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Cruz And Rubio Sign Amicus Brief Urging Supreme Court To Weaken Roe

Republican presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida are among the 174 members of Congress who have submitted an amicus brief yesterday urging the Supreme Court to uphold a Texas anti-abortion law that threatens to close most of the abortion providers in the state.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (previously called Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole) on March 2, considering whether sweeping abortion restrictions in Texas present an unconstitutional “undue burden” on women seeking abortions or whether they are merely meant to protect women’s health, as their backers claim. The case is a critical test of the anti-choice movement’s long-term strategy to weaken Roe by gradually chipping away at abortion access in the states, often by claiming that burdensome regulations are meant to protect the health of women seeking abortions.

Texas’ law was written in consultation with Americans United for Life, the national group that is leading the charge to eliminate abortion access via restrictive state laws. The regulations imposed by the law included specifications on things like hallway width and even on water fountains, along with unnecessary and sometimes untenable hospital “admitting privileges” requirements for abortion providers. If upheld by the court, the law would likely close all but a handful of Texas’ abortion clinics, creating a model for other conservative states to follow. Texas’ lieutenant governor at the time the law was passed, David Dewhurst, boasted that it would “essentially ban abortion statewide.”

Yet Texas lawmakers and their attorneys are sticking with the story that the law is a reasonable regulation meant to protect patients’ health, allowable under the framework laid out in the Supreme Court’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. And that is the argument that the brief by Cruz, Rubio and their fellow members of Congress makes too, claiming that doctors “disagree” on the necessity of the regulations and so Texas legislators merely “decided to strike a balance that gives first priority to women’s health and safety, choosing to risk erring on the side of safety rather than on the side of danger.”

As an example of the supposed necessity of such regulations, the brief cites Kermit Gosnell, the Pennsylvania abortion provider who was convicted of a number of appalling crimes related to his shoddy practice. Gosnell was not only operating in an entirely different state, it was clear that his crimes were the result of insufficient enforcement of existing regulations on clinics rather than insufficient regulation.

In a statement about the amicus brief, Rubio started off with the Gosnell case, claiming that the Texas law “best protects the safety and well-being of women who choose to have abortions, and serves as a model for other states to follow,” adding that such measures are stop-gap until “we can put an end to abortion and protect life once and for all.” Cruz also raised the specter of Gosnell, claiming that “the most zealous abortion advocates, nothing—not even women’s health—can be allowed to stand in the way of abortion-on-demand.”

Rubio and Cruz, like the law they are defending, are deliberately skirting around the point. Rubio supports banning abortion in all circumstances, while Cruz has backed a radical “personhood” laws that would ban all abortion and could even risk outlawing some types of birth control. At the same time, Cruz backed then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s refusal to accept federal Medicaid expansion that would have insured more than one million people while Rubio has tried repeatedly to take away insurance coverage for contraception from some women. It’s hard to believe that Rubio and Cruz’s position in Whole Woman’s Health stems from a sudden interest in women’s health rather than a concerted strategy to eliminate abortion rights.

Rick Wiles Prays Obama Will Be Ousted And Sent To Prison

“Trunews” host Rick Wiles was outraged by President Obama’s appearance at a Baltimore mosque yesterday, calling the president a supporter of Islamic terrorism and asking listeners, “Why are we tolerating this criminal thug?”

Insisting that the president is not only a Muslim but “the jihadist-in-chief” who “is waging jihad against the United States from inside the White House,” Wiles said that he prays Obama “will be arrested, tried in court, found guilty and sentenced to prison for his bloody crimes against humanity.”

However, Wiles isn’t looking forward to Hillary Clinton succeeding Obama as president, calling her “a puppet of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Wiles even made a prediction that Obama will “out himself” as a Muslim before leaving office.

Diana West Decries 'Hispanization' Of US, 'Demographic Invasion' From Southern Border

Conservative columnist Diana West, a frequent guest on Frank Gaffney’s “Secure Freedom Radio” program, appeared on Gaffney’s program yesterday to discuss with guest host Jim Hanson the struggle that many European countries are having in accommodating millions of refugees and migrants from North Africa and the Mideast.

West warned that the U.S. is “deep into the same exact transition” as Europe and “we are being replaced also and our culture is being absolutely taken over in similar ways,” not only by relatively small numbers of refugees, whom she called “non-assimilable,” but by the “Hispanization” of U.S. culture through immigrants from Latin America.

