Why the Hush on Neoconservative Links to Trump Dossier?

By Paul Gottfried

A brouhaha erupted this week over the creation of a highly questionable and lurid dossier on Donald Trump. That document is of the utmost importance—it may have been cited to authorize wiretaps of Trump Tower—but the controversy over it has unfolded without the true affiliations of some key players being named. We’re not talking about the Democratic National Committee, the Hillary Clinton campaign or their lawyers—all of whom are reportedly behind hiring the opposition research firm that delivered the dossier. This is about the Washington Free Beacon, the neoconservative news site that’s admitted to retaining Fusion GPS before the Democrats did.

Oddly, mainstream reports talk about the “Republican allies” or even “conservatives” who hired the muckraking group first, but fail to note who they are, or point out that these aren’t just ordinary partisans but neoconservative operators who had Trump in their crosshairs from the beginning.

For example, Byron York’s investigative work for the Washington Examiner, which reports that the dossier originated with the Washington Free Beacon, only hints at, without explicitly mentioning, its neoconservative connections. York links the publication and its editors to Never-Trump activism, but goes no further in breaking down their ideological identities. In fact, the only website that does go further is Breitbart, which tells us that Weekly Standard editor-at-large Bill Kristol founded the Beacon, and that, like the Standard, the Beacon has a “neoconservative foreign policy outlook.”

Kristol and another neoconservative, Michael Goldfarb, were co-founders of the Beacon; the site’s major funder, Paul Singer, gives generously to neoconservative causes, and the present editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti is married to Kristol’s daughter Ann Elizabeth. The Washington Free Beacon has been a rallying point for neoconservative Never-Trumpers in Washington, and the hiring of Fusion GPS to go after Trump has all the hallmarks of their skullduggery. We shouldn’t be surprised that a neocon publication hired an agency to manufacture news against someone it was trying to bring down; it turns out that Trump, though, was too big a target for Kristol and his friends to successfully dispatch. (Interestingly, by the time Trump was in office, he and Kristol’s funder Paul Singer had reconciled.)

I certainly do not blame the liberal media for describing the Beacon as a “conservative” publication, or for tracing the controversial dossier back to “Republican allies.” I heard the same stuff on Fox News, after noticing that Kristol’s son-in-law frequently appears on the Fox All-Star Panel. My impression is that the GOP media are unlikely to abandon their neoconservative buddies and sponsors—and there are very good reasons for this. They all depend on the same donor base, write for the same publications, and share the spotlight with Fox News. It would be suicidal for the conservative establishment to go after its neoconservative participants. Some alliances are indissoluble as well as extremely hazardous. Fox News might allow Tucker Carlson to occasionally rough up such maniacal global interventionists as Ralph Peters and Max Boot, but lowering the boom on their friends for what they …read more

Via:: American Conservative


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Trump Will Be President Forever

By Rod Dreher

The Daily Wire reports on the following e-mail sent out by a manager at the Democratic National Committee’s HQ in Washington:

Got that? They do not want white heterosexual males to apply (unless you’re a transgendered male). Note the “they/them/theirs” at the bottom.

Doesn’t matter if you have the tech skills to help the Democrats win elections. If you’re a cisgendered straight white male, your application goes to the bottom of the pile. Brilliant, just brilliant.

The thing that just slays me about liberals like this is that they have no clue whatsoever that this kind of discrimination is immoral and offensive. This stuff is not new. I was told in 1997 by a newspaper that initially welcomed my job application that my CV was put in limbo because the publisher decided that he didn’t want a white male in that job, unless they couldn’t find anybody as qualified as me. After a national job search that lasted several months, their search was fruitless, and they said they would now like to bring me in for a job interview. By then, I had just taken a job in NYC, and was on my way to a different life.

I’m glad things worked out the way they did for me, but man, did that experience ever stay with me. It impressed upon me the injustice of the days when prejudice kept women and minorities for being considered fairly for jobs. That was unjust. But you don’t make up for one injustice by perpetrating another. That’s what the (white, male) liberal publisher of that newspaper was trying to do. And I’m sure he thought of himself as a virtuous man.

This mentality exemplified by Madeleine Leader has a lot to do with why, at the end of the day, I’ll end up voting Republican out of pure self-protection, and to protect the job prospects of my children, especially my sons. Good job, Democrats. You are telling straight white people that they are second-class citizens who don’t deserve fairness. You’ll continue to find self-hating liberal whites who are willing to accept this garbage, but many more aren’t falling for it — and know what kind of world Democrats are preparing for them when and if they take power again.

As a registered Independent whose economic and foreign policy views are to the left of the average Republican’s, I would love to have the chance to consider voting Democratic in a national election, especially with the GOP in such a mess. But out of self-protection, I can’t take that chance.

