Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My War Against Pat Robertson and Why It Matters

I've had to take a break from blogging. Other things intruded. Personal lives are like that, aren't they? One could arguing that this blog is personal, but it really isn't, since it goes out there to so very many people whom I don't know. It's PUBLIC.

Anyway, I 've been delving into the issues published today (the new Pope, marriage equality) with an atypical languor simply because everyone else has been writing about them and there is nothing new under the sun about them to write about. And there's the intensity the subjects create, which is wearing on a writer, especially one as snarky as I am.

So I'm turning to an old subject with which I am familiar and which oddly energizes me: Pat Robertson, that senile, Christofascist and abysmally insipid piece of "eye pudding" (as Stephen Colbert so aptly put it). Robertson's stomach-churning displays of "wisdom" are legion, but today's latest entry struck me as the core reason of my war against this incredible slab of hypocrisy, because it's been at the core of his "ministry" from day one: money.

His video profile of a family who "turned to God" (and, of course, The 700 Club) after losing it all is the stuff of sitcoms, or at the very least a good SNL sketch. It is also a great ad for the prosperity gospel, although Robertson has eschewed the term for "reciprocity" when dealing with the Lord. His throw-away line is "You can't out-give God," but you CAN give the 700 Club $20 a month which may give you back 20, 30, 60-fold. The featured family did so, and look where they're living now!! 

The idiocy of the video lies in the last shots: the denouement supposedly comes from the family realizing that money isn't everything, that material goods should not be placed before God, but the house (and wealth) they garnered after giving Pat their money was definitely worth more than the one they lost! It looks twice the size! These people lived in a million-dollar home, incurred $5 million in debt, lost the home, went bankrupt, then gave Pat Robertson $20 a month for several years and now live in a whopping mansion! 

This is a picture of Pat Robertson's home - the ONLY house the $20-per-month tithe ever generated:

It's modeled on the opulent Governor's Palace of Colonial Williamburg, VA and a tribute to Robertson's father, Senator Absolom Willis Robertson, the quintessential Dixiecrat (a "Byrd Democrat" devoted to segregation). It houses the televangelist (worth an estimated $1.5 billion) in dignified comfort, an additional tribute to God's "reciprocity." 

Sh*t Matters

Scam artists like Pat Roberton never die. They just fade away, dragging their unearned billions behind them, inspiring others to do the same. That's why a war, any war against the likes of Pat Robertson is so important: it prevents future Pat Robertsons, or at least dwindles their numbers down to an irrelevant few.  

Additional note:  during the last part of the donor drive, Robertson offers a book about people who have had have near-death experiences. Notice the author: Gordon Robertson, Pat's son.

"Reciprocity." It's all in the family.

Whose Jihad Is It Anyway? Sparks Fly From Gays To Geller And Her News Ads in San Francisco

(Note: The above photo depicting the execution of homosexuals in Iran was not part of the Geller campaign ads, but one of the photos included in a corresponding comment posted on The American Freedom Initiative's website. The imposed captioning is mine - RevDan).

Pandering to fears of Sharia law is usual fodder for Pam Geller, but her latest ads target a different demographic, and in San Francisco, the home of that demographic.

The above ad is to run on the side of San Francisco MUNI buses and other transit, but in a turn-around strategy, The SFMTA (Transit Authority) will donate a portion of Geller's money to the Human Rights Commission. Theresa Sparks of the Commission said that they would take Geller's money of hate and turn it into something positive for the community. The sentiment was apparently lost on Geller who captioned the YouTube clip of Sparks with "San Francisco Human Rights Theresa Sparks City Officials support jihad, anti-gay, anti-woman." (see below)

The reaction to the ads is very revealing and probably unintended by Geller: the Right is all too righteous and the Left (mostly gays) is repulsed at being used.

