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Posts tagged "Rick Perry"

Maddow Urges Viewers To Read Texas Press About The Case.

From the 08.21.2014 edition of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show:


BREAKING: Here’s Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Mugshot, Do With It What You Will, The First Sitting Governor of Texas To Be Indicted In Over 100 Years
On Tuesday afternoon Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) turned himself in at the Travis County Criminal Justice Center to be officially processed for charges of abuse of power. He spoke to the press and vowed to fight the charges, before entering the building to get fingerprinted and have his mugshot taken.
You can read more about his indictment here, but what you’ve really come for is the mugshot, so let’s just cut to the chase.
See above. [Mediaite]


BREAKING: Here’s Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Mugshot, Do With It What You Will, The First Sitting Governor of Texas To Be Indicted In Over 100 Years

On Tuesday afternoon Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) turned himself in at the Travis County Criminal Justice Center to be officially processed for charges of abuse of power. He spoke to the press and vowed to fight the charges, before entering the building to get fingerprinted and have his mugshot taken.

You can read more about his indictment here, but what you’ve really come for is the mugshot, so let’s just cut to the chase.

See above. [Mediaite]


A state grand jury has issued an indictment against Texas Governor Rick Perry, charging him with abuse of his office and coercion of a public official. The indictment handed down on Friday afternoon carries two felony charges.

The story began last year when a member of the state’s public integrity unit pled guilty to a drunk driving charge. According to the Texas Tribune, Perry threatened to withhold millions in state funding from the unit, if the member, a Democrat, did not resign. She refused to step down, and Perry made good on his threat, using his line-item veto power to strike $7.5 million in funding for the unit from the state budget.

A liberal watchdog group filed the complaint against Perry, arguing that the veto was political retribution, which makes it a crime under Texas law.

The Travis County grand jury charged Perry with abuse of official capacity, which is a first-degree felony that carries a maximum punishment up to 99 years, according to the AP. The second charge, coercion of a public official, carries a sentence of 2 to 10 years.

Source: Dashiell Bennett for The Wire

H/T: Hunter at Daily Kos

h/t: Ed Kilgore at TPM

Mike Huckabee told a gathering of anti-gay activists that the United States is becoming like communist China and defended his recent claim that President Obama deserves to be impeached.

Huckabee was speaking at the third annual Family Leadership Summit, hosted by The Family Leader and sponsored by anti-gay groups like the National Organization for Marriage and FRC Action. The event was held in Ames, Iowa, and was attended by potential 2016 Republican candidates including Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Rick Perry, and Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Speaking on August 9 about his recent China trip, Huckabee noted the country’s policies regarding trade, human rights, one child and forced abortions, and observed: "After we came back, I assessed that what was most disturbing was that China was becoming a lot more like the United States used to be, and America was becoming a whole lot more like China used to be." Huckabee added that America, like China whitewashing the Tiananmen Square massacre, has “completely rewritten our history” to remove God from textbooks. The Fox News host has made similar pronouncements on his show and elsewhere in the right-wing media.

During a media availability, Huckabee defended his recent declaration that President Obama has committed impeachable offenses. Huckabee began by claiming “I don’t think we’re going to have an impeachment, don’t think we even should because there’s no point and it’s not gonna go through.” However, Huckabee still argued President Obama is worthy of impeachment because of his alleged abuse of “the basic constitutional powers,” citing Obamacare and the DREAM Act.  

The Family Leader is an anti-gay group headed by the virulently homophobic activist Bob Vander Plaats. The Iowa group gained notoriety during the 2012 presidential election when it asked candidates to sign a homophobic “marriage vow.” The pledge attacked same-sex relationships as a choice and threat to “individual and public health.” The vow also suggested African-American children were better when they were slaves (the group later retracted that language). 

Vander Plaats has said gays are a “public health risk” similar to smoking, and claimed of marriage quality: “[W]hat we know is it goes against the law of nature, and the law of nature’s God, which means, again, it’s against the Constitution.” He warned against attending an anti-bullying conference, claiming that doing so “is exchanging truth for acceptance and tolerance of harmful behavior.”