…read more

Via:: American Conservative


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On Not Getting Religion

By Rod Dreher

My father, in his final days (August 2015)

GetReligion’s Terry Mattingly — one of my oldest friends, as he points out — analyzes yesterday’s Washington Post Style section profile of me (see the original story about the “combative, oversharing blogger” here). He writes:

I guess you could say that the key is that this Post feature failed to, well, get religion, in terms of taking religious faith seriously. You see, it’s impossible to understand Dreher and his story without facing how he is attempting – Rod would want the word “attempting” in bold – to live out his religious convictions as an Orthodox believer, as a sinner aware of his own need for repentance and healing.

That’s all I have to say about that. Read the Post piece. Read Frederica’s commentary.

Most of all, read the most crucial element of Dreher’s story, material that you know he stressed in his interview with Heller – yet it did not make it into the piece. It’s the epilogue he wishes he could add to his book “How Dante Can Save Your Life.”

I’m talking about the remarkable spiritual healing that took place in Rod’s relationship with his own father, in the months leading to the family patriarch’s death. Readers don’t know anything about Dreher’s confessions about his family’s painful past – a subject explored in the Post piece – without knowing this information. This is life-and-death material, and I’m not just talking about this life in the here and now.

Get past the bouillabaisse story, for heaven’s sake. How does a reporter ignore the crucial final act of this drama?

I e-mailed her the link to the epilogue on October 16, two weeks before the story ran. It’s puzzling why it wasn’t included in the final story, as it talks in detail about the resolution I found with my dad, through struggle with my faith, and by applying spiritual lessons from my reading of Dante’s Divine Comedy. There is, in that epilogue story, the answers to things I had been seeking about my family, and about God. Here’s an excerpt:

I told him that I didn’t have time to stay that morning, that I had a lot of work to do. I was going to slip in and refill his pillbox, then head on back to my house. It took about ten minutes to get the pills sorted. I dashed out the door, then leaned in to kiss him goodbye as he sat in his chair.

As I drew back after kissing his cheek, he grabbed my forearm and drew me in close. His chin was quivering. The old man looked frightened. His eyes filled with tears, and he began to stammer.

“I … I … I … I had a long talk with the Lord last night,” he began. “I talked to him about, about my transgressions against you. I told him I was sorry. And I think he heard me.”

There I stood, stunned. All my adult life, I had been waiting to hear …read more

Via:: American Conservative


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The Reformation At 500

By Rod Dreher

A half century ago today, Martin Luther irrevocably changed the Western world. From a column by Archbishop Charles Chaput comes this passage from Catholic historian Brad Gregory’s recent book on Luther:

Luther would deride the idea of freedom as we know it today and disclaim any credit for it. In fact, he would be disgusted by it, because it has nothing to do with what he regarded as the only real freedom: the bound freedom of a Christian.

Neither Luther nor any of the other Protestant reformers sought or envisioned anything like modern individual freedom. Nor did the Protestant Reformation as such lead to it. What led to it were the more-than-religious conflicts between magisterial Protestants and Catholics in the Reformation era, which created a situation that led indirectly, unintentionally and eventually to the making of a 21st-century world that nearly all committed Christians of the Reformation era would have deplored.

Calvinist scholar Carl Trueman, author of a book on Luther’s life and thought, has been quite critical of Gregory’s writings in the past. I looked to see if he had written anything recently about the Reformation’s legacy, and I found this column in First Things. Excerpt:

But it was not Reformation theology alone that reshaped the world in the sixteenth century. Many other factors—factors formally independent of Reformation theology—made the Reformation a reality. They also helped bring about the modern world, warts and all, and would have done so without Luther’s distinctive presence on the historical stage. Take literacy. As people learn to read and write, they become more politically aware. As literacy rates rise, a clash with established structures of authority—structures predicated on the illiteracy of the masses—is never far away. You can have your thirteenth-century papacy, but only on the condition that less that 5 percent of the population can read. That does not appeal to me in the slightest. I would rather run the risk of pervasive interpretive pluralism with its attendant chaos, and yet be able to read and write.

In fact, I would argue that the single greatest enabler of the modern world’s attitude to religion is not some sixteenth-century Reformer. A more recent man must take responsibility. Henry Ford, not Henry VIII, is the guilty man. The Reformation may have familiarized the world with the concept of religious choice, but that choice became a reality for most people only with the advent of cheap and easy means of private transportation. It was the arrival of the internal combustion engine, and then the mass-produced automobile, that really changed everything. It altered our relationship to time, to geographical space, and to our communities and all that is contained therein. It was the motor car that truly freed people from the constraints of having to worship within walking distance of their home. The motor car made churches into choices, competing for customers in the marketplace of Sunday recreations. It turned us all, Protestant and Catholic alike, into consumerist Congregationalists.

On this 500th anniversary, Protestant triumphalists have no ground …read more

Via:: American Conservative


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Rep. Mark Johnson: Manafort indictment shows US must act to stop foreign subversion of our democracy

By Mike Johnson It has been almost 70 years since Congress first enacted the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) to limit and keep track of outside influences. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines


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