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Another Of David Barton's False Claims Gets Easily Debunked

After having watched hundreds of DVD specials and live presentations delivered by right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton and listened to thousands of his daily radio programs, we have concluded that his work is so routinely riddled with errors and misrepresentations that just about any factual claim that he makes ought to be checked for accuracy.

One of the claims that we have heard him make dozens of times in recent years is that the College Board's Advanced Placement U.S. history standards have replaced topics such as D-Day, Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust with anti-American propaganda.

When Barton made this assertion again yesterday in a meeting that was broadcast on Periscope, we decided to finally look into it and, predictably, discovered that it is totally false.

"World War II is of interest to me because of what's happened to AP History," Barton said. "AP History is the last history course that kids will take in high school. Right now, colleges do not require any course in American history for graduation, so it's the last course that most kids take. There's 460,000 kids that take the course and they're considered the brightest history kids in America. In the standards that came out for AP History in September 2014—the College Board puts them out because the College Board is the one that does the 47 AP tests for all classes—in those standards, they took out Hitler and the Holocaust and D-Day and Pearl Harbor and Patton and everything else. They have six statements in there and that's all on World War II and one of the statements is, 'America dropped the atomic bomb on Japan, raising questions about American values.' And all six statements they have are all negative."

If you look into this claim, it turns out to be so utterly false that the authors of the College Board's AP U.S. history standards released a letter in 2015 debunking it.

As the authors explained, instructors who are teaching AP U.S. History courses are obviously already well-versed in history and would know enough to include the important topics like Hitler and the Holocaust when teaching World War II and therefore did not need to be instructed to do so by the AP guidelines:

The AP U.S. History course is an advanced, college-level course – not an introductory U.S. history course - and is not meant to be students’ first exposure to the fundamental narrative of U.S. history. Because countless states, districts, and schools have their own standards for U.S. history teaching, we did not want to usurp local control by prescribing a detailed national curriculum of people, places, and events. As a result, we created a framework, not a full curriculum, so that local decision makers and teachers could populate the course with content that is meaningful to them and that satisfies their state mandates (such as teachers choosing to discuss the heroic World War II experiences of Bob Dole, Daniel Inouye, or Dorie Miller).

Many of the comments we have heard about the framework reflect either a misunderstanding of U.S. history or a very limited faith in history teachers’ command of their subject matter. The Curriculum Framework was written by and for AP teachers – individuals who were already experts in U.S. history and its teaching. Based on feedback from other AP teachers outside the Curriculum Development and Assessment Committee, we did not think it necessary to specifically identify Martin Luther King, Jr., among the post-war “civil rights activists” mentioned in the framework. Any United States History course would of course include King as well as other major figures such as Benjamin Franklin and Dwight Eisenhower. These and many other figures of U.S. history did not appear in the previous AP framework, either, yet teachers have always understood the need to teach them. Critics who believe we have omitted them from the course are misunderstanding our document, and we request that they examine the AP Practice Exam as evidence of our determination that AP students must be exposed to a rich and inclusive body of historical knowledge.

Mike Pence Lamented 'AIDS Activists' Speaking At GOP Convention, Published Anti-Gay Articles In Indiana Journal

Twenty years ago, Mike Pence was wishing for a Republican convention that was a bit more, for lack of a better term, Trumpian. Writing in the Indiana Policy Review, a magazine published by a statewide think tank of the same name that he once ran, Pence lamented that the 1996 Republican National Convention had become “an endless line of pro-choice women, AIDS activists, and proponents of Affirmative Action.”

Instead, Pence preferred the divisiveness of the GOP convention held four years earlier, when Pat Buchanan delivered his infamous “culture war” speech. He blamed the 1996 event’s relative civility for the drop in television viewership from the previous convention.

Pence, now the GOP’s vice presidential nominee, was clearly advocating for a smaller-tent Republican Party, one that would not court African Americans, women or the LGBT community.

“Like it or not,” Pence wrote, “traditional Pro-Family conservatives make up the bedrock of modern Republican electoral success.” This seems to be exactly the strategy the Trump campaign is deploying today, believing they can win without the support of moderates or minorities.

Pence’s attack on AIDS activists was especially odd. Mary Fisher, a Republican who worked in the Ford administration, was the HIV positive woman who spoke at the convention that year. She had previously addressed the 1992 convention in a speech that was ultimately published in the anthology “Words of a Century: The Top 100 American Speeches, 1900-1999.” Norman Mailer wrote that during Fisher’s 1992 speech, “the floor was in tears, and conceivably the nation as well.”

In 1996, Fisher appeared on stage with Hydeia Broadbent, then six years old, who was born HIV positive and abandoned as an infant. Fifteen years later, Broadbent was named one of the “Top 100 African-American History Makers in the Making" by the Grio.

It is doubtful that Pence’s objection was to these specific “AIDS activists.”  His objection was likely that at the time, HIV/AIDS was still viewed as a gay issue. Pence clearly did not consider LGBT individuals part of the “pro-family” party he envisioned the GOP to be.

