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Trump Announces His New Evangelical Executive Advisory Board, List Includes Michele Bachmann

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After Meeting With 400 Top Evangelical Christian Leaders, Trump Says He Has ‘Such Tremendous Respect and Admiration’ for His New Group

Donald Trump has just released the names of the people who will head his new Evangelical Executive Advisory Board, and among them are several dozen mostly well-known individuals, including Michele Bachmann, Ralph Reed, James Dobson, and Robert Jeffress. The GOP presumptive nominee been behind closed doors with about 400 of America’s top evangelical Christian leaders, including the heads of several anti-gay hate groups, and some of the most actively anti-LGBT faith leaders in the nation, since about 8:30 AM today in Manhattan.

The group has no public duties but is expected to be used to convince evangelicals to vote for Trump. A press release states they will “convene on a regular basis.”

Former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who grew her political career on the backs of first Minnesota’s and then the nation’s LGBT citizens, is one the list. So is James Dobson, who founded Focus On The Family and later, the Family Research Council. Also on the list is Jerry Falwell, Jr., son of the anti-gay televangelist who now heads his father’s Liberty University. Ronnie Floyd, the head of the Southern Baptist Convention, Bishop Harry Jackson, who worked for several years with NOM, the National Organization For Marriage. Fire and brimstone megachurch anti-gay pastor and Fox News contributor Robert Jeffress, who has called the Mormon faith a cult and is publicly opposed to both Catholicism and Islam, almost as much as he is opposed to LGBT people. 

EARLIER: Trump Warns Top Christian Evangelicals America’s ‘Leaders Are Selling Christianity Down the Tubes’

Others on the list include ethically disgraced former head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Richard Land. 

Ralph Reed, who made his name working for Jerry Falwell until he too ran into ethical troubles. He is now the head and founder  of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, where Trump two weeks ago promised he would protect traditional marriage three days before he promised the LGBT community he is the most pro-gay candidate running for president.

In a statement, Trump said, “I have such tremendous respect and admiration for this group and I look forward to continuing to talk about the issues important to Evangelicals, and all Americans, and the common sense solutions I will implement when I am President,” as Politico reported.

Some have called into question the ethics of stumping for Trump, given their prior statements:

The full list (below) includes only three women, as NPR’s Matt Katz reported.

· Michele Bachmann - Former Congresswoman 

· A.R. Bernard - Senior Pastor and CEO, Christian Cultural Center

· Mark Burns - Pastor, Harvest Praise and Worship Center

· Tim Clinton – President, American Association of Christian Counselors

· Kenneth and Gloria Copeland - Founders, Kenneth Copeland Ministries

· James Dobson - Author, Psychologist and Host, My Family Talk

· Jerry Falwell, Jr. - President, Liberty University

· Ronnie Floyd - Senior Pastor, Cross Church

· Jentezen Franklin - Senior Pastor, Free Chapel

· Jack Graham - Senior Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church

· Harry Jackson - Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church

· Robert Jeffress - Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Dallas

· David Jeremiah - Senior Pastor, Shadow Mountain Community Church

· Richard Land – President, Southern Evangelical Seminary

· James MacDonald – Founder and Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel

· Johnnie Moore - Author, President of The KAIROS Company

· Robert Morris - Senior Pastor, Gateway Church

· Tom Mullins – Senior Pastor, Christ Fellowship­

· Ralph Reed – Founder, Faith and Freedom Coalition

· James Robison – Founder, Life OUTREACH International

· Tony Suarez - Executive Vice President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

· Jay Strack - President, Student Leadership University

· Paula White - Senior Pastor, New Destiny Christian Center

· Tom Winters - Attorney, Winters and King, Inc.

· Sealy Yates – Attorney, Yates and Yates

 

EARLIER:

Watch: Elizabeth Warren Just Recorded This Video About Donald Trump for MoveOn.org and It’s Awesome

TODAY: Donald Trump Meets With 400 Top Anti-LGBT Christian Conservatives

Trump Lie of the Day: When I Said People Should Have Had Guns at Orlando Bar I Didn’t Mean Patrons

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'DARWIN AWARD'

‘Were They Hacked?’: NBC Mocked for Saying Experts Are ‘Puzzling’ Over Why COVID Death Rates Higher for Republicans

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“Covid deaths are unevenly distributed among Republicans and Democrats, but experts are still puzzling over why these differences exist,” tweeted NBC Politics, part of NBC News, on Thursday, with their article claiming the “reason is up for debate.”

“Lower vaccination rates among Republicans could explain the partisan gap, but some researchers say mask use and social distancing were bigger factors,” the article states.

The NBC News report adds that once vaccines were widely available in the U.S. (thanks to President Biden, although it does not make that claim,) “the partisan gap in the deaths widened between April and December 2021, after all adults became eligible for Covid vaccines.”

