Bobby Jindal

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 7/25/14

  • Republican Rep. David Jolly of Florida is under fire from anti-gay activists for his "act of cowardice and a betrayal" in supporting marriage equality.
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal's office is preventing Louisiana's state board of education from hiring a lawyer so that it can't sue him for trying to kill Common Core in the state.
  • Mat Staver says that not allowing the promotion of ex-gay therapy on college campuses is "absolute pure evil."
  • We love BarbWire because it runs stories with titles like "More Gaystapo Obaminations."
  • Finally, Florida state senator Alan Hays plans "to introduce a bill that would make Dinesh D'Souza's docudrama, America, required viewing for most teenagers in the state."

Right Wing Gets It: Elections Matter Because Courts Matter

For right-wing advocates, big conservative wins in the Supreme Court’s recently completed term have only confirmed the importance of electing a president in 2016 who will give them more justices in the mold of Samuel Alito and John Roberts.  The Roberts and Alito nominations, and the conservative majority created by their confirmations, represent the triumph of a decades-long push by right-wing funders, big business, conservative political strategists, and legal groups to take ideological dominion of all levels of the federal judiciary.

Right-wing groups have long made attacks on the federal judiciary a staple of their rhetoric. Many claim America’s decline began with Supreme Court rulings against required prayer and Bible readings in public schools in the 1960s. Roe v. Wade, and more recently, judicial rulings in favor of marriage equality, have been characterized as “judicial tyranny” and “judicial activism.” Of course right-wing legal groups have been pushing hard for their own form of judicial activism, and have pushed Republican presidents to nominate judges they can count on. 

As Jeffrey Toobin notes in a recent profile of presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz in the New Yorker,

Conservatives like Cruz never stopped denouncing liberals for their efforts to use the courts to promote their ideological agenda, even as they began to do much the same thing themselves. The heart of Cruz’s legal career was a sustained and often successful undertaking to use the courts for conservative ends, like promoting the death penalty, lowering the barriers between church and state, and undermining international institutions and agreements.

Right-wing activists are proud of what they have accomplished, as Richard Land, long-time leader of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told National Journal’s Tiffany Stanley.  As Brian Tashman reports in RWW, Land “waxed nostalgic for the days when President Bush was in office…and especially for Bush’s commitment to nominating ultra-conservative federal judges.”

 “Alito and Roberts are the gifts that keep on giving, and we would have gotten neither one of those without our involvement,” Land said, predicting that Roe v. Wade will soon be “thrown onto the ash heap of history.”

…The Supreme Court’s ruling this year in the Hobby Lobby case shows the Religious Right’s strong focus on the judiciary is paying off.  And Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told Stanley that conservatives will continue to use the courts as part of their strategy to keep “the barbarians at bay.”

But in spite of their wins, and their success in creating the most pro-corporate Court since the New Deal, right-wing activists are nervous that some of their big wins, like Hobby Lobby and Citizens United, were 5-4 decisions. They want to pad their majority and continue their march to remake America via the courts.

The Senate

Since federal judges have to be confirmed by the Senate, right-wing groups are also using the Supreme Court in 2014 Senate campaigns. An anti-choice PAC, Women Speak Out, followed the Hobby Lobby ruling almost immediately with attacks on Mark Pryor and other Democrats for not having supported the confirmation of Samuel Alito.

On the day of the Court’s decisions in Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, tweeted “Today’s SCOTUS rulings were a win for our 1st Amendment freedoms, a loss for Hagan, Obama, & DC bureaucrats.”

Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who represents right-wing groups, told the Washington Post, “These Supreme Court decisions, it’s a reminder to people on our side of the aisle of the importance of the court, and then the importance of recapturing the Senate.”

Religious Liberty ‘Hanging by a Thread’

Right-wing pundits and organizations are already ramping up their rhetoric on judges as a 2016 presidential campaign issue, with many touting the 5-4 decision in Hobby Lobby as evidence that religious liberty is “hanging by a thread.”

Rush Limbaugh went on a tirade against Hillary Clinton after she criticized the Hobby Lobby ruling:

Can I tell you the truth about the Hobby Lobby ruling?  We're in such dangerous territory in terms of losing our freedom that we cheer when five out of nine people uphold the Constitution.  We're not advancing anything, folks.  We are barely hanging on here.  …  And here comes Hillary Clinton thinking this decision is a step toward the kind of anti-women policy seen in extremist undemocratic nations is outrageous. 

The woman is either a blithering idiot or a total in-the-tank statist, maybe a combination of the two.  But this is not a step toward anything.  This is a temporary halt in the onslaught toward totalitarianism.

We're just barely hanging on.  We cheer! We conservatives stand up and cheer when we manage to get five people to see it the right way.  "Oh, my God! Oh, Lord! Thank you so much, Lord. You saved another day."  Five people out of nine, five said the Constitution means what it says.  The troubling thing to me is the four people that didn't!  Liberty and freedom are hanging by a thread here! 

That theme was echoed by the Archdiocese of Washington’s Msgr. Charles Pope:

“OK, We won. But the Hobby Lobby vote should have been 9-0. Wake up, America. Your liberty is on the line!”

It is simply outrageous that four Supreme Court Justices, and many Americans, cannot see the clear and offensive proposition of the Government in this regard…..We won today, but barely. It should have been 9–0. Wake up, America; your religious and other liberties are hanging by the thread of one vote.

Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer of American Values weighed in in similar fashion:

“While we celebrate this victory, the fact remains that four justices on the Supreme Court, including the two appointed by Obama, evidently share his narrow view of America's first freedom and were willing to trample the religious liberty of millions of Americans in order to advance their radical pro-abortion agenda.