Huckabee is a longtime ally of Vander Plaats, who served as Iowa chair for the former Arkansas governor’s presidential campaign in 2008. He endorsed and fundraised for Vander Plaats’ unsuccessful 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

Huckabee regularly speaks at gatherings of anti-gay groups. The pairing is natural, as Huckabee has said he opposes marriage equality because of “the ick factor,” labeled same-sex relationships an “aberration” and once called for AIDS patients to be quarantined.

h/t: Eric Hananoki at MMFA

Conservative pundit Erick Erickson, who once called a Supreme Court justice a “goat fucking child molester” and has been criticized by coworkers for sexist and incendiary remarks, is trying to become a Republican kingmaker. Many Republicans are happily promoting his endorsements, paying his site for advertising, and attending his events.

On August 7-9, Republicans such as Gov. Rick Perry, Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Jim Bridenstine, Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, and RNC chair Reince Priebus will attend Erickson’s 2014 RedState Gathering in Fort Worth, Texas. Previous speakers at the annual event have included Sen. Tim ScottGov. Bobby Jindal, and Sen. Marco Rubio.

Erickson is a Fox News contributor and the editor-in-chief of, where he, according to his biography, writes “candidly about and challenge the Republican establishment as well as rally conservatives to push their agenda at both the federal and state level.” He believes that “conservatives must unite to clean up the Republican Party. If they don’t, voters will keep rejecting Republican pseudo-socialists in favor of authentic socialists.” His philosophy has led to fights with establishment Republican pundits like Karl Rove and GOP apparatuses like the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

That Erickson would want the Republican Party to tack even further to the right isn’t surprising. This is the same pundit that cites Jesus to deny the threat of climate change, endorses homophobia, and believes Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme” and death panels are real.

But his commentary goes beyond extreme conservative positions and into the realm of remarks that even his own colleagues find “boorish and obnoxious.”  

Erickson called then-retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter a “goat fucking child molester,” Michelle Obama a “Marxist harpy wife,” and wondered of Washington state: At what point do the people … march down to their state legislator’s house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp?” Comments like that drew a rebuke from then-CNN colleague turned current Fox News colleague Howard Kurtz in 2010.

Fox News host Greta Van Susteren earlier this year called Erickson a “creep” who is “boorish and obnoxious” and “has [a] pattern of being disrespectful to women” after he smeared Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis as “Abortion Barbie.” Van Susteren added that the “jerk” “has never been on TV with me.” Fox News host Megyn Kelly sharply criticized Erickson over his sexist assertion that “when you look at biology” the “male typically is the dominant role.”

Despite that history, numerous Republican politicians have touted Erickson’s endorsements in their election fights. Below are thirteen examples of Republicans running for federal office this year who have proudly accepted Erickson’s help:

  • Alabama congressional candidate Chad Mathis touts Erickson’s endorsement on his website.
  • Georgia congressional candidate Barry Loudermilk writes of Erickson, “Proud to have his support!” Erickson headlined a fundraiser for Loudermilk.
  • Georgia Senate candidate Karen Handel released a radio ad featuring Erickson and saying she was “honored” to be endorsed by him. Erickson also recorded a robocall for Handel.
  • Georgia Senate candidate Rep. Jack Kingston ran a radio ad featuring Erickson.
  • Georgia House candidate Jody Hice held a fundraiser featuring Erickson.
  • Kansas Senate candidate Milton Wolf touts Erickson’s endorsement on his website.
  • Kentucky Senate candidate Matt Bevin touted Erickson’s endorsement on his website.
  • Nebraska Senate candidate Ben Sasse touts Erickson’s endorsement on his website.
  • New Jersey congressional candidate Steve Lonegan touts Erickson’s endorsement on his website, adding: “Ask [sic] Erickson said, Steve can win, but he is going to need your help. Can you pitch in as little as $5 to send a real conservative to Washington, DC?”
  • North Carolina Senate candidate Greg Brannon writes on a fundraising page that he’s supported by Erickson.
  • Oklahoma Senate candidate T.W. Shannon touted Erickson’s endorsement on his website.
  • South Carolina Senate candidate Det Bowers touted Erickson’s endorsement on his website.
  • Texas congressional candidate John Ratcliffe promotes Erickson’s endorsement on his website.

Milton Wolf, who unsuccessfully challenged Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, bought advertising on Erickson’s RedState email list to promote a March fundraising “money bomb.” Wolf’s sponsored email included a message from Erickson, who wrote: “Please take a look at the email below from Dr. Wolf, and consider supporting his cause. With your help, we can win in Kansas!”

