Mike Huckabee Warns Of Cover-up After Investigation Debunks Phony IRS Scandal

Mike Huckabee said last week that a Justice Department investigation that debunked right-wing claims that the IRS targeted conservative groups only confirms in his mind that the IRS was going after conservatives all along.

Speaking with Fox News pundit Todd Starnes, who was guest-hosting the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” radio program, Huckabee said that the fact that investigators didn’t find any wrongdoing at the tax agency proves that the DOJ is covering up the supposed scandal and — like the IRS — has become politicized under the Obama administration.

“That’s exactly what I expected them to do,” he said. “This is a Justice Department that cannot be trusted to really look at things objectively. It’s been a very politically run Justice Department.”

The Republican presidential candidate added that the DOJ’s decision not to press charges in the matter “is just the kind of thing that makes people increasingly frustrated, angry and ready to start the revolution against Washington.”

David Barton: Iran Deal Requires US To 'Fight Israel,' Will Bring God's Wrath

David Barton, the right-wing activist who is now running Ted Cruz’s super PAC, falsely insisted on his “WallBuilders Live” program on Thursday that the nuclear deal with Iran will require the U.S. to ally with Iran and “fight Israel” if Iran acquires a nuclear weapon, warning that this will all bring God’s wrath upon America.

Responding to a question from a listener who wondered if the Bible’s promise that “whoever curses Israel will be cursed” means that the U.S. “won’t fight against Israel,” Barton was not optimistic.

He had been talking to a number of elected officials, he explained, who were surprised when he told them that the Iran deal requires the U.S. to side with Iran if Israel attacks the country.

“They were unaware that in the agreement with Iran … that it contains the provision that says that under this accord, if Iran gets attacked, America will come to the defense of Iran,” Barton claimed. “Now, question: If Iran gets attacked, who’s going to be the first nation attacking Iran for having a nuclear weapon? It will be Israel. So we’re now going into a treaty where we pledge to come to the defense of Iran against Israel, we will fight Israel. If Israel sends in her F-16s and others to blow up nuclear weapons that they will have there, we’re going to fight Israel?”

“These legislators that I’ve talked to, they were shocked to find out that that was in the provision, because that’s not covered in much in the news at all, it’s not out there,” he added.

The legislators may have been shocked to find this out because it is not true. As a State Department spokeswoman explained to CNN after Donald Trump made a similar claim, the deal “does not commit any country to engage in this kind of routine nuclear security cooperation, and it is absurd to suggest it [commits] anyone to 'defend' Iran's nuclear facilities.” In a Senate hearing on the agreement, Secretary of State John Kerry also responded to the claim, clarifying that the U.S. “will coordinate in every possible way with Israel with respect to Israel's concern."

But according to Barton, this nonexistent provision will bring God’s wrath upon America because it will “put us in the position of fighting against Israel physically, and that’s a losing position if you believe there’s a God in Heaven, if you believe in his word, if you believe he keeps his word, that is a losing proposition for America.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 10/23/15

  • David Nir @ Daily Kos: GOP conspiracy theory eviscerated: IRS never targeted tea party groups, and DOJ won’t file charges. 

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 10/23/15

  • BREAKING” from BarbWire: Paul Ryan voted for ENDA … eight years ago.
  • Actual news out of Utah: “God’s Not Dead 2 Will Premier at World Congress of Families IX in Salt Lake City on October 28.”

Jeb Bush: Rise Of Donald Trump Made Me Cut Campaign Staff

Today, Jeb Bush joined televangelist Pat Robertson for an ostensibly nonpartisan presidential forum, where the former Florida governor received a warm introduction from Religious Right legal activist Jay Sekulow, whose son just so happens to work for Bush. Robertson himself has put Bush at the top of his 2016 “dream ticket.”

