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Tag: family research council

Court Sets Trial Date For Josh Duggar’s Child-Porn Trial

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Josh Duggar, the 33-year old former 19 Kids and Counting reality TV star, pleaded "not guilty" to federal charges related to child pornography on Friday in Arkansas, and his parents released a statement thanking Americans for their "continued prayers."

"We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time," Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar told Us Weekly in a statement. "The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious. It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family."

Josh Duggar, a father of six children with one more on the way, has a trial date has been set for July 6. He is currently jailed and will not be released on bond until he can prove he has housing that keeps him away from children.

"I will also advise you that any proposed third-party custodian, it would need to be in a residence, where there are no minors in the home," the judge told him Friday.

Duggar if convicted could face 20 years and $250,000 for each charge.

He is charged "with receiving and possessing child pornography," the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas said in a statement. "Duggar allegedly possessed this material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019."

Josh Duggar, Former Reality TV Star And Right-Wing Activist, Indicted For Child Porn

Former reality television star Josh Duggar pleaded not guilty to two child pornography charges at a virtual hearing on Friday, a day after he was arrested in Washington County, Arkansas. The eldest child of the Duggar family, whose day-to-day life was featured on the hit TLC reality series “19 kids and Counting” from 2008 until 2015, was charged with receiving and possessing child pornography. The 33-year-old conservative political activist — who served for two years as the executive director of FRC Action, which counts limiting access to pornography among its causes, before resigning in 2015 ...

Supreme Court Ruling Upholds LGBTQ Rights — And Enrages The Republican Right

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Right-wing media figures had a meltdown after the Supreme Court decided that it is unconstitutional for employers to discriminate against LGBTQ people, calling it "Orwellian" and "a brute force attack on our constitutional system." In one of the most significant rulings for the rights of trans and queer people, the court ruled 6-3 that LGBTQ employees are protected under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

The Supreme Court issued a combined ruling on several cases; two were on behalf of men who were fired for being gay and a third about a woman who was fired for being trans. In that third case, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, extreme anti-LGBTQ group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) represented a funeral home owner who fired employee Aimee Stephens after she came out as transgender. Stephens died on May 12 and was unable to see the landmark decision in her favor.

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This Week In Crazy: We Wish You A Joyous And Very Secular Late Autumn Period

It’s that non-denominational, post-Halloween, pre-New Years period again. How are you planning to celebrate the War on Christmas? 

Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Raheem Kassam

It’s the week after Halloween, which means we’re already deep into the Winter Holiday season.

I call it the “Winter Holiday season,” and not the “Christmas season,” because I am — as you may have guessed — a foot soldier in the secular army, battling for the soul of the Western World.

Taking the “Christmas” out of Christmas is just one of the many ways me and my Baphomet-worshipping, Feminazi cohorts have worked to dismantle the cultural pylons that sustain this homogeneously white and Christian empire we call the West.

One of our latest and most insidious tactics to de-Christianize the late-autumn period has been to whitewash (or rather redwash) the yuletide imagery from those festive coffee cups Starbucks traditionally switches to every November to coincide with the explosion of aural misery you and your caroling kind call “Jingle Bell Rock.”

Unfortunately for us, Breitbart’s Raheem Kassam has spotted the gambit, and he isn’t having it. In a post entitled “War On Christmas: Starbucks Red Cups Are Emblematic Of The Christian Cultural Cleansing Of The West,” Kassam tracks the descent of these cups’ adorable design from that of a “Christmas-oriented product” to the massacre of Western mores we have before us today.

Over the last six years, Kassam writes, Starbucks has steadily removed the Christmas elements from the cups — scrubbing the Nativity-evoking stars and Christmas pine tree branches, and replacing them with snowmen and snowflakes — which, while not strictly speaking “Christian,” at least “resembles something mildly festive and Western.” And now this year we have before us a “monstrosity” — behold: A Bare. Red. Cup.

Starbucks Launches Exclusive Canadian Red Cup Pre-Order (CNW Group/Starbucks Coffee Canada)

Godless joe.

“The only thing that can redeem them from this whitewashing of Christmas is to print Bible verses on their cups next year,” Kassam writes.

“And no,” he contends, “I’m not ‘reading too much into it.'”

Via Breitbart

Next: National Religious Liberties Conference

4. National Religious Liberties Conference

As long as we’re on the subject of the erroneous Christian persecution complex, we should acknowledge that there are arenas of more consequence than vessels for eggnog lattes where this fallacy plays out.

