Late Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread, Christianist Edition

This tweet has been bouncing around the ‘tubes, but since it’s Dinesh D’Souza, who knows whether “marrying” is a verb that applies to the present or the indefinite future? Wikipedia links to a wingnut-welfare-sponsored YouTube clip of D’Souza’s marriage proposal to Deborah Fancher, “conservative political activist and mother of two”, so at least she should have a pretty good idea of what she’s signing up for. Note, this is not the young groupie blogger for whose charms D’Souza divorced his first wife and ended his career with King’s College; perhaps Ms. Joseph failed to sever ties with her existing husband, or maybe she didn’t care to marry a convicted felon?
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Dropping the Seventh Veil: Christianists Embrace Trump

Why should the other bigots have all the fun? In case Sarah “Bible Spice” Palin’s endorsement wasn’t enough to make it official, the Grey Lady lifted her soiled skirts and stepped into the morass, to explain how “Evangelicals See Donald Trump as Man of Conviction, if Not Faith”:

Brash, thrice-married, cosseted in a gilded tower high above Fifth Avenue and fond of swearing from the stage at his rallies, Mr. Trump, who has spent his career in pursuit, and praise, of wealth, would seem an odd fit for voters who place greater value on faith, hope and charity.

Yet polls increasingly show Mr. Trump well in front of the crowded Republican field among white evangelical voters, despite competition including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, whose father is an evangelical pastor; Mr. Huckabee, the 2008 Iowa caucus winner; former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a Roman Catholic whose story of raising a daughter with a disability struck a chord with voters and helped push him to victory in the 2012 Iowa caucuses; and Ben Carson, a Seventh-day Adventist who brought prayer into the operating room as a neurosurgeon and has spoken frequently about his Christian beliefs as a candidate.

A New York Times/CBS News poll last week showed Mr. Trump, a Presbyterian, dominating the field with 42 percent of evangelical voters; Mr. Cruz was second with 25 percent.

In dozens of interviews with evangelical voters in 16 states, from every region of the country outside the Northeast, those supporting Mr. Trump sounded a familiar refrain: that his heart was in the right place, that his intentions for the country were pure, that he alone was capable of delivering to a troubled country salvation in the here and now

And on Monday, Mr. Trump spoke at Liberty University, the Lynchburg, Va., institution founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. Mr. Trump has been wooing Jerry Falwell Jr., and Mr. Falwell lavished praise on him, comparing Mr. Trump to Jesus and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for voicing unpopular thoughts…

Rev. Hucksterbee and Rick Sanctorum — let’s face it! — are luzers, and nobody likes that guy Cruz. Their god is a strong god, a winning god, one never hesitant to rain down destruction or crush another horde of unbelievers. Their god is YOOOOOGE.

And the Trumpenfuhrer is ready to lead them to glory, per NYMag:

“Christianity, it’s under siege,” the GOP front-runner said at the Evangelical college’s morning convocation. “We don’t band together. Other religions, frankly, they’re banding together … we have to unify. We have to band together, we have to do really, in a really large version, what they’ve done at Liberty.”…

The mogul further argued that “the Bible is the best,” though he had some difficulty in trying to quote it.

“Two Corinthians 3:17, that’s the whole ballgame. ‘Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,’” Trump said, inspiring chuckles from an audience that knows that chapter of Scripture by its god-given name of “Second Corinthians.”…

“In my opinion, Mr. Trump lives a life of loving and helping others … as Jesus taught in the New Testament,” Falwell said on Monday…

Second-gen religious hustler knows: Hustler Trump got serious game.

