3/15/17

Russell Moore and the 'Christian' Right

Why evangelical opposition to Russell Moore is deluded

"Anyone who thinks Russell Moore should lose his job is advancing a vile heresy and a dangerous idolatry — that Christian leaders should ardently praise the Republican Party’s chosen leader no matter how vile, obnoxious and un-Christian he is.

The problem for the anti-Moore set — and it is a small club of crusty old insiders — is not political, but religious. Moore’s critics are blind to the lessons of politics, but they are also failing a spiritual test.

What immoralities would they not abide for a chance to eat crumbs from the president’s table? What sins and crimes would they consider severe enough to split with a Republican politician over?

Churches that would withhold support for denominational agencies also undermine and besmirch the work of Southern Baptists in other areas: evangelism, theological education, disaster relief, etc."

One might successfully argue that Isaiah's opening rant (Isaiah 1:10-20) applies directly to the 'anti-Moore set,' and a goodly portion of the GOP as well. Come to think on it, Matthew 23 in its entirety is not at all out of place in a critique of Ol' Heel Spurs' "administration" (or whatever that three ring circus is), as well as 'the anti-Moore set' particularly and the Religious Right generally.

Rachel Maddow, laughingstock

Well, Rachel Maddow made an ass of herself, with her ... dare I say it ... 'Trumped up' extravaganza over the cherry-picked tax return.

All that, for two pages of one return, that was, as we are beginning to discern, leaked by TeamTrump™ itself.

A cherry-picked return, without any of the additional data, out of 25 years and more worth of returns. Leaked conveniently in the midst of the blood-letting over TrumpCare™, and PutinGate.

Pretty Slick (no reference to Bill intended or construable) if you ask me. A good bit of the news cycle went to this bit of fluff, diverting attention from the slime oozing out of the Oval Office over the connection between Franklin Graham's Great Defender of the Christian Faith and ol' Heel Spurs ... as well as drifting the focus away from the shit sandwich called TrumpCare™. It's worthy of comparison with any obfuscation perpetrated by the Clinton Crime Syndicate.

Rachel Maddow. A perfect illustration of everything that is wrong with the left. Now stick your other foot in, Rache.

3/14/17

Wall Street traders

This one's a hoot:

"Much of America is not going to weep for the types of people depicted in The Wolf of Wall Street, yet this new AI reality could be devastating in many ways. Imagine the impact on high-end real estate in New York. Think of the “For Sale” signs on summer beach homes in Southampton. How will luxury retailers survive the likely dip in sales of $2,000 suits and $5,900-per-pound white truffles? Maybe Donald Trump will be driven to demand that somebody bring back traders’ jobs, thinking they’ve moved to Mexico."

Artificial Intelligence transforms Wall Street

It wouldn't bother me if they all ended up in line for food stamps.

Remember how they screwed us all back in 2008/2009?


Preet Bharara

"Preet Bharara is known for his fierce pursuit of insider trading and corruption cases. Now, he's out."

Yeah ... I can see why Ol' Heel Spurs wouldn't want a guy like this in the Department of Justice.



Another 'ism'

"We are facing another 'ism,' just like we faced Nazism, and fascism, and imperialism and communism," Flynn said. "This is Islamism, it is a vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people on this planet and it has to be excised."

So then we find that Flynn contracted with the Erdoğan regime, probably as corrupt an Islamic regime as you will find anywhere, for more than half a million bucks.

That was our National Security Advisor, selected by Ol' Heel Spurs. Turns out the Trumpian regime knew about all this beforehand, but it made no difference.

A whore by any other name, is still a whore.

Meanwhile, not only do we have Russian tentacles wrapped around the US government at all levels, we now see that the white Christian evangelicals are in the sack with Putin and his gang of thugs. Franklin Graham has his nose so far up Putin's ass, it's a wonder Putin can fart, much less take a dump. Graham, the darling of the 'Christian' Right, thinks Putin is a stalwart defender of Christianity.

I'm not sure how that sits with this:

Russian/Syrian war crimes in bombing Aleppo

but I'm sure Graham can come up with some rationalization that the Trumpkins will suck up like so much Kool-Aid. Perhaps the old 'nits make lice' argument would work when it comes to bombing orphanages and killing children indiscriminately. After all, it was uttered by a good Methodist preacher; why not a repeat by a good Baptist preacher.

Unbelievable!

The Trumpoids claim that the CBO report is 'unbelievable.'
No ... what is 'unbelievable' is pretty much anything coming out of the mouths of Spicer, Conway, Price, and Ol' Heel Spurs himself.
They really do think that We the People are complete morons.

