Est. 1995

Tag: Christofascism

Christofascist Book Fairs

If 2021 and 2022 were about banning books to get attention for right-wing causes, then 2023 can be dubbed the beginning of the push to dismantle book fairs by these same groups and individuals. They’re still banning books, of course, but now, more time and attention–and indeed, money–are at the heart of demands to end school and library book fairs through traditional outlets like Scholastic. Censorship attempts at school book fairs have been on the rise, and in September, we rang the alarm.

An "extensive report" on the dangers of Scholastic, previously offered by Brave Books, is now being distributed by SkyTree Book Fairs.

An “extensive report” on the dangers of Scholastic, previously offered by Brave Books, is now being distributed by SkyTree Book Fairs.

Earlier this month, a mysterious woman appeared before a school board in Texas and claimed that, when she was 11, she READ A SCHOLASTIC BOOK THAT SPARKED A DEBILITATING PORN ADDICTION.

The book, she says, featured “one kiss.”

We investigated.

And it’s ABSOLUTELY WILD what is happening.

The woman, Lanah Burkhardt, failed to disclose that she is the “public relations coordinator” for a right-wing book publisher, Brave Books, seeking to replace Scholastic in public schools.

Burkhardt went further, arguing that Conroe should remove all Scholastic books from schools and stop hosting Scholastic book fairs. These steps were necessary, Burkhardt argued, to protect children from “sexual obscenity.” According to Burkhardt, “getting rid of Scholastic books and their book fairs will inevitably protect kids.”

Burkhardt’s appearance was promoted by SkyTree Book Fairs, a newly formed organization marketing itself as “an alternative to the sexually explicit content distributed in Scholastic’s book fairs.”

Many of the titles published by Brave Books are set in an imaginary world based on the United States called Freedom Island. According to Politico, each book based on Freedom Island contains a “fold-out map marked with villages and mountain ranges,” with the southwestern corner of the map being called the “Car-a-Lago Coast.” The books also include “an afterword for parents” that is “filled with suggested games and discussion questions to drive home political concepts.”

While SkyTree Book Fairs presents itself as an independent non-profit organization, it appears to be a hastily assembled offshoot of Brave Books, which publishes children’s books by right-wing pundits and pseudo-celebrities.


Mysterious woman tells school board that Scholastic book sparked porn addiction

SCOTUS’s “ethics code” provides cover for corruption

It’s weak sauce – which was the goal all along.

After unrelenting pressure from everyone but Republicans, who by and large are thrilled that Supreme Court justices can be bought, the Court has issued a voluntary, non-binding code of conduct.

Of course, a non-binding code is no code at all, which is the problem here. As long as the members of the Court see themselves as above petty things like rules, the corruption of the institution will not change.

Even the first page of the document (why call it a code when it is not a code?) displays what can only be described as a fit of pique about having to put out anything at all:

“The absence of a Code, however, has led in recent years to the misunderstanding that the Justices of this Court, unlike all other jurists in this country, regard themselves as unrestricted by any ethics rules. To dispel this misunderstanding, we are issuing this Code, which largely represents a codification of principles that we have long regarded as governing our conduct.”

This is laughable, of course, as it implies that the public’s issues with the justices are grounded only in the fact that the rules governing the Court’s conduct were not codified, as if the public had been searching in vain on the Court’s website for it. Rather, the issue is that two justices in particular — Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas— have benefited from the largesse of wealthy Republicans who have business before the Court.

So, the impetus for the code was not that the Court suddenly saw the light about ethics. Instead, it’s designed to quash any outside inquiry into the Court — particularly congressional ones — by saying that any ethics concerns are taken care of now. As Steve Vladeck, an expert on the Supreme Court, wrote when the code was released, the code “reflects a rather remarkable lack of contrition or humility” on the part of the justices.


How SCOTUS’s “ethics code” provides cover for corruption

Speaker Mike Johnson wants to end your right to birth control

By Thom Hartmann

Speaker Mike Johnson wants to end your right to birth control and, by the way, Ohio Republicans claim they’re going to ignore the state’s constitution and prosecute doctors and women who get abortions.

Christofascist Speaker Mike JohnsonWhen MAGA Mike was interviewed on Fox “News,” he feigned ignorance about his legislative votes and the bill he sponsored to outlaw birth control pills and IUDs. That’s how dishonest this guy is. Last July the House held a vote on a bill that would have put into law a woman’s right to use birth control pills and devices that are “FDA approved”: Johnson voted against it. He also co-sponsored the Life at Conception Act (HR 431), a so-called “personhood” bill, that would outlaw birth control pills and IUDs as well as in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

Slippery Mike also refuses to reveal to Congress anything about his finances: he’s using a loophole that only requires members of the House to reveal “interest-bearing” accounts, which is the case for most checking and savings accounts. Mike, however, found a bank that offers a checking account that does not pay interest, so we’ll never find out who’s financing him or how much money he has.

Along those same lines of Republicans defying the spirit of the law, GOP members of the Ohio legislature say they’re going to introduce legislation stripping from the state courts the ability to enforce the new constitutional amendment codifying the right to abortion. They claim the ballot measure only passed because of “foreign billionaires” (presumably a shot at their favorite boogeyman George Soros, aka “the International Jew”), and therefore they can ignore the will of Ohio’s voters. This is going to get interesting, and hopefully, it will help Democrats flip Ohio back to Blue.

Finally, Mike Johnson is in Paris today speaking to a conference of international right-wingers headlined by a man convicted of hate speech. As usual, they’re branding this Christofascist meeting with the word “freedom.”


Mike Johnson to headline Paris event aimed at global ‘right-wing alliance’

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