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Republican Insider Explains How Religion Destroyed the GOP

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  • Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, California, speaks on September 26, 2008 in New York. The youngest son of prominent US evangelical preacher Rick Warren has committed suicide after a long struggle with mental illness.
  • In the book, "The Party Is Over," veteran Republican Mike Lofgren writes about the rise of politicized religious fundamentalism and how the GOP devolved into anti-intellectual nuts.

Mike Lofgren, Viking Press / AlterNet

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Editor%20Comment%20icon_0.jpgAlterNet Editor's Note: The following exceprt is reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of the Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from "The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted," by Mike Lofgren. Copyright © 2012 by Mike Lofgren.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Mike%20Lofgren%20%7C%20The%20Party%20Is%20Over%20jacket%20illus.jpgMay 10, 2018 | Religious cranks ceased to be a minor public nuisance in this country beginning in the 1970s and grew into a major element of the Republican rank and file. Pat Robertson’s strong showing in the 1988 Iowa presidential caucus signaled the gradual merger of politics and religion in the party. Unfortunately, at the time I mostly underestimated the implications of what I was seeing. It did strike me as oddly humorous that a fundamentalist staff member in my congressional office was going to take time off to convert the heathen in Greece, a country that had been overwhelmingly Christian for almost two thousand years. I recall another point, in the early 1990s, when a different fundamentalist GOP staffer said that dinosaur fossils were a hoax. As a mere legislative mechanic toiling away in what I held to be a civil rather than ecclesiastical calling, I did not yet see that ideological impulses far different from mine were poised to capture the party of Lincoln.

The results of this takeover are all around us: If the American people poll more like Iranians or Nigerians than Europeans or Canadians on questions of evolution, scriptural inerrancy, the presence of angels and demons, and so forth, it is due to the rise of the religious right, its insertion into the public sphere by the Republican Party, and the consequent normalizing of formerly reactionary beliefs. All around us now is a prevailing anti-intellectualism and hostility to science. Politicized religion is the sheet anchor of the dreary forty-year-old culture wars.

Mike Lofgren  is a former congressional staff member who served on both the House and Senate budget committees.

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Related:

Special Report | Barry Goldwater Warned Us - The Danger of Evangelicals. Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • http://lacatholicworker.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/faith-and-politics-sign.jpgPart 1: The Danger of Evangelicals – It’s Not About Hillary Anymore
  • I see very little of compassion in our President and less of it in my sister and brother evangelicals who claim to share a faith tradition with me.Part 2: Barry Goldwater vs. the Religious Right
  • It's "the Godfather of Conservatism" who said: "Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell's ass."

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Wrong-Way Democrats: Will a 'Blue Dog' Blue Wave Pave the Way for Future Disaster?

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Marine veteran and former federal prosecutor Conor Lamb speaking at Democrats' nominating convention. Photo Credit: Pennsylvania Democratic Party

  • Democrats will win big this fall (probably). But are they just repeating the mistakes of the Clinton-Obama era?
  • Related: Series | A Nation Under Trump, Part 5 - What have the Democrats learned since Trump's election?

 

Paul Rosenberg, Salon / AlterNet

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Dead%20Red%2C%20White%2C%20%26%20Blue%20Donkey_0.jpgMay 6, 2018 | Congressional primaries in California are less than a month away, with at least seven Republican-held seats seriously in play this November (according to Cook Political Report, and targeted by Swing Left), the most of any state. Four of those seats are in or adjacent to Orange County, once the home of Richard Nixon and the epicenter of conservative power, where Democrats now hold a numerical advantage.

But there's a perverse twist. Thanks to California's nonpartisan "jungle primary" -- in which the top two candidates advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation -- Democrats could conceivably be shut out in as many as three of those races. Two Republican incumbents are retiring -- Rep. Darrell Issa and Rep. Ed Royce -- while a third, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, faces a serious GOP challenger. With an overcrowded field of Democrats, it's possible that Republicans could finish first and second in those primaries. For those reasons and others, these Orange County races provide a miniature study in the struggles inside the Democratic Party today.

Paul Rosenberg is senior editor at Random Lengths News, a biweekly serving the Los Angeles harbor area.

