Daily Archives: October 7, 2020

CCP Censors Pence’s Debate Comments On China But Airs Harris’s

China reportedly censored Vice President Mike Pence but not California Sen. Kamala Harris during Wednesday’s vice presidential debate.

‘You spent 3.5 yrs trying to overturn election’: Pence reminds Harris of Russiagate when grilled on ‘peaceful transfer of power’ — RT USA News

‘You spent 3.5 yrs trying to overturn election’: Pence reminds Harris of Russiagate when grilled on ‘peaceful transfer of power’

Asked about committing to a peaceful transfer of power if Joe Biden wins the November election, Mike Pence accused Kamala Harris’s party of trying to “overturn” the 2016 presidential vote for “the last three and a half years.”

Accusing President Donald Trump of refusing to “commit himself to a peaceful transfer of power,” debate moderator Susan Page asked Vice President Pence what he would do in a scenario where Donald Trump actually refuses to accept an election loss.

Side-stepping an actual commitment, the vice president said he believes he and Trump will win the election against “establishment” candidates like Harris and Joe Biden, and then turned the question around on Harris.

 Also on rt.com

Harris slams Trump for not asking Putin about NYT Russian bounties story – a rumor, for which PENTAGON sees no proof

“When you talk about accepting the outcome of the election, I must tell you, Senator,” Pence said, turning his attention to Harris, “your party has spent the last three and half years trying to overturn the results of the last election.” Pence was referring to the probe into accusations Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential race and influenced the results, while Trump colluded with Moscow – a disproven claim Harris pushed during the debate.

“It was found there was no obstruction, no collusion, case closed,” the VP has reminded. 

Pence also brought up Hillary Clinton stating in August that “Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is,” one of the statements suggesting Democrats could be the ones not committed to accepting the upcoming election results. 

Despite a special counsel probe finding nothing indictable related to the Trump campaign colluding with the Russian government to influence the election, Harris stated that collusion had, in fact, happened. She even accused Russia of interfering in the current presidential election.

 Also on rt.com

Pence and Harris both SIDESTEP debate questions about discussions over taking reins if president becomes disabled

“I serve on the Intelligence Committee of the United States Senate,” Harris said when slamming the president for “embracing” Russian President Vladimir Putin. “America’s intelligence community told us Russia interfered in the election of the president of the United States in 2016 and is playing in 2020.”

“Donald Trump prefers to take the word of Vladimir Putin over word of the American intelligence community,” she added.

— Read on www.rt.com/usa/502888-trump-transfer-power-russia-collusion/

Pope Francis Criticizes Capitalism, Recommends Communist Policy Against Private Property

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Pope Francis rejected the concept of an absolute right to property for individuals, which is a defining feature of communism. Francis falsely blamed the loss of millions of jobs on the virus, but the economy was destroyed by governments forcing lockdowns and shutting down businesses.

Pope Francis says the coronavirus pandemic has proven that the “magic theories” of market capitalism have failed and that the world needs a new type of politics that promotes dialogue and solidarity and rejects war at all costs.

Francis on Sunday laid out his vision for a post-COVID world by uniting the core elements of his social teachings into a new encyclical aimed at inspiring a revived sense of the human family. “Fratelli Tutti” (Brothers All) was released on the feast day of his namesake, the peace-loving St. Francis of Assisi.

The document draws its inspiration from the teachings of St. Francis and the pope’s previous preaching on the injustices of the global economy and its destruction of the planet and pairs them with his call for greater human solidarity to confront the “dark clouds over a closed world.”

In the encyclical, Francis rejected even the Catholic Church’s own doctrine justifying war as a means of legitimate defense, saying it had been too broadly applied over the centuries and was no longer viable.

“It is very difficult nowadays to invoke the rational criteria elaborated in earlier centuries to speak of the possibility of a ‘just war,'” Francis wrote in the most controversial new element of the encyclical.

Francis had started writing the encyclical, the third of his pontificate, before the coronavirus struck and its bleak diagnosis of a human family falling apart goes far beyond the problems posed by the outbreak. He said the pandemic, however, had confirmed his belief that current political and economic institutions must be reformed to address the legitimate needs of the people most harmed by the coronavirus.

— Read on needtoknow.news/2020/10/pope-francis-criticizes-capitalism-recommends-communist-policy-against-private-property/

of two minds – Charles Hugh Smith: Corruption Is Now Our Way of Life

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Social and economic decay is so glacial that only those few who remember an earlier set-point are equipped to even notice the decline. That’s the position we find ourselves in today.

Many Americans will discount the systemic corruption that characterizes the American way of life because they’ve known nothing but systemic corruption. They’ve habituated to it because they have no memory of a time when looting wasn’t legalized and maximizing self-enrichment by any means available wasn’t the unwritten law of the land.

If you don’t yet see America as little more than an intertwined collection of skims, scams, frauds, embezzlements, lies, gaming-the-system, obfuscation of risk and exploitation of the masses by insiders, please read How Corruption is Becoming America’s Operating System. (nakedcapitalism.com, via Cheryl A.)

Here on oftwominds.com, you might want to read No Wrongdoing Here, Just 6,300 Corporate Fines and Settlements. (May 2015)

When JP Morgan Chase engaged in fraud and was fined a wrist-slap $1 billion, nobody went to prison because nobody ever goes to prison for corporate fraud and criminal collusion: JPMorgan to pay almost $1 billion fine to resolve U.S. investigation into trading practices.
 

— Read on charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2020/10/corruption-is-now-our-way-of-life.html

Russiagate perpetrators ‘got away with it’ | WND

Hillary Clinton (Video screenshot)

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]

By J. Peder Zane
Real Clear Politics

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe created a new category of news last week – the ho-hum smoking gun – when he released a letterregarding the Clinton campaign’s efforts to generate the Trump/Russia hoax during the 2016 election.

In three short paragraphs addressed to Sen. Lindsey Graham, Ratcliffe revealed that U.S. intelligence officials had learned in late July 2016 that the Russians believed Clinton “had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee.”

Ratcliffe reported that former CIA Director John Brennan considered the information important enough to share with President Obama and other senior national security officials. In addition, on Sept. 7, 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to then-FBI Director James Comey regarding “U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private mail server.”

The information is ho-hum because it tells us what already we know. By the spring of 2016 the Clinton campaign had hired the opposition research firm Fusion GPS and its agent, Christopher Steele, to dig up dirt on Trump’s alleged Russia connections. Steele’s fishing expedition in Russian waters makes it reasonable to embrace the Ratcliffe letter’s main claim: that the Kremlin knew what the Clinton campaign was up to in July 2016 – and so, too, did U.S. intelligence.

And yet, the letter is also a smoking gun because it shows how Obama administration officials willfully ignored all evidence to the contrary in their relentless pursuit of Trump. Even though Brennan had information that Clinton was intent on blaming Trump for the hacking as a campaign ploy, he became one of the prime architects of the Trump/Russia conspiracy theory.

Same goes for Jim Comey. Stunningly, at his Senate hearing last week, Comey claimed he had no recollection of the U.S. intelligence referral that combined the bureau’s two most significant probes of 2016: Clinton’s emails and Trump’s supposed Russia connections.

Brennan and Comey’s malfeasance is especially troubling given that the information they ignored about Clinton was true while the disinformation they embraced about Trump turned out to be false. At a minimum, they should have been on high alert about any Trump-related material coming from the Clinton campaign. Brennan, instead, insistedthat the Steele dossier be included in the Obama administration’s late 2016 Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian interference – and then lied about it.

For his part, Comey signed FISA court applications that used the Steele dossier to justify spying on Carter Page and, by extension, the Trump campaign.

The mainstream media was also a prime mover of the Russiagate hoax, and its coverage of the Ratcliffe letter reveals once more how it has used anonymous sources and misleading language to diminish facts that challenged that narrative. Politico reported that the Senate Intelligence Committee “was made aware of that allegation early on in its investigation, and quickly dismissed it, the sources said.”

The New York Times went further, reporting that the Senate committee and Special Counsel Robert Mueller “had evaluated and rejected the information in the years since, according to three current and former officials familiar with those inquiries.”

Neither publication, however, showed any curiosity about how and why a report that made it to President Obama and was the subject of an intelligence referral to the FBI was rejected. For that matter, the outlets didn’t seem to press their anonymous sources to explain how the Senate and Mueller’s office were even able to independently “evaluate” highly classified intelligence – which the intelligence community, according to Ratcliffe, has not dismissed.

Instead of exploring the issues raised, the publications and their anonymous sources are trying to shut down any inquiry through a deceptive leap of logic. They are using one aspect of the intelligence that has not been verified – that Clinton herself personally approved the anti-Trump effort – to invalidate the broader point that her campaign originated the Russiagate smear.

