Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee: Appoint Antonin Scalia 'Clones' To The Supreme Court

After fielding questions from slavery apologist Douglas Wilson about gay marriage and Planned Parenthood in a recent Google hangout with Religious Right activists, Mike Huckabee also told the fringe pastor about his vision for the Supreme Court.

Huckabee said that Antonin Scalia is his “favorite” justice on the bench, adding that the justice had proved himself to be “a heck of a shot” on their hunting trips together. Huckabee also complimented the “brilliant” Samuel Alito, the “very solid legal scholar” Clarence Thomas and even Chief Justice John Roberts, commending his dissent in the Supreme Court’s “derogatory” marriage equality ruling.

“I would find out if they had been cloned and, if they had, I’d go look for those people,” he said referring to Scalia and Thomas.

Mike Huckabee: 'Great Idea' To Give Medal Of Freedom To Anti-Planned Parenthood Hoaxers

Mike Huckabee recently chatted with a number of conservative activists, including slavery apologist and anti-gay extremist Douglas Wilson, in a Google hangout, where he addressed the deceptively edited videos targeting Planned Parenthood and discussed plan to outlaw abortion through executive fiat.

When Wilson proposed that Huckabee give David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, the group behind the sting videos, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Huckabee called it “a great idea,” praising Daleiden as “a Wilberforce for our time,” a reference to British abolitionist William Wilberforce.

Beyond just “defunding one abortion organization,” Huckabee vowed to “be the president that would invoke the Fifth and 14th Amendments to declare that it is imperative that we afford unborn children their constitutional rights of the Fifth and 14th Amendment.” He said that this presidential declaration would bequeath personhood rights “at the moment of conception,” saying that he is tired of conservatives having to “play the defensive role for 42 years when all along we had the Fifth and 14th Amendments.”

Mike Huckabee Vows To Ban Abortion Even If It Causes 'Riots In The Streets'

During a recent Google hangout with right-wing activists, Mike Huckabee pledged that if he becomes president he will sic the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service on Planned Parenthood, but also said that such steps are “secondary” to his “more important” plan of outlawing abortion through a sweeping executive fiat that grants personhood rights to zygotes.

Huckabee vowed that he will criminalize abortion, no matter the consequences: “I think that the bolder and more important and more urgent position is to invoke the constitutional rights of the unborn, recognizing them as persons, expecting lawsuits, expecting extraordinary pushback, and goodness, perhaps riots in the streets.”

“I think that we have tinkered around the edges so long that we failed to go back to the original purpose of the Bill of Rights and we have simply not applied it,” Huckabee said. “Frankly, I don’t know of any of us who are pro-lifers who would argue, ‘well that is really not a person,’ so the question is: Do we believe that the unborn child is a person? If we do, then we ought to act like that is a person and give them the protections that they are due under the Constitution.”

Mike Huckabee Will Never Refer To Gay People's Marriages As 'Marriage'

GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee promised in a recent Google hangout with conservative activists that he will never call gay people’s marriages “marriage” because “marriage does have a definition and that’s not it.”

Huckabee fielded a question from Douglas Wilson, a controversial Reconstructionist pastor who once proposed exiling gay people and coauthored with a Southern separatist a pamphlet defending slavery, about what he would do to prevent “the same-sex mirage” from victimizing Christians, prompting the former Arkansas governor to declare that he would not recognize same-sex couples as married.

“The agenda here is not simply to have the freedom for same-sex relationships called marriage, I refuse to say that that’s marriage because marriage does have a definition and that’s not it,” Huckabee said. “The assault is on something deeper than just the institution of marriage.”

Predicting that gay marriage will put Christian-led hospitals and universities “out of business,” Huckabee said he would direct the Justice Department to defend people who are supposedly being oppressed by gay marriage. He specifically pointed to the Oregon bakers who violated a state nondiscrimination law — not marriage law — by denying service to a gay couple.

“I’d love for the Department of Justice to be sent in to defend the Klein’s against an outrageous attack on their religious liberty,” he said.

In the conversation, which W. Scott Lamb of Reformation Press posted online two weeks ago, Huckabee also repeated his call for elected officials to defy the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling and his warning that gay marriage will lead to anti-Christian persecution

Huckabee: Denali Naming Shows Obama 'Doesn’t Think That There Are Any Limits'

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is outraged by President Obama’s decision to restore the original name of the country’s highest peak, Denali, after years of campaigning by Alaskans including the state’s Republican senators.

Huckabee told Newsmax TV yesterday that he’d like to see Republicans in Congress block the move and joked that Obama might next want to change the name of the Washington Monument to the “Obama Monument.” The GOP presidential candidate continued his anti-Denali crusade in an interview with Iowa conservative radio host Jan Mickelson yesterday, saying that renaming the mountain is “outrageous” and shows that the president “doesn’t think that there are any limits” on his power.