“We are experiencing the exact same forces and movement here,” she said. “We’re much bigger, obviously, and the conditions are somewhat different. However, we have no border, we have massive invasions by demographic invasion coming up on the southern border in particular. This would be an effort that we are watching, my father used to use the phrase, the United States becoming the northern tip of South America. I mean, this is a sense of the Hispanization of the country.”

“And meanwhile we’re watching refugee resettlement and the Syrian quote ‘refugee’ project also coming in with population blocks, non-assimilable population blocks coming out of the Islamic world and elsewhere being imposed on communities across the country,” she added.

Pamela Geller: Olympic Fencer Competing In Hijab Is 'Islamic Supremacism'

On Saturday, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad qualified for the U.S. Olympic team, making news for becoming the first U.S. athlete who will compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab.

As far as we know, Muhammad’s choice to wear a head covering during the competition isn’t going to affect anybody else on the U.S. Olympic team, but anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller is up in arms, saying in an interview with “Breitbart News Daily” this morning that the one athlete wearing a hijab amounts to “Islamic supremacism” and “imposing Islam on the secular marketplace.”

“The Olympic team now, they’re wearing hijabs, aren’t they?” the program’s host, Stephen K. Bannon, asked Geller.

Geller confirmed that “they’ve designed special outfits for them."

“It’s more of imposing Islam on the secular marketplace,” she added, “whether it’s in the workplace, whether it’s in the school. It’s Islamic supremacism is what it is. You have even in Canada, the Mounties, they’re designing a police officer’s uniform with a hijab. This is Islamic supremacism. You know, Jewish law pertains only to Jews, canon law pertains only to Christians, but Sharia, Islamic law, asserts it’s authority over non-Muslims. This is the problem and this is something that is never discussed.”

Rick Santorum Leaves GOP Race But His Bigoted Legacy Will Remain

Despite winning the 2012 Iowa Republican caucuses, Rick Santorum managed to get just one percent of the vote in Monday’s contest and reportedly plans to drop out of the presidential race in a speech tonight. According to National Journal, the former Pennsylvania senator had “spent 86 days campaigning in Iowa since the 2014 election, more than any candidate from either party,” as he attempted to rebrand himself as a “blue collar conservative” class warrior. But Santorum couldn’t escape his polarizing image as a Religious Right culture warrior.

Santorum joined his fellow GOP candidates Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee in claiming that the president can simply ignore Supreme Court rulings that he or she doesn’t like, specifically pledging to defy the court on marriage if he were to become president himself.

He personally pledged to commit civil disobedience against gay marriage and end its “promotion” in public schools, urged Kentucky clerk Kim Davis to defy the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, alleged that gay marriage violates the First Amendment and said he would continue to enforce the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act.

Santorum, who believes that “our civil laws have to comport with the higher law,” argued that the gay marriage ruling was illegitimate because it went “against the natural law.” But because people didn’t heed his warnings, the U.S. is turning into a dystopian secular theocracy where Christians face widespread legal and societal persecution if they dare to defend their purported right to discriminate against gay people. Now, Santorum says that everything he once predicted, such as the imminent decriminalization of pedophilia and man-dog sex, has come true.

He also claimed that Roe v. Wade is similarly invalid because it contradicts “nature’s law” and provokes divine judgment, equating the legalization of abortion with the Holocaust and blaming racism in America on Planned Parenthood.

But at least Santorum offered us one of the more interesting moments of the campaign.

Santorum, who has routinely suggested that President Obama is aiding terrorism, faced a question from a South Carolina activist about the president’s plot to nuke the city of Charleston. He naturally responded not by putting her conspiracy theory to rest but by decrying Obama as a “tyrant” bent on destroying America.

Cruz Endorser Connects East Coast Blizzard With North Dakota Abortion Ruling

Mike Bickle, the far-right pastor whose endorsement was recently embraced by Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, joined a group of anti-abortion activists today in linking a blizzard that hit the East Coast last month to a Supreme Court decision on abortion rights in North Dakota.

Bickle joined anti-abortion activists including Priests for Life’s Alveda King, the Family Research Council’s Pierre Bynum and Mark Gonzalez of the United States Hispanic Prayer and Action Network in signing a statement distributed by the Texas based Justice Foundation calling for a month of “national prayers and repentance” leading up to the Supreme Court arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, the Texas abortion laws case.

“We fear that the judgment of Almighty God, which is designed to be merciful, and the wrath of God, will come upon the United States of America,” the statement warns, noting that a blizzard hit Washington on the same day that the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling striking down North Dakota’s restrictive anti-abortion “heartbeat” bill.

