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October 18, 2018

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I hoid dat.

All that's left is trying on the glove. One glove, so many hands.

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/10/khashoggi-coverup-story-still-in-progress/

One size fits every fucking murderous conservative on this planet.

Ryan seems to be auditioning for Kato Kailin's role. Perhaps he'll take the opportunity to hype his new line of tax cheating lounge wear.

McConnell is Al Cowling at the wheel of the Bronco with mp and bin Salman in the backseat, heading for Mexi ......

... wait a second, just when the republican murderers need a border to cross, a wall appears.

The Constitution, like Nicole Simpson's nearly severed head, hangs on by a mere bullshit strand of viscera.

"Can we go back to the good old days of no drama?"

When the epitaph of western civilization is written, any day now, it will include:

"Killed by Reality TV"

There will be no Survivor.

There will be no Survivor.

Killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts?

When the epitaph of western civilization is written, any day now, it will include:

"Killed by Reality TV"

Nah. Like the fall of most civilizations:
killed by (massive) incompetence at governing.

McConnell, like Gingrich before him, is good at power plays. But doesn't seem to have a clue about, or an interest in, what it takes to actually run the country. (Trump being even worse. But he makes no pretense in being interested in anything except a) getting more money for himself, and b) getting adulation from everybody he comes in contact with.)

McConnell, like Gingrich before him, is good at power plays. But doesn't seem to have a clue about, or an interest in, what it takes to actually run the country.

I agree.

They don't even seem to be trying, just playing partisan games and trying to shovel as much money as possible at their big donors - not even their supporters (see trade policy).

The grass roots get their feelings massaged, and the rich guys get richer. It's a giant scam.

Sort of reminds of Jim Crow. Racism was promoted, in part, by business to deter poor whites from allying with blacks in the interest of things like unionizing, voting for more worker-friendly politicians, and so on. As long as you told the whites they were superior in some way, and shouldn't associate with the n*****s, you could divide and conquer.

Open thread, so briefly back to the Banksy stunt: I was glad to see that the original intention was to shred the whole thing, rather than create a more valuable piece of art, and that Sothebys weren't in on it. It restores my faith that Banksy is at least sincere...

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/banksy-girl-with-balloon-shredding-video-youtube_us_5bc83751e4b0a8f17ee94a8b

Was it ?
Or is that just Banksy PR ?

I get (more or less) wj’s position on the GOP, but this is just... bizarre:
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/trump-cant-make-me-leave-gop/573259/

i made it as far as "For me, the Kavanaugh story had nothing to do with Trump. It had to do with vengeful Democrats..."

I think that might be what counts for reaching across the aisle, from the Republican side.

reaching across the aisle, with middle finger extended.

bring it closer, daddy's got a brand new bone saw.

I wait for the excuse that it was actually a bane sow (a pig to be ritually stoned, a variant of the traditional scapegoat).

Caruso's piece doesn't bug me. If the (R)'s are what floats his boat, have at it.

I keep hearing about this crop of young (R)'s who are all about making the economy work for working people, and who are eager to leave the dog-whistle racism and whores-to-corporate-power bullshit behind.

Caruso seems to be some aspirational version of one of those folks.

Sounds great. Sounds like your average (D).

I can believe in Caruso's sincerity. I have absolutely zero trust that anything he or people like him will come up with will produce the result he thinks it will.

I been hearing the same song for my entire adult life.

Show me the goods, and I'll take you seriously, Caruso.

Russell,

I keep hearing about this crop of young (R)'s who are all about making the economy work for working people, and who are eager to leave the dog-whistle racism and whores-to-corporate-power bullshit behind.

Me too. Yet their ideas don't seem particularly Republican or conservative. They might make a lot more progress if they became Democrats and advocated for their preferred policies within that party.

As for Caruso,

I supported the GOP health-care plan. I supported the GOP tax-cut package. I supported moving the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

What health-care package? And why? And why again? He doesn't sound much like someone worth taking seriously.

Basically:

Leading off with "I rejected the idea that government is best at solving problems" without at least being clear about what "problems" you are talking about is, to me, a signal that you have not put a lot of careful thought into your point of view.

Should I paint my house blue?
Should I wear the sandals or the flats?
Surf or turf?

Caruso, I'm with you. Not a problem government will help you with.

Everybody already knows my long long long list of places where government actually can play a constructive role. So I'll just leave it at that.

Everybody already knows my long long long list of places where government actually can play a constructive role. So I'll just leave it at that.

Not to mention the places where government has a necessary role -- as in, without it, the problems cannot be solved at all.