The two had an amiable chat about tax policy and foreign policy with little discussion of the polarizing social issue stances that have helped turn Robertson into a notorious political figure — although apparently not toxic enough for the GOP establishment favorite. Towards the end of the interview, Robertson turned to the news that Bush’s presidential campaign is cutting staff and salaries amid declining poll numbers.

Bush put a positive spin on the news, insisting that he wanted to create a “lean and mean” campaign and send staffers “to beautiful states like Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.”

He also placed some of the blame on Donald Trump: “The circumstances when we started the election were different. I have not met a person who thought Donald Trump would be the front-running candidate at this point. God bless him for his success in that regard, we’ll see how long that lasts, but you have to adapt.”

Adding that fundraising is “hard work” and “not as easy as people might think it is,” Bush quipped to the televangelist: “I know you guys do great but your product is a time-tested product, it’s been around a long time.”

“You don’t have all the controversy,” Robertson replied.

Mike Huckabee Calls For Mass Civil Disobedience By Gun Dealers

After calling on public officials to defy the Supreme Court on marriage equality, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is now urging gun dealers to flout a potential executive action that would reportedly “impose background checks on individuals who buy from dealers who sell a significant number of guns each year.”

While Huckabee dodged Newsmax host Steve Malzberg’s question as to whether Congress should launch impeachment proceedings against President Obama if takes such a step, saying that “that should be up to Congress,” he called for an “absolute, unapologetic, just complete ignoring of such an order by those gun shop owners.”

“We have to stand up and say, ‘no, we’re not going to do it,’” he said.

Bryan Fischer: Obama Letting UN Impose Sharia Law On US Cities

Last month, New York City, with the backing of the U.S. Justice Department, joined the Strong Cities Network, a United Nations program aimed at connecting large cities in efforts to fight violent extremism. Civil rights and civil liberties groups expressed concern that the program would result in increased harassment of Muslim Americans, but far-right activists are now saying that the program is in fact a secretive effort to impose Islamic law on American cities.

In a Breitbart column shortly after the announcement, anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller insisted that the network represents “nothing less than the overriding of American laws, up to and including the United States Constitution, in favor of United Nations laws” and that President Obama may now “use a ‘global police force’ to crush counter-jihad forces.”

On his program today, American Family Radio’s Bryan Fischer cited Geller’s article to claim that the program is “nothing more than a way to impose Sharia law on the largest cities in America under the guise of social justice or doing something for the global community or doing something that is fair and right and just and all that kind of stuff.”

Utah Event Revives The Strange Case Of The Moscow World Congress Of Families

This is one in a series of posts about the upcoming World Congress of Families gathering in Salt Lake City, Utah. Read our introduction to the World Congress of Families here.

Social conservatives from around the world will gather next week in Salt Lake City at the World Congress of Families, an event being held in the U.S. for the first time this year. In the background of the event will be the specter of last year’s World Congress in Moscow, which sort of did and sort of didn’t happen.

In 2013, when Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law prohibiting “propaganda” of homosexuality to minors, human rights groups were aghast but many in the Religious Right cheered. While Putin’s crackdown on LGBT people and free speech was widely regarded as a cynical effort to stir up nationalist sentiment at the expense of sexual minorities, his allies in the U.S. Religious Right did not see it that way.

Among the strongest supporters was the World Congress of Families. WCF, along with several other American groups participating in the Utah conference, signed a statement of support . WCF’s Larry Jacobs called the Russian law a “great idea” and said that the “Russians might be the Christian saviors to the world” for their leadership in “standing up for these traditional values of family and faith.” WCF’s representatives in Russia likewise hailed the law and worked with American activists including the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown to advocate for a law tightening the country’s ban on adoptions by foreign nationals who live in countries where gay marriage is legal.

The World Congress of Families was taken with Putin’s enthusiastic embrace of social conservatism that it planned to hold its 2014 congress at the Kremlin in Moscow, with the financial support of top Putin allies. The planning got off to a rocky start after we reported on WCF’s support of Putin’s anti-LGBT policies, and things got even rockier when Alexey Komov, the WCF’s Russian point-man waded into 9/11 trutherism at a press conference promoting the event.

