Blog Against Theocracy 2015

Jeebus weeps

I am reminded again that it is time to Blog Against Theocracy. This past week in Indiana and elsewhere in Jeebusland has shown us that the fight isn’t over, the theocrats are on the move (against all deep-fried odds), and their goal continues to be the destruction of democracy.

I’m not anti-religion, and neither is the Blog Against Theocracy. I’m pro-democracy. I don’t care if you believe in the Dead Guy, Scientology, Mormonism, or anything else; just don’t try to force me along for the ride.

i-cry-for-thee-constitution.jpgI believe strongly in the First Amendment. I don’t want to see anyone lose their rights, I want to see more rights; it is not as if there are a limit. The First Amendment with the much-loved separation of church and state protects the religious as much as it protects atheists, and we should all be grateful.

Get off the cross we need the wood

Jeebus in his younger, happier days.

Jeebus in his younger, happier days.

Y’all Qaeda has a secret weapon, Martyrdom, which tells them that they are somehow the picked upon minority, as they work tirelessly to deny everyone else their rights; you can fill in your own example here, women, LGBTQ, and people of color. We hear the cry from all the usual Xristian Xrazies that the people truly being discriminated against are the Xristians themselves.

garden-rakes

And so for a few days we saw The 2016 Goat Rodeo contenders embarrass themselves by coming to the aid of Mike Pence, a man who should have his head checked for termites, when he proudly signed Indiana’s We Don’t Serve Your Kind law under the guise of protecting religious freedom. No one bothered to ask protecting it from whom or what, but it hardly matters; it was pandering to the base and that’s all that counted.

No one asked Memories Pizzeria to cater a same-sex wedding, and yet somehow they made themselves into the victim (of their own construction). Ultimately this pizza joint became the beneficiary of nearly $1M—yes, with an M—raised by Wingnuts to defend them for preemptively declaring that they would not serve pizza at a same-sex wedding (that to this day no one has asked them to do). Not bad for not working for a few days.

We look forward to the first Jewish Deli refusing to sell bagels and lox to the goyim, for religious freedom.

The Right to Life Ends At Birth

baby cake

We saw again this week that the state of Texas (the laboratory of bad policy) is moving funds around to promote Abstinence Education. What was new was that the Texas Lege took money from HIV prevention to pump up Abstinence Education funding. Texas has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the country (so much for abstinence education), and a very high HIV infection rate, so this move is almost surely to increase both issues.

When Mike Pence did something similar in Indiana (defunded Planned Parenthood, but work with me), a sudden outbreak of HIV erupted. He is now funding as a trial a needle exchange in a particularly hard-hit county.

And once again we can look at personhood bills, 20-week abortion limits, and other ways that the theocrats want to force women who have unwanted/unplanned pregnancies to give birth. We’ve covered this topic so many times over all the years of Blogging Against Theocracy, it is hard to believe that we are still fighting the forced-birth battle.

womanscreaming.jpgThe War on Women is a real thing, it is a front in the larger war against democracy that the theocrats are waging.

Grifters Gotta Grift

Jeebus on a dinoAnd now we turn to Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis’ Elmer Gantry without the looks or charm.

What happened was almost comical in the extreme: AiG posted job openings on their website (since taken down) that had requirements of signing a religious belief statement that the world is 6,000 years old and other fealties to his ministries strange precepts, so from the get-go it would discriminate against hiring non-believers. It also said (essentially) that gay people need not apply. Kentucky saw it and said, whoa! That’s a church and we cannot give public money to you.

So Ham is currently suing the state of Kentucky because they have wisely realized that his embarrassing Ark Park is actually a Xristian Mission in disguise. He has already received close to $100M of public funds, set asides, roads, but he wants even more: $18M in tax rebates. Seems like he should be able to raise that money privately: See Memories Pizza.

Vigilance

So again, it is not anti-religious to Blog Against Theocracy, it is pro-democratic. I enourage you to return to your own blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitter stream and do the same.

