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Tom Perkins #fundie thinkprogress.org

Asked for an idea that could “change the world” by FORTUNE’s Adam Lashinsky, billionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins told an audience at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Thursday that Americans shouldn’t be able to vote unless they pay taxes and that the wealthy should have more votes.
“The Tom Perkins system is: You don’t get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes,” Perkins said. “But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How’s that?” Watch the full interview here.
The audience laughed at the idea, though CNN Money notes that the billionaire did not indicate that he was joking. Afterwards, he suggested that he was being purposely controversial, “I intended to be outrageous, and it was,” he said, adding that the comments “make you more angry than my letter to the Wall Street Journal.”
Last month, Perkins used a Holocaust analogy to describe his concerns for the safety of the top 1 percent of income earners, writing, “I would call attention to the parallels of Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich.’”

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Former Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) #conspiracy thinkprogress.org

Former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) has joined a growing far-right smear campaign against the students who survived last week’s massacre in a Parkland, Florida high school.

Since the shooting, which killed 17 people, the students have become outspoken advocates for gun control to prevent future acts of violence.

Kingston attacked the students as mere stooges for “left-wing groups who have an agenda” during an appearance on CNN Tuesday morning. Kingston added he believed George Soros was actually orchestrating the students’ activism.

Kingston’s claims were met with disbelief by Alisyn Camerota. “Jack, I’m sorry. I have to correct you. I was down there. I talked to these kids. These kids were wildly motivated,” Camerota said.

Kingston made similar claims on Twitter, suggesting the survivors were being manipulated by Soros, Antifa, and the DNC.

O really? “Students” are planning a nationwide rally? Not left wing gun control activists using 17yr kids in the wake of a horrible tragedy?
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Milo Yiannopoulos #conspiracy thinkprogress.org

Milo Yiannopoulous, the former Breitbart writer who repeatedly collaborated with white supremacists, has been making appearances on Sky News Australia, a television company owned by News Corp Australia. It is, effectively, the Murdoch-owned Australian edition of Fox News.

Yiannopoulous has started his own media company, Milo INC, which Robert Mercer is funding. Mercer has emerged as the most important funder of the far right: he made billions with his quantitative hedge fund called Renaissance Technologies, and bankrolls Breitbart as well as Trump’s campaign and legal funds.

In his most recent appearance on Sky News Australia, Yiannopoulous advanced a wild conspiracy about the Las Vegas mass shooting that left 59 people dead. Yiannopoulous said there was an “extraordinary lack of curiosity in the media” about the shooting because the perpetrator was a white man. He said the media “stopped asking about the security guard who went missing and then appeared on Ellen.” During that appearance, Yiannopoulous said, the guard was “sweating and panting like he’d been briefed to say certain things and not to say others.” He added that “Ellen, of course, has a relationship with the hotel chain.”

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Andy Kessler #fundie thinkprogress.org

(Not new, but notable)

According to a hedge fund manager writing in the Wall Street Journal, homelessness isn’t caused by deep-seated inequities in society, but rather by people like his teenage son who volunteer at homeless shelters.

Andy Kessler, who founded the billion-dollar Palo Alto investment firm Velocity Capital Management, penned an op-ed Monday in which he mocked young people for volunteering, arguing that they were delusional for thinking their efforts would make a difference. Instead, Kessler contended, they should try to make as much money as possible and trust that economic growth will help the world more than volunteering.

To illustrate his argument, Kessler points to his 16-year-old son, who has been volunteering at a homeless shelter. Though his son wants to do good, Kessler writes that it’s volunteers like him who are keeping homeless people on the streets “because someone is feeding, clothing and, in effect, bathing them.” The answer, instead, is old-fashioned trickle-down economics:

My 16-year-old son volunteers with an organization that feeds the homeless and fills kits with personal-hygiene supplies for them. It’s a worthwhile project, and I tell him so?—?but he doesn’t like it when our conversation on the way to his minimum-wage job turns to why these homeless folks aren’t also working. Perhaps, I suggest, because someone is feeding, clothing and, in effect, bathing them? […]

Given the massive wealth created in the U.S. economy over the past 30-plus years, it’s understandable that the mantra of the guilty generation is sustainability and recycling. But obsessing over carbon footprints and LEED certifications and free-range strawberries and charging for plastic bags will not help the world nearly as much as good old-fashioned economic growth. Gen-G will wise up to the reality that the way to improve lives is to get to work. If Woodstockers figured this out, so will they?—?as soon as they get over their guilt.

It’s highly unlikely that Kessler, an extraordinarily wealthy man who managed a hedge fund for years, has ever known what it’s like to go hungry or sleep on the streets, where random acts of violence are all too com

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Donald Trump #racist thinkprogress.org

(A deleted tweet by Donald Trump that was screencapped before being removed.)

Dwyane Wade's cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!

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Paul LePage #racist thinkprogress.org

In a Friday press conference following his homophobic remarks about a state lawmaker, Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) called people of color and people of Hispanic origin “the enemy” and implied they should be shot.

“A bad guy is a bad guy. I don’t care what color he is. When you go to war, if you know the enemy, the enemy dresses in red and you dress in blue, you shoot at red,” he said. “You shoot the enemy. You try to identify the enemy. And the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority of people coming in are people of color or people of Hispanic origin.”

The governor has offered a veritable potpourri of racist and homophobic remarks over the years. In his voicemail to state Rep. Drew Gattine (D) on Thursday, in an apparent attempt to convince people that he is not a racist, he said, “I want to talk to you. I want you to prove that I’m a racist. I’ve spent my life helping black people and you little son-of-a-bitch, socialist cocksucker.”

On Wednesday, he called Khizr Khan, the father of a fallen Muslim soldier, a “con artist.” During a town hall on that same day, he said nearly all of Maine’s drug dealers are black or Hispanic. “I don’t ask them to come to Maine (to) sell their poison, but they come,” he said. “And I will tell you, that 90 percent-plus of those pictures in my book?—?and it’s a three-ring binder?—?are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Connecticut, the Bronx and Brooklyn.”

LePage grabbed national headlines earlier this year when he said men named “Smoothie, D-Money, and Shifty” were dealing drugs in Maine. He added, “Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue that we’ve got to deal with down the road. We’re going to make them very severe penalties.”

