The Secret Service announced today (Monday, March 28) the open carry of firearms will not be permitted at this summer’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, according to the Washington Post.
“Title 18 United States Code Sections 3056 and 1752 provides the Secret Service authority to preclude firearms from entering sites visited by our protectees, including those located in open-carry states,” Secret Service spokesman Robert K. Hoback said in a statement. “Only authorized law enforcement personnel working in conjunction with the Secret Service for a particular event may carry a firearm inside of the protected site.”
Last week the Voice and other outlets reported that an anonymous petition allowing open carry of firearms at the Republican National Convention was gaining steam.
The Republican Convention will be held in Columbus, Ohio on July 18-21. Ohio is an open carry state, but the host venue, Quicken Loans Arena, doesn’t allow guns.
The petition has received nearly 46,000 signatures.
So Ted Cruz wants everybody to trust him. He is building his presidential campaign around that idea — the idea he is totally trustworthy, the idea that we can all “Trust Ted.” His oh-so-clever advertising folks even came up with an oh-so-clever campaign slogan: TrusTed, with the first four letters in white, and the last three in red
But maybe his advertising folks and whomever in his campaign staff approved that slogan/logo should do a little research before launching such slogans/logos. Why? Just Google “trus”:
Churches and their pastors can’t endorse political candidates without risking losing their tax exempt status. But that didn’t stop the So-Called-Rev. Robert Jeffress, pastor of Dallas megachurch First Baptist, from making sure that everyone knows Donald Trump is his man. (See video below.)
Jeffress, who wasted no time making a name for himself as an anti-gay crusader when he moved to Dallas from Wichita Falls in 2008, flew to Iowa over the weekend to introduce the GOP’s leading presidential contender at an appearance at Dordt College. (This is at least the second time Jeffress has introduced Trump; he also did so at a rally in September at the American Airlines Center. And as the Dallas Morning News reported here, later in September, Jeffress joined Kenneth Copeland and some other right-wing hatemongers at a gathering at Trump Tower in New York City to lay hands on The Donald “in prayer.”)
In Iowa, Jeffress acknowledged the limitations placed on pastors when it comes to politics, but then continued on with what basically amounted to a “screw that, I am endorsing Trump anyway” moment: “Although as a pastor I cannot officially endorse a candidate, I want you to know I would not be here this morning if I were not absolutely convinced that Donald Trump would make a great president of the United States,” Jeffress said.
He also warned that only Trump could save the U.S. from its current “death spiral,” and that the country would not survive “another third term of Barack Obama in the form of” Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
He wound up the intro by describing Trump as “a great leader, a great visionary and a great American.”
Now, I am not endorsing any candidate for president. But I will say this, if the idea of a candidate that gets Robert Jeffress’ backing scares you — and it should — then you need to make sure you are registered, and you need to MAKE SURE YOU VOTE.
The Republican presidential field’s current frontrunner Ben Carson said Wednesday night, Oct. 28, he is not a homophobe and believes “our Constitution protects everybody regardless of their sexual orientation.”
Carson made the remark in response to a question from a CNBC debate questioner Wednesday night, during the third Republican presidential debate.
CNBC moderator Carl Quintanilla noted that the national warehouse chain Costco has been identified as one of the most gay friendly employers in the country. Carson had served on the Costco board of directors for more than 16 years when he stepped down in May of this year, when he announced his campaign for president.
Quintanilla asked Carson whether his being on the Costco board ran counter to his views on homosexuality.
“Well, obviously, you don’t understand my views on homosexuality,” said Carson. “I believe our Constitution protects everybody, regardless of their sexual orientation or any other aspect. I also believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. And there is no reason you can’t be perfectly fair to the gay community.
“They shouldn’t automatically assume that because you believe marriage is one man and one woman that that you are a homophobe,” he continued. “This is one of the myths that the left perpetuates on our society. This is how they frighten people and get people to shut up. That’s what the PC culture is all about. And it’s destroying this nation. The fact of the matter is we the American people are not each other’s enemies. It’s those people who are trying to divide us that are the enemies.”
Rich Tafel, a longtime Republican gay activist and former head of the national Log Cabin Republican group, said he thinks Carson’s response “might mark the end of the culture war against gays in politics.”
“Given the opportunity to distance himself from Costco or corporations that have been champions for gay rights, he mumbled that he believed that marriage is between a man and women, but then went onto an impassioned defense of gay people deserving freedom and that he’s not a homophobe,” said Tafel. “When you consider he’s probably the most far right candidate on social issues who early in the campaign made a comment about gay being a choice (prison as proof) he’s come a long way.
Essentially,” Tafel said, “it marks the moment where in a race for everyone to get to the far right, gay issues aren’t the ones you grab onto (unlike the 1990s). Also, the fact that he shares the lead with Trump who has gone out of his way to be gay supportive despite running a populist campaign. Bottom line, we win!”