“Excess death rates in Florida and Ohio were 153% higher among Republicans than Democrats during that time,” the report reveals.

“Average excess death rates in Florida and Ohio were 76% higher among Republicans than Democrats between March 2020 and December 2021, according to a working paper released last month by the National Bureau of Economic Research,” the article notes, adding: “A study in June published in Health Affairs similarly found that counties with a Republican majority had a greater share of Covid deaths through October 2021, relative to majority-Democratic counties.”

The easy answer is getting vaccinated and boosted is critical to reducing COVID deaths, as is social distancing.

It’s so easy that NBC is being mocked for appearing to try to create some clickable mystery around the reports.

Healthcare policy data analyst Charles Gaba offered some insight, and commentary.

“Why yes this is totally puzzling if you ignore every single thing we know about infectious disease prevention,” tweeted public relations and political strategist Cliff Schecter.

“If those people are still ‘puzzling,’ they’re probably not actually experts,” snaked Miranda Yaver, PhD, a political science professor at Wheaton whose work includes public policy and health policy.

David Simon, the well-known author, journalist, screenwriter, and producer offered this colorful response: “Masks, social distancing, vaccinations: Debate how much of each factors into the carnage, but know that in all respects, the Republic National Committee deserves the Darwin Award for a pile of unnecessary dead. You shitbirds politicized a public health crisis and killed your own.”

“i’m just spitballing here but it might be because one of the parties has become an anti-science conspiracy theory cult perpetually undermining public health messaging,” responded freelance reporter Karl Bode.

“Good grief,” snarked Jim Wright, a retired US military intelligence officer and freelance writer. “Did NBC actually write that tweet or were they hacked?”

Mathematician Keith Devlin offered his scientific analysis: “Experts are NOT puzzling over this. I’m a Ph.D. credentialed expert in logical thought. The @GOP leadership TOLD their voters not to protect themselves, and Republican voters tend heavily towards the gullible end of the spectrum (because you have to be gullible to vote GOP).”

Author Patrick S. Tomlinson served up this descriptive response: “Are they? Are they ‘puzzling’ over the differences between people who believed in science, wore masks, got vaccinated, and those who had sweaty ‘Owning the Libs’ orgies in every suburban Red Lobster and Texas Roadhouse during a global pandemic?”

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BREAKING NEWS

‘Reefer Madness’: Fox News Freakout as Biden Announces Pardons for Thousands in Move Toward Decriminalizing Marijuana

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President Joe Biden in a major action on Thursday announced he is pardoning thousands of Americans convicted of simple possession of marijuana, which is being seen as a major move toward federal decriminalization. Fox News is calling it a “blunt move” and “REEFER MADNESS,” and it is currently the right wing website‘s top story:

“As I’ve said before, no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana,” President Biden announced, as Axios reported. “Today, I’m taking steps to end our failed approach.”

“I’m pardoning all prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession. There are thousands of people who were previously convicted of simple possession who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result. My pardon will remove this burden,” the President declared in an unexpected move.

READ MORE: Arizona GOP Nominee Caught Red-Handed Using Footage of Russian Troops Marching in a Victory Parade in Her Campaign Ad

He added he is also “calling on governors to pardon simple state marijuana possession offenses. Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely for possessing marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either.”

That move is expected to receive pushback from many GOP governors and lawmakers, despite support by a majority of Republican voters for cannabis legalization. In April the House of Representatives passed legislation to decriminalize marijuana. It passed 220-204, with just three Republicans voting for it and two Democrats voting against.

“We classify marijuana at the same level as heroin – and more serious than fentanyl,” Biden continued. “It makes no sense. I’m asking @SecBecerra and the Attorney General to initiate the process of reviewing how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.”

“Sending people to jail for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives – for conduct that is legal in many states. That’s before you address the clear racial disparities around prosecution and conviction. Today, we begin to right these wrongs,” Biden said.

Democratic nominee for governor of Texas, Beto O’Rourke, since at least 2019 has supported marijuana legalization. He has repeatedly stated this position as he did here in February.

Immediately after Biden’s announcement O’Rourke once again reiterated his support for legalization..

READ MORE: ‘Nothing to Be Ashamed of’: Herschel Walker Says if He Paid for an Abortion He Would ‘Be Forgiven’

“When I’m governor, we will finally legalize marijuana in Texas and expunge the records of those arrested for marijuana possession,” said the Democrat running against Republican Greg Abbott.

A Justice Department spokesperson said the DOJ “will expeditiously administer the President’s proclamation, which pardons individuals who engaged in simple possession of marijuana, restoring political, civil, and other rights to those convicted of that offense.”

Unlike his predecessor’s pardons, President Biden will arrange the pardons through the Office of the Pardon Attorney.

