Attorney Genuflect Barr Inadvertently Tags Trump World as ‘Organized Destruction’

The administration of Donald Trump has suffered unprecedented chaos and personnel turnover. Trump is on his third Chief of Staff. He is about to name his fourth Homeland Security Secretary. His current Communications Director is the fifth person to hold that jobs. He’s had at least 55 high-profile departures, and that isn’t counting dozens more at mid-levels.

William Barr, Donald Trump

However, his second Attorney General, William Barr, appears to be fulfilling the criteria that Trump values most in his underlings: 100% pure, unadulterated, and blind loyalty. Barr has been acting as Trump’s de facto personal lawyer, despite that being wholly improper and unethical for the nation’s top law enforcement official. He routinely takes Trump’;s side on controversial legal issues without regard for legal precedent or even reasoning. He has even inserted himself into the congressional impeachment inquiry in ways that make him subject to potential impeachment himself.

On Friday Barr gave a speech at Notre Dame University where he took some positions that are far afield from his duties as Attorney General (video below). In fact, he sounded more like one of Trump’s evangelical political boosters than a lawyer representing the American people. His remarks condemned the “ascendancy” of “secularism” as the cause of every social problem from mental illness, to violence, to drug abuse. And his sermonizing went even further to blast through the wall separating church and state. For instance, he said that…

“Among the militant secularists are many so-called progressives. But where is the progress? We are told we’re living in a post-Christian era. But what has replaced the Judeo-Christian moral system? What is it that fills the spiritual void in the heart of the individual person? And what is the system of values that can sustain human social life? The fact is that no secular creed has emerged capable of performing the role of religion.

Thank you Pastor Barr. In that one brief paragraph Barr has maligned progressives as anti-religion militants who advocate for the abandonment of social values. His remedy, of course, is more religion, rather than respect for the Constitution and the law. But he wasn’t finished. He further stated that…

“This is not decay. This is organized destruction. Secularists and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.”

Whoever Barr is calling “Secularists”, he is claiming that they have taken total control over all of the media and educational institutions in the country. Of course, if that were true there would never have been a Trump presidency. What Barr is really saying, without any awareness of it, is actually a condemnation of his boss. No one has been more assaultive of religion and traditional values than Trump. He’s a thrice-married, adulterous, prideful, profane, greedy, liar.

Donald Trump spent much of his life consumed by popular culture. He worked in mass communications and entertainment for fourteen years as the host of a reality TV game show. He also had a regular slot on Fox News for a segment of Fox and Friends called Mornings with Trump. And he even operated his own Trump University, although that ended when he was found to have committed fraud and ordered to pay $25 million in restitution and penalties to his students/victims.

So Barr is inadvertently telling the truth about the immorality of Trump. Everything in his speech applies more to the President than the progressive patriots he’s attacking, including the violence, drug abuse, militance, and spiritual vacancy. But more importantly, Barr’s transformation into Trump’s preacher is just another frightening diversion from the legitimate role of government by the Trump administration. It’s further evidence that Trump is steering the nation toward a fascist-style theocracy that would crush our constitutional democracy. And it makes impeaching Trump a ever more urgent imperative for the American people.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Republicans See Trump as a King (or God) While He Behaves Like a Sniveling Coward

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to understand why those who support Donald Trump continue to do so, despite the mountains of evidence against him. The Mueller report documented that Trump had welcomed and encouraged assistance from Russia, and then sought to obstruct justice by covering it up. And the Ukraine affair, wherein he tried to extort a foreign government for his political benefit, is proof that he has no qualms about doing it again.

Donald Trump Messiah

More facts are being revealed every day, and the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry is proceeding surprisingly rapidly. This has resulted in Trump secluding himself in his bunker and refusing to cooperate in any way with the inquiry. For someone who fiercely insists that he has done nothing wrong, Trump is trying awfully hard to prevent the evidence he asserts would exonerate him from ever coming out.

