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Benghazi Select Committee Now Attempting To Interview Conservative Talk Show Callers As Witnesses

In a letter he sent to Benghazi Select Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy today, Assistant Secretary of Defense Stephen Hedger lists a litany of abuses that have taken place during the course of the investigation of the 2012 attack.

Among these abuses, Hedger reports, is that the committee is requesting that the Defense Department track down callers to Sean Hannity’s radio show in order to call them as witnesses:

The Committee has requested to interview an individual identified as ‘John from Iowa’ who described himself as a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) camera operator on a talk radio show, where he described what he allegedly saw in the video feed from the night of the attack. The Department has expended significant resources to locate anyone who might match the description of this person, to no avail. The Committee staff then expanded this initial request to include all RPA pilots and RPA sensor operators who operated in the region that night.

The May 2013 call to Hannity’s program was subsequently reported on by other conservative outlets, including Glenn Beck’s The Blaze.

After two years, $6.7 million in taxpayer dollars, and an 11-hour grilling of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that was widely derided as a failed partisan hatchet job, the Select Committee is now relying on callers to right wing radio shows as witnesses. 

It has to be said, this is not parody.

Paranoia-Rama: Martial Law Plot To Stop Trump, 'Covert Chemtrailing' And Agenda 21 Concentration Camps

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

Classic conspiracy theories like the supposed threats of Chemtrails and Agenda 21 reemerged this week, along with some new ones, such as the possibility of a nuclear war with Russia sparked by Target’s new trans-inclusive policies. All that and more this week on Paranoia-Rama:

5) October Surprise

On Wednesday, Donald Trump’s confidant Roger Stone appeared on Alex Jones’ conspiracy theory radio show, where Jones and a caller asked if “the establishment” could pull off a stunt — such as deliberately crashing the economy or faking an attempt on President Obama’s life — to postpone the election in a last-ditch effort to stop Trump.

Stone, naturally, agreed with their fears: “I think they’re capable of anything, including martial law.”

Jones said nefarious actors may try to thwart Trump because they know he is a candidate who “unites us all.”

“What would you be doing if you were them?” he asked Stone.

Stone replied: “Well, they could stage an international incident in which everybody has to rally around the president and then use that as a pretext to cancel the election.”

4) Sky Criminals

While Jones is worried about the prospect of an anti-Trump October surprise, he was delighted to read Chuck Norris’ latest column about chemtrails.

Writing about “Sky Criminals” for the far-right website WorldNetDaily, Norris warned about “covert chemtrailing” that “is taking place in the skies above us and unbeknownst to us.”

“How many plane-dropping chemical cocktails have already been sprayed around the world in the name of securing public health?” he asked, wondering if the government is using planes to conduct “mass vaccinations or some other devious plot.”

“It’s time again to wake up, America.”

3) Nuclear War

Conservatives aren’t only blaming transgender people for sexual assaults and rape — at least one far-right commentator is claiming that they might be the cause of a nuclear war.

Thanks to Target’s new nondiscrimination policy, “Trunews” host Rick Wiles warned this week, we might all get killed by a nuclear strike from Russia. The End Times broadcaster said that Target’s recently announced policy on transgender customers and staff will provoke divine judgment and “shut down this nation.”

“Doc, God is going to use the Russians to bring down Sodom and Gomorrah if there’s no repentance in this land,” he told his co-host Doc Burkhart. “Listen, these freaks are going to get us all killed. They’re going to get us all killed.”

2) Agenda 21 Fears

Ted Cruz’s campaign announced the members of his “Montana Leadership Team” last weekend and, unsurprisingly, the group includes some of the most extreme and bizarre conservatives in the state, including “Dan Happel, Agenda 21 Speaker.”

While Cruz has flirted with Agenda 21 conspiracy theories in the past — warning during his 2012 campaign for U.S. Senate that the nonbinding UN initiative was a “grand scheme” concocted by George Soros to abolish “ golf courses, grazing pastures, and paved roads ” — Happel has taken things to a new level.

Happel believes that Agenda 21, a nonbinding sustainable development initiative that is over two decades old but only recently became a source of right-wing trepidation, is actually a Stalinist plot to create a one-world government to ensure that “ private property can be increasingly controlled and ultimately eliminated.”

One Montana newspaper reported that Happel believes that Agenda 21 will “involve relocating most Montanans to some large city, like Seattle, where they would be housed like sardines in compact housing developments, deprived of automobiles, and basically held hostage to some job in the city. Meanwhile vast areas of land would be reclaimed for wilderness to be used by the rich oligarchy.”

1) Ted Cruz or Disaster

Glenn Beck, the supposed author of the dystopian thriller “Agenda 21,” is such a big fan of Cruz that he told his viewers this week that if the Texas senator doesn’t win the presidency, it means lights out for America.

The conservative radio commentator believes that Cruz,much like Moses, is divinely ordained and that he is fulfilling the “White Horse Prophesy” laid out by Mormon founder Joseph Smith. Christians who do not vote for Cruz, according to Beck, “are not listening to their God.”

Indeed, Beck said on Wednesday that “the republic is at stake” in this election and if the Cruz campaign goes down to defeat, then we will “lose freedom for all mankind.”

Glenn Beck (Inadvertently) Declares That Ted Cruz Is 'Not Qualified To Be President'

Glenn Beck spent a segment on his radio program yesterday ripping the foreign policy speech that Donald Trump recently delivered in which he declared that "'America First' will be the major and overriding theme of my administration," because the phrase "America First" also happens to be the name of an anti-Semitic, isolationist political party that opposed U.S. involvement in World War II and urged appeasement of Adolf Hitler.

Beck said that this is the sort of information that can be learned through a simple Google search and the fact that nobody on the Trump campaign knew this or bothered to look it up means that Trump is totally unqualified to be president.

"You would think that someone would do a little bit of homework," Beck said. "Can somebody Google search? ... That is the bare minimum everyone should do. Google search."

"If you can't do a simple Google search, you're not qualified to be president," he continued. "You're really not."

We agree.

Earlier this month, we noted that Ted Cruz has been trying to rewrite the history regarding his appearance last year at a conference organized by radical anti-gay activist Kevin Swanson, who openly advocates imposing the death penalty for homosexuality, by falsely claiming that he was not aware of Swanson's views before he attended and that he immediately denounced them once he learned about them:

This is nonsense, as Swanson's views were well documented long before Cruz attended the rally and Cruz himself was directly confronted about them by CNN's Jake Tapper the day before he spoke alongside Swanson. Both Cruz and his father, Rafael Cruz, nonetheless agreed to appear at the conference and then his campaign proceeded to dismiss any criticism of his decision.

When Beck's own daughter confronted Cruz about his appearance with Swanson, Cruz lied to her face and feigned ignorance, claiming that he chewed out his staff for allowing him to appear with someone like Swanson, at least according to Beck's account of the conversation.

As we said before, "if nobody on the Cruz campaign was aware of Swanson's extreme views, it is only because they didn't bother to check since Swanson's long history of unrepentant bigotry has been well documented."

A simple Google search would have easily allowed anyone on the Cruz campaign to discover Swanson's extremism, but apparently nobody bothered to "do a little bit of homework," which makes Cruz, according to Beck's own standard, unqualified to be president.

It Doesn’t Matter If Donald Trump Is ‘Disciplined’

This piece originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

It turns out that the boisterous and bigoted Donald Trump we’ve known for the last few years has just been acting a part. According to the frontrunner’s chief strategist Paul Manafort, Trump is simply “projecting an image“ and once Americans get to know the real Donald Trump, they’ll love him: “The negatives will come down, the image is going to change.”

What a relief!

Some pundits, it seems, were willing to play along with Manafort’s claim that Trump is shedding his outrageous persona, citing a single speech that he delivered immediately following his victory in the New York primary as proof that “Donald Trump 2.0” is “markedly more disciplined, gentler and more appealing than the version of Trump we’ve seen for much of the last year.”

Howard Kurtz of Fox News raved that “the disciplined Donald” was a “changed candidate” who has scrubbed the insults and started “acting more presidential. “

In reality, the only thing that was substantively different about Trump’s New York speech was that he referred to his chief opponent as “Senator Cruz” instead of “Lyin’ Ted.”

That’s it.

But before anybody had a chance to give him a medal for this brave reformation, Trump returned to using his “Lyin’ Ted” moniker in his subsequent speeches and Twitter broadsides. The much-heralded new, disciplined and thoughtful Donald Trump didn’t even last a day.

He even mocked reports of his supposed “presidential” transformation, a transformation we’ve been hearing about since well into last year.

The standards for Trump are so low that he was even hailed for acting “more presidential” simply for using a teleprompter in a speech.

There seems to be no expectation that Trump will have any knowledge of world events, answer basis questions or hold consistent positions. Instead, he wins praise simply for not insulting someone.

Today Trump will deliver a speech at the Mayflower Hotel as part of a series of speeches intended to show “a more sober and serious presidential candidate,” who so far has mostly received attention for his uninformed rants and almost daily policy shifts.

But Trump changing his style won’t make the substance of what he says any less terrifying. After all, his main foreign policy objectives include committing war crimes and accelerating nuclear proliferation.

Appearances in “formal settings” won’t change the fact that Trump’s speeches are so replete with falsehoods that some reporters covering him have admitted that they have all but given up on fact-checking them.

Trump seems to relish in repeating mistruths, like his claim about Muslims partying in New Jersey on 9/11 or a U.S. general who he said rightly massacred Muslim prisoners with bullets covered in pig’s blood. Both are fallacious stories that gained popularity in the online rumor mill. Not that that matters to Trump, who said of the dubious massacre: “It’s an amazing story. It shows toughness, it shows toughness. A true story. The press will say, ‘Well it was a rumor.’ It’s not a rumor, it’s a true story.”

His bizarre birther conspiracy theories, disparaging remarks about POWs and criticism of vaccines have largely faded from the limelight as Trump finds new outrageous things to say each week.

No other candidate for president would ever be able to get away with the amount of falsehoods, unhinged diatribes and sleaze pushed on a daily basis by Trump.

And simply saying that it was all an act doesn’t make Trump a new man or any less scary of a possible future president.

###

PFAW

Who Could Trump Pick As His VP? There Are So Many Terrible Options!

With Ted Cruz announcing yesterday that Carly Fiorina will be his running mate in his increasingly difficult path to the GOP presidential nomination, we thought it might be time for Donald Trump to start thinking about who he wants as his vice president.

Here are just a few options:

1) Chris Christie

Following his victory in five states on Tuesday, Trump suggested that he would consider naming New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was standing by his side and trying his best not to look like a hostage, as his running mate.

Trump would have to overlook the Fort Lee highway lane closure scandal, better known as Bridgegate, that weighed down Christie’s unsuccessful presidential campaign.

As we noted before Christie jumped into the presidential race, under his leadership “New Jersey experienced multiple credit downgrades, regular budget shortfalls, a failed pension reform plan, fiscal mismanagement that benefited political donors, anemic job growth, a transit funding scandal and mishandling of Hurricane Sandy recovery money.”

Trump would also have to try to restrain himself from continuing to insult the governor, something he has had a problem doing even after Christie endorsed him.

2) Scott Brown

Trump has also floated former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown as a potential running mate.

“Vice president — hey, that sounds like it could, hey, hey, very good,” Trump said. “Hey, you know what? And he’s central casting. Look at that guy. Central casting.”

Brown, who lost his race for re-election against Elizabeth Warren and later ran unsuccessfully against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, was one of Trump’s most prominent endorsers and media surrogates before the New Hampshire contest.

His colleagues at Fox News — which has frequently run glowing profiles of the former senator — have also encouraged Trump to pick him as his running mate.

Brown has at least one thing in common with Trump: they have both pushed quack medical cures; Trump with his failed multilevel marketing company and Brown with his email list, which once promoted “an outlet that touts shady products like Alzheimer's disease cures and Social Security tricks.” Brown later said that he did not approve of the email although, as Media Matters reports, he also rented his list to a dubious group “promising to show readers a ‘Weird Trick’ that ‘adds $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks!’”

The two also have a tendency to create anti-immigrant conspiracy theories (Brown once warned of Ebola-infected immigrants easily walking across the U.S. border with Mexico), going to great lengths to avoid answering basic questions and creating awkward situations with women.

One problem for Brown, however, is that he is pro-choice, unlike the famously pro-life Donald Trump.

3) Scott DesJarlais

Scott DesJarlais is one of the few members of Congress to endorse Trump, and the Tennessee Republican will surely help Trump win over women voters.

Before running for Congress as a “pro-life” and “pro-family” Republican, “DesJarlais, a physician, pressured a patient who was his mistress to get an abortion. It was later revealed that the pro-life congressman had approved of his first wife having two abortions, and that he’d had sex with at least two patients.” He also had affairs with “three coworkers and a drug representative,” and was later fined for violating medical ethics.

DesJarlais’ ex-wife also accused him of “dry firing a gun outside the Plaintiff's locked bedroom door, [admitting] suicidal ideation, holding a gun in his mouth for three hours, an incident of physical intimidation at the hospital; and previous threatening behavior ... i.e. shoving, tripping, pushing down, etc.”

4) Jeff Sessions

Trump has said that he would like to pick an insider as his vice president, so why not go with his sole Senate endorser and “Washington gatekeeper” Jeff Sessions?

The Alabama Republican helped craft Trump’s plan to deport all undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., as well as his proposal to destroy the Mexican economy by blocking remittances in order to force Mexico to pay for the border wall.

Sessions has also defended Trump’s proposal to ban the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims from entering the U.S. and similarly expressed doubt climate science with his own bizarre reasoning.

5) Mike Huckabee

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has been a relentless defender of Trump throughout the campaign, frequently attacking Ted Cruz while praising the billionaire mogul. Trump even hired Huckabee’s daughter as an adviser after the former governor’s own presidential bid ended.

The two have their differences: While Trump mostly directs his bigotry towards immigrants and Muslims, Huckabee keeps LGBT people as his main target.

While the folksy Southern Baptist minister may not share many of Trump’s personality traits, he does at least share Trump’s proclivity for anti-Obama conspiracy theories and patronizing language towards women .

6) Ben Carson

After endorsing Trump’s candidacy, Ben Carson has emerged as one of his worst campaign surrogates.

Nonetheless, there are numerousreports that Carson isactively lobbying for a slot on the ticket.

Carson, like Trumphas a gift for grifting and making mystifying, bigoted statements.

Trump may be wary, however, because Carson believes that God was behind his own, failed presidential campaign.

Bonus: Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin is one of Trump’s earliest endorsers and most loyal surrogates, thanking God for his candidacy and hailing him for standing up to “all that petty, punk-ass, little thuggery stuff.” She even defended him when he attacked John McCain, who named Palin as his running mate in 2008, for being a prisoner of war, saying that Trump is a hero for criticizing the Obama administration’s handling of immigration and economic policy.

It was also at a Trump rally where Palin suggested that President Obama shares some of the blame for her son’s arrest for domestic assault.

Trump has said that he would consider appointing Palin to a position in his administration because “she really is somebody who knows what’s happening and she’s a special person, she’s really a special person and I think people know that.”

Seeing that she already ran for vice president once before, Palin is clearly ready for the campaign.

After all, what could go wrong?

Even Glenn Beck Thinks Cruz's VP Pick Was A 'Desperate' Move

Ted Cruz's announcement yesterday that he would name Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate despite the fact that he is trailing badly in the Republican presidential primary race was widely seen as a desperate move to boost his struggling campaign.

And since Glenn Beck has transformed his daily radio program into little more than an arm of Cruz's presidential operation, it was entirely predictable that he would kick off today's program by conducting a softball interview with Fiorina, which he introduced by admitting that the campaign's unusual move was indeed an act of desperation ... "because Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina are desperate to save the Constitution."

"They are desperate to save the economy. Desperate to create jobs. And so am I," Beck said. "They are desperate to stop the crucifixion of Christians by ISIS. And so am I. I think you are, too ... They are desperate. Indeed, they are. They are desperate to make sure that our children aren't spied on and listened to. They are desperate to make sure that the IRS isn’t used as a weapon anymore."

"And if you're not desperate," Beck concluded, pointing directly into the camera, "then you're not in the real world. If you're not desperate, then they have no chance of winning. But if you believe this is our last call, if you believe we are in deep trouble, you're damn right you're desperate. You should be desperate."

The 10 Craziest Right-Wing Attacks On Beyoncé

Following the release of Beyoncé’s new album “Lemonade,” far-right commentators went on the attack. For years, the singer has drawn the ire of conservatives from Mike Huckabee to Alex Jones, who have responded to her music with bizarre conspiracy theories and irrational anger.

In honor of Beyoncé’s new album, we’ve collected 10 of the Right’s craziest attacks on her.

1) Brain-eating CIA Plant

InfoWars host and Donald Trump ally Alex Jones made waves this week when he told his fans that Beyoncé is participating in a CIA plan to spur violence and mayhem in order to give the federal government a justification for taking over local police forces.

InfoWars dubbed the plot “the Beyoncé ‘urban terrorism’ psy-op.”

Jones told his listeners that Beyoncé is a “devil-worshiping” musician who “acts like a psychopath” and whose music is “designed to absolutely ruin [children’s] lives on purpose.”

He even went so far as to plead with black people to “stop killing your kids and get them in church, whatever, take them away from Beyoncé, who wants to eat their brain with the CIA, literally.”

2) ‘Toxic Mental Poison’

Before deciding to run for president, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee released a book titled “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” in which he criticized President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for letting their children listen to Beyoncé, calling the musician out for her “obnoxious and toxic mental poison in the form of song lyrics.” He also compared Beyoncé to a prostitute.

Despite chastising Beyoncé for her sexual lyrics, Huckabee seemed to have no problem performing a sexually explicit song with Ted Nugent, a musician not exactly known for his wholesomeness, on his Fox News program, “Huckabee.”

Huckabee defended himself by falsely claiming that Nugent “changed the lyrics pretty dramatically when he sang it on the stage that time.” However, anyone who watches the program can clearly see Huckabee accompanying Nugent while he sings about how he can “make the pussy purr.”

3) Possessed By The Devil

American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer said that Beyoncé used “a number of Satanic symbols” in her 2013 Super Bowl performance, claiming that her “facial features changed” and “she had this look on her face — she went from being the girl next door and light and bubbly to something dark and malevolent.”

Fischer concluded that Beyoncé is possessed by the devil and that her alter ego Sasha Fierce is “a demonic spirit.”

4) Like Someone In An Insane Asylum

Kevin Swanson, the radically anti-gay pastor courted by Ted Cruz, arrived at a similar conclusion as Fischer, telling listeners to his “Generations Radio” program in 2014 that Sasha Fierce is a demonic entity.

“That’s multiple personality or that’s demon possession or that’s psychosis,” he said of Beyoncé. “People used to have to be taken off to insane asylums if they introduced other characters in their lives, these are people who are going to wind up in insane asylums, mental institutes for things like demon possession or psychosis.”

5) Like A Ku Klux Klan Member

When Beyoncé performed at this year’s Super Bowl, Fox News’ favorite sheriff, David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, said that while he is someone who tries not “to overreact to things,” he was so upset by Beyoncé’s performance that he compared it to “a white band” performing “in hoods and white sheets.”

6) Race War

Tomi Lahren of Glenn Beck’s The Blaze joined the chorus of Beyoncé critics by slamming the musician for “ramrodding an aggressive agenda down our throats” at the Super Bowl.

“You’re just like President Obama, Jada Pinkett Smith, Al Sharpton and so many others just can’t let America heal, keep ripping off the historical Band-Aid,” she said. “Why be a cultural leader when you can play the victim, right?”

Lahren was particularly upset that Beyoncé tried to “perpetuate the great battle of the races” when her “husband was a drug dealer.” “Talk about protecting black neighborhoods? Start at home,” she said.

7) Paving The Way For The Antichrist

Sandy Rios of the American Family Association and American Family Radio was appalled by Beyoncé’s “Formation” music video, calling it “disgusting” and “crass, crass, crass.”

“It’s not only stoking the fires of racism, just stoking hatred, black hatred towards whites and towards policemen, it’s also just crass sexually. It’s like you need a bath. What is this beautiful girl doing, doing this?” she asked.

Rios eventually concluded that Beyoncé’s “in-your-face black racism” and “cop hatred” will “undermine the law and order of our country.”

And this descent “into lawlessness,” Rios explained, is “a sign of the Last Days” and the coming of the “Man of Lawlessness,” or the Antichrist.

“The Man of Lawlessness will reign,” she said. “Lawlessness, the breakdown in respect and honor. And so Beyoncé, who could be such an example to women everywhere, and I don’t care black or white, conducting herself with dignity with all that God has given her, her beauty and her natural talents, instead twisting it into something that is very ugly and very profane.”

8) An Attack On Police Officers

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani couldn’t resist disparaging Beyoncé’s “outrageous” and “terrible” Super Bowl show, claiming that she was putting black lives and law enforcement officers at risk when she used the event “as a platform to attack police officers.”

9) Promotes Sex Trafficking And Death

Conservative author Larry Tomczak published a rather negative review of “Lemonade” this week:

This idol is not a "role model" for our youth, and this misdirected honor needs to end.

Her new album Lemonade is scandalous. One song titled "Hold Up" features her as a rage-filled maniac brandishing a baseball bat while smiling children watch. In her rampage, she smashes car windows, destroys automobiles, explodes a fire hydrant, busts business windows and obliterates a police surveillance camera. Fires erupt as she spits out expletives in vengeful glee.

This is disgraceful conduct, and her placement in the "Parthenon of Superstar Idols" needs to come down. This isn't entertainment, it's an outrage, and it's idolatry if we justify it. Our impressionable children are at stake.

“Pray for Beyoncé as she spirals out of control,” he continued. “Let's learn lessons from the demise of American Idol, Bowie and Prince.”

Back in 2014, Tomczak claimed that Beyoncé’s music would “lead naive young girls on a dangerous path that could lead some even into sex trafficking” and ultimately “abuse, abortions and abasement — sometimes death.”

10) ‘Urban Terrorist’

Leave it to Matt Drudge to accuse Beyoncé of being an “urban terrorist” because of her music video “Hold Up.”

Joel Gilbert: Removing Jackson From Currency Shows 'The Leftists Are Not Different From The Islamists'

Joel Gilbert, the right-wing filmmaker who promotes the alternative birther theory that President Obama’s “real father” was labor activist Frank Marshall Davis, joined far-right radio host Rick Wiles on his “Trunews” program on Monday to discuss what Wiles called the “cultural cleansing” taking place with the removal of President Andrew Jackson from the front of the $20 bill.

Gilbert said that the decision to feature Harriet Tubman on the front of the $20 bill and move Jackson to the back and the efforts to take down the Confederate flag from government grounds are both part of the liberal effort to “change everything and pretty much apologize and condemn the greatness of America and the history and judge it according to current value standards of the media and condemn American history, apologize for American history and then cover it up.”

“The leftists are not different from the Islamists,” he continued. “Don’t forget the Islamists, when Islam burst out of Arabia in the sixth century, seventh century, they came to Jerusalem, they renamed it al-Quds. Several centuries later, they took over the Christian city of Constantinople. Now it’s called Istanbul.”

“This is a way of changing the history to accommodate the new ideology in town,” he said, “and changing the currency to wipe out the founding fathers from our consciousness, their principles and their ideals that created a nation of individual free markets and free speech, that is a way to achieve their long-term goals.”

Jackson, who isn’t generally considered a founding father, was added to the $20 bill in 1928.

Trump Supporter Phyllis Schlafly Calls Out Ted Cruz For Lifting Her 'Choice Not An Echo' Line

In his speech yesterday announcing Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate, Ted Cruz said that his campaign presents Republican voters with “a choice, not an echo,” a line he lifted directly from legendary conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, who happens to be a prominent supporter of his GOP rival Donald Trump.

Schlafly, who is locked in a bitter war for control of her organization, Eagle Forum — a fight motivated in part by a split between Trump and Cruz supporters in the organization — told WorldNetDaily today that she didn’t like Cruz using her famous line.

“That’s my phrase, and Ted Cruz knows it,” Schlafly said. “But as far as I’m concerned, ‘a choice not an echo’ this year applies to Donald Trump, not Ted Cruz.”

In his Wednesday speech announcing Carly Fiorina would be his vice presidential candidate if he becomes the GOP nominee, Cruz said the American people wanted a president who could present “a choice, not an echo” in public policy.

The reference clearly was to Schlafly’s seminal 1964 book, “A Choice Not an Echo,” written to support the presidential candidacy of Sen. Barry Goldwater. “That’s my phrase, and Ted Cruz knows it,” Schlafly told WND. “But as far as I’m concerned, ‘a choice not an echo’ this year applies to Donald Trump, not Ted Cruz. Trump is the only one in the Republican Party who can take on the king-makers in the GOP leadership establishment.”

Schlafly is currently fighting a court battle with a group of dissidents on Eagle Forum’s board, led by her daughter, Anne Cori, whom she claims are trying to remove her from the organization she founded.

Cori and five other board members announced earlier this month that they had ousted Schlafly’s handpicked successor, Ed Martin, from his position leading the organization’s political wing. Martin, however, says that Schlafly was the real target of the coup, claiming that the dissidents — mostly Cruz supporters — are furious that Schlafly endorsed Trump.

Schlafly is upset that members of the dissident group delivered an endorsement of Cruz “in a way that made it look like it was Eagle Forum doing it” and gave Eagle Forum membership lists to the Cruz campaign.

Cori and her allies have filed a lawsuit against Martin and John Schlafly, Schlafly’s son and Cori’s brother, in order to gain control of Eagle Forum’s political division, insisting that a majority of board members have voted to remove Martin from his post.

The lawsuit alleges that Martin has been “posting on Facebook as Phyllis Schlafly” and “personally authored content which he has nonetheless styled as information from Phylis Schlafly.”

“John Schlafly denied Anne Schlafly Cori access to the Illinois Headquarters and prevented her from obtaining or inspecting Eagle Forum Property,” the suit continues. “When Anne Schlafly Cori insisted on her right to obtain and inspect Eagle Forum property, the Alton Police were called to remove Anne Schlafly Cori from the Illinois Headquarters.”

Meanwhile, Martin told WorldNetDaily that Cori and others did not show up to court, unlike “the iron lady” Schlafly.

“The iron lady of Eagle Forum sat there in the courtroom from 1:30 p.m. until 5 o’clock, as a thunderstorm went through, the power went out briefly; and the elevator in the building didn’t work when the hearing ended,” Martin said. “Phyllis walked down the stairs with the rest of us. Meanwhile, none of the six opposition board members showed up; only their three high-powered lawyers.”

He also said that Cori gave leaked Eagle Forum membership information to the Cruz campaign and that the senator’s campaign tried to contact the group’s South Dakota leader, Kitty Werthmann, to seek a personal endorsement.

The defendants’ attorneys further said that since January 2016, the plaintiffs “have endorsed and have sought to get other persons affiliated with Eagle Forum to endorse Ted Cruz in a letter that misleadingly suggests that Eagle Forum as an organization endorses Senator Cruz.”

Further, they alleged the six board members misappropriated Eagle Forum membership lists as well as contact information for leaders, volunteers and other followers in direct violation of an Eagle Forum policy that prohibits providing such lists to political campaigns.

According to affidavits submitted by the defendants, Cori allegedly handed over the Eagle Forum membership and leaders lists to the Cruz campaign, which used them to make marketing calls.

Martin, in his affidavit, noted Kitty Werthmann, the Eagle Forum state leader for South Dakota, made him aware that the Cruz campaign was contacting her by telephone, soliciting her personal information and endorsement, and urging Eagle Forum to endorse Cruz for president.

“Ms. Werthmann provided me the number from which the call had been made,” Martin said. “I then looked up that phone number and determined that it was registered to a company with the Cruz campaign.”

Tracing the information back through the Eagle Forum organization, Martin determined a contractor to the Eagle Forum Education Fund, who was a part-time employee of Cruz’s presidential campaign, had requested and obtained the Eagle Forum lists from Eagle Forum staff, following instructions by Anne Cori.

Jeff Roe, Cruz’s campaign manager, did not respond to a WND email request for comment.

'These Freaks Are Going To Get Us All Killed': Rick Wiles Warns Target Restroom Policy Will Spark Nuclear War

Far-right radio host Rick Wiles devoted the first half of his “Trunews” program on Monday to railing against Target’s policy of allowing transgender people to use the restroom that matches their gender identity, warning that the retail chain’s bathroom policy has helped turn America into Sodom and Gomorrah, which God will now destroy through a nuclear war with Russia.

After reading from a statement about the bathroom policy from Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder, Wiles bellowed, “How about if I just urinate on your floor? How about that, Molly? Because you’re defecating on this nation.”

He said that the restroom policy and Target’s decision last year to stop putting gender-specific signage on kids’ toys are both part of a “revolution” being carried out by modern-day Nazis.

“Our minds are being captured, Doc, by perverts,” he told his co-host Doc Burkhart. “This is what happened in Germany. The Nazis were perverts. They took over Germany. It was a radical, socialist, homosexual movement called the Nazi Socialist Party. They’re now in control of America, and sane people better rise up and oppose it quickly. This is just the beginning.”

“It’s either shut down Target or their type is going to shut down this nation, because there’s no end to their insanity and their immorality and their wickedness,” Wiles declared later in the program.

Reading from a Business Insider article about an increase in Russian submarine activity, Wiles connected the dots.

“Doc, God is going to use the Russians to bring down Sodom and Gomorrah if there’s no repentance in this land,” he said. “Listen, these freaks are going to get us all killed. They’re going to get us all killed.”

“When there is a nuclear war, we all die,” he explained. “Now, those of us who are saved are going to go home to be with the Lord. Those who are unsaved are going to burn in hell. But we’re all going to die in a nuclear war thanks to the sodomites that are in control of this nation right now.”

“Show me one country in history that has gone down this road and survived,” he said. “There’s not one example. There’s not one example in thousands of years of human history of a nation turning from God and becoming a sodomite nation and then going on to be great. Not one nation.”

Wiles has told Trunews listeners in the past that thanks to gay rights activism, the U.S. could get destroyed by a nuclear strike from North Korea.

Jim Garlow: Future Historians May Look Back On Our Prayer Gathering As The Moment That Restored America

Right-wing pastor Jim Garlow, one of the organizers of last night's "Washington — A Man Of Prayer" event at the U.S. Capitol, closed out the gathering by declaring that future historians just might look back on the prayers that had been offered by dozens of members of Congress and conclude that they had caused a "shift in the heavenly realm" that led to nationwide revival.

"This is such a sacred moment," he stated. "If we could see into the realm of the heavenlies what has been accomplished by the declarations that have been made by our congressional leaders, we would have reason to be profoundly encouraged."

"I feel like we're standing before a burning bush," Garlow continued, in awe of the fact that only America would have "this many people at the highest level of leadership call on God the way we just heard," predicting that this event will lead to a "restoration" that will sweep across the nation.

"This is your place, this is your moment," Garlow said, leading the gathering in one final prayer. "Who knows what future historians might write about what began those days in April when people began to gather, called congressmen, and began to worship you and praise your name and call on your name and ask for you to give us mercy when we really deserve judgment. Who knows but what this is actually the turning point, it may not be manifested in every way quite yet, but who knows if in the realm of the heavenlies, what's been declared here might some day be identified as the moment when things began to shift in the heavenly realm and the name of Yeshua was lifted up again and God is honored in this place, this city and around this nation. Thank you, Father God, for what you are doing and what you have just done."

Garlow has previously claimed that his prayer gatherings led to the passage of California's Proposition 8, the anti-gay amendment that was later overturned by the courts.

Dozens Of Members Of Congress Join End Times Rabbi For Prayer Rally In The Capitol

Last night, several members of Congress joined Religious Right activists in Washington, D.C., for the annual "Washington – A Man of Prayer" event, which seeks to be a "spiritual turning point for the nation as Americans witness Senators and members of Congress reaching out to God in penitent prayers from inside the nation’s Capitol."

House Speaker Paul Ryan, Rep. Louie Gohmert, and Sen. James Lankford were among the dozens of members of Congress who participated in the event as they lined up and delivered short prayers, one after another, from the podium for nearly an hour and a half. 

As in previous years, the prayer gathering was closed out by messianic End Times rabbi Jonathan Cahn who, just like last year, warned that America is on the verge of destruction for having legalized gay marriage nationwide.

In fact, Cahn has spent the last year repeatedly warning that all sorts of cataclysms are about the befall this nation, not one of which has actually happened, but for some reason organizers thought it prudent to bring him back to issue a similar warning again.

America, Cahn warned, "founded for the purpose and glory of God, drove God out of its government, out of its culture, out of its public squares. It celebrated ungodliness and called evil good and good evil" through legal abortion and marriage equality.

"It must be asked," he said, "Supreme Court justices, where did you get the authority to overrule the rulings of the Most High? And by what authority did you strike down the laws of the Almighty? You are neither the highest court nor the final authority. There is a supreme judge with a supreme justice that does not sleep forever."

"And Mr. President," he continued, "when you assumed the office of your presidency, did you not lay your hand on the word of God and swear to before Him, 'So help me God'? And yet, on the day that the Supreme Court struck down the order of God, you issued the order that the White House be illumined by the colors of the rainbow to celebrate that striking down. Mr. President, by what authority did you take the sacred colors of God's covenant, the colors of His throne and the sign of His mercy in the face of judgment and turn them against the purposes of God and the word of God on which you swore your oath?"

Jim DeMint: Voter ID Helps Elect 'More Conservative Candidates'

Jim DeMint, the former South Carolina senator and Tea Party firebrand who is now the president of the Heritage Foundation, became the latest in a string of conservatives to admit that restrictive voting laws such as voter ID requirements are an attempt to help Republicans win elections, telling a St. Louis radio host yesterday that voter ID laws help elect “more conservative candidates.”

Talk radio host Jamie Allman asked DeMint about Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s move to restore the voting rights of people in the state who had served time for felonies, a draconian restriction that disproportionately affected African-Americans by design. DeMint responded that McAuliffe’s action was “awfully suspicious” and tied it to what he claimed was a Democratic plan to get votes from “illegals” and through “voter fraud.”

“Well, it’s awfully suspicious coming into a big election in a state where it’s actually pretty close,” he said. “I mean, states can decide who votes, but the governor themselves without legislative action, that seems over the top to me. I haven’t seen an complete analysis here, but the left is trying to draw votes from illegals, from voter fraud, a lot of different things, so this kind of fits right in to trying to find another group that they can basically count on to vote their way.”

“So it’s really a bigger issue,” he added, “and that’s why the left fights voter ID or any kind of picture ID to know that it is actually a registered voter who’s voting. And so it’s something we’re working on all over the country, because in the states where they do have voter ID laws you’ve seen, actually, elections begin to change towards more conservative candidates.”

Defending Roy Moore's Nullification Efforts, Liberty Counsel Shows New Concern For 'Judicial Independence'

Liberty Counsel, a Religious Right legal group that opposes legal equality for LGBT Americans, held a press conference on Wednesday with Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has been waging a campaign of resistance to the Supreme Court’s June 2015 marriage equality ruling.

Moore and his Liberty Counsel lawyers were calling on the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission to dismiss ethical complaints that had been filed against Moore earlier in 2015 after he urged the governor not to comply with a federal court order on marriage equality. Moore, of course, had gotten in trouble before; in 2003 he was removed from his seat on the court when he refused a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument he had installed in the rotunda of the judicial building.

People For the American Way Foundation was one of the groups that filed a complaint against Moore last year. The PFAWF complaint, which you can read here, was filed in early 2015, based on actions he took when he began to insert himself into a federal marriage equality case that was not before his court. He accused federal judges across the country of seeking to impose tyranny upon the nation, and he suggested he might not comply with a potential Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality (which came down a few months later). The complaint spells out the Canons of Judicial Ethics that Moore violated, undermining public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. “Like the United States as a whole, Alabama is governed by the rule of law,” the complaint concludes, noting that “the history of the state shows the violent and tragic consequences when that ideal is not met.” The complaint asked that Moore once again be removed from his office.

In defending Moore on Thursday, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver dismissed the complaints as “politically motivated” and warned that they “pose a threat to the doctrine of judicial independence.” Continued Staver, “Judges must be free to exercise their considered judgment without the threat of being attacked by organizations and individuals who wish to misuse the ethical process to further a radical political agenda.”

Staver’s concern for Moore’s judicial independence is touching, if a bit surprising, given that Staver was a cheerleader for Religious Right attacks on Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality. After a political campaign that was successful in unseating three state justices in 2010 retention elections, Staver crowed, “The justices crossed the line when they played the role of a legislator and abandoned judicial restraint.”

Moore also said at Wednesday’s press conference that this was about “judicial independence.” But when right-wing groups were cranking up the outrage machine against Iowa Supreme Court justices, Moore joined in the condemnation, saying that the conservative outcry against the justices would send “a signal all across the nation.”

Abortion Rights Leaders Call On Cruz To Dump Extremist Anti-Choice Adviser

We reported earlier this year that Sen. Ted Cruz had signaled his support for the extremist fringes of the anti-abortion movement by naming Troy Newman, the head of the notorious protest group Operation Rescue who has written that God is punishing America for failing to execute abortion providers, as a national co-chair of a his presidential campaign’s “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition.

Now, as Cruz appears to be attempting to win over women voters with his pick of Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate, the leaders of People For the American Way, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice America are urging Cruz to fire Newman from his campaign.

In an open letter to Cruz, the leaders write:

While there are a number of coalition members whose records raise serious concerns, Troy Newman’s history of violent rhetoric and harassment toward women’s health providers is truly beyond the pale.

Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, has written that the U.S. government has a responsibility to execute abortion providers. He has said that a woman who has sought an abortion should be considered a “murderer” and a “contract killer.” Newman has claimed that a man who killed an abortion provider should have been allowed to argue that the killing was “justifiable defensive action.” Newman and his staff have harassed individual women’s clinic workers at their homes, at restaurants and coffee shops, and throughout their communities in an attempt to make them quit their jobs. Newman’s closest associate at Operation Rescue, Cheryl Sullenger, has spent time in federal prison for conspiracy to bomb an abortion clinic.

Especially in an environment where anti-women’s health violence is on the rise, Newman’s extremism and violent rhetoric should be condemned, not given a platform by a major presidential campaign. A report released this month by the National Abortion Federation on threats and violence against abortion providers noted a “dramatic increase in hate speech and internet harassment, death threats, attempted murder, and murder” in 2015, coinciding with the distribution of smear videos intended to demonize providers — videos which Newman was a driving force behind. No patient or provider should have to fear for their life in order to seek or give critical medical care.

We wrote extensively about Newman’s background and views in a report last year linked to his role in creating the Center for Medical Progress’ smear videos about Planned Parenthood.

Rachel Maddow covered Cruz’s embrace of Newman in an extensive segment in November:

PFAW, NARAL, Planned Parenthood Leaders Call on Ted Cruz to Fire Troy Newman from Presidential Campaign

The leaders of People For the American Way (PFAW), NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund released an open letter today calling on presidential candidate Ted Cruz to fire a national co-chair of his “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition, Troy Newman. Newman – among other heinous stances – has written that the U.S. government has a duty to execute abortion providers.

People For the American Way President Michael Keegan stated:

“Cruz’s decision to give Troy Newman a formal role in his campaign is completely unacceptable. No person aspiring to be the next president of the United States should have anything to do with someone whose record of violent rhetoric includes calling for the execution of abortion providers. And no politician should be allowed to pander to violent anti-choice extremists without being called out. With Ted Cruz’s all-important Indiana primary coming up, it’s past due for Cruz to fire Newman from his campaign team."

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said:

"Troy Newman is an anti-choice extremist and misogynist ideologue who has argued that the murder of abortion providers is justified and that the attacks of 9/11 were retribution from God against legal abortion. Ted Cruz’s 'gratitude' for Newman's support paints a clear picture of what a Cruz presidency would look like: an administration that condones violence and is committed to eliminating women’s reproductive freedom. Their partnership sends an unambiguous message to the majority of Americans who believe in the rule of law and who trust women to make our decisions about how and when we become parents—that neither your vote, nor your lives, matter all that much to Ted Cruz. Troy Newman has no place in this campaign and I encourage Ted Cruz to surprise us all and send him packing."

Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens added:

"Embracing this kind of violence is reprehensible and irresponsible, especially from a presidential candidate. Troy Newman has called the murder of an abortion provider a 'justifiable action' and runs an organization whose baseline purpose is to harass and terrorize women. It is not surprising to see Ted Cruz embrace this type of violent extremism -- after all this is the same man who has told malicious lies about Planned Parenthood, would criminalize abortion, and tried to shut down the government in order to prevent low income women from accessing cancer screenings. However it is disappointing to see even a presidential candidate like Ted Cruz so blatantly disregard women's health and lives but this is what the Cruz Fiorina ticket stands for."

In addition to the letter, an online campaign to #FireTroy has also been launched, including this petition. For more information about Troy Newman or to schedule an interview about this campaign, please email Laura Epstein (media@pfaw.org).

Open Letter to Sen. Ted Cruz

Dear Senator Cruz,

We urge you to remove Troy Newman from your campaign’s “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition, where he presently serves as a national co-chair.

While there are a number of coalition members whose records raise serious concerns, Troy Newman’s history of violent rhetoric and harassment toward women’s health providers is truly beyond the pale.

Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, has written that the U.S. government has a responsibility to execute abortion providers. He has said that a woman who has sought an abortion should be considered a “murderer” and a “contract killer.” Newman has claimed that a man who killed an abortion provider should have been allowed to argue that the killing was “justifiable defensive action.” Newman and his staff have harassed individual women’s clinic workers at their homes, at restaurants and coffee shops, and throughout their communities in an attempt to make them quit their jobs. Newman’s closest associate at Operation Rescue, Cheryl Sullenger, has spent time in federal prison for conspiracy to bomb an abortion clinic.

Especially in an environment where anti-women’s health violence is on the rise, Newman’s extremism and violent rhetoric should be condemned, not given a platform by a major presidential campaign. A report released this month by the National Abortion Federation on threats and violence against abortion providers noted a “dramatic increase in hate speech and internet harassment, death threats, attempted murder, and murder” in 2015, coinciding with the distribution of smear videos intended to demonize providers — videos which Newman was a driving force behind. No patient or provider should have to fear for their life in order to seek or give critical medical care.

There are wide-ranging beliefs about abortion in our country, but no one who has said it’s the government’s duty to execute abortion providers should have any place in a campaign for our nation’s highest office. We urge you to denounce this extremism and remove Troy Newman from your campaign’s coalition immediately.

Sincerely,

Ilyse Hogue, NARAL Pro-Choice America
Michael Keegan, People For the American Way
Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Organizations listed for identification purposes only.

###

According To Ann Coulter, Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech Was Greater Than. . .

Shortly after Donald Trump wrapped his much-heralded address on foreign policy today, superfan Ann Coulter took to Twitter to declare its place in history:

Glenn Beck: If Ted Cruz Loses Indiana, We 'Lose Freedom For All Mankind'

If there is any question about the extent to which Glenn Beck has turned his daily television and radio programs into nothing more than an arm of Ted Cruz's presidential campaign, today's broadcast ought to dispel any doubt.

For months, Beck has been campaigning for Cruz at great personal costcarrying water for him and repeatedly stating that the Texas senator has been anointed by God to save this nation, so, naturally, after Donald Trump swept several Republican primaries last night, Beck went all out today on his radio show today to mobilize his audience to continue to support Cruz, especially in the upcoming primary in Indiana.

"Indiana, hear me, Cruz supporters, hear me," Beck said. "The election will hinge on you."

Saying that the traditional big-money Republican donors are sitting on the sideline this election, Beck openly urged his audience to visit Cruz's website and donate to his campaign and then do everything they can to help Cruz win in Indiana because "you know the republic is at stake."

"This is the moment," he stated. "If we drop it at this moment, we lose. And let me tell you something, you lose freedom for all mankind. I'm convinced of it. This is the moment. Don't be on the sideline. Don't be discouraged."

Carly Fiorina Once Said 'Ted Cruz Cannot Possibly Beat Hillary Clinton'

Back in December, a top Ted Cruz surrogate launched a sexist attack on Carly Fiorina, tweeting that Fiorina went “full vagina” during a debate.

Steve Deace, an Iowa-based talk show host, not only endorsed Cruz but is also a prominent campaign surrogate for the Texas senator. Cruz has hailed Deace as “a truth-teller, a courageous conservative, and a powerful voice for liberty,” featured him in a campaign advertisement and added him to his Iowa leadership team.

Deace eventually apologized for the anti-Fiorina tweet, saying that his wife told him to.

When Fox News' Megyn Kelly asked Fiorina about Deace's comments, Fiorina noted that Deace “is more than a radio talk host, he is a major surrogate of Ted Cruz and a major endorser.”

“And this is why Ted Cruz cannot possibly beat Hillary Clinton,” Fiorina said.

In an interview weeks later, Fiorina said that “Ted Cruz is just like any other politician, he says one thing in Manhattan, he says another thing in Iowa, he says whatever he needs to say to get elected and then he’s going to do what he pleases.”

Today, Cruz will reportedly name Fiorina as his running mate in his foundering bid for president.

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