The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

    Follow the wacky antics of right wing conservatives pretending to be under attack by an evil progressive cabal of secular socialists.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Politics of Personal Immunity

    Last night, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and entourage were booted from the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia by a co-owner who just couldn’t bring himself to serve a servant of the Trump Administration and boy was she mad about it and boy are the usual suspects, members of the namby-pamby D.C. press commentariat concerned about civility, too.  This on the heels of Trump adviser Stephen Miller and Department of Homeland Security Head Kirstjen Nielsen being heckled by fellow diners while separately trying to dine out on high end Mexican food.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Your Top Ten Anti-Christian Acts of 2013

    The title of this post comes from the subject line of an email that I received from Dr. Gary L. Cass, head of the "Christian Anti-Defamation Commission." If you read on, you'll notice that none of the "top ten anti-Christian acts of 2013" represent actual discrimination against Christians. Most of them are about Christians' "right" to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    The Best Republican Platform Ever Adopted

    The Republican National Platform of 2012 "may be the best one ever adopted" according to Phyllis Schlafly.

    That's high praise for a party that once demanded the "utter and complete extirpation" of slavery from America's soil.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Why Evangelicals Love Santorum, Hated JFK

    Sen. Rick Santorum, who is campaigning to become America's second Catholic president, disagrees from the bottom of his gut with the first Catholic to hold the office.

    In October, he told a Catholic university audience that when he read the 1960 speech in which John F. Kennedy said: "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute," he "almost threw up." More recently, he elaborated on his dyspeptic condition in an ABC television interview, calling JFK's credo "an absolutist doctrine that was abhorrent at the time of 1960."

    But the Baptist ministers who witnessed Kennedy's speech surely felt differently. In the 1960s, evangelical leaders were not concerned that Kennedy was too secular; they were concerned that he was too Catholic.

    Read the full article at

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Prime Time Persecution

    Anyone on television talking about how they're being persecuted for their religion is not being persecuted. How do I know this?

    Because they are on television.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Lies My Pastor Told Me

    The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC) is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) Education Corporation whose purpose it is to become the first-in-mind champion of Christian religious liberty, domestically and internationally, and a national clearing house and first line of response to anti-Christian defamation, bigotry, and discrimination.

    As America slides down the slippery slope into secular abyss, Christianity itself has come under attack. Nowhere is the assault on religious liberty more ruthless than in our schools. Just last month, a malicious little atheist forced a Rhode Island high school to remove its students' inspirational prayer from the wall of the gymnasium.

    But one brave man refuses to stand by as the secular state annihilates our childrens' religious liberties. Rev. Gary L. Cass, president of the celebrated Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, has recently launched a new organization called, which is dedicated to defending religious liberty in our schools.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Islam's Secret Strategy to Destroy America "Exposed"

    For research purposes, I subscribe to a newsletter from the Christian Anti-Discrimination League.

    The organization's title is a deliberate imitation of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League. Its stated mission is to combat "anti-Christian defamation, bigotry, and discrimination."

    But its actual mission is very different. The CADL employs a common hate-group tactic by offering a veneer of "anti-discrimination" to rationalize its intolerant objectives. Another example is David Duke's National Association for the Advancement of White People. (I leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out what organization it purports to imitate.)

    I used the word "rationalize" rather than "mask" because groups like the CADL do not deliberately misrepresent their motivations. Dr. Gary Class, president of the CADL, very likely sees himself as a righteous defender of Christian civil rights, as do many of his subscribers. They really believe that they oppose discrimination.

    That belief is not a lie for the general public. It's a delusion--a lie to themselves. It allows them to feel comfortable with their own bigotry by projecting those feelings onto the people they hate. By imagining that they are defending tolerant Christians from intolerant Muslims, for example, they cast themselves as innocent victims rather than predatory bigots.

    If you look, you can see this tactic employed over and over by the right wing, and I have written extensively about it in Blowing Smoke.

    Below the fold, please find the latest newsletter from the so-called Christian Anti-Discrimination League. The subject line is "Islam's Secret Strategy to Destroy America Exposed."

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    The End of the Glenn Beck Story

    You'll notice a pattern in all stories: There are three kinds of characters: heroes, villains and there but for the grace of God go I.

    -- Glenn Beck

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Genghis on the Radio...Again

    Tomorrow, I'll be discussing Blowing Smoke with host Tim Danahey on Castle Rock Radio from 2 to 3pm ET, Wednesday, March 16th.

    Please listen in at

    Also, for those of you who missed my television appearance on C-SPAN last month, you can watch it online at

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    TPM Book Club: Blowing Smoke


    Talking Points Memo Cafe is hosting a book club for Blowing Smoke. A couple of dagblog regulars, including Michael Maiello (destor23) and Michael Orion Powell (Orion) will be participating along with a few other experts in the field, so it should be a great discussion.

    The book club will run until Friday. Please join the conversation at

    And don't forget to give the articles a rec for old times sake.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Blowing Smoke in New York: Tuesday, December 14th at Barnes & Noble

    Keeping it virtual is great, but tomorrow, New Yorkers and other denizens of the Tri-State Area will have an opportunity to see Genghis live, uncut, uncensored, unplugged, and undressed. (Update: Upon advice from his lawyer, his publicist, and his mother, Genghis will remind dressed.)

