TRUTH BOMBS: HMMMM…. I would love to know what Catholics are really thinking right now.
ARTICLE: Imagine supporting a presidential candidate and then discovering that your preferred candidate and her election team have utter contempt for you and your dearly held faith-based beliefs.
Well, in this regard, there is no need to resort to your imagination, because in reality, a batch of recently released WikiLeaks emails have torn back the curtain on the religious bigotry of the Hillary Clinton campaign. It is clear: The Clinton team despises Catholics and Christian evangelicals. Among other things, we should ask, what does Clinton’s revealed campaign derision say about her respect for the First Amendment and freedom of religion?
In Clinton’s view, her infamous “basket of deplorables” comment seems to include Christians, too. But I have news for her: Those same law-abiding American citizens she arrogantly dismisses as “deplorable” and “irredeemable” have already been deemed to be saved by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We don’t want or require Clinton’s imprimatur of government-subsidized redemption.
But at the very least, she should apologize to Catholics and evangelicals who don’t appreciate her campaign’s ugly comments of religious defamation and intolerance. After all, confession is good for the soul.
TRUTH BOMBS: WOW, the liberals are really desperate. I have read articles about facebook shutting down Christian accounts and now there is this full on irrational spin about the Clinton emails. So we should ignore these emails from only 5 years ago but be offended at Trump for statements made over 10 years ago? The problem is this: The democrat party is comprised of many (not all) people who are “morally flexible”. In fact they are completely ok with the corruption of HilLIARy Clinton because of their fallacious unethical thought processes. The different conservative parties are comprised of people who are principled and not morally flexible. The base of which is evangelical Christians. Brothers and Sisters, please understand that one day the King is coming, until that day, NO Candidate will be perfect. Pragmatic choice is all we have in a vote.
“A good Catholic,” Pope Francis says, “meddles in politics, offering the best of himself, so that those who govern can govern.” It seems like a straightforward proposition put forth by the universal leader of the Catholic Church, a sentiment that has been communicated in some way or another by his recent predecessors.
But this past week, meddling in politics has become a “scandal” for some of my fellow Catholics, who’ve tried to spin a 2011 private email conversation between friends into something far more nefarious. In the alleged stolen email threads, John Podesta — who now chairs Hillary Clinton’s campaign — and some of his progressive colleagues have a candid conversation about the internal workings of the Catholic Church.
Since the release of these stolen five-year-old emails by WikiLeaks weeks before the November election, many conservative critics have suggested that these conversations represent damning evidence of a wide-ranging “anti-Catholic” conspiracy to undermine and destroy the church. Ross Douthat of the New York Times cast them as an entry in a “Catholic civil war,” and prominent Republicans, including House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), and members of Donald Trump’s campaign have called upon Clinton to apologize for the supposed bigotry in the conversation. Others claimed the progressive Catholic groups mentioned are fake, or worse, secretly anti-Catholic.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta blamed Russia for the hack into his emails that WikiLeaks published on Oct. 7. While speaking to reporters on the campaign plane, he said he believes Trump, “had advanced warning about what Assange was going to do.” (Reuters)
It’s absolute malarkey. And I would know: Since November 2013 — nearly three years after the emails were sent — I’ve been the executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG), one of the groups mentioned in the emails.
I take accusations of being part of an anti-Catholic conspiracy personally, because there’s nothing that matters to me and my colleagues more than our faith in Jesus Christ and our love for the Catholic Church. In short, it’s everything to me. So let’s set the record straight: Every day, our group works tirelessly to promote the social mission of Pope Francis and the Catholic Church in American politics, media and culture.
My group lives in the almost impossible position of trying to exhort fellow Catholics to respond to the social teaching of the church, which guides us to lift up the poor and oppressed, while working within a generally secular progressive movement that isn’t friendly to our views on the sanctity of life. For nearly a decade, the abortion rights community has railed against CACG’s consistent support for the dignity of the unborn child. In 2009, Catholics for Choice released a scathing 30-page report on how we were working to build an antiabortion movement within progressive politics. Then, in 2013, conservative Catholic activist Bill Donohue called us a “bogus Catholic entity” because we said Rush Limbaugh was wrong to rip Pope Francis as a practitioner of “pure Marxism.” Our group was once derided as “radical right wingers” and a “lapdog for liberals” by two different national commentators in a single month; and this past summer, I was accused of being a “feminist” on Fox News one week and a “mansplainer” in the Huffington Post the next week.
If we’re nothing but surrogates for the Democratic Party and shills for Clinton bent on collapsing the church from within, we probably should be fired, because we’re doing a pretty bad job.