Those plans began to fall apart when Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting U.S. sanctions against at least two of WCF’s key Russian allies. WCF formally “suspended” the event, but the Russian organizers went ahead and held the conference anyway. A number of the U.S. activists who were planning to go to the original conference, including the National Organization for Marriage's Brian Brown, went to the replacement. WCF’s Don Feder and Larry Jacobs, officially attending in their personal capacities, spoke at an opening press conference. At the end, conference-goers passed a resolution advocating the passage of “gay propaganda” bans modeled on Russia’s throughout the world.

Underlining the fact that the Moscow conference was never really cancelled, WCF’s point-man in Russia, Alexey Komov, was until recently scheduled to host a training session at the Utah event on “Hosting a WCF Conference”:

The training has since been removed from the event’s schedule.

Also speaking at the conference will be Vladimir Mischenko, a top official in a foundation run by Vladimir Yakunin, the Putin ally who helped to fund the Moscow conference. (Putin has since kicked Yakunin to the curb .) The World Congress of Families will also be presenting its “International Pro-Life Award” to Father Maxim Obukhov, who helped to bring the event to Moscow last year.

The World Congress of Families’ executive director, Janice Shaw Crouse, has gushed about the Moscow conference , calling it “a tremendous success, inspiring and excellent in every regard,” saying she “regretted the necessary decision to cancel our partnership with our Russian friends.”

She added:

We have many dear colleagues in Russia, and many of them are leading members of the Russian Orthodox Church. They saw their country devastated by Communism. After the fall of Communism, they recognized that if their nation was ever to rise to greatness again, it would be because of a strong family structure. These Russian friends have fought to re-establish the family as the foundation of Russia. We support their efforts, we encourage them, and we are proud of their efforts.

The Moscow event was supposed to be something of a homecoming for the World Congress of Families, which grew out of an alliance between the Howard Center on Family, Religion and Society's Allan Carlson and Russian activists concerned about a “demographic winter” of low birthrates in their country. Those ties have remained strong, especially since President Vladimir Putin has cozied up to the Orthodox Church and put new stock in social issues as part of his efforts to consolidate control in Russia and expand his power throughout the region.

Tony Perkins: Trans People Will Try To Go To Jail For 'Free Surgery'

On his “Washington Watch” radio program yesterday, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins weighed in on a new California policy allowing transgender prisoners to obtain gender affirmation surgery, which he described as “rewarding people who don’t just break the state’s laws, but nature’s, too.”

Perkins noted that a transgender-rights activist said that this law is especially meaningful because transgender people are incarcerated at six times the rate of the general population. “I can assure you it’s about to be more, once they know that they can get free surgery,” Perkins predicted.

“With a price tag of anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 for these reassignment surgeries,” he explained, “I think there’s no shortage of people that may want to sign up [to go to prison].”

“California, I don’t see how people live there,” he added.

Sandy Rios: Clinton Benghazi Hearing Was A 'Disaster' For Republicans

In case you needed any further evidence that the Benghazi Special Committee hearing with Hillary Clinton yesterday did not go well for the GOP, American Family Radio host Sandy Rios panned the performance of the House Republicans as a “disaster.”

After calling Clinton a “consummate professional at lying and covering-up,” Rios conceded today that the former secretary of state was “wonderful” and “looked great,” while Republicans on the committee appeared to be grandstanding and incompetent.

“They are not capable, they are lined up with a professional,” she said. The right-wing radio host was also upset that Democrats on the panel were even allowed to ask Clinton questions.

The hearing went poorly for the GOP that Fox News had to cut away early from its coverage.

Ann Coulter: Anyone Who Supports Immigration Reform Is Dumb

Immigration reform opponents are furious that Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who has voiced vague support for immigration reform, is on the verge of becoming speaker of the House.

