On Monday, the Knoxville Journal Express reported that Iowa State Sen. Mark Chelgren, who this year is challenging Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, for his seat in Congress, suggested that the U.S. use the death penalty to punish undocumented immigrants who commit felonies in the U.S. and later try to reenter the country.
“For border security, Chelgren believes a fence would define the border and control who enters and leaves. If one is found to have crossed into the country illegally, committed a felony while here, then been deported, he supports executing that individual if they break America's immigration laws a second time,” the paper reported.
Chelgren, who has served in the Iowa state senate since 2010, later confirmed his remarks in an interview with the Des Moines Register, saying that he “will be strong on crime” and “make sure that we don’t have criminals coming into the United States and victimizing our citizens.” He said that Democrats were “race-baiting” by criticizing his proposal.
State Sen. Mark Chelgren, a southeast Iowa Republican who is running for Congress, says he favors consideration of capital punishment for criminal immigrants who continually enter the United States illegally.
Iowa Democrats harshly criticized that stance Tuesday, and a spokesman for the Republican Party of Iowa issued a statement disassociating the party with Chelgren's comments.
Chelgren, an Ottumwa businessman, was quoted Monday by the Journal-Express of Knoxville and Marion County as saying that for border security, he believes a fence would define the border and control who enters and leaves. If one is found to have crossed into the country illegally, committed a felony while here, then been deported, he supports executing that individual if he or she breaks U.S. immigration laws a second time, the newspaper said.
Chelgren recently announced plans to seek Iowa's 2nd District U.S. House seat now held by Rep. Dave Loebsack, an Iowa City Democrat. He confirmed the remarks made to the Journal-Express in an interview Tuesday with The Des Moines Register, but he said he was only suggesting that capital punishment be considered narrowly in situations where persons repeatedly enter the United States with the intent of committing terrorism or other felony crimes. He contended that Democratic Party officials were overreacting to his remarks and engaging in "race-baiting."
"I am looking at people who are deported and who re-enter the country illegally. Obviously, I don't want to tear apart families. We need to be sure we are protecting the people of the United States," Chelgren said.
He added, "Of course, I will be strong on crime. I want to make sure that we don't have criminals coming into the United States and victimizing our citizens."
- The Rachel Maddow Show: Cruz in questionable company, offers bizarre response to shooting.
- Dan @ TFN Insider: If Gov. Abbott Really Supports Religious Freedom, Why Is He Bullying Faith-based Organizations?
- Rachel Percelay @ Media Matters: This Hate Group Leader Has Hosted Most Of The Republican Presidential Candidates.
- Alan Colmes: Planned Parenthood attack an act of 'Christian terrorism'?
- Nathan McDermott @ BuzzFeed: Ben Carson’s Story About Ben Franklin Is Contradicted By Ben Franklin.
- Joe Jervis: Harlem Hate Pastor James David Manning Meets With Donald Trump.
- The Catholic League recognizes World AIDS Day: "[T]he real threat to gays comes from irrational gay activists and their equally irrational establishment allies."
- Get ready for "Glenn Beck Presents: Christmas Cheer!," a one-night event where "Glenn shares some of his deepest feelings about the importance of family and service to others during this very important Christmas season."
- Phyllis Schlafly says that she'll make a presidential endorsement soon and "it will be important because a lot of people seem to pay attention to what I say."
- Franklin Graham has posted an open letter "to all lesbians, gays, bisexuals, & transgenders" to remind them that "God loves you and so do I."
- Colorado state Rep. JoAnn Windholz blamed Planned Parenthood for the deadly shooting at one of its clinics: "The true instigator of this violence and all violence at any Planned Parenthood facility is Planned Parenthood themselves. Violence begets violence."
- Finally, "Coach" Dave Daubenmire posted a video declaring that Planned Parenthood clinics are "the ultimate terrorists."
Conservative actor Kevin Sorbo appeared on Newsmax today, where he discussed topics ranging from Islamic terrorism to the attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic Colorado Springs, telling host Steve Malzberg that liberals are insane.
Sorbo didn’t exactly have kind words for Hillary Clinton and other leaders who have said that violent extremists don’t represent Islam: “It’s total insanity. It’s so strange to me. I don’t know if they have a chromosome that’s missing or what it is in their DNA but it is mindboggling to me that you can’t call it what it is because we all know what it is.”
The conversation then turned to the attack on Planned Parenthood, which Sorbo dismissed by saying that members of the media are “more upset about the murdering that happened by this one guy instead of the 60 million murders they’ve committed since Roe v. Wade. Once again, we’re dealing with insanity.”
Virginia Republican lawmaker and marital rape denialist Richard “Dick” Black isn’t the only right-wing extremist who will be serving as a Ted Cruz campaign co-chair in Virginia.
Cynthia Dunbar, a former member of the Texas State Board of Education who now works at the Lynchburg-based Liberty University, was also named a state co-chair in a statement from the Cruz campaign in November.
