to just09:15just let me enter a footnote but just in09:18a site09:20it was very interesting to watch who09:22pulled it off09:24when he establishes his first campaign09:26team09:28it’s proof axelrod and gibbs09:31they’re all white09:33then09:34he assembles the team of writers09:37he has eight writers09:39and lyd makes the point09:42they’re all white males09:46it’s very striking wouldn’t it strike09:48you09:50yes it has09:52of eight writers09:54eight09:56including09:57around three who just did comedy09:59sketches because he was going on like10:02you know the10:03washington press club comedy night you10:06know10:07he couldn’t find one black writer10:09through comedy yeah i think that was a10:11really interesting point that you made10:12that apparently none of the black10:14comedians kind of passed muster to join10:16to join the team and yes it’s something10:18that i you know people have commented on10:20and that you know as i listen to10:22the kind of10:24crooked media10:25podcast10:27family10:28where a whole lot of people are have10:30very lucrative careers now as the host10:32of positive america etc because they10:34were his speech writers10:37and thinking about10:38how none of those opportunities befall10:41any any black people or any women in10:42part because that’s not who barack obama10:45to keep around him and put words in his10:46mouth it’s really striking in his inner10:49circle there were two blacks10:51valerie jarrett10:53who for all intents and purposes might10:55as well have been white well why do you10:57say that professor finkelstein well10:58first of all11:00valerie jarrett just physically let’s11:02start with the physically okay but11:04that’s but never how race operates in11:06america okay okay let’s start there and11:09then say finish there11:12when her child was11:14born11:15the hospital administrator put the child11:18down as white11:19i went to law school with her child in11:21fact actually11:22one of the most notable moments of i was11:24very quiet one all year she was a year11:26or two ahead of me and one of the most11:29notable moments of my 1l experience was11:31a11:32professor feldman who’s in the news for11:33other reasons not so charmingly right11:36now uh called on her and called her mrs11:38gray which is about the biggest11:39impression i ever made on anybody in11:41that class11:45so11:46and she grew up11:48and actually her her mother when her11:50mother11:51gave birth to her the administrator put11:54down white so just at that level at that11:57level but you’re right it’s that’s you11:59can call it a trivial level because we12:01have the one drop rule12:03in the united states okay correct she12:05she had nothing to do with black people12:10why do you say that well because she was12:11the mascot for richard daley12:14when richard daley when she when the12:16richard daley administration came along12:18in chicago he appointed her on every12:21board12:22she was the head of the chicago housing12:24authority she was the head of the12:25chicago transit authority she was the12:28the head of the the chair of the stock12:30exchange they just used her for12:33everything when she was the head of then12:35she became part of this habitat company12:38a private public um co-op cooperative12:42she was12:43she was a one-person gentrification12:46machine so i think12:48all the black neighborhoods chicago but12:51that’s different12:52when i challenged the idea that you said12:54quote you know she has nothing to do12:56with black people but that’s those are12:58this is this is the thing you know i i13:00all i do is sit around critiquing13:01identity politics13:03but there’s a13:04but it’s a very13:05when she is the only representative of13:09black people in his inner circle13:12she is the only one except for reggie13:15love right i understand that but you13:17can’t that is not the same thing the13:19problem with valerie jarrett is that she13:22doesn’t have good politics that connect13:24with what the bulk of black voters want13:26and need not because she’s light-skinned13:29right that’s not the issue and not13:31because of what her personal connection13:33is no and it’s also not because you said13:35she has nothing to do with black people13:36i know nothing about her personal life13:38who she hangs out with how she grew up13:40or how much she has anything to do with13:42black people so what i’m i’m not13:43disagreeing with the substance of your13:45critique of valerie jarrett but i’m just13:47cautioning you to be careful especially13:49since you aren’t black frankly something13:52that that’s who he