On Wednesday, the conservative group Americans for Prosperity was forced to apologize and retract a TV ad in Colorado that used a photograph of a grim-faced Democratic Sen. Mark Udall standing alongside a tense President Obama. It’s a common trope this election season, as Republicans and their allies do all they can to yoke Democratic hopefuls to a president of middling popularity.
The spot blamed Udall for cancellation of nearly 335,000 health insurance policies in Colorado under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, the blame-laying being the second element in the GOP’ election season one-two punch.
The problem is the photograph was taken two days after the July 2012 mass shootings at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, when Udall and Obama visited a hospital to console the injured and families of the victims. Gov. John Hickenlooper, who was also on the scene, was cropped out of the advertisement.
Several families of the victims were quick to condemn the use of the photo, calling it “an utter disgrace.”
“To insinuate the somber expressions were for anything other than their compassionate response to our heartbreak is beyond unconscionable,” the families said in a written statement.
(This article posted in its entirely by permission of the author, Carol Morgan)
Religious liberty is at the very heart of what it means to be an American, yet Texas conservatives and our state’s activist pastors have conveniently forgotten that.
Lately, it feels as if Texas is waging some sort of religious war on a number of different fronts.
Throughout history, politicians have embedded a few religious references in their speeches, but nothing close to what we’re seeing lately. Beginning in earnest with Ronald Reagan’s nomination in 1980 and continued by Bill Clinton, “Religispeak” has evolved into a must-have tool for every conservative’s campaign rhetoric and policy effort.
In the same way that sex sells in the media, politicians discovered that religion does also.
It was last fall when Tom Delay’s conviction was overturned and an article in the Dallas Morning News quoted him as saying God is calling him to lead a constitutional revival. He referred to his legal battle and sentencing as his “time in the wilderness.”
And then…he remarked how glad he would be to get his concealed carry license back.
Houston’s very own Dan Patrick may spew hate and venom on his radio show, but on the stump, he claims that God talks to him via Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson.
Rick Perry referred to himself as the misunderstood prophet after he was prayed over by the obscure pastors of the New Apostolic Reformation movement.
And how could we forget the dynamic duo of Senator Ted Cruz and his preacher-prophet father, Rafael Cruz? Pastor Cruz has taken his tent show across Texas claiming his son is anointed by God to lead the nation, peppering his speeches with the familiar money-sewn-in-his-underwear fable. Senator Cruz continually foments the mistaken idea of the war on Christianity.
Ted Cruz and his delusional father share a common trait; it’s called hucksterism: aggressive, showy, and devious methods to promote or sell a product. Hucksters, especially the religious ones, employ their theatrical skills to scam money, obtain power, and obtain the unflinching adoration from the non-thinking and naïve.
Just a reminder to Senator Cruz: Political extremists have short careers that end badly.
If you don’t believe it, look back at the controversial careers of Father Coughlin, Billy Sunday, Gerald L.K. Smith, Ralph Easley, Merwin Hart, Gerald Winrod, Joseph McCarthy, or George Wallace.
They employ the word “God” like the 1950’s advertising slogan: “2 out of 3 doctors recommend…” In their minds, the God-speak immediately cloaks them in credibility. It’s like fairy dust; rhetoric sprinkled with scriptural references to conjure up magical things that work in their favor.
In ancient times, there were proselytizing heretics on the street corners. Fast forward to the present and the ancient street corners have become the media, political meetings, sound bytes, and photo ops. Embedded within all of it are the political attention-seekers who wear their religion like a Boy Scout merit badge.
When things are going badly, street corner politi-preachers ratchet up the God-speak, gin-up the faithful into a wild-eyed-snake-handling frenzy, an odd anomaly of Friday Night Lights and the PTL Club.
This month, a disturbing ingredient was added to the religious-political oil and water mixture, when the Texas Renewal Project met in Austin. The TRP is an offshoot of the Texas Restoration Project, the brainchild of Laurence White, pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Northwest Houston.
It’s designed to take activist-pastors to a new level, transforming religious congregations into raging pulsating political machines, megaphones for the extreme right. Wealthy donors bankroll these events for pastors and their wives through various foundations, one of which is Houston’s Niemoller Foundation. This is a dangerous and growing element, skirting around the tax-exempt status of churches and religious organizations, blurring the line between church and state.
With their unrestrained worship of the Constitution they realize this, but the cacophony of the cheerleading squads of the political demagoguery drowns out everything else.
All of this cultivates some unpleasant memories of Tomás de Torquemada, the Spanish grand inquisitor, whose mission was to restore Christianity among the people in the late 15th century.
The last hurrah of Texas’ Christian soldiers marching off to war could backfire for the right’s extremists because Texas is a changing cultural-religious landscape with fewer and fewer of its citizens claiming religious beliefs and more Texas newcomers who identify as Hindus, Buddhists and Islamists. Perhaps it means that Texas’ tent revival politics and activist pastor will have a short shelf-life.
Or perhaps, it means that God doesn’t need your help after all.
An employee at a leading Republican consulting firm used by lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick, Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Donna Campbell, among others, registered a political action committee with the state by the name of “Boats ‘N Hoes PAC” earlier this month.
Shaun Nowacki, listed as comptroller for Blakemore and Associates consulting firm, registered the PAC with the Texas Ethics Commission on April 1, according to state records.
Allen Blakemore, the principal for the firm, is the “senior strategist” for Patrick’s lieutenant governor campaign and was hired by Abbott, the Republican nominee for governor, for eight different campaigns beginning in 1991, according to Blakemore’s website.
Nowacki and Blakemore each did not immediately return calls requesting comment.
Patrick, a Houston Republican, is in a heated runoff with incumbent David Dewhurst and drew statewide attention Tuesday for his immigration debate with San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.
The PAC’s name is likely a nod to a popular phrase coined in the 2008 movie “Step Brothers.”
“That’s a horrible name,” said Jessica Luther, a writer and activist in Austin. “Why would you use the word ‘hoes,’ which is obviously derogatory toward women, in a PAC name? The Texas GOP rarely surprises me, but this one actually does.”
New Mexico governor Susana Martinez has made it very clear that she holds all opposition and dissent in absolute contempt.
In the words of Valcav Havel, “They cannot tell the difference between dissent and naked terrorism.”
Allen Clifton getting to the heart of the matter:
I’ve had more debates with Republicans than I can even recall. I’ve talked to sensible Republicans who give me the slightest of hope for the GOP and I’ve talked to such radical, right-wing fanatics that it’s actually terrifying how these people are among us — free to do as they please.
But there’s still a trait I recognize within all of them, and I honestly believe it’s the root of the vast majority of what makes many of them so hopelessly ignorant about the world around them.
Conservatives simply lack the ability to see the world through any vantage point other than their own.
They can’t grasp what it’s like to be someone else. They don’t get that just because they were raised a certain way, that doesn’t mean everyone should follow that same set of rules. They don’t understand that just because they are capable of something, doesn’t mean everyone else is.
More analysis at link.
They ask her the usual questions about her views on the new show, her views on politics, hunting, the family, you know the drill.
However the first part of the article focuses on something that we know Palin REALLY cares about. Her appearance:
Sarah Palin is walking through a suite in the Peninsula New York Hotel in midtown Manhattan trying to find the great outdoors. The former GOP vice presidential candidate is being photographed before the launch of her new reality series, “Amazing America,” which features human-interest tales about outdoor adventures, ranging from a blacksmith championship to a car race among pastors. But the suite doesn’t even have a landscape painting. She finally finds a window to pose in front of, but it’s facing a brick wall, not the wilderness.
Lets also get rid of the minimum wage and mandatory lunch breaks as well. Workers have the right to starve to death.
Wisconites tired of relaxing on weekends and staying home on federal holidays are in luck: On Thursday, GOP state Sen. Glenn Grothman announced his challenge to 18*-term moderate Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.). In a conservative district that went to Mitt Romney by seven points in 2012, Grothman hopes to channel dissatisfaction with Republicans in Congress whom he believes haven’t done enough to slow down the Obama administration’s policy agenda. But he comes with some baggage of his own.
In January, Grothman introduced legislation to eliminate a state requirement that workers get at least one day off per week. “Right now in Wisconsin, you’re not supposed to work seven days in a row, which is a little ridiculous because all sorts of people want to work seven days a week,” he told the Huffington Post. Eliminating days off is a long-running campaign from Grothman. Three years earlier, he argued that public employees should have to work on Martin Luther King Day.
I think by now most who follow my writing know that I am not a fan of creationists. In fact, the more I speak with several of them, the more I think these people are suffering from severe mental illness. They’ll literally say that all scientific data is “just a theory” and that none of it is provable, yet they’ll cling to the “truths” inside of the Bible because they view the Bible as some kind of factual history book.
When I attack creationists, they think I’m attacking Christianity - which isn’t true at all. As most people who follow me know, I’m a Christian. I’ve probably written nearly 100 articles defending my faith.
Because I believe Christianity goes far beyond the Bible. In fact, while I won’t deny that I do believe the Bible does have some basis for facts hidden within its text, I see it more as a guide book for those who might need direction. I don’t see the Bible as a word for word factual depiction of history. That’s ludicrous.
And while these people might call themselves Christians, and they’re more than free to do just that, I can’t view these people as Christians. I see them as people suffering from some form of mental condition. And while that might sound harsh, it’s just the way that I feel.
To really believe that dinosaurs and man walked the Earth together; that a man named Noah built an ark that housed every animal on Earth and lived to be 900 years old; that the science behind the speed of light isn’t valid; that the Earth is only 6,000 years old; and the Earth was made in 6, 24 hour days is insane.
- See more at: forwardprogressives.com
I’ve seen some surreal moments in our nation’s capitol, but few can compare to watching Republican members of Congress lecture John Holdren last week on the meaning of “science.” Here are some highlights.
Holdren, the president’s science advisor, was the lone witness at a hearing held by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to review the White House’s fiscal year 2015 budget request for science agencies.
You can watch the two-hour video here —or better yet, don’t. We’ve watched it for you. Plus, you don’t want to be more embarrassed than you already are about a science committee that includes a congressman who describes evolution as a “lie from the pit of Hell” and another who claims that climate change is a liberal plot to “create global government to control our lives.”
Last year the Michigan legislature started taking money from the Michigan Department of Transport and assigning it to ‘special projects.’ To everyone’s complete surprise most of that money went to Districts represented by Republicans.
The GOP really does think in term of winners and losers, and that losers suffer what they must.