To wit: the three presidential candidates who have worked most diligently to position themselves as our nation’s last best hope for a Christian theocracy — Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Bobby Jindal — will be attending the National Religious Liberties Conference this weekend, in an apparent effort to shore up their support among far-right evangelical Christians.

As if any of them needed to establish their bonafides with this lot.

In the last debate, Jindal made clear who his base was, advising his supporters that “We believe that the tomb is open,” heralding a new day for the country he wants to lead. Woe to any non-Christian Americans living under President Jindal, who made “religious liberty” one of the early touchstones of his campaign for the White House. (You have the liberty to follow Jindal’s religion, you see.)

And you might remember the little tug of war between Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz, angling for the media to recognize each of them as Kim Davis’s #1 fan

Well, the National Religious Liberties Conference is being hosted by Kevin Swanson, an extremist pastor, who, according to Right Wing Watch, has argued that Abraham Lincoln was a tyrant and a communist and has advised that women on welfare should be treated as war plunder and accordingly forced into prostitution. But that’s all!

[Swanson] wants the government to apply Old Testament law in all matters, thinks birth control turns women’s uteruses into “graveyards for lots and lots of little babies,” spoke up for Uganda’s “kill-the-gays” bill, sees constant threats to recruit his daughter to become a lesbian from Disney movies and Girl Scout cookies, and describes homosexuality as a satanic “disease” that causes natural disasters.

This is the guy the GOP contenders want in their corner — but I guess they need to blame natural disasters on something

Via Right Wing Watch

Next: Michael Savage

3. Michael Savage

Conservative radio shock jock and Guinness record holder for most violations of Godwin’s Law, Michael Savage, has never been one for subtlety or sanity. And he’s made some remarks recently, which are basically a vintage Savage roundup of his laziest and looniest historical comparisons and lowest possible blows.

He refers to President Obama as “this thing in the White House,” and reiterated his familiar talking points: namely, that we are living in a “dictatorship,” and that “Nazis Nazis Nazis Nazis Nazis Nazis.” (Or something like that.)

His latest rant is in fact only notable because the radio host can now be seen, as well as heard. Joining NewsmaxTV’s Steve Malzberg for a video gab session, Savage promoted his new book Government Zero, which he says is “selling like hotcakes” — despite the fact that “a very big figure in the media” informed Savage that he has been “blacklisted.”

During the interview, Savage called for Americans to stand up against the “radical, insane leftwing agenda,” and declared that we need to convene a Nuremberg-style trial — a “Wichita People’s Trial in America” — to try President “Barry” for his crimes against this country.

Savage even goes off on an extended rant against the… oh, you know what? You can watch it yourself.

Via Mediaite

Next: Tony Perkins

2. Tony Perkins

It’s been some time since Tony Perkins graced this page. Perkins, you might recall, is the president of the Family Research Council (FRC), a lobbying group which “often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The fact that the FRC has argued that gay people are sexual predators, while also employing degenerate reality star Josh Duggar as their executive director, ought to give them an occasion for a little introspection — but their campaign continues unabated.

The folks at Right Wing Watch this week reported on a fundraising letter that Perkins transmitted as a response to the president’s decision to call for an end to ineffective and harmful “conversion therapies” for young gay people.

Per RWW, the letter urged

supporters to help them stop “sexual brainwashing of our children by our government” and thwart Obama’s plan “to get as many American children into the funnel of the sexual revolution as possible and make sure there’s no possible escape.”

“We cannot stand by and allow the President to force his radical sexual agenda on our children,” Perkins says in the letter, which also includes a glossary of definitions LGBTQ terms packaged as “offensive material.”

You can read more of excerpts from the letter here.

Next: The Defeat of HERO

1. The Defeat of HERO

For a country trending toward full equal rights for LGBTQ citizens, this Tuesday dealt a dispiriting setback, when Houston voters opted to reject an anti-discrimination ordinance that would have prohibited discrimination in areas like housing, employment, and city contracts on the basis of age, race, sexual orientation, disability, and gender identity (among other characteristics).

Opponents of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) zeroed in on one element that wasn’t even written into the legislation — a fearful and unsubstantiated notion that, if the referendum passed, men could “pretend to be women” in order to use women’s restrooms. And they used that discredited canard to wage what Houston mayor Annise D. Parker (who is lesbian) called a “deliberate campaign of lies,” which ultimately proved successful in killing the ordinance.

