Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Still Leading the Way on Slavery

Pam Mazanec, a member of the Colorado state Board of Education currently leading the charge against those AP US History standards, apparently thinks that the US is one of the few countries to have abolished slavery.

Yes, we practiced slavery. But we also ended it voluntarily, at great sacrifice, while the practice continues in many countries still today! ... This is part of the argument that America is exceptional.

Fox & Co Fight the Virology Elite

There's a new meme emerging on the right which I've noticed in the last 24 hours. It goes like this: The 'government' or President Obama promised Ebola wouldn't or couldn't get to the United States. But now it's here. So people, the argument goes, are rightly worried that the 'government' is lying to them or isn't telling them the whole story. In other words, when you see the next ignoramus on Fox News jonesing on about how he's not going to be a patsy for the virology elite, that's the story.

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Cool Girl

Before running out to watch "Gone Girl" this weekend, be sure to take a minute to read Shannon Kelley's epic rant about the "Cool Girl" rant from the book that went viral. A sampling from Kelley's take:

And Cool Girl’s mission (besides being hot — the absence of which renders any girl, no matter how many burgers she’ll put down pre- or post-threesome — Not Really That Cool) is to leave the men surrounding her comfortable. Ergo, she is never angry, and is resolutely unruffled by those things that render so many other girls tragically Uncool, among them: thoughts, feelings, concerns about the patriarchy.

Above all, Cool Girl is unchallenging.

Good People

Michigan Republicans send out flyer encouraging voters to harass candidate's bedridden mother, who's in hospice care, about Obamacare.

At first glance it looks like it could have been an accident. But the flyer's blaring headline reads "Obamacare and John Fisher Could Leave Us Bedridden."

Inside the International House of Prayer

Today we're publishing a fascinating, troubling investigation into something called the "International House of Prayer", the center of a charismatic Christian movement located just outside of Kansas City. It is a hive of young believers with branches across the world and a theology with a world-leaders-murdering Jesus which many evangelicals claim is distorting Christianity or even heretical. The movement has admirers and severe detractors within the broader charismatic and evangelical movements. And it has thrived on reputation for a less "muted", more radical and heroic version of the Christian message. One sermon, since removed from the group's website, speaks of the power of members' prayers which will soon bring a day "when every head of state in the United Nations will be killed by the prayers of the saints answered in person by Jesus."

The founder and leader is "prophet" Mike Bickle. And despite the extreme views on virtually everything, Bickle's movement put deep roots down into the right-wing of the Republican party, with ties to top leaders like Govs. Sam Brownback, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee and many others. AIPAC has also partnered with one of the group's key members, despite a theology which claims Jews are consumed with hatred of Jesus which will soon change on a dime as the Israeli Knesset embraces Jesus as the world hurtles toward its end.

Reporter Sarah Posner looks at IHOP's activities in Kansas City, Uganda, Jerusalem and other global locales and the internal strain of authoritarianism which gives IHOP many of the characterized many of us would associate with a cult. The organization 'prayer warriors' are made up of idealistic young people who serve as "interns" at the Kansas City headquarters and are often convinced to forego college and other planning for the future in light of imminent end of the world.

The piece is part of our TPMPrime longform series, so it's published for Prime members only. But we've put a sizable chunk of the piece available to all readers. So even if you're not a Prime subscriber there's enough to read which you'll find fascinating and likely appalling. Click here to read "A TPM Investigation: The International House of Prayer."

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