Texas

Right Wing Leftovers

  • WorldNetDaily reports that "Birther" Orly Taitz flew and drove thousands of miles to confront Chief Justice John Roberts about why the Supreme Court continually refuses to hear their cases and Roberts responded by promising to read all of her documents.
  • Texas Governor Rick Perry will be joined by Gary Bauer for the 2009 State Prayer Breakfast where Bauer will be delivering the keynote address.
  • Could Norm Coleman really be in line to take over the RNC if Michael Steele is ousted?  Could we be that lucky?
  • Tullian Tchividjian has officially been chosen as the next pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, replacing the late D. James Kennedy. As such, it seems worth highlighting this: "Kennedy's preaching against homosexuality and abortion made him one of evangelical Christianity's most divisive figures, and he worked to inject his faith in all aspects of public life and the political process, like his allies the Rev. Pat Robertson and the Rev. Jerry Falwell. Tchividjian insists he holds the same theological positions as Kennedy, but he cuts a far different image."
  • If I were the type to employ the right-wing tactic of taking isolated incidents to make sweeping generalizations, I'd probably have a field day with these two incidents.
  • Finally, the Traditional Values Coalition has announced that it is launching its own blog ... and presumably they'll even get it to actually work at some point.

 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • As expected, President Barack Obama overturned the Bush administration ban on using federal funds for embryonic stem cell research.  Needless to say, the Religious Right is livid: FRC called it a "slap in the face"; Gary Bauer called it "a tragedy"; Operation Rescue called it "morally, unethical and fiscally irresponsible"; and others weighed in as well.
  • It looks like Mitt Romney's appearance at the Club for Growth conference didn't go so well.
  • Human Events reports that Sen. John Thune is the point person for the GOP outreach to conservative groups and regularly meets with the likes of the ACLJ and others.
  • Rob Schenck reports that he has been invited to address a "working session of Christian leaders and other community activists working to preserve traditional marriage in the state of Maryland [that] will meet in the Maryland State Capitol at the invitation of State Delegate Don Dwyer."
  • Chuck Norris announces that he may run for president of Texas and declares that, this Friday, "thousands of cell groups will be united around the country in solidarity over the concerns for our nation."
  • Quote of the Day honors go to Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council: "The Republicans need to take a step back from the big-tent philosophy. All a big tent does is attract a lot of clowns."
  • Finally, the New York Times profiled 14 year-old conservative wunderkind Jonathan Krohn, who declared Barack Obama "the most left-wing president in my lifetime." Matthew Yglesias had a good response to Krohn's sudden stardom:
  • I really struggle to understand why this particular gimmick appeals to conservatives. What does it accomplish to put a 14 year-old front and center at CPAC? What’s the message it’s supposed to send? That the conservative message is childish? That the right’s talking points can be easily mastered by a 14 year-old? That the CPAC audience doesn’t care about the knowledge-base of the speakers there, they just want to hear certain ritual beats repeated? I wouldn’t want to claim that liberals are so high-minded as to be above all that, but I’m hard-pressed to think of an example of liberals trying to flaunt disdain for knowledge and expertise.

An Epic Battle Brewing in Texas

We've covered the forthcoming showdown between Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry and Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison a few times already, primarily to note that state-level Religious Right figures like David Barton and Rick Scarborough have already started to line up behind Perry in what is shaping up to be an epic and nasty primary as Hutchison challenges Perry in the GOP's gubernatorial primary.

Today, Politico reports that players on the ground are expecting a battle like nothing they have ever seen:

Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison hasn’t formally announced she’s running for governor, but Texas Republicans are nevertheless gearing up for a knock-down, drag-out 2010 primary brawl between Hutchison and Gov. Rick Perry, a race that will pit the nation’s longest-serving sitting governor against one of its most popular statewide politicians.

Perry’s campaign has already slammed Hutchison as “Kay Bailout Hutchison” because of her support for President George W. Bush’s bailout legislation last year — and Perry’s State of the State address last month focused on the Republican Party’s failures in Washington. It was reported that a Perry operative was recently digging into City Hall documents in search of unfavorable information about Hutchison’s husband, a prominent bond attorney.

Hutchison’s camp has returned fire by portraying Perry as an ineffectual executive who has worn out his welcome in Texas.Even Sarah Palin has gotten into the act, endorsing Perry and suggesting Hutchison was not sufficiently opposed to abortion rights.

“The level of animosity between these two is unbelievable. In a business that thrives on animosity, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. This is going to be a war,” said one senior GOP operative from Texas. “The governor doesn’t like being nudged out, and the senator believes she’s entitled to the governorship — she gave the guy a chance four years ago.”

