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Posts tagged "Birthers"

Typical for Dave Daubenmire to do. 

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

Joseph Francis Farah, a leading ‘birther’ who runs the right-wing, conspiracy website WorldNetDaily, was reportedly caught by TSA agents on Sunday with a loaded .38-caliber revolver in his carry-on bag as he passed through security at Dulles International Airport outside Washington.

Farah, who denounced TSA screening practices in a 2010 column, faces a class 1 misdemeanor charge for carrying a gun in an airport terminal, according to a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. He was released pending a summons.

The Washington Post first reported the incident yesterday but described the individual in question as Joseph Farah, 49, of Centreville, Va. Hatewatch confirmed with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority today that in fact Joseph Francis Farah, who is 59, was cited for the weapon charge.

Joseph Farah on Infowars

Joseph Farah on Infowars

Farah founded WorldNetDaily with his wife in 1997 and serves as publisher and editor-in-chief. The site is a leading platform for far-rightfringe conspiracy theories, particularly about President Obama.

Farah and arch-birther Jerome Corsi have used the site to spin wild conspiracies about the president.Corsi not only claims that Obama was born overseas but that he’s gay and Muslim and may have orchestrated the murder of his former gay lovers.

WorldNetDaily, among other things, has blamed gays for the Holocaust, promoted the idea that white Americans should gather together and secede, predicted Obama would meet in person with Osama bin Laden if elected and said that LGBT people seek the “active recruitment of children.” Notably, Farah argued last year that Obama’s proposals to fight gun violence could lead to “mass-murdering tyranny.”

And in a 2010 column entitled “My own little TSA mini-nightmare,” Farah denounced what he described as TSA’s “systematic violations of Americans’ constitutional rights.” He described pat-downs as “gate rape” and said the full body scanners perform “virtual strip searches.”

Farah, who said at the time that he was avoiding flying until TSA changed its procedures, had purchased a “brand new, expensive rolling bag” and was outraged when he saw that “the zipper had been broken off.” He found two TSA inspection notices inside the bag from TSA. And get this, they didn’t even sort and repack his clothes just so:

I had carefully folded my clothes before placing them in my bag. I had carefully separated the clean clothes from the dirty clothes. But what I found in my bag was that someone had pulled everything out and then stuffed it all back in with little regard for my future cleaning and laundering bills.

Farah apparently takes packing very seriously and has thought a great deal about TSA’s screening practices. One wonders then what he was doing with a loaded revolver in his carry-on luggage. Regardless, he just illustrated why we have TSA screenings in the first place.

h/t: Josh Glasstetter at SPLC Hatewatch blog

H/T: Ian Silverstone at RWW 

Citizens Committee On Benghazi Releases Findings From Benghazi Review. On April 22, the Daily Mailreported on findings from the Citizen’s Committee on Benghazi, a self-selected group created by Accuracy in Media, that pushed a number of conspiracy theories regarding the attack in Benghazi, Libya. According to theDaily Mail, the report claims that the attack was a “failed kidnapping plot” of Ambassador Chris Stevens, that the U.S. had “switched sides in the war on terror,” and that President Obama had coordinate with the Muslim Brotherhood to blame the attacks on a YouTube video. [Daily Mail4/22/14]

Fox News Hypes Citizen’s Committee Findings As “Blistering New Report”

Fox News Hypes Committee Findings As “Blistering New Report.” On the April 23 edition of Fox News’Fox & Friends First, co-host Ainsley Earhardt hyped the committee’s “blistering new report” and repeated the claims that the attacks “could have been prevented,” and that “Ambassador Chris Stevens was supposed to be captured and traded for the Blind Sheik”:

EARHARDT: A blistering new report reveals the Benghazi terror attacks could have been prevented. The Citizen’s Committee on Benghazi claims the U.S. allowed $500 million in weapons to flow to Al Qaeda terrorists who opposed the Libyan dictator, Muammar Gadaffi, and their rise to power lead to the embassy attack two years ago that left four Americans dead. The commission concluding the attack was actually a failed kidnapping plot. The report says that Ambassador Chris Stevens was supposed to be captured and traded for the Blind Sheik, the mastermind of the 1993 world trade center bombing. [Fox News, Fox & Friends,4/23/14]

Meet The Citizen’s Committee Panelists: Birthers, Conspiracy Theorists, And Anti-Muslim Advocates