We’ve seen various attempts to codify the theocrats beliefs. We’ve seen banned books, banned science classes, altered history courses; we’ve seen proposals to adopt the Bible as states’ book; we’ve even seen a kid who tried to have her state adopt a certain dinosaur fossil, only to see have proposal become an affirmation that The Flood was real. With the help of groups like Americans United For Separation of Church and State, and the ACLU, these theocratic efforts have been fought in court (and mostly won, hooray for the good guys!), but there always will be more trials to come and battles to fight. Our job is to carry on, not be discouraged, and to resist their attempts to subvert our democracy.

I know that there are some who say that the greatest existential threat America faces is ISIS/Al Qaeda, etc., but I would put our greatest threat with the theocrats we already have here, and many of them are running for public office. You see, that’s how we will lose the country: hucksters wrapped in a flag and carrying a Bible.

[Ed. Note: We’re keeping this on top today. Fresher posts are below.]

Employee Non-Discrimination Act Needs to include…

The Finger

…discrimination against political parties, too?

Viviana Janer is a Democratic nominee campaigning for a seat on the Osceola County Commission. She’s also newly jobless.

Her longtime employer, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, fired her after giving her an ultimatum: Quit the campaign or lose your job.

It seems that her Republican opponent was their preferred candidate, and amazingly they told her:

But the time-share company where she had worked for 11 years dismissed her Friday, saying her candidacy and possible service on the commission created a conflict of interest. Janer was given the choice of leaving the campaign or resigning. She declined to do either and was fired.

(Orlando Sentinel via Lester & Charlie Review)

How Much Is That Judge In The Window?

Remember when Howard Dean had his 50 State Strategy? Remember when the G.W. Bush administration was stacking courts with their brand of justices? What happens when you combine the two concepts for nefarious reasons matched with massive amounts of anonymous loot?

In Michigan, where three of seven seats on the State Supreme Court were up for election, records were set for both spending and lack of accountability…Of the $15 million or so spent for TV ads in Michigan, 75 percent cannot be attributed to identifiable donors, notes Rich Robinson

You can thank Judicial Crisis Network for leading this multi-state charge. So, you know, you got that going for you. No one has connected the dots yet why so much money was dumped into a Michigan Supreme Court race. So spin the wheel and guess which high profile case will be coming down the pipeline where someone wants their brand of judge on the bench! Don’t fret, this game will be coming to a state near you soon so you can play at home.

Romneggedon, Micro Political Satire Series, Episode #2

Meet Mish, Freedom Fighter for the Womb Warrior Resistance played by the insanely talented, Julie Goldman

If we don’t vote for Obama, Romney will wage vaginal warfare on women. Women will no longer be able to get safe and legal abortions. Women will not be allowed to use birth control. Women will not get adequate, quality healthcare.

The Sunday Talkies

More dissembling from our free an unfettered press, fellow citizens. I gave up annotating around Washington Watch with Roland Martin, so you are on your own. –Tengrain