It seems like the lying usual suspects are working on defaming Khashoggi.

Folks, they will be doing this to their political opponents here soon. They think this is all fine.

People object to the word Nazi. Okay, but find a word for them that evokes the same visceral response. Because these people are dangerous scum.

What health-care package? And why? And why again? He doesn't sound much like someone worth taking seriously.

the latest GOP gambit is to pretend they had a real plan that was killed by the perfidious Dems.

it's not like lying to their drooling idiot base has any consequences. so why stop now?

People object to the word Nazi. Okay, but find a word for them that evokes the same visceral response.

Might piss 'em off more to be compared to the communists. Who, after all, used the same Big Lie technique.

Jay Caruso, just another persuadable Republican, right? Hahahahahaha!!!

His positions on the issues are poison right down the line. So he can go take a flying leap. I am gobsmacked the Atlantic would give this standard issue reactionary a platform. That was truly deplorable, for the essay revealed a person with absolutely no intellectual depth or introspection.

He wrote (yes, true story!) the following:

For me, the Kavanaugh story had nothing to do with Trump. It had to do with vengeful Democrats, hell-bent on doing all they could to stop Kavanaugh from getting confirmed in the hope that if they gained control of the Senate, they could keep the seat of retired Justice Anthony Kennedy vacant until after the 2020 election.

Man, that's hard to believe. Did I mention Merrick Garland?

With a few quibbles, I would agree, and see nothing at all wrong with Dems doing all in their feeble power to stop Kavanaugh from ascending to the Supreme Court.

Because that asshole has no business being there.

So what's the big deal?

Was that Caruso piece lifted verbatim from The Onion? Was Banksy involved? It was a parody.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-lauds-feral-congressman-for-body-slamming-reporter

Shoot to kill.

Killed by Reality TV https://www.famouspeoplequote.com/famous-quotes/

I am gobsmacked the Atlantic would give this standard issue reactionary a platform

RedState is a sort of conservative pundit farm team. Perhaps due to the absence of better alternatives.

Want an old guy (and yeah, it'll be a guy)? Call Heritage or Cato.

Want somebody loud? Call Fox.

Want to know what the 'next generation conservative youth' are up to? Call RedState.

They are the young conservatives you can bring out in polite company. No armbands, no fashionable Nazi haircuts, no tiki torches.

They used to have a thing for getting their noms de blog from the patristic fathers, but it seems like they've gotten over that.

We're weighing six or seven lies regarding Khashoggi's butchering:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/saudis-weigh-using-scapegoat

The murderer who ordered the hit suggests a whopper AND asks: "bin Salman? Never hoid of him."

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-allies-start-insidiously-hinting-that-khashoggi-was-tied-to-terrorists

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire

Get me everything you have on this and then kill the story and those gathering it:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/corker-there-has-been-a-clampdown-by-admin-on-intelligence-regarding-khashoggi

Nikki Haley jokes that she was spit-roasted fore and aft rapey style by both Captain John Smith AND and crews of the Nina, the Pinta, and the USS Ron Jeremy, and liked it.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/nikki-trump-asked-warren-same-tribe

Says SHE was the Stormy Daniels of the early settler era and Pocawhatshervagina resisted those early American immigrant big swinging dicks because the latter was the nagging prude of the tribe and was afraid of the European cornucopia of poxes disembarking on to the continent.

mp claims herpes and gonorrhea were the Vietcong he battled in his early life but admits his night with Niki Haley was everything a Tet Offensive could be.

When Haley was asked about that hook up, she smiled coyly and said "Me Lay, You End."

Episode 2 of the hit reality show, "Shit Show":

500 assassins take position across the United States of America and terminate the subhuman alien virus infecting the country.

It has a laugh track.

A few of the vermin survive in their coastal flood zones and star in a spinoff series called "The Rancid Leftovers".

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/10/will-republican-conference-help-trump-try-cover-saudi-torture-killing

When the Shit Show's host, Franklin Benjamins, is asked: "What have you wrought?", he answers, "He who kills the enemy gets to keep the Republic."

A lone mp afficianado, from the safe hidey hole in his mother's basement, reties his blood-stained bathrobe and responds: "What about the washer and the dryer behind Door #3? That's all I was playing for."

Also, Dear MSM, Trump lies.

Meanwhile, this:

Trump’s job right now is to convince Congress and America that he can grab the Saudis by the shoulders, shake them, tell them this has to stop, and make them listen. That’s a tall order, but so far his measured approach has left all options on the table, and he deserves some room to operate.

