South Carolina's Tea Party Senate Debate: Climate Change 'Gobbledygook,' Impeaching Obama, And Revising MLK

We’ve written quite a bit about South Carolina state senator Lee Bright, who is challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham in the state’s Republican primary this year. But Bright is hardly alone in the race to topple Graham. Over Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend, the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition held a convention that included a lively debate between Bright and his three fellow Tea Party candidates vying for the chance to face Graham in a runoff.

Perhaps the most memorable candidate at the debate was Bill Connor, an Army veteran and former lieutenant governor candidate, who spent the whole debate waving a pocket copy of the Constitution.

We put together a highlight reel of Connor’s commentary during the debate, including his assertions that the Europeans he fought alongside in Afghanistan were less hard-working and ingenious than American soldiers because “Europe had gone socialist” and “post-Christian”; that Congress should impeach President Obama over his executive order implementing part of the DREAM Act; that the separation of church and state has led “atheism to be our national religion”; and that Congress should disband federal appeals courts that enforce church-state separation because “if you’re being biblical, you’re doing your job as a judge.”

Another memorable moment was when the moderator asked all four candidates to react to Sen. Graham’s former support for legislation to combat climate change.

The first candidate, businesswoman Nancy Mace, claimed that a recent freeze disproved the fact that climate change exists. Bright contended that climate change was a “scam” concocted by people out to make money. Another candidate, Richard  Cash – who owns a “fleet of neighborhood ice cream trucks” --was “open to the idea that there’s possibly global warming,” but claimed that there’s not “enough evidence” yet to create policy. Connor, for his part, called climate change “gobbledygook,” a point he illustrated by asking everybody in the audience to take a deep breath and breathe it out, then telling them, “you’re putting carbon deposits in the air and you’re causing global warming.”

And a roundup of the debate would not be complete without Cash’s opening statement, in which he edited Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech to be about banning abortion.


Rep. Steve Palazzo Lashes Out At 'Gay Hollywood's Version Of Matrimony'

So much for the GOP’s attempt to rebrand itself as the “party of tolerance,” because Republican leaders just can’t seem to help themselves from knocking the gay community. Take Rep. Steve Palazzo’s latest online campaign attacking “GAY Hollywood’s version of matrimony” over the on-air weddings at the Grammy Awards. 

The Mississippi Republican was one of the most ardent defenders of the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay members and has regularly teamed up with the virulently anti-gay American Family Association.

Wildmon: Gay Rights Advocates 'Force Feeding The American Public'

American Family Association president Tim Wildmon yesterday joined other anti-gay pundits in criticizing the Grammy Awards for a performance that included a wedding service for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, which Wildmon said shows that liberals are “force feeding the American public” with homosexuality.

“Hollywood, the entertainment industry and the political left just can’t get enough ‘gay,’” Wildmon said.

He also attacked President Obama for inviting openly gay NBA player Jason Collins to the State of the Union address: “President Obama now has invited an NBA player to sit in the gallery for the State of the Union speech precisely because he has sex with other men and is proud of it. These people don’t just want acceptance, they want middle America’s approval.”

Tim Graham of the Media Research Center accused the Grammys of trying to “flush the Bible on national TV,” while Family Research Council senior fellow Peter Sprigg said the award show has been “shamelessly exploited in support of a radical social and political agenda.”

“Hollywood, the entertainment industry and the political left just can’t get enough ‘gay,’” American Family Association president Tim Wildmon told LifeSiteNews. “They are force feeding the American public. We have ‘Kinky Boots’ which are cross-dressers in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, we got a homosexual wedding float in the Rose Bowl Parade and now we are pushing ‘gay marriage’ during the Grammy Awards. President Obama now has invited an NBA player to sit in the gallery for the State of the Union speech precisely because he has sex with other men and is proud of it. These people don’t just want acceptance, they want middle America’s approval.”

“It is unfortunate that CBS and the Grammys would allow an entertainment awards show to be so shamelessly exploited in support of a radical social and political agenda,” Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, told LifeSiteNews. “It’s ironic that these ceremonies accompanied a song, ‘Same Love.’ The government has no legitimate interest in ‘love’ alone, but it does have an interest in encouraging procreation and mother-father households.”

The on-air same-sex “weddings” were the brainchild of Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich, who told theNew York Times he got the idea from his lesbian daughter, who told him that Macklemore and Lewis sometimes allow couples to propose marriage onstage during concert performances of “Same Love.” Ehrlich said he suggested the duo “[take] it a step further with a full wedding.”