This is the same approach they have used regarding Hunter Biden’s efforts to cash in on his father’s name. Obvious ethical questions about egregious conflicts of interest are sidestepped by narrowly defining the issue as whether there’s direct evidence that Joe Biden changed policy to enrich his son.

This deception is especially brazen in the Clinton campaign’s case because its pivotal role in Russiagate is long established and beyond dispute. As such, it seems part of a larger strategy to take every opportunity to fog the air and muddy the waters so the public doesn’t know what to think – a win for wrongdoers.

A final thought. Many of those horrified and disgusted by the Trump/Russia hoax have long been in “Iceman Cometh” mode, hoping tomorrow will deliver that last piece of evidence that convinces even Democrats to hold the wrongdoers accountable.

That day will never come. The Ratcliffe letter is the latest in a long line of smoking guns – including reports from the special counsel, the DoJ inspector general as well as dogged journalists – that have established beyond any doubt that the vast powers of our government were weaponized and politicized to destroy a candidate and then a president.

The crime is as clear as the fact that they got away with it.

J. Peder Zane is an editor for RealClearInvestigations and a columnist for RealClearPolitics.

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]

— Read on www.wnd.com/2020/10/russiagate-perpetrators-got-away/

Poll: Majority of Americans See Possibility Of Civil War, Political Violence Following Election | LifeZette

A number of new polls have shown that a shocking number of Americans are concerned about the possibility of violence and civil war following the election.

To make matters worse, polling indicates that nearly half of registered voters don’t trust the legitimacy of the upcoming election.

Over Half Of Voters Think The Election Will Be Contested

The polls have outlined just how much of a powderkeg America currently is going into the presidential election next month.

RELATED: Trump Hits Back At Michelle Obama With ‘World On Fire’ Video After She Calls Him ‘Racist’

Braver Angels, an organization designed to “promote civility and healing between ‘reds and blues’,” commissioned a YouGov poll of voters.

The results are frightening.

Nearly half (47%) of the 1,999 registered voters surveyed disagreed that the election “is likely to be fair and honest.”

Just over half (51%) think that Americans will not be able to agree on who is the legitimate winner of the election.

For the supporters of President Trump, the legitimacy worry is down to the possibility of voter fraud on a massive scale.

“We would be foolish to not at least accept that it’s a real thing that happens sometimes, and I just worry that it’s going to happen in a greater numbers this year,” said Bill Fry, a Marine veteran member of Braver Angels.

“And a lot of my friends think the same things.”

While on the other hand, Biden supporters think that the President will refuse to concede after casting doubt on the election.

“Trump is already casting doubt on the legitimacy of vote by mail which tells me that he may try to dispute the result legally or by decree or who knows by what means,” said Matt Edelman, who backed Bernie Sanders in the Democrat primary.

“He’s a liar. He will promote baseless conspiracy theories if he feel it will benefit him politically.”

Huge Increase In Support For Violent Actions

The final question in the poll commissioned by Braver Angels is the most worrying.

Out of 1,503 respondents, 56% agreed that “America will see an increase in violence as a result of the election,” with only 11% disagreeing.

Earlier this year, researchers found a staggering number of Americans now see a far greater justification for political violence:

Among Americans who identify as Democrat or Republican, 1 in 3 now believe that violence could be justified to advance their parties’ political goals

Unbelievably, 61% of Americans believe the country is on the verge of another civil war.

All this comes as riots and unrest criss-cross the country, and gun sales continue to hit record highs.

In August 2020, around 1.8 million guns were sold across the country, continuing the record high spikes in gun sales this year, with increases ranging from 71% to 145% compared to 2019.

With all these factors at play, it is therefore no surprise why people may be predicting a second American civil war, or, at the very least, a huge spike in political violence following November’s election.

This piece originally appeared in ThePoliticalInsider.com and is used by permission.

Read more at ThePoliticalInsider.com:
Biden Slips Up – Is Accused Of Yet Another Racist Gaffe On The Black Community
Pelosi Signals She Is Prepared To Become Acting President If Election Descends Into Chaos
WalkAway Democrats-Turned-Trump Supporters Fill The Streets Of DC, Encourage The Silent Majority To Become ‘Unsilent’

— Read on www.lifezette.com/2020/10/poll-majority-of-americans-see-possibility-of-civil-war-political-violence-following-election/

Are Americans Tired of Being Called ‘Racist’ Yet? | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics

What is “racism,” and why do Democrats so relentlessly accuse Americans of it? It is necessary to put scare-quotes around “racism” nowadays, because the word has been quite nearly stripped of meaning by its constant overuse as a political epithet. Depending on the context, sometimes “racist” is merely a synonym for white person (which seems to be the message of Robin DiAngelo and other proponents of Critical Race Theory), but during election season in the United States, it seems that “racist” is synonymous with Republican.

It is this purely partisan definition of “racist” that former First Lady Michelle Obama demonstrated this week in a remarkable 26-minute video campaign ad for Joe Biden. Mrs. Obama heaped praise on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement as “an overwhelmingly peaceful movement for racial solidarity.” In fact, BLM is an avowedly Marxist revolutionary organization that has inspired the murder of police officers and incited violent riots nationwide. Of course, anyone who points out this fact is immediately subject to denunciation as a “racist,” and the purpose of Mrs. Obama’s video was to point the finger at President Trump. By criticizing BLM’s organized spree of vandalism, looting and arson, Trump was “stoking fears about black and brown Americans,” Mrs. Obama earnestly declared:

Only a tiny fraction of demonstrations have had any violence at all. So what the president is doing is, once again, patently false. It’s morally wrong and yes, it is racist, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work…. Racism, fear, division, these are powerful weapons and they can destroy this nation if we don’t deal with them head on.

The “tiny fraction” of BLM-inspired riots that Mrs. Obama dismisses as a trivial statistic inflicted billions of dollars of damage, mostly on small businesses in minority neighborhoods, but you are “racist” — guilty of “stoking fears” — if you express concern about this terroristic campaign of destructive violence. Trump is “racist,” according to Mrs. Obama, and everyone who votes for Trump is “racist.” Thus, what the former First Lady called her “Closing Argument” for the Biden campaign can be summarized simply: Democrats, good; Republicans, racist.

While making the accusation of racism a partisan weapon, Democrats seek to silence any honest discussion of the problems affecting black Americans. After all, if white “racism” is the one-size-fits-all explanation for these problems, and if the Republican Party is nothing but the organized political expression of “racism,” then the solution for whatever ails the black community is very simple: Vote Democrat.

This is exactly the message Mrs. Obama intended to convey in her nearly half-hour appeal on Biden’s behalf, with her tendentious argument intended to stigmatize all opposition to the Democratic presidential candidate: Vote for Joe, or you’re a racist. She thereby sought to turn the election into a referendum on “racism” — or “white supremacy,” “white privilege” or “white nationalism,” as the target is variously described by soi-disant progressives. No Democrat disputes the diagnosis (reiterated in the platform the party adopted at its Philadelphia convention this summer) that every problem in the country is the fault of white people, whose collective wickedness is a force of dreadful oppression. “Democrats will root out structural and systemic racism in our economy and our society,” the party platform declares, lamenting “America’s long and ongoing history of racism and disenfranchisement, of segregation and discrimination.” Furthermore, the party pledged itself to “confront white nationalist terrorism,” warning of “the growing threat from white supremacist and other right-wing terrorist groups.”

White people are bad, being white is wrong, and only a “right-wing terrorist” would vote for Trump — such is the general sentiment expressed by the Democratic Party’s national platform. The racism of white people is “systemic,” a word repeated 10 times in the Democratic platform, beginning in the preamble, where they declare they “must” (note the imperative tone) “redress the systemic injustices that have long plagued our society.” Exactly why Democrats failed to redress these injustices at any previous point, such as during the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency or during Biden’s more than four decades in Washington, the platform doesn’t bother to explain. Likewise, the platform’s pledge of “enacting fundamental reforms to address structural and systemic racism and entrenched income and wealth inequality in our economy and our banking system” omits any explanation of why Biden or Obama didn’t do this earlier.

You see that, by describing these problems as “structural and systemic,” Democrats simultaneously evade the need for specificity while also portraying the problems caused by white racism as so enormous in scale as to excuse their prior failure to “root out” the “entrenched” injustice. It’s a clever rhetorical trick, and Democrats think Americans are too stupid to figure out what a complete scam it is. Michelle Obama got her degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Law School, whereas you — yes, you, the stupid racist who voted for Trump — probably got your diploma from some obscure state university, if you even went to college at all. Democrats are so much smarter than the rest of us that it’s difficult for many Americans to comprehend the sophisticated nuance of their arguments. When they incite a mob of violent anarchists to loot and burn your business, Democrats expect you to be grateful for this opportunity to “address structural and systemic racism and entrenched income and wealth inequality.” But while you’re sorting through the broken glass and charred debris left behind by the BLM rioters, do you express gratitude for what Mrs. Obama calls an “overwhelmingly peaceful movement for racial solidarity”? No, because you’re a racist.

