So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish

Our dear friend Paul Jamiol has officially hung up his ‘editorial cartoonist’ hat for the election season, and will be focusing more on his photography, his wife, and his dogs. To keep up with his future endeavors, you can visit Jamiolsworld.com.

Paul’s ‘toons have graced TheZoo’s pages for most of our 16 years, and his custom header artwork depicting the original Critters was a wonderful and thoughtful gift to us.

Here are the last few ‘toons from Paul’s mind and hand. Note, the Kanye one is actually from August, but I forgot to post it – it still fits in with the current events.

No, Paul, “Thank YOU!”

Open Thread, say whatever you want.

Daily Gnuz

Thurzday, and the Gnuz is here, or somewhere around here…

Trump says he would speak to Mueller under oath in Russia probe
H/T The Hill
Well, yes, of course he’d like to, is totally willing to, and especially if he’s being treated ‘fairly’. But, alas, his lawyers aren’t going to allow him to answer any questions concerning his motivation, reasons for firing Comey, or how beauteous his mistress…

And,
Trump open to citizenship for DACA enrollees
H/T Politico
Again, he’s for it, until President Miller takes his cable teevee time away. Then he’ll cave and be against it.

Finally,
More US states eye donations to evade Trump tax changes
H/T Raw Story
There’s always a way to get around the tax system. The Feds can’t prohibit the states from letting their citizens deduct whatever from their state taxes. Period. Good ole 10th Amendment

Open Thread, barf it up and run to the sink with it!

RUCerious @TPZoo

Open Thread, barf it up and run to the sink with it!

RUCerious @TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

Wednezday’z Gnuz herewith;

Senate passes tax bill, pushing it closer to Trump’s desk
H/T Passed without a single opposition vote, amendment, input of consultation.
You’ze own it R’s. Time will tell.

And

This Visionary Sci-Fi Author Sees the Destruction of Human Civilization: Predatory Capitalism
H/T Alternet
Good read, food for thought.

Finally,

Time’s up: As CHIP expires unrenewed, Congress blows a chance to save healthcare for 9 million children
H/T LA Times
Maybe, just maybe, as Red States get screwed over, and their children lose medical coverage because the Congress is too busy giving corporations and the rich a tax cut…Maybe they’ll start figuring out they’ve been screwed, blued and tattooed.

Open Thread, let’s get through the holiday season in one peace.
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

Another Monday, another week to get through. Here’z the Gnuz…

Former Trump Adviser Defends Attacks On Mueller Probe: ‘We’re In The Game’
H/T TPM
Game? You think this is a Game? The Game is also known as keep our country free from fascist authoritarianism. I guess we know which side you’re on in THAT game.

And

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Face New Lawsuit Over Financial Disclosures: Report
H/T Alternet
I know it’s just a lawsuit, but cannot, no way, no how resist the urge to say ‘Lock them Up!’

Finally,

Scarborough: The GOP tax plan ‘steals’ $1.5 trillion from millennials
H/T The Hill
Yo! Millenials! We know you don’t really feel like voting some of the time. It’s hard to participate when the system is rigged. We get it.
But, you are going to get fleeced so the 1% can get richer.
Do something about it at the next election.
Thank You!

Open Thread, enjoy one byte at a thyme
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

Today, Monday, December 11th is here. and HERE is the Gnuz

Republicans fret over tax bill’s unpopularity
H/T The Hill
Really? I find that very difficult to believe. To fret:

verb: fret; 3rd person present: frets; past tense: fretted; past participle: fretted; gerund or present participle: fretting
1. be constantly or visibly worried or anxious.
“the congress fretted about the chance of losing their jobs when people figure out the consequences of the tax bill.”

2.
gradually wear away (something) by rubbing or gnawing.
“the tax laws fret the American worker’s standard of living”

And
Three Trump accusers reveal to Megyn Kelly new details about ‘gross and dirty’ experience with president
H/T Raw Story
Gross and dirty. Says it all about this Prezidunce.

Finally,

Pipe bomb explodes in subway passage near Port Authority Bus Terminal, one suspect in custody
H/T NY Daily News
I sense a crackdown by the Trump administration. Time to round up all the ______…whatever ethnic group the suspect may be a member of…

Open Thread, get through the day, week, years until the next election…
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

It’s Thurzday and here’s the GNUZ’

Trump’s VA director cut a program that housed homeless veterans despite president’s pledge to take care of them
H/T Raw Story
No, the sitting on his fat ass Prezidunce doesn’t give a crap about the veterans, or the soldiers, or the military. Just throw away pawns in the game of life and death. What the hell did you expect from a draft dodging coward?