Among his other comments, he told the NAACP to “kiss my butt,” accused asylum seekers of bringing the “ziki fly,” and told the president to “go to hell.” LePage is an enthusiastic supporter of the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump.

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Heath Mooneyham #fundie thinkprogress.org


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Church Gave Away Two Semi-Automatic Rifles To Entice ‘More People To Follow Jesus’

BY IGOR VOLSKY JUN 22, 2014 1:07 PM

A church in Joplin, Missouri is facing criticism for raffling off two AR-15s during last week’s Father’s Day celebration in order to increase attendance and “get more people to follow Jesus.”

“Want to win a Black Rain AR-15?” a Facebook posting on the Ignite Church Facebook page asked. “Dads, you earn an entry for yourself, each child you have and if you bring your dad to church. Those that registered last week get to register again!!! Don’t miss this.”

In a YouTube video advertising the promotion, Pastor Heath Mooneyham promised that “you can kill a weak zombie with that thing” or “double tap a zombie” with another gun, “the “Lamborghini of AR-15s.” Mooneyham added: “So get your butts to church, if you’re late don’t cry to me that you’re a pansy and you cannot set your alarm, alright? You’re a big boy. You got big balls between your legs, you’re a dad right?”

The lead pastor told the Joplin Globe “We’re just dudes,” adding, “If we can get more people to follow Jesus, I’ll give away 1,000 guns. I don’t care.”

However, the contest sparked controversy, as some residents accused the church of promoting violence. “God Does NOT Condone GUNS, VIOLENCE or WAR!” one Facebook commenter said. Steve Urie, a pastor at another local church called the raffle “careless and reckless.”

Mooneyham pushed back, arguing that “People are crazy, period. Murder has been going on since the beginning of time.” Ignite isn’t the first church to raffle off weapons. In March, the Kentucky Baptist Convention announced that it would “point people to Christ” by giving away guns at Second Amendment Celebrations hosted across the state.

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Congressman Louis Gohmert #fundie thinkprogress.org

There have been a lot of justifications for continued discrimination against LGBT people.

Preserving marriage. Religious freedom. Preservation of traditional families.

But in a speech on the House floor this week, Congressman Louis Gohmert took things to the next level. Gohmert argued that we need to discriminate against LGBT people now or the future of humanity is in danger.

How? It’s really quite simple. At some point, a giant asteroid may start barreling toward earth, putting the future of humanity in doubt. We will then need to prepare a special spaceship and send a group of people to colonize Mars.

In case you think this is far-fetched, Gohmert notes this is not a dissimilar scenario from a recent Matt Damon flick, The Martian.

Gohmert postulates that we would only be able to send about 40 people. It’s unclear how he arrives at that number but it seems reasonable. If we can’t discriminate against LGBT people, Gohmert reminds us, all of the people on the special spaceship might end up being same-sex couples.

What will happen to humanity when everyone on Mars is gay? Gohmert is sketchy on the details.

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Sen. Todd Weiler (R) #fundie thinkprogress.org

The Utah lawmaker who introduced a state resolution declaring pornography a “public health crisis” has taken his opposition a step further. During a conservative talk radio appearance on Friday, state Rep. Todd Weiler (R) said that the internet, essentially, violates a person’s First Amendment rights by “delivering pornography” to people who don’t want to view it.

“Someone may have the First Amendment right, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, to view pornography,” Weiler told Tony Perkins, host of “Washington Watch” radio show. “But what about my First Amendment right not to view it?”

This interview comes days after Gov. Gary Herbet (R) signed Weiler’s bill into law.

At first, Weiler specifically blamed McDonald’s for having free WiFi that did not block porn sites. According to Weiler, kids often go to McDonald’s or public libraries to watch porn on their WiFi networks — especially if it’s blocked on their home internet.

“If these libraries and McDonald’s were delivering cigarettes to our children, we’d be picketing them,” he said.

Weiler’s understanding of the First Amendment is deeply flawed, however. The amendment specifically bans laws that prohibit a person’s ability to exercise free speech. It does not, however, ban a person from NOT viewing another’s act of free speech. That’s like saying the amendment protects a pro-choice advocate’s right to never encounter anti-abortion protesters.

Instead, Weiler’s argument rests on his inability to control how others browse the internet. But exerting control over another person’s behavior in that way isn’t a constitutional right — far from it.

Weiler said he’s working with U.S. Senator Orin Hatch (R) to create a way for internet users to “opt-in” to online porn, rather than using parental filters to opt-out of porn sites.

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Phil Robertson & Ted Cruz #fundie thinkprogress.org

The Iowa caucuses bring many celebrities to the state to rally last-minute support for candidates, and this weekend, Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson was the latest to make the trek to support Republican Ted Cruz. Introducing the competitive candidate at a rally Sunday, the reality show patriarch not only attacked marriage equality as “evil,” but suggested that its supporters needed to be literally obliterated.

“Don’t you understand that when a fellow like me looks at the landscape and sees the depravity, the perversion — redefining marriage and telling us that marriage is not between a man and a woman? Come on Iowa! It’s nonsense. It is evil. It’s wicked,” Robertson told the crowd.
“It’s sinful. They want us to swallow it, you say. We have to run this bunch out of Washington, D.C. We have to rid the earth of them. Get them out of there. Ted Cruz loves God.”

When Cruz appeared on stage, he reflected praise back at Robertson. “What an extraordinary human being,” the candidate said, claiming that “God makes every one of us unique, but some are uniquer than others.”
“What a voice Phil has to speak out for the love of Jesus,” Cruz added. “What a joyful, cheerful, unapologetic voice of truth Phil Robertson is.”

Cruz did not specifically address Robertson’s suggestion that “we have to rid the earth” of all marriage equality proponents.

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Sonny Sorensen #fundie thinkprogress.org

[ On an article that discusses an abortion clinic in DC that is working to destigmatize abortion and put patients at ease. ]

If you just have to slaughter your flesh and blood and just can't wait to accept the burden of being a murderer, why not feel like you are in Fiji while doing so?

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Tony Dale #fundie thinkprogress.org

A Texas state legislator wants the U.S. to stop allowing Syrian refugees into the country. His reasoning: They might be able to buy guns in his state.

Rep. Tony Dale (R) made this argument in a television interview on Monday and in letters to Texas’ U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz (R) and U.S. Reps. Michael McCaul and John Carter (R).