“This is one of those races where people avert their gaze, because it portends to be so ugly and nasty that a lot of people don’t want to have much to do with it,” added longtime Texas Republican pollster David Hill.

A recent poll shows Hutchison leading Perry by twenty-five points, and so Perry has gotten to work shoring up support from the state's right-wing base:

Part of Perry’s strategy is to render her unacceptable to conservative voters who traditionally make up a large share of the primary electorate. He recently spoke at an anti-abortion rally, where he touted his support of legislation that would require doctors to show women seeking an abortion a sonogram.

He recently drew headlines as one of several Southern governors who threatened to turn down a portion of the stimulus money directed to their states.

“Perry is clearly catering to the hard-core conservatives. These are people that dominate at the state party level,” said [James Henson, the director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas.]

As Mark McKinnon, the media adviser to former President Bush, put it: "This will be a hall of fame Texas political brawl. Even if you don’t have a favorite, this is a race that will be entertaining just to hear the shoulder pads crack.”

Right Wing Round-Up

Today's best reporting on the Right from around the web:

  • Think Progress has video of "Joe the Plumber" suggesting that some members of Congress ought to be shot.
  • Speaking of Joe, Steve Benen reports that, despite the fact that he seems to be the face of the conservative movement these days, nobody actually cares what he has to say.
  • RH Reality Check explains how the Arkansas legislature just rammed through "Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act" by declaring "an emergency and proclaimed the passage of the bill immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety."
  • MY DD takes a look at the ad being run by the global warming deniers at Americans for Prosperity featuring the founder of The Weather Channel.
  • Pam reports on Colorado State Sen. Dave Schultheis, who wants babies to get AIDS because it'll demonstrate the negative consequences of promiscuity. Seriously.
  • Is Barack Obama Hitler or the Antichrist?  Crooks and Liars posts a Daily Show video arguing that he is, in fact, both.
  • The Washington Blade reports that donations from the Gill Action Fund made up nearly one-third of the Log Cabin Republican's budget, which is news that is sure to only sharpen the Right's opposition to the group.
  • The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that the Youth for Western Civilization, which was co-sponsor of CPAC and even held its own reception during the conference, has a variety of ties to white nationalist groups.
  • Finally, the Texas Freedom Network reports that the right-wing Free Market Foundation is looking for a new name and offers up several possible suggestions.

Right Wing Round-Up

Today's best reporting on the Right from around the web:

  • RH Reality Check notes that, despite the fact that abstinence-only program are "an unmitigated disaster, proven ineffective in study after study," they are still receiving funding in federal budgets.
  • On a related note, Sarah Posner highlights this new Texas Freedom Network report on the dire state of sex-ed in the Lone Star State.
  • Think Progress reports that the Log Cabin Republicans are not happy with Michael Steele's statement that you'd have to be "crazy" to support civil unions.
  • Good as You posts a letter from ProtectMarriage.com asking for donations because they are under attack from Hollywood and liberal activists like Sean Penn.
  • Finally, CREW has filed an ethics complaint against Sen. Sam Brownback over the fund-raising letter sent out by his allies, saying by "deliberately attempting to mislead recipients of Catholic Advocates’ fundraising appeal into believing they have received a letter from Sen. Brownback in his official capacity, Sen. Brownback has engaged in improper conduct which may reflect upon the Senate."

CPAC is Coming, Lower Your Expectations

The Washington Times reports that organizers of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference are expecting record turn-out this year as the movement tries to get its act together after seeing its Republican allies tossed out of office during the last several elections:

CPAC is expected to draw nearly 9,000 activists and college students from across the country, up from the record 7,000 who attended last year, when the main attractions were personal appearances by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the four remaining Republican presidential nomination hopefuls - former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene says that CPAC is an opportunity for movement leaders to find ways to overcome its current problems and win back the trust of voters … and he sees hope for them all in the fact that GOP is, at the moment, exhibiting an ability to stay on message:

“In calling President Obama's $787 billion plan a 'spending' rather than a 'stimulus' package, the Republican Party finally is showing signs of doing a better job of formulating its message,” Mr. Keene told reporters at the National Press Club on Tuesday.

If Republicans voting essentially in lock-step in opposition to President Obama’s efforts to ameliorate our current economic crisis because it was a “spending” bill rather than a “stimulus” bill is their best evidence that things are turning around for them, then it look like they are going to be wandering in the political wilderness for several election cycles to come.

Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations.

