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Mormon Tabernacle Choir member resigns rather than sing for Trump

Mormon Tabernacle Choir member resigns rather than sing for Trump

A member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has resigned over its plan to sing at the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, and more than 22,000 people have signed a petition opposing the choir's participation. Jan Chamberlin resigned after five years with the choir, which originates from Utah, over the Jan. 20 ceremony, saying it "will appear that (the) Choir is endorsing tyranny and fascism by singing for this man."

With three weeks to go before Trump is sworn in, teen classical singer Jackie Evancho is the only celebrity to have unequivocally embraced her role in an inauguration ceremony marked by soul-searching by larger invited groups, and fan backlash. The 1960s pop group, The Beach Boys, is considering an invitation to perform but has yet to make a final decision, a spokesman for the band said on Friday.

"I simply cannot continue with the recent turn of events. I could never look myself in the face again," Chamberlin wrote in a resignation letter that she posted on Facebook on Thursday.

Some might argue the Mormon Church was founded on its own variety of tyranny, but that would be a subject for a different discussion.

Who can win in 2020?

It may be helpful to look at other successful candidates over the past 80 or so years.

2008: Barack Obama: A relatively fresh face, with little negative baggage, and able to inspire with both rhetoric and his relative youth, vision, and charisma. Being the man to break the racial divide didn't hurt, either. His opponent in 2008 was old, establishment, and relatively uninspiring.

2000: George Bush: Perceived as a Washington outsider, youthful, with a country type of charm that belied his silver spoon Ivy League upbringing. The loser was Al Gore, who has a wooden style and was percieved as being the ultimate Washington insider (he grew up in a Washington hotel room, after all).

1992: Another "outsider" in the person of former Arkansas governor Bill Clinton. He seemed to have it all: no DC baggage, but chief executive experience as a governor. He had an easy going good old boy charm that must have played very well to those who later would have voted for Trump. His opponent, GHW Bush, was perceived as establishment, weak, and uninspiring. Few could imagine sitting in the back yard downing a few beers with "na gonna do it"...

1988: George H. W. Bush: Exception that may prove the rule, a basically Good Man who was basically riding on Saint Ronald Reagan's coattails. His opponent, Michael Dukakis, looked puny and silly when caught donning a padded helmet several sizes too big and popping up (just barely) above the turret in an Army tank for a photo op.

1980: Ronald Reagan was the ultimate DC outsider. Plus he had loads of charisma and was a great communicator, with an instinct for what lines would move the lowest common denominators. He was facing an incumbent who appeared to be at loose ends and utterly humiliated by a two bit bunch of religious fanatics in Tehran. Carter was also supremely uninspiring to the point being downright depressing, as he appeared on TV in a sweater and urged Americans to turn down their thermostats. Reagan portrayed a much more palatable father figure, who didn't even mention denying his subjects their creature comforts.

1976: After the national "nightmare" of Watergate and the Nixon debacle, the nation was ready for a real outsider (Carter got no closer to DC than a submarine) who also was perhaps the most religious and morally upright person ever to run for the American presidency. Gerald Ford more or less sealed is own loss to Carter, when he pardoned the nearly universally reviled Richard Nixon.

1968: Although really not a DC outsider by any stretch of the imagination, Nixon somehow managed to grab that title from the very experienced and much mocked Hubert Humphrey. Nixon had spent his eight years in the wilderness, and his crafty evil genius managed to break the solid Democratic South with dog whistling and an astonishingly squeaky clean image (remember the Nixon Girls?) that took four years to be stripped away to reveal the stinking sewage of his personal plumbing outfit.

1960: This time Nixon represented the Establishment, while a youthful and extremely charismatic Jack Kennedy ran circles around him in terms of personal appeal. Which, to a nation tired of the boring Eisenhower years, acted like a tonic with amphetamines secretly added. If one looks at JFK's speeches of the day, he didn't actually propose anything substantial. Just a lot of palaver about "vigor", but the nation ate it up, and was willing to overlook questionable ballot box stuffing in the process so they could move on to the Camelot fantasy.

