Tag Archives: presidents

LBJ's Revenge: The IRS And Church-State Separation

Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office on...

Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office on Air Force One following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Dallas, Texas, November 22, 1963 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the headlines that has recently caught my attention is the now documented Ohio Branch of the IRS seeking out audits against Tea Party and “patriotic” 501 (c)4 organizations. These non-profits are growing in number (Americans, we’re so charitable, right?) because of the fact that these groups can donate up to half their profits to political campaigns/”political activity.” So basically, 501 (c)4’s are just like charity’s, with Tax Exempt status, only they can have overt partisan purposes. This concept is truly horrific if you think about it. People are getting tax breaks for supporting their pet causes.

The blame for all of this moral confusion and political arbitrariness should be squarely placed at the feet of the late President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who as a Senator, had a temper tantrum because a group of preachers opposed his electoral bid. The travesty of the Johnson Amendment of 1954 was not that it barred churches and other religious organizations from endorsing candidates (that’s a positive outcome). By labelling “THE CHURCH” a 501 (c)3 non-profit, Johnson managed to take away religious communities’ rights to define themselves. While “TeaVangelicals” will cry, “PERSECUTION, PERSECUTION!,” they never stop to question the states’ power to define religious communities, and the functions that they serve in the first place because they are more concerned with the bottom line: the economic benefits of tax breaks. In reality, the “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” is more about Purse Freedom than anything.

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A Comment on The Last Presidential #Debate for 2012


Tonight’s debate was a dishonest debate on Foreign Policy, the truth is for all of the talk about diplomacy, the Navy, and Israel, no one wanted to talk about:

#Election2012 At the Movies Part 1 of 2: Mitt Romney's SuperBad Campaign #TCOT


I thought it would be fun to expand on Jeremy’s post How Mitt Romney’s Campaign Is Like A Judd Apatow Movie.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


For those who have never seen a Judd Apatow movie, usually, the stories center around two white males who get caught in awkward situations. The disciplining force behind these films, those people who cause the most awkwardness, leading the “weak” male protagonists to make bad decisions are women. The masculinist worldview that is Apatovian utopia includes features on career women getting impregnated by a pot smoking loser “Knocked Up,” or a boyfriend who was recently dumped by his girlfriend right before he’s headed on vacation as he struggles to not remember her “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” My experience with going to see Apatow’s work in theaters has not been a positive one. Perhaps going to see Knocked Up with 2 married couples was not a good idea, but Apatow’s presentation of women’s bodies is highly problematic, and the idea that their bodies trigger catastrophe in the human situation (and therefore clearing men of responsibility of their actions– we can’t help it, right Usher?) even more so problematic.

Seeing Forgetting Sarah Marshall in the theaters, I am pretty sure that one of my acquaintances walked out of the theater after that atrocious and inappropriate start to the film. Cable Guy does have a special place in my heart along with Anchorman (for being quotable).

What does this have to do with Mitt Romney’s campaign? Plenty. For one thing, Mitt’s presidential capaign plays out like a parody of SuperBad, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall all rolled into one. His 47% comment last week was his “bag of sand” moment.  Just as confusing as Brick’s love for lamp in Anchorman, has been Mitt Romney’s constant flip-flopping on key social issues throughout the years.  Like something straight of the plot of Knocked Up, the subject of pregnant women continues to haunt Romney, like during his time as bishop whereby he tried to convince a woman into giving up her baby for adoption, or be excommunicated: Alternet Exposes Mitt Romney’s Role as Mormon Bishop.

Questions coming from everyday Americans, let’s say, posed by single /mothers of color are the policing force for Mitt Romney’s worldview, and encounters with them lead to his awkward moments. Over and over again so far in this campaign, Mitt Romney has proven to have a blind spot to the poor, he’s very uncomfortable talking about people who have never lived lives of comfort as he has. I don’t think Rommney has a “BAD PRESS” problem like his defenders claim, but a SuperBad press problem, where his past and current missteps continue to haunt him.

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts,...

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, 2008 US presidential candidate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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