“While the Paris attackers used suicide vests and grenades,” Dale wrote, “it is clear that firearms also killed a large number of innocent victims. Can you imagine a scenario were [sic] a refugees [sic] is admitted to the United States, is provided with federal cash payments and other assistance, obtains a drivers license and purchases a weapon and executes an attack?” He urged the lawmakers to “do whatever you can to stop the [Syrian refugee] program.”

But Dale is one of the Texas legislature’s most fervent gun-rights advocates. Two weeks ago, he tweeted his National Rifle Association membership renewal. In accepting an “A” rating from the group and the Texas State Rifle Association’s PAC in 2012, he observed: “Perhaps no right is more fundamental than the right to keep and bear arms.” And his campaign website vows his fealty to the Second Amendment, saying it “isn’t just an archaic document,” a “guarantor of all of our other freedoms.” And he and his colleagues in the state legislature have blocked mandatory background checks for all gun purchases.

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Mike Huckabee and Jan Mickelson #fundie thinkprogress.org

Huckabee Suggests Poor People Should Be Sold Into Slavery For Stealing

Host Jan Mickelson began by bemoaning that the “criminal justice system has been taken over by progressives.” In order to fight back, he argued, conservatives should look to the biblical Book of Exodus. “It says, if a person steals, they have to pay it back two-fold, four-fold,” Mickelson explained. “If they don’t have anything, we’re supposed to take them down and sell them.”

Mickelson went on to argue why jails, which he claimed are a “pagan invention,” are inferior to slavery: “We indenture them and they have to spend their time not sitting on their stump in a jail cell, they’re supposed to be working off the debt.”

“Wouldn’t that be a better choice?” the host asked.

“Well, it really would be,” Huckabee replied without missing a beat. “Sometimes the best way to deal with a nonviolent criminal behavior is what you just suggested.”

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Jim Carrey #conspiracy thinkprogress.org

The family of an autistic boy is “pretty annoyed” with Jim Carrey for using the boy’s photo to accompany a Twitter rant against vaccinations, according to a report in Buzzfeed News.

On Wednesday, Carrey — known for his comedic acting and his scientifically illegitimate opposition to vaccination — began tweeting pictures of supposedly autistic children in distress. Those pictures were accompanied by text implying they were victims of vaccines.

When he tweeted out a picture of 14-year-old Alex Echols, the accompanying text read, “TOXIN FREE VACCINES, A REASONABLE REQUEST.” But Alex’s mother, Karen Echols, told BuzzFeed that Alex’s autism had nothing to do with vaccination. In fact, Alex’s condition is caused by tuberous sclerosis, a genetic condition that causes growths to develop on the brain. The condition is actually one of the few things that can be scientifically linked to autism.

“Jim Carrey has a huge platform — a huge following — and is misrepresenting my son’s image by attaching it to his anti-vax rant,” Karen Echols told Buzzfeed’s Virginia Hughes by email.
Carrey has since deleted the tweet and issued an apology.

Several major United States cities recently saw an outbreak of measles — a once-eradicated disease — due in part to a resurgence of what many call “vaccine truthers.” Vaccine truthers subscribe to a conspiracy theory that vaccines cause autism, despite an overwhelming body of scientific literature that has discredited that link.

Carrey himself has been outspoken about opposing vaccines for a long time, but recently drew attention to himself with a series of rants on Twitter. Prior to tweeting Echols’ photo, he accused California Gov. Jerry Brown of “poisoning more children” and called him a “corporate fascist” for recently signing a law that eliminated vaccine exemptions for religious or personal reasons.

Carrey also dated Jenny McCarthy — arguably the face of the vaccine truther movement — from 2005 to 2010.

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Robert Rankin Doggart and Curtis Collier #fundie thinkprogress.org

Robert Rankin Doggart, a former candidate for Congress, admitted in federal court to “plotting the annihilation” of a village in New York that is home to many Muslims. Doggart’s plans included “burning down a school, a mosque and a cafeteria,” according to the criminal complaint.

“We’re gonna be carrying an M4 with 500 rounds of ammunition, light armor piercing. A pistol with three extra magazines, and a machete. And if it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds,” Doggart allegedly said according to the transcript of a wiretap cited in the complaint. He also allegedly tried to recruit other individuals to participate in his plot through a Facebook group.

As part of a plea agreement, Doggart pled guilty to “interstate communication of threats” and faces up to five years in prison. He was in jail awaiting final sentencing.

But a federal judge, Curtis Collier, may not accept the guilty plea. He’s ordered the prosecution and defense to produce briefs proving that Doggart was a “true threat.” Meanwhile, a different federal judge, Magistrate Susan K. Lee, released Doggart from jail “into the custody of two family members.”

Lee had previously found that Doggart was a “danger to the community.” The government appealed the decision to release Doggart to Judge Collier, who affirmed Lee’s decision.

Doggart’s release has drawn criticism from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim advocacy group. “It is deeply troubling that an individual who has admitted to planning a religiously-motivated terror attack on American Muslims is now free, while the intended targets of his plot remain unprotected,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement. CAIR had previously criticized the prosecutor’s decision not to treat Doggart’s conduct “as an act of terrorism and to charge the alleged organizer of the attack as a terrorist.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center — and academics studying the issue — the United States has focused on combating Islamic extremism but given short shrift to other threats like domestic attacks by right-wing radicals. Since 9/11, “more people have been killed in America by non-Islamic domestic terrorists than jihadists.”

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Unnamed Cecil County citizens #racist thinkprogress.org

Several young girls attended a public meeting recently to express their concern about the treatment of animals in Cecil County, Maryland. Adults responded to their participation by shouting racial insults at the girls.

The girls were members of the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Troop 176. During the public meeting, they expressed their concerns about the treatment of animals who were housed at the county’s animal control facility — an issue that was covered by local media.

“I felt really bad for the animals because that wasn’t a really good home for them,” said Amaya Spurlock, 10.

“They were saying, ‘Go back to Baltimore, where you belong,’ and they started pointing out me and my sisters,” said Arianna Spurlock, who is 13. None of the girls live in Baltimore, which is more than an hour away from Cecil County.

The girls also allege they were called “animals.”
The aftermath of the incident was captured on video, with the co-leader of the troop telling a group of adults, “You guys, no racial comments, okay?”

The racial comments were allegedly made by “supporters” of the county’s animal control vendor, A Buddy For Life. The company denies any of their employees were responsible.