Geller Group (from Atlas Shrugs)

- and hopefully those PC liberal gays will heed to this.- We must suffer the stupid 'til we can enlighten them. Patience!Patience! Patience!
- It’s about time somebody did this in the heart of Californication. It might be a hilarious idea to set up a fund “to support oppressed homosexuals in the Middle East”. Maybe to even convince homosexuals to travel there to make a nuisance of themselves.(NOTE: this is the comment to which the above photo was attached)

And from Bare Naked Islam (It really isn't Islamophobia when they really ARE trying to kill you!):
       American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) submits new bus ads on ‘Muslim Oppression of Homosexuals’ to San Francisco Transit. As with most leftists, the Gay community has at best been missing in action when it comes to the anti-jihad movement. More often, they attack us. I wonder where they will be now?

Gays (from Joe.My.God):

- One disgusting creature denouncing other equally vile characters.
 - I think it's perfectly reasonable to despise these hateful regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere (Indonesia, Pakistan) and still consider Geller a hate-fulled nut case.
- Apply her thinking in New York and you get Islamophobia, apply it in Iran and you get death sentences for gays. She is who we are fighting in Iran just as she is who we are fighting here.

Gay comments frequently point out Geller's own anti-gay stance: for example, Geller virulently opposed the appointment of Kevin Jennings by Obama:

From Atlas Shrugs:

"President Obama has appointed Kevin Jennings, founder of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) ... Jennings is a vicious, anti-religious bigot who once said “[F–k] ‘em” to the “Religious Right.” He supports promoting homosexuality and gender confusion as normative to even young students."

In comments about Geller, the Christian Right was often referred to as the Christian Taliban. 

Whose Jihad Is It?

While the LGBT community of San Francisco has always been considered the focal point for equal rights, few in the gay community consider the struggle akin to a religion. It is certainly not a "holy war" since that term is used by some social conservatives to indicate their fight against gay rights. "What's yours?" paints the picture of virulently militant gays, the kind characterized by such organizations as Act Up! But Act Up! was focused on the AIDS crisis and government's inaction, especially in the realm of medical research and treatment. It chastised the sacred cows like Jesse Helms, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson, but never invoked the name of God. The term of Jihad, therefore is totally misplaced, and, in fact, offensive.

The Jihad is in Geller's mind - where it is always been.

The Winds Of Love: Portman's Change Of Heart Latest Blast To Republican DOMA Diehards

When Republican Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) came out of the same-sex marriage closet to state that his view on the subject had, like President Obama's, "evolved", the Right (especially the Christian Right) returned a volley of wailing, gnashing of teeth, and rending of Brooks Brothers suits. Portman hit home particularly hard: 
      "The overriding message of love and compassion that I take from the Bible, and certainly the Golden Rule, and the fact that I believe we are all created by our maker, that has all influenced me in terms of my change on this issue," Portman said, adding that he feels that "in a way, this strengthens the institution of marriage."
Citing the Bible to bible-thumpers, has no positive effect: in fact, it created a very negative effect, giving people like Tony Perkins of Family Research Council the sadz:
       "Our unconditional love for our children should not override the historical and social science evidence which makes abundantly clear what is best for all children and for society - being raised by a married mother and father."

It would seem, however, that Portman is riding a wave of support from Republicans, since even Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, when asked about the issue of marriage equality said that there was "no doubt" young conservatives considered it basic and not "a disqualifying issue."

Walker's comment followed only a week after it was reported that 78 prominent Republicans signed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the DOMA case. 

Hurt hardest with the news of defecting Republicans is Speaker John Boehner, who spearheaded an effort to defend DOMA in the courts and capped out last year with $1.5 million in lawsuits. He was, of course, the most prominent politicians to weigh in against Portman's decision by bolstering his own position:

John Boehner:
       "Rob [Portman] is a great friend and a long-time ally. And I appreciate that he’s decided to change his views on this.I believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. It’s what I grew up with. It’s what I believe. It’s what my church teaches me. And I can’t imagine that position would ever change." - House Speaker John Boehner, appearing yesterday on ABC's This Week.

Boehner's base is eroding: if Republican changes of heart aren't enough, some evangelicals are switching as well. Former megachurch pastor Rob Bell: “I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man.”

