Morning coffee: Thursday


via [video]

This could actually work!

The Holy Spirit is very concerned about Freemasons and waited 226 years to tell Dianne Reidy

Mediate – Dianne Reidy, the stenographer who went on a strange rant on the House floor Wednesday night, has now made a public comment, in an e-mail sent to Fox News… Greta Van Susteren posted the e-mail on her Gretawire blog:

“For the past 2 and 1/2 weeks, the Holy Spirit has been waking me up in the middle of the night and preparing me (through my reluctance and doubt) to deliver a message in the House Chamber. That is what I did last night”

Once again, here’s the message the “Holy Spirit” spent 2.5 weeks preparing Dianne Reidy (via insomnia) to deliver personally to the House floor:

“He will not be mocked. He will not be mocked. Don’t touch me. He will not be mocked. The greatest deception here is this is not one nation under God. It never was. Had it been, it would not have been… no! It would not have been …the Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons and go against God. You cannot serve two masters! You cannot serve two masters. Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ!(Listen)

Now we know: the Holy Spirit is very concerned about Freemasons and the U.S. Constitution and determined, 226 years later, that Reidy and Fox News would be the best way to get the word out.

Mental illness and religious ideation: a House stenographer’s public breakdown

A popular and well-like House stenographer unleashed a bizarre religious rant last night during the vote to reopen the government and avoid default:

“He will not be mocked. He will not be mocked. Don’t touch me. He will not be mocked. The greatest deception here is this is not one nation under God. It never was. Had it been, it would not have been… no! It would not have been …the Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons and go against God. You cannot serve two masters! You cannot serve two masters. Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ!

She was removed from the chamber, interviewed by Capitol Police, and then transported to an area hospital for a mental health evaluation.

According to the Washington Post, Rep. Gerry Connolly said the woman, whose name hasn’t been released, is well-liked in the House. “I think there’s a lot of sympathy, because something clearly happened there,” Connolly said.

Except that Fox News had no problem releasing her name: Fox News identified the stenographer as Dianne Reidy, who went to the Speaker’s Chair while the vote was in progress [...] Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the presiding officer, banged the gavel to restore order several times, but did not deter Reidy, who screamed “You cannot serve two masters” as she was removed from the floor. … “I hammered to get control and hush her up. She said something about the devil. It was sudden, confusing and heartbreaking. She is normally a gentle soul.”


The words “under God” were not included in the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954The phrase “under God” was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance June 14, 1954, by a Joint Resolution of Congress amending §4 of the Flag Code enacted in 1942. 

Can we finally stop pretending the Tea Party cares about “fiscal conservatism”?

Shouldn’t that be especially obvious after this shutdown / debt ceiling hostage drama? These anti-government extremists do not give Fuck All about the government, its budget, or anyone else but themselves. Obamacare will be worse than slavery? Birth control is “abortifacients”? What does that even…. These people are charismatic grifters, dishonest clowns, and practiced charlatans.

Amanda Marcotte writes,

It’s not just that the rogue’s gallery of congress people who are pushing the hardest for hostage-taking as a negotiation tactic also happens to be a bench full of Bible thumpers. Pew Research shows that people who align with the Tea Party are more likely to not only agree with the views of religious conservatives, but are likely to cite religious belief as their prime motivation for their political views.  White evangelicals are the religious group most likely to approve of the Tea Party. Looking over the data, it becomes evident that the “Tea Party” is just a new name for the same old white fundamentalists who would rather burn this country to the ground than share it with everyone else, and this latest power play from the Republicans is, in essence, a move from that demographic to assert their “right” to control the country, even if their politicians aren’t in power.

It’s no surprise, under the circumstances, that a movement controlled by fundamentalist Christians would be oblivious to the very real dangers that their actions present. Fundamentalist religion is extremely good at convincing its followers to be more afraid of imaginary threats than real ones, and to engage in downright magical thinking about the possibility that their own choices could work out very badly. When you believe that forcing the government into default in an attempt to derail Obamacare is the Lord’s work, it’s very difficult for you to see that it could have very real, negative effects.

It should also come as no surprise that the Tea Party’s very own Freedomworks is reportedly going broke because the teabagger hypocrites who run it have spent all the money. Turns out the people who want to lecture everyone else in the country about spending and debt and responsibility can’t seem to manage their own house:

The conservative nonprofit, which raised more than $40 million in 2012, has brought in less than $10 million this year, according to the sources. And former employees say the group’s rank and file have grown increasingly frustrated with what they view as management’s exorbitant expenditures, including a pricey craft beer bar and fancy Las Vegas hotel rooms that rack up thousands of dollars a night in charges.

