Texas

Right Wing Leftovers

  • James Dobson has endorsed Gov. Rick Perry.
  • Speaking of Perry, he's gone full-on Tenther in his latest ad.
  • Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he can't rule out the prospect of accepting a Vice Presidential slot if offered.
  • RNC Chair is just burning through money.
  • Concerned Women for America is accused of being insufficiently pro-life.
  • Prosecutors are worried they will be unable to find jurors who don't have an opinion about murdered anti-abortion activist James Pouillon as they make their case against Harlan Drake because Pouillon's protests and antics had made him notoriously unpopular.
  • Apparently, Ken Blackwell got a book deal.  The title of his tome? "THE BLUEPRINT: Barack Obama’s Secret Plan for an Imperial Presidency and a Permanent Liberal Government."
  • Finally, Quote of the Day from Gary Cass: "Thankfully, many principled Christian organizations pulled out of CPAC and they should be commended for standing up for truth. We cannot allow anti-Christian groups like GOProud to infiltrate and corrupt the conservative movement."

CPAC: Paul Wins Straw Poll While Huckabee Dismisses Event As Meaningless and Corrupt

While watching CPAC last week, I was wondering to myself why Mike Huckabee wasn't participating?  Did organizers decide to snub him by not inviting him or did he snub the convention by refusing to attend? After all, Huckabee had been given a speaking slot in the main auditorium each of the last three years.

But this year Huckabee skipped the event and blasted it as pointless, corrupt, and too libertarian:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee blasted the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Saturday as outdated, nearly corrupt and unrepresentative of the conservative movement.

Huckabee, a 2008 Republican presidential contender and potential 2012 candidate who had spoken at the conference for years, said the reason he blew it off this year was that the meeting has become dominated by libertarian activists.

“CPAC has becoming increasingly more libertarian and less Republican over the last years, one of the reasons I didn’t go this year,” Huckabee said in an interview with Fox News, where he is a paid analyst and has his own show.

He was responding to a question about whether he was upset by his single-digit showing in the conference’s straw poll, which was won by libertarian-leaning Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).

But it wasn’t the only criticism the Arkansan leveled at CPAC.

Huckabee said the rise of the tea party movement had “taken all of the oxygen out of the room,” rendering the venerable conference far less relevant than it had been in previous years.

“Where CPAC was historically the event, the tea parties are having their own events all over the country and a lot more truly grassroots people are getting involved because of the tea parties,” said the former governor.

And, goaded by Fox Host Geraldo Rivera, Huckabee went even further.

“Because of the way that it solicits sponsors, it’s almost becomes a pay-for-play,” he said. “It’s kind of like, who will pay money to be able to be a sponsor and get time in the program. That’s one of the things that has hurt its credibility in the last couple of years.”

I have to say that I agree with Huckabee's assessment that something has happen to CPAC when Ron Paul is winning its straw poll

For the last three years, the poll has been won by Mitt Romeny with Paul hovering around 10% ... and this year Paul beat Romney by almost ten points.  In recent years, Paul has largely been treated as a sideshow by the conservative establishment which viewed him as far outside the mainstream of the movement but tolerated him because he had a relatively small but extremely dedicated base of support that somewhat overlapped with the movement in general.

The fact that Paul could pull in 10% of the vote at CPAC in previous years was generally a source of embarrassment to organizers. This year, Paul won (and organizers were utterly mortified.)

If that doesn't signal that the conservative movement has completely lost it bearings, I don't know what does.

Scarborough Unveils Yet Another Right Wing Coalition and Declaration

Devin Burghart of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights attended the National Tea Party Convention and notes that Rick Scarborough used his address at the event to unveil a new coalition called "Mandate to Save America":

A workshop by Dr. Rick Scarborough indicated a shift taking place at the convention, transforming the focus from bailouts and deficits to the culture war. Scarborough is a former Southern Baptist pastor from Pearland, Texas, and a he heads up a corporate constellation including Vision America, Vision America Action and the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration. He has been fixture on the Christian Right for several years (Jerry Falwell published his first book).

After showing an eight minute video cataloguing his many television appearances, the jovial Scarborough told a packed room of around 215 people that the gap between “fiscal and social conservatives has got to cease.” In addition to attacking the Obama administration for its commitment to ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and supporting the inclusion of gays and lesbians into federal hate crimes protections, Scarborough warned that we "now have a government of thieves" and that we are moving towards a “collectivist” society. We have a Godly duty to defend “American exceptionalism,” he said.

