Brian Tashman's blog

Wait. Is Ben Carson Pro-Choice?

Ben Carson has made a point of courting Religious Right voters, suggesting that God called on him to run for the GOP presidential nomination and perfecting the right-wing persecution narrative about how conservatives are being repressed by a Nazi-like government and politically correct culture. It seemed that it went without saying that Carson would emerge as a staunch opponent of abortion rights.

However, as Politico’s Katie Glueck pointed out in an article today, Carson and his campaign have been using the exact same language used by a good many supporters of abortion rights, saying that while abortion may be objectionable, it should not be outlawed.

The attention to Carson’s ambiguous position on abortion rights comes after it was revealed that Carson once used aborted fetuses in his medical research, to which he offered an incomprehensible explanation. Back in 1992, he disavowed an anti-choice campaign ad that featured his remarks, telling the Baltimore Sun at the time that he did not believe in legal sanctions on abortion and had referred patients to doctors who offer abortion services:

“As a physician who does not believe in abortion, when faced with a patient who has severe medical problems, I would refer someone for an abortion,” Carson told the Baltimore Sun in September of 1992. “I believe that person needs to hear both sides … I would never advocate it’s illegal for a person to get an abortion. I think in the long run we do a lot of harm when we bludgeon people.”

In an interview with Glueck, a spokesman for Carson’s campaign made a similar argument, saying that while Carson personally opposes abortion, he doesn’t think the laws should be changed to take away that choice. 

We can’t imagine that this position will sit well with Carson’s enthusiastic Religious Right fan base. But we also aren’t sure that Carson’s campaign even knows what his position on abortion rights is.

“He believes in quality medical care, No. 1, and secondly, he believes in people making their own decisions based on facts and information,” said Carson communications director Doug Watts, when asked whether Carson stands by his previous decisions to refer women whose fetuses had genetic defects to doctors who provide abortions. He does, Watts said.

“He believes people ought to have all the facts available to them, but he is steadfastly opposed to abortion,” Watts continued. “Referring it on does not mean he is advocating it, he’s advocating they are getting qualified medical supervision. He has always believed that the battle over abortion had to be waged in the hearts and minds of Americans, that you cannot legislate morality. But he also believes we’re winning the debate.”

Many pro-abortion rights politicians also personally have qualms about the procedure, but don’t feel it’s their role to pursue legal restrictions on the measure. Pressed repeatedly to name a legal restriction Carson supports, Watts demurred even as he stressed that the candidate is adamantly anti-abortion.

“It’s not a matter of legality, because there is legal abortion, but you’re asking for his point of view, where his restrictions are,” he said in a follow-up call. “Restrictions are not necessarily in his mind determined by laws. He believes that life begins at conception and that he is opposed to abortion after that.”

Carson has, in fact, come out in support of a bill in Congress that would ban abortion at 20 weeks, and he has said that cases in which giving birth endangers the life of the mother are rare — but should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. But Watts reiterated that the legal realm is not Carson’s focus.

“It is legal,” Watts said of abortion. “And as I say, he does not think the issue is one that can be legislated as much as having to win the hearts and minds of people, to discover the morality or immorality of abortion. He is unequivocally, completely, positively opposed to abortion.”



He thinks it is not something that is legislated,” Watts said of reining in abortion. “There’s been all kinds of laws over the years on abortion, some far more harsh than we have today, some less harsh. But what’s going on, to properly address the issue in his mind, is speaking to people in their hearts and minds so they realize the immorality of the act.” (emphasis added)

Religious Right Lawyer Debunks Religious Right's Favorite Talking Point On Gay Marriage

Anti-gay activists have claimed that the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down same-sex marriage bans in Obergefell v. Hodges will lead to a tidal wave of oppression and persecution — just as they did following the passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009. Struggling to find the “victims” of gay marriage, Religious Right activists have pointed to a small handful of wedding cake bakers or photographers who were sued after denying service to gay couples.

One of these bakers, Jack Phillips, recently lost his appeal after he was found to be in violation of Colorado’s nondiscrimination law. After the courts ruled against Phillips for a second time, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Fox News pundit Todd Starnes linked the ruling to the Obgerefell decision, even though the lawsuit against the baker was filed prior to Obgerefell and even before Colorado legalized same-sex marriage (the couple was married in Massachusetts).

Alliance Defending Freedom’s Nicolle Martin, who is representing Phillips, appeared yesterday on Perkins’ radio show, where she spoke to guest host Craig James, another FRC official, about the case. (When Martin spoke to Perkins about the case last year, Perkins speculated that it could be a forerunner to an anti-Christian holocaust, asking when the government would “start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians.”)