Huckabee placed part of the blame on Republicans in Congress who, he said, have been indulging the president like a spoiled child. “It’s almost like the child,” he said, “that if you keep on letting him get cookies out of the cookie jar and nobody ever slaps his hand and says you can’t do it, he’s going to keep eating cookies. And this president is going to eat the last cookie in the jar all the way up to his last day in office.”

When Mickelson suggested that renaming national monuments could be a good “opportunity for fundraising” for a president, Huckabee joked, “If I’m president, I think we’ll name the Arkansas River the Huckabee River, why not?”

“This could be how he finances his presidential library,” he joked of Obama, “he sells naming rights to various national monuments all over the country and Mt. Rushmore becomes ‘Mt. Schwartz.’”

Huckabee: Planned Parenthood Like ISIS Because Both 'Take People's Heads Off'

Mike Huckabee said in an interview with Newsmax TV yesterday that Hillary Clinton owes him an “apology” because after criticizing him for claiming that the Iranian nuclear deal would march Israelis to the “door of the oven,” she made an oblique reference to “boxcars” in a recent speech about immigration.

Huckabee also lit into Clinton for saying that the Republican Party’s “extreme views on women” are what you might expect from “some of the terrorist groups. Planned Parenthood, Huckabee insisted, are the ones who are “most like terrorists.”

Saying that the media had applied a “total double standard” in its coverage of his "legitimate and appropriate" Holocaust remark, Hucakbee said, “It was also a double standard when she was talking about Planned Parenthood and Republicans are like terrorists."

"I’ll tell you what terrorists do," he said. "Terrorists take people’s heads off, that’s what they do. Planned Parenthood takes the heads off of unborn children and sells the body parts. So if you want to talk about what is most like a terrorists, is it a Republican trying to save a human life or is it Planned Parenthood murdering human life and selling the body parts as if they were selling parts of a car.”

Huckabee made a similar comparison between Planned Parenthood and ISIS at a campaign stop in Iowa last week.

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/19/15

'What's Wrong With Slavery?' And Jan Mickelson's Other Worst Pro-Confederacy, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Gay Moments

If you are a presidential candidate, you spend a lot of time talking to people in Iowa. And if you’re a Republican, that means a lot of time on Iowa conservative radio, including popular programs hosted by right-wing activists Steve Deace and Jan Mickelson.

The fact that Deace and Mickelson have long histories of extreme rhetoric has not dissuaded Republican candidates from joining their shows. But Mickelson just upped the ante with comments he made on his program today.

Media Matters caught Mickelson proposing that undocumented immigrants in Iowa become “property of the state” and pressed into hard labor. When a listener called in to point out that Mickelson’s proposal “sounds like slavery,” Mickelson asked, “Well, what’s wrong with slavery?” Undocumented immigrants, he went on to say, are the ones who are enslaving American citizens:

It will be interesting to see if any of the GOP candidates who have been on Mickelson’s radio program recently — which, according to Media Matters’ count, includes Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal — repudiate his remarks.

But the fact is that if these candidates were concerned about Mickelson’s rhetoric, they should have stopped going on his show long ago.

When Graham appeared on his program in June, Mickelson declared his allegiance to the Confederacy, as Graham scrambled to distance himself:

Mickelson has also backed Jim Crow-type voting laws.

Today’s comments are hardly Mickelson’s first foray into anti-immigrant extremism either. He has proposed barring undocumented children from public schools and said that if someone has a Hispanic name and is involved with the police, “I assume you’re not here legally.” After an interview with anti-immigrant activist Ann Corcoran, Mickelson promised to press every candidate he had on his show to oppose the U.S. resettlement of refugees from war-torn Muslim countries, which he said was an “act of jihad.” When he asked Rand Paul about it, Paul said the U.S. shouldn’t resettle Iraqi refugees because “we won the war.”

Mickelson’s anti-gay activism includes calling AIDS an “invention” of God to punish homosexuality and agreeing with former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad on the issue of homosexuality.

The Iowa talk radio host also enjoys promoting fringe right-wing conspiracy theories. Mickelson helped to bring the Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theory into the GOP mainstream, asking Paul on his program about the supposed federal plan to take over Texas .

And just last week, Mickelson was getting Rep. Steve King to entertain the conspiracy theory that a botched EPA mine cleanup in Colorado was a deliberate plan to pollute a river to create a Superfund site:

Republican candidates may try to avoid Mickelson’s show after today. But given their track record, we somehow doubt that they will.

Evangelical Official Criticizes Bachmann & Huckabee For 'Outrageous' Iran Deal Rhetoric

In an interview with the Christian Post today, Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, the chairman of the World Evangelical Alliance’s Global Task Force on Nuclear Weapons, hailed the Iran deal for offering a “high confidence of inhibiting any move by Iran to a nuclear weapon.”

