Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for the ‘hypocrites’ Category

You might want to sign this petition

Posted by Charles II on October 16, 2014

I hate liars. From Luke Brinker of Salon:

Debate moderater Kyle Clark to GOP Senate candidate Cory Gardner] “So let’s instead talk about what this entire episode may say about your judgment more broadly,” Clark said. “It would seem that a charitable interpretation would be that you have a difficult time admitting when you’re wrong and a less charitable interpretation is that you’re not telling us the truth. Which is it?”

Petition to Denver Post to retract endorsement of crackpot Cory Gardner against sane person Mark Udall.

Posted in abortion, abuse of power, hypocrites, liars, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples | Comments Off on You might want to sign this petition

There’s never enough Bachmania

Posted by Charles II on January 13, 2013

Via Kaili Joy Gray at DK, Salon’s Alex Seitz-Wald:

Over a year after she dropped out, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann has refused to pay five staffers from her failed presidential bid, according to a former top campaign official. Peter Waldron, her controversial former national field coordinator, told Salon the dispute started when former Iowa straw poll staffers refused to sign a nondisclosure agreement that would bar them from discussing any “unethical, immoral, or criminal activity” they witnessed on the campaign with police or reporters.

A home-schooling group accused the Bachmann campaign of stealing the [group’s e-mail] list, which was contained on a volunteer’s laptop, and then using it to fundraise for the campaign. The home-schooling group has sued the campaign and Waldron said there is also a criminal investigation pending, explaining that he spoke with police about the incident “several times.”

Now, I have as much expectation of the theft being prosecuted as for the Second Coming being at 9 o’clock tonight (which would, presumably, obviate any earthly prosecution). But it is truly amazing that a self-professed Christian has to demand that employees silence themselves over “unethical, immoral, or criminal activity.”

Posted in abuse of power, hypocrites, impunity, Michele Bachmann, The Plunderbund | 1 Comment »

Just thought s/he’d want to know

Posted by Charles II on October 21, 2012

Billy Graham has always called Mormonism a cult. But he decided, for political reasons, to endorse Romney. So, he had the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association scrubbed of that article. Other articles remained which made it clear that that had been his verdict on the LDS.

Now, dear reader, you probably know that. But there are still millions of Americans who don’t know about this bit of hypocrisy writ large. And they might be voting on the basis that if it came out of Billy Graham’s mouth, it must be ok. They probably want to know about the mouth on the other side of Billy Graham’s face.

So this post is to lend the mighty power of Mercury Rising to telling that little bit of truth.

For what it’s worth, I call Mormonism “post-Christian,” since they say Jesus was the Son of God, but he failed. Is it a cult? A multi-level marketing scheme? Or just another religion? All those are matters of judgment. But the hypocrisy of Billy Graham and so many other fundamentalists and evangelicals in embracing what they have for so many years denounced– that’s just a fact.
Updated here: it seems that in Christianity Today, the major evangelical mag, religious leaders have weighed in, mostly in favor of hypocrisy. Lord, help the Christian Church.

Posted in hypocrites, Mitt Romney, politics masquerading as religion | 2 Comments »

Such a soft touch, that Romney

Posted by Charles II on September 25, 2012

Hello, Crooks and Liars readers, and thanks for the shout-out, Swim Girl!
When it was reported that Mitt Romney had given 29% of AGI to charity in 2011, I was intrigued, and went to look at the tax returns to see what I had been missing about the philanthropic side of this man.

It seems this represents another flip flop. Ben Adler, The Nation:

While running for president Romney seems to have suddenly found his inner philanthropist. As George Zornick reports (quoting Romney’s trustee, Brad Malt), “Over the entire 20-year period period [of 1990-2009, the Romneys gave to charity an average of 13.45 percent of their adjusted gross income.” To be a Mormon in good standing one must donate 10 percent of one’s gross income to the Mormon church. If Romney did so, that means he gave only 3.45 percent of his vast fortune to all other charities.

So, there’s a 16 percentage point jump from his typical giving to this year, when his taxes are up for scrutiny.

Now, the Obamas’ giving has also increased substantially. But they were not established as wealthy until 2009, when book royalties (pre-tax) hit $5.7M, and they are far less wealthy than the Romneys.

Then there’s the question of what the Romneys give to. They give, as mentioned. 10% to the Mormon Church. Some of the activities of the Church, like running anti-gay initiatives, are a lot less charitable than the Church would like to admit. Also, there’s not much question but that the Church ties humanitarian aid much more closely to evangelization than, say Church World Service, a mainline Protestant service, or Catholic Charities. To quote the director of LDS Humanitarian Services, Gary Flake:

The humanitarian effort of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is part of the whole effort of expansion. It is a way of helping the needy of the world and, at the same time, increasing awareness of the Church.[he later states that the purpose is “simply for the good it does,” but as framed, it’s clear that this is secondary to the goal of evangelism]

The Catholic Church and mainline Protestant churches see humanitarian aid as an end in itself. It is not expected to aid in expanding the church.