chose13:55it’s right something13:57if the leading intellect black13:59intellectual in the united states is i14:01think clearly hands down is cornell west14:04and it’s very striking that obama14:07couldn’t find any place for cornell west14:10in his administration that tells me14:12something14:14it tells me something but he finds a14:16place from valerie jarrett and the only14:18other person is reggie love and reggie14:22love it was just14:23he was the gopher14:25oh obama wants an exotic meal can you14:27get it for him obama needs a new pair of14:29shoes can you get it for him that’s how14:31reggie loved it i actually i i liked14:34reggie loves memoir because he didn’t14:36give14:37he used a memoir to talk about himself14:40which i i kind of like even though of14:42course there’s the praise for obama but14:44it tells you something i don’t know why14:46you wouldn’t want to see that14:48that the people i don’t need14:52i don’t think that you are hearing what14:53my criticism is14:56does it bother you that does it bother14:58you14:59that valerie jarrett sings the praises15:02of al sharpton15:04yes that is a substantive critique of15:06valerie jarrett valerie jarrett being15:09light skinned her daughter being15:11perceived as white as a kid it derails15:13the rest of your argument that’s the15:15point i’m trying to make15:16it’s not helpful no i’m i’m telling you15:19i’m telling you as someone who is15:22sympathetic to your argument and who is15:23perhaps the15:25person outside of15:27the reeds who has written most critique15:30of identity politics on the left that15:32there are aspects of what is written15:34here that even alienate me and force me15:38into a defensive posture that is15:40unnecessary15:42and you cannot you cannot you can choose15:44not to care professor finkelstein that’s15:46completely you’re right but we we could15:48be talking about15:49we could be talking about the15:51substantive things that we agree with15:53but we keep getting derailed because of15:56these kind of assigns that do wait i’m15:58sorry if i could just finish the15:59sentence16:00that do open you up to i think16:02legitimate criticism that this isn’t16:04about the substance but it’s about a16:06personal animus for barack obama and i16:10personally don’t have a personal animus16:12barack obama beyond the extent to which16:14he has failed to stand up for the16:15promises that he made to the american16:17people who are suffering16:18at a historic level right now and16:21particularly because he’s a black person16:22who traded on16:24his blackness in order to convince16:27people without a lot of substance as16:28you’ve written so persuasively16:30to invest in him and to trust him with16:34the future and the fate of the most16:36historically marginal you know one of16:37the most historically marginalized16:38groups in this country that is my beef16:40with barack obama but when you say16:42things like i don’t find him interesting16:44that’s fine you don’t have to i16:46personally find him to be very16:48interesting and deeply compelling and i16:50i mean like the whole phenomenon i find16:52to be fascinating16:53but the i it begs the question you know16:56why is it relevant whether you find them16:58interesting and i find them just16:59uninteresting i said i don’t think it’s17:01relevant but it comes up you end up you17:04said it i didn’t say it you said it and17:06those kinds of asides and those frogs17:08and detours i would put to you i would17:10put to you17:12set you up to be written off and set all17:14of your critique to be written off17:16as a personal vendetta as opposed to a17:19substantive analysis which i think is17:21very much here and that’s all that i it17:24is that i’m flagging17:25because17:26um17:28i don’t like17:29identity politics17:32why not17:33why17:34yeah i mean i don’t either but i want to17:36hear i’m interested in hearing17:38your17:38analysis because17:41i know enough young people17:44not from the elite schools17:47but17:48young people who are17:50struggling17:52very hard17:54now17:55i had a wonderful life17:58not in terms of professional success18:01but enable18:03in terms of being able to do with my18:05life18:06what i wanted to do18:08you set a goal as a child a youth18:11and then you18:13are able to realize it18:16i had a friend richard herskowitz18:19he loved film18:21he became a film uh impresario festivals18:24organizing festivals18:26larry spivak he was in the school band18:29the orchestra leader18:32he became the leader of the greenwich18:33orchestra18:35then there’s the whole slew who became18:37doctors18:38that