All you have to note is the url to see where this fever fantasy comes from. Then there's real life, where Clickbait brings a congressman who pleaded guilty of assault on a journalist onto the stage and praises him as a great guy.

What I don't get is why the MSM and even the non-MS M isn't forming an implacable, impenetrable wall of resistance against this guy who celebrates people who assault them and is going to do jack about people who murder them.

And note the playbook: a guy gets killed, apparently after being ambushed and tortured, and before being dismembered. Then the R party starts a smear campaign to make sure we know he was a bad guy, and therefore it doesn't matter.

This is why we are down the tubes. Some of us still have this innocent fantasy that wrongs will be uncovered, then righted. Instead, wrongs are reframed as rights, and the wronged are reframed as evil. And this game keeps working on enough people.....plus tax cuts.

And don't imagine that Congress is going to do anything about it either.

A link for the Gianforte bit.

Meanwhile, this:

the Federalist exists to serve as a lower bound for "conservative" stupidity.

Gianforte was Trayvon Martin in white drag and should have been gut shot by that reporter.

I've always thought mp's and the republican party's Sharia Law demagoguery was merely a case of tiny penis envy:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-got-elected-bashing-sharia-law-now-hes-in-bed-with-its-lethal-champion?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning

Fuck off, conservatives.

You clean up this mess you fucking created or you are the mess that will be cleaned up.

Fuck off.

Another piece of hypocrisy from Collins' Kavanaugh confirmation speech:
https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/412178-conservatives-bankrolled-and-dominated-kavanaugh-confirmation-media

Per the post: I hope the Dems win the House barely, this precludes the otherwise inevitable civil war.

I want a rematch of the 1916 World Series where Babe Ruth pitched 13 innings in game 2 for the winning Red Sox (after getting only one pinch hit opportunity in 2015) against the Robins(Dodgers). So go Dodgers, they should meet every 102 years or so.

We've spent 18 months naval gazing over judicial appointments. Pick three that are particularly bad and agree to confirm the rest if they can those.

Finally, although it seems we should make it clear we dont like killing people while they have been kidnapped and interrogated, it wont kill us to let the Saudis figure out a way to save face.then we should take flyover America, cover it with solar panels and windmills. The rent on the land will inevitably be more per acre than farming yield.

I think Mexico engaging the UN to treat the central American refugees as refugees is a step forward.

Friday dump complete.

we should take flyover America, cover it with solar panels and windmills. The rent on the land will inevitably be more per acre than farming yield.

Of course there is the inconvenience that Trump is running a trade war with China. Which is a major source of solar panels. At minimum that means waiting a couple of years while we (who? surely not the government!) build new manufacturing plants here.

flyover USA should really get in on solar.

hell, NC is currently 2nd in the country in total solar MW.

surely the big flat rectangle states could spare a few acres to solar.

a guy gets killed, apparently after being ambushed and tortured, and before being dismembered. Then the R party starts a smear campaign to make sure we know he was a bad guy, and therefore it doesn't matter.

Fred Hiatt, editor of the Washington Post:

It may not be surprising that some Saudi-inspired trolls are now trying to distract us from the crime by smearing Jamal. It may not even be surprising to see a few Americans joining in. But in both cases it is reprehensible.

as a commenter on LGM pointed out: it wasn't so long ago that "conservatives" were screaming that ISIS was an existential threat to all of western civilization because they were cutting off journalists' heads.

Meanwhile, we see here just how seriously the White House is likely to take any assault on a journalist
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/at-montana-rally-trump-praises-congressman-for-assaulting-reporter/2018/10/18/1e1d0d1e-d304-11e8-8c22-fa2ef74bd6d6_story.html

President Donald Trump on Thursday openly praised Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) for assaulting a reporter in his bid for Congress last year, as the United States faced an unfolding crisis over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who is believed to have been killed by Saudi Arabian agents.

The remarks from Trump at a campaign rally — staged at an airport hangar here with a mountainous backdrop — drew boisterous cheers from the conservative crowd, who applauded as Trump noted of Gianforte: “By the way, never wrestle him.”

“Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of — he’s my guy,” Trump said.

Class . . . the kind we've come to expect.

About letting the Saudis "save face". How would that work, exactly?

I mean, would anybody in the world except He, Trump and his capos even pretend to buy any "face-saving" explanation?

"Bring me the head of MBS on a platter with watercress around it, and maybe we can treat you as a mere pariah instead of a vicious criminal," is what the world should say to Saudi Arabia. But that's a pipe dream, of course. After all, the world is still willing to pretend that He, Trump is NOT a criminal.

