Late Night Hypocrites Open Thread: It’s Not Lying If You Really (Pretend to) Believe It!

Speaking of National Prayer Day…

Hypocrite-in-Chief stands forth for his guy:

And, of course, this is just fine with the Media Village Idiots…

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Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Happy “Loyalty Day”

Of course Trump didn’t invent it — he couldn’t invent a fart after a baked-bean supper, which explains why so much toxic gas spews from the other end of his digestive tract. Per the Washington Post:

First observed in 1921, it was then called Americanization Day to counter International Workers Day, promoted by socialists and Communists to honor workers on May 1. In 1955, Congress recognized it as a special day, as did President Eisenhower, and three years later legislators passed a law making it an annual holiday. Since then, every president has issued a proclamation to mark the day — every single year…

So, it’s a shifty rebrand of a well-meaning socialist rebrand of a longstanding celebration of winter’s end, the triumph of hope and fertility…


Much better reading for a May Day morning:

Sunday Hypocrites Open Thread: Paul Ryan Stands Up for His REAL Faith

“The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”

The Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver’s campaign website might claim he’s a Catholic, but Ryan’s abiding faith leader is Ayn Rand. So, on his way out the door, he gathered up his meager moiety of courage and… fired the Congressional Chaplin, a Catholic priest, for committing Wrongthought.

Dana Milbank, in the Washington Post, “The poor don’t have a prayer in today’s Washington”:

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) did not give a reason when his chief of staff this month told the Rev. Patrick Conroy, a Jesuit priest and House chaplain, to resign or face dismissal.

But we know this much: Ryan’s office complained to Conroy about a prayer he offered on the House floor during the tax overhaul debate that those who “continue to struggle” in the United States would not be made “losers under new tax laws.” Ryan admonished the priest after the Nov. 6 prayer, saying, “Padre, you just got to stay out of politics,” Conroy told the New York Times.

He was warned. He was given an explanation. Nevertheless, he persisted.

Over the five months since Ryan’s warning, Conroy dared to continue to preach the teachings of Jesus on the House floor…

After an immigration deal collapsed, he urged “those who possess power here in Washington be mindful of those whom they represent who possess little or no power.”

He prayed for lawmakers to be “free of all prejudice” and, after the Parkland, Fla., school shooting, to “fulfill the hopes of those who long for peace and security for their children.” 

But such “political” sentiments are apparently no longer compatible with service as House chaplain. “As you have requested, I hereby offer my resignation,” Conroy, named chaplain seven years ago by then-Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), wrote to Ryan on April 16. The ouster became public Thursday.
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Creepy Evangelicals Open Thread: “Why Not Mike Pence?”

Sure, Mike’s a moron, and a very public enabler for one of the grossest public figures of our time, but Ross “Chunky BoBo” Doubthat has a dream!

In the 2016 election, once Marco Rubio was defeated and Ted Cruz dispatched, religious conservatives faced a binary choice: Vote Trump or get Hillary. One does not have to agree with the ultimate decision that most of them made to understand the logic that motivated a decision for Trump.

But the politics of the coming year, once the Mueller investigation ceases to be a black box and delivers whatever it’s going to deliver (you’ll get no predictions from me!), might offer a very different choice. If Trump were impeached and removed from the White House, the presidency would devolve to precisely the kind of man whom much of pre-Trump religious conservatism insisted that it wanted in the Oval Office: an evangelical Christian family man with a bluenose’s temperament and a boring Reaganite checklist of beliefs.

Which means that if, in what is no longer an absurd hypothetical, the president were to face real legal-political jeopardy over the Stormy Daniels business, the evangelical leaders currently fretting about Trump’s political position would face a case where doing the consistent thing — namely, returning to their Bill Clinton-era position that character counts in presidents and using illegal means to conceal gross infidelities are impeachable offenses — would actually deliver something closer to what they claimed to want, not so very long ago: not a liberal in the White House, but President Mike Pence…

A Republican Party that ran in 2020 with a boring Midwestern guy (albeit, yes, one sure to be trailed by protesters in Handmaid outfits) as the steward of prosperity would not necessarily be worse off than a party lashed to its current leader; if Gerald Ford could almost win in Nixon’s shadow, why not Pence in Trump’s? And a religious conservatism that sacrificed a lot of cultural credibility in defending Trump might regain a little by abandoning him, vindicating itself against what seem now like reasonable charges of “character for thee but not for me” hypocrisy…

I know the Repub, er “Evangelical” plan was to use Mike Pence as a catspaw cutout if/when Donny Dollhands got carted off by law enforcement, but the stench around His Vermillion Vulgarity is so intense it might even set Pence beyond the Pale. Ever-sensitive political weathervane Charlie ‘Chickenshit’ Baker, Republican governor of deep-blue Massachusetts, just made a rather public point of *not* showing up to greet Pence last night. Per the local right-wing tabloid, the Boston Herald:

The Herald reported yesterday that Baker was snubbing the vice president, who was in Boston last night to meet with local Republicans at a fundraiser for Trump Victory, a joint venture of the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign. ­Baker told reporters yesterday that he “reached out” to Pence’s office to inform the vice president’s aides that he would not be attending and that they understood his reasons.

