Ellen DeGeneres and George W. Bush Walk Into a Football Stadium…

So Ellen DeGeneres sat next to former President George W. Bush at a football game over the weekend, and it made a lot of people very angry. Then the fact that people were angry at Ellen made a lot of other people really angry, and now CNN wants to tell us how we should all feel about it.

For my own part, I must admit I did fume a little when I saw that image of Ellen and Bush sitting there together, laughing and smiling. I don’t particularly care whom either of these people might choose to sit next to at any given event, but this image upset me because I remember the 2000s. I remember when Bush hoodwinked us into launching an illegal invasion of Iraq. I remember him swearing up and down that we’d find “weapons of mass destruction” in Saddam Hussein’s back yard (even though we never did). I remember him giving his little “Mission Accomplished!” speech, when the mission was anything but accomplished. I remember hearing of atrocities that were caused by our own troops in Iraq, such as the Haditha massacre, the Mahmudiyah rape and killings, and the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal. I remember friends who were vets and who couldn’t pay any of their bills after returning home from the war. I remember the Bush Administration cutting deals with private military contractors like Blackwater, which ended up massacring innocent Iraqi civilians. Bush sent countless men and women to their deaths over a manufactured crisis that never actually happened, and he will never have to pay any kind of penance for this—thanks to the fact that he is white, male, Christian, rich, and the American equivalent to royalty.

And has everyone forgotten about the Federal Marriage Amendment already? That was when the Republican Party (under Bush) tried to ban same-sex marriage at the federal level (a curiously federalist stance from a party that’s supposed to be all “gung-ho” for states’ rights, as Arizona Senator John McCain correctly noted at the time). Bush and his cronies wanted to turn people like Ellen DeGeneres (and several of my own loved ones) into second-class citizens, and these assholes very nearly succeeded. These are the exact same people who claimed that “Legalizing same-sex marriage will open the door to legalizing bestiality” and other such nonsense—which is really just another way of dehumanizing LGBTQ people and calling them “animals.”

Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad Ellen and Bush were able to enjoy the game and not get on each other’s nerves. It would not have been good if they had ended up in a fist match (though if they had, my money would have been on Ellen, because she’s spry). And I do not begrudge Ellen her right to feel and react to the situation in the way she thinks is best. If she was comfortable sitting next to Bush and pretending all that garbage in the 2000s never happened, well more power to her I guess. But at the same time, neither Ellen nor CNN nor the GOP can tell the rest of us how we’re all “supposed” to feel about it. If I feel anger when I see Ellen getting chummy with Bush, that is just the way I feel, and they can both eat my shorts if they don’t like it.

Yes, American society and politics are more polarized now than ever before, and we desperately need a return to civility in public discourse. But telling people to just forget about the past and be friendly to each other isn’t going to work. The things that Bush and his cronies did hurt people, a great many people in fact, and no one on their side has ever acknowledged this or tried to make amends for it. Their beliefs on the matter have not changed in the slightest, as they would still like to see every same-sex couple stripped of their basic human rights. This isn’t just some disagreement over how to boost the economy or support a foreign ally; it’s a fundamental disconnect over whether certain American citizens count as being truly “human” or not. And if you are someone who thinks my queer family members don’t deserve all the same basic rights I do, you are unworthy of my friendship—end of story. I will treat you as respectfully as I can, but I won’t be sending you any Valentines or inviting you to any dinners, capisce?

When interviewed about her interaction with Bush, Ellen said:

I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have.

That’s nice, Ellen. Enjoy feeling superior to all the rest of us while you still can. I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs I have, as well. But none of them ever pushed for a federal ban on same-sex marriage, and none of them ever ordered an illegal invasion that resulted in countless deaths. There’s a big difference between being “open-minded” and having a totally air-conditioned brain.

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CNN: Trump Throws Open 2020 Election to Foreign Spies

Wow, I can’t wait to see how all the conservatives are going to spin this. It’s amazing that Bill Clinton got impeached in the 1990s just for having an extramarital affair and lying about it. But Trump effectively confesses on TV to being an outright traitor and enemy of the American people, and those fools in Congress still won’t do jack shit. What exactly is it going to take for us to see justice here? The worse this gets and the longer it takes for us to fix it, the more likely it is that something terribly violent is going to happen. People on both sides of the political divide have already been radicalized against each other enough as it is. If Congress doesn’t act soon, this pot is likely to boil over and explode.

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CNN: Franklin Graham Wants the Nation to Pray For Trump on Sunday, But Other Christians Call It Propaganda

Franklin Graham, son of the evangelist Billy Graham, has called for a national day of prayer for Donald Trump on Sunday, June 2, 2019.

“Franklin Graham got an idea: God had helped Donald Trump reach the White House, and now the President needed divine aid again.”

If Trump needs divine aid “again,” it stands to reason that he never had it in the first place.

“Like no President before him, Trump was under attack, Graham said. From Democrats, Republicans, the media, even powers and principalities beyond the human realm.”

Classic Evangelical Politics 101: Equate any and all opposition to your political agenda with “spiritual warfare.” This way, anyone who opposes your side will be dehumanized. It’s always easier to hate people and not listen to them when you think they’re possessed by demonic forces.

“Some have accused Graham of “weaponizing” prayer and turning it into a pro-Trump propaganda tool.”

At this point I think we are well beyond the “accusation” phase, don’t you?

“Asked how he would answer critics who say that Trump and his evangelical allies are actually a threat to the church, Graham declined to engage the question. ‘I wouldn’t even answer a person like that. I don’t think it’s valid at all.'”

More young people are converting away from Christianity today than ever before. Granted, there are many different cultural reasons for this that predate the current political climate. But do you seriously expect anyone to believe that endorsing Trump hasn’t been a contributing factor to this? You, the shepherds of Christ, are telling people we all just need to shut up and obey a known liar, fornicator, racist, and misogynist. I can’t speak for Jesus, but I’d be pretty pissed off about this if I were him.

“Some pastors told her that some of their church members threatened to walk out of their churches if they ever prayed for Obama on a Sunday morning, Margolis said. But they are happy to pray for Trump, and likely will this weekend.”

So the well-spoken black liberal might as well be Satan, while the trash-talking white nationalist is a saint. This would be funny, if it weren’t so depressing and gross.

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CNN: This Brutal Creature is Wiping Out Everything Besides Itself

Human beings are the single most destructive animal on Earth, and our anthropocentrism is the worst thing about us. We treat Nature as a resource, a possession, something that is only valued for what it can give to us. Things like catastrophic climate change and environmental reform are only important insofar as humans might suffer and/or benefit from them; they carry no intrinsic importance beyond these ramifications. And it is exactly this selfish attitude that has brought us to where we are today. With ocean levels rising, mass extinctions happening every day, and no mainstream political interest in counteracting either of these disturbing developments, I fear it may already be too late for us to reverse these trends. I mean, just take a gander at this:

“Consider that humans and our livestock now constitute 96% of all mammals on Earth. Wild mammals are down to a measly 4% of the total. We have wiped more than 80% of mammals off the face of the Earth.”

—Carl Safina

I hope it doesn’t happen. But if our species is ever wiped clean from the face of this Earth, I dare say we will deserve it.

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