Birthers

Capt. Larry Bailey, USN (Ret.): Obama’s Birth Certificate Is A Forgery, Real Father Is Frank Marshall Davis. Retired Capt. Larry Bailey is the founder of Special Operations Speaks, an anti-Obama group of Special Operations veterans. Bailey has admitted on numerous occasions that he is a birther, telling Foreign Policymagazine in 2012 “”I have to admit that I’m a Birther” … “If there were a jury of 12 good men and women and the evidence were placed before them, there would be absolutely no question Barack Obama was not born where he said he was and is not who he says he is.” Bailey has also touted the conspiracy theory that President Obama’s real father was actually the late community writer Frank Marshall Davis. [Foreign Policy8/17/12,Media Matters,  8/8/13; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]

Gen. Paul Vallely (Ret.): FBI Is Covering Up Truth About Birth Certificate Out Of Fear Of A “Black Backlash.” Retired General Paul Vallely, who was a Fox News contributor from 2001-2007, has claimed that Obama’s real birth certificate “has never been found in Hawaii nor released from Hawaii hospital there,” and that it was a “forged document.” Vallely told fringe right-wing website WND that both versions of Obama’s birth certificate were forgeries and alleged that the FBI and Congress were covering up the truth about Obama’s place of birth out because they are “afraid of a black backlash from some of the urban areas.” [WND, 6/15/11Media Matters7/27/12; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]

Gen. Thomas McInerney (Ret.) Claimed Obama Was Not A Natural Born Citizen. On September 1, 2010 Talking Points Memo reported that Thomas McInerney had “officially joined the legions of birthers,” citing McInerney’s support for an Army Lieutenant who refused to deploy to Afghanistan because he did not believe Obama was born in the United States. McInerney’s affidavit claims:

According to our Constitution, the Commander in Chief must now, in the face of serious— and widely held— concerns that he is ineligible, either voluntarily establish his eligibility by authorizing release of his birth records or this court must authorize their discovery.

McInerney has also worked as a military analyst for Fox News, where he pushed other conspiracy theories including the theory that WMDs were never discovered in Iraq because Saddam Hussein hid them other countries. [Talking Points Memo, 11/1/10; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14Media Matters11/1/10,3/22/13]

Anti-Muslim Activists

Col. Allen West: Islam Is Not A Religion, It’s “A Totalitarian Theocratic Political Ideology.” Retired Col. Allen West is a former U.S. Representative and also a Fox News contributor, and has a history of pushing an Islamophobic narrative. After West lost his re-election bid, MSNBC reported on some of West’s most outrageous claims including that “Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD, and we need to have individuals stand up and say that.” After the attack on a British soldier in 2013, West claimed that the violence was due to “appeasement” of “Islamists.” [MSNBC,11/20/12Media Matters, 5/17/135/23/13; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]

Clare Lopez Is A Senior Fellow At Two Anti-Muslim Organizations. Clare Lopez is a prominent member of two anti-Muslim groups - the Clarion Project and the Center for Security Policy. The Center for Security Policy was funded by one of America’s most notorious Islamophobes, Frank Gaffney, who also sits on the board of the Clarion Project. The Clarion Project is funded by three of the seven top anti-Islam and anti-Muslim think tanks in the United States. Lopez has authored several articles for both organizations, and has made claims that Obama’s administration has been infiltrated by Islamist-supporters to institute Sharia law. In a 2011 interview, Lopez claimed “the bottom line really is that, unless ethnic Europeans begin to have an awful lot more babies, the forces of shariah Islam will inherit Eurabia by sheer dint of their numbers.” [Media Matters 2/20/14; Center for Security Policy, accessed 4/23/14; Clare Lopez, 12/2/09 via YouTube; Examiner.com3/11/11; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]

Benghazi Conspiracy Theorists

Adm. James Lyons (Ret.) Claimed Benghazi Was A Cover-Up. Adm. James Lyons who regularly writes for the conservative outlet, The Washington Times, is known to push old Benghazi conspiracies and debunked assertions; Lyons has claimed that he has never seen “a cover-up as intense as the Benghazi cover-up” and compared the State Department’s Accountability Review Board that investigated the attack to “having the mafia investigate a crime scene.” Lyons has also made an unfounded claim that Libyan militia guards protecting the Benghazi compound “were not allowed to put ammunition into their weapons,” and suggested that David Patreus’ affair was a cover-up for Benghazi. [Media Matters7/30/13, Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]

