Wow what a week, Pat Robertson died and you know who got indicted … again. So which item shall I lead with?
Let’s go with Pat because the other is being done to death by every media outlet. It is of course traditional to mull over all the things somebody achieved and what they contributed after they pass. So let’s do exactly that.
We can of course start by simply dropping this here as an opening …
So what exactly will he be remembered for?
The answer to that will very much depend upon your previous acceptance or rejection of his utterly absurd BS.
He famously denounced anything he thought was evil. That ended up being almost everything that was not carved in his precise image. On his hit list for hate were all the usual targets you might anticipate; the gay community, abortion, feminists, and non-religious people. Hinduism was deemed “demonic”, Buddhism was a disease, Islam was “satanic”, and the non-religious were Termites who need Godly fumigation. Also on his list of hate were the supposed 30,000 liberal college professors hat he claimed were “racists, murderers, sexual deviants and supporters of Al-Qaeda,”, and various Protestant denominations that he claimed harbored the spirit of the Antichrist, so he did not need to be nice to them.
As for the people he liked, now here things did indeed take a surprising twist. Amongst his good buddies and friends we find both the former president of Liberia and convicted war criminal Charles Taylor, and also the former Zaire president Mobutu Sese Seko. The observation that both were deeply guilty of serious human rights violations, (Terrorism, murder, rape, slavery, and more), did not in any way deter Mr Robertson vigorously supporting them. Why? It was all about his financial investments.
He often claimed to speak for God and so famously issued various failed prophecies. You could more or less guarantee that if he claimed that god had told him something was about the happen then that would be a rock solid guarantee that it would not happen. He was famously never right, and yet people were still devoted to him as a “man of god” …
- In 1976 he claimed the end of the world would be in 1982.
- In 2004 he claimed that god told him Bush would win by a landslide – Bush did win, but it was no landslide.
- In 2007 he claimed god told him about terrorist mass killings were coming during 2007. When it did not happen, he used the old excuse – the “people prayed and prevented it” ploy.
- In 2008 he was claiming god told him of a war in the middle east (Israel attacking Iran, Syria and Iran launching nuclear strikes, etc…).
- In 2009, he was claiming god told him of an economic disaster that year (oil up to $300 a barrel)
- In 2012 he claimed that god had told him who would win the election. He initially did not name any names but did say that it would most definitely not be Obama. So yes, it was of course Obama who won.
- As for the 2020 election, yep God told him it would be Trump, oh also also an astroid would destroy the earth in 2020.
Robertson was also rather famous as a man of prayer. In 1985 he claimed he had prayed away a hurricane from his Virginia Beach building. That same hurricane devastated New England causing almost a billion in damages and killing people. Should they have sent the bill to Robertson for diverting the hurricane to their state?
He also often claimed that whenever something bad happened, it was due to god punishing people. For example …
- The 2010 Haiti earthquake was supposedly caused by the nations founders making a pack with the devil
- Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for abortion
- The events of September 11, 2001 were helped by feminists and gays.
It’s actually quite dangerous “thinking” …
Like many “Men of God” before and after him, he was also a screaming hypocrite. During his run for office in 1987 reporters discovered that Robertson had lied about the date of his wedding to cover up the fact that the birth of his son was outside of his marriage. It was also revealed that he had used funds donated for religious purposes to finance his business operations.
The one very positive spin we can give Pat is that during his lifetime he really did make one good contribution to the well-being of the world – he left it. Each day without him is now a far better day than any with him.
There has also been some speculation that he died of a heart attack, but there are serious doubts regarding that because over the course of his life he clearly demonstrated that he had no heart.
As for what his passing says about life itself, well how about this thought – Live your life in such a way that “Rest In Hell” doesn’t trend when you die.
Further Pat Robertson reading …
- Greg Sargent @ The Washington Post: How Pat Robertson created today’s Christian nationalist GOP.
- Hemant Mehta @ The Friendly Atheist: What we can learn from the disgraceful life of Pat Robertson.
So did anything else happen this past week?
Well yes, you know the details regarding the indictment of you know who.
What will be fascinating to observe over time will be the MAGA long-term reactions as it becomes more and more obvious what the rest of us realised from day 1. So what happens now?
Some will of course finally see the light, and yet sadly others are already doubling down on the conspiracy claims. It will create lots of input for future editions of my weekly updates.
Further Reading …
- Kelsey Ables, Adela Suliman, John Wagner, Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff, Amy B Wang and Mariana Alfaro @ The Washington Post: Trump criminal indictment is unsealed, shows he faces 37 charges.
- Evan Perez, Sara Murray, Tierney Sneed and Jeremy Herb @ CNN: Trump aide Walt Nauta indicted in classified documents case.
