Texas

Right Wing Leftovers

  • FRC's Tom McClusky says his statement about President Obama being our "first gay President" was just a joke.
  • Liberty University Chancellor defends secretly recording a meeting with city officials as the school seeks to pressure the City Council to change its zoning status.
  • Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert has signed two bills authorizing the state to use eminent domain to seize land held by the federal government.
  • Hooray!  Another person with ties to Wallbuilders is running for office in Texas.
  • Governor Rick Perry of Texas and Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota have declared April as Abortion Recovery/Awareness Month.
  • Rob Schenck and Pat Mahoney have completed their annual Stations of the Cross pilgrimage.
  • I never thought I 'd see that day that Concerned Women for America claimed Christians don't have the right to protest and exercise their religion.
  • Finally, behold Sean Hannity praising tea part activists as "Tim McVeigh wannabes" :

Texas Attorney General Accepts Vision America Award

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott stopped by Nacogdoches last night to speak at Vision America's "Guardian of the Family" Gala and accept the organization's "Texas Guardian of the Family Award" ... and judging by the speech he delivered, it's easy to see why Vision America felt he deserved the honor:

Stoking patriotic sentiments among the crowd, made up of various Christian congregations and local elected officials, Abbott read off a list of politically pointed quips that parodied comedian Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck" one-liners that were popular in the 1990s.

"You might be a true American if it never occurred to you to be offended by the phrase 'one nation under God.' You might be a true American if you've never protested against a public display of the Ten Commandments," he said. "You might be a true American if at Christmas time you still say 'Merry Christmas' as opposed to 'Happy Winter Festival.'"

But on a more serious note, the state attorney general also addressed his appeal to a Texas judge's decision to grant two Dallas men who were married in Massachusetts a divorce this past October. Abbott claimed that because Texas already has a ban on same-sex marriages, allowing the divorce of the two men would retroactively recognize same-sex marriages.

"Marriage is not man-made law. It's man's decision to adopt God's law. Man cannot redefine God's law, and yet they still try," Abbott said. "This is the first time that any judge has ruled that traditional marriage laws violate the U.S. Constitution."

The ruling judge in that case argued that the courts do indeed have jurisdiction to dissolve legal marriages from other states, and just last month, another such same-sex divorce was approved by another judge in Austin. Abbott has also sought an appeal to that case involving two women, also married in Massachusetts ... Abbott then praised his own defense of a 2003 law that requires public school students to begin their school day by observing a mandatory one-minute of silence in order to pray, reflect or remain quiet. The courts upheld the constitutionality of the moment-of-silence law because it did not require that students use it exclusively for prayer.

Abbott had to duck out early because he was scheduled to make an appearance on Fox News' "The Sean Hannity Show."  But before leaving, he made sure to stress the need for Christians to mobilize politically:

"Think what the country would look like if 100 percent of the people who worship God voted their values in each election. Together they would ensure a country that is more reflective of a God that gave us our inalienable rights," he said.

Rick Green's Nakedly Political Judicial Campaign Vows to Stop Obama's Socialism

Last week, Debra Lehrmann faced off in a debate against Rick Green the Chuck-Norris-approved-Alan-Keyes-supported-WallBuilders'-employed-pseudo-historian-TEA-Party-Religious-Right-activist, heading into the run-off election for a spot on the Texas Supreme Court next month, during which he compared himself to Sarah Palin, saying that the myriad of complaints about his suspect ethics while in office were little more than liberal persecution because, after all, "they only tackle the guy with the ball."

He also posted a new campaign video in which dismissed his complete lack of judicial experience by saying that Texas voters won't "be fooled by this pretentious argument" that such experience is necessary. In fact, Green says, his lack of judicial experience will bring variety to the court, which is especially important during these "serious, serious times":

Our nation is in a debate right now about whether we're going to march down the road to socialism with this President and Congress or whether we'll rediscover and return to those made America the most successful nation in history.  The only way to renew those principles and protect them for future generations is if we elect leaders at every branch of government - that's the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary - and at every level of government - local, state, and federal.  We must elect leaders that understand and value those principles and will defend those principles from the branch within which serve ... If you want to send a message to Austin, to Washington, DC, and indeed straight to the White House that Texans are not going to let the Constitution of the United States of America be trampled upon, then vote for Rick Green for the Texas Supreme Court.