was their goal and there were quite18:40a few just money in wall street18:43this generation18:47they18:49it’s the very rare person outside the 2018:52the 20 will make it18:54the 8018:55who i know18:58they’re not going to see anything in18:59their lives it’s very hard for me to19:01tell them that19:02i um19:04often they’re asking me what do you19:05think i should do where do you think i19:07should go19:08i don’t even know what to counsel19:09anymore19:11because i don’t see any prospects at all19:15so19:17to me19:18this identity politics19:21it’s a complete and total19:24diversion19:27from anything meaningful19:29and substantive19:32for the young people i know who are poor19:36who live four to a room19:39in new york19:40or four to an apartment in new york19:43who struggle each month19:46to make the rent19:48who keep down19:50three dead end jobs19:53with no job security no vacation no sick19:57benefits nothing nothing20:00and then20:01juxtaposed to that20:04is this idiotic20:06identity politics20:09which20:10so far as20:12the young people i know20:14has absolutely no meaning20:17no20:18substance20:20whatsoever20:22so i just want to make sure i understand20:24what you’re really20:25one last thought sure20:27it was very striking to me20:31the20:32juxtaposition of the obama campaign20:37with the bernie campaign20:39the obama campaign was just20:42elect obama it was just all focused on20:46electing this person president20:49the bernie campaign20:51was entirely focused on his platform20:55everybody the moment he thought bernie20:58you thought first medicare for all21:01student debt21:03abolish tuition21:05jobs21:06and infrastructure21:08it was an identity politics campaign21:12juxtaposed against21:15a class politics21:17it was a very in my opinion21:21a very striking juxtaposition21:25most people like bernie not because they21:27had any particular21:29affection for him21:31but because they trusted him they knew21:33this guy’s been in politics for 40 years21:35he’s been saying the same thing since21:37the 1970s21:39so they figured okay the guy is the real21:41thing he’s the real deal uh that’s the21:45kind of politics21:46that’s always interested me21:50i care i care about the fate of humanity21:53i do21:54i don’t much care about abram x candies21:57um21:59hair22:01it doesn’t much interest me22:04is uh22:06these are fashion shows22:08this is not scholarship22:10it’s not politics22:13it’s22:14tamika mallory doing cadillac22:17commercials22:19it’s22:20patrice coolers22:23buying her four homes and then taking22:25the money and run22:28it’s also22:30beyond the scam22:33it’s really destructive22:37i was out every night22:39during the george floyd demonstrations i22:41was the only one over there was nobody22:44over22:44[Music]22:45there was literally over 30 at the22:47demonstrations because it was jaren22:48covert22:50so i was the only one22:53not for my age cohort22:55for four decades22:58after 3522:59three decades23:01and what was most striking to me23:03a veteran as it were of demonstrations23:08i had never seen23:10such anger among the whites the young23:12white people23:15it was not this kind of no bless oblige23:18solidarity with black people no23:21it was solidarity23:23however23:25it was we’re all in this together23:29and it was very striking23:31let’s say the23:32uh barclays center23:35which is the big center in downtown23:37brooklyn23:38here were the cops lined up23:41and here were23:42the demonstrators23:45and23:46there would be the white women23:49and there was such a fierce23:52anger23:54they were screaming it was not the most23:56sophisticated23:58of the of slogans they were shouting24:00nypd sucked my dick nyc24:04so angry24:07and24:08you you could see24:10it was the rage against the machine24:14that the police were the symbols24:16of this whole24:18system24:21that left them with no future24:24a futureless future24:26and there was real potential there24:29it was real24:31black and white24:33solidarity24:35as i had never before seen it24:38and it was very24:40inspiring24:42to see it because it wasn’t fake it24:43wasn’t the martha’s vineyard24:47it wasn’t performing24:48it was real24:50because a lot of these kids you know how24:52do you find a place in new york there24:54are three people they need a roommate24:57so a person comes along they randomly24:59choose them there is like a co-op25:01screening you know what i mean25:03so you have25:05every different type living together25:08a black person a white person a gay25:10person the trans person through living25:12together25:13there was a real sense of25:15community