I Know I Should Care About Melania’s Jacket…But I Just Can’t

First lady Melania Trump arrives at the White House, in Washington, Thursday, June 21, 2018, after visiting the Upbring New Hope Children Center run by the Lutheran Social Services of the South in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Another day another Trump outrage.

Yesterday was the day of the “jacket seen round the world”. Melania Trump was captured boarding a flight wearing a green jacket emblazoned with the words, “I really don’t care. Do U?” on the back. Immediately the internet catapulted itself to Ivanka-Trump-Posting-Tone-Deaf-Pictures-With-Her-Children levels of outrage.

First lady Melania Trump walks to her vehicle as she arrives at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, June 21, 2018, after visiting the Upbring New Hope Children Center run by the Lutheran Social Services of the South in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Mrs. Trump was on her way to visit a holding center for illegal immigrant children in Texas. Was she seriously that tone deaf? Or that cruel? Or both? HOW DARE SHE????!!11111!!!

I didn’t exactly believe it was “nothing”, as Mrs.Trump’s spokesperson tried to tell us.

The First Lady is not the most vocal woman to occupy that post. She’s an introvert and typically very quiet. However, she’s developed a reputation for speaking with her fashion choices. Remember her “pussy-bow” blouse she wore to one of her husband’s debates with Hillary Clinton? It was an understated wardrobe choice that spoke loudly.

It was certainly no accident that she wore that jacket with that message. Mrs. Trump is quiet, not stupid. My original suspicion was that it was a jab at the media – a favorite passtime of the Trump family. That suspicion was confirmed by the President later that day, but it didn’t alleviate my concern that indeed the jacket was a bit tone deaf. It certainly didn’t feel like good timing.

However, that’s as far as I could manage to extend my concern. I tried to feel outrage. I watched as many of my conservative colleagues chastised other conservatives for their hypocrisy. The general sentiment seemed to be:

“If Michelle Obama had worn a jacket like this at any time during her husband’s presidency conservatives would have freaked out!”

And you know what? Those people aren’t wrong. I’m quite sure I would have been incensed had I seen such a thing on Mrs. Obama…or Mrs. Clinton. I most certainly think it’s hypocritical of me to no care about Mrs. Trump’s jacket, and to be making fun of people and their hysterical, self-righteous indignation. I get that.

But still…I don’t care. So here I am asking myself why I don’t care. I do pride myself on being intellectually honest. I do understand that I have certain biases that – for all my efforts – still manifest themselves in my expressions. I do know that it’s not fair for me to feel this way and I want to be better than that. I want to be “smarter” than that.

But I can’t do it. The reason is two-fold, but resides under the same umbrella. I’m all out of outrage.

On the one hand, I’m out of my own outrage. I spent eight years railing against the Obama administration. His presidency is the entire reason I ever got into the blogging game in the first place. I was an outraged mother, screaming desperately into the wind about my increasing cost of living versus the decreasing opportunity for black Americans under our first black President. I was outraged at their elitist spending, the way they looked down their noses at people who didn’t look like them, think like them, worship like them or earn like them. Mostly, I was outraged at how the media refused to exhibit even a modicum of curiosity when it came the Obamas. They simply projected onto Mr. Obama their own (frankly, racist) hopes and wishes about what a “magic Negro” in the White House would be like. They ignored every scandal, every lie, and worse – they made up lies about the people who rejected his worldview. Those people were cruelly and coldly labeled racists or -if they were minorities like me – sellouts…self-hating blacks who just yearn for acceptance from our white overlords.

It was indeed outrageous and I used every platform I could to call out the terrible administration and advocate for the people being left behind.

And what did it net? Nothing. The Tea Party – like most “viral” political movements – devolved into competing, partisan money-making operations. Barack Obama served his full two terms. He jammed Obamacare through Congress with nary a Republican vote. He gave away billions of dollars to American enemies…basically he did whatever he wanted. All my screaming and yelling did nothing but gain me some followers on Twitter. Life was every bit as frustrating when he took office as it was when he left. As we rolled into the new election cycle I told myself I would never again waste so much useless rage, no matter who we elected.

On the other hand, I’m exhausted by the never ending cycle of outrage coming from the mainstream media and far-left wing entities…and frankly from some on the conservative side as well. While I was genuinely irked when Trump won the primaries, I had previously made the decision to accept the will of the voters. Instead of trashing Trump voters, I sought to understand them. What I wasn’t prepared to do was to spend another eight years in a perpetual state of outrage. I’ve had enough. It makes not a bit of difference to anything.