Anyway, CPAC starts tomorrow and the American Family Association will be streaming it live, so you’ll be able to watch it here.

One last thing, I am the only one who finds the AFA's choice of image for its CPAC site a little odd:

Was Mitt Romney's speech dropping out of the presidential race really the highlight of last year's event? How sad is that?

Hutchison Leading Perry in Texas Poll

A few weeks ago, we noted that several right-wing leaders in Texas were targeting Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison as she prepares for her primary challenge against current Republican governor Rick Perry, calling Perry a stalwart champion of the pro-life movement while comparing Hutchison to Barack Obama and blasting her for transferring funds from her Senate campaign to her gubernatorial campaign.

The attacks on Hutchison have been rather low-level to this point, coming mostly from second-stringers like David Barton and Rick Scarborough.  But that will probably change once this starts to get around:

Gov. Rick Perry appears to be wearing out his welcome in Texas, and starts out as the underdog against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), according to a new poll.

The Public Policy Polling poll shows Hutchison leading Perry, 56 to 31 percent, in the Republican primary. Hutchison has sky-high approval ratings, with 76 percent of Texans approving of her, with only 15 percent disapproving.

Perry’s approval ratings are also solid, with 60 percent approving and 27 percent disapproving.

But among voters who approve of both Perry and Hutchison, Hutchison leads by 16 points, 49 to 33 percent.

“Rick Perry is in grave danger of losing in the primary,” said PPP pollster Dean Debnam. “It’s partly because he’s worn out his welcome with a certain segment of the Republican electorate, but the even bigger reason is that Kay Bailey Hutchison is just a lot more popular than him.”

It is probably safe to assume that the Right's "stop Hutchison" effort will start to ramp up now that it looks like she might actually have a chance to knock off one of their leading allies.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Focus on the Family Action has launched a petition drive calling on Congress and President Barack Obama to prevent taxpayer money from funding the abortion industry.
  • Speaking of Focus, the organization is also upset about the marriage of two women on the soap opera "All My Children."
  • Liberty University School of Law hosted Howard Phillips, founder and chairman of The Conservative Caucus (TCC) as well as the Constitution Party, who was praised by Jerry Falwell, Jr. for being "instrumental in encouraging Liberty students to become involved in politics."
  • Personhood USA reports that seven states have introduced bills affirming the personhood rights of pre-born humans from the moment of fertilization.
  • "Atheists Attack in Texas!" So says the Free Market Foundation.
  • What does it mean that Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger both performed during the Inauguration ceremonies? Nothing, except that they are both communists and Seeger is a Unitarian Universalist, which is "a false religion that emphasizes tolerance and respect."
  • Finally, Tobin Grant, an associate professor of political science at Southern Illinois University — Carbondale, asks if the stimulus bill is "anti-religious." No, it is not, he says:
  • However, the language in the stimulus bill is neither new nor unusual, since restrictions have been part of federal higher education policy for over 40 years. Rather than inhibit religion, these restrictions make possible federal funding to religious colleges and universities ... The only facilities that would not qualify are chapels, church buildings, and others that are most often used for explicitly religious purposes. The key is to define the primary purpose of a facility. If its purpose is religious teaching or worship, then the building is ineligible. If the facility is used for classes, housing, or study, however, then it can be renovated using funds from the stimulus bill.

The Right In Disarray As Lay-Offs Loom

CQ has a good article noting that both the fiscal conservatives and the social conservatives, two of the core segments of the Republican Party’s base, are in disarray and see no figure on the horizon at the moment who is capable of unifying either movement, much less bringing them together.  In fact, about the only option they have at the moment is to come together in opposition to President Obama and try to derail his political agenda: 

Other movement leaders, such as former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, a Texas Republican who now chairs the grass-roots small-government group FreedomWorks, are dismayed over the $700 billion financial industry bailout, pushed last year by President George W. Bush and supported in the end by almost half the Republicans in the House and two out of three from the GOP in the Senate. “It’s a dangerous time for fiscal conservatism,” he said.

Indeed, many conservatives say they have little hope that congressional Republican leaders will carry their standard, said Richard Viguerie, the conservative direct-mail guru who helped stir the Reagan revolution in 1980. “Who in the world is ever going to follow Mitch McConnell? Who is going to follow John Boehner?” Viguerie asked in reference to the party’s Senate and House floor leaders. “They look weak. They talk weak, and they have no plan or vision.”

Social conservatives such as Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, say Bush was hardly better on their issues. Apart from his down-the-line opposition to abortion rights, Perkins says, Bush was “not a consistent conservative.”