These leaders agree with the statement: "We tremble for our country when we remember that God is just and that His justice never sleeps. We fear that the judgment of Almighty God, which is designed to be merciful, and the wrath of God, will come upon the United States of America. God hates the shedding of innocent blood." But there is hope for our nation if Christians will pray! "If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land." II Chronicles 7:13-14. We believe that the role of the SCOTUS is to affirm God given rights to every individual throughout ALL stages of LIFE.

We are calling for national prayers of repentance from February 3 to March 4. On January 22, the Jonas storm, which also means Jonah, hit Washington, D.C. That same day the Supreme Court denied North Dakota the right to ban abortion and help women with child care. We urge everyone to pray every day for the Supreme Court and America to repent. From February 3 to March 4, we are urging prayer groups to cooperate in mobilizing the Body of Christ to 24/7 non-stop prayer for the SCOTUS.

On March 2, the Supreme Court will hear the Texas case which calls for ambulatory surgical centers and hospital admitting privileges. We all will have another opportunity to repent for the sin of abortion through this case.

Ted Cruz Blames Media For Ben Carson Flap, Says He's Running 'A High-Road Campaign With Integrity'

Ted Cruz blamed the media this morning for the controversy over whether his campaign falsely hinted to Iowa caucus-goers before voting commenced that his rival Ben Carson was dropping out of the race.

Cruz sort of apologized to Carson yesterday, saying that his political team had simply passed along a CNN report about Carson’s status to supporters in Iowa and that it was a “mistake” that the campaign had not sent a follow-up email clarifying that Carson was actually staying in the race.

In reality, the CNN report in question merely said that Carson was going home to Florida before heading on to New Hampshire and South Carolina for those state’s primaries, not that he was dropping out of the race. The Cruz campaign, meanwhile, told supporters to inform any Carson backers at their caucuses that Carson was “taking time off from the campaign trail after Iowa and making a big announcement next week.” Rep. Steve King, one of Cruz’s most prominent Iowa endorsers, tweeted that Carson was likely dropping out and that his supporters should switch to Cruz.

Cruz pushed back against criticism in an interview today with talk radio host Mike Gallagher, insisting that “from the beginning, we’ve resolved to run a high-road campaign with integrity.”

The Texas senator repeated his story about the CNN report and said of Carson, “I’m sorry if our passing on that CNN news story caused him and his campaign discomfort.”

When Gallagher asked Cruz if he was angry about his campaign officials’ actions, the Texas senator replied, “Well, look, I was disappointed that an impression had been left that was incomplete. It was based on public news reports, and so some of the media folks who want to use it to impugn integrity are deliberately using it in a misleading way.”

Cruz dropped briefly off the line, but when he returned, Gallagher asked him if he would discipline any staffers for their actions.

“Well, I don’t make it a practice to discipline people for passing on public news reports,” he said. “And the news turned out to be accurate, he did indeed return to Florida, and that was news that the voters were interested in.”

Sandy Rios: Liberals Just Using Flint Water Crisis And The Zika Virus To Scare People

Last week, American Family Association official Sandy Rios spoke on her radio program with a caller who was angry that Rios and other conservatives aren’t talking about the Flint water crisis, where policies imposed by the state’s Republican administration directly led to the poisoning of the city’s water supply.

Rios responded by blaming the city’s (powerless) Democratic city officials for the lead poisoning catastrophe and alleged that the disaster in Flint is less important than the threat from ISIS and “our out-of-control borders.”

She then managed to link outrage over the Flint crisis to coverage of the Zika virus outbreak in South and Central America: “The whole issue in Michigan — the left loves to, they’re now creating this, I’m sorry, I’m going to really go out on a limb here, this Zika virus which I haven’t talked about. They love to come up with tragedies and they love to blame and they love to scare people. I think this issue in Michigan is a serious one but I don’t think it’s the big issue that these other issues are.”

When the listener told Rios that she was “devaluing black life” by dismissing the importance of the turmoil in Flint, she insisted that that was impossible because she had no idea whether Flint residents are predominantly black or white.

While Rios, the American Family Association’s director of governmental affairs, isn’t very concerned with the poisoning of thousands in Flint and seems to think that the Zika virus is a liberal scare tactic, she hasn’t been above stirring up actually baseless fears, alleging that Central American migrants would spread measles, Enterovirus D68 and other diseases around the U.S.

Donald Trump's A 'Big Fan' Of The 'Amazing' Ann Coulter

It’s no secret that Donald Trump likes the work of anti-immigrant extremist Ann Coulter, but he had a chance to tell her so publicly in a radio interview shortly before Coulter took the stage at a Trump campaign rally in New Hampshire last night.