Justice Roberts' Second-Best Option
The leader of a prominent anti-gay organization called Supreme Court Chief John Roberts' decision to adopt children the "second-best option," the AP reports.
Desperate times seem to call for desperate rhetoric from anti-marriage equality groups, and the most inept of late, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) held a panel at CPAC to an almost empty house. That's when NOM's chairman, John Eastman, made the now-infamous remark about Justice John Roberts' family. The back-peddling, of course, described adoptive parents as  "heroes" but the damage was done. In response, one ten-year-old adopted boy with two dads has fashioned a YouTube "letter" to Justice Roberts that has gotten wide attention (see below)

The Winds Of Love and Change
       Support for gay marriage reached a new high in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, marking a dramatic change in public attitudes on the subject across the past decade. Fifty-eight percent of Americans now say it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to wed.
The poll also brought another significant number: only 24 percent of Americans think that being gay "is a choice." The Supreme Court may have to weigh in on the immutability of homosexuality on the grounds of discrimination.

A ton of amicus briefs from members of Congress, corporations, notable politicians and celebrities. Reversal of opposition by prominent Republicans. A poll showing a dramatic shift in the national psyche.

John Boehner and his supporters are crying again.

The Perfect Puppet: Brand New Pope, Same Old Papacy. Benedict Gets His Way.

 Emeritus Rules

There will be no talk of liberation theology.
There will be no talk of human rights.
There will be no talk of women as clergy.
There will be no talk of transparency. 

Change is slow in Catholicism, but with the election of Jorge Bergoglio, the papacy, is at a standstill: there will be no transparency, no change in the direction that Benedict set forth: the new pope will simply be an adjunct of the old pope and the papacy is doomed to become an anachronism in a time when it could become a force for change. It sounds hopeless because it is hopeless: only a drastic shift in direction regarding issues such as women in the clergy, gay rights, celibacy, Vatican finances, and child sexual abuse could help the papacy survive in the 21st century. 

The Smokescreen Of  Differences

The Vatican is, however, eager to point out that Francis could not be more different than Benedict: The first pope from the Americas, the first pope to be Jesuit, the first Francis. He was a scientist, not a theologian. He was the most "pastoral" of prelates, stressing evangelism rather than simply adhering to doctrine. And his no-frills lifestyle will certainly eschew the Prada shoes, striking fear in the hearts of some cardinals who are used to the trappings of Catholicism's upper eschelons. And the Vatican needs a facelift - badly. And who cares if it's only superficial? Whether or not he extends that frugality and that "pastoral goodness" to the Vatican financial empire, however, remains to be seen. 

Waiting in the wings

Since Bergoglio received the second most votes in the conclave that chose Ratzinger, it is evident that the cardinals are sticking with the same ideologies ... and to Ratzinger's lead. Conspiracy theorists might conjecture that Bergoglio has known for quite some time that he would be pope after Ratzinger. Ratzinger certainly appointed enough cardinals to cement the deal. And Ratzinger might have considered Bergoglio's age and health: better get him into the papacy now, while he can reign for the number of years required to keep the ubiquitous of cover-ups and secrecy sustained. Ratzinger's conservatism needed time to regroup and strengthen itself, and it got that time with Bergoglio. 

Piety Or Pretense?

While Bergoglio has often chided fellow prelates as being "Pharisees" - people who congratulate themselves while condemning others - his noted work in the slums and with the poor is at odds with the lack of political stance he might have taken against the dictators of Argentina. He admits to not adhering to liberation theology, an ideology that gives backbone to work with the poor and pure altruism. And while he cites Jesus' dining with outcasts and prostitutes, his views of homosexuality (especially in terms of gay adoption) led Argentinian President Christian Fernandez to compare his tone to "medieval times and The Inquisition." 

Sound like anyone we know?

The Most Positive Response - The Right Wing Has It

The Christian Right is thrilled: the status quo of the Vatican on issues of abortion, contraception and gay rights has been kept and it can breathe a sigh of relief. Mike Huckabee, Tony Perkins, Bryan Fischer and Pat Robertson can take heart that the Vatican is firmly in their corner on their issues. "Fie To The Liberal Demonspawn" is what they needed to counter the shift in attitudes, some coming from Catholics themselves. And while some sects and preachers have abused Catholicism (remember John Hagee's "whore of Babylon" sentiment?), they rejoice at having allies: numbers dwindling, they have no choice. 