When the newspaper asked Wigg-Stevenson for his reaction to Mike Huckabee’s claim that the nuclear accord will usher in a second Holocaust and Michele Bachmann’s allegation that it fulfilled Last Days prophecy by paving the way for “World War III,” the World Evangelical Alliance official was not amused.

Noting that many Jewish leaders support the deal, he described Huckabee’s remarks as “pretty outrageous” and “wildly irresponsible,” and expressed bewilderment at Bachmann’s End Times claims: “I don't even know what to say to that.”

"I think that kind of rhetoric is pretty outrageous. The Holocaust is a living memory and I think that because it was Christian Europe that perpetrated the Holocaust on Jews, Christian have an ethical responcibility [sic] forever to take seriously future existential threats to the Jewish people," he said.

While criticizing Iran's denial of how devastating the Holocaust truly was, the WEA chair on Nuclear Weapons said that it is an "outrageous stretch of rhetoric for Huackbee [sic] to invoke the Holocaust based on a treaty that the vast majority of arms control experts in the United States have said is a good treaty."

He added that the GOP presidential candidate's remarks were "wildly irresponsible," and pointed out that there is divided opinion in Israel on whether the nuclear deal is a good development or not.

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has heavily condemned the lifting of sanctions on Iran, a group of 340 rabbis from "all streams of Judaism" signed a letter in support of the Iran deal earlier this week, opposing the idea that the American Jewish community is united in opposition to the agreement.

As for the idea that the deal will be the fulfillment of biblical End Times prophecy, as former GOP presidential candidate and former Minnesota Rep. Bachmann suggested, Wigg-Stevenson responded: "I don't even know what to say to that."

As a former Baptist minister, who told CP he has since become an Anglican, Wigg-Stevenson noted that "people have for hundreds and hundreds of years been pointing to current events as sure indicators that the End Times are upon us."

He added that statements like Bachmann's are "nothing new," and up to this point have never turned out to be correct.

He said that ultimately the Iran deal bars Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and said that "so how that brings about the End Times is beyond me."

Mike Huckabee Jokes About Clinton Murder Conspiracy Theories, Hillary Leaving Nuke Codes At Chipotle

Earlier today, Newsmax host Steve Malzberg asked former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee if a joke he told about living to tell the tale of defeating the Arkansas “Clinton machine” had anything to do with the persistent rumors from the far right that Bill and Hillary Clinton are behind several murders (including that of a cat).

While Huckabee refused to make the connection directly, Malzberg kept pushing him on whether he was referencing “the people who didn’t survive to talk about it.”

“I’ll let the listener decide, but I think most people when they heard me say that knew that my tongue was firmly planted in my cheek,” Huckabee replied. “I’m not making reference into anything in particular. Whether I was speaking metaphorically of political surviving or otherwise, I will leave it to the listener.”

Huckabee later said that Hillary Clinton is “an ideal person to run against for the Republicans” since she is “such a damaged and wounded candidate without credibility or trust.”

“So let’s hope she stays in [the race], I don’t see how she can convince the American people that they can trust her with the nuclear launch codes when she might leave them at a Chipotle restaurant sitting at the table,” he added.

President Mike Huckabee Will Outlaw Abortion By Executive Fiat

At a campaign stop in Iowa last week, Mike Huckabee elaborated on his pledge to outlaw all abortion by declaring legal “personhood” for fertilized eggs and fetuses, telling the audience at a town hall event that if he is elected president, he will simply start operating as if zygotes have full constitutional rights. If anyone were to have a problem with that, he said, they could challenge him in the courts. (Whether or not he would actually abide by a court ruling is still an open question.)

“As president, I would say, ‘We will protect every person,’” Huckabee said in Waukee, Iowa. “And I know that would just send shockwaves. There would be lawsuits immediately. Fine. Let there be. Let’s let this now work its way, but from the position, instead of being where we defend the killing of 60 million babies since 1973…let us now operate on the principle that it is not okay and let them fight for the right to take those baby’s lives, let them tell us when that person becomes a person, let us argue their point of the unrestricted right to deny life and liberty to that person.”

The former Arkansas governor added that he would feel compelled to make such a move — which would criminalize abortion in all cases and could threaten common forms of birth control — because otherwise he couldn’t continue to ask God to bless America.

“We’ve never had a president who was willing to go there,” he said. “Well, I’m not just willing. If I’m elected, I will go there. And the reason why is because I don’t believe I can honestly make a speech and end it by saying ‘God bless you and God bless America’ if we are committing such savagery as the infanticide that we have continued to slaughter so many unborn children.”

Huckabee went on to reiterate his hope to see Planned Parenthood “criminally prosecuted” and “go out of business” because “we simply are protecting the people that they used to take money to end their lives.”