there you know recognition25:17that blacks are getting shafted more25:19than25:19everybody else but we’re all getting25:22shafted by this system25:24and the identity politics wrecks all25:27that it destroys it25:30by25:31by25:32balkanizing25:34the25:36solidarity25:37creating this competitiveness25:40who is the most oppressed25:43among the group25:45who should get bumped to the head of the25:47queue25:48it’s such a destructive25:51politics25:52i was a maoist25:54in my youth i made many errors25:57i’m perfectly willing to26:00acknowledge them26:02but there are things about that period26:04that i look back and they make sense26:07mao’s famous slogan was unite the many26:09to defeat the few26:12unite the many to defeat the few26:15the slogan of identity politics is26:18disunite the many to enable the few26:21to create enough divisions26:23fragmentations26:25and so forth26:27uh it’s a very destructive26:30and at the end of course the whole26:32identity politics in the george floyd26:34demonstrations what do they what26:36happened instead of putting forth a26:39slogan which could have united people26:41the obvious slogan was26:43justice meaning justice against the cops26:45and jobs because all these people don’t26:47have work26:49instead of justice and jobs26:51it came to26:52pummeling26:54statues of26:55whomever they were pulling down26:58and if you were if you attended those27:00demonstrations i don’t know if you did27:03by the third week the first week it was27:0650 50 50 black 50 not black27:11by the third week it was about 80 10 8027:15white27:16the black people sort of27:18it wasn’t going anywhere and they27:20started to disappear27:22and then the whole craziness with the27:24statues started27:26and then the whole thing just fizzled27:27out27:29i had there right well i think that the27:30i mean there’s a lot to be said about27:32those protests and we’ve said some of it27:33on the show i would dispute that it27:35fizzled out i think that there were a27:36lot of things that happened there was27:38the media turned on the protests and27:41started characterizing them27:43as kind of unhinged and violent and that27:46the ongoing protests were direct27:49um27:50there was going to be a direct trade-off27:51between the george floyd27:54movement policing movement27:56and27:58joe biden’s electoral chances and that28:00deflated some energy out of it and there28:02was an unwillingness of figureheads as28:04you’ve pointed to to actually stick that28:06landing and create any real use it for28:09any real leverage in an electoral28:10context in the middle of a journal28:12election and there was a lot of there28:13was a lot going on there28:15but um i want to bring this back uh28:18to28:19the subject to hand and ask you then28:23in a broader critique of identity28:24politics why is it that you felt the28:27need to write a chapter on barack obama28:30especially if to your point the younger28:32generations let’s say the under 40 crowd28:35is pretty woke and hip to28:38the28:39failures of obama28:42and doesn’t need need the pitch who who28:44is this who is this for hey youtube28:47don’t forget this is a podcast to get28:49full episodes including ones that are28:51behind a pay wall go to patreon.com bad28:55faith podcast to get more episodes28:57please do subscribe to this channel hit28:59the notification bell and like this29:01video29:03
The Georgia senator invokes a psalm calling down divine wrath on an enemy—but insists he meant no harm.
Senator David Perdue appeared to break the rule Friday morning. In his remarks at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference, Betsy Woodruff reported, the freshman Georgia Republican encouraged attendees to pray for President Obama. According to Perdue’s office, he said:
I think we’re called to pray for our country, for our leaders, and yes, even our president. In his role as president I think we should pray for Barack Obama. But I think we need to be very specific about how we pray. We should pray like Psalms 109:8 says. It says, “Let his days be few, and let another have his office.”
As many people quickly pointed out, the quotation is not exactly a benign plea for a new president in its original context. Here’s a chunk of the psalm:
8. Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
9. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
10. Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.
11. Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.
12. Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.
13. Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.