This narrow decision, with four liberal justices eager to go the wrong way, is a stark reminder to every man and woman of faith that their religious liberty is hanging by a thread.

The Court as Right-Wing Campaign Issue for 2016

Right-wing pundits and presidential candidates frequently use the federal judiciary as an issue to excite base voters. Back in 2012, one of the most effective things Mitt Romney did to shore up his weak support among conservative activists was to name a judicial advisory team headed by Robert Bork. That year, Terence Jeffrey, who worked on Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaigns and has written for right-wing publications, wrote:

Three of the nine justices on a U.S. Supreme Court that has decided many significant issues by 5-4 votes over the past decade will turn 80 years of age before the 2016 presidential election.

The three justices are Antonin Scalia, an anchor of the court’s conservative wing, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an anchor of the court’s liberal wing, and Anthony Kennedy, who is often the decisive swing vote in 5-4 opinions….

Bobby Jindal is among the crop of potential 2016 presidential candidates who is making an issue of the courts.  In an interview with a conservative Christian blogger during last month’s Iowa state Republican convention, Jindal suggested if Republicans take control of the Senate this year they would block additional nominees. Asked about federal judges overturning state marriage bans for same-sex couples, Jindal said, ““This shows you the importance of the November elections.  We don’t need this President putting more liberal judges on the bench.”

It is important, whether you are a lawyer or not, to understand what it means for the courts to actually apply the Constitution as opposed for them just to create new laws or to read things and just decide they are going to contradict what the other two branches of government did.  We’ve gotten away from these three separate but equal branches of government and instead we’ve got these activist judges who are overreaching. We have to recognize the problem for what it is,” Jindal added.

He emphasized the importance of elections and their impact on judicial confirmations because sometimes Constitutional amendments will correct the problem, and other times federal judges will just overrule them.

Mike Huckabee has seemingly made attacks on the judiciary a centerpiece of his campaign. In May, he called for the impeachment of an Arkansas judge who ruled in favor of marriage equality. Last year, urging Senate Republicans to block an Obama appeals court nominee, he said, “Judges can linger on for decades after a President leaves office, and a bad one can wreak havoc that echoes down the ages.”

Meanwhile, presidential contender Rick Santorum and the right-wing Judicial Crisis Network are attacking Chris Christie for not sufficiently making right-wing ideology a litmus test for his state judicial appointments.  Santorum told Yahoo News earlier this month, “To see a record as abysmal as Gov. Christie’s record in the state of New Jersey, I guarantee you that will be a red flag for most voters in the state of Iowa, but also most voters in the Republican primary.” (Earlier this month, while in Iowa campaigning for Gov. Terry Branstad, Christie said he supports the Court’s Hobby Lobby decision; he had initially declined to say whether he supported the decision.)  

The Judicial Crisis Network has also slammed Christie, saying his failure to “deliver on judicial activism” may have doomed his 2016 presidential hopes. It has created an entire website devoted to trashing Christie’s judicial record to conservative voters:  www.christiebadonjudges.com. In June, Fox News ran an op ed by JCN’s Carrie Severino using Christie’s alleged failure to appoint right-wing ideologues to the state supreme court as a way to discredit him with conservative activists.

Christie didn’t deliver on judicial activism. Has he doomed his 2016 bid?

If a candidate’s tenure as governor is his road-test for the presidency, Governor Chris Christie just flunked.

As a candidate for governor, Christie talked the talk on judges, vowing to "remake" the New Jersey Supreme Court and to transform the most activist court in the nation into one that operates under the rule of law. 

Despite having the opportunity to appoint four of seven justices on the court since taking office, Christie has repeatedly nominated individuals with no discernible judicial philosophy….

And while elected representatives must stand for re-election every few years, federal judges sit for life. 

Today’s nominee could still be playing the same tricks in 2050 or beyond.  That is why the issue of judges matters so much during presidential primaries and caucuses….

Right-wing advocates have been talking for a while about how important it is to their judicial plans not just to elect a Republican, but to elect a Republican committed to making the kind of Supreme Court nominations they want. In February, right-wing activist Mychal Massie complained that many justices nominated by Republican presidents over the past few decades did not turn out to be ideological warriors (though that is hardly the case with more recent nominees).

But forward-thinking conservatives are keenly aware that we must be concerned about the future as well, and not just because of Obama. Based on age alone, one of the primary areas of concern is that the person elected president in 2016 will potentially have at least four Supreme Court Justices to replace. Two of the potential four are liberals, so a Democrat president would simply be replacing liberals with liberals, ergo, it would be a wash. But of the other two the one is a solid Constructionist, and the other is a swing vote who has, in recent years, ruled based on Constructionism enough times that we should be concerned if a Democrat president replaces him….

As you can see, the potential for the political complexion of the High Court to be changed for decades to come should be of critical concern if a Democrat wins the presidency in 2016. But, it is myopic betise on an epic level to even for an instant believe we need not be concerned if a Republican wins. Especially if it is an establishment Republican….

With Karl Rove and Reince Priebus pulling the strings of the GOP and RNC, the Republican Party resembles a RINO theme park more than it does the Party true conservatives have supported.

With them controlling things from behind the curtain it is not just critical that the next president be “conservative” but he/she must be a legitimate conservative whose conservative bonafides are unimpeachable. It does conservatism no good to elect a Mitt Romney, John McCain, or Jeb Bush type. The 2016 election will place in office a person with the potential to change the face of SCOTUS for many decades to come. And as John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, et al. have showed us — it’s not just Democrats who are betraying us.

