Saturday, September 28, 2019

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28

by A. Joseph Lynch


TRUMP-UKRAINE SCANDAL? Did the president unduly pressure Ukraine to investigate the seemingly corrupt dealings of the Biden's in their nation? The press seems to think so despite the fact that neither Trump nor the foreign minister of Ukraine think so. A real scandal is the national security leaks that keep the president from being able to have frank and honest conversations with world leaders. Vladimir Putin has rightly expressed concern his phone transcripts with Trump could be released in a future invented scandal. The president - any US president - needs to know he can talk to world leaders without fear of a rumor leading to revelations of high diplomacy and national security plans.

Some leaks are sure to stem from Obama's executive order 12333, which we commented on this past June:
The recent problem of leaking may stem from changes made in the waning days of the Obama administration. Until he left office, raw intelligence was shared only between three intelligence agencies, but as Obama left office he signed executive order 12333, allowing raw intelligence now to be shared between seventeen agencies. The widened access meant that it would be harder to find leakers - a problem the President has faced time and time again.
As the transcript of the Trump-Ukraine phone call has been released, along with the complaint from the supposed whistle-blower (who as a third party "witness" is not technically a true whistle-blower), the "scandal" is even less credible than the debunked Russian collusion scandal.

The true scandal, of course, involves former VP Joe Biden, on tape stating he pressured Ukrainian officials to end an investigation that could have implicated his son, Hunter. Just before being placed on a Ukrainian board of directors with a salary of $50k per month, he has been discharged from the US military for heroine use. His hiring stinks to high heaven of crony capitalism even before Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in defense funds from Ukraine, sparring his son of the same fate that befell Paul Manafort. Biden is sure to take a, perhaps mortal, hit from any impeachment investigation into Trump. Some suspect the Warren campaign is behind supposed Trump scandal, seeking not so much to damage Trump but remove Biden from contention. She is now leading in many polls - more from Pat Buchanan.

SINEMA CENSURE (A TRUMP WIN?): Sinema is the first Democrat to be elected to the U.S. Senate from Arizona in thirty years, yet her centrist record may lead to censure from her own party. USA Today sees this as bad news for Democrats and good news for Trump's re-election chances.


GERMAN SYNODAL ASSEMBLY: Pope Francis has indeed called for a synodal process across the Church. This was the practice across the whole of the early Church, with regional bishops meeting regularly to discuss matters affecting their areas. While in one way the German bishops seem to be doing the same, there is concern the focus of the Synodal Assembly is to liberalize the German Church. This was the Anglican solution - but as our AOA charts from July 13, 2019 reveal, it's a losing strategy. Corruption of the German bishops may be endemic, but Pope Francis himself warned them in writing last June telling them to avoid schism and a new Pelagian "works-righteousness" heresy.

DEATH OF PRELATES: Cardinal Levada, head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith under Benedict XVI, has died. Despite Benedict's orthodoxy, his choice for CDF head seemed rather flimsy on homosexuality. The former Archbishop of San Francisco (1995-2005) had been suspected of having a live-in boyfriend, was questioned for sex abuse cover up, and was the author of what AOA calls the Levada Loophole. Former St. Paul Archbishop Harry Flynn also passed last weekend. His role in the sex abuse scandal in St. Paul was shadowed by the public shame of Archbishop Neinstedt, yet we at AOA covered it here and here. He is also discussed in MPR's Betrayed by Silence.

USE NOUNS, NOT ADJECTIVES: Pope Francis has asked us to use nouns rather than adjectives when speaking of our Christian faith. Dogma enshrines the people and events - nouns - in protection description - adjectives - but it is the people and events that are at the core of the faith.


NATIONALISTS SURGE IN BELGIUM: The nationalists are leading polls in Belgium. Dr. Steve Turley explains.

HOUTHI OIL ATTACK: The Houthi rebels successfully drone attacked Saudi oil fields, yet the Saudis, Americans, British, French, and Germans have all blamed Iran. The Saudis have said it would be an "act of war" if the attack was launched from Iranian territory, and Secretary of State Pompeo this week has said he was right to label it as such. No evidence has been provided to indicate the attack came from Iran, yet the U.S. has made the mistake to send 200 troops to Saudi Arabia - we pray this doesn't lead to war.

HOWDY, MODI!: Texas welcomed Narendra Modi, leader of the world's largest democracy in India, as tens of thousands of Indian Americans gathered to greet him, together with President Trump, this week. As a religious nationalists, Modi's unpopularity among the liberal elites seems to make Indian Americans - who love him dearly - increasingly into the GOP camp for 2020.

BREXIT POLL: The pro-EU powers among both liberals and conservatives in Britain have drug their heals and done their best to nullify the vote of the people. Despite the recent setback from their supreme court, a new poll shows that 60% of British want out of the EU by October 31. Deadlocked in parliament, it's no wonder why Johnson wants snap elections. Allied with the new Brexit party, populist Brexit candidates would run in liberal areas where conservatives can't compete while pro-Brexit conservatives run elsewhere. The results would be decisive - which is why Britain recently saw the first ever incidence of the minority party refusing to hold snap elections.


PORTLAND'S POOP PATROL: Portland police have revealed that they are not allowed to stop people from defecating in the streets and sidewalks of Portland. The homeless problem in San Francisco has become so bad that residents are taking it upon themselves to erect what they call "anti-homeless architecture" by placing boulders on the sidewalks. Is this further evidence that the "law and order" Trump will win in 2020?

PROFITS DOUBLED: Chick-fil-a has more than doubled its profits since pro-gay groups have worked to shut down Chick-fil-a stores and march around them in protest. This could be more good news for the president as average voters may not know much about Syria or Yemen, but they know they like their chicken and who's trying to shut them out.

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