Texas Gov. Greg Abbott last week directed the state’s Department of Family Protective Services to investigate gender-affirming health care as “child abuse” and the parents of children who receive such care as perpetrating it. The directive, which was met with alarm by LGBTQ groups, was applauded by Terry Schilling of the American Principles Project, who took credit for Abbott’s directive on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast last Thursday and thanked the War Room for aiding its pressure campaign on Abbott.
“We put together a $750,000 grassroots advocacy campaign with the War Room support, and we put pressure on him right before the election,” Schilling said. “It wasn’t a coincidence that he did this. And Abbott basically instructed all of his state agencies to treat this as child abuse, and it’s now criminal to do this.”
Abbott, a champion of the conservative movement, has been accused of not being right wing enough by the Republican Party’s extreme fringes. Such attacks escalated ahead of Tuesday’s Republican gubernatorial primary, which Abbott easily won.
In Schilling’s telling, Abbott has been insufficiently harsh on the LGBTQ community. Under Schilling’s leadership, APP—a religious-right organization that has made discriminating against trans kids its main endeavor—launched a Texas state chapter last year and targeted Abbott and other Republicans for not going far enough with the anti-trans legislation they passed. In February, APP released two ads attacking Abbott for failing to “protect our children.”
“Gov. Greg Abbott promised to protect our children from dangerous sex-change procedures and hormone therapies,” a voice narrates in one ad released Feb. 4. “Given the opportunity to protect Texas children, Greg Abbott chose not to bring up legislation.”
The legislation in question was an extreme bill from the Texas state legislature that would have criminalized gender-affirming health care for youth, redefining “child abuse” to include puberty suppression drugs, hormone replacement therapy, or surgical or medical procedures “for gender transitioning purposes.” (It’s worth noting that trans youth rarely, if ever, undergo surgery, and medical professionals say puberty blockers, which provide trans youth time to better understand their identity, are reversible.)
On Bannon’s podcast, Schilling accused Abbott of using “all of these backroom legislative maneuvers to keep it from getting a vote.”
However, when the state legislature did not pass that bill, Abbott asked his attorney general, Ken Paxton, to determine whether such gender-affirming health care could be considered “child abuse” under current Texas state law. Paxton issued an opinion on Feb. 18 that such care constitutes as “child abuse.”
Four days later, Abbott issued the directive to investigate gender-affirming care as “child abuse.” The order also called on teachers, doctors, and other professionals to report to child and protection services parents who provide their kids gender-affirming care, adding that there would be consequences for those who don’t report.
Schilling called the directive a “victory for the War Room posse,” and he applauded Paxton, who was a guest earlier in the program, for his opinion.
“It doesn’t happen without two things: It doesn’t happen without Ken Paxton and his leadership and what he came out with; and it also doesn’t happen without the War Room posse and everything they’re doing to help us really make this pro-family movement more muscular,” Schilling said.
Bannon, however, remained dissatisfied with Abbott’s directive. “You gotta get the law passed,” he said. “What does the cadre need to do to have your back and the folks down in Texas to get this on the books as a law?”
“So the first thing we have to do is we have to help Gov. Abbott and AG Paxton enforce the law,” Schilling said. “And what I mean by that is we have to start making reports when we find out about something bad happening to kids when it comes to gender transition. I don’t care if it’s top surgery where they’re doing mastectomy to healthy young girls or even just the counseling. We have to start making reports because it is child abuse. These guys can’t enforce the law and criminalize bad guys if they don’t know when and where and who is doing it.”
“Number two is you have to hold your politicians accountable, and you have to demand that they pass this,” Schilling said. “Abbott actually could call a special session in order to pass this legislation.
“We’ve got to force this,” Bannon said, urging his listeners to call on Abbott to call for a special session.
This isn’t the first time that Bannon and Schilling have teamed up to attack trans youth. Schilling’s group, APP, is also a member of A Promise to America’s Children, a coalition of right-wing and religious-right groups that formed last year to oppose so-called “gender ideology.” In reality, the coalition targeted trans youth through model legislation and misinformation. Pulling a page from religious-right attacks on gay men, these groups have fearmongered about trans people, claiming they need to “protect kids.”
Instead, these attacks have devastating effects on trans youth. The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, saw a 150 percent increase in crisis calls and messages in Texas between 2020 and 2021 when the state considered dozens of anti-LGBTQ bills. The group condemned Abbott’s directive, stating, “Access to gender-affirming medical care, like gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT), has been found to be significantly linked to lower rates of depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts among transgender and nonbinary youth.” Major medical organizations, including American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Medical Association, also support gender-affirming medical treatment.
Although LGBTQ groups say Abbott’s directive is unlikely to hold up in court, many see the directive as a political move made before both Paxton and Abbott’s primary elections. Speaking about the legislative attacks on trans youth last spring, LGBTQ writer and author Charlotte Clymer told Right Wing Watch, “For about a decade now, Republicans, specifically social conservatives, have been looking for a way to weaponize transphobia for elections.”