[...] FreedomWorks is “top heavy on management and personnel and perks,” the former high-level employee said. The source cited, for example, an $8,000 hotel bill Kibbe ran up in Las Vegas. Bodnar did not deny the charge.

Some former employees also questioned the value in FreedomWorks’ sponsorship of Glenn Beck’s network The Blaze, which one source said cost the organization $1 million last year. (A spokesperson for Beck declined to comment on the specifics of the arrangement.)

FreedomWorks’ money problems culminated in taking out a $1 million line of credit earlier this year. [...] Sources describe a culture where fiscal conservatism is ostensibly prized, but staff dine out at fancy restaurants on the company’s dollar and a microbrew bar in the office with four kegs (Kibbe is a craft beer aficionado) is paid for with FreedomWorks money.

“At every conference they go to they stay in the best hotels, and it just doesn’t seem appropriate,” one former employee said.

It doesn’t seem appropriate? Did the former employee not get the memo that the rules for everyone else don’t apply to them?

The most disgusting thing here is that not only do they imagine they’re doing the work of an imaginary, weird, fundamentalist God—who conveniently rewards greed, hypocrisy and selfishness—but they believe they’re going to take over the government any day now.  Their magical thinking allows them to rationalize that IF they destroy the country or the world… who cares? Paradise awaits elsewhere.  Nothing matters but their own rewards, immediate or future, real or imaginary.

Underneath everything they’re not good people, in the sense that most of us understand what makes someone a good person.  Their “favorite” personas at any given moment (Bachmann, Cruz, Palin, Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Paul Ryan, Coulter) are those individuals who are willing to say the nuttiest, most outlandish, hateful, and bizarre things. Because, as a group, these people are nutty, outlandish, hateful and bizarre.

Every single day, they are the ones on Fox News taking the Lord’s name in vain and calling it Fair and Balanced. And here in America, in the year 2013, they want religious law to override secular law as a means of power and control over all of us.

They are America’s Taliban and they are currently holding our government hostage.

Shame on moneyed elites like the Koch brothers for spreading this virus to save themselves some taxes, and shame on mainstream Republicans for allowing themselves to be pushed around for political gain.  Never forget.

The government shutdown: Christian dominionism and God’s bankers


Senator Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, is a pastor with Texas charismatic ministry Purifying Fire International–he’s also been campaigning against Obamacare the last several months. The theological ethos of Rafael Cruz’s vision is in Christian dominionism; he talks about preaching a “message of dominion” that all Christians have received an “anointing as kings.”

Morgan Guyton, Associate Pastor, Burke United Methodist Church, watched a sermon Rafael Cruz preached on August 26, 2012 at the DFW New Beginnings megachurch in Irving, Texas, and shared his thoughts on how a government shutdown fits perfectly with the ultimate plans of Christian dominionism

…Christian Zionist charismatic pastor Larry Huch… had a very interesting prophecy to share when he introduced Cruz to preach:

We’ve been doing this series here that God laid on my heart: Getting to the top and staying there. A message for us as individuals, the kingdom of God, but also for America. It’s not enough to get there. We need to stay there. It’s not a coincidence that in a few weeks, we go into what’s called in the Bible Rosh Hashanad [sic]… It will be the beginning of the spiritual year 2012. The number 12 means divine government. That God will begin to rule and reign. Not Wall Street, not Washington, God’s people and His kingdom will begin to rule and reign. I know that’s why God got Rafael’s son elected, Ted Cruz the next senator.

But here’s the exciting thing… The rabbinical teaching is… that in a few weeks begins that year 2012 and that this will begin what we call the end-time transfer of wealth. And that when these Gentiles begin to receive this blessing, they will never go back financially through the valley again. They will grow and grow and grow. It’s said this way: that God is looking at the church and everyone in it and deciding in the next three and a half years who will be his bankers. And the ones that say here I am Lord, you can trust me, we will become so blessed that we will usher in the coming of the messiah.