Most movement leaders are arguing for a return to what they see as the tried-and-true conservative game plan of limited government and traditional values. Most of all, they want congressional Republicans to stand up to the new president. That’s why Perkins is among the movement leaders taking heart in the House stimulus vote. “It was the first time in the six years I’ve been in Washington that the Republicans have stood with the conservatives,” he said.

CQ also reports that right-wing groups are in even deeper trouble at the moment because, traditionally, advocacy groups see their donations increase whenever a president representing the opposing ideology is elected. But that is not happening this time around, thanks to the current economic crisis, and now groups like the Family Research Council might be forced to actually downsize: 

If moderate voices don’t knock over the hard-liners, financial pressures might. Often a shift in power in Washington benefits interest groups of the opposite ideology, as was the case for conservative advocates after Bill Clinton was elected in 1992 and for liberal groups after Bush won in 2000. In each case, fired-up partisans increased their donations to interest groups that pledged to fight the new president. But such donor enthusiasm has yet to materialize for conservatives since Obama’s victory.

For example, two weeks after the November election, Focus on the Family, the Colorado Springs-based conservative group, announced it was cutting a fifth of its workforce, or more than 200 employees. The move followed a staff reduction of nearly 50 in September. Now, Perkins says, the Family Research Council may soon follow suit because its revenues are down 15 percent from the previous year.

Targeting Hutchison, Deep in the Heart of Texas

In yesterday's Right Wing Leftovers, I mentioned that both Phyllis Schlafly and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison are scheduled to speak at the Denton County [Texas] Republican Party's annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner in a week or so.

I thought that seemed odd because hard-line Religious Right leaders, like Rick Scarborough, are currently livid that Hutchison is planning on challenging current Republican Governor Rick Perry because they see her as insufficiently right-wing, primarily on reproductive choice issues. But I couldn't find anything from Schlafly or the Eagle Forum going after Hutchison on this, so I didn't mention it. 

But now I see that Matt Lewis at Townhall is reporting that Texas Eagle Forum president Cathie Adams has teamed up with David Barton to undermine Hutchison's primary bid:

Pro-life Activists in Texas, including Texas Eagle Forum President and RNC Committeewoman Cathie Adams and WallBuilders Founder and President David Barton, are also weighing in on the issue by pointing the differences between Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

An email recently distributed by the two says: “Senator Hutchinson served for many years as an Honorary Advisory Board Member of the WISH List, whose mission is to raise money to identify, train, and elect pro-abortion Republican women at all levels of Government.”

And an accompanying flier notes that, “Governor Perry has always been active in the pro-life movement," and that "Senator Hutchinson supports legal abortion until viability and has called for the removal or weakening of the pro-life plank of the Republican party.”

The biting part is that the flier compares and contrasts John Cornyn and Rick Perry's conservative records versus Kay Bailey Hutchinson -- who is closely compared to President Barack Obama.

That ought to make for some interesting conversation at the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner, since Schlafly just happens to be the national head of the Eagle Forum, who's state affiliate is now attacking Hutchison by comparing her to Barack Obama. 

On a related note, Lewis also linked to this video Rick Scarborough released last month blasting Hutchison for daring to run for Governor and demanding that she return all the donations she received for her Senate campaign:

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Former McCain adviser Meg Whitman plans to run for Governor in California, while Joe Scarborough suggests he might be interested in running for the Senate from Florida.
  • Elaine Donnelly says that if "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is repealed, President Obama "will bear full responsibility for consequences that would devastate the volunteer force."
  • Norm Coleman says God wants him to be in the US Senate.
  • Phyllis Schlafly and Kay Bailey Hutchison are both scheduled to speak at the Denton County [Texas] Republican Party's annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner.
  • You know what America needs now? A conservative answer to Doonesbury published by Richard Viguerie.
  • Grover Norquist is angry that some Governors did not declare last Friday "Ronald Reagan Day" and is accusing them of putting "pusillanimous petty partisanship above patriotism."
  • Finally, Richard Land responds to reports that President Obama will issue an executive order reversing President Bush's ban on federal funds for stem cell research, likening it to cannibalism:
  • Reduced to its basics, killing the tiniest human beings in their embryonic stage of development for the possible medical benefits of older and more developed human beings is quite simply high-tech cannibalism in which we devour our own young for the sole purpose of treating other human beings who are merely fortunate enough to be older and able to defend themselves in a way the tiniest human beings are not.

