Category Archives: Undead sexist cliches

The Florida school shooting, victim blaming and other topics

I never have much to write about tragedies like this. So I’ll just link.

Charles Pierce says Trump supporters know perfectly well that “nobody expects him to mean what he says, because that would mark you as a sap who believes that politics can be a constructive endeavor.” Got to say I don’t think this is so. Neither does No More Mr. Nice Blog.

Paul Campos reminds us that while shootings are up, overall murder rates are down. Whatever that signifies.

Apparently white nationalists who claimed the shooter as their own were lying.

Right-winger Ben Shapiro suffers from the delusion that old-school morality stopped sexual harassment. As explained at the link, wrong (and I make the same point here) And of course lots of traditional-values conservatives are still into blaming the victims.  Case in point, right-winger Sandy Rios supports accused spouse-beater Rob Porter — you can’t believe a word those lying sluts accusing men say, right? Of course the White House repeatedly contradicts its own claims about Porter but I bet Rios is okay with that. Other right wingers settle for blaming the whole thing on liberals and feminists. And that like Shapiro, this kind of thing wouldn’t happen if we went back to the Good Old Days.

Continuing with the victim-blaming, conservative pastor Kevin Swanson explains that the Larry Nassar scandal is what you can expect if you put a “red-blooded” male in the presence of a lot of women who are dressed immodestly. So Swanson thinks assaulting underage girls is natural for red-blooded men (a typical man-hating attitude on the right)? And he ignores that Nassar penetrated his victims with his fingers — that’s abusive but it’s not what most men do for sexual satisfaction. As for Swanson’s claim Nassar was caught because God wouldn’t tolerate him — er, why did God put up with him for the previous twenty years, then?

There’s a theory Trump can’t be blackmailed because nothing shames him. If that were true, he wouldn’t bury so many stories.

More ways in which the Trump budget sucks. Here’s another. And it will bring on a massive deficit but articles on the budget ignore that’s normal for Republicans.

Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey beat a corruption charge because court decisions have made proving corruption harder.

it seems Wikileaks was more than a little biased against the female candidate in 2016.

It took two months for the Wisconsin GOP to formally disavow anti-semite candidate Paul Nehlen.

Right-wing Christian pundit Dave Daubenmire says black Christians only call him racist because skin color matters to them more than God. Otherwise why would they have voted for the Muslim Obama like they did?

Megan McArdle has become the WaPo’s new columnist. Roy Edroso, who despises her writing as much as I do, vents. LGM looks at some of her past bullshit. If you want more examples, plug her name into my blog’s search engine.  Though Chris Christie as pundit is no improvement.

I’ve never had much use for Joe Scarborough, but he totally crushes the author whose book claims Trump is on a Christian spiritual voyage.

Ben Shapiro (again) cannot understand why black people are so excited about a movie with an almost all-black cast, so he dismisses it as identity politics. The late Dwayne McDuffie pre-emptively explains this writing about what T’Challa’s first comic book series meant to him.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has a simple way to stop Republicans losing seats in special elections: don’t hold any.




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Trump’s idea of “the best and brightest”

Back in 2016, a former FB friend of mine (rape-apologist trolling is a fast way to get yourself unfriended) argued we didn’t need to worry about Trump being a vainglorious dumbass. He was a smart, Big Apple businessman: he knew how to hire the best people, they’d make up for Trump’s shortcomings.

Like so many rationale for why Trump was the right choice, it’s bullshit. Let’s look at some examples:

First of course, as you probably all know, we have Staff Secretary Rob Porter. His alleged history of spousal abuse was enough to keep him from getting a security clearance. (apparently lots of Trumpites working with classified material do not have clearance). But Trump hired him anyway — after all, Porter denied the charges! How could they have known? Even John Kelly, The Grownup In The Room supported Porter — and as LGM points out at the second link, what does it say about Trump hiring the best people that everyone accepts the White House needs a grown-up in the room? Of course, Trump himself says Porter is awesome and besides, Porter said he was innocent! I’m sure the latest White House abuser says the same thing. Though as LGM points out, Trump doesn’t care about innocence when it’s Clinton or black men rather than white male abusers.

Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, tries to pretend he and  President Shit-Gibbon really care about spouse abuse (newsflash: a lot of religious conservatives don’t). He also indignantly denied his support for “conversion therapy” when he was called out by a gay Olympic athlete. More here.

Trump lickspittle Kellyanne Conway is head of the White House opioids response team. Her response? Ignore experts and rely on political appointees. Of course Conway’s a political hack herself whose highest career accomplishment is toadying to the white supremacist in the Oval Office, so it’s not surprising — but it’s still horrifying. We’re seeing hundreds of deaths from this thing, and Trump’s crew of the Best People doesn’t give a damn.

And even Conway looks good compared to FEMA’s Puerto Rico contractor, Tiffany Brown.

Kentucky Republican and Trump backer Timothy Nolan has been charged with forcing women to sleep with him, using everything from threats to money to calls to their probation officer. He’s pleaded guilty.

As for Trump’s decisive ability to bellow You’re Fired at his people just like he did on The Apprenticewell, no. Though apparently the blame for the Porter fiasco is somehow settling on Porter’s current girlfriend. And President Shit-Gibbon is quite happy to punish legal immigrants who use federal services by making it harder for them to get a green card.

It would almost be funny if this incompetent and morally bankrupt hacks weren’t running the country and getting loyal support from Republicans in Congress. They own this as much as Trump does. So let’s look at the rest of the right wing:

They hate that conservative kids might be exposed to liberal ideas in college.

Right-wing liar David Barton claims Obama designated him an enemy of the state. And a right-wing Christian pastor claims the Trumps had to exorcise Obama’s literally demonic influence.

A Fox News executive objects to the Olympic team being too dark and too gay.

Repub presidential wannabe Marco Rubio thinks we should fund paid family leave by cutting Social Security benefits.

An armed Trump supporter asked a Navajo legislator if he was a legal immigrant.

An Illinois neo-Nazi joins the ranks of neo-Nazis who’ve run for office as Republicans (David Duke did it years ago)

Remember when Republicans claimed cutting the deficit was the most vital mission on Earth? They lied.

And the Trump Consumer Finance Protection Bureau won’t do crap about firms that don’t guard our personal information.

A Trump supporter and Pizzagate believer is shocked anyone would say she pushes fake news.

And I’m inclined to agree with Lance Manion that if Trump’s biggest accomplishment is keeping America whiter, he’d be proud of that — as if FDR wanted to be remembered for the Japanese-American internment camps.

Rights to Edward Munch’s The Scream remain with current holder.


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The thing about cover-ups (a sexual harassment link post)

People often say that “the cover-up is worse than the scandal.” Meaning cases of police brutality, sexual harassment, corruption etc. would cause less of a shit-storm if people hadn’t covered them up. But as I pointed out in an old And column, that’s not really true. The players can reasonably hope that the cover-up will hold until they’re retired or dead so they’ll never suffer any blowback from either superiors (“How could you humiliate us by taking this public?”) or the enraged public. It’s a gamble, but it’s not a foolish one. Just an utterly unethical, morally bankrupt one: screw the needs of the many, what’s in it for me?

Case in point, Michigan State University which Athletic Magazine shows completely failed in its handling of the Larry Nassar sex harassment case (not to mention sexual assault cases involving athletes). Well completely failed unless it’s intention was to bury the accusations by Nassar’s victims, such as Rachael Denhollander. If that’s the standard, they were aces. Nevertheless, the only thing MSU President Lou Anna Simon is suffering is resigning her job, while insisting the university did everything right (the MSU attorney told them they were doing great!). Nassar himself spent more than two decades abusing girls with impunity before justice caught up with him. Prior to Simon’s resignation, one board member laughed at the idea she needed to go — what was “this Nassar thing” compared to MSU’s new basketball stadium?

And of course, there’s plenty of harassment elsewhere to go around. Like a black-tie fundraiser that offers up its female waitstaff as sex toys for guests. Or Silicon Valley swinger-parties for dudes who feel they don’t get enough sex.

Rep. Patrick Meehan insists he totally did not sexually harass the staffer he called his soul mate.

