Trump Refuses to Play by the Rules

NOVI, MI - MAY 3: Radio talk show host and conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh speaks at "An Evenining With Rush Limbaugh" event May 3, 2007 in Novi, Michigan. The event was sponsored by WJR radio station as part of their 85th birthday celebration festivities. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Trump Refuses to Play by the Rules:  by skipping the debate he owns it.

by Rush Limbaugh

January 27, 2016

 RUSH: Okay, where are we on the situation here with Trump and the debate?  So far Trump says he’s not showing up.  He claims he’s not showing up because Megyn Kelly is going to continue to be a moderator.  And if you believe that, I can give you substantive reasons.  And it’s all in The Art of the Deal.  Trump is not that hard to understand if you pay attention to him and read his books.  In The Art of the Deal, one of the things that he makes a huge deal about is being able to know when to walk away and have the guts and the courage to do it.Trump is so far outside the formula that has been established for American politics that people who are inside the formula can’t comprehend it.
They don’t understand why somebody would want to venture so far outside it, because it is what it is, and there’s a ladder of success that you have to climb.  And somebody challenging it like this in more ways than one, as Trump is doing, has just got everybody experiencing every kind of emotion you can:  They’re angry, they are flabbergasted, they’re shocked, they’re stunned —  and all of it because he’s leading.Everything he’s doing goes against the book.  Everything that any analyst or consultant or professional would tell you not to do, Donald Trump is doing it, and he’s leading the pack.  This creates its own set of emotions and feelings and thoughts that run from person to person.  Now, the political business, if you want to look at it that way, is like any other business.  It has its people who are considered the elites in it — and like any business, they hate outsiders.  They don’t want outsiders just storming in trying to take over, and much less succeeding at it.Like any group of elites, they’re exclusionary.They want to keep people out.They want to be in charge of who gets in the club. They want to be in charge of who’s allowed to rise or climb the ladder in the club.  Politics is no different, and all of those determinations are made by who gets money and who doesn’t.  But Trump is functioning totally outside this structure that has existed for decades.  As such, the people who are only familiar with the structure and believe in it and cherish it and want to protect it, feel threatened in ways that you can’t even comprehend.  So that leads them to try to figure out: How is all this working for Trump?  Why do his followers grow? Why does his support expand every time he busts a rule wide open?
It probably isn’t necessary, but let me again say that whatever I say today about this or anything else today is not coming from a position of support for any candidate or opposition to any candidate.  So whatever I happen to say about what I think of Trump skipping the debate, reaction to it, it’s not rooted in — and don’t even consider that it’s rooted in the fact that you think I might be doing it in support of Trump or in opposition to Trump or in support of Cruz or anybody else.  It’s none of that.

He controls the media when he’s asleep.  Nobody else has been able to do anything like this short of the Kennedys, and they’re pikers compared to the way Trump is doing this.

You’ve heard the phrase “the game.”  Every business has aspects of it that are considered the game, and that’s the routine.  And the game is characterized by everybody knowing the rules of the game.  People involved in it play by the rules.  Some venture outside now and then, but the rules pretty much of the game are adhered to because it’s a matter of respect for the game in which everybody is in.

And in this business one of the games is that when the media calls, you answer, and when the media wants you, you go, and when the media is going to host a debate and it’s part of a Republican presidential campaign, you go.  You just do it, no matter what the media’s done to you in the past, no matter what you think of it, whether you want to go or not, you go.  That’s the game.

Trump is so far outside this game, he’s so far outside the rules, he’s never been a player in this game.  He’s always been an outsider.  I heard people on Fox last night talking about this. “Who does he think he is?  He can’t control the media.”  I got news for you:  He is controlling the media, and it’s his objective.  He is controlling the media.  He controls the media when he’s not on it.  He controls the media when he is on it.  He controls the media when he’s asleep.  Nobody else has been able to do anything like this short of the Kennedys, and they’re pikers compared to the way Trump is doing this.

BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS FLOCKING TO TRUMP

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Poll: Evangelicals flocking to Trump
By NICK GASS 01/26/16 06:06 AM EST

Donald Trump’s outreach to Christians is bearing fruit, if results of the NBC News/Survey Monkey weekly online tracking poll out Tuesday are any indication.

Among white evangelical Republican voters nationally, Trump earned the support of 37 percent, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whose father is a pastor and has played a key role in recruiting faith leaders to support his son, is at 20 percent. In the same survey conducted the previous week, Cruz registered 9 percentage points higher. Below the top two contenders, Ben Carson earned 11 percent among evangelicals, and Marco Rubio took 10 percent.

The Manhattan business mogul, who is Presbyterian, made headlines throughout the course of the past week for his various interactions with fellow Christians, including a stop at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, last Monday. Delivering the weekly convocation address, Trump caused a stir when he made reference to a book in the Bible a “Two Corinthians,” rather than the usual nomenclature, “Second Corinthians.” (Trump later claimed that it was written that way in his notes, and besides, his mother was Scottish and would have said it that way.)

Trump also attended a Presbyterian service in Muscatine, Iowa, on Sunday, at which the pastor made reference to the ongoing immigration crisis, a central plank in the Republican’s campaign, and humility, in general. “I don’t know if that was aimed at me,” Trump said later.