And,
Steve Bannon lashes out at Mitt Romney in Alabama. This is probably just the beginning.
H/T Vox
Umm, Mr. Bannon…what about the Prezidunce. Draft dodging isn’t reserved for Mormons serving on their ‘mission’. Drumpf demonstrated his cowardice with ‘bone spurs’. Right.
Oh, and Mormons aren’t really Xians, are they? Next thing Bannon goes for is ‘Joseph Smith was born in Kenya’.

Finally,
‘Holy crap’: Experts find tax plan riddled with glitches
Some of the provisions could be easily gamed, tax lawyers say.

H/T Politico
OMG! Easily Gamed? How could that Possibly Happen? They spent so much time, had so many hearings, brought in so many expert…wait. Never mind.

Open Thread, can’t really ask you to enjoy it. Just try not to get too enraged. And take your effing meds!

RUCerious @TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

It be Tuesday, and herein be the gnuzes


A conservative group tried to plant a fake Roy Moore allegation in the Washington Post. It failed.
A woman said Moore got her pregnant at 15. Her story unraveled under scrutiny.

H/T Vox
James O’Keefe faceplants with another malicious attempt to undermine the free press

And


We Are Living in Perilous Times—And Yet There Is a Promising Movement Afoot
Citizens are not sitting idly watching our democracy go under.

H/T Alternet
A glimmer of hope yet shines…Resist!

Finally,

The Memo: GOP Fears Trump Turmoil During Tax Push
H/T The Hill
And well they should fear Turmoil. Isn’t that Donald’s middle name? All the insults, slanders, slights and arrogance come home to roost, as McCain, Flake, and others sink this effort.

Open Thread, if you must kick ass, please be nice to the donkeys.
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

Thurzday, Thangzgizzing Day 2017 and here’z the gnuz

Daily Gnuz for

Trump Organization Reaches Deal To Walk Away From SoHo Property
H/T TPM
Salient Paragraph(s)
The project was troubled from the beginning. The SoHo development was also the subject of complaints from private investors who accused the Bayrock Group, a frequent Trump partner, of failing to disclose fraud convictions of two Bayrock partners.
The New York Times reported that the development also took “financing from questionable sources in Russia and Kazakhstan.”
Buyers in the development were angry that the Trumps allegedly inflated claims of the project’s success, and the Trump Organization ultimately settled a civil suit in 2011, admitting no wrongdoing and agreeing to refund much of buyers’ deposits.

ProPublica, WNYC and The New Yorker reported in October that the Manhattan district attorney’s Major Economic Crimes Bureau had opened an investigation into Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., the President’s eldest children, in 2010.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr’s team reportedly acquired emails in which the Trump siblings discussed how to coordinate misleading information to give to people interested in condo units.
Marc Kasowitz, one of Trump’s longtime personal attorneys, donated $25,000 to Vance Jr.’s reelection campaign in 2012. According to the report, Vance Jr. returned the donation. He dropped the case against the elder Trump children several months later, and Kasowitz reportedly helped raise an additional $50,000 for his campaign.

If Rotten fruit falls to the pavement in Manhatten, is there fraud in the mess?

And


The theory behind Trump’s tax cuts is exactly what gave us the failed Bush economy
An influx of foreign hot money isn’t what we need.

H/T Vox
This isn’t about what we need. This is about unbridled greed and avarice. It’s the gold, stupid!

Finally,

37 of 38 economists said the GOP tax plans would grow the debt. The 38th misread the question.
H/T WaPo
Whatever happened to “Mortgaging our children’s Future”? Oh, right, that was when Democrats were asking for a safety net…

Open Thread, stuff your TurDuckEn with it..
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

It’s Monday, and here’z the Gnuz.

What Uwe Reinhardt taught me about health care
HT Vox
It’s the prices, stupid! Or, it’s the Stupid Prices!!

And

Dems eager to use tax bill against GOP in ’18
HT The Hill
Label it ‘The Rich Get RICHER bill, and hammer it every day, each week, until the election.

Finally,
The Hidden History of Trump’s First Trip to Moscow
HT Politico Magazine
This is a very good read. Highly recommended. Read the entire article. The last sentence is a doozy.

Open Thread, sew something good today.
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

Welcome to Wednezday the median day in the workweek.
Here’z the Gnuz

Trump’s Trip To Asia Is Great If You Like To See U.S. Weak
H/T C&L
Make Amerika Grate (shred us like a sharp loaf of cheddar)…

And

Trump caught tweeting about the wrong mass shooting
H/T Raw Story
Fumbduck Prezidunce obviously keeping a library of insta-tweets to choose from. Sad!

Finally,

GOP targets health mandate in tax reform
H/T The Hill
They need to carve out more money to get this mess fillibuster proof. Only fifteen million or so will stop buying insurance, so that’s OK by them…Amerika the fumbduckable.

Open Thread, enjoy one byte at a thyme
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

Morinin, Zoo. Thank You Zooey for a wonderful Music Night last Friday eve!!

