The title this week, “The Onion Files Amicus Brief with SCOTUS“, feels like a bit of parody. It is not, the satirical outlet, The Onion, has literally filed an Amicus Brief with the Supreme Court of the United States. Serious, here it is in all its glorious and truly hilarious detail on the SCOTUS website – BRIEF OF THE ONION AS AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER, dated Oct 6, 2022.
It relates to a case involving the arrest of a guy who created a parody Facebook page that became a first amendment issue. (See here for a bit of background).
Their brief, which itself is a parody of a brief, is pure unadulterated and deeply entertaining Onion. Here is the list of contents…
… and here are a few extracts …
…Rising from its humble beginnings as a print newspaper in 1756, The Onion now enjoys a daily readership of 4.3 trillion and has grown into the single most powerful and influential organization in human history…
…The Onion supports more than 350,000 full- and part- time journalism jobs in its numerous news bureaus and manual labor camps stationed around the world, and members of its editorial board have served with distinction in an advisory capacity for such nations as China, Syria, Somalia, and the former Soviet Union. On top of its journalistic pursuits, The Onion also owns and operates the majority of the world’s transoceanic shipping lanes, stands on the nation’s leading edge on matters of deforestation and strip mining, and proudly conducts tests on millions of animals daily…
The rest is more of the same. Page 8 even has this raw gem …
…To be clear, The Onion is not trying to compare itself to Jonathan Swift; its writers are far more talented, and their output will be read long after that hack Swift’s has been lost to the sands of time…
(Footnote 11 a bit further on reads … “11 See Gulliver’s Travels and A Tale of a Tub from aforementioned hack and rejected Onion freelancer, Jonathan Swift.“
Funny and entertaining as it all is, there is a serious point in play. A guy was arrested for mocking figures in authority. Unable to take a joke, they arrested him and put him in jail.
The Shakespearian jester might indeed have traditionally played the fool, but they spoke truth to power with impunity. Gagging such voices today is not simply a threat to a few, it is a threat to us all. Such suppression is just one more trumpet blast that announces the rise of authoritarianism in our midst. Your vote in a few weeks really will help. (Pro Tip: Vote blue right down the ticket, even if it does involve holding your nose; the alternative is literally unthinkable, and it sends a clear message to the red team that enough is enough of this prevailing madness).
Moving on, below you will find my usual selection of some truly bizarre 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.
Leah Svensson, one half of the “Resistance Chicks” podcast, asserts that “the most essential part” of public education is teaching kids about Jesus.
- Education is all about freedom from superstition. In her case it has clearly failed.
- Pro Tip: Education and indoctrination are really not the same thing.
- Her claim that the founding fathers “knew Jesus Christ as their personal lord and saviour” is quite frankly bizarre.
Lance Wallnau is upset that Rolling Stone labeled him a Christian nationalist
- I do have to wonder if he ever becomes upset with himself when he uses that term to describe himself?
George Pearsons, senior pastor at scamvangelist Kenneth Copeland’s pseudo-church, cited Christian nationalist pseudo-historian David Barton’s nonsense about our voting system supposedly coming out of the book of Exodus and then proceeded to “take authority” over the midterm elections.
- Reminder: back in a 2020 broadcast Pearsons famously stood by Copeland’s side as he ‘prayed’ Covid away. So that really worked out well then. It also perhaps gives you a clue about how well his “take authority” will work out for the midterms.
- Why does Mr Pearson support Copeland, the guy who begs for donations to buy himself another private jet? Well basically because he is also married to Mr Copeland’s daughter and gets a lot of $$$ doing this. He is very much part of the scam.
- Broken Irony meter moment: He cites Exodus 18:21 to justify his stance. That rather clearly is a text that advises that leaders should hate dishonest gain.
Ohio state legislator Candice Keller says “right now there are two parties in this country: The party of Trump, and the other party is called We Hate God.”
- If Trump is their go-to guy for Godliness, then you know that they have completely and totally lost the Christian plot.
- I like this quote: “Every Time a Republican quotes a bible verse, an Angel projectile vomits“
- To drive that point home, remind me again which Church Trump goes to. He also rather famously, when asked, was unable to quote a single bible verse – This is their “Anointed one”.
Laura Loomer believes it’s “obvious” that “the FBI works with the Democrat Party to carry out mass shooting false flags so that they can actually push for gun control.”
- She also strongly believes that she won the Republican Primary in Florida District 11 that she lost because it’s “obvious” and still refuses to concede.
- Looking at her latest rant, there is no denying the observation that she wants Alex Jones’s job, it’s “obvious”.
- Profile: Laura has managed to build a very impressive collection of bans … basically every significant social media platform, and also Uber, Lyft, Paypal, GoFundMe, Venmo, and even the BitCoin conference have all banned her. Oh and let’s also enjoy the observation that even CPAC, which is MAGA central these days, banned her. If you tune into her latest rant, then I suspect you can begin to see why.
- To give you a bit more news on her, she also owes the Council on American-Islamic Relations $125,000 in attorney’s fees (she bad mouthed them, they sued and offered a $1 settlement since they were not after money just an apology. She refused that, lost the case, and so she now gets to pay all their fees). This past week she predictably is refusing to pay: “I am not going to commit treason and fund an Islamic terrorist organization. And as a Jewish woman, I refuse to sit back and entertain the idea that I should pay a terrorist organization that has direct ties to Islamic terrorist groups that murder Jews.”
Stuff that is not surprising
Far-right streamer Ethan Ralph reports that “Elijah Schaffer was fired from the Blaze for allegedly drunkenly grabbing the breast of fellow-Blaze employee Sara Gonzales.”