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
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‘Why So Much Hate From You?’: Mark Cuban Smacks Down Stephen Miller, Twice
A far-right wing pundit’s decision to go after a 29-year old woman’s TikTok video about her plans for a relaxing Saturday during a holiday weekend sparked a firestorm between billionaire businessman and TV personality Mark Cuban and former Trump White House aide Stephen Miller, with the woman revealing later some of the hate she received after being made a target.
It all started when “Theocratic fascist” Matt Walsh, as he calls himself, reposted a TikTok video on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, from a woman who says she’s “29 and single, and I don’t have kids yet.” The woman, identified by Mediaite as Julia Mazur, told her followers she slept in Saturday morning, woke up with a hangover and didn’t get up until 10:15 AM, after going to a Beyoncé concert the night before.
Mazur described her upcoming day, saying she enjoys not having plans, kids, a husband, or errands, and loves going wherever the day takes her. She was looking forward to watching some streaming shows on Netflix and Hulu, and possibly learning how to make shakshuka.
“I wouldn’t want to do anything else this Saturday,” she said happily.
Walsh responded to Mazur’s casual celebration of a joyous weekend by saying, “Her life doesn’t revolve around her family and kids so instead it revolves around TV shows and pop stars. Worst of all she’s too stupid to realize how depressing this is.”
“If you don’t have a family at least do something interesting with your time,” Walsh continued. “These people have absurd amounts of free time and they do absolutely nothing with it. Wasting their lives staring at little glowing boxes. Absolutely soul crushing.”
Her life doesn’t revolve around her family and kids so instead it revolves around TV shows and pop stars. Worst of all she’s too stupid to realize how depressing this is.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) September 3, 2023
Cuban stepped in, snarking on Walsh: “Says the guy who’s life revolves around Twitter/X.”
“How do you know she isnt trying to make it her job ? She has really good engagement and increasing numbers,” Cuban added.
That’s when Miller jumped in.
“You have a large following,” Miller, the architect of the Trump administration’s family separation policy, began. “People listen to your advice. What would you say is a more fulfilling path for adults: starting a family, or sleeping late and watching TV? What advice would you give to someone who suggests they wish to be childless so they can stream more shows?”
“Thanks for asking Stephen,” Cuban said in his lengthy response, which included him saying Mazur having a family or not is “none of my fucking business.”
He also asked Miller, “what happened that causes you to hate so much. Seriously Stephen. Why so much hate from you?”:
“1. I wouldn’t give her advice unless she asked. 2. After looking at the comments to her posts, I would thank her for offering a place for people who can relate to her, to engage and have a conversation. She replies to the comments and based on that, people seem to appreciate it 3. From a business perspective, I would tell her that the Wellness Space is crowded but if she does this in addition to her job, she might be able to build a nice business. 4. As far as a family. I would tell her to do whatever she thinks is best for her. It’s none of my fucking business 5. If I had you both in a room , I would point at her and thank her for trying to bring joy to others and I would point at you and ask what happened that causes you to hate so much. Seriously Stephen. Why so much hate from you?”
The exchange didn’t end there.
“In the interests of time I will respond with two points,” Miller replied. “1. No society can succeed where the constant message from our elites leaders is do whatever the hell you want and don’t worry about children. Children are simply the most important thing in the whole world and the foundation of civilization and all human flourishing. 2. Could you be more specific with your crass (and, I think you would acknowledge, unprovoked) smear on point 5? The issue/work with which I’m arguably most associated, stopping human smuggling and trafficking, is quite literally about saving human lives.”
Cuban replied, in an even lengthier response that included saying, “What any individual does in terms of having children or not is their choice. Full Stop.”
“Maybe I’m wrong , but if one of those children is born to an illegal immigrant, my understanding is that you do not want to help them and you want to deport them ?” he added, calling that “hateful.”
Ultimately, Mazur posted another video, detailing some of the hate messages she’s received since Walsh’s initial post.
Walsh’s platform often revolves around attacking the LGBTQ community, including especially transgender girls and women, He has been included in reporting on white Christian nationalism, and “far-right media instigators.” He also recently warned, “whites are trending towards extinction in the United States.”
Mazur said Walsh’s followers told her, “I should actually die and never leave my house. I should be sexually assaulted,” she said, adding she was told, “I’m a whore.”
“These people were really really really riled up about my choices,” she said.
But Mazur concluded, “life’s too short figuring out what Matt Walsh wants us to do.”
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) September 4, 2023
Watch the videos above or at this link.
Image of Mark Cuban via Shutterstock
Liberal Fox News Co-Host Destroys Conservatives’ Claims the Right Holds the Majority Opinion on Culture War Issues
Fox News co-host Jessica Tarlov, the lone liberal on the the right-wing cable channel’s very popular afternoon show “The Five,” destroyed her conservative co-hosts’ talking points on a wide variety of culture war issues.