Stanford University is putting up a memorial plaque on the site Brock Turner assault victim. When the university didn’t like the quote she suggested for the plaque, it picked “Everything is okay” out of context from her trial testimony.

Kirsten Gillibrand on not letting your side get away with harassment or abuse. “[Franken] is entitled to a hearing. He’s not entitled to my silence.”

Perhaps part of the problem is that even in consensual sex, women are taught their discomfort is normal.

Missouri Republican Courtland Sykes is so stereotypically sexist, Slacktivist wonders if he’s a hoax (but thinks he’s probably for real).

For something to wrap up, when teen adventurer Jade Hameister encouraged her fellow teenage girls to shoot for the stars, Internet trolls responded with “make me a sandwich!” So she did — they just have to get to the South Pole to eat it.

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I now defy right-wing political correctness!

A lot of conservatives are happy to denounce “PC” on the left in contrast to their own supposed willingness to stare reality in the face. In reality, PC — in the sense of “blindly accepting dogma” — is something anyone can fall victim to, including conservatives.

For examples conservatives during the W years were adamant that our government did not torture anyone. A detailed report from The Constitution Project shows that yes, we did. And the torture was systemic, common and not at all “a few bad apples.” At the bare minimum higher authorities demanded information, encouraged soldiers to “take the gloves off” getting it and offered no guidelines on what not to do. If nothing else, that’s negligence on a massive (and in some cases fatal) scale.

Nothing in my columns for the Destin Log, however, freaked right-wingers out as much as the phrase “right wing terrorism.” Nope. No way. Doesn’t exist. Not a problem. It’s Muslims, okay and maybe radical leftists but it’s never conservatives. I’m not sure how much is fear of having the anti-terrorist system they’ve supported turned on them, how much sympathy for the far right and how much the same kind of discomfort the word “racist” causes (David Neiwert offers some thoughts on this and other topics in an interview). But “there’s no right-wing terrorism” is bullshit whatever the reason, as the Anti-Defamation League shows with its report, A Dark and Constant Rage. 150 incidents over the past 25 years is a lot for something that supposedly doesn’t exist.

Moving on … speaking of the right wing and racism, here’s yet another Trump sleazebag appointee. Of course the media still flinch from acknowledging President Shit-Gibbon is a racist. Speaking of racism, the real reason the Republicans aren’t cutting a deal on DACA is that they don’t want to. And don’t forget, believing in racist bullshit requires making yourself stupider.

John Roberts and the conservative wing of the Supreme Court have said North Carolina doesn’t have to redraw gerrymandered districts before the fall election. Can’t disadvantage Republicans, can we?

As Shakezula says, will religious-freedom-to-discriminate laws ever be used to deny treatment to adulterers? Or just trans, gay and female people? Heck, with Trump cheating and banging porn stars probably makes his acolytes love him more.

Another day, another abuser exposed. And as usual, it looks like he had people willing to cover up for him. And charges have been filed against another supposedly godly man. And here’s how churches shouldn’t respond.

The Star of David is Satanic according to one right-wing Bible thumper.

Even when Gamergate participants confessed to sending women death threats, the FBI file shows no charges were filed.

Sexual abuse of a coworker doesn’t have to take place in the workplace.

Elderly immigrants being deported don’t get the Social Security they’ve been paying into for years.

It costs the IRS more to employ private debt-collectors than the contractors bring in to the agency.

The Museum of the Bible: more politics than museum.

Anthem’s new policy for covering ER visits: if they decide you should have known that stabbing gut pain wasn’t an emergency, you’re not covered.

And now some links courtesy of the Slacktivist blog:

Hiram Revels was the first black man to serve in Congress. Yet in the places where he lived in work, it’s statues to Confederates, not Revels, that people see.

How we whitewash and sanitize the civil rights struggle.

Back in the 1990s, Pat Robertson warned conservatives against the Illuminati takeover (with the added twist the Illuminati were run by International Jewish Bankers); apparently the Illuminati are still a bogeyman (Alex Jones at the link doesn’t deny they exist, he just denies Trump’s a member).