- John Fea @ Current: Court evangelical Robert Jeffress claims he just texted Trump: “There are millions of Christians praying for you right now.”
- Michael Luciano @ Mediaite: SCREAMING Mark Levin Unloads Seven-Minute Tirade After Trump Indictment: ‘This! Is! An Insurrection!’
- David Corn @ Mother Jones: The Federal Indictment of Donald J. Trump: Historic…and Wild.
- Travis Gettys @ Raw Story: ‘Scary as hell’: Militia expert says Trump tweet from GOP’s Clay Higgins is call for ‘civil war.’
- Zack Beauchamp @ Vox: The dangerous Republican freakout about Trump’s indictment.
Moving on, below you will once again find my usual selection of some truly bizarre and extreme claims that have popped up during the last 7 days. Each is laced with my snarky commentary. With my usual hat tip to my various sources, let’s dive in so that we can proceed to distribute the mockery that they have worked so hard to earn.
- Example1: David Barton, delivered a presentation urging those pastors in attendance to take advantage of the far-right majority’s control of the Supreme Court to start enacting Christian nationalist policies all across the nation … “storm the castle.”
- Example 2: Kelly Shackelford, president of First Liberty, which argued several of the Supreme Court cases cited by Barton, also spoke at the same summit and pushed the same message
Also, this past week David and Tim Barton asserted that the First Amendment’s freedom of religion provision only applies to those who “worship the God of the Bible.”
- Translation: He thinks the constitution only applies to members of his book club.
Jon Miller fumes that the … “global pandemic of acceptance and multiculturalism, opening up the floodgates to migrants, globohomo—whatever you want to call it— wouldn’t have even happened if our founders hadn’t given the great Jewish people a breeding ground to carry out their wildest, pernicious globalist fantasies on the world stage.”
- When compared, Mr Miller makes other conspiracy theorists look quite sane. Reality and this guy and not in any way acquainted, they have simply never met.
Apparently “Prayer” and putting up 10 commandments monuments is not effective in churches … what a shocker …
The Cult of Trump
Shane Vaughn says Christians must now unite to reelect Trump so that he can pardon himself: “If he has to take his solemn oath in a prison cell, the next thing he’ll do is pardon himself.”
- Would a majority of voters be stupid enough to elect a convicted felon? … (no sorry, it’s perhaps best if you don’t answer that).
- Meanwhile, when it come to understanding prison life, Shane is your man. He is a convicted fraudster who has been sent to jail, not before he was a pastor and “found Jesus”, but after.
- Reminder-1: Mr Biggs is an elected representative in the House and is a member of the party that holds the most seats – this really is a rather blatant own goal. He is literally labelling himself as “corrupt”.
- Reminder-2: Speaker of the Arizona House Russell Bowers testified that Biggs called him on the morning of January 6 asking him to sign a letter calling for decertification of the Arizona electors. There is indeed evidence of corruption, it points rather firmly at Mr Biggs himself.
- He also of course ticks all the usual boxes … rejects the prevailing consensus on climate change, anti mask and also promoted treatments for COVID that don’t work, deeply homophobic, etc…
Homophobia on Steroids
Kent Christmas is upset that the LGBTQ community has supposedly stolen the rainbow and the word “gay.”
- “Hello, police, I’d like to report the theft of a rainbow“
Robert George declares that June shouldn’t be Pride Month but rather “Fidelity Month”: “Fidelity Month is all about getting the institutions of religion, of marriage and of family – the little platoons of civil society – in our local communities and our country back into shape.”
- Quote: “George sees the root of the problem as a lack of religion” … er no … seriously just no. The root of the problem has been way too much irrational religious bigotry.
- As a devoted Catholic, Mr George should perhaps be a tad more concerned about the rather large numbers of Catholic clerics involved in sexual abuse. He should also consider the decisive actions of the institution itself to accommodate the abuse by simply covering it all up and letting it carry on … but no, he prefers to fret about Pride Month.
Steven Franssen says that if he was president, he would “use the U.S. military and seize all Target stores … [and then] have bomber planes go over the stores and demolish them.”
- I guess he is not exactly a fan of free market capitalism then.
- Would he also engage the military to target actual rainbows as well?
James Lindsay warns that angry and desperate Christian conservatives are being provoked into carrying out anti-LGBTQ attacks so that the government can label them as Christian nationalist domestic terrorists and justify shutting down churches: “They will use the unbelievable provocations that they’re gonna put forth in the next month or two for Pride to trigger Christians into giving them the reaction that they need.”
- “provoked” Translation: LGBTQ folks simply existing and living their lives.