While Green claims to respect the idea that the judicial branch is completely different from the legislative branch and therefore requires a completely different mindset, you'd never know if from the nakedly political campaign he's been running. 

Rick Green Touts Support of Right Wing Doctor Who Believes All Disease Is Caused By Sin

We've already written several posts about Rick Green, the Chuck-Norris-approved-Alan-Keyes-supported-WallBuilders'-employed-pseudo-historian-TEA-Party-Religious-Right-activist who has made it into a run-off election for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court despite the fact that he has exactly zero judicial experience. 

And we've noted already that he's been endorsed by a who's who of local and national right-wingers, including David Barton, Mat Staver, Kelly Shackelford, and even Steve Hotze:

Now Hotze may not be a household name, but even by the standards of your average Texas right-winger, he is something special. 

He was behind the anti-gay mailings targeting Houston mayoral candidate Annise Parker last year and he has a long history of weilding his influence in right-wing Texas politics

Thin and long-faced, 46-year-old Steven Forrest Hotze has carved out a niche in local politics over the past decade as an unyielding and occasionally strident opponent of abortion and public acceptance of homosexuality. He may not be a household name outside Republican circles, but within the party he is admired by a devout coterie of followers, catered to by secular conservatives and feared by moderates, who find themselves in a position of needing his approval to win nominations in GOP primaries. Those summoned to kiss his ring encounter a tough, uncompromising zealot who is used to getting his own way.

...

It's a considerable amount of clout for someone whose stated beliefs place him to the right of the religious right. "If we are to survive as a free nation, and if justice and liberty are to be restored in our land, then biblical Christianity, with its absolutes, must once again be embraced by our citizens," he wrote several years back in a Chronicle op-ed piece. "Only then can we expect to see Christianity's influence once again to be reflected in the laws of our civil government."

As the Houston Press reported a few years back, Hotze's medical credentials and views are also rather suspect:

Hotze was able to better articulate his views in 1986, when he was one of dozens of ministers, professionals and laypersons who signed the Coalition on Revival's Manifesto for the Christian Church. The coalition claims on its Web site to be a national network of religious leaders aligned in a mission "to help the Church rebuild civilization on the principles of the Bible so God's will may be done on earth as it is in heaven." They want all aspects of life -- government, science and education -- to adhere to fundamental biblical beliefs. These beliefs include the following:

• A wife may work outside the home only with her husband's consent

• "Biblical spanking" that results in "temporary or superficial bruises or welts" should not be considered a crime

• No doctor shall provide medical service on the Sabbath

• All disease and disability is caused by the sin of Adam and Eve

• Medical problems are frequently caused by personal sin

• "Increased longevity generally results from obedience to specific Biblical commands"

• Treatment of the "physical body" is not a doctor's highest priority

• Doctors have a priestly calling

• People receiving medical treatment are not immune from divine intervention or demonic forces

• Physicians should preach to their patients because salvation is the key to their health

• "Christians need better health to have more energy, tolerate more stress, get depressed less often, and be more creative than our non-Christian counterparts for the advancement of God's Kingdom."

Last week, Rick Green made a campaign stop at Hotze's Wellness Center:

Wonderful visit with Dr. Steve Hotze at his Wellness Center on Friday. What a Blessing he is to SOOO many people!!!

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Think Progress: Vandals hit at least five Dem offices nationwide, threaten to ‘assassinate’ children of pro-reform lawmakers.
  • Steve Benen: Someone Send Glenn Beck John Lewis' Bio.
  • Texas Freedom Network: Don McLeroy Has Trouble Explaining Texas Social Studies Curriculum Standards.
  • Americablog: School violated Constance McMillen’s constitutional rights, but won't require school to hold the prom.
  • Pam's House Blend: Jesse Helms, gay rights advocate? That's what his estate says.
  • Finally, do 24 percent of Republicans really believe that Barack Obama "may be the Antichrist"?