The Iowa conservative blog Caffeinated Thoughts posted the comments on its YouTube page:

Mike Huckabee Wouldn't Let A 10-Year-Old Rape Victim Access Abortion. He's Far From Alone In The GOP

Mike Huckabee’s statement on Sunday that he thinks a 10-year-old Paraguayan girl who became pregnant after being raped by her stepfather should have been denied access to abortion was no gaffe or fluke. In fact, Huckabee was expressing a belief shared by many of his fellow Republican presidential candidates and by the anti-choice establishment.

Even “mainstream” candidates Scott and Marco Rubio came out forcefully against rape exceptions in this month’s GOP presidential debate, with Walker also clarifying that he would not allow abortions that would save the lives of pregnant women.

Major anti-choice groups agree. The head of the Susan B. Anthony List, which has sponsored trainings to teach candidates how to speak about the abortion issue, decried rape exceptions as “abominable” and “completely intellectually dishonest,” and only supports them as a means to the end of passing legislation criminalizing abortion. Similarly, the National Right to Life Committee went after GOP congresswomen who undermined an anti-choice bill earlier this year because they thought its rape exception was much too narrow.

While Huckabee wants to bring Paraguay’s harsh abortion policies to America by granting constitutional protections to zygotes (the same plan proposed by Rand Paul) and possibly sending federal agents to raid abortion clinics, the Guttmacher Institute points out that “highly restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates.”

Indeed, the World Health Organization recorded [PDF] nearly 3,000,000 unsafe abortions taking place in South America in 2008, or 32 per 1,000 child-bearing aged women, even though abortion is banned in most South American countries. While there is no evidence that laws banning abortions eliminate the procedure, such restrictive laws are associated with maternal death and complications.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/10/15

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Mike Huckabee, and others will be speaking at one of David Lane's upcoming "Renewal Project" events in Texas later this month.
  • CBN's David Brody says that "Fox News should be utterly ashamed. Donald Trump should sue the network for harassment."
  • Phyllis Schlafly says that "Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in favor of gay marriage is an affront to God, the Constitution, and the American people."
  • Phil Burress warns that gay rights activists are "persecuting anyone who disagrees with them, [they] want to put people in jail who do not bow at the knees of the homosexual agenda" and that Ohio Gov. John Kasich "is in that camp."
  • Bryan Fischer had a rather interesting choice of guest on his radio program today.
  • Don Feder says that "thanks to Obama and his party opening the floodgates to Muslim 'refugees,' Sharia law is coming to America."
  • Finally, Gordon Klingenschmitt says that Planned Parenthood is possessed by the "demonic spirit of murder," but we see "the spirit of God in these prophets" who are making the anti-Planned Parenthood videos.

Marco Rubio's Fetal Personhood Argument In Disguise

In last week’s GOP presidential debate, Mike Huckabee made an explicit argument in favor of radical fetal personhood laws, claiming that Congress could pass a law granting rights to fertilized eggs and fetuses under the 14th and Fifth Amendments, thus criminalizing all abortion and possibly common forms of birth control in one fell swoop.

But one of Huckabee’s fellow candidates made a very similar comment, which has received less attention because he did not explicitly acknowledge the personhood movement. Here’s what Marco Rubio said when Fox News’ Megyn Kelly asked about his support for abortion bans that have contained exceptions for survivors of rape and incest, a deal-breaker for personhood proponents:

Kelly: You don’t favor a rape and incest exception?

Rubio: I have never said that. And I have never advocated that. What I have advocated is that we pass law in this country that says all human life at every stage of its development is worthy of protection. In fact, I think that law already exists. It is called the Constitution of the United States.

And let me go further. I believe that every single human being is entitled to the protection of our laws, whether they can vote or not. Whether they can speak or not. Whether they can hire a lawyer or not. Whether they have a birth certificate or not. And I think future generations will look back at this history of our country and call us barbarians for murdering millions of babies who we never gave them a chance to live.

As Katie McDonough at Fusion pointed out, Rubio’s answer was a “roundabout” personhood argument.

By saying that the Constitution already entitles fertilized eggs and fetuses to “the protection of our laws” and that Congress merely needs to “pass a law” stating that “says all human life at every stage of its development is worthy of protection,” Rubio seems to be arguing for a personhood bill such as that proposed by fellow GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul in the Senate. (Personhood proponents believe that there is a loophole in Roe v. Wade that allows a ban on all abortions and some common forms of birth control to be accomplished legislatively, rather than through a constitutional amendment.)

However, Rubio did not sign on as a cosponsor of Paul’s bill. And the Florida senator has supported abortion bans containing rape and incest exceptions, although he clarified after the debate he did so out of political necessity, not because he supports such exceptions.