Aside from the Mormon Church, Romney’s main recipient has been The Tyler Foundation. No, not the one that helps “children are undergoing treatment for epilepsy at Children’s Hospital Boston and UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center” The one concocted by Romney as a vehicle to deliver contributions to such philanthropic enterprises as the George W. Bush Library. Yes, some of the money went to traditional charities, like the United Way. But as Josh Harkinson of MoJo put it:

In 2006, for instance, Romney’s foundation gave $10,000 to the anti-gay Massachusetts Family Institute, which believes that sexual orientation is a choice that can be cured by what critics call “pray away the gay” programs. In 2009, it gave $25,000 to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a year after its chairman, Seamus Hasson, compared marriage-equality activists to Al Qaeda.

Such “charity” is a disgrace to the system of tithing and an example of why the tax code is hopelessly screwed up. When God’s accountant sifts through the Romney’s tax returns, I suspect she’ll find that Romney’s philanthropy amounts to 1% to feed, clothe, or shelter non-Mormons and the rest was concealed political donations or to shore up his standing among his political base.

Posted in 2012, hypocrites, Mitt Romney | 6 Comments »

It’s time to shut down the taxpayer-funded, foreign-run Catholic Superpac

Posted by Charles II on February 9, 2012

(and tax-funded political activity by any other churches, too)

I have always believed that it’s important to listen seriously to one’s opponents. Either (a) they’re right, in which case I ought to change my mind, or (b) it equips me with what I need to defeat their arguments, usually using their own words. Sometimes, of course, there’s a compromise to be found, but less often than one would wish.

In the matter of the Bishops’ letter to their congregations promising to fight tooth and nail over the requirement that the insurance they provide their employees include contraception, a lot of the focus has been on the insurance.

Listen to the Bishops’ argument:
1. While the church itself is exempt from the requirement, its schools, hospitals, and charities are not.
2. The institutions are morally opposed to fulfilling the requirement
3. The insurance would include voluntary sterilization and “Ella”, which prevents implantation of a fertilized egg and the Church regards as abortion
4. Most Catholics and allies among Protestants are opposed to the requirement
5. Although a number of states, including New York, California, and Oregon already require the inclusion of contraception, the Church has been able to dodge this in many states and some don’t have any requirement at all.

Now, already there are some serious holes in this. It turns out that some states already require the provision of contraceptive services. It turns out that most Catholics support the inclusion of contraception in insurance. It turns out that that there is no connection to abortion, which is already covered by the Hyde Amendment. The specific naming of Ella is notably dishonest, since a number of methods prevent implantation. It turns out that many of the people who would be affected are not Catholics. It certainly doesn’t force any Catholic to use contraception. It’s all just a matter of who pays for those who choose to use contraception.

So, already the Bishops are pretty deep into lying. (see here and here and here for a general discussion; Seehere for a statement that DePaul and other Catholic institutions provide contraception through insurance). The Church has very pragmatically decided not to, say, excommunicate Catholics who use birth control, even though they regard inhibiting implantation as murder–and unconfessed murder at that. It’s difficult to take the moral high ground when one has already lost authority over one’s troops.

But as numerous as the flaws in the Bishops’ arguments are, only radio show host Norman Goldman identified the issue which absolutely kills those arguments. The employees of the Catholic Church receive an exemption from taxes in exchange for the agreement not to intervene in political contests. This legislation was crafted by then-Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1954.

According to radio host Norman Goldman, in Florida, priests specifically referred to “the Obama Administration” (although the bishops are careful to avoid naming the president). But even where the president was not named, it’s very clear that this is political. The Bishops have taken no steps to reach an amicable compromise, such as offering to give employees an amount sufficient to buy a supplemental policy if they wish, and not if it goes against their conscience. Surely the Administration would accept any arrangement that does not unduly burden the employee. So the Bishops are picking a political fight, and yet they expect the taxpayers to fund their political activities through the tax exemption!

The Bishops are in rebellion against the lawfully elected government. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the letter from military chaplain, which he was directed not to read(see here) . Different dioceses read different versions of the Bishops’ letter, and his is in no way unrepresentative. But he has a special duty as the Catholic representative who speaks especially to the troops. When he says, “It [the contraception mandate] is a blow to a freedom that you have fought to defend and for which you have seen your buddies fall in battle,” he is standing in rebellion. When he says, “We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law,” this is sedition. True, his chain of command is not to the president, but to Rome. But he has placed Catholic military chaplains, whose chain of command does run to the president in an impossible situation.