    Come listen to him read from his critically acclaimed, mindblowingly brilliant, mouthwaterlingy scrumptious masterpiece Blowing Smoke: Why the Right Keeps Serving Up Whack-Job Fantasies about the Plot to Euthanize Grandma, Outlaw Christmas, and Turn Junior into a Raging Homosexual.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Glenn Beck, the Jew, and the Puppet Show

    Creepy medieval puppets hung from the ceiling on the set of the "Glenn Beck Program" -- a conquistador, a squire, a witch, and a bearded guy who looked like a cross between Santa Claus and the Fiddler on the Roof.

    "Make no mistake, we are watching a show," Beck gravely told his audience. That much was obvious enough, but Beck did not mean his own television program. "You have to see who's behind the puppets," he continued, "Who is choosing the puppets and the players? Who's the puppetmaster? George Soros."

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Blowing Smoke in Washington DC: Tuesday, Nov 9 at Borders Bookstore

    Dear DC-area readers,

    Please join me at Borders at 18th and L at 6:30pm Tuesday, November 9th for a reading from Blowing Smoke: Why the Right Keeps Serving Up Whack-Job Fantasies about the Plot to Euthanize Grandma, Outlaw Christmas, and Turn Junior into a Raging Homosexual.

    If you don't live in the area but know people who do, please recommend the reading to them. It will be a big help, as it's always a challenge for first-time authors to fill the room and spread the word.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Tell Us a Story, Mr. President

    "You'll notice a pattern in all stories: There are three kinds of characters: heroes, villains and there but for the grace of God go I." -- Glenn Beck

    Barack Obama had a story once. He spoke of hope and change, of restoring a distant government tainted by partisan infighting and corporate influence to the people it was meant to serve. But we have not heard that story since November 2008.

    It is not uncommon for presidents to change their stories after assuming office, either because the practice of governing demands adaptation or because they only said what they said to get elected.

    George W. Bush, for instance, ran for office as a "uniter" and a businessman who would restore efficiency to a bloated government; he quickly proved himself to be anything but.

    No matter, the tragic events of 9/11 soon presented him with a far more potent narrative: The swaggering avenger who delivers swift justice against bearded terrorists, mustachioed tyrants and irritating French people.

    Read the full story at

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Comedy versus Rage: The Difference Between Left and Right

    The New York Times Bestselling Hardcover Nonfiction for October 22, 2010:

    1. Earth (the Book) by Jon Stewart
    2. Trickle Up Poverty: Stopping Obama's Attack on Our Borders, Economy, and Security by Michael Savage

    Jon Stewart is a left-leaning political satirist from Comedy Central. Michael Savage is a right-wing radio host who has trouble distinguishing comedy from communism. Analyzing one Stewart routine, Savage told radio listeners, "Not only is this idiotic and illogical, it is not funny. It is the product of inbreeding." For the record, while inbreeding can cause many congenital defects, it is not known to affect the sense of humor. The comment by Savage was actually one of his more temperate remarks. For instance, he was famously fired from MSNBC after sweetly telling a caller, "Oh, so you're one of those sodomites. You should only get AIDS and die, you pig."

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    The Glenn Beck Generation

    November 8, 1994. It was a slaughter. In one night, Republicans seized 54 seats in the House and eight seats in the Senate, capturing Congress for the first time since 1954.

    The newcomers, many from the South, were predominantly white, male and angry. "You're going to have a difference in style," predicted an Atlanta-based Republican pollster. "With the Southern Republicans, you get a more aggressive, assertive conservatism. This is a conservatism that has been built on confronting Democrats and liberals, not accommodating them."

    Conservative leaders credited Rush Limbaugh, king of angry white men, with propelling the Republican revolution. "He was the standard by which we ran," said former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

    The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, invited Limbaugh to deliver the keynote at its orientation for new lawmakers. Limbaugh encouraged the newcomers to stay mean: "This is not the time to get moderate. This is not the time to start trying to be liked."

    Read the rest of the article at

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Genghis on the Radio

    Hello readers. At 4:30pm EST Michelangelo Signorile will interview me on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 109 OutQ about my book, Blowing Smoke: Why the Right Keeps Serving Up Whack-Job Fantasies about the Plot to Euthanize Grandma, Outlaw Christmas, and Turn Junior into a Raging Homosexual.

    If you'd like to listen but don't subscribe to Sirius, you can get a free 7-day pass to listen online.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    What's the Matter with Delaware? What Christine O'Donnell's Victory Means for America's Future

    Almost one year ago, I wrote a post titled What's the Matter with New York? about the fierce battle between moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava and fringe conservative Doug Hoffman to represent New York's 23rd congressional district. Scozzafava dropped out of the race and endorsed the Democratic candidate, who prevailed in the election.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    The Future of Islamophobia

    The furor over the Islamic center near Ground Zero has led many to conclude that the right wing has rediscovered its passion for Muslim-bashing, and some predict more to come. But what strikes me most about the recent outburst of Islamophobia is its exceptionality. Nine years after 9/11, the once preeminent obsession of American foreign policy and Republican politics had been all but forgotten. Even the attempted bombing of Times Square failed to generate much rage from the right.



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