And when inheriting Ratzinger's woes and scandals, Bergoglio might also look to allies from the big CR.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Just Before The Vote: The Vatican Gets The Bathhouse Blues.

It's a situation worthy of The Onion.

How convenient. Or inconvenient. The Vatican conclave of 117 cardinals woke up yesterday morning to see headlines like this:

One of Italy's largest daily newspapers, La Repubblica, announced the little-known fact that the Vatican has a majority ownership of a chic Rome apartment block that houses Italy's largest gay bathhouse.

It also houses one of the Catholic Church's chief homophobes, Ivan Cardinal Dias, India's chief prelate. As well as numerous other priests.

From The Indpendent.UK:
       A day ahead of the papal conclave, faces at the scandal-struck Vatican were even redder than usual after it emerged that the Holy See had purchased a €23 million (£21 million) share of a Rome apartment block that houses Europe’s biggest gay sauna.
       The senior Vatican figure sweating the most due to the unlikely proximity of the gay Europa Multiclub is probably Cardinal Ivan Dias, the head of the Congregation for Evangelisation of Peoples, who is due to participate in tomorrow’s election at the Sistine Chapel.
       This 76-year-old “prince of the church” enjoys a 12-room apartment on the first-floor of the imposing palazzo, at 2 Via Carducci, just yards from the ground floor entrance to the steamy flesh pot. There are 18 other Vatican apartments in the block, many of which house priests.

Extravagantly Stupid

In an era where scandals plague the Vatican like locust, the last-minute revelation of a major gay sex club under their very noses (as well as other things) may not seem too shocking. What is really shocking, perhaps, is that the Vatican did not think to cover up or dispose of the property prior to the conclave: the very grand apartments of the block - especially those of Cardinal Dias - made the property a prime target for the media, especially after the recent banking scandals and cries of unnecessary extravagance.

And of course, the fact that Cardinal Dias has been the most outspoken prelate against homosexuality and states that gays can be "cured" has the media in stitches:

NY Daily News:
Dias is known for reviling homosexuality, calling it “unnatural” and arguing that gays can be “cured.”
That cure certainly does not require taking the waters at the Europa club, which boasts a Turkish bath, Finnish sauna, whirlpools, massages, “bear parties” and much more.

It is certain that there will be a I-didn't-know disclaimer put out by the cardinal's representative asap, but being silent at this time might be the most prudent approach to the affair: today's Catholic prelates cannot afford to look so clueless as to their own surroundings. They are, after all, men of the world and not cloistered monks. They are already so steeped in sexual scandal that any denial will be taken as completely disingenuous.

Back To The Future

The historical resignation of Benedict XVI set off alarms, the loudest of which was the now infamous 300-page dossier (part of the "Vatileaks" investigation, which, BTW, was also called "the 118th cardinal") which noted factions and infighting among prelates of the Vatican. Among the disclosures was the mention of a gay faction featuring meeting places. And while the Europa Multiclub was not mentioned by name, it certainly would fit the real estate investor's listing: "Large, well-appointed apartments situated in luxury complex that houses a gym, sauna and health spa." 

And hosts "bear parties."

This may be the last straw: the papacy will need to be transparent as hell or face suspicion and scorn for years to come. The conclave of 117 cardinals will need to decide if the man they are choosing should be a leader with honesty and integrity or, as was his predecessor, a cover-up king. After all, he will have a lot to cover up, bathhouses not included.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Georgia Joins The WTF Gun Brigade: The Mentally Ill Can Carry Guns.