In the meantime, the StormTrumpers in Congress and the press are digging in deeper than ever. They are no longer simply offering words of support, they are canonizing Trump as some sort of superhuman sent from above to save mankind. It’s a bizarre twist in what would ordinarily be a political debate, but is turning into a test of devotion to the Almighty.

On Tuesday a Fox News legal analyst, Gregg Jarrett. argued that Trump was innocent of any wrongdoing because “abuse of power” wasn’t prohibited by the Constitution. Not only is that false, it’s a remarkably stupid argument in favor of tyranny. On Wednesday a couple of Trump’s evangelical leaders weighed in with equally grotesque positions on Trump’s behalf. The Faith and Freedom Coalition founder Ralph Reed said that American evangelicals “have a moral obligation to enthusiastically back” the president. Really? A moral obligation to back a thrice-married, profane, lying, adulterer, who conspires with America’s enemies? Then Trump’s spiritual adviser Paula White said that “To say no to President Trump would be saying no to God.” So Trump, her eyes, is on a par with the King of Kings?

And speaking of Kings, Joseph DiGenova, a lawyer and supporter of Trump, told Laura Ingraham of Fox News that the efforts to impeach Trump were “regicide” (killing a king). So now they are admitting that they regard Trump as a king rather than a president who is subject to the tenets of democracy and to the law.

These aberrant views are disturbing, to say the very least. And it isn’t coincidental that they are becoming more extreme as Trump’s situation becomes more dire. He is sinking like a stone into into an abyss of legal trauma that is likely to portend the end of his presidency and perhaps his freedom. And what is becoming abundantly clear is that – he knows it.

On Wednesday morning Trump unloaded a tweetstorm of thirty-three (so far) tweets or retweets. And nearly half of them were were about his precarious position with regard to impeachment. He went after his favorite new nemesis, Rep. Adam Schiff. He repeatedly blasted the whistleblower for having alleged ties to Democrats. Although why that is relevant is puzzling since the “transcript” of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky – and Trump himself – corroborated the assertions in the whistleblower’s complaint.

Trump also ranted about impeaching Schiff (which can’t be done), having a rematch with Hillary Clinton (which won’t be done), and making excuses for having betrayed our Kurdish allies in Syria (which is being done). But his most ridiculous tweet was one that made this flagrantly untrue claim:

There isn’t a single poll that shows Trump with only 25 percent favoring impeachment. In fact, every recent poll has that number between 49 and 58 percent, with support for impeachment having huge gains in the past couple of weeks. The only possible explanation for Trump’s wildly unreal number is that a Washington Post poll had 25 percent of just Republicans favoring impeachment, and Trump is trying to spin that as the entire electorate. It’s not. But it’s a damn high number for just Trump’s own party. By the way, this would not be the first time that Trump tried to pass off a GOP-only number as more broadly representing all voters. But is he lying or is he just incapable of comprehending simple data?

The frantic pace of Trump’s tweeting tells the story of his declining mental state. He is plainly freaking out over what he must know is his doomed fate. And it is this cowardly, terror-stricken, impotent, weakling that Republicans and evangelicals are bowing down to as their savior. So Trump has managed to not only ruin the Republican Party, he is even turning the religious right into a pathetic, idol worshiping, cadre of glassy-eyed disciples who can’t even pretend to adhere to the principles of their alleged faith.

The problem with this is that Trump likely believes his own hype. and there is a risk that he will seek to lead a perverse revolt with his deranged followers of 2nd Amendment wackos, conservative conspiracy theorists, and holy warriors. Of course, they won’t get far, but the damage they are capable of would still be unfortunate, even though minor. Let’s hope they’re not stupid enough to try it.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Says ‘I Am the Chosen One’ After Tweeting that He’s ‘The Second Coming of God’

Many people have been predicting that as the tribulations of Donald Trump intensify, his mental state will become ever more unstable and dangerous. That appears to be the case as he is battered by devastating poll numbers, a weakening economy, and chaos on both domestic and foreign matters that is pulling back the curtains on his incompetence and failure.