The poll’s overall week-to-week standings show little shift with Trump leading the field at 39 percent, Cruz at 17 percent and Rubio at 10 percent. No other candidate received double-digit support.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton’s advantage remained in double digits, at 51 percent to Bernie Sanders’ 37 percent.

The poll was conducted online from Jan. 18 to 24, surveying a national sample of 9,690 adults, including 8,215 who indicated that they are registered to vote. The poll included 2,327 Republicans and 2,780 Democratswith margins of error of 2.8 percentage points and 2.2 percentage points, respectively.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/01/trump-evangelicals-poll-218210#ixzz3yMywWyZM

Mario’s note:  This is not presented as an endorsement of Donald Trump but to report what is going on.  Something is happening in our nation that we should be paying attention to.  In the coming months the church will have to pray through on whether Trump  is a blessing or a curse.

The Climate Snow Job

The Climate Snow Job

A blizzard! The hottest year ever! More signs that global warming and its extreme effects are beyond debate, right? Not even close.

On the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Jan. 23.
On the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Jan. 23. PHOTO: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGE

An East Coast blizzard howling, global temperatures peaking, the desert Southwest flooding, drought-stricken California drying up—surely there’s a common thread tying together this “extreme” weather. There is. But it has little to do with what recent headlines have been saying about the hottest year ever. It is called business as usual.

Surface temperatures are indeed increasing slightly: They’ve been going up, in fits and starts, for more than 150 years, or since a miserably cold and pestilential period known as the Little Ice Age. Before carbon dioxide from economic activity could have warmed us up, temperatures rose three-quarters of a degree Fahrenheit between 1910 and World War II. They then cooled down a bit, only to warm again from the mid-1970s to the late ’90s, about the same amount as earlier in the century.

Whether temperatures have warmed much since then depends on what you look at. Until last June, most scientists acknowledged that warming reached a peak in the late 1990s, and since then had plateaued in a “hiatus.” There are about 60 different explanations for this in the refereed literature.

That changed last summer, when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) decided to overhaul its data, throwing out satellite-sensed sea-surface temperatures since the late 1970s and instead relying on, among other sources, readings taken from the cooling-water-intake tubes of oceangoing vessels. The scientific literature is replete with articles about the large measurement errors that accrue in this data owing to the fact that a ship’s infrastructure conducts heat, absorbs a tremendous amount of the sun’s energy, and vessels’ intake tubes are at different ocean depths. See, for instance,John J. Kennedy’s “A review of uncertainty in in situ measurements and data sets of sea surface temperature,” published Jan. 24, 2014, by the journal Reviews of Geophysics.

NOAA’s alteration of its measurement standard and other changes produced a result that could have been predicted: a marginally significant warming trend in the data over the past several years, erasing the temperature plateau that vexed climate alarmists have found difficult to explain. Yet the increase remains far below what had been expected.

It is nonetheless true that 2015 shows the highest average surface temperature in the 160-year global history since reliable records started being available, with or without the “hiatus.” But that is also not very surprising. Early in 2015, a massive El Niño broke out. These quasiperiodic reversals of Pacific trade winds and deep-ocean currents are well-documented but poorly understood. They suppress the normally massive upwelling of cold water off South America that spreads across the ocean (and is the reason that Lima may be the most pleasant equatorial city on the planet). The Pacific reversal releases massive amounts of heat, and therefore surface temperature spikes. El Niño years in a warm plateau usually set a global-temperature record. What happened this year also happened with the last big one, in 1998.

Global average surface temperature in 2015 popped up by a bit more than a quarter of a degree Fahrenheit compared with the previous year. In 1998 the temperature rose by slightly less than a quarter-degree from 1997.

When the Pacific circulation returns to its more customary mode, all that suppressed cold water will surge to the surface with a vengeance, and global temperatures will drop. Temperatures in 1999 were nearly three-tenths of a degree lower than in 1998, and a similar change should occur this time around, though it might not fit so neatly into a calendar year. Often the compensatory cooling, known as La Niña, is larger than the El Niño warming.

There are two real concerns about warming, neither of which has anything to do with the El Niño-enhanced recent peak. How much more is the world likely to warm as civilization continues to exhale carbon dioxide, and does warming make the weather more “extreme,” which means more costly?

Instead of relying on debatable surface-temperature information, consider instead readings in the free atmosphere (technically, the lower troposphere) taken by two independent sensors: satellite sounders and weather balloons. As has been shown repeatedly by University of Alabama climate scientist John Christy, since late 1978 (when the satellite record begins), the rate of warming in the satellite-sensed data is barely a third of what it was supposed to have been, according to the large family of global climate models now in existence. Balloon data, averaged over the four extant data sets, shows the same.

It is therefore probably prudent to cut by 50% the modeled temperature forecasts for the rest of this century. Doing so would mean that the world—without any political effort at all—won’t warm by the dreaded 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 that the United Nations regards as the climate apocalypse.