Behind a chyron of “Tyranny of the Minority” – related to remark made by Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy – Tarlov on Wednesday fed facts to the conservatives who tried to claim the majority of Americans oppose the right to choose an abortion, and the majority of Americans do not support transgender people.
“On the trans issue, for instance,” Tarlov offered, “our own Fox polling shows that 57% of Americans think that trans kids and their families being the target of political attacks, as in these anti-trans bills, is a major problem.”
“When you look at the actual numbers of kids that are, for instance, they have gender dysphoria, and they’re getting top surgery. How many kids do you think got top surgery last year?” she asked, not receiving a response from any of her co-hosts.
“Under 300,” answered Tarlov, who “holds two Master’s degrees in political science and public policy, as well as a Ph.D. in Government from the London School of Economics and Political Science,” according to Variety.
“Then think about an issue that’s really important to Democrats –” she suggested, trying to continue before co-host Greg Gutfeld interjected, asking: “Children?”
“Minors,” she responded, referring to the question of top surgery.
“That’s an atrocity,” Gutfeld declared. “But continue,” he added, laughing.
“But over 5800 kids were victims of gun violence, for instance,” Tarlov pointed out. “I don’t hear Republicans talking about that. Tyranny of the minority –” she again tried to continue before Gutfeld interrupted.
“Oh, what a false comparison,” he snarked.
“It absolutely isn’t,” responded Tarlov. “It’s a priority on the right to talk about trans issues, a priority on the left to talk about gun violence. Which affects more people?” she asked.
“Abortion is another instance of the tyranny of the minority,” Tarlov continued. “I get it, federalism – you send it back to the states where a group of elected officials have decided, for instance, in like Texas, Louisiana, that women should not be able to get abortions after six weeks. We have women that are bleeding out, going into sepsis. In Louisiana, a woman was forced to carry a baby that had no skull.”
Gutfeld, apparently outraged, screamed, “What does this have to do with this topic?”
“What are you talking about?” she replied. “This is, he says tyranny of the minority.”
“But that had to do with LGBTQ,” Jeanine Pirro interjected, “not with all of your favorite issues.”
“He’s running to be president of the United States of America,” Tarlov argued.
“But that’s not what we’re talking about, we’re talking about – I asked you specifically about pronouns,” Pirro complained.
“And I said he was wrong to act as if the GOP is the party of the majority opinion – they are not. They’re taking minority positions and running with them,” Tarlov explained.
An agitated Gutfeld again interjected, “Pro-life isn’t a minority position.”
“It is, actually,” she replied.
“What, are you gonna talk about the fact that it’s like 48%,” Gutfeld, hands raised, again snarked.
“No, I’m going to talk about the 69% – it’s the highest it’s ever been recorded – that now support abortion at least through the first trimester,” she replied. “And what’s happening then in Ohio and Kansas and Kentucky.”
“What’s the Democrat stance on abortion?” Gutfeld asked.
“That it’s between a woman and her doctor to make those decisions,” she said.
“No, what’s the what’s the cut off?” Gutfeld asked. “Is that what you call that tyranny of minority as well?”
Frustrated, Gutfeld added, “I think the logic here is that you’re slicing these issues –”
“Are you talking about, ‘we want to kill live babies’?” Tarlov asked, referring to conservative talking points.
“I didn’t say that,” Gutfeld replied.
“I’m just pointing out that this isn’t actually the right argument, but go ahead,” he offered, before Pirro took over and said, “I’d like to get back to the issue.”
Watch below or at this link.
You can tell Jessica Tarlov hit a nerve here by how Judge Jeanine and Gutfeld reacted — especially when she points out how out of step the GOP is on abortion and other issues while simultaneously railing about the “tyranny of the minority” regarding trans kids. pic.twitter.com/IY1tnmaGVP
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 16, 2023
‘That’s How Fascists Talk’: Matt Gaetz Slammed for Threat of Violence
According to an expert on authoritarianism, comments made by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Saturday while standing with former president Donald Trump should raise flags as he promised to use “force” to create change in Washington, D.C.
Considering the former president was recently indicted for conspiracy related to the Jan. 6 insurrection that led to lawmakers fleeing for their lives, historian and author Ruth Ben-Ghiat called Gaetz comments alarming.
Speaking before a crowd at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday, Gaetz stated, “Mr. President, I cannot stand these people that are destroying our country. They are opening our borders. They are weaponizing our federal law enforcement against patriotic Americans who love this nation as we should,” before adding, “But we know that only through force do we make any change in a corrupt town like Washington, D.C. And so to all my friends here in Iowa, when you see them come for this man, know that they are coming for our movement and they are coming for all of us.”
Reacting to Gaetz’s proclamations, Ben-Ghiat told MSNBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin, “What he is saying is that they are not going to have change through elections or through legislation or through reform. They are going to have change through violence.”
“And that’s how fascists talk,” she added. “So, even if Trump is out of the picture, these are people who have adopted methods very familiar to me as a historian of fascism, that violence and corruption and lying that’s what the party is today.”
Watch below or at the link:
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