In the WTF department of today's gun control dialogue, the state of Georgia may come out as the leader of the pack when it comes to crazy:

       ATLANTA (AP) -- While some states push to tighten gun control laws after the Connecticut school massacre, lawmakers in gun-friendly Georgia want to ease rules preventing some mentally ill people from getting licenses to carry firearms.
"Simply being hospitalized doesn't make a person a criminal or a threat," said Rep. Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper, the bill sponsor, in a statement. The legislation now heads to the state Senate.
But we can rest easy that as Georgia goes, does NOT go the rest of the nation:


       Three senators potentially facing tough re-election challenges next year introduced NRA-endorsed legislation Wednesday that would bar more people from buying guns due to mental illness.
At the head of the gun control debate, Sen. Lindsey Graham from neighboring South Carolina, has noted that he owns an AR-15, opposes most gun control legislation, but stops when it comes to matters of the mentally ill. 
       “We need to fix this major flaw in the system,” Graham told reporters Wednesday. “There are lot of emotion around the gun violence issue, but I am hopeful this is one area where we can find tremendous bipartisan support to fix what I think is a gaping gap in our law.”
Even the NRA endorsed the measure.

So why is Georgia so dead set on giving guns to potentially dangerous people? Possibly because the mentally ill issues is only part of the larger scheme of the Georgia gun debate: the overall plan of mastermind organization would allow guns to be carried in churches, bars and college campuses. However, the mix of alcohol, sex and immaturity, as one state representative put it, creates a worrying piece of legislation.

The Five-Year Rule

The National Council of State Legislatures has the breakdown on state and federal laws concerning possession of firearms by the mentally ill. Some state laws state that a five-year rule applies:

   [District of Columbia] Section 7-2502.03 requires that the Chief [of police] confirm that the applicant:
  • Within the 5 years immediately preceding the application, has not been acquitted of any criminal charge by reason of insanity or has not been adjudicated a chronic alcoholic by any court;
  • Within the 5 years immediately preceding the application, has not been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to any mental hospital or institution. (DC)
Ironically, it's the gun-lovin' state of Texas that has the most specific rules determining gun possession fitness, covering everything from bipolar disorder to "antisocial personality disorder" - the latter which could include a substantial portion of the state.*

The Federal law is less specific:
       Under 18 U.S.C. § 922(d), it is unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person “has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution.”

Possibly the scariest part of the Georgia situation is the organization It's contentious website is headed with: "The Leader In The Fight To Reclaim And Expand Our Right To Bear Arms." It further proclaims its distrust in politicians who have not voted to put firearms into the hands of every two-year-old in Georgia:
We are not interested in “access” or being “inside players.” We will not protect or make excuses for politicians who say they are our “friends” and then demonstrate otherwise by voting against us.

Some Right-wing leaders have whispered "Civil War" over the issue of gun control, while fairly screams it: it wants absolutely everyone carrying a gun no matter who they are. Adam Lanza could have walked into the organization and asked for anything he wanted - and get it, no questions asked.

So could Jared Loughner, and James Holmes.

* The secessionist-possible state seems to dislike anyone who is not a Texan these days.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Well, It IS Texas: Horrible Story of Homophobic Child Abuse Hits The Net

This just in from Dallas-Fort Worth:
“My cousin at the time he was 18. My son he was 15 and I had walked in the room on [my cousin] giving oral sex to my son and I started whooping my son, and I’m the one who got in trouble as a result of me whooping him,” she said. “When I walked in I saw my son, it was just disgusting to me, the way he was looking and my cousin was looking, and my cousin immediately ran out the door. And I’m just like what the?!? You know, is you serious? So that was my reaction because it disgusted me.”

Listen to the audio: the woman sounds stereotypically illiterate, but you have to wonder just how many of her are still out there.
And wonder about the first policeman who said "I would have shot them both."

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Exigencies Of Mooching: Navigating For Survival In A Right Wing World

Even in California, the way of the moocher is fraught with anxiety: there are so many benefits, so little time. 


Ever since my partner died and only left me memories, I have been struggling to keep my stuff, my identity ... and my sanity: the last 20 months' journey has been a series of puddles and potholes, not deep enough to suck me in completely, but not too healthy either. Month after month eviction has loomed and month after month I've sought surcease through agencies and charities. I've navigated through a plethora of acronyms and  eligibility questionnaires. 

Now I'm navigating for two.