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Religious scumbags, racist remarks and more political links

As a Christian, I realize despise some of the right-wing shitbags who belong to my faith.

For example, megachurch pastor Andy Savage confesses to assaulting a teenager twenty years ago (confessing because she’d gone public), describing it as a sexual incident. His church stands by him and wishes his victim was on the same “path to healing” as Savage is. Trump spiritual adviser Paula White tells people to send her one month’s pay or God will punish them (this kind of scam does seem to fit with Trump’s spirituality, of course).  Religious gay-loather Matt Saver insists gay judges cannot rule fairly on any case involving Christians.

Pastor Tom Fuerst argues that preachers who don’t speak out against racism “are not teaching Jesus.” Amy Sullivan suggests, however, that’s because rightwing evangelicals have a new concept of Christianity — Fox news evangelicism. Right-wing evangelical David French’s (of the Consensual Sex Is Bad wing of Christianity) solution: stop using the word evangelical.

Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ Christianity is somehow compatible with worshipping Trump and lying her teeth off every day, but that’s still no reason (as one blogger did recently) to throw the “c-word” at her. Gendered slams aren’t acceptable just because the target is a conservative woman.

Sanders’ boss, of course, has dismissed the nonwhite world as “shithole countries.” Surprise, Republicans are not criticizing him as hard as Dems. They never will as long as he can nominate more right-wing judges and destroy government regulations and sign anything they give him. And yes, Trump’s argument is racist. As is Kansas Republican State Rep. Steve Alford’s claim the reason pot was banned in the 1930s was because blacks are genetically pot-heads. But Alford’s totally not racist, at least according to himself.

You can count on any Trump policy to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted. And afflicting wildlife too.

Republican voters hate elites, but they’ve convinced themselves billionaire Trump isn’t really one.

Right-wing pundits used to dismiss Obama as some illiterate fraud reading off a teleprompter. But when Trump reads off a teleprompter, that proves he’s smart.

David Brooks, a man who believes we should just shut up and obey our leaders, and that if Republicans say they’re going to help the poor it doesn’t matter whether they actually do, unsurprisingly thinks Trump is doing a good job, it’s everyone who thinks he’s an idiot who’s at fault.

Slacktivist says the point of Oprah’s Golden Globes speech isn’t that she should be president, but that we should all be the change we want to see in the world.

Echidne reminds us that sexual harassment at work isn’t just about sex, it’s about job opportunities lost.

Trump tried to wreck the Iran nuclear deal. So far, he’s failed. Once again, we’re lucky he’s so inept.




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My first political link-post of 2018! Gasp in awe!

Vox explains why the fall of Weinstein, Franken, Keillor, Lauer, etc. without a conviction does not violate their rights. And no, it won’t be the death of flirting.

According to Trump and Breitbart backer Robert Mercer, the Civil Rights Act was bad, and things like Jim Crow and lynching just weren’t important. As noted at the link, this seems “really racist.” It’s the equivalent of the sexist argument women were better off when they were the property of their husbands and couldn’t vote. Slacktivist linked to the Mercer piece and other postcards from the culture wars.

As several bloggers have pointed out, the calls for Hilary Clinton to shut up and retire from public life have no precedent (McCain didn’t shut up, Kerry didn’t shut up, Palin didn’t shut up, Romney may replace Orrin Hatch in the Senate). Echidne looks at this some more.

When NYC Mayor Bill deBlaisio ended New York’s “stop and frisk” program (the one where police hassled black people for the crime of walking around black), conservatives predicted anarchy and apocalypse. Instead, crime rates plummeted, so right-wing pundits have an explanation: it’s not deBlasio who gets the credit, it’s Trump.

I’m pretty sure when the leader of the White House Bible study group says it’s the government’s job to punish sin, the irony of saying this while serving a lying, sexual harasser who bears false witness against his neighbor and cheats people he’s in business with escapes him. Or maybe it doesn’t and he doesn’t give a crap. Likewise Gary Bauer, religious right-winger who compares liberals to the Taliban, suddenly pretends Taliban metaphors offend him.