What is actually going on here? How is it that America, which twice elected Obama president, has apparently regressed so far so fast as to deserve these repeated denunciations as irrefutably guilty of “systemic” injustice? Two words: Hillary lost.

For three years, we were dragged through the “Russian collusion” hoaxas a way of explaining what, to Democrats, was the electorate’s otherwise inexplicable rejection of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential bid. Democrats believe it is always wrong for Republicans to win elections; they had convinced themselves in 2016 that they were “on the right side of history”; and America was poised to take the historic step of electing Mrs. Clinton as the nation’s first female president. When that didn’t happen, Democrats immediately denounced Trump’s presidency as illegitimate, the product of a Kremlin conspiracy, and declared themselves the “resistance” to this incipient authoritarian regime that had stolen the election.

All of that was a vast pile of lies, or perhaps a hallucinatory delusion insofar as anyone ever believed it. (George Costanza’s rule: “It’s not a lie if you believe it.”) Democrats and their media allies believed in “Russian collusion” as fervently as Scientologists believe in “Dianetics.” Even after their quasi-religious faith was conclusively debunked by investigators, a hoax supported by the phony Steele dossier that was paid for with Democrat campaign cash, the Trump-haters still refused to accept the verdict of the 2016 election. As an alternative theory to explain Trump’s victory, Democrats turned to “white nationalism.” Trump was Hitler, everyone who voted for him was a Nazi, and the existence of a comparative handful of actual “white nationalists” was cited as proof of this. Violence against Trump supporters was thereby justified as “anti-fascism,” and soon any public gathering of Republicans was besieged by angry Antifa mobs. Recall that even before Trump took office, his inauguration was attacked by riotous “protesters,” more than 200 of whom were arrested and who, among their other crimes, smashed the windows of a Starbucks and set fire to a limousine in downtown D.C.

Democrats did not denounce this anti-Trump violence, as the rioters were expressing the rage that all Democrats felt, and the justification offered for such crimes was their repeated insistence that Trump was a despicable racist, as were all of the 63 million Americans who voted for him. This is slander on a mass scale, and Democrats expect to get away with it because the national media has never called them to account for their lies, and because most Republicans are either hopelessly inept at rhetoric or else too timid to object forcefully to this slander.

What do Democrats mean when they accuse Americans of “racism”? Make them define that term and give specific examples, rather than vague assertions about “systemic injustice.” Statistical disparities between groups of people are not evidence of oppression. As the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, siblings often vary greatly in their abilities and life outcomes: “If you cannot achieve equality of performance among people born to the same parents and raised under the same roof, how realistic is it to expect to achieve it across broader and deeper social divisions?” To make racism the all-purpose explanation for every measurable socioeconomic disparity between white people (as a collective group) and black people (as a collective group) is to ignore every other variable, to say nothing of the disparities existing within each of these groups.

Seduced by racial grievance hustlers, or hypnotized by peddlers of Critical Race Theory, many people lose the capacity for skeptical inquiry. It apparently never occurs to most Americans to question whether the categories “white” and “black,” in contemporary usage, describe the kind of collective blocs of ethnic solidarity that permits useful analysis. Certainly the 197 million Americans whom the Census Bureau classifies as “white alone, not Hispanic or Latin” are not ethnically homogenous, nor united by their social, religious, and political interests. There is no known consanguinity such eminent white Americans as Mark Zuckerberg (Ashkenazi Jew), Sean Hannity (Irish Catholic), Alyssa Milano (Italian), and Donald Trump (German). None of them, incidentally, are descended from the so-called “Old Stock” of English colonial settlers who founded the American Republic. It is a strange view of humanity that casts into a single category (“white”) such vastly different people. How am I, the descendant of Alabama yeoman farmers, presumed to share some mystic affinity with, e.g., Melania Trump, a native of Slovenia who didn’t arrive in the United States until 1996? Yet this is what the proponents of identity-politics “social justice” tell Americans, that the nearly 200 million white people in this country are defined by their membership in a collective group, just as the approximately 40 million black Americans are collectively defined.

How can we have an intelligent discussion of “systemic racism” in America when the nation is so vast, and the racial categories are so flexible as to lump together people with such diverse backgrounds into monolithic categories as the basis for claims of “structural injustice”? But Americans never get the chance to ask these questions of the Democrats who hurl the accusation of “racism” like a Puritan in colonial Salem accusing his neighbors of witchcraft.

Among the many bizarre aspects of this 21st-century political crusade, perhaps none is stranger than the assertion that Joe Biden is the man to purge America of “systemic racism.” Biden’s record on racial issues is arguably far more “white supremacist” than anything Trump has ever said or done. Breitbart’s John Nolte has compiled several examples, e.g., when former West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd died in 2010, Biden eulogized him as “compassionate” and a “mentor.” Biden didn’t mention that Byrd began his career as an Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan. Rather notoriously, in 1964, Byrd delivered a 14-hour filibuster speech against the Civil Rights Act. Of course, if we were allowed to have an honest discussion on the subject, it might be acknowledged that no one could be elected to high office in West Virginia in those days if he wasn’tracist, although becoming a KKK leader was taking it a bit far, even by the standards of that time.

The question at issue, however, is not whether Byrd deserved praise at his funeral, but whether Biden deserves to be elected president on the basis of his alleged ability to eradicate “systemic racism.” Racism simply fails to explain everything Democrats say it can explain, and adding such modifiers as “systemic” or “structural” is just linguistic camouflage, deployed to conceal this explanatory failure.

In her video, Mrs. Obama praised Biden as “the kind of leader our nation deserves.” Does she mean by this that Americans are confused and have difficulty speaking a coherent sentence? The RealClearPolitics average of national polls shows Biden ahead by nearly 10 points, so apparently a majority agree with Democrats that we are a profoundly racist country. Or maybe the polls are all wrong, and Trump will repeat his against-all-odds upset in 2016. If Trump wins again, we shall see if Democrats are “overwhelmingly peaceful” in their reaction.

— Read on spectator.org/michelle-obama-racist-joe-biden/

Over 11,000 Scientists Sign Petition Against COVID-19 Lockdowns

More than 11,000 scientists and medical practitioners have signed a petition against lockdown measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, saying that they are causing “irreparable damage.”

At least 7,000 medical practitioners, and 4,000 medical and public health scientists joined more than 100,000 members of the general public in signing the petition, which was created on Oct. 4 and co-authored by Harvard professor of medicine Dr. Martin Kulldorff, Oxford professor Dr. Sunetra Gupta, and Stanford Medical School professor Dr. Jay Bhattacharya.

Undecided voters found Harris ‘abrasive, condescending’ in vice presidential debate: Frank Luntz | Fox News

Voters found Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris to be “abrasive and condescending” at various points throughout Wednesday’s debate with Vice President Mike Pence, pollster Frank Luntz told the Fox News reaction panel.

‘Trump-Russia’ Hoax: Clinton, US Intel Agents Have Much to Explain in Coming Weeks, Analyst Says – Sputnik International

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump said he had authorised a “total declassification” of all documents related to the Russia probe, as well as the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel deems that Trump has more surprises in store for Americans.

The US president’s move was announced after the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, released a hand-written memo from ex-CIA Director John Brennan on an alleged “plot” by Hillary Clinton to tie then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to Russia, as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server” before the 2016 election. The notes were supposedly taken after then-CIA chief briefed President Barack Obama on the matter.

Sputnik: What do you expect from the upcoming disclosure and what’s your take on the timing of the revelation?

Charles Ortel: I wish these disclosures had come years ago. From 20 January 2017 until 17 May 2017, many federal employees knew that there was no collusion involving Russia and the Trump campaign, and a large number knew that any such collusion involved Hillary Clinton personally, Democratic operatives and some Russian nationals.

Yet after 7 November 2016, John Brennan, James Clapper, [James] Comey, Adam Schiff and ‘co-conspirators’ in Congress,the Senate, the media, academia and politicians in both parties hostile to Donald Trump knowingly sold scandalous lies as truth.

Sputnik: On 29 September, the DNI sent a letter to Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) revealing that in late July 2016 US security services “obtained insight” into a Russian intelligence report which claimed that Clinton had “approved” a plan to “stir up a scandal” against Trump by tying him to the Kremlin and the alleged “Russian hacking” of the Democratic National Committee. How does this report shed light on the events related to the Clinton campaign and the US intelligence community at that time?

Charles Ortel: I think real investigators need to go way back into history to examine how dynastic political families ‘sold out’ Americans for favours from foreign powers, and monied interests, and why our security services and regulators let them get away with these serious crimes.

Hillary Clinton has been trying to cover up corruption and fraud ever since she and Bill entered politics, and there is much here to hide.