1952: Another establishment politician, Adlai Stevenson, failed to move voters by now weary of 20 years of liberal New Deal policies and propaganda. Had Truman decided to run again, he might have won, but he wisely decided in favor of his own domestic harmony instead. Dwight Eisenhower was able to parlay his appeal as perhaps the greatest war hero of WWII into eight years of somnolent non-rule. He had little charisma, but what he had was more than what Stevenson brought. Ike was also perceived as an outsider and a non-politician, although as head of the Allied effort in Europe he had to play politics every day.

1948: Like Bush in 1988, Truman rode on FDR's coattails and his plain speaking googly eyed look was more reassuring to voters than Dewey's hard boiled and sneaky image.

1932: FDR, another DC outsider. He'd been New York governor and also a Navy under secretary, but could afford to hang back until the time was ripe for his entrance. Oozing charisma and an uncanny ability to speak to the common man and woman from a position of wealth and social privilege, FDR seemed to be able to parlay the strength he needed in his very private battle against crippling polio into a message of strength and forbearance for the millions of Americans thrown out of work and put into desperate straits by the Great Depression. He brought hope to millions when his opposition seemed try to blame them for negative economic events beyond their individual control.

So who will the magic candidate be in 2020? It's always harder to defeat an incumbent, but chances are Trump's mismanagement will erase that advantage, as it did for Hoover, Carter, and Bush41. By 2020 Trump will no longer be able to lay claim to the outsider status, although he'll certainly try. He will eventually have to own his four years of chaos and dismay, and the time will be right for a young charismatic Democrat who will be far more credible than Trump when it comes to speaking up for the common American. Who will it be? Too soon to say, but a number of names have already been mentioned on DU. Take your pick. Just don't rely on an old warrior next time.

It's one of the oldest cons...

Small wonder Trump likes it.

His own history is, of course, of a man who was born into wealth. Trump personally believes this makes him superior to just about everyone else, and no doubt he believes poor people are poor by their own fault; even though his own riches initially had little to do with his own worth as a human.

Let us not forget Trump's downfall in the early 1990's, when his profligate spending and poor business decisions nearly made him bankrupt.

The hypocrisy of someone who claims to be a Christian pastor while equating wealth with God's love is stunning:

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

- Mark 10:25

Shady Pastor to Pray With Trump At Inauguration

Folks, can't make this stuff up.

From the sound of this, we are headed to a new (old) era of divine right Presidencies...

Shady Pastor to Pray With Trump At Inauguration

In 2007, TV preacher Paula White got investigated by the U.S. Senate for her shady fundraising practices.
Ten years later, she will pray at Trump’s inauguration. Yes, really. White is a televangelist with a huge audience and a knack for stirring controversy. She’s been a Trump booster for years, and she helped organize a summit for him in the early days of his presidential campaign with other televangelists. Her presence at the inauguration is a very strong indicator that Trump’s White House will be a safe space for the Christian right’s most controversial characters.

Think of Paula White’s ministry as the church version of Trump University. She preaches the prosperity gospel, an approach to Christianity that is, shall we say, unorthodox. Prosperity gospel preachers teach that God wants people to be rich, and that he makes them wealthy as a sign of his blessing and favor; the richer you are, the more God loves you.

Because, you know, Jesus wore wingtips and a Rolex. These preachers also teach that the way to become wealthy is—you guessed it!—by giving them money. If you make a so-called “seed offering”—and the bigger the better—then preachers like White say the Lord will repay your generosity with bounteous riches. White’s website promises that such seed offerings will help givers get immediate word from God. “When we receive your seed we have a very powerful Word from the Lord that we will send to you,” the site says. “We want to show our Gratitude to you and to help you grow in your Attitude of Gratitude.” The Word from the Lord, in this case, is delivered via internet download, unless your seed is $50 or more, in which case you’ll get your Word of the Lord in the form of five DVDs....