When James asked Martin if Phillips would have “prevailed if the Supreme Court had not redefined marriage,” the attorney flatly answered, “No.”

“This court used decisions that predated Obgerefell,” she said, adding, “Obgerefell has nothing to do with the First Amendment and the right of all Americans to live and work according to their conscience, it has nothing to do with the Free Exercise Clause, it does not affect those fundamental rights, the pre-eminent civil rights laws of our nation, it doesn’t affect those laws in anyway.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom attorney’s statement pretty much rebuts the Religious Right’s favorite talking point about how the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling “abolished” the First Amendment.

Rick Santorum: Liberals 'Rewriting History' To 'Fit Their Ideology' Like In Communist China, USSR

On Friday, Rick Santorum spoke to Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson about his recent debate with Rachel Maddow in which he disregarded the principle of judicial review, pointing to Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Jackson as presidents who defied the court in order to “do what is right.” This led Mickelson to ask him about the Iowa Democratic Party’s recent decision to rename their “Jefferson-Jackson Dinner” because the two men were slaveholders.

“This is what the left does, the left has done this from the days of the Soviet Union and Communist China, is they erase history and what history they have they re-edit it and redefine it into something that is fundamentally untrue to fit their ideology,” Santorum said. “If you are trying to decide what’s true, conservativism and traditional American values or this new progressivism, if progressivism is true, why are they going back and rewriting history to make it match what they believe in? That should raise some question marks.”

Clearly Rick Santorum has never heard of David Barton.

Pat Robertson: Christians Forced To 'Bow Down' Before Gays Who Are Bent On Destroying Us

Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson claimed that “left-wing so-called progressives” have “hijacked the Constitution and control the court system of America,” which has ushered in judicial “tyranny” with rulings such the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. As a result, America’s Christian majority “are being made to bow down before the two percent who are homosexual.”

“We have surrendered the great freedom we have in this nation to an oligarchy of non-elected judges,” he said. “This is a free country.” The televangelist especially took issue with Justice Anthony Kennedy, the author of the Obergefell decision: “These five, and Justice Kennedy is off on this kick about the personhood and sanctity of personhood and being gay is your self-identity and all that baloney, it’s not in the Constitution but he’s come up with all of these rules.”

“Why am I upset about this? We better be upset,” Robertson added.

Robertson further alleged that “homosexuals, gays, lesbians, transgender, whatever you call them,” are not satisfied with “acceptance.”

LGBT people, he said, are not “content,” despite the fact that they have “job protection” (which isn’t actually the case) and “homosexual marriage is protected by the Constitution,” adding that “the founders would have been turning in their graves if they thought such a thing was being said.”

“They now are on a vendetta to destroy everyone who disagree with them,” he warned. “They are going to do everything to destroy everyone who disagrees with this point of view.”

Michael Savage: 'Extreme Diets' Of Liberals Are 'Creating A Vast Epidemic Of Mental Deficiency'

Last week, right-wing talk show host Michael Savage blamed the recent demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, on George Soros, who he claims is trying to bring down the U.S. in order to make money. Savage elaborated on the point when a caller insisted that Soros has “developed a mental disorder,” telling the caller that he could “prove” that “liberalism is in fact a mental disorder.”

“I think I have the evidence now in forms of the diets they put themselves on,” he said. “It’s creating a vast epidemic of mental deficiency.”

Savage went on to say that liberals are either vegans or paleo diet enthusiasts and are, as a result, deficient in carbohydrates, inhibiting the function of their brains. These “extreme diets,” Savage said, have "produced an entire generation of mental incompetence.”

He said that white protesters in Ferguson, who he said should have been arrested, “are mentally disordered not solely because of their politics but also likely because of the drugs they’re on and the foods they are not eating.”

WorldNetDaily: The Apocalypse Is Coming!

Yesterday, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah wrote that he is always surprised when he gets accused “of being an apocalyptic doomsdayer” because, after all, people who believe in climate science are “the real doomsdayers in our world.”

The very same day, WorldNetDaily published an article claiming that this September will see a huge, cataclysmic event, a prediction that touched on theblood moonprophecy that the far-right outlet has been promoting for years. (Farah once starred in a WorldNetDaily movie about how blood moons signal the Last Days, and took offense when President Obama made a joke about Rep. Michele Bachmann’s claim that his presidency ushered in the End Times).