That’s pretty ugly stuff. As frightening as the imprecation is in its original Old Testament version—its really masterful, bitter language—it takes on an even more chilling aspect in Christian theology. In the New Testatment book of Acts, Peter quotes the psalm as foretelling the ruin of Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus.
Perdue didn’t make this up. In fact, this verse—sometimes labeled “the Obama Prayer”—has been circulating for years among conservatives. Gawker’s John Cook noted the prevalence of the reference on internet message boards and in CafePress t-shirts and bumperstickers back in November 2009. Other cases have popped up over the years, from the Manatee County, Florida, sheriff’s office to the Kansas House, where the speaker forwarded an email involving the psalm.
.. In a statement, Perdue’s office clarified, “He in no way wishes harm to our president and everyone in the room understood that,” and accused the media of “pushing a narrative to create controversy.”
One of the more peculiar things about Perdue’s unwise remark is that it spotlights the persistence of the “Obama prayer” joke. Obama’s days in office are constitutionally numbered, and the end of his term is known. Moreover, it doesn’t seem as though the prayers did much good for Obama’s opponents in the first term; he was handily reelected in 2012. Perhaps intervening in elections by striking politicians dead isn’t how God works.
Billy Graham met every President from Truman to Trump, but he was particularly close to Richard Nixon, an intimacy he came to regret when the Watergate tapes became public and Nixon was heard repeating anti-Semitic remarks that Billy had made to him. In 2011, Billy Graham admitted that this closeness was an error. “Looking back I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn’t do that now,” he told the magazine Christianity Today... When I asked Graham if there was a lesson in his father’s regrets, he brushed off the question, and told me the story of his dad’s reaction to Nixon instead. “He was hurt by President Nixon, and things that Nixon said, when, like the Watergate tapes, he never heard President Nixon cuss, use profanity—so that was a shock to him, and he felt a little bit betrayed by that.”.. Later, with Graham seated next to him, Trump warned of the stakes for Christians if Republicans lost in the midterms. “They will overturn everything that we’ve done, and they will do it quickly and violently,” he said. Later, by phone, I asked Graham what he thought of this rhetoric about “violence” from the left—didn’t it seem far-fetched to him? Graham defended Trump, invoking the Cold War era, when Christians faced persecution in the Soviet Union and other Communist countries. “I do agree, to some degree,” he said. “The Democratic Party is moving very quickly toward socialism, and I know what socialism does to the church.”.. Graham has also been criticized for his relationship with Vladimir Putin, which began before Trump took office. Putin’s anti-gay legislation aligns with Graham’s views, and, in 2014, Graham wrote, “In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues. Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.” In 2015, Graham spent forty-five minutes with Putin in Moscow, discussing the persecution of Christians and what evangelical Christianity actually entails, Graham told me... He told me that he didn’t think Trump should have gotten “more aggressive” with Putin. “I don’t think that’s the way you get things done,” he told me. Graham has repeatedly denied the possibility that Trump colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election, and is only slightly more circumspect on the issue of Russian interference. When pressed on the issue, he said, “I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know. But I do know that the United States has interfered in many countries’ elections. We’ve interfered in Iran, with the Shah. We interfered in Vietnam and put our own people in. We did this in Korea. And President Obama did this in Israel.” Graham, who is also a strong supporter of Benjamin Netanyahu, was speaking about President Obama’s alleged support for the more liberal Israeli opposition during the 2015 election. This is one of the many conspiratorial half-truths that Graham has levelled as criticism against Obama. He has also supported outright lies, including the spurious accusation that Obama wasn’t born in the United States... And Trump’s moral failings are old news, he told me. “Well, you take American Presidents in the past. Bill Clinton wasn’t the first man to have an affair in the White House,” Graham said. “We’re all flawed, and the Bible says we’re all sinners. And the Bible tells us that God sent his son to take our sins, to die for our sins. And America needs a heart transplant. And we need to put our heart and faith and trust in Jesus Christ, because every politician—I don’t care who they are, what party you put in there—they’re flawed men or flawed women.”“Do you think that President Trump really wants to turn the nation to God?” I asked.