Religious Right leaders will certainly be keeping the issue of judicial nominations at the forefront of the 2016 campaigns. This week, George O. Wood, who heads the Assemblies of God denomination, wrote:

Moreover, we should encourage voting because elections have consequences. One of those consequences is that the president nominates judges who serve on district and appellate courts and on the Supreme Court. The U.S. Senate must then approve those nominees. It is a sad fact that no evangelical sits on the Supreme Court—even though evangelicals constitute a very large faith community in America. I suspect that at present no evangelicals could even be nominated or confirmed to a federal bench because they hold views that are pro-life and pro-traditional marriage. People in our Fellowship need to remember that when they cast a ballot, they effectively decide who will sit as a federal judge. Indirectly, they are casting a vote for or against a robust understanding of the free exercise of religion.

Right Wing Round-Up 6/30/14

Self-Aware Bobby Jindal Is Tired Of 'Candidates Who Tell Us One Thing Then Go Do Another'

In an interview earlier this month with the Iowa blog Caffienated Thoughts, noted paragon of consistency Bobby Jindal lamented about “candidates who tell us one thing then go do another” on judicial nominations.

Jindal was discussing recent court decisions in favor of marriage equality, which he suggested could be grounds for recalling judges. In 2012, Jindal joined the failed effort to recall an Iowa Supreme Court justice who had joined the court’s unanimous marriage equality ruling.

The Louisiana governor spent the first half of the interview deriding the Common Core education standards — which he previously backed — as a “federal takeover of education."

Bobby Jindal Courts 'Christian Nation' Crowd For 2016 Presidential Bid

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal would like to be president, so he spent the weekend at Liberty University doing what a Republican presidential wannabe does: courting Religious Right leaders by assuring them that he is one of them and shares their vision for America.  Jindal spoke at Liberty’s commencement address on Saturday, where he spouted Religious Right talking points about the “war” on religious liberty by a “left” that wants to “silence people of faith.” And on Friday night, he spent two hours talking about his faith in a session with politically influential pastors organized by Christian-nation zealot David Lane.

The Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger reports that Jindal talked the pastors through his conversion from Hinduism to Protestantism in high school, while not spending much time on his conversion to Catholicism a few years later in college. Jindal positions himself solidly in the conservative religious coalition by calling himself an “evangelical Catholic.”  According to the Post,

The visiting pastors flew to Lynchburg over the weekend at the invitation of the American Renewal Project, a well-funded nonprofit group that encourages evangelical Christians to engage in the civic arena with voter guides, get-out-the-vote drives and programs to train pastors in grass-roots activism. The group’s founder, David Lane, has built a pastor network in politically important states such as Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and South Carolina and has led trips to Israel with Paul and others seeking to make inroads with evangelical activists.

The group that Lane invited to Lynchburg included Donald Wild­mon, a retired minister and founder of the American Family Association, a prominent evangelical activist group that has influence through its network of more than 140 Christian radio stations.

As regular RWW readers know, the Post’s description, while accurate, only begins to describe David Lane, who we reported last year is “an anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Mormon, Christian-nation absolutist who has declared war, not only on secularism and separation of church and state, but also on establishment Republicans who don’t embrace his vision of an America in which the Bible serves as ‘the principle textbook' for public education and a ‘Christian culture’ has been ‘re-established.’” Lane believes Christians “must be retrained to war for the Soul of America and quit believing the fabricated whopper of the ‘Separation of Church and State.’” He says America must repent for breaking the founders' covenant with God or face the wrath of God, which he said last year would include car bombings in Los Angeles, Des Moines, and Washington, D.C. as a consequence of abortion rights, the national debt, and “homosexuals praying at the inauguration.”

Jindal’s personal appeal to Religious Right leaders may encourage them to take a closer look at his record. Given his hostility to abortion rights and LGBT equality and his record of privatizing public education, using tax dollars to promote creationism, and rejecting Medicaid expansion, far-right pastors will probably like what they see. 

Right Wing Leftovers - 5/9/14

  • Why is Glenn Beck's network reporting about Malala Yousafzai? We thought it was laughable to even expect people to know or care who she was.
  • This weekend, the Alaska Family Council will seek to explain how Christians can responsibly and gracefully engage a culture that has embraced homosexuality.
  • The American Family Association is calling upon cities in Mississippi to stop adopting anti-discrimination ordinances.
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal is scheduled to speak at Liberty University's graduation ceremony tomorrow where he will bravely criticize HGTV for canceling the Benham brothers' reality show.
  • On a related note, Tony Perkins responded to the Benham controversy by saying that "Right Wing Watch is about as reliable as the Obamacare website," which is actually kind of funny but also a totally false attack since everything we wrote about them was documented and true.

Right Wing Leftovers - 4/17/14

  • Gov. Bobby Jindal will be the commencement speaker at Liberty University next month.
  • Michael Farris is now bravely trying to distance himself from Doug Phillips.
  • NOM is organizing its second annual "March for Marriage" because "we must show that we will not be intimidated by the thought-police-bullies intent on silencing us so they can push their agenda down America's throat!" Good luck with that.
  • FRC prays against legalized pot: "May state policies which encourage marijuana use, which serve as a gateway to more harmful drugs and addiction, and that benefit only drug peddlers, be reversed! May those in authority, especially parents, set an example and train our youth to reject mind altering drugs that are dangerous to everyone (Lk 12:35-40; Rom 12:1; 1 Cor 6:12-20; Eph 5:18)."
  • Matt Barber is predictably upset by the release of a postage stamp honoring Harvey Milk.
  • Finally, Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies says it "would help the Republicans a lot" if the number of legal immigrants allowed into America was reduced by 70% or so.

