In an eagerly awaited decision that could have undermined the viability of the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-3 to uphold the federal subsidies that enable 6.4 million people to buy heath coverage, including 172,345 in New Jersey. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion and was joined by Anthony Kennedy, Ruth…
Trump busted for sticking taxpayers with $2.4 million tab for his visits to his Bedminster golf course
An investigation by NJ.com into Donald Trump's visits as president to just his Bedminster golf club, revealed that the current resident of the cub now that he has lost the 2020 election saddled taxpayers with $2.4 million in bills.
According to the report, based on U.S. Secret Service records, the bulk of the amount, $1.9 million, went to lodge Secret Service agents staying in the Bedminster area with another $35,415 for rooms at the golf club.
The report notes, "The Secret Service also spent $285,219 on travel, $41,499 on rental cars, $80,800 on golf carts, and $46,520 on portable toilets," before adding, "Not included are other costs of Trump's frequent visits to Bedminster, including the estimated $142,000 an hour it costs Air Force One to fly, according to figures obtained by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, and the cost of taking the presidential helicopter from the Morristown Airport to the golf club."
Trump reportedly conducted his private business during his visits to New Jersey --while also promoting his visits by mentioning the club --which led Jordan Libowitz, a spokesperson for CREW to remark, "When President Trump would go to Bedminster, it wasn't because he liked golf — he was making promotional appearances at a business he continued to own and profit off of. Now we know his decision not to divest from his assets cost taxpayers millions of dollars. The Trump Organization should reimburse that money, but we know it won't."
You can read more here.
On Tuesday, June 15, some supporters of former President Donald Trump were bitterly disappointed when the Southern Baptist Convention chose the Rev. Ed Litton, an Alabama pastor, as its president and rejected some of the more extreme Trumpians who were competing for the position — including the Rev. Mike Stone, who was supported by the far-right Conservative Baptist Network. Journalist Molly Olmstead analyzes this development in an article published by Slate on June 17. As Olmstead sees it, Litton's narrow victory shows a move away from Trumpism among Baptists.
"The SBC has been going through something like an identity crisis this year," Olmsted explains. "Southern Baptists, like most White evangelicals, voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, but in the run-up to the 2020 election, critics began to chafe at the frequently conspiracy theory-laden partisan politics within their churches. After last summer's racial unrest, many of the denomination's Black pastors — actively courted by a Convention uncomfortably aware of its overwhelming whiteness and deeply racist history — began to protest the SBC's unwillingness to recognize the extent of modern-day racism. At the same time, an organized group of Southern Baptists has pushed for a second conservative resurgence to correct what it sees as a loosening of the core Southern Baptist identity."
Baptists who believe that the Southern Baptist Convention should be MAGA through and through favored Stone, a Georgia-based pastor. But 52% of the vote went to Litton, who is White and politically conservative but believes that Baptists should have at least have a conversation about race. The Trumpians at the 2021 Southern Baptist Convention were pushing for things like an official position against critical race theory, which has become a boogieman in right-wing media. Critical race theory is a field of study that examines the history of racism in the U.S. and the ways in which racism of the past has an effect on institutions of the present.
"Critical race theory has been a contentious topic within the SBC for months longer than its more recent turn in the media spotlight," Olmstead observes. "When Donald Trump was nearing the end of his presidency this fall, he launched a sudden attack on the teaching of critical race theory, an academic approach to analyzing the systems that have created and perpetuated racial inequality. As the anti-CRT sentiments quietly percolated in certain circles thanks to the president's comments, the conservatives of the SBC seized on the issue."
Although many Baptists identify with the far-right White evangelical movement, some African-American Baptists are outspoken supporters of liberal and progressive causes — the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, for example. The far-right Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sr., the late founder of the Moral Majority and a one-time segregationist and supporter of Jim Crow laws, was a Baptist — but so was Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr., a civil rights icon. There were heated debates among Baptists during the 1950s and 1960s, and there are still heated debates among Baptists in 2021.
Olmstead notes, "In November, well ahead of the Republican Party's current uproar over CRT, the seminary presidents put out a joint statement calling the framework 'incompatible' with the Baptist Faith and Message, the SBC's central doctrinal statement. Critical race theory, they argued, was counter to their faith because the Bible, which evangelicals view as the literal and unerring word of God, should be the only tool for addressing the evils of the world. These comments essentially reversed a previous position the SBC had taken back in 2019, when the convention passed a resolution allowing critical race theory and intersectionality to be used as analytical tools as long as they were second to scripture."
And in 2021, Olmstead adds, "most observers came out of the meeting with a sense that the delegates had put the brakes on the convention's careening path toward the right."
'Trump is our president right now': Christian conservatives haven't given up hope the election will be overturned
Reporting from the Faith & Freedom Coalition's annual Road to Majority conference being held in Orlando, Florida this weekend, the Guardian's David Smith spoke with Christian conservatives who still believe the 2020 presidential election results will be miraculously overturned and Donald Trump will once again ascend to the Oval Office.
The annual conference has so far been notable for former Vice President Mike Pence being heckled by attendees for being a "traitor" and not helping Trump stay in office, which Smith highlighted as an example that the ex-president still has many enraptured followers.
Calling the convention "a relatively low energy event" the journalist wrote, "Interviews with a dozen attendees found a widespread conviction that the 2020 election was stolen, support for tougher voting restrictions and a reluctance to condemn Trump supporters who stormed the US Capitol on 6 January."
According to Trump fan Jonathan Riches, 42, of Tampa, he wants Pence out of the way, explaining, "We feel like he abandoned Trump. We needed him to challenge the election. He doesn't represent our party. He's now trying to redeem himself but we don't want him."
Short of getting Trump back, Riches added that he is also a big fan of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis by exclaiming, "I've fallen in love with DeSantis as much as I love Trump. I'd be OK with Trump handing on the torch to DeSantis."
Another attendee believes former Trump attorney Sidney Powell's crusade to overturn the election results will bear fruit.
"Sidney Powell has some pretty good statistics and data and facts. I rely on her to know," explained former teacher Shelley Villarreal, 56, of Houston.
Discussing the Jan 6th Capitol riot, Villarreal offered, "Violence has no place in politics. However, I did think it was an emotionally charged crowd and it just got out of control. I don't think that was the plan; it happened in the heat of the moment. It was a reflection of how frustrated the public was about the outcome of the election."
Glenn Romano, 50, of North Carolina had a different take, explaining, "I think it was staged. There have been reports of BLM [Black Lives Matter] leaders. Our media's just completely anti-conservative. They're pushing the leftist agenda."
On man from Tampa who would only identify himself as Greg A., said another insurrection is due, telling Smith, "1776 was the same thing because your government says we are going to install a dictatorship. The people have no choice but to rise up. They [the Democrats] cheated to get into office. The election was rigged. Their mission is to turn America into a communist shithole."
Michael Altman, 63, of Florida chimed in, "There were some problems with the election. Whether it was enough to swing the result, I don't know. But they need to look into voter fraud. It was worse than it has been in the past. It could backfire against the Democrats one day."
You can read more here.
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month