The notion that world-wide weather is becoming more extreme is just that: a notion, or a testable hypothesis. As data from the world’s biggest reinsurer, Munich Re, and University of Colorado environmental-studies professor Roger Pielke Jr. have shown, weather-related losses haven’t increased at all over the past quarter-century. In fact, the trend, while not statistically significant, is downward. Last year showed the second-smallest weather-related loss of Global World Productivity, or GWP, in the entire record.

Without El Niño, temperatures in 2015 would have been typical of the post-1998 regime. And, even with El Niño, the effect those temperatures had on the global economy was de minimis.

Mr. Michaels, a climatologist, is the director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute.

National Review’s Unwise Trump Excommunication

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National Review’s Unwise Trump Excommunication

By Laura Ingraham

National Review, in its issue dedicated to taking down GOP front-runner Donald Trump, has made a big mistake. With so much on the line for America, how is it smart to close the door to Trump’s voters and to populism in general?

The folks at NR launched a similar effort to excommunicate conservatives in 2003, with a much-hyped cover story titled “Unpatriotic Conservatives.” Back then it was Pat Buchanan and the now-deceased Bob Novak who were the targets. Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum, a dear friend, made the case that these men and others who stood against our invasion of Iraq, had “made common cause with the left-wing and Islamist antiwar movements.” In other words, these “disgruntled paleos,” weren’t truly conservative because they opposed the war in Iraq.

As it turned out, of course, that small band of thinkers knew more about what was in the national interest than anyone at National Review or myself, who was also a strong advocate for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“I never received an apology note,” Buchanan told me on my radio show. “They’re Davos conservatives,” he added, referencing the annual meeting of the world’s elites in Switzerland.

Whatever you think of Trump personally, his supporters are pushing for three big things:

  • A return to traditional GOP law and order practices when it comes to illegal immigration.
  • A return to a more traditional GOP foreign policy that would put the national interest ahead of globalism.
  • A return to a more traditional GOP trade policy that would analyze trade deals from the perspective of the country as a whole and not blindly support any deal — even one negotiated by President Obama.

On each of these issues, Trump’s voters are calling for a return to policies that were GOP orthodoxy as recently as the late 1990s.

The matriarch of the conservative movement, Phyllis Schlafly, who likes but isn’t endorsing Trump, put it this way: “I’m not going to tell you that Donald Trump is perfect, or right on everything … but immigration is the top issue today, and he’s the one who made it a front-burner issue.”

By refusing to make room for these ideas within conservatism, NR risks creating the impression that the revolution brought about by George W. Bush — in particular, his belief in open borders, his effort to create a permanent U.S. military mission in the Middle East, and his notion that trade can never be regulated, no matter how unfair — is now a permanent part of conservatism that can never be questioned. They are also inviting those who disagree with Bush on those points to leave conservatism and start seeking their allies elsewhere.

This is an absolute disaster for conservatism. It is obvious by now that Bushism — however well-intentioned it may appear on paper — does not work for the average American. It is also clear that Bushism has almost no support within the rank and file of the GOP, much less within the country as a whole. Making the tenets of Bushism into an orthodoxy that conservatives cannot question will cripple conservatism for years to come.

National Review’s Manhattan-based editors brand Trump as a “menace to conservatism” and even ding him for his “outer-borough” accent. But who really is the menace — the rough-edged Queens native or the smooth-talking GOP Establishment that has brought us open borders; massive giveaway trade deals; monstrous debt; bank bailouts; and a sprawling government that never stops expanding? The failure to ruthlessly oppose and defeat such existential threats to the country — and the passivity in the face of such peril — is the real menace to the credibility of conservatism.

National Review Editor Rich Lowry and his people will be left preaching their narrow doctrine to a smaller and smaller audience.

If blue-collar Americans are told that their concerns on immigration, trade, and foreign policy cannot be addressed within the conservative movement, they will look elsewhere — just as they looked elsewhere in the late 1960s after they learned that their problems couldn’t be addressed within liberalism. National Review Editor Rich Lowry and his people will be left preaching their narrow doctrine to a smaller and smaller audience.

Portrait
Portrait

There is room for all voices in the GOP “big tent” — including relative newcomers like Trump, who has garnered such a following. That’s why I have an open door on my radio show to everyone from Marco Rubio to Ted Cruz. (We look forward to having Lowry on radio soon.)

Back in 2008, another populist was running for president, and ended up winning the Iowa caucuses. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who’s running again in 2016, sympathized with Trump in the NR dust-up. Recalling that the publication also took after him during his primary fight with Arizona Sen. John McCain, he said, “This is a fool-hearty effort … [by] the elitists who live in their own little bubble.”

NR is “completely out of touch … [and] represents big business, not the American people,” he added, noting NR’s support for the 5,500-page Trans-Pacific Partnership. “Out here in Iowa, they are not representative and their views are not representative.”

Of course there is ample room to criticize Trump’s approach and his lapse into sloganeering where substance is needed — as I have done on many occasions. But if NR rejects the Trump voters, it will be reversing the decision by Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley, and others to welcome blue-collar voters, Democrats, and independents into the conservative fold. Whatever that means for the country, it will do major damage to conservatism. If the conservative movement devotes itself to defending the legacy of George W. Bush at all costs, it will become irrelevant to the debate over how to make things better for most Americans.