Scarborough used much of his speech to launch a new campaign, called the Mandate to Save America, a project of the S.T.O.P. Obama Tyranny National Coalition.

The pamphlet he distributed read, “We, the undersigned, and millions of other American patriots, including many who comprise the growing TEA Party movement, are no less determined than patriots of the past, who fought for our freedom. We will make any sacrifice, endure any hardship, and confront any foe to keep the flame of freedom burning bright; so help us God.”

The list of signers reads like a who’s who of the Christian Right: Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association, Gary Bauer of American Values, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, and many more. The ten campaign demands marked an overt attempt to fuse Tea Party desires with the broader agenda of the Christian Right into a more potent form of Christian nationalism.

Scarborough worked up the crowd in the room, and got a standing ovation when he demanded, “enough is enough!” When he finished, an older woman in the front row stood up and stated, “What we need is revival and revolt!” which also brought enthusiastic cheers from the audience.

And sure enough, Mandate to Save America has a website carrying this declaration:

So far the list of signers includes Gary Bauer, Tom DeLay, Janet Porter, Tony Perkins, Phyllis Schlafly, Mat Staver, Tim Wildmon, Wendy Wright, Richard Viguerie, and several others.

Meet The Right-Wingers Drafting Your Textbooks

The New York Times Magazine has a long article on the battle over textbooks in Texas and the related question of just how religious were the Founding Fathers and how much of a role they intended religion to play in our government. 

The article is quite long, but I just wanted to highlight a few sections about the views and agendas of Texas Board of Education members Don McLeroy and Cynthia Dunbar:

I met Don McLeroy last November in a dental office — that is to say, his dental office — in a professional complex in the Brazos Valley city of Bryan, not far from the sprawling campus of Texas A&M University. The buzz of his hygienist at work sounded through the thin wall separating his office from the rest of the suite. McLeroy makes no bones about the fact that his professional qualifications have nothing to do with education. “I’m a dentist, not a historian,” he said. “But I’m fascinated by history, so I’ve read a lot.”

...

McLeroy is a robust, cheerful and inexorable man, whose personality is perhaps typified by the framed letter T on the wall of his office, which he earned as a “yell leader” (Texas A&M nomenclature for cheerleader) in his undergraduate days in the late 1960s. “I consider myself a Christian fundamentalist,” he announced almost as soon as we sat down. He also identifies himself as a young-earth creationist who believes that the earth was created in six days, as the book of Genesis has it, less than 10,000 years ago. He went on to explain how his Christian perspective both governs his work on the state board and guides him in the current effort to adjust American-history textbooks to highlight the role of Christianity. “Textbooks are mostly the product of the liberal establishment, and they’re written with the idea that our religion and our liberty are in conflict,” he said. “But Christianity has had a deep impact on our system. The men who wrote the Constitution were Christians who knew the Bible. Our idea of individual rights comes from the Bible. The Western development of the free-market system owes a lot to biblical principles.”

For McLeroy, separation of church and state is a myth perpetrated by secular liberals. “There are two basic facts about man,” he said. “He was created in the image of God, and he is fallen. You can’t appreciate the founding of our country without realizing that the founders understood that. For our kids to not know our history, that could kill a society. That’s why to me this is a huge thing.”

...

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.

Ask Christian activists what they really want — what the goal is behind the effort to bring Christianity into American history — and they say they merely want “the truth.” “The main thing I’m looking for as a state board member is to make sure we have good standards,” Don McLeroy said. But the actual ambition is vast. Americans tell pollsters they support separation of church and state, but then again 65 percent of respondents to a 2007 survey by the First Amendment Center agreed with the statement that “the nation’s founders intended the United States to be a Christian nation,” and 55 percent said they believed the Constitution actually established the country as a Christian nation. The Christian activists are aware of such statistics and want to build on them, as Dunbar made clear. She told me she looks to John Jay’s statement that it is the duty of the people “of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers” and has herself called for a preference for selecting Christians for positions of leadership.

Mike Huckabee's Friends And Associates

Because I think it is important to keep pointing out the sorts of Religious Right leaders that Mike Huckabee regularly associates himself with, I just wanted to post this clip from a recent episode of "Huckabee" that featured Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel taking about text books in Texas:

This weekend Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, will appear on Mike Huckabee’s show to discuss potentially dramatic changes to the framework of textbooks that are being discussed by the Texas State Board of Education (TSBOE). Huckabee and Staver will be revealing suggested changes, some of which are still under discussion. TSBOE will soon finalize the language that textbook publishers use to align their textbooks to current standards. As Texas is a leader in textbooks, most other states purchase the same educational materials. The show will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and 2:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, Eastern Time.