- I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked … oh wait, I know this guy, so no I’m not.
- What is surprising is that it was this that got him fired. On Jan 6 he invaded the Capitol and even broke into Pelosi’s office and posted it on twitter with pictures (he ducked jail by claimed he was just a journalist reporting it all). He also often supposedly “jokes” about murdering trans kids, deploys racist remarks, and is also deeply homophobic. None of that was ever a problem.
The Georgia race has become “interesting”.
Herschel Walker’s son is not exactly on board with his dad’s election campaign as a “family man”. He is calling out the hypocrisy …
Regarding his anti-abortion stance, yep, you got it, that also is pure hypocrisy. The Daily Beast has the evidence …
The above is the tip of the iceberg, more will emerge.
“But he has found Jesus so his past does not matter“, they might quip. Er … no, he is lying about it all right now.
This is a classic white evangelical power play. No matter what their guy does, he gets a free pass as long as he promotes the legislation that will impose their beliefs on everybody. It exposes their actual values – a lust for a raw power grab at any cost.
Here is a key point to help you wrap your head around how utterly bizarre this specific race has become – White evangelicals want you to vote for this rather blatant hypocrite, and not his opponent, Rev Raphael Warnock, who is a Christian pastor of the church that was Martin Luther King Jr‘s church in the past and is Rev Warnock, as part of that tradition, is also passionately inspired by his Christian faith to fight for civil rights.
David Barton says “the Constitution is a God-given document based on God’s word” and thus electing Christians to office “allows God’s principles to work in a nation.”
- Let the weirdness of his claim sink in … “Constitution” … “a God-given document” … this is literally the modern version of the Divine Right to rule previously claimed by kings to keep their population subservient to them. George III took that stance in the past and we all said, “Nope”. Are we perhaps changing our minds about that now?
- Profile: Barton has no credible academic credentials. Scholars of history and law have described his research as highly flawed, “pseudoscholarship” and spreading “outright falsehoods”. His published “history” book was voted “the least credible history book in print”, and his Christian publisher withdrew it because they had lost confidence in his credibility. This is not an “attack by satan”, these are the well-documented facts, a concept he is not familiar with. Anybody taking this guy seriously is being conned.
- Is Mr Barton perhaps leaning upon this “evidence” …
Jared Taylor gripes that having a Black actress play the Little Mermaid “is all part of the sick and sickening adoration for Blacks and loathing for whites we see everywhere.”
- He is literally attempting to start a passionate argument about … Mermaids.
- Who wants to break the shocking news to him that Mermaid’s aren’t real.
The False Profit$
Right-wing pastor Perry Stone claims he had a vision of the BP oil spill… and then two years later, it happened. Then he had a vision of the spill stopping, and it did.
- Fake Prophet 101 Handbook: Claim that God told you about something that has already happened. No evidence needed.
- Example: Many years ago God gave me a vision that Perry Stone would issue a false prophecy this past week. It totally happened, believe me, oh and I was not permitted to mention it until now.
- So God told him about it, and then Stone said absolutely nothing to anybody, nor did he try to prevent it, but instead he just let it happen.
- Profile Reminder: This obnoxious grifter stands credibly accused of sexual misconduct by several women. (at least five).
Self-Appointed prophet Mark Taylor declares that “Hurricane Ian was a targeted hit on Florida by the Deep State. … God warned that there will be one coming this year before the midterms, they’re going to throw everything they can at us. I believe this will be another 9/11 style hit using weather, on the American people when all is said and done.”
- He appears to have Weather forecasters, the deep state, and God mixed up.
- One can only wonder why his all powerful God that he believes in simply issued a weather warning and did nothing to stop it. Did his God do nothing because it can’t do anything, or did his God choose to do nothing? Either way, that God is a real dick.
Fox is beyond Satire
As always they are hyper focused on the most pressing issues …
For the record, one very bizarrely wore 6 inch heels, the other wore kitty heels really no heels. You can no doubt guess which is which.
OK, yea you want to see it yourself, so here you go …
Political Quote of the week
How to hold them to account
- Lawrence Hurley @ NBC News: Supreme Court rejects Trump ally Mike Lindell’s appeal in 2020 election lawsuit.
- David Gilbert @ Vice News: Marjorie Taylor Greene Wildly Claims Democrats Have ‘Already Started the Killings.’
- Corbin Bolies @ The Daily Beast: Rick Scott Panics When Asked About Trump’s Racist Truth Social Post.
- The Center for Countering Digital Hate: The Incelosphere: Exposing pathways into incel communities and the harms they pose to women and children.
- Andrew Kaczynski and Em Steck, @ CNN: GOP congressional candidate Joe Kent’s ties to white nationalists include interview with Nazi sympathizer.
- Jen Fifield @ Votebeat: Trump allies have interviewed nearly 200 election officials to probe for weaknesses.
- Ben Lorber @ Religion Dispatches: Inside ‘NatCon,’ The Elite Movement Laying the Foundation for a MAGA That Will Outlast Trump and Remake America: Part I.
- Roger Sollenberger @ The Daily Beast: ‘Pro-Life’ Herschel Walker Paid for Girlfriend’s Abortion.
- Josephine Harvey @ HuffPost: Herschel Walker’s Son Unleashes On Him After Abortion Report: ‘I’m Done.’
- Hemant Mehta @ OnlySky: Herschel Walker paid for an abortion. His Christian supporters won’t care.
- Dan Friedman @ Mother Jones: “My Only Regret Is That They Should Have Brought Rifles.”
- Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: In Mar-a-Lago case, Trump reportedly told lawyer to mislead Archives.
Statistic of the week
MSNBC loved that last one …