In the end, NR’s attempted hit-job on Trump won’t won’t matter much. Folks who like Trump will continue to like him. Those who don’t will feel reconfirmed in their views. One of the many reasons I loved Reagan is that he understood how important it was to grow the conservative movement.

“Conservatism,” Reagan biographer Craig Shirley said, “transcends any individual or organization, because it’s ultimately about the God-inspired belief that we are destined to be free.”

Descending into delusional, hysterical despair?

Oval-Office-HillaryDescending into delusional, hysterical despair?

By Mario Murillo

Hillary Clinton is still laughing.  Now she claims that the FBI, and the Intelligence Community (IC) is working with Republican Senators to bring her down.

No rational campaign adviser would allow a candidate for President to say something this insane.   Is she saying this out of total desperation and delusion?  She continues to laugh this off, even now that it is a proven fact that she is mishandled the very highest form of classified information.

(As strange as it seems…there is a slight chance that Hillary may not be indicted.  Obama may spare her for two reasons:  1. she is the third term of Obama. A Republican president would most certainly wipe out all of Obama’s executive orders and allow Obamacare to die under its own weight.  He simply does not want to lose his legacy.  2.  He has a low opinion of voters and believes that she and he can survive the scandal.)

Nevertheless, with each day that passes indictment seems inevitable.  An insider said, “A decision not to make a criminal referral when the nation’s beyond-top-secret intelligence has been exposed would discredit the FBI as a politicized agency.  Given the personal history of James Comey and the 150 special agents reportedly involved in the investigation, I would wager a substantial sum that a criminal referral will result.”

CIA

Let’s get back to her claim that the Intelligence Community is part of a right wing conspiracy.  Do you realize who the Intelligence Community is?

The IC consists of 17 members (also called elements), most of which are offices or bureaus within federal executive departments.[7] The IC is led by the Director of National Intelligence.

Independent agencies

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

United States Department of Energyhillary (3)

Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (OICI)

United States Department of Homeland Security

Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A)

Coast Guard Intelligence (CGI)

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)

United States Department of State

Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR)

United States Department of the Treasury

Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI)

United States Department of Defense

Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)

National Security Agency (NSA)

Central Security Service (CSS)

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)

Twenty-Fifth Air Force (25 AF), National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC)

United States Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC)

Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA)

Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)

United States Department of Justice

Federal Bureau of InvestigationNational Security Branch (FBI/NSB)

Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of National Security Intelligence (DEA/ONSI)

All of these agencies are out to get her??   If she is elected, how is she going to work with these agencies after such a hare-brained accusation?  

CHARLES-KRAUTHAMMER-facebook

It is the Inspector General (IG) of Central Intelligence that concluded Hillary’s emails were above top secret.  Even after this, Hillary accused the IG of being part of the right wing conspiracy.

Small wonder that Charles Krauthammer said this “So the IG is part of a vast right-wing conspiracy!  And inverting logic, the ultra-secret contents weren’t classified because they weren’t marked as such.  Ahem, emails are marked because they are secret; they are not secret because they are marked.  Clinton’s outright initial denial that her server contained classified information is now a joke.

It is hard to overstate the significance of the latest revelations about the national security catastrophe caused by Hillary Clinton’s private email server.  The nation’s highest-level secrets were kept on an unsecure server that is believed to be have been hacked by multiple overseas parties.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign Wednesday accused the intelligence community’s top oversight official of conspiring with Republicans in the Senate to leak sensitive information about her personal e-mail server. That’s a risky move, considering that it has produced no hard evidence of a conspiracy and the accused parties are denying it.”

For Hillary Clinton it has been a long, long, road filled with scandals that she has skillfully dodged.  This sure looks like the end of the road.  Unless of course—the White House refuses to indict Hillary and—America is willing to accept a tyranny that is worse than Barack Obama.

You won’t stop Trump by lying about him

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You won’t stop Trump by lying about him

By Mario Murillo

The game has changed.  Once upon a time, all the ENRAGED LEFT had to do was lie about someone to get rid of them.  Trump changed that.  Lying just doesn’t work the way it used to.  In fact—something odd is happening—lying about Trump only makes him stronger.

Dragging out Harry Belafonte from the waxworks of the 1960’s to sing Trump away won’t work.   Hillary’s diatribes won’t work.  Even conservatives railing against Trump will fail.  Today, the Weekly Standard—that Conservative Bulwark—has uncorked an article that is touted as the death knell of Trump.  Okay, read my lips—it won’t work.   My guess is the current barrage will add maybe 5 points to his poll numbers.

I write you this as a spirit-filled evangelist.  I am not endorsing Trump.  Anyone who accuses me of endorsing him is doing out of their hatred of Trump and not because they read this all the way through.  There is a very strong Republican field and anyone of them is infinitely better than Clinton.  (I really like Ted Cruz.)