'Wiretapping' isn't really 'wiretapping'. And apparently, 'everybody' is not 'everybody.'




3/10/17

The Republicans in the Kremlin

Moscow cozies up to the Religious Right

Russia is equally keen on cultivating links to Republicans. Some of the officials who attended the dinner--including a deputy central banker and former Russian senator named Alexander Torshin, and his protégée, a young gun-rights activist named Maria Butina--have been part of a years-long campaign to build connections between Russia's leaders and American conservatives. The crusade, which predates the rise of Trump, has garnered scant attention but achieved significant success, sparking new alliances with leading U.S. evangelicals, lawmakers and powerful interest groups like the NRA.

and

Prominent social conservative leaders, like Franklin Graham, say they see Putin as a powerful partner in the quest to protect Christian religious minorities. In war zones like Syria, says Graham, Putin has been a stronger defender of Christians than U.S. leaders. "Islam teaches to kill Christians and Jews," claims Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Putin "sees himself in the Middle East as defending the Christian remnant that is left in Syria." 

Graham needs to get a grip. Putin is a 'champion of Christianity?'

Russian-Syrian war crimes

If Graham is representative of America's 'white Christian evangelicals,' I want no part of them.

The politics of health insurance



We Mapped the Uninsured. You'll Notice a Pattern.

There's a really good interactive map embedded in that link.

The remaining uninsured are primarily in the South and the Southwest. They tend to be poor. They tend to live in Republican-leaning states.


They tend to be poor.

The remaining uninsured tend to live in Republican-leaning states.

Or, mostly the Bible Belt.

What was that Sermon on the Mount thingie?

Let's hear some more, from those GOP pricks pimping TrumpCare, how this is a 'Christian nation.'

Or better yet, if Franklin Graham - one of God's consummate professionals -can pull himself away from staring soulfully into that Russian hottie's eyes, he can tell me how I really don't understand what Jesus was saying anyway.

You have to sitteth at the Right Hand so God can whisper the GOP platform into your ear, giving you the TrueScoop™ on the bible. Or do I have that relationship reversed ...

3/7/17

iPhones and TrumpCare

"Americans have choices, and they've got to make a choice. So rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care.

"They've got to make those decisions themselves," Chaffetz added.

I don't see anything wrong with that.

One of the counter-arguments to the so-called 'ObamaPhone' nonsense was that these days, you need a phone number for just about anything, including filing at Job Service. Wire phones, like pay phones, are rapidly becoming a thing of the past, and like it or not, cell phones are the main means of communication these days.

Sidenote: The 'ObamaPhone' thing, wherein the 'conservatives' were vaporlocking over welfare recipients being given free phones and free phone service, is another myth. And, one that doesn't take much effort to debunk. But why would you want to debunk it, when it just sounds so good, and it's something else to rant and rave about. BTW ... the 'Lifeline' program, which is what the 'ObamaPhone' thing really is ... was created by Ronald Reagan and the 99th Congress.

Chaffetz isn't proposing 'no phones' as a modern version of 'Let 'em eat cake.' He is simply stating that maybe that iPhone 7 isn't such a good idea for those people whose income isn't all that an a bag of chips. A more basic phone, for basic communication, is a more pragmatic solution.

Chaffetz and I are in agreeance, at least on this little bit. Why should I fund Joe Burgerflipper's iPhone 7 indirectly by paying for his insurance? Mr. Burgerflipper needs to resist his need for material gratification, and cancel his kids' phones and lower his sights a bit on his own phone.

Joe Burgerflipper needs to make that decision himself, not let the government do it for him. One or the other. Health insurance for himself, Mrs. Burgerflipper, and the Burgerflipper kids ... or nice new iPhones all around. His choice.

What a concept.

3/6/17

"I can deny it ..."

We had whole weekend pretty much ignoring the lunacy of Merkin politcs ... till we returned to find that we have Ol' Heel Spurs having a hissy fit, because the Sessions Affair has drawn attention away from His Most Wonderful Speech In The Entire History of Man.

He had an ass-ripping Session (no pun intended) in the Oval, where more expletives are deleted than in any meeting since Nixon discovered that presidents really aren't above the law, though it can be hard to nail 'em down at times.

So Ol' Heel Spurs needed a distraction. Nixon ... Nixon ... hmmm ... Aha! The lightbulb came on, though dimly. Down at Mar-A-Lago, at six-ish AM, while no doubt sitting on his gold-plated-and-ivory shitter, with his dirty Hanes draped around his ankles, he let loose a flurry of twits. Tweets. Whatever. Obama (which is Satan spelled backwards; ask any Trumpkin, it's in the bible somewhere) WIRETAPPED TRUMP TOWER! Of course he did. It's as plain as the nose on your face.