In July, we fought tooth and nail to stop the Democratic Party from ditching the Hyde Amendment. When they refused to, we said it was growing evidence that Democrats were slowly defying their progressive ideals to become a “party of exclusion.” Catholics are right to strongly protest Clinton and the Democratic Party’s hard-line position on abortion. As we’ve said time and again, we think there’s nothing progressive about abortion. But if conservatives are going to be quick to deride Clinton’s campaign as “anti-Catholic,” they should take an honest look at Trump before doing so.
In March, a group of conservative Catholic intellectuals wrote in the National Reviewthat Trump was “manifestly unfit” to be president of the United States and that his campaign was “offensive to any genuinely Catholic sensibility.” Trump has no history of any antiabortion action — indeed, he’s self-identified as “very pro-choice” in the past — and as recently as March maintained that women who have abortions should be punished, a view held by few if any in the mainstream antiabortion movement. Trump has been openly hostile toward immigrants and refugees throughout his campaign, going so far as to suggest banning Muslims from entering the United States. Meanwhile, Pope Francis has called on Christians worldwide to accept refugees into their countries and homes, and has invited several Syrian refugees to live in the Vatican. As for that border wall Trump has promised? When, back in February, the pope said that good Christians build bridges instead of walls, Trump called him “disgraceful.” And that wasn’t the only time Trump had taken shots at a pope: In a February of 2013 radio interview, he said Pope Benedict XVI — a meek, thoughtful pope considered by many Catholics, myself included, to be a hero of our faith — “should just give up and die. He looks so bad.”
Trump’s entourage hasn’t been much better. Steve Bannon, Trump’s campaign chief executive, claimed that Catholics only support hospitality toward immigrants and refugees because “the church is dying”; and Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson tweeted in 2011 that it’s “sad” that Catholics believe the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus. Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, attempted to pressure local Catholic charities into refusing refugees aid during his tenure as governor. Add in Trump’s recently released lewd remarks and the mounting allegations of sexual assault levied against him, and it’s impossible to argue that Trump is a good ambassador for Catholic values in public life.
To me, it’s pretty clear: If conservatives want to fight for Catholic values in this election, then perhaps they should save their fire for a candidate who doesn’t praise Russian President Vladimir Putin and slam the pope.
Catholics can disagree on our politics. And we should: That’s a sign of a healthy culture of debate within the church. Genuinely Catholic politics should challenge both Democrats and Republicans — because our love of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church always goes before politics. To me, there’s no doubt that Trump’s vision for the United States represents a greater threat to the practice of our faith than those of us who take seriously Pope Francis’s message on the dignity of life, the scandal of poverty and the need to tackle immigration reform and climate change.
Given Trump’s trouble with Catholics at the polls, it’s no surprise that he and his allies are fabricating a falsehood about anti-Trump Catholics trying to divide and destroy the church we love.
Don’t fall for it for a second. No candidate has won the White House without winning the Catholic vote since 1972. And if Donald Trump continues down the same path this year, he’ll losebothinrecordfashion.
TRUTH BOMBS: Because liberalism always generates the exact opposite of it’s stated intent! Now we have no healthcare, and are fined for not having it. THANK YOU OBAMA!!
ARTICLE: A growing number of people in Obamacare are finding out their health insurance plans will disappear from the program next year, forcing them to find new coverage even as options shrink and prices rise.
At least 1.4 million people in 32 states will lose the Obamacare plan they have now, according to state officials contacted by Bloomberg. That’s largely caused by Aetna Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and some state or regional insurers quitting the law’s markets for individual coverage.
Sign-ups for Obamacare coverage begin next month. Fallout from the quitting insurers has emerged as the latest threat to the law, which is also a major focal point in the U.S. presidential election. While it’s not clear what all the consequences of the departing insurers will be, interviews with regulators and insurance customers suggest that plans will be fewer and more expensive, and may not include the same doctors and hospitals.
It may also mean that instead of growing in 2017, Obamacare could shrink. As of March 31, the law covered 11.1 million people; an Oct. 13 S&P Global Ratings report predicted that enrollment next year will range from an 8 percent decline to a 4 percent gain.
Last year in Minnesota, Theresa Puffer, 61, used Obamacare to sign up for a BlueCross BlueShield plan after leaving her job following a skin cancer diagnosis. “I would have had a hard time finding any sort of coverage before the ACA,” Puffer said by phone.
Next year, Puffer’s plan is disappearing from Obamacare — making her one of about 20,000 Minnesotans in the same situation. To make matters worse, premiums for other plans in the state will rise by at least 50 percent, though subsidies under the law can help cushion the blow.