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2014 file photo, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas speaks at the 2014 Values Voter Summit in Washington. Top Texas Republicans are holding their election night party on Nov. 4 with a concert by country star Pat Green at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas, best-known for hosting a weekly music show. Gov. Rick Perry isn’t seeking re-election but is considering a second run for the White House and is expected to attend. Also planning to be there, according to spokeswoman Catherine Frazier, is tea party-backed Sen. Ted Cruz, who appears likely to test the presidential waters. Same goes for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a possible 2016er some Republicans hope will enter the race to stand up to conservative firebrands like Cruz. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

The entire reason for this article is about why lying has finally stopped working—more on that later.  For now let us clear the air on Trump.  He maybe a lot of things…but he is not these things:

Racist?  If you ask yourself some simple questions you will see why I believe Trump is not racist.  How many beheadings, terrorist bombings, and wholesale murder of gays have you read about from Hinduism, Buddhism, or any other world religion besides Islam?   Is it a coincidence that rape has exploded in Germany and Sweden since their mass migration of Muslim refugees?  Was the ISIS inspired terrorism in San Bernardino not worthy of a fresh look at how we bring Muslim immigrants here?

Trump never called for a permanent ban on Muslims he asked for a halt until our government could do a better job than Germany, France and Sweden did to guarantee the safety of Americans.  If you think that is racist… seek help.

Sexist?  Listen to his daughter Ivanka:  “He is highly gender-neutral and doesn’t discriminate when it comes to doling out unflattering comments to men and women alike.  If he doesn’t like someone, he’ll articulate that, and I think it’s also part of what resonates about him—he’ll say what he’s thinking.”

“If he didn’t feel that women were as competent as men, I would be relegated to some role subordinate to my brothers,” she adds. “I think this is one of his great strengths: He fully prioritizes merit and accomplishment and skill and ability over background, education and gender. This company, over four decades, has always had women in its highest ranks … I think he’s one of the great advocates for women, and he has been a great example to me my whole life … He 100-percent believes in equality of gender … [He has] confidence in women to do any job that a man can do, and my whole life has been proof of that.”

Of course I would prefer a fiery and wise Christ follower in the White House.  But I am not electing a pastor or an evangelist.  If I hire a plumber I don’t look for a fish symbol on their truck.  I look for someone who can do the job.

America needs a leader who is proud of America—who will make our economy work—who will make our enemies fear us…and you know what?  America knows that.

Be careful to explain away Trump’s popularity.  It is way too easy to dismiss it as simple populism.  Americans are fed up.  Americans are done with both Obama and RINOS.

And remember to take a closer look at where the true hate is coming from.  It is coming from political elites who have held unquestioned power over our lives.  Those chains are starting to break.

So the bottom line is that I am talking about something way bigger than Trump.  He was perhaps the trumpet that sounded the charge but this message is about the charge…a charge that harks back to another time in history.  During the Revolutionary War a dual fire burned in American hearts.  One part of that fire led to victory against Britain.   The other element of that fire brought the GREAT AWAKENING.

dual fire

Millions are sick of our leaders taking God out of everything.  Jesus is still—by far—the most admired historical figure in America.  A trembling is in the ground…Trump is but a symptom of it.  A seething boiling hunger for truth grows in our land.  A backlash of Biblical proportion is at work.

It may wear a surface label of Tea Party or Conservative, Libertarian or Trumpism…but beware!  If you insult it, you will only make it spread.  If you denounce it, you will only make more people look into it.  If you lie about it, you will only make it stronger.

 

Report: 2015 Saw ‘Most Violent’ Persecution of Christians in Modern History

Report: 2015 Saw ‘Most Violent’ Persecution of Christians in Modern History

The brutal, worldwide persecution of Christians during the past year makes 2015 “the most violent and sustained attack on Christian faith in modern history,” according to a watchdog organization that has been monitoring Christian persecution for decades.

Open Doors, an organization founded in 1955 to assist persecuted Christians, publishes an annual “World Watch List,” documenting attacks on Christians and ranking the most hostile national environments for believers.

“The 2016 World Watch List documents an unprecedented escalation of violence against Christians, making this past year the most violent and sustained attack on Christian faith in modern history,” Open Doors CEO David Curry said at the rollout of the list.

Persecution in “continuing to increase, intensify and spread across the globe,” he said.

At the top of the Watch List, for the 14th consecutive year, stands North Korea, where an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 Christians are imprisoned in labor camps. Carrying on as one of the last holdouts of Communist totalitarianism, North Korea bears a particular hatred for Christians, who are a constant reminder of accountability to a higher power than the state.

“Christianity is not only seen as ‘opium for the people’ as is normal for all communist states,” the report says. “It is also seen as deeply Western and despicable.” During 2015, thousands of Christians living in North Korea were forced to renounce their faith or flee under threat of death.

As in the case with last year’s report, the vast majority of countries experiencing acute Christian persecution are Muslim nations. In 2015, nine out of the top ten countries where Christians suffer “extreme persecution” had populations that are at least 50 percent Muslim, a phenomenon replicated in 2016.

The 2015 report found that “Islamic extremism is by far the most significant persecution engine” of Christians in the world today and that “40 of the 50 countries on the World Watch List are affected by this kind of persecution.”