The question to Carson was the only question of the evening that touched on any LGBT-specific issue. The rest of the prime-time debate and an earlier debate with low-polling candidates were focused on a wide range of issues and on exploring the viability of certain candidates and their comments against each other.
Carson has in recent days begun polling in first place in at least some polls asking how Republican primary votes nationwide are leaning. A CBS/New York Times poll taken Oct. 21-25 found 26 percent of 575 Republican primary voters support Carson, 22 percent support Donald Trump, and single-digits support the other 13 GOP candidates still hoping to win the nomination.
At the beginning of October, Trump was in the lead with 27 percent, followed by Carson with 21.
Over the years, Carson has made a number of statements that question his commitment to fairness for the gay community. He has equated marriage for same-sex couples with bestiality, said prison proves sexual orientation is a choice, and said he believes allowing same-sex couples to marry is equivalent to tossing the “word of God … into the garbage.”
In his closing remarks, Carson reiterated this theme of rejecting “political correctness,” a buzzword Carson uses to refer to criticisms of candidates who oppose equal protection for LGBT people and other minorities.
The Travis County Republication “dived into the deep end of the crazy pool” this week, according to the Texas Freedom Network, which called out the Austin-based GOP group for a Monday night tweet promoting a right-wing blog that labeled Islam as a “satanic cult of murder.”
The Tweet — removed from the group’s Twitter feed late Tuesday morning, but not before TFN got a screen capture — linked to the blog that starts with the slam on Islam and goes on to call former President George W. Bush a traitor and a coward.
While the Travis County Republicans are wrong for tweeting such crap out to a larger audience, at least that group had the good sense to remove the tweet. ConservativeDailyNews.com has left the post written by Bob Russell up on its page.
Russell’s post starts out, “Christianity is a religion but Islam is merely a satanic cult of rape, torture, murder, bestiality, and satan worship!!!!!” That’s the part Travis County GOP tweeted out on Monday night, Sept. 21. And it’s “all downhill from there, with the writer demonstrating … an almost unhinged hatred for Muslim,” TFN notes.
Russell George W. Bush and goes after other Christians, notably the Roman Catholic Church.
Here’s one section on “moslems” and Bush: “I remember an instance in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein where a group of ‘jihadists’ fired on American soldiers then hid in a mosque. The Americans returned fire, causing minor damage. The ‘outrage’ of the worldwide islamic cult and the Bush hating ‘American’ media was vociferous. The American government led by the coward and traitor George Bush immediately dispatched millions of dollars to the islamist terrorists to pay homage to allah/satan but before any repairs were made the other sect of the satanic cult blew it up with a truck bomb. The total destruction of the house of satan was met with silence from moslems and the ‘American’ media.”
Then there’s this declaration: “The catholic church is very prominent in the importation of members of the satanic cult of islam while ignoring middle east Christians who are being slaughtered by islamic satanists.”
Liberals, who “stand with the Godless islamic cult against Christianity,” also came in for their fair share of abuse: “Those who constantly scream ‘separation of church and state’ in regards to the legitimate religion of Christianity ( the religion this nation is based on) have no issue with the satanic cult of islam being taught to their children in the public schools.”
Then Russell falls back on the usual “God’s gonna get you” warnings: “I wonder how long it will be until God destroys this nation (as He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) for the cruelty to the innocent, and its promotion of immorality and satan worship.”
This post has been updated throughout to reflect additional co-authors.
A majority of the House GOP have signed onto a bill that would bar the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses, more than any other piece of legislation explicitly targeting the LGBT community.
A vote is scheduled today (Tuesday, May 12) for HB 4105, known as “The Preservation and Sovereignty of Marriage Act,” by Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia. It would preempt an anticipated summer Supreme Court ruling legalizing marriage equality.
37 co-authors and a joint author have signed on since Monday, April 27. Recent coauthors include last minute hold outs Reps. Rodney Anderson of Irving, a co-author as of yesterday (Monday, May 11) and J.D. Sheffield of Gatesville, a co-author as of Friday, May 8. Additionally Reps. Giovanni Capriglione of Southlake, Byron Cook of Corsicana, Charlie Geren of Fort Worth and Brooks Landgraf of Odessa, who have earned the ire of arch-conservative groups, have signed onto the bill.
University of North Texas Associate Professor of Political Science Matthew Eshbaugh–Soha said legislators could have any number of reasons to sign onto the bill.
In general, “I suspect this was a deal, either pushed by the sponsors of the bill (please support this and I will support you later) or interest groups (who have found the time and resources to attract support),” he wrote via e-mail. “Knowing the facts behind which bills can help to tell which particular story is the right one.”
