Brian Tashman's blog

Texas GOP Board Of Education Candidate Calls For 'Straight Pride,' Likens Gay People To Murderers

Lady Theresa Thombs, the Republican candidate for the Texas State Board of Education who rails against evolution, “socialist higher education” and “Devil worshipers,” today shared a Facebook post calling for “Straight Pride.”

When several commenters mocked her post, Thombs responded that she doesn’t hate gay people and only thinks that gay people are sinners, just like murderers: “We are not bigoted or hateful. Jesus said to love the sinner but hate the sin. God gives you free will to do what you want. But murder is a sin, but even a murderer is loved and forgiven if he asked to be. We both have the right to believe the way we choose is all that I am saying.” 

In another Facebook post, Thombs said that people who criticized her attack on evolution at a school board candidate forum are actually trying to take away the right of Christians to speak freely and run for public office.

The Texas Freedom Network wondered “who has argued that Christians ‘have no right to seek public office,’” reminding Thombs that almost all of the candidates for the post are Christian. 

Anti-Choice Columnist Calls Out Fellow Religious Right Activists For Israel Hypocrisy

Religious Right activists often claim that they will never be silent about “Nazi” abortion rights …that is, unless those rights exist in Israel. We noted last week that Israel’s decision to expand public funding for abortion coverage was met with crickets from many American anti-choice groups that also embrace Christian Zionism and accuse President Obama of being unfriendly to Israel.

These organizations, of course, would have erupted with rage if the Obama administration had even contemplated implementing a similar policy.

In a column today, a writer at the conservative Catholic website Aleteia calls out U.S abortion rights opponents for responding to Israel’s new policy “with little comment or condemnation,” wondering if they either “missed the story” or think “abortion in Israel just doesn’t matter.”

Aleteia’s Mark Gordon writes that in order to be consistent, the same anti-choice movement that demands a ban on government funds for abortion coverage and groups like Planned Parenthood in the U.S. should also call for the end of U.S. aid to Israel: “American taxpayers should not be put in the position of underwriting the culture of death. But if that’s true of Obamacare – and it is – then shouldn’t it be true for American foreign aid?”

American pro-life and pro-family groups responded to the December announcement with little comment or condemnation. Lifesitenews.com chose to run an anodyne report on the policy change, but not editorialize. The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), whose mission is to “defend life and family at international institutions and to publicize the debate,” had nothing to say. The same was true for National Right to Life, Priests for Life, the American Life League and most others.

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, head of Americans United for Life, did note in a statement that “Unborn lives are rich with possibilities and worth saving and government should never be used to harm life and harm women.” The Family Research Council’s Arina Grossu agreed, saying, “No government should invest its money into killing its own citizens.” She also predicted that Israeli government funding would only result in more abortions in that country.” On the other hand, Liberty Counsel, “an international nonprofit litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family,” told its members on January 9, “there has never been a more critical time for you to show your support to Israel and its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu!” Either someone at Liberty Counsel missed the story or abortion in Israel just doesn’t matter.

Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, declined to comment, but perhaps that’s understandable. In addition to his pro-life work, Smith is a charter member of the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF). Formed in 2006, IAF is a kind of institutional link between the US Congress and the Israeli Knesset. Smith, a Catholic, is also the House sponsor of a wonderful bill titled “The Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013.” The measure is intended introduce much-needed transparency to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. If passed, Smith’s bill would force insurers to notify their insured whether abortion is or isn’t covered, and whether any surcharges or other fees are used to pay for abortions. In presenting his bill, Smith wrote, “Obamacare’s abortion mandate violates federal law and makes taxpayers complicit in the culture of death.”

Smith is right, of course. American taxpayers should not be put in the position of underwriting the culture of death. But if that’s true of Obamacare – and it is – then shouldn’t it be true for American foreign aid? Israel receives about $3 billion each year from American taxpayers. About 74% of that is returned to the United States in the form of contracts with American weapons manufacturers. But given the fungible nature of money, and since Israel would buy weapons with money from its own treasury in the absence of aid, the current arrangement amounts to American funding of Israeli abortions.