Ann Coulter, who has been urging conservatives to rally behind Donald Trump and his anti-immigration stance, told religious broadcaster Eric Metaxas yesterday that her first choice for speaker of the House is Rep. Steve King, the Iowa Republican infamous for likening immigrants to livestock and expounding on the size of their calves.

Coulter said that while she also likes Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., the choice of the House Freedom Caucus, King is an “articulate,” “smart” and “incredible” communicator for the anti-immigrant right.

After comparing Trump to Roman senator Cincinnatus, hailing them as ideal citizen-statesmen, Coulter went on to explain how to find out if someone is smart or not: “The shortcut is, where do they stand on immigration? It is the litmus test of our day, it tells you how bright someone is, it tells you whether they care about the country, it separates the mice from the men.”

Anti-Abortion Groups Target GOP Congresswoman For Expressing Concern About Rape Survivors

Anti-choice Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina became public enemy number one of the anti-abortion movement earlier this year when she helped sink a planned vote on a 20-week abortion ban — the top priority of many anti-choice groups — because she feared the legislation’s harsh treatment of rape survivors could turn off young voters.

Now, it appears that the anti-choice movement’s collective rage at Ellmers has kept her off of a House special committee investigating Planned Parenthood — which she had aggressively lobbied to join — and is fueling a number of primary challengers in her home state.

Ellmers was conspicuously absent from a list of Republican members of the Planned Parenthood investigative committee released today, after anti-choice groups — such as the Susan. B Anthony List, which had previously endorsed her lobbied to keep her off the committee.

On top of that, LifeSiteNews yesterday assembled an impressive collection of quotes from anti-choice leaders vowing to oppose Ellmers in a primary:

"Congresswoman Renee Ellmers has betrayed the pro-life community," said the North Carolina Values Coalition. The American Principles Project's founder shared, "I hope that Ellmers will be subjected to a strong primary challenge in the next election by someone who is genuinely pro-life and that our movement to protect the lives of unborn children at all stages and in all conditions will now move forward." National Right to Life said, "If you can't vote for such a humanitarian no-brainer of a law to protect the unborn, you can't be trusted to vote for any pro-life legislation."

"We need to send a message loud and clear to all 'pro-life' representatives who ask for our vote, but who betray the lives of vulnerable unborn babies when they get in office: If you vote or work behind the scenes to allow the slaughter of abortion to continue, you will hear from pro-life voters loudly and clearly at the polls," National Right to Life president Carol Tobias said.

Dr. James Dobson, author and founder of Focus on the Family, commented, "Conservatives will know Rep. Renee Ellmers best for her opposition to the Marriage Protection Amendment, her sponsorship of the radical Equal Rights Amendment, and for withdrawing her sponsorship of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act."

Ambassador and former presidential candidate Alan Keyes released a statement about Ellmers, saying that she is "a faithless Representative, favored by political bosses, who must be removed from office if decent politics is to prevail."

Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, which has been training Republican candidates to avoid talking about rape when talking about their opposition to abortion rights, was furious at Ellmers for “creating a firestorm on an issue that this was never about, that this was about rape” and said back in January that if Ellmers got a primary challenger, “she deserves it.”

Meanwhile, Ellmers is desperately trying to remind her constituents that despite having once expressed concern about rape survivors, she still very much opposes abortion rights.

Rand Paul: Bernie Sanders' Socialism Will 'Eliminate' Critics

Rand Paul repeated his mantra that Bernie Sanders could turn into a murderous dictator if elected president, this time in an interview yesterday on the conservative network Newsmax.

While speaking with host Ed Berliner, Paul said that he “spends quite a bit of time on Bernie” during appearances at college campuses to let students know that “there’s nothing sexy or cool about socialism.”

The Kentucky senator said that “socialism is anti-choice” and deadly. “If you choose to challenge the state,” he said, “they have to get rid of you, they have to arrest you or they have to eliminate you.”

Republicans Revive Debunked 'Gun-Running' Conspiracy Theory At Clinton Benghazi Hearing

There were two types of questions that House Republicans posed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at yesterday’s hearing of the Benghazi Special Committee: 1) questions that had nothing to do with Benghazi (see Blumenthal, Sidney), and 2) questions that were already thoroughly assessed and answered in the seven previous investigations into the 2012 attack.

As an example of one question of the latter sort, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., asked Clinton whether the targeted U.S. facilities were being used to send weapons to armed Syrian groups.

This theory, popular among conservative activists and pundits, goes that the Obama administration used the American annex in Benghazi to arm Al Qaeda, ISIS and other radical Islamists…who then attacked the Americans, for some reason.

The Benghazi gun-running conspiracy theory has already been evaluated and debunked — much like the mythical “stand down order” — by a Republican-led congressional investigation. But Pompeo decided to ask Clinton about the long-discredited claim anyway:

The theory was first posed to Clinton in a 2013 hearing by Sen. Rand Paul, who himself admitted that he didn’t “have any proof” of the allegation.

The Associated Press reported last year that the claim doesn’t hold water…unless you believe that Republicans are aiding the supposed cover-up:

A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.

Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people.

In the aftermath of the attacks, Republicans criticized the Obama administration and its then-secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is expected to run for president in 2016. People in and out of government have alleged that a CIA response team was ordered to "stand down" after the State Department compound came under attack, that a military rescue was nixed, that officials intentionally downplayed the role of al-Qaida figures in the attack, and that Stevens and the CIA were involved in a secret operation to spirit weapons out of Libya and into the hands of Syrian rebels. None of that is true, according to the House Intelligence Committee report.

Here is what the GOP-led report [PDF] found:

Rand Paul Warns Donald Trump Would 'Probably Be The Largest Loser' In 'The History Of The Country'

In a Newsmax interview posted online yesterday, Sen. Rand Paul said he was confident that Republican primary voters will eventually turn against frontrunner Donald Trump once they realize he is a “disaster” who, if nominated, would “get swamped in a landslide.”

“Donald Trump would be probably the largest loser of any candidate ever in the history of the country if he were our nominee,” the Kentucky Republican told host Ed Berliner. “He’s the worst nominee we could possibly think of.”

He explained that Trump is only leading because “people haven’t started looking really seriously at the record” of the different candidates, agreeing with Berliner’s point that “America is just simply too smart to elect Donald Trump as president.”

Ben Carson Assures Conservatives That His Campus Speech Monitoring Would Only Target Liberals

In an interview with conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson repeated his plan to have the federal government monitor college campuses for “extreme bias,” explaining that he would have “very strict guidelines” that would ensure that his plan wouldn’t hurt conservatives.

“What I would do is I would solicit examples of extreme bias and I would use those as the basis for helping to determine which places need to have their federal funding cut,” he said.

As an the example, Carson cited the story of a Florida college professor who supposedly told students to “stomp on” a piece of paper with the word “Jesus” written on it — a story unsurprisingly manufactured by Fox News’ Todd Starnes. In reality, the professor, a “very religious” Sunday school teacher, was using a lesson on the importance of symbols included in a textbook written by an instructor at a Christian college and reported a student who physically threatened him after the exercise.

Loesch agreed with Carson’s accusations of liberal bias on college campuses, but said, “There are some who would say that it’s kind of like monitoring political speech. Do you agree with their assessment of that?”

“No, I don’t, I think it’s a very big difference,” Carson responded. “But, of course, that would be the first thing that the left would claim because they want to be able to continue to do this. And it’s not appropriate for public funding to be used to indoctrinate students in one direction.”

Loesch pressed on: “I just worry whether or not the pendulum would swing the other way and we would see sort of like monitoring of political speech for conservatives.”

