Rand Paul

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 6/21/15

  • Glenn Beck may not be on radio or TV this month, but that has not stopped him from completely freaking out about stuff.
  • Roger Gannam of Liberty Counsel warns that gay marriage is all about "crushing dissent" and forcing Christians out of public office.
  • It is probably never a good sign when a Republican presidential candidate like Rand Paul starts supporting a radical position first proposed by Bryan Fischer.
  • James Robison says that the most important characteristics the next president must possess is that they "want what Father God wants" and "not only ask for prayer, but believe in it so strongly they live on their knees so they can stand on a rock-solid foundation of proven principles."
  • Finally, Mike Farris calls for a new Constitutional Convention to rein in and reshape the Supreme Court in the wake of the gay marriage ruling.

Jade Helm 15 Is Here! The GOP Politicians Who Encouraged Panic Over President Obama's 'Texas Takeover'

This spring, when far-right conspiracy theory websites started buzzing about Jade Helm 15, a planned military exercise in western states that they said was a cover for President Obama’s plans to impose martial law on Republicans states, we expected apoplectic reactions from the fringiest of right-wing circles. But who else was going to take it seriously?

Plenty of people, it turns out, including Republican politicians seeking to capitalize on anti-Obama fears in order to lift their profile in the increasingly far-right party — a poll in May found that a full one-third of Republicans believed that the government was “trying to take over Texas.”

Today, as the military exercise begins, we look back at five Republican politicians who, whether credulously or cynically, fed the Jade Helm 15 frenzy.

1. Greg Abbott

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was the first GOP politician this fringe conspiracy theory into the Republican mainstream, assuring concerned citizens that he had ordered the Texas Guard to monitor the potential takeover effort.

After he became the object of national criticism and ridicule, Abbott said that the actually thought the military exercise would “work out just fine” and blamed President Obama for stirring up suspicion:

“Frankly, I gotta tell you, I think the cause of the underlying concerns is that we see instances, like a shooting in Fort Hood by a terrorist, that the president labels workplace violence. We see the president come to the border in Texas and say it’s safer than it’s ever been,” said Abbott. “And so I think it was a misplaced perception by people in Texas who have problems with the Obama administration and connected that trust with the Obama administration to the military.”

2. Rick Perry

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry initially criticized Abbott’s fanning of the Jade Helm 15 flames, saying that while “you can always question” civilian leadership, “I think our military is quite trustworthy.”

But the presidential candidate quickly got the messaging memo, telling Glenn Beck that while President Obama invites unhinged conspiracy theories, when he’s president, everyone will trust the government:

3. Ted Cruz

Not to be outdone by his presidential rival Perry, Sen. Ted Cruz assured his flock that he had “ reached out to the Pentagon to inquire about this exercise ,” and although he had “no reason to doubt” the official line about the training exercise, “I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty, “because when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying.”

4. Louie Gohmert

After Abbott ordered the Texas Guard to monitor Jade Helm 15, Rep. Louie Gohmert threw himself into promoting the conspiracy theory, releasing a statement saying that the conspiracy theorists were “legitimately suspicious” because “true patriots” and Christians were being persecuted in America.

Gohmert continued with some theories of his own:

Once I observed the map depicting ‘hostile,’ ‘permissive,’ and ‘uncertain’ states and locations, I was rather appalled that the hostile areas amazingly have a Republican majority, ‘cling to their guns and religion,’ and believe in the sanctity of the United States Constitution. When the federal government begins, even in practice, games or exercises, to consider any U.S. city or state in 'hostile' control and trying to retake it, the message becomes extremely calloused and suspicious.

Such labeling tends to make people who have grown leery of federal government overreach become suspicious of whether their big brother government anticipates certain states may start another civil war or be overtaken by foreign radical Islamist elements which have been reported to be just across our border. Such labeling by a government that is normally not allowed to use military force against its own citizens is an affront to the residents of that particular state considered as 'hostile,' as if the government is trying to provoke a fight with them. The map of the exercise needs to change, the names on the map need to change, and the tone of the exercise needs to be completely revamped so the federal government is not intentionally practicing war against its own states.

Like Abbott and Perry, Gohmert was insistent that the whole conspiracy theory was President Obama’s fault:

5. Rand Paul

We’ll give Rand Paul credit for seeming a little surprised when a popular Iowa talk radio host asked him about Jade Helm 15, although he said he’d been hearing about it from constituents and would “look into” it. If Paul ever did look into it and find that the conspiracy theory was completely bogus, however, he never bothered to say so.