Some of the suggestions that have come forward at various times include:

* Removing references to Daniel Boone, General George Patton, Nathan Hale, Columbus Day, and Christmas.
* Including the cultural impact of hip hop music, ACLU lawyer Clarence Darrow, and the Hindu holiday of Diwali.
* Replacing the term "American" with "Global Citizen"– stating that students need to be shaped "for responsible citizenship in a global society" without any mention of citizenship in American society.
* Replacing expansionism and free enterprise with imperialism and capitalism.

...

Mathew Staver commented: “To have a bright future we must know our past. Those who want to reshape America begin by rewriting our past. We repeat the mistakes of the past when we are ignorant of them. America has a rich past founded on Judeo-Christian values. To forget them, or worse, to distort them, will doom our future. That is why the textbook controversy in Texas affects every American.”

Staver has long been close to Huckabee, having served on his Faith and Family Values Coalition during his presidential campaign. 

Recently, Staver made news when it was announced that Liberty University would be withdrawing from CPAC due to the fact that a gay conservative group was allowed to sign on as a co-sponsor, which made sense considering that at last year's CPAC, Staver declared that marriage equality would inevitably lead to an entire generation of violent criminals. 

Staver and Liberty U will also be hosting a 2-day anti-gay summit later this week, while Staver and Liberty University also represented Lisa Miller, the who kidnapped her daughter and disappeared rather than abide by court ordered custody arrangements.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • This was the Focus on the Family Super Bowl ad that caused all the fuss? Consider me unimpressed.
  • Hooray! Sarah Palin says it would be "absurd" for her to rule out running for president in 2012.
  • Speaking of Palin, she also spoke at a campaign event for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, where she shared the stage with David Barton of Wallbuilders.
  • The AFA's Bryan Fischer is really intent on making his point that life would be so much better if homosexuality were criminalized.
  • Carrie Prejean has gotten engaged.
  • Mike Huckabee will be headlining a fundraiser for the Minnesota Family Council in late April.
  • Finally, despite receiving undeservedly flattering coverage from the Washington Post for his anti-marriage efforts, Bishop Harry Jackson blasts the paper for its coverage of the marriage equality issue.

Pagan Prayer Circle Daring God to Unleash Haiti-Like Destruction Upon Our Nation

Last week, the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs announced that it had set aside an outdoor worship area for Pagans, Wiccans, Druids and other believers.

Today, via AU, we see that Robert Jeffress (best known for his militantly anti-Mormon opposition to Mitt Romney) has penned a response for the Washington Post's "On Faith" in which he warns that such accommodation of the "worship of pagan deities is an open invitation for God to send His harshest judgments against our nation":

What we label today as "pluralism," God called "idolatry." The first commandment from God was, "You shall have no other gods before Me." There is no evidence that God has changed His mind on the subject. To openly violate this most basic law is to invite God's judgment upon our nation. God has judged idolatry in the past through military invasions, earthquakes, a flood, and a mixture of fire and brimstone. The book of Revelation prophesies that God will employ the same agents of His wrath during the final seven years of earth's history. There is no reason to think God is on hiatus during this present age.

"But doesn't our Constitution demand that all religions be treated equally?' you might ask.

Since God is not an American, there is no reason to think He has a particular affinity for our ideas about the separation of church and state. Nevertheless, although the First Amendment guarantees the right of every American to worship however they choose, it does not require government to provide a stone monument to facilitate that worship - even if the same government provides a chapel for Christians.

...

I don't know the cause of the Haitian earthquake, the Indonesian tsunami or 9/11. But I can say without hesitation that any nation that officially embraces idolatry is openly inviting God's wrath.

