Poor, Misunderstood Chris Christie

[Content Note: Class warfare; worker exploitation.]

Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says everyone misunderstood him when he said he was tired of hearing about the minimum wage.

The governor, speaking at a Garden State diner, explained that most people missed his point — and he's come to accept that.

"My comments are never almost universally interpreted the way I mean them," he said. "But that's OK. I'll be very clear. I'll say it again."

The potential GOP presidential candidate reiterated his statement that nobody's parents were hoping for their kids to earn minimum wage.

"The President wants to focus (on minimum wage) because he's a class warrior," Christie said. "What he wants to focus on is the minimum wage. I don't believe that that's what our focus should be. Our focus should be on creating better paying jobs for everyone in our country."
Hey, Republicans—you know who would make a terrific presidential candidate? Someone who says his comments are never interpreted the way he means them. Please nominate this guy immediately.

Anyway.

Christie says he didn't mean exactly what he said, because what he really meant was that people like President Obama who want people to earn a livable wage are waging class warfare, but people like him who want to entrench the exploitation of low-wage workers to continually enrich the already-wealthy are not waging class warfare, because up is down.

And, like most of the mendacious shitlords in his reprehensible garbage party, he pretends that the redistribution of wealth upwards is not class warfare by masking his contemptible policies behind facile rhetoric about "creating better paying jobs for everyone in our country."

But literally the only way to actually do that is by raising the minimum wage, unless he is proposing to eradicate every minimum wage job in the country.

Let me repeat myself (again): What these insufferable, vainglorious, classist captains of self-aggrandizing bullshit seem never to grasp, or possibly just acknowledge, is that if you want to live in a capitalist society that gives you the opportunity to get nasty rich, then we can't all be wealthy. And if you want to be the kind of person who doesn't pump your own gas, or make your own sandwiches, or clean your own house, or manicure your own fingernails, or drain your own dog's anal glands, or build your own car elevator, then there are going to have to be people who fill all those jobs.

And most of those professional, hard-working people will put in at least 40 hours a week, or more, and even still, many of them won't be given healthcare benefits, and many of them won't earn enough money to feed a family, and many of them won't be able to save as much as they'll need for their retirement.

People who honorably dedicate their time, energy, and talents to jobs that might not pay well are indeed entitled to something—to not work their whole lives only to find themselves poverty-stricken, or hungry, or homeless after one small (or not small) financial crisis. And if we're not going to ensure that every job comes with a livable wage, access to affordable healthcare, and retirement benefits, then we've got to provide a robust and well-funded social safety net.

I don't think that's asking for much, in exchange for a lifetime of providing service to their chosen vocation.

But Christie does. His party does. They think it is asking too much for people to be paid a livable wage and to be guaranteed healthcare and food and shelter until they die, in exchange for their labor.

(Which is to say nothing of their contempt for people who cannot provide labor, for any one of a number of reasons, not least of which is prejudice and inaccessibility.)

And then they have the unmitigated temerity to accuse advocates for a livable wage of being the ones waging class warfare, while refusing to even be honest about the fact that their "solution"—CREATE GOOD-PAYING JOBS FOR EVERYONE!—is completely incompatible with their capitalist model, which is built on the foundation of innate exploitation and the fallacy that the market fairly determines the value of labor.

Even in the most generous interpretation of what Christie's saying, at best he intends to imply that minimum wage work should only be done by teenagers or part-time workers looking for a little extra cash, not people trying to support themselves and/or their families. Which is still a totally shitty position. No one should be exploited for their labor. No one's job should be treated like it isn't a real job.

"Our focus should be on creating better paying jobs for everyone in our country" just isn't an honest or meaningful or remotely reasonable suggestion.

It's appalling that our media does not push back, hard, on this rank nonsense, by asking one entirely simple question: "But what does that actually mean, Governor?"

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Doctor in NYC Tests Positive for Ebola

[Content Note: Illness.]