The 2016 list places Iraq in second place, immediately after North Korea, with horrific Islamic violence dominating news headlines during 2015. Throughout the year, Christians were forced to flee their homes by the thousands or be killed.

Just this week, the United Nations released an extensive report on Islamic State violence in Iraq, and estimates that ISIS currently holds some 3,500 people, mostly women and children, in the country.

The report, jointly issued by U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq and U.N. human rights office in Geneva, declared ISIS atrocities in Iraq to be “war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide.”

Some of the crimes described in the report include executions by shooting, beheading, bulldozing, burning alive and throwing people off the top of buildings.

The other nations making the top ten in Christian persecution are Eritrea, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Iran, and Libya, all of which have Muslim majorities.

The report underscores the geographical extent of Christian persecution, and Curry highlighted the global nature of the problem, noting that it has become more acute not just in a few isolated regions, but “in every continent in every country.”

“The levels of exclusion, discrimination and violence against Christians is unprecedented, spreading and intensifying,” Curry added. “Christians, longing to stay in their home countries, are being forced to flee for their lives and for their children’s lives,” he said.

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome

Palin Endorses Trump

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Sarah Palin officially endorses Donald Trump’s 2016 bid

BY ADAM EDELMAN NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Tuesday, January 19, 2016, 5:59 PM A A A
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Sarah Palin can see Russia from her Alaskan home and President Donald Trump sitting in the Oval Office.

The outspoken former Alaska governor and Tea Party darling formally endorsed the 2016 GOP front-runner Tuesday night, providing the bombastic billionaire with a “yuge” surge of momentum just 13 days before the Iowa caucuses.

“I’m proud to endorse Donald J. Trump for president,” Palin said in a statement provided by the billionaire’s campaign, ahead of a campaign event in Iowa Tuesday night, where the pair was slated to appear together.

“I am greatly honored to receive Sarah’s endorsement,” Trump said in the same statement. “She is a friend, and a high-quality person whom I have great respect for. I am proud to have her support.”

With Trump running neck-and-neck with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in Iowa less than two weeks before the critical early-voting state’s caucuses, Palin’s endorsement could go a long way in pushing rural, Evangelical voters, with whom she remains popular, toward the billionaire candidate.

Sarah Palin is endorsing Donald Trump. They are expected to appear together at a campaign rally in Iowa on Tuesday.

Sarah Palin is endorsing Donald Trump. They are expected to appear together at a campaign rally in Iowa on Tuesday.
It could also open the floodgates for a slew of other endorsements that could help put the Hawkeye State squarely in the Trump column.

Speculation over a potential endorsement had increased in recent days after Trump on Sunday took to Facebook to tout that he would have a “major announcement and a very special guest in attendance” at the Ames event.

Rumors over a Palin endorsement further percolated after multiple news outlets reported that a charter flight from Anchorage had landed in Des Moines on Monday night.

Even Cruz went on the defensive over the rumors of support from Palin, with surrogates for the Texas senator dissing the potential coup for Trump as being bad for Palin.

Sarah Palin’s endorsement could go a long way in pushing rural, Evangelical voters, with whom she remains popular, toward the billionaire candidate.
“I think it’d be a blow to Sarah Palin, because Sarah Palin has been a champion for the conservative cause, and if she was going to endorse Donald Trump, sadly, she would be endorsing someone who’s held progressive views all their life on the sanctity of life, on marriage, on partial-birth abortion,” Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler said on CNN Tuesday morning.

Those comments prompted Palin’s daughter Bristol to pen a bitter blog post in which she criticized Cruz for his “arrogance” in stating that her mother’s endorsement might somehow harm her conservative credentials.

“After hearing what Cruz is now saying about my mom, in a negative knee-jerk reaction, makes me hope my mom does endorse Trump,” Bristol Palin wrote in the post, which Sarah Palin shared on Facebook and Twitter.

That, in turn, prompted Cruz himself to backtrack.

Donald Trump will appear with Palin at a rally Tuesday night in Ames, Iowa.

“I love @SarahPalinUSA Without her support, I wouldn’t be in the Senate. Regardless of what she does in 2016, I will always be a big fan,” the Texas senator tweeted later Tuesday.

Trump and Palin have long acted amiably toward each other. Last summer, shortly after he announced his campaign, Trump suggested he “would love” to have the 2008 vice presidential candidate in his administration if he won the election.

Earlier in the year, Trump called Palin “beautiful” and said he was “honored” by a skit she took part in during the “Saturday Night Live” 40th anniversary special in which the Alaskan joked that the pair could run on a ticket together in 2016.

When Palin turned 50 in 2014, Trump wrote her a letter praising her as a “spectacular woman.”

And in 2011, when Palin was considering a presidential bid, Palin shared a pizza in New York City with Trump and his wife Melania.

Yet another Palin made headlines later Tuesday, however, after news emerged that the former lawmaker’s son Track had been charged just a day earlier with assault.

According to online court records, Track Palin, 26, was charged Monday with three misdemeanors: Assault, interfering with a report of domestic violence and possession of a weapon while intoxicated.