Right Wing Round-Up - 6/22/15

John Kasich Kicks Off Presidential Bid By Addressing Religious Right Gathering

The Faith and Freedom Coalition, the Religious Right group led by disgraced right-wing lobbyist Ralph Reed, is holding its annual “Road to Majority” conference next week. Nearly every Republican presidential candidate has signed up for the event, and today, the FFC announced that Ohio Gov. John Kasich will be addressing the conservative summit.

Kasich recently made waves by tapping John Weaver and Fred Davis, two veterans of John McCain’s 2008 campaign, to work for his increasingly likely campaign for president.

The conference is cosponsored by radical right-wing groups such as Concerned Women for America, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family & Property and the World Congress of Families, and will feature speeches from Religious Right favorites such as Reps. Steve King and Louie Gohmert, Fox News pundit Todd Starnes, Christian Broadcasting Network “reporter” David Brody, pastor Jim Garlow, rabbi Daniel Lapin and activists like Phyllis Schlafly, Lila Rose and Gary Bauer.

Clearly, no right-wing activist is too radical or corrupt for Republican presidential candidates to embrace, which is why Kasich, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham and Carly Fiorina have no qualms about attending this event organized by someone like Reed.

Reed is best known for his involvement in the Jack Abramoff scandal, where he organized a Christian Coalition anti-gambling campaign in Alabama with the help of secretive funding from Mississippi tribes that owned casinos – who just so happened to be Abramoff’s clients that didn’t want business competition from the neighboring state. Reed denied knowing the source of the funding, even though investigators uncovered emails from Abramoff asking Reed to send invoices for approval from a Mississippi tribe which controlled major gaming interests. Abramoff later said that Reed “didn't want it out that he was getting gambling money,” adding that Reed was “a tap dancer and constantly just asking for money.”

Just Weeks Before Saying Abortion Should Be Left To The States, Rand Paul Wanted To 'Bypass Roe v. Wade'

Sen. Rand Paul’s recent remark that the issue of abortion rights would be best handled “by the states” rather than “under the 14th Amendment” and his ambiguous answer to the question of “when does life begin” were, as commentators on the left and the right have pointed out, somewhat confounding since Paul has sponsored a Senate bill that aims to undermine Roe v. Wade by defining life as beginning “at conception.”

Adding to the confusion, just a few weeks before Paul made his remarks, the “personhood” group National Pro-Life Alliance forwarded to its members a fundraising email Paul wrote last year urging them to support the effort to “bypass Roe v. Wade” by declaring “unborn children ‘persons’ as defined by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, entitled to legal protection.”

On April 4, National Pro-Life Alliance forwarded Paul’s letter with the subject line “Sign the petition to bypass Roe v. Wade”:

In the past, many in the pro-life movement have felt limited to protecting a life here and there -- passing some limited law to slightly control abortion in the more outrageous cases.

But some pro-lifers always seem to tiptoe around the Supreme Court, hoping they won't be offended.

Now the time to grovel before the Supreme Court is over .

Working from what the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade, pro-life lawmakers can pass a Life at Conception Act and end abortion using the Constitution instead of amending it.

Signing the Life at Conception Act petition will help break through the opposition clinging to abortion-on-demand and ultimately win a vote on this life-saving bill to overturn Roe v. Wade.

A Life at Conception Act declares unborn children "persons" as defined by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, entitled to legal protection .

This is the one thing the Supreme Court admitted in Roe v. Wade that would cause the case for legal abortion to "collapse."

Today, the group sent a similar message from former Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas. Paul’s and Stockman’s argument is based on the somewhat questionable legal theory — rejected by even many anti-choice leaders — that Congress can “bypass” a constitutional amendment or Supreme Court decision overturning Roe by simply passing legislation declaring fertilized eggs and fetuses to be “persons” under the law.

Some anti-choice leaders worry that this strategy would backfire in the courts, giving the Supreme Court a broad opening to strengthen Roe v. Wade. But if it were to succeed, the consequences would be enormous , not only defining all abortion as murder, but endangering common forms of birth control as well. Back in 2013, Paul claimed that such a measure would have “thousands of exceptions,” which his staff later clarified that he did not actually mean.

In fact, saying completely contradictory things on reproductive rights seems to be becoming Paul’s official campaign line. In his profile of Paul in March, Brian summarized Paul’s shifting stance on abortion rights as he heads into the 2016 presidential election:

Paul has also been on all sides of the question of abortion rights. Although Paul is the chief sponsor of a federal personhood bill that would ban abortion in all cases and has warned that a failure to pass the bill will result in the collapse of civilization, he has also said that he does not favor changing the nation’s abortion laws because the country is currently too divided on the issue. Paul insists that he opposes bans on birth control, despite the fact that his own personhood bill would give legal rights to zygotes and could ban common forms of contraception. In a 2013 CNN interview, Paul said that there would be “thousands of exceptions” to his personhood bill, but a spokesman later assured anti-choice activists that the senator approved of just a single exception, allowing abortion in cases where the life of the pregnant woman is at risk.

