Tuesday, December 30, 2008


This AP story through Yahoo news is about an upcoming Vanity Fair article, an insiders' oral history of the Bush administration.


The headline is about the mortal blow to Bush's credibility dealt by the Katrina Kollapse, but there are three other equally interesting quotes:

- Bush's knowledge of and interest in the world is similar to Sarah Palin's;

- Cheney was firstest and bestest at exploiting this vacuum;

- Bush's people at the highest levels scoffed at the religious right.

This last point is kind of encouraging, in a sick sort of way.  The quotee is David Kuo, the sincere and semi-rational deputy in the Office of Faith Based stuff:

The reality in the [Bush]  White House is if you look at the most senior staff you're seeing people who aren't personally religious and have no particular affection for people who are religious-right leaders," Kuo said.

"In the political affairs shop in particular, you saw a lot of people who just rolled their eyes at ... basically every religious-right leader that was out there, because they just found them annoying and insufferable.

It's good to know that Bushie talk about faith and religious values was total, cynical bullshit. They were playing to a constituency  they despise.

Politics as usual, this demonstrates once again the generally negative correlation between religious faith and IQ.


[The above picture will be included in the upcoming book, BIBLES AND BLOWJOBS: The Bill Clinton Story.]

Remember the Texas televangelist/faithhealer, Robert Tilton, who asked his listeners to send in "prayer requests" along with their offerings...  The idea was that the preacher would personally pray over each prayer request, which would increase the chances of the donors' wishes being granted.

This was before Al Gore went all weird behind the word lockbox, by which he meant, a box that is locked.

Lockbox is the name of a banking service in which, for a fee, a bank will receive mail, open it, and deposit the enclosed cash and checks to a particular account.  We sometimes see this in stories about the survivors of catastrophes-- "A special fund has been set up, send donations to Survivors Fund, First National Bank, Yourtown etc."

So, someone (ABC News) found a huge number of Robert Tilton's prayer requests in a dumpster behind a bank branch. The bank was providing lockbox service to the minister.

Part of the lockbox service is the disposition of any material other than money (prayer requests, for instance) that may be enclosed in the envelopes. "Hold for pick-up," would be one option.


In Tilton's case, the instructions to the bank were: deposit the money and dump everything else.

It's like, people have real needs.

Tilton's cynicsm makes Jimmy Swaggert's transgression--masturbating while looking at naked prostitutes--seem almost charming.

There's a really funny story about Robert Tilton, written by Steve Rowe of the Dallas Observer here, with this auspicious lead in:

Sitting in Ross Perot's favorite booth at a fancy Dallas restaurant, Leigh Valentine eats half of her low-fat redfish and then explains her husband's "disguise kit." The kit contained several fake moustaches and a $1,200 custom-made wig. Robert Tilton, the Texas televangelist, carried it everywhere, and during their first year of marriage he wore disguises "50 percent of the time," Valentine says.

Highly amusing.

All the small donors to Obama: pretty much the same thing.

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