But Ehrlich denied that it was just a stunt. “We’re serious about this,” he told the Times. He added that while he personally believes marriage should be redefined to include same-sex couples, “I would not want to make a broad statement that it represents the views of the [National] Academy [of Recording Arts and Sciences] or the CBS television network.”

But Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the conservative Media Research Center, strongly disagreed.

“They can say this is not a stunt, but that's exactly what it is, a piece of musical agitprop to mock the traditional values of conservative American Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others,” Graham wrote on the NewsBusters blog. “Entertainers never want to have a debate, just a series of arrogant ‘statements’ with no opportunity for a conversation as they flush the Bible on national TV.”

Beck: Criticism Of Tom Perkins Proves 'The Socialist Revolution Is Here'

It has been a while since Glenn Beck dedicated his opening monologue to misrepresenting disparate global events in order to weave together an incoherent explanation of just how America has turned into a tyrannical communist/fascist/Nazi dictatorship.

But that was his message again last night, spurred on by his outrage over the fact that people were offended by a letter to the editor published in the Wall Street Journal in which billionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins compared the "progressive war on the American one percent" to the demonization of the Jews during the Holocaust.

Perkins has since apologized and Beck is outraged over the fact that Perkins has been "savagely beaten in public" for simply telling the truth.

"We are Germany 1930," Beck said. "You can deny it all you want, but the socialist revolution is here," As proof, Beck pointed to the fact that Perkins' company, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, sent out a tweet distancing itself from his comments:

Tom Perkins has not been involved in KPCB in years. We were shocked by his views expressed today in the WSJ and do not agree.

That tweet is, for Beck, proof that Perkins is being ostracized just as the Jews were under the Nazi regime.

"Is this a healthy society that says this?" Beck asked, before reading the tweet. "Welcome to the brave new world, gang":

Bishop Paprocki Hopes Anti-Gay Exorcism Will Show Gay People He Loves Them

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, took to LifeSiteNews during last week’s March for Life to defend his recent performance of an anti-gay exorcism. The gay rights foe explained that he performed the “minor exorcism” in order to “renounce Satan and break our relationship with the Devil” and “drive out the Devil from his influence that seems to be pervading our culture.”

He called the exorcism a “fitting” response his home state’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage, adding that it is appropriate for a time when the “church is under persecution or some opposition, and certainly the redefinition of marriage is very much in opposition to God’s plan for married life.”

Paprocki said that the exorcism was done out of love for gay people, whom he explained need to be disciplined like children being punished by their parents: “Like any good parent will tell you that sometimes you have to disappoint your child, sometimes you have to say ‘no’ and sometimes you even have to punish them.”


Keyes: Obama's Pot Comments Make Him Like The 9/11 Hijackers

According to Alan Keyes, President Obama’s recent statement that he doesn’t think marijuana “is more dangerous than alcohol” makes him just as bad as the hijackers in the September 11 attacks.

Keyes, who was Obama’s GOP opponent in the 2004 U.S. Senate race in Illinois, writes in Renew America today that “Obama himself” may have “long-term individual damage” from smoking pot when he was young, which Keyes believes has “grave implications for the welfare of the nation as a whole.”

The right-wing activist is also upset about TV shows “saturated” with “zombies, vampires, beastly human-animal hybrids, amoral thugs, and anti-heroes,” adding that such programs “may yet prove more destructively potent than the Nuremburg rallies, or the Hitlerjugend, as factors for producing virtually soulless, self-glorifying perpetrators of atrocity.”

Keyes claims liberal marijuana laws, along with the teaching of evolution, are attempts to “affect the moral judgment and character of the American people” and undermine “America’s liberty.”

“Much like the terrorists who targeted the Towers in New York, which symbolized America's material commerce, these scornful elitists target the pillars of moral and spiritual commerce that uphold our political constitution,” he writes. “But when liberty's pillars fail, the smoke that rises from their crater will signify the fatal triumph of our stupefaction, courtesy of those, like Obama, who are working hard to make us too stupid to be free.”

"Stupéfiant" is a French word for "drug." It is a compound word with roots that literally mean "to put someone into a stupor," to induce a state of mental numbness in which you are unable to think normally. More pungently put, it describes things that make you stupid.

I thought of this recently as I read a report of Obama's indulgent attitude toward marijuana. He claimed that it's less dangerous than alcohol. The salient question is, "Dangerous to whom or in what way?" With respect to individuals, his nonchalance is certainly debatable. As WND's Art Moore has pointed out, data from "an extensive four-decade study published in 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences showed marijuana can lower the IQ of young teenagers and may cause permanent mental impairment" – "a neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife."

