Fred Phelps has died. The 84-year old founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, which marketed itself as “God Hates Fags,” was reportedly excommunicated by his own family members and other Church elders last August. He was recently placed in hospice care for an undisclosed illness and died last night.
The Topeka, Kansas-basedÂ Westboro Baptist Church, which has only a few dozen members, many of whom are family, was added to theÂ Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of active anti-gay hate groups. Its actions are closely watched by both theÂ Anti-Defamation LeagueÂ and theÂ Southern Poverty Law Center.
Phelps leaves behind a wife, Margie, and reportedly 13 children.
Phelps and his followers regularly picketed the funerals of LGBT people, service members, and pop-culture celebrities. Their announcements profess they will picket but often they don’t show.
Kansas First News reported Phelps’ son Tim Phelps, announced the death of his father.
This is a developing story — stay tuned for updates.
Hat tip: Tee Jay
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‘Let’s Be Blunt’: Bannon Blasts Huckabee Sanders as ‘Not Intellectually Capable’ After ‘Insulting’ SOTU Response
Arkansas Republican Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivered the Republican Party’s official response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address and was panned from all sides.
Many on the left were angered and outraged as she attacked LGBTQ and Black Americans in a lengthy speech that was tall on culture war rhetoric and extremism and short on policy or vision.
But even those on the right seems exasperated with her remarks.
Lou Dobbs, the far-right-wing culture warrior and former Fox Business anchor, told former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon that Huckabee Sanders’ speech was “unacceptable,” and, “an insult to President Trump” for “not mentioning his name,” as Media Matters reports.
“Sarah Huckabee went to Iraq with the President,” Dobbs recalled, which the former White House press secretary spent an unusually large portion of her remarks discussing, “and the First Lady in the dark of night, for Christmas, with our troops.”
“To not mention is name, to talk about ‘new leadership’ – it looked like the Governor’s Association had written much of that speech, and aligned themselves with Ron DeSantis,” Dobbs lamented, calling it a “lack of respect to POTUS.”
Bannon, convicted on two federal criminal contempt charges, agreed that her remarks were “an insult to Trump.”
“She does not exist, politically, if it’s not for President Trump,” Bannon continued. “I thought the speech was terrible.”
“If you’re going to give a counter speech, you’ve got to talk about important issues. Don’t get me wrong, the wokeism is very important. But it’s not quite the heart of the matter right now, right? It’s not the heart of the matter. She is not — the reason is she’s just not — she’s not intellectually capable of going to the heart of the matter, right? Let’s be blunt.”
“This was like written by Ron DeSantis and the entire RGA,” Bannon said, referring to the Republican Governors’ Association.
Watch below or at this link.
Yes, the GOP Has Repeatedly Said It Wants to Gut Social Security and Medicare Before Calling Biden a ‘Liar’ – Here’s Proof
Many across the nation were likely horrified but not surprised Tuesday night when Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and several other House and Senate Republicans lashed out at President Joe Biden as he delivered the State of the Union Address, falsely branding him a “liar” for telling the truth: The GOP has consistently called to gut, sunset, or otherwise dramatically alter or dismantle the critical, life-saving social safety nets of Social Security and Medicare.
But it’s no secret Republicans for years, including recently, have wanted to take an ax to these programs, and other “entitlements,” despite proof they literally save lives.
Just Monday, Bloomberg reported, “House Republican committee and caucus chairs are pushing to create panels to study extending Social Security and Medicare solvency as part of any debt limit deal.”
“The discussion about creating commissions indicates some policy proposals floated by Republicans on entitlements — such as increasing the eligibility age or adding means-testing measures — are a possibility, even as GOP leaders say they’re not negotiating policy changes directly as part of a debt-limit vote,” Bloomberg added.
Cutting, gutting, altering, or otherwise tampering with “entitlements” (which also include federal and state programs paid for by workers via their paychecks) has been a core policy of the Republican Party for years.
Donald Trump repeatedly called for gutting Social Security and Medicare, a fact that appears to have been conveniently forgotten by some of his staunchest supporters.