But in an interview with ThinkProgress, Scout Leader Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich said that the comments were made by A Buddy For Life volunteers. (The facility has few paid employees.) Mitchell-Werbrich said that she went with a group of parents to file a police report but were told it was not possible because the individuals did not “use the n-word.”

During the meeting, the co-director of A Buddy For Life asked the commission to ignore the Girl Scout’s comments.

The county pays ‘A Buddy For Life’ $60,000 a month to manage their animal control facilities. The Cecil Times reported that a surprise visit to the facility “found unremoved feces, odors and many dogs with serious ‘mange’ and other skin conditions.” There were also allegations of “overstaffing at the Buddy operation at taxpayer expense.” The company has been repeatedly fined for violating state and federal law.

Mitchell-Werbrich explained that the dispute started in October when she called the Buddy For Life facility about two dogs at a residence who appeared emaciated and mistreated. Despite repeated inquiries, Mitchell-Werbrich said the company refused to address the situation. On certain occasions, someone at the facility would tell Mitchell-Werbrich that they had addressed the abuse of the dogs but it turned out not to be true. She came to believe that the company was “untruthful.” She shared her experience with the girls in her troop, which prompted their interest.

Despite their large monthly budget, A Buddy For Life spent just $877 over a three-month period for food.

Mitchell-Werbrich said she and the girls’ parents requested a meeting with Cecil County Executive Tari Moore to discuss the incident but she did not respond to their request.

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Jeb Bush #fundie thinkprogress.org

Expected 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush (R) endorsed anti-gay discrimination this weekend in an interview with David Brody of Christian Broadcast News.

After Bush explained that people of faith need “the space to act on their conscience,” Brody asked him about wedding vendors like bakers and florists who may not want to provide a service for a same-sex couple’s wedding. “Are you okay if they don’t provide those kinds of services? Is that okay?”

“Yeah, absolutely,” Bush responded, “if it’s based on a religious belief.” He went on to cite Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman as “the best example” of this conflict, suggesting that the woman who faces a $1,001 fine for not serving a same-sex couple “may lose her business because of this and has lost a lot because of the cost of all this.”

“A big country — a tolerant country — ought to be able to figure out the difference between discriminating against someone because of their sexual orientation and forcing someone to participate in a wedding that they find goes against their moral beliefs. We should be able to figure this out. This shouldn’t be this complicated, but gosh it is right now.”

In the same interview, Bush also admitted that he does not believe there is any constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry, adding the caveat that he is not a lawyer. “It’s thousands of years of culture and history is just being changed at warps speed. It’s hard to fathom why it is this way.” He added that he thinks “we need to be stalwart supporters of traditional marriage” to protect “children born in poverty,” referencing his recent support for the idea that marriage helps combat poverty.

This is the clearest Bush has been on these issues. He previously expressed support for Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” but didn’t so blatantly state that discrimination against same-sex couples is “absolutely” okay. He’s also sounded somewhat moderate on same-sex marriage, suggesting at least that loving same-sex parents could be a model for other families.

Bush’s comments indicate that he believes that refusing to serve a same-sex couple for religious reasons is somehow not discrimination. But as Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom explained in his ruling against Stutzman, “No Court has ever held that religiously motivated conduct, expressive or otherwise, trumps state discrimination law in public accommodations.” He also dismissed any attempt to distinguish between the act of a marrying and the identity of sexual orientation: “The United States Supreme Court has long held that discrimination based on conduct associated with a protected characteristic constitutes discrimination on the basis of that characteristic.”

Brody’s interaction with Bush in the interview indicated that he shares the presumed candidate’s positions on these issues, and in his analysis, Brody addressed the idea that some conservatives perceive Bush as a “squishy moderate.” Bush “isn’t going to be the fire and brimstone candidate that goes for the applause lines or starts talking about Jesus at campaign events,” but his record as governor of Florida “reads like a social conservative’s dream scorecard.”

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FL State Rep. Charles Van Zant #fundie thinkprogress.org

During an anti-Common Core conference in March, State Rep. Charles Van Zant argued that the group implementing Florida’s new education program are secretly trying to “attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can.” He told the crowd that he was “sorry to report that” information “but you need to know.”
Appearing on News 4 in Jacksonville on Tuesday, Van Zant (R) didn’t back down from any of his claims. He reiterated that the American Institutes for Research, responsible for Florida’s Common Core policies, is “supportive” of “the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender agenda.”
“I don’t believe that that has any place being introduced into Florida’s schools,” Van Zant said. He called for Florida’s curricula to only teach courses like history and civics, subjects which he seems to believe are wholly devoid of gay people.
VAN ZANT: If you just go look on their website, AIR.org, you see that they’re very much in support and say on their website that they’re supportive and provide all sorts of research data and things regarding the LGBT agenda, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender agenda. I don’t believe that that has any place being introduced into Florida’s schools. I further do not believe that we have a place to make that a part of Florida’s curricula. If they’re of that mindset, then I believe we need people that are going to major on what’s real in education, what the child should be learning, the basic three R’s, learning history, learning American history, learning civics, and doing those things that a parent expects to be able to send their child to school to learn.

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Ted Cruz #conspiracy thinkprogress.org

President Obama is planning to use Special Forces to impose martial law in Texas and will hold political prisoners in abandoned Wal-Mart buildings, according to a group of concerned Texans. This internet-fueled conspiracy theory may sound too ridiculous to actually believe, but Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is pandering to those who distrust the government, telling them he will ask the Pentagon for answers.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said last week he is ordering the Texas State Guard to monitor Jade Helm 15, a Navy SEAL/Green Beret joint war simulation which will take place across seven states beginning this summer. The conspiracy theoriests say Obama is actually planning to use the exercise to put political prisoners into FEMA camps in the closed Wal-Marts by transporting them in train cars that already have been prepared with shackles.
But instead of dismissing the idea as a fringe conspiracy theory, Republican presidential candidate Cruz told Bloomberg he needed more questions to be answered.

“My office has reached out to the Pentagon to inquire about this exercise,” the Texas senator said. “We are assured it is a military training exercise. I have no reason to doubt those assurances, but I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty, because when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying.”

He went on to add that for six years, the federal government has been “disrespecting the liberty of the citizens,” which produces fear and distrust. “You know, I understand a lot of the concerns raised by a lot of citizens about Jade Helm,” he said. “It’s a question I’m getting a lot.”

