Open Thread: Mike Pence, STILL Just As Deplorable

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(Jack Ohman via GoComics.com)
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Remember, there’s a theory that Mike Pence accepted Trump’s undercard offer because it seemed like a shortcut to the Oval Office. Even if Trump didn’t suffer some kind of medical incident within six months of taking office, he’d surely be bored enough to let Pence act as a godbothering version of Dick Cheney, right? Some evangelicals even professed to believe that God, or someone in a long relationship with Him, planned to call Donald home once the White House was in the bag. (And it’s not as though Indiana voters wanted to keep Pence in the governor’s seat.) Now we all can hope that Mike Pence will be as thoroughly destroyed by the Trump Reverse-Midas Touch as, say, Billy Bush…



Open Thread: Righteous Anger


(Srsly)

“Issues like my ability to milk the angry rubes who can’t understand why beating up women / people of color / gays / their kids is no longer considered acceptable. C.R.E.A.M. for Jeebus!

Note from a hardcore religious-not-evangelical conservative Republican…


Or at least had the good sense to preserve the hypocrisy of ‘plausible deniability’.



Shut Up, Pence; Babies Are NOT Commodities

Not even the healthy pale-skinned newborns you imagine would be “welcomed” by “so many families”. Nor are women’s bodies civic resources, like coal mines or arable lands, where the state can rule on best use for the community.

Good for Tim Kaine for resisting Pence’s bland, anodyne, evil statement. Per Real Clear Politics:

TIM KAINE: Elaine, this is a fundamental question. Hillary and I are both from religious backgrounds. Her Methodist church experience was very informative for her as a public servant. But we both feel you should live fully and with enthusiasm for your faith. But, let’s talk about abortion and choice. We support Roe v. Wade. We support the constitutional right of American women to consult their own conscience and make their own decision about pregnancy. That is something we trust American women to do. And we don’t think that women should be punished, as Donald Trump [said], for making the decision to have an abortion. Governor Pence wants to repeal Roe v. Wade. He says he wants to put it on the trash heap of history. Before Roe v. Wade, states could punish women if they made the choice to abort a pregnancy.

I think you should live your moral values, but the last thing governments should do is to have laws that would punish women who make reproductive choices. That is the fundamental difference between the Clinton-Kaine ticket and the Trump-Pence ticket.

PENCE: It is really not. Donald Trump and I would never support legislation that would punish women who made the heartbreaking choice.

KAINE: Then, why did he say that?

PENCE: Look, he is not a polished politician like you and Hillary Clinton…



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Speaking Up for Truth

Per the Washington Post:

Donald Trump was cut off, chastised and then heckled after he attacked rival Hillary Clinton during what was supposed to be a speech on helping where the government had failed the people of Flint, Michigan.

“Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done in Flint, not give a political speech,” said the Rev. Faith Green Timmons, the pastor of the Bethel United Methodist Church.

The Republican nominee quickly stopped, then said “Ok, that’s good, Then I’m going to go back to Flint” and its water crisis that had sickened its citizens.

But the interruption seemed to embolden those in the sparse crowd. One woman shouted that Trump had used discriminatory housing practices in his buildings, causing the celebrity businessman to respond, “Never, you’re wrong. Never would.”

Trump abruptly ended his speech, which had lasted six minutes. More heckling followed him out…

Trump visited the traditionally African American church in the impoverished city to pay tribute to the city’s resiliency. But then, he attacked Clinton, saying “everything she touched didn’t work out.” Timmons then stepped up and interrupted him…

***********

Apart from calling out the liars, what’s on the agenda for the day?



Sad Dregs Open Thread: The GOP ‘Values Voters’ Meet the Alt-Right

Happenings that got overlooked when more important news broke over the weekend… Even four years ago, the Talibangelical “Values Voters” could credibly assure each other they were on the cusp of another Great Awakening. But this year, there’s a cuckoo in the conservative nest. Ed Kilgore, at NYMag:

The relationship between the Republican Party and its most important constituency group, the Christian Right, has often been compared to a marriage of convenience that does not involve a lot of mutual respect or trust.

As a couple of thousand Christian Right activists gathered in Washington for the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit this weekend, it was more obvious than ever that the GOP is straining the loyalties of the faithful. The star attraction, Donald Trump, was, after all, the fifth-place finisher in the presidential straw poll at last September’s VVS.

But like a long-suffering spouse, the Christian Right is sticking with Donald Trump as we head toward Election Day because he is convincingly the enemy of its enemies and is willing to make a few key gestures in the direction of the righteous, albeit in a clumsy and offhand way.

