Donald Trump Replicates and Extends Russia's Views of the U.S., Obama and ISIS (SARCASTIC UPDATE)

UPDATE (8/12/16) Now Trump is saying he was being sarcastic in his labeling of Obama and Clinton as the “co-founders” of ISIS.


I get it now. All that talk of building a wall, deporting 11 million people, saying Merry Christmas and naming conservative Supreme Court justices, all sarcasm.
Read his remarks to Hugh Hewitt below. Hewitt tried to help Trump out, but Trump insisted he meant it. More sarcasm I suppose.
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Donald Trump today doubled down on his contention that President Obama founded ISIS. Watch this CNN report.
Talk show host Hugh Hewitt tried to get Trump to make the more nuanced argument that U.S. policies (which Trump largely agreed with at the time) help set conditions favorable for ISIS to develop. Trump disagreed.

HH: I’ve got two more questions. Last night, you said the President was the founder of ISIS. I know what you meant. You meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace.
DT: No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.
HH: But he’s not sympathetic to them. He hates them. He’s trying to kill them.
DT: I don’t care. He was the founder. His, the way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS, okay?
HH: Well, that, you know, I have a saying, Donald Trump, the pneumonic device I use is Every Liberal Really Seems So, So Sad. E is for Egypt, L is for Libya, S is for Syria, R is for Russia reset. They screwed everything up. You don’t get any argument from me. But by using the term founder, they’re hitting with you on this again. Mistake?
DT: No, it’s no mistake. Everyone’s liking it. I think they’re liking it. I give him the most valuable player award. And I give it to him, and I give it to, I gave the co-founder to Hillary. I don’t know if you heard that.
HH: I did. I did. I played it.
DT: I gave her the co-founder.
HH: I know what you’re arguing…
DT: You’re not, and let me ask you, do you not like that?
HH: I don’t. I think I would say they created, they lost the peace. They created the Libyan vacuum, they created the vacuum into which ISIS came, but they didn’t create ISIS. That’s what I would say.
DT: Well, I disagree.
HH: All right, that’s okay.
DT: I mean, with his bad policies, that’s why ISIS came about.
HH: That’s…
DT: If he would have done things properly, you wouldn’t have had ISIS.
HH: That’s true.
DT: Therefore, he was the founder of ISIS.

In November 2015, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev told Sputnik News:

The strengthening of the Islamic State became possible partially due to irresponsible policies of the United States. Instead of concentrating joint efforts on fighting terrorism, the United States and its allies decided to fight against the lawfully elected president of Syria Bashar Assad.

Trump is going farther and insisting that Obama is the founder of ISIS. While it is obvious that he is being provocative, I suspect that his conspiracy theory minded followers will take him literally. Just another reason Trump is unfit to be president.
While there is a consensus that U.S. policies going back to the Iraq War had a role to play, calling Obama and Clinton the co-founders is silly. Words have no meaning if somehow Trump’s followers go along with his word games. Just saying, as Hewitt does, that Trump means something else, is insulting to the public and potentially dangerous in practice. What if our allies and enemies don’t get the joke? I suspect many of Trump’s Obama/Clinton hating fans don’t get it either.

Ten Years of Blogging: A Birther Post Brings Almost 3,000 Comments

Through the years, commenters have come and gone and at times the discussion is vigorous. The post with the most comments was a news item on a case regarding President Obama’s birth certificate (remember that?). At risk of starting a long series of comments from birthers, truthers and their opponents, I link to the post with nearly 3,000 comments.
Berg was trying to prevent the electoral college from voting on Obama’s electoral victory. However, eventually Justice Souter ruled as follows:

UPDATE: 12/10/08 – Late yesterday, Justice Souter denied Berg’s request to stop the Electoral College from voting for Obama.

The post became a place for all kinds of conspiracy theories and I let go on because I of my interest in confirmation bias. Someone in the grip of an idea will often hold on no matter how much contrary evidence is presented.
Note: I didn’t add the link until just now on Friday evening. Sorry for the inconvenience.
 

BarbWire Article and Graphic Turns Opposition to President Obama in an Ugly Direction

As do other websites, Matt Barber’s “news” website BarbWire runs many articles which are provocatively titled. One late last week caught my attention, in part because of the irresponsible title and in part because the graphic misquotes President Obama.
The article claims Obama met with Islamic leaders to coordinate attacks on Christians. For some reason the word verbal is in brackets:

President Obama met with American Islamic leaders in early February at a secret White House meeting, and what those involved revealed through their subsequent actions is that Obama hosted that meeting in order to design and implement coordinated [verbal] attacks on Christians.