Dr. Craig Spencer, who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea, has tested positive for the virus. After starting to feel sluggish Tuesday, he developed a fever yesterday, and, upon reporting his symptoms, was taken by people in protective gear to Bellevue Hospital Center and placed in isolation. There, tests confirmed he had contracted the virus.

At New York Magazine, Margaret Hartmann documents what we know about Dr. Spencer and his case so far.

Dr. Spencer is one of more than 400 healthcare providers who have contracted the virus while working on the front lines of the epidemic in West Africa.

The good news is that "there is reason to be optimistic that the disease will not spread."

I hope that no one else has been exposed, and that Dr. Spencer, who has access to extremely good care from well-prepared healthcare providers, will make a quick recovery.

I also hope that Dr. Spencer having fallen ill will not discourage volunteers from traveling to West Africa to help, because health workers are desperately needed there, where there is a severe crisis.

UPDATE: In related news, the first case of Ebola has been diagnosed in Mali. Mali is the sixth West African country to report a case of the virus. The two-year-old girl, whose family had traveled from Guinea, is one of nearly 10,000 people infected with Ebola so far this year, about 4,900 of whom have died.

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Open Thread

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Hosted by a xigua.

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker plot_thickens: What is the most recent lovely moment you experienced?

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How to Celebrate Halloween for Real Jesus-Loving and History-Hating Christians, by Kirk Cameron

[Content Note: Christian Supremacy.]

Hey, remember how in his new movie Saving Christmas, former teen TV hunk and current peddler of nonsense Kirk Cameron introduced us to the FACTS! about how Christmas doesn't have pagan roots and something something Christmas dancing? Well, he's got some FACTS! about Halloween for your faces, too:

In light of his new film "Saving Christmas," Kirk Cameron is also speaking out on Halloween celebrations, urging Christians to participate in the holiday this year.

..."The real origins have a lot to do with All Saints Day and All Hallows Eve," the actor told The Christian Post. "If you go back to old church calendars, especially Catholic calendars, they recognize the holiday All Saints Day, with All Hallows Eve the day before, when they would remember the dead. That's all tied in to Halloween."

..."Early on, Christians would dress up in costumes as the devil, ghosts, goblins and witches precisely to make the point that those things were defeated and overthrown by the resurrected Jesus Christ," Cameron continued. "The costumes poke fun at the fact that the devil and other evils were publicly humiliated by Christ at His resurrection. That's what the Scriptures say, that He publicly humiliated the devil when He triumphed over power and principality and put them under his feet. Over time you get some pagans who want to go this is our day, high holy day of Satanic church, that this is all about death, but Christians have always known since the first century that death was defeated, that the grave was overwhelmed, that ghosts, goblins, devils are foolish has-beens who used to be in power but not anymore. That's the perspective Christians should have."

Lastly, the "Fireproof" star urged Christians to use Halloween as an opportunity to inform others about God with the biggest celebration around.

"You should have the biggest party on your block, and you should have the reason for everyone to come to your house and before anyone else's house because yours is the most fun," he told CP. "Halloween gives you a great opportunity to show how Christians celebrate the day that death was defeated, and you can give them Gospel tracts and tell the story of how every ghost, goblin, witch and demon was trounced the day Jesus rose from the grave. Clearly no Christians ought to be glorifying death, because death was defeated, and that was the point of All Hallows Eve."

Halloween arrives on Friday, Oct. 31 this year.
Yep. Just like it does every year, thanks.

If you're not familiar with the "gospel tracts" Cameron is recommending handing out on Halloween, you can explore two that my nephew got in his trick-or-treat bag one year. They're obviously terrific.

It's obvious why any person who understands FACTS! would easily see how handing out these masterpieces would definitely make your house the most fun on Halloween.

"Do you want to go to that Halloween party the McAtheistmonsters are having? Theirs is known all over town as the best Halloween shindig every year!"

"Heck no! I want to go the biggest and best party on our block, where they are handing out gospel tracts and celebrating Jesus rising from the grave!"