Boston talk radio host Howie Carr, who was broadcasting from the Trump event in Milford, New Hampshire, put Coulter on the line with Trump as she prepared to speak and Trump prepared to head over to the event. Coutler told Trump that he is “doing a fantastic job” and that he would “love” her speech.

“Ann’s been amazing,” Trump responded, adding, “I’m a big fan and you know that.”

Trump also took the opportunity to go after his “low-energy” opponent Jeb Bush, joking that “he probably paid $5 million” for a recent crowd at a campaign event.

“I don’t know, Jeb is out there, he’s spent $100 million, it’s sad actually what’s going on with Jeb, he’s got no votes, he’s down around two [percent] and I think it’s a pretty sad situation,” he said.

Trump added that “most” of his Republican rivals will probably soon drop out of the race.

Larry Klayman: Obama Might Stay In Power Indefinitely

As we reported earlier today, Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman joined radio host Alex Jones yesterday to discuss why he believes President Obama is a secret Muslim.

Klayman didn’t mention his attempted revolution to remove the president from office, but he did find time to discuss his lawsuit against Obama’s recent executive actions on guns, warning that such actions by the White House show that the president may try to stay in power after his second term expires.

“I believe he would like to stay in power,” Klayman said. “You know, at the end of the Clinton years, everybody thought he was going to declare a state of national emergency under FEMA and take control. With Obama, I don’t think it’s likely but it could happen. He does believe that he is above the law, that he’s king. I hope that does not happen, but the country is in such a bad shape right now that he could try almost anything.”

After Jones claimed that President Clinton did indeed attempt to seize power, Klayman told Jones that the two of them are “charter members” of Obama’s “subversive list”

Anti-Abortion Activists Raise Money To Defend Daleiden, See Planned Parenthood 'Crumble'

A number of anti-abortion groups joined together last night for a webcast aimed at raising money for a legal defense fund for David Daleiden, the anti-Planned Parenthood activist who is facing an indictment in Texas, along with his fellow activist Sandra Merritt.

Life Legal Defense Foundation, the group that is representing Daleiden in a separate case in California, is managing a legal defense fund for Daleiden and Merritt. Thomas More Society’s Peter Breen, who is representing Daleiden in Texas, and Charles LaMandri of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, who is representing Daleiden on other charges, also joined the call, which was hosted by the anti-abortion protest group 40 Days for Life.

David Bereit of 40 Days for Life urged the reported 2,400 activists on the call to “pray” for Daleiden, “promote” his cause and “pitch in” for his legal defense, which the attorneys said had already cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Breen reported that he would try on Thursday get a Houston judge to “quash the indictment” against Daleiden. Daleiden’s allies at the radical anti-abortion protest group Operation Rescue will also be holding a press conference on Thursday urging prosecutors to drop the grand jury’s charges. Liberty Counsel, which is representing Merritt, will hold a similar press conference on Wednesday.

Breen, repeating the dubious claim that Daleiden is an “investigative journalist,” said a bad outcome for the activist in Houston would harm freedom of the press and at the same time give prosecutors in other parts of the country the confidence to “come after” anti-abortion activists.

“The stakes are as high as they could possibly be,” he said. “If the other side is allowed to proceed in bringing criminal prosecutions against legitimate journalism, I mean we certainly don’t want to live in a country where journalists can be tossed in jail for decades for just doing their jobs. And certainly what would this do to the pro-life movement and other prosecutors who say, ‘I want to come after the pro-life movement, I’m just not sure I can get away with it.’ If they get away with it here, they’ll be able to get away with it in other jurisdictions.”

Daleiden himself also joined the call, expressing hope that the next president will investigate Planned Parenthood, cut off its federal funding and leave the women’s health provider watching “their abortion empire … crumbling all around them.”

“I think they’re going to be pulling out all of the stops in the coming year,” he said, “every last bit of political capital they have to cash in, they’re going to do it, because they know the only thing that stands between them and getting completely cut off from the taxpayer trough at the federal level is a pro-life president, the only thing that stands between them and a federal investigation and criminal convictions for trafficking baby parts and money laundering and the money off of aborted baby parts is a pro-life Department of Justice. Planned Parenthood knows that this issue is the last thing that stands between their abortion empire and it crumbling all around them, and so that’s why they’re lashing out in the way that they are.”

Alex Jones: Liberal Women Seek Out Muslim Men To 'Slap Them Around'

Yesterday, Alex Jones of InfoWars chatted with Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman about Klayman’s column naming President Obama 2015’s “Muslim of the Year.”

Jones, discussing cases of sexual assault in parts of Europe by migrants from North Africa and the Middle East, claimed that some liberal women in the West actually want to be assaulted by Muslim men.