Lawsuit: East Bay Versace store had code for black customers

This is more than just "Cleanup on Aisle 4"...

Lawsuit: East Bay Versace store had ‘code’ for black customers

An ex-employee of an East Bay Versace outlet store filed a discrimination lawsuit alleging he was instructed by his boss to use a code word to alert co-workers when an African American person entered the business.
In the Alameda County Superior Court lawsuit seeking class-action status, Christopher Sampino, 23, says he was fired in early October after working at the Versace USA store at the San Francisco Premium Outlets in Livermore for just two weeks. He said he was let go after he informed his boss that he is African American.
During Sampino’s second shift at the high-end global fashion retailer, a training manager — who apparently was unaware Sampino is African American — asked him if he knew about the “D410” code, otherwise known as the alert that a “black person is in the store,” the lawsuit charges.

Troubling Signs for Science under Trump

Troubling Signs for Science under Trump

We're getting a clearer picture of how science in America will be treated under Trump. It's horrifying. Our scientific endeavors are under severe threat, as is our environment. Scientists and those who support science have every reason to be concerned about the next several years. Here's a small taste of what we're dealing with under Trump.

I’m a scientist who has gotten death threats. I fear what may happen under Trump.... With his climate denying cabinet—including Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, Rick Perry for Secretary of Energy, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers or U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-MT, in the running for Secretary of Interior—and a fossil-fuel friendly U.S. House and Senate, it is no understatement to say the Trump is preparing a fossil fuel takeover of the U.S. economy. But the economy won't be the only thing that's taken over. Our public lands, clean air and clean water will face a withering assault..... So when I say that Trump’s adviser Anthony Scaramucci just let loose one of the more asinine streams of anti-science garbage I’ve heard, you must appreciate the scale of what I mean.... Even if we give Scaramucci the benefit of the doubt here, the context is important; when discussing science and Trump it's important to understand that Trump has enveloped himself in people who are creationists as well as climate change deniers; VP Mike Pence is one, Rick Perry appointed creationists to the Texas State School Board over and again, and Ben Carson said evolution is satanic and the Big Bang is a fairy tale....

Will Don don the skinhead look to match his agenda?

Donald promises America a new 'do' if it makes him president: Trump reveals he will ditch his infamous hair style in the White House - because comb-over takes too much time to maintain

Promises, promises...

Donald Trump may be standing firm in his political convictions as he attempts to secure the Republican nomination for president, but there is one thing he has revealed he will be changing if elected - his hair. Trump appeared at a dinner in Iowa on Saturday night and told those in attendance that his carefully crafted coif would be no more if he lands in the White House. His reasoning for the big change is that the look simply takes too long.

Squirrel Lives Matter!!!!

Get ready for an unpressidented violation of the First Amendment under Trump...

Trump Promises Harsh Media Criticism of Him Will Be ILLEGAL If He’s President

Have you ever made fun of Donald Trump? Have you ever read an editorial that really lays into him with criticisms of his proposed policies, or even his hair?

Well if Trump becomes president, he promises that things will change, and these sorts of critiques will no longer be legal. It almost sounds like satire, but during a speech in Texas on Friday morning, the Republican candidate and frontrunner, Donald Trump said he wants to sue news outlets if they negative stories about him....

“One of the things I’m gonna do, and this is only gonna make it tougher for me, and I’ve never said this before, but one of the things I’m gonna do if I win… is I’m gonna open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We’re gonna open up those libel laws.”

He went even further and made it clear what he meant, saying, “We’re gonna open up those libel laws, folks, and we’re gonna have people sue you like you never get sued before.”

Can he do it? Will the GOP Congress meekly go along with this unpressidented violation of the First Amendment?

What do you think?
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