“No,” Graham told me. “No. That’s not what he’s trying to do, no.”
.. “People think I’m closer to Donald Trump than I actually am, ” Graham said. “I haven’t seen Trump since my father’s funeral.” He didn’t want to go to the White House dinner, he told me, preferring to spend time with his family. “But people told me if I didn’t go it would look like a snub.”
.. “Can you imagine if the majority of the school board were controlled by God-fearing Christians?” he asked, continuing with a treatise on how secularism was no different from Communism, how abortion was murder, and how same-sex marriage was a sin against God.
As valedictorian of his high school class, Ben Bowling thought a lot about what he would say in his speech at graduation. The high school senior from Bell County, Kentucky, stepped up to the podium and offered some words of wisdom for his classmates and their families.
“This is the part of my speech where I share some inspirational quotes I found on Google,” Bowling said. “‘Don’t just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table.‘ – Donald J. Trump.”
The crowd erupted with applause. Then Bowling interrupted their cheers.
“Just kidding,” Bowling said. “That was Barack Obama.”
The 18-year-old said after he revealed it was not Mr. Trump who said the quote, but actually Mr. Obama, the crowd quickly went silent.
Fox News HATED the idea of Obama talking to foreign dictators. Guess how they feel about Trump doing it???
In 2011, House Republicans, led by Paul Ryan, issued a report full of dire warnings about the dangers of budget deficits.
.. Citing the horrors of big deficits, Republicans refused to raise the federal debt ceiling
.. If anything, we should be using this time of relatively full employment to pay down debt, or at least reduce it relative to G.D.P.
.. They are providing more stimulus to an economy with 4 percent unemployment than they were willing to allow an economy with 8 percent unemployment... Republicans weren’t just vehemently opposed to fiscal stimulus; they were also vehemently opposed to monetary stimulus. Basically, they were against anything that might help the economy on President Obama’s watch.
.. imposing austerity in a depressed economy, then running up the deficit when we’re already near full employment
Mike Flynn. In 2016, the retired general published a book that made clear where he stood when it came to Russia.
“Although I believe America and Russia could find mutual ground fighting Radical Islamists,” he and co-author Michael Ledeen wrote, “there is no reason to believe Putin would welcome cooperation with us; quite the contrary, in fact.”
Lest there be any doubt as to where the future national security adviser stood, Flynn went on to stress that Vladimir Putin “has done a lot for the Khamenei regime”; that Russia and Iran were “the two most active and powerful members of the enemy alliance”; and that the Russian president’s deep intention was to “pursue the war against us.”
All this was true. Yet by the end of the year, Flynn would be courting Russia’s ambassador to Washington and hinting at swift relief from sanctions. What gave?
What gave, it seems, was some combination of financial motives — at least $65,000 in payments by Russian-linked companies — and political ones — a new master in the person of Donald Trump, who took precisely the same gauzy view of Russia that Flynn had rejected in his book.
.. the president’s craven apologists insist he’s right to try to find common ground with Russia. These are the same people who until recently were in full throat against Barack Obama for his overtures to Putin.
.. Yet the alleged naïveté never quits: Just this week, he asked for Putin’s help on North Korea.
The better explanations are:
- the president is infatuated with authoritarians, at least those who flatter him;
- he’s neurotically neuralgic when it comes to the subject of his election;
- he’s ideologically sympathetic to Putinism, with its combination of economic corporatism, foreign-policy cynicism, and violent hostility to critics;
- he’s stupid; or
- he’s vulnerable to Russian blackmail.
.. Each explanation is compatible with all the others. For my part, I choose all of the above — the first four points being demonstrable while the last is logical.
.. There’s no need to obsess about electoral collusion when the real issue is moral capitulation.