"Graves are very Halloweeny—but isn't Easter about Jesus rising from the grave already?"

"Yes, but SO IS HALLOWEEN! Learn your FACTS!"

Kirk Cameron's history of Christianity reminds me of the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, who can tell you how the root of any word is Greek, including kimono. Give Kirk Cameron a holiday or tradition, and he can tell you how Christians invented it!

Given the success of prosperity gospel, it was only a matter of time before consumerist gospel: You are rich (or not!) because god loves you (or not!), and now you need to go spend all your money buying lots of shit from Walgreens! Just like Jesus instructed! FACTS!

[H/T to Amy McCarthy, who is the worst foolish goblin has-been.]

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Quote of the Day

[Content Note: War on agency.]

"It is ironic that personhood Measure 1 will eliminate the possibility of having a family for many North Dakota and Minnesota residents."—Dr. Kristen Cain, on North Dakota's Measure 1, a proposed personhood amendment in the state which would effectively make in vitro fertilization illegal and force the closure of the only clinic offering IVF in the state.

Like "heartbeat bills," fetal personhood bills, which seek to ensure the potential life of every fetus while denying abortions that could save the actual life of a pregnant person, expose the truth of the anti-choice position: Fetuses are valued more highly than the people who carry them.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Dudley the Greyhound sound asleep on the couch, lying on his back with his legs in the air and his tongue hanging out
Dudley, having a wee nap on Tuesday.

Keeping on the theme of dogs who come from shelters, or rescue, having the undeserved reputation of being broken, Dudley was, as I've often mentioned, in bad shape when he came to us. He'd suffered serious injuries at the track, and he was profoundly scared of people. Especially me. The first night he was home, I reached out to pet him while he was lying at my feet, and he jumped up, peed on himself in fright, and ran away.

I cried. Partly because I was afraid this dog I already loved would never trust me, and partly because I was mourning whatever had happened to him to make him so frightened.

He's been here four and a half years now. Yesterday morning, when I woke up, he was lying across the back of my legs, with his head on my bum, fast asleep. I didn't even realize it was him, until I opened my eyes and saw Zelly, who usually takes up residence on my legs sometime after I fall asleep, lying on the floor beside the bed. Dudley's never done that before.

The president of the rescue says Dudley was the brokenest dog off the track he's ever seen, out of the thousands and thousands of greyhounds they've rescued.

Some dogs in need of rescue are "broken." Some of them badly. They deserve a chance, too.

If I'd passed on Dudley, because he came with lots of problems, I'd never have awoken yesterday with 75 pounds of love on my legs, keeping me warm. In every way.

* * *

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Guns; death; terrorism] The "mental illness" narrative has begun: "Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the slain 32-year-old suspected killer of a Canadian Forces soldier near Parliament Hill, was a labourer and small-time criminal—a man who had had a religious awakening and seemed to have become mentally unstable."

[CN: Police brutality; racism; death] After a report allegedly supporting Officer Darren Wilson's account of his fatally shooting Michael Brown was leaked to the media, the Justice Department is not happy: "The U.S. Department of Justice condemned the leaks Wednesday as 'irresponsible and highly troubling' and said, 'There seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case.'"

[CN: Racism and spoilers for Dear White People ] Carimah Townes explores "The Kind of Racism That Dear White People Overlooks."

[CN: Fat hatred; misogyny; use of marginalizing language at link] A new study has found that fat women face lots of discrimination in the workplace (which fat women have been saying for years, of course): "[Fat] women are more likely to work in lower-paying and more physically demanding jobs; less likely to get higher-wage positions that include interaction with the public; and make less money in either case compared to [thin and in-betweenie] women and all men. ...A [very fat] woman working in an occupation with an emphasis on personal interaction will earn almost 5 percent less than a [not-fat] woman working in an occupation with exactly the same emphasis. Even after taking differences in education and socioeconomic status into account, there seems to be no scenario where being overweight becomes an advantage for a woman."