“What is happening with the left?” he asked. “Not just here, but in Europe. I even found out that it’s a new fad where liberal women want to go out and find a very Sharia-law Muslim man to slap them around and dominate them but they hate their daddy from the liberal West who gave them all that freedom. Is this like some type of mass suicide culturally by the left? Who are these people?”

Klayman, for his part, said that Islam “is not a religion at all” and that Muslims constantly try to “kill each other.”

Later in the interview, Klayman praised Donald Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.

Alex Jones: 'They Might Kill' Donald Trump Just Like MLK And The Kennedys

On Monday, as Alex Jones’ InfoWars network broadcast special coverage of the Iowa caucuses, Jones himself called in to share important information about his favorite candidate and past guest, Donald Trump.

With his face pressed up against the camera, Jones criticized Salon for running an article based on a report in Politico that called the New York mogul’s presidential campaign a “calculated con job.” Jones said Salon and others are trying to discredit Trump because they know he wants to save America, adding that he was told by “insiders” that “Trump is freaked out, he can’t believe they’re putting cancer viruses in the vaccines.” 

His sources also informed him that “Trump is a listener” to his radio show, which may explain Trump’s anti-vaxxer attitude

Jones, who then took time to recount how the Democratic Party had supposedly sent people to “physically attack” him for criticizing Bill Clinton, assured his viewers that “Trump’s awake” and “knows what’s going on,” and that’s why global elites want to stop him, just as they stopped Martin Luther King Jr. and Jack and Bobby Kennedy for trying to “empower humanity.”

“He actually wants to be the guy that can save America,” Jones continued. “That’s why the Bilderberg group is so scared of him. That’s why the whole elite is piling on against him. That’s why they’re doing everything they can to stop him. You think Trump’s stupid, folks? If he gets elected and doesn’t try to deliver, he will be the lowest-valued thing on earth, he will be the trash to be taken home. He’s not going to do that. And that’s why I think we’re going to see an epic battle now. They’re going to do anything they can to stop Donald Trump, folks, just like they stopped Martin Luther King or Bobby Kennedy and JFK.”

Speaking with conservative activist Larry Klayman yesterday about Donald Trump’s candidacy, Jones warned: “I think they might kill him.”

Steve Deace: Trump Voters Are Like Pagan Cult Followers

Earlier today, Iowa talk radio host and Ted Cruz endorser Steve Deace unloaded on Cruz’s critics in an interview with American Family Radio’s Sandy Rios following the Texas Republican senator’s victory in the Iowa caucuses.

Deace was particularly angry about Mike Huckabee’s “absolutely heinous” and “despicable” attacks on Cruz’s faith, but he also spent time going after Donald Trump’s supporters, including Sarah Palin and Jerry Falwell Jr., claiming that the two Religious Right leaders overlooked all of Trump’s liberal stances and dirty tactics because of his tough anti-immigration rhetoric.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” Deace said of Trump’s prominent backers, alluding to rumors propagated Rep. Steve King, another prominent Iowa endorser of Cruz, that Trump’s more prominent supporters had financial motives to back the business mogul.

“He was essentially betraying us on every single issue,” Deace said of Trump, likening the billionaire to Ahab, the idolatrous king of Israel who was married to Jezebel. “I can’t even begin to tell you how intellectually dishonest Donald Trump was in Iowa the last couple of weeks of this campaign,” he continued. “He did everything but call Ted Cruz an illegal alien. I’ve never seen anything like it … There was nothing Donald Trump would not say, there was nothing Donald Trump would not do.”

Later in the broadcast, Deace compared Trump voters to cult followers who are embracing “nationalism” and “worship of the state” over their Christian faith.

“I have never seen a cult, and I’m including Obama, I have never seen a cult surrounding a candidate in my life like the one around Donald Trump,” he said. “You engage his followers on social media and they don’t want to know any truth and they’re proudly, belligerently ignorant about it. And I want to just say this to our fellow believers on your program this morning: Be wary of nationalism. Nationalism is a pagan philosophy and when it co-opts the church it always leads to tyranny.”

Steve Deace: Cruz Campaign Overcame 'Spiritual Warfare' To Win Iowa

Earlier today, Sandy Rios and Steve Deace, two conservative talk show hosts who have endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, spoke on Rios’ morning radio show about their candidate’s victory in last night’s Iowa caucuses.

Deace, who is based in Iowa, spent much of his time lashing out at Gov. Terry Branstad, Donald Trump, Sen. Marco RubioSen. Rand Paul, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee for their criticism of Cruz.

