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Apparently Just Christian and Jewish News Outlets Were on Pompeo’s Secret ‘Faith-Based Media Only’ Call

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Democratic Lawmakers Demand Answers

It appears that reporters from only Christian and Jewish media outlets were invited to participate in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo‘s secretive “faith-based media only” conference call Monday night.

Breaking with regular protocol the State Dept. is refusing to release the list of journalists invited or the names of their media outlets. It is also refusing to release the transcript of the conference call or any other details. A representative from the State Dept. went so far as to refuse to even verify that the now highly controversial call even took place.

But one news outlet that was on the call has reported the names of the news outlets that asked questions. They are all Christian and Jewish media. None were from Muslim news outlets or from any other faith. It is possible, although highly unlikely, that news outlets covering the Islamic faith would have been on the call and not asked questions, given the purpose of the call was to discuss “international religious freedom” ahead of Secretary Pompeo’s trip to the Middle East this week.

“While it was not clear which outlets were part of the call, questions were asked by Religion News Service, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Algemeiner, World Magazine and The Leaven, the newspaper of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. America Magazine also participated in the call,” Religion News Service reports. Algemeiner covers Jewish news, World Magazine is a Christian evangelical outlet, and America Magazine reports on the Catholic faith.

Religion News Service notes it is not a “faith-based” media outlet, but one that “covers religion, spirituality and ethics.” Apparently the State Dept. was unaware of the distinction. One other secular outlet was invited but the invitation was rescinded and they were told it was because they were not “faith-based.”

Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress are demanding answers from the State Department. The House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Eliot Engel (D-NY), is demanding “more information.”

Also expressing concern is the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press:

RELATED STORIES:

MIKE POMPEO TALKS ABOUT THE RAPTURE INSIDE THE CIA

MIKE POMPEO, WHO BELIEVES IN APOCALYPTIC HOLY WAR, HAS JUST BEEN CONFIRMED AS SECRETARY OF STATE

STATE DEPT. DOUBLES DOWN ON SECRECY AS POMPEO’S ‘FAITH-BASED MEDIA ONLY’ CONFERENCE CALL DRAWS CRITICISM

STATE DEPT. BARS CREDENTIALED REPORTERS FROM SPECIAL CONFERENCE CALL – ALLOWS ‘FAITH-BASED MEDIA ONLY’: REPORT

 

Image by U.S. Dept. of State via Flickr 

 

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Completed More Cancer Treatment

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent outpatient pancreatic cancer radiation therapy and has been declared cancer-free, according MSNBC’s Pete Williams and a statement from the Supreme Court.

“The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body,” the SCOTUS statement says. “No further treatment is needed at this time.”

The three-week treatment was completed at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Ginsburg, who is 86 and keeps an active schedule, has maintained she will continue to serve as long as she feel capable.

Here’s MSNBC’s report:

 

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Internet Responds to Death of Billionaire Conservative Activist David Koch by Reminding Everyone What He Stood For

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Billionaire conservative political activist David Koch has just died. He was 79. With his brother he founded and ran the massive Koch Industries. He was worth an estimated $48 billion.

Koch will be lauded by some as a philanthropist – his name appears on buildings like New York City’s Lincoln Center, and he donated to hospitals, museums, and universities. But many Americans will remember him as one of the major players behind the Tea Party, and using his vast wealth to help massively reconstruct American politics into, some say, the vitriolic insanity we see today.

Jane Mayer, who literally wrote the book on “Dark Money” in politics, including the impact of the Koch brothers, last year penned another deep dive into their history.

She wrote at The New Yorker that in 1980 “Charles convinced his younger brother David to run for Vice-President on the Libertarian Party ticket. The brothers regarded Ronald Reagan, who was running for President that year, as too liberal. The Libertarian platform called for abolishing all federal income taxes and virtually every federal agency, including the I.R.S., the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the F.E.C., the E.P.A., the F.D.A., and the S.E.C. The party also opposed Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, public education, and minimum-wage and child-labor laws. Charles and David, former members of the John Birch Society, which their father, Fred, helped found, regarded centralized government as a scourge akin to Communism. At the time, however, such views were considered kooky even by most conservatives. The conservative stalwart William F. Buckley, Jr., called the Kochs’ views “Anarcho-Totalitarianism.” The voters’ verdict was equally harsh. David spent two million dollars of his own money on his candidacy in 1980, but he was trounced. The Libertarian Party earned only one per cent of the vote.”

On social media some are sharing their remembrances of David Koch, and what he stood for.

Here’s CNN’s Keith Boykin:

Salon’s Amanda Marcotte:

Others:

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump’s Claims About His Performance on Jobs Just Got Destroyed by One of His Own Federal Agencies

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Job Growth Was Much Weaker Than First Reported – and Much Weaker Than Trump Brags About

President Donald Trump’s approval rating is consistently dismal, but the one area that always pulls his low numbers up is how voters think he’s handling the economy and unemployment. Trump talks all the time about how great the economy is – like taking credit when the DOW jumps up or when unemployment drops down, but never taking blame when the reverse occurs.

For example, here’s President Trump talking about the economy and low unemployment numbers – to children and their families – at a White House Easter egg roll:

Trump’s claims about jobs just got slammed, and the wrecking ball comes from one of his own federal agencies: the Dept. of Labor.

Every year the DOL goes back and reviews the numbers it puts out, dives deeper by comparing them to state unemployment insurance reports, and issues a report measuring what unemployment and job growth really was.

And for 2018, the numbers are much different than what the initial reports showed.

“Employers added a half-million fewer jobs in 2018 and early 2019 than previously reported,” according to the Labor Department, The New York Times reports, calling the revision downward “the largest in recent years.”

In other words, the DOL initially reported an additional 500,000 jobs that were never created.

Here’s what that looks like:

A contributing editor at Digital Trends says it’s a 21% drop in job growth numbers from what the Trump administration often claims:

And this senior economist offers up what the revision to the jobs numbers might look like if spread out over just a few months.

“2018, which had ranked among the strongest years of job growth in the decade-long recovery, was weaker than previously believed,” the Times also reports.

 

 

 

 

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