Brian Tashman's blog

Pat Toomey's SCOTUS Obstruction Backed By Only 18% Of Pennsylvanians

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., has joined other Senate Republicans in refusing to hold a hearing for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, even going so far as to make misleading claims about Garland’s record as a judge.

Not surprisingly, Toomey’s stance may be hurting him among Pennsylvania voters.

Public Policy Polling released a poll today showing strong support in Pennsylvania — even among Republicans — for Senate hearings on Garland’s nomination.

One issue that continues to complicate Toomey's reelection prospects is the vacant Supreme Court seat. 53% of voters want to see it filled this year, compared to only 38% who think that should wait for the next President. More importantly though, 66% of voters want there to be confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland's nomination to just 18% who think he should be rejected out of hand. Democrats (79/9), independents (56/14), and even Republicans (52/31) think that Garland deserves a hearing. By a 23 point margin voters say they're less likely to vote for a Senator who opposes confirmation hearings on Garland's nomination- just 22% say that stance would make them more likely to vote for someone, compared to 45% who say it would make them less likely to.

Just yesterday, Toomey said that Donald Trump’s racist attack on a federal judge of Mexican descent was “deeply offensive,” “ridiculous” and “outrageous.” He is nonetheless apparently comfortable holding the vacancy on the Supreme Court open for a possible President Trump.

He isn’t the only Republican senator whose re-election chances are being harmed by the party’s decision to block Garland from even being considered for the Supreme Court, with polls in several key states finding the GOP’s stance to be overwhelmingly unpopular.

Mike Huckabee: Trump U Judge Has A Liberal Agenda But I Have No Evidence To Back It Up

Last night, Mike Huckabee gave a disastrous interview with Fox News host Megyn Kelly, where he defended Donald Trump’s racist attack on the judge overseeing one of the fraud cases involving his Trump University businesses by insisting that the presumptive GOP nominee’s statements were not racist because “there is not a thing in his life that he has ever shown” that could be seen as racist.

Huckabee suggested that Judge Gonzalo Curiel — whom Trump has repeatedly said could not give him a fair hearing because he’s “a Mexican” — has a “built-in liberal bias” and may have a “political agenda.”

When Kelly asked Huckabee what evidence he has that Curiel has an anti-Trump political bias, Huckabee admitted that he had absolutely nothing to substantiate the comment he just made: “Honestly, I’ve not spent a whole long of time digging through the details.”

Michael Savage: Obama Reared Since High School To 'Invade America'

Michael Savage is not very good at predicting the future, but that didn’t stop the conservative talk show host from making a whole slew of predictions last week about what a Hillary Clinton presidency would look like.

Many of the absurd and inflammatory predictions were similar to the ones conservatives like Savage made about President Obama.

“One, guns will be taken away, she will make it illegal either through ammunition or registration, your guns will be seized, guns will be criminalized,” he said. “Two, she will criminalize speech, talk radio will disappear, she will pass it under the guise of the Fairness and Communications Act, and I will be gone, as will everyone else who dares to speak the truth to these left-wing fanatic vermin. That’s number two. If you think the internet will be your refuge, you are mistaken. Hillary Clinton and her illegitimate cohorts will criminalize the internet as has been done in Europe under the dictator Merkel and as it is being done around the world by the greedy pig who owns Facebook…. It’s either Trump or nothing, we have nothing left.”

If Donald Trump wins, Savage said, he will “protect us from these mobs, he’ll build a wall and throw these [undocumented immigrants] out of the country, throw these violent street protesters where they belong, which is south of the border. Just dump them there. Fly them there and leave them in the desert for all I care.”

He warned that “George Soros front groups” supporting “the harridan criminal” have made sure that “these gangs have been loosed upon those of us who wish to see a Republican, Donald Trump, win the election,” urging Trump to “hunt down” and “arrest” Soros upon taking office. He predicted that these “Mexican mobs” will soon be “knocking your door down and taking you out in the middle of the night.”

Later, Savage insisted that Obama is an Adolf Hitler-like leader who was “polished very carefully for many years as a candidate for the left” since he was “a high school student” by “a rich family” that “realized he had the perfect looks and the perfect persona to invade America and convert us into a semi-socialist, semi-communist nation.”