This past week government officials testified they are "certain" of another terrorist attempt on our soil within the next three to six months. One would think this would be a good time to seek God's protection rather than kindle His anger.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • National Tea Party Convention organizers announced plans to form a group called "Ensuring Liberty Corporation" that will seek to raise $10 million to help conservative candidates running for office.
  • An interesting race in Texas to keep an eye on between a Log Cabin Republican and the husband of former Eagle Forum president/Texas GOP Chair Cathie Adams.
  • White House Office Faith Director Joshua DuBois tells David Brody that questioning President's Obama's Christian faith goes "beyond the boundaries of what's acceptable."
  • Randall Terry is unimpressed with Focus on the Family's Super Bowl ad because it is not explicit enough about abortion.
  • For some reason, this quote from Joseph Farah just cracked me up: "My dream is that IF Barack Obama even seeks re-election as president in 2012, he won't be able to go to any city, any town, any hamlet in America without seeing signs that ask, 'Where's the birth certificate?'"
  • Finally, I will never understand the mindset of people like Peter LaBarbera and what compels them in all seriousness to write things like this: "Men were never intended to have sex with men, nor were they intended to try to turn their bodies, as God made them — into female bodies, as God made them. Wake up, America: your judicially-approved tax code is now creating incentives for one of the most tragic manifestations of rebellious man’s claim to know better than God."

FRC's Sprigg Wants To See Homosexuality Criminalized

I don't know what has gotten into Religious Right spokespeople in the last week, but twice now they have called for criminal penalties for gays simply for being gay. 

Last week, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer declared that we should "impose the same sanctions on those who engage in homosexual behavior as we do on those who engage in intravenous drug abuse," and force them into therapy. 

And yesterday, the Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg appeared on Hardball in opposition to repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell where he declared that Lawrence v. Texas was wrongly decided and that gay behavior should be outlawed:

Matthews: Let me ask you Peter, so you think people choose to be gay.

Sprigg: People do not choose to be have same sex attractions, but they do choose to engage in homosexual conduct. And that conduct also which incidentally is against the law within the military. It violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It doesn't make any sense for us to be actively recruiting people who are going to violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Matthews: Do you think we should outlaw gay behavior?

Sprigg: Well I think certainly...

Matthews: I'm just asking you, should we outlaw gay behavior?

Sprigg: I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas which overturned the sodomy laws in this country was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.

Matthews: So we should outlaw gay behavior?

Sprigg: Yes.

The last time Peter Sprigg made a statement like this, the Family Research Council forced him to quickly apologize, though I doubt they will make him do so for this statement.

More interestingly, Sprigg is also on the Board of Directors of PFOX and frequently serves as a spokesperson for the organization.  Since PFOX's mission is to encourage and support "ex-gays," I wonder how the organization feels about Sprigg's assertion that all of its members and activists ought to have been treated like criminals.  

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The New York Times profiles right-wing legal warrior James Bopp.
  • Jim DeMint has hired right-wing columnist Amanda Carpenter to be his senior communications advisor and speechwriter.
  • Randy Travis will be headlining the first annual Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Concert.
  • And James O'Keefe will be featured at the MassResistance Banquet.
  • A group of Texas legislators are demanding [PDF] that "additional charge be brought [against Major Nidal Malik Hasan] under Article 119(a) of UCMJ if it is finally determined that one of the victims, Private Francheska Velez, was pregnant at the time of the shootings."
  • Finally, Bishop Harry Jackson apparently blames the two abortions his wife had prior to their marriage for the fact that he doesn't have a son.

Right Wing Round-Up

David Barton: "Expert"

It is no secret that we have not been overly impressed with David Barton's various titles or his accuracy or his "expertise" over the years, which is why we were rather confused when the Texas State Board of Education named him to serve on its panel of "experts" to redesign the state's social studies curriculum.

Want to know why?  Well, today Barton provides a perfect example in an email he sent out defending his role in the process in which he makes this patently false claim:

Groups such as the Texas Freedom Network (the state arm of the radical People for the American Way) joined with other radicals in the Religious Left to denounce my mentions of Christianity. They nationally distributed a press release of outrageously false claims that were soon parroted by ABC, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, etc.

I have no idea where Barton got the idea that TFN is in any way affiliated with PFAW, much less a "state arm" of this organization.  

TFN is a great organization that does great work, especially covering the very issue Barton is writing about. And while we do share their mission to advance "a mainstream agenda of religious freedom and individual liberties to counter the religious right," the two organizations are in no way affiliated.  

If Barton has some actual evidence that PFAW and TFN are affiliated, I'd love to see it because I 've been working here for ten years and I know nothing about it.  

Good work on your choice of "experts" there, Texas Board of Education.

GOD TV to Air Engle's Houston Rally

Since it was announced last week, Lou Engle's rally to protest a Planned Parenthood facility in Houston has been picking up supporters.  In addition to the original line-up featuring the likes of Tony Perkins, Harry Jackson, and Richard Land, others like Mat Staver and Concerned Women for America have signed on as well.

And now the event is going to go out across the airways via on GOD TV:

GOD TV is to break with its regular schedule on Sunday to air 'TheCall Crisis' LIVE from Houston, TX, where one of the largest abortion facilities in the world, is being built. Hosted by Lou Engle, the four-hour program will focus on prayer for the right to life and the prevention of this 'super center' opening.

Thousands of Christians will be gathering to fast and pray in Texas over the next few days and GOD TV founders Rory & Wendy Alec are encouraging the GOD TV family across the globe to join them in intercession via GOD TV on Sunday January 17th at 7pm (Eastern) with a replay on Monday January 18th at 2pm (Eastern).

Broadcast direct from Grace Community Church in Houston, TheCall Crisis will feature various speakers. In addition to Lou Engle, these include: Sammy Rodriguez, Tony Perkins, Mathew Staver, Dr. Richard Land, Ken Blackwell and Bishop Harry Jackson.

"Thirty-seven years ago abortion was legalized in Texas; now let it begin to be reversed there," said Lou Engle, the founder of TheCall. "Who ever heard of such a thing as an 'abortion super center', God wants to raise up a massive prayer movement that will say 'No,' and who will be part of the answer as we fast and pray."

...

"We are a voice rising out of Houston declaring that we don't want this'," says Lou Engle. "It's time to let the unborn go free and spare pregnant mothers the agony of guilt. US public opinion over abortion is shifting radically to pro-LIFE and we have to continue to stand against abortion and support adoption.

"May a great demonstration of compassion rise up in Houston which will launch a mass movement of pregnant mother care and adoption. God has a dream for every mother and child and a six-story massive abortion facility has never been a part of that dream. Let's end the nightmare and let the dream live."

Right Wing Round-Up

CWA Joins Engle's "Silent Seige" In Houston

Amazingly, established Religious Right groups just keep running to link up with relative newcomer Lou Engle's efforts.  Yesterday, it was Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel announcing that he'd be joining Engle, Tony Perkins, Richard Land, Harry Jackson and others in protesting a new Planned Parenthood facility in Houston. 

Today, it is Wendy Wright and Concerned Women for America announcing their participation as well:

On Monday, January 18, Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Texas will join other national pro-life organizations to protest the building of Planned Parenthood's 78,000 square foot abortion facility in Houston. The clinic, with one floor devoted solely to late-term abortions, will be one of the world's largest, second only to those in China.

...

"Planned Parenthood tries to deny its long-held goal to target minorities for abortion," said Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America. "This mega-abortion mill exposes the true motivations of Planned Parenthood and their supporters. It is centered smack in the middle of minority neighborhoods with one floor set aside for late-term abortions. The message: once a pregnant woman walks through those doors, no unborn child -- no matter how old -- is safe from Planned Parenthood's knives.

"Government officials and Planned Parenthood plotted together to make Houston an abortion capital of the nation."

The three-hour Silent Siege March begins at 11 a.m. at the Catholic Charismatic Center, 1949 Cullen Blvd., Houston. Hettinger is encouraging every pro-life Texan to join CWA of Texas for the event: "Houston, we have a serious problem in which lives are at stake. Please join us in the march and stand united as Texans for life."

Anti-Immigration Activists On The Warparth

Though the topic has fallen off the radar since 2006, it is widely expected that the Obama administration and congressional leaders will try to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform legislation sometime this year.

As such, we can expect to hear more from right-wing anti-immigration groups like Americans for Legal Immigration, which are still active around the country as demonstrated by the group's response to the failure of legislation in New Jersey that would have allowed undocumented immigrants to obtain in-state tuition rates at public universities. 

AILPAC is rejoicing that it has defeated this "globalist plan to restructure America" and vows to "go on offense" and "fire more politicians in D.C. than you can count": 

"This makes about the 20th time we have helped to defeat this aspect of the Globalist plans to restructure America since 2005," said William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC. "Citizen activism has helped defeat in-state tuition for illegals in every state except for two in the last five years, since we defeated the measure in North Carolina."

In-state tuition for illegal immigrants is part of a Globalist plan to build an economic block in North America that integrates populations and suppresses Americans using hyper legal immigration and rampant illegal immigration as a nation building tool.

"Tonight we celebrate our latest victory in New Jersey and we thank and congratulate our supporters and activists," Gheen said. "Tomorrow we will announce plans to go on offense to reverse in-state tuition for illegals in the states of Nebraska and Texas using legislation and court challenges."

The defeat of in-state tuition for illegal aliens in New Jersey creates an opportunity for the pro-immigration enforcement Americans to return to strategic positions of political offense. After every battle, each side must decide to advance, dig in, or retreat.

"Tomorrow, we go on offense," said Gheen. "Time for the illegal aliens and their supporters to start playing defense in the states and the elections. Tomorrow we advance in Texas and Nebraska!"

ALIPAC plans to release plans to support legislation in Nebraska that will rescind in-state tuition in the state, after some lawmakers sneaked the provision through without significant public knowledge or input two years ago.

ALIPAC also plans to launch support for a lawsuit that has been filed in Texas to rescind in-state tuition and other taxpayer benefits for illegals.

Other plans are being made to circulate and file strong state level comprehensive immigration enforcement legislation such as the laws passed in Georgia, Arizona, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.

"We are going to launch a major initiative in the states as part of our plans to defeat the Amnesty legislation in Washington," said Gheen. "And then we are going to fire more politicians in D.C. than you can count!"

Quote Of The Day

John Fea, a history professor at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, weighs in on the "expert advice" offered by people like David Barton and Peter Marshall in their effort to shape Texas' social studies curriculum - from the Austin American-Statesman:

"I'm an evangelical Christian, and I think David Barton and Peter Marshall are completely out to lunch. They are not experts on social studies and history. Neither of them are trained in history. They are preachers who use the past and history as a means of promoting a political agenda in the present."

Texas Monthly Examines Anti-Choice Activist's "Conversion"

Abby Johnson has become quite the right-wing celebrity in recent months, ever since she left her position at Planned Parenthood and became an anti-choice activist. Since then, she's become a highly sought-after speaker, appeared on Mike Huckabee's television program and CBN, and will even be joining the likes of Lou Engle, Tony Perkins, Richard Land, Harry Jackson and others when the protest a Planned Parenthood facility in Houston later this month.

Well, a new article by Nate Blakeslee in Texas Monthly raises some doubts about Johnson's supposed "conversion":

Johnson’s departure from Planned Parenthood turned out to be a more complex story than it first appeared. At a court hearing for an injunction sought by Planned Parenthood to prevent Johnson from divulging confidential information to her new allies, two of Johnson’s former co-workers testified that she told them in the days before she resigned that she was afraid she was about to be fired. At one time, Johnson, who was named the regional Planned Parenthood affiliate’s employee of the year in 2008, seemed to have a promising future with the organization. By mid-2009, however, her relationship with her employer had begun to deteriorate. Salon reported that on October 2, Johnson was summoned to Houston to meet with her supervisors to discuss problems with her job performance. She was placed on what Planned Parenthood calls a “performance improvement plan.” It was just three days later, on Monday, that Johnson made her tearful appearance at the Coalition for Life. The following day she faxed Planned Parenthood a resignation letter, which mentioned nothing about a crisis of conscience.

...

Other questions about Johnson’s credibility arose during our interview. She told me, for example, that there had never been any threats of violence against the Bryan clinic; however, Johnson herself received a series of threatening letters in 2007. “God will punish you for killing the innocent or we will,” read one. “You are not taking us seriously. You were at the clinic alone. Not very smart,” read another. In fact, the threats were taken so seriously that security cameras were installed at Johnson’s house, as she later acknowledged. Johnson also claimed that while most services at Planned Parenthood were provided by a nonprofit corporation, abortions were done by a for-profit corporation. Both she and Carney seemed to sincerely believe this was true, though all services at Planned Parenthood are, in fact, provided by a pair of separate nonprofit corporations.

As confounding as these inconsistencies are, there may be a much larger problem with Johnson’s story. Johnson has told the story of her journey from pro-choice activist to pro-life celebrity many times in many venues, and the crux of the tale is always the same: her moving description of what she saw on the ultrasound that September day in the Bryan clinic’s operating room ... Johnson’s account is so plausible and rich in detail that even Planned Parenthood seems not to have investigated whether this event ever took place. At my request, the staff at the Bryan clinic examined patient records from September 26, the day Johnson claims to have had her conversion experience, and spoke with the physician who performed abortions on that date. According to Planned Parenthood, there is no record of an ultrasound-guided abortion performed on September 26. The physician on duty told the organization that he did not use an ultrasound that day, nor did Johnson assist on any abortion procedure. “Planned Parenthood can assure you that no abortion patients underwent an ultrasound-guided abortion on September 26,” said a spokesperson. It’s difficult to imagine that Johnson simply got the date wrong; September 12 was the only other day that month that the clinic performed surgical abortions.

Could clinic staff and the physician be mistaken? The Texas Department of State Health Services requires abortion providers to fill out a form documenting basic information about each procedure performed at a clinic. This document is known as the Induced Abortion Report Form. The Bryan clinic reported performing fifteen surgical abortions on September 26. Johnson has consistently said that the patient in question was thirteen weeks pregnant, which is plausible, since thirteen weeks is right at the cusp of when physicians will consider using an ultrasound to assist with the procedure. Yet none of the patients listed on the report for that day were thirteen weeks pregnant; in fact, none were beyond ten weeks.

For her part, Johnson and her newfound allies are standing behind her story.

The Monthly article is excellent and I highly recommend reading the entire piece.

Engle Leads The Right Into Houston

It seems as if Lou Engle has now become a full-fledged Religious Right leader whose gatherings are now regularly attended by everyone from Tony Perkins and Richard Land to Star Parker and Harry Jackson:

A coalition of pro-life advocates and religious leaders plan to gather in Houston on Jan. 18 to oppose what is expected to be the largest abortion clinic in the country.

Planned Parenthood is renovating a former bank, turning it into a 78,000 square foot facility that will include a surgical wing equipped to provide late-term abortions.

“It’s an abortion super center,” Lou Engle, founder of the pro-life group The Call to Conscience, which is organizing the rally, told CNSNews.com.

Joining Engle at the “prayer march” will be Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, and Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Religious leaders expected to attend include Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church; Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; Star Parker, president of the Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education; and Abby Johnson, the former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic.

Engle compared the fight for the rights of the unborn to another critical movement in America. “As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘It is time to subpoena the conscience of America,’” he said.

Here is Engle's latest video and the announcement on his website:

Houston We Have A Problem

The Second largest abortion clinic in the world is being built at this present moment in Houston, Texas. This six-story Planned Parenthood abortion “super center” is right in the middle of four (4) “super neighborhoods.” Three average to 85% Latino in population and the other is 85% African American. Planned Parenthood is targeting these minority pro-family communities, both for their finances and the restriction of their populations. But, there is a voice rising out of Houston and out of Texas, declaring, “We don’t want this death camp specializing in late-term abortions in our neighborhoods!”

On Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday, January 18th, 2010, thousands are gathering to march against this Goliath to pray, fast, and peacefully siege this massive injustice in the spirit of that great liberator Martin Luther King Jr. Key African American, Latino, and political leaders are coming to speak and hold a nationwide press conference challenging this “super center.” This is a great hour for the Hispanic pro-LIFE people, Catholic and Evangelical, to raise their voices against abortion and for adoption. Public opinion over abortion is shifting radically in America to pro-LIFE at the same time this facility is exalting itself above the humble and oppressed.

We are entering into the 37th anniversary of the “Roe V. Wade” abortion decree of 1973 on January 22, 2010. We are in a ’73/’37 window to reverse that decree. It started in Texas, now let it begin to reverse there. We are calling for the pro-LIFE people of Houston, Texas, and America to gather Sunday night, January 17th, 2010 for four (4) hours of prayer for spiritual awakening and justice, from 6:00pm to 10:00pm at Grace Community Church. On this evening, 1/17, we will be unifying with one voice before God to pray for the Luke 1:17 answer to the killing of our babies and the wounding of our women – “And he will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the rebellious to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

On January 18th, at 9:00am on Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday, we will gather by the thousands to launch a silent prayer march through the streets to the abortion “super center” for the nationwide press conference and prayer stand. As Martin Luther King Jr. would proclaim it – It is time to “subpoena the conscience” of the nation from the flashpoint of Houston, Texas. Maybe Houston could become the Birmingham of our day to let the unborn go free and spare the pregnant mother the agony of guilt. Maybe out of Houston a great demonstration of compassion could be launched through pregnant mother care with a mass movement of adoption. Martin Luther King Jr. cried, “I have a dream”. Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., has eloquently stated, “How can the dream live as long as we kill our children?” God has a dream. He has a dream for America and He has a dream for every mother and every child and a six-story massive abortion facility has never been a part of that dream. Lets end the nightmare and let the dream live.

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