Inspector General: Clinton emails had intel from most secretive, classified programs

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures during a press conference on June 30, 2012 at the United Nations office, in Geneva. Hillary Clinton said a deal reached between world powers in Geneva would pave the way for the end of the President Bashar al-Assad's regime. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/GettyImages)

Inspector General: Clinton emails had intel from most secretive, classified programs

EXCLUSIVE: Hillary Clinton’s emails on her unsecured, homebrew server contained intelligence from the U.S. government’s most secretive and highly classified programs, according to an unclassified letter from a top inspector general to senior lawmakers.

Fox News exclusively obtained the unclassified letter, sent Jan. 14 from Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III. It laid out the findings of a recent comprehensive review by intelligence agencies that identified “several dozen” additional classified emails — including specific intelligence known as “special access programs” (SAP).

That indicates a level of classification beyond even “top secret,” the label previously given to two emails found on her server, and brings even more scrutiny to the presidential candidate’s handling of the government’s closely held secrets.

“To date, I have received two sworn declarations from one [intelligence community] element. These declarations cover several dozen emails containing classified information determined by the IC element to be at the confidential, secret, and top secret/sap levels,” said the IG letter to lawmakers with oversight of the intelligence community and State Department. “According to the declarant, these documents contain information derived from classified IC element sources.”

Intelligence from a “special access program,” or SAP, is even more sensitive than that designated as “top secret” – as were two emails identified last summer in a random sample pulled from Clinton’s private server she used as secretary of state. Access to a SAP is restricted to those with a “need-to-know” because exposure of the intelligence would likely reveal the source, putting a method of intelligence collection — or a human asset — at risk. Currently, some 1,340 emails designated “classified” have been found on Clinton’s server, though the Democratic presidential candidate insists the information was not classified at the time.

“There is absolutely no way that one could not recognize SAP material,” a former senior law enforcement with decades of experience investigating violations of SAP procedures told Fox News. “It is the most sensitive of the sensitive.”

Executive Order 13526 — called “Classified National Security Information” and signed Dec. 29, 2009 — sets out the legal framework for establishing special access programs. The order says the programs can only be authorized by the president, “the Secretaries of State, Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence, or the principal deputy of each.”

The programs are created when “the vulnerability of, or threat to, specific information is exceptional,” and “the number of persons who ordinarily will have access will be reasonably small and commensurate with the objective of providing enhanced protection for the information involved,” it states.

According to court documents, former CIA Director David Petraeus was prosecuted for sharing intelligence from special access programs with his biographer and mistress Paula Broadwell. At the heart of his prosecution was a non-disclosure agreement where Petraeus agreed to protect these closely held government programs, with the understanding “unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention or negligent handling … could cause irreparable injury to the United States or be used to advantage by a foreign nation.” Clinton signed an identical non-disclosure agreement Jan. 22, 2009.

Fox News is told that the recent IG letter was sent to the leadership of the House and Senate intelligence committees and leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and State Department inspector general.

Representatives for the ODNI and intelligence community inspector general had no comment.

In a statement, State Department spokesman John Kirby said, “The State Department is focused on and committed to releasing former Secretary Clinton’s emails in a manner that protects sensitive information. No one takes this more seriously than we do.”

The intelligence community IG was responding in his message to a November letter from the Republican chairmen of the Senate intelligence and foreign relations committees that questioned the State Department email review process after it was wrongly reported the intelligence community was retreating from the “top secret” designation.

As Fox News first reported, those two emails were “top secret” when they hit the server, and it is now considered a settled matter.

The intelligence agencies now have their own reviewers embedded at the State Department as part of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process. The reviewers are identifying intelligence of a potentially classified nature, and referring it to the relevant intelligence agency for further review.

There is no formal appeals process for classification, and the agency that generates the intelligence has final say. The State Department only has control over the fraction of emails that pertain to their own intelligence.

While the State Department and Clinton campaign have said the emails in questions were “retroactively classified” or “upgraded” – to justify the more than 1,300 classified emails on her server – those terms are meaningless under federal law.

The former federal law enforcement official said the finding in the January IG letter represents a potential violation of USC 18 Section 793, “gross negligence” in the handling of secure information under the Espionage Act.

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

Ted Cruz: We should not be ashamed of Christ

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2014 file photo, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas speaks at the 2014 Values Voter Summit in Washington. Top Texas Republicans are holding their election night party on Nov. 4 with a concert by country star Pat Green at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas, best-known for hosting a weekly music show. Gov. Rick Perry isn’t seeking re-election but is considering a second run for the White House and is expected to attend. Also planning to be there, according to spokeswoman Catherine Frazier, is tea party-backed Sen. Ted Cruz, who appears likely to test the presidential waters. Same goes for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a possible 2016er some Republicans hope will enter the race to stand up to conservative firebrands like Cruz. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

KEENE, N.H. — Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign for president has featured strong references to faith and Christianity, which he says will help restore the country to greatness.

The Texas senator and son of a Carrollton pastor is sticking to religion, even in New Hampshire. The voting population there is heavy with libertarians and is not as influenced by evangelicals as the small towns in Iowa, where Cruz has had success in the polls.