--TP

it wasn't so long ago that "conservatives" were screaming that ISIS was an existential threat to all of western civilization because they were cutting off journalists' heads.

Clearly, those decapitations were just a bit too close to home for acephalic RWNJs.

Why the NYT is dead to me.

Once upon a time, I read the NYT every day. Did the cross-word. I even had the NYT campus delivery concession for a while when I was at college.

They no long bring anything of value to the table.

russell, that link is not working for me (possibly only because I'm in Europe (at least for now!), but I have a NYT subscription, so could you give the headline, byline etc? I am trying to keep my subscriptions down, but I have been toying with the idea of getting one for the Washington Post as well/instead....

Echoing GftNC. The link doesn't work for me, either.

I am trying to keep my subscriptions down, but I have been toying with the idea of getting one for the Washington Post as well/instead....

If you want to try out the Post online, you can look at an essentially unlimited number of articles if you open them in a Private Window. (Or go thru after every couple of articles and clear History and Cookies, but that's a hassle.) Just a thought.

"flyover USA should really get in on solar."

The deep Southwest is. For much of the country west of the Mississippi River, wind is actually the low-hanging fruit, and the money's been going into that. In Colorado, the last bid Xcel put out for new supply had wind come in significantly cheaper than their own gas-fired electricity. Xcel currently expects that by 2026, 55% of the power they deliver in Colorado will be from renewable sources. A considerable amount of that will actually be generated up in Wyoming, which has some absolutely magnificent wind resources.

via LGM....very good stuff. Welcome aboard, Max Boot.

They no long bring anything of value to the table.

They pretty much lost me with the run-up to the Iraq war.

Boot is absolutely correct - a movement which regards Goldwater as not an extremist has taken a long step down the road to extremism.

Trump, though, is of a different order, and the Republican party has surrendered to him, despite the occasional gestures towards morally distancing themselves from him.
And I don’t think this article wrong in calling him a threat to the survival of democracy in the US.
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/10/trump-lies-kavanaugh-khashoggi.html

we should take flyover America, cover it with solar panels and windmills. The rent on the land will inevitably be more per acre than farming yield.

Hardly necessary.
Less than one percent of the surface area of the US would be required for solar panels sufficient to produce electricity equivalent to the current demand.

If you want to do something (possibly, although I admit that I wouldn't bet the ranch on it) useful, perhaps you could comment (before Oct 23) on the proposal to drop fuel efficiency and emissions standards for US cars and light trucks. Here's where:
https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0283-0756

Russell's link was this
http://newsdiffs.org/diff/1897383/1897412/

which looks at the revisions to this article

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/18/world/middleeast/jamal-khashoggi-killing-saudi-arabia.html

One a slightly more uplifting note, I ran across this article on Japan’s ‘hometown tax’
https://www.kalzumeus.com/2018/10/19/japanese-hometown-tax/

Which seems a rather interesting system. Is the article accurate, lj ?

Yes, accurate, but I don't think it has the impact that the writer adduces. It seems more like a nice PR program that makes people feel good, but doesn't realign any of the current imbalances in a way that is meaningful.

Here's an English guide
http://www.noze.jp/

and a simulator
https://en.furumaru.jp/info/whats_tax.php

I'm sure that the folks on the right on this board will look at how much tax Japan takes and claim that this is the reason why there is a problem. Let's not and say we did...

I'm assuming that the right folks will be coming out now that we have a(n im)plausible explanation for Khashoggi's death.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/19/world/middleeast/jamal-khashoggi-dead-saudi-arabia.html

Note Trump described the probable lies as a “good first step” - which is a typical Trump tactic of testing the water in preparation for pushing lies wholesale.
Introduce doubt, muse about it in public for a while as he mimics an open-minded weighing of the opposing stories, and then declare it accepted fact.

Which is precisely how he played the Kavanaugh business.

This is a very good article on Trump’s comedy:
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/19/trump-rallies-comedy-916795

It’s somethimg his opponents don’t analyses sufficiently - understandably, as to anyone with a liberal conscience he is appallingly unfunny, but it is undeniably effective, and allows him to make unpalatable ideas palatable to his supporters.

Liberals need also to think long and hard about this:
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/large-majorities-dislike-political-correctness/572581/

If anyone is going to beat him in 2020, dealing with these things will be as important to the election as policies which affect the real world.

Thanks, lj - don't think it has the impact that the writer adduces sounds about right. The story suggests something quite consequential - but actually the $2.5 bn figure he cites isn’t all that much in an economy the size of Japan’s.