Numerous House and Senate Republicans have either attacked or outright called for gutting, “sunsetting,” or otherwise dramatically altering Social Security and Medicare in the past year, including U.S. Senators Rick Scott (FL), Mike Lee (UT), Lindsey Graham (SC), Ted Cruz (TX), Ron Johnson (WI), Ted Budd (NC), and U.S. Reps. Rick Allen (GA), Mike Waltz (NC), Kevin Hern (OK), and others.
Here’s Rep. Greene and most of the Republican caucus Tuesday night heckling the President, with some including Greene calling him a “liar.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene calls Biden a liar as he accurately states that some Republicans want to sunset Social Security and Medicare. Republicans say no, so Biden responds, “So we all agree, Social Security and Medicare are off the books.” pic.twitter.com/N83YSFc7eN
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) February 8, 2023
Proud of her disruption of centuries of decorum, after the State of the Union Greene told reporters, “I don’t clap for liars.”
Manu Raju asked Marge Greene about her behavior yelling at Biden during the SOTU: “He got exactly what he deserved, and I’m not sorry one bit. What am I gonna do, stand up and give golf claps? pic.twitter.com/UL6uMfEPP9
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) February 8, 2023
Greene then recorded video after shouting “You’re lying!” and “Liar!” at President Biden, defending her antics — by lying.
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) February 8, 2023
Greene may have led the charge but she was far from the only culprit lying about the President of the United States in a nationally-televised speech that was seen in several parts of the world.
Here’s U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), once floated as a Trump Supreme Court nominee, “feigning outrage” at President Biden’s truthful claim, and video of him calling to gut Social Security and Medicare. In fact, he says in the video the reason he was running for Senate was to pull up “by the roots” Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
MORE RECEIPTS: @MeidasTouch
shows how fake the Republican outrage during the State of the Union was.
They screamed when Biden said they want to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid BECAUSE IT’S TRUE👇🏽pic.twitter.com/AlPjgylQ4u
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) February 8, 2023
And U.S. Senator Rick Scott, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), getting called out by Fox News for wanting to “sunset” Social Security and Medicare.
Here is Rick Scott (R) being called out on Fox News for calling to sunset Social Security and Medicare. pic.twitter.com/qfJTVJkLyx
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) February 8, 2023
U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, Republican of Georgia, claiming people are telling him they “want to work longer,” as he says he wants to raise the retirement age, which would dramatically alter Social Security and Medicare.
Here is a top Republican, Rick Allen (R-GA), recorded on camera saying his party is going after Social Security because people “want to work longer.” pic.twitter.com/gQln56a4A2
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) February 8, 2023
Or an apparently younger U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme:
— Will Ragland (@citizenwillis) February 8, 2023
Center for American Progress Action’s research director, Will Ragland, in October pointed out Trump has repeatedly promised to gut Social Security and Medicare:
Reminder… Trump proposed cuts to Medicare and Social Security in every budget and straight up said he will cut entitlements in 2020. Why are folks still acting like his broken promises in 2016 amount to anything now? pic.twitter.com/CiKDyFdphP
— Will Ragland (@citizenwillis) October 24, 2022
“Every single budget Trump proposed would’ve cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Social Security, Medicare, & Medicaid,” Ragland says.
And video of Trump saying it as recently as 2020:
Trump committed to cutting Social Security and Medicare 3 times in 2020 before the pandemic took hold.
1. Davos: Asked in an interview if cuts to entitlements would ever be on his plate, Mr. Trump said yes.
2. Released proposed budget w/ $875 billion in cuts to SS & Medicare. https://t.co/n9AVyyL1Ua
— Will Ragland (@citizenwillis) February 8, 2023
Literally dozens of Republicans back in October called for gutting, sunsetting, or killing Social Security and Medicare. This was the GOP playbook just a few months ago.
And over the last week, Republican leaders have outlined their legislative playbook to get this done… Either Dems make these cuts or they’ll manufacture an economic meltdown and have the country default on its debt. https://t.co/fsUuHmYedy pic.twitter.com/7G8VxM6H2i
— Will Ragland (@citizenwillis) October 25, 2022
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham in June: “entitlement reform is a must.”