Donald Trump Messiah

But did anyone see this coming? In response to a question about his trade war with China, Trump looked to the heavens and proclaimed to reporters today that “I am the chosen one.” Well, maybe if he means chosen by Vladimir Putin. And while some may regard this as typical Trumpian hyperbole, it needs to be viewed in relation to his other recent commentaries.

Trump has long been known to harbor aspirations of dictatorship. He has expressed jealousy over Xi Jinping’s status as “President for Life.” He openly yearned for Putin’s power to “get rid of” the press. But perhaps most troubling is his fervent wish that Americans worship him the way North Koreans do Kim Jong Un. That’s a theme that returned on Wednesday when Trump retweeted Wayne Allyn Root, a notorious conspiracy crackpot who, among other things, was a prominent Birther and believed that the Democratic Party murdered Seth Rich. Trump’s tweets quoted Root saying that…

President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him….”

….like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God…But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense! But that’s OK, if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s good for…..”

…..all Jews, Blacks, Gays, everyone. And importantly, he’s good for everyone in America who wants a job.” Wow! @newsmax @foxandfriends @OANN

So Trump’s “America First” mantra is now being set aside to allow him to also be the president of Israel. Even worse, Trump is echoing the blasphemous assertion that he is the “King of Israel” and even the returning Messiah as “the second coming of God.” It’s also notable that Trump is crediting Fox News and the even more radical right One America News Network for these remarks.

For the record, Jews do not believe in the second coming. But Christians in America do. And are they really comfortable with Trump passing along these flagrantly unholy pronouncements? Is there any sacrilege that Trump can commit that will cause his pious devotees to question his omnipotence? Apparently telling more than 12,000 lies won’t do it. Nor will cheating on his three (so far) wives. Although there may be a bit of concern about his potty mouth.

Trump has previously made staggeringly irreligious remarks. For instance, when asked if had ever asked God for forgiveness, he replied that he didn’t need to because he has never done anything wrong:

“I’m trying to lead a life where I don’t have to ask God for forgiveness. […] Why do I have to repent? Why do I have to ask for forgiveness if you’re not making mistakes?”

That, of course, shows that Trump has a painfully misguided interpretation of the tenets of his own alleged Presbyterian faith, including “original sin,” wherein all are born with sin and require God’s forgiveness for salvation. But he also has a perversely delusional image of himself as infallible, a state that Christians believe only Christ had achieved. Which brings us back to these new comments wherein he regards himself as, at least, Christ-like.

In the past few days Trump has delivered abhorrent, anti-Semitic diatribes aimed at Democratic members of Congress, and Democratic voters in general. He said that they are both stupid and disloyal. That’s not only insulting, but it rekindles an old affront to Jews as not being patriotic Americans.

What’s more, it ignores the reality that American Jews are overwhelming Democratic and ardent opponents of Trump. So it’s fair to say that he hasn’t helped himself with that sector of the electorate this week. In fact, he’s just digging himself deeper into an abyss of hatred and division that Americans of all stripes will reject in November of 2020.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

President Potty Mouth: Hypocritical Evangelicals Suddenly Triggered By Trump’s Profanity

From the earliest days of his presidential ambitions, Donald Trump’s most fervent supporters have been the so-called “evangelicals” who profess to be devout disciples of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They have packed his rallies, raised millions of dollars, and voted with the blind loyalty of a glassy-eyed cult. They provided a base of political support that benefited from the unshakeable faith that only religion can muster.

Donald Trump Messiah

However, there are now some rumblings of discontent in the pews. Politico is reporting that some in the evangelical community are becoming uncomfortable with “Trump’s penchant for profanity,” despite the fact that it has been there for decades:

“Trump’s indelicate language has frustrated religious fans who have otherwise been staunch supporters of his agenda. They agree with his social policies, praise his appointment of conservative judges and extol his commitment to Israel — often tolerating Trump’s character flaws for the continued advancement of all three. But when it comes to ‘using the Lord’s name in vain,’ as Hardesty put it, ‘the president’s evangelical base might be far less forgiving.'”