Klayman: America Is In 'State Of Revolution,' Just Doesn't Know It Yet

Larry Klayman claims America is experiencing a revolution against President Obama and his administration…but Americans just don’t know it yet.

Speaking with David Knight of InfoWars yesterday, Klayman said that former defense secretary Robert Gates “called Obama a traitor” who “has been favoring Muslim interests over American servicemen.”

“We’re in a state of revolution, the country is up against the law,” Klayman said. “Unfortunately, most people don’t recognize it yet, but that was true in 1776.”

Or maybe Americans don’t recognize the revolution yet because just one hundred people — and not the millions he expected — turned up for Klayman’s rally calling for Obama’s ouster.

David Barton's Choice For Texas Attorney General Seeks To Turn State Into An 'Independent Nation'

As we all know, there is nobody more patriotic than a politician who promotes secession from the United States and backs white nationalist groups.

Take for example Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman, once boasted to WorldNetDaily that thanks to him, Texas has “made great progress in becoming an independent nation.” Smitherman, now a Republican candidate for state attorney general, has also attacked the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling as “hate groups” organizations that subscribe to white nationalism and have neo-Nazi ties.

Now, naturally, Smitherman has earned the endorsement of pseudo-historian David Barton: “David Barton, founder of Wallbuilders, has endorsed Barry Smitherman for Texas Attorney General! Stand with David to elect a true conservative to the Office of the Attorney General.”

We won’t hold our breath to see if Barton — who believes that the United States is a divinely inspired nation and that bad stuff started to happen only recently because of the removal of government-sponsored prayer from schools and homosexuality — sees a problem with reconciling his nationalistic views with a politician who talks about turning Texas into “an independent nation.”

(HT: Warren Throckmorton)

Tony Perkins Fears Humanity Will Die Out Due To Gay Rights

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins told Washington Watch listeners last Friday that they should oppose gay equality because it will lead to the end of humanity.

Perkins agreed with a caller who said that gay people should be asked how they could exist “if it were not for physical relationship, intimacy between a man and a woman,” a point which followed a long rant about how President Obama is a Muslim under the influence of the Devil.

The FRC head responded that “the human race would be extinct within time if [homosexuality was] normal.”

Perkins has previously warned that government “promotion of same-sex relations” is part of a “push for population control.” Last month, Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver claimed that if gays and lesbians were allowed to legally marry then “everyone” might start “to go towards same-sex marriage” and society would “simply cease to exist.”

Caller: At the beginning of your show, I suppose it was a rhetorical question about what’s driving this administration. Well, simple explanation. If it’s not of God, it’s of the Devil; and you can certainly tell that the Obama administration is not of God. How can they expect any kind of peace with crazy stuff going on with any kind of certainty of working things out when you have a Muslim leader of a country over here per se trying to work things out between the Jewish people and Muslims and stuff, you know how can they expect it not to go the way they want it to?

One of my things about the gay and lesbian stuff. I have a non-biblical way to try to get the attention would be to ask those people that practice that lifestyle if it were not for physical relationship, intimacy between a man and a woman, how could they exist?

Perkins: Basic biology. You’re absolutely right. That’s why if you think about it, its logical conclusion would be if it were normal it would be extinct, the human race would be extinct within time if it were normal. So you’re right. Biology says the only we exist as human beings is that a man and a woman come together and we procreate. That’s the reason that government has long recognize marriage is because it is the place in which children are born.

Buster Wilson: Target Data Breach Is God's Wrath For Kmart Joe Boxer Ad

Former American Family Association talk show host Buster Wilson implied on Twitter today that the massive Target data breach was divine punishment for an ad…made by one of its competitors.

The “unseemly” commercial Wilson seems to be referencing is Kmart’s Joe Boxer ad, which upset the AFA so much that its OneMillionMoms affiliate organized a campaign against it.

We’re not exactly sure why Wilson thinks God would punish millions of Target customers over a Kmart ad, but such rants are what we’ve come to expect from the ex-AFA pundit.