So yes, I understand that failing to be upset by the First Lady’s untimely message looks hypocritical…and no, I still am not able to muster up enough outrage to join the virtue signaling Twitter mob. After eight years of the media ignoring, subverting and downright insulting every legitimate concern I shared with my fellow non-Democrat Americans I am plum out of anger. I’m all out of hysteria. My wellspring of “whataboutism” is all dried up.

I just don’t care about Melania’s jacket.

The post I Know I Should Care About Melania’s Jacket…But I Just Can’t appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State


John McCain’s Staff Director Urged Lois Lerner to Use the IRS to Punish Tea Party Groups and Where Is He Now?

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, acknowledges a fellow Navy veteran during a Phoenix Memorial Day Ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, Monday, May 30, 2016, in Phoenix. At age 79, running what may be his last campaign, McCain finds himself on uncertain terrain. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

 

After the Democrats got their clock cleaned in 2010, they and their progressive allies turned to the tried and true Obama era method of using law enforcement authority to pursue political goals. Eventually, the IRS admitted it had targeted conservative groups improperly and this resulted in the resignation and contempt of Congress citation for Lois Lerner, and earlier this year, a multi-million dollar settlement to the targeted groups. Now, thanks to the indefatigable Judicial Watch, we know there was another player involved: the sainted John McCain. On April 30, 2013, John McCain’s staff director and counsel, Henry Kerner, was at a meeting with Lois Lerner where the subject was how to rein in 501(c)4 groups who were, in the view of the group, primarily political.

Lerner and other IRS officials met with select top staffers from the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in a “marathon” meeting to discuss concerns raised by both Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that the IRS was not reining in political advocacy groups in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Senator McCain had been the chief sponsor of the McCain-Feingold Act and called the Citizens United decision, which overturned portions of the Act, one of the “worst decisions I have ever seen.”

Henry Kerner asked how to get to the abuse of organizations claiming section 501 (c)(4) but designed to be primarily political. Lois Lerner said the system works, but not in real time. Henry Kerner noted that these organizations don’t disclose donors. Lois Lerner said that if they don’t meet the requirements, we can come in and revoke, but it doesn’t happen timely. Nan Marks said if the concern is that organizations engaging in this activity don’t disclose donors, then the system doesn’t work. Henry Kerner said that maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous. Nikole noted that we have budget constraints. Elise Bean suggested using the list of organizations that made independent expenditures. Lois Lerner said that it is her job to oversee it all, not just political campaign activity.

You can read the meeting summary here.

What is notable in this is that it is Lois Lerner assuring McCain’s staffer that systems are in place to police the system, but McCain’s guy doesn’t think they are working fast enough.

This is not the first time that McCain has been accused of having a hand in the IRS crackdown of conservative groups and the reason the story was plausible is because McCain’s contempt for conservative grassroots groups and his love of incumbent protection schemes of all types was pretty well known. In April 2015, as more and more details of the IRS abuse were becoming known. Judicial Watch issued a press release saying that McCain was working with Michigan Senator Carl Levin to limit the impact of the Citizens United case. McCain denied the allegation

“Like so many Americans, I was shocked and appalled by revelations that the IRS inappropriately singled out conservative groups for scrutiny, and that our tax system was used to target political opponents.

“As Ranking Member of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, I devoted significant time and resources to help get to the bottom of this disturbing abuse of power by the IRS. Any article suggesting otherwise is simply wrong, and ignores the facts of my actions over the last several years.”

Ironically, McCain cites the same meeting where his staff director suggested using audits as a way of driving these small nonprofits out of existence as proof that he was on the ball on IRS abuse and uses it as a way to slam Lois Lerner.

This brings us to Henry Kerner. He now heads the Office of Special Counsel, that is the office charged with overseeing the protection of whistleblowers, the enforcement of the Hatch Act, and the integrity of the federal personnel system. He got that job because President Trump nominated him.

In fairness, the President has the authority to directly appoint around 3,000 federal employees. Most of them he doesn’t know and couldn’t pick out of a two-man line-up. But is the cupboard really so bare that we have to rely on McCain staffers, particularly one that now looks damned complicit in the targeting of conservative nonprofits, to fill those jobs?