John Comey has asked the Department of Justice to refute Ol' Heel Spurs' claim; no response yet from DoJ. Speaking of the FBI, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has explicitly denied that the FBI tapped Trump's phones via FISA; "I can deny it," he said to the talking head on 'Meet the News.'

Meanwhile, the Trumpkins are on a roll, what with CNN getting fined 30 million bux (not true of course but never let truth get in the way of a good Trumpkin roll) and ... Milo, the Perve-in-Chief, has determined that Snopes is full of lefties and is publishing fake news about fake news and the Trumpkins are eating it up. Never mind that Milo is so toxic not even the CPAC crazies would touch him.

And yet ... the Trumpkins insist that Ol' Heel Spurs is doing exactly what he said he would do. They keep saying that, but when I ask 'em, what exactly is that, other than sitting on his gold-plated ivory shitter in the wee hours of the morning, sharing his narcissistic nightmares with the world in the form of informal presidential policy, I don't get anything resembling a coherent answer.

And the band plays on ...

3/1/17

Ol' Heel Spurs' speech



Three failures of Trump's speech

Good assessment of The Speech. As noted elseplace, it was well-written, and delivered in good fashion. At least he didn't 'show up in a clown suit' and rattle and prattle about the size of his inauguration crowds. Or bitch about the press being mean to him.

OTOH, as noted in the article, it was pretty much empty fluff, long on rhetoric, containing a bit of tear jerker faux 'patriotism' - at least he didn't tell the widow it was all the generals' fault - long on rhetoric, devoid of substance.

There’s much more to the story of the fallen Navy SEAL Trump praised in his speech to Congress

Most presidents take responsibility for failed raids. Trump blamed the military.

"Still, Trump’s blunt refusal to accept personal responsibility for the Yemen raid burns because it marks such an incredible betrayal of his office and the awesome responsibility that our president must shoulder, especially in the national security sphere. A president who passes the buck is not one we can trust to lead our military or keep us safe."

Conway on the couch

The rightwing crazies went alpha sierra when Obama didn't wear a tie and put his feet up; the leftwing crazies are going alpha sierra over this Conway on the Couch nonsense. Good to see that both sides of the aisle are coming to grips with the vital issues of the day.

Kellyanne Conway on the couch

The 1500 pedophiles

The Trumpkins are making much of The 1500 Pedophiles, claiming that 'Trump has arrested 1500 ... etc etc etc.' since he took office.

That, like so much else, is sheer nonsense.

Here's the real story.

FBI hacked the Dark Web to bust 1,500 pedophiles

The FBI's 'Unprecedented' Hacking Campaign Targeted Over a Thousand Computers

The Feds seized the servers back in February of 2015. During Obama's regime. They gathered the data during 2015. During Obama's regime. The op was planned during 2015. During Obama's regime.

If Trump is so willing to blame Obama for the Yemen fiasco - because the planning, if not the execution, took place during the Obama regime ... then logically it would follow that the Bust of the 1500 would also be Obama's 'fault.'

Nope. The first is the fault of Obama and the generals; the second is nothing but Trumpian glory. Not gold-plated glory, though. Brass-plated, and so thin it's already wearing off.

2/27/17

"Nobody knew ..."

Trump: 'Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated'

“I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” Trump said. “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.”

How can one man be so unbelievably, complexly ignorant?

Where has he been the last six years?

Where was he between the time The Big O was elected, and the Dems shoved ACA down our throats - "... we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it ..."?

Tomorrow evening Ol' Heel Spurs gives his first prime time address to the nation. Hopefully he will be on his meds, otherwise, he's liable to make his lunatic presser back on the 16th look mild in comparison.

"Don't hide behind my son's death"


“Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into his administration? Why? For two years prior, there were no boots on the ground in Yemen — everything was missiles and drones — because there was not a target worth one American life. Now, all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?’’
Remember when Spicer, Ol' Heel Spurs' babbling mouthpiece, claimed the mission was less than a success? Till John McCain said it was not? Then, Spicer and Ol' Heel Spurs displayed some of that Trumpian Outrage!™ and dragged Ryan Owens' name into the politics of it all? Anyone who questioned the mission was 'dishonoring' Ryan Owens' memory.
Ryan Owens' dad:
“Don’t hide behind my son’s death to prevent an investigation,” said the elder Owens, pointing to Trump’s sharp words directed at the mission’s critics, including Sen. John McCain.
“I want an investigation. … The government owes my son an investigation,” he said.
I guess Mr. Owens, a vet himself, didn't get the memo.
Remember all the Trumpkin Outrage!™ over Benghazi? But that was different. That was Hillary, despite what ... seven separate investigations saying otherwise?
And that *was* different. This is Trump. Trump gets a bye on this sort of thing. Because ... well ... this sort of thing gives all the Trumpkins the opportunity to beat the drum and wave the flag.
Can't question that.
Can't question Trump.
I'm waiting for Trump to blast Mr. Owens on Twitter.

2/26/17

"...we can make them disappear ..."

Why do people not trust ICE and DHS regarding immigration?
Here's one example:
"If you don't have enough evidence to charge someone criminally but you think he's illegal, we can make him disappear."
- James Pendergraph, Former Executive director of the ICE Office of State and Local Coordination, August 21, 2008, speaking at the Police Foundation's national conference on immigration issues.
"Make him disappear?"
Really?
OK, that was back in 2008. Given the levels of rhetoric we are seeing out of Ol' Heel Spurs and his Trumpkins, does anyone think that has changed?
The government of the United States can make people disappear?
No shit?
The GOP is always going on about 'American values.' I'm wondering how 'disappearing' people fits with that. It sounds more like something out of Pinochet's government. Which, come to think on it, was backed by the United States ... by our good ol' pals, Nixon and Kissinger. Well ... given the levels of rhetoric, it really doesn't seem all that far-fetched.
God bless America.

More bright shining lies ...

Here's an outstanding article from The Atlantic that describes precisely why the Trumpian attempts at manipulating intelligence - from the CIA, DIA, FBI, and other such sources, not Ol' Heel Spurs' own rather dubious smarts - are extremely dangerous.

The high cost of politicizing intelligence

The article dovetails very nicely with works that examine in varying detail how well that worked for other administrations. McMaster's "Dereliction of Duty" (outstanding read, BTW, readily available from Amazon); Ricks' "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005;" Sheehan's "A Bright Shining Lie;" Halberstam's "The Best and the Brightest;" Shawcross' "Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon,and the Destruction of Cambodia;" Prochanu's "Once Upon a Distant War"... a series of testimonials to the death and misery caused by presidents and their sycophants when they politicize the intelligence agencies.

But what the hey ... it keeps the national cemeteries filled up, and gives the flag-wavin' super-patriots something to do on Veterans' Day. And it creates jobs! All those illegal workers, pumping out Gold Stars for windows across America ...

Another murder in Connecticut

Here's another illegal who committed murder in Connecticut. But Ol' Heel Spurs and Spicer don't want to point fingers at Malloy on that one because ...

Chadwick’s mother, Wendy Hartling, says she is working on introducing new laws in Connecticut to help change deportation policies and believes that had the ICE and The Department of Homeland Security done their jobs, her daughter might still be here.

An illegal immigrant who stabbed a young Connecticut woman to death after completing a 15-year sentence for murder couldn’t be deported by the U.S. government because his homeland, which receives billions in aid from Uncle Sam, wouldn’t take him back—three times! So federal authorities released the violent criminal, a Haitian national, and didn’t even bother tracking his whereabouts allowing him to commit yet another heinous crime."

[Casey] murdered Chadwick just five months after he was released from prison after serving 17 years for attempted murder in a separate case. Failed attempts to deport Jacques back to Haiti led ICE officials to set him free in early 2015.

Probably Obama's fault on that one, too. Why wouldn't Haiti take that guy back? Because ... he had no documentation to prove he was Haitian.

So once again, we ask the question ... if the illegal to be deported has no documentation to prove from whence she came, and the alleged nation of origin won't accept her without such documention - and who can blame them - what exactly is Ol' Heel Spurs going to do with these hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of illegals he wants to dispose of?

Do we need the equivalent of the Wannsee Protocol to make the Trumpkins happy?