  • Dancing with the Gregory: Sen. Marco Rubio (Liar-FL); Rep. Darrell Issa (Car Thief-CA); roundtable with Issa, former Gov. Bill Richardson (Space Tourism-NM), political gossip rag Jonathan Martin and NBC News’ Mrs. Allen Greenspan
  • This Week with a Greek Dwarf: Rep. Darrell Issa (Acquitted-Ca); roundtable with ABC News’ Living Museum of ’80s Power Bow Ties George Will, Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), National Journal’s Totem Pole with termites Major Garrett, Wall Street Journal columnist and notable barfly Peggy Noonan and loathsome former BP and RIAA Lobbyist Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen
  • View the Wreckage: Immigration and campaign roundtable with Secessionist Theocrat nitwit Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Democratic National Convention Chairman Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D-Los Angeles) and Romney campaign surrogate and paint drying aficionado former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN); Obama reelection campaign deputy campaign manager and scowling fiend Stephanie Cutter and Romney campaign senior adviser in existential denial Eric Anything for a Buck Fehrnstrom; political roundtable with smug villagers Dan Balz, Joe Klein, John Dickerson and Norah O’Donnell
  • Faux News Sunday: Rep. Darrell Issa (Never Convicted-CA) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD); reprehensible BP Capital Chairman and CEO and trojan horse expert T. Boone Pickens; roundtable with Fox News’ living dead Brit Hume, The Daily Beast and Hannity’s frequent guest host Kirsten Powers, former McCain-Palin campaign senior adviser and Chimpy’s first term Minister of Propaganda Nicolle Wallace and the New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny
  • State of the Union: Romney campaign senior adviser Ed “the color of money” Gillespie; former Bush administration Commerce Secretary Carlos Damned-to-Eternal-Hell Gutierrez and Chicago insider Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)
  • Fareed Zakaria GPS Live: (SUN 10am ET / 1pm ET): Mayor Michael Centrist BS Bloomberg (I-New York City); President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik; New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof
  • Reliable Sources: (SUN 11am ET): Political roundtable with The New Yorker’s Ryan “Leading from Behind” Lizza, GLenn Beck TV’s Amy Holmes and Washington Post columnist Dana “The Dick Whisperer” Milbank; media roundtable with The Huffington Post’s (unpaid?) teevee critic Maureen Ryan, the Baltimore Sun’s teevee critic David Zurawik and Xfinity’s movie critic Adam Buckman
  • On the Couch with Tweetie Show: Roundtable with author and the Washington Post’s David Maraniss (“Barack Obama: The Story”), NBC News’ Kelly Note-related-to-Lawrence O’Donnell, Newsweek refugee and the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman and the Christian Science Monitor’s Liz Marlantes
  • Al Punto: (SUN 10am ET): Sen. Marco Rubio (Liar-FL), NALEO executive director Arturo Vargas, Univision legal analyst Cristina Pereya
  • Up with Chris Hayes: (SUN 8-10am ET): Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy; roundtable with the New America Foundation Middle East Task Force Leila Hilal, former Condi Rice speechwriter Elise Jordan, Newsweek / The Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg and “The Majority Report” host and “Ring of Fire” co-host Sam Seder
  • Melissa Harris-Perry: Roundtable with American Progress LGBT Policy and Racial Justice advisor Aisha Moodie-Mills, NYU School of Law’s Kenji Yoshino, Yahoo News’ David Chalian, New York Women’s Foundation President and CEO Ana Oliveira and Politic365.com’s and MSNBC contributor Jeff Johnson
  • Inside Washington: Roundtable with Washington Post spring chicken columnist Colbert King, Nice Polite Republicans Nina Totebag, Notable flee-er Washington Post > Newsweek >Daily Beast > Politico’s Lois Romano and syndicated columnist and noted fascist Charles Krauthammer
  • To the Contrary: Big Dawg’s Former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland (and Lichtenstein) and former Gov. Madeleine Kunin (D-VT); roundtable with the Heritage Foundation’s self-hating woman Jennifer Marshall, the Heritage Foundation’s self-hating woman Christine Kim, conservative commentator and self-hating woman Darlene Kennedy, reprehensible BP and RIAA lobbyist Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen and Voto Latino’s Maria Teresa Kumar
  • Washington Watch with Roland Martin: President-elect of the Southern Baptist Convention Rev. Fred Luter, Jr.; actress and activist Jada Pickett Smith; actor and long in the tooth rapper Ice T; National Medical Association chairman Dr. Cedric Bright; journalist / commentator panel with State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-PA), author and Loop21.com’s Keli Goff (“The GQ Candidate”), the Washington Times’ Deborah Simmons and the Washington Post’s Michael Fletcher
  • Polioptics with Josh King: Brian Stelter, TV reporter for the New York Times, on reports of Ann Curry’s presumed departure from the TODAY Show as the days count down to the Olympic Games in London. Jamie Rubin, former State Department spokesman, walks listeners through today’s global hot spots and how the immediacy of Twitter makes talking for the country tougher than ever. And Jonthan Prince, Democratic strategist and former top aide to John Edwards, reflects on the trial of the former presidential candidate now that the Justice Department says it won’t retry the case against him. On SiriusXM’s P.O.T.U.S. Ch. 124, also available for download on iTunes and at http://www.polioptics.com

Some Analysis, Some Drama

One of our on-the-ground in Wisconsin operatives, Scissorhead Zombie Rotten McDonald says:

by the exit polls, somewhere around 60% of the voters in Wisconsin felt that the recall was inappropriate, and should be reserved, at the least, for criminal misbehavior. That’s pretty much the story; less than support for Turdwaffle, it was antipathy toward a recall.