Even anti-choice activists are unclear about what Rubio meant in his answer to Kelly. The Christian Post thinks that Rubio was taking the same position on Personhood as Huckabee. Personhood USA, the group behind state-level personhood ballot measures, was more skeptical, writing that while Rubio expressed a “noble sentiment,” he must “repent” for supporting laws containing rape and incest exceptions and “will have to clarify” his position.

What is clear is that Rubio’s answer was calculated to appeal to radical anti-choice activists without being immediately off-putting to viewers who are terrified of fetal personhood laws. Beyond that, he should be asked to clarify what his position on personhood really is.

Huckabee Goes All In On 'Equal Protection' And 'Due Process' For Zygotes

In a field of GOP presidential candidates who spent a good part of their first presidential debate trying to out-extreme each other on the issue of abortion restrictions, Mike Huckabee is trying to stand out by going all in on the idea of fetal personhood, which would criminalize abortion under all circumstances and could even ban common forms of birth control. 

As we noted last week, Huckabee seems to have gotten behind the idea that fertilized eggs and fetuses can be granted equal protection and due process rights under the 14th and Fifth Amendments through simple legislation, rather than a constitutional amendment, a legal theory that is disputed by even some major anti-choice groups.

Although Huckabee remains vague on how he would go about granting constitutional rights to zygotes, he seems to have decided that talking about fetal personhood — an idea so unpopular that it has been repeatedly rejected by voters, even in the deep-red states of Mississippi and North Dakota — is his ticket to the GOP nomination.

In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, Huckabee said that the personhood issue is what “separates” him from the other GOP candidates (despite the fact that Rand Paul sponsored a personhood bill in the Senate). He also explicitly rejects the anti-choice movement’s strategy of chipping away at abortion access, saying that although he does want to "eradicate Planned Parenthood," the GOP also needs “to ratchet up this discussion.”

I think it’s time for us to realize that this is not just about us creating a few little restrictions here and there, stopping funding for various organizations. That’s all good, and I’ve been a part of those efforts, signed every piece of legislation imaginable as a governor when I was in Arkansas, helped pass a human life amendment in Arkansas to our state constitution before I even got involved in politics. But I think now that we really need to focus on that this is about personhood, this is about, is that baby a human being? Because if it is, then, David, we have a constitutional responsibility under the Fifth Amendment for due process, we have a responsibility under the 14th Amendment for equal protection, to provide a protection and due process for that person.

So I think we need to ratchet up this discussion and make it not so much about whether we’re going to fund a particular Planned Parenthood organization — which certainly doesn’t need to be funded, they’re butchers, they should have not tax dollars whatsoever. But even if we eradicate Planned Parenthood, you still have 4,000 babies a day that are dying, so why don’t we take the issue where it really belongs, and that’s personhood.

And the one thing that I think separates me from the other candidates, all of whom are pro-life, or they say they are, is that I think it’s time to invoke the Fifth and 14th Amendment and make this an issue of personhood and start protecting innocent life, that’s how we should be approaching this.

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/7/15

  • Joe Jervis: Ben Carson: America As We Know It Will Be Destroyed By Independent Trump Run.

Paranoia-Rama: Obama’s Kenyan Demon, Race War Prophecy And EMP Attack On Texas

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

There is a lot to be scared about this week: Obama demons, Obama killing white people, Obama nuking Texas. Perhaps there is a phrase to describe this phenomenon.

5) Obama’s Demon…Exposed!

While WorldNetDaily has so far failed in its quest to find President Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate, it has stumbled upon something even more sinister: Obama’s Kenyan demon.

In an article titled, “Is this a demon racing in front of Obama?,” WND executive news editor Joe Kovacs reports that he observed a demonic spirit complete with “a head and shoulders” running past Obama as he exited Air Force One upon arriving in Kenya last month. Kovacs even spoke to a “concerned woman” who confirmed that she too “saw a demon run by” the president.

Watch 7:50 in and decide for yourself:

4) Michael Savage’s Mayan Prophecy

Michael Savage isn’t one of those crazy people who believed that the world would end in 2012, since, Savage explained this week, he read in an email once that an elderly Mayan woman prophesied about a future without white people, and Obama hadn’t murdered all the white people yet.

Savage made his case to listeners on Monday:

3) Mike Huckabee’s Gay Marriage Prophecy

Maybe Mike Huckabee has been reading WorldNetDaily, as he is very concerned that gay marriage and legal abortion are provoking God to punish America.

“I would suggest that if man believes that he can redefine marriage, it’s apparent that man believes he has become his own god,” Huckabee told a conservative summit, “and this is a dangerous place for America to be.”

2) Jade Helm 15 Violence

Shockingly, none of the right-wing warnings about the Jade Helm 15 military exercise leading to a federal takeover of Texas and the imposition of martial law have turned out to be accurate.