“For too long there has been a spirit of fear and timidity in Washington,” Cruz told The Dallas Morning News on the second day of his New Hampshire tour. “We should not be ashamed of Christ. We should be willing to speak the truth with a smile.”

Cruz said the nation must return to its Judeo-Christian roots.

“Pulling this country back from the cliff we’re facing will require us remembering who we are, rediscovering those values that built America in the first place,” he said.

That has been Cruz’s mantra for months, and along the way he’s climbed in the polls for what’s fast becoming a two-way race with New York businessman Donald Trump.

In New Hampshire, he trails Trump by a wide margin. And though it’s not critical for Cruz to win the Granite State, doing well could give him a boost toward the GOP nomination.

“We should not be ashamed of Christ. We should be willing to speak the truth with a smile.”

Cruz’s message has largely been the same during the campaign, but the issues facing New Hampshire have prompted him to connect with voters in different ways.

During a stop in Keene, for instance, he talked about the substance abuse problem that killed his older sister, Miriam.

All day Monday, Cruz was asked about Trump, his admirer-turned-campaign nemesis.

During an appearance on Fox News, Trump called Cruz unlikable, saying, “Everybody hates Ted.”

Cruz fired back, sort of, saying voters would have the final opinion.

“Donald seems to be a little rattled. For whatever reason, he’s very dismayed. As conservatives continue to unite behind our campaign, as his poll numbers continue to go down, he’s a little testy,” Cruz said during a stop in Washington, N.H. “I have no intention in responding in kind. If he wants to engage in insults, that’s his prerogative.”

Not all Bible talk

Cruz was not all Bible talk. He promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, investigate Planned Parenthood, abolish the IRS, and defeat the Islamic State and terrorism. But he also answered questions on issues specific to the Northeast, like the heroin crisis in New Hampshire.

“I know New Hampshire in particular has been hit hard. The heroin epidemic is really ugly,” he said. “This is an issue [with which] I have more than passing experience. My older sister, Miriam, died of a drug overdose.”

Cruz said later that his sister’s problems had a profound impact on him as a young man, as he and family members fought desperately to save her.

“She had a hard life. She made a lot of foolish decisions over and over again. She had problems with drinking and substance abuse her whole life until one morning she didn’t wake up,” he said.

Cruz told New Hampshire residents that his plan to curb illegal immigration would help fight the drug problem.

“One of the most important elements to dealing with the drug problem is finally securing the border,” he said.

He said he would build a wall along the Mexican border.

Along with the wall, the U.S. senator from Texas would triple border patrols, establish an e-verify system for employers, develop a biometric entry-exit system for visas and enforce existing laws.

“We know how to do this,” he said. “The only thing that is missing is the political will.”

Voters wanted to know about the Trump-Cruz feud at every stop. The two had agreed not to attack each other during the primaries. But that changed when Trump questioned whether Cruz was a “natural-born” citizen and eligible for the presidency because he was born in Canada to an American mother.

Cruz inflamed the situation last week by criticizing Trump’s “New York values.”

On Monday, Cruz wasn’t backing down.

“As the voters get close to Election Day, they’re looking more at the records of the candidates,” Cruz told The News. “People are tired of being burned. … As the voters compare my record and Donald Trump’s record, there is a marked difference. I have been fiscal conservative, a social conservative, a national security conservative, and Donald’s record does not reflect the same.”

Cruz, for the first time publicly, criticized Trump’s support of eminent domain. The practice, in which a government can take property, is a big issue in libertarian-leaning New Hampshire.

“We have the right to protect the property of Americans,” Cruz said in Whitefield, N.H. “Private property is essential to the rights of Americans.”

Though he’s at the top of the polls in Iowa, Cruz trails Trump in New Hampshire, where the first-in-the-nation primary is Feb. 9.

“Dr. King’s legacy is powerful in many respects, but one is very, very clear. That is the power of speaking the truth in the face of evil

Most of those interviewed leaned toward Cruz or Trump.

Ken Sanders, a 54-year-old minister from Westmoreland, said he liked Cruz.

“He’s a guy you can trust,” he said. “He’s consistent. He’s a conservative.”

But Sanders said he worried that Cruz couldn’t beat the Democrats in November, so he’s also considering voting for Trump.

Air Force veteran Bob Stoeckmann of Keene also liked Cruz but wanted to see more contenders. “He’ll protect the country,” he said.

King’s legacy

Cruz was campaigning on Martin Luther King Jr.’s comemorative holiday, which nearly went unnoticed. After being asked about it by a voter, Cruz addressed the slain civil rights leader’s legacy.

“Dr. King’s legacy is powerful in many respects, but one is very, very clear. That is the power of speaking the truth in the face of evil, in the face of racism, in the face of bigotry, standing up and speaking the truth with love and a smile has changed the course of history in the country,” Cruz said. “By standing up and speaking the truth, we can restore the arc of history, the arc of America so it once again bends toward justice and not away from the values that built our country.”

At every point on his tour, Cruz asked voters to pray for him and the country, using one of Ronald Reagan’s favorite Bible verses, 2 Chronicles 7:14, as inspiration.

“If my people, which are called by my name, would humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear their prayers and will forgive their sins and I will heal their land,” he said.