Here's a great interview with Jeff Bridges being typically terrific.

A shitty quality trailer for Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron got leaked online, so Marvel went ahead and just put it online. Are you excited about this film? Couldn't care less? Utterly indifferent? James Spader is voicing Ultron, so that means I am going the end.

Here's an interview with Keanu Reeves, for all the Keanu-heads. Dear Studios: Offer him all the roles. Love, Liss.

And finally: Stop doing the weather report and play with meeeeeeeeeee!

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RIP Phil Barron

image of Phil Barron, a middle-aged black man with a mustache and beard; he is looking at the camera and smiling broadly
Phil, August 2008, at home.

Yesterday, Phil Barron died very suddenly from complications of a bacterial infection that went septic.

Phil wrote at his blog inauthentic (which was the successor to recursiveLoop, which was the successor to Philip Barron, which was the successor to Waveflux), was a former contributor at Shakesville (though always retained his account, in case he ever had anything else he wanted to say here), and was a popular presence on Twitter. This is just a document of his online life—the spaces in which he shared pieces of his offline life.

Phil was married to M; together they had (currently) seven cats: Baxter, China, Jack, Kismet, Leon, Roxy, and Venice. Their life is not mine about which to speak. I will only say that I had the pleasure of visiting their home, and it was a happy and warm and welcoming space, full of love.

Yesterday, my day became full of talking to people about how great Phil Barron is. Was. The day started as is, and became was. I want to tell you that it was not the first day on which I spoke to multiple people using adoring tones about him. That was not uncommon, actually, for several people who'd had some interaction with him on Twitter—about cooking or cats; or anything, really, but certainly cats and cooking top the list—to mention how great he was, on the same day.

Lots of people spoke of his abundant kindness, and his grand humor, and his sensitive intellect, and his enormous heart. All of these things are true. He was also a beautiful writer, and this is one of my favorite pieces he ever wrote: Black. White. And Asparagus.

He was also a passionate advocate, and if you ever heard the name Pfc. LaVena Johnson, it was probably because of Phil. It wasn't just that he championed justice for Pfc. Johnson; it was the way he wrote about it. With care and thoughtfulness and righteous anger and hope.

He was a liberal favoriter of tweets, and quick with a compliment or a word of support. He was, as but one of many examples of his friendship I could offer, extremely encouraging of my participation in the #365feministselfies project, and often boosted my confidence and helped me keep going.

Phil always sent me Golden Girls stuff, whenever he saw it.

I spoke to dozens of people yesterday, who were devastated by his death and shared stories of the times Phil had made them laugh, or said a nice thing right when they needed it, or engaged them in a good conversation. I hope he felt as loved as he was.

I don't intend to lionize him, just because he's gone. The truth is, although I'm sure he had his flaws, being human and all, I never saw them. Yesterday, Spudsy and I were reminiscing about my asking M if Phil was always so kind and patient, and she laughed and said, "No!" with great affection, in the way of someone who really knows another person.

Those of us to whom he gave his extraordinary friendship were privileged to know him and laugh with him and be the beneficiaries of part of the immense amounts of love he put into the world.

When Iain got his US citizenship, Phil sent this note:
Iain/Liss:

Just wanted to pass along congrats to Iain from M, me, and the five kitties. Welcome to it, sir. Need more like you.

all best,
phil
Need more like you. We need more like you, my friend.

I am going to miss Phil Barron tremendously, and forever feel grateful to have known him.

* * *

If you would like to make a donation in Phil's memory, his family asks for donations to be made to Planned Parenthood or ShadowCats Austin.

Phil's friend @javachik is collecting remembrances of him to send to his family, if you have any to share.

On Twitter, @graceishuman has started #ThanksThursday, to remember Phil and thank others who make Twitter a good place for you.

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Open Thread

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Hosted by a xylophone.

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Question of the Day

Have you made any close friends online? If so, tell us all about it! (If you are so inclined.) How and when did you meet? Have you ever met in person? What has the friendship meant to you?

