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Bill Barr has ties to ultra-conservative Opus Dei — and that could explain his ‘ends justify the means’ corruption

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In an extensive post at the Daily Kos, contributor Frank Cocozzelli connects the dots between Attorney General Bill Barr’s previous work with the ultra-conservative Catholic organization Opus Dei and his recent behavior, and suggests that relationship might have influenced his decision to give President Donald Trump a pass after reviewing a highly critical report from special counsel Robert Mueller.

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According to the writer, and as noted by Barr’s own answers to a congressional questionnaire, Barr served as a director of the Catholic Information Center (2014-1017), director of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (2004-2009).  The CIC “serves as Opus Dei’s de facto Washington, D.C. base of operations. Its staff and board of directors are stocked with members of the personal prelature”s members (as well as members of the Ethics and Public Policy Center),” Cocozzelli wrote before adding, “is hard to imagine any director of CIC not having some sort of developed relationship with Opus Dei.”

“This relationship may help explain his apparent ‘ends justifies the means’ strategy,” the writer offered accompanied by a small sampling of the workings of Opus Dei.

“Opus Dei is openly more concerned with the economic self-interest of ‘friends’ who already have superfluous wealth and power, often at the expense of the economically less powerful. They are not ashamed of the organization’s wealth, but are actually conspicuous about it as evidenced by its new seventeen-story 243 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York headquarters,” he wrote.

He added, “Despite protestations, wealthier Opus members use politics as the means to further its own financial as well as theological interests. As Damian Thompson, editor-in-chief of the British Catholic Herald correctly noted, ‘What no one can dismiss (because it is true) is the allegation that Opus Dei seeks the advancement not only of its message but also of its own interests: hence the endless courting of cardinals, bishops and even journalists’.”

“The Attorney General has in the past spoken with language that is in line with the goals of both Opus Dei’s and the EPPC’s overlapping agendas,” Cocozzelli suggested. “This past December Americans United’s Rob Boston reminded us of Barr’s past theological screeds. These run the gamut from condemning public schools (they had undergone a ‘moral lobotomy’); in a 1992 address to Bill Donohue’s Catholic League, he called for the imposition of ‘God’s law’ in America. In that same address he went after contemporary supporters of the separation of church and state (‘The secularists of today are clearly fanatics’).

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He then added as a warning, “What is it about Republicans such as William Barr who are willing to destroy the norms of both justice and American democracy; what drives men such as him? To this observer, it seems it is the overwhelming desire to impose both a theocratic cultural agenda coupled with a laissez-faire-tinged brand of capitalism rapidly devolving into a new feudalism.”

You can read more –with links — here.

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Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan to give up royal titles — ‘the hardest #Megxit possible’

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Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy.

The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple's shock resignation from front-line royal duties.

It means Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Harry and his American TV actress wife Meghan will stop using the titles "royal highness" -- the same fate that befell his late mother Princess Diana after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.

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GOP senator tells home-state press that impeachment trial must be ‘viewed as fair’: report

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Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke to local reporters on Saturday about her role in the upcoming Donald Trump impeachment trial.

Murkowski explained she would likely vote with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on an initial vote on whether to allow witnesses. However, she left the door open to voting for witnesses after House impeachment managers make their opening case.

"I don't know what more we need until I have been given the base case," she said. "We will have that opportunity to say 'yes' or 'no' ... and if we say 'yes,' the floor is open."

Overall, Murkowski said it was important for the trial to been viewed as fair.

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White House press secretary urged to do her job: ‘We don’t pay you to be a Twitter troll’

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White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was blasted on Saturday over the confusion resulting from her refusal to hold daily press briefings.

CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy was alarmed that Grisham's assistant, Hogan Gidley, was forcing reporters to refer to his remarks as coming from a "sources close to the President's legal team."

Darcy noted that Trump had repeatedly questioned the veracity of unnamed sources, making it problematic for Gidley to demand to be quoted as such.

https://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1218704788432572422

Grisham responded to the criticism and asked Darcy to "stop with the righteous indignation.

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