APP: Republicans Will Win Women & Young Voters By Amplifying Anti-Choice, Anti-Gay Stances

The American Principles Project, the Religious Right group that helped torpedo Mary Cheney’s short-lived Senate bid in Wyoming, claims that Republicans can win young and women voters if they campaigned more aggressively on their party platform’s ultraconservative positions on abortion rights and LGBT equality.

The organization issued a report [PDF] last fall which criticizes Republican candidates like Mitt Romney for trying to play down or moderate the GOP’s stances on such social issues. APP’s Maggie Gallagher -- formerly of the National Organization for Marriage -- even chided the far-right Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli for not being conservative enough.

In an interview today with OneNewsNow, an affiliate of the American Family Association, APP spokeswoman Kate Bryan claims that the GOP’s opposition to choice and gay rights will actually help the party win over women and young voters.

Bryan may want to check out the 2012 election exit poll, which found that 59 percent of voters supported legal abortion, or the many studies that report support for marriage equality reaching record highs.

Spokesperson Kate Bryan of the American Principles Project points out that Mitt Romney had little to say about abortion and homosexuality, and he was defeated by Barack Obama "instead of standing strong on these foundational principles that the majority of Americans stand with."



Bryan insists Republicans were afraid they would lose the votes of women and youth, so they "deflected" on social issues.

"For lack of a better term," she says, "they were cowards."

What about the future?

"I think that they're starting to see the trend and instead of shying away from it, they're really embracing their stance and being a strong voice," says the American Principles spokesperson.

Because of that change, she predicts the GOP will garner more votes from women and from young people.

FRC: Girl Scouts 'Encourage Promiscuity' & Engage In 'Child Abuse'

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and the group’s senior fellow Cathy Ruse dedicated a segment of Washington Watch on Friday to attacking the Girl Scouts over a Twitter “scandal.” In December, the Girl Scouts tweeted a link to a HuffPost Women article called, “These Incredible Ladies Should Be Women Of The Year For 2013.”

The article included a HuffPost Live video in which panelists mentioned Malala Yousafzai, Beyoncé Knowles and Wendy Davis as their picks for Woman of the Year. The mention of Davis, the Texas state senator and gubernatorial candidate who gained international attention for her filibuster of a bill curtailing abortion rights, infuriated anti-choice activists, who then attacked the Girl Scouts for linking to the post.

Such criticisms are nothing new from the Right. The FRC frequently lambasts and even prays against the Girl Scouts. In 2012, the group launched a boycott of Girl Scout cookies

Ruse alleged to Perkins that the leadership of the Girl Scouts is encouraging promiscuity and abortion and that the group’s decision to let a transgender girl join a Brownie troop amounted to “child abuse.”

To them abortion and sex-ed and promiscuity for very young girls is a good thing. They just have a very different mindset but they do not share the values of most American parents and the values of most people who are in the Girl Scouts. So when the Girl Scout membership begins to learn about this they find it scandalous. There’s a reason why membership is down in the Girl Scouts, there’s a reason why cookie sales are down, because all of these things are scandalous. You know, Girl Scouts now admit cross-dressing boys as little Brownie girls; it’s child abuse, frankly.



Look at what the organization at the head wants to do with your girls and where it’s taking the organization and then people can decide what they should do. You’ve got a cross-dresser in the front office, you’ve got little boys admitted as little girls and those poor little girls in those troops have to pretend this is a girl? That’s child abuse in some people’s estimation.

Perkins also revived the myth that the Girl Scouts circulated a Planned Parenthood pamphlet at an event in 2010. He argued that Planned Parenthood seeks to “encourage promiscuity and behavior that would lead [Girl Scouts] into Planned Parenthood clinics.”

Perkins: We’re talking about the agenda that’s really behind the Girl Scouts. I guess Cathy I can understand, it makes sense for Planned Parenthood to want to be teamed up with the Girl Scouts because that’s a client base for them if they can get this information into their hands to encourage promiscuity and behavior that would lead them into Planned Parenthood clinics.

Ruse: Absolutely, it’s logical isn’t it.