In addition to Pence’s own writing, during his time as president of the Indiana Policy Review, the journal published several anti-gay pieces.

In one item titled “The Pinked Newsroom,” published in the December 1993 issue, the publication lamented that The Wall Street Journal took part in a job fair for gay journalists. The piece claimed that “gaydom” was a “pathological condition” and argued that LGBT editors and reporters should not keep their sexuality a secret because it might slant their coverage. “[T]he more extreme of the gay movement consider themselves members of a sexual determined political party,” the piece explained.

A few months earlier, in August 1993, the journal, with Pence on the masthead, published a piece objecting to the idea of gay people serving in the military. The article, written by Col. Ronald Ray, a senior fellow at the [name foundation], stated that “homosexuals are not as a group able bodied. They are known to carry extremely high rates of disease brought on because of the nature of their sexual practices and the promiscuity which is a hallmark of their lifestyle.”

The article went on to list what the author described as “‘gay’ sexual practices” in great detail. It then claimed that proponents of allowing gays to serve in the military ignore “counter-espionage case histories involving homosexuals who became traitors through blackmail.”

Finally, Ray attempted to link homosexuality to pedophilia by citing NAMBLA and quoting a publication which claimed that “the love between man and boys is at the foundation of homosexuality.”

Reading his own words and those published in a journal with his name on top of the masthead, it’s clear that two decades ago Pence sought to turn the GOP into a party that appealed only to a small base of far-right conservatives. 

Sound familiar?

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/30/16

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/30/16

  • Colorado Right to Life spokesman Bob Enyart says that "liberals generally, in fact, support protecting the guilty and killing the innocent."
  • Former Texas governor Rick Perry will be among the contestants on the next season of "Dancing With The Stars."
  • On his radio show today, David Barton accused us of stalking him. We'll make you a deal, David: If you stop lying, we'll stop writing about all of your lies.
  • Alveda King will not endorse a candidate for president: "Believe me, it takes quite a bit of courage to stand up to the pressure of not endorsing, even to the point of being called a coward. However, I still love everyone, and I still love America."
  • Finally, do you want to see a movie featuring Kenneth Copeland as the head of a Latin American drug cartel who finds God? Of course you do!

David Barton Is Writing A God-Filled Government Textbook For Use In Public Schools

Earlier today, Tim Barton, the son of right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton, broadcast a meeting on Periscope that he and his father held with representatives of Gateway Church about drafting a curriculum to be used in conjunction with his "Foundations of Freedom" DVD series.

During the conversation, Barton revealed that he has been contracted to write a God-filled government textbook that can be used in public schools all over the nation.

"I just contracted," Barton said, "about two weeks ago, we're doing a government textbook, a national government textbook but it will be very much in this kind of vein but it will meet the Texas TEKS standards and all the national standards for any state, it can be used in any state, except it will have a lot of God in it."

"After we get done with this," he continued, "our next project is to write a history curriculum. We've got these old history books and you cannot read an old history book without seeing God all over the place because God was just involved."

Eagle Forum President: 'You're Not Racist If You Don't Like Mexicans'

Ed Martin, the former chairman of the Missouri GOP who now runs Phyllis Schlafly’s group Eagle Forum, gave some interesting remarks about Mexicans and Muslims to a St. Louis area Tea Party rally over the weekend, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Ed Martin, who ran for Missouri attorney general four years ago and now is the chief spokesman and ally to conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly, said at a Tea Party rally in the St. Louis area Sunday:

"You're not racist if you don't like Mexicans. They're from a nation. If you don't think Muslims are vetted enough, because they blow things up, that's not racist."

Martin told the Post-Dispatch in a written statement that his comments regarding Mexicans were aimed only at illegal immigrants.

Regarding his comments on Muslims, he said: "My point is that it is not racist to make clear that some Muslims should not be coming to America. They are not a race but a religion and there are white, black and brown Muslims and we need to make sure that the ones who wish us ill are not allowed to enter America."

Martin has been at the center of an ugly internal feud at Eagle Forum. Longtime board members, including some of Schlafly’s own children, have objected to her choice of Martin to replace her at the group she founded and to her endorsement of Donald Trump for president.

Former GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson will be headlining Eagle Forum’s upcoming national conference in St. Louis.

Glenn Beck Says He'll Go To Jail Rather Than Reveal Confidential Sources In Boston Marathon Bombing Lawsuit

Earlier this month, a federal judge ordered Glenn Beck to disclose the names of the confidential sources that his network relied upon when he spent a month in 2013 accusing Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, a Saudi man who was injured in the Boston Marathon bombing, of being an al Qaeda "control agent" and the "money man" who financed the terrorist attack and recruited the Tsarnaev brothers to carry it out.

Alharbi has since sued Beck for defamation and slander and now Beck and his producers are refusing to abide by the judge's order to reveal the sources who provided the information he used to smear Alharbi so that Alharbi's lawyers can depose them.

On his radio show today, Beck said that this order is part of an effort by the government to "shut people up" and declared that he is willing to go to prison rather than reveal his sources.