Of the eight remaining Republican legislators whose names are absent, there is no single ideological reason; they range from Tea Party Republicans to the more traditional business-friendly Republicans – the latter of whom are more likely to steer clear of discriminatory legislation.
For instance, Empower Texans and others back Rep. Craig Goldman of Fort Worth, while other legislators have earned their ire. They include Dallas County Reps. Jason Villalba and Linda Koop, both of Dallas, and Morgan Meyer of Highland Park. Other missing signatories include Reps. Sarah Davis of West University Place, Todd Hunter of Corpus Christi and John Smithee of Amarillo. The final Republican, House Speaker Joe Straus, neither authors nor sponsors legislation and also abstains from voting.
HB 3567 by Rep. Scott Sanford comes in a near second with 83 signatories, including three Democrats. That bill is also scheduled for a vote today. Reps. Goldman and Smithee are among its co-authors.
Its companion SB 2065 by Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, reasserts a clergy member’s right to refuse to perform a marriage that is against their religious beliefs. It passed the Senate yesterday, on a 21-10 vote with Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, joining all Republicans. It is scheduled for a final procedural vote today.
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced her presidential campaign for the 2016 GOP nomination this morning (Monday, April 4). Yesterday (Sunday, April 3) retired neurosurgeon and Obamacare critic Ben Carson also announced his campaign. Meanwhile former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee plans to announce his campaign tomorrow (Tuesday, April 5).
They join an already packed tent that includes three senators (Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio).
Huckabee is a perennial candidate for office who moonlights as a Fox News host when not mulling a presidential run; he’s the most likely to appeal to the socially conservative grassroots. Carson meanwhile has never run for office, giving him outsider appeal.
Carson and Huckabee regularly spew anti-LGBT venom; venom that likely packs their campaign coffers too.
Both have used colorful language to describe the LGBT community. Carson in 2013 was forced to withdraw as commencement speaker at John Hopkins University in Baltimore for comparing same-sex marriage to pedophilia.
Of course Huckabee’s choice words and metaphors are the most widely known. A Southern Baptist minister trained at Fort Worth’s Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he has repeatedly denounced same-sex marriage in particular, comparing it to alcoholism.
Along with fellow Republican presidential candidates Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, he appeared in a documentary claiming the push for marriage equality threatens traditional Christianity.
But Fiorina has approached LGBT issues more delicately in comparison. The former corporate executive was the 2010 Republican nominee for the Senate in California, running against pro-LGBT stalwart incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer. Though she largely dodged details in 2010, she stated her belief that marriage is an institution between a man and woman. But she also acknowledged the changing views on same-sex marriage at the time. She supported civil unions and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Despite the historic Republican wave, she still lost to Boxer by 10 points.
But don’t worry, more straight white men are expected to announce their GOP bids soon, including former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. So start popping the popcorn folks, this election season’s gonna be fun.
Do you remember the good old days? When government didn’t get in the way of good ol’ Texas wheat farmers selling their product to Soviet Russia? Before the era of big government was over — unless you were in the banking industry? Before that closeted Communist President Jimmy Carter lead a boycott against the 1980 Moscow Olympics over its invasion of Afghanistan?
The half-dozen young people listening to former Texas Gov. Rick Perry talk yesterday (Thursday, April 16) in rural New Hampshire probably don’t either.
Thankfully for Perry, who is mulling his second presidential bid, most of the attendees at his “youth summit” were geriatric.
At Milford High School, Perry said that former President Jimmy Carter’s boycott of the 1980 Olympics was devastating for business if you were a wheat farmer, like Perry was – and for the kids.
“Remember 1979?” Mr. Perry asked the audience. “Remember where we were in 1979? No. 1, we were at 20 percent interest rates. Our kids were boycotted from going to the Olympics. President Carter made that decision. He didn’t let our wheat to be sold to Russia. I know. I was a wheat farmer.”
But Carter just didn’t kill business. As an advocate for youth around the world, Perry said he’s mad because the 1980 boycott killed so many young athletes’ dreams.
“These are kids who in some cases had spent their entire lives working to go represent America,” he said. “To use them as a tool, I think was in particular bad judgment, and I don’t think it had a bit of influence.”
After addressing the Most Pressing Issue of the Day, Perry bounced back from his 2012 campaign blunder. This time he remembered all three of the government projects he’d abolish: Common Core, No Child Left Behind and, of course, Obama’s ruthless reign of healthcare terror.
Since Texas can’t secede from America, he told the crowd, let’s make America become Texas. Perry touted his economic record in the state, dubbed the “Texas [$7.25 an hour] Miracle.” Watch me make the Texas Miracle into the American Miracle, he declared. Under President Perry, you too will be able to sell your wheat and take your ice skates to Russia.
Evoking a song by that other famous Canadian (the one not running for president), President Perry basically told the crowd: under me, you’ll be farmin’ in the free world.