And now, back to reality with the Daily Gnuz

Lax Texas Gun Laws, the NRA and Another Horrendous Deadly Mass Shooting
H/T Alternet
Yes, gun rights are more important than human rights. At least in Texas…

And


The Republican tax plan’s original sin. A giant, unpopular, unworkable business tax cut.

H/T Vox
I must relucantly admit, that a small, mean part of me wants the R’s to steamroll this through. By 2020 America will be on its knees as more and more services are dismantled. Then we may get another 40 year run of Republican minority representation.

Finally,

Russia Puts the Squeeze on Don Jr.
H/T TPM
This is also known as C O L L U S I O N.

Open Thread, enjoy A moronic Monday
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

Welcome to Thurzday, here’z the Gnuz…

Trump: repeal the individual mandate in tax reform. Top Republicans: oh no, please no.
H/T Vox
Open Mouth, spew chaos, rinse with acid, repeat.

And

House GOP waffles on Trump’s promised permanent cut in corporate tax rate
H/T The Hill
House turns into IHOP. Waffles for Thursday breakfast. Idiots Hanging On Prezidunce

Finally,

Don’t buy the latest spin. The GOP tax plan is still a huge giveaway to the rich
H/T Greg Sargent – Plum Line via WaPo
Wait till they announce the brackets today…Holey Hades breaks out as every negatively affected interest group that’s donated shitload of moolah to the political cesspool demands that everybody but them gets screwed.

Open Thread, enjoy your Thurzday
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

Welcome to Wednezday, here’z the Gnuz…

House GOP struggles to unite on tax bill
H/T Politico
Struggle, trouble, toil and bubble…Perhaps the morrow will bring some clarity to the proposed Screwing of America to give the rich the tax break they so richly undeserve

And

Trump After NYC Attack : We Must ‘Step Up’ Our ‘Extreme Vetting Program’
H/T TPM
If only the American electorate had stepped up their extreme vetting of the presidential candidates…hmm.

Finally,

Psychology study finds Trump stands out as a ‘low analytic’ thinker
H/T Raw Story
Hoodathunk that the prezidunce is a thinker at all, let alone an analytic thinker at any level.
An anal thinker, perhaps, but without the ytics..

Open Thread, enjoy your Wednesday
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

Looks like we had a critterful weekend, welcome to Mundane Monday,
and here’z the Gnuz…

‘The Russians Have Succeeded Beyond Their Wildest Expectations’
H/T Politico
And all the chicken-in-chief can do is try to deflect blame and shame…prezidunce.

And

Paul Manafort indicted: Trump’s former campaign chair facing charges in Mueller investigation
H/T Vox
It’s only money laundering and racketeering, but the real lever is what does he know about what the prezidunce knew, and when did the prezidunce know it?

Finally,

This week: Republicans to unveil long-awaited tax bill
H/T The Hill
Watch as the middle class and the ‘under-class’ get screwed, blued and tattooed, and the rich get lots richer…

Open Thread, survive the week and RESIST.
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

It’s Freeday, er Friday, so let’s hear it for Free Dumb!

Specter of Violence Looms Ahead of Tennessee “White Lives Matter” Rally
H/T TPM
Here we go again, this time teh Nazis invade Tennessee.

And

The Memo: Trump tax reform nears crunch time
H/T The Hill
Salient quote is 1st paragraph:
“President Trump faces a stark question as he and Republicans in Congress move ahead on tax reform: Can he come up with a plan that helps the people who elected him, or will most of the rewards go to the richest Americans?”
Answer is obvious. The suckers who voted for him are easily grifted. He’s out for hisself, hisself and his wallet.

Finally,

‘Something fairly big is coming’: Ex-FBI double-agent predicts Russia bombshell after Trump evasions
H/T Raw story
Oh, be still my beating heart…Well, not completely still, but I be a droolin’…

Open Thread, enjoy your weekender
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

Welcome to Wednesday, why the hell is the d before the n?
Anyhoo, here’z the Gnuz

Why Trump Will Regret Passing Tax Reform
What else is keeping the GOP establishment in line behind him?
H/T Politico – Matt Latimer
This is an amazing read. Mr. Latimer hits the nail on the head repeatedly, and repeatedly, and…well, you get the idea…

And

President Trump admits he’s trying to kill Obamacare. That’s illegal.
H/T Vox
Oh, snap. More grounds for impeachment, or just another cup of weak moron cofeve?

Finally,

New health deal falls flat with GOP
H/T The Hill
You mean the Deal made between Senators Murray and Alexander? The BIPARTISAN bill that Trump first liked, then someone told him it had to pass the House.
The House, where it had no chance of passing. The passing of which would THEN render it unto his desk for signature?
Yes. That one. No wonder coward boy doesn’t like it any more. It’s a ‘loser’. Spite, malice, and failure to live up to his sworn oath of office.