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Several state Attorneys General have already filed suit against the health care reform legislation that President Obama just signed into law today.
  • In related "news," the Religious Right doesn't like the health care bill and is ready to fight.
  • Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott will receive the "Vision America Guardian of the Family Award" at the organization's dinner and gala on Monday, March 29.
  • A tea party organizer who urged activists “to drop by” Rep. Thomas Perriello’s house to voice their displeasure with his health care vote, but mistakenly gave out the address of Perriello’s brother stands by his research skills.
  • Erick Erickson is urging people to send Rep. Bart Stupak (aka "Judas") 100 pieces of silver.
  • I genuinely have no idea what the point of this Catholic League press release is supposed to be.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Dennis Prager: "I write the words 'civil war' with an ache in my heart. But we are in one. Thank God this civil war is non-violent. But the fact is that the left and the rest of the country share almost no values. The American value system and the leftist value system are irreconcilable. If the left wins, America's values lose."

Cass: Tea Party Movement Is The Work of the Holy Spirit

One of the things I've been following lately is the attempt by the Religious Right to hijack the Tea Party movement by claiming that, at heart, the movement shares the social conservative's political and cultural agenda. 

While undoubtedly there is overlap between the agendas of the two groups, the efforts by the Religious Right to claim the Tea Party mantle are getting more and more blatant.  Just last week Vision America's Rick Scarborough announced his "Truth Exalts America Patriot Pastors' Tea Party" to be held in San Antonio, Texas in July, which is basically a Religious Right prayer rally dressed up to look like a Tea Party event. 

Now we have Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission claiming that the entire Tea Party movement is actually the work of God as part of a "spiritual awakening":

I think the Tea Party movement is the move of God. A lot of people are wondering, you know, is the Lord done with America? Why are things going the way they're going? And I really believe what is happening within the Tea Party movement is a spiritual awakening that has been precipitated by political circumstances.

I think what's happened, perhaps for the first time in many people's lives, they had an awakening where all of the sudden their conscience just has compelled them to engage on a political level - probably for the first time for many people, maybe the first time in a long time for some folks - but they're just constrained by their conscience, they have to do something, and I again believe that's the work of the Holy Spirit in people's hearts.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Texas Republican Rep. Randy Neugebauer admits he's the one who yelled "baby killer" at Rep. Bart Stupak.
  • Andrew Schlafly has been named the new lead counsel for the committee seeking to recall Senator Robert Menendez.
  • Several former Texas Supreme Court Justices, including Alberto Gonzales, have endorsed Rick Green's opponent.
  • Jim Garlow last week was named chairman of Renewing American Leadership, a group Newt Gingrich formed to champion the country's Judeo-Christian heritage.
  • Finally, Randall Terry is demanding that Nancy Pelosi be excommunicated and the removal of Washington DC Archbishop Donald Wuerl for not refusing her Communion.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW Statement: Texas Board of Education Rewrites History.
  • Media Matters: Rep. Paul Broun Compares Health Care Reform To "The Great War Of Yankee Aggression."
  • Justin Elliot: California Bar Now Investigating Orly Taitz.
  • David Weigel: Sarah Palin: The Series.
  • Timothy Kincaid: Another Baptist church not anti-gay enough for Texas.
  • Finally, Good As You digs deeper into this weird CWA nutritional drink partnership/fundraising scheme and it just gets weirder.

Rick Scarborough's Blatant Hijacking of the Tea Party Movement

Frankly, we have never really understood how Vision America's Rick Scarborough managed to get himself associated with the Tea Party movement ... and now it makes even less sense.