The Catholic Church has in many ways ceased to be a religious institution. The hierarchy, at least, amounts to a political institution–indeed, a foreign-runpolitical institution, while it’s the Catholics in the pews who do all the good works.

It is time to end the tax benefits this Catholic Superpac enjoys. Taxpayers should not be paying priests to act as ward heelers and lobbyists for special treatment for those secular institutions operated by the Catholic Church. There are many reasons to deride the Catholic Bishops dishonesty and hypocrisy on contraceptive insurance, but none as simple and unambiguous as our demand that taxpayer dollars not be used to subvert our government.

Posted in abortion, hypocrites, religion, women's issues | 2 Comments »

You’re being too kind

Posted by Charles II on December 6, 2011

Chris Britt

(image from

Via Scott Horton, Der Spiegel’s Mark Pitzke:

Africa is a country. In Libya, the Taliban reigns. Muslims are terrorists; most immigrants are criminal; all Occupy protesters are dirty. And women who feel sexually harassed — well, they shouldn’t make such a big deal about it.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the US Republicans. Or rather, to the twisted world of what they call their presidential campaigns.

They lie. They cheat. They exaggerate. They bluster. They say one idiotic, ignorant, outrageous thing after another. They’ve shown such stark lack of knowledge — political, economic, geographic, historical — that they make George W. Bush look like Einstein and even cause their fellow Republicans to cringe.

And so the farce continues. The more mind-boggling its incarnations, the happier the US media are to cheer first one clown and then the next,

Then there’s Newt Gingrich…the US media now reflexively hails him as a “Man of Ideas” (The Washington Post) — even though most of these ideas are lousy if not downright offensive, such as firing unionized school janitors, so poor children could do their jobs.

Pompous and blustering, Gingrich gets away with this humdinger as well as with selling himself as a Washington outsider — despite having made millions of dollars as a lobbyist in Washington. At least the man’s got chutzpah.
Americans have a short memory. They forget, too, that Gingrich was driven out of Congress in disgrace, the first speaker of the house to be disciplined for ethical wrongdoing.

Rick Perry’s blunders are legendary.

Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann … [is] still tolerated as if she’s a serious contender. Ron Paul’s fan club gets the more excited, the more puzzling his comments get. Jon Huntsman, the only one who occasionally makes some sort of sense, has been relegated to the poll doldrums ever since he showed sympathy for the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators.

Which leaves Mitt Romney, the eternal flip-flopper and runner-up…

What a nice club that is. A club of liars, cheaters, adulterers, exaggerators, hypocrites and ignoramuses.

Pitzke misses the point. These are the sorts of personal characteristics that Republicans admire, at least as long as the person in question has lots of money. How can the party who impeached Bill Clinton for adultery a little over 10 years ago have as its frontrunner a man who was engaging in adultery at the same time that he was impeaching Bill Clinton? It only makes sense if Bill Clinton’s sins were not big enough to gain him a place in the Republican pantheon.

I predict that what will happen in the end is a deadlocked convention, and an exciting, new candidate will materialize. Someone relatively unknown. Someone whose secrets are well enough hidden that they won’t emerge before the election. Probably a military man.

And someone worse than all of the rest of the liars club that is the Republican primary.

Posted in 2012, hypocrites, liars, Republicans, Republicans acting badly | 7 Comments »

Posted, cringing

Posted by Charles II on November 23, 2011

As a Christian, stories like this trouble me deeply. Claire Gordon, Daily Finance:

A $10 bill is a joyful sight for a server. But when one waiter went to retrieve such a note out from under a diner’s plate recently, he reportedly noticed something curious. The tip it provided wasn’t monetary, but took the form of advice. “SOME THINGS ARE BETTER THAN MONEY,” it said on the back, “like your eternal salvation, that was brought and paid for by Jesus going to the cross.”

The idea that Christians are poor tippers apparently has been whispered in service circles for a long time. Many waiters try not work Sunday brunch, so as to avoid notoriously stingy churchgoers, claims Justin Wise, the director of a Lutheran ministry in Des Moines, Iowa.

“Christians don’t tip very well,” he wrote for The Lutheran magazine in January 2009. “As a matter of fact, we’re pretty cheap. What makes this worse is that we paint ‘cheap’ with a religious-sounding veneer and call it ‘being a good steward.’ Nothing like hiding behind the Bible to camouflage your stinginess.”

[Now, in fact, a careful study has shown that Christians are not less likely to tip less for good service. But] while it is statistically false to say that Christians are bad tippers, it is true that Christians are more likely to stiff their servers than people of other religious (or non-religious) bents.

