbreaking, and I feel sympathetic towards that child.
But his mom, Kimberly on the other hand, is a suspected racist who makes very problematic posts bullying Black protesters

A comment in Snoop’s Instagram repost of Keaton’s video read: “Take this s**t down snoop. He being raised up to be a racist but black people sticking there necks out once again instead if worrying about ourselves.”

And the debate was off and running…

By Nicole Hyatt, Eurweb.com

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Trump and GOP Tax Cut Is Handing Corporations Like Ford a Giant Incentive to Move Offshore Giant corporations got what they wanted out of Republicans on taxes, now they’re lobbying the Trump administration hard to retain their NAFTA privileges.

Ford hit Michigan and its auto workers with some crappy holiday news. Instead of building a $700 million electric vehicle factory in Michigan as promised in January, Ford will construct the plant in Mexico.

Ford reneged on its promise to Michigan workers just days after the Senate passed a tax plan intended to end levies on corporate profits made at factories offshore – in places like Mexico. News of the letdown also arrived just days before new negotiations on a revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are to begin in Washington, D.C.

Ford and other giant corporations got what they wanted out of Republicans on taxes, dramatically lower levies on domestic profits and total elimination on foreign profits. That makes Mexico an even more attractive manufacturing site for them than NAFTA did. So now they’re lobbying the Trump administration hard to retain the privileges that NAFTA bestowed on them. If they win that argument, they’ll have secured double incentives to offshore.

Trump administration officials don’t sound like they’re buying the corporate line, however. And they shouldn’t. NAFTA has cost Americans nearly a million jobs as thousands of factories migrated to Mexico. As he campaigned, President Trump promised untold numbers of factory workers and their families across the nation’s industrial belt that he would fix or end NAFTA to keep jobs and industry in America. He needs to keep that promise.

That means elimination of the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) scam that allows corporations to sue governments in secret courts presided over by corporate lawyers when legislatures pass laws corporations don’t like. That means standing strong on the Trump administration demands that the new pact expire in five years if it’s not working and that a substantial portion of automobiles – including Fords – be made in the USA to attain duty-free status. It means strong protection for workers’ right to organize and collectively bargain. It means substantially raising the Mexican minimum wage, which now stands at $4.70. That’s for a day, not an hour.

What it really means is prioritizing the needs of workers over the demands of corporations, something that was not done the first time around by NAFTA negotiators. As it stands now, NAFTA places all of the jeopardy on the shoulders of workers and communities while substantially eliminating normal business risks for corporations.

The jeopardy NAFTA created for workers is that its corporate-friendly provisions prompt employers to close American factories that sustain both workers and communities and move them to Mexico. This exodus of American manufacturing to Mexico has continued apace this year, even as the Trump administration began renegotiating NAFTA, probably because corporations assume they’ll get everything they want in the end. They have, after all, always done so in the past because they are, after all, massive political campaign donors and lobby firm patrons, while hourly workers are not.

Bloomberg reported in October, for example, that firms whose function it is to help corporations move factories from the United States to Mexico had a boom year in 2017, with one reporting it had done more offshoring this year than in any during the previous three decades.

Mexico is alluring because of its dirt-cheap wage rates, the paucity of environmental enforcement and the ISDS scam that lets corporations sue the government if Mexico would regulate in a way some CEO claims would crimp his profits.

The ISDS along with NAFTA’s unlimited lifespan reduce risk for corporations. Normal business decisions in capitalist systems involve some jeopardy. A chemical company could, for example, invest in developing a new pesticide, but then lose when the government bans the product after determining it kills babies as well as bugs.

NAFTA provides corporations with investment protection because it ensures they’ll get their profits even if a government changes regulations. ISDS enables corporations to sue to recoup money the corporations supposedly would have made if the government hadn’t issued new laws or regulations. The corporate-run court can order a country’s citizens to pay tens of millions to the corporation.

Some say this government-financed investment insurance corrupts capitalism. Among the significant people who have is U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. He said corporations are insisting the government absolve CEOs of political risk. CEOs are using ISDS as a guarantee rather than buying risk insurance or factoring political risk into economic decisions about whether to move.

Lighthizer said businessmen have literally told him the administration cannot change ISDS because corporations wouldn’t have invested in Mexico without it. “I’m thinking,” he said, “‘Well, then, why is it a good policy of the United States government to encourage investment in Mexico?’”

These are the same corporate honchos who object to a five-year sunset clause for a new NAFTA, he said. They want a free eternal warranty on the provisions of a deal they describe as the world’s greatest. Lighthizer’s response is that if the deal is so great, why would the government choose to end it after five years? What are they really worried about?

The worry may be that those CEOs know NAFTA is great for their bottom line but not for the workers who elected Donald Trump President.

They know NAFTA was drafted by CEOs for CEOs. Its priorities were determined by corporate bigwigs behind doors closed to the public. Corporations designed it at the expense of workers and ordinary citizens, Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize winning economist, said in an op-ed in the Guardian newspaper this week.

It often seems, he wrote, “that workers, who have seen their wages fall and jobs disappear, are just collateral damage – innocent but unavoidable victims in the inexorable march of economic progress. But there is another interpretation of what has happened: one of the objectives of globalization was to weaken workers’ bargaining power. What corporations wanted was cheaper labor, however they could get it.”

U.S. corporations like Ford got it by writing a trade deal that gave them market-distorting profit protections, then abandoning their dedicated American workers and moving to Mexico where they could pay $4.70 a day and pollute unfettered.

President Trump has threatened to withdraw from NAFTA if his negotiators can’t get new reasonable terms that protect American manufacturing and American workers.

That is right. It’s appropriate that corporations like Ford sustain the actual risk of offshoring rather than workers bearing it all.

By Leo Gerard / AlterNe

Posted by The NON-Confomist