A survey indicates evangelicals are very pro-science. Slacktivist points out that’s because the science they believe — gay is a mental illness, the Earth is 6,000 years old, contraceptives kill babies and cause breast cancer — is wrong.

There is no bottom to the craziness of conspiracy theorists.

Orrin Hatch is retiring. He won’t be missed.

You’ve probably noticed over the past year that a lot of Republicans hate Hilary Clinton (“Lock her up!”). Here’s a golden oldie, National Review columnist John Derbyshire saying he hates Chelsea Clinton and wants to see her and her parents put to death.

Jeff Sessions has notified federal prosecutors around the country that he’s dropping an Obama policy against prosecuting legal pot. Is it just that Sessions is an antique who gets his ideas about marijuana from Reefer Madness or that he’s getting payoffs from the prison-industrial complex? Oh, and Sessions is also working hard to roll-back disability protection.

During the Obama years, conservative pundits such as David Brooks and Ross Douthat saw the deficit as the greatest threat to America’s future, so Obama better get busy gutting Social Security and Medicare and not spending on anything new. Now that the Repubs just piled up future debt via the new tax legislation, Douthat’s suddenly discovered deficits are unimportant — which I suspect will change again as soon as a Democrat gets into office. The column is an impressively piece of threading the needle in other ways, as Douthat simultaneously praises Trump (he put Gorsuch on the Supreme Court! And he’s nominating other anti-gay judges) while assuring readers he’s not totally convinced Trump won’t be a disaster down the road (apparently the past year didn’t convince him).

So apparently white nationalists are now admitting the Confederacy was about slavery.

Three of four Congressional investigations into Russian interference in US elections have decided to investigate Clinton or the Democrats instead. LGM adds more thoughts. When Trump’s gone and current Congressional Republicans denounce him, they’ll be lying — when it counted, they took his side. As do white evangelicals. Which isn’t new.

President Shit-Gibbon trying to prevent publication of a book criticizing him is a bad thing (legally it’s way more serious than suing after it came out). And as James Fallows points out, what the book says about Trump is an open secret.

Trump isn’t trying to distract us with his use of Twitter, he’s reflexively tweeting whatever’s on Fox News.

Slacktivist discusses and dismisses the idea that having freedom of religion conflicts with the ban on the government imposing religion. It doesn’t.



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This is the future conservatives don’t want

One of the recurrent claims of the past year has been that Republicans aren’t voting for Trump, they’re voting against all the people who judge them and criticize them and don’t accept their way of life. As I’ve mentioned before, I think that’s tommyrot: what drives them (or a great many of them) is anger that they can’t judge us without getting blowback. If they lecture us on how women who work or don’t submit to their husbands are ungodly or how rape victims have it coming, they get criticized — and that, in their eyes, is oppression and thought policing. What they’re doing is simply saying the simple truth.

But beyond that, we get things like this (which is not new, so probably many of you have seen it before). Put it by some right-wing group it’s supposed to be AAAAH Horrifying.

And to some conservatives it is. Not because they’ll be forced to approve of these people or dress like them, or because any stray Christian preacher will be forced by law to hold a Muslim gay wedding. Simply because they exist. And in the future liberals want, they exist unafraid, sitting there (at least in the future I want) without worrying about being bullied, harassed. They have the right to sit there, as much as any Republican; they have a right to co-exist. And many conservatives think having to co-exist, having to acknowledge the Other’s rights, is a violation of conservative safe space principles. Absurd as it seems to me, I’m sure some conservatives do indeed react to it with utter horror.

Too bad for them. At this point even with Breitbart and Fox News pushing assorted right-wing themes, I don’t think they can turn attitudes back to the 1950s. However they can make it as hard to be gay, black, Muslim or independent female as possible. Give employers more rights to fire and hire based on moral judgments. Choke off access to birth control and abortion. Entitle businesses to refuse customers who offend their faith (and no-one else’s — I doubt that refusing Paul Ryan service because he does not give his cloak to the beggar or care for the orphan would find favor). In  the long run, they’ll lose, but as the saying goes, in the long run we’ll all be dead.

But looking at the photo reminds me of one thing: the side that accepts this future is better than the side that recoils from it.

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