Open Thread, rip it to shreds!
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

It’s Tuesday, so here’z the TuesGnuz…

Trump Blames ‘Generals’ For Telling Him Obama Didn’t Call Family Members
H/T C&L
Always has to blame others for his failures and lies. So, is he lying as he blames others for his bullsh***ing?

And

Trump’s Latest Obamacare Attack Triggers Rate Hikes, Lawsuits, Confusion
H/T TPM
Not just raising rates, but forcing insurers out of the market, huge swaths of people to not be able to afford health insurance, and costing the gummint billions…preziduncial.

Finally,

The 4 steps Republicans have to take to pass tax reform
H/T Vox
Phase 1: before cutting taxes, Republicans need to pass a budget
Phase 2: overcome key policy disagreements
Phase 3: actually go through regular order — or so they say
Phase 4: get this bill through the Senate’s obscure budget rules — which is the really hard part

Let’s have a pool on which phase(s) the Republican’ts will fall on their faces. Perhaps giving HeWhoShouldNotBeNamed a __________ fill in the medical condition you prefer…

Open Thread, let’s try to get through the week with our sanity intact.
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

A late start today, but Here’z the Gnuz!

The problem is the prices. Opaque and sky high bills are breaking Americans — and our health care system
H/T Vox
The systematic dismantling of the Health Care system may be the precursor to Single Payer…in my dreams…

And,
White House paper: Corporate tax cut would boost wages
H/T The Hill
Read the fine print…Save the average household $4,000 per year. Just more dumfukkery, there should be no expectation that any tax savings would be used for anything but automation efficiency to drop the cost of goods and stay competitive…and put more workers out of a job.

Finally,
Deficit hawks trampled in GOP tax cut stampede
H/T Politico
“But Republicans are still squabbling over the rising red ink, potentially jeopardizing Trump’s tax plan.”
What ever happened to “Mortgaging our children and grandchildren’s future”???

Open Thread, pick it up and run with it!

RUCerious @TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

Here’s whatz in the gnuz this Mondayish Morning:

Smerconish says Corker’s Building A 25th Amendment Case
H/T C&L
Even though this tack hasn’t got a chance of being carrier out by the bootlicking Republican Congress, it’s nice to see the Senator from Tennessee getting a roundhouse right to the ample gut of HWSNBN. (He who should not be named)…

And

Trump reignites NFL protest controversy by ordering Mike Pence to leave a Colts game
H/T Vox
Hilarious, but taxpayer costly (to the tune of $200,000) Kabuki theater, demonstrating the depths to which the Vice President will abase himself to ingratiate and pay fealty to HWSNBN. On a brighter note, he escaped having to watch two of the worst football teams play an hour of crapball.

Finally,

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/354297-five-challenges-facing-gop-on-tax-reform
H/T The Hill
Crunch time, as in nut-cracker if they don’t somehow manage to pass something, anything, a tax cut, tax reform, tax man, no, wait, that’s a Beatles song…

Open Thread, survive the week, resist.
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

It’s Wednesday, Hump Day, and, in case you forgot, Celebrate Trucker Citizen’s Band day.
You know, 10/4 good buddy!

In the gnuz…

Swing-seat Republicans squirm over GOP tax plan
H/T The Hill
HOW DARE THEY concern themselves over the well being of their constituents!!
FEALTY to Hair Leeder HWSNBN, good. Taking care of people, BAD!

And

Amid Bombshells, Trump Complains: ‘So Many Fake News Stories Today’
H/T TPM
Uhh, yes. And most of them coming from the tweetfarts of HWSNBN

Finally,

Rex Tillerson called Donald Trump a “moron,” was ready to resign: report
H/T Salon
C’mon Rex, man up and leave the moron to his own nepotistic devices. Do the Right Thing.

Open Thread, Resist
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz (of the day)

Welcome to Wednesday the Nineteenth of July, in the year 2017

Here’s what’z in the gnuz.

Inside Trump Family’s Turmoil Amid Russia Scandal: Don Jr. Is ‘Miserable’ and Wants ‘These Four Years to Be Over’
h/t People (yeah, I know, please just ignore the noise on the cover about Blac Chyna, etc)
Ahh, Donny Junior, you’re not the only one with that sentiment. BUT! There’s an easy way out! Just have daddy resign, and you can go back to being the total sleazebag you’ve always been, just without all the damnable scrutiny that is routinely applied to those in the First Nepotistic Family!

And

Tax reform becomes a must-win issue for the White House
h/t Politico
Prediction…They’ll have exactly the same failure as the repeal of ACA. Rand Paul will insist on a flat tax, no Republikkin will agree to close loopholes the size of galaxies for their patrons and benefactors in Big (fill in blank here, Pharma, Oil…you call it)

Finally,

Trump: Republicans ‘never discuss how good their healthcare bill is’
h/t The Hill
Agreed, Orangeshitgibbon, the only question remaining would be ‘good for who/m’??? Idiot.