Wayne Simmons Has Suggested That White House Gave “Stand Down” Order. Former CIA officer Wayne Simmons, who is a frequent guest on Fox News, has pushed the debunked claim that the White House gave a “stand down” order during the Benghazi attack and that the people killed in Benghazi “were sold out.” Simmons has also advocated profiling students from Muslim countries. [Media Matters7/30/13, 5/2/13; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]

Citizens’ Committee Is Organized By Fringe Conservative Group, AIM

Accuracy in Media (AIM) Has A History Of Promoting Conspiracy Theories. The Citizens’ Committee on Benghazi is organized and supported by Roger Aronoff’s fringe conservative group Accuracy in Media (AIM). AIM is responsible for promoting many conspiracy theories over the years, and is also well-known for extreme anti-gay views and hate speech. [Media Matters2/7/12]

h/t: Michelle Leung at MMFA

Ben Dimiero at mediamattersforamerica:

Five years ago, Fox News expanded its online presence with “Fox Nation.” Early promos for the site told viewers that it’s “time to say ‘no’ to biased media and ‘yes’ to fair play and free speech,” while promising that Fox fans had finally found “a place to call home.” Similarly, the “Statement of Purpose” on the site announces that it is dedicated to “the core principles of tolerance, open debate, civil discourse, and fair and balanced coverage of the news.”

But after its launch, the site quickly turned into — in the words of former Fox News producer Joe Muto — the “seedy underbelly of the Fox News online empire.” Fox Nation has for years openly cheered Republican politicians and policies, actively organized for the tea party, smeared Democrats and progressives, engaged in blatant race-baiting on a near-daily basis, and routinely elevated nonsense from the conservative fringe.

So while Fox Nation is celebrating its fifth birthday and its self-proclaimed role as a “defender of the Constitution and the home of hot debates,” Media Matters looks back at some (but nowhere near all) of the lowlights from the site’s first five years.

"Hip-Hop BBQ"

Fox Nation’s most infamous moment, which garnered widespread attention and ridicule, was posting a story about President Obama’s 2011 birthday party with the following headline and image:

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Obama’s “War On Marriage”

After President Obama declared support for marriage equality in 2012, Fox Nation attacked him for declaring “WAR ON MARRIAGE” (the site later changed the headline):

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Fox Nation has repeatedly trafficked in conspiracies about the president’s birth certificate, highlighting numerous stories promoting the nonsensical theory. More than once in 2009, Fox Nation attached an image of Obama wearing Somali clothes to stories promoting birther claptrap:

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The Impending Apocalypse

In February 2011, Fox Nation promoted what Fox & Friends Saturday co-host Clayton Morris described as an “incredible piece of video” showing a “greenish figure” in a crowd of Egyptian protesters. The site quoted fellow conspiracy website WND explaining that the green figure “resembles an erect rider atop a horse in Medieval-like barding.” The headline, which was pulled from Clayton Morris’ blog, asked:

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A Vicious Smear Of Planned Parenthood

In 2012, Fox Nation proved how low they were willing to sink to smear their enemies. That December, a British charity for victims of domestic abuse released a video urging women not to conceal the effects of domestic violence. After Planned Parenthood posted the video to its Facebook page, Fox Nation highlighted a since-deleted article from LifeNews.com that completely inverted the message of the ad, posting it under this headline:

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"Fox Nation Victory!"

Fox Nation’s open campaigning for Republican and conservative causes has led the site to repeatedly declare things like a 2009 congressional delay of health care reform (which the site called the “health care rationing bill”) a “Fox Nation Victory!” This 2011 headline and image about the House voting to repeal Obamacare perhaps best captures the tone of the site’s health care reform politicking:

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Obama Handing Land To Mexico

In 2010, Fox News show America Live embarrassed itself with a “ludicrous" story about how the Obama administration was responsible for a "massive stretch" of Arizona land being closed, with host Shannon Bream telling viewers, "Critics say the administration is, in effect, giving a major strip of the Southwest back to Mexico." (The entire story was painfully misleading.) Fox Nation ramped things up by posting a link to the America Live segment with a headline informing readers that Obama “Gives Back Major Strip of AZ to Mexico.”