- The utter and blatantly obvious stupidity of his claim is that it is literally an incarnation of “blame the victim”.
Tim Constantine warns that “gays are killing Christianity:” “Satan seems to have harnessed the gay community and their agenda to cause chaos and destruction within the Christian world.”
- Reality Check: Christians are killing christianity with their constant deployment of hatred and bigotry
Further Reading …
- Decca Muldowney @ The Daily Beast: How Far-Right Extremists Are Targeting Pro-LGBT Schools.
- Greg Owen @ LGBTQ Nation: Moms for Liberty goes ballistic over mention of LGBTQ+ students in yearbook.
- Payton Armstrong @ Media Matters: Right-wing pastor Tom Ascol criticizes Ted Cruz for condemning Uganda’s anti-LGBTQ law and claims such laws are not “wrong” because God created them.
Feminist of the Decade
Andrew Torba says that letting women vote “destroyed the country”: “Democracy is when mentally ill liberal women elect other mentally ill liberal women to rule over sane and normal conservative families.“
- He got a heck of a lot of pushback for those tweets … gosh I wonder why … and so he ended up rapidly obliterating them.
Kandiss Taylor now absurdly insists that she never claimed to believe in a flat Earth but was simply complaining about money being wasted by NASA: “I don’t know all the things about the solar system, and I don’t want to know!”
- The observation that she said … “I don’t know …. and I don’t want to know!” does indeed beautifully sum her up
- Fact Check: “I never ever said …” except for that time long ago in the ancient past (last week), when she said exactly that.
Second Kandiss Taylor item: She has been bragging that “the majority of the people that have been put into GOP chair positions, officer positions, delegate positions, [and] district positions are my supporters”
- All this actually tells us about is the current state of utter chaos within the Republican Party in Georgia.
Scott Lively warns that the “T” in “LGBT” secretly stands for “transhumanism”: “I have been alone in linking transhumanism directly to the LGBT movement, contending that the LGBT agenda represents not just a coalition of sexual dysfunctions but a chronology of stages in the deconstruction of God’s created order.”
- Scott is a deeply religious guy who has made a lifetime career out of being a fanatical hateful bigot. He appears to be striving really hard to ramp it all up to the level marked “Deeply Crazy”.
Jeanine Pirro, a Fox News talk show host, was scheduled to appear at a Christian nationalist “FlashPoint” event this week, but Fox News has reportedly prohibited her from doing so. So now, FlashPoint is accusing Fox of engaging in “cancel culture.”
- Tonight’s main story, Cancel Culture: Why It’s Only OK When We Do It… But first traffic.
- Reminder: Fox is still being sued for $2.7 billion because they promoted the big lie. Pirro was explicitly named in the Smartmatic lawsuit as one of the primary sources of false information, so they are forced to keep her on a very tight leash.
- She also has a bit of a reputation for being drunk while on air so I guess if she is only on Fox then they can lock the chardonnay away before she is to go on air.
Pete Hegseth recently revealed to a group of right-wing pastors at a TPUSA conference that he is a survivor: “A survivor of a progressive, godless education that I didn’t even know I received.”
- So yes, he is indeed abusing the term “survivor”. The degree of actual trauma he suffered due to his secular education on a scale of 1-10 would be zero.
- Talking about his Baptist upbringing, he explains, “Every single thing that happened at Church was completely disconnected from what happened at school” … well duh, that’s because Church is “Indoctrination” and School is “Education”. They are disconnected for a reason. It really is just 2+2=4 and not 2+2=Jesus.
- Reminder: Despite his secular education, it failed this guy. Back in 2019 he famously claimed that germs don’t exist and so he has never washed his hands.
Mario Murillo declares that conservative Christians “must speak out against the direct persecution of the Christian faith and the wholesale upending of the Bill of Rights. I am talking about exposing the government plans to shut down the Church and ban the Gospel.”
- The ever so slight flaw in his “plan” is that the only “Christian Persecution” going on is the persecution being done by the Christians against minorities.
Stew Peters asserts that “being gay is the worst thing on the planet.”
- Worst things on the world list (apart from being Stew Peters): war, death, terrorism, bigotry, racism, abuse, religious superstition, having a terminal illness, a catastrophic natural disaster, grinding poverty, etc..
Vernon Jones believes that Black conservatives “endure far more abuse from White supremacist democrats and the liberal media than gays” ever receive.
- I’m not exactly sure that he grasps that his problem is not that he is conservative, nor is it that he is black, but rather it has been his actual behaviour.