And ONE MORE find o’ the day at Vox!
Trump can’t make a health care deal because he doesn’t understand health care
A terrific treatise on how not to lead the nation in an area
like health care…

Open Thread, enjoy!
RUCerious @ TPZoo

The Watering Hole, Monday, January 23rd, 2017: Freedom of the Press

We’ve all ripped both network and cable news organizations for their role in aiding and abetting this abomination of a Presidential election. But since the Orange Shitgibbon has won, and he and his spokesgoblins are taking more active steps to label any accurate and unflattering reporting of their words and activities as “fake news” by the “dishonest press”, this should be considered a very serious attack on the First Amendment right of Freedom of the Press. After having previously, in a fit of pique, revoked The Washington Post’s press credentials during the campaign, now the new Trump administration has shut down access to and from CNN.

According to a MediaMatters article:

President Donald Trump and his team continued their unprecedented attempts to delegitimize and blacklist CNN by refusing to have a representative appear on CNN’s Sunday political talk show, State of the Union, while booking appearances on the other major political talk shows on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox Broadcasting Co.
At the top of the January 22 edition of CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper said that his show “asked the Trump White House for a member of the new administration to join us this morning, but they declined.”

 

During Trump’s first press conference as president-elect on January 11, Trump refused to take a question from CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta, calling his network “fake news” and “terrible.” Following the event, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer admitted to threatening to remove Acosta from the press conference and later demanded an apology. Trump ally and Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich responded to the incident by asserting that Trump should use the altercation to “shrink and isolate” CNN and eventually “close down the elite press.” Acosta and his colleagues from across the media condemned Trump’s treatment of CNN.

 

The Trump team’s refusal to appear on CNN came one day after it declined to air the live feed of Spicer’s first press conference after the inauguration, where Spicer blatantly lied about the size of inauguration crowds. According to Variety’s Brian Steinberg, “CNN’s refusal to take the live feed suggests executives there are reluctant to put false statements on air, and, what’s more, do not think the new White House press representative is entirely credible.” From the January 21 report:

 

“CNN’s decision to not air the press conference live illustrates a recognition that the role of the press must be different under Trump. When the White House holds press briefings to promote demonstrably false information and refuses to take questions, then press ‘access’ becomes meaningless at best and complicit at worst,” said Danna Young, an associate professor at the University of Delaware who studies politics and the media. “Democracy works best when journalists have access to the executive branch, of course. But that holds true if and only if that access leads to verifiable, accurate information. The decision on behalf of CNN to wait and verify before airing it live suggests that the media are adapting quickly to this new era.”

 

To be certain, news outlets routinely make decisions about whether to air press events live, usually based on projections about news value. But this press conference, held just a day after the President’s inauguration, would have been a hot prospect for a cable-news outlet, and could have sparked hours of debate and follow-up on CNN’s schedule. In an unusual and aggressive maneuver, CNN aired its regular weekday lineup this Saturday, underscoring heavy interest in breaking news of a series of massive protests by women across the nation in response to Trump’s presidency as well as the new President’s first few days in office.

While I am still outraged by the fact that CNN had hired Corey Lewandowski fresh from the Trump team campaign, and paid the lying POS good money to NOT say anything bad about Trump, maybe, just maybe, CNN can redeem itself by employing real investigative journalism. There’s a lot to dig into in all aspects of Trump’s life/taxes/business practices/Russian connections/conflicts of interest, and a 24-hour news network is what’s needed to get to the bottom of Trump’s “alternate facts” swamp.

What do you say, CNN? Do the right thing, or cave to a tyrant?

This is our Open Thread–comments welcome.

The Watering Hole, Monday, September 19th. 2016: The Johnson Amendment

The Johnson Amendment refers to a change in the U.S. tax code made in 1954 which prohibited certain tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates.

The Internal Revenue Service website elaborates upon this prohibition as follows:

[4] Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances. For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.

On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.

The Internal Revenue Service provides resources to exempt organizations and the public to help them understand the prohibition. As part of its examination program, the IRS also monitors whether organizations are complying with the prohibition.

[4] “The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations”. Irs.gov. 2012-08-14. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010. Retrieved 2012-09-09.

Keeping this in mind, let’s turn to the main “Politics” page of The Christian Post. I noticed two articles there regarding the tax-exempt status of certain religious organizations. However, since one of them purports to prove through Biblical scriptures that churches are supposed to get involved in politics – “Preaching on Politics Is Biblical”, By Rev. Mark H. Creech: “To argue that pastors should avoid all politicking and just stick to preaching, I suggest, is not only unbiblical but un-American” – which is a ridiculous pile of horse manure, I’ll focus on the other one.