Our own Siubhan Duinne linked to Daniel Danger‘s amazing Storify post, “I went to a Donald Trump rally and saw a man wearing a plastic bag as a shirt”:

… I picked seats on the floor, partially to commit to simply being a bit more “in the shit”. I chose an aisle seat that had a clear open line of sight to the podium, and also offered a moderate amount of “phone privacy” by having an empty space to my right. Which turned out to be useful because the people behind me were actively trying to read my phone all night…

I missed who the speaker was, but he went on a whole bit about how there were Democrats hiding in the audience, and they probably wouldn’t/shouldn’t identify themselves due to “past incidents”, and because they were basically outnumbered in the room. And this was said in a joking manner to get a laugh from the room. Perhaps “past incidents” referred to Trump supporters beating and kicking a Latino man at a rally in Miami, The Black Lives Matter protester kicked and beaten at a Trump rally in Alabama, or the Trump supporters beating and peeing on a homeless Latino man because “Donald Trump was right.”… Read more



Long Read: “Wall Street’s Straight Man in Washington”

I appreciate a story that tells me something I didn’t already know. The capitalists on Wall Street have traditionally been tolerant about their captive politicians’ religious quirks, as long as those quirks didn’t get in the way of Wall Street’s religion — aka, The Almighty Dollar. Here’s a great tale by Joshua Green at Bloomberg Politics about another government Talibangelical whose existence had not previously crossed my awareness, Rep. Scott Garrett (R – NJ), “chairman of the powerful Subcommittee on Capital Markets & Government Sponsored Enterprises”:

Garrett’s committee is vital to Wall Street. “The rules of the road for handling money and anything with the SEC go through this committee,” says Marcus Stanley, policy director of the nonprofit Americans for Financial Reform. “There’s a ton of money at stake.” In Washington, the committee is known as the ATM, because banks and hedge funds shower the chairman with contributions. After the Dodd-Frank financial law forced hedge funds to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Garrett, already the recipient of more Wall Street money than almost any other member of the House, got millions more. The banks pay to have a voice, ensure they’re at the table when new rules are discussed, and insinuate themselves into the chairman’s good graces.

Much of the money Garrett collects from Wall Street is supposed to be passed along in the form of party dues to the GOP’s campaign arm, where it’s used to help other candidates get elected. So the committee is also important to Republicans because it binds the party with the business community in a mutually profitable arrangement. But back in July, Garrett threw a wrench into this smoothly humming machine.

At a private caucus meeting, he got into a heated dispute with his colleagues by declaring that he’d withhold hundreds of thousands of dollars in National Republican Congressional Committee dues to protest the party’s support for gay candidates. His outburst immediately caused a rift in the caucus…

Some of Garrett’s colleagues were simply upset that he was stiffing the NRCC. But others understood that he was jeopardizing the party’s electoral and financial fortunes: As the GOP struggles to widen its appeal, Garrett’s comments, which quickly became public, reaffirmed the impression of Republicans as stridently intolerant… Read more



Open Thread: God-King Candidate Ted Cruz Is A Creepy Lying Liar

Ted Cruz calls himself a Southern Baptist, so either he’s flat-out lying, or Southern Baptist tenets include that “it’s okay to lie to infidels” escape clause they’re always throwing at Muslims. Because Southern Baptists consider an increasing broad range of contraceptives “abortifacients” — and therefore want to ban them.

Yeah, like every other but-only-for-the-little-ladies-own-good misogynist, Ted says condoms are okay because they let the man choose whether or not a woman risks pregnancy. And just as he now lies about their availability, no doubt back in the day he lied about using them, said every woman within earshot…

Further reporting by Dana Milbank at the Washington Post:

Just days before the shooting, Cruz trumpeted an endorsement from an antiabortion activist who once called killing an abortion doctor a “justifiable defensive action” and who leads a group, Operation Rescue, where a colleague did prison time for a conspiracy to bomb an abortion clinic.

The activist whose endorsement Cruz celebrated, Troy Newman, is also on the board of the Center for Medical Progress, which made the surreptitious Planned Parenthood videos that prompted Cruz and many other conservatives to accuse the organization of selling “baby parts” — the phrase Dear allegedly used. The videos, including footage from a Planned Parenthood in Denver, not far from Colorado Springs, were followed by a wave of threats and smaller attacks on the organization’s facilities…

Newman, the Operation Rescue official whose endorsement Cruz touted, has called women who have abortions “murderesses.” He said societal responsibility “rightly involves executing convicted murderers, including abortionists, for their crimes in order to expunge bloodguilt from the land.”…

Huffington Post has four minutes of exceedingly creepy video, complete with lots more Cruz lies attacking HRClinton and other Democrats, here.

