PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “The Feuding Kleptocrats” / truthdig / Chris Hedges / 03.26.2017 ☮

The Trump kleptocrats are political arsonists. They are carting cans of gasoline into government agencies and Congress to burn down any structure or program that promotes the common good and impedes corporate profit.

They ineptly have set themselves on fire over Obamacare, but this misstep will do little to halt the drive to, as Stephen Bannon promises, carry out the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Donald Trump’s appointees are busy diminishing or dismantling the agencies they were named to lead and the programs they are supposed to administer. That is why they were selected. Rex Tillerson at the State Department, Steven Mnuchin at the Treasury Department, Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency, Rick Perry at the Department of Energy, Tom Price at Health and Human Services, Ben Carson at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Betsy DeVos at the Department of Education are eating away the foundations of democratic institutions like gigantic termites. And there is no force inside government that can stop them.

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PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Sarah Palin Condemns Colin Kaepernick for Feeding the Poor” / The Humanist Report / Mike Figueredo ☮

Sarah Palin published a scathing condemnation to her website of Colin Kaepernick, the NFL star that recently donated $50,000 to Meals on Wheels in response to President Trump’s decision to cut funding for the program. Meals on Wheels is a program that feeds the poorest Americans, and as someone that identifies with the Christian religion, Sarah Palin should theoretically be in favor of such a decision, but she instead slammed the donation as a “political move.” Hey Sarah, why don’t you reread that bible you like to throw in other peoples’ faces so much.

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE: “How Atheist Campaigner Madalyn Murray O’Hair Became America’s Most-hated Woman” / The Guardian ☮

This week, the film The Most Hated Woman in America comes to Netflix, with Melissa Leo playing Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the atheist who campaigned against the church’s influence in public and political life (the title comes from the headline on a 1964 interview with her in Life magazine). While Murray O’Hair is not widely known outside of the US, she had an extraordinary life. Long before the likes of Richard Dawkins, she gained notoriety for helping to push bible readings out of schools, and in 1963 she founded American Atheists. It’s a group that is still going today, campaigning against Donald Trump’s plan to abolish the rule that forbids religious institutions, among other charitable organisations, from getting involved in political activity and funding). For the next few decades, Murray O’Hair devoted her life to campaigning against the church’s power. She was a contentious figure, and when she disappeared in 1995, along with her son and granddaughter from their home in Austin, Texas, that too was controversial.

h/t: Continue reading . . .

A true-crime biopic about the disappearance of Madalyn Murray O’Hair, founder of the “American Atheists” and pioneering firebrand in the political culture war, The Most Hated Woman in America captures the rise and fall of a complex character who was a controversial villain to some and an unlikely hero to others.

The film stars Academy Award® winner Melissa Leo, Josh Lucas, Adam Scott, Vincent Kartheiser and Juno Temple, and was directed by Tommy O’Haver from a script by O’Haver and Irene Turner. Elizabeth Banks, Max Handelman and Laura Rister produced.

The Most Hated Woman in America premieres on Netflix on March 24, 2017.