Deace said “the extreme amount of bitterness” from the Huckabee, Paul and Santorum campaigns “toxified the atmosphere,” charging that their supporters were “calling people liars and, ‘You’re sell-outs,’ and ‘You’re not real Christians.’”

“I don’t want to necessarily get metaphysical but there was real spiritual warfare happening,” Deace said.

“This was more than just a political victory last night, this was a spiritual one,” he said, “and there’s a reason why Sen. Cruz, one of the first things when he took to the stage last night was ‘to God be the glory.’ I’ve never seen a candidate or a campaign have to wade through so much misleading and false material as he did the last few weeks.”

Deace said that the media, including Fox News, “fired every single bullet” at Cruz and accused Branstad of issuing “a kill order against Ted Cruz over ethanol.”

But Deace reserved his greatest fury for Huckabee, taking issue with the 2008 caucus victor’s efforts to question Cruz’s faith because the Texas senator doesn’t tithe and once seemed to downplay his opposition to gay marriage at a New York fundraiser:

Mike Huckabee ran ads in Iowa that literally called Ted Cruz a fake Christian. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was heinous, it was despicable and he ought to be ashamed. I don’t know what else to say. He’s a 60-year-old man and a former pastor and it’s just shameful. I understand being disappointed, Sandy, but the people of this state made Mike Huckabee a very wealthy man, they made him a very successful man, multiple New York Times best-sellers, five years in a row he was on Fox every night, built himself and his family a really nice beachfront home down there in Florida. And how did he do it? Because over 40,000 Iowans went through this for Mike Huckabee eight years ago. Fox and the machine said he couldn’t win and he wasn’t any good, and they did what they thought was right then and life has been pretty good.

And I say this as someone that knows Mike and likes him, I’ve been about as disappointed with Mike Huckabee and his antics for the last few weeks as I’ve ever been with a believer in the civic arena. Particularly in a small state like ours, Sandy, that has been a very huge blessing to him and to toxify the atmosphere the way that he did down the stretch — we saw a lot of men, from Mike Huckabee to Rand Paul to Rick Santorum, really reveal through adversity that the attacks they made on Sen. Cruz, ‘He’s not ready,’ ‘He’s immature,’ ‘He’s not authentic,’ that maybe we see through a mirror darkly and we ought to be looking at our own reflection first before we use a political campaign to cast aspersions on the spirituality of a fellow believer like that.

You want to rip each other’s spleens out over the issues? Hey, that’s why they play the games, and it’s good preparation for what you’ll face from the Democrats. But I thought that was just absolutely heinous. If you want to know why Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum and Rand Paul got a combined six percent last night among them? It’s because Iowans just really turned on them for the way they behaved.

Ted Cruz Prayer Team: Satan Is Warring Against Us

Yesterday, the Ted Cruz campaign posted audio from its January 26 "prayer team" call. The Dallas Morning News reports that the calls are facilitated by Bonnie Miller, but the moderator of the program did not announce herself.

The host kicked things off by claiming that the campaign is part of a conflict between Heaven and Hell, insisting that Satan “is always on the look out to distract any one of us who prays for our nation and for Ted and for this presidential campaign.”

Satan, she continued, is also “rejoicing over our communication problems,” claiming that technicians were working to defy the Devil by improving the campaign's communication systems.

As we’ve noted earlier, Cruz’s campaign has relentlessly pushed the message that he is part of a spiritual war to save America.

Beyond The Pale: Ted Cruz Puts Extremists At The Center Of His Campaign

Before winning the Iowa caucuses, Sen. Ted Cruz won a straw poll of Religious Right leaders who were determined to coalesce behind a single candidate before voting went underway. Since then, hardly a week has gone by without the Cruz campaign announcing the support of a new right-wing leader, on top of the campaign’s frequent suggestions that the Texas Republican has divine support for his presidential bid.

It seems that no figure is too extreme to be embraced by Cruz, including those who would wish to see the government putting their adversaries to death.

Last Fall, Cruz appeared in Iowa alongside a pastor who has called for the government to use the death penalty to punish homosexuality. Not stung from the criticism he received for courting the radical pastor, Kevin Swanson, Cruz he later released a statement touting the support of an anti-abortion extremist, Troy Newman, who has said that a just government would punish abortion providers with death. Again facing criticism, Cruz doubled down and appointed Newman co-chair of his “pro-life coalition.”

As it turned out, Newman was just one of the first of many extremists whose support has been touted by Cruz’s campaign.

Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBT hate group, helped coalesce Religious Right support behind Cruz and campaigned with the senator in Iowa. Cruz apparently sees it as helpful to campaign alongside Perkins, who has defended Uganda’s “kill-the-gays” bill and claimed that gay rights advocates are pawns of the Devil.

Perkins joined Cruz on the trail in Iowa along with Glenn Beck, the conspiracy theory radio host; David Barton, the right-wing pseudo-historian who heads one of the leading pro-Cruz super PACs and who, like Beck, has declared Cruz to be God’s answer to his prayers; reality TV star Phil Robertson, notorious for making bigoted remarks; James Dobson, the anti-gay radio personality who founded Focus on the Family; Rep. Steve King, the congressman known for his anti-gay and anti-immigrant tirades; Bob Vander Plaats, the Iowa political organizer who describes homosexuality as a “public health risk” similar to smoking; and far-right radio broadcaster Steve Deace.

Other endorsers touted by the Cruz campaign have included North Carolina activists who have referred to gay people as Satan’s minions; a North Carolina pastor who has likened gay people to “maggots” and linked them to Ebola; an Oklahoma preacher who warns that homosexuality is part of a demonic communist conspiracy to bring down America; a Virginia radio host who has blamed gays for everything from terrorism to train derailments; and a Virginia lawmaker who has sponsored an assortment of bizarre anti-gay bills.

Most recently, Cruz welcomed the endorsement of Mike Bickle, the leader of a church that many have criticized for using cult-like practices, who has referred to Oprah Winfrey as a harbinger of the Antichrist, called gay rights as a Satanic plot that will usher in the End Times, and explained that Adolf Hitler was raised up by God to be a “hunter” of Jews.

Cruz’s decision to tout such radical activists — not to mention his own extreme policy positions, such as promising to defy the Supreme Court on marriage equality and abortion rights — is no accident, as he is basing his campaign strategy on the hope that he can motivate tens of millions of conservative evangelicals to go to the polls.

With Cruz now seemingly working his way into front-runner status, we fully expect to see him pick up more, and even more radical, Religious Right endorsements as the GOP primary heats up.

Ted Cruz's Religious Right Support Carries Him To Iowa Victory

So much for the much-expected death of the Religious Right.

Last night, Ted Cruz came out on top of the Iowa caucuses by building a base of conservative evangelical supporters.

According to CNN, about 64 percent of caucus-goers identified as “born-again or evangelical Christians,” up from 57 percent in 2012. Evangelical Republicans put Cruz over the top: He won 28 percent of the vote overall, but was at 34 percent among evangelicals. Cruz came in third among non-evangelical voters, behind Donald Trump and Marco Rubio.

Throughout the presidential race, Cruz has been painting himself as not just the candidate of conservative Republicans and Tea Party members, but the candidate of Christians — or, at least, the Christians who share his particular brand of theology and politics. Cruz’s father and top campaign surrogate, Rafael Cruz, has said that his son has a divine anointing and likened him to Jesus, claiming that his campaign is all about sharing “the love of Jesus Christ” with “every person in America.” Glenn Beck, for his part, hailed the Texas senator as God’s answer to his prayers. To be successful, Cruz said, “we have to awaken and energize the Body of Christ.”

“Sorry, Ted, but an awakened and energized Body of Christ serves the Kingdom of God, not your political agenda,” Christian author Rachel Held Evans wrote in response to the senator’s bold claim.

Cruz and his father may portray his candidacy as a divine mission, but for the Religious Right, doing God’s will requires not just sufficient piety but the political power to get things done.

Sensing a chance to drive the GOP even further to the right, and to put the power of the White House behind their political agenda, the movement’s leadership has almost entirely rallied behind Cruz. And with good reason — he has vowed to implement their agenda with promises to defy the Supreme Court on gay marriage, consider engaging in anti-gay civil disobedience, sign sweeping anti-abortion legislation, go after Planned Parenthoodappoint ultraconservative justices to the bench and block threats to religious liberty of Christians, which he says are rampant in America. For good measure, he announced his candidacy at Liberty University, the institution founded by evangelical firebrand and conservative powerbroker Jerry Falwell.

Cruz assiduously courted both Iowa-based and national Religious Right leaders. In Iowa, Rep. Steve King, far-right radio host Steve Deace and activist Bob Vander Plaats, who helped steer Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum to victory in the state in 2008 and 2012, respectively, all endorsed Cruz. He ended his Iowa campaign by stumping with the trio along with national figures including radio personality Glenn Beck, anti-gay hate group leader Tony Perkins, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas.