Another 2016 candidate, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), also said in a radio interview that he would look into the theory.

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Eric Miller #fundie thinkprogress.org

[On Indiana's "Religious Freedom" bill]

Eric Miller, Executive Director of Advance America, is another anti-LGBT activist who stood by [Indiana Governor Mike] Pence as he signed the bill. Advance America praised Pence for signing the bill last week, openly stating that it would allow wedding vendors to refuse to serve same-sex couples and allow Christian businesses to refuse transgender people access to restrooms. Miller was quoted as saying, “It is vitally important to protect religious freedom in Indiana. It’s the right thing to do. It was therefore important to pass Senate Bill 101 in 2015 in order to help protect churches, Christian businesses and individuals from those who want to punish them because of their Biblical beliefs!”

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Ted Cruz #fundie thinkprogress.org

On Twitter, Cruz blasted the federal government role in education and called for the repeal of Common Core:

"Federal govt has no business sticking its nose in education. We need to repeal every word of Common Core! #nhpolitics #MakeDCListen"

Can Cruz “make DC listen”? It will be particularly hard since Common Core is not, in fact, a federal law.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative, known as Common Core, was developed by the states — with input from teachers, education experts and business leaders — and has been voluntarily adopted by 43 states and the District Of Columbia. Notably, “the federal government played no role in creating the standards, nor did it require that states adopt them.”

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Really Big Coloring Books #fundie thinkprogress.org

image

The makers of the “Ted Cruz To The Future Comic Coloring Activity Book” have announced a new supplement to their original effort to teach the wonder that is Ted Cruz to children, entitled “Ted Cruz Saves America.” The original Ted Cruz coloring book claimed to offer a “non-partisan, fact-driven view” of Senator Cruz. It claims that Cruz is a “passionate fighter for limited government, economic growth, and the Constitution,” and that Cruz’s failed effort to halt the Affordable Care Act “was so important because millions of citizens believe Obama Care is worse than any war. At least American soldiers have weapons with which to defend themselves.”

The new coloring book, which features Cruz in a superhero-like pose on the cover, appears to be even less subtle in its messaging:

image

According to a statement from the book’s publisher, “[t]he supplement and book are fact based, fair and objective, about a man who millions of American citizens consider a real life true to heart super hero for children to look up to.” He adds that “Ted Cruz is history in the making.”

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Anthony Culler #fundie thinkprogress.org

After drawing criticism for a Facebook calling same-sex couples “gremlins,” a GOP candidate from South Carolina reaffirmed his position on marriage equality.

Anthony Culler, who is challenging Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), set off a firestorm Monday with a Facebook post warning, “If you believe in traditional families and that marriage is defined as an institution between one man and one woman then I ask that you start acting like it and START VOTING like it! Do not buy the “cuteness” and “What will it hurt?” arguments whispered in your ears and marketed to our children. Same-sex couples that seek to destroy our way of life and the institution of marriage are NOT cute and cuddly but rather (for those of you that are old enough to remember the movie), Gremlins that will only destroy our way of life.”

But Culler did not back down in response to the backlash. In a new Facebook video released Monday, Culler repeatedly referred to same-sex couples as gremlins.

“I made a comment that same-sex couples that want to destroy traditional marriage and our way of life, they’re gremlins,” he explained. “They’re these creatures that are so destructive.

“No matter how many gremlins there are across this country, we here in the sixth district will stand against it,” he vowed.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court guaranteed marriage equality in a number of states, including South Carolina, when it announced that it would not hear marriage cases from states where federal appeals courts already declared same-sex marriages constitutional. Days after the announcement, South Carolina’s Supreme Court postponed same-sex marriages until a federal judge is officially bound to follow the Virginia precedent. But marriage equality in the Palmetto State is inevitable.

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Rep. Dan Benishek #fundie thinkprogress.org

“Well, I am a scientist,” Benishek responded. “You know, I believe in peer-reviewed science. But, I don’t see any peer-reviewed science that proves there is man-made catastrophic climate change.”

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Steve Doocy #fundie thinkprogress.org

“When did it happen when men and husbands became doormats?” Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy asked a guest on Monday morning in a segment Fox News called, “Husband Appreciation: Sage Advice For Wives.”

What followed was a litany of tips for how a woman can become “the good wife” and “keep your husband happy” from Susan Patton, the so-called “Princeton Mom” who attracted considerable attention in 2013 after penning a letter to her alma mater encouraging young women spend 75 percent of their college career focused on finding a husband.

The controversial author criticized today’s women for “acting like such an entitled princess” and prioritizing careers ahead of their families. Men, Patton told the Fox hosts, must be appreciated and respected, perhaps with a drink at the end of a long work day or gratitude and kindness. After all, should a woman alienates her husband, she’ll spend the rest of her life searching for a suitable replacement.

“If you are in your mid-30s or older the idea that you’re going to find yourself another husband, almost impossible,” Patton predicted. “And if you don’t believe me ask your maiden aunt, she will tell you when she’d done feeding the cats.”

And who’s to blame for society’s unappreciative attitude towards men? “Antagonistic feminists,” of course. Patton argues that activists has forced an “overcorrection” to American culture, in which society has gone from completely ignoring women’s rights to becoming overly sensitive to their needs. In one particularly strange example, Patton has complained that the rape that occurs between acquaintances — commonly referred to as “date rape” — should be called “mistake sex” to avoid diminishing “the true horror of rape.”

“Good advice,” Doocy beamed at the end of the Fox segment.

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Allen West #conspiracy thinkprogress.org

Fox News contributor and former GOP congressman Allen West believes he has uncovered a nefarious plot by recently rescued American POW Bowe Bergdahl’s father to claim the White House for Islam.

After President Obama announced on Saturday that Bergdahl had been freed, Bergdahl’s father, standing by Obama’s side in the White House Rose Garden, said his son might be having difficulty understanding English, and, according to the New York Times, “said ‘bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim,’ a common Arabic phrase meaning ‘in the name of God, most gracious, most compassionate,’ and then spoke a few words in Pashto, a language of Afghanistan.

Referring to this event, West — last seen claiming the Obama administration focused its attention on finding missing Nigerian girls to distract from Benghazi — on Monday claimed he had a “bombshell” to report:

Clare Lopez is a former CIA operations officer, a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on Middle East, national defense, WMD, and counterterrorism issues, and a friend of mine.