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Our Friend Phil

I am so sorry to have to update this post with the news that Phil has died.

I am absolutely gutted. My heart is aching for M, and for all of his friends and family and colleagues. He was so, so loved by so many people.

My condolences to all of you who knew him. Please keep M in your thoughts.

I will post more information as I get it, and I will write more about my friend Phil later.

-------------

Phil Barron, a dear friend, a terrific writer, and a former contributor to Shakesville, is in the hospital currently fighting for his life from a bacterial infection which has gone septic.

His wife, the oft-mentioned M, has given permission for this information to be passed on.

He's fighting hard, but it's very serious. Please send good thoughts, prayers, energy their way.

I've asked if there's anything we can do, and M's friend who is keeping me posted says she'll let me know. I asked about sending flowers/cards, and she said she'd ask, although knowing them they will probably want people to make donations to a cat rescue instead.

Which tells you everything you need to know about Phil, if you don't know him.

I've known Phil for almost ten years, and I adore him. He is smart, talented, funny as hell, a great cook, and one of the kindest people I know. This is a better world because he is in it.

Please, please keep him in your thoughts.

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Open Thread for Ottawa Shooting

[CN: gun violence, ongoing situation, Islamophobia. There are videos at the links which may not be safe to view. edit: Some CBC pictures in the live feed has included non-graphic, obscured pictures of victims.]

The CBC is reporting on an ongoing shooting situation in Ottawa today:

Parliament Hill came under attack today after a man with a rifle shot a soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, before seizing a car and driving to the doors of Parliament Hill's Centre Block nearby.

MPs and other witnesses reported several shots fired inside Parliament, and a gunman has been confirmed dead inside the building, shot by the House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms, according to MPs' eyewitness accounts.

The soldier's condition has not been confirmed.

MP John Williamson tweeted that the Conservative caucus has been told "one CAF soldier was killed," adding "a moment of silence followed." CBC News has confirmed the soldier is a reservist from Hamilton.

The prime minister was on the Hill at the time of the shooting, but was safely take away. It's believed one suspect is still at large.

Rideau Centre has also been reported to be under attack. The CBC is also reporting on heightened security measures across Canada.

Meanwhile, CNN is helpfully focusing its report on possible "Islamic extremism" in the attack and assuring us the FBI is offering help. I don't know what's best about CNN's reporting, but its embedded assumption that everything revolves around the United States is pretty great, and the anti-Muslim fearmongering on the basis of zilch is also awesome. [Note: these things are neither great nor awesome.] I recommend skipping CNN in favor of CBC; suggestions for even better sources for this particular story are gratefully accepted.

Please feel free to use this thread as a safe space for discussion and updates. As usual, please take care with content notes, and please no triggering pictures or photographs of victims. Thank you.

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The Wednesday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by brushes. (What kind of brushes? Well, that's just the mystery, isn't it?!)

Recommended Reading:

Squinky: [Content Note: Misogynist terrorism] "A few good apples won't magically make a rotten barrel edible."

Steph: [CN: War on agency; abortion stigma] Groundbreaking Research Aims to Expand Our Knowledge of Abortion Stigma

Adrienne: [CN: Racism; appropriation] 10 Days Until Halloween: Step Away from the "Indian" Costume

Maya: [CN: Sexual violence] Comedian Hannibal Buress: "You raped women, Bill Cosby."

Andy: [CN: Homophobia] Idaho Governor Says He'll File for Full 9th Circuit to Re-Hear Case Challenging Gay Marriage Ban

Rex: Astronauts Are Using Oculus Rift to Process Difficulties of Space

Imara & Tatiana: [CN: Racism; class warfare. VIDEO.] A Concise History of U.S. Divestment in Black Men

Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged!

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

[Content Note: There is a strobe-light effect in this video. A gun briefly makes an appearance.]