"There is an effort from the government to shut people up," Beck said. "You have the government under Barack Obama, investigating reporters who are leaking things, investigating whistleblowers. You currently have a case that I'm involved in in Boston where the judge is saying I have to release my confidential sources."

"First of all, I'm happy to say I don't know the confidential sources," Beck claimed. "I specifically said the entire time, 'I don't want to know any facts I can't go on the air with and I certainly don't want to know the names of the confidential sources.' I was asked by a reporter today, 'So, this could mean jail time for somebody ... Are you willing to go to jail for [it]?' Yes! And every reporter in America should be willing to go to jail for confidential sources. Every one in America. And everyone in America, left or right, better protect that, otherwise journalism is you know it is over."

Trump Ally: No Voting Rights For Women Using Free Birth Control & Welfare Recipients

Wayne Allyn Root, a Donald Trump admirer who often claims to be in frequent contact with the GOP candidate has led campaign rallies for him in Nevada, said yesterday that people who receive federal benefits such as Medicaid, welfare and food stamps should lose their right to vote, as should women who use “free contraception” under the Affordable Care Act.

Root’s plan would cut a large swath of Americans from the voter rolls: Roughly one in five Americans benefit from means-tested benefit programs, while 67 percent of women with private health insurance use copay-free contraception through the Affordable Care Act (which, by the way, is paid for by insurance companies, not by the federal government).

Root told Virginia radio host Rob Schilling yesterday that much of the energy behind Trump’s campaign, as he discusses in his new book “Angry White Male,” is that the country is “evenly divided between the makers and the takers,” so “the middle class is basically paying, paying, paying and the poor get everything free, and it’s a disaster.”

Root said that he had recently seen a map on the internet showing that if only “taxpayers” had been allowed to vote, the 2012 election would have been “a Republican sweep.”

“So if the people who payed the taxes were the only ones allowed to vote, we’d have landslide victories,” he said, “but you’re allowing people to vote. This explains everything! People with conflict of interest shouldn’t be allowed to vote. If you collect welfare, you have no right to vote. The day you get off welfare, you get your voting rights back. The reality is, why are you allowed to have this conflict of interest that you vote for the politician who wants to keep your welfare checks coming and your food stamps and your aid to dependent children and your free health care and your Medicaid, your Medicare and your Social Security and everything else?”

Root quickly amended his statement to say that receiving Social Security and Medicare shouldn’t disqualify someone from voting, but “in general most of the things I just rattled off should preclude you from voting.”

“Social Security should not, Medicare should not, because you paid into the system,” he said. “But all the other stuff, all the other goodies, free Obama phones, free contraception, you know what, you can get them but you shouldn’t be allowed to vote, it’s a conflict of interest. Take that away, we’d win every single election in this country.”

Michael Savage: President Trump Must Violate The Civil Rights Of Liberals To Save America

Conservative radio host Michael Savage has high hopes for a Donald Trump presidency, urging the GOP nominee yesterday to “rule by decree” and to pick Savage for a post in his administration if he is elected.

Savage said Trump should launch a “crusade” against the “radical left-wing fringe controlling this country,” even if it means undermining their civil rights. Savage said that Trump should launch inquiries into “treasonous” organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, “the head of the serpent” that “must be broken apart,” with a renewed “House of Un-American Activities Committee investigation.”

“The left wing will go insane,” he said. “They’ll say, ‘Savage, you’re violating our civil rights.’ They’ll say, ‘You do not have probable cause to bring people in to investigate them.’ They might be right. But we need to do exactly that for our survival.”

He continued: “Tell me how a society that is open like ours, that is democratic like ours, can survive when enemies of freedom, enemies of democracy are destroying society by using the very freedoms we have in place because of the U.S. Constitution?”

Avi Lipkin: Merrick Garland Was Involved In A Cover-Up Of The Oklahoma City Bombing

On his "Pray In Jesus Name" program yesterday, Gordon Klingenschmitt interviewed right-wing conspiracy theorist and wannabe Israeli lawmaker Avi Lipkin, who reiterated his belief that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

Lipkin said that he was in Oklahoma at the time of the bombing and knew immediately that it was "an Islamic bomb because truck bombs are an Islamic way of doing things." 

Lipkin said that he told this to a local television station but "the next day, the FBI visited, confiscated the interview and said, 'For reasons of national security, change your story.' So this is the beginning of the cover-up."

Klingenschmitt and Lipkin said that then-president Bill Clinton was responsible for pinning the bombing on Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols so that it could be blamed on a "crazy, Christian right-wing militia."

"This whole thing about hating the Christians started not with Obama," Lipkin said, "it started with the Clintons."

Lipkin then managed to tie the cover-up to the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia because Obama's nominee to replace Scalia, Merrick Garland, "was deputy to Janet Reno during the Oklahoma City bombing, so he's part of the cover-up!"

"I'm risking my life" by talking about this, Lipkin said, "because people who came forward with the information were killed."