Under Obama, the trail did not start in July 2016, but rather by June 2008, when the Clintons agreed to support Barack Obama’s candidacy. Why did the incoming Barack Obama Administration sell the lie that the Clinton Foundation was legitimate and agree to let Bill Clinton operate that scam while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State? Why did Hillary (and Barack) use personal email and unvetted, unsecure devices to communicate? Why was Hillary allowed to keep custody and control of official documents, including classified ones on private servers? Did she really have only 33,000 emails on her private system? How many friends, rivals, and enemies know the real story concerning how loose many were with these key documents.

I think our Intelligence apparatus is compromised by globalists who are not protecting American interests. Too many in both parties have sold out for millions of dollars, costing Americans trillions of dollars.

Sputnik: The US online magazine Federalist co-founder, Sean Davis, and investigative journalist John Solomon earlier reported that CIA Director Gina Haspel was personally blocking the release of documents concerning “Russiagate”, apparently in an attempt to protect the agency’s reputation. What do you think about that and how is the situation likely to evolve?

Charles Ortel: Gina Haspel and the British have much to explain in the coming weeks. There is little likelihood that senior UK officials were in the dark about Hillary Clinton’s “insurance policy” coup plot against Donald Trump. But, timing is everything and now the UK and Boris Johnson need the US and President Trump to cushion Brexit blows that rapidly advance in tough negotiations with the EU.

I believe that interests within the United Kingdom have, for decades, conspired with the American foreign policy establishment to promote unregulated globalism, under a theory that Anglo-US interests would exercise influence over these multilateral entities disproportionate to the size of our populations.

Sputnik: The aforementioned revelations come in parallel with disclosures in the Michael Flynn case and the ongoing Durham probe. Earlier, Trump suggested that one achievement of his presidency would be the exposure of corruption in Washington. What did he mean, in your opinion? Will it become his “October Surprise”?

Charles Ortel: President Trump is correctly increasing pressure on many in the run-up to elections on 3 November 2020. I hope Durham and his team are going way back into history and that they see clearly the influence peddling and money laundering operations that infect America’s political system, particularly when international projects are involved that carry steep price tags

I also hope that those who have persecuted unfairly an American hero – Michael Flynn – will be called to account for their crimes.

Finally, I wonder why no American prosecutor has thought to bargain effectively with Julian Assange. Surely Assange knows who hacked the Democratic National Committee (if it was hacked) and who provided John Podesta’s emails to WikiLeaks. Whether from Biden or from Trump, I suspect more surprises are in store for us.

— Read on sputniknews.com/us/202010071080699621-trump-russia-hoax-clinton-us-intel-agents-have-much-to-explain-in-coming-weeks-analyst-says/

Harris claims Biden WILL NOT ban fracking – despite VIDEO of herself & Biden saying the opposite — RT USA News

Harris claims Biden WILL NOT ban fracking – despite VIDEO of herself & Biden saying the opposite

VP Mike Pence accused Joe Biden multiple times of wanting to ban fracking at the vice presidential debate, which Senator Kamala Harris has denied – that despite Biden’s past comments saying he is actually in favor of a ban.

Even President Donald Trump got involved in Wednesday’s debate after Harris denied a Biden administration would ban fracking.

Trump tweeted a video of Harris at a town hall event answering a voter asking if she would ban fracking on her first day in the White House by saying, “There’s no question I’m in favor of banning fracking, so yes.”

The video was retweeted by Pence’s Twitter account, as well, along with footage of Biden also promising to ban fracking and saying there would be “no place” for fossil fuels in his administration.

Despite the accusations, Harris denied wanting to ban the practice multiple times on Wednesday night, even saying at one point: “Joe Biden will not ban fracking. That is a fact.”

The president and vice president were far from the only critics to slam Harris and question her “fact.”

 Also on rt.com

‘Looks a little like plagiarism’: Pence uses past Biden scandal to slam Harris on Covid-19 response plan

“Joe Biden is on video saying he will end fracking completely,” conservative actor James Woods tweeted.

“It must be nice to be a Democrat where you can always have it both ways. We all know Joe is banning fracking but Kamala can lie about it unchecked other than by @vp. Well done @Mike_Pence!” Donald Trump Jr. added, sharing yet another video of Biden saying he will ban fracking in the past.

Also leading to confusion about Biden and Harris’ position on the controversial practice of fracking, which involves drilling into the ground and releasing gas and oil from shale rock, is the fact that Harris was partly behind Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-New York) radical and expensive Green New Deal, which also would ban fracking.

Biden called the plan a “crucial framework” when releasing his own plan for the environment. He said at the last presidential debate, however, that he does not support the Green New Deal and has also claimed Trump has “lied” when he says the former vice president is in favor of banning fracking.

Ocasio-Cortez jumped into the fracking debate on Wednesday night too, tweeting that the practice is “bad” and claimed the GOP “lies” about the plan.

 Also on rt.com

‘Trump lies about me’, Biden says, while switching his position on fracking to an opposite one…again

— Read on www.rt.com/usa/502884-harris-biden-not-ban-fracking/

‘Alarming’: 52 Percent of Evangelical Churchgoers Reject Absolute Moral Truth – Michael Foust

According to a new survey, a majority of evangelicals (52 percent), Pentecostals/charismatics (69 percent), mainline Protestants (58) and Catholics (69 percent) say there is no absolute moral truth that applies to everyone, all the time.

A slight majority of evangelical churchgoers believe there is no moral absolute truth, while three-quarters think people are “basically good,” according to a new report that its authors call “alarming.”

The poll by the Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University examined the views of attendees of evangelical, Pentecostal/charismatic, mainline Protestant and Catholic churches on 51 beliefs and behaviors.

Among the findings, the survey discovered that a majority of evangelicals (52 percent), Pentecostals/charismatics (69 percent), mainline Protestants (58) and Catholics (69 percent) say there is no absolute moral truth that applies to everyone, all the time.

On the question of sin, a large majority of evangelicals (75 percent), Pentecostals/charismatics (76 percent), mainline Protestants (81 percent) and Catholics (84 percent) disagree with the statement, “People are not basically good; we are sinners.”

“American Christianity is rapidly conforming to the values of the post-Christian secular culture,” the report’s authors wrote.

Significantly, the survey only examined the beliefs of church attendees, not limiting it to those who have professed certain beliefs or who say they have embraced Christ’s teachings. Still, its findings likely will disturb many within the Christian community.

The survey also found that among evangelical churchgoers:

  • 43 percent believe Jesus sinned.
  • 43 percent do not believe that there is a common, God-given purpose to humanity.
  • 42 percent seek moral guidance primarily from sources other than the Bible.

A news release from the Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University called the results “alarming for evangelicalism.”

“What makes that trend so significant is that evangelical churches, by definition, teach that the Bible is the authoritative word of God that teaches not only salvation by grace alone but also an array of life principles that are meant to drive one’s thoughts and actions,” CRC said in the release.

George Barna, director of research at the Cultural Research Center, said the data “represents a post-Christian Reformation driven by people seeking to retain a Christian identity.”

“Unfortunately, the theology of this reformation is being driven by American culture rather than biblical truth,” Barna said. “The worldviews embraced by the adherents of these distinct religious communities reflect contemporary, worldly influence, rather than biblical influence.”

The findings are based on a January survey of 2,000 U.S. adults.

Related:

58 Percent of Americans Believe Moral Truth ‘Is up to Each Individual,’ New Poll Finds

Less Than 1/5 of Americans Believe Life’s Purpose Is Knowing, Loving God

Record Low 6 Percent of Americans Adhere to a Biblical Worldview

Photo courtesy: ©Sparrowstock


Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

— Read on www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/michael-foust/alarming-52-percent-of-evangelical-churchgoers-reject-absolute-moral-truth.html

FBI, CIA continue to stonewall on Russia probe, key Senate chairmen say | Just The News

Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) have sent new letters to FBI Director Christopher Wray and CIA Director Gina Haspel demanding outstanding material relating to government abuses in the Trump-Russia probe.

Two key Senate committee chairmen are still having trouble prying information about the government’s improper actions in the Trump-Russia probe from the FBI and the CIA.

The head of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), and the head of the Senate Finance Committee, Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), have sent new letters to FBI Director Christopher Wray and CIA Director Gina Haspel demanding the outstanding material.

“We are concerned that your agency has thus far failed to respond in full to our oversight requests,” they write in the new letter to Haspel sent Wednesday. “Further delay is unacceptable.”

The FBI failed to meet the latest deadline Tuesday to turn over long-subpoenaed documents in the controversy. The senators’ letter to Wray outlines their longstanding document requests that continue to go unfulfilled, including for alarming material related to an intelligence report generated during the 2016 campaign indicating the Hillary Clinton campaign was planning to stir up a scandal about her rival, Donald Trump, linking him to Russia. 