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"JOIN YOUR LOCAL TEA PARTY"

Shortly after its launch, Fox Nation morphed into both a cheering section and a staging area for the tea party. The site even hosted a “virtual tea party” in 2009 for people who “can’t get to a tea party.” To give an idea of what Fox Nation’s early tea party coverage looked like, here’s a headline from March 2010:

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Hillary’s “Communist” Clothing, “Macho” Putin, The “Nuzzling” President, And Other Lowlights

Other headlines that have appeared on Fox Nation throughout the years. May 2010:

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July 2013:

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January 2010:

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March 2014:

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August 2010: 

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December 2009:

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September 2009:

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July 2009:

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June 2009:

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June 2009: 

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May 2009:

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Not to mention numerous instances during the five years of Fox Nation’s existence documented by NewsHounds.us that the FN comments routinely featured calls of death threats directed at President Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Eric Holder, Muslims, Hispanics, African-Americans, LGBTQs, unions, or basically any liberal/progressive in America. 

h/t: Eli Stokols at KDVR.com

Safe to say he needs to be fired.

FL teacher who routinely tweets ‘OBAMA IS A P*SSY’ upset at exclusion from Obama event (via Raw Story )

A social studies teacher at a Florida high school is claiming that his “right to free speech” was violated when school administrators barred him from a recent appearance of President Barack Obama. Coral Reef Senior High teacher Randall Scott had…



 

Eagle Forum head Phyllis Schlafly is quite taken with right-wing pundit Stan Solomon, and last week hailed an unhinged rant Solomon delivered against Muslim-Americans and President Obama. 

“I don’t really give a damn if there are any Muslims here but if they are here and they don’t want to be Americans, then get the hell out, and the same for any other group,” Solomon said, before railing against the president. “Barack Obama is not an American, never has been, not in his actions, not in his speech, not in his politics and not in his birth.”

“And not in his baseball throw either,” cohost and former congressional candidate Steve Davis interjected.

“He’s a homosexual, always has been, is now, always will be,” Solomon continued. “That’s his right to be but this nonsense that somehow homosexuality is something equal to or preferable to is just wrong.”

Schlafly applauded his remarks: “Very well stated Stan, thank you for being a voice of truth and sanity on the air.” 

Maybe Schlafly agreed with Solomon’s claims because she heard them before, as she was the guest on a previous edition of The Talk To Solomon Show on which Solomon said that “Barack Obama is a wussy guy who throws a ball like a girl, who everyone knows was involved in homosexuality and I think he is the stereotypical — if he could get away with it he’d be in drag.”

From the 02.25.2014 edition of CPNLive’s Talk To Solomon


h/t:  Brian Tashman at RWW

Ann Coulter: Obama acts like he’s from Kenya — and weed is a ‘legal retard pill’ (via Raw Story )

President Barack Obama may not be a covert anti-colonialist “Manchurian candidate” from Kenya, but he sure does act like it, according to conservative author Ann Coulter. “I know we’ve spent seven years trying to persuade right-wingers, no,…

Birther tea party rep. refuses to stand near Obama photo, moves away U.S. flag (via Raw Story )

A tea party-back Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri this week asked that a flag be moved because she did not want to stand near a photo of President Barack Obama during a press conference. According to the Columbia…



 

Conservative activist Jim Garrow continues to insist that he is a former intelligence officer who knows that President Obama killed Andrew Breitbart, Michael Hastings and Tom Clancy…and tried to nuke America.

Now he he’s claiming that Obama’s “thugs” murdered Loretta Fuddy, the Hawaii health director whose recent death in a plane crash has become the focus of birther conspiracy theories.

Conservative writer and talk show host Erik Rush actually believes Garrow’s theory about Fuddy’s “mysterious” death, and had him on his show yesterday to discuss his belief that she may have been murdered just like Breitbart.

“There are no coincidences with this administration and with the thugs that have brought Chicago tactics to bear,” Garrow said. “We’re seeing murder.”

Later in the broadcast, Garrow said that Fuddy might have been killed with neurotoxins before the plane crash.

From the 12.12.2013 edition of Full Contact With Erik Rush:

h/t: RWW

This year, after switching its nominating process from a primary election to a convention system, the Virginia Republican Party selected three candidates for statewide office who are far out of the mainstream. The state convention, attended by the party’s diehard members, was an opportunity for the Tea Party wing of the party and Religious Right activists to push the state GOP even further to the ideological fringe, even after the bruising the party took nationwide in the 2012 election.

Now, Virginia voters will have the chance to vote on a GOP ticket so far to the right that it would make Barry Goldwater cringe.

Undermining Abortion Rights

Gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli, the state attorney general and a former state senator, boasts that he entered politics by challenging a Republican lawmaker in a primary over the incumbent’s pro-choice views. After he was elected to the state senate, Cuccinelli tried to pass a personhood law which would criminalize all abortions in every case, along with several forms of contraception and fertility treatments. He has warned that God will punish America over abortion rights, which he compared to slavery, and has embarked on several endeavors as state senator and attorney general to close clinics that provide abortions and to defund Planned Parenthood.