Sound Familiar? Once Again, Anti-Gambling Republicans Secretly Work With Indian Casinos

A New York Times report this weekend on national groups coordinating to win state-level elections noted the revelation, which first surfaced last fall, that Alabama Republicans worked to funnel money from Indian casinos to support candidates running on anti-gambling platforms in 2010.

The casinos opposed the expansion of gambling as part of plan to quash competition; meanwhile, state Republicans needed an influx of money to help them win control of the state legislature.

Alabama GOP chairman Mike Hubbard and state senator Del Marsh, who also serves as the state party’s finance chairman, worked with an Indian tribe to direct money to the Washington-based Republican State Leadership Committee. The RSLC, run by former RNC chairman and likely Virginia senate candidate Ed Gillespie, then passed the funds on to Alabama Republicans, thus shielding anti-gambling candidates from a public association with tribal casinos.

The arrangement also offered donors a way to help Mr. Hubbard without their checks showing up on the Alabama party’s public filings. One such supporter was the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, which operates several large casinos on tribal land in Alabama.

The tribe was wary of the rapid expansion of non-Indian gambling in the state, particularly the proliferation of small bingo parlors competing with their resort casinos, and stood to benefit if antigambling Republicans took control of the Legislature. But precisely because they opposed gambling, few Republican state lawmakers or candidates would accept the tribe’s contributions.

After meeting with Mr. Marsh and other Republicans, said Robert R. McGhee, director of government affairs for the tribe, the tribe chose a different approach: It donated $350,000 to the leadership committee. When the contributions were later disclosed, critics accused Mr. Hubbard of using the Washington group to launder the money by exchanging it with other contributions.

If this story sounds familiar to you, that might be because disgraced GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed — who once led the Christian Coalition and now runs the Faith & Freedom Coalition — hatched a similar plan in the late 1990s to raise money from Indian casinos to back the “anti-gambling” Christian Coalition in order to stifle their gambling industry competitors.

In 1999, Abramoff subcontracted Reed’s firm to generate opposition to attempts to legalize a state-sponsored lottery and video poker in Alabama, an effort that was bankrolled by the Choctaw Tribe in order to eliminate competition to its own casino in neighboring Mississippi.[67] Reed promised that Century Strategies was “opening the bomb bays and holding nothing back” and his firm ultimately received $1.3 million from the Choctaws for this effort, which included engaging the Alabama chapter of the Christian Coalition, as well as influential right-wing figures such as James Dobson, to work to defeat the proposals. [68]

The strategy had one small problem: the Alabama Christian Coalition had an explicit policy that it “will not be the recipient of any funds direct or in-direct or any in-kind direct or indirect from gambling interests.” (Emphasis in original.)[69] Knowing this, Reed and Abramoff worked to hide the source of the $850,000 paid to the Christian Coalition for its anti-gambling efforts by funneling money from the Choctaws through Americans for Tax Reform, a Washington, DC anti-tax organization headed by their old College Republican friend Grover Norquist.[70] When asked why the tribe’s money had to be funneled through conduits such as ATR, a Choctaw representative stated it was because Reed did not want it known that casino money was funding his operation: “It was our understanding that the structure was recommended by Jack Abramoff to accommodate Mr. Reed’s political concerns.”[71]

Nonetheless, Reed repeatedly assured the Christian Coalition that the funding for its work was not coming from gambling interests. This was technically true as the Choctaws were paying for it out of their non-gambling revenue, though their objective was obviously to protect their own gambling interests and revenue.[72] According to emails obtained during a Senate investigation into Abramoff’s activities and reported in the media, Reed was well aware of who was paying for this anti-gambling effort. When the information began to surface in the press and the Christian Coalition learned of the source of the $850,000 it had received, it demanded an explanation from Reed who apologized in a letter saying he should have “explained that the contributions came from the Choctaws,”[73] this admitting that he had been fully aware of the source of the funding. But by the time Reed offered his “after-the-fact apology,” the gambling initiative had been defeated and the Christian Coalition had been duped.[74]

When word of Reed’s work for Abramoff first broke, Reed claimed that he had “no direct knowledge of [Abramoff’s lobbying firm’s] clients or their interests.”[75] But according to the report recently released by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Abramoff’s bilking of the tribes, Reed was informed by Abramoff as early as 1999 that the money that was funding his anti-gambling operations was coming from the casino-owning Choctaw tribe.