Vanessa Williams: "The Right Stuff"

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

RIP Ben Bradlee, "who presided over The Washington Post newsroom for 26 years and guided The Post's transformation into one of the world's leading newspapers." He died yesterday at his home in Washington of natural causes at the age of 93.

[Content Note: War; terrorism] Whoooooooops: "A US airdrop of arms to besieged Kurds in Kobani appears to have missed its target and ended up in the hands of Islamic State militants. ...The Pentagon said it was investigating the claim but admitted that one of its airdrops had gone missing. If confirmed, it would be an embarrassment for the US, given the advanced precision technology available to its air force."

[CN: Misogyny] Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren says she wishes she were surprised by reports of misogyny against her female colleagues in the US Senate, but she ain't: "It's hard to change these big, male dominated institutions. What I am very happy about is that there are now enough women in the United States Senate to begin to change that place and I think that's just powerfully important. ...Others have said it before me: If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu."

[CN: War; violence; misogyny] I love this young woman: "Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize—and was shot in the head by the Taliban—for advocating girls' education, told President Barack Obama he could 'change the world' if only he'd send books instead of guns to other countries, she said Tuesday. 'My message was very simple,' Malala, who is now 17, said Tuesday at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia, speaking of her recent meeting with the president. 'I said instead of sending guns, send books. Instead of sending weapons, send teachers.'"

Afghanistan's new first lady, Rula Ghani, seems pretty interesting: "Ghani already broke tradition by participating in her husband, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's, campaign for President. He even thanked her during his inaugural address for her continuous support, calling her 'Bibi Gul,' a term of endearment. Rula points to her husband's emotional tribute in his inauguration speech as a sign of the changing norms for Afghan women. 'By mentioning me the way he did,' she said, 'my husband really showed exactly what I mean by helping Afghan women be more assertive, more conscious of their role, more respected.'" Sounds like that was a pretty powerful message to Afghan men, too.

[CN: Poverty; racism; murder] I really don't like how suddenly the media "cares" about the blight in Gary, Indiana, now that blight can be implicitly blamed for abetting a serial killer. And P.S. I see you.

[CN: Harassment; abuse; misogyny] Headline of the Day: "Pew survey shows women bear brunt of online harassment." Well, thank Maude there's now an OFFICIAL PEW SURVEY to prove the veracity of women's reported lived experiences.

Cool: "A group of people will spend the next eight months of their lives living in an isolated dome on a Hawaiian volcano as part of a study financed by NASA. The study, known as the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog & Simulation (HISEAS), has been designed to determine how well a small group of people can get along and work together, according to Bend Bulletin. The study is a test for a future manned mission to Mars. NASA has a plan to send astronauts to the Red Planet in the 2030s. The trip is long and lonely, and it will take astronauts about 6 months to reach Mars. Once there, they will spend 500 days on the planet, and exhaust another six months coming home."

And finally! All the blubs forever: "Soldier and her cat are reunited thanks to shelter's helping hand."

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Sounds Legit

[Content Note: Christian Supremacy; anti-atheism; holocaust reference.]

This is a sitting Republican congressman:

Last month, Rep. Trent Franks appeared on a conference call with Virginia pastor and failed lieutenant governor candidate E.W. Jackson to discuss dangers to America's survival, where they both agreed that the separation of church and state is bringing the country down.

Jackson asked the Arizona congressman about the "profound threat to Christianity in general and to our Christian foundations in this country," which he said comes from President Obama and the "drumbeat of atheism that attacks everything, 'get the cross down,' 'don't show a Bible,' 'don't wear a cross,' 'don't say God bless you.' It just seems like every day we're hearing some new effort to try to shut Christians up and shut us down."

"The litany that you listed there is so right, dead-on," Franks responded, before warning that IS may succeed in committing violence against Christians because "the secular left" in America is diluting the country's Christian heritage. He said that IS may rise into power just as the Nazis did even though at one point they were just "a bunch of idiots riding across France [sic] in their brownshirts."
This is a sitting Republican congressman.