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The post John McCain’s Staff Director Urged Lois Lerner to Use the IRS to Punish Tea Party Groups and Where Is He Now? appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State


20 Individuals Charged in a West Texas Drug Conspiracy

LUBBOCK, Texas — In a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Caprock HIDTA (Hi-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Task Force, and the Texas (Lubbock) Anti-Gang Center (TAG), 20 individuals are in federal custody on a federal criminal indictment for a drug trafficking conspiracy, announced Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.  Those defendants […]
Source: Pratt on Texas


‘Unbelievable’ Podcast Debates Faith and Politics With Cool Heads and Amazing Grace

I’m a podcast addict. Some people like to put on music while they drive or clean or perform other mundane tasks…I put on talking. I’m a voracious listener of anything that will make me laugh or teach me something. I particularly enjoy hearing thoughtful discussions on “third-rail” topics. Unfortunately those types of discussions too often devolve into shouting and name-calling. As someone who earns a living in an industry that thrives on outrage, I find myself avoiding any entertainment that might end in indignation. I just don’t have the tolerance for it anymore.

So I was thrilled to discover a podcast that broached all of my favorite topics – philosophy, theology, religion and history – without leaving me with a “rage hangover”.

Unbelievable bills itself as a place for Christians and non-Christians to meet to discuss and debate. The show began as a regular Saturday morning broadcast on the British Christian radio station “Premier Christian Radio”. Host Justin Brierley created the show as an opportunity for Christian listeners to hear their faith challenged and explore the case for a Creator.

Over the years the show has expanded into the podcast form and has boasted guests with huge (and sometimes controversial) names in the fields of philosophy and the sciences, such as (in)famous pastor Rob Bell, astrophysicist Hugh Ross and Jordan Peterson.

As a host, Brierley has a unique (and enviable) ability to quietly moderate passionate discussions on some of the most heated topics of the day. Rarely will a listener hear the debate between two diametrically opposed parties devolve into shouting and name-calling. With skilled professionalism and a healthy dose of British wit, the father of four keeps the dialogue on track and isn’t afraid to remind guests that the forum is about debating ideas and not personal merit. It all makes for an enjoyable listen.

Those very polite British accents don’t hurt either.

As an avid listener of the podcast I was thrilled to discover that Brierley and his colleagues at Premier Christian Radio host an annual one-day apologetics conference in London, aptly named Unbelievable: The Conference. Deciding there’s no time like the present I cashed in a travel credit and headed off to London with a friend. To my utter delight, Brierley responded to my post about the conference on social media and invited us to his studio to sit in on a recording.

Glen Scrivener of “Speak Life” hosts 5 Hard Questions at “Unbelievable: The Conference” in London, May 2018

 

We were riveted by the discussion on the origin of the universe between Dr. Hugh Ross and atheist biologist Peter Atkins. Afterwards, Brierley sat down with me for an interview in his studio.

Left to Right: Wendy, Kira and Justin Brierley

Brierley hosts a debate between Dr. Hugh Ross and Dr. Peter Atkins in the ‘Unbelievable’ studios in London

We spoke about the beginnings of the show and how, after three years with the network Brierley approached the CEO about creating a program that would invite non-Christians into the space and spark dialogue. Unbelievable would launch as a place for Christians to hear debates about core values and key points of their faith.

“In the process it could model for Christians how to have those kinds of dialogue,” says Brierly.

What he didn’t envision, however was how the show would take off as a podcast. Over the years it has gone from being a Saturday afternoon treat within English borders to a global platform capturing listeners from all over the world. With an impressive backlog of radio programming, the podcast was able to hit the ground running with dozens of shows already recorded that simply needed to be uploaded. As technology improved so did the platform, and with the older pre-podcast era episodes becoming available Unbelievable currently has an iTunes catalog of over 300 episodes dating as far back as 2010.

That’s a lot of food for thought.

Brierley says that while some people (atheists) in the social media sphere may tend to be antagonistic about Christianity and faith, he would still rather engage with a passionate, antagonistic atheist than someone who just didn’t care at all. In fact, the intellectual analysis of God and the origin of life can be important in giving people “permission” to believe. However, in the end the final decision is an issue of the heart.

“C.S.Lewis said when it comes to adult conversions there was some level at which some issues had to be resolved. Apologetics is that process by which people are given permission to have faith, because they may have come and they’ve got some issue with the problem of suffering, let’s say…It may be useful for removing some of the obstacles but you still have to want what’s at the end of the road. You have to still want Jesus Christ. If you don’t want to believe there’s always another objection to reach for…there has to be something going on in the heart in order for that person to want what’s on offer”.

The seasoned podcast host said that although the debate format is set up to be confrontational, he makes a concerted effort to center his discussions around personal experience.