Amy Davidson, in the New Yorker:

In the September G.O.P. debate, Cruz called Planned Parenthood a “criminal enterprise,” guilty of “multiple felonies.” He has signed a letter saying that one of the group’s founders, Margaret Sanger, sought the “extermination” of black Americans. (She did not.) “When millions of Americans rose up against Planned Parenthood, I was proud to lead that fight,” Cruz said, in a debate in October

As he never stops reminding us, Ted Cruz is a very smart man, highly educated, fully aware of all media internet traditions. He knows that anyone with access to a modem and a memory going back further than yesterday’s lunch can identify his lies with a few clicks.

But he doesn’t care, because the voters he’s courting aren’t skeptics, they’re believers. And he figures either they’re too dumb to understand he’s lying to them… or he figures they’re as dishonest as he is, and don’t care that he’s lying.

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David Daleiden Had No Idea His Rhetoric Was Loaded!

The Breitbrats circle the wagons:

There is little doubt that David Daleiden is nervous that Planned Parenthood will blame Friday’s shooting at a Colorado Springs abortion clinic on him and his videos…

In a statement to Breitbart News, he flatly stated, “The Center for Medical Progress does not support vigilante violence against abortion providers. There are people at Planned Parenthood who I still consider friends and my thoughts and prayers are with them at this time for no one to be injured.”

In response to the inevitable charges against him, Daleiden said, “We only visited the Denver clinic in Colorado. PPRM CEO Vicki Cowart says Planned Parenthood still doesn’t know the full details of what is going on in Colorado Springs.”…

They include a laundry list of other anti-choice activists, every one of them shocked — shocked! — that their well-compensated efforts to prevent women from controlling their own bodies might cruelly be connected to some Angry Armed White Man deciding to act on the charges they sling so wildly.

I’ve been holding on to a Washington Post profile of Daleiden, cheerily titled “Meet the millennial who infiltrated the guarded world of abortion providers“:

… Daleiden developed an elaborate ruse. He posed as Robert Daoud Sarkis, an employee of Biomax Procurement Services LLC, a fake company he concocted to serve as a front for the operation. He registered the company with the California secretary of state, set up a mock Web site and even created Facebook pages for his fake employees.

According to a lawsuit later filed by the National Abortion Federation, the company chief executive’s “likes” included Hillary Rodham Clinton, “The Rachel Maddow Show” and stem cell research.

With $120,000 raised from about 20 donors, whom Daleiden refuses to name, Daleiden spent nearly 30 months living his Sarkis persona. He and six paid actors visited clinics in Texas and Colorado; attended Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation conferences, signing nondisclosure agreements he would later disregard; and lunched with top Planned Parenthood officials. Daleiden even managed to speak briefly, camera running, with Richards, the group’s president…

Money… is pouring in for Daleiden, though he will say only that the Center for Medical Progress has managed to recoup its costs.

Daleiden often says he likes the abortion providers he met. He calls Deborah Nucatola, the Planned Parenthood medical director whose casual comments about abortion procedures were his first big get, a “friend.” (It is unlikely she feels any reciprocal warmth, considering that the National Abortion Federation says she has been the subject of online death threats. Nucatola declined to comment through a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman.)…

Look, he’s just a careerist, a young entrepreneur turning his passion into a much nicer, more exciting gig than some minimum-wage retail slog or a series of dubious internships! Didn’t his teachers tell him to follow his dreams? Right Wing Watch, back in October:

As we explored in our recent report on the Center for Medical Progress’ attacks on Planned Parenthood, CMP founder David Daleiden worked in concert with a few longtime anti-choice activists in his effort to claim that Planned Parenthood violated federal laws with its fetal tissue donation program. One of those activists was Mark Crutcher, who through his Texas-based group Life Dynamics, conducted a very similar undercover video “sting” of fetal tissue donation practices in the late 1990s, with a similar goal of undermining legal abortion.