Before joining Liberty University, the evangelical school founded by the late televangelist Jerry Falwell, Dunbar stoked national controversy when she tried to insert historical revisionist views into the Texas public school curriculum and textbooks. Since many textbooks are designed for the large Texas market, the changes, which would have placed a right-wing spin on American history and the U.S. Constitution, would have had an impact in other states as well.
Among other far-right views, Dunbar says she opposes the separation of church and state since she believes the founders wanted the government to promote religion. After leaving the school board, Dunbar admitted that she tried to shape the state’s curriculum in order to cure America of being a “biblically illiterate society” by teaching “the ‘laws of nature’s God’ revealed through the Holy Scripture.”
That came as no surprise, as Dunbar once led the board in praying for “a Christian land governed by Christian principles” and asserting that the Bill of Rights came straight out of the Bible. She similarly told a Washington, D.C., prayer rally that schools cannot instruct in an environment “devoid of the presence of the most high God,” praying for God to “invade our schools.” In a speech in favor of a sweeping anti-abortion bill, Dunbar asserted that lawmakers “don’t have the freedom to make any laws if they are contrary to what God has said in his Holy Scripture.”
Dunbar believes that the U.S. was designed to have “an emphatically Christian government” and must have a “biblical litmus test” for public officials, saying that they must have “sincere knowledge and appreciation for the Word of God in order to rightly govern.”
Dunbar has clearly expressed her loathing for public education in her book One Nation Under God, calling public schools a “tool of perversion,” “unconstitutional” and “tyrannical.” She has also personally rejected the public school system, home-schooling her children. In fact, she wrote in her book that sending our children to public schools is “throwing them into the enemy’s flames even as the children of Israel threw their children to Moloch.”
Just before the November election, Dunbar also authored a vicious Internet rant in which she called Barack Obama a terrorist sympathizer who wants to seize total power by declaring martial law. In another Internet screed, she charged that Obama is promoting Marxism by calling for “shared sacrifice and social responsibility.” (Not surprisingly, both essays have been removed from the Web sites that published them.)
This would be in line with her radical anti-gay views. For example, in a radio show discussing gay members of the Boy Scouts of America, Dunbar derided gay activism as “the same type of thing that was done in pre-Holocaust Germany, as far as propaganda and presentation and swaying the whole mindset of a nation.”
She similarly claimed that people who oppose the teaching of Creationism in public schools are repeating what occurred “in pre-Holocaust Germany” when there was only “one ideology that’s acceptable.”
Dunbar’s claims about America turning into Nazi Germany due to the teaching of evolution and advances of gay rights will help her fit right in as a member of Cruz’s Virginia Leadership Team, as Dick Black, her fellow state campaign co-chair, once said that abortion rights in America are no different than the Holocaust in Nazi Germany.
Other endorsers touted by the Cruz campaign have made the comparison as well: Flip Benham declared that legal abortion “is exactly what happened in Nazi Germany” and Troy Newman has railed against Obamacare and abortion rights as a return to Nazi crimes.
Glenn Beck dedicated an entire segment of his radio program today to absolutely excoriating Donald Trump for mocking a New York Times reporter with a disability last week and then laughably trying to deny that he had done so. After repeatedly blasting Trump, Beck eventually began to speculate that the business mogul's entire presidential campaign is part of some secret deal to help Hillary Clinton get elected to the White House.
After pointing out that pretty much all of Trump's stated positions make no sense and often directly contradict his previously stated views, Beck concluded that is is "more logical" to conclude that Trump is running for president in order to launch a third party campaign for the purpose of undermining the Republican Party and benefiting of Hillary Clinton.
"What are the odds that he is a spoiler?" Beck asked. "What are the odds that he got into this because he's friend with the Clintons and he'll get massive payback? If Hillary Clinton gets in because he ran third party, do you know the favor they're going to owe him?"
"It makes no sense otherwise," Beck insisted, asserting that "it's more logical to believe that" scenario than the idea that Trump is actually a Republican or even someone who cares about the issues.
This new theory, of course, somewhat conflicts with Beck's previous theory that Trump's campaign was a conspiracy designed by "big business" to destroy the Tea Party.
Apparently still trying to steal support from Donald Trump’s “silent majority,” Sen. Ted Cruz insisted last night that while the media is reporting on the anti-choice politics of the man who attacked a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs last week, they never report that “the overwhelming majority of violent criminals are Democrats.”
“Now listen,” Cruz told Hugh Hewitt, “here’s the simple and undeniable fact. The overwhelming majority of violent criminals are Democrats. The media doesn’t report that. And there’s a reason why the Democrats for years have been soft on crime, because they go in and they appoint to the bench judges who release violent criminals.”
“They go in and they do what Barack Obama tried to do,” he continued, “which is appoint a lawyer who voluntarily represented for free a cop killer to a senior Justice Department position, that they go in and fight to give the right to vote to convicted felons. Why? Because Democrats know that convicted felons tend to vote Democrat.”
There’s a lot of bile to unpack there, from Cruz’s dismissal of the bipartisan campaign to restore voting rights to people who have served time for felonies, which disproportionately affects people of color, to his Willie Horton dog-whistle about Democrats appointing “soft on crime” judges.