Slate senior writer Mark Joseph Stern called the President’s announcement “the first step to rescheduling or descheduling marijuana on the federal level. HUGE deal. It’s a tectonic shift in federal drug policy.”

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Arizona GOP Nominee Caught Red-Handed Using Footage of Russian Troops Marching in a Victory Parade in Her Campaign Ad

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Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake used footage of Russian troops marching in a “victory parade” in her latest political ad, according to Heartland Signal/WCPT 820AM in Chicago.

The ad opens showing Lake and says she will “stand with Arizona’s border sheriffs,” a plea to anti-immigration voters. It immediately cuts to footage of marching troops. Those troops are Russian soldiers, not Arizona National Guardsmen.

Heartland Signal reports, “this footage can be found in its original form on the stock footage website Shutterstock, which shows that the troops are, in fact, Russian soldiers marching in a victory parade.”

“Another website called Russian Army Shop sells the very same uniforms shown in the footage, which is the desert camouflage version of Russian Army fatigues. These are very different from the Arizona National Guard uniforms.”

Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, blasted Lake.

“If Kari Lake can’t identify a uniformed member of the Arizona National Guard from a Russian soldier, she has no business leading our brave men and women as governor,” Hobbs told Heartland Signal.

READ MORE: Arizona GOP Candidate Melts Down After Being Confronted for Endorsing Lawmaker Who Says ‘Jews Will Go to Hell’

Lake is considered by some to be a Christian nationalist. Her recent endorsement of Jarrin Jackson, an virulently antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ Christian nationalist extremist who tells his supporters being LGBTQ is a “gateway to pedophilia,”and  that “Jews will go to hell,” received wide condemnation. Lake, a former journalist, responded by stating it’s “impossible to dig into everything someone has said in their life. If his reported comments are true, I obviously rescind my endorsement.”

She did not condemn Jackson, but stated: “I respect Jarrin’s service to our Nation, but clearly denounce that kind of derogatory language. Let me be clear: Our great movement welcomes anyone and everyone who wants to fight for a better future,” as Axios Phoenix reported.

Lake is far from the only Republican who uses Russian video and photos in their work.

READ MORE: Christian Nationalist GOP Nominee Doug Mastriano to Speak to Radical Conspiracy Theorists Ahead of Election

House Republicans led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy two weeks ago “unveiled their ‘Commitment to America’ agenda for 2023 ― and with it, an inspirational video chock full of scenes presented as exceptional imagery of America but that are actually stock footage from Russia and Ukraine,” HuffPost reported.

“Serg Grbanoff, a filmmaker based in Russia…told HuffPost that he filmed” a scene used in the GOP’s video “in Russia’s Volgograd region.”

“In another scene,” HuffPost reports, “a boy is seen smiling and running in a field with a toy airplane. The words ‘Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ appear on the screen, a reference to the Declaration of Independence.”

That “clip was also created by Grbanoff, and also filmed in the Volgograd region of Russia.”

That’s not the first time McCarthy has used Russian footage.

READ MORE: ‘Nothing to Be Ashamed of’: Herschel Walker Says if He Paid for an Abortion He Would ‘Be Forgiven’

In 2019, as NCRM reported, McCarthy released an ad defending then-President Donald Trump which included footage from Russia.

The ad itself was widely mocked, but that CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski identified the stock footage was from Russia. Several years ago McCarthy was caught saying he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin is paying Trump.

There’s more.

In 2020 Trump’s Make America Great Again Committee asked Americans to “support our troops” in an ad that ran on 9/11. It featured Russian fighter jets and a soldier carrying a Kalashnikov assault rifle.

Still more.

“According to a review by American Ledger,” that website, published by the progressive super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, reported in 2020, “a political advertisement featuring several Texas Republican congressional candidates used stock footage of a Russian warship and an Israeli military helicopter to promote their campaigns.”

“Cut by Representative Dan Crenshaw’s campaign, the ad is inspired by a range of action and spy films and features a slate of candidates running for the House of Representatives in Texas: Wesley Hunt (TX-7), August Pfluger (TX-11), Beth Van Duyne (TX-24), Tony Gonzales (TX-23), Genevieve Collins (TX-32), and Crenshaw (TX-2) himself.”

It’s been going on for years.

In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump released an ad decrying the treatment of American vets.

“Our great veterans are being treated terribly,” Trump said in a video. “The corruption in the Veteran’s administration, the incompetence is beyond. We will stop that.”

Gawker at the time reported “it was pulled down before most anyone could see it after commenters pointed out that the footage clearly depicted Russian veterans wearing the distinctive St. George ribbon and pins with the Communist hammer and sickle.”

For reasons unknown the accidental usage of Russian imagery appears to have only occurred in ads by Republicans and only Russian footage. Footage from any other country, for instance, Canada, Australia, or Mexico, does not appear to have ever mistakenly been used.

See Lake’s ad above or at this link.

 

 

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