Full story … 

Related:

Series | A Nation Under Trump, Part 5 - What have the Democrats learned since Trump's election? Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter (NCR)

  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Dem%20Voter%20Registration%20Sign.jpgA voter registration sign for the Democratic Party is seen during the March for Science in Sacramento, California, on April 22. (Dreamstime/Alessandra Rc)
  • The Series: As the anniversary of Donald Trump's election as president of the United States approached, the NCR staff wondered if the calls to action that persisted immediately following the election remained as urgent.
  • Part 5: Unless the Democrats get their act together, there is no reason to think that Trump, with a strong economy at his back, will not be the odds-on favorite for re-election. You would think that grim prospect alone would be enough to galvanize Democrats toward change. And you would be wrong.

 

After Drug Plan Shows Trump 'Will Do Nothing About Their Greed,' Big Pharma Stocks Soar

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  • "Don't be fooled: President Trump and his administration are bought and paid for by Big Pharma."  —Brad Woodhouse, Protect Our Care
  • Related: Series | A Nation Under Trump, Part 9: How do we create a high-value health care system?

Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

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http://www.kfai.org/files/images/health%20care%20symbol%20screw.jpgFriday, May 11, 2018 | In a strong indication that investors and major pharmaceutical companies know President Donald Trump's newly unveiled drug plan "will do nothing to rein in their greed," Big Pharma stocks soared on Friday as Trump delivered a brief and extremely vague speech promising to lower drug costs that critics called a "cover-up for the sweetheart deal" he's offering America's price-gouging drugmakers.

"When big pharmaceutical companies' stocks spike during your big reveal on lowering prices, you're doing something wrong," Brad Woodhouse, campaign director of Protect Our Care, said in a statement following Trump's speech on Friday. "Don't be fooled: President Trump and his administration are bought and paid for by Big Pharma."

https://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/authors/johnson.jpg?itok=Xrr2HegA Jake Johnson, staff writer, Common Dreams

Full story … 

Related:

Series | A Nation Under Trump, Part 9: How do we create a high-value health care system? Michael Panicola, National Catholic Reporter (NCR)

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Pediatrician%20Talks%20with%20Mother%20of%20New%20Born.jpgMercy Sr. Karen Schneider, a pediatrician, left, talks with the mother of a child in the emergency room at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in 2014. (CNS/Bob Roller)

 

  • The Series: As the anniversary of Donald Trump's election as president of the United States approached, the NCR staff wondered if the calls to action that persisted immediately following the election remained as urgent.
  • Part 9: Admittedly, we need to do more than what's been proposed above to rectify the current problems and impending crisis in U.S. health care. However, without accepting the moral and practical urgency of universal health coverage and the equally critical need to overhaul health care financing and delivery, all reform efforts are doomed to fail.

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Special Report | Obama Paved the Way for a Torturer to Become CIA Director

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  • Part 1: Ray McGovern: Will A Torturer Become CIA Director
  • Gina Haspel faced a confirmation hearing on Wednesday to become CIA director despite her record of supporting torture, which even the Pentagon admitted does not work
  • Part 2: Jeremy Scahill: Obama Paved Way for Haspel to Head CIA by Failing to Hold Torturers Accountable
  • The elephant in the room of all of this is that the CIA and the U.S. military’s darkest elements, they’re in a golden era right now.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Ray McGovern: Will A Torturer Become CIA Director

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America, the Jesuit weekly, asked Ray to do a short article on Gina Haspel before Wednesday’s hearing on her nomination to head the CIA.  First, Ray sets out to disabuse America readers of the notion that “torture works.”  He then delves into the moral implications and hits so close to home that the editors end up withholding an imprimatur to protect one of their own.  Actually, the whole thing is really sad — you might even say scandalous.

Ray McGovern, Ray McGovern.com / Consortium News

http://raymcgovern.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Screen-Shot-2018-05-07-at-10.23.06-PM.png CIA Director Nominee Gina Haspel

May 8, 2018 | The Senate Intelligence Committee is scheduled on Wednesday to decide whether to recommend that Gina Haspel be confirmed as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The mind boggles.