Hungry for a victory in a year that marked the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide, right-wing commentators, conservative Christians, and Republican opponents of the proposition (including Texas governor Greg Abbot and his lieutenant governor Dan Patrick) proceeded to giddily jump on HERO’s corpse.

Patrick told reporters that the measure’s 61-to-39-percent loss showed that “liberal, leftist ideas of the Democrats — led by this mayor and led by Hillary Clinton are going to be rejected,” and that the vote “had nothing to do with equal rights.”

In his column, Todd Starnes declared that the “bullies lost” and that it was a “good night for religious liberty.”

Sean Hannity repeated the myth of the “bathroom bill” propagated by the proposition’s opponents on his Wednesday radio show, saying that had it passed, it would have “forced” girls “to share bathrooms and showers with biological males who identify themselves as female.” Audio below courtesy of Media Matters:

And American Family Association spokesperson Bryan Fischer, presumably frothing with glee, declared that the defeat of the “gender-twisting ordinance” (as he characterized it) was a signal that “America isn’t dead yet,” but cautioned that efforts like HERO, which “are falsely advertised as ‘equality’ bills… when they are the exact opposite” should be “a reminder that America must choose between the homosexual agenda and religious liberty because we cannot have both.”

A New York Times editorial, criticizing the hateful rhetoric of HERO’s opponents, offers a succinct reply: “In time, the bigots are destined to lose.”

Image: melissa brawner via Flickr 

Check out previous editions of This Week In Crazy here. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments!

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This Week In Crazy: A Jackboot On The Face Of Sanity

Dear conservatives: Imagine a jackboot stomping on the face of your overwrought metaphor.

Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz watched Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, and either a.) what he saw scared the living hell out of him, reducing him to a mewling puddle of his own making, raving Chicken Little-like through the streets, begging everyone to listen that apocalypse is a’brewing, or b.) he is campaigning in Iowa and continues his craven and cynical bid for conservative support by playing to people’s worst instincts, suspicions, and fears.

Far from me to speculate on Cruz’s state of mind, but we can report that he was indeed in Iowa during the debate, and that he claimed he was not at all encouraged by what he saw. The debate, he said, “was a recipe to destroy a country.”

“It was more socialism, more pacifism, more weakness, and less Constitution,” he told an assembled crowd of Iowans, according to The Dallas Morning Newswhich also reports that Cruz “acknowledged that he hadn’t actually watched the debate. During much of it, he was stumping at a Pizza Hut.”

That may explain why his summation of the event bears very little resemblance to what anyone watching the debate actually saw.

The debate, he said, “was an audition for who would wear the jackboot most vigorously” — jackboot, of course, long being a symbol for fascism. During the debate, the Democrats were simply auditioning “for who would embrace government power for who would strip your and my individual liberties.”

Cruz continued:

“It was interesting for America to see each and every Democratic candidate explain how what we need is an even weaker America, how we should withdraw even more from America” – he probably meant to say the world – “[and] avoid any conflict whatsoever with Iran, with Russia, with ISIS, with the lunatics who want to kill us.”

Either the sky is falling or the caucus is coming. Who can say?

Via Dallas Morning News

Next: Rush Limbaugh

4. Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh phoned in his daily aria Wednesday to let Americans know that we were a stronger, better nation when we endured the endemic poverty and misery of the Great Depression.

Currently, we’re living in Handout Nation, which is actually much worse than the United States of the Great Depression in the 1930s, although the “propaganda-believing, willfully ignorant, mainstream media-watching, math-challenged consumer” doesn’t want to hear it.

Limbaugh continued:

In 1933, if you were out of work, you didn’t eat. You had to stand in a soup line and depend on charity. In 2015, you can be among the 94 million not working and have a roof over your head, have a cell phone, a car, your air conditioned home probably– or your home is probably air conditioned and, you’re eating as much as you want.

[…] If you can eat, and have a house, and a big screen, and a cell phone without working, who in the world is paying for it? Back during the Great Depression, if you couldn’t pay for it, you didn’t have it.

Limbaugh has trotted out this “94 million” figure before — the number of Americans of whom he says: “We are paying people comfortably not to work.”

Conservatives often use the not-in-the-labor-force number to hