Brian Tashman's blog

Mike Huckabee's Plan To Defund Planned Parenthood Would Send US Economy Into Tailspin

On Friday, Mike Huckabee repeated his claim that Congress should end federal funding to Planned Parenthood by linking it to a future measure to raise the debt ceiling, floating the catastrophic idea in an interview with Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson.

Huckabee said that Republicans in Congress should tie Planned Parenthood funding “to the debt ceiling rather than to the budget, because we can continue to function even if we don’t keep moving the debt ceiling.”

He told Republicans to stop “surrendering” to President Obama and instead adopt his plan as a way to cut off funds to Planned Parenthood while also curbing the national debt.

Of course, Huckabee’s plan would also have disastrous consequences for the U.S. economy.

As the Wall Street Journal reported back in 2013, when Republicans nearly refused to raise the debt ceiling, that such a move would have severe reverberations around the world:

Even a temporary failure of the U.S. government to pay its bills would have a “catastrophic” impact on the U.S. and global economy, according to the International Monetary Fund.

U.S. officials warn that the government could run out of cash to pay its social security and military obligations by the middle of next month if lawmakers fail to reach a deal to raise the amount of money the country can borrow, called the debt ceiling.

Even if it was temporary, the IMF estimates that such a shock could shave around a half-percentage point off growth around the world at a fragile stage in the global recovery.

The U.S. treasury had a similar assessment at the time:

And if Congress does not raise the debt limit, raising the possibility of default if the government is unable to meet its bond obligations, Treasury said the results could be worse than the 2008 “Great Recession.”

“In the event that a debt limit impasse were to lead to a default, it could have a catastrophic effect on not just financial markets but also on job creation, consumer spending and economic growth—with many private-sector analysts believing that it would lead to events of the magnitude of late 2008 or worse, and the result then was a recession more severe than any seen since the Great Depression,” the report states.

Politifact points out that “raising the debt ceiling allows the United States government to borrow funds that cover the obligations the government has already incurred” and does not “prompt any new spending.”

Either Huckabee doesn’t understand how the debt ceiling works, or he knows the devastating consequences of such a maneuver but thinks it is worth it just to defund Planned Parenthood.

Scott Walker, Who Said Presidential Bid Was 'God's Plan,' Drops Out

After using a “divide and conquer” strategy to push hard-right policies in Wisconsin, a record that he hoped would shore up right-wing support for his presidential bid, Gov. Scott Walker has reportedly decided to drop out of the race months before the first votes are even cast.

Walker, who went from frontrunner to receiving asterisk-level support in the latest CNN poll, made more news with what he didn’t say than what he did say.

Walker refused to answer many questions asked of him — punting and equivocating when faced with questions about ISISnet neutrality, abortion, marriage equality, homosexuality, President Obama, evolution and immigration — while obfuscating his record, even bragging about his intentionally misleading campaign ads on abortion. He even made the astounding claim that he was immune from committing policy flip-flops because he never served in Congress.

For example, Walker went from supporting immigration reform , to denouncing it and even calling for stricter limits on legal immigration, to supporting it again, to again opposing it. Most recently, Walker took three different positions within a week on whether he supports birthright citizenship (he finally concluded that he has no position). He also said that a U.S.-Canada wall was a “legitimate” proposal he would consider before saying he didn’t actually mean it.

Walker’s tendency to take no positions on anything also came out during the last debate: When asked about the minimum wage, which he had previously called “lame,” Walker deflected to talk about cutting property taxes and repealing Obamacare.

Trailing in the polls, Walker finally returned to his strong suit of attacking the labor movement and blaming all of America’s ills on unions, while promising to “wreak havoc on Washington.” Such anti-union language is typical of the governor who said that people can trust him to fight the country’s enemies as commander-in-chief because he took on pro-labor demonstrators: “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.”

For a candidate who took so much time pleasing the GOP’s mega-donors, including the Koch brothers, by pushing through laws aiding corporations while hampering labor unions, regulations, social services on public education, it's rather ironic that his campaign is citing a lack of money for his decision to leave the race.

He will likely also be the first of many candidates to drop out despite having previously insisted that God wanted them in the race. As Walker put it in one fundraising letter:

My relationship with God drives every major decision in my life. Each day I pray and then take time to read from the Bible and from a devotional named Jesus Calling.

As you can imagine, the months leading up to my announcement that I would run for President of the United States were filled with a lot of prayer and soul searching.

Here’s why: I needed to be certain that running was God’s calling -- not just man’s calling. I am certain: This is God’s plan for me and I am humbled to be a candidate for President of the United States.

Ann Coulter: Deport Immigrants Who Vote Democratic, Keep The Republicans

In an address to the Eagle Forum’s annual convention in St. Louis on Sept. 11, Ann Coulter repeated her claim that Democratic candidates are “winning elections they never could have won before” because they used the immigration system to “bring in ringers” after they “realized they couldn’t get Americans to vote for them.”

As a result, every bad thing that has ever happened to America is the result of the country’s immigration system, she concluded.

“Everything bad thing that has happened, everything that you see them talking about on TV, whether it’s Obamacare or the Iran deal, Obama losing the war in Iraq for us, gay marriage, all of this is as a result of immigration, it never could have happened without Obama,” she said. “We are looking at, for the rest of our lifetimes, an entire Supreme Court of Ruth Bader Ginsburg if this isn’t stopped.”

Coulter said that the only legal immigrants who should be allowed to stay in the country are the ones who vote Republican: “To paraphrase Donald Trump, 20 percent are probably good people, they’re Republicans. But the other 80, the 8 out of 10, the other 80 percent, I’m sorry, they’ve got to go.”

Ann Coulter: US Must Reject Christian Refugees Fleeing ISIS

At Eagle Forum’s annual convention in St. Louis earlier this month, Ann Coulter stuck with her standard speech about how the legal immigration system was set up by Democrats to destroy the GOP and, by extension, America, while praising Donald Trump for bringing anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies into the mainstream.

The U.S. should be so resistant to accepting new immigrants, Coulter told the Religious Right crowd, that she wouldn’t even let Christians fleeing the Mideast due to persecution from ISIS settle as refugees in America.

“First we have to save America,” Coulter said to applause. “It’s like the warnings that you are read on an airplane, ‘If you need your gas mask, put your gas mask on first and then help your child.’ We can’t help anyone if we’re Mexico.”

WND Pundit: Conservative States Should Secede And Start A Godly Nation

Reflecting on a new poll that found that nearly one-third of Americans, including a plurality of Republicans “could imagine supporting the U.S. military taking over the powers of federal government,” Patrice Lewis of WorldNetDaily claimed last week that such results are not surprising.

Lewis wrote that while a coup wouldn’t work to defeat “the progressive agenda” that holds sway over the U.S. government, it could at least simply split the nation in two and “divvy up our land mass into two nations — one progressive, one conservative.”

“With due respect to the atrocities committed upon the Native Americans, we no longer have an empty continent where disgruntled individuals can flee when things become intolerable,” she said.

The new conservative nation, Lewis explained, would be founded upon the ideals of God and would “win His favorable attention once again.”

Whether our politicians are willing to admit it or not, there’s a lot of growing resentment just waiting for the right spark to set it off.

Unsurprisingly, a recent YouGov survey revealed that 29 percent of Americans “could imagine” supporting a military coup against the government. I have a sneaking suspicion the number might be higher, but common-sense wariness may have prevented people from answering honestly.

What, precisely, is a coup? Properly called a coup d’état (the French would know!), Wikipedia defines it as a “sudden and (usually) illegal seizure of a state, usually instigated by a small group of the existing government establishment to depose the established regime and replace it with a new ruling body. A coup d’état is considered successful when the usurpers establish their dominance. If a coup fails, a civil war may ensue.”

I thought it interesting how the progressive Wikipedia specified coups are “illegal.”

The progressive agenda, which I firmly believe is poisoning our nation, is authored by people who – as violently as I disagree with almost everything they advocate and stand for – are every bit as American as I am. A coup with results that would please patriots would alienate progressives; and a coup with results that would please progressives would alienate patriots.

I am sincere when I say the only viable solution is to divide America. With due respect to the atrocities committed upon the Native Americans, we no longer have an empty continent where disgruntled individuals can flee when things become intolerable. But we can divvy up our land mass into two nations – one progressive, one conservative – where the ideals and agendas of each can be instigated to the satisfaction of two extremely diverse populations.

Miracles may not cluster, but God is still their architect. And we’ve already seen that He looks with favor on nations that turn to him. A new nation, “… conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” might just win His favorable attention once again.

Eagle Forum Gears Up For Fight Against Gay 'Recruitment' … And Satan

While the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling represented a major victory for gay rights advocates, Gayle Ruzicka of the Utah Eagle Forum warned at the Eagle Forum’s national conference last weekend that conservatives “better fight like tigers” because the gay rights movement’s “next target is the schools; it’s the children.”

“Are we going to let them take these schools?” she asked the activists who came in mid-September to the Eagle Council, the annual event hosted by Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, which also featured several GOP presidential candidates.

As Ruzicka put it, she knows that Equality Utah is an effective organization because its leader, Troy Williams, is her former protégé. She told the audience at an anti-gay-marriage panel that Williams is now using what he learned at Eagle Forum to fight conservatives:

In our state we have Equality Utah, who is, by the way, I guess you call him as my nemesis now, I trained him, he used to be Eagle Forum, he was at my side all the time, he loved everything about us and everything we did, he now is the head of Equality Utah and they’ve got plans, his name is Troy, the first words out of his mouth, how excited he was over marriage and then his next words were, “and we have just begun.”

“We have God on our side but we don’t have God if we don’t do anything,” she said. Later, she claimed that the fight over LGBT rights may eclipse the one over abortion rights since abortion rights supporters “kind of went away into their abortion mills and we didn’t have to look at the awful things they were doing there.”

“But with this, they are coming after us,” she said of LGBT rights groups. “For them, this is the beginning, this is not the end, and they are coming after us, daily, and daily they are threatening us.”

Many members in the audience agreed with this assessment. One wondered if gay rights advocates would “take our lives over” marriage and another bravely pledged to go to jail due to marriage equality. One activist with Utah Eagle Forum explained that same-sex marriage is comparable to abortion because “in abortion, we kill the baby once it’s born. But with homosexuality, the baby is never born.”

Andy Schlafly, Phyllis’ son and the co-host of the panel, agreed that abortion-rights opponents must speak up against LGBT equality “because the homosexuals and the liberals have taken over the Supreme Court and pro-lifers need to understand that they are going to lose everything on the pro-life issue because of this homosexual rights issue.”

“They are going to lose everything because liberals have come through on this other issue and they’ve got control of Kennedy and Kennedy is the swing vote,” he said.

Schlafly said that activists can do two things to fight gay marriage: One is to follow Mike Huckabee’s lead in urging their elected officials to simply defy the Supreme Court ruling; the other is to find a congressman who would file articles of impeachment against Judge David Bunning, the Bush-nominated federal judge who placed Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in the custody of U.S. Marshals after finding her in contempt of court for blocking marriage licenses in her county.

If Congress were to even consider impeaching Bunning, Schlafly said, it would “send shockwaves to the other side” and put judges on notice. She warned that there is little time left before out-of-control judges go after pastors and Christian schools.

“I’m telling you, the homosexual movement is taking over the court system,” he said. “The courts are gone, the courts have been taken over by the homosexuals, so they are going to sue and bankrupt all of our churches and all of our schools.”

Religious liberty is on its last legs, he said, claiming that Tim Tebow is “excluded from the entire NFL simply because he quotes from the Bible.” He added that religious counselors practicing “ex-gay” therapy are also under attack because gays know that they need to “recruit” people while they are young.

“The battle over this is really with teenagers,” he explained, “there is not as much of a market for it for adults. The focus is on those teen years, when people are forming their sexuality. That’s why there is so much attention to teenagers. The other side is recruiting heavily for teenagers. We have no idea in this room how much recruitment is going on against teenagers right now.”

As expected, members of the audience agreed that gay marriage will effect everybody, and not just by supposedly destroying religious freedom and allowing abortion rights to continue. As one woman in the audience said, Eagle Forum must explain to Americans that they may all die if gay marriage continues:

People who have had any exposure to the Bible at all, people are familiar with Sodom and Gomorrah and this is what’s happened with this homosexual movement and the gay marriage. I mean, we are saying, ok, we are giving them a legal right to go in and commit sodomy, night after night, day after day after day, I mean, if people get that message, we’re making God mad, do we want to make him so mad that he comes down and destroys the whole country? Think of Sodom and Gomorrah. Maybe something like that can be a visual, do you know what I’m saying?

Ruzicka responded to the audience member’s plea by saying that “we have to be sure to remind them who these people are and what it is that they do.”

One audience member similarly lamented that while “there are just not that many people who care about what God did to the people in Sodom,” someone should stand up for the rights of believers: “We have to get the young people who do care, we have to get the laws on the books to protect those of us who care. It is scary out there for what young people are being force-fed.”

Announcing that she worked alongside Phyllis Schlafly in the successful campaign to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment, one woman in the audience said that activists need to realize that they are in a spiritual battle.

“We have demons that work against us,” she said. “If you ever a find a time where there was a hope, it was during the ERA days. We had everything against us, all the momentum, all the money, all the politicians, all the media, everything was against us.”

As it turns out, at least one man in the audience said he was expecting an even greater fight, asking if the U.S. military “is on our side or Obama’s side,” while another attendee speculated that U.S. service members are being conditioned to put on United Nations uniforms during a potential civil conflict.

Ruzicka seemed exasperated by the descent of the panel, which stretched until 11:30 at night, into manic paranoia about civil war and spiritual warfare. Of course, warning about the gay recruitment of children and the closure of Christian churches and schools may have had something to do with it.

Religious Right activists have spent decades warning about gay rights leading to divine wrath, judicial tyranny and the corruption of children, with little to show for it as support for marriage equality has only increased among voters.

Polls consistently show that barely one-third of Americans think that Kim Davis, the new, “persecuted” face of the gay-rights opponents, was in the right for barring her county office from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

With the collapse of its public image, the anti-gay Right desperately needs new spokesmen and ideas, but if this conference showed anything, old paranoias are hard to shake.

Ted Cruz Names 'Cancer Is A Fungus' Lawmaker To Leadership Team

Ted Cruz is hoping to boost his efforts to win the caucus in Nevada, the fourth state to vote in the GOP presidential race, by adding Assemblywoman Michele Fiore to his Nevada Leadership Team.

Fiore’s record is so extreme and at points positively bizarre that she seems to be a perfect fit for Team Cruz.

For example, she has:

  • Described cancer as “a fungus ” that one could cure by “flushing” it out with salt water and baking soda.
  • Said people should “stop using the race card” since racism is no longer an issue in America, mentioning that she has great respect for her “colored” colleague.
  • Served as a prominent supporter of Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who worked with militia groups to incite a standoff with law enforcement officers who were trying to enforce a court order over grazing fees that Bundy refused to recognize. “Don’t come here with guns and expect the American people not to fire back,” she said.
  • Defended the Confederate flag following the Charleston church shooting as “OUR HISTORY!” and installed “a horn on her truck that plays the same tune as the General Lee from ‘Dukes of Hazzard.’”
  • Faced accusations from the Republican speaker of the state assembly that she used “slanderous allegations” to explain her tax troubles while leading the committee on taxation.

Fiore, of course, is just the latest in the parade of radical figures lining up behind Cruz.

The GOP's Deeply Bigoted Week

What a surprise that one Republican presidential candidate’s refusal last week to correct a town hall questioner who claimed that President Obama is a Muslim led to another candidate insisting that no Muslim should ever become president of the United States.

All in all, the last few days haven’t been very good for the GOP’s efforts to “rebrand” as a welcoming and inclusive party. Here are five lowlights from the GOP’s deeply bigoted week:

1) Religious Freedom For Some…

Donald Trump took heat on Friday for refusing to correct a man who, in a question to the Republican presidential frontrunner at a New Hampshire town hall meeting, blasted American Muslims and claimed that the president is a Muslim. With a typical lack of repentance, Trump later insisted that he was under no obligation to denounce the man’s statement.

But while Trump merely failed to correct the New Hampshire man’s anti-Muslim theories, Trump’s rival, Ben Carson, one-upped him by actively embracing an extreme anti-Muslim message. In an interview on Meet the Press on Sunday, Carson said that he doesn’t believe a Muslim should ever become president because Islam is “inconsistent with the values and principles of America.”

Not to be outdone, Trump told Meet the Press after Carson’s interview that while he wasn’t sure about his position on the U.S. having a Muslim president, “some people have said it already happened.”

Carson later told The Hill that he believes presidents should be “sworn in on a stack of Bibles, not a Koran,” adding that Muslims believe that their faith “encourages you to lie to achieve your goals.” He also warned of the prospect of a Muslim president imposing Sharia law because “Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official, and that’s inconsistent with our principles and our Constitution.”

“He has great respect for the Muslim community, but there is a huge gulf between the faith and practice of the Muslim faith, and our Constitution and American values,” Carson’s campaign said in a statement.

Such rhetoric is par for the course for Carson, possibly the most conspiracy-theory-minded candidate in the race, who is campaigning on his belief that America is turning into Nazi Germany as a result of a Marxist-Leninist-Alinskyite plot to literally enslave Americans.

Despite his suggestion that millions of Americans are disloyal and sinister members of society who should never hold high office because they do not share his faith, Carson nonetheless considers himself to be a staunch defender of religious freedom … but only for the followers of certain religions.

2) Huckabee Homophobia

Two years ago, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus urged party members to “listen to Mike Huckabee” when it comes to discussing issues like gay marriage, calling him “a model for a lot of people in our party.” It was an odd statement, seeing that Huckabee has one of the most virulently anti-gay records out there, which the former Arkansas governor added to on Saturday with a statement alleging that President Obama’s pick for Secretary of the Army was only nominated because he is gay and the president only cares about “appeasing America’s homosexuals.”

Below is Gov. Huckabee's statement in response to President Obama's decision to nominate Eric Fanning as Secretary of...

Posted by Mike Huckabee on Saturday, September 19, 2015

Surely his decades of experience with the armed forces, including his past as deputy undersecretary of the Navy and acting Secretary of the Air Force, had nothing do with his nomination!

3) ‘Unnatural’ Gay Marriage Still Unlawful

Rick Santorum is a bit late to the game in trying to use the Kim Davis saga as proof that Christians are under attack in America. Santorum, who during Wednesday’s CNN debate likened Davis to a young student who was misreported to have been shot by a Columbine shooter for being a Christian, doubled down on his defense of the anti-gay Kentucky clerk on Thursday, insisting that gay marriage can never be recognized as legal since “the Supreme Court’s decision goes against the natural law.”

“That’s not the way nature functions,” Santorum said of homosexuality. “So as a result of that, I think Kim Davis and everybody else has the obligation to oppose it.”

4) Cruz Mainstreams Radical Gun Group

No one seems to have batted an eye during the CNN debate when Ted Cruz touted the endorsement of a far-right gun activist group whose leader has ties to the white supremacist movement, openly threatens members of Congress and pushes so many conspiracy theories that it would make Ben Carson blush.

In saying that he was “honored” to have received the support of Gun Owners of America, Cruz put himself to the right of Pat Buchanan, who got so much flak for his ties to GOA head Larry Pratt during his 1996 presidential campaign that he dropped him from his campaign leadership team.

That’s right, even Pat Buchanan was embarrassed to have Pratt’s support.

5) Sarah Palin Brave Enough To Call A 14-Year-Old A Terrorist

Anti-Muslim activists are incensed that school and police officials in Irving, Texas, have faced sharp criticism for arresting a Muslim student for bringing the parts of a homemade clock to school, insisting that the teenager had actually built a “half a bomb” or at least something so close in resemblance to a bomb that he should have been taken into custody.

Sarah Palin of course felt the need to weigh in as well. The self-proclaimed explosives expert attacked Obama for inviting the “potential bomb-imitator” to the White House and confirmed that the boy was indeed “suspicious”: “That’s a clock, and I’m the Queen of England.”

The former GOP vice presidential nominee’s daughter Bristol Palin also claimed that Obama’s invitation to the clock-building student foments anger towards the police and “encourages more racial strife that is already going on with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ crowd and encourages victimhood.” She said that Obama’s behavior was “childish,” something that no one would ever expect from the Palin clan.

Bryan Fischer: US Army Now 'The Army Of Sodom And Gomorrah. May God Help Us.'

American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer isn’t taking the news well that President Obama will nominate an openly gay man to serve as Secretary of the Army:

Of course, it was only a few months ago, in the aftermath of the Obergefell decision, that Fischer declared that, “June, 26, 2015, is a date which will live in infamy” because “on this day, the United States become Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Santorum: Gay Marriage Still Illegal Because It's 'Not The Way Nature Functions'

At this week’s GOP presidential debate on CNN, Rick Santorum hailed Kentucky clerk Kim Davis for defying the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling, likening her to a girl who he said was killed for believing in God during the Columbine massacre. (This claim, as it turns out, is not true and the story of the girl’s death has been badly misreported.)

In an interview with Florida conservative radio host Joyce Kaufman yesterday, Santorum discussed his exchange on the topic with George Pataki and likened Kim Davis to slavery abolitionists and Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I don’t think there is any question that the Supreme Court’s decision goes against the natural law,” Santorum said. “That’s not the way nature functions. So as a result of that, I think Kim Davis and everybody else has the obligation to oppose it. Now that doesn’t mean, like Martin Luther King, you aren’t going to suffer consequences to a society who has gotten it wrong. But the only way you are going to say things is for people to start saying: ‘We are not going to comply with unjust laws.’”

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