“On April 16 we requested all intelligence records, foreign or domestic, received or reviewed by the Crossfire Hurricane team, as well as all FBI records about those intelligence products. In response, the FBI directed us to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, but has not produced any other records responsive to that request,” reads the letter to Wray. Crossfire Hurricane is the name given to the Trump-Russia probe. Special Counsel Robert Mueller and others ultimately concluded there was no evidence Trump, his campaign, or any Americans, colluded with Russia.

The letter continues: “In a Sept. 29 letter, DNI Ratcliffe identified a different intelligence report from late July 2016 … [relating to] … candidate Hillary Clinton ‘approv[ing] a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against candidate Donald Trump by tying him to [Russian President] Putin and the Russians’ hack of the [DNC],’ which ultimately resulted in a September 7, 2016, investigative referral from the intelligence community to the FBI.”

The senators’ letter in April 2020, as well as a committee subpoena, required the FBI to turn over “all information and records demonstrating what, if anything, the FBI did with these and other intelligence reporting received or made available to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team.”

Sens. Johnson and Grassley have repeatedly requested text messages of different individuals involved in the discredited probe, which is now under investigation by a U.S. attorney. But they say they only received a few dozen messages.

Separately, other text messages that had not been turned over to the committee were made public.

The letter also says the FBI made a set of text messages belonging to ex-FBI official Andrew McCabe available only in a monitored “reading room,” thereby prohibiting members of Congress and staff from making copies or taking the messages for review, even though these messages were required to be turned over directly under subpoena.

“Reading rooms” have been used by federal agencies in the past decade to avoid turning over documents directly to Congress. Typically, members and staff are invited to come to a room during specified hours and read material while being monitored by agency officials.  

“The public interest in these records is significant, and they have remained hidden for too long,” said the letter.
Johnson and Grassley asked for the outstanding material by Tues. Oct. 6, but say the FBI did not produce it.

Meanwhile, in a letter dated Oct. 7, they take Haspel to task for failure to produce a single document they asked for on July 28. “Both of us … are becoming increasingly disappointed by the CIA’s continued inability to timely respond to our legitimate oversight requests,” they write. “Moreover, your agency has ignored multiple requests to schedule a phone call to discuss our oversight letter … The information that has already been made public reveals what might be the most outrageous abuse of power in U.S. history against a presidential candidate and sitting president. Unfortunately, many of the puzzle pieces remain hidden, and some of that information rests within your agency.”

The senators tell Haspel that the material should be turned over by tomorrow (Oct. 9).

— Read on justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/top-senate-republicans-are-still-having-trouble

October 7th The D. L. Moody Year Book

 

Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him.—Psalm 91:14.

WE all have some weak point in our character. When we would go forward, it drags us back, and when we would rise up into higher spheres of usefulness and the atmosphere of heaven, something drags us down. Now I have no sympathy with the idea that God puts us behind the blood and saves us, and then leaves us in Egypt to be under the old taskmaster. I believe God brings us out of Egypt into the promised land, and that it is the privilege of every child of God to be delivered from every foe, from every besetting sin.

If there is some sin that is getting the mastery over you, you certainly cannot be useful. You certainly cannot bring forth fruit to the honor and glory of God until you get self-control.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (pp. 176–177). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

21 scholars call for Pulitzer board to revoke “1619 Project” author’s prize | Disrn

Twenty-one distinguished scholars in higher education and research published a letter calling for New York Times editor Nikole Hannah-Jones to lose her 2020 prize for her controversial “1619 Project” series that many have deemed revisionist history.

— Read on disrn.com/news/21-scholars-call-for-pulitzer-board-to-revoke-1619-project-authors-prize/

Investigative reporter: Joe Biden now under federal criminal investigation | WND

Joe Biden at the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (C-SPAN video screenshot)

Joe Biden is under an active federal criminal investigation regarding his role in the Barack Obama administration’s counterintelligence probe of the Trump campaign, according to investigative reporter Paul Sperry.

Sperry wrote on Twitter that the investigation includes Biden’s activities in Ukraine, and Ukrainian witnesses are cooperating.

During the 2016 election, the Democrats’ presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, was investigated by the FBI for her use of a private email system to transmit classified information.

Sperry said Tuesday that House investigators joined the Senate in asking the FBI open a criminal investigation into “possible foreign influence-peddling” involving Biden and his younger brother and son.

The Obama administration used a discredited political opposition research document funded partly by the Hillary Clinton campaign to allege that Trump’s campaign was colluding with Russia.

A two-year investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller failed to support that claim, and now a Senate report has revealed Obama was briefed on an alleged plot by the Hillary Clinton campaign to spread the story that Trump was tied to Russia in order to divert public attention from her own email scandal.

The briefing to Obama came from then-CIA Director John Brennan. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declassified Brennan’s handwritten notes of the meeting along with a CIA memo revealing officials referred the matter to the FBI for a possible investigation.

President Trump then ordered all of the documents concerning the “Russiagate” scandal and the Clinton email scandal to be declassified.

U.S. Attorney John Durham now is conducting a criminal investigation of the Obama administration’s Trump-Russia probe.

Sperry recently reported at Real Clear Investigations that Brennan also edited a crucial section of the intelligence report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Brennan assigned a political ally to take a lead role in writing it after career analysts disputed Brennan’s take that Russian leader Vladimir Putin intervened in the 2016 election to help Trump win the White House.

That’s from two senior U.S. intelligence officials who have seen classified materials detailing Brennan’s role in drafting the document.

The explosive conclusion Brennan inserted into the report was used to help justify continuing the Trump-Russia collusion investigation, which had been launched by the FBI in 2016.

The Senate last week released the results of a year-long investigation by two committees that found Hunter Biden’s business deals while his father was vice president raised alarm among U.S. government officials, who flagged conflicts of interest and possible criminal activity ranging from bribery to sex trafficking.

The report found Obama administration officials “ignored clear warning signs about ethical conflicts and possible extortion risks” involving not just Hunter Biden, but the whole Biden family, reported Just the News.

One of the biggest revelations, Just the News said, was that the U.S. Treasury Department flagged payments collected overseas by Hunter Biden and business partner Devon Archer for possible illicit activities.

The report by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Finance Committee addressed some of the concerns raised by Hunter Biden’s lucrative salary from the corrupt Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma while his father was in charge of Ukraine policy for the Obama administration. And there was his trip with his father aboard Air Force Two to Beijing, where he struck a $1 billion deal with a state-owned company.

The report found Hunter Biden paid nonresident women who were nationals of Russia or other Eastern European countries and who appeared to be linked to an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.

Treasury records acquired by the committee chairmen show potential criminal activity relating to transactions among and between Hunter Biden, his family, and his associates with Ukrainian, Russian, Kazakh and Chinese nationals.

The report described “Suspicious Activity Reports” that flagged claims of Hunter Biden’s involvement in millions of dollars in transactions linking Burisma, Russian oligarch Yelena Baturina and Chinese business interests tied to its communist government.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, told Just the News the sheer volume of suspicious activity in Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings left the vice president vulnerable to illicit influence or extortion.

“The report raises serious questions that former Vice President Biden needs to answer. There are simply too many potential conflict of interest, counterintelligence and extortion threats to ignore,” he said.

The report also charges that Hunter Biden, his family and others “received millions of dollars from foreign nationals with questionable backgrounds.”

One was a $3.5 million wire transfer from Yelena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow.

Joe Biden is on video boasting how he threatened to withhold U.S. aid from Ukraine unless that prosecutor was fired.

— Read on www.wnd.com/2020/10/investigative-reporter-joe-biden-now-federal-criminal-investigation/

VP Debate Post-Mortem: Pence Trounces “Gaffe Machine” Harris | Zero Hedge

“Senator, your party has spent the last three and a half years trying to overturn the results of the last election…”

55-year-old Kamala Harris (22 years the junior of Joe Biden) faced off across a 12-foot void of ‘potentially-deadly-air’ and ‘plexiglass’ against 61-year-old Mike Pence (13 years younger than President Trump) with USA Today’s (and Nancy Pelosi biographer) Susan Page as the ‘moderator’ at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City… all without wearing masks!

Ahead of the debate, despite media’s constant crowing about Biden’s double-digit lead in national polls, Trump is slightly outperforming against Biden relative to Hillary in the battleground states

Source: RCP

Following a similar pattern – but with a notably higher probability of winning in November – relative to his performance against Hillary…

*  *  *

It was not pretty!

*  *  *

Summary (of the nine discussion topics):

1. COVID Response – Pence won – a body-blow slamming Kamala on vaccines: “stop playing politics with people’s lives.”

2. Health Of Candidates – Tie – neither candidate answered but if we had to pick, Pence shaded it as Kamala discussed herself.

3. The Economy – Pence won – the vice-president crushed Harris on Biden taxes (briefly silencing her over Trump tax cut repeal).