Because of Obama’s purported use of mob violence, Savage said, soon boxers and bikers will form far-right gangs to “protect the people from these Mexican and communist mobs.”

Kelli Ward: There Is 'Almost An Occupation Along The Border'

After appearing on Alex Jones’ extremist radio show, Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward, who is challenging U.S. Sen. John McCain in the upcoming GOP primary, called in yesterday to “Trunews,” the End Times program hosted by unhinged conspiracy theorist Rick Wiles.

Ward, who “has promoted fears about ‘chemtrails’ and rallied behind anti-government icon Cliven Bundy during his standoff with law enforcement,” told Wiles that she is squarely behind Donald Trump’s border wall plan, claiming that people who live on the U.S.-Mexican border have been “terrorized” and are facing “horrific” conditions.

“We are allowing, basically, almost an occupation along the border and it’s got to stop,” she said.

Pat Buchanan: Stop 'The Lynching' Of Donald Trump Over Racist Attack On Judge

Pat Buchanan is defending Donald Trump for launching a racist attack on the judge overseeing one of the court cases involving his Trump University, writing in a column today that Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s Mexican heritage is likely to play a role in the case involving whether Trump’s fake school used fraudulent practices.

Buchanan, whose record on race issues is so bad that even Trump himself once called his writings “disgusting” and “sick,” said that Trump’s criticism of Judge Curiel is part of a long and proud American tradition, comparing it to the time President Obama criticized the Citizens United decision during a State of the Union address.

Those critical of Trump, he said, simply support “the lynching of The Donald.”

Before the lynching of The Donald proceeds, what exactly was it he said about that Hispanic judge?

Stated succinctly, Donald Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over a class-action suit against Trump University, is sticking it to him. And the judge’s bias is likely rooted in the fact that he is of Mexican descent.

Can there be any defense of a statement so horrific?

Just this. First, Trump has a perfect right to be angry about the judge’s rulings and to question his motives. Second, there are grounds for believing Trump is right.

On May 27, Curiel, at the request of the Washington Post, made public plaintiff accusations against Trump University – that the whole thing was a scam. The Post, which Bob Woodward tells us has 20 reporters digging for dirt in Trump’s past, had a field day.

And who is Curiel?

An appointee of President Obama, he has for years been associated with the La Raza Lawyers Association of San Diego, which supports pro-illegal immigrant organizations.

Set aside the folly of letting Clinton surrogates like the Post distract him from the message he should be delivering, what did Trump do to be smeared by a bipartisan media mob as a “racist”?



Obama himself attacked the Citizens United decision in a State of the Union address, with the justices sitting right in front of him.

But Trump’s real hanging offense was that he brought up the judge’s ancestry, as the son of Mexican immigrants, implying that he was something of a judicial version of Univision’s Jorge Ramos.

Apparently, it is now not only politically incorrect but, in Newt Gingrich’s term, “inexcusable” to bring up the religious, racial or ethnic background of a judge, or suggest this might influence his actions on the bench.

But these things matter.

Jonathan Cahn: Lesbian Kiss On TV Was 'A Fever Dream From Hell'

Televangelist Jim Bakker is a big fan of the work of End Times preacher Jonathan Cahn, even though last time Bakker became enthusiastic about a Cahn doomsday prophecy, he ended up making a long list of predictions that didn’t come true.

When the two chatted on Bakker’s show last week, they declared that President Obama’s support for LGBT rights and the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide proves that America has learned nothing from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and, as a result, God will open up the country to further judgment.

“This was the warning,” Bakker said of 9/11.

Cahn was particularly upset about a recent scene on the show “Once Upon a Time” in which two female characters kissed: “They had Little Red Riding Hood and Dorothy, this is on the air, making out, on television, making out, not just kissing. Red Riding Hood and Dorothy. Would you ever imagine? That’s like a fever dream from hell.”