$200,000 Later, Liberty Legal Gets Back to Basics

Back in September, we wrote a couple of posts noting that the Liberty Legal Institute, a right-wing Texas law firm, was trying to shut down the "Troopergate" probe involving Sarah Palin in order to protect John McCain's presidential campaign. 

Now, the Anchorage Daily News reports that LLI spent nearly $200,000 on the effort:

New state gift disclosures show it cost Liberty Legal Institute and the two law firms working with it $185,000 to represent six Alaska legislators in an unsuccessful lawsuit to halt their colleagues' "troopergate" investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin acted improperly in firing the state's public safety director.

The legislators listed a $25,000 gift of services from the Texas-based Liberty Legal Institute. Liberty is the legal arm of the Free Market Foundation, which is associated with evangelical leader James Dobson's Focus on the Family, and lists its guiding principles as limited government and promotion of Judeo-Christian values.

The lawmakers also disclosed a $120,000 gift of services from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, a national firm that appeared at hearings on behalf of Liberty Legal.

Anchorage attorney Kevin Clarkson represented the six legislators in the case as well, and turned to Liberty Legal for its constitutional expertise. The lawmakers reported a $40,000 gift of services from Clarkson's firm.

That brings the total bill for their lawsuit to $185,000.

The attorneys had hoped to recoup legal fees in a victory. But the suit was dismissed last fall.

The six legislators who filed the suit are Wes Keller, Mike Kelly, Fred Dyson, Tom Wagoner, Carl Gatto and Bob Lynn. All are Republicans.

And speaking of Liberty Legal, Kelly Shackelford, who heads the organization, was just featured on Focus on the Family's CitizenLink website warning its readers that President Obama and the Democrats in Congress are going to destroy their religious freedom by passing the Freedom of Choice Act, repealing DOMA, the Fairness Doctrine, hate crimes legislation and, most ominously, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act:

It essentially forces a national homosexual-rights law into businesses across the country. The original bill included "transgendered" individuals — in other words, a man who dresses like a woman, who feels like he’s a woman that day. This would affect everything. It would mean your teacher in your child’s school, if they were a male and felt like a female, they could go into the women’s bathroom.

It’s very extreme, but it is very likely to pass, and it has huge implications on religious liberty. There are a lot of Christian businesses that try to follow their beliefs and morality, and it would be the federal government forcing their view of morality on everybody and it would trump religious freedom.

It’s not just Christian businesses; it would even do it to nonprofit organizations. It would even affect, depending upon the exemption, church schools. So you can see how invidious this could be because it really is a direct attack on religious freedom.

While we understand Shackelford's fear-mongering on these issues - it is LLI's core mission, after all - we have yet to see a convincing explanation of how this mission was furthered by having this right-wing Texas organization drop a couple of hundred thousand dollars defending Republican legislators in Alaska in order to protect Sarah Palin.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Yesterday we posted a video from Rob Schenck reporting that Focus on the Family's new chief lobbyist, Tim Goeglein, would be working out of Faith and Action's offices.  Maybe Schenck said too much, because the video has now been yanked.
  • Rick Scarborough is not happy with efforts to do away with the moment of silence in Texas schools, saying "my prayer is that kids will have sense enough to know they need help from above."
  • Elaine Donnelly continues her one-woman crusade to save Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
  • Utah Eagle Forum President Gayle Ruzicka opposes efforts to grant rights to domestic partners, saying "We're not going to fall into that trap. I don't want to take my chances."
  • Mike Huckabee has got nothing on Bobby Jindal.
  • Apparently, Barack Obama mentioned non-believers in his remarks today at the National Prayer Breakfast.  Will the Right freak-out again?
  • Just a reminder that while the Religious Right doesn't like gays and abortion, they have a much wider agenda which includes things like fighting alcohol sales on Sundays.
  • Finally, Richard Cizik has been laying low ever since losing his job with the National Association of Evangelicals, but he re-surfaced yesterday when he delivered thousands of petitions to the President and Congressional leaders calling on them to "act quickly to ensure the future of our planet and generations to come."

Right Wing Round-Up

Today we are starting a new feature highlighting other good posts from progressive blogs that relate to the issues we work on.  

So, without further ado: 

  • The Texas Freedom Network has released it’s annual “The State of the Religious Right” report, which explains that while some “might assume the religious right’s influence [in the state] will be much weaker in the 81st Legislature ... that would be wrong … the religious right will not easily give up its long-standing influence over public policy.”

  • Media Matters catches BOND’s Jesse Lee Peterson declaring that “most black Americans, 96 percent of them, are racists who (unintelligible) white Americans. And white folks feel guilty and they are afraid of being called racists.” Pam's House Blend has more.

  • Good as You highlights Tony Perkins voicing concerns about new RNC Chairman Michael Steele.

  • Tips-Q takes on Matt Barber's latest insanity.

  • Sarah Posner points to Focus on the Family's Stuart Shepard asserting “that conservatives' failure to speak up for poor Rush Limbaugh in the face of the fascistic criticism from all those ‘wild-eyed liberals’ is like not speaking up against Nazism.”

  • Finally, Dan Schultz (aka Pastor Dan) writes in Religion Dispatches that efforts to find a common ground between conservative, moderate, and liberal Christians tend to overlook the basic fact that the views of each group are often antithetical to one another and that “to think that they can be resolved in due time around the kitchen table not only underestimates their importance, it underestimates the people behind them.”

Playing the Dahmer Card

It seems as if right-wing activists in Texas have been attacking evolution and seeking to gain complete control over the state's Board of Education forever, a mission that continues to this day.

Despite losing the most recent battle in this war, the Texas Freedom Network reports that various anti-evolution advocates are now targeting board members who voted against them by linking the teaching of evolution to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. 

As TFN reports, activists have been circulating an email written by Kelly Coghlan, a Houston attorney who wrote the "Religious Viewpoints Anti-Discrimination Act" that passed in 2007 and who's law firm website URL is www.christianattorney.com, in which she explains that among the main problems with the theory of evolution is that Dahmer believed in it ... or something:

Jeffrey Dahmer, one of America’s most infamous serial killers who cannibalized more than 17 boys before being captured, gave an last interview with Dateline NBC nine months before his death, and he said the following about why he acted as he did: “If a person doesn’t think that there is a God to be accountable to, then what’s the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges? That’s how I thought anyway. I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime. When we died, you know, that was it, there was nothing….” (Dateline NBC, The Final Interview, Nov. 29, 1994).

Hmmm, interesting argument ... does that mean that others could argue for the teaching of evolution by, say, pointing out that people who oppose it include the Ku Klux Klan?

We DO NOT believe in evolution. We believe that God created each race as we see it today and that NO race evolved from any animal. Each race is unique and has different talents and capabilities. Furthermore, while the scientific data does show a difference in white and black brains - we also recognize that there are some very intelligent blacks and some lesser intelligent whites. However, as a whole, the scientific community has found that blacks as a group - and across the entire spectrum are less capable than whites in the areas of logic, math, and science. This is not meant to denigrate their position, but rather to point out the world wide devastation that would occur should the white race cease to control its own destiny and compromise its gene pool through miscegenation.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Cornerstone Christian School, which is connected to John Hagee's Cornerstone Church, is suing after it was dropped from the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools' athletic league, saying it is being discriminated against because it is a religious school, while the league counters that it was dropped due to Cornerstone's "ongoing problem with illegal recruiting of foreign students for athletic purposes."
  • The American Conservative magazine reports on the state of the anti-choice movement, saying it "has endured for so long precisely because it has failed" and cites offers this anecdote: "Alan Keyes soon leapt to the stage and addressed the audience of about 100 people. He compared Obama to Cain, who killed his brother; to a 'bad tree' in Christ's parables; and to Hitler."
  • What do Liberty University professors do when they are not teaching? Search for Noah's Ark, of course. Archaeologist Randall Price is set to travel to Mt. Ararat in Turkey to search for it based on claims by a Kurdish shepherd who says he has seen the ark, and even climbed on top of it, when he was a boy: "They found the spot, Price said, but it now is covered by an estimated 60-foot-deep pile of boulders. Price believes the landslide may have resulted from attacks against Kurdish rebels on the mountain, or perhaps from explosives that were set off to cover up the ark."
  • Finally, just let me say that I hope Andy Schlafly starts writing more posts for the Eagle Forum's blog:
  • Notice how Springsteen skipped his song "Born in the U.S.A." at the Super Bowl?

    Bruce Springsteen is a liberal rock star who sang during the halftime of the Super Bowl last night. He has working class appeal.

    Springsteen sang nearly all his top hits ... except there was one glaring omission. He did not sing "Born in the U.S.A.," one of his most popular tunes of all.

    Wonder why??? The Obama mind controllers would not have been happy if he sang that title! Obama still has not proven that he was born in the U.S.A.

Perry Woos the Right With State Address

Given that Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison seems intent on challenging Republican Governor Rick Perry next year, it looks like Perry is getting a head start on sewing up right-wing support as he attempts to hold her off:

Gov. Rick Perry delivered his state of the state address to a joint session of the Legislature as if it were a campaign speech.

...

[W]ith the Republican governor planning to run for re-election next year — and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison preparing to challenge him — there was plenty to energize a conservative, red-meat political base Perry is counting on.

“As we consider the growing threats to our nation’s unborn, I believe it’s time to add another layer of protection for the most vulnerable Texans,” he said.

Perry said pregnant women should be required to see an ultrasound before being allowed to get an abortion. And he advocated adult stem cell research — not embryonic stem cells, a flash point for anti-abortion advocates whom the governor invited as Capitol guests.

“I was thrilled to have him discuss that,” said Joe Pojman of Texas Alliance for Life.

Hutchison supports abortion rights, although with restrictions. Perry’s political team plans to use the issue against her in the GOP primary, where social conservatives will make up about a quarter of the vote.

For those keeping score, Perry spent more time on abortion (seven sentences) than on college tuition (one sentence) or reducing insurance rates and expanding children’s health coverage (zero and zero) ... Tuesday’s speech was a triumph for social conservatives — especially on abortion and Perry’s support of another issue popular with the conservative base — requiring voters to show a photo ID.

“All this stuff, the base really has a passion for,” said Kelly Shackelford of Plano-based Liberty Legal Institute.

Interestingly, Rick Scarborough, who has already made his opposition to Hutchison's intended run well known, was also in attendance and apparently has gotten over his "grave disappointment" in Perry due to the Governor's endorsement of Rudy Giuliani during the GOP primaries:

The governor stood in front of the chamber, the San Jacinto flag behind him. The Rev. Rick Scarborough, an influential East Texas evangelist and Perry guest, applauded from his seat in the back.

Scarborough and Perry have not always seen eye to eye. There was, for example, the governor’s unfortunate support of anti-gun, pro-abortion rights candidate Rudy Giuliani in last year’s presidential race.

“I’ve talked with him about that,” Scarborough said darkly, as if alluding a prodigal son’s wayward years.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The American Life League is angry that Krispy Kreme is giving away free doughnuts on Inauguration Day because the company's press release says it is celebrating "the freedom of choice," which ALL says is a "tacit endorsement of abortion rights on demand."
  • Rep. Steve King says it is "bizarre" that Barack Obama will use his middle name when he is sworn in next week, which just serves as more evidence that King fully deserves his place among Steve Benen's "Most Offensive Member of Congress."
  • Because you can never have too many right-wingers on the radio, Mat Staver and Matt Barber will soon begin hosting "Liberty Live," which will air on 126 stations of American Family Radio's new AFR Talk network.
  • Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern has introduced a resolution calling on Congress to oppose the Freedom of Choice Act, saying it would be "an infringement on states’ rights. Abortion is not a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution but states’ rights are guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment."
  • The Traditional Values Coalition warns that President Obama and his "czars" are poised to "impose Obamunism upon our nation" and specifically singles out Tom Daschle as "most likely push the abortion and homosexual agenda ... The abortionists and homosexuals who helped get Obama elected must be thrilled with all of these czars with power to impose abortion and homosexuality on our military and federal bureaucracies.” Elsewhere, they call us a "God-hating ... anti-Christian group that is still engaged in a relentless war against traditional values."
  • Dan Gilgoff reports that, according to Ted Haggard, "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi regularly sent words of comfort and support in the two year following his fall," but Pelosi's office tells David Brody that Haggard's claim is "simply not true."
  • Finally, Rick Scarborough is more than a little upset that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has the temerity to start plotting a run for Governor of Texas:
  • "As a Texas conservative I am appalled by this action and call upon Senator Hutchison to do the ethically and morally right thing by writing everyone who contributed to her national campaign and offering to refund their contribution. Conservatives in Texas and around the country contributed to Senator Hutchison's campaign to fight liberals in Washington; not conservatives in Texas.

    "Rick Perry has his detractors in Texas and I have been openly critical of some of his positions as Governor, but he is solidly pro-life and pro-family and Texas has prospered under his able leadership. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is pro-choice, is apparently willing to expose her own Party in Washington to a possible filibuster proof Democratic majority by vacating her seat as US Senator, while simultaneously dividing her Party in Texas with a costly and politically divisive bid to be Governor which is not warranted."

Mike Huckabee: Affably Anti-Gay

A.J. Jacobs has a interesting profile of Mike Huckabee in Esquire on how this funny and seemingly nice former presidential candidate is, at heart, a militantly anti-gay culture warrior. 

Jacobs reports that Huckabee is utterly charming and the "most likable politician I've ever met" ... until he joins Huckabee for a book-signing and fundraiser for the right-wing New Jersey Family Policy Council where the theme is "no compromise on gay marriage" and Huckabee proclaims that gays getting married will lead to polygamy and bestiality and likens homosexuality to alcoholism:

We say the Pledge of Allegiance. We eat our chicken and baby carrots. We listen to a series of speeches with phrases like "swamp of moral decay" and "assault on the sacred institution of marriage." One man says that given the choice between winning the White House and winning the three anti-gay-marriage propositions, he'd choose to lose the White House ...

Later, I tell Huckabee that I once reported on a group of gay evangelical Christians — admittedly, a tiny group. They argue that homosexuality is not a biblical sin. Yes, Leviticus bans men lying down with other men, but that ban refers to pagan sex rituals. Jesus would not have a problem with committed, loving same-sex relationships.

Huckabee is not impressed. "How convenient. How very convenient to just put the Bible into a chronological time zone," he answers. Huckabee says gay people can do what they want in their private lives. But gay marriage?

"The problem with changing the definition of marriage is that once you cross that line, then there's no stopping," he explains. He tells me that when he spoke recently in Japan, there was an American student there who objected to his views on gay marriage. "This was right in the middle of what was going on in west Texas, and I thought, Okay, how can we say that what those polygamists in west Texas are doing is wrong if we allow same-sex marriage? Who are you to tell them that that man can't have fifteen wives? [The student said] 'Well, it's not the same!' And I said, 'Okay, well, here's another one: bestiality. Now I know you're going to have a problem,' and he just went berserk on that. But there was recently an actual news story where a man wanted to marry his animal. . . . I think it was a sheep."

Huckabee says he doesn't know if homosexuality is inborn, but he believes you can control the behavior. He compares homosexuality to obesity or alcoholism: "Some people have a predisposition to alcoholism. Does that mean they're not responsible for getting drunk? No."

I give him the liberal line: Being gay is so integral to a person's identity that it's not a choice, that it's like being African-American.

"I'm especially offended by that," he answers immediately. "Because blackness is an inescapable quality. Black is not a behavior. There's no behavior to black. What you can say is that whatever disposition, it's a choice. A lot of people are celibate. When people enter the priesthood, they make a choice to subjugate certain behaviors and/or feelings. It's not that they don't have them; it's that they choose not to act on them."

He talks about how he saw a news clip from a Palm Springs rally of a woman holding a cross, being accosted by gay-rights protesters who grabbed the cross out of her hands. "I watch these guys, and they're all about love and tolerance until they lose."

In Huckabee's world, gay people are the oppressors and conservative Christians are the victims.

The piece is full of interesting tidbits, like the fact that Huckabee was apparently unaware that this country has never had a Jewish president and makes a point of noting that Sarah Palin's disastrous interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric were in no way "unfair," saying "Katie Couric was extraordinarily gentle, even helpful. [Palin] just . . . I don't know what happened. I can't explain it. It was not a good interview. I'm being charitable."

As they say, read the whole thing.

The Money Behind Those Restoration Projects

The Texas Freedom Network discovers the source of the funding behind the various right-wing "restoration" projects popping up around the country - primarily "God's Sugar Daddy" James Leininger and the American Family Association, who funneled their money through something called the Niemoller Foundation:

As it turns out, the executive director of the Texas Restoration Project — a man named David Lane — also helped organize similar pastor recruitment efforts elsewhere. We began to see “Renewal” and “Restoration” projects crop up in Colorado, Florida, Iowa and other states that were expected to become major battlegrounds in the 2008 presidential election.

Documents filed by Niemoller with the IRS show that Leininger and the far-right American Family Association were continuing to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Niemoller Foundation in 2006 and 2007, when these national pastor recruitment efforts were moving into high gear. In 2006 more than $200,000 of the Niemoller money went to pay the salary of Lane for “fundraising.” Niemoller also spent nearly $400,000 on “Pastors’ Policy Briefings” in Florida (Jan. 15-16, 2006) and Colorado (June 5-6 and again Oct. 2-4 of that year). Niemoller reported $615,000 in contributions that year, much of it from Leininger and the AFA (which were the only two names listed as “substantial contributors” on the foundation’s IRS Form 990).

IRS documents show that Niemoller raised another nearly $240,000 in 2007, nearly all of it from Leininger. That money helped cover $56,000 for Lane’s salary and nearly $200,000 to pay for an Austin ”Pastors’ Policy Briefing” to celebrate Gov. Perry’s reinauguration in January of that year.

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