Trump, in an effort to keep up, trotted out his own evangelical endorsements, including former Gov. Sarah Palin and Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., and launched a bizarre attack on Cruz’s faith, claiming that “not a lot of evangelicals come out of Cuba.”

But there has been little question that Cruz is the Religious Right’s candidate.

Cruz is betting that stature in the Religious Right will help him drive up evangelical turnout in the upcoming South Carolina primary and on Super Tuesday, colloquially known as the “SEC primary” because it is dominated by Southern states. He has insisted that winning evangelical support in the Republican primary will translate into success in the general election, claiming that Republican nominees have lost the last two contests because the party’s insufficiently conservative nominees failed to motivate the Religious Right base.

To inspire that base, the Texas senator is spouting toxic rhetoric about his ideological opponents and hyping purported threats to the religious liberty of American Christians, all while courting endorsements from the Religious Right’s most extreme wing.

At times, Cruz lifts his apocalyptic rhetoric about impending dangers to freedom straight from his most extreme supporters. Cruz borrowed Deace’s line about a gay-led “jihad” threatening religious liberty on the stump and has pushed bogus persecution stories concocted by Religious Right groups about Christians coming under assault.

Last Fall, Cruz appeared in Iowa alongside a pastor who has called for the government to use the death penalty to punish homosexuality. Days before the caucuses commenced, Cruz campaigned with Perkins, the head of an anti-LGBT hate group who helped coalesce Religious Right support behind his candidacy, and Robertson, the reality TV star who told Cruz supporters that they must “rid the earth” of gay marriage advocates because they are ushering in “evil” and “depravity.” Robertson said that voters should pick Cruz because he “loves James Madison,” before sharing a quote on the biblical origins of U.S. government that is falsely attributed to Madison.

When Cruz faced criticism from opponents like Huckabee who said that Cruz and his supporters weren’t serious about outlawing abortion, the senator’s campaign unveiled a “pro-life coalition” co-chaired by a radical activist who believes a just government would execute abortion providers .

What’s good for Cruz is bad for our increasingly diverse country. When Cruz portrays himself as the candidate of “the body of Christ” and claims God’s blessing — and embraces the most extreme wing of his party as he’s doing it — he signals not to just non-Christians but to Christians that don’t share his particular worldview that he’s not interested in working for them. But that is the very reason why Cruz is the candidate who the Religious Right has desperately been seeking: someone who will give them his undivided attention in a country where they are terrified of losing relevance.

Mike Huckabee Quits Presidential Race, Can Now Spend More Time Peddling Bogus Diabetes Cures

Mike Huckabee suspended his campaign last night after winning the support of less than two percent of Iowa caucus-goers.

But even before he officially dropped out of the race, the former Arkansas governor and 2008 caucus winner had begun lashing out at the Religious Right leaders who had almost completely coalesced behind Ted Cruz.

After all, Huckabee had vowed to outlaw abortion with a sweeping presidential decree, promised to defy the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling before it criminalized Christianity and destroyed America, and literally turned Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ release from detention into a campaign rally, volunteering to go to jail on her behalf. The former Arkansas governor even pledged to boycott Doritos because the company released rainbow-colored chips benefiting an LGBT suicide prevention group and starred in a bizarre anti-gay film.

Nonetheless, Cruz captured most of the momentum on the Religious Right, offering similar promises to flout the Supreme Court on gay marriage and ban abortion, although Huckabee tried to attack him as a tithe-withholding phony.

But Huckabee’s loss won’t prevent him from leaving a legacy as a mean-spirited politician who tried to advance his political career by bashing gay peoplemocking transgender youth and spouting apocalyptic rhetoric.

At least Huckabee has a fallback career advertising fraudulent “cures” to diabetesAlzheimer’s and cancer.

People For the American Way Calls on Trump to Return Contribution from White Nationalist

In response to new data that the Donald Trump campaign accepted a contribution from White Nationalist William Daniel Johnson, People For the American Way calls for Donald Trump to immediately return the contribution.

People For the American Way President Michael Keegan stated:

“Last year, when a White Nationalist was running racist robocalls backing Donald Trump, Trump brushed it off and said he would ‘disavow’ that kind of support. Now is his chance to show whether or not he means it by returning the contribution immediately. Trump can bash ‘political correctness’ all he wants, but anyone who aspires to our nation’s highest office should understand that cashing checks from those pushing an explicitly racist agenda is unacceptable.”

Johnson, who refers to himself as a “white nationalist” and has specifically said that he wants “a white ethno-state, a country made up of only white people,” recorded robocalls in December 2015 to Iowans to support Donald Trump because of his bigoted stance on immigration. At the time, Trump said he "disavows" the ad.

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