The article by Samuel Smith discusses a survey which found that the vast majority of Americans (79%) feel that “pastors should not endorse political candidates.

Nearly eight out of 10 Americans believe it’s inappropriate for pastors to endorse political candidates at church, while over seven in 10 Americans feel it’s inappropriate for churches to endorse political candidates.
As part of a LifeWay Research survey released last week, 1,000 randomly selected Americans were asked over the phone about their views on whether or not it’s appropriate for clergy and churches to endorse politicians for political office.

The survey comes as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has vowed to repeal the 1954 Johnson Amendment, which puts churches at risk of losing their tax-exempt status if they endorse political candidates or if their pastors endorse political candidates in church.

According to the survey, which has a plus-or-minus 3.6 percentage point margin of error, 79 percent of the respondents either somewhat disagreed or strongly disagreed with the sentence: “I believe it is appropriate for pastors to publicly endorse candidates for public office during a church service.”

Meanwhile, 75 percent of respondents said they somewhat disagreed or strongly disagreed with churches endorsing political candidates for public office. Additionally, 81 percent of respondents somewhat disagreed or strongly disagreed with churches using their resources to campaign for political candidates.

As it does not violate the Johnson Amendment for a pastor to endorse a political candidate outside church as a citizen, 53 percent of respondents somewhat disagreed or strongly disagreed with pastors endorsing candidates outside of their role in the church. Only 43 percent somewhat agreed or strongly agreed with it being appropriate for a pastor to endorse a candidate for public office outside of the church.

Although many Americans might not think it’s appropriate for pastors or churches to endorse political candidates, 52 percent of respondents felt that churches should not be stripped of their tax-exempt status for endorsing candidates.

“I don’t think pastors should endorse candidates and I don’t think churches should endorse candidates,” said Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary and a member of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board, to The Christian Post on Tuesday.

“They should be looking for candidates who endorse them, but I believe that should be a decision that is left to the churches, not dictated by the government,” added Land, who is also CP’s executive editor. “I favor the repeal of the Johnson Amendment but at the same time, I don’t think that churches ought to endorse political candidates. That ought to be a decision made by the individual church, not dictated to them by the government. To me, that is a violation of the First Amendment. How does that fit with the free** exercise of religion?”

Dr. Richard Land is “President of Southern Evangelical Seminary and a member of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board“, as well as being the Christian Post’s executive editor.  To quote The Church Lady, “How conVEENient!”  Of course you favor the repeal of the Johnson Amendment.  I find it highly unlikely, however, that you “don’t think that churches ought to endorse political candidates.”  Your idea that it “ought to be a decision made by the individual church, not dictated to them by the government”, and that it’s “a violation of the First Amendment”, is totally ludicrous.

Left up to the individual churches, how long will it be before (at least) thousands of dioceses gleefully dive into the political cesspool?  And how would this NOT be a religious entity’s version of Citizens United – rather than a corporation, it’s a “church” that is now a “person” with the same expansive “free speech” rights, (i.e., to take up a special collection during Mass or its equivalent, a ritual which can be used to shame any who do not contribute towards influencing political outcomes and policies.)

The survey data was broken down into religious demographics and found that Protestants (20 percent) are more likely than Catholics (13 percent) to agree with it being appropriate for pastors to endorse candidates. About 27 percent of self-identified evangelical Protestants feel it’s appropriate for pastors to endorse candidates.

About 33 percent of self-identified evangelical Protestants said it’s appropriate for churches to endorse political candidates, while only 27 percent of Protestants and 18 percent of Catholics agree.

“My main concern would be that churches would end up being embarrassed by the later behavior of politicians they have endorsed. Richard Nixon comes to mind,” Land said. “When Billy Graham heard the Watergate tapes, he went into the bathroom and vomited because he was so upset that Nixon was so different than the person he had presented himself to be.”

So, Dr. Land, when was the first time that Donald Trump’s shady dealings, incessant lying and boasting, badly-cloaked hints to his Trumpkins to exercise their Second Amendment rights to “stop Crooked Hillary”, etc., etc. – when was the first time all of that made YOU run into the bathroom and vomit? I’m willing to bet NEVER. And I can’t even (don’t want to) imagine just what it will finally take, what ever-more-hideous and dangerous idiocies, pronouncements or behaviors, will finally open your eyes to the fact that you are supporting a monster who is lying through his teeth about being a Christian in any sense of the word. FFS, Trump actually says that he doesn’t ask god for forgiveness, because he doesn’t feel that he has done anything that needs divine forgiveness! The arrogance and ignorance of Charlatan Trump make a well-deserved mockery of your craven acceptance of all of Trump’s evil, decidedly un-Christian “moral values.” You sold your soul to play a fool for Trump, and I hope that you puke your rotten guts out when the realization hits you.