And just a few days ago, WorldNetDaily also posted this column, “Foreshocks of Armageddon,” which seems to contradict everything Farah just said by alleging that the Rapture and emergence of the Antichrist are just around the corner.

I believe we are seeing in our world right now what can be described as the foreshocks of Armageddon. We are seeing these foreshocks all around us. Jesus said that in the last days, we “will hear of wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6 NKJV). And it seems today that at every turn, there is a new conflict.



I don’t know if there has ever been an alignment of events with technology and global conflicts like we have today where it would not at all be a stretch to imagine end-times events unfolding before our very eyes.

And it is my opinion that the next event on this prophetic calendar is the rapture of the church, when all true believers are caught up to meet the Lord in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. In fact, I don’t even think the Tribulation period can begin until the church is first removed. And I don’t think Antichrist can emerge until that first takes place.



We see the signs of the times on the news and in the Scriptures, and these signs are saying the Antichrist is coming. But if the Antichrist is close, then the coming of Jesus Christ for his church is even closer.

Larry Klayman: 1776-Style Revolution Coming If Conservatives Don't Win 2016 Election

Last week, a U.S. Appeals Court unanimously rejected a lawsuit brought by right-wing legal activist Larry Klayman on behalf of Sheriff Joe Arpaio challenging the Obama administration’s executive actions on immigration.

Klayman used his weekly WorldNetDaily column on Friday to declare that he is now taking his battle to the Supreme Court, hoping that the court “will stand up against growing tyranny.”

“Our country is dying, most Americans are feeling and fearing,” Klayman claimed, writing that those who feel that way are beginning “to flock to Donald Trump and other anti-establishment presidential candidates.”

“Tomorrow, if real, honest, non-establishment leaders fail to get elected, such as a president who can arrest the downward spiral of the nation, revolution will break out as it did in 1776,” he wrote. “All political persuasions in this country have had it, and the judicial, legislative and executive establishment will figuratively be taken to the guillotines.”

Klayman made the same prediction about a revolution in 2013, when he urged “millions” to come to his rally calling for the overthrow of Obama. The revolution didn’t exactly materialize: Only about 100 people showed up.

As a lawless president, shredding the U.S. Constitution, Obama unilaterally granted amnesty to 6 million illegal aliens, plus benefits and work permits. He legislated in his 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Nov. 20, 2014, expansion of deferred action.

However, Arpaio’s case was dismissed in December by Judge Beryl Howell – appointed by President Obama – for lack of “standing.” Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of Arpaio’s case. Sadly, this does not surprise me. Two of the three judges on that D.C. Circuit panel were appointed by Obama. Only one was appointed by President George W. Bush. I have always expected that the questions will have to be decided in the U.S. Supreme Court. And now we are moving the issue toward that final stage.

Is there hope the Supreme Court will stand up against growing tyranny to protect our Constitution? Even that hope is rapidly vanishing. I founded Judicial Watch in 1994 and later founded Freedom Watch with the goal of challenging the perversion of our nation’s laws, fighting government corruption and promoting transparency of government to the people. But I believed back then that there was still some chance left that some judges would stand up against lawlessness.



These problems are part of the lawlessness corrupting our nation. Our country is dying, most Americans are feeling and fearing – at least those not too busy keeping up with the Kardashians. This feeling drove thousands of ordinary Americans to tea party rallies in 2009 and beyond. Today, this is causing voters to flock to Donald Trump and other anti-establishment presidential candidates.

Tomorrow, if real, honest, non-establishment leaders fail to get elected, such as a president who can arrest the downward spiral of the nation, revolution will break out as it did in 1776. All political persuasions in this country have had it, and the judicial, legislative and executive establishment will figuratively be taken to the guillotines.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pat Robertson: I Don't Have Psychic Powers, Just Get Messages From God To Heal People

On a typical episode of “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson dedicates a segment to calling out healings — curing everything from bacterial infections to tumors — or bequeathing miracle money on lucky viewers. Today, a viewer asked Robertson if he has “a psychic ability of sorts” that makes these healings through the television possible.

Robertson explained that he is not a psychic, but receives a word from the Lord “that will tell us what is going on and we can see it touch it, feel it and so forth.”

“This isn’t psychic, they are real and we’ve had thousands and thousands of people who have been healed,” he added.

Paranoia-Rama: Nuclear War, Civil War & Cannibalism Coming To America

The prophets have spoken, and the news isn’t good for America. It turns out that war, terrorist attacks and a possible nuclear Armageddon are all on the horizon, and more likely than not it’s Obama’s fault.
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