Other Republicans who have rented Erickson’s email list include Sen. Rand Paul, Rep. Steve Stockman, Ken Cuccinelli and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.’s advertising page states: “Across the country, we find grassroots candidates and work hard to get them elected.”

In April, Erickson served as the moderator for a Republican Iowa Senate primary debate hosted by a conservative group. Democrats criticized Erickson’s selection, citing his “intolerant” and “hateful” views.

Ratcliffe and Sasse, who were backed by national groups, won their Republican primaries, and several Erickson-backed candidates in the recent Georgia Republican primary were successful. But while many Republican politicians are happy to have his support, Erickson’s endorsement is no guarantee of success for candidates who often enter races as underdogs. Bowers, Brannon, Handel, Kingston, Lonegan, Mathis, Shannon, and Wolf lost their primaries, and Erickson bailed on the sinking candidacy of Matt Bevin as polls closed. 

h/t: Eric Hananoki at MMFA

h/t: Peter Montgomery at RWW



Tony Perkins fancies himself to be a GOP presidential candidate kingmaker, so it will be interesting to see if any not entirely crazy Republicans will join the above careening clown car crowded with the cavalcade of crackpots who failed in 2012, some of whom (Paul, Perry, Santorum) are expected to make a 2016 run. Ted Cruz won last year’s Values Voters Summit presidential straw poll with 42% of the vote, the largest margin ever seen in that poll’s history and light years ahead of runners-up Frothy Mix and Ben Carson, who barely landed in the double digits.


Univision Anchor Tells O'Reilly Putting National Guard Along Border Is 'Absurd And Useless'

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos appeared on this Tuesday’s The O’Reilly Factor to discuss the recent influx of refugees fleeing violence from Central America. Ramos attempted to counter some of Bill-O’s fearmongering and reminded him that sending children back to countries where their lives are in danger is not exactly the Christian way to approach the problem.

He also pointed out that Rick Perry’s latest stunt of deploying 1000 troops to the border is a huge waste of money that’s not going to work anyway. To no one’s surprise, it fell on deaf ears.

Here’s more from Fox’s blog:

As part of a television special on U.S. border security, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos swam across the Rio Grande River to demonstrate how some illegal immigrants enter the United States. Ramos spoke to Bill O’Reilly about his experience.

read more


Exactly a year ago, despite Wendy Davis’ historic 11-hour filibuster that energized pro-choice activists across the country, Texas approved a stringent package of abortion restrictions that represented some of the harshest in the nation. As Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) signed the new anti-abortion law into law, he called it a “very happy, celebratory day.” But since then, there hasn’t been much to celebrate.

The number of clinics in the state has been cut in half over the past year, dropping from 41 to just 20, according to a report from Houston Public Media. Many of those reproductive health facilities — which provided family planning services and routine well woman exams, in addition to abortion services — were forced of out business because they can’t comply with the new law, which requires doctors to obtain admitting privileges from local hospitals. Although that policy is framed in terms of keeping patients safe, medical experts are opposed to Texas’ law because it doesn’t actually do anything to improve women’s health.

Heather Busby, the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, told Houston Public Media that the changing landscape is having serious consequences for the estimated 5.4 million women of reproductive age living in the state. With a dwindling number of clinics available, there are long lines at the facilities that remain open. “We’re seeing people being pushed further into pregnancy, having to leave the state, having to drive and sleep in their cars in parking lots because of these barriers to access,” Busbysaid.

It gets worse. At the beginning of September, another provision of the new law takes effect. Then, clinics will be required to bring their facilities in line with the building codes for ambulatory surgical centers — something that forces them to make unnecessary and costly renovations, like widening hallways and installing air filtration systems. At that point, reproductive health advocates in the state expect the number of abortion clinics to drop to just six; the other 14 facilities won’t be able to afford to make the updates.

None of this is a surprise for the people who have been following the unfolding situation in Texas. For months, abortion providers in the state have been warning that abortion clinics are disappearing, and pointing out that those closures are disproportionately impacting the state’s poorest and most vulnerable residents who don’t necessarily have the means to travel several hours to the nearest abortion provider. In March, when the rural Rio Grande Valley — one of the poorest cities in America — lost its last clinics, advocates called it “a state of emergency for Texas women.”