E.W. Jackson, the minister and failed US Senate candidate who won the party’s nomination for lieutenant governor, earned plaudits from the far-right for arguing that Planned Parenthood is worse than the Ku Klux Klan . He fears that due to health care reform “abortion will increase like a plague upon the land” and claims anyone who backs a pro-choice candidate is “blaspheming their God.” An advocate of personhood laws, Jackson has slammed abortion and in vitro fertilization as “evils” that carry “the mark of Satan” and are akin to the gross crimes committed by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

The GOP nominee for attorney general, state senator Mark Obenshain, like Cuccinelli backed multiple personhood bill in the General Assembly. He also supported successful legislation requiring invasive, transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. In fact, Obenshain introduced legislation that would make it a crime for a woman to fail to report a miscarriage to the police, punishable by a hefty fine and even prison time. A former board member of James Madison University, he wanted to ban emergency contraceptive pills from the student health center.

Anti-Gay

A hero of the anti-gay Right, Ken Cuccinelli has attacked gay rights at every turn, most recently by taking on the 2003 Supreme Court ruling that struck down sodomy laws. Cuccinelli describes homosexuality as “intrinsically wrong,” “against nature and harmful to society” and as representing a “personal challenge,” arguing that gay people can’t have a family. Cuccinelli led the effort to pass a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, which he said would lead to polygamy, and denounced HIV/AIDS education.

“When you look at the homosexual agenda, I cannot support something that I believe brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul,” Cuccinelli said.

He has worked to stop gay people from adopting children and extending health benefits to their partners, and even tried to stop college and universities from offering protections for LGBT employees.

Obenshain opposed a bill to protect LGBT employees from job discrimination three times in the state senate. Receiving a perfect rating from the state’s chief anti-gay group, Obenshain voted in favor of bills that would curb gay adoption rights and undermine anti-discrimination policies at public universities. The state senator also withdrew his support from a judge whose nomination drew GOP opposition because he is openly gay.

Jackson has built his entire career demonizing gays and lesbians, whom he has called “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”

“Homosexuality is a horrible sin, it poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things that we can think of,” Jackson said. “It also attempts to poison our children, divide them from their parents and the teaching of the church and basically turn them into pawns for that movement so that they can sexualize them at the earliest possible age.” He maintained that gays have “recruited” black men, warning that homosexuality is “killing black men by the thousands.”

Jackson has also linked homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality, and suggested that God will punish the military over the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, calling the discriminatory policy’s repeal “an abomination.”

Government Shutdown

Government shutdown architects Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Jim DeMint, a former US senator from South Carolina who now leads the Heritage Foundation, are two of Ken Cuccinelli’s favorite politicians. He told a conservative gathering, “I’m glad Ted Cruz was here. That was a great win. You know, you get more Ted Cruzes in there to back up Jim DeMint and you have less to worry about. You want to elect people you don’t have to lobby. Sort of launch and leave missiles, politically speaking. Ted Cruz is a good one, and he’s a smart missile.”

During the shutdown, Cuccinelli joined Cruz at a Religious Right group’s event, even while saying he opposed Cruz’s strategy. But Cuccinelli actually backed a similar strategy in Virginia, urging anti-tax Republicans to take their budget standoff “right to the brink, over the brink.”

E.W. Jackson also previously supported government shutdowns. At a 2011 Tea Party rally with House Republicans, he chanted “cut it or shut it” during that year’s budget standoff. During this year’s shutdown he addressed the Values Voter Summit, an event where speaker after speaker, including Cruz, praised the GOP’s shutdown strategy.

Restricting Voting Rights

Cuccinelli said that Virginia, the home of Massive Resistance?, should no longer be subject to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He is also a huge supporter of voter ID laws that encumber voting among people of color, along with urban, young and elderly voters. While serving in the state senate, he fought against efforts to improve access to absentee ballots and restore voting rights to people who had served time for nonviolent felony convictions.

Obenshain will continue Cuccinelli’s legacy of undermining the rights of voters if he’s elected to replace him. The Washington Post editorial board writes of Obenshain: “In the legislature, he has been a champion of the GOP push for more restrictive voter ID laws, which would reduce access for poor and minority voters. (There is zero evidence of voters misrepresenting their identity at the Virginia polls, the ostensible justification for such laws.)”

