Tag Archives: Ron DeSantis

Let’s look at some people of dubious moral integrity, shall we?

While it’s not the worst lie Rep.-elect George Santos has told, I find myself particularly disgusted he lied about his mother dying on 9/11 when she died in 2016.

Anti-gay activist Brian Brown insists that until the woke mob ruined America marriage was always one man and one woman. King Solomon and his thousand wives on line one, Mr. Brown. But seriously, shouldn’t a supposedly devout Christian know that ancient Israel, among many other cultures, was polygamous?

“If you want to know at the end, we’ll let you know, but we’re not telling people where funding is coming from right now,” — shady Trump lawyer Stefan Passantino explaining to Cassidy Hutchinson that he’d protect her at no cost if she lied to the 1/6 Committee.

Florida shipping migrants out of state and lying to them about where they were going is highly immoral. A DeSantis aide steering the transportation contract to a former client is more conventionally unethical.

The Republican majority on the Supreme Court has repeatedly struck down covid-related restrictions they said infringed on religious freedom. However they’re refusing to let Biden strike down a Trump policy that restricts immigration to supposedly fight covid.

Likewise, right-wing claims that fetuses are people can be abandoned when convenient.

Here’s some election fraud for you, by a Republican election official.

There are those who do evil and those who enable them.

Nixon had no moral integrity and deserved to lose his office over Watergate. Nevertheless conservatives are still pissed about it.

Trump in 2015 said he’d give his entire presidential salary to charity, “but in 2020, his last full year in office, the documents show that Mr. Trump reported $0 in charitable giving.” At the same link, Trump and other Republicans are threatening retaliation (“The Radical Left Democrats have weaponized everything, but remember, that is a dangerous two-way street!”) but I think Democrats know by now that Repubs will fight dirty regardless of what Dems do.

While Elon Musk’s ethics are dubious, his intelligence is too — because only an idiot gets rid of their janitors.

Oklahoma State Sen. Dan Bullard says he’s banning gender-transition surgery until age 26 because he cares so much about trans people and wants to protect them from bad decisions.

Now for an upbeat note: bankruptcy does not shield slimeball Alex Jones’ assets from Sandy Hook lawsuits. Oh, and much as Arizona’s Kari Lake still pretends she won the governorship, her lies are going nowhere.

On the other hand, it turns out supporting Trump’s insurrection is no bar to becoming a North Carolina law school dean.

 

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Order in the court! Legal links

An Arkansas state senator blocked atheists from his Twitter feed. They sued. He has to pay.

“Ciavarella ordered children as young as 8 to detention, many of them first-time offenders deemed delinquent for petty theft, jaywalking, truancy, smoking on school grounds and other minor infractions. The judge often ordered youths he had found delinquent to be immediately shackled, handcuffed and taken away without giving them a chance to put up a defense or even say goodbye to their families.” The vile judges in the “cash for kids” scandal of 15 years ago have been hit with $200 million in damages.

Given his history of ignoring his lawyers’ advice and not paying them for services rendered, I’m absolutely stunned that Donald Trump is finding it hard to hire them for the current stolen documents case. I hope he winds up with a wet-behind-the-ears public defender.

Prosecuting Trump for those documents would be unprecedented, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

Well that’s lovely. The prison-industrial complex would sooner have prisoners pay them money than pay court-ordered damages.

“The lawsuit also alleges that Ryan Thames, who runs a Facebook page called “Bayou State of Mind,” posted a meme of Jones on or around July 21 showing her smiling and sitting behind a desk and saying that she advocated teaching anal sex to 11-year-olds. ” — from an article about a librarian suing the censors.

Republicans have become enthusiasts for suing across state lines. I’m sure they’ll be thrilled 16 state AGs have filed amicus briefs in a lawsuit over Ron DeSantis’ Don’t Say Gay policies. And the ACLU is suing Florida too. A judge just blocked some of DeSantis’ laws from going into effect; let’s hope that’s a good sign.

Along with punishing corporations who disagree with him, DeSantis also fired an elected prosecutor who did the same. He is, however, fine with Florida sheriffs who ignore the law. And while ex-felons are being jailed for mistakenly registering to vote, white Republicans who voted twice, get a hand-slap.

When paying for concussion injuries, the NFL gave black players less on the grounds they didn’t have as much cognitive function as whites so the concussion had less effect. Finally that bullshit’s over.

The right-wing Project Veritas (which despite the name, has nothing to do with the truth) sued Stanford U for questioning the accuracy of statements about ballot harvesting. The case was dismissed and Veritas has to pay Stanford $150,000 in fees.

Trump’s threatening to sue CNN. He’s lining his pockets with contributions from his

College affirmative action is before the Supremes again. A number of businesses have told the court they need the policy to maintain a diverse workforce.

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It’s July 4. How’s the First Amendment doing these days?

Not so hot, courtesy of our Supreme Court and countless lower-ranked Federalist Society hacks Republicans have managed to push into our judiciary (one of the Democrats’ mistakes under Obama was not making appointing good judges a priority). For example, if a schoolteacher wants to lead students in public prayers, which some students say they felt pressured to participate in, the Supreme Court says that’s okay. It’s simply recycling an old argument that not allowing Christians to impose prayer on others violates their rights. Sotomayor’s dissent points out the flaws in the majority ruling. As Balls and Strikes says regarding gun control, reality in Thomas’s opinions is malleable.

Lauren Boebert, unsurprisingly, thinks this is great: she’s tired of all that “separation of church and state junk.” This, of course, reflects that right-wing Christianity currently has such a clout in the judiciary; if Jews, Muslims or liberal Christian groups had similar influence, she’d be screaming about how Christian rights must be protected. Hell, they scream about it now, even when their rights aren’t at risk. Rainbow-themed Oreos don’t threaten religious rights but some Republicans feel oppressed just seeing things they disapprove of.

It’s easier if they pretend the US is and always was a Christian nation, such as Boebert’s claim “We the people” in the Constitution refers to the Christian church. It doesn’t; the Constitution was seen at the time as almost atheist in saying the American people, not God,  founded the government. Not to mention banning religious tests for public office, so that potentially anyone of any faith, or even an atheist, could become president.

It could get worse too. Clarence Thomas is fine with making it easier to sue for defamation, taking the side of an anti-gay Christian church labeled an anti-gay hate group by SPLC. This, again, shows the advantage of Republicans dominating the courts: I’m quite sure they’ll find anything the right wing says about Democrats perfectly acceptable discourse.  And Boebert — not that she’s uniquely bad in her party, she’s just been mouthing off a lot lately — thinks the church is supposed to direct government, which is the opposite of religious freedom.

Over in Florida, Ron “I”d like the floor to get elected president” DeSantis has imposed education standards that include lying about how the Founding Father wanted us all to be Christian (what they wanted has no force in law) along with assuring students that the Founders totally hated slavery even if maybe some of them owned a slave or two, and anyway most slaves were born slaves, not brought over from Africa. Excuse me but that doesn’t make American slavery moral!!

I will pause here and note that any talk about “the church” or “Christians” running government is bullshit. Christianity is a vast collection of multiple different sects and churches with a vast array of views. This isn’t new — it’s been true from the earliest days of my faith. If Republicans make us a “Christian nation” the next step will inevitably be figuring out who qualifies as Christian.

Despite Vatican II, there are plenty of right-wing Catholics who don’t think Protestants are legitimate Christians as someone once put it, some Catholics are more Catholic than the Pope. I’ve known plenty of Protestants who don’t think Catholics are Christian. Lots of both Catholics and Protestants don’t count Mormons. The New England Puritans hun Quakers for dissenting.