Liberals need also to think long and hard about this

"happy holidays"
"flyover country"
"the rubes"

Conservatives need to think long and hard about this.

Can't take a joke? Don't make a joke.

And not for nothing, but Trump and his supporters are the thinnest-skinned people on the planet.

He's not a comedian, he's a f'ing bully. There's an audience for that, but being part of audience is not the nicest thing that can be said about you.

Rhetorical "you", not "you, Nigel".

Most especially, fuck that "happy holidays" bullshit. If people are going to elect a psychopath like Clickbait because they've decided to get their knickers in a twist about how people greet each other in December, then we are beyond doomed, and I don't have to think long and hard about it at all to know that it's the biggest pile of steaming crap I have ever heard of.

Even if they don't give a flying banana about the fact that other people are celebrating other things besides the alleged "Christian" holiday, there's also New Year's Day coming up, so there's in fact more than one holiday to nod to and there always has been. "Happy holidays" was an utterly unremarkable and unremarked way to mark the season for most of my life, until some right-wing hatemonger (Limbaugh, IIRC) decided it would be yet another good item on the list of ways to keep his worshipers ("Christian" my ass) despising the rest of us.

What I am thinking long and hard about is moving to a sane planet. I am not thinking long and hard about how to tiptoe around these assholes, trying to make sure not to act like it's my world too.

And finally, I am sick of being lectured to about it.

Anyhow, who's the politically correct one when I say "happy holidays" and someone has a goddamned tantrum about it?

Nothing like a little civility:

Trump: 'Anybody who votes for a Democrat now is crazy'

"Let’s get these people out of there," Trump said on Friday of elected Democrats. "There’s something wrong. They’re cuckoo."

To address the "politically correct" aspect of holiday greetings directly: the usual suspects think "happy holidays" is political correctness run amok because, wait for it, it's a way of recognizing and honoring the fact that we are a diverse society, and the reality (which we might in fact rejoice in if we had the least little dollop of maturity or generosity) that not everyone shares the same beliefs or celebrates the same things.

And that's what they're really mad about, that the rest of us have had the goddamned gall to assert that it's our world too. To read day after day about the rise of alt-right white nationalists, and then to be told that it's *my* side that's making them do it, just by living and breathing and trying to share the public square?

Nope, not having any.

I think that Atlantic piece is very interesting, Nigel, and important. I was particularly interested in the breakdown into political "tribes", and the consequent statistics, and I guess it's fairly clear what tribe most of us belong in!

Great Atlantic piece.

Btw, No one I know objects to you saying Happy Holidays, the problem is that we are considered politically incorrect if we say Merry Christmas.

My FB is fairly full of people who say things like, I dont care what I'm supposed to say. Merry Christmas. And these are pretty much across the spectrum politically.

To pretend that people objecting to Happy Holidays is how this issue started is trying to rewrite history.

People objecting to a national celebration of Christmas is how it started. That's what changed.

Schools being forced to not mention Christmas, towns being sued to take down the nativity scene, etc.

Marty, I can't swear to this, and am open to serious contrary evidence, but my impression is that not many people have ever really objected to Merry Christmas, but that when some thoughtful people tried to say that Happy Holidays was more suitable to use for people of various other cultures like jews and muslims, and did not exclude christians, it was seized on as an excuse by culture warriors to say there was a War on Christmas, and became a useful cudgel with which to beat people attempting to be more inclusive. Everybody I know (including many lefty progressives and secular jews) is perfectly happy with Merry Christmas, but the people who object to Happy Holidays seem all to be on one side of the (e.g. Fox) spectrum.

In this country, gftnc, Merry Christmas is very often treated as politically incorrect, with many who arent Christian feeling the need to let one know it isn't acceptable.

My evidence, such as it is, was mostly from your country, Marty. The whole War on Christmas thing is not such an issue here, probably because we don't have Fox News.

assertion by russell: And not for nothing, but Trump and his supporters are the thinnest-skinned people on the planet.

proof of assertion by marty: My FB is fairly full of people who say things like, I dont care what I'm supposed to say. Merry Christmas. And these are pretty much across the spectrum politically.

I would love to see someone who was called out by someone else for saying Merry Christmas. What does happen is that in public schools, and where events are being hosted by people who want to include non-Christians during late December, the term "holiday" is used to make people feel welcome. It's a made-up "hurt fee fee" (to go back to that term, which I cop to having used) to be insulted by the phenomenon. Reminds me of the current suggestion that "white men need to be scared."

By the way, speaking of "hurt fee fees," that's why that term came about, because white Republicans are constantly trying to find a way to claim victimhood.

He's not a comedian, he's a f'ing bully. There's an audience for that, but being part of audience is not the nicest thing that can be said about you.

I agree with you, JanieM - though he is both bully and comedian.
That I don’t find him any funnier than you do was part of my point.

I was considering how best to destroy him in the 2020 election, and the Presidential debates (for example) will be an important part of this. It doesn’t take an Avenatti (thank god), but it does require someone who can win rhetorically as well as on substance - something Obama was rather good at and Hillary wasn’t.

In this country, gftnc, Merry Christmas is very often treated as politically incorrect, with many who arent Christian feeling the need to let one know it isn't acceptable.

Do you have any evidence for that, Marty ?

we are considered politically incorrect if we say Merry Christmas.

Who are these people considering you politically incorrect for that ?

It doesn’t take an Avenatti (thank god),

I'm not understanding the animosity towards Avenatti. He's by no means my first choice as a Presidential candidate (and there are others who I also find problematic) partly because he's not a career politician (a trait that would appeal to many people). But he's a knowledgeable lawyer and works hard for his clients. He's a self-promoter, it's true, but one would have to be that. There are things about his financial history that bear scrutiny, and I'm not on his campaign bandwagon. But his vitriol (which is based on real issues) seems mostly reserved for Trump. It's based on reality, and Trump deserves it.

The tendency to disparage him and other people who are trying in their own ways to fight seems less than constructive.

For the record, my current favorites are Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris.

there's also New Year's Day coming up, so there's in fact more than one holiday to nod to and there always has been.

hell, between Advent and Chrsitmastide (aka 'The 12 Days Of Christmas'), there are like 45 consecutive traditional Christian holy days in December and early January.

insisting it's all about the one day is very un-traditional and really sounds like an effort to promote a very specific version of Christianity and exclude all others. which i guess is actually a very Christian thing to do.

According to the several seconds of in-depth research I've undertaken, the "War on Christmas" theme has been taken up by a few right-wing polemicists in the UK also; Eric Pickles for one. Of course, just as in the USA they have to invent things to complain about.

The biggest true complaint is that Walmart instructed its staff to wish customers 'Happy holidays' rather than 'Merry Christmas'. My view is that retailers should be left to decide for themselves how best to please their customers, whereas Marty apparently believes there should be some sort of regulation of seasonal greetings. Let's agree to differ on that, and get back to talking about how to extirpate the evil that is Trump and his Republican Party.

Next thing you know, Marty will assert that it was a historical fiction that some folks yelled, "Love it or leave it" at their political foes.

but it does require someone who can win rhetorically as well as on substance - something Obama was rather good at and Hillary wasn’t.

Point taken. Obama did have some sharp elbows, but a lot of it was a bit too subtle. I have a dream that some day he will yell about Trump, "Fuck him and his bad makeup" and always refer to him as "agent orange". As to substance, Trump's great schtick is to use the misdirection of an insult to not discuss anything of substance.

"Merry Christmas" has become a wingnut shibboleth that a) makes people wonder if they're being challenged by a rage addict who wants to see who isn't toeing the FoxNewspeak party line b) ignores dozens of actual Christian holidays c) deliberately excludes non-Christians.

it's a perfect encapsulation of modern "conservatism": manufactured outrage in the service of ignorant bigotry.

they don't deserve Christmas.

they don't deserve Christmas.

Do they even know what Christmas is? An illegal immigrant unwed mother and her partner with their baby, seeking shelter? They would put them in cages.

Hey, but she did carry the kid to term.

People in schools didn't "decide" to have holiday parties, they were sued and had formal complaints filed by what was often 1 or 2 non Christian's in a school who's parents couldn't explain real life to their kids. This is a Christian country, changing, and we are free to worship as we see fit, but most Anericans celebrate Christmas.

Diversity doesn't mean silencing one group to accommodate another. Inclusion is recognizing other holy days, not avoiding the name of the actual national holiday.

It is telling that the largest group of people imposing this on everyone else are the PC police tribe in the Atlantic piece. And every response since my comment reflects that attitude.

This isn't some made up thing, a group of people set out to attack Christmas in our community life. Using the courts and other means they try to remove any religious iconography from the season.

No one I know objects to you saying Happy Holidays

Sadly, you don't know everyone.

the problem is that we are considered politically incorrect if we say Merry Christmas.

While stipulating that I, like Marty, don't know everyone, I'll say that nobody I know cares if people say Merry Christmas.

The United States used to be, overwhelmingly, Christian in religious affiliation. Aligning public holidays and observances and displays with Christian ones didn't create a lot of dissonance.

We were a nation with no established religion de jure, but in practice so many people were at least nominally Christian that nobody minded.

Plus Christmas, specifically, is a positive and celebratory part of the church calendar. Babies and angels and wise men with presents, what's not to like? It's interesting that nobody us upset about a lack of public observance of, for example, Maundy Thursday.

But I digress.

We're no longer an overwhelmingly Christian nation. Some people who aren't Christian object to public spaces and resources being given over to Christian celebration. Many dont, some do. This is more common in places where Christian religious affiliation is less common.

Which kind of makes sense.

We all know all of the above. And none of this drama is about what words anyone uses to extend good wishes to another.

It's about other stuff.

For readers in the UK, kindly remember that here in the US, we have no established religion. We do not, and can not.

they were sued

and they lost.

This is a Christian country

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

Say Merry Christmas, Marty. Don't use tax money to establish "Christian" holidays. This is not hard.

Except "they lost" means someone made a law prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Except "they lost" means someone made a law prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Free exercise does not mean taxpayer funded. You and your friends can say Merry Christmas, exchange Christmas cards, and do whatever you like, but not with my tax money. Congratulations! You are the American Taliban!

As to my participation in feeding Marty's resentment addiction, I think I'm done for today.

No one forced nativity sets out of the public square. The issue is that if the government allows nativities, they have to allow other religious groups similar opportunities.

Or, they can choose to ban all of them.
Apparently, christians preferred to remove the nativity sets than have to look at someone else's religious stuff.

No that's not true, the supreme court decision disallowed any nativity scene that didn't include other religious and secular iconography. It had nothing to do with "allowing" it. It was required to be there.

Except "they lost" means someone made a law prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

saying you can't make me participate in your religion has fuck-all to do with your participation in your own religion.

this is not a Christian nation. it's a nation with a lot of Christians. but Christians have no legal right to force others to participate in their rituals.

Either way, no right wing media person made this up. The court cases are real, rules, restrictions and limits are real. The PC police are real.

No one has ever made anyone participate, their are lots of things posted or displayed in government buildings that are for specific audiences.

Diversity doesn't mean silencing one group to accommodate another.

Christians aren't being silenced. they're being told they can't use government to force people into acting like Christians.

This isn't some made up thing, a group of people set out to attack Christmas in our community life.

nobody attacked Christmas. people who aren't Christians decided they were tired of being forced by the government to act like they were.

you'd have quite a different view of this if children were being forced by the government to fast for Ramadan.

Yes, the nativity scene was required to be inclusive of the holiday. Towns objected to having a festivus pole, so banned them, rather than include them.

On the one hand, a crèche is permissible if accompanied by prominent secular symbols; on the other hand, all religious (and anti-religious) symbols can claim a right to be in the same display if they have a holiday theme.

https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/366264-why-reindeer-rule-nativity-scenes-on-public-property

People in schools didn't "decide" to have holiday parties, they were sued and had formal complaints filed by what was often 1 or 2 non Christian's in a school who's parents couldn't explain real life to their kids.

Yes, because their one or two kids weren't Christian. And yet, they were required by law to attend a public school, paid for by taxes they were required to pay, and in that public school, funded by public dollars, their kids were expected to participate in a celebration of a Christian holiday.

Some of those folks are going to find that objectionable.

In passing I'll say that the comment about "parents would couldn't explain real life to their kid" is one of the most arrogant, and ignorant, things I've read on this blog to date.

Parents aren't obliged to train their children to conform to your understanding of "real life".

This is a Christian country, changing, and we are free to worship as we see fit, but most Anericans celebrate Christmas.

If there was one thing I could wish for this country, it would be that the myth of the United States as Christian nation would be gone.

We happen to be a nation wherein the majority religious affiliation is Christian. And "majority" here at this point means about 70%, and that includes all expressions of Christianity, from Mormons to Catholics to Evangelicals to Primitive Baptists to the United Church of Christ, who are indistinguishable from those hippie wackos the UU's, except they pronounce one or another of the patristic creeds every Sunday.

It includes, in fact, Christians who believe it is a corrupting sin to observe Christmas. Imagine that.

Quite a large percentage of that 70% are people who are "Christian" in the same sense that they are from one particular state or other. It's just where they were born.

And, at least 30% of the total population falls outside of that rag-bag of creeds beliefs and practices, held however strongly or nominally.