Moore points out evidence that lends support to the conclusion that Obama himself may be an instance of this kind of long-term individual damage. But given the office he presently occupies, this compels us to remember that in America, such damage to individuals has grave implications for the welfare of the nation as a whole. After all, the person who occupies the office of president is supposed, among other things, to represent the sovereign interests of the American people.

Yet the TV shows, movies, and games massively promoted by these very elites are increasingly saturated with themes (zombies, vampires, beastly human-animal hybrids, amoral thugs, and anti-heroes who shadow forth every conceivable variety of conscienceless evil) that preoccupy the soul with evil. They focus on concepts, tools, and stratagems for the wholesale violation and degradation of human beings. Rejecting the Christian challenge ("Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good"), their preferred depictions of supposedly humanitarian heroes are often molded according to the treacherous maxim "It takes evil to fight evil."

Thus, righteous indignation is made to flow in channels of wickedness, as if there is no weapon in the arsenal of God's creation potent enough to overcome the power of every imaginable evil. Such "entertainments" may be the most insidious kind of disinformation. And they may yet prove more destructively potent than the Nuremburg rallies, or the Hitlerjugend, as factors for producing virtually soulless, self-glorifying perpetrators of atrocity.

But even in the educational institutions we more formally recognize as such, the leading lights of the elitist faction not only promote, they insist upon, an understanding of humanity (the God-denying version of the theory of evolution) that tendentiously abuses the rubric of science. Indeed, it suppresses the very idea of humanity as such (human nature), in order to discredit the moral and spiritual dimensions of the human condition. Yet these are the very aspects of humanity that inform the practical wisdom required to justify and sustain decent liberty.

Why would an individual sworn to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States show such little concern respecting things that assault the practical basis for the form of government it establishes? There is no answer consistent with his oath. Instead, such nonchalance is solid evidence that Obama targets America's liberty, as do all those who belittle the significance of issues that affect the moral judgment and character of the American people.

Much like the terrorists who targeted the Towers in New York, which symbolized America's material commerce, these scornful elitists target the pillars of moral and spiritual commerce that uphold our political constitution. But when liberty's pillars fail, the smoke that rises from their crater will signify the fatal triumph of our stupefaction, courtesy of those, like Obama, who are working hard to make us too stupid to be free.

Fischer: Performing Gay Marriages At The Grammys Was An 'Abomination' Because Same-Sex Parenting Is 'A Form Of Child Abuse'

We can add Bryan Fischer to the list of anti-gay activists who were outraged by the Grammy Awards, as he proclaimed on his radio show yesterday that Beyoncé's opening number a "complete raunch-fest" that was "inexcusably tawdry" and only served to set the tone for the "abomination" of seeing several gay couples get married later in the program during a performance of the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis song "Same Love."

"If you care about children," Fischer said, "this thing ought to appall you because gay marriage is bad for children. In fact, same-sex parenting - I'm going to be very direct here - same-sex parenting is a form of child abuse":

The Problem with 'School Choice' Week: What's Behind the Bright Yellow Banner

“School choice” will be celebrated this week at thousands of events across the country, with speakers talking about empowered parents and educational excellence.  It will probably be a public relations bonanza for the “school choice” movement.  But here’s the problem: the bright yellow banner of National School Choice Week is designed to distract attention from the least appealing and most dangerous aspects of that movement -- anti-government ideologues, privatization profiteers, and religious fundamentalists eager to get their hands on public education dollars.

Let’s back up a bit.

Education policy is a vast, complicated, and hotly contested arena. Terms like “education reform” and “school choice” sound good, but they are so broad as to be almost meaningless. They can be applied to genuine efforts to strengthen teaching and educational opportunity as well as cynical schemes to destroy public employee unions and dismantle public education altogether.

In particular, “school choice” encompasses a huge array of education policies, from public school charter and magnet schools to taxpayer-funded for-profit cyberschools and homeschooling.  Even a seemingly specific term like “charter schools” cloaks a more complex reality that ranges from innovation labs co-located in public schools to for-profit chain operations.  

If you believe that public education is an important democratic institution, and you think education policy should be aimed at giving every child the opportunity to attend a quality public school, these policies don’t all look alike. They don’t all have the same impact on public schools, or the same levels of public accountability.