As it turns out, a Muslim comedian and two people in the administration seemed to say similar things about bad things done in the name of Christianity after this meeting. As far as I can see, the administration wants to keep the war on ISIS a political event and not collaborate with the opposition to make it into a holy war. In any event, as a Christian, I am not offended when people point out the truth that Christians have done horrible things in the name of Christ. I am grieved by that fact but don’t feel attacked.
In short, no individual Christian has been attacked via this so-called coordinated effort.
Also, someone at BarbWire included an image which misquotes Obama:
ObamaMisquoted
I don’t find anything like this on page 261 but on page 309 of Audacity of Hope, Obama has this to say about Arab immigrants:
obamaAoH
 
The President doesn’t focus on religion and pledges to oppose internment of Arab Americans. I would take the same position in the face of any such proposals.
The graphic misquotes Obama and takes his words completely out of context, leading to an implication at odds with what he said. The article doesn’t prove anything nefarious and certainly doesn’t prove that the President coordinated any attacks on anyone. The graphic is false, completely irresponsible and turns the article, such that it is, in an ugly direction. It should be removed.
UPDATE: Sometime in the middle of the night, Barbwire switched out the images. Now the one below leads off the article:
obamambsealplanB
 
The following editor’s note appears:

[Editor’s note:  the original featured image accompanying this article contained an inaccurate quotation.  We regret the error, which was  not the fault of the author.]

This is not much of an improvement as it makes it appear that Obama somehow represents organizations which support jihad. 
 

President Obama's Aunt graduates from Unification church seminary

In news you might not see elsewhere…
President Obama’s Aunt, the Rev. Margaret Obama from Kenya, graduated recently from the Unificationist Theological Seminary according to a statement on the church’s website.

Rev. Margaret Obama (right)Friends, family and fellow students enthusiastically applauded as twenty-two students received their diplomas at the 35th commencement ceremony of the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) at its New York City campus on Thursday, May 19, 2011. The 15 students receiving their Masters in Religious Education included Rev. Margaret Obama from Kaisumu, Kenya, U.S. President Barack Obama’s aunt, who wrote her thesis on “Religious Education to Support Orphaned Teen Girls in Kenya: a Curriculum.” Rev. Obama has told friends that she will spend the coming year doing pastoral care in service to her local church, the Church of the Incarnation, in Jersey City, New Jersey.

“I learned so many good things at UTS,” Rev. Obama told Familyfed.org. “Many churches concentrate on taking care of their own, but the Unification community focuses upon serving those outside their own group,” she said. “They [the Unificationists] cherish family values, making husbands, wives and children the priorities, and I believe that by promoting family values, they are building world peace, because peace in the family easily extends to the larger world,” she told familyfed.org in a telephone interview. Rev. Obama says that she became involved with Unificationists after attending seminars of the Women’s Federation for World Peace in Kenya in 2005.

The Church of the Incarnation is an Episcopal church. The Unification church describes itself as follows from the website:

The Unification Church is comprised of families striving to embody the ideal of true love and to establish a world of peace and unity among all peoples, races, and religions as envisioned by Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Members of the Unification Church accept and follow Reverend Moon’s particular religious teaching, the Divine Principle.

Unificationists believe that Rev. and Mrs. Moon are the true manifestations of the masculine and feminine elements of God.
After the election of the President, high level Unificationist touted meetings between Moon (True Father) and Obama, and even said Michelle Obama was involved in their movement. One follower claimed this on a Unificationist website:

Rev. Yang came on the second last day and explained about Father’s life, concluding with some exciting new information. The newly elected United States’ president, Barack Obama, has been attending ACLC conferences and has apparently met with Father on several occasions. Even just before the elections, he attended a prayer breakfast. His wife is involved with our movement as well. This is a new revolution, now that Obama has become president; Father wants to eradicate all barriers between races.

I should add that there is no confirmation that any of those claims are true. Unificationists are keen on political connections and once used the Dirksen Senate building as the site of the coronation of the Moons as the King and Queen of Peace. They then use these real and implied connections as means to paint a skewed narrative to the faithful. I suspect the graduation of Ms. Obama will be added to the narrative of the Obama’s as supporters of the Moon’s place as True Parents.

Will this calm the birther storm????

The President is releasing his long form birth certificate today.
Trump and Franklin Graham may have pushed the right/wrong buttons.
So will this calm the storm? Open forum – what will the new objections be? What will birthers say about this development? And what new and startling findings will we see?
Been pretty serious around here for a spell, let’s have some fun with this.
And here it is…
I wonder if this thread will finally die? (2800 comments and counting)

The saga of Kevin Jennings and Brewster: Enter Robertson

In an op-ed dated today but available online over the weekend, the Washington Times assails Obama safe-schools appointee, Kevin Jennings for his handling of a 15-year old student’s sexual revelations when Jennings was a young teacher.

According to Mr. Jennings’ own description in a new audiotape discovered by Fox News, the 15-year-old boy met the “older man” in a “bus station bathroom” and was taken to the older man’s home that night.

FOX News has also reported on this and pointed to that recording. That audiotape was recorded by someone who attended a speech Jennings gave in Iowa in 2000 and then given to me. The relevant clip is here. You can read more about Brewster and the controversy in the article, Remembering Brewster and in this prior post on the topic.

There is another wrinkle to this story. It appears that Brewster had a name change in 2006 for Jennings book, Mama’s Boy, Preacher’s Son: A Memoir. Below, I have excerpted the passages in the book where he discusses a boy named Robertson, who has issues like Brewster. The first two selections are from pages 161-162. Jennings, a young teacher at Concord School, answers the boy’s concerns in the same way as he answered Brewster. Continue reading “The saga of Kevin Jennings and Brewster: Enter Robertson”