But there’s one part of Cruz’s remarks that threatens to get buried under the rest of it: his boast about the Debo Adegbile episode, in which Cruz was instrumental in blocking a Justice Department nominee because of his history as a criminal defense attorney.
Back in 2013, President Obama nominated Adegbile, a longtime civil rights attorney who had previously worked at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division, which had been infamously thrown off course by the Bush Administration.
Cruz spoke out on the Senate floor against Adegbile’s nomination, focusing on the attorney’s role while at the LDF representing Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of murdering a Philadelphia police officer. With the LDF representing him on appeal, a federal court found that the instructions to the jury that had sentenced Abu-Jamal to death had violated the Constitution, and Abu-Jamal was resentenced to life in prison.
When Obama nominated Adegbile to the civil rights post, conservative media blasted him as a “cop killer coddler,” a refrain which helped Republicans in the Senate pressure vulnerable Democrats into voting against his nomination.
It was an ugly episode, in which politicians like Cruz essentially declared that not all criminal defendants deserve the Constitution’s guarantee of legal counsel. And it’s telling that Cruz, the self-proclaimed lover of the Constitution, brought it up in his latest ugly screed.
Fresh off announcing endorsements from radical anti-choice and anti-gay activists, Ted Cruz announced his Virginia Leadership Team last week, naming state Sen. Richard “Dick” Black as his state campaign co-chair.
Black is one of the most far-right lawmakers in the state, if not the country.
As a state delegate, Black appeared to deny the existence of marital rape: “I do not know how on earth you could validly get a conviction of a husband-wife rape, where they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie and so forth, there’s no injury, there’s no separation or anything.”
Black, who wants to ban abortion in all cases and made waves by “passing out plastic fetuses before a crucial abortion vote,” once denounced abortion rights as reminiscent of Nazi Germany and likened abortion clinics to Nazi death camps like Auschwitz.
He is also an opponent of contraceptives, calling for a law that would outlaw the morning-after pill and referring to emergency contraception as “baby pesticide” and “a toxic method of eliminating a child.”
No fan of gay rights, Black responded to the Lawrence v. Texas decision overturning state anti-sodomy bans by declaring, “If I’m the last person on the face of this Earth to vote against legalizing sodomy, I’ll do it.”
He once tried to mandate that adoption agencies inquire whether prospective parents are “known to engage in current voluntary homosexual activity” and attacked a state initiative to make it easier for gay couples, who were not allowed to legally marry at the time, and other unmarried couples to apply for home mortgages by insisting that Virginia “is now spending $90 million to subsidize sodomy and adultery” and having tax dollars go towards “supporting a radical homosexual agenda.”
Black was also outraged about a high school play in which two men kissed, claiming that it could lead to kids contracting HIV:
Del. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun) e-mailed his supporters claiming that, in the play, "two male students engaged in a homosexual kiss onstage" and that public schools were "being used to promote a homosexual lifestyle."
"Within our public schools, there is a tendency to encourage homosexual activity, to portray it in a cute or favorable light," Black said in an interview yesterday. "This is a considerable health hazard right now. If we encourage just one child to experiment and contract the HIV virus, then we have done an enormous disservice to our children."
In 2010, Black penned a column arguing that the military should not lift its ban on openly gay service members as it could result in sexual violence and discomfort for straight soldiers who have “to sleep and shower under the watchful eyes of men.”
Black, veering into foreign policy, also praised Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, hailing “Assad’s forces for ‘heroic’ actions and ‘extraordinary gallantry’” in a letter that was later posted on Assad’s Facebook page. While Black may be a fan of Assad, he is not a fan of Abraham Lincoln.
As Mother Jones reported:
In 2003, Black led a fight to prevent a statue of Abraham Lincoln seated with his son Tad from gracing the grounds of the Tredegar Iron Works, a Civil War-era foundry that supplied the Confederate army with cannons. "Putting a statue to [Lincoln] there is sort of like putting the Confederate flag at the Lincoln Memorial," Black told the Washington Post, adding that the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC ought to be enough. Black even asked the Virginia Attorney General, Republican Jerry Kilgore, to investigate whether any state laws prohibited the National Park Service, which leases Tredegar, from erecting the statue. (None did.)
But Black received prominent placement in Cruz’s announcement:
“Our team far exceeded the needed number of signatures to get on the ballot in Virginia, more than doubling the 5,000 signatures required,” said State Senator Dick Black. “Ted Cruz’s ground game distinguishes his campaign from all the others. It is a formidable accomplishment by our team and I could not be more proud to be part of the organization supporting Ted.”
“We have an exceptional team in the Commonwealth, and the success we’ve had getting more than 10,000 signatures on the ballot, as well as the more than three dozen additional team members, shows we are committed to competing in Virginia and fighting for every delegate,” said Cruz. “I look forward to working with each and every one of them as we continue to coalesce conservatives around our campaign.”
And he is now in good company.
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