But the folks at National School Choice Week would like you not to think about that.  Here’s Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week, in a January 2 column:

To individual parents – “school choice” is not just about charter schools, or private schools, or traditional public or magnet schools, or online learning and homeschooling. It’s about having a choice of all of these options, being able to make a choice, and selecting the learning environments that are right for their individual children. When school choice organizations work together, the collective messaging of these partnerships and this broad, familiar definition of school choice resonates with families.

He acknowledges that people have different ideas about what school choice means: “It goes without saying that a charter school association and a private school choice group might not agree on every policy issue, or that a homeschooling organization and a magnet school consortium will not always find common ground,” he says, but we can all come together on “the basics.”

The problem with this “collective messaging” approach is that it hides the anti-public-education agenda of some “reformers.” Celebrating “school choice” across the board lends credibility to organizations pushing for destructive policies that are not at all popular with the American public. In spite of decades of right-wing-funded attacks on public education, for example, Americans oppose privatization plans  like vouchers that transfer public education funds to private schools.

Self-proclaimed reformers often dismiss concerns about privatization as a “red herring.” But you can’t embrace the Milton Friedman Foundation as a partner and then pretend that privatization is only an imaginary threat dreamed up by teachers unions.  Friedman has an explicit goal of getting rid of public schools altogether; they see programs like vouchers for poor kids as a tactical stepping stone toward that ultimate goal.

Others view the huge amount of money we collectively spend on educating children as a source of cash. One of the sponsors of National School Choice Week is K12, a member of the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council and a company the New York Times has described as “the biggest player in the online-school business,” one “that tries to squeeze profits from public school dollars by raising enrollment, increasing teacher workload, and lowering standards.”  In September 2013, a hedge fund manager betting that the company’s model was unsustainable said that “K 12’s aggressive student recruitment has led to dismal academic results by students and sky-high dropout rates, in some cases more than 50% annually.” And yet Executive Chairman Nathaniel Davis was paid more than $9.5 million last year; Morningstar reports that K12’s compensation to top executives went from 8.89 million in 2011 to 10.89 million in 2012 to 21.37 million in 2013. According to Sourcewatch, $730.0 million of the $848.2 million K12 earned last year came from its “managed public schools” – in other words, taxpayers.

For-profit schools that are doing a lousy job can be protected by the huge amounts of money they spend lobbying in state legislatures. A November 2011 investigation by Lee Fang for The Nation reported that White Hat Management, which runs both traditional and virtual charter schools, had become Ohio’s second-largest GOP donor; the company’s success rate under No Child Left Behind was 2 percent, compared to 54.9% for traditional schools and 30 percent for “virtual schools” run by nonprofits.

Publicly funded vouchers to pay for private schools have been rejected each time they have come before voters, and there is scant evidence that the voucher programs that are operational produce better academic outcomes.  But they are still a cherished goal of anti-government ideologues and operators of for-profit and religious schools.  One of the biggest “school choice” advocates among the country’s governors is Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, who has embarked on a grand privatization plan grounded in school vouchers, many of which have been used to send students to religious schools with questionable curricula and substandard academic achievement.  Data released by the state in November indicated that almost half of the vouchers were being used at schools that scored a D or F on the state’s rating scale.

There are unquestionably well-intentioned people in the education reform movement, some of whom will be participating in National School Choice Week activities. There are people of all political persuasions eager to find ways to give students a better education, and that includes teachers, administrators, and school board members – people who are collectively dismissed as “the blob” by some “reformers.”

People of good faith can and do disagree about the best way to strengthen teaching, hold schools accountable, reduce the devastating impact of poverty, and more.  But people who are genuinely seeking ways to strengthen public education and make schools better for all children should think twice about making common cause with organizations who see public education as something to be dismantled, and with companies whose bottom line is measured not in student achievement but in the profit margins demanded by their investors.

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/27/14

Right Wing Leftovers - 1/27/14

  • It seems that Greta Van Susteren just realized that Erick Erickson "is a real jerk and is really lousy at being a spokesperson for his views."
  • Shortly after returning to Congress from his stint in rehab following a drug bust, Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) has resigned from Congress.
  • Speaking of resignations, RNC member Dave Agema is refusing to do so over his history of bigoted statements.
  • Former Republican Sen. John Warner endorsed his Democratic successor, Mark Warner, over his Republican challenger Ed Gillespie.
  • Matt Barber says "it’s time for the left to begin honoring the true beliefs, work, life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr." We think it's time for Barber to start honoring the true beliefs of Jerry Falwell given that Falwell is the foundation of Barber's current career.
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