Russian Agent charged over her role within NRA, Trump election campaign


Maria Butina is a Life Member of the NRA

❝ U.S. authorities accused a Russian national of trying to establish a back channel to American politicians during the last election cycle, announcing the charges just hours after President Donald Trump accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assurance his country hadn’t interfered.

The woman, Mariia Butina, tried to create a quiet line of communication between U.S. and Russian officials and attempted to infiltrate the National Rifle Association on behalf of the Russian government in a long-running scheme that traces its origins to at least 2013, prosecutors said. Butina, who appeared in federal court in Washington on Monday, is accused of failing to register as a foreign agent

❝ …The Justice Department’s national security unit brought the charges against Butina and is handling the continuing investigation stemming from the computer intrusions.

Golly gee. Anyone warn the Fake President about this. I’d suggest he’ll need time to come up with new lies; but – in practice – he seems content repeating the same simple-minded crap that satisfies his “base”.

CitiBank Regulates Gun Sales While Congress Remains Mired In Political Idiocy


Corporate dedication to profits from violence

❝ Citigroup Inc. plans to prohibit retailers that are customers of the bank from offering bump stocks or selling guns to people who haven’t passed a background check or are younger than 21.

The bank is imposing the restrictions on companies that use it to issue store credit-cards or for lending and other services, according to a memo Thursday. The lender also barred the sale of high-capacity magazines.

❝ “The policy was designed to respect the rights of responsible gun owners while helping to keep firearms out of the wrong hands,” Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Mike Corbat said in the memo to staff. “It is clear to me that most people believe there are areas of agreement and practical changes we can make to find common ground.”

The overwhelming majority of Americans clearly agree with policies like these. Congress – tied in knots of ignorance, arrogance and the almighty dollar$ forked over by corporate profiteers – remains a useless political gang of greedy unprincipled hacks.

Why Black Worshipers Are Leaving White Evangelical Churches

❝ In the last couple of decades, there had been signs, however modest, that eleven o’clock on Sunday morning might cease to be the most segregated hour in America. “Racial reconciliation” was the talk of conferences and the subject of formal resolutions. Large Christian ministries were dedicated to the aim of integration, and many black Christians decided to join white-majority congregations. Some went as missionaries, called by God to integrate. Others were simply drawn to a different worship style — short, conveniently timed services that emphasized a personal connection to God…

Black congregants — as recounted by people in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Fort Worth and elsewhere — had already grown uneasy in recent years as they watched their white pastors fail to address police shootings of African-Americans. They heard prayers for Paris, for Brussels, for law enforcement; they heard that one should keep one’s eyes on the kingdom, that the church was colorblind, and that talk of racial injustice was divisive, not a matter of the gospel. There was still some hope that this stemmed from an obliviousness rather than some deeper disconnect.

Then white evangelicals voted for Mr. Trump by a larger margin than they had voted for any presidential candidate. They cheered the outcome, reassuring uneasy fellow worshipers with talk of abortion and religious liberty, about how politics is the art of compromise rather than the ideal. Christians of color, even those who shared these policy preferences, looked at Mr. Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants, his open hostility to N.F.L. players protesting police brutality and his earlier “birther” crusade against President Obama, claiming falsely he was not a United States citizen. In this political deal, many concluded, they were the compromised.

What’s important to many white evangelicals obviously ain’t the words they declare to be holy writ. Politics of religion can be just as opportunist as any other.