Now, there are increasing reports of impoverished Texas residents resorting to illegal methods of ending a pregnancy, like buying abortion-inducing drugs on the black market in Mexico. Emergency rooms are suddenly seeing more women suffering from miscarriages — bleeding because they took pills to end their pregnancy outside of the supervision of a doctor. But not everyone can get their hands on those pills. Some women are throwing themselves down the stairs or asking their significant other to punch them in the stomach.

Soon, the crisis won’t be contained within Texas’ borders. Other anti-choice lawmakers have followed in Texas’ footsteps and proposed the exact same type of laws in their own states. In May, Oklahoma and Louisiana became the latest states to approve identical admitting privilege requirements. As these laws sweep the South, abortion clinics are in danger throughout broad swath of the United States. And that’s on top of the dozens of abortion-related restrictions, like mandatory waiting periods, that are already impeding women’s access to health care.

“Every time a law passes there’s a group of women who can still make it over that barrier,” Amy Hagstrom Miller, who runs several reproductive health facilities in Texas, said in a recent interview with Cosmopolitan. “But with each law, that group gets smaller and smaller. With each law, there’s a group of women who get left behind.”

Source: Tara Culp-Ressler for ThinkProgress

Conservative media are pushing the conspiracy theory that the Obama administration deliberately created the humanitarian immigration crisis on the Southern border for political reasons. The rhetoric echoes claims from Republican politicians, most notably Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who said he didn’t want “to be conspiratorial,” but the administration may be “in on this somehow.”

Child migrants have surged across the border in recent months to flee violence in Central America. President Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion to respond to the crisis, as the mass migration has overwhelmed existing detention facilities and border resources.

The president has publicly discouraged the migration, stating in an ABC News interview on June 27: “That is our direct message to the families in Central America: Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it.” PolitiFact called the claim that Obama planned the border crisis “pants on fire” false, writing: “Many of the factors behind the surge of children lie outside the control of the administration. No expert we reached gave any credence to the idea that the administration planned this crisis on the border.”

Gov. Perry has responded to the humanitarian crisis by suggesting the Obama administration is secretly coordinating the effort. In a June 17 Fox News interview with Sean Hannity, Perry said: “We’re doing our part to make sure we can keep our citizens as safe as we can. But the federal government is just absolutely failing. We either have an incredibly inept administration or they’re in on this somehow or another. I hate to be conspiratorial, but how do you move that many people from Central America across Mexico and into the United States without there being a fairly coordinated effort?” 

The potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate subsequently appeared on ABC on July 6 and said Obama may have an “ulterior motive” on the crisis.

Other Republican politicians have also suggested President Obama is deliberately creating the border crisis. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told conspiracy website WND, “If you don’t see them bring reinforcements down there to seal the border, that means that, yes, it’s a Cloward-Piven maneuver to flood the country until we get to the point where we are an open-borders country that welcomes everybody, legal and illegal” (“Cloward-Piven” is a reference to a right-wing conspiracy theory that believes progressives are attempting to overwhelm capitalism, leading to its collapse). Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) similarly claimed it’s “an open secret Obama is trying to flood Texas with illegals to make it into a blue state.” Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) told Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs on June 10 (via Nexis), “Everything that Barack Obama’s doing is intentional, deliberate … This is deliberate, Lou, and all Barack Obama’s asking for is more money to do more of the same.”

Despite evidence to the contrary, many members of the right-wing media have followed their Republican partners in accusing Obama of having “planned” and “orchestrated” the crisis for political gain. Here are ten examples:

Rush Limbaugh Speculates “This Whole Thing Was Planned In Advance By Somebody.” Speaking on the June 24 edition of his radio program, Limbaugh said: “Somebody needs to go to the Oval Office. I don’t know who. I wouldn’t want to be the guy, but somebody better make tracks to the Oval Office right now and tell Obama that this whole thing was planned in advance by somebody. Don’t wait for the newspapers on this — and they’re not gonna trust me when they hear about it.” Limbaugh’s website headlined his remarks, “Obama Regime Planned the Influx of Illegal Alien Children at the Border.” 

Newt Gingrich: There’s A “Deliberate Policy Of Maximizing The Number Of Illegal Immigrants.” The CNN host wrote on his website on June 27 that the crisis “is a direct result of deliberate Obama administration policy that encourages illegal immigration” and “appears to be a deliberate policy of maximizing the number of illegal immigrants allowed to stay in the United States.” Gingrich added: “If you have any doubt consider that the Obama administration is deliberately encouraging this surge in illegal immigration, consider that instead of focusing on controlling the border and stopping people from entering illegally, we now have our government using our tax money to hire ‘escort services for unaccompanied alien children.’”