Later, Bakker said that Ronald Reagan himself predicted when he was running for president in 1979 that America could soon “become as wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Paranoia-Rama: Trump's Latest Absurdity, Martial Law Fears & About Those Death Panels…

Another day, another Donald Trump conspiracy theory. We can’t wait to hear what new ones he comes up with before the election; that is, if President Obama doesn’t declare martial law to stop Trump before then.

Rachel Maddow Skewers Donald Trump And One Of His Many Conspiracy Theorist Pals

Last night, Rachel Maddow talked about how Donald Trump has regularly promoted Wayne Allyn Root, the far-right conspiracy theorist, self-help guru and Trump wannabe.

The GOP presidential candidate has never shied away from embracing extremists, so it was no surprise when he picked Root to introduce him at a Las Vegas rally last year.

Trump, as Maddow noted, was particularly enthralled by Root’s bizarre claim that Obama never attended Columbia University and simultaneously was radicalized to become an anti-American “Manchurian candidate” by his left-wing professors while attending Columbia University.

Trump even called on hackers to expose Obama’s “college records”:

One of Root’s most ridiculous conspiracy theories, one touted by Trump and mocked by President Obama in a recent speech, was that the president was purposefully letting people infected with Ebola flood into the U.S. in 2014 as part of his dream of “taking down this country.”

“We’ve got to remove him from office and fast,” Root said, “before he kills all of us”:

“In addition to the ‘Power of Relentless,’ in addition to claiming President Obama didn’t really go to Columbia, he also said during the Ebola crisis that if President Obama wasn’t somehow forcibly removed from office, we would all die from Ebola,” Maddow said. “All of us.”

Much like Root, she continued, Trump has his own record of making “ludicrous” and “preposterous” statements, so many that it is difficult to hold him to account “just because of the sheer number of things he has said that fit that bill.”

“When you’re that ridiculous that frequently, do people stop being shocked? Do we get inured? Does nothing seem too shocking? Does nothing seem too idiotic or dangerous or blatantly racist anymore?” she asked.

The best way to ridicule Trump’s beliefs, she concluded, is restating his own words and “letting people laugh at them.”

North Carolina Lt. Governor: LGBT Rights Proof We've Turned Our Back On God

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is apparently not above appearing on “Trunews,” the radical anti-LGBT radio program hosted by far-right conspiracy theorist Rick Wiles, where he insisted Wednesday that his state’s new anti-LGBT law is in no way discriminatory.

In fact, the GOP official said, “women and children” were the ones “being discriminated against” under LGBT rights ordinances like the one passed by the city of Charlotte, which was voided by the new state law.

He said that such measures were approved because “we have a lack of moral compass in our country right now, we’ve taken our eyes off God in America, we have turned our back on God, we have forgotten God in a lot of ways, so the moral compass is broken here.”

Forest went on to say that anti-LGBT laws like North Carolina’s only “discriminate against behavior, not against people,” comparing them to traffic laws: “If I want to go out and drive 95 miles an hour down the interstate in North Carolina because I feel like doing that, I don’t have the right to do that. It doesn’t mean the law is discriminating against me, it’s discriminating against my behavior of wanting to drive 95.”

Naturally, Forest went on to blame the controversy over the law on the media.

Paul Ryan Endorses Donald Trump Because Why Not?

Shortly after it became clear that Donald Trump would be the GOP presidential nominee, House Speaker Paul Ryan said to much fanfare that he was not prepared to endorse Trump because the candidate had shown an unwillingness to unify the Republican Party.

Ryan, who has criticized Trump for his brief refusal to disavow the support of white nationalist David Duke and his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the country, emphasized that Trump must bring Republicans together and outline his beliefs about limited government if he wants his endorsement.

Trump went on to criticize Ryan and other Republicans, including Ryan’s 2012 running mate, Mitt Romney, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. When Trump lashed out at Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez while campaigning in her state last week, Ryan defended her. Trump has also made a point to assure voters that he won’t act “presidential” and that he hasn’t changed any of the extremist views that he espoused during the primary race.

Despite the fact that Trump has not done absolutely anything that Ryan asked of him, Ryan endorsed him anyway today in an op-ed for his hometown paper:

Now that he’s officially gotten behind Trump’s campaign, the mythical image of Ryan as a principled conservative visionary can finally be put to rest.

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