Paranoia-Rama: Sharia Law In Walmart, Satan Controls Marijuana And Gays Destroying The Food Supply

While President Obama is bringing in thousands of Muslim refugees who will impose Sharia law in Walmart stores, gay people are provoking God into punishing America through drought and famine. But don’t look to pot to calm you down, as it is simply a tool that Satan will use to devour you.

Rand Paul: US Shouldn't Accept Iraqi Refugees Because 'We Won The War'

The 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq sparked a massive refugee crisis as millions fled their homes, and the U.S. has been widely criticized for failing to resettle refugees, including those who fled after being violently threatened and targeted for working with the U.S. government.

Kentucky senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul, however, thinks that the U.S. should not resettle such refugees since they would be better off in Iraq and, after all, the U.S. “won the war.” 

While speaking with Iowa-based radio host Jan Mickelson yesterday, Paul criticized efforts by the U.S. and the United Nations to settle Iraqi refugees in the country. Mickelson was even more sweeping, attacking efforts to settle Muslim refugees in general.

“We won the war in Iraq, why would we be giving political asylum to people to come from a country where we won the war?” Paul asked. “It’s one thing if you’re trying to escape Castro or trying to escape communism in Russia or Vietnam or somewhere else or China, I can understand asylum, but when you win the war, why would you give people asylum? And if the 60,000 coming here are friends of the West, wouldn’t you want that 60,000 to be in Iraq helping to form a better country over there?”

He continued: “If you let the better people, the people who like the United States leave and come here, then aren’t you diminishing the numbers of folks that would make that country a better place to live? So I think the whole idea of resettling 60,000 people from Iraq over here was a mistake. But I also think that the refugee program as well as the student visa program are some of the highest risks for us to be attacked.”

Following a rant by Mickelson about the Somali-American community in Minnesota, which he deemed a national security risk, Paul agreed that the U.S. needs to reexamine its refugee program.

Mickelson recently promised to ask every 2016 candidate about Muslim refugees in the U.S.

Rand Paul Petition: Universities Are 'Left-Wing Indoctrination Centers' That 'Oppress' Conservatives

The right-wing Leadership Institute is promoting an effort to “liberate” universities with a petition to “join Sen. Rand Paul” to “save our students” and free “our nation’s universities from liberal extremists.”

The petition isn’t exactly clear about who it is directed to, and is likely just a method at list-building for the conservative group, but what it lacks in details it makes up in fervent language, decrying universities as “left-wing indoctrination centers” led by “liberal radicals” who are bent on “brainwashing the next generation of America’s leaders.”

“[T]he conservative movement owes it to our young people to fight to liberate our colleges and universities from this liberal oppression,” the petition continues. “It’s time to liberate our college campuses!”

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 4/29/15

  • Cliff Kincaid does not believe that Bruce Jenner is a conservative Republican: "By that same standard, I am a transgendered [sic] communist."
  • If gay marriage becomes legal, Jerry Newcombe says America will no longer be "the land of the free."
  • Apparently, President Obama is to blame for the fact that some college students desecrated an American flag and assaulted a veteran.
  • Larry Tomczak warns that "disregarding divinely established standards have brought epidemic STDs on America. Millions believe we shouldn’t redefine marriage, opening the floodgates for polygamy, polyamory and pederasty."
  • Alex Newman says that "American children are being dumbed down and indoctrinated with outrageous values – everything from the notion that America and liberty are evil to the idea that there is no right and wrong, no objective morality, no God, and no value to human life. It is precisely these values that we are seeing on display in Baltimore and other in cities across America."
  • Finally, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul have all signed Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge. We wonder how Glenn Beck will react, since he thinks that Norquist is "a very bad man" with whom nobody should associate.

Rand Paul Says It's 'Sexist' To Think He Was Being Sexist With Female Reporters

In an interview with Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway yesterday, Sen. Rand Paul pushed back against claims that he has a pattern of interrupting and acting rudely towards female reporters, saying that the real sexists are the people who criticize his treatment of women journalists.

“The funny thing about it is that it’s kind of a sexist position to think that somehow women announcers are less capable to handle themselves than men,” Paul said when Conway praised his testy response to Savannah Guthrie’s questions about his changing foreign policy positions. “I don’t think that, but everybody that was complaining about it, thinking it had something to do with gender, basically that’s insulting to the people doing the questioning.”