Sarah Palin: “Opening Our Borders To A Flood Of Illegal Immigrants Is Deliberate.” The Fox News contributor called for Obama’s impeachment in a July 8 post, citing Obama’s allegedly “purposeful” actions with regard to the immigration influx:

Without borders, there is no nation. Obama knows this. Opening our borders to a flood of illegal immigrants is deliberate. This is his fundamental transformation of America. It’s the only promise he has kept. Discrediting the price paid for America’s exceptionalism over our history, he’s given false hope and taxpayer’s change to millions of foreign nationals who want to sneak into our country illegally. Because of Obama’s purposeful dereliction of duty an untold number of illegal immigrants will kick off their shoes and come on in, competing against Americans for our jobs and limited public services. There is no end in sight as our president prioritizes parties over doing the job he was hired by voters to do. Securing our borders is obviously fundamental here; it goes without saying that it is his job

Lou Dobbs: “All Of This Is Orchestrated By This Administration.” Dobbs stated on the June 26 edition of Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs Tonight: “All of this is orchestrated by this administration. Anybody who doesn’t understand that hasn’t got the common sense that, you know, God gave a goat … The fact is that this administration is working in concert with the Central American governments.”

Monica Crowley"He Created This Crisis, He Orchestrated It, And He’s Perpetuating It." The Fox News contributor added on the July 10 edition of Fox Business’ Varney & Co. that Obama “wanted the chaos” to pressure Republicans on immigration reform and to turn red states blue.

Jeanine Pirro: “One Conclusion: Barack Obama Is Intentionally Using The Immigration Crisis As An Excuse To Change The Demographics And Ultimately The Electorate.” Pirro added on the July 12 edition of her Fox News program Justice with Judge Jeanine that Obama is using a “Trojan horse” of children to advance his political party, his agenda and his legacy.”

Peggy Noonan Suggests Obama “Let The Crisis On The Border Build To Put Heat On Republicans.”Noonan accused the president of trickery for political gain in her July 11 Wall Street  Journal column.

Allen West: “A Planned Event By The Obama Administration.” The Fox News contributor and former Florida congressman wrote on his website on July 3, “it seem [sic] harder to believe it was not a planned event by the Obama administration. That’s not that conspiracy theory - it’s trend analysis.” West wrote on July 14: “I believe the whole immigrant surge is purposeful” and asked if it’s to turn red states blue.

Dinesh D’Souza: Obama Wanted Border Chaos To Put “Republicans On The Defensive.” The conservative filmmaker and campaign finance felon claimed on Fox News on July 15 that Obama wants the crisis to “put the Republicans on the defensive and say, listen, either you give me amnesty or I’m just going to let these people start coming across the border and there’s nothing you can do about it.” 

Bryan Fischer: “This Is All Deliberate On The Part Of President Obama.” American Family Association’s Fischer added on the July 14 edition of his program that it was part of his “anti-American agenda” to transform the country.

h/t: Eric Hananoki at MMFA


Face The Nation: Rep. Gutierrez Destroys GOP Border Crisis Lies

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez has been a consistent champion for immigration reform. He’s passionate and he’s great at cutting through all the nonsensical talking points Republicans have crafted about this crisis.

He appeared on Face the Nation right after Governor Rick Perry this morning to counter the ridiculous claims Republicans are making. By now, you know the talking points, but just for clarity, here they are along with Gutiérrez’s response.

Obama’s executive order about DREAMers caused the crisis - Gutierrez: One of these things is not like the other. There is a clear difference between kids being brought here by their parents years ago, growing up in this country, being educated here, and the kids running from terrible situations now.

The border isn’t secure - Gutierrez: Border security isn’t the problem and we don’t need the National Guard at the border. These kids are turning themselves into the border patrol. They’re refugees, not crossing the border illegally. Further, the Obama administration deports twice the number of people crossing the border.

Demonizing the children - Gutierrez reminded Rick Perry and the rest of the Republicans that these are children, and the 2002 law, renewed in 2008 is being followed.

read more

h/t: Paul Rosenberg at Salon