But some people have taken the Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theories very seriously, including at least three men in North Carolina who, Catherine Thompson of TPM writes, “were charged with conspiring to arm themselves with illegal explosive devices to combat what they saw as a potential military takeover.” In Mississippi, gunmen fired at a military training site for two consecutive days.

Fortunately, Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theorist Rick Wiles has learned his lesson. After warning his listeners that the training wouldlead to Obama’s seizure of power and “a round-up of patriotic men,” he is now telling “Trunews” fans: “ Don’t fear Jade Helm 15 but beware Jade Helm 16.”

Wiles also previewed what will happen next year: a nuclear EMP attack on Texas.

1) Rand Paul Aide Being Persecuted Just For Bribing Some Guy

During the 2012 presidential campaign, a number of aides to then-candidate Ron Paul were allegedly involved in a plot to bribe Michele Bachmann’s Iowa campaign chairman to jump ship to Paul’s campaign days before the state’s caucuses.

One of those aides, Jesse Benton, was working on Sen. Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign in Kentucky in 2014 when the scandal came to light, causing him to resign from his post. But Benton wasn’t unemployed for long, as just a few months later, Sen. Rand Paul picked Benton, who also happens to be a member of the Paul family, to run a Super PAC aiding the younger Paul’s presidential bid.

It now seems that Rand Paul’s selection of Benton has come back to haunt him, as Benton and other Paul aides have just been indicted in connection to the bribery scandal.

Like the good conservative conspiracy theorists that they are, Ron and Rand Paul are now alleging that Benton was the victim of a liberal attempt to discredited the Kentucky senator’s presidential campaign.

“I think the timing of this indictment is highly suspicious given the fact that the first primary debate is tomorrow,” Ron Paul said, while Rand Paul’s campaign attacked “the Obama Justice Department” for its “suspiciously timed” indictments, adding that Benton’s indictment “certainly appears suspiciously timed and possibly, politically motivated.”

Benton’s lawyer similarly claimed that Benton is a victim of a Democratic conspiracy, blasting the indictments as “character assassination for political gain” and “a politically motivated prosecution designed to serve a political agenda, not to achieve justice.”

Fox And Its GOP Friends Stick With Offensive ‘Illegals’

At last night’s presidential debates hosted by Fox News, it was jarring to hear Fox personalities and Republican presidential candidates alike using the derogatory term “illegals” to refer to undocumented immigrants.

Fox and other conservative media outlets have rejected efforts — including Colorlines’ the Drop the I-Word campaign —  to stop using terms like “illegal immigrant” and “illegal alien.” Jose Antonio Vargas, a journalist who “came out” as an undocumented immigrant in 2011, started the following year to challenge media outlets’ use of the term “illegal immigrant.” In January, FoxNews.com said its policy is to describe immigrants who are in the U.S. without authorization as “illegal immigrants,” but Fox News Latino reportedly does not use the term.

Last November, Fusion’s Felix Salmon published an overview of the policies various news organizations have adopted. Some, including the Associated Press, no longer use the term “illegal immigrant.” Some, like the New York Times, still do while encouraging reporters to also consider alternatives in a given context. Some find alternatives like “undocumented” or “unauthorized” to be confusing or bureaucratic.

But the sneering shorthand “illegals” is worse and there is a stronger consensus against its use — but not a universal one. In January, the Santa Barbara News-Press generated controversy, including vandalism of the paper’s building, when it used the term “illegals” in a headline. Fox ran a story about the vandalism with screen text declaring “Trouble with Illegals.”

A copyediting blog, commenting on the Santa Barbara controversy, declared it is no longer possible for journalists to “claim that the word illegal [used as a noun] can be neutral or objective.” Even the Wall Street Journal, whose stylebook says “illegal immigrant” is its preferred term, instructs, “Don’t use illegal or illegals as a noun.”

Despite having low expectations for Fox and the Republican candidates, it was striking to hear so many uses of “illegal” or “illegals” as a noun. Scanning through transcripts of the debates, I confirmed that Fox’s Bill Hemmer used the term twice in the also-rans debate, and Chris Wallace used it three times in the top ten debate. The term was also used by Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee, the latter in his sadly memorable formulation about “illegals, prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers, all the people that are freeloading off the system now.”

This week, New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin wrote a follow-up piece to an article he published last month about immigration policy. In his new commentary, he reflects on feedback he received in opposition to his use of “illegal immigrant.” He says he will no longer use the term because it has become so widely regarded as pejorative.

Toobin says it is “clearly wrong” to use the term as a noun — to call someone “an illegal.” Former New York Times editor and columnist Bill Keller came to the same conclusion in late 2011, with help from readers and colleagues, after a column in which he had used “illegals” as shorthand for “illegal immigrants.”