Rick Santorum doesn’t think any liberal can be Christian. Pat Robertson says Methodists and Episcopalians are the spirit of antichrist. Some Southern Baptists believe charismatic churches with speaking in tongues are just a form of demonic possession and Satan worship. Snake handlers (who admittedly are unlikely to become a power player in our future) dismiss believers in the Trinity as “three god people.”

On top of which, we have the personal factor. If you’re a church leader with a taste for power or wealth, you have that much more interest in making sure your church has access to the halls of government, not the Christian church down the street. Christian anti-abortion centers, like abstinence-only education, channel state funding to Christian groups. That’s a sweet deal. If you think a rival church wants to suck up your slice of the pie — wait, wait, they’re heretical and not Christian at all! As the First Amendment only applies to real Christians, they’re out of luck!

This kind of thinking also breeds fear. Whoever’s in power will get to dictate who qualifies as Christian with the corresponding religious rights. That makes control of the government a matter of life and death, possibly literally. That doesn’t encourage support for democracy and the peaceful transition of power.

This is why theocracy has never ended well in human history. It won’t end any better if we get one in the future. That’s why our founders forbade Congress — a decision later court rulings extended to states and the executive branch — from either establishing a state religion or banning its free exercise.

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DeSantis: Sexual harassment training is evil, just like Disney is evil!

As you all probably know, Fla. Governor Ron DeFascist and his fellow Republicans are outraged that Disney dared defy him and question the wisdom of Don’t Say Gay. He’s claiming that Disney’s sexing up cartoons — as noted at the link, it’s not a new thing in cartoons — but it’s doing the job of encouraging corporations to collaborate. He’s unsurprisingly fine with Nazis protesting Disney. And his party’s on board too: Josh Hawley’s suddenly discovered corporate copyright lasts too long and needs to be changed. Provided you’re a corporation with $150 billion in revenue so it’s not like he’s targeting revenue.

While I agree copyright stretches out way too long, altering the law to punish specific companies is not a good alternative.  Once again, Republicans show themselves as the Stalinists they pretend to despise. It was a staple rule in the old USSR, and many other oppressive states, that you either give lip service to party orthodoxy or pay a price. It’s not the first time, either: back when George Soros looked at buying into major league baseball, some Republicans said that would cost MLB its antitrust exemption. But the important thing from Republicans’ perspective is that its discouraging other corporations from speaking up.

The focus on Disney and DeSantis’ hating on gays shouldn’t obscure that he’s also punching down at sexual-harassment and diversity training. It bans training that says, for example, that race, sex or national origin make some people privileged, or that tells employees they should feel “guilt, anguish or psychological distress” because of actions committed by people who share their race or gender. If an employee thinks their employer has crossed the line, they can sue.

Rather like the Texas abortion bounty hunting program this is considerably more freewheeling than a policy supervised by the government. Would saying that statistically more men than women commit harassment or that women have to deal with harassment a lot qualify? Even if the employee loses, it’s going to cost the employer time and money, providing an incentive for employers to be very, very careful about harassment and diversity training).

Like Don’t Say Gay, the primary goal here is proving DeSantis is fascist enough to be a Republican presidential candidate. I suspect the right-wingers who complain sexual harassment is an arbitrary standard will be fine with it. They’re not offended by sexual harassers such as Madison Cawthorne or Roy Moore. Like Suzanne Venker they assume the problem is that women are there in the workplace so it’s their fault. Just keep women and men apart at work and if women’s careers suffer, well why should misogynists care? Likewise, the assumption is that diversity is a synonym for “minorities and women getting jobs they aren’t qualified for” in contrast to the fantasy era when white people ran everything because they were superior.

I don’t know if DeSantis believes any of that or is just making a calculated political gesture. Like his enthusiasm for punching down at gays to gain political points, it’s vile either way. Which unfortunately makes him a perfect Republican.

I have a chapter on sexual harassment-excusing bullshit (including the Pence Rule) in  Undead Sexist Cliches, available as a Amazon paperback, an ebook and from several other retailers.

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