She emailed me this morning a very poignant analysis that only someone knowing language and Islam could ascertain. She wrote:

“What none of these media is reporting is that the father’s (SGT Bowe Bergdahl’s father Bob) first words at the WH were in Arabic – those words were “bism allah alrahman alraheem” – which means “in the name of Allah the most gracious and most merciful” – these are the opening words of every chapter of the Qur’an except one (the chapter of the sword – the 9th) – by uttering these words on the grounds of the WH, Bergdahl (the father) sanctified the WH and claimed it for Islam. There is no question but POTUS knows this.”

Lopez is a senior fellow at Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, a DC-based right-wing think tank that’s responsible for promoting all kinds of crazy anti-Muslim claims and conspiracy theories. This is a great example of the pipeline described in the 2011 the Center for American Progress report Fear, Inc: The Islamophobia Network in America: “Experts” like Clare Lopez provide highly questionable analysis to uninformed pundits like Allen West, who then pass this information on to their credulous audiences.

We should note that, if Lopez’s analysis were right, the White House was likely already “claimed” for Islam long ago — in December 1805, at an Iftar dinner hosted by President Thomas Jefferson.

As for West, he thinks he’s stumbled on to something big. “Folks, there is a lot to this whole episode — like Benghazi — that we may never know,” he said. “And this is not conspiracy theory, it is truth based upon Arabic and Islamic dogma and tradition.”

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Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) #fundie thinkprogress.org

BROUN: I do go against my leadership all the time because I stand firm on the four questions that I ask about all legislation. The first, is it constitutional according to the original intent? The second, does it fit the Judeo-Christian Biblical principles that our nation is founded upon? Third, do we need it? Fourth, can we afford it? If all four yes, I vote yes, otherwise I vote no.

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Paul Vallely #fundie thinkprogress.org

Tea Party leader, retired Army general and former Fox News contributor Paul Vallely in a recently published video told a Tea Party group that, if given the troops, he would lead a coup against the U.S. government.

Vallely has called made his comments in a discussion with an Arizona-based Tea Party group last December, a recording of which the website Right Wing Watch recently acquired. “I had a call this afternoon from Idaho, the gentleman said, ‘If I give you 250,000 Marines to go to Washington, will you lead them?’” Vallely, who was Fox News’ senior military analyst during the Iraq War, told the group. “I said, ‘Yes, I will, I’ll surround the White House and I’ll surround the Capitol building, but it’s going to take physical presence to do things.”

Vallely suggested that a new George Washington be discovered amid the ranks of retired military personnel to take a stand against the “tyranny of a corrupt government.” Only they, in Vallely’s view, have the right education, background, and experience to combat current politicians who only have “legislation experience, not leadership experience.” He also suggested that action against the current government was necessary as not even the upcoming midterm congressional elections will be able to solve the problems posed as a result of President Obama’s presence in the White House.

“I don’t want to be criticized for starting a revolution,” Vallely assured the group, “but I’d certainly head it if we had to. We all love a good fight if it’s worth it, right?”

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Joshua Black #fundie thinkprogress.org

Joshua Black, a Republican candidate for Florida’s state House of Representatives, tweeted Monday that President Obama should be hanged for treason.

Black, a taxi driver and former street evangelist, is challenging state Rep. Dwight Dudley (D) this November in the St. Petersburg-based 68th district. On his campaign website, he complains that “Republicans have a serious communication problem. Everything we say sounds like spears.”

Yet Monday, he tweeted:

"@civilwarcometh: @BrandonMArms @RedNationRising I'm past impeachment. It's time to arrest and hang him high. http://www.commieblaster.com/ " Agreed

When a Republican candidate from a neighboring district questioned Black’s assertion, he doubled-down, comparing Obama to Benedict Arnold:

Chris Latvala @ChrisLatvala

@JoshuaBlack2014 you aren't seriously calling for the killing of Obama are you? I know you are crazy but good heavens.U R an embarrassment

Joshua Black 2014 @JoshuaBlack2014

@ChrisLatvala Execution is the appropriate punishment for traitors. #BenedictArnold #ReadAmericanHistory #criminalpoliticians

In subsequent tweets, Black clarified that Obama should first be convicted of treason by the U.S. Senate and jury. He also later issued an apology — for slandering Benedict Arnold.

In a Facebook post Monday evening, Black explained that he believes Obama should be prosecuted for his using drone strikes to kill Anwar al-Awlaki and his teenage son.

Pinellas Republican Chairman Michael Guju told the Tampa Bay Times that Black’s comments were “wholly unacceptable and unduly provocative.”

Black has also advocated for state nullification of federal laws, elimination of the Federal Reserve, and an end to all public welfare programs.

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Tom Corbett #fundie thinkprogress.org

In an interview Friday morning with WHP-TV, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) demonstrated that his own impressions of marriage equality are just as offensive as those of the state lawyers he tried to distance himself from in August. Arguing against a county clerk who’d begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the Department of Health suggested that those couples were just like 12-year-old children in being ineligible for marriage, but Corbett told WHP-TV anchor Sherry Christian that incest would be a better comparison:

CORBETT: It was an inappropriate analogy, you know. I think a much better analogy would have been brother and sister, don’t you?

CHRISTIAN: I don’t know. I don’t know… Umm… Yeah, I’m going to leave the comments to you and your team, but you did say it was inappropriate and you have a better phrasing that you think.

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David Marsters #racist thinkprogress.org

David Marsters, a conservative candidate for a town position in Sabattus, Maine, was surprised by a visit from the Secret Service after he posted an article on his Facebook about President Obama along with the words “Shoot the ni**er.” But even after the Secret Service visit, Marsters continues to defend his comment as freedom of speech — although he deleted the original posting.

“[They] didn’t see no pictures of Obama with bullet holes in his head,” Marsters said. “It’s not a threatening statement, in my opinion. People take it out of context as a threat.” Marsters maintains his comment isn’t racist, because “white people are ni**ers, too.” In addition to subscribing to the conspiracy that Obama faked his birth certificate, Marsters has pushed for a town law to require a gun in every house.

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Rush Limbaugh #racist thinkprogress.org

If any race of people should not have guilt about slavery it’s Caucasians. The White race has probably had fewer slaves and for a briefer period of time than any other in the history of the world.

[...]