“I’m not going to pretend that the kind of conversations we’re having in a studio are the same conversations people are going to have in a pub or a bar. [But it] moves beyond simply about being a debate about ideas to actually engaging with people as they are, the issues they’re going through and the experience they’re living because that’s when I think you really touch the core of who someone is and what really matters to them. As long as it’s just intellectual ideas it’s just a game of ping-pong. There can be value in that but at the end of the day the point at which people really experience a change and have come face-to-face with God is somehow when they’ve gone beyond that”.

Brierley says that when he first started broadcasting the program he knew very little about the subjects being broached. It was sort a learn-as-you-go situation, which has had the very pleasant effect of making him a “translator” for some of the more complicated, academic subjects. It has become one the hallmarks of his podcast and an oft-praised quality by new listeners.

Unbelievable listeners also tend to appreciate his effort to give his guests equal, uninterrupted time to peacefully make their points. In the beginning, some Premier Christian Radio patrons didn’t exactly approve of all the air time he was making available to atheist guests in particular.

“One of the earliest problems that we had was some listeners saying, ‘Why are you letting atheists on a Christian radio station? We’ve got enough of them on the BBC!’”

But Brierley was undeterred, believing firmly that there was a way to hear out both sides of the conversation that would lead to a better understanding between people of diametrically opposed ideologies.

“In the long course of doing the shows it would be hard for an atheist to listen and come away thinking, ‘Oh, christians are just a lot of deluded, brainless people’, because you will have heard a lot of intelligent, thinking Christians making their case for faith. Likewise, Christians will have heard a lot of cogent arguments against God and faith and realize atheists are not all draconian, humorless baby-eaters. The show serves as a way to move away from stereotypes”.

That doesn’t mean the show hasn’t had it’s fair share of intense confrontations. Brierley recalls one particular discussion between a Muslim and a Christian that quickly degenerated into ” a lot of heat and not much light”. He had to stop the recording and implore the men to keep the personal attacks to themselves. Another tense debate came when he had two Christians to debate same-sex marriage and sexuality. The subject soon devolved into both parties attacking the person rather than the argument.

So has Justin Brierley’s faith or point of view changed after interviewing atheists for a decade?

He says no, that he’s ended up feeling more confident in his faith as he’s become more aware of the complex issues of life. That is actually what drove him to write a book based on his time as a broadcaster, Unbelievable: Why After 10 Years of Talking With Atheists I’m Still a Christian.

“I’ve come across more things that point toward God rather than away from God”.

While he’s come to appreciate many of the salient, intellectual arguments from his non-Christian guests, Brierley maintains that the real irony is that they are all arguing from the comfort of living in a society which rests on the foundations of Judeo-Christian ethics and values.

“The whole of Western thought and culture is based on Christianity. It’s just crazy to dismiss it as intellectually lazy. Every atheist I meet…the irony is that everything they hold dear is based on the Jude0-Christian foundation and that for me is one of the great ironies.”

While his podcast popularity continues to soar, Brierley is reaching beyond the platform to engage even more minds. There are rumors that “Unbelievable: The Conference” may be expanding to the United States very soon, and his video series “The Big Conversation” launched in June as a sort of off-shoot of the podcast. His first guest was sudden intellectual superstar Jordan Peterson, who debated atheist scholar Susan Blackmore on the question, “Do we need God to make sense of life?”. The video has already racked up nearly half a million views on YouTube and Brierley is already preparing for a recording in front of a live audience.

One of Brierley’s favorite questions of his guests is, “Is there any kind of evidence, anything that you could see or hear that would change your mind?”, so I took the opportunity to turn the question on him. Without hesitation he replied that most certainly he felt Christianity is a “falsifiable” religion that rests completely on the belief that Jesus rose from the dead. Were there to be some incontrovertible evidence that the resurrection didn’t happen, the Unbelievable author admitted he would be forced to reconsider his faith. However, he sees that as simply a risk involved in taking on any kind of belief with intellectual honesty.

“I open myself up to the possibility of being wrong every time I open my microphone.”

After all these years of moderating heated topics, Brierley firmly believes we should be a “1Peter 3:15 people”:

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

Imagine how the world – and discourse in our own country – might change if we all decided to follow suit. Of course, adopting an adorably polite British accent couldn’t hurt either.

 

 

The post ‘Unbelievable’ Podcast Debates Faith and Politics With Cool Heads and Amazing Grace appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State


The TIME Magazine Cover Meant to Describe Trump’s Treatment of Immigrant Children is, SHOCKER, a Lie

There’s a reason there’s a massive breakdown of trust in the mainstream media, and TIME magazine has demonstrated why with gusto.

As you’ve likely seen, since the cover has been spread to the four corners of the Earth for everyone to outrage over, TIME released a photoshopped image of a crying girl from the border staring at Trump, who is looking down at her seemingly uncaring.

But as it turns out, TIME’s super-duper thought provoking cover is based off a complete lie. Greg Pollowitz dissects it best in one tweet.

That’s right. The girl in the photo was not at all separated from her mother, and never was. According to the Daily Mail, they’re still together and doing fine.

The mother, Sandra Hernandez, 31, and their two-year-old daughter Yanela Denise are from Honduras. According to the Daily Mail, the duo attempted to cross into America against the father’s wishes, and apparently Sandra told few she was leaving. She left behind two other daughters, and reportedly, the family didn’t even get to say goodbye.

The way the media portrays it, Trump and the Republicans are callously separating children from their parents, and putting them in Auschwitz like conditions. This is not true. The children who are separated are actually well taken care of, and are not separated indefinitely. In fact, the conditions have improved since Obama took over, and they resembled more of a prison-like atmosphere during his time.

This is not to say that the separation of children and parents is horrible, but America’s policies were very well defined. If you go to prison, you can’t take your children with you, and that even goes for American citizens.

As National Border Patrol Council spokesman Chris Cabrera, the parents who attempt to make the illegal trek put their children in all sorts of danger. Some of the children that come to the border aren’t even accompanied by their own parents. Sometimes they’re people paid to get others across the border. Sometimes, they’re sex traffickers.

As Cabrera noted, while the detention of the children isn’t at all ideal, sometimes it’s necessary. If the press would report like it should, then America would have a much better idea of the problems we’re dealing with, and act accordingly. Instead, we get things like the TIME magazine cover, which tells an incomplete story in order to generate a biased narrative.

This solves nothing, and this is why we don’t trust the press.

The post The TIME Magazine Cover Meant to Describe Trump’s Treatment of Immigrant Children is, SHOCKER, a Lie appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State


‘Rape’ is Better Than ‘Ape’ — Major Networks Fail to Give Peter Fonda the Roseanne Treatment, or Even Mention Him

 

On Wednesday night as well as Thursday morning, after left-winger Peter Fonda’s disgusting (early Wednesday morning) championing of child rape (which you must see, here), all three major networks went dark over the incident.

Of nine and a half hours of news air time, not a second was devoted to the truly despicable touting of torment and rape of the President’s family and child.

Only CNN addressed Fonda’s repulsive acts, with Newsroom’s Poppy Harlow asking why he wasn’t being Roseanned:

“Fonda has a movie due to be released tomorrow by Sony Pictures, and it has many asking why is he not being treated the same way Rosanne Barr was after her racist rant (despite the ubiquitous term, her tweet was not a ‘rant’ — read more here and here)?”

On Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter theorized Fonda’s has-been status factored heavily into the lack of coverage:

“I think the answer has to do with the differences between these two people and their two platforms. Rosanne Barr had almost a million followers on Twitter, one of the biggest stars at the time she posted that racist tweet. This actor, frankly, a washed up actor, best known for films decades ago, he has about 50,000. His movie is due out in five theaters.”

Stelter also claimed the occurence was a reminder to watch your mouth:

“Yet another reminder that people mouthing off on Twitter, expressing their most private emotions, their most disgusting emotions, can have real world consequences.”

I’m not so sure he’s right about that. Doubtlessly, millions are unaware of Fonda’s endorsement of child rape. His Twitter account remains active, while others have had theirs suspended for far lesser offenses.

There is at play a double standard. Peter Fonda called for the torturous rape of a child (as well as other things). Yet the news stays silent, and the world turns, and many remain none the wiser.

 

Please check out my other articles on entertainers Ashley Judd, Amy Schumer, and Alyssa Milano, as well as all my RedState work here.

Sound off in the Comments section below.

And follow Alex Parker on Twitter.

 

 

 

The post ‘Rape’ is Better Than ‘Ape’ — Major Networks Fail to Give Peter Fonda the Roseanne Treatment, or Even Mention Him appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State


PHOTOS: 22 charged in West Texas drug conspiracy

The Caprock Hi-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and the Texas Anti-Gang Center charged 22 people with federal drug conspiracy and other drug charges. This comes after a multi-county raid on Thursday. 
Source: KCBD News


Democrats appear to want illegal alien families to live “in the shadows”

It is now abundantly clear that Democrats and other Leftists want illegal aliens to live in the shadows where they are subject to all the bad things they told us comes with living “in the shadows” over the last decade. They decried illegal alien children and parents being held separately while their cases of illegal […]
Source: Pratt on Texas