None of the Christian conservative leaders who have made opposition to Trump (e.g., Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention) a matter of conscience were allowed near the podium of the VVS. Still, much anxious rhetoric was aimed at those who are thinking about voting third or fifth party or staying home. Former representative Michele Bachmann characteristically used the most extreme words possible to condemn that temptation, comparing the election to the choice God gave the Hebrews in presenting his covenant with them: “I have set before you life and death. Which will you choose?”…

Nor could The Great Orange Fraud deliver a credible performance of giving a good God-damn, per troublemaking Mormon Buzzfeed reporter McKay Coppins:

Donald Trump dutifully trundled onto the stage at Washington’s Omni Shoreham hotel Friday afternoon to attend to one of his dreariest campaign-trail chores: courting conservative Christians.

“There are no more decent voters or selfless people than our Christian brothers and sisters here in the United States,” Trump read aloud to the audience gathered for the 2016 Values Voter Summit. “I’ve witnessed that incredible generosity all across this land.”

Trump continued like this for the first few minutes of his speech — plodding through prepared remarks as they crawled across a teleprompter screen — but he seemed quickly to grow bored. Before long, he was wandering off-script for several minutes at a time, as though in search for something more fun to talk about.

At one point, after indulging in a lengthy tangent about his recent meeting with a cohort of admiring clergy (“It was a love fest!”), Trump suggested the country was becoming less religious because faith leaders were no longer allowed to endorse political candidates from the pulpit (lest their churches lose tax-exempt status). The candidate’s pledge to change this law and un-muzzle America’s pastors has been a key element of his pitch to social conservatives, one of the few concrete offerings he’s made to them. But even here, he struggled to focus…

Mr. Charles P. Pierce, at Esquire, on the people who chose to be there:

Here’s the roster of speakers at the VVS. You will see people who ran for president. You will see the chairman of the Republican National Committee. You will see some of your favorite star pundits, many of whom are welcome to appear on cable news programs for the purposes of “balance.” You will see many of you favorite star nutballs. And you will see the Republican nominee for President of the United States, who went before this designated hate group and pretended he’s read a Bible any time in his life.
Read more



What Has Been Will Be Again, What Has Been Done Will Be Done Again

Or to finish the quote from Kohelet/Ecclesiastes: “There is nothing new under the sun…”

In the 19th Century the US was gripped with one of it cyclical bouts of nativism, anti-immigrant xenophobia, and anti-minority religious extremism. Just as a frenzy was whipped up about the Ground Zero Mosque, which was actually a Muslim Community Center with a prayer chapel (akin to a Jewish Community Center), and around the building of mosques or the setting aside of land for Muslim cemeteries post 9-11, so too was a frenzy whipped up in the 19th Century around the building of Catholic churches. And just as we are currently seeing a frenzied anti-immigrant xenophobia around Latino and Hispanic immigrants – and lets be honest, its ultimately not going to matter if they’re legal or undocumented, so too did we see a 19th Century analog against Irish and Chinese immigrants, as well as others depending on the part of the US. As we are currently seeing a hard hearted focus to deny sanctuary to refugees fleeing war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria – including those who served as translators/interpreters for US and Coalition Forces and we owe a debt to provide them safe haven, so too did we see a similar hard hearted response to Jews in the 1930s and 1940s fleeing the rising and then consolidating tyranny of the NAZIs. And all too often it is the descendants of the early targets of discrimination that have chosen to lead the contemporary efforts of intolerance, nativism, and xenophobia.

StPatCathExt1

(St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York)

In the mid 19th Century there was tremendous opposition to the building of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, as well as Catholic churches in other parts of the US.

At the Church of the Disciples of Christ on 28th Street near Broadway, the Rev. Joseph Bradford Cleaver spoke under the title “Crucifix Smiting the Cross; or shall the Papacy govern New York City?” He was among those who saw the opening of the magnificent new St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan the previous year as a dangerous sign of Catholic power and warned that Cardinal John McCloskey, who was “enthroned” there, would rule America as the pope’s viceroy and bring on a new Inquisition if Grace were elected mayor.