The fundraiser at the Langham Hotel, which was expected to raise about $500,000, was closed to the press.

When first asked Monday about Pence’s visit, Baker said he had not been aware of the event ahead of time and had already committed to an appearance in southeastern Massachusetts…

Baker’s actual wording, as reported before the event:

Baker told reporters that he’s missing the Pence event “because my calendar has other stuff on it” and insisted he wasn’t trying to send a message to the Trump administration…

Yes, as a matter of fact, Baker is running for re-election this fall (don’t look at me, Massholes have a weird affectation concerning ‘moderate’ Repub governors, mostly since the office isn’t much more powerful in Massachusetts than it is in Texas). But if even Chickenshit Charlie can’t show Mike Dense a little public love, I don’t think Ross and his fellow sweaty ‘religious’ fellows are gonna have much luck pushing their Republic of Gilead dreams.

Open Thread: Happy Easter / April Fools Day, 2018!


On the other hand, this is what Christian Easter is supposed to convey…

I Don’t Care If It Rains or Freezes

Who is your favorite Jesus? No, I don’t mean who is your favorite Bible Jesus. That’s obvious. It’s Jesus busting heads at the temple, doing what any good action hero does when he discovers a den of thieves in his father’s house. Then later he says, “Ah’ll be back.”

I mean, who is your favorite film Jesus? Mine is Willem Dafoe. You gotta like a Jesus with a flat Midwestern accent, the kind of Jesus who, if you got turned around in Beloit, can get you back on 90/94 and on your way to see the Tommy Bartlett Water Show.

Gahd loves me. I know he does. I wahnt him to stahp.

I really liked The Last Temptation of Christ (follow me now). It’s right up there with Jim Crace’s book Quarantine and Monty Python’s Life of Brian in its depiction of the powerful alienness of Roman-occupied Judea. If their literature and customs are anything to go by, that world and those people were very different from us. The idea that whole continents would become so preoccupied with the mutterings and incantations of this little tribe of desert people that it would form the bedrock of societies sounds like science fiction. Trying to get into their heads of the ancients, even if you’re not related to them, is a fun exercise.

Despite the fact that it is a very eighties-sounding album, full of whooshy synthesizers, I liked the soundtrack to the film by Peter Gabriel, Passion (getting closer). And even more still than the soundtrack (almost there), I loved the music that was the inspiration for the soundtrack, which is collected in an album called Passion – Sources (arrival!). It was a daily listen for me when it came out in 1989 and it still holds up. World music was, I recall, at its zenith in popularity at the time and seemed to come in two flavors: soporific wind-chime music to calm jangled hippie nerves or traditional songs that actually rocked. The Passion – Sources collection is all rockers. The music sounds untamed and a little dangerous. The YouTube collection below omits a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan song. Be sure to listen to that one too if you are inclined. It’s a jam.

Now that the sermon is over, it’s time to pass the plate. Here fund that’s split between all eventual Democratic nominees in House districts currently held by Republicans.

Goal Thermometer

“Holy Saturday” Open Thread: Conservatives Don’t Really Care for Easter


All vernal equinox festivals tend to celebrate the new, the young, and the throwing off of outworn properties to make way for fresh growth — things bound to raise hives on conservative hides at the best of times. But to those rightwingers raised in the Christian tradition, where Easter is (believe it or not!) the most sacred Holy Day, it’s gotta be especially irksome. Scripture preaches that the literal embodiment of the One True Father God allowed himself to be captured, manhandled, and murdered by the government. Bad enough that the totally-within-their-rights civil authorities and their licensed security thugs should be cast as being on the wrong side… however can they reconcile this “Prince of Peace” pussified Jesus with the Flaming Sword Wrongness Punisher of their hearts’ desire?

(Of course, my own understanding here was strongly influenced by parochial school nuns who put a lot of stress on the deliberate pacifism of Easter Week, for reasons. In 1968/72, explaining to a bunch of sullen teenagers who considered their NORAID donor buttons the height of political correctness that St. Peter deserved to be rebuked for whipping out his sword at Gethsemane can’t have been easy.)

Modern pop culture isn’t easy for our ‘conservative’ opposites to enjoy, either — every time they think they’ve found a good violent shoot-em-up to applaud, mouthy Lie-brals start pointing out how ‘oppressed young special-needs minority types’ are shown more sympathetically than ‘the duly appointed legal authorities’. But ya gotta give them points for trying!