Anti-Science

Exhibiting just how his extreme ideology influences his policymaking, Cuccinelli used his office as attorney general to hound climate scientists who worked at the state’s universities. One scientist who was relentlessly attacked by Cuccinelli said that the GOP gubernatorial candidate wanted to “intimidate clime scientists” and “chill the scientific discourse” around climate change. Courts sided with the University of Virginia over Cuccinelli, and also rebuffed his legal challenge to the EPA’s regulations of greenhouse gases.

Obenshain readily defended Cuccinelli’s witch hunt against climate scientists, opposing a bill to prevent the attorney general’s office from pursuing cases against academic inquiries. He told one Tea Party activist that he “absolutely” would pursue another lawsuit against the EPA and investigation into climate scientists.

Jackson, for his part, denies the theory of evolution, arguing that the theory must be wrong because chimpanzees do not have a spoken language. He similarly rejects climate science as “silly” and “hysteria,” arguing that God would prevent climate change. “As if God’s gonna let mankind destroy the planet with SUV’s,” he told National Review’s Betsy Woodruff, who also notes that Jackson has preached that yoga and meditation could lead to demonic possession.

Anti-Obama Conspiracy Theories

Cuccinelli has flirted with the birther conspiracy theory (that President Obama was born in Kenya instead of Hawaii) and told a birther activist that it “doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility” that Obama was born in Kenya, even offering the activist legal advice. He also warned people against registering for a Social Security number “because it is being used to track you,” and endorsed the conspiracy theory that Obama won re-election through voter fraud.

Jackson, meanwhile, suggested that Obama is an “anti-America, anti-Christian” Communist and an anti-Semite with “Muslim sensibilities ” and “a lot of sympathy for radical Islam.”

“He certainly does have a lot of affection and favor for Islam,” Jackson said. “I’ve heard him talk about Islam in ways I’ve never heard him talk about America, and Christianity, I don’t even think about that with him, I really don’t, come on, that’s a joke.”

“We are dealing with an evil presence,” Jackson said of Obama.

He has also claimed that Obama is in “ rebellion…against God ” and supports “an agenda worthy of the Antichrist ,” tweeting that Obama would “like to be” the “Pres. of Sodom & Gomorrah.” Jackson also believes Obama “will force schools to start teaching all children homosexuality.”

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

america-wakiewakie:

Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), told a tea party group in 2012 he thinks President Barack Obama should go “back to Kenya.”

From the Huffington Post:

Cruz can be seen making the comments in a video posted by YouTube user Michael Openshaw in Sept. 2012 and reported by Mother Jones Thursday. In the clip, Cruz calls America a “Christian Nation” and urges the tea party group to vote only for Republicans in the upcoming 2012 election.

Cruz has gotten more involved with conservative politics since his son was elected to the U.S. Senate. In April 2013, Cruz sat down with the Heritage Foundation to discuss Republican’s Latino outreach.

Cruz has also become more public about his thoughts on Obama. In a YouTube video posted in July 2013, Cruz can be seen repeatedly comparing Obama to Fidel Castro.

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

In April, Rafael Cruz, the father of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), spoke to the tea party of Hood County, which is southwest of Fort Worth, and made a bold declaration: The United States is a “Christian nation.” The septuagenarian businessman turned evangelical pastor did not choose to use the more inclusive formulation “Judeo-Christian nation.” Insisting that the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution “were signed on the knees of the framers” and were a “divine revelation from God,” he went on to say, “yet our president has the gall to tell us that this is not a Christian nation…The United States of America was formed to honor the word of God.” Seven months earlier, Rafael Cruz, speaking to the North Texas Tea Party on behalf of his son, who was then running for Senate, called President Barack Obama an “outright Marxist” who “seeks to destroy all concept of God,” and he urged the crowd to send Obama “back to Kenya.”

omments uttered by a politician’s parent may have little relevance in assessing an elected official. But it’s appropriate to take Rafael Cruz into account when evaluating his son the senator. Ted Cruz, the tea party champion who almost single-handedly spurred the recent government shutdown, has often deployed his father as a political asset. He routinely cites his Cuban-born father, who emigrated from the island nation in 1957, when he discusses immigration and justifies his opposition to the bipartisan reform bill that passed in the Senate. (Ted Cruz hails his father as a symbol of the “American dream” who came to the United States legally—though Rafael Cruz began his career in the oil industry in Canada, where Ted was born.) Moreover, Ted Cruz campaigns with his father; he had him in tow on a recent trip to Iowa (where the evangelical vote is crucial in GOP presidential primaries). Rafael Cruz regularly speaks to tea party and Republican groups in Texas as a surrogate for his son; during Ted Cruz’s 2012 Senate campaign, his father was dispatched to events and rallies across the state to whip up support. And thanks to Ted Cruz’s political rise, Rafael has become a conservative star in his own right. He has been prominently featured—and praised—at events held by prominent right-wing outfits, such as FreedomWorks and Heritage Action. What Rafael Cruz says—especially when he is speaking for his son—matters.