Despite all that, no other race has ever fought a war for the purpose of ending slavery, which we did. Nearly 600,000 people killed in the Civil War. It’s preposterous that Caucasians are blamed for slavery when they have done more to end it than any other race and within the bounds of the Constitution to boot. Yet white guilt about slavery is still one of the dominating factors in American politics.

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Michele Bachmann #fundie thinkprogress.org

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) this week said that prayers to God will ensure Obamacare’s repeal, after 37 House of Representatives attempts to do so.

“I think the President will ultimately be forced to repudiate his own signature piece of legislation because the American people will demand it,” she told an evangelical radio host Tuesday. “And I think before his second term is over, we’re going to see a miracle before our eyes, I believe God is going to answer our prayers and we’ll be freed from the yoke of Obamacare.”

She added, “I believe that’s going to happen and we saw step one last week with the repeal of Obamacare in the House. We have two more steps. We serve a mighty God and I believe it can happen.”

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Chris Broussard #fundie thinkprogress.org

An ESPN sportscaster went on the air on Monday to publicly gay-bash Jason Collins, the NBA player who came out Monday morning in an emotional op-ed, the first active male player of a major American sport to come out.

Speaking on ESPN’s Outside The Lines, Chris Broussard said that he would “not characterize [Collins] as a Christian.” He made the comments in front of his openly gay colleague, LZ Granderson:

BROUSSARD: Personally, I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly, like premarital sex between heterosexuals. If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says you know them by their fruits. It says that, you know, that’s a sin. If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, whatever it maybe, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. So I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don’t think the bible would characterize them as a Christian.

Granderson reacted strongly to Broussard’s comments, saying, “I really don’t need Chris or anyone else telling me if I’m a Christian because Jesus tells me I am.”

Broussard has previously written that he believes the NBA is “ready” for the first out player. But in that same essay, he also said it would make him “a little uncomfortable” to shower with a gay teammate. He also cast his doubt that being gay is biological, writing, “there are many scientists on both sides of the genetic debate, and I believe a truly objective person would admit the biological evidence for homosexuality is far from definitive.”

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Pam Stenzel & George Aulenbacher #fundie thinkprogress.org

A West Virginia high school student is filing an injunction against her principal, who she claims is threatening to punish her for speaking out against a factually inaccurate abstinence assembly at her school. Katelyn Campbell, who is the student body vice president at George Washington High School, alleges her principal threatened to call the college where she’s been accepted to report that she has “bad character.”

George Washington High School recently hosted a conservative speaker, Pam Stenzel, who travels around the country to advocate an abstinence-only approach to teen sexuality. Stenzel has a long history of using inflammatory rhetoric to convince young people that they will face dire consequences for becoming sexually active. At GW’s assembly, Stenzel allegedly told students that “if you take birth control, your mother probably hates you” and “I could look at any one of you in the eyes right now and tell if you’re going to be promiscuous.” She also asserted that condoms aren’t safe, and every instance of sexual contact will lead to a sexually transmitted infection.

Campbell refused to attend the assembly, which was funded by a conservative religious organization called “Believe in West Virginia” and advertised with fliers that proclaimed “God’s plan for sexual purity.” Instead, she filed a complaint with the ACLU and began to speak out about her objections to this type of school-sponsored event. Campbell called Stenzel’s presentation “slut shaming” and said that it made many students uncomfortable.

GW Principal George Aulenbacher, on the other hand, didn’t see anything wrong with hosting Stenzel. “The only way to guarantee safety is abstinence. Sometimes, that can be a touchy topic, but I was not offended by her,” he told the West Virginia Gazette last week.

But it didn’t end with a simple difference of opinion among Campbell and her principal. The high school senior alleges that Aulenbacher threatened to call Wellesley College, where Campbell has been accepted to study in the fall, after she spoke to the press about her objections to the assembly. According to Campbell, her principal said, “How would you feel if I called your college and told them what bad character you have and what a backstabber you are?” Campbell alleges that Aulenbacher continued to berate her in his office, eventually driving her to tears. “He threatened me and my future in order to put forth his own personal agenda and make teachers and students feel they cant speak up because of fear of retaliation,” she said of the incident.

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Bishop Harry Jackson #fundie thinkprogress.org

God has given us a blueprint for how to have success in the earthly realm. He’s given us an architectural plan of how to heal the barren places in urban America. He says that marriage between a man and a woman will heal the desert places in urban America. Ghettos will be revitalized if one man, one woman families are the order of the day. When a man and a woman are in the house, poverty is lessened. When a man and a woman are in the house, kids don’t go to prison. When a man and a woman are in the house, there’s less domestic violence. When a man and a woman are in the house, sexual abuse does not happen.

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Garry Wolske #fundie thinkprogress.org

you that are posting just wont be happy until the entire system collapses or its all handed to you on a silver platter....get a job for less than you think your worth, stop spending other than the absolute necessary, remember every time you say the word racist, you are being racist yourself, every time you say poor, even the rich think prices are to high and feel poor, its all perspective, rather than tearing down, build up, for instance, did I see any of you put who you think has a better plan to run this country....and prepare for the toughest times of your life...my hope is in greater hands than a possible presidential candidate, I cant think of any reason someone would even want to head this country, the only fix for it, is going to be so radical that no one is going to like it, the country is in big trouble, better start praying.

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Franklin Sain #racist thinkprogress.org

Late last week, police arrested a man for allegedly sending threatening messages to Colorado state Rep. Rhonda Fields (D), a supporter of gun safety laws featured in a recent ThinkProgress video. Fields sponsored bills banning high-capacity magazines in Colorado and requiring universal background checks for gun sales and transfers.

According to police, a man named Franklin Sain sent six emails, one voicemail and one written letter to Fields that were riddled with obscenities, racial slurs, sexist language and violent threats:

“I guarantee there is not enough law enforcement or military to stop an all-out overthrow of this government if you or that n—– president tries to take our guns,” one e-mail dated Feb. 13 reads. “Guarantee we will make World War I and II look like child’s play, many will die. Be prepared.”

Another e-mail expresses hope that someone would “Giffords” both Fields and Rep. Beth McCann, a reference to the 2011 mass shooting that nearly killed Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords.

The paper letter attributed to Sain states, “There will be blood! I’m coming for you, n—– b—–.” . . . “Limiting magazine sizes is stupid and will not work,” he wrote on Feb. 13. “I for one have 100+ 30 round mags and 150 round drums. I will never give those up and I am far from being some whack job.”