Of course, there are a fair number of people who support Turdie’s efforts to kill the middle class, demonize public workers, and sell of the natural splendor of Wisconsin to pillagers and plunderers. Apparently, the solution to stagnant wages and non-existent economic demand is to slap around schoolteachers and take their lunch money, to give it to the insanely wealthy. Oh, and fracking, not to mention polluting groundwater, which is FREEDOM.

However, given the state of the John Doe investigation, there is a good possibility that the people who feel that recall should be limited to criminal acts will see Turdwaffle reach that threshold. Of course, before that, he will make his play to change Wisconsin electoral law to allow felons to serve as Governor.

ZRM raises an interesting point about the 60% — it is also the same number as those who intend to re-elect President Obama according to the exit polls. This election is a single data point from a single state at a single point in time. I would caution anyone from extrapolating a national trend.

Here in Cali, when we had our own successful recall against a sitting governor (Gray Davis, who was no crook, unless being boring and being easily snookered is a crime) and installed the movie-star buffoon Ahhhhhhnold, I remember my reaction was to vote against the recall, not to vote in favor of Davis. The recall was so manufactured (as was the Enron Crisis as was the car registration tax issue that was used to justify it) that at the end, when Darryl Issa (yes, THAT Darryl Issa) complained that because he actually paid for the recall, he should be governor.

Anyway, I think ZRM’s comment reeks of the truth.

Also/too: My snark against President Carebear still stands. His absolute tepid, single-tweet support of Mr. Barrett was too little and way too late to make any difference. Would it have made a difference if it was full-throated howl? Probably not, except to the bone-tired volunteers who are the ones that Obama really will need in the fall. Good luck with that. I don’t think I would volunteer to help again if I were them.

Obama’s weak tea tweet reminds me of the worst of the Bill Clinton political calculation of the 1990s and beyond. Dr. Dean’s 50-state strategy was so completely dismantled by the Obama team when they came into power that the 2010 and now this election show that the Dims are back to Rahm Emmanuel’s old stratagem of giving up on the small races and only funding the sure bets. It is a plan for failure as I think last night showed us again.

Lastly: Citizens United. I don’t think that there is any doubt that we need to have a Constitutional Amendment to decree that corporations are not people, and money is not free speech. I also think we should have unicorns, but I digress. There is no doubt in my mind that this debacle shows what the influence of corporate America feeling free to buy an election means. Before Citizens United, I advocated that we needed Media Reform before we needed Campaign Finance Reform (on the theory that if getting the message out was free, then the big buckets of money would not be needed), but this election changed my perspective when I could see clearly what happens when unfettered money can pour into a campaign. Welcome to Robber Barons II.

Write-in votes

It’s not surprising that the special election to replace populist perv Anthony Weiner ended up with Anthony Weiner winning the most write-in votes, but he was up against some stiff competition:

  • Disgraced former congressman of the district Anthony Weiner received 31 votes.
  • “Blank” received two votes.
  • Calvin Klein received one vote.
  • Diamond Joe Quimby, mayor of Springfield in The Simpsons, received one vote. One vote was also cast for “Mayor Quimby.”
  • John Doe got one vote.
  • One vote was cast for Lamb Chop.
  • Comedian Lewis Black received one vote.
  • Munchma Quchy of Colbert Report fame received one vote.
  • “No Gay Marriage,” “Neither Candidate,” and “None of the Listed,” and “Someone who will do something,” each received a single vote.
  • Presidential candidate Ron Paul, ever a fan favorite, got one vote, as did former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
  • And perhaps the most qualified candidate of all, Snoopy, also received one vote.

(Daily Caller)