So it sounds like we’re entering into the age where the Christians (who give faithfully) are going to get all the money through the “end-time transfer of wealth.” Isn’t the title of that sermon series just awesome? Getting to the Top and Staying There! It was a packed house. I wonder how many other apocalyptic prosperity gospel megachurches are packing their houses by preaching sermon series about getting to the top and staying there. 

[...] The seamless move that Cruz makes without any justification is to say that because kings and priests were anointed in the Old Testament, that means there are two kinds of Christians today: kings and priests. Forget about the body of Christ and all the spiritual gifts identified in 1 Corinthians 12. Forget Jesus’ exhortation in Mark 10 not to be like the Gentile princes but to be servants instead of kings. Cruz decries the way that churches have neglected their members’ kingly anointing:

Our churches unfortunately are very focused on only one of these anointings and that is on the priestly anointing… Those of you who think you don’t have the anointing to teach the word of God, to be teaching Sunday school, you’re second class citizens. And so you begin to lead frustrated lives… The majority of you… your anointing… is an anointing as king. God has given you an anointing to go to the battlefield. And what’s the battlefield? The marketplace. To go to the marketplace and occupy the land. To go to the marketplace and take dominion.

So to pull all this logic together, God anoints priests to work in the church directly and kings to go out into the marketplace to conquer, plunder, and bring back the spoils to the church. The reason governmental regulation has to disappear from the marketplace is to make it completely available to the plunder of Christian “kings” who will accomplish the “end time transfer of wealth.” Then “God’s bankers” will usher in the “coming of the messiah.” The government is being shut down so that God’s bankers can bring Jesus back.

And here’s the thing. When you get a lot of people together in a megachurch, you can do some pretty impressive things with your mission projects. You can feed thousands of people and host ESL classes and job training programs and medical clinics. And I imagine that seeing your accomplishments could give you the hubris of thinking we don’t need a government at all to make our society run; our church can be the new government.

Everything makes sense now. No wonder extremist fundagelicals within the GOP base conduct themselves the way they do: not only do they imagine they’re earning a shiny throne right next to Jesus in the Afterlife, but their spiritual leaders are promising that, in the very near future right here on Earth, they’ll be rewarded with truckloads of money in an end-time transfer of wealth and then… Raptured!

Their God-given mission is Greed, which also becomes the reward in itself. Praise Jesus!

Read it all:

Morning coffee: TGIF

via ollebosse 


The strange love-hate relationship Evangelicals have with Jesus

Phil Zuckerman: Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus –

“Jesus unambiguously preached mercy and forgiveness. These are supposed to be cardinal virtues of the Christian faith. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of the death penalty, draconian sentencing, punitive punishment over rehabilitation, and the governmental use of torture. Jesus exhorted humans to be loving, peaceful, and non-violent. And yet Evangelicals are the group of Americans most supportive of easy-access weaponry, little-to-no regulation of handgun and semi-automatic gun ownership, not to mention the violent military invasion of various countries around the world. Jesus was very clear that the pursuit of wealth was inimical to the Kingdom of God, that the rich are to be condemned, and that to be a follower of Him means to give one’s money to the poor. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of corporate greed and capitalistic excess, and they are the most opposed to institutional help for the nation’s poor — especially poor children. They hate anything that smacks of “socialism,” even though that is essentially what their Savior preached. They despise food stamp programs, subsidies for schools, hospitals, job training — anything that might dare to help out those in need. Even though helping out those in need was exactly what Jesus urged humans to do. In short, Evangelicals are that segment of America which is the most pro-militaristic, pro-gun, and pro-corporate, while simultaneously claiming to be most ardent lovers of the Prince of Peace.

What’s the deal?

Before attempting an answer, allow a quick clarification. Evangelicals don’t exactly hate Jesus — as we’ve provocatively asserted in the title of this piece. They do love him dearly. But not because of what he tried to teach humanity. Rather, Evangelicals love Jesus for what he does for them. Through his magical grace, and by shedding his precious blood, Jesus saves Evangelicals from everlasting torture in hell, and guarantees them a premium, luxury villa in heaven. For this, and this only, they love him. They can’t stop thanking him. And yet, as for Jesus himself — his core values of peace, his core teachings of social justice, his core commandments of goodwill — most Evangelicals seem to have nothing but disdain…”

Vladimir Putin terrifies a child

NBC News: “An image of Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking to a child, who then appears terrified, has people asking what exactly Putin said that may have generated such an expression.”