In an email to Fields the following day, Sain wrote: “I ordered a ton of new 30 round magazines today C***bag…go f*** yourself and your new law…we won’t abide by it…C*** N*****.”

Before she joined the legislature, Fields’ own son was shot and killed as he waited to testify against a gang member.

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Todd Akin #fundie thinkprogress.org

AUDIENCE MEMBER: You voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Why do you think it is okay for a woman to be paid less for doing the same work as a man?

AKIN: Well, first of all, the premise of your question is that I’m making that particular distinction. I believe in free enterprise. I don’t think the government should be telling people what you pay and what you don’t pay. I think it’s about freedom. If someone what’s to hire somebody and they agree on a salary, that’s fine, however it wants to work. So, the government sticking its nose into all kinds of things has gotten us into huge trouble.

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Tom Smith #fundie thinkprogress.org

MARK SCOLFORO, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, how would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, God forbid, would be the victim of a rape, to keep the child against her own will? Is that something that you would–do you have a way to explain that?

SMITH: I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to… She chose they way I thought. No don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.

SCOLFORO: Similar how?

SMITH: Uh, having a baby out of wedlock. You know.

SCOLFORO: That’s similar to rape?

SMITH: No, no, no, but… Put yourself in a father’s position, yes. I mean, it is similar. This was a–But, come back to the original–I’m pro-life, period.

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Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) #fundie thinkprogress.org

Not that it’s not a good idea to give students loans, it certainly is a good idea to give them loans. But if you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad. You could. There are more people in our, in America today of German ancestry than any other [inaudible]. The Holocaust that occurred in Germany — how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope.

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Congressman Steve King (R) #fundie thinkprogress.org

What I've said is that we need to respect humans more than we do animals. Whenever we start elevating animals up to, to above that of humans, we've crossed a moral line. For example, if there's a sexual predator out there who has impregnated a young girl, say a 13 year old girl, and it happens in America more times than you and I like to think, that sexual predator can pick that girl off the playground at the middle school and haul her across the state line and force her to get an abortion to eradicate the evidence of his crime, and bring her back and drop her off at the swing set, and that's not against the law in the United States of America. I have told Wayne Pacelle and the people who believe we should focus all of our efforts on the, on anything they can bring that limits activity around animals, that we need to respect and revere human life first, animal life second.

[Emphasis added.]

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Bill Donohue #fundie thinkprogress.org

Oh, it’s very simple. It’s absolutely very simple. I have a doctorate in sociology from NYU, and I know what the literature says. The literature is definitive. There is one gold standard, one gold standard for children. That is: there is no substitute for a marriage between a man and a woman. I want the law to discriminate against straight people who live together — I used to call it “shacking up,” but now it’s called cohabitation. I want the law to discriminate against all alternative lifestyles, against gays and unions. I want to promote and to put in a privileged position that institution of marriage between a man and a woman, which has been shown over and over to be the gold standard.

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Rick Santorum #fundie thinkprogress.org

They are taking faith and crushing it. Why? Why? When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God-given rights, then what’s left is the French Revolution. What’s left is the government that gives you right, what’s left are no unalienable rights, what’s left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. What’s left in France became the guillotine. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re a long way from that, but if we do and follow the path of President Obama and his overt hostility to faith in America, then we are headed down that road.

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Pastor Ken Hutcherson #fundie thinkprogress.org

[Pastor Ken Hutcherson testifying against a bill in WA to legalize same-sex marriage]

I think that you are saying, as a committee and as a legislature that you know better than God, since you think that it is a very minded, bigoted, not understanding and loving thing to limit marriage to one man and one woman…If you pass this bill you’re just as narrow minded, you are just as bigoted and you’re just as unloving to everything and everyone who wants to get married outside of one man and one woman, two men and two women. But since you think God is not smart enough to make it fair, you’re saying that you’re smart enough to make it fair.

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Rick Santorum #fundie thinkprogress.org

Social conservatives are lauding Rick Santorum’s “surge” to third place in the Iowa polls, but his new forthrightness about his positions may backfire. In a recent interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, Santorum explained that not only would he support a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, he supports invalidating all currently legal same-sex unions:

SANTORUM: I think marriage has to be one thing for everybody. We can’t have 50 different marriage laws in this country, you have to have one marriage law…

TODD: What would you do with same-sex couples who got married? Would you make them get divorced?

SANTORUM: Well, their marriage would be invalid. I think if the constitution says “marriage is this,” then people whose marriage is not consistent with the constitution… I’d love to think there’s another way of doing it.

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Rick Santorum #fundie thinkprogress.org

During a town hall meeting in Ottumwa, Iowa Friday afternoon, Rick Santorum argued that Americans receive too many government benefits and ought to “suffer” in the Christian tradition. If “you’re lower income, you can qualify for Medicaid, you can qualify for food stamps, you can qualify for housing assistance,” Santorum complained, before adding, “suffering is part of life and it’s not a bad thing, it is an essential thing in life.”

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Sandy Rios #fundie thinkprogress.org

[The Obama administration announced that health insurers will be required to cover birth control and counseling for battered women.]

-"Is the White House out of their mind? Does the West Wing not know what the left wing is doing? We’re $14 trillion in debt and now we’re going to cover birth control, breast pumps, counseling for abuse? Are we going to do pedicures and manicures as well?"

-"Why in the world would you encourage your daughters, and your granddaughters, and whoever else comes behind you to have unrestricted, unlimited sex anytime, anywhere and that, somehow if you prevent pregnancy, that somehow you’ve helped them. I would submit to you that uncontrolled sexual behavior is what is harming our girls, not our lack of birth control — which by the way they don’t seem interested in taking anyway. Having a baby is not the worst thing. I think having multiple sex partners without any kind of restraint or responsibility is much more damning, why would you support that?"

–“In Red China, they have this down to a science. The local health care centers make women come in every month to be examined to see if they’ve had their cycle to make sure they are taking their medication and if they have a baby they are roundly punished, if they have an extra baby that baby is aborted. That is the control we’re moving toward.

–“I’d like to say that the morning-after pill has other detrimental affects. In Great Britain where it was legalized first, there was an outbreak of older men taking young girls in for the morning-after pill so they wouldn’t get caught and so there are no consequences.