The elder Cruz is a North Texas-based pastor who directs a small outfit called Purifying Fire Ministries.* Rafael Cruz’s inflammatory remarks and fundamentalist views have recently started to attract increased media attention. A few weeks ago, he sparked headlines when he told a gathering of Republicans in Colorado that Obama has vowed to “side with the Muslims,” that Obamacare mandates “suicide counseling” for the elderly, and that gay marriage is a plot to make “government your god.”

sermon Rafael Cruz delivered in August 2012 at an Irving, Texas, mega-church has also come under scrutiny. At that event, he asserted that Christian true believers are “anointed” by God to “take dominion” of the world in “every area: society, education, government, and economics.” He was preaching a particular form of evangelical Christianity known as Dominionism (a.k.a. Christian Reconstructionism) that holds that these “anointed” Christians are destined to take over the government and create in practice, if not in official terms, a theocracy. Rafael Cruz also endorsed the evangelical belief known as the “end-time transfer of wealth"—that is, as a prelude to the second coming of Christ, God will seize the wealth of the wicked and redistribute it to believers. But, Cruz told the flock, don’t expect to benefit from this unless you tithe mightily. Introducing Cruz at this service, Christian Zionist pastor Larry Huch offered this bottom line: In the coming year, he predicted, "God will begin to rule and reign. Not Wall Street, not Washington, God’s people and his kingdom will begin to rule and reign. I know that’s why God got Rafael’s son elected, Ted Cruz, the next senator." (In July, several prominent Dominionist pastors at a ceremony in Iowa blessed and anointed Ted Cruz, rendering him, in their view, a “king” who would help usher in the kingdom of Christ.)

During his sermon at this church, Rafael Cruz preached that men, not women, are the spiritual leaders of their families: “As God commands us men to teach your wife, to teach your children—to be the spiritual leader of your family—you’re acting as a priest. Now, unfortunately, unfortunately, in too many Christian homes, the role of the priest is assumed by the wife. Why? Because the man had abdicated his responsibility as priest to his family…So the wife has taken up that banner, but that’s not her responsibility. And if I’m stepping on toes, just say, ‘Ouch.’”

As Rafael Cruz recounted at the Hood County tea party event, he had a powerful role in shaping his son, introducing Ted, when he was in middle school, to the Free Enterprise Education Center, where the young Cruz was flooded with Austrian School libertarian economics and archly conservative interpretations of US history. Cruz excelled in this setting and went on to become part of a traveling road show of teens called the Constitutional Corroborators. They appeared at Rotary Club luncheons across the state to extol the wonders of the free market and the US Constitution. While the Rotarians ate lunch, the whiz kids transcribed from memory the articles of the Constitution on easels placed at the front of the room.

At the Hood County gathering, Rafael Cruz, in full sync with his son’s political stance, attacked RINOs—Republicans In Name Only. He noted that the “wicked” were now ruling the United States. He insisted that “those death panels are in Obamacare,” and that the US government wants “to take all of your money” and confiscate “our fortunes.” He asserted that the Democratic Party promotes “everything that is contrary to the word of God.” He also exclaimed, “Social justice is a cancer. Social justice means you are ruled by whatever the mob does. What social justice does is destroy individual responsibility.”

Pastor Cruz is a fiery speaker whose rhetorical red meat is well-received by hardcore Republican and tea party audiences. He regularly has compared Obama to Fidel Castro and routinely echoes the no-surrender calls of his son. At a “freedom rally” at the Alamo in 2012, he vowed, “We’ve had enough compromise…enough of Establishment Republicans that don’t stand for anything.” Speaking to Houston Republicans in September, he decried John McCain and Mitt Romney, blasting both of the former presidential candidates for having “played dead” when challenging Obama. He blasted McCain for refusing to slam Obama regarding the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright. He asserted that the elderly would be harmed by Obamacare, claiming that “everywhere in the world when socialized medicine has been instituted it takes 12 to 18 months to get any kind of medical proceeding.” (That is not the case with Medicare, a form of socialized health care.) He also declared, “I haven’t heard Obama ask us for our consent when he’s trying to ram Obamacare down our throats”—without noting that Congress voted for the Affordable Care Act. At the Hood County event, Rafael Cruz, a fervent foe of gay rights, vowed that he would be speaking “across this country to support constitutional conservatives to retake the Senate.”