It is no secret that Haspel oversaw detainee torture, including waterboarding, at a CIA “black site” base in Thailand. The nonprofit National Security Archive, housed at The George Washington University, reports that Haspel later drafted a cable ordering the destruction of dozens of videotapes of torture sessions, including some from before her arrival. Haspel also helped feed repeated lies about the supposed effectiveness of torture to CIA superiors, Congress, and two presidents.

https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Ray-Headshot-cropped-150x150.jpeg Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington, D.C.. A Fordham alumnus, he spent 27 years as a CIA analyst, from the Kennedy administration to the first Bush administration. He holds a certificate in theological studies from Georgetown and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

Full story … 





Part 2: Jeremy Scahill: Obama Paved Way for Haspel to Head CIA by Failing to Hold Torturers Accountable

The elephant in the room of all of this is that the CIA and the U.S. military’s darkest elements, they’re in a golden era right now. Trump is an ideal person for them. Establishment neocons hate the man, but they love what’s going on right now. And, unfortunately, they’re in an alliance increasingly with liberals.

http://cache.boston.com/resize/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2010/09/18/1284856024_4238/300h.jpg May 10, 2018 | On Capitol Hill Wednesday, President Trump’s nominee to head the CIA, Gina Haspel, announced she would not restart the CIA’s interrogation program. But she repeatedly refused to call the CIA’s post-9/11 treatment of prisoners “torture,” and declined to state whether she believes torture is immoral. Haspel’s comments came in testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, as she made her case to become the first woman to head the agency. Haspel is a 33-year CIA veteran who was responsible for running a secret CIA black site in Thailand in 2002, where one prisoner was waterboarded and tortured in other ways. Haspel also oversaw the destruction of videotapes showing torture at the black site. At least two Republican senators have come out against her—Rand Paul and John McCain, who said her “role in overseeing the use of torture is disturbing & her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.” But Haspel may still be confirmed with the help of Democratic lawmakers. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has already announced he will back Haspel.

We speak with Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of the Intercept and host of the weekly podcast “Intercepted.”

Full story (rush transcript) … 

 

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Special Report | Barry Goldwater Warned Us - The Danger of Evangelicals

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  • Part 1: The Danger of Evangelicals – It’s Not About Hillary Anymore
  • I see very little of compassion in our President and less of it in my sister and brother evangelicals who claim to share a faith tradition with me.Part 2: Barry Goldwater vs. the Religious Right
  • Part 2: Barry Goldwater vs. the Religious Right
  • It's "the Godfather of Conservatism" who said: "Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell's ass."

 

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

 

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Part 1: The Danger of Evangelicals – It’s Not About Hillary Anymore

I see very little of compassion in our President and less of it in my sister and brother evangelicals who claim to share a faith tradition with me.

Rebecca Todd Peters, patheos

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May 3, 2018 | We Didn’t Have a “Choice”

In the aftermath of the 2016 election many evangelicals claimed that with Hillary on the ballot, they had no choice but to vote for Trump. One prominent evangelical went so far as to systematize and categorize the many reasons that evangelicals dislike Clinton.

Apparently, there are six such categories ending with the simple “we just don’t like her.” It has become a well-worn fact that eighty-one percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump. A statistic that absolutely floored me and many other non-Evangelical Christians after the election.

http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/312832066caa692aed575137bd88aeb7?s=190&d=mm&r=gAs a feminist and Christian social ethicist,  Rebecca Todd Peters' <> scholarship focuses on questions of social ethics as they relate to economics, the environmental crisis, globalization, poverty and women's access to reproductive health care.

Full story … 



Part 2: Barry Goldwater vs. the Religious Right

It's "the Godfather of Conservatism" who said :

  • "I am a conservative Republican, but I believe in democracy and the separation of church and state.  The conservative movement is founded on the simple tenet that people have the right to live life as they please as long as they don't hurt anyone else in the process." 
(in a 1994 Washington Post essay)
  • "The religious factions will go on imposing their will on others,"
  • "I don't have any respect for the Religious Right."
  • "Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell's ass."
  • "A woman has a right to an abortion."

Liberals Like Christ

http://www.liberalslikechrist.org/Artwork/-%20People&Places/GoldwaterRight.gif Goldwater was not always such a staunch separationist.  Early in his controversial political career he supported tax breaks for private school tuition and a school prayer amendment.  But the rise of the intolerant Religious Right caused him to rethink his views, a change that sparked admiration from Americans who disagreed with him on many other things.  
       
When Sandra Day O'Connor was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1981, some Religious Right leaders suspected she might be too moderate on abortion and other social concerns.  Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell told the news media that "every good Christian should be concerned."  Replied Goldwater, "Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell's ass."

Liberals Like Christ "One of the very best collections of great insights that you will find anywhere about what it should mean to be a "Christian."

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VA Officials Continue to Discuss Proposed Health-Care Changes Out of Public View

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USA Today

  • As Louis Celli, a top staffer for the American Legion, told the Associate Press, a merger would siphon off funds from VHA hospitals and clinics and eventually shift costs directly to veterans, through co-pay and other possible fee increases.
  • Related: Privatization is Killing Us: Dispatches from the Capitalist War on Society
  • Related: ‘Who the hell is this person?’ Trump’s Mar-a-Lago pal stymies VA project.

Suzanne GordonAmerican Prospect / Portside

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November 25, 2017 | In a now familiar pattern, leading veterans organizations are up in arms again over the latest revelations about White House plans for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA)—plans that were concocted behind closed doors.

Last week, the Associated Press reported that Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin and other Trump officials have been quietly discussing ways to shift veterans, now eligible for VHA care, into Tricare, the private insurance program for active duty military personnel and their families. The administration’s Tricare discussions have been conducted without input from members of Congress or veterans groups.

For her coverage of VA Healthcare, Suzanne Gordon has received the Disabled American Vets (DAV's) 2017 Special Recognition Award. Suzanne is an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the UCSF School of Nursing and an Affiliated scholar with the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine's Wilson Centre.

Full story … 

Related:

Privatization is Killing Us: Dispatches from the Capitalist War on SocietyChris Wright, Counterpunch <>
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  • All that can be predicted with certainty is that unless the generations now living devote their very existence to the Resistance, humanity won’t have much of a future.
  • Related: VA Officials Continue to Discuss Proposed Health-Care Changes Out of Public View.



 

Related:

‘Who the hell is this person?’ Trump’s Mar-a-Lago pal stymies 

VA project. Arthur Allen, Politicohttps://static.politico.com/dims4/default/6c3c84b/2147483647/resize/1160x/quality/90/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fstatic.politico.com%2F5e%2Fdb%2F8794263945168425124513c9dc0f%2F180429ikeap-17037785788478.jpg

  • The intercession of a well-connected Florida doctor infuriated those overseeing the $16B contract.
  • Related: Fired VA Secretary Shulkin Issues Dire Warning: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits.

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‘Who the hell is this person?’ Trump’s Mar-a-Lago pal stymies VA project

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  • The intercession of a well-connected Florida doctor infuriated those overseeing the $16B contract.
  • Related: Fired VA Secretary Shulkin Issues Dire Warning: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits.

Arthur Allen, Politico

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04/30/2018 | A West Palm Beach doctor’s ties to Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago social circle have enabled him to hold up the biggest health information technology project in history — the transformation of the VA’s digital records system.

Dr. Bruce Moskowitz, an internist and friend of Trump confidant Ike Perlmutter, who advises the president informally on vet issues, objected to the $16 billion Department of Veterans Affairs project because he doesn’t like the Cerner Corp. software he uses at two Florida hospitals, according to four former and current senior VA officials. Cerner technology is a cornerstone of the VA project.

Arthur Allen is the eHealth editor for Politico Pro.

Full story … 

Related:

Fired VA Secretary Shulkin Issues Dire Warning: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits. Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Part 1: Fired VA Head David Shulkin Issues a Dire Warning on His Way Out the Door
  • The former Obama appointee fears privatization could harm veterans for years to come.
  • Part 2: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits
  • The Trump administration and Congress need to follow through on … reforms, give the VA the resources it needs, and hold the agency accountable.

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