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Franklin Graham’s Political Dishonesty

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Franklin Graham’s Organizations Have Received Over $100,000 From Trump’s Foundation

For the better part of the year, Franklin Graham has been traveling America in a 50-state tour working feverishly to convince far right wing evangelical Christians to vote – not for any particular candidate, supposedly, but for their conscience. And apparently the son of Billy Graham, the televangelist who advised several presidents and was the face of Protestant Christianity for decades, has a surprisingly clear conscience himself, which should trouble his followers. 

Despite promising to remain non-partisan, Graham has been indirectly pushing Christians to vote for Donald Trump through his many Facebook posts – he has over 4.5 million followers on the social media site – lauding the Republican nominee. Despite that, as recently as last week, Graham claimed, “We’re not telling you who to vote for, God can do that.” But sometimes God needs a megaphone, right Rev. Graham?

Given that just a year ago Donald Trump had at best a poor relationship with the evangelical community, has demonstrated an utter inability to speak their language, and has apparent lack of desire to champion their main causes unless meeting with them face-to-face, it’s curious why Franklin Graham would so adamantly push for a President Trump.

But as the billionaire real estate mogul himself often says on the campaign trail, follow the money.

RealClearPolitics did just that.

In 2011, laying the groundwork for his presidential campaign, Donald Trump started quietly making big money donations to influential evangelicals, especially in the South, from his Donald J. Trump Foundation. 

A source who has ties to the Manhattan billionaire says Trump “was politically active starting in 2011,” and “started to make strategic donations,” RealClearPolitics reports.

“From 2011 through 2014, Trump harnessed his eponymous foundation to send at least $286,000 to influential conservative or policy groups, a RealClearPolitics review of the foundation’s tax filings found. In many cases, this flow of money corresponded to prime speaking slots or endorsements that aided Trump as he sought to recast himself as a plausible Republican candidate for president.” 

In 2012, Franklin Graham’s Billy Graham Evangelistic Association received a $100,000 donation from Trump’s Foundation. NBC News adds that Samaritan’s Purse, Franklin Graham’s Christian relief group, “got $25,000 the same year” from the Trump Foundation.

“Trump and Graham would later come together on the campaign trail, with the latter helping to shore up evangelical support at a pastors’ meeting earlier this year, and while touring Louisiana with Samaritan’s after devastating flooding wrecked havoc on the state,” NBC News reports.

“I appreciate very much Donald Trump and Mike Pence coming down,” Graham had told reporters. “That put a spotlight…on the suffering of these people.”

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins was also on hand that day, traveling with Trump and Graham. And Trump, or his foundation, gave Perkins a $100,000 check that week, purportedly for his Baptist church.

It does not appear that Franklin Graham, in his frequent Facebook posts and speeches that support Trump or attack Clinton, makes the donations from Trump’s foundation clear.

“Graham should have been more forthcoming with Trump’s donations to his groups with the same eagerness he attacks the transgender community,” Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters’ Alvin McEwen notes, referring to Graham’s recent heightened attacks against transgender Americans. “He would still be a nasty demagogue, but at least he wouldn’t be a hypocrite.”

 

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MERRY CHRISTMAS - EXCEPT FOR THE GAYS?

Watch: Ben Shapiro Demands LGBTQ People Leave Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and His ‘Fragile Flying Back’ Alone

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Right wing extremist Ben Shapiro is demanding LGBTQ people leave Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer alone. Shapiro, who runs the far right website The Daily Wire, says the popular children’s Christmas character has enough problems and doesn’t need any more.

“Can’t you just leave Rudolph alone?” Shapiro asked on his radio show. “Like, he’s got enough problems without you putting your own issues with sexual orientation on his fragile flying back.”

Shapiro, who is virulently anti-LGBTQ, was reading from Wednesday’s New York Times opinion piece, “‘Rudolph,’ the Queerest Holiday Special.”

“As for ‘Rudolph,’ the whole movie feels as L.G.B.T.Q. friendly to me as any episode of ‘Queer Eye’ or ‘Steven Universe’ or ‘The L Word.'”

“Except for the fact that,” Shapiro notes, “You know, Rudolph doesn’t have sex with any of the other male reindeer.”

Shapiro, like many other conservatives, boils being gay down to having sex.

“I’m particularly tired of the hijacking of children’s literature and children’s specials to promote political viewpoints on sexual matters,” Shapiro, who apparently is unfamiliar with LGBTQ people and culture, says. “Like, it’s a piece of children’s literature, cut it out.”

Related: Ben Shapiro Slammed as ‘Very Outspoken Bigot’ for Calling World Cup Champ Megan Rapinoe an ‘Outspoken Lesbian’

“The left likes to play this game a lot when it comes to TV,” Shapiro says, wrongly, accusing some LGBTQ people of “hijacking” SpongeBob SquarePants.

(It’s important to note that Shapiro is having this conversation with himself on his radio show while the U.S. House of Representatives is engaged in a debate over impeaching the President.)

He then went on to accuse “some members of ther LGBT community” in the early ’90s of “sugggesting that some of the Teletubbies were gay.”

“Jerry Falwell made a comment about, ‘Well, the Teletubbies aren’t gay,'” Shapiro insisted, falsely. “It’s silly to try and hijack children’s characters and the left was like, ‘A ha, trolled you, trolled you,” Shapiro said.

Except that’s not what happened, not at all.

Jerry Falwell is the far right religious extremist who is best remembered for these comments about the 9/11 terror attacks:

“I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.'”

And it was Jerry Falwell, not LGBTQ people, who said one of the Teletubbies was gay.

“Tinky Winky, one of four characters on the children’s TV show ‘Teletubbies,’ is gay and therefore a moral menace to American youth, the former Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell warns,” The New York Times reported in May of 1999. “Mr. Falwell said the creators of the program intended for Tinky Winky to be a gay role model.”

”He is purple — the gay-pride color; and his antenna is shaped like a triangle — the gay-pride symbol,” he wrote. He also noted that Tinky Winky carries a purse-like bag.

Seems Shapiro just can’t seem to get anything straight.

And as for “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” yes, that New York Times opinion piece is correct.

Watch:

 

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COMMENTARY

Trump White House Already Scripting How Impeachment Trial Will Play Out? WH Counsel Just Walked Into McConnell’s Office

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Just how much control will the Trump White House have over the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump?

Consider this.

The White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone, just walked into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office. Chances are good it wasn’t for a friendly game of checkers.

And Cipollone was accompanied by Eric Ueland, a former member of the Trump transition team who Trump tried to hand a top State Dept. job to but was forced to pull his nomination. A recent promotion has elevated him to now serving as the White House Director of Legislative Affairs, after spending years working for then-Senator Jeff Sessions.

One thing is clear: the Senate should not be working with the White House to pre-determine how the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will be conducted or will play out.

Remember, it was just six says ago that Cipollone sent this angry letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, effectively saying Trump and the White House would not participate in the House’s impeachment hearings.

Cipollone called the impeachment inquiry “baseless.” He insisted it was both a waste of time and should be done “fast” so Trump could win in the Senate.

Experts say Cipollone’s December 6 letter in conjunction with his repeated refusal to hand over any documents or comply with congressional subpoenas may have forced the House to add the obstruction charge to the Articles of Impeachment.

Which apparently is where we are today.

 

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DUDE

Matt Gaetz Probably Isn’t the Best to Go After Someone’s Drug Use: Internet Cautions Republican Congressman

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) probably isn’t the best person to make an argument against driving under the influence given his own arrests. Even Rep Hank Johnson (D-GA) cautioned against “the pot calling the kettle black,” during the Thursday House Judiciary Committee hearing.

Gaetz was arrested for a DUI in 2008 on suspicion of a DUI after he refused a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer test. Just two years later he was elected to the Florida state legislature and by 2016 he was in Congress.

According to the arrest report, Gaetz was driving home from a nightclub when he was pulled over for driving 48 in a 35 mile-per-hour zone, the Tampa Bay Times reported. He was driving a BMW that belonged to his father, state Sen. Don Gaetz. The case was subsequently dropped.

“I’m of the view that that is part of who I am,” said the Fort Walton Beach Republican, who in 2016 will seek the seat now held by his father, Senate President Don Gaetz. “I made bad decisions that resulted in an arrest, and that is sort of something that we all live with.”

Related: Top MAGA Congressman Mocked for ‘Threatening to Retroactively Impeach Obama’

It was something the internet cautioned should probably be addressed by anyone other than Gaetz if they’re going to somehow go after the former vice president’s son for drug use.

You can see Rep. Johnsons’ comments here.

You can read the tweets below:

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