The report published an email Abramoff sent to Reed instructing him to “page me with a page of no more than 90 words ... informing me of your completion of the budget and giving me a total budget figure with category breakdowns. Once I get this, I will call Nell [Rodgers] at Choctaw and get it approved.” A subsequent email to Reed asked him to send “invoices as soon as possible so I can get Choctaw to get us checks asap.”[76]

Thus, Reed was clearly aware that the funding for his anti-gambling work was coming from the Choctaw and that he was indirectly working to protect the tribe’s multi-million dollar gambling interests. Despite the repeated references to the Choctaw in Abramoff’s emails, Reed continued to publicly insist that he did not know the source of the funding.[77]

Garrow: Obama Deserves To Be Killed For Treason

Jim Garrow insists that he wants nothing to do with people calling for President Obama to be killed…unless they are calling for Obama to be put to death because he is guilty of treason, in which case Garrow is on board.

Hang Em (read to the end):

If you are foolish enough to put treasonous statements or murderous statements regarding the occupant of the White House, I must notify you that I will defriend you. If you are not aware yet that the NSA, FBI, and a score of alphabet agencies of the Federal government are watching and monitoring your activities, then you need to add "ignorant" to the adjectives that must be used to describe you. To speak of the actions of the President as illegal, unconstitutional, or immoral is to speak the truth within the confines of law and right. To protest his actions and to demand his arrest or his removal for these actions is also to speak withing [sic] the confines of right and law.

The line is crossed when one demands the death of the President, or physical actions that could be seen as assault. Counseling such would be a violation of law. If you speak to issues that you believe to be treasonous or seditious and you describe the punishments set out in law for those breaches of law, then you are within your right and law in those descriptions.

So folks take care to act within law and rights defined in the Constitution. To be outraged and emotional puts you in the same "boat" as myself. But to cross the line into that which is a breach of law necessitates that I distance myself from you. A final thought however. If a person is found guilty of treason or sedition, they should be hung, or shot, or using a new corollary to those methods of punishment approved for capital offenses, beheading (it has been added), then you merely call for justice. In which case and context, I would certainly approve. (emphasis mine)

- Dr. Jim Garrow –

Of course, such claims aren’t new from Garrow, who recently agreed with Erik Rush that Obama should be executed:

Garrow: This call for the removal of the president is highly appropriate; in fact it is appropriate given what the alternative would be. If in fact this man is doing the things that he is being reported to be doing, he needs to be removed, he needs to be in fact tried for treason and of course the finality of that is a man gets either put up against a wall and shot or hung. Treason is not to be stood for — ever — and that’s what we have right now in the White House. Paul [Vallely] isn’t talking about the nuclear side of it but I know they are letting me do that and take bullets.

Rush: Aside from the fact that as I mentioned before you came one, Obama remains the consummate BS artist and actor. Despite all of that, I’m sure that he knows what the alternative is should he fail, should we succeed, should these things come out and be widely known and if he were to be removed I’m sure that he knows that the penalties for such actions that he has taken do fall within those unpleasant realms of execution and all of that unpleasant stuff. I think it is very noteworthy that General Vallely has come out and said that impeachment is not the way to go, he’s talking about making the President’s position so untenable that those in Congress right up to the Speaker and the Senate Minority Leader and all of those folks, action has to be taken and making things essentially not work, they won’t be able to get anything done for all of the political upheaval. He is talking about peaceful demonstrations.

Garrow: He’s also talking about the removal of Mr. Obama and to remove him has all sorts of ramifications and implications. How do you remove him? Frankly, we have sheriffs in the country who by law have the right to arrest people. They’re the guys, if someone was going to go in and arrest the president, it would be probably a sheriff along with military to back him up because you still got the Secret Service, you still got people who are there to protect the President, and they have to be contended with. Whether it would be legal or lawful to do it would be answered after the bullets were fired.
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