Crutcher’s claims fell apart when his key witness admitted at a congressional hearing that he had lied about witnessing “profiteering by fetal-tissue providers.”… Read more



Open Thread: At Prey in the Fields of the Lard

While Don “Il Douche” Trump was out this weekend riling up the Southern rubes for the tv cameras, the rest of the Repub candidates were busy smarming Iowa’s god-botherers. Mr. Pierce reports on “A Particularly Ugly Dinner with Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee and the Gang“:

DES MOINES—On Friday night, seven of the Republican contenders for president gathered around a mock Thanksgiving table on a stage at the front of an enormous ballroom, which was filled to the gunwales even though the year’s first winter storm had come rolling out of Nebraska that afternoon. “Satan,” joked Bob Vander Plaats, “is trying to disrupt our plans tonight. But it was laid on my heart that the people who would show up tonight were the people who really love this country.”

Vander Plaats is the head of the Family Leader Foundation. If you are a Republican candidate for president, and you run afoul of Vander Plaats and his legions, you are not going to get out of Iowa alive. They shake the hay with more enthusiasm, they bang their Bibles more vigorously than just about any group of people anywhere in the country, and they control the caucus process, if anyone does. Which is why the seven people who want to be president were sitting there at the table behind papier mache autumn leaves with Frank Luntz sitting in the Daddy chair at the end…

And, at the beginning, when the gathering was disrupted several times by immigration rights protesters, Mike Huckabee took advantage of the situation to remind people that this never happens at liberal gatherings, as though the Republican party wasn’t the breeding ground in which the very concept of ratfcking was born, and as though there weren’t all those patriots showing up at events early in the president’s term with questions about health care reform and automatic weapons. But the whole point, according to Luntz and the other folks at table, was to demonstrate Christian civility in the campaign, and to show those showboating Leninists at CNBC how to run a political discussion…

There was unction in the extreme, and no little sanctimony, and the now very familiar recitation of the dystopian landscape created by eight years of the Obama Administration and of the nearly unstoppable acceleration of the handbasket taking the country to hell. The Savior was summoned on a number of occasions, not all of them relevant to his gospel mission on Earth. But the real meat on the Thanksgiving table got served up when Luntz wrenched the discussion away from sacred platitudes and into the realm of national security and foreign affairs. The clouds of incense were dispersed. The preacher masks all dropped. To a person, the seven Republican candidates came right up to the edge of accusing the president of the United States of treason and of being in sympathy with the murderers in France and in Mali. Right up to the edge, they all walked. Then they winked and took baby steps back, but everybody in the hall, all of the good Christians who’d come out in the snow, got the message…

Steve Benen, at his MSNBC blog:

… Right Wing Watch explained this week a little about the man who ran the show: “”Not only does Vander Plaats want to remove from office or defund the courts of judges who find in favor of marriage equality, he believes that anything, like gay marriage, that ‘goes against the law of nature’ is by definition unconstitutional . He argues that the government is an institution of God and therefore its purpose is ‘to promote righteousness’ and to apply ‘God’s principles and precepts.’”

And it’s against this backdrop that seven contenders for the Republican presidential nomination – Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Rick Santorum – appeared at last night’s gathering, hoping to earn an endorsement. (In 2008, Vander Plaats backed Huckabee, who won that year’s Iowa caucuses, and in 2012 he backed Santorum, who won that year’s Iowa caucuses)…

So, as I’m sure you’re as happy as I am to note: Losers. Very sanctimonious pious losers, though, who can be counted upon to deplore how all Muslims are hate-driven cultists who let their “faith leaders” trap them in medieval squalor in the name of an authoritarian god. Read more



Open Thread: Hey, Christians — RTFM!

Matthew 25:41 – King James version:

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

“I’m sorry, Pastor Erickson, but that theological degree isn’t a get-out-of-your-obligations-free card. You really should have read the operating manual, while you had the chance.”