Governor Malloy and Ol' Heel Spurs

Ol' Heel Spurs, Spicer, and the Trumpkins are going nuts over Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy's memo to Connecticut law enforcement and other state and local entities.
Malloy: “Law enforcement should not take action that is solely to enforce federal immigration law,” read Malloy’s memo to police chiefs. “The federal government cannot mandate states to investigate and enforce actions that have no nexus to the enforcement of Connecticut law or local ordinances.”
Malloy is addressing actions that 'solely' enforce immigration law. Not violations of state law. And, his memo is non-binding; he cannot force compliance from state and local authorities on this.
State and local law enforcement has limited resources. Rounding up a collection of illegals, undocumented workers, mojados, whatever you want to call them, who have otherwise not violated any state or local laws, drains those limited resources. If Ol' Heel Spurs and his Trumpkins want state and local law enforcement to start doing that, they better start diggin' deep for the detention facilities and the budgeting to run them, and the hiring of all the new staff to enforce federal immigration. It ain't happenin' on Ol' Heel Spurs' good looks.
The Trumpkins are making much of a vicious murder a couple of days back, up in Connecticut, by an illegal. Apparently, it's all Malloy's fault. Yet, Malloy has never even remotely advocated letting people like Oscar Hernandez, run around loose. Here's some background on Hernadez:
"Just over five years earlier, in December 2011, Hernandez was convicted in state Superior Court in Stamford of third-degree assault, second-degree threatening and reckless endangerment for a domestic violence incident against his girlfriend at the time, according to court records.
He walked out of the courtroom with a conditional discharge, a court order to stay away from the victim and court notice that he was going to be deported.
“Oscar Obedio Hernandez, a citizen of El Salvador, was issued a final order of removal by an immigration judge on Oct. 29, 2013. He was removed from the United States by ICE officers in Hartford, Connecticut on Nov. 27, 2013,” said Shawn Neudauer, spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement."
2013. Ah. It must be Obama's fault. If we had that wall, Hernandez would never have gotten back into the country. Probably wouldn't have gotten here in the first place.
Here's a better one, another illegal who committed murder in Connecticut:
"An illegal immigrant who stabbed a young Connecticut woman to death after completing a 15-year sentence for murder couldn’t be deported by the U.S. government because his homeland, which receives billions in aid from Uncle Sam, wouldn’t take him back—three times! So federal authorities released the violent criminal, a Haitian national, and didn’t even bother tracking his whereabouts allowing him to commit yet another heinous crime."
He murdered Chadwick just five months after he was released from prison after serving 17 years for attempted murder in a separate case. Failed attempts to deport Jacques back to Haiti led ICE officials to set him free in early 2015.
Probably Obama's fault on that one, too. Why wouldn't Haiti take that guy back? Because ... he had no documentation to prove he was Haitian. But Ol' Heel Spurs and Spicer don't want to point fingers at Malloy on that one because ...
Chadwick’s mother, Wendy Hartling, says she is working on introducing new laws in Connecticut to help change deportation policies and believes that had the ICE and The Department of Homeland Security done their jobs, her daughter might still be here.
How many illegals walk around with passports or anything else that proves their original citizenship? If Ol' Heel Spurs' ICE is going to use that lacking to justify letting 'em loose ... what's the point of all these roundups? Where are they going to stash 'em? Deportation 'centers?' Vast camps in the desert to hold these people?

Respecting the taxpayer

Spicer: “The president has been very clear on this, that if you are a sanctuary city, declared or undeclared, if you are providing benefits or services, we are gonna do everything we can to respect taxpayers and insure that your states follow the law.”
"Respect the taxpayers?"
From The Atlantic Monthly: "But there are still about 340 million unclaimed tax forms recorded in the file, compared to 270 million nearly a decade ago. A good portion of those forms were filed by employers on behalf of some of the most unlikely funders of Social Security: undocumented immigrants. In fact, illegal immigration is considered largely responsible for the mushrooming of the file, with undocumented workers paying billions in taxes for retirement benefits they will likely never receive."
It gets better. Remember all that whining, complaining, bitching, from the Trumpkins about how they are getting screwed out of Social Security bennies? How they will never get back from Social Security what they paid into it? Well ... it turns out the Trumpkins - and others, but especially the Trumpkins, since they are the ones doing the most virulent and mindless pissing and moaning about it - it turns out the Trumpkins are reaping the benefits of all those payments by illegals. Continuing from The Atlantic:
"Many immigrants who aren’t authorized to work in the United States buy fake Social Security cards and present them to their employers, who either don’t know they are fake or don’t look too closely. When the employer submits a W-2 form and a tax payment on those workers’ behalf to the Social Security Administration, the federal government holds onto those payroll taxes, even if the Social Security number isn’t linked to anyone on file. And then, a large chunk of that money ends up in the Social Security trust funds, from which retirement benefits are doled out to aging Americans.
The Social Security system has grown increasingly reliant on this stream of revenue, particularly as aging Baby Boomers start to retire."
I'd love for Ol' Heel Spurs and Spicer to explain to me how that is 'respecting' the taxpayers. Or do the Trumpkins just see that siphoning off of benefits from the illegals as their rightful due?