Seriously? Naughty words are what is triggering the Trump faithful? Apparently they have no problem with Trump being on his third wife, breaching vows to God to be bound “until death do us part.” They aren’t troubled by his serial infidelity, including dalliances with porn stars while his wife was home nursing his newborn. They look past his lies and payoffs to cover up his sinfulness. And speaking of lies, they don’t seem to be bothered that he has told more than 12,000 of them just since his inauguration.

What’s more, while fainting at the sound of obscenities, these willfully blind believers have shown no concern for the caging of children, the blatant racism, the prideful boasting, the infantile and wrathful name-calling, the love letters exchanged with murderous dictators, the flagrant disrespect for the law, the determination to befoul the planet, the obsession with terminating healthcare for millions, and the ignorance of nearly everything, including the bible.

Early on Trump pretended to be a devout Christian solely for political gain. Never mind that his entire life has been a monument to lust, greed, and the rest of the seven deadly sins. When he was asked by Republican “Word Doctor” Frank Luntz, if he had ever asked God for forgiveness, Trump replied that he didn’t need to because he has never done anything wrong. No, really! He said that

“I like to work where I don’t really have to ask for it. I like to do the right thing where I don’t actually have to ask for forgiveness. Does that make sense to you? You know, where you don’t make such bad things that you don’t have to ask for forgiveness. I mean, I’m trying to lead a life where I don’t have to ask God for forgiveness. […] Why do I have to repent? Why do I have to ask for forgiveness if you’re not making mistakes?”

That, of course, shows that Trump not only has a perversely delusional self-image, but he also has a painfully misguided interpretation of the tenets of his own alleged Presbyterian faith, including “original sin,” wherein all are born with sin and require God’s forgiveness for salvation.

The Politico article notes that some of Trump’s most annoyingly pious “spiritual” backers are not worried about his profane utterances. “We all wish he would be a little more careful with his language,” said Jerry Falwell Jr, “but it’s not anything that’s a deal breaker, and it’s not something we’re going to get morally indignant about.” And Fox News contributor Alveda King said that “she’s inclined to extend grace to the president when he swears or makes inappropriate comments.”

Well, isn’t that special? Funny that they don’t extend the same measure of “grace” to Democrats or liberals. In fact, last week the top story on the Fox News website was a condemnation of Democrats for using obscenities following a heartbreaking week of mass shootings. Naturally, it ignored Trump’s rampant ravings replete with rude rhetoric reserved exclusively for personal insults.

That’s the sort of hypocrisy that is to be expected from Fox News and the Trump Cult. And while there are a few voices of sanity, don’t expect things to change any time soon. Their eyes are so glazed over that they can’t see the depths of their delusion or of Trump’s reprehensible dishonesty and deception. These are the people who claim to be God’s messengers. And they’re the same people who insisted that Barack Obama was the anti-Christ.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Amen: Fox News Shill Recites Bible Verse that Perfectly Describes the End Times with Trump

This week in Washington, D.C., the ultra-conservative Family Research Council held its annual Values Voters Summit. Although it’s difficult these days to discern precisely what these sanctimonious blowhards regard as “values” considering their unwavering support for a philandering president on his third marriage, who breaks up families and puts the babies in cages, who is openly bigoted, who brags about sexually assaulting women, and whose policies harm the most vulnerable Americans.

Donald Trump Messiah

Among the speakers at this Christianist revival meeting were Republican heavyweights Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, Sebastian Gorka, Ben Carson, and Mike Pompeo. Donald Trump made it last year, but skipped this year’s summit in favor of holding his own cult rallies in Las Vegas and Missouri. But that didn’t dampen the spirits of the attendees who were treated to some stemwinding political sermons.