Land added that when churches and pastors get involved in endorsing candidates, that can “turn off people we are trying to reach.”

“If you endorse Republican candidates, you are going to seemingly make it more difficult to reach Democrats with the Gospel,” he said.

Another thing that Dr. Land doesn’t realize is that many of the religious folk who actually try to follow Christ’s teachings are Democrats. But you’d never reach them with the kind of “Gospel” that Evangelicals preach. Don’t forget that “gospel” meant “good news”, which is something that, IMO, Evangelicals don’t talk about much – too busy trying to frighten their flocks of sheep.

Land concluded that the church’s role is to make sure that their congregants understand the biblical positions on political issues. However, it is up to each voter to “connect the dots” at the voting booth.

“I think that the church, we are commanded to be salt and light, so we can get involved on issues and we make it clear where the Bible stands on issues,” Land said. “But, we have to leave it to the people to connect** their own dots.”

**The word “free” was highlighted as a link in this story at CP’s site, as was the word “connect” noted below. Instead of providing further enlightenment of what defines the ‘”free” exercise of religion, it actually links to a Pizza Hut(TM) coupon/deal offer. How sacred!

Hey, don’t forget to check out the Christian Post’s “Most Popular” threads (lower right sidebar), the subjects of which do NOT do anything to disabuse me of the conclusion that “Evangelical” “Christians” are ghoulish nosy perverts.

This is our daily Open Thread – what’s on your mind?

The Watering Hole, Saturday, August 20th, 2016: Promises, Promises

ICYMI –

From yesterday’s Washington Post: David A. Fahrenthold and Alice Crites present an in-depth, detailed look at Donald Trump’s claimed generosity on The Apprentice, focusing on promises of donations to many of the ‘fired’ contestants’ favorite charity. Despite the video recordings and transcripts of the show verifying Trump’s own words (the particular phrases varied, but the meaning was unambiguous), not one single penny came out of his own personal “wallet”, “pocket” or “account.” In fact, several of the named charities never received the stated donation at all.

Obviously, this provides more evidence that Trump has always been a lying, cheap, manipulative fraud whose word – as in, “his word is his bond” – means absolutely nothing. Of course, anyone with half a brain should know that anyway. But many details about the Trump Foundation and its funding that the WaPo investigation dug up also make it clear that The Donald’s tax returns contain more than one reason why he refuses to release them.

Trump’s pattern of public displays of ‘generosity’ without the actual donation has already been seen over the course of his campaign. WaPo’s report reinforces the fact that this is a real pattern, and one that, in view of Trump’s monstrously overblown ego, we should expect to continue simply because Trump cannot help himself. And it won’t just be about money. While Trump’s mouth is not as big as his ego, it is certainly bigger than his wallet, his brain, and whatever dark, malignant growth passes for his ‘soul.’ His big mouth will continue to make empty promises that he cannot and will not keep. Trump’s entire campaign is simply snake oil, but he and his rube supporters are really the snakes.

One could almost feel sorry for the Republican party – almost, but since they created this monster, the GOP doesn’t deserve pity. What they really deserve is worldwide humiliation, followed by extinction. However, I find it ironic that in 2012 they chose an extremely wealthy and experienced candidate who at least knew the ropes; this time around, all they could afford was a fake billionaire with fake hair and a fake persona who knows nothing, absolutely nothing, about how government works. Well, they got what they paid for, and now they are paying much more dearly than they apparently could have imagined.  Let’s hope that the rest of the country doesn’t have to pay so dearly for the GOP’s biggest mistake.

This is our daily Open Thread, so go ahead and talk about anything you want.

The Watering Hole, Monday, March 9th, 2015: Monday Morning Morons

I know that we do a lot of Right-Wing-Nut-Job (RWNJ) bashing here, much of it about the more Rabid Religious amongst them (RRRWNJ) but…well, both (often overlapping) groups just come up with so many things that invite ridicule, they’re their own worst enemy. Just look at last week alone (in case you missed some of these):

Being gay is worse than Murder and Genocide. Yes, now, according to “Pastor” Scott Lively, homosexuality is the Number One sin against God. An excerpt from Right Wing Watch’s article:

“Last month, rabidly anti-gay activist Scott Lively warned that if the Supreme Court strikes down state bans on same-sex marriage, it could lead to the rise of the Antichrist by the end of the year.”

In an interview with Bryan Fischer on Friday, “Lively told Fischer that America is about to cross “a line with God that hasn’t occurred in the entire history of the world since Noah’s flood” – which Lively claims was caused by god because god apparently hates gays. Back in January of 2013, Lively had stated:

“We need to remember that in the time leading up to the Flood what the rabbis teach about the last straw for God before He brought the Flood was when they started writing wedding songs to homosexual marriage and Jesus said that you’ll know the End Times because it will be like the days of Noah. There’s never been a time in the history of the world since before the Flood when homosexual marriage has been open and celebrated, and that’s another sign that I believe that we’re close to the end.”

(Snip)

“I think this is the issue of the End Times, homosexuality. It’s present, if you do a careful investigation of all the scriptures dealing with this from the beginning and all the way to the end, God is painting a very clear picture that this represents the outer extent of rebellion against Him in a society and the last thing that happens before wrath comes.”

Okay…first, I thought that President Barack “Hussein” Obama was the AntiChrist in RWNJ eyes. So there’s another one? Second, I don’t know what religious sect/cult Lively is the “Pastor” of, but if it’s based on Christianity in any way, then I must have been dozing throughout my 13 years of Catholic schools.

Anyhoo…today, “Pastor” Lively is urging his followers and other groups to, according to his “Open Letter to America”

“…band together in the spirit of 2 Chronicles 7:14 to promote and conduct a continual prayer vigil and stand-out for marriage at SCOTUS (or any Federal Courthouse for those who can’t get there) from now until the ruling comes out, probably in June…”
“This is a general call to all believers to go to SCOTUS alone or in groups to pray and hold signs. Churches and other organizations can choose dates or times to rally their own troops if they like and/or hold press conferences etc., but let’s all just put out the word to whatever circle of influence we have and let the Holy Spirit stir hearts.

I am asking every Christian and pro-family radio talk host to promote this vigil, and perhaps do a broadcast from the site. Large organizations could provide logistical support…”

(snip)

“Only God can save us from the calamity and disgrace of defiling His institution of marriage in our official national policy.

Let us take the authority we have in Him, and the freedom we have as Americans, to join together to surround the federal judges with such a hedge of prayer that they will be forced to bow their knee to the one who created marriage as the foundation of all human civilization — one man and one woman.”

Hmm, “god created marriage as the foundation of all civilization”? I don’t remember any wedding performed by god himself–you’d think that the bible would have mentioned that, huh? And now Scott Lively thinks that the entire Supreme Court of the United States should get on their knees for something other than sucking Koch and refer all decisions to Lively’s god? I realize that one or two of the Justices would be happy to do so, but all nine? Rather unconstitutional, don’tcha think?

Back to Lively’s call for a prayer vigil: from BibleGateway, the 1599 Geneva Bible version, here’s 2 Chronicles 7:14:

14 If my people, among whom my Name is called upon, do humble themselves, and pray and seek my presence, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear in heaven and be merciful to their sin, and will heal their land”
Footnotes: 2 Chronicles 7:14 I will cause the pestilence to cease and destroy the beasts that hurt the fruits of the earth, and send rain in due season.

I’m not sure how Lively uses this as an anti-gay call to march/pray, as neither 2 Chronicles 6, nor the remainder of 2 Chronicles 7, makes any reference to homosexuality. But I’m sure that Lively’s twisted interpretation is a masterpiece of pulling it out of his ass, so to speak. Considering how many whoppers he produces, one could probably drive an SUV up his asshole–well, a 4WD SUV, anyway.

Well, let’s leave “Pastor” Lively to his unChristian vigil, and go on to:

OMG, Christians are being persecuted – again! Poor embattled Ken Ham (“Answers In Genesis”, Creation Museum) is whining about being denied $18 million in tax breaks for his planned Noah’s Ark park by the State of Kentucky’s Tourism Board. The Board “cited AIG’s stated intention to discriminate based on religion in its hiring of theme park employees and to use the taxpayer-subsidized park for religious evangelism…” On a RW radio program last week, Ham stated:

“If Christians just keep accommodating and allowing this to happen more and more, we will lose that free exercise of religion.”

“It’s more and more of that trying to eliminate the Christian freedom that we have in this nation,” he said.

Yes, of course…those poor, poor Christians having to cave to the Constitution. I just don’t know how they’ll manage to keep practicing their faith, what with all their churches being shut down and religious leaders arrested, and…oh, wait, that never happens. But, but…tax breaks!

And lastly, in a switch away from the RRRWNJs to the “normal” RWNJs, Fox News’ pet climate change denier, Mark Morano of climatedepot.com, is very upset. According to RawStory, he does NOT like the idea that “Google’s popular web-search engine is being re-engineered to direct users to more “trustworthy” websites, saying “Let the public decide what’s the truth…” The article goes on to say:

“The proposed changes at Google would move websites up in the rankings based upon truth and not popularity.

Morano, who previously worked for Rush Limbaugh and climate change-denying Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), says this would be[sic] put him at a disadvantage.

Well, fucking DUH.

This is our daily Open Thread–what’s on YOUR mind?