Seeking power in Jesus’ name: Trump sparks a rise of ‘Patriot Churches’

This is some frightening, delusional, radical stuff:

The new congregation is gathered in a barn in Lenoir City, Tenn., with a roof that has a 60-foot American flag painted on it. And they are praying for a Trump landslide.

Standing in a circle, the dozen or so men and women, young and old, lay their hands on their pastor, Ken Peters, as he raises their requests to God.

He prays that “communism and socialism and transgenderism and homosexuality and abortion will not have their way in this land.”

“Yes, Lord,” someone cries.

Read more about “Patriot churches”, which combine extreme right-wing sentiment with the invocation of the name “Jesus”. [Batshit crazy]

Washington Post

Republicans closely resemble autocratic parties in Hungary and Turkey

Swedish university finds ‘dramatic shift’ in GOP under Trump, shunning democratic norms and encouraging violence.

The Republican party has become dramatically more illiberal in the past two decades and now more closely resembles ruling parties in autocratic societies than its former centre-right equivalents in Europe, according to a new international study.

In a significant shift since 2000, the GOP has taken to demonising and encouraging violence against its opponents, adopting attitudes and tactics comparable to ruling nationalist parties in Hungary, India, Poland and Turkey.

The shift has both led to and been driven by the rise of Donald Trump.

The Guardian

Revealed: the full extent of Trump’s ‘meat cleaver’ assault on US wilderness

While the US government is supposed to be an impartial arbiter of how public lands should be used, Trump has stacked the administration with former fossil-fuel lobbyists and conservative activists. Often, the department sells access to these lands at rock bottom prices and in places that are sacred to tribal communities, important to imperiled animals, and critical to prevent runaway climate change.

The Guardian

A Catalog of Trump’s Worst Cruelties, Collusions, Corruptions, and Crimes

Early in President Trump’s term, McSweeney’s editors began to catalog the head-spinning number of misdeeds coming from his administration. We called this list a collection of Trump’s cruelties, collusions, and crimes, and it felt urgent then to track them, to ensure these horrors — happening almost daily — would not be forgotten. This election year, amid a harrowing global health, civil rights, humanitarian, and economic crisis, we know it’s never been more critical to note these horrors, to remember them, and to do all in our power to reverse them. This list will be updated between now and the November 2020 Presidential election.

McSweeneys.net

The Big Legal Threats Trump Will Face If He Loses the Election

Bloomberg outlines the big legal actions that might be brought against Trump if he loses:

Obstruction of justice, Campaign finance violations, Federal tax charges, State tax charges, Real-estate fraud, Emoluments cases, Congressional tax and financial records cases, Multi-Level marketing fraud, Mary Trump’s fraud suit, E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit, Summer Zervos’s defamataion suit

New Columbia Study Blames the White House for at Least 130,000 ‘Avoidable’ COVID Deaths

“We believe that this was a monumental, lethal screwup by an administration that didn’t want to deal with reality,” said the study’s lead author.

A new report from Columbia University on COVID-19 deaths estimates that hundreds of thousands of Americans died because the United States’ response to the pandemic was an “abject failure,” particularly the actions of President Donald Trump. With an adequate response, the United States could have avoided tens of thousands of deaths and an incalculable amount of suffering, the researchers said.

Dr. Irwin Redlener, the lead author on the study and the founding director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, laid the blame at the feet of the White House in an interview with The Daily Beast: “We believe that this was a monumental, lethal screwup by an administration that didn’t want to deal with reality.”

The Daily Beast

Amy Coney Barrett ruled n-word use does not make a workplace hostile

A supervisor calling an employee that word wasn’t proof of an abusive environment, Barrett wrote.

A report from The Independent notes that just last year, serving on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Barrett wrote an opinion upholding the dismissal of Smith v. Illinois Department of Transportation, a case in which fired Black state employee Terry Smith filed a workplace discrimination lawsuit. Among Smith’s assertions is that Lloyd Colbert, his White supervisor, called him the n-word.

Smith didn’t make a strong enough case that harassment was occurring, Barrett asserted.  

“The n-word is an egregious racial epithet. That said, Smith can’t win simply by proving that the word was uttered,” she wrote. “He must also demonstrate that Colbert’s use of this word altered the conditions of his employment and created a hostile or abusive working environment.

The Grio

Texas social workers can now turn away LGBTQ, disabled clients

A state regulatory board removed the discrimination protections following a recommendation from Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

Texas social workers can now turn away LGBTQ clients and those with a disability.

The state Board of Social Work Examiners voted unanimously to change a section of its code of conduct last week following a recommendation from Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, to remove protections for sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.

NBC News

Barrett was trustee at private school with anti-gay policies

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett served for nearly three years on the board of private Christian schools that effectively barred admission to children of same-sex parents and made it plain that openly gay and lesbian teachers weren’t welcome in the classroom.

The policies that discriminated against LGBTQ people and their children were in place for years at Trinity Schools Inc., both before Barrett joined the board in 2015 and during the time she served.

The three schools, in Indiana, Minnesota and Virginia, are affiliated with People of Praise, an insular community rooted in its own interpretation of the Bible, of which Barrett and her husband have been longtime members.

AP