The waiter who got the counterfeit-Christian bill makes $2.65 an hour plus tips. Now, in upscale restaurants during busy times, waitstaff make really good money, the kind that Tom Emmer imagines they make. But the reality is that:

In May 2008, median hourly wages (including tips) of waiters and waitresses were $8.01. The middle 50 percent earned between $7.32 and $10.35. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $6.73, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $14.26 an hour. For most waiters and waitresses, higher earnings are primarily the result of receiving more in tips rather than higher hourly wages. Tips usually average between 10 percent and 20 percent of guests’ checks; waiters and waitresses working in busy or expensive restaurants earn the most.

If you work 60 hours a week, you can expect to take home about $25,000 a year. If you’re simply not able to handle that much work–and most of us can’t after we hit 40 or 50–then you’re probably making $16,000 per year. Not even enough to raise a family in dignity.

That makes waitstaff in most restaurants the least of these. And for those, Jesus said this:

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ (Matt. 25)

And that is why there will be so few self-styled “Christians” and so many self-styled “atheists” in heaven.

If you haven’t done something tangible to help someone feel thanksgiving on this holiday, take a moment. There are homeless people who lack clothing. There are families with not enough to eat. There are unemployed folks, including many veterans who need to know that they are not forgotten. And if you’re eating out and don’t have enough money to have a good dinner and pay a tip, well, eat a little less and tip a little more.

Posted in Christianity, greed, hypocrites, poverty | 3 Comments »

Moral Incoherence, Cognitive Dissonance

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 30, 2011

“Evil deeds do not make an evil person. Otherwise we would all be evil. If evil people cannot be defined by the illegality of their deeds or the magnitude of their sins, then how are we to define them? The answer is by the consistency of their sins. While usually subtle, their destructiveness is remarkably consistent. This is because those who have “crossed over the line” are characterized by their absolute refusal to tolerate the sense of their own sinfulness.”

— M. Scott Peck, “People of the Lie”

Today I had the experience of seeing someone who up until two weeks ago I’d thought of as incorruptible tell an ignoble, pathetic lie even as the evidence exposing the lie was there for all to see. The lie involved pretending that this person did not commit certain reprehensible actions which were recorded, in black and white, at the start of the discussion.

The sadder thing is that even without the evidence in black and white, I had other evidence to hand showing that the lie was a lie — evidence the person who made the lie and the initial actions denied by the lie doesn’t know I possess.

The person in question knows that the lie and the actions it denied were wrong, and that the position this person is promoting is morally indefensible. Which would explain why this person ran away from the discussion, and in fact the list holding it, rather than continue to defend what this person knows to be wrong. In a way, that’s a good sign: If the person were truly evil, there would have been an attempt to brazen it out.

Posted in evil, heroes, hissy kabuki, hypocrites, liars | 1 Comment »

Projection: It’s Not Just for Movie Theaters

Posted by MEC on April 20, 2011

The Detroit Free Press reports that a demonstration planned for Good Friday outside a mosque in Dearborn, Michigan was organized by Frank Fiorello, who calls Islam a “perverse ideology [that] just preaches violence”.

On his Facebook page, Fiorello talks about violence, saying “danger and death are but my playthings.” A rock band he plays guitar in, Crude Legacy, has anti-Muslim rock songs he posts on his group’s Web site.

In one song, the band declares, “We’ll hack through Turkish flesh and bone, watch the minarets fall down.” In another, “Mosque of terror, minarets in flames, they bring the horrors, so we’ll do the same.”

Fiorello also says he’s peaceful and doesn’t want to see Muslims attacked. I’d kind of like to know how hacking through flesh and bone and setting minarets on fire aren’t attacks — for that matter, how exactly he explains that the planned protest outside the mosque isn’t an attack on the worshippers there.

The encouraging aspect of this story is that a coalition of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious leaders plan to counter the hate by staging their own rally outside the mosque on Thursday.

Posted in anti-Muslim, hypocrites | Comments Off on Projection: It’s Not Just for Movie Theaters

More MN GOP Hypocrite Porking, This Time For Elk River

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 24, 2011

Minnesota GOP's thumbs on the pork barrel scales again?

Right after Sally Jo Sorensen alerted folks to this bit of hypocritical politically-driven porkery by the Republicans who control the Minnesota Legislature, along comes Spotty of The Cucking Stool with another piece of Republican hypo-pork:

Amid all the negative things you hear about schools, and cutting school funding, and bringing those darn teachers in to line, it is really nice to see some legislators are trying to help schools. Sen. Amy Koch and Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, specifically.

What? You can read more in the Strib story here.

Well, they are schools in Koch and Kiffmeyer’s own districts. Somebody else’s schools? Heaven forfend! Both bills are very short, so short they fit nicely in the space provided here.

Go click and read. Amazing. They’re barely even bothering to hide it nowadays.

Posted in hypocrites, Minnesota, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | Tagged: , | Comments Off on More MN GOP Hypocrite Porking, This Time For Elk River

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