I met Chris nine months ago at a bar on the evening of my 65th birthday and noticed something immediately: we fit. He lives in Sacramento, and with only one exception, has commuted to my side every weekend. By Christmas we made the leap from "boyfriend" to "partner" and have not looked back since. Hell, we must look forward, we're too much in love to have any other choice! 

Chris works part-time at a job that belies the fact that he has Asperger's Syndrome: he works retail - at a Barnes & Noble bookstore. Yeah, the behemoth bookstore chain that just announced a future of massive closures. His hours have been cut considerably (8-12 hours per week). Like other products of The Great Recession, he works to keep his medical benefits. 

And he worries about me.

Acronym, Acronym, Who's Got The Acronym?

America is awash with helpful acronyms - organizations, charities and government agencies with three to five capital letters, all recognizable, but at the same time, confusing in what they actually do, and in California, it is common to run into AEF, SFAF, SSI, SSA, SDI, SSDI, ADAP, CCSF, ALRP, IHSS and AHP to name a few (especially if you are HIV+, which we both are). These supplement other organizations and agencies like Healthy San Francisco, Shanti, Open Hand, Medicare, Medi-Cal, San Francisco Tenant's Union, and ... well, you get the idea. 

The morass of benefits contingent on this and that, the eligibility requirements, the confusion all make for a frustrating existence while wondering if you'll be able to make it to the end of the month. Don't get me wrong, you needn't get out the waaaambulance: whining is not the style of people truly in need of services and benefits. Searching for advice and foraging for ideas are too tiring to whine about. We're here, we need to avail ourselves of benefits and services to survive. Get over it. 

Moochers All

Of course, we are the 47% Mitt Romney complained about during his Presidential bid. We are the losers and loafers Romney's Republicans and Tea Partiers warned the country against. It makes no difference that I was a publisher and broadcaster for years, the recipient of a Jefferson Award for community service, or that Chris has been working steadily for the past thirteen years at the same Barnes & Noble. We are moochers. We are taking what is not rightfully ours. We are a drag on the economy. We have no right to ask for anything, let alone expect it. 

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Is Pat Robertson The Ultimate Hypocrite? Environmental Religious Fanatics? Really?

It would seem so with this video.

Pat Robertson, as everyone knows, has been blathering on blissfully, enraptured by his own senility this past decade. His "wisdom" has focused on demonic Halloween candy and clothes from Good Will, slatternly wives being the greatest cause of divorce and the assassination of Hugo Chavez (the death of whom, yesterday, must have been bittersweet - Chavez didn't die the want Robertson would have liked). His righteous arrogance may be cloaked in pudding-faced humility, but it oozes out of his pores just the same.

It is the kind of righteous arrogance that helps him make statements like the one in the video below

He calls environmentalists "crazy" and calls their goal to "destroy everything they think is polluting ..." a religion. Watch it.

And while you're at it, picture the bulk of his followers: little old ladies in nursing homes touching their TV screens in hopes that Pat Robertson will cure their hemorrhoids.

Hair Buffs: Mark Twain Shirtless - And He Was A Redhead!

mark twain shirtless 2

A pile of chest hair marked Mark Twain. Samuel Clemens was always slim and he fostered his public image very carefully. Chances are, however, today he would have approved - as well as some guys in today's bear culture. OK, he was really an otter.

Monday, March 4, 2013

What I Feel Like Doing To Some People (OK, Not All The Time)

Foreclosing On The Prosperity Gospelers: Are They Really Christian?

The Good News: Financial problems are plaguing America's prosperity megachurches.
The Bad News: It's not happening fast enough.
     MUNSTER | While the Family Christian Center was spending millions of dollars annually on leadership compensation, travel, meals and jet fuel, it was falling behind on its mortgage payments and racking up a list of past-due bills, a Times investigation found.
We could forgive prosperity gospel ministries if it weren't for the awful architecture. And the gaudy showmanship. And the cult-like congregations. 

And the un-Christianlike greed.