One of the most most noteworthy was the address by Sandy Rios, a director of the American Family Association and a Fox News contributor. For part of her speech she chose to enlighten the audience with a passage from the Bible’s Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy. Her intention was to malign liberals and Democrats as heathens and sinners. However, the words had a familiar ring that she was too tone deaf to hear (video below):

“In the last days perilous times will come. Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters. I just want you to think of each of these things without me even elaborating. Boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers. Can we say ‘Judge Kavanaugh’? Without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors. Shall we say ‘deep state’? headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”

Can she hear herself? There is no one in public life who fits that description better than Donald Trump. As a malignant narcissist, he is a diagnosed lover of himself. He’s an alleged billionaire who continues to illegally enrich himself via his office. As an Olympic-grade boaster he has no challengers. His ego is totally unrestrained. He’s a blasphemer who said that he doesn’t need to ask God for forgiveness. Every single one of the critiques in that verse fit Trump like a glove. And not the least among them the charge of slanderer, i.e. liar. And do we even have to mention the part about being a traitor?

The fact that Rios could read through that paragraph and not see the resemblance to the president she reveres is proof positive of the effect that cult worship has on these evangelical fakers. They simply don’t care about Trump’s obvious moral failings so long as he promises to strip women of their reproductive freedoms and deport everyone with brownish skin. And it’s that disregard for the values they claim to uphold that exposes them as purely political operatives. A church that is so closely associated with shame is not serving its faith by letting these hypocrites get away with this – let’s say blasphemy.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Judge Jeanine on Fox News: Donald Trump ‘Fulfilled the Biblical Prophecy of the Gods’

So you think you’ve heard it all from Fox News? You think they have gone as far into the stratospheric fringe as it’s possible to go? Do you think there is a limit to the sycophantic Trump-fluffing that will be broadcast on the network known for its slobbering devotion to the Donald? If so, you’re not giving the tunnel-blind cultists at Fox enough credit.

Donald Trump Messiah

On Saturday evening, “Judge” Jeanine Pirro led off her program with her usual “Opening Statement,” which is typically an homage to Trump and/or an attack on his critics. She has perhaps the most virulently crazed demeanor of anyone on Fox, with wild-eyed tirades and sanctimonious condemnation in her voice. She could be an attraction at Jurassic Park with her teeth-baring facial expressions and her sharpened rhetorical claws.

As outrageous as her weekly televised tantrums have been in the past, she really outdid herself with the latest episode. Reporting from Israel, her topic was Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. It’s an unnecessarily controversial action that is likely to provoke an increase in hostilities in the region, and make our diplomats more vulnerable to violence. But never mind that, Trump has made up his mind to pander to his ultra-Chrisianist base among American evangelicals. And naturally, Fox News and Pirro are all for it. This excerpt is all that you’ll need to grasp the depth of her madness (video below):

“Donald Trump sent Iranians, who are the descendants of Persia, a message to reflect on their own history, and that it was the king of Persia who, 1000 years before Mohammad was even born, said that Jerusalem was the capital of the Jewish people’s country.

“There will be no Ottoman empires or Shia nations that will destroy Jerusalem any longer. Donald Trump recognized history. He, like King Cyrus before him, fulfilled the biblical prophecy of the gods worshiped by Jews, Christians and, yes, Muslims, that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state and that the Jewish people deserve a righteous, free and sovereign Israel.”

Well, isn’t that considerate of Pirro to deign to lecture Iranians on their own past. But her anointing of Trump as having “fulfilled the biblical prophecy of the gods” goes farther than anyone at Fox News has ever gone to suggest the Messianic holiness of their Dear Leader. This is not an overreaction to Pirro’s sermon. She explicitly likens Trump to King Cyrus, who was regarded by the Jews as anointed by God and, in the view of some, a Messiah. So now it has come to pass that this greedy, foul-mouthed, narcissistic, desecrator of women is the heir to the throne of Heaven? Is she fucking serious?

The only interest that right-wing Christianists have in Israel is that they are praying for it to be conquered by the beasts of hell so that they can proclaim the commencement of Armageddon and the subsequent return of their savior. They would likely root for the Anti-Christ because his arrival presages these events. And that may be the real reason they are so devoted to Donald Trump. Because, really, who does he seem more like: Jesus or the Anti-Christ? Any Christian who has trouble answering that question has been watching too much Fox News. Because as we now know, Fox News is now officially the Sacred Pulpit of the Rapture.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Mr. Trump, Can We Put An End to the ‘Rights Come From Our Creator’ Nonsense?

Donald Trump made an appearance at the annual National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday to deliver a typically wooden, TelePrompted speech (video below). Most notable from a style perspective was his awkward, overly coached pauses for applause after nearly every sentence. But just his presence is peculiar. As a thrice-married, confessed sexual abuser, who doesn’t think he needs to ask God for forgiveness, he becomes emblematic of this evangelical organization’s hypocrisy.

Donald Trump Messiah

The President’s speech was a basket of pseudo-spiritual cliches that represent the whole of what he has learned about religion. But if he can’t read a ten page document from the Intelligence Committee, he surely has never read through the bible. So he mechanically recites platitudes about “the Lord’s grace,” about faith being “central to American life,” and about how “blessed we are to be Americans” then he unloads one of the oldest tropes about what our Founding Fathers intended for this nation at its birth:

“Our founders invoked our Creator four times in the Declaration of Independence. Our currency declares ‘IN GOD WE TRUST.’ And we place our hands on our hearts as we recite the Pledge of Allegiance and proclaim that we are ‘One Nation Under God.'”

Whoever wrote this tripe for Trump was as ill-informed as he is about both religion and history. First of all, the Founders very deliberately referenced a “Creator” to avoid any appearance of favoritism. That’s something our Muslim-banning president couldn’t care less about. Secondly, the references to God on currency and in the pledge of allegiance are relatively recent additions that have little significance in our nation’s traditions.

However, the most annoying rhetorical rubbish in this simpleton sermonette is the hoary affirmation that “our rights are granted to us by God.” Sure. And storks bring babies, and fairies shell out cash for used teeth. These childish notions can only be believed by the sort of incurious and dependent minds that populate cults. Which explains why Trump’s followers applauded this line so enthusiastically.

If our rights were actually granted by God, there would be no use for the Constitution at all. Why bother to write down protections for free speech or privacy or speedy trials if those rights were already assured by an omnipotent power? And did God actually ordain from on high the bearing of arms by well-regulated militias? He must really be a stickler for detail.

It’s a sad testament to human progress that so many people still rely on such intellectually thin concepts. This is not an indictment of religion per se. There are plenty of deep thinkers among the faithful of all flavors. But those who fall for dimwitted drivel like this are not in that group. It is obvious to any thinking person that if we value our rights we must make certain that we grant them to ourselves and document it with specificity. Otherwise, they do actually exist, no matter what any particular God says.

Trump’s Prayer Breakfast speech was just his latest performance art, pretending to be pious before an audience of blind worshipers. And on a side note, that audience also welcomed some of Trump’s Russian pals. In fact, as CNN reported, “As many as 60 representatives from Russia” attended the affair. That’s more than three times the number who attended last year. Now why do you suppose that was?

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Donald Trump Breaks the Ninth Commandment as He Signs Declaration For a Day of Prayer

For the past week there has been an embarrassing parade of self-congratulatory spectacles staged by Donald Trump. The devastation caused in Texas and Louisiana by Hurricane Harvey has created abundant opportunities for Trump to exalt himself. That exaltation comes in many forms.

Donald Trump Messiah

The President has managed to look pensive in an array of photo-ops. He has read statements prepared for him that seem almost giddy that he’s presiding over the most “bigly” hurricane ever. He lied about “witnessing first hand the horror & devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.” And he’s spent more time bragging about his disaster response than comforting victims.

Trump also pledged a million dollars for relief efforts, but hasn’t disclosed where it will go or whether it will even come from his own funds. Note that this alleged billionaire regards a million dollars as sufficiently generous. A few years ago he offered five million for Obama’s birth certificate. Non-billionaires Sandra Bullock, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Ellen Degeneres donated the same amount. While fellow billionaire Michael Dell ponied up $36 million. And Trump’s record on keeping his pledges is spotty at best. He failed to pay up for veterans until he was publicly shamed. And victims of Hurricane Sandy are still waiting for the relief they were promised.

On Thursday Trump went before the cameras again to sign a declaration for a “Day of Prayer” on behalf of the those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The ceremony featured the President reading from notes while sitting in front of a gaggle of “faith based people.” His remarks were filled with obligatory condolences and assurances that we will get through this together. And then he said this (video below):

“We’re going to be signing a ‘Day of Prayer,’ and that’ll be on Sunday. It’s gonna be a very special day. I don’t know when this was done last, but it’s been a long time ago. Is that a correct statement? Yes, it’s been a long time ago. So I’m gonna sign it and then a few of the folks will say a few words.”

For the record, Trump’s “long time ago” is a blatant lie. The latest in more than a thousand he has told since his inauguration. The last time there was such a prayer declaration was only one year ago. It was made by President Obama. Trump’s dismissal of that fact is typical of his malignant narcissism. What’s more, it squares with his obsession to belittle his arch-nemesis, Barack Obama. The former president remains far more popular than the current one and has a legacy of accomplishment that would put Trump to shame, if that were possible.

So while signing this declaration, Trump also lied about his role and that of his predecessor. The Ninth Commandment, for those who haven’t already Googled it, prohibits bearing false witness. Which is precisely what Trump has done. And he did it with an army of spiritual “leaders” standing right behind him. They obviously didn’t mind, because after Trump spoke he allowed each of them to say a few words. Without exception they praised Trump as if he were the Second Coming. Right-wing pastor Robert Jeffress even thanked God for having “given us a gift. President Donald Trump.”

The Day of Prayer declaration is an annual affair that is mandated by a law that Congress passed in 1950. So what Trump did today was not only not unique, it was required by legislation that’s over sixty-seven years old . Trump, of course, took the credit as if he had thought of it himself. And he denigrated every president that preceded him by pretending they never made the same proclamation. But he must have taken particular interest in demeaning Obama. It’s something that wingnuts have done for years. The long-festering myth that Obama had canceled the Day of Prayer even earned a “Pants on Fire” rating from PolitiFact. Trump may want to refer to Romans 6:23 to learn what the wages of sin (i.e. lying) will earn him.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

WT-Holy-F? Trump Tweets an Evangelical Choir’s MAGA Tribute to Himself for Independence Day

It’s amazing how Donald Trump can do so many shockingly idiotic things, but he still manages to shock with his next bit of idiocy. When will it end?

Donald Trump Messiah

On Independence Day, Trump tweeted a video (see below) of a massive church choir singing a new hymn based on his campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.” The audacity of this narcissistic jackass exalting himself on a day meant to celebrate the freedom and liberty of the nation is beyond belief. He really thinks he is the manifestation of god on Earth, and his whack-job followers agree.

The orchestra and choir performing the hymn is from the Texas megachurch, First Baptist Dallas. It’s pastor, Robert Jeffress, is an evangelical leader and an early supporter of Trump. However, other Christian leaders have criticized the new hymn. Jonathan Aigner, Director of Music Ministries in a PCUSA congregation, said that:

“Pledging allegiance to God and to America in the same breath, melding together the kingdom of God and self, they pray a blasphemous prayer to a red, white, and blue Jesus.”

It’s fairly obvious that raising Trump to the level of a messiah would be considered sacrilegious to most pious Christians. Since I’m not one, I really don’t care. But by making this his Fourth of July tweet, Trump is venerating himself at the expense the country. He is placing his own glory above that of America’s founders, heroes, and citizens, who truly make this country great. How can he be so egotistical and tone-deaf? And how can his followers not be offended?

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump’s Executive Order on Religious Liberty Gives Bigots a Free Pass to Discriminate

Much of the media today is over-indulging the White House’s short-term success in crippling ObamaCare. Never mind that the American people support it and today’s House vote is not expected to be repeated in the Senate. It’s a “W” in Donald Trump’s column that they are exploiting to the max.

Donald Trump

What is not being talked about is the executive order Trump signed earlier on Thursday. The purpose of yet another Trump executive order is being sold as an attempt to promote “Free Speech and Religious Liberty.” In reality it does neither. The language in the order itself betrays its true intent. It says that it:

“…protects the freedom of Americans and their organizations to exercise religion and participate fully in civic life without undue interference by the Federal Government.”

“…[mandates that] the Department of the Treasury does not take any adverse action against any individual, house of worship, or other religious organization on the basis that such individual or organization speaks or has spoken about moral or political issues.”

“…address[es] conscience-based objections to the preventive-care mandate.”

Taking a closer look at these objectives reveals something far more ominous than what the Trump administration suggests. The actual impact of the order is to allow religious institutions to use their tax-exempt status to advocate for political campaigns and policies. It attempts to reverse the “Johnson Amendment” which many faith leaders support. It also permits businesses to discriminate against individuals they regard as incompatible with their religious beliefs.

For the most part, the executive order is merely window dressing on the right’s Christian supremacy. It doesn’t alter existing law at all, which would require an act of Congress. Instead, it directs federal legal authorities to refrain from enforcing statutes that actually protect equal treatment under the law. In other words, businesses that refuse to service gays (or Muslims, or whoever) will get a free pass for prejudice. Churches that openly engage in political activity will not have their tax-exempt status reviewed by the IRS. Employers will be able to force their religious beliefs on employees (such as refusing contraceptive healthcare coverage) with impunity.

It should be noted that current law does not prohibit anyone from exercising their right to religious expression. Any business owner is free to express their beliefs so long as doing so does not infringe on the constitutional rights of others. Any representative of a religious institution can speak out on politics so long as it is not done in a facility that receives federal tax exemptions. If pastors want to turn sermons into political speeches they can simply decline tax-exempt status. Many people believe that the policy that grants religious organizations freedom from taxation should be revisited as an historical anachronism. But no one argues that political organizations should conduct their business tax-free.

Trump’s statements at the signing of the executive order (video below) were vaguely patriotic while disguising overtly prejudicial intent. “No American,” he said, “should be forced to choose between the dictates of the American government and the tenets of their faith.” He continued:

“We will not allow people of faith to be bullied, targeted, or silenced any more. And we will never ever stand for religious discrimination. Never ever.”

That coming from the same man who issued an executive order banning all Muslims from entering the country. Trump’s idea of religious freedom is limited to those who practice the American brand of Christianity. He supports business owners who seek to discriminate against gays. But he would oppose any business that insisted that all female patrons cover their heads. He also said that:

“For too long the federal government has used the power of the state as a weapon against people of faith, bullying, and even punishing Americans for following their religious beliefs.”

In reality, the federal government generally tries to insure that the practice of religious beliefs don’t infringe on anyone else’s liberties. The only bullying evident was by radical Christians who tried to prevent the construction of Mosques in their communities. What Trump is bothered by is the free exercise of beliefs by people who don’t subscribe to his faith.

This point was made clear in an open letter by more than 1,000 faith leaders who oppose Trump’s executive order. Their letter said in part that:

“Although it purports to strengthen religious freedom, what this order would actually do is misuse this freedom, turning it into a weapon to discriminate against broad swath[e]s of our nation, including LGBTQ people, women, and children in foster care.” […]

“The religious freedom upon which our nation was founded has allowed our country’s diverse religious landscape to flourish. The draft executive order flies in the face of that rich diversity by enshrining one religious perspective – on marriage, gender identity, health care, and the role of houses of worship in partisan politics – into law, above all others. This is neither what religious freedom means in the eyes of the law, nor what religion itself means to millions of Americans of faith.”

Trump’s attempt to govern by executive order, something he lambasted President Obama for, is typical of the authoritarian tendencies he has long exhibited. And in this case he is going beyond conventional authoritarianism to full fledged theological tyranny. Expect this executive order to suffer the same fate as his others that were overturned in court. The ACLU has already announced a court challenge.

[Update: The ACLU released a statement saying that they are declining to bring a suit at this time because Trump’s EO is “an elaborate photo-op with no discernible policy outcome” and is “fake news.” I don’t entirely agree, because a threat of non-enforcement still constitutes unequal treatment under the law. However it’s fun to see the ACLU essentially call Trump an impotent doofus]

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.