“I think we would have to put in very strict guidelines for the way that that was done,” Carson explained. “And that’s why I used the word ‘extreme.’ I didn’t just say ‘political bias,’ I said ‘extreme political biases.’”

Trump Says He'd Consider Carson As VP: 'We Get Along Very Well'

Donald Trump joined conservative Florida talk radio host Joyce Kaufman yesterday to talk about his presidential candidacy, where he said he would be open to forming a joint ticket with his Republican rival Ben Carson, boasting of his “amazing” relationship with women and Latinos, and wondering why Syrian refugees aren’t “back fighting for their country.”

Kaufman — a controversial radio host who once suggested hanging undocumented immigrants who commit crimes — could barely contain her love for Trump, joking that she and her friend Ann Coulter “have slumber parties” where they listen to Trump’s speeches. Trump, in turn, said Coulter “is fantastic, she’s been so supportive and I appreciate it, she’s been great.”

When Kaufman asked if Trump would consider forming her dream Trump-Carson ticket if he won the Republican nomination, Trump was open to the idea. “Well, we get along very well,” he said. “We get along very well and he seems to be in second place compared to these politicians, you know, the all-talk, no-action politicians. So the relationship has been very, very good, very strong, but with that being said, it’s just too early, we have to see how it all pans out.”

Kaufman, who is of Puerto Rican descent, told Trump that there are “an inordinate number of Hispanic women who are absolutely enthralled” with him, adding, “I don’t know how anyone could say that you’re against women when every woman who gets close to you becomes a millionaire.”

“Well, I’ve employed tremendous numbers at the highest positions,” Trump said. “Even right now I probably have more than virtually anybody in terms of high positions. And, you know, my relationship with women has been amazing and I have great respect for women and I will be doing things for women’s health issues, which is a very big subject, and I’ll be doing things that nobody else is going to be able to do.”

“And I get along great with the Hispanics,” he added. “You know, I have thousands of Hispanics that work for me and they’re great people, amazing people.”

The two also discussed Trump’s plan to build a wall along the southern border, which he said “works big-league” and resistance to resettling refugees from the Syrian civil war.

Apparently referring to migrants in Europe, Trump said, “I don’t know if you’ve seen this migration but a lot of young, strong, men, they look like why aren’t they back fighting for their country.”

Kevin Swanson Angry Gays Are Using Accountants

Religious Right broadcaster Kevin Swanson appeared today on American Family Radio’s “Today’s Issues” to promote his National Religious Liberty Conference in Iowa next month. Of course, when someone like Swanson, who backs laws that make homosexuality an offense punishable by death, talks about liberty, he means liberty from the oppressive gay menace.

Swanson told host Tim Wildmon, the president of the American Family Association, that persecution in America is “happening all over the place,” lamenting that now “accountants who refuse to submit forms for homosexual couples” are facing persecution.

“We’re looking at a massive increase in persecution,” he said, warning that religious radio stations will soon be taken off the air if they “refuse to give equal time to homosexuals on the basis of sexual orientation.”

He continued: “We’re all at stake. If you don’t want your pastor in jail, if you want your religious radio station still broadcasting, if you want your job and if you’re a Christian, you had better take this matter seriously in the 2016 elections. The next Supreme Court justices appointed by the next president will be, I think, the determining factor as to whether or not we will live in a highly socialist country in which Christians are persecuted or if we are going to remain free as Christians in the marketplace and in our churches.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 10/22/15

  • RH Reality Check: The Right’s Answer to Gutting Planned Parenthood? Elementary Schools, Homeless Shelters, Jails.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 10/22/15

  • Tami Jackson of BarbWire laments that “Obama and his administration, from the first day of the first term, have been at odds with the biblical Christian worldview, mocking and decreeing ungodly legislation at will.” 
  • WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush unveils his “many quote verifiable charges” against President Obama. 
  • Texas Eagle Forum is upset that Gov. Greg Abbott isn’t defying the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision.
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