Friday, September 1, 2017



1. Pastor Robert Jeffries. In a statement emailed to journalists Tuesday afternoon, pastor Jeffries praised Trump’s aggressive statement [on North Korea] as a function of divine will.

"When it comes to how we should deal with evil doers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary — including war — to stop evil. In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong-Un.”

Jeffress has long been one of Trump’s political allies, one central to Trump and his team’s increasingly unsettling conflation of Christianity, nationalism, and pro-Trump cult of personality. [...]

In a follow-up interview with The Washington Post’s Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Jeffress doubled down on his words:

“[Those verses in the Book of Romans give] the government ... the authority to do whatever, whether it’s assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jong Un.”

If Trump were to decide to plunk down a half-dozen Nagasaki-sized nukes on North Korea, that would be just fine with this supposedly Christian preacher. God not only ordains whatever it takes, he also says Americans are biblically obligated to support whatever Trump thinks is necessary. Jeffries is clearly Trump’s kind of guy-- Sec of Defense material.

2. KKK Grand Dragon Justin Moore. Moore, the so-called Grand Dragon for the Loyal White Knights of Ku Klux Klan (don’t you love the freaking titles they give themselves?) told a reporter at WBTV in North Carolina he’s glad the protesting girl in Charlottesville died.

"I'm sorta glad that them people got hit and I'm glad that girl [Heather Heyer] died," Moore said in a voicemail to WBTV's Steve Crump. "They were a bunch of Communists out there protesting against somebody's freedom of speech, so it doesn't bother me that they got hurt at all.” "I think we're going to see more stuff like this happening at white nationalist events," Moore warned.

Moore’s statement went on to blame the counter protesters and I’ll be damned if his defense doesn’t sound like Donald Trump’s own hateful comments blaming counter protesters:

"We were out there and I seen a lot of communist flags and anti-fascist and we're going to see more stuff like this," Moore said. "White people are getting fed up with the double standard setup in America today by the controlled press." … "We should have been able to go out there and have our protest and it should have been peaceful but it's the anti-fascist and the communists [...] continuing to try and stop us," he continued. "So I think there will be more violence like this in the future to come."

Donald Trump continues to enable and embolden the worst of our society. As long as Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and the entire GOP fail to act as the check they were intended, our nation will continue down one of the darkest roads in this country’s history.

3. Sam Clovis. Trump’s Chief “Scientist” at the Dept. of Agriculture. If Donald Trump picks someone to be part of his administration and they accept, there's now 100 percent chance that they're completely and utterly unfit to do whatever job they've been tapped for. Trump's nomination of Clovis to be the chief scientist at the Department of Agriculture is no exception to that rule. From 2011through 2014, Clovis, who has no scientific credentials, repeatedly argued against the legalization of same-sex marriage in his capacity as a conservative radio host, pundit, and Iowa candidate for U.S. Senate. CNN writes:

At a campaign stop during his failed campaign for the Republican Senate nomination in Iowa, Clovis said the science was still out but "as far as we know" being LGBT is choice. He then concludes the protecting of LGBT people could mean that pedophilia would also be protected.

"Someone who engages in LGBT behavior -- I don't know what the science is on this, I think it's still out -- but as far as we know, LGBT behavior is a choice they make, Clovis says in a video obtained by CNN's KFile. "So we're being asked to provide Constitutional protections for behavior, a choice in behavior as opposed to a primary characteristic." [...] "There's no equivalency there between the civil rights issue associated between those protected classes and the civil rights of someone who engages in a particular behavior," continues Clovis. "Follow the logic, if you engage in a particular behavior, what also becomes protected? If we protect LGBT behavior, what other behaviors are we going to protect? Are we going to protect pedophilia? [...]

When a questioner said some might call what Clovis' words extreme -- comparing the approval of same-sex protections to allowing pedophilia. Clovis said it was "logical."

"I don't think it's extreme," said Clovis. "I think it's a logical extension of thought. And if you cannot follow the logic then you're denying your in denial."

Right! Ever since the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, the bills to legalize pedophilia have just been piling up—the momentum has been astounding. 

Clovis’ other scientific credentials include being "extremely skeptical" of climate science and accusing progressives of “stoking racism” and "enslaving" minorities.

Perhaps the real question is: are we going to provide constitutional protections for human jackasses? It's unclear whether Clovis has chosen to be a jackass or was just born with an ungodly low IQ—the science is still out on it—but perhaps he needs a category all his own, like ignominious.

4. Katrina Pierson, Campaign Spokesperson for Trump Campaign. Less than a week after Donald Trump doubled down on his defense of Nazis and the KKK, insisting that some of them are “fine people,” his former campaign spokesperson offers more alternative facts for us to ponder. According to Pierson, slavery is part of America’s “good history,” and therefore Confederate monuments should be left as they are. In an interview Monday morning on Fox and Friends, she insisted that slavery makes the United States the very special place it is today.

“Those monuments have been there for a very long time and suddenly Nancy Pelosi wants to actually help these anarchists and these violent protesters tear down pieces of America, American culture and American history,” she said. “Americans actually love their history, their culture, good and bad, because it helps them learn and it helps keep people educated about why America is so great to begin with.” [...] “It absolutely deserves a place because bad history is still good history for this country,” Pierson said.

“Slavery is good?” [Wendy Osefo, a professor at Johns Hopkins University] asked.

“Considering where we are today, where we are today. Absolutely,” Pierson said.

Pierson went on to insist that the statues should stand so that children can learn how the Civil War makes the country special and wonderful. And she’s completely serious. She also clearly has no knowledge of history whatsoever—but that doesn’t stop her from talking.

The lies and lack of critical thinking coming from Trump’s supporters defy logic. They are literally rewriting history to make slave owners and Nazis the good guys. It’s bad enough that they’ve made the country a laughingstock around the world. Now, they are paving the way for genocide and murder of ethnic minorities to be rewarded. We are only 213 days into this administration and every day they manage to sink lower. It’s hard to imagine what’s next.

5. Senator Ted Cruz. When Hurricane Sandy caused widespread damage in New York and New Jersey in 2012, the Senate Republican absolutely nobody likes, Sen. Ted Cruz, was one of the loudest voices opposing federal disaster aid for the region. Now that he is asking for disaster relief for his own state in very similar circumstances, he is naturally being asked about the apparent contradiction. He finds such questions annoying.

In an interview Monday, MSNBC’s Katy Tur asked Cruz about the difference.

“There is time for political sniping later,” Cruz said, before Tur interrupted him.

“It’s not really political sniping, senator,” she said. “These are people who needed money and who needed funding right after that storm, I covered those people. Many of them, just like those in Houston, lost absolutely everything they owned.”

Cruz claimed that “I and a number of others enthusiastically and emphatically supported hurricane relief for Sandy,” but he said that the bill that was ultimately signed into law had too much extraneous spending.

Cruz was one of more than 20 Texas Republicans to vote against Sandy relief, declaring the $50 billion package too encompassing. Cruz and John Cornyn, the other Texas senator, demanded that relief provided be matched by federal budget cuts elsewhere. Now these compassionate senators are appealing for relief to an administration whose second-in-command, Vice President Mike Pence, was back then the top Republican promoter of Operation Offset, and a president who is totally devoid of any human sentiment. They’re all pushed by politics, however. They will surely try to exploit the situation for political gain.

In terms of actual aid dispatched, an offset isn’t expected to be an issue. Federal relief for Texas will, it is widely assumed, be speedily approved, because most of us in the nation are not monsters and recognize that rapidly assisting citizens in dire need is the precise point of having a government in the first place. Pointing out the hypocrisy of those loudly opposing aid to others until their own communities and voters need it is, however, widely expected to continue, because most of us in the nation are also not stupid.

6. President Trump. It’s good to know that Hurricane Harvey didn’t blow away the opportunism and narcissism at Trump’s core. The sicko Donald suggested he timed the announcement of his pardon of the racist, rights-abusing Sheriff Joe Arpaio to coincide with the storm’s arrival because more people were monitoring the news.

“In the middle of a hurricane, even though it was Friday evening, I assumed the ratings would be far higher than they would be normally,” he said.

Thousands of Texans were losing their homes, and many dying, and Trump, as is his penchant, was measuring his audience. It wasn’t enough that he celebrated his disgraceful pardon; he had to exploit the tragic event in Texas. This is Trump being Trump; he simply can’t help himself.
And the winner is:

Because all the ignominious absurdities this month are worthy of being awarded an IGGY, I’ve decided to leave it to Phronesis readers to pick a winner. Please click on “Post a Comments” at the end of the listing and register your choice for the winner. I will total the votes and announce the “popular” choice.


  1. I would give it to Ted Cruz. There's more hypocrisy involved here. Texas is the poster-child for deregulation. Unregulated building covering over most of the remaining land in the Houston area certainly contributed to the extent of the flooding. Texas and Cruz now in the aftermath seek public support. But, public capacity is precisely what Texas state politics and Cruz denigrate with such ideological pride. OK! Consistent with their ideological pride, in the aftermath, maybe Texas and Cruz should emphasize their recovery in terms of trickle-down-logic they seem willing to impose on everyone else until their own fortunes are overwhelmed. Given this hypocrisy, in my mind Cruz is the logical choice.

    Steve Iverson

  2. I would vote for KKK Grand Dragon Justin Moore. To say that he was glad that Heather Heyer died protesting Nazis and White Supremacist is a betrayal to all that have lost their lives fighting this scourge. Did he understand that tens of thousands of U.S. Service personnel and millions of people world wide died fighting this ideology during WWII. Was he glad these people died? To defend this ideology even in the name of free speech is reprehensible to me. The foundation of this form of “free speech” is based on pure hatred for all non-white people. There was a protester with the Nazis and KKK who wore a hat with the 82nd Airborne emblem on it while he gave the KKK salute. The 82nd Airborne jumped into Normandy on that historic night in 1944. What a slap in the face to those young men that lost their lives that night.

  3. My vote is for Pastor Jeffries. He is the kind of no-nonsense pastor that this country needs more of. It doesn't require divine intervention to realize that you don't negotiate with Commies; you kill them.


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