“Trying to determine which would be the best plan for my situation is not easy,” Puffer said. Her dermatologist appears to be out of network in other plans, she said. “I’m willing to pay a higher premium to see him, because when you have cancer you want to stay with the same group of doctors,” she said. “I’ve spent so much time trying to figure out what my options are.”
Bloomberg contacted officials in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and the 1.4 million-person estimate includes 32 states and only plans sold on the individual “exchange” markets. In Texas, Arizona, Georgia and Missouri, insurers have pulled out, but regulators couldn’t or wouldn’t say how many people are affected. Three states didn’t provide sufficient data.
Eleven states said they weren’t affected. In Washington, D.C., because one insurer withdrew some of its offerings, about 7,800 customers will need to choose new plans.
The U.S. agency that oversees Obamacare has said that some disruption is normal, and that choosing a new plan can help people get the best deal.
“It’s part of the normal business cycle for insurers to discontinue, change, and replace plans from year to year,” Benjamin Wakana, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said by e-mail on Oct. 5. “Such changes don’t prevent people from obtaining coverage. People can shop for new coverage through a transparent market.”
HHS said Thursday that it will contact people losing their coverage and encourage them to sign up with new plans. The law requires all Americans to have insurance or pay a fine.
Nationwide estimates of the number of people losing their current plans are higher. For example, Charles Gaba, who tracks the law at ACASignups.net, estimates that 2 million to 2.5 million people in the U.S. will lose their current plans, compared with 2 million a year ago. Gaba’s estimate is based on insurance company membership data.
For the people losing plans, there are fewer and fewer choices. One estimate by the Kaiser Family Foundation predicts that for at least 19 percent of the people in Obamacare’s individual market next year there will be only one insurer to choose from.
In North Carolina, for example, a BlueCross BlueShield insurer will be the only option in 95 of the state’s 100 counties after Aetna and UnitedHealth said this year that they would leave. That will leave 284,000 people looking for a new plan, according to the state.
“Without any significant statutory and regulatory changes on the federal and state levels, we may face the crisis again,” said North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, a Democrat who’s up for election this year. “There needs to be a wholesale re-evaluation by leaders in Washington.”
In Tennessee, UnitedHealth and the state’s BlueCross BlueShield plan are pulling back, and about 117,000 people will lose the plans they have now.
Amanda Page Cornett, a 34-year-old musician and athletic trainer in Nashville, is among them. For 2015, Cornett was careful to pick a BlueCross BlueShield plan that covered specialists at Vanderbilt Health, to treat nerve pain stemming from a 2013 accident. Her condition worsened recently, she said, and she’s worried about losing access to her doctor.
“I’m hopeful that he’s going to be able to help me,” she said of her current physician. “I feel like now I have two and a half months to figure it out before they shut me out.”
History repeats itself, first as tragedy, the second as farce. — Karl Marx
If anyone needed new evidence that millennials have been deprived of a basic education, a new survey provides it with findings about their high acceptance rates of mass-murder-enabling ideologies such as socialism and communism.
Today, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) released a unique “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes towards Socialism,” gauging Americans’ attitudes toward socialism, communism, and related ideas. Data firm YouGov conducted the polling, which informed much of the report. We’ve known millennials had a thing for Bernie Sanders’ brand of socialism for a while, but these numbers show a generation sadly misinformed about the historical and present realities of life under communism and socialism.
“An emerging generation of Americans have little understanding of the collectivist system and its dark history,” said Marion Smith, VOC’s executive director. “Unfortunately, this report, which we intend to release on an annual basis, confirms this worrisome impression.”
Youth Is Wasted on the Young
For decades, especially during the Cold War, Americans have broadly held a negative view of communism and socialism, and needed little prodding to speak against such ideologies. But that has changed. The millennial generation, born in 1982 and the two decades following, have sharply different views of communism and socialism than older Americans.
According to the study, just over half of millennials (55 percent) believe communism was and still is a problem, compared with 80 percent of Baby Boomers and 91 percent of elderly Americans. Only 37 percent of millennials have a “very unfavorable” view of communism, while 57 percent of the rest of Americans do. A surprising 64 percent of Americans agreed with the classic Karl Marx statement that underpins Marxist philosophy: “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.
Before Sanders’ presidential campaign, I would have been shocked to learn nearly half of millennials (45 percent) say they would vote for a socialist. It all sounds so fair, so progressive, so hipster. It correlates with millennials’ absurd unemployment rate: 12.8 percent, double the national unemployment rate. And so more than half believe America’s economic system works against them and four in 10 call for a “complete change” of America’s economic system to ensure highest earners pay their “fair share.”
