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“Satan’s Office Party”: It’s Black Friday And The Religious Zealots Are Running Out Of Places To Shop

On this Black Friday, apparently members of the religious right are running into a problem. After having joined the bandwagon of turning Christmas into a commercialized shopping extravaganza, Linda Harvey says that they’re running out of places to spend their money that are content to discriminate against LGBT people.

Of course she warns people to stay away from the usual suspects like Macy’s for allowing a transexual to use a woman’s dressing room and Target for selling gay pride t-shirts. But oh my, she now has to add that conservative bastion known as Wal-Mart to the list for opposing “religious freedom” bills in Arkansas and Indiana.

But my very favorite is her problem with Mattel.

If you’re thinking toys, avoid Mattel. They just created “Moschino Barbie” with an ad featuring a tragically feminized little boy who plays with Barbies, a wicked accommodation to the current gender-destructive culture.

Little boys playing with Barbies? What is the world coming to? For our “gender-destructive culture,” Harvey has a totally hyperbolized name…”Satan’s Office Party.”

Here’s a thought. What if these religious zealots actually DID run out of places to shop and had to spend some time thinking about what the whole Christmas season was originally about?

Let me tell you something about the Jesus that I know.

He was a real man. Born in a poor region to working poor parents. He loved learning, he loved his mother and his father.

But he left them and spent his life with the poor, the outcast, the rejected, the defiled, the sick, the sinners, the bedraggled, the bereft, the self-hating, the lonely, the banished, the foul, the miserable, the desperate and finally, those sick with their own power.

He did this, not because of his ideology or his creed. He did this not because of his doctrine. He did this, quite simply, because he loved them. He preferred them.

Making up a fictionalized “war on Christmas” is a way to avoid the discomfort these folks would feel if they really did attempt to put Christ back in Christmas.


By: Nancy Letourneau, The Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, November 27, 2015

November 27, 2015 Posted by | Black Friday, Christian Right, Christmas | , , , , , | 1 Comment

“A Reality-Show Version Of An Actual Campaign”: Donald Trump; A Farce To Be Reckoned With

Anxiety-ridden GOP masterminds will eventually find a way to solve the Trump Problem. Until they do, however, the Republican Party threatens to become as much of a laughingstock as what David Letterman used to call “that thing on Donald Trump’s head.”

Suddenly, according to recent polls, the iconically coiffed mogul has to be taken . . . how, exactly? Obviously it’s not possible to take Trump seriously, since there’s nothing remotely serious about him or his “campaign,” which is nothing more than a reality-show version of an actual campaign. But if his poll numbers are going to place him in the top tier of Republican candidates, he can’t be ignored.

Let’s call him a farce to be reckoned with.

A CNN poll released Wednesday found that Trump was favored by 12 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationally, putting him in second place behind dynastic scion Jeb Bush, who was at 19 percent. Other recent surveys showed Trump trailing only Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in Iowa and only Bush in New Hampshire.

Trump reacted to his rising political status with typical self-effacement and modesty, saying that “politicians are all talk and no action and the American public is ready for a leader with a proven track record of success.”

Trump’s track record would look a lot better without the corporate bankruptcies, and many doubt he’s worth anything near the $9 billion he claims. But let’s stipulate that he is a wealthy man who inherited a real estate empire from his father and displayed a talent for both making and losing huge amounts of money.

Let’s also stipulate that while Trump can’t win the nomination, he can be a significant factor in the race — and not, for the Republican Party, in anything resembling a good way.

Already, he has sent a clear message to Latino voters, whom GOP strategists desperately want to attract. Go away, Trump tells them; put as much distance between yourselves and this party as you possibly can.

In his announcement speech, which was really more of an extended improvised riff, Trump gave a description of Mexican immigrants that was both chauvinistic and xenophobic. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Note the magnanimity: Trump, a big man, is willing to take it on faith that some immigrants from Mexico are not rapists. He clearly believes that very many are, however. When pressed on the subject by CNN’s Don Lemon, Trump insisted, “Well, somebody’s doing the raping, Don. I mean somebody’s doing it. Who’s doing the raping? Who’s doing the raping?”

Who, indeed? Trump will have some free time to get to the bottom of this mystery because his slurs led NBCUniversal, which has aired his reality show “The Apprentice,” to sever all ties with him and Univision to announce it will no longer carry his Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. The Macy’s department store chain decided to no longer carry Trump’s line of menswear, which was interesting news to me because I didn’t know he had a line of menswear. Hard to imagine that the combed-over-mogul look was ever a big seller.

But I digress. The point was how Trump had insulted men and women of Mexican heritage. It’s hard to stay focused when writing about him because there is no thread to grasp. Trump professes to know everything about everything and refuses to acknowledge a shred of evidence to the contrary. “I’m right because I say so” pretty much sums up his political philosophy.

But everyone knows who he is, which is more than can be said for many of the hopefuls buried in the GOP scrum. And nobody knows how to draw attention to himself better than Trump. If by some unimaginable fluke he did become president, does anyone doubt he’d try to put his name in big gold letters on the north portico of the White House?

Viewers will tune in to the Republican debates just to see whom Trump insults next. “The Chinese” will come in for a lambasting, of course. Perhaps he will tell us again what a great relationship he has with “the blacks.” Or maybe he will expound on his solutions for the turmoil in the Middle East, which all seem to involve taking other countries’ oil.

The one thing Trump can accomplish is to bring the Republican campaign down to his level. A party that allows such a travesty deserves to lose.


By: Eugene Robinson, Opinion Writer, The Washington Post, July 2, 2015

July 5, 2015 Posted by | Donald Trump, GOP Presidential Candidates, Republicans | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Year Of Telling It Like It Is”: Don’t Tell Us You’re Going To Tell It Like It Is, Just Live It

Less than 24 hours after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie embarked on a long-shot campaign for the Republican presidential nomination under the banner of “Telling It Like It Is,” Vermont senator and aspiring Democratic nominee Bernie Sanders tweeted, “What this campaign is about is a very radical idea: We’re going to tell the truth.”

Not so radical, actually, in the 2016 race. Practically everybody’s “telling it like it is.” It’s a theme with endless subtextual variations, starting with “Telling It Like I Want It To Be.” “Telling It Like Primary Voters Think It Is.” “Telling It Like A Future Fox News Host.”

Christie’s main claims to this slogan are his blustery persona and call to curb entitlement programs. But that is hardly enough to stand out in a year like this. There are about 20 candidates and many have unfiltered personalities, nothing to lose, or both.

You want blustery? How about Donald Trump? His blithe characterization of Mexican immigrants as rapists, criminals, and drug runners — at his presidential announcement, no less — is the nadir of the telling-it-like-it-is syndrome to date. And it’s costing him what it should financially, as Univision, NBC, and now Macy’s have cut ties with him.

It’s not yet costing him politically; new polls show Trump in second place for the Republican nomination nationally, in Iowa and in New Hampshire. That’s bound to change, but not due to mass condemnation from the GOP. The party’s 2016 candidates for the most part have punted on Trump, perhaps anticipating, hopefully, that he will be ruined without their help. National Review did its part with a report that Trump has skipped the last six presidential primary elections, including 2012, when he urged Florida Republicans via Twitter to get out and vote in theirs.

Few can compete with Trump, but others are going for shock value in their own ways. Former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee, for instance, played the daring, unconventional card by proposing a switch to the metric system — part of the internationalist direction in which he said he’d lead the country. Another Democrat, former Virginia senator Jim Webb, went in a unique direction after the Charleston church massacre. He said on Facebook that the Civil War had a “complicated” history and the Confederate battle flag had “wrongly been used” for racist purposes.

On the GOP side, John Kasich’s history suggests a strong showing in the tell-it-like-it-is sweepstakes when he announces July 21. Politico reported the Ohio governor would “aim to appear less scripted and guarded than the leading candidates.” In fact, he actually IS less scripted and guarded than most of them. To cite one example: Kasich didn’t just circumvent conservatives to jam through a Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, he suggested that they “better have a good answer” when St. Peter asks them what they did for the poor.

So far, Christie’s strongest rival for the tell-it-like-it-is crown is Mr. Establishment himself, Jeb Bush. He made a week-long mess of a question about Iraq, but the Florida governor has been straightforward — almost defiantly so — in other areas.

Not surprisingly, given Bush’s Mexican-American wife, he has been relatively tough on Trump. Asked in Spanish about Trump’s comments about Mexicans at an event in Las Vegas, Bush replied in Spanish that Trump spends his life fighting with people and doesn’t represent the values of the Republican Party, according to Bloomberg News. In English he said that “I don’t agree with him. I think he’s wrong.”

Bush also gets a straight-talk citation for calling the Confederate flag a “racist” symbol — while in South Carolina, no less. In a Winthrop University poll last year, 61 percent — including nearly three-quarters of whites — said the flag should continue to fly on the statehouse grounds. Views are changing, but there’s still risk given the state’s early and influential presidential primary. In 2012, exit polls showed that 98 percent of voters in the GOP primary were white.

On domestic policy, Bush has stuck with his support for Common Core education standards as many other GOP hopefuls have run from them, and he continues to back legal status for many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country as part of a comprehensive immigration solution.

In a private phone call with Alabama Republicans that was reported by The Washington Post, Bush berated fellow Republicans for abandoning their views and said they should not “bend in the wind.” He says similar things in public. “I’m not backing down from something that is a core belief,” he told the Club for Growth in February. “Are we supposed to just cower because at the moment people are all upset about something? No way, no how.”

The old adage of show, don’t tell applies to the 2016 race in spades. Don’t tell us you’re going to tell it like it is. Just live it. And don’t be surprised to find stiff competition for the title.


By: Jill Lawrence, The National Memo, July 3, 2015

July 4, 2015 Posted by | Chris Christie, Donald Trump, GOP Presidential Candidates | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


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