Paranoia-Rama: CPAC Edition

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

This week, here at Right Wing Watch we have been monitoring the Conservative Political Action Conference, the American Conservative Union’s annual summit that has been packed with typical right-wing blustering over taxesBenghazi, Ronald Reagan, not to mention plenty of good old fashioned anti-government conspiracy theories:

5) Wayne LaPierre’s American Nightmare

NRA head Wayne LaPierre told CPAC attendees yesterday that “political and media elites” have conspired against gun owners and conservatives in general, working to “punish anyone who disagrees.”

“The media's intentional corruption of the truth is an abomination and NRA members will never, and I mean never, submit or surrender to the national media,” he said.

Even though crime rates have been falling steadily since the 1990s, LaPierre described his dark vision of an America in which happy and peaceful neighborhoods have been transformed into places of violence and death filled with “knockout-gamers.”

4) IRS Just As Bad As Deposed Leader Of Ukraine

Plenty of CPAC speakers have mentioned the crisis in Ukraine as a supposed failure of President Obama, but Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch went as far as comparing the Obama administration to the government of overthrown Ukrainian president and Putin ally Viktor Yanukovych.

Andy Kroll of Mother Jones reports that Fitton told attendees of CPAC’s “IRS Targeting Scandal: Protecting the Voice of the People” panel that Obama’s IRS, which has been falsely accused of targeting conservative groups, is operating much like how the Yanukovych government violently suppressed anti-government protesters: “People are dying in the streets in Ukraine. People being oppressed by the political regime. That's what the IRS was doing.”

3) Trump’s Immigration Solutions

Donald Trump seems to think Jimmy Carter is dead, and that the US may die too if Congress passes immigration reform. The real estate mogul told CPAC yesterday that immigration reform would mean that America would no longer exist, as immigrants flood into the country, destroy the GOP and “take your job.”

2) Muslim Brotherhood Infiltration of CPAC

Anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney hosted an alternative CPAC event yesterday, prompted in part by worries that the right-wing gathering has been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood through Republican activists such as Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan. Gaffney joined other conservatives in denouncing Norquist and Khan as Muslim Brotherhood agents who are advancing “civilization jihad” and undermining America.

Diana West yesterday took to WorldNetDaily to warn CPAC that Norquist and Khan are “a pair of influential men with track records of working with America’s enemies – Islamic organizations the U.S. government has linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and larger world of jihad.” She claimed that they are allied with those who hope “to destroy the United States and transform what is left into an Islamic-ruled land,” and pushed the Muslim Brotherhood “straight into the inner sanctum of the Bush White House.”

1) President Obama Is George Wallace

When the Justice Department challenged Louisiana’s voucher scheme over evidence that the program would resegregate the state’s schools, conservatives were unsurprisingly outraged. At CPAC today, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Religious Right leader Ralph Reed likened President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace.

Jindal: It May Be Time To Revisit The Assumption That Obama Is A Smart Man

It is always entertaining when milquetoast Republican governors who harbor dreams of running for president decide to try to toughen up their image by throwing red meat to the crowd at CPAC. We saw Tim Pawlenty do it several years back and Bobby Jindal do it again today when he kicked off his remarks by sarcastically offering an apology to former president Jimmy Carter for having mistakenly called him the "worst president of this great country in my lifetime."

Apparently having totally forgotten the eight-year debacle that was George W. Bush's presidency, Jindal said the title of worst president now belongs to Obama who, quite frankly, is just not very bright.

"We have long thought and said this president is a smart man," Jinda declared. "It may be time to revisit the assumption":

Right Wing Round-Up - 2/25/14

Right Wing Leftovers - 2/13/14

  • In a forthcoming speech, Gov. Bobby Jindal will warn that there is a "silent war" on Christianity in America: "This war is waged in our courts and in the halls of political power,” he adds, according to the prepared remarks. “It is pursued with grim and relentless determination by a group of like-minded elites, determined to transform the country from a land sustained by faith into a land where faith is silenced, privatized and circumscribed."
  • Anti-gay activists predicted a mass exodus from the Boy Scouts after the organization voted to allow gay scouts, but that hasn't quite materialized.
  • James O'Keefe is being sued by his former executive director.
  • FRC's current prayer targets.
  • Finally, what on earth is Steve Deace talking about, regarding openly gay football player Michael Sam? "[T]he Left has been dying to bring this to the sports arena for a long time because it's one of the last, true remaining meritocracies we have in America – and the Left hates meritocracies."

The Problem with 'School Choice' Week: What's Behind the Bright Yellow Banner

“School choice” will be celebrated this week at thousands of events across the country, with speakers talking about empowered parents and educational excellence.  It will probably be a public relations bonanza for the “school choice” movement.  But here’s the problem: the bright yellow banner of National School Choice Week is designed to distract attention from the least appealing and most dangerous aspects of that movement -- anti-government ideologues, privatization profiteers, and religious fundamentalists eager to get their hands on public education dollars.

Let’s back up a bit.

Education policy is a vast, complicated, and hotly contested arena. Terms like “education reform” and “school choice” sound good, but they are so broad as to be almost meaningless. They can be applied to genuine efforts to strengthen teaching and educational opportunity as well as cynical schemes to destroy public employee unions and dismantle public education altogether.

In particular, “school choice” encompasses a huge array of education policies, from public school charter and magnet schools to taxpayer-funded for-profit cyberschools and homeschooling.  Even a seemingly specific term like “charter schools” cloaks a more complex reality that ranges from innovation labs co-located in public schools to for-profit chain operations.  

