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Here are 6 awful details being omitted from Billy Graham’s fawning obituaries

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Billy Graham, the firebrand evangelical who helped usher in the rise of the evangelical right, is dead at 99.

Graham is getting tributes from all corners right now. And he deserves praise for supporting the civil rights movement, supporting Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment and embracing Muhammad Ali during the fall-out of his conversion to Islam. All those good deeds will be covered in great detail today.

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In fact, Graham was already the subject of a rare and precious honor, a Trump Tweet that does not appear, on the surface, to be either an attack on his enemies or bare-faced self-aggrandizement. This honor is roughly equivalent to the Presidential Medal of Freedom from past administrations.

But while Graham certainly did many great things, he also said and did some awful things. And because he was so respected, his deeds were very influential.

Graham helped normalize ultra-rich pastors. Graham’s wealth, and focus on more wealth, was modest compared to the televangelists preaching the prosperity gospel today. His net worth was estimated at $25 million and while Jeff Bezos might spend more on a clock, it’s certainly not a vow of poverty.

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Graham once preached that AIDS was the judgement of God. “Is AIDS a judgment of God?” he had said in Columbus, Ohio in 1993, “I could not be sure, but I think so.” Graham quickly backtracked on this one, saying that he didn’t believe that and didn’t know why he said it. Nevertheless, this dog-whistle was heard by too many.

Graham wrote a memo to President Nixon urging him to commit a war crime in Vietnam. Unlike many Christian leaders, Graham supported a very specific military strategy in the Vietnam war. He wanted Nixon to use nuclear weapons to destroy the dikes that manage flooding in North Vietnam. This plan was something Henry Kissinger dismissed as “just too much.”

Graham was anti-Semitic. Graham used the whole “I don’t believe that and have no idea why I said it” thing a few times. For example, after taped conversations revealed that Graham made anti-Semitic statements to President Nixon. Specifically, he told the president that Jews control the media, and that this was dangerous: “This stranglehold has got to be broken or this country’s going down the drain.” Nixon agreed with this, and Graham suggested that if he got elected to a second term “we might be able to do something.” Graham would later point out that he had Jewish friends.

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Graham had backward views on women. He criticized feminism, and is the namesake of that weird rule that Mike Pence lives by, never spending any time alone with any woman besides his wife.

Graham raised his boy wrong. In his 1997 autobiography, Graham was regretful of his involvement in politics, writing that, “If I had to do it all over again, I would also avoid any semblance of involvement in partisan politics… there have been times when I undoubtedly stepped over the line between politics and my calling as an evangelist.” And yet, Graham failed to impart this wisdom on his son Franklin Graham, who took over the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and who has taken the lead in defending and legitimizing Donald Trump to evangelicals. Franklin Graham told his flock to “hold your nose and go vote,” and has said that the trice-married serial philanderer is a “changed man” that “all Christians need to get behind.”

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America’s millionaires just stopped paying into Social Security for the rest of 2020

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On Wednesday, not even two full months into 2020, millionaires will stop paying into Social Security for the year due to the program's payroll tax cap.

The cap limits annual wages subject to the Social Security payroll tax to the first $137,700. Sarah Rawlins, program associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), wrote Tuesday that the cap means "someone who makes $1,000,000 per year stops paying into the program on February 19, 2020."

"That makes a millionaire's effective tax rate well below the 6.2% of income that most Americans pay," Rawlins noted. "Instead, it is less than 1% of a millionaire's income. The Social Security tax is only levied on wages, excluding income from other sources like capital gains, meaning those with wages over the cap likely have an effective tax rate even lower than this estimate."

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DOJ puts out bizarre late-night statement: AG Bill Barr ‘has no plans to resign’

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The Department of Justice put out a statement Tuesday evening denying that Attorney General Bill Barr would be resigning from office.

Kerri Kupec, the director of communications and public affairs at DOJ, issued the statement at 10:28 p.m. in Washington, DC.

"Addressing Beltway rumors: The Attorney General has no plans to resign," Kupec announced.

The denial came after a Washington Post report that Barr was considering quitting if Trump continues to tweet about active investigations.

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2020 Election

‘She’s your damn senator’: Emerson College blasted for leaving Elizabeth Warren out of 2020 poll

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Emerson College was blasted for leaving their own senator out of head-to-head matchups in their latest nationwide poll.

The poll showed four candidates with double-digit support. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) measured at 29%, former Vice President Joe Biden was at 22%, former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg was at 14% and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) came in at 12%.

But the poll did not even test Warren in head-to-head matchups with Trump.

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