- Example 1: According to a 2021 examination of Jones’ record by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Jones has a long history of problematic behavior toward women, repeatedly accused of threatening, intimidating and harassing women in his personal and professional lives” over three decades
- Example 2: He has also in the past created and maintained a deeply hostile work environment, so much so that he has been sued and lost.
Laura Loomer simply “cannot believe what a giant, third world shit hole the United States of America has become”: “Looks like shit and smells like shit to me.”
- As I often point out … being a shitty person to everybody to such a degree that you end up being banned by all social media, all payment processors, all food delivery providers, and all car rental providers, means you basically end up in shit creek without a paddle and so all you can see is shit everywhere … but hey, who could have possibly seen that one coming.
- She could actually make the US a far better nation. All she would need to do is to emigrate.
The False Profit$
Steve Shultz and Johnny Enlow attempt to justify their efforts to defend their false prophecies that former President Donald Trump would be reelected in 2020: “We know we’re being accused of rewriting, but it’s never been rewritten. We’ve adjusted when we realized it wasn’t right now.”
- “No we don’t rewrite it, we simply changed it” … insert facepalm here.
Statistic of the week
Tucker Carlson Now on Twitter
It went down exactly as you might anticipate. Tucker has gone into full “Alex Jones” mode …
Meanwhile, after his show went out on Tuesday, Fox jumped in. Via Axios – Fox News says Tucker Carlson breached his contract …
Fox News Wednesday notified Tucker Carlson‘s lawyers that the former prime-time anchor violated his contract with the network when he launched his own Twitter show on Tuesday, according to a copy of a letter obtained by Axios.
Why it matters: A breach of contract claim sets Fox News up to explore potential legal action against Carlson, a move that would intensify the already thorny public battle between the two parties.
… A source told Axios that Carlson was told by a senior Fox executive that the network’s goal is to keep him sidelined until 2025.
This could all get very “interesting”.
Further Reading …
- Nick Visser @ HuffPost: Tucker Carlson’s New Twitter Show, Seen By Millions, Starts With Conspiracy Theories.
GOP: It only matters when it impacts me
Chris Christie tossed his hat into the circus ring
The GOP this past week
To the Folks who think they are doing God’s work …
The difference between the right and the left is not actually belief vs non-belief, but instead it is belief+empathy vs belief+bigotry
Redder vs Bluer
I’ve quite honestly no idea why anybody actually thinks voting GOP is a good idea these days.
Mr Pence finally filed … has honestly he has no chance, and so nobody really noticed …
- Liz Skalka @ HuffPost: Mike Pence Files Paperwork To Run For President Against Donald Trump.
One interesting highlight article is this …
- SPLC: The Year in Hate & Extremism 2022.
But of course plenty of other stuff was going on …
- Cassandra Jaramillo @ ProPublica: True the Vote Leadership Accused of Using Donations for Personal Gain.
- Prem Thakker @ The New Republic: Ron DeSantis Says Woke Seven Times in 26 Seconds in Wildly Out of Touch Remarks.
- Zachary Petrizzo and Ursula Perano @ The Daily Beast: Far Right Turns on Marjorie Taylor Greene—and MTG Hits Back in Text to Matt Gaetz.
- R.G. Cravens @ Hatewatch: Documents Reveal ADF Requested Anti-Trans Research From American College of Pediatricians.
- David Badash @ The New Civil Rights Movement: ‘Untrue and Hateful’: Nikki Haley Slammed for ‘Damnable Lie’ of Blaming Teen Girls Contemplating Suicide on Trans Kids.
- Jerod MacDonald-Evoy @ Arizona Mirror: AZ GOP senator proudly flies flag adopted by ‘fringe’ far-right extremists.
- Katelyn Polantz, Jeremy Herb and Kaitlan Collins @ CNN: Mar-a-Lago pool flood raises suspicions among prosecutors in Trump classified documents case.
- Alex Griffing @ Mediaite: Bannon Goes to War With House Republicans, Wants Primary Opponents for MTG, Jim Jordan, and Others Over Debt Vote.
- Kyndall Cunningham @ The Daily Beast: How Comedian Blaire Erskine Made GOP Flat-Earther Melt Down.
- Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Trump ups the ante, condemns ‘fascists’ in U.S. law enforcement.
- David Covucci @ The Daily Dot: FCC officially fines Jacob Wohl $5 million for robocall scheme.
- John Light @ Talking Points Memo: A Little Bit Of 2022 Déjà Vu In North Carolina?
- Ian Millhiser @ Vox: Surprise! The Supreme Court just handed down a significant victory for voting rights.
- Helena Hind, Alicia Sadowski, Jane Lee Research, Katherine Abughazaleh, and Isabella Corrao @ Media Matters: 200+ things that Fox News has labeled “woke.”