A few weeks ago we mentioned that even though he had been a featured speaker at the National Tea Party Convention, he was now launching his own Religious Right version of the Tea Party movement, changing the TEA Party's "Taxed Enough Already" acronym to "Truth Exalts America" and unveiling something he called the "Patriot Pastors' Tea Party."

Now Scarborough is announcing the group's first gathering, and it sounds a lot more like the standard Religious Right prayer rally than it does any sort of Tea Party gathering: 

A National Call to Pastors: Pastors across America are coming to San Antonio, Texas, on July 7th, for a Patriot Pastors’ T.E.A. Party in San Antonio, Texas, July 7, 2010. We urge Pastors to come to the Seventh largest city in America on the Seventh Day of the Seventh month for Seven hours of rallying and education, followed by Seventeen weeks of commitment concluding on Election Day. The prayerful goal of this effort is that we might experience a II Chronicles 7:14 revival in America.

Rationale: When Elijah became dismayed over the state of his nation and cried out to the Lord that he was the only prophet left who cared about God’s honor, God rebuked him and informed him He had 7,000 more who had not bowed to Baal.

There are thousands of Pastors in America who have not surrendered to the Baals of our culture and who faithfully proclaim the truth of God’s Word without compromise every day. We are calling them to join us in San Antonio for one day during which we will repent of our sin of complicity in the moral meltdown of America, and we will call upon our gracious God to restore our nation.

Many Pastors would have difficulty affording a trip to Washington DC and absorbing the cost of food and lodging there. We have chosen city in the central part of America where Pastors can take a stand for Christ and participate in an effort to call the 70 million Evangelicals in this country seek God for national renewal and revival.

The National Patriot Pastors’ T.E.A. Party will meet on the Plaza of the Alamo where 180 courageous “Texicans” made the ultimate sacrifice to confront tyranny and to gain their freedom. The Alamo holds profound symbolism for all Pastors and Christians in America. We too, must be willing lay it all on the line for Christ and for revival.

The rally will take place in the morning before heat is a problem. We will then reconvene in the afternoon in a church or civic auditorium (TBA) for training and strategy. The afternoon meeting is being arranged and the location will be announced here soon.

Mission: To experience genuine revival, so that Pastors may once again provide spiritual guidance for the Nation.

I have a sneaking suspicion that when the Tea Party movement first emerged, Christian prayer rallies calling for revival in America carried out by people who liken themselves to the prophet Elijah and the nation to Baal was probably not at all what they had envisioned.

Janet Porter Goes 9 for 9

You know how yesterday I was marveling at the fact that there it was seemingly impossible for any right-wing activist to be considered so radical that Republican members of Congress would refuse to be seen anywhere near them? 

Allow me to follow that up with this simple observation that, over her last nine radio program, Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter's has had nine different Republican members on Congress on as quests:

March 9 - Guest: U.S. Senator Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska)

March 10 - Guests: Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming)

March 16 - Guests: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)

March 17 - Guests: U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)

March 18 - Guests: U.S. Rep. Todd Akin (R-Missouri) and U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Arizona)

March 19 - Guests: U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) and Rep. Tom Price (R-Georgia)

Do I really need to recount all of the crazy things Porter has said?

And yet multiple Republican members of Congress have been making time to appear on her radio program on a regular basis. 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says he will sue if Congress passes health care reform.
  • Pastor Don Hamer, founder of the right-wing "Better Courts Now" campaign, died of a heart attack yesterday.
  • Ralph Reed's Faith & Freedom Coalition of Georgia is partnering with the Tea Partiers at Americans for Prosperity for a "Defending the American Dream Summit" which will feature Neal Boortz, Herman Cain, Erick Erickson, Jonathan Krohn, and others.
  • Apparently, Alberto Gonzales and several other former Texas Supreme Court Justices are preparing to endorse Debra Lehrmann in her run-off election against Rick Green.
  • Were gay soldiers responsible for the massacre at Srebrenica?
  • Finally, Mike Huckabee tells the Boy Scouts that the keys to America success are the "Judeo-Christian values system" and the Ten Commandments.

Texas School Board Member Cynthia Dunbar Joins May Day Prayer Rally

Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter continues to move ahead with her organizing for the "May Day: a Cry to God for Our Nation in Distress" prayer rally at the Lincoln Memorial on May 1:

Porter called on Christians to take part in a 40-day fast prior to the event. She said participants will give up something important to them in the days leading up to May Day.

"We just want God to know we're serious about standing in the gap for America," she said. "We are calling the remnant to come and repent. It's a two-fold plan to not only pray but to proclaim what our founders believed – that we are one nation under God."

Vision America President Dr. Rick Scarborough added, "We need to let God know we're serious about turning back to Him and fasting from something – whether it's television, dessert or food – will provide the breakthrough we desperately need as a nation."

...

Pro-family leaders across denominational boundaries have joined together for the effort including: Dr. James Dobson, American Family Association President Tim Wildmon, Concerned Women for America President Wendy Wright, Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver, NRB President Dr. Frank Wright, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, Dutch Sheets, David Barton and many members of Congress.

Porter has explained that the event is designed to break the curse that our nation is under for having elected President Obama, and now she's picking up some interesting new supporters for her effort:

Porter said Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer who serves on the Texas State Board of Education, will attend and ask God for forgiveness for how the nation has removed Him from American schools.

"She is going to come to May Day and repent for how we have taught our children lies, not only in revisionist history but also evolution, how we've kicked God out of school," Porter said. "She will repent on behalf of the education system, and she's also going to welcome God back in."

Dunbar played a central role in Texas' recent rewriting of its social studies requirements in order to make them better reflect the conservative worldview and, given her views, it is no surprise that she would team up with the likes of Porter:

In 2008, Cynthia Dunbar published a book called “One Nation Under God,” in which she stated more openly than most of her colleagues have done the argument that the founding of America was an overtly Christian undertaking and laid out what she and others hope to achieve in public schools. “The underlying authority for our constitutional form of government stems directly from biblical precedents,” she writes. “Hence, the only accurate method of ascertaining the intent of the Founding Fathers at the time of our government’s inception comes from a biblical worldview.”

Then she pushes forward: “We as a nation were intended by God to be a light set on a hill to serve as a beacon of hope and Christian charity to a lost and dying world.” But the true picture of America’s Christian founding has been whitewashed by “the liberal agenda” — in order for liberals to succeed “they must first rewrite our nation’s history” and obscure the Christian intentions of the founders. Therefore, she wrote, “this battle for our nation’s children and who will control their education and training is crucial to our success for reclaiming our nation.”

After the book came out, Dunbar was derided in blogs and newspapers for a section in which she writes of “the inappropriateness of a state-created, taxpayer-supported school system” and likens sending children to public school to “throwing them into the enemy’s flames, even as the children of Israel threw their children to Moloch.” (Her own children were either home-schooled or educated in private Christian schools.) When I asked, over dinner in a honky-tonk steakhouse down the road from the university, why someone who felt that way would choose to become an overseer of arguably the most influential public-education system in the country, she said that public schools are a battlefield for competing ideologies and that it’s important to combat the “religion” of secularism that holds sway in public education.

On a related note, Rev. Paul Blair of Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ has put together this video urging people to attend the May Day event and "appeal in penitent prayer to the King of Kings for revival in our land":

Meet The New Texas Social Studies Requirements

The New York Times reports on the changes made to Texas' Social Studies curriculum that have been forced through by the right-wing members of dominate the state Board of Education:

The conservative members maintain that they are trying to correct what they see as a liberal bias among the teachers who proposed the curriculum. To that end, they made dozens of minor changes aimed at calling into question, among other things, concepts like the separation of church and state and the secular nature of the American Revolution.

“I reject the notion by the left of a constitutional separation of church and state,” said David Bradley, a conservative from Beaumont who works in real estate. “I have $1,000 for the charity of your choice if you can find it in the Constitution.”

They also included a plank to ensure that students learn about “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schalfly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association.”

Dr. McLeroy pushed through a change to the teaching of the civil rights movement to ensure that students study the violent philosophy of the Black Panthers in addition to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent approach. He also made sure that textbooks would mention the votes in Congress on civil rights legislation, which Republicans supported.

“Republicans need a little credit for that,” he said. “I think it’s going to surprise some students.”

Mr. Bradley won approval for an amendment saying students should study “the unintended consequences” of the Great Society legislation, affirmative action and Title IX legislation. He also won approval for an amendment stressing that Germans and Italians were interned in the United States as well as the Japanese during World War II, to counter the idea that the internment of Japanese was motivated by racism.

Other changes seem aimed at tamping down criticism of the right. Conservatives passed one amendment, for instance, requiring that the history of McCarthyism include “how the later release of the Venona papers confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government.” The Venona papers were transcripts of some 3,000 communications between the Soviet Union and its agents in the United States.

In economics, the revisions add Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek, two champions of free-market economic theory, among the usual list of economists to be studied, like Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes. They also replaced the word “capitalism” throughout their texts with the “free-enterprise system.”

“Let’s face it, capitalism does have a negative connotation,” said one conservative member, Teri Leo. “You know, ‘capitalist pig!’ ”

In the field of sociology, another conservative member, Barbara Cargill, won passage of an amendment requiring the teaching of “the importance of personal responsibility for life choices” in a section on teen suicide, dating violence, sexuality, drug use and eating disorders.

“The topic of sociology tends to blame society for everything,” Ms. Cargill said.

Even the course on World History did not escape the board’s scalpel.

Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer from Richmond who is a strict constitutionalist and thinks the nation was founded on Christian beliefs, managed to cut Thomas Jefferson from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century, replacing him with St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone. (Jefferson is not well liked among the conservatives on the board because he coined the term “separation between church and state.”)

“The Enlightenment was not the only philosophy on which these revolutions were based,” Ms. Dunbar said.

Mavis B. Knight, a Democrat from Dallas, introduced an amendment requiring that students study the reasons “the founding fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring the government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion above all others.”

It was defeated on a party-line vote.

Texas Drops Thomas Jefferson

The right-wing members of the Texas School Board have made no secret of the fact that their mission in drafting the new social studies curriculum standards for state public school has been to highlight the supposedly Christian foundation of our nation and the deeply Christian views of the Founding Fathers.

Apparently, the views and writing of the man who drafted the Declaration of Independence do not adequately serve that purpose, which is why both Thomas Jefferson and the Enlightment have now been dropped, as the Texas Freedom Network, which is liveblogging the debate, reports:

9:30 – Board member Cynthia Dunbar wants to change a standard having students study the impact of Enlightenment ideas on political revolutions from 1750 to the present. She wants to drop the reference to Enlightenment ideas (replacing with “the writings of”) and to Thomas Jefferson. She adds Thomas Aquinas and others. Jefferson’s ideas, she argues, were based on other political philosophers listed in the standards. We don’t buy her argument at all. Board member Bob Craig of Lubbock points out that the curriculum writers clearly wanted to students to study Enlightenment ideas and Jefferson. Could Dunbar’s problem be that Jefferson was a Deist? The board approves the amendment, taking Thomas Jefferson OUT of the world history standards.

9:40 – We’re just picking ourselves up off the floor. The board’s far-right faction has spent months now proclaiming the importance of emphasizing America’s exceptionalism in social studies classrooms. But today they voted to remove one of the greatest of America’s Founders, Thomas Jefferson, from a standard about the influence of great political philosophers on political revolutions from 1750 to today.

9:45 – Here’s the amendment Dunbar changed: “explain the impact of Enlightenment ideas from John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Thomas Jefferson on political revolutions from 1750 to the present.” Here’s Dunbar’s replacement standard, which passed: “explain the impact of the writings of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and Sir William Blackstone.” Not only does Dunbar’s amendment completely change the thrust of the standard. It also appalling drops one of the most influential political philosophers in American history — Thomas Jefferson.

Rick Green Says His Controversial History is "No Big Deal"

I've already written a few posts about Rick Green, the Chuck-Norris-approved-Alan-Keyes-supported- WallBuilders'-pseudo-historian-TEA-Party-Religious-Right-activist who is in a run-off election next month for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court despite the fact that he has exactly zero judicial experience.

But I just came across this Texas Tribune piece that recounts some other aspects of Green's rather colorful past and thought it was worth highlighting it:

Green left the Legislature in 2002 after being narrowly defeated by Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs. Rose’s win came after Green’s extracurricular activity lobbying the Texas Department of Health on behalf of ephedra-maker Metabolife International prompted a criminal investigaton from the Travis County district attorney's office and his appearance in an early morning infomercial hawking FocusFactor, a dietary supplement plugged as a memory aid, from his Capitol office, attracted censure from colleagues and the media. (A Federal Trade Commission complaint about "unsubstantiated advertising claims" in the FocusFactor infomercial was settled by the company that marketed the product for $1 million in 2004).

While in the Legislature, Green also drew criticism for successfully pushing the Texas Parole Board to release a man who owed $400,000 to a company his father owned and, according to The Dallas Morning News, pressured lobbyists to donate to his Torch of Freedom Foundation, which sponsors the Patriot Academy, a program for young adults “to learn about America’s system of government from a Biblical worldview” — essentially a summer boot camp for politically minded conservative teens and 20-somethings.

After he left the House, Green made headlines again when witnesses reported they saw him deck Rose, allegedly over a campaign mailer where Rose had superimposed Green’s face over that of his then Republican challenger, Jim Neuhaus. Green recounts the incident in a self-published book: "It was the first real punch I had thrown since I was a kid, but it sent him to the ground." The Hays County sheriff’s office issued an all-points bulletin for Green’s arrest after the altercation, and he ultimately paid a fine and served six months probation on misdemeanor assault charges. In exchange for the fine and probation, Green received deferred adjudication, which means his record is now clear.

Green points out that “every single solitary time those things were brought up, they were dismissed” and says the allegations of wrongdoing in his past are “no big deal” to voters.

Can you believe that a man with this kind of record, and who brags about having once punched one of his political opponents, is now in a position to possibly win a seat on a state Supreme Court?  

This is crazy, even by Texas standards.

Janet Porter Prays For Control Over The Media

Yesterday we posted a video of Bishop Harry Jackson speaking at the Generals International's "Convergence 2010: A Cry to Awaken A Nation" conference in Dallas, Texas, noting the growing merger between traditional Religious Right activists and self-proclaimed "prophets" like those who run Generals International.

Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter also spoke at the conference and spent nearly an hour more or less recounting the stunts she had carried out via her organization, from urging people to send baby rattles and roses to Congress to signify their opposition to abortion to her more recent effort to inundate the Capitol with "pink slips."

The focus of her speech was on how to use the media to spread the word of God and at the end, she delivered this prayer asking God to deliver control of the media to them, to "take power and influence in the media of this country and of this globe from the unrighteous and give it to righteous people" and to "make CBS the Christian Broadcasting System" so that God's people can finally take dominion over this nation:

Harry Jackson: "The Modern Day Martin Luther King"

In recent months, we've noticed that many of the political activists in the leadership of the Religious Right have started merging their movement with the self-proclaimed "prophetic" voices like Lou Engle.

Over the weekend, this trend continued as Harry Jackson spoke at Generals International's "Convergence 2010: A Cry to Awaken A Nation" conference in Dallas, Texas.  Generals International is run by Cindy Jacob who describes her specialty as "prophetic intercession" and claims to be highly sought after by those seeking "prophetic advice."

It was Jacob was introduced Jackson by calling him "the modern day Martin Luther King," which was a comparison Jackson also played up during his lengthy speech, comparing the opposition to his efforts to stop marriage equality in Washington, DC to the opposition faced by King before proclaiming that, twenty years from now, some of the movements "great apostles and prophets are going to be people who came out of the gay lifestyle," starting with the lesbians and then by "radical homosexuals" who have been "smitten down on their road to Damascus" and raised up by God.  Finally, Jackson led the gathering in prayer, setting free those held captive by "demonic authority" and speaking in tongues:

Does Anyone Remember Tom DeLay's Plan to Build a Conservative MoveOn.org?

Seeing this clip of Tom DeLay claiming that those who are unemployed want to be unemployed and saying that unemployment benefits just "[keep] people from going and finding jobs" got me thinking, just what is Tom DeLay's job?

The last I recall hearing anything about his was back in 2007 when it was big news that he and Ken Blackwell were launching something called Coalition for a Conservative Majority, which was going to become the right-wing version of MoveOn.org:

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has formed a new grass-roots organization that he says will help conservatives better convey their message to voters and take back control of Congress.

The Coalition for a Conservative Majority (CCM) — co-founded by Mr. DeLay, Texas Republican, and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell — will establish "chapters" in all 50 states, which will be used to lobby lawmakers, coordinate political messages and influence members of the press.

"Right now, liberals are better organized, funded and active than I have ever witnessed," Mr. DeLay said. "Our goal is to work with the talented leaders of the conservative movement to complement their efforts, using an army of activists to push for the policies and leadership conservatives are begging for."

So I decided to take a look at the CCM's website to see what it have been up to since its launch over two years ago:

That's right, DeLay's conservative version of MoveOn consists entirely of a website that contains nothing but links to three local CCM chapters of Phoenix, Colorado Springs, and Denver.

So what is it that Tom DeLay has been doing, exactly? 

Oh wait, I remember:

This Is What It Looks Like When Right-Wing Activists Run For Public Office

As I noted yesterday, Rick Green is poised for a run-off election next month for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court ... he is also a Chuck Norris approved, Tea Party Religious Right activist.

So what does it look like when someone like that decides to run for a seat on the state Supreme Court?  It looks a lot like this presentation where, unable to tout his judicial experience since he has none, Green instead assured the audience that his hard-core right-wing views would always drive his decision-making process on the bench and all they have to do is look at his long record of right-wing activism to know that there is no need to fear that he'll ever "become a David Souter": 

Something that makes me different from all the candidates in this race, and that is unlike most judicial candidates, you don't have to wonder about my philosophy. You don't have to guess what my convictions are or where I stand. You don't have to worry about voting for me and regretting it because I become a David Souter, the ultra-liberal on the United States Supreme Court, appointed by George Bush because everybody though he would be conservative.

It's not enough to say "I'm a conservative," you gotta look at the record. And with me, you can do that. You can look at my voting record when I was a state legislator; when I was a state rep I was considered the fourth most conservative in the legislature. I received the Eagle Forum's "Faith and Family Award." The Chamber of Commerce gave me the "Fighter for Free Enterprise Award." I was co-author of the Parental Notification Bill, I was always a 100% pro-lifer, I had property rights awards, Second Amendment awards.

... [Green talks about this endorsement he received from Charlton Heston] ...

I've also been with David Barton and WallBuilders for about ten years now, teaching on the Constitution, the original intent of the Founding Fathers, going back to the formula that made us successful and teaching that to folks, and author of books on the subject as well.

I'm also the founder of Patriot Academy, for ten years we've been training 16-25 year-olds in the Founding Father's philosophy so they have not only the right knowledge, but the skills to be effective at the process.

I want you to know that, as a former legislator, I respect the proper roles of the different branches. I will be the one sitting around the conference room table reminding my fellow Justices that it's the folks we elected to serve under that big pink dome, they're the ones supposed to make the law, our job is only to apply it

...

The bottom line is, you elect me to the Texas Supreme Court, you can count on me to fight for justice, to uphold the rule of law, but never to legislate from the bench.

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