The church where the Knights of Columbus was founded was similarly denigrated. The New York Times at the time reported on the construction of St. Mary’s in the following manner:

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(St. Mary’s Church, New Haven)

“An Unprofitable Church: Roman Catholic Troubles in New-Haven.” The church on one of New Haven’s finest residential streets had been dedicated five years earlier, but only after a struggle in which the pastor was pressured to accept an alternate site.As The Times put it, “When the residents of this aristocratic avenue discovered that they were in danger of seeing a Roman Catholic church spring up among them, with all that the establishment of such a church implied, they bestirred themselves to oppose the project. The wisest of the Roman Catholics here did not favor it, and St. Mary’s was induced to exchange the lot for a good one in some other locality.” But that site was also deemed “too good” for Catholics, so a lesser lot was found. The pastor refused this, according to The Times, and built the church as originally planned on wealthy Hillhouse Avenue. According to the Times, the parish fell into debt (its parishioners being mainly “servant girls”). “The result shows how foolish were those who persisted in building the church on the spot where it stands,” The Times concluded. “How much spite had to do with it cannot now be ascertained, but the complete history of the negotiations would be very interesting. The edifice was erected beyond the boundaries of the parish, and it invaded the most exclusive homes of wealth and culture. It is an eye-sore on the avenue, a source of annoyance and injury to neighboring residents, and a complete failure as a business enterprise.”

This isn’t all that different than what we heard and saw in the opposition to the Park Avenue Islamic Center aka The Ground Zero Mosque.

Ground_Zero_Mosque_Protesters_8

(Ground Zero Mosque Protestors, New York)

The protestors had been whipped into a froth by the uninformed, but politically very profitable fear mongering of a few self appointed, but largely ignorant, arbiters of what was and was not acceptable in regards to Islam. For instance:

We also saw anti-immigrant imagery that rivals any of the modern anti-undocumented immigrant language we are currently observing. Here are just two examples:

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(Anti-Chinese Graphic from The Wasp Magazine, San Francisco)

nativist

(Anti-Immigrant Statement of Principles from The Patriot, Boston)

Similarly Senator Taft sent the following letter to the Jewish War Veterans of the United States indicating his opposition to resettling 20,000 Jewish German children in the US in excess of the immigration quotas of the time.

IMG_2286

(Letter from Senator Taft to Mr. Tarlish, Jewish War Veterans, 1939)

Senator Taft’s position on accepting Jewish German children to save them from the NAZIs and the reasons for it are not too far off from Governor Mike Pence’s in refusing to accept Syrian Civil War refugees fleeing the Islamic State:

Governor Pence Suspends Resettlement of Syrian Refugees in Indiana
 

Start Date: 11/16/2015 Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 11/16/2015
Entry Description
Indianapolis – Following reports that a Syrian refugee was among the perpetrators of the terrorists attacks that took place in Paris on Friday, Governor Mike Pence issued the following statement:“In the wake of the horrific attacks in Paris, effective immediately, I am directing all state agencies to suspend the resettlement of additional Syrian refugees in the state of Indiana pending assurances from the federal government that proper security measures have been achieved. Indiana has a long tradition of opening our arms and homes to refugees from around the world but, as governor, my first responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of all Hoosiers. Unless and until the state of Indiana receives assurances that proper security measures are in place, this policy will remain in full force and effect.”The Refugee Resettlement Office in the Division of Family Resources in the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) administers the Syrian resettlement program.###
Location Information:
Statewide
IN

 And Governor Pence is only one among 27 governors, all Republicans, that told the Obama Administration they would not accept Syrian Civil War refugees. This is also the position of the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

“Our nation has always been welcoming. But we cannot let terrorists take advantage of our compassion. This is a moment where it’s better to be safe than to be sorry.”

What we are seeing in Election 2016 is not something new in the United States. Just as there are economic cycles and crime cycles and religiosity cycles, there also seems to be extremism, nativism, and nationalism cycles within US society too. All of this has happened before and it will, most likely happen again.

What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun. – Kohelet/Ecclesiastes 1:9

 



Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite! Liberte and Egalite Have Won Edition

liberty-leading-the-people

(Eugene Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People)

France’s highest administrative court, The State Council/Council de Etat, overturned the local burkini bans that had popped up in French beach towns over the past several weeks. The panel of three senior judges ruled that the ban:

“has dealt a serious and clearly illegal blow to fundamental liberties such as the freedom of movement, freedom of conscience and personal liberty.”

They found that no evidence produced in favour of the prohibition proved a risk to public order was being caused by “the outfits worn by some people to go swimming”.

 There will, of course, be pushback. The Mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet, who is also a member of France’s parliament, has indicated that he will push legislation in the next session to address the issue. Municipal authorities in Nice, Frejus, and Sisco have already stated that they will keep the ban in place despite the ruling. We will now have to wait and see how the different levels of French government, and the French themselves, reconcile themselves to the Council de Etat’s ruling.