It’s clear millennials are uninformed about basic economics and global affairs. Socialists’ demands for the most productive citizens to pay for the bulk of Venezuelan taxes and other socialist measures has directly led to starving citizens waiting in bread lines to eat, looting stores, and killing each other in street brawls that include trampling children to death. History and current affairs provides more than enough evidence that the pleasant-sounding mantras of socialism and communism lead directly to death chambers, starvation, and mass graves. These are realities everyone, millennials included, need for the world’s sake to know.
I Like Karl Marx and I Cannot Lie
Of course, all these beliefs that 18- to 30-somethings hold didn’t come from nowhere. They stem from spending the first quarter of their lives in a public education system that would rather teach self-esteem than history. Many history courses have discarded or greatly paraphrased how and why the Soviet Union collapsed and the stark differences between living under a free enterprise system and say, surviving during the Cold War, when socialism peaked and the contrast looked black and white.
It’s the only way to explain why 1 in 4 Americans (26 percent) and one third of millennials (32 percent) falsely believe more people were killed under George W. Bush than under Joseph Stalin. Despite embracing ideologies communist leaders represent, however, many millennials are unfamiliar with communist leaders: 42 percent recognized Mao Zedong, 40 percent Che Guevara; 18 percent Joseph Stalin; 33 percent Vladimir Lenin; and 18 percent Vladimir Putin 18.
Of those who are familiar with Lenin, 25 percent view him favorably. Instead of being responsible for founding a totalitarian dictatorship, murdering countless millions, and, oh, I don’t know, massive human rights abuses, they think he’s just a champion of the working class, like good ole’ Bernie.
If education is the bedrock of society, consider it crumbling. When schools replace God and history facts with safe places and self-esteem, it produces a generation of adults with little historical perspective and general ignorance of the world.
“This report clearly reveals a need for educating our youth on the dangerous implications of socialist ideals. We will continue to work with educators to build curriculum to address this important need,” Smith said.
These Are Our Future Leaders
The biggest problem this study reveals, second only to the devastating effects of education that’s focused more on extracurriculars and encouraging self-esteem rather than math, writing and (accurate) history books, is the fact that these young people are on due course to be state and federal politicians, teachers, law enforcement, and business people.
In his 2006 pop hit, “Waiting on the World to Change,” John Mayer (a Generation Xer) crooned, “One day our generation is gonna rule the population / so we keep waiting, waiting on the world to change.” Not only is this generation going to rule the population, but these folks embrace an ideology they think will change the world. It will—but not for the better.
Oddly, an entire generation that embraced “The Hunger Games” (and its anti-socialism themes) with gusto is going ga-ga for an ideology that would have everyone living like Katniss Everdeen’s impoverished District 12. No, socialism and the millennials who love it will bring on the Hunger Games, but in reverse, and the odds are not in anybody’s favor.
Forget waiting on the world to change. It’s time to change it. This starts with teaching millennials the truth about socialism before they rule the population into ruin.
TRUTH BOMBS: Well the liberals need all the help they can get.
Despite widespread opposition from law enforcement, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a bill that will allow thousands of felons in county jails to vote in California elections as part of an effort to speed their transition back into society.
Through a representative, Brown declined to comment on the bill by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), who said it would reduce the likelihood of convicts committing new crimes.
“Civic participation can be a critical component of re-entry and has been linked to reduced recidivism,” Weber said when the bill was introduced.
On Wednesday, Weber said California is setting an example at a time when other state’s are trying to limit voting rights.
“I wrote AB 2466 because I want to send a message to the nation that California will not stand for discrimination in voting,” Weber said Wednesday after the bill was signed.
Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) criticized the approval of the legislation, which takes effect Jan. 1.
Bates said the new law will undermine the integrity of elections by allowing people in jail to decide close contest.
“It is very disappointing that felons still serving their sentences behind bars will now be able to vote since Governor Brown failed to veto this really bad bill,” Bates said in a statement.
However, the action was praised Wednesday by Daniel Zingale, senior vice president of The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation.
“California is stronger and healthier when more people participate in the electoral process,” he said. “Mass disenfranchisement for minor offenses is a tragic legacy of the Jim Crow era that disproportionately affects and diminishes the power of communities of color.”
The measure is opposed by the California State Sheriffs’ Assn. the California Police Chiefs Assn., which argued the state should not be restoring a right traditionally lost when people commit serious crimes until after they leave incarceration.