4. Climate Change – Pence won – perhaps surprisingly but Harris was unable to recover from being cornered on her sponsorship of the Green New Deal

5. China – Pence won – Harris facts all over the place and Pence closed with Biden’s “cheerleading” for China.

6. Foreign Relations – Tie – both candidates parried each other’s running mate’s performance

7. The Supreme Court – Pence won – Harris refused to answer the question of packing the court and Pence was franbk about being “pro-life.”

8. Racial Justice – Pence won – again rather stunningly, Pence crushed Harris on misleading quotes and soundbites

9. Transfer Of Power – Pence won – while Harris went “vote now”, Pence reminded the audience that Harris party spent the last four years trying to overturn the previous election

Pence dominated Harris as finally, questions were asked and answered and facts were checked!

*  *  *

Perhaps President Trump summed the first half best:

And WSJ’s Kimberley Strassel, the second half…

*  *  *

Moderator Susan Page reminded the audience that attendees were all wearing masks and that she hoped for a better behaved debate.

An awkward moment as they both walked and didn’t want to sit down first…

The first question was about the coronavirus “not being under control.”

Harris began on the offense, noting that

“The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country,” and adding a line about “sacrificial workers.”

Harris accused Trump of “covering it up,” and “frankly this administration has forfeited their right to re-election because of this.”

Harris said the Biden-Harris plan is testing, contact-tracing, and free vaccines.

Pence’s response was heartfelt and factful as he explained the timeline of airline shutdowns “which Biden called xenophobic.”

And the vice-president mocked that Biden had “plagiarised” their plan – as it is exactly the same as they have been doing.

“It looks a little like plagiarism, which Joe Biden knows a little something about.”

Pence slams Harris for claiming that the plan “hasn’t worked” was a great misjustice, pinning the decisions on Fauci and Birx.

Pence framed the plan as the American people fighting and being brave, forcing any counter to appear as Kamala is attacking Americans.

Harris got frustrated and tilted back at Pence: “I’m speaking”:

The moderator went on to discuss the Trump administration following health protocols and the vaccines, with Pence slamming Harris for “politicizing the vaccine” after she said she would not take it if Trump said it was safe:

“stop playing politics with people’s lives”

Pence also pointed out the failure of the Obama-Biden plan to cope with the swine flu when 60 million people contracted it (and 2million Americans would have died).

*  *  *

The second question was on the health and age of the presidential candidates

Page asked “Have you had a conversation or reached an agreement on issues of presidential disability considering Trump/Biden’s age?”

Neither of the candidates responded directly to any questions about the health of their running mates, but Harris  listed off her credentials, and Pence smoothly congratulated Harris on being the first black woman on the ticket.

Harris claims that Biden has been very transparent and that Trump has done nothing but cover things up. Pence says he respects Biden’s “47 years in public life,” a subtle dig at an opponent the Trump campaign has tried to portray as a Washington insider.

*  *  *

Topic three was the economy

“There couldn’t be a more fundamental difference” between Trump and Biden, according to Harris who said Biden measures the health of the economy based on the average American worker.

Pence says that Trump is a “job creator,” but he added that “you just heard Harris say on day one Joe Biden’s going to raise your taxes.”

Pence totally shut Harris down on repealing Trump’s tax cuts.

Harris’ response was to try and paint the economic downturn from COVID lockdowns:

“They rode the coattails of Joe Biden’s success,” Harris says of the economy. “Of course now the economy is a complete disaster, but Donald Trump did that.”

Harris also tried to pivot to healthcare but Pence punched back that Harris said she would ban fracking and abolish fossil fuels.

“More taxes, more regulation, banning fracking, abolishing fossil fuel, crushing American energy and economic surrender to China is a prescription for economic decline.”

*  *  *

The fourth topic was on climate change.

Page asked: “Do you believe that man made climate change has made wildfires and hurricanes worse?”

Pence responded by questioning the cause but not the fact that climates are changing, adding that

“The US has reduced CO2 more than the countries that are in The Paris Accord.”

The Paris accord and the Green New Deal “would crush” American energy, Pence says.

Page noted that Harris cosponsored “The Green New Deal” while Biden flatly rejected that during last week’s debate.

Harris said “Joe Biden will not ban fracking.”

Which is awkward…

“We’ve seen a pattern in this administration — they don’t believe in science,” Harris says. “Joe believes in science.”

Pence cornered Harris once again on the Green New Deal cosponsorship and lack of consistency.

 

*  *  *

The fifth discussion topic was on China

Harris tried to bring up the China trade war – “Lost the trade war with China? Joe Biden never fought it” – and Pence destroyed her with fact bombs about Biden being “a cheerleader for communist China.”

“You said Trump lost a trade war with China, Joe Biden never fought one”

Pence says China has been hurting the U.S. “for decades.”

“We’re going to hold China accountable for what they did to American with the coronavirus,” Pence says.

Harris claims that “The Trump administration’s perspective and approach to China has resulted in the loss of American lives, American jobs and America’s standing.”

Harris went on to claim that Xi was more respected (according to Pew) and China more respected – sadly that’s a lie:

Well that’s awkward!

Pence added that China and the World Health Organization were not straight with the American people.

Sadly, neither candidate answered the moderator’s question about how to define China: friend, competitor, enemy, or something else, but it’s pretty clear from their track records.

*  *  *

Foreign Relations dominated the sixth topic.

Harris went straight for the Russia, Russia, Russia topic:

“Donald Trump, the commander-in-chief of the United States of America prefers to take the word of Vladimir Putin than the word of the American intelligence community.”

Furthermore Harris attempted to bring up the story about Trump’s disane for the military

Harris says Trump has “betrayed our friends and embraced dictators around the world.”

She cites Russia, says Trump “prefers to take the word of Vladimir Putin” than the U.S. intelligence community — and says that Trump’s pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal has made the U.S. less safe.

Pence (as furiously as he gets) punched back:

“President Trump reveres those who serve in our armed forces.”

Pence cites Trump’s accomplishments, including defeating ISIS.

*  *  *

The seventh topic was The Supreme Court

“President Trump and I could not be more enthusiastic about seeing Judge Amy Coney Barrett become Justice Amy Coney Barret,” Pence says.

“We hope she gets a fair hearing.”

Harris pivoted to Obamacare:

“The contrast couldn’t be more clear: they’re trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. Joe Biden is trying to expand it.”

Pence pivoted back to abortion and said “I am pro-life and make no apologies for it.”

Then Pence cornered Harris with the “pack the court” question?

Once again she refused to answer and Pence came out swinging.

Then this happened…

Pence: “Will you and Biden pack the Supreme Court?”

Harris: “Trump packed the district courts with white people!”

Moderator: “Thank you, let’s move on.”

Pence:

“If you haven’t figured it out yet, the straight answer is they are going to pack the Supreme Court if they somehow win this election.”

Trump Jr summed it perfectly:

*  *  *

Racial Justice was the controversial eighth topic

“There’s no excuse for what happened to George Floyd and justice will be served,” Pence says.

“Our heart breaks for the loss of any innocent American life,” Pence says of Taylor. “But I trust our justice system.”

“I will not sit here and be lectured by the vice president on what it means to enforce the laws of this country,” Harris says.

Pence hit back with comments on Harris’ track record…

Harris tried to bring up the Charlottesville comments by Trump again, adding that:

the idea that America is systemically racist is “a great insult to the men and women who serve in law enforcement.”

Pence says that Trump “has Jewish grandchildren” and “respects and cherishes all of the people.”

Harris:

“Joe Biden and I recognize that implicit bias does exist, Mr. Vice President contrary to what you believe. … I will not be lectured by the vice president on our record in what we have done in terms of law enforcement.”

The moderator did a great job of controlling Harris as she kept repeating debunked media bites…

*  *  *

Finally, the topic of the Transfer of Power was discussed.

But Harris decided to shift to an infomercial:

“here’s what I’d like to say to everybody: vote. Please vote. Vote early.”

Pence came out swinging by bringing up the facts that the previous campaign spied on his campaign and has spent the last few years trying to overturn the last election:

“Your party has spent the last three and a half years trying to overturn the results of the last election,” Pence says, bringing up the Mueller investigation and impeachment.

*  *  *

And finally – bravo to Susan Page! A moderator who asked tough questions on both sides, politely stopped the candidates when their time was up and forced them to respond.

*  *  *

Oh, and there was a flay that ‘trended’ on Twitter briefly…

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/political/vp-debate-post-mortem

The Incredibly Well-Paid Dr Thom Rainer of LifeWay Discovered That Contracts Can Be Enforced — The Wartburg Watch

I knew there was more to this story.