Whether he’s at a prayer breakfast or a tea party rally, Rafael Cruz easily and enthusiastically mixes religion and politics. At an event hosted by the National Federation of Republican Assemblies in September, he contended that after the 2012 election, God told him, “If we could blame one group of people for what happened in the last election, it is the pastors.” By that he meant that, for decades, too many Christian leaders have remained on the political sidelines, declining to do combat with liberals and Democrats. Consequently, he explained, prayer has been removed from schools, legalized abortion has continued, and gay marriage has come to pass in several states. He insisted that the advancement of Christianity (his fundamentalist version of it) depends on political battle, noting the need not just for a “spiritual savior” but a “political savior.” (The idea of states’ rights, he said, was based in the bible.) Obama, Cruz proclaimed, believes “government is your god.” When Cruz was a keynote speaker at a tax day rally hosted by Texas tea partiers in April, he told the crowd that conservative Christians need to take over “every school board in this nation.” At a Texas tea party rally in September 2012, he claimed that Obama has “a clear agenda…to destroy American exceptionalism”—and “to achieve a “worldwide redistribution of wealth” and “make us subject to the United Nations.”

The United States as a “Christian nation”; death panels; social justice a cancer; gay rights a conspiracy; the “wicked” in charge in Washington; women inferior to men as spiritual leaders; Obama a Muslim-favoring, God-hating, Marxist Kenyan; End Times; a UN worldwide dictatorship; states’ rights; free markets over all—Rafael Cruz blends the far reaches of extreme conservatism and Christian fundamentalism. He embodies the full synthesis of the tea party and the religious right. In fact, he has noted that the rise of the religious right in Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign “was the precursor of the tea party.” Rafael Cruz may well be key to understanding the ideas, desires, and long-term aims that drive Ted Cruz—a politician who is exerting an outsized influence on the GOP. 

At the least, Cruz ought to have to explain whether he shares the more extreme views of his No. 1 surrogate. Asked to comment on Rafael Cruz’s remarks—particularly his statement that the United States is a “Christian nation” and his call for Obama to be shipped back to Kenya—Sen. Cruz’s office requested citations for these quotes. After receiving the citations, Sean Rushton, a spokesperson for Cruz, replied, “These selective quotes, taken out of context, mischaracterize the substance of Pastor Cruz’s message. Like many Americans, he feels America is on the wrong track.” Rushton added, “Pastor Cruz does not speak for the senator.”

"People here are trying to figure out Ted Cruz," a  Democratic senator recently told me. "And a lot of them are saying, ‘He went to Princeton, Harvard Law—he doesn’t really believe what he says.’ But I think he does. All you have to do is look at his father. So much of our life is mirroring. And Ted Cruz is mirroring his father."


h/t: David Corn at Mother Jones

Never missing an opportunity to stoke anti-Obama conspiracy theories, American Family Association radio host Sandy Rios yesterday used the massacre at a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, to suggest that President Obama was born in the country and is related to a leading Kenyan political figure.

The implications of this are pretty frightening and of course it’s interesting that this is the country from which our President hails. This is his lineage. We know his cousin Raila Odinga is a Muslim communist. It’s just amazing. I think he’s the Prime Minister right now.

The AFA commentator’s claim that Obama “hails” from Kenya is not the first time she promoted birtherism, and her suggestion that Obama is related to the “Muslim communist” Raila Odinga most likely comes from discredited chain emails. Odinga is Kenya’s former prime minister and is neither a Muslim (he’s an evangelical Christian) nor a communist

The right-wing rumor mill has claimed that Obama donated to Odinga’s presidential campaign (false), endorsed Odinga’s candidacy (false) and campaigned for him (false). While Odinga has claimed to be Obama’s cousin, they are not biologically related and it is likely that Odinga was simply trying to garner publicity for his campaign.

The myth-busting website Snopes.com found that “no evidence has been offered to document that claim,” noting that Odinga was not the only candidate for president to claim to be Obama’s cousin and that Obama’s uncle denies that they are blood relatives.

From the 09.23.2013 edition of AFR’s Sandy Rios In The Morning:

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW