Mike Huckabee opted to lie his way out of a Fox News interview when cornered about his attack on President Obama’s nominee to head the Army.
Saturday afternoon Mike Huckabee issued a disgraceful attack on President Barack Obama, and Eric FanningÂ â€“Â the man the Commander-in-Chief had just nominated to be the next Secretary of the Army â€“Â and the LGBT community.
“It’s clear President Obama is more interested in appeasing America’s homosexuals than honoring America’s heroes,” Huckabee said, adding that President “Obama is so obsessed with pandering to liberal interest groups he’s nominated an openly gay civilian to run the Army. Homosexuality is not a job qualification.”
Thousands of his 1.8 million supporters on Facebook weighed in, most of them attacking the President for putting a gay man in charge of the Army, and a civilian to bootÂ â€“ despite the fact that it is a civilian position and the man Fanning is replacing is a Republican who never served in the military.
Huckabee so ginned up his base a good number of them called for the President to be tried for treason, with at least one demanding Obama be removed from office “by any means necessary.”
What the former Arkansas governor opted to leave out of his Facebook rant is that Fanning is by far the most-qualified man for the job, and is supported by the Secretary of Defense to take that role.
On Fox News Business Monday morning, Huckabee was actually challenged on his attack, with host Sandra Smith even pointing to a Washington Post piece praising Fanning’s qualifications.
“Is there any indication from the White House that they nominated him for any reason other than his qualifications?,” Smith asked.
Standing by his Facebook rant, Huckabee responded by asking why the White House was “making such a big deal and talking about” Fanning’s sexual orientation.
“What difference does it make?,” Huckabee, riled up, asked, before launching into a defensive tirade.
“I had people who were gay who worked on my staff, who have served in my administration when I was governor. I never went around saying, â€˜Hey, Iâ€™ve got some homosexuals that are working for me.â€™ Whatâ€™s the point? If theyâ€™re qualified, hire them. But hire them on the basis of qualification,” Huckabee said, ignoring that that’s exactly what the President did.
“My point is,” the GOP residential candidate stumbling in the polls continued, “that a personâ€™s sexual orientation is not a qualification, and I just think this president is so into symbolism, so into trying to prove to everybody that heâ€™s this open-minded guy, maybe heâ€™s trying to make up for the fact that until, gosh, what, just three years ago, he still took the position that many of us do, and that is that marriage, for example, is a biblical issue, and it is between a man and a woman. He had this sudden revelation that it is not that way anymore. And I just feel like that the president has made this such an agenda, and the agenda for the military is to focus on the best qualified people, because weâ€™re talking about life and death issues. And if he thinks Eric Fanning is the best for the job, nominate him, but leave his sexual orientation out of it.”
Smith responded that Fanning “is widely seen as very qualified for the job.”
And in fact, at no point could NCRM find the White House saying anything about Fanning’s sexual orientation during or since the announcement â€“ with one possible exception: on Saturday morning the White House posted to Facebook a link to a New York TimesÂ article. That article link reads, “Obama Names First Openly Gay Secretary of the Army.”
At no other point did the White House “make such a big deal” about Fanning’s sexual orientationÂ â€“ or actually even mention it at all.
Here’s the Obama administration’s announcement on Fanning’s nomination:
Eric K. Fanning, Nominee for Secretary of the Army, Department of Defense
Eric K. Fanning has served as Acting Under Secretary of the Army since June 2015.Â He has served as Special Assistant to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter since March 2015, including as Chief of Staff to the Secretary from March to June 2015.Â From 2013 to 2015, Mr. Fanning served as Under Secretary of the Air Force and as Acting Secretary of the Air Force in 2013.Â Mr. Fanning previously served as a Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy from 2009 to 2013.Â Prior to joining the Administration, he was Deputy Director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.Â Mr. Fanning worked for Business Executives for National Security (BENS), first as the Washington Regional Director in 2001 and then as Senior Vice President for Strategic Development from 2001 to 2007.Â Prior to joining BENS, Mr. Fanning held a number of positions, including Senior Associate at Robinson, Lerer & Montgomery in New York and Associate Producer at CBS News.Â He began his career in public service serving as an Associate Director of Political Affairs at The White House in 1996, Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1993 to 1996, and as a Research Assistant for the Committee on Armed Services in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 1993.Â Mr. Fanning received a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
The media of course noted that Fanning would be theÂ first openly gayÂ Secretary of the Army, because that’s news. But the White House, except for a link to a New York Times article on Facebook, said not one word.
Huckabee is the one who made the biggest deal, and the most news about it.
Image: Screenshot via Fox News BusinessÂ
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McCarthy Mocked for Claim GOP Is Not Party of ‘Nativist Dog Whistles’ After Greene’s New ‘Anglo-Saxon’ Caucus
“The nativist call is coming from inside your own caucus, Kevin”
After four years of a Republican President who worked almost daily to spread or lend support to racism, white nationalism, or white supremacism – including having top advisors inside the White House who embraced those ideologies – House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy is having a hard time tamping down the Pandora’s Box of hate Donald Trump unleashed.
McCarthy has refused to take a strong stand against the most dangerous members of his caucus, trying to allow the extremist Congressmen and Congresswomen to actively lie, disrupt House business, and spread hate on a daily basis. Because they are raising millions.
In response to Republican white supremacist members of Congress Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona announcing they are forming the “America First Caucus,” McCarthy tried to stand up to those radicals, as Forbes notes, via tweet.
It did not go well.
The America First Caucus’s “platform” says “a certain intellectual boldness is needed amongst members of the AFC to follow in President Trump’s footsteps, and potentially step on some toes and sacrifice sacred cows for the good of the American nation.”
It’s focus? All the current GOP buzzwords, like “Election Fraud,” “Sovereignty,” “Big Tech,” “Immigration,” “America First Education,” and “The Chinese Communist Party,” among others.
One portion that is raising a lot of eyebrows talks not about America’s “Judeo-Christian” heritage, which the far right often uses to single out some immigrants, but another term that narrows that opening even further: “America is a nation with a border, and a culture, strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”
Late Friday afternoon McCarthy tried to push back.
“America is built on the idea that we are all created equal and success is earned through honest, hard work. It isn’t built on identity, race, or religion,” he tweeted. “The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln & the party of more opportunity for all Americans—not nativist dog whistles.”
The Republican Party, even decades before Donald Trump, has been the party of nativist dog whistles, as many reminded him.
Here’s what some are saying.
Imma let you finish, but…
No, actually, I’m not.
The seditious flotsam dragging behind the sewage barge of national populism is a nativist dog whistle set to ear-splitting volume. https://t.co/OAxVXzFstg
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) April 16, 2021
“Dog whistle”? That suggests subtlety, and Marjorie Taylor Greene wasn’t that subtle. https://t.co/JlXNIyP25m
— Jan Wolfe (@JanNWolfe) April 16, 2021
LITERALLY LAUGHING OUT LOUD AT THIS UTTER BULLSHIT.. LOUD, SO LOUD IT SCARED THE DOGS
WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN FOR THAT PAST HALF CENTURY??? https://t.co/LfbECHGvP4
— Shannon in Ohio 4 (@ShannonFreshour) April 16, 2021
Wait, is this dipshit dog whistling a dog whistle? https://t.co/A8L6EXHBwI
— Ollie McClellan (@OllieMcClellan) April 16, 2021
Gosh, might want to send a memo to your caucus on that https://t.co/SDR8oe2gso
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) April 16, 2021
Is this a parody account? – the modern GOP protects statues of confederate traitors who would have killed lincoln and GOP supporters run around with confederate flags https://t.co/uNrgVybsiw
— Steven Strauss (@Steven_Strauss) April 16, 2021
Did you hit your head?!
— Rachel Bitecofer 📈🔭🍌 (@RachelBitecofer) April 16, 2021
If America was built on the idea that we were all created equal, why did we have to add amendments for black people and women to make it law for them to be treated equally?
— David Weissman (@davidmweissman) April 16, 2021
Then why did you fight so hard to keep the person whose nativist dog whistles inspired this window-dressing tweet on the House Education and Labor Committee? https://t.co/blvG04w7Qo
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) April 16, 2021
Are you sure you understand what a nativist dog whistle is? Because your whole party blows that whistle.
— susanelizabeth (@Imfrommichigan) April 16, 2021
this my friends is some extremely weak sauce https://t.co/xtyqJDbWLW
— Aaron Fritschner (@Fritschner) April 16, 2021
The nativist call is coming from inside your own caucus, Kevin. https://t.co/l5FqUPg53E
— Lisa Senecal (@lcsenecal) April 16, 2021
Man leading the White Party suddenly realizes he’s in the White Party. Well good luck with that, Sparky 👍 https://t.co/Fmzfxgt9Rr
— Joe Remi (@JoeOfTheNorth) April 16, 2021
@ them, Leader McCarthy. Show some courage.
— Brandon Wolf (@bjoewolf) April 16, 2021
Lincoln would have nothing to do with you jackasses. https://t.co/bNPWU16sSY
— Robert Ellingsworth (@BY1959) April 16, 2021
They aren’t whistling it anymore. They are shouting it. https://t.co/CaHhUj91oH
— Simon Lester (@snlester) April 16, 2021
‘Nightmare Scenario’ for Democracy: ‘Desperate’ GOP May Sink to New Depths to Fight Election Reform – With SCOTUS’s Help
While Republicans in state legislatures are proposing voter suppression bills all around the U.S., Democrats are pushing the For the People Act at the federal level — a comprehensive voting rights bill that has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives but now faces a steep uphill climb in the U.S. Senate. Democrats have a narrow majority and must contend with the filibuster for most legislation. Far-right pundits have been railing against the act, known as HR1, on conservative media outlets like Fox News, Fox Business and Newsmax, and observers warn Republicans will take extreme efforts to fight any such reforms.
Beutler contemplates various scenarios and how they could affect voting rights if they come to pass. Some scenarios to consider, Beutler writes, include 82-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court becoming available, Democrats losing their narrow Senate majority, and the court attacking voting reforms if Democrats somehow manage to get them passed in the Senate.
“Here’s a nightmare scenario I encourage everyone — but particularly, Breyer and Senate Democrats — to imagine having to endure,” Beutler writes. “Through illness or untimely death, Democrats’ 50-50 Senate ‘majority’ becomes a 49-50 Senate minority. They don’t retain the seat. Joe Biden loses reelection. We’re all left hoping Breyer can survive into his 90s so that the Supreme Court doesn’t swing from 6-3 to 7-2. Mitch McConnell gets Charlie Kirk fitted for a robe.”
He continues: “Now consider this less speculative nightmare scenario. Democrats let bygones be bygones, leave court reform out of their larger democracy-reform project, change the filibuster rules, pass both HR 1 and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act — and the existing Supreme Court takes a hatchet to it. We should know to expect this, because Republicans declared the For the People Act ‘unconstitutional’ sight unseen, as a kind of bat signal to their allies on the courts to make sure democracy reform can’t take effect.”
Beutler adds, “We can’t know in advance which provisions of these bills the Supreme Court would invalidate, but it’s trivially easy to step into the shoes of conservative justices and extend the same pseudo-constitutional arguments they’ve used to degrade American election law over the last decade to new reforms. Campaign-finance regulations? Well, those obviously violate the 1st Amendment. Non-partisan gerrymandering? The federal government can’t dictate that kind of thing to the states!”
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) April 16, 2021
But Democrats don’t just face dangers from the right-wing Supreme Court. Republicans controlling key state legislatures, oftened heavily gerrymandered to protect their majorities from swings in public opinion, are actively considering how to thwart efforts to make elections fairer.
Democracy Docket, in a “legislation alert” published this week, describes Texas House Bill 4507 — which has been proposed by Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives and would “essentially create a two-tiered voter registration system, in an effort to evade federal voting rights protections that could pass into law this year.”
Democracy Docket explains, “HB 4507 establishes two different registration processes: one for federal elections, which would be required to comply with national legislation such as the For the People Act — and one for state elections, which Texas Republicans claim could ignore these federal requirements. Any voter registering to vote in a federal election would not be automatically registered for local and state elections, unless they meet the much stricter and more exclusionary requirements of Texas’ election code. Instead, they would have to apply and register again separately for their local elections.”
On Twitter, attorney Marc E. Elias, founder of Democracy Docket, described HB 4507 as an example of “how desperate Republicans are to prevent all voters from participating in elections”:
As HR1/S1 moved closer to passage, this is a tactic to watch for in a number of red states. It shows how desperate Republicans are to prevent all voters from participating in elections.https://t.co/yTZ94oUuZH
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) April 15, 2021
After liberal Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent tweeted Beutler’s Crooked Media column, law professor and election law expert Rick Hasan noted:
There's lots that can be done in the careful drafting of these election reform measures that can bolster their constitutionality. Hopefully when there is a proposal with a serious chance of passing, election law scholars will be consulted.
— Rick Hasen (@rickhasen) April 16, 2021
Image via Shutterstock
Scandalous Scion Jerry Falwell Jr. Sued for $10 Million by Liberty University
Jerry Falwell, Jr. is being sued by the school his father founded. Liberty University has filed a $10 million complaint against its former president.
“The new suit, which alleges breach of contract and fiduciary duty, claims that Mr. Falwell withheld scandalous and potentially damaging information from Liberty’s board of trustees, while negotiating a generous new contract for himself in 2019 under false pretenses. Mr. Falwell also failed to disclose and address ‘his personal impairment by alcohol,’ the suit alleges, according to The New York Times.
But according to Talking Points Memo, which published the entire complaint, the lawsuit is far more scandalous.
“The evangelical institution claims in the suit, filed in Lynchburg Circuit Court in Virginia, that Falwell concealed his relationship with Giancarlo Granda from the university.”
“Had Liberty’s Executive Committee known in 2018 and 2019 that Granda was attempting to extort Falwell Jr. and thus planning to damage Liberty, and had it known the full circumstances of Granda’s extortion of Falwell Jr., then the Executive Committee would have refrained from entering into the 2019 Employment Agreement,” the suit states.
“The actions of Falwell Jr. and Granda have injured Liberty’s enrollment, impacted its donor base, disrupted its faculty, enabled the 2019 Employment Agreement that proved detrimental to Liberty’s interests, and damaged Liberty’s reputation,” the suit reads.
The suit also adds that “Granda had plenty of information that could have been deeply damaging to Falwell Jr. in the eyes of the evangelical community.”
Falwell, Jr.’s social media posts are infamous, and some are included in the lawsuit.
In August of 2020 before leaving Liberty, Falwell said his wife had had a “fatal attraction” extramarital relationship with the man identified as Giancarlo Granda.
“Becki had an inappropriate personal relationship with this person, something in which I was not involved – it was nonetheless very upsetting to learn about,” Falwell claimed.
But Granda responded by accusing Falwell of being involved in that relationship.
“Jerry enjoyed watching,” Granda alleged.
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