If you believe that public education is an important democratic institution, and you think education policy should be aimed at giving every child the opportunity to attend a quality public school, these policies don’t all look alike. They don’t all have the same impact on public schools, or the same levels of public accountability.

But the folks at National School Choice Week would like you not to think about that.  Here’s Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week, in a January 2 column:

To individual parents – “school choice” is not just about charter schools, or private schools, or traditional public or magnet schools, or online learning and homeschooling. It’s about having a choice of all of these options, being able to make a choice, and selecting the learning environments that are right for their individual children. When school choice organizations work together, the collective messaging of these partnerships and this broad, familiar definition of school choice resonates with families.

He acknowledges that people have different ideas about what school choice means: “It goes without saying that a charter school association and a private school choice group might not agree on every policy issue, or that a homeschooling organization and a magnet school consortium will not always find common ground,” he says, but we can all come together on “the basics.”

The problem with this “collective messaging” approach is that it hides the anti-public-education agenda of some “reformers.” Celebrating “school choice” across the board lends credibility to organizations pushing for destructive policies that are not at all popular with the American public. In spite of decades of right-wing-funded attacks on public education, for example, Americans oppose privatization plans  like vouchers that transfer public education funds to private schools.

Self-proclaimed reformers often dismiss concerns about privatization as a “red herring.” But you can’t embrace the Milton Friedman Foundation as a partner and then pretend that privatization is only an imaginary threat dreamed up by teachers unions.  Friedman has an explicit goal of getting rid of public schools altogether; they see programs like vouchers for poor kids as a tactical stepping stone toward that ultimate goal.

Others view the huge amount of money we collectively spend on educating children as a source of cash. One of the sponsors of National School Choice Week is K12, a member of the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council and a company the New York Times has described as “the biggest player in the online-school business,” one “that tries to squeeze profits from public school dollars by raising enrollment, increasing teacher workload, and lowering standards.”  In September 2013, a hedge fund manager betting that the company’s model was unsustainable said that “K 12’s aggressive student recruitment has led to dismal academic results by students and sky-high dropout rates, in some cases more than 50% annually.” And yet Executive Chairman Nathaniel Davis was paid more than $9.5 million last year; Morningstar reports that K12’s compensation to top executives went from 8.89 million in 2011 to 10.89 million in 2012 to 21.37 million in 2013. According to Sourcewatch, $730.0 million of the $848.2 million K12 earned last year came from its “managed public schools” – in other words, taxpayers.

For-profit schools that are doing a lousy job can be protected by the huge amounts of money they spend lobbying in state legislatures. A November 2011 investigation by Lee Fang for The Nation reported that White Hat Management, which runs both traditional and virtual charter schools, had become Ohio’s second-largest GOP donor; the company’s success rate under No Child Left Behind was 2 percent, compared to 54.9% for traditional schools and 30 percent for “virtual schools” run by nonprofits.

Publicly funded vouchers to pay for private schools have been rejected each time they have come before voters, and there is scant evidence that the voucher programs that are operational produce better academic outcomes.  But they are still a cherished goal of anti-government ideologues and operators of for-profit and religious schools.  One of the biggest “school choice” advocates among the country’s governors is Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, who has embarked on a grand privatization plan grounded in school vouchers, many of which have been used to send students to religious schools with questionable curricula and substandard academic achievement.  Data released by the state in November indicated that almost half of the vouchers were being used at schools that scored a D or F on the state’s rating scale.

There are unquestionably well-intentioned people in the education reform movement, some of whom will be participating in National School Choice Week activities. There are people of all political persuasions eager to find ways to give students a better education, and that includes teachers, administrators, and school board members – people who are collectively dismissed as “the blob” by some “reformers.”

People of good faith can and do disagree about the best way to strengthen teaching, hold schools accountable, reduce the devastating impact of poverty, and more.  But people who are genuinely seeking ways to strengthen public education and make schools better for all children should think twice about making common cause with organizations who see public education as something to be dismantled, and with companies whose bottom line is measured not in student achievement but in the profit margins demanded by their investors.

Right Wing Leftovers - 12/23/13

  • A federal judge has denied Utah’s attempt to block a judge’s decision to strike down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. 
  • Is Star Parker aware of what Phil Robertson also said about being nostalgic for the Jim Crow era?
  • Meanwhile, Religious Right groups have put together a campaign arguing that Robertson lost his “freedom of religion and…freedom of speech.” 
  • Sarah Palin laughably claims that she would “never see myself as a ‘victim.’”

Right Wing Round-Up - 6/18/13

Fischer Cites Todd Akin in Making the Case that the GOP is not 'the Stupid Party'

Last week, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal spoke at a Republican National Committee meeting where he declared that the GOP has got to "stop being the stupid party" and that is not sitting well with Bryan Fischer, who got fired-up over it on today's "Focal Point" broadcast on the grounds that  Jindal was buying into Democratic attacks and helping them brand the GOP in this manner.

And the GOP is not the stupid party, Fischer insisted, because "conservative ideas are not stupid; they are wise, they work, they are strategic, every one of them; conservatism works every single solitary time it is tried, we don't have to apologize for a single solitary conservative idea."

Fischer recognized that sometimes conservatives might "misspeak" on occasion, as Todd Akin did with his infamous "legitimate rape" remark ... but that just proves Fischer's point because Akin was "completely accurate about that," thus demonstrating that "our ideas are not stupid and the people who advocate them are not stupid": 

Creationism Advocate Bobby Jindal Warns GOP Against Becoming 'the Stupid Party'

At a Republican National Committee winter summit yesterday, Louisiana’s Gov. Bobby Jindal scolded his fellow Republicans for acting like “the stupid party,” which he said damaged their credibility in the last election:

In his remarks to the gathering, he also offered some tough medicine for the GOP, including this piece of advice: “We must stop being the stupid party. It’s time for a new Republican party that talks like adults. It’s time for us to articulate our plans and visions for America in real terms. We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. We’ve had enough of that.” Whether or not Jindal ultimately emerges as a top presidential contender, look for him to be a major presence, not just in Louisiana, but around the country as well as a key figure in helping the party chart its course forward.

Of course, this is the same Bobby Jindal who is literally dumbing down Louisiana’s education system by advocating the teaching of creationism in taxpayer-funded schools.

Jindal signed into law and vocally supported the ironically-named Louisiana Science Education Act, which has been described as a “thinly veiled attempt to allow creationism into the science classrooms of his state.”

Last year, Jindal established a private school voucher program that will bring taxpayer dollars to schools that explicitly teach creationism:

Whatever the merits of this program might be, observers in the state were stunned when they saw some of the schools on the list of those eligible to accept the vouchers. They include a school whose students will be taught to “discern and refute the lies commonly found in textbooks,” including, of course, evolution. Another school prepares students to “defend creationism through evidence presented by the Bible,” and yet another assures students that no instruction is included in its textbooks “that would conflict with young earth creationism.”

One of the schools funded by Jindal’s program teaches that the alleged existence of the Loch Ness Monster disproves evolution:

This 2012-2013 school year, thanks to a bill pushed through by governor Bobby Jindal, thousands of students in Louisiana will receive state voucher money, transferred from public school funding, to attend private religious schools, some of which teach from a Christian curriculum that suggests the Loch Ness Monster disproves evolution and states that the alleged creature, which has never been demonstrated to even exist, has been tracked by submarine and is probably a plesiosaur. The curriculum also claims that a Japanese fishing boat caught a dinosaur.

Since Jindal is trying to portray himself as the intellectual savior of the GOP – and thanks to politicians like Rick Perry and Todd Akin it’s a pretty low bar – maybe he can start by repealing the laws that encourage the teaching of pseudo-science in Louisiana’s schools.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Sam Brownback endorsed Rick Perry.
  • You will be forgiven for not knowing that Thad McCotter was running for president ... or that he dropped out and endorsed Mitt Romney.
  • John Eastman is now NOM's Chairman, replacing Maggie Gallagher.
  • Bobby Jindal has been added to the list of speakers at the Values Voter Summit.
  • The FRC's Bob Maginnis says it will "take a very courageous future leader to do anything about" reinstating DADT.
  • Finally, Tony Perkins will be holding a press conference next week, taking questions from the press.  I bet we can think of a few good ones to ask.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Tim Pawlenty endorses Mitt Romney while Bobby Jindal is set to endorse Rick Perry.
  • Hey, what do you know?  The Religious Right is mobilizing pastors to get active in the 2012 elections.
  • On a related note, a coalition of anti-choice groups are mobilizing to register voters.
  • James Dobson suffered several broken bones in a horse-riding accident.
  • The man charged with helping Lisa Miller to flee the country wants his statements quashed and his trial moved out of Vermont.

Dozens of GOP Leaders Declare Solidarity With Those Who Want To See Homosexuality Outlawed

Last week when Jeremy Hooper discovered that the Family Research Council was planning to roll out a campaign fighting back against the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation of the organization as an anti-gay hate group, we noted that FRC was asking people to sign on to the campaign to "stand in solidarity with Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women of America, National Organization for Marriage, Liberty Counsel and other pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family."

By doing so, we pointed out, any one who added their name was essentially declaring that they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with groups that proclaim:

Today, FRC announced that it was running this open letter [PDF] in both Politico and The Washington Examiner and that the effort had the support of dozens of Republican members of Congress and conservative leaders:

Family Research Council (FRC) announced the placement of a full-page open letter in today's print editions of Politico and the Washington Examiner responding to the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) recent attacks on FRC and other groups.

SPLC has targeted FRC and other organizations that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The open letter, signed by more than 150 organizational leaders, Members of Congress and other elected officials, calls for a "vigorous but responsible exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty that are the birthright of all Americans."

The open letter was signed by many current and former elected and government officials including Speaker-designate John Boehner, Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor, U.S. Reps Mike Pence (R-IN), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), John Carter (R-TX), John Fleming (R-LA,) Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX,) Gregg Harper (R-MS), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Steve King (R-IA,) Don Manzullo (R-IL), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Peter Roskam (R-LA), Lamar Smith (R-TX,) Steve Scalise (R-LA,) Fred Upton (R-MI), U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK,) David Vitter (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sam Brownback (Gov.-elect, Kansas), Governor Bobby Jindal, former Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Senator Rick Santorum, Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General of the United States, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

For the record, here is the complete list of leaders who have publicly declared their solidarity with SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups who want to see gays barred from serving in public office and homosexuality made illegal: 

Alaska Family Council Jim Minnery - President
American College of Pediatricians Tom Benton, MD - President
American Conservative Union Foundation Cleta Mitchell - Chairman
American Decency Association Bill Johnson - President
American Family Association Tim Wildmon - President
American Family Association of Pennsylvania Diane Gramley - President
American Principles Project Andresen Blom - Executive Director
American Values Gary Bauer - President
Association of Maryland Families Derek McCoy - President
Best-Selling Author and Host of Morning in America Dr. William J. Bennett
Calvary Chapel Jack Hibbs - Senior Pastor
Cardinal Newman Society Patrick Reilly - President
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights Bill Donohue - President
CCV of Indiana PAC Joseph Sergio, Ph.D - Chairman
Center for Arizona Policy Cathi Herrod - President
Center for Law and Social Strategy Mark Spengler - Executive Director
Center for Security Policy Frank Gaffney - President and CEO
Center for Urban Renewal and Education Star Parker - President
Christian Civic League of Maine Carroll Conley - Executive Director
Christian Medical Association David Stevens - CEO
CitizenLink Tom Minnery - Senior Vice President, Public Policy
Citizens for Community Values Phil Burress - President
Citizens for Community Values of Indiana Patrick Mangan - Executive Director
CNSNews.com Chris Johnson - News Correspondant
CNSNews.com Eric Scheiner - Senior Video Producer
Coalition for Marriage and FamilyTom Shields - Chairman
Colorado Family Action Jessica Haverkate - Director
Committee for Justice Curt Levey - Executive Director
Concerned Citizens for Family Values of Connecticut Ray Kastner - President
Concerned Women For America Penny Nance - CEO
Concerned Women for American Wendy Wright - President
ConservativeHQ.com Richard Viguerie - Chairman
Coral Ridge Ministries Robert Knight - Senior Writer
Coral Ridge Ministries Hector Padron - Executive Vice President
Cornerstone Action, NH Kevin Smith - Executive Director
Cornerstone Family Council of ID Julie Lynde - Executive Director
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D. - National Spokesman
Delaware Family Policy Council Nicole Theis - Executive Director
Design4 Marketing Communications Clint Cline - President
Eagle Forum Phyllis Schlafly - President
Ethics and Public Policy Center Rick Santorum - Senior Fellow
Faith Christian Fellowship Church The Rev Dr. R. Edgar Bonniwell - Senior Pastor
Family Action Council of Tennessee David Fowler - President
Family First (Nebraska FPC) Dave Bydalek Bydalek - Executive Director
Family Institute of Connecticut Peter Wolfgang - Executive Director
Florida Family Policy Counci lJohn Stemberger - President and General Counsel
ForAmerica David Bozell - Executive Director
Generals International Cindy Jacobs - President
Illinois Family Institute David Smith - Executive Director
Iowa Family Policy Center Chuck Hurley - President
Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality Elaine Silodor Berk - Director
Judicial Action Group Phillip Jauregui - President
Kansas Sam Brownback - Governor-elect
Kansas Family Policy Council Donna Lippoldt - Executive Director
Kingdom Warriors Ministry William Boykin - LTG(R) USArmy
Landmark Legal Foundation Mark Levin - President
Leadership Institute Morton Blackwell - President
Let Freedom Ring Colin Hanna - President
Liberty Center for Law and Policy Mandi Campbell - Legal Director
Liberty Counsel Matt Barber - Director of Cultural Affairs
Liberty Counsel Mathew Staver - Founder and Chairman
Liberty Institute Kelly Shackelford
Louisiana Bobby Jindal - Governor
Louisiana Family Forum Action Gene Mills - President
Massachusetts Family Institute Kris Mineau - President
Media Research Center Matthew Balan - news analyst
Media Research CenterL. Brent Bozell - Founder and President
Media Research Center Kyle Drennen - News Analyst
Media Research Center Matthew Hadro
Mike Huckabee - Former Governor, TV/ Radio Commentator
Minnesota Family Council David Eaton - Chairman
Minnesota Family Council John Helmberger - Chief Executive Officer
Mission America Linda Harvey - President
Missouri Family Policy Council Joe Ortwerth - Executive Director
National Organization for Marriage Brian Brown - President
National Organization for Marriage Maggie Gallagher - Chairman
National Organization for Marriage - Rhode Island Christopher Plante - Executive Director
National Review Rich Lowry - Editor
Nationally Syndicated Radio Talkshow Host Janet Parshall
Nevada Concerned Citizens Richard Ziser - Director
New Jersey Family First Len Deo - Founder & President
New Yorker's Family Research Foundation Rev. Tom Stiles
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms Rev. Jason McGuire
North Dakota Family Alliance Tom Freier - Executive Director
Ohio Faith and Freedom Coalition Ken Blackwell - Chairman
Priests For LifeFr. Frank Pavone - National Director
Prison Fellowship and The Colson Center for Christian Worldview Chuck Colson - Founder
Public Service Research Foundation David Denholm - President
Radio America Franklin Raff - Sr. Executive Producer
Rappahannock Ventures WillIam Walton - Chairman
ReAL Action Rick Tyler - Chairman
RedState Erick-Woods Erickson - Editor
Renewing American Leadership Jim Garlow - Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana Roger Villere, Jr. - Chairman
Restore America David Crowe - President
Retired Rensselaer Broekhuizen - Pastor
RightMarch.com William Greene - President
Shirley & Banister Public Affairs Diana Banister - Vice President
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Dr. Richard Land - President
State of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty - Governor
The American Spectator Alfred Regnery - Publisher
The Coalition of Conscience Michael Brown, Ph.D. - Director
The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation Abby Moffat - Vice President and COO
The Family Foundation of VirginiaVictoria Cobb - President
The Family Policy Council of WVJeremiah Dys, Esq. - President and General Counsel
The National Legal Foundation Steven Fitschen - President
THE New Voice, Inc.Herman Cain - CEO and President
The Oak InititativeRick Joyner - President
The Washington Examiner Mark Tapscott - Editorial Page Editor
TheCall Louis Engle - President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.C. Preston Noell III - President
Traditional Values Coalition Jody Hutchens - Regional Director
Traditional Values Coalition Andrea Lafferty - Executive Director
U.S. Congress Senator David Vitter - (R-LA)
U.S. Congress Senator Roger Wicker - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congresswoman Michele Bachmann - (R-MN)
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker-designate John Boehner - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor - (R-VA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman John Fleming, M.D. - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Trent Franks - (R-AZ)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Louie Gohmert - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jeb Henserling - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jim Jordan - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve King - (R-IA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Donald Manzullo - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representative sCongressman Kevin McCarthy - (R-CA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman-elect Alan Nunnelee - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Mike Pence - (R-IN)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Joe Pitts - (R-PA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Peter Roskam - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve Scalise - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Lamar Smith - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Fred Upton - (R-MI)
United States SenateJim DeMint - Senator
Virginia Ken Cuccinelli - Attorney General
Western Center for Journalism Floyd Brown - President
Wisconsin Family Action Julaine Appling - President
WMtek Corp. Dan Pennell - CEO
WND.com Joseph Farah - Chief Executive Officer

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: People For Statement on House Passage of the DISCLOSE Act.
  • Towleroad: Supreme Court Rules Against Gay Foes in R-71 Petition Case, Says Names of Signers Must Be Public.
  • Religion Dispatches: Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Laying on of Hands.
  • Joe.My.God: Family Research Council Screams About Obama's "Agenda Of Perversion."
  • Daily Kos: Kagan opponents flailing.
  • Think Progress: Farmer who put up sign claiming Democrats are ‘party of parasites’ has taken $1 million in farm subsidies.
  • Sarah Posner: Why Sarah Palin Will Never Lead the Religious Right.
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Bobby Jindal Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Friday 07/25/2014, 5:30pm
Republican Rep. David Jolly of Florida is under fire from anti-gay activists for his "act of cowardice and a betrayal" in supporting marriage equality. Gov. Bobby Jindal's office is preventing Louisiana's state board of education from hiring a lawyer so that it can't sue him for trying to kill Common Core in the state. Mat Staver says that not allowing the promotion of ex-gay therapy on college campuses is "absolute pure evil." We love BarbWire because it runs stories with titles like "More Gaystapo Obaminations." Finally, Florida... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 07/24/2014, 12:52pm
For right-wing advocates, big conservative wins in the Supreme Court’s recently completed term have only confirmed the importance of electing a president in 2016 who will give them more justices in the mold of Samuel Alito and John Roberts.  The Roberts and Alito nominations, and the conservative majority created by their confirmations, represent the triumph of a decades-long push by right-wing funders, big business, conservative political strategists, and legal groups to take ideological dominion of all levels of the federal judiciary. Right-wing groups have long made attacks on... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 06/30/2014, 5:34pm
McKay Coppins @ BuzzFeed: Bobby Jindal Courts Religious Right With His Eye On 2016. Nicole Lafond @ TPM: Brutal Mississippi Primary Prompts College GOP Chair To Switch Parties. Tom Boggioni @ Raw Story: Louisiana’s ‘Kissing Congressman’ changes mind, asks voters to take him back after affair. Emily Atkin @ Think Progress: GOP Candidate: Climate Science Is ‘The Greatest Deception In The History Of Mankind.’ Tina Nguyen @ Mediaite: NRA Commentator Wants You to Stop Calling Elliot Rodger a ‘Shooter.’ Warren Throckmorton @ The Daily... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Friday 06/27/2014, 4:02pm
In an interview earlier this month with the Iowa blog Caffienated Thoughts, noted paragon of consistency Bobby Jindal lamented about “candidates who tell us one thing then go do another” on judicial nominations. Jindal was discussing recent court decisions in favor of marriage equality, which he suggested could be grounds for recalling judges. In 2012, Jindal joined the failed effort to recall an Iowa Supreme Court justice who had joined the court’s unanimous marriage equality ruling. The Louisiana governor spent the first half of the interview deriding the Common Core... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 05/13/2014, 10:11am
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal would like to be president, so he spent the weekend at Liberty University doing what a Republican presidential wannabe does: courting Religious Right leaders by assuring them that he is one of them and shares their vision for America.  Jindal spoke at Liberty’s commencement address on Saturday, where he spouted Religious Right talking points about the “war” on religious liberty by a “left” that wants to “silence people of faith.” And on Friday night, he spent two hours talking about his faith in a session with... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 05/09/2014, 5:33pm
Why is Glenn Beck's network reporting about Malala Yousafzai? We thought it was laughable to even expect people to know or care who she was. This weekend, the Alaska Family Council will seek to explain how Christians can responsibly and gracefully engage a culture that has embraced homosexuality. The American Family Association is calling upon cities in Mississippi to stop adopting anti-discrimination ordinances. Gov. Bobby Jindal is scheduled to speak at Liberty University's graduation ceremony tomorrow where he will bravely criticize HGTV for canceling the Benham... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 04/17/2014, 5:30pm
Gov. Bobby Jindal will be the commencement speaker at Liberty University next month. Michael Farris is now bravely trying to distance himself from Doug Phillips. NOM is organizing its second annual "March for Marriage" because "we must show that we will not be intimidated by the thought-police-bullies intent on silencing us so they can push their agenda down America's throat!" Good luck with that. FRC prays against legalized pot: "May state policies which encourage marijuana use, which serve as a gateway to more harmful drugs and addiction... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/07/2014, 3:20pm
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right. This week, here at Right Wing Watch we have been monitoring the Conservative Political Action Conference, the American Conservative Union’s annual summit that has been packed with typical right-wing blustering over taxes, Benghazi, Ronald Reagan, not to mention plenty of good old fashioned anti-government conspiracy theories: 5) Wayne LaPierre’s American Nightmare NRA head Wayne LaPierre told CPAC attendees yesterday that “political and media elites... MORE >