This will be the inaugural edition of an on-going series devoted to the vicious and stupid behavior of all conservatives and their fellow-travelers. (Atypical)
Right-wingers Trying to Oust Speaker of Texas State House Because He's Jewish.
Ordinarily, who gets elected Speaker of the Texas state House would only be of interest to those in Texas. But the current dispute in Austin has a larger significance.
The current state House Speaker is Joe Straus, a conservative Republican leading a conservative Republican majority. He's currently facing a challenge from state Rep. Ken Paxton, who appears to agree with Straus on nearly everything.
So what makes this noteworthy? Straus is Jewish, and some far-right activists in Texas have a problem with that.
A few weeks ago, a coalition of Tea Party and right-wing Republican groups began lobbying for Paxton to replace Straus, with coalition activists circulating anti-Semitic emails. The message from conservatives was that the GOP state House needed a "Christian conservative" leader.
This week, the Texas Observer reported on an email exchange between two members of the State Republican Executive Committee, which governs state GOP affairs. One of the two party leaders, John Cook, insisted in a message, "We elected a house with Christian, conservative values. We now want a true Christian, conservative running it."
The Observer's Abby Rapoport connected with Cook to ask about his efforts to replace the current state House Speaker.
"When I got involved in politics, I told people I wanted to put Christian conservatives in leadership positions," he told me, explaining that he only supports Christian conservative candidates in Republican primary races.
"I want to make sure that a person I'm supporting is going to have my values. It's not anything about Jews and whether I think their religion is right or Muslims and whether I think their religion is right. ... I got into politics to put Christian conservatives into office. They're the people that do the best jobs over all."
Ah, I see. It's not "about Jews," it's just that Cook doesn't think Jews can do the job well because they're Jews.
He added that he prefers Christian candidates, but isn't anti-Semitic. "They're some of my best friends," he said of Jews, naming two friends of his.
Someday, folks will have to understand that "some of my best friends are [fill in the blank with a minority group]" is a cliche repeated by bigots. I would have hoped that was obvious by now.
As for the bigger picture, I'm inclined to consider this yet another setback in the Republican Party's minority outreach efforts.
By Steve Benen | Sourced from Washington Monthly
Church-State Watchdog Group Urges President To Ignore Missive Whining About National Motto
Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus have criticized President Barack Obama for telling an audience in Indonesia last month that the phrase “E Pluribus Unum” is a good summary of the American experience.
The Prayer Caucus, led by U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), wrote to Obama today complaining that he called “E Pluribus Unum” the national motto during a Nov. 10 speech at a university in Jakarta. The national motto, the caucus insists, is actually “In God We Trust.”
Americans United for Separation of Church and State says members of the Prayer Caucus need to get a life if they think this is an important issue.
“Given the state of the economy, the unemployment rate and the precarious state of world affairs, the president has a lot to do,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, by contrast, appear to have a lot of time on their hands.”
Appalling: Lesbian Coach Pressured to Resign After Revealing Sexual Orientation
The women's soccer coach at Belmont University has resigned under pressure from school officials after revealing that her partner was pregnant -- a life event that would presumably not only be accepted, but celebrated, if she was heterosexual.
Reports The Advocate:
A senior on the team said [coach Lisa] Howe had asked the athletics department whether she could disclose to her players that her partner was due to give birth to their child in May 2011. Instead, Howe was met with an ultimatum: Resign or be fired from the Nashville school.
According to team captain Sari Lin, Athletics Director Mike Strickland said Howe violated an unspoken "don't ask, don't tell" policy about sexuality when she disclosed her partner's pregnancy. "She was telling us what her sexual preference is," Lin said to The Tennessean. "He said you can hide your sexuality, but you can't hide a baby. He pretty much told me that once the baby was born, she was going to get fired anyway, so it's better to do it sooner than later."
Tea Party leader Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) told radio host Sean Hannity yesterday that Republicans may "scuttle" the tax deal if the Bush tax cuts extension is tied to unemployment aid. Calling jobless aid "massive spending," Bachmann said "tying" the tax cuts "to massive spending is something that would be very difficult for members to swallow."
Rep. Steve King Wants to Bring Back McCarthyism (Alternet)
The Red Menace still looms large in Rep. Steve King's fevered imagination.
In an interview with Right Side News, King was asked if he supported a recent conspiracy-laced speech by conservative media mogul Cliff Kincaid, in which he argued that the next Republican Congress should bring back the House Internal Security Committee in order to combat "the ugly spread of Marxism in America." King responded, "I would. I think that is a good process and I would support it."
The House Internal Security Committee was the followup to the highly controversial HUAC, a congressional body meant to serve as a counterpart to the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee in which McCarthy was heavily involved. The HUAC was notoriously involved in a Hollywood investigation of actors, directors and writers that were allegedly communist sympathizers. More than 300 motion pictures professionals were put on a Hollywood blacklist as a result of hearings by the committee.
Long live the witchhunt. Between King and Michele Bachmann, Darrel Issa is going to have a run for his money on the investigation front.