“Really the problem is that we have a lot of media that are just so far on the left that we just don’t have any neutral questions,” Paul continued. “If you go on there as a Democrat, they laugh and yuck it up and talk about how great things are going, but it’s a little bit different when Republicans are on the national news.”

Rand Paul Asked About Military Coup Conspiracy Theory

As Rick Santorum found out earlier this year in Charleston, GOP presidential hopefuls should get ready to field questions about bizarre conspiracy theories, not just from activists but also influential conservative talk show hosts in early primary and caucus states like Iowa.

For example, Iowa-based radio host Jan Mickelson asked Sen. Rand Paul to respond yesterday to a burgeoning far-right conspiracy theory surrounding a military training exercise known as Jade Helm 15, which some on the far-right believe will lead to martial law.

Paul told Mickelson that he had only heard of Jade Helm in passing and would look into it.

But Mickelson implied that the issue would not be going away for Paul and his fellow GOP candidates. Saying that he “gets emails about this every day,” Mickelson told the senator, “It’s making some people nervous, but it doesn’t take much to make people nervous nowadays.”

The Personhood Movement: Where It Comes From and What It Means For the Future of Choice

The largest and best-funded groups opposing abortion rights have, over the past several years, achieved astounding success in chipping away at women’s access to legal abortion in the United States. But these successes, Personhood Alliance’s founders maintain, are too small and have come at a grave cost.

2016 Republican Candidates Report

As the GOP embraces the reactionary politics and anti-government zealotry of the Tea Party, it is steadily purging “moderates” and empowering extremists. Nothing shows this trend more clearly than the lineup of potential Republican presidential candidates.

Rand Paul: 'No' On DREAM Act And Birthright Citizenship

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul recently sat down with the far-right outlet WorldNetDaily to discuss immigration reform, an issue about which he has been all over the map. The Republican presidential candidate, who stated in 2013 that any legal status for undocumented immigrants should “start with DREAM Act kids” but backed last year’s GOP plan to end the program that protects DREAMers from deportation, told WND that “I would’ve voted ‘no’" on the DREAM Act.

Paul also told WND’s Taylor Rose that he wants to end birthright citizenship, a key provision of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, claiming that it is turning the U.S. into “a magnet for the world” and lets “everybody come in here, have children and they all become citizens.”

Paul added that while it isn’t “fair” to send DREAMers “back to Mexico,” it also isn’t fair “to say they can stay and everybody else like them from Mexico can come also.”

“The DREAM Act alone I would’ve voted ‘no’ on because the DREAM Act didn’t fix the border,” he said. This led the senator to criticize the Motor Voter Act, saying that it has allowed for undocumented immigrants to commit voter fraud.

When Rose asked Paul about the unemployment rate in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota, the senator blamed it on immigration, adding that he “hasn’t met any farmers who say Americans will pick crops.”

“Americans are unwilling to work for $8 an hour and pick crops because they can sit at home and watch soap operas for government pay for 10 bucks an hour,” Paul said. “The problem is, we have a very generous safety net, maybe overly generous. What I say is if they look like you or look like me and they hop out of their truck, they shouldn’t be on disability.”

Referring to a “picture of a Social Security office floating around the internet,” he said that Americans won’t take low-paying jobs because it is easier to claim that they are disabled in order to collect Social Security benefits.

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/10/15

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/9/15

Glenn Beck In Fantasy Land: President Rand Paul Would Nominate Andrew Napolitano To The Supreme Court

For the last several months, Glenn Beck's network has been regularly running a presidential poll in which Beck's audience ranks various possible GOP presidential candidates, giving them each a grade ranging from A to F.

Today, Beck and his co-hosts spent the first hour of their radio program going over the results of this month's poll, which found — surprise, surprise — that their audience tends to like the same candidates that they like and dislike the same candidates that they dislike, so that Jeb Bush got an "F" while Ted Cruz got an "A" and everyone else fell somewhere in between.

Since the poll already features a host of people who most likely are not going to actually run for president, Beck suggested today that they should add Judge Andrew Napolitano to the list for next month just because there is a "Draft Napolitano" effort underway online and Beck thinks it would be interesting to see what sort of support the judge could garner from Beck's audience.

The idea then prompted Beck to begin to fantasize that if Rand Paul becomes president, he would probably nominate Napolitano to a seat on the Supreme Court.

"Can you imagine if Rand Paul got in?" he said. "Judge Napolitano would probably be a candidate for Supreme Court. Can you imagine that? That would be great!"

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/8/15

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/3/15

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/30/15

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