Of course, given the state of the Republican Party on immigration, there were also plenty of uses of the term “amnesty” by candidates, including Jeb Bush making sure to qualify his support for a path to legal status for people now in the country —  “not amnesty” — and Ted Cruz, who slammed the other candidates for having supported “amnesty.” Bobby Jindal had another of the evening’s most memorable lines, declaring “immigration without assimilation is an invasion.” 

What Mike Huckabee Means By Giving 14th Amendment Rights To Fetuses

Last night’s Republican presidential debate on Fox News featured plenty of disturbing rhetoric about women, from the ridiculous (Donald Trump’s weird ad hominem attack on Rosie O’Donnell) to the infuriating (Marco Rubio speaking out against rape and incest exceptions) to the terrifying (Scott Walker clarifying that he does not support allowing abortions that would save the lives of pregnant women).

But Mike Huckabee took things to a new level when he calmly presented his plan to grant legal “personhood” to fertilized eggs and fetuses.

Some commentators have mistaken Huckabee’s comment as a call for a constitutional amendment to reverse Roe v. Wade. That’s not what he meant.

Instead, Huckabee was embracing a radical legal theory, disputed even in anti-choice circles, that holds that a constitutional amendment overturning Roe isn’t necessary to end legal abortion. This theory holds that the majority opinion in Roe contains a magic loophole that allows Congress to simply declare zygotes “persons” under the Fifth and 14th Amendments, which would then criminalize abortion nationwide in one fell swoop, no constitutional amendment needed. One of the most adamant proponents of this theory in Congress is Huckabee’s fellow GOP presidential candidate, Rand Paul.

Here was Huckabee’s answer to Chris Wallace’s question about his “strong positions on social issues,” including favoring “a constitutional amendment banning abortions, except for the life of the mother”:

Chris, I disagree with the idea that the real issue is a constitutional amendment. That's a long and difficult process. I've actually taken the position that's bolder than that.

A lot of people are talking about defunding Planned Parenthood, as if that's a huge game changer. I think it's time to do something even more bold. I think the next president ought to invoke the Fifth, and 14th Amendments to the Constitution now that we clearly know that that baby inside the mother's womb is a person at the moment of conception.

The reason we know that it is is because of the DNA schedule that we now have clear scientific evidence on. And, this notion that we just continue to ignore the personhood of the individual is a violation of that unborn child's Fifth and 14th Amendment rights for due process and equal protection under the law.

It's time that we recognize the Supreme Court is not the supreme being, and we change the policy to be pro-life and protect children instead of rip up their body parts and sell them like they're parts to a Buick.

As we detailed in our recent report on the personhood movement, this plan is not popular with many of the major anti-choice groups, which have been pursuing a strategy of slowly chipping away at abortion access and the legal protections in Roe, and who argue that a federal personhood bill would backfire bigtime.

But if Huckabee’s dubious legal strategy were to work, the consequences would be enormous. Not only would granting “personhood” to fetuses ban abortion in all but the rarest case where a pregnant woman and a fetus are both in mortal danger, it would put women who suffer miscarriages at risk of prosecution and jail time. The ambiguous wording of such measures has led many to fear that they could also outlaw common forms of birth control.

And the consequences could extend far beyond reproductive rights, as we wrote in our recent report:

By redefining what it means to be a person under the law, personhood measures could also have a broad legal impact on issues unrelated to reproductive rights, threatening to upend everything from inheritance law to census results . In 2014, the Colorado Bar Association opposed the state’s personhood ballot measure, warning that the vaguely worded measure would have “potentially serious, unintended and unknown consequences for Colorado lawyers. … From areas of Family Law to Probate Law to Real Estate Law, as well as the explicit effect on Criminal Law and Wrongful Death statutes, this Amendment could create uncertainty and endless litigation.”

Mike Huckabee’s support for the personhood movement is nothing new. But in declaring his intention to give 14th Amendment rights to fertilized eggs in a nationally televised debate, he gave a fringe movement what may be its biggest stage yet.

Huckabee: America In A 'Dangerous Place' Thanks To Gay Marriage And Abortion Rights

This weekend, Mike Huckabee addressed an “All Lives Matter” summit in Illinois sponsored by conservative groups hoping to link the Black Lives Matter movement to abortion rights opposition, where he declared that America is in a “dangerous place” because it is bucking God with marriage equality and abortion rights.

“I would suggest that if man believes that he can redefine marriage, it’s apparent that man believes he has become his own god,” Huckabee told the crowd, “and  this is a dangerous place for America to be.”

He told them that getting America right with God should be the country’s first policy priority.

“Yes, we need to address the economic concerns of the people of our country, and we must,” he said. “And yes, we must address the national security threats to our country. We must. But if that’s all we do, and we do not come back to the understanding that the only explanation for this great republic of ours is the intervention of God’s providence, then we will never see this nation rise to its greatness again.”

