Tag Archives: politics

[VIDEO] SWE Religious and Political Beliefs: A Conversation with Michael Brooks (@_MichaelBrooks)


Hi, Michael… I wanted to call yesterday, but I lost my voice this weekend. I’m still hoarse today. Sorry about that.

Okay, I’m reading this because I’m nervous, and I want to make sure to get it right and make it quick. I’m an atheist, but I was raised in Texas in the Christian church. Sometimes on the show, you talk about atheism and religion, but I don’t think anyone there has my background, or gets it in quite the way that I do. I want to try to help your listeners understand what’s going on with guns and religious conservatives, particularly here in the south.

Christian evangelicals don’t believe you get to Heaven by being a good person; you get there through the grace of God by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior. The whole turn-the-other-cheek thing isn’t really a thing, because nothing is. No sin matters. No matter what evil you perpetrate, or what atrocity you commit, if you’re saved, it’s all good. You get to go to heaven, end of story.

Another thing that they believe is that everything happens for a reason. You need to understand that they believe that every person who was murdered Sunday night in Vegas, and every person who will be disabled because of the wounds they suffered, and every person who will lose important parts of their life due to their injuries… all of them, every single one, God meant it to happen to. God is mysterious, and he has his reasons, and because he’s God, they’re perfect reasons.

Another thing that you need to understand is that a terrifying number of these people believe that the world is going to end in their lifetime, and they’re thrilled about it. It’s a happy bedtime story they tell their children, how they’re going to be raptured up to heaven to be with Jesus, and all the non-Christians are going to be stuck here, and get tortured during the tribulation.

You need to understand that for people who believe in these things, there is no such thing as an abomination that can’t be fixed. For example, let’s say you keep a gun in the house, and your kid gets a hold of it, and they accidentally kill themselves and their little friends. It doesn’t matter.

  • First of all, if you’re saved, you’re forgiven for being careless.
  • Second of all, your saved kid and their little saved friends get to go to Heaven faster than if it didn’t happen.
  • Third of all, God is going to fix everything up, and straighten everything out, up there.

The Point Is: Justice On Earth Is Not Important.

It’s one of the reasons they’re so in favor of the death penalty, even after the work of The Innocence Project. It doesn’t matter if you execute innocent people, because God is going to fix it in heaven.

I spent this whole weekend in East Texas with my family. They are all Trump. I met their friends, who introduced themselves by saying, “I’m 100% Trump, nice to meet you!” What the fuck am I supposed to say to that? “I’m 100% not, nice to meet you?”

Obamacare has literally saved my life this year. 2017 is the first time I’ve had insurance since I was a military child dependent, and I’m older than dirt.

My family knows all of this. They know I am being cared for now.

They know that I have incurable conditions that are now documented as pre-existing.

They know what’s going on with the Republican repeal efforts.

My 27 year-old niece, a Christian, who loves me, sat at the kitchen table, and told me, “I’m healthy. I shouldn’t have to pay more because of sick people. All I care about is that my insurance is cheap. If that means you don’t get to have any, I’m good with that.”

I need you and your listeners to understand that it never occurred to her that as a Christian, she ought to say something other than that. It may have flashed through her mind that that kind of selfishness is sinful, but it doesn’t matter, because she’s saved.

Anyway… If you guys ever want to talk about southern Christian evangelicals, and you need somebody who knows that world because they grew up in it, and their family is still in it, I’m your man. That’s it.


Dowdiness: A Twitter Tête-à-tête with ABC’s Matthew Dowd

Inspired by the Driftglass post, Nothing Gets Past This Guy.
Hear Driftglass & Blue Gal every Friday night at ProLeftPod.com

drill_team_1 drill_team_2

Yes, folks, those are pantyhose.



#ThingsHillaryNeverSaid: Talking Points from a Progressive Nobody (“Before I Take Your Questions…”)

Before I take your questions, I would like to address the press who are gathered here, as well as those who are not.

I know that you are here to do your job – a job that supports and provides for you, and those who rely on you. I respect that utterly.

I choose to believe that you also are here practicing your profession, and that you wish to uphold its highest standards. I am also aware that, like many American workers, you may be feeling insecure about your future in the evolving media landscape. You may be feeling pressured by imperatives that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with why you chose journalism as your career, or how you personally feel you should best practice your profession.

I believe that you chose your career path because you believed – as I believe – that The Press is central to American democracy, that journalists are not only essential, but that the enormous power you wield to shape the content and direction of our national discussions – and to provide the factual basis for those conversations to be honest and informed – can make our nation better, stronger, and more just.

As you cover my campaign, and every other campaign for the Presidency or any other elected office, I rely on you to appreciate the role you fulfill not only for us candidates, but for every American who counts on you.

We talk about what you want to talk about.
We answer the questions you want answered.
We debate the issues you find important.
We dance to your tune.

When you are at your best, it’s a great song. When you are at your worst, it makes Americans turn away from you, from us, and most tragically, from the ballot box that is their most precious right… Their right to rule.

“Vox Populi, Vox Dei.” The voice of The People is The Voice of God.

We need to hear that voice. We need you, The Press, to shape a conversation that makes Americans want to speak, and to be heard. We need you to amplify their urgent concerns. If you won’t, you are just “a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”

And now, I’d be happy to take your questions.

#ThingsHillaryNeverSaid: Talking Points from a Progressive Nobody (Middle Class Economics)

The answer I’d like to hear on middle-class economics:

When speaking about an infrastructure project (a water project, a dam), President Kennedy famously said, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” It was President Reagan, however, who re-purposed that quote, and slammed the accelerator to the floorboard on trickle-down economics. At the time, it was an untested economic theory – this idea that the wealthy prospering would mean everyone prospers. It’s 2015 now, and we’ve run that supply-side experiment for decades.

The data is undeniable, and the numbers are sickening. Call it “The Wealth Gap.” Call it “Income Inequality.” Call it “The Vulture Chart.” Call it “The Second Gilded Age.” Call it anything you like, but call it this: The death throes of the American Middle Class.

This is structural, people. This is not just globalization, or technology, or automation, or declining union membership. Those things matter, but what matters most is this: small-government zealots cutting the funding for anything and everything that supports working families, at the same time they shift the tax burden away from the wealthy, and onto the working.

No, this isn’t any one thing, but this is what comes of an economy structured around comforting the comfortable… and it’s a “new normal” that cannot coexist with The American Dream. One of these things has to go, and The American Dream is not that thing.

Reform Republicans – you know the type – don’t want to make employers provide a living wage by raising the federal minimum, or make the federal government do anything else that could conceivably help working Americans get ahead (like paid sick leave, or equal pay for women).

What do they want to do?

They want to shift taxes paid by the working middle class to the working poor in the form of expanding The Earned Income Tax Credit…

Wait for it…

… at the exact same time they want to cut taxes on the wealthy.


Republicans have been “starving the beast” for decades, and the beast is the American people they swore to serve. Democrats haven’t fought back hard enough. We failed to stop the experiment when the initial data looked terrifying. Almost everything our nation used to lead the world in, we’ve fallen behind on: education, infrastructure, health, quality of life, equality of opportunity… All of it has slipped away, and not from neglect. This was purposeful, and it is still happening. The modern Republican Party is committed to staying that disastrous course.

As Democrats, we have to turn this boat around, and we have to do it quickly, or The American Middle Class is sunk.

It’s time we demanded that the pimped-out yachts take up the floundering lifeboats.

We have to raise taxes on the wealthy, and we have to do it now.