• “Illinois Jesus.” Jake: “I hate Illinois Jesus.” (Seriously though, this is a strange, fascinating dive into a 19th-century cult/con in Rockford, Ill. Worth a look.)
• “The middle ground begins to wear when you’re oppressing people. How do you slightly oppress someone?” Good question. And that question doesn’t go away just because you’re claiming that such oppression is one of your religious “core values.”
• “Six percent of atheists said they were ‘absolutely certain’ that God exists; nearly one-in-seven agnostics said the same.” I think this is what they call “noise” in survey data.
• Deadspin’s investigation shows that the Sacramento Kings and the Philadelphia 76ers have nothing to do with the promotions for Dinesh D’Souza’s new video that the right-wing criminal adulterer claims they’re hosting. Neither Deadspin nor the NBA teams were able to figure out what D’Souza was thinking in claiming otherwise, concluding he’s “just making things up,” apparently.
I got a chuckle out of the photo accompanying the Deadspin post, due to the big banner behind D’Souza:
Those are stars, not asterisks, but I initially read that as “2 * 0 * 1 * 4,” which — if you do the arithmetic — makes for a very different message than the sign’s designers intended (but probably a more appropriate backdrop for D’Souza himself).
• Pat Robertson thinks ouija boards are real. I look forward to hearing the televangelist’s thoughts about “light as a feather, stiff as a board,” and about saying “Bloody Mary” three times in the mirror.
• Norm Ornstein has a good point: If you’re running for the United States Senate, and your foreign policy is based on a hallucinatory fever dream combining the worst of the John Birch Society and the Left Behind novels, then that ought to matter for the viability of your candidacy. I’d go further and suggest that it ought to matter more than anything else.
• Hating on poor people is expensive. It turns out refusing to accept the Medicaid expansion in ACA didn’t just harm hospitals and poor people, it also harmed state budgets. Rejecting the Medicaid expansion was — to use a favorite phrase of the 23 idiot governors who did this — “fiscally irresponsible.”
• If you’re ever tempted to get a bumper-sticker with that inspirational-seeming slogan “Live each day like it was your last,” just keep in mind that some truly horrible person might be in the car behind you and they might take it the wrong way. Ah, North Carolina — always making it so tough for South Carolina to out-Carolina you.