There are millions of Americans who are in need of money, struggling Americans who still manage to help their friends as best they can, still helping others to survive. They do not gamble on the Lord providing future wealth or prosperity. For flights of fantasy, they occasionally buy lottery tickets. After all, the results are just as good as any prosperity cult, maybe even better, since prosperity preachers take in everything and return very, very little. 
       According to, Pastor Munsey only informed his congregation of the 2011 lawsuit last summer, explaining that he never told them earlier because he "really didn't know what to do but trust God."
Foreclosing On The Prosperity Gospel

Although Senator Chuck Grassley (IA - R) helped focus on the excesses of prosperity gospel preachers in 2007, he didn't go far enough:
       According to the report, only two of the six ministries – Joyce Meyer Ministries and Benny Hinn's World Healing Center Church – fully cooperated with the investigation and even implemented financial reforms.
The other four ministries, meanwhile, did not provide responses or provided incomplete ones to inquiries made by the Senate Finance Committee. These groups include Creflo Dollar's World Changers Church International, Eddie Long's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Kenneth Copeland Ministries, and Without Walls International Church – formerly pastored by both Randy and Paula White, who are now divorced. The Florida megachurch is currently being led by Paula White.
Despite their lack of cooperation, no penalties were handed out.
And why not? 

Capitalism Is As Capitalism Does

America, as a capitalist society, must come to terms with capitalist leaders of capitalist religious cults. We have the freedom of religion - religion that panders to the greed of the 1%. Although his political positions have been helter-skelter (to say the least) on many issues, Grassley's dedication to capitalism cannot be stressed enough. Then there is his link to The Family, the controversial, covert quasi-religious operation, and his 100% approval rating by such organizations as the Family Research Council. In order to keep those good graces, it may have been necessary for him to back off on the prosperity preachers.

Meanwhile, Back At the Scandal Trough...

There is no denying that Eddie Long has a cult on his hands: despite financial and sexual scandals, people still keep going to his church and witnessing a outpouring of ego which is over-the-top, even by today's televangelist standards. Now Long is embroiled in a new lawsuit:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
        Bishop Eddie Long has been sued by former New Birth Missionary Baptist members who say the megachurch pastor encouraged them to invest money with a company despite being told the investor was running a $3 million capital deficit.
Too Big To Fail?

While not a prosperity megachurch per se, the enabler of prosperity churches nationwide is Trinity Broadcasting Network, owned almost exclusively by Paul and Jan Crouch. With revenues of over $95 million per year and proposed expansion of satellite venues into countries such as Russia complementing its formidable presence in Latin and South America, Trinity Broadcasting Network is the largest Christian media in existence today. 

According to a whistleblower granddaughter, however, the entire media empire of the Crouches could come tumbling down because of the Crouches' lavish lifestyle and the diversion of as much as $50 million into their private accounts in the last ten years.

Catholic Online:
       The Trinity Broadcasting Network, self-proclaimed as the world's largest Christian network is currently embroiled in a legal battle. Some of allegations of massive financial involve the purported purchase of a $100,000 motor home for dogs.
How much does Trinity Broadcasting Network actually donate to other charitable causes? Actually, no one knows: the network lacks transparency. Additional ministries that lack transparency: Creflo Dollar Ministries, "Bishop" T.D. Jakes Ministries, Benny Hinn, Paul White, Ken Copeland, and, of course, "Bishop" Eddie Long.

From Ministry Watch:
       However, how can a “Christian Ministry” “glorify God” if they are not open? Are not organizations that hide things characterized as cults? Should not Christian ministries lead by example? Besides being characterized as a steward, Christians can be characterized as ambassadors and as light because God is light. Just these few summary ideas indicate that Christian ministries should be open and transparent. In addition, responsibility to God is linked to responsibility to government and mankind.
The Final Judgment

Prosperity megachurches will definitely be the products of their own undoing: the excesses are toppling ministries and their lack of social justice are eroding their reputations. In effect, they are forcing their own foreclosures. The question that remains, however, is how long will it take them to fade into the abyss of religious cults? It can be argued that as long as their are people desperate and gullible enough to rely on false promises, prosperity gospel churches will always exist, but we can only hope that they will be recognized for the facetious cults they really are.