What we *are not* is a nation that is either founded on, or which practices, Christian faith or practice in any but the most attenuated and nominal way. Not even that, frankly.

Our laws and institutions are modeled approximately on English ones, and intellectually are rooted in European Enlightenment political thought, especially that of the Scottish Enlightenment. Our laws are modeled on, and stand in the tradition of, English common law.

What we value and champion more than anything else is power and property. Not Christian values.

Speaking as a Christian, I do not recognize the United States as a Christian nation. And that causes me no problem at all, because Christian faith in my understanding is not in any way about political entities. Render to Caesar what is Caesar's, etc.

And IMO all of our lives would be much, much simpler if we would all recognize that. I'm not holding my breath.

No Christian nation holds kids in a dog pen. End of discussion, as far as I'm concerned.

Except "they lost" means someone made a law prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

If there was one other thing I could wish for this country, it would be a clear definition of what the "exercise of religion" means.

I don't think it means what you appear to think it means.

All that forced fasting that goes on for Christmss. No one was ever forced to participate, what happened was Christians were forced to stop, a little at a time. More each year. Yes it's still huge, but only the secular parts.

Oddly, this isn't very high on my hills to die on. Just sayin it's not some imaginary complaint.

Either way, no right wing media person made this up.

yes, they did.

the outrage merchants at FoxNews inflated a handful of court cases in a goddamned "WAR ON CHRISTMAS" because their business model is all about keeping their audience furious at all times.

of court cases in a = of court cases into a

It is an imaginary complaint because you assume there is a right to expend tax dollars on the majority's favorite myth. There is not. It is expressly forbidden by the establishment clause.

What does establishment mean other than the use of government resources to perpetuate the myth?

you'd have quite a different view of this if children were being forced by the government to fast for Ramadan.

Precisely.

No lunches served in school, for a month. And if you bring one from home, you have to leave the premises if you want to eat it.

How's that?

Anybody can celebrate Christmas if they like.

Anybody can pray in school or work or any public place, or read the Bible in school or work or any public place, if they like. Go find a quiet spot, open the book, read, and pray. People do it every day.

Anybody can observe any religious holiday they like. Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Pagan, Hindu, whatever.

We celebrate Diwali where I work, because there are a lot of South Asians there. And, we celebrate Christmas, everybody who feels like it decorates their cubicle. None of the engineers do, of course, because engineers. Everybody else does.

None of this is about the exercise of religion. It's about group identity.

If you can't make room for people who aren't like you, your life is going to be one long, unending series of unnecessary conflicts.

Consider making room.

Yes it's still huge, but only the secular parts.

Couldn't agree more. That's not about liberals, it's about money.

Tom Lehrer nailed it long ago: Christmas is a celebration of commerce, not a christian holiday, here in America.

I hate to break it to Marty, but a "national holiday" like MLK's birthday, the 4th of July, or his warred-upon Christmas, is nothing but an official day off for the government, the post office, and the banks.

The US is NOT a "christian nation" for the simple reason that "Christians" never could agree among themselves what "christian" means. When the Baptists of Danbury CT wrote to Thomas Jefferson, they were asking for protection from the Congregationalists, not from Muslims, Jews, or atheists.

--TP

No one was ever forced to participate

like most kids, i was forced to sing Christmas carols in school. and not just the secular "Jingle Bells" and "Rudolph" stuff, but all of them: "Oh Come All Ye Faithful", "Away In A Manger", "Go Tell It On The Mountain", "Oh Holy Night". nobody ever said "oh, these are just traditional songs" everyone knew they were about Christianity. even though i've been an atheist as long as i can remember, i never complained that it was kindof silly for me to be singing these songs because i knew i'd be punished if i did.

in 4th grade, we had to perform a musical about Noah's Ark. i knew not to complain, even though i didn't believe a word of it.

never once did we learn any Jewish songs for their holidays. i never asked the Jewish kids how they felt about that.

we were never required to sing any atheist songs.

XTC's "Dear God" was a revelation.

i sometimes wondered if i'd be punished for singing but not believing - since it's a lie to pretend to celebrate something you don't believe in. but nobody ever asked, because who would be crazy enough to not believe in Jesus?

every other Tuesday, 75% of my elementary class would leave for the afternoon to go to "church school". the rest of us just sat there quietly for three hours, doing literally nothing.

no meat on Friday in school cafeterias. not a big deal, i liked the fish sticks! but it was yet another reminder that the school (hence the government) was spending its time and money enforcing Christianity on us.

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