The Orange One has awakened

This is probably a reaction to this story, which reports that Reince Priebus tried to inveigle the FBI into dismissing news reports that the Trump campaign was in constant contact with Russian intelligence agencies during the campaign.

The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump’s associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN.

Since it’s unlikely that the Trump administration would have told the story of their attempted meddling, we’re safe to suppose that the source of the story was the other half of the conversation, the FBI itself.

  • If Trump is innocent of wrongdoing, his attitude would be something along the lines of, “The investigation is a bother when I’m trying to get my administration set up, but there is only one possible outcome and I’ll be happy to hear Director Comey affirm what we’ve said all along: We did nothing wrong.”

  • All those phone calls with Russian intelligence operatives were not about soybean futures. There is no (publicly available) proof yet that the campaign colluded with Russian intelligence’s hacking of the Clinton e-mails — but there is no reasonable expectation but that’s what the FBI will find if it keeps digging.

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Dismal theology-related tweet for the day

Seriously: Have any of you, ever in your life, sat through a sermon without hearing some variation of “You’re no damn good”? I assure you that, once you have heard it, you won’t be able to sit in church without hearing it. I grant it might occasionally be obscured by the marketing lie that Christianity is all about love-love-love, but if you think carefully you’ll realize that your unworthiness to exist is a constant, relentless theme — in fact, a drumbeat.

It is your submission to that degradation which empowers preachers and enables the evil that religion does.

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Quote for the day

If a man possesses some advantage, or thinks he does though he does not, he is bound, if he be uneducated, to be puffed up because of it. The tyrant, for instance, says, “I am the mightiest of all men.”

Epictetus, Discourses, 1.19

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Back in the ol’ hometown, ctd

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Dear Evangelicals

Well. What do you know? According to the Washington Post, y’all are feeling unloved.

Many of President Trump’s most dedicated supporters — the sort who waited for hours in the Florida sun this weekend for his first post-inauguration campaign rally — say their lives changed on election night. Suddenly they felt like their views were actually respected and in the majority.

But less than one month into Trump’s term, many of his supporters say they once again feel under attack — perhaps even more so than before.

I know: It’s unseemly to gloat. But — I told you so.

Third, 81% of white evangelicals voted for Trump, and that will eventually sink into public consciousness, as in, Wait a minute! What are you saying? The church people gave us that piece of sh*t p***y-grabber?! Yep, they did — and that will be the tale of how the Evangelical Right and ‘movement so-called conservatism’ committed political suicide. They might make some noise, occasionally score a small victory — but they are done. The Trump administration, with its inevitable serial indecencies and corruptions, is their achievement, and they will never live it down.

Ever since Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority w-a-a-a-y back in 1979 — almost 40-years ago, now — y’all have single-mindedly devoted yourselves to the restoration of some imaginary, bucolic, deeply anti-intellectual Sunnybrook Republic that never existed in the first place. You have frustrated education, you have presumed upon the most intensely personal and painful life-and-death decisions that may confront a family, you have lied ceaselessly in underhanded attempts to fashion laws compelling your neighbors to live according to your backward-looking catalog of barbarisms — the Bible.

Now, you have soiled and stained and imperiled your — Our — country by exploiting an ill-considered Constitutional oddity to install in the presidency a man who is manifestly, conspicuously, egregiously unfit to sit at a dinner table with decent adults — never mind the White House, for almost two and one-half centuries the centerpiece of humanity’s aspirations.

Now, you are surprised to learn that you are more despised than ever?

How did you delude yourselves into believing you could stop the spinning of the earth? That even as my alma mater leads a global consortium of scientists and engineers searching for the materials that will protect astronauts during a years-long mission to Mars, you could impose a Bronze Age fairy tale, Genesis, upon schoolchildren? And do you think that Darwin’s great insight can be forgotten? Or will you be content if America produces a generation of ignoramuses incompetent to co-exist with, and compete in, an ever-learning world?

Do you honestly imagine that you will someday force reluctant women to carry to term, and deliver and rear, children they don’t want or can’t afford when the means of safely avoiding it are known to every doctor on the planet earth?

And just why — exactly, please — is the world a better place when gays and lesbians and transgenders are compelled into the closet, their hopes frustrated and their talents wasted and lost?

You and that sociopathic white-trash sewer-god you’re so proud of have a lot to answer for and, so far as I’m concerned, y’all deserve every bit of the odium coming your way.

Like it or not, America is leaving behind the decadence of Christianity; you cannot stop it — and your perverse triumph, the election of Donald Trump, helped to speed that. For that, I gladly thank you.

Now get out of the way and let the grown-ups fix the mess you’ve made.

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