He's definitely got a point, though. Everywhere I look there is evidence we are about to become a godless society, like: Our Christian president; our last Christian president; our Christian presidents before that; their almost exclusively Christian administrations who relentlessly pander to conservative and/or moderate Christians; the almost totally Christian Supreme Court; an almost entirely Christian Congress who start each session with a prayer; the millions and millions of other US Christians whose views are reflected in various state laws across the country (from prohibitions on same-sex marriage to not being able to buy booze on a Sunday), whose views are reflected in various federal laws (like disallowing federal money to subsidize abortions), whose holidays are also national holidays, whose holy book must be sworn on in state and federal courts, and whose churches are not required to pay taxes; guaranteed freedom of religion; money that says "In God We Trust"; a pledge of allegiance that describes us as "one nation under God"; television networks who will accept advertising from conservative religious groups but not liberal political groups; schools who are incorporating a religious belief into science classes; conscience clauses for pharmacists and healthcare providers; religion-based residential communities being built; religious museums and amusement parks springing up throughout the country; religious leaders being given diplomatic immunity; faith-based initiatives being federally funded; and our national media being constantly embroiled in a debate about in which god the president believes.

We are on the precipice, people!

*clunk*

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This Guy. Jesus Jones.

Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is soooooo tired of hearing about the minimum wage, also had a few other neat things to say during his appearance at the Chamber of Commerce in Washington:

Christie launched a preemptive strike Tuesday against some potential Republican rivals for the White House, saying the "experiment" of promoting a lawmaker to president has failed—and arguing that Republicans must nominate a governor in 2016.

..."To have any chance of electing a Republican president, there's a bunch of things we need to do. But the first is to have a good bench of Republican candidates," Christie [who is chairman of the Republican Governors Association] said. "And I am convinced that the next president of the United States is going to be a governor—and needs to be."

Christie continued: "We have had an experiment of a legislator who has never run anything getting on-the-job training in the White House. It has not been pretty. And so we need to have a big and broad bench of good, experienced Republican governors to select from in 2016."

..."I'm tired of listening to people complain about how we can't get anything done. The fact of the matter is, if you want to get something done, you need to lead," Christie said.
Yes, the problem with President Barack Obama is that he wasn't first a governor and doesn't know how to lead. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Republican House majority and Republican Senate obstructionists who refuse to let him get anything done. Come on, Christie. This is typical Republican mendacity, but Christie's whole shtick is that he speaks the truth, no matter who's "offended." To hear him tell it, he's John McCain's Straight Talk Express on nitrous oxide.
In a brief interview with National Journal after his speech, Christie was unapologetic about his remarks -- and acknowledged they wouldn't be well-received by certain presidential aspirants.

"Listen, I just say what I believe, and whoever is offended is offended," Christie said.

Christie, who already has publicly feuded with [Senator Rand Paul], added with a sly smile: "Everybody's entitled to their opinion."
Well, maybe not everybody.
Christie's remarks about education reform provoked something of a shouting match with an audience member who asked Christie about homeless children getting lost in the education system. When the man attempted to rebut Christie's response, the governor shouted him down, saying: "This is an answer to your question. It's not a debate, OK?"
Christie is just another bully who claims his bullying is having strong opinions and being willing to say them. He's basically a shitty dudebro comedian who tells harmful jokes and then accuses people who don't laugh of being humorless and delicate, or being unable to handle the truth!
Appropriately, Christie used his speech to preview a potential slogan for his 2016 campaign: "It's time to start offending people."

Telling hard truths to the American voter, Christie promised the establishment-friendly crowd, is how he built crossover appeal and won reelection easily in a dark-blue state.

"Pain will be involved. Some people will be unhappy," Christie said, speaking slowly for emphasis. "And if you're in these jobs so that everybody will love you, go home."

He paused, then added: "I don't care if I'm loved. I want to be respected."
How about neither?

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Open Thread

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Hosted by xinomavro grapes.

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker FloraFlora: "What are you learning about right now?"

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