WATCH >> Lindsey Graham is promising Republicans are coming for your Medicare and Social Security. pic.twitter.com/WMm9nOaKWU
— Ammar Moussa (@ammarmufasa) June 13, 2022
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) in August saying he wants to “fix” “broken” Social Security and Medicare by turning them into “discretionary” spending:
NEW: On the The Regular Joe Show, Sen. Ron. Johnson (R-WI) argues for eliminating entitlements: “Social Security and Medicare, if you qualify, you just get it no matter what the cost… We ought to turn everything into discretionary spending so it’s all evaluated.” pic.twitter.com/bE1KUb6uJ5
— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) August 2, 2022
U.S. Senator Ted Budd (R-NC), as a candidate, agreed with the “major points’ of Sen. Rick Scott’s 11-point plan which included sunsetting all federal programs, which would include Social Security and Medicare. (Sen. Scott just hours ago “doubled down” on his call to die just that.)
#NCSen GOP candidate @TedBuddNC is aligning himself with NRSC Chair @SenRickScott’s policy roadmap that calls for a tax hike on half of Americans and risks “sunsetting” Social Security, Medicare, and coverage protections for people with pre-existing conditions. pic.twitter.com/CA6pPL8RU2
— American Bridge 21st Century (@American_Bridge) April 19, 2022
U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz (R-NC) just one month ago called for “big reforms,” and said: “if we really want to talk about the debt and spending, it’s the entitlements program.”
Rep. Michael Waltz on the possibility of military spending cuts: “I agree with Jim Jordan that we are going to carve out woke policies out of the military … [but] if we really want to talk about the debt and spending, it’s the entitlements program.” pic.twitter.com/5Nhv5fel0i
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 9, 2023
Mike Pence, likely a 2024 presidential candidate, just days ago talked about dramatically altering Social Security, Medicare, and all “entitlements.”
VIDEO: As first reported by @CNN, former VP Mike Pence (R) discussed one of his first policy proposals for a potential 2024 campaign at a closed-door event on Thursday: privatization of Social Security.
PENCE: “We could replace the New Deal with a better deal.” pic.twitter.com/ZwChMgDwVD
— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) February 5, 2023
Many of those who have been trying to gut Social Security belong to the far-right Republican Study Committee.
Last summer NBC News reported: “The Republican Study Committee, a large group of House conservatives, proposed a budget in June that would incrementally raise the retirement age to collect Social Security, based on changing life spans, and lower benefits over the long term by using a new formula.”
This article has been updated to include the portion on Mike Pence.
Republicans ‘Acting Like Jackasses’ Because Biden Nailed Them on Social Security: Morning Joe
The president urged Congress to protect the broadly popular social programs, saying “some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset,” which prompted literal howls from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and a handful of GOP lawmakers, but the “Morning Joe” host said Biden’s claim was on the mark.
“If you’re at home an you’re not as much of a nerd as me and you don’t follow all this stuff, let me tell you something, they were booing reality, Republicans,” Scarborough said. “Joe Biden said that one administration raised the debt more than first 220 years of president, we can say to you on the show, that’s a truth, the debt went up 25 percent. When he said Republicans raised the debt ceiling three times during the Trump administration — wait, why are they booing? They did it. They’re booing themselves for doing that.”
“Then, this is the one that gets me, talking about sunsetting Social Security and Medicare every five years, nobody dreamed that up — that was the head of the Republican Senate Campaign Committee,” Scarborough added. “He won’t say his name, I will say his name. Say his name: Rick Scott, the most powerful Republican in the United States Senate for running campaigns. So they’re acting like jackasses because they can’t deal with the truth, can’t deal with the truth, and they make themselves look foolish.”
House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was seen at several points trying in vain to shush the hecklers in his caucus, and Scarborough said the reward structure in GOP politics gave the noisiest lawmakers outsized influence.
“Here is the problem being a leader of Republicans right now is Marjorie Taylor Greene just gave a gift to Joe Biden, gave a gift to the Democratic Party, gave a gift to every Democrat that is running against Republicans who won in Biden districts,” Scarborough said, “and yet the incentive structure is such that Marjorie Taylor Greene will raise a million dollars by calling the president a liar. So you have all of these extremists that are raising a ton of money while damaging their party and they just don’t care. So if you’re Kevin McCarthy, what do you do?”
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