The Incredibly Well-Paid Dr Thom Rainer of LifeWay Discovered That Contracts Can Be Enforced —

“A contract is only as good as the people signing it.” ― Jeffrey Fry


Several years ago, a few cardiologists decided to leave their practice and start a new practice near the other group. They checked their contract which had a noncompete clause. However, they discovered an out. The group had not followed their required notification responsibilities as outlined in the contract. It went to mediation and all of them were proven to be correct. They proceeded with their practice. Contracts, along with each and every word, are important. As Christians, we should follow the promises we’ve made even when it is uncomfortable. You can be darn sure that churches will go after members if they violate the membership contract which they call covenants. The contract is a promise between two or more parties.

This is not about some guy that we really like. It’s about keeping promises.

Thom Rainer and LifeWay

According to Wikipedia:

Rainer was born in Union Springs, Alabama and is a 1977 graduate of the University of Alabama, majoring in corporate finance with minors in statistics and economics. He began his career as a cash management officer (1977–80) at Trust Company of Georgia, now SunTrust. By age 25, Rainer became a fifth-generation banker and the youngest vice president[12] for corporate lending of SouthTrust Bank in Anniston, Alabama (1980–83).

Rainer entered Christian vocational ministry in 1982 and earned his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He served as pastor of churches in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and Indiana prior to joining the faculty of SBTS in 1994 as founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth.[13] Also while serving at SBTS, Rainer founded and served as president and CEO of the Rainer Group.

In September 2005, Rainer was unanimously elected by the trustees of LifeWay Christian Resources to succeed James T. Draper as the ninth president of LifeWay,[14] one of the world’s largest Christian resource providers.[15] Shortly after assuming the presidency, Rainer established B&H Academic,[16] a branch of LifeWay’s B&H Publishing Group, to provide pastors, seminary professors and students with theologically conservative commentaries, academic monographs and other biblically-based resources.

As in-store sales continued to tank, Rainer closed the brick and mortar stores.

I believe that Rainer was aware of declining sales long before 2018 but he claims he didn’t. According to Baptist Press in Rainer: LifeWay did ‘all we could’ to save stores

LifeWay Christian Resources did “all we could” to keep brick and mortar stores open, LifeWay President Thom Rainer told the entity’s trustees. But despite positive indicators in mid-2018, by late in the year, data from stores showed revenue declines “had not reversed” and “had been exacerbated.”

It was widely known that sales for books and small gift items had been declining for 27 years according to the Baptist Press.

From 1990-2017, brick and mortar sales declined for sporting goods, furniture, shoes and hardware among other industries, Rainer said, citing data from the news website Axios. But the largest declines in that period were for books (49 percent) and newsstands (61 percent), including cards and small gift items.

Yet Rainer insisted that he saw *positive signs of growth as late as 2018.* I  am startled at his statements in this regard. Once again, from Baptist Press:

As recently as August 2018, Rainer gave trustees a positive report about LifeWay stores, based in significant measure on the customer migration from Family Christian, he said. But financial indications based on Family Christian Stores’ former customers were “a false positive.” The industry-wide decline continued, and by November and December 2018 “we began to see that not only had our efforts not reversed the declines. They had been exacerbated…. We knew that we were feeling the winds of change for this era.”

In 2016, the Board approved Rainer’s plan build of a brand new, expensive headquarters for Lifeway in downtown Nashville. There’s going to be ping pong tables and video games for the employees. Google, move over.

According to Bizjournal, Nashville, in Here’s how much LifeWay paid for its new downtown headquarters:

A newly filed deed reveals that LifeWay Christian Resources paid $5.5 million for land at the back part of Capitol View, which is being developed in a joint venture by Boyle Investment Co. and insurance giant Northwestern Mutual.

… The move to Capitol View is happening because LifeWay last fall sold its nearly 15-acre downtown campus for $125 million, 

…Nashville-based Gresham Smith & Partners designed LifeWay’s nine-story building, and Skanska USA will build the 250,000-square-foot building. Thom Rainer, the president and CEO of LifeWay, has said he is aiming for the building to be ready sometime late next year or early 2018.

…LifeWay joins two subsidiaries of Nashville-based hospital giant HCA Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HCA) as the headline office tenants so far in Capitol View. HCA, like LifeWay, bought its slice of Capitol View from Boyle;

…That first step, with a $90 million price tag, is set to feature a six-story building that would include 375 apartments, up to 50,000 square feet of office space, and up to 60,000 square feet of ground-floor retail —

According to Russell Vance Brings LifeWay’s HQ into the Modern Era ,this building has all sorts of bells and whistles. They are responding to the change in the culture with…video games?

Now situated just a handful of blocks west of the Tennessee State Capitol, the nine-story headquarters measures 277,000 square feet—about a quarter the size of the old campus, and a fraction of its operating cost as well

…Basically, LifeWay employees need to be able to work from anywhere, whether at home, in a café, or at the airport, waiting to embark on a business trip. Vance says the new facility therefore had to provide what’s needed for any of the 1,100 people on staff to work without being office and desk bound.

The eschewing of the traditional desk—and fixed-wall office, for that matter—is a crucial part of the new layout and culture. Each floor is dominated by large, natural-light workspaces designed to encourage collaboration and camaraderie among coworkers. More-remote areas are also available throughout the building, for when concentration and privacy are necessary, but the signature style at LifeWay’s headquarters is decidedly wall-free.

…Strengthening the team dynamic at LifeWay, there are plazas on each floor with cafés and vending options; “fun zones” with ping-pong, foosball, video games; a fitness center; and a terrace outside the third-floor café, among other relaxing features.

So the expenditures on this building appear to be based on statistics and projections from 1990-2017. And this is where the problem starts. It was apparent to me, way back in 2001 when I moved to Raleigh, that the brick and mortar store was outdated. Many of the gifts were tacky and the prices of the books were on the high side. The materials that I was looking for were unavailable and they had to order them for me. I decided that I would be ordering my stuff online from that point forward. It is startling to me that Rainer claims that he was unaware of the problem.

Most people without an MDiv and banking experience could have figured this out. Many of my friends didn’t even bother going to the store.

3/2019, Dave Miller wrote a post at SBC Voices Facts are Our Friends – About LifeWay’s Bad News

I felt he made a good point.

LifeWay is a denominational entity. Their goal is not to outsell everyone else or to become the biggest retailer of Christian goods. They are a Baptist publishing house and they are bound by our confessional statement.

But I disagree with him here. It was clear to me that there were problems.

One question I’ve seen raised often is whether this reveals greater financial issues at LifeWay. I believe they have answered this, but it is understandable that such a question would be raised. Statements have made it clear that LifeWay is on solid financial footing in general, but as Baptists, we always have the right to ask.

LifeWay continues to have financial problems, especially due to COVID.

LifeWay posted LifeWay announces budget cuts and staff reductions amid COVID-19

LifeWay Christian Resources is implementing a series of budgetary freezes, cutbacks and staff reductions in response to the economic crisis resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

LifeWay CEO Ben Mandrell cited a steep and steady decline of sales since mid-March, as well as uncertainty in the ability to host camps and events this summer as reasons for the actions LifeWay is taking.

“LifeWay stands to lose tens of millions of dollars of revenue that the organization would normally generate over the summer months from camps, events, VBS and ongoing curriculum sales,” Mandrell said. “LifeWay is mitigating these losses as much as possible through various expense reduction plans, including staff reductions and cuts in non-employee expenses. Additionally, LifeWay will likely have to use money from its reserves to cover a portion of the lost revenue.”

LifeWay will reduce staff, freeze all hiring and discretionary spending, and suspend salary increases and matching 401K contributions for all employees. In addition to these measures, the members of the executive leadership team will give up one month’s salary beginning in May.

These temporary expense reductions go into effect May 1, 2020. LifeWay is expecting to cut $25-$30 million of recurring expenses from its operating budget.

So, what’s going on with Thom Rainer?

in 2018, well before COVID, Rainer decided to retire. This is around the time the building with the video games opened. The Tennessean posted LifeWay CEO Thom Rainer announces plans to retire.

Rainer, 63, announced his decision Tuesday, according to a LifeWay news release. He plans to serve through August 2019 or until a new president is picked for the Nashville-based publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

…Dr. Rainer has strategically led through times of economic uncertainty, the digital revolution, changing church practices, and tumultuous shifts in culture,” Scroggins said in the news release. “His foresight and ability to lead change has well prepared LifeWay for the future as the organization continues to impact and influence the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

On September 30, 2020 (yep, it’s happening now) the Baptist Standard posted LifeWay sues former president Thom Rainer

LifeWay Christian Resources has sued its former president and CEO, accusing him of violating a noncompete clause in his contract.

Thom Rainer, who announced his plan to retire as president and CEO in 2018, still serves as chief advisory officer for LifeWay. Under terms of a transition agreement, he was prohibited from working with a competitor for 12 months after his retirement, LifeWay claims in a suit filed in Williamson County, Tenn., on Sept. 28.

Rainer, 65, was earning the same salary he received as president, plus a car, which he could keep after his term as chief advisory officer concludes Oct. 31, according to the transition agreement he signed with LifeWay in 2018.