The child is clearly terrified:

But the boy isn’t the only one. At least three women are using side-eye to watch Putin, but is the couple right behind the child his parents? Look at their faces while Putin bends down, as if they’re thinking, “Don’t look. Don’t look… anywhere but down. Nope… not looking down.”

And afterwards, “Eyes straight… almost over…”

So what did Putin say to the little boy? Some of the best suggestions from Reddit:

“Quiet down or you go to gulag.”
“Sarah Palin is watching us right now.”
“Joey, do you like movies about Gladiators?”
“I killed Santa with my bare hands”
“I will have the KGB murder your family if you do not sit quietly.”
“If you pick your nose once more I will have it removed.”
“You’re not getting adopted.”

(Photos of Russian president Vladimir Putin at a Christmas Eve service at a Russian Orthodox monastery in the city of Sochi by Mikhail Klimentyev / RIA Novosti via Reuters / NBC News)

The Republican Party: scamming for profit

…There are a lot of people whose livelihoods depend on keeping lots of conservatives terrified and ill-informed. The groups that exist to raise funds raise more funds when they endorse the crazier candidate. So even if you don’t particularly care that regular conservative Americans are constantly being scammed by their media apparatus, you should still worry about the influence of the scammers. The fact that there is a lot of money to be made in acting like Michele Bachmann is part of why the House seems poised to blow up the U.S. economy. The fact that conservatives have that much contempt for their own true believers neatly explains how they govern when they actually have power.”

— The conservative movement is still an elaborate moneymaking venture – Alex Pareene – Salon (via)

The “War on Christmas” is over… until next year

Of course, in an enormous mansion somewhere in this great country, Bill O’Reilly is sitting on a pile of money and already preparing for next year’s War on Christmas. It’ll begin just after Halloween, when the first lights go up on people’s houses and trees. And it’ll end, as every year, when the Christmas holiday is celebrated without a hitch. — kohenari

Here’s how fundamentalists believe in a ‘Republican Jesus’

It’s a Wonderful Life (in some ways)

“Every year about now I watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” again to remind myself what Frank Capra understood about America — its essential decency and common sense. In many ways the nation is better than it was in 1946 when the movie first appeared. Women have gained economic power and reproductive rights; we enacted Civil Rights and Voting Rights and, through Medicare and Medicaid, dramatically reduced poverty among the elderly; we began to tackle environmental devastation; we stopped treating gays as criminals and have even started to recognize equal marriage rights. We elected and then re-elected the first black president of the United States. But we are still in danger of the “Pottersville” Capra envisioned as the alternative to what happens when Americans fail to join together and forget the meaning of the public good. The craven and cynical bullies symbolized by Lionel Barrymore’s “Mr. Potter” are threatening our democracy and our common morality. We must continue to fight them.”

— Robert Reich


Fundamentalists: worshippers of false gods

“…when fundamentalists say that their God is excluded from public schools, they are speaking the truth. The God they worship is not the true God, the one that is omnipresent and ultimate, but political power and coercive imposition of their views on others. That is what fundamentalists worship and serve. That is what they lament seeing expelled from public schools. And that is what they opportunistically use tragedies like the recent one to promote. Those who know or seek the true God will not bow before such idols, and will call those who do so out, and seek to expose them for what they are, namely worshippers of false gods.”

— What Fundamentalists Worship

Everyone hates the Westboro Baptist Church: Sandy Hook Elementary Edition

(image via

After the hate group, Westboro Baptist Church, decided to turn their attention from desecrating fallen soldiers to desecrating the victims in Newtown, CT, Anonymous released private contact information on Fred Phelps Sr, as well as the rest of the group’s membership (all of whom seem to be related).

Salon: Westboro Baptist Church, notorious for picketing the funerals of fallen troops with “God Hates Fags” placards, announced Saturday that they would picket Sandy Hook elementary school, where 20 children and six adults were shot dead Friday. Tweets from the Phelps family suggest they believe the horrors in Connecticut are a punishment from God for gay marriage. Hacker collective Anonymous was swift to respond, releasing private information of  Westboro members including email addresses, phone numbers and home addresses.

Anonymous hits Westboro Baptist Church over Sandy Hook picket plans


July 22: People lock arms to prevent members of the Westboro Baptist Church from attending a memorial service outside the Aurora Municipal Center in Colorado. (via Buzzfeed: Westboro Baptist Church Members Say They Will Protest In Sandy Hook)