He added that Americans must recognize that the founding fathers “clearly understood that there was a God to whom we will ultimately answer, and our laws need to reflect His.”

Later in the speech, Huckabee threw in his own brand of populism, saying that hard-working Americans recognize that God will judge America for legal abortion unless the entire nation repents.

“I’m convinced that there is a great need in this country for us to address the folks that do lift the heavy things every day,” he said, “who do sweat through their socks every day, who go to church each week, who do not buy in on the nonsense that we can kill 60 million more babies over the next 42 years and that God won’t richly judge us for it. I’m convinced this country can get back on its feet, but it can’t do that until it first gets back on its knees and repents.”

Huckabee’s fellow GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson was also scheduled to speak at the event, but sent an apologetic video message instead.

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Mike Huckabee Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 11/23/2015, 12:00pm
At Friday’s “Presidential Family Forum” hosted by the Iowa conservative group The Family Leader, Mike Huckabee doubled down on his pledge to “ignore the court” and “defy the court” as president by recriminalizing abortion and gay marriage through executive fiats. “I’m convinced the next president should ignore the unconstitutional and illegal rulings of the courts, including that of same-sex marriage, because it is not the law of the land,” Huckabee said. He also reiterated his plan to outlaw abortion with a sweeping ... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 11/20/2015, 6:32pm
Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Trump crosses new line, endorses database for Muslim Americans. Kay Steiger @ Think Progress: Rubio Trumps Trump: Shut Down Any Place Muslims Gather To Be ‘Inspired’ — Not Just Mosques. Andrew Desiderio @ Mediaite: Carson: Database Should Include All Americans and Immigrants, Not Just Muslims. Eric Boehlert @ Media Matters: Ebola, Syrian Refugees, And Fox News' Annual Hysteria Over Dark, Invading Forces. Bethania Palma Markus @ Raw Story: Mike Huckabee says Obama will make us memorize the Koran after Mali terrorist... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Friday 11/20/2015, 2:15pm
Seven Republican presidential candidates will be travelling to Iowa today to take part in a “presidential family forum” hosted by The Family Leader, a social conservative group led by activist Bob Vander Plaats, who is seen as a kingmaker in the Iowa caucus. Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum will all be speaking at the forum, at which the candidates are arranged family-style around a Thanksgiving table. (At the 2011 forum, Michele Bachmann memorably took it upon herself to serve water to all of the male candidates.) The... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 11/18/2015, 3:50pm
A couple of weeks ago, we reported extensively on a conference in Iowa organized by extremist pastor Kevin Swanson, at which three Republican presidential candidates joined Swanson on stage shortly before he went off on a series of rants about how the biblical punishment for homosexuality is death, Harry Potter is bringing God’s judgment on America, and how if your gay child gets married you should show up to the wedding covered in cow manure. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow ran a segment on the conference, but other than that, as a number of commentators have noted, the media has... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Tuesday 11/17/2015, 12:18pm
In an interview with Brietbart News’ Stephen Bannon on his Sirius XM program this morning, Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee insisted that the Obama administration wants to “protect Muslims and the reputation of Muslims more than they want to protect the United States.” Huckabee was addressing the reluctance of President Obama and the Democratic presidential candidates to declare that the U.S. is at war with “radical Islam,” the same linguistic strategy used by President Bush. “So we have both Shia and Sunni radical Muslims, but this is an... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Monday 11/16/2015, 4:22pm
Since the news broke that one of the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks on Paris that killed more than 120 people on Friday may have snuck into France by infiltrating the waves of refugees from Syria’s civil war, at least nine Republican governors and one Democrat have said that their states will refuse to accept Syrian refugees (something that they can’t actually do) and GOP presidential contenders including Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee have called on the president and Congress to halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the country as a whole... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Thursday 11/12/2015, 2:36pm
In a press gaggle at last weekend’s National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee dismissed concerns about the extremism of its organizer, Kevin Swanson, telling a reporter that he didn’t “have any knowledge” that Swanson backs the death penalty for homosexuality. Indiana broadcaster Joyce Oglesby ran audio of the interaction on her radio program on Friday. An unnamed reporter asked Huckabee, apparently directly after his speech to the conference, about “reports that there are a few pastors speaking her today... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 11/10/2015, 6:30pm
Scott Lively warns that the Obama administration is working "to rapidly polarize the society to the point of violence by conservatives, which will serve as a pretext for 'defensive' police-state measures to suppress what they have already begun to spin as the rise of neo-Nazism."  Larry Tomczak mourns for all of the ways in which President Obama has destroyed America. Steven Andrew says that Christians must vote for Mike Huckabee otherwise "church workers, teachers, and others could end up in jail."  For once, Todd Starnes manages to... MORE >