But in April, the suit alleges, Rainer and Tyndale, a publisher of Bibles and other Christian books, reached “a multi-book, multiyear agreement” for publishing Rainer’s books, which LifeWay says violates the transition agreement.

Did you see this? He was getting his same salary as well as a car during this time period when he was working with Tyndale on one of his books.

Ummm-this is quite the sweetheart deal. Did he get a car? For what? Driving around Nashville? How many executives got cars and what kind?

This raises the oft-debated question…What was Rainer’s salary? I think it’s @ $1,000,000.

This has been going on for years. As TWW readers know, the SBC loves to pay their leaders top dollar. I have been told by those in the know that Thom Rainer was paid about a million dollars. In some discussions a few years back, there was a debate about LifeWay’s highest salary being around $700,000. However, some folks at SBC Voices believe that Thom Rainer was a cash cow for Lifeway since he has written many books. The SBC keeps a tight lid on salaries, especially for the dudebros. I believe the little guys paying their salaries should demand to know what they are being paid.

Here is a release from Lifeway for all of you numbers people. LIFEWAY CHRISTIAN RESOURCES OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION AND SUBSIDIARY Consolidated Statements of Financial Position: September 30, 2019, and 2018

“Exactly how many automobiles do they have and how nice are they?”  Before anyone gets excited, I know they must have trucks to get things shipped. But we also know that Rainer *got a car.* This is a question to be explored.

Finally, in the lawsuit described below, we learned from the Christian Post in Thom Rainer says he hopes to resolve the LifeWay lawsuit Tuesday; already returning severance

Thom Rainer, said he hopes to resolve a lawsuit for allegedly breaching his severance agreement with the denomination’s publishing arm by Tuesday, and noted that he began returning a portion of more than $1 million in severance pay. (ed. note-finally…)

Not all of the Trustees agreed with this decision. In fact, all sorts of folks are claiming that this was wrong-headed because Thom Rainer is a respected Baptist leader.

But at least some members of the LifeWay board of trustees have asked that the legal action be withdrawn. Jimmy Scroggins, pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, Fla., wrote an email to the board expressing his disappointment

Baptist Press reported Scroggins sent his fellow trustees an email citing three reasons he is “very disappointed” LifeWay sued Rainer: (1) “Lawsuits between believers are public, embarrassing, and damaging to the kingdom.” (2) “I believe a move this explosive should have been discussed with the full board.” (3) “I am confident there were, and are, better options for resolving any contractual disputes we have with Dr. Rainer.”

Thom Rainer resolves part of the dispute.

Holly Meyer of The Tennessean reported LifeWay Christian Resources resolves contract dispute with former president Thom Rainer

In a joint statement released Tuesday, the Southern Baptist Convention’s publishing arm and Rainer announced they have reached an amicable resolution. The settlement agreement comes after discussions Monday.

“Rainer has agreed to honor the transition agreement, including the non-compete clause. He has agreed not to move forward with his business partnership with Tyndale House Publishers, which was a violation of his non-compete agreement,” the statement said.

…Rainer stayed on through the transition and is currently LifeWay’s chief advisory officer. This role is slated to end on Oct. 31, the lawsuit states. The non-compete clause is valid until Oct. 31, 2021.

Once again, in Christian Post’s article. Thom Rainer says he hopes to resolve LifeWay lawsuit Tuesday; already returning severance

Thom Rainer, said he hopes to resolve a lawsuit for allegedly breaching his severance agreement with the denomination’s publishing arm by Tuesday, and noted that he began returning a portion of more than $1 million in severance pay. (ed. note-I knew it!)

“I am hopeful for a final resolution of the lawsuit by the end of the day. I did begin returning my severance several months ago at the request of LifeWay’s CEO,” Rainer said in a statement to The Christian Post on Tuesday in response to questions about a report that he was paid in excess of $1 million as part of the terms of the disputed severance agreement.

This ain’t over yet.

“While there have been numerous public misstatements and inaccuracies surrounding this matter, we have been and continue to be hopeful that we may resolve this issue with Dr. Rainer regarding his agreement with LifeWay and his partnership with a competitor,” Fannin said in an email to his colleagues who had planned to meet last Wednesday to discuss disagreements concerning the lawsuit.

“In lieu of moving forward with litigation, both parties are currently exploring the possibility of an agreed upon resolution of the differences. Our continued prayer is that this will be resolved quickly and amicably,” he noted.

Rainer previously told Baptist Press that in October 2019, he received “a written and amicable release from publishing” with LifeWay Christian Resources and spoke with the organization’s attorney and had “assumed all was well” until he received notice of the lawsuit last week.

Today, Mitch Little, the well-known Dallas attorney, tweeted the following. He knows a thing or two.

My thoughts on the lawsuit? Be careful when you sign a contract. (Remember those pesky membership covenants?)

It seems pretty clear to me that Rainer violated his non-compete. He had already started sending back his severance pay, all $1,000,000+ of it. But, as you see, it is possible that the non-compete’s requirements have not been reached.

As I have said, over and over again, a contract means something in the law. When you sign a membership covenant, which is a legal document, you can get sued. Many Christians, including Rainer, appear to think that a contract is nothing to get upset about. Folks, in this case, Rainer promised something. It appears he broke his promise. Some people claimed that the lawsuit was unjust. So be it. But it also appears that Rainer also didn’t follow his contract to the letter of the law. If this is so, he broke his promise.

Finally, Thom Rainer is on the side of authoritarian pastors. He thinks lowly members can be rather stupid.

In October 2019, I wrote Thom Rainer: You Are Too Dumb and Divisive to Vote for Church Staff

I posted the following tweet,

I then went on to say the following:

“Rainer appears to have a rather low view of the ability of church members to have a say in who gets to select the staff for a church. Mind you, he does appear to think the members should vote for the senior guy. Forgive me if I suspect that he barely tolerates the little people messing with this illustrious office but, for the sake of discussion, we’ll give it to him.

It appears to me that he thinks the senior dude should have the say but it might be a good idea if he asks a few of the dudebros, just in case. This technique is well known in the medical world in which a consultant is a guy who helps the attending “carry out the body.”

Rainer often does a good job looking down his nose at the little people.

Congregational votes for staff can be problematic. Pastors should do a thorough work to prepare for that vote. No, I am not a fan of congregational votes for staff members other than the pastor. Most of the members do not have nearly the knowledge of the prospective staff member as those making the recommendation, whether it’s a pastor or a committee. Sometimes the process can become a popularity contest. Sometimes members in the church are mad because their cousin was not chosen. If a congregational vote is mandated by polity or bylaws, the pastor should be fully prepared to answer any or all questions about the candidate before the vote takes place.

Let me say something to Rainer. I’ve been in many a church in which the lead pastor does select associate pastors like his own son or his soon to be best buddy who will nominate him to the council of a select gospel™ organization.

He seems to think that only the little guys make the selection of ancillary staff a *popularity* context. Good night! You should have seen a former church and the new senior pastor who, for his first sermon, mentioned John Piper and Mark Driscoll in the opening run-on sentence. He selected his best buddy who was a CJ Mahaney look alike and speak alike who, upon being introduced to one group of adults, explained that we were all equal but made sure everyone knew that he was the one with *authority.*  Dee turned to her husband and said “We are so screwed.” We got outta there.

Rainer gets quite concerned about divisiveness. Therefore, he wants the little guys to stand down. I actually feel bad for Rainer and his 30 years of churches. I am in a church in which congregational votes work and there aren’t knock down drag out fights over the matter. Sometimes, I suspect that Thom Rainer may be a little thin-skinned, imagining that all disagreements are attacks on his carefully won *authority.*

In the end, I believe church members should vote for those who will function in any capacity as pastor/minister. I am so sorry that Rainer, as he leaves his extremely lucrative position at LifeWay, has such a dim view of church members. It was those church members in SBC churches who contributed their hard-earned dollars to make sure that Rainer was paid so well that he retires at 62 with the ability to winter in one location and summer in another. “

$1,000,000 + a car…not bad…

Sidney Powell Discusses Latest “Russiagate” Evidence and Intelligence Efforts to Control Information… — The Last Refuge

Counsel to General Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell, comments on new unredacted information regarding the presidential transition scandal known commonly as ‘Russiagate,’ and the roles that President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton may have played in the events in question. The interview is with Newsmax TV’s John Bachman

Sidney Powell Discusses Latest “Russiagate” Evidence and Intelligence Efforts to Control Information… — The Last Refuge

Uh-Oh! Does The Bible Say We’re Saved By Works? — Wretched

Episode #2730

In today’s Witness Wednesday episode, Todd witnesses to a Roman Catholic at Kennesaw State University and uses passages from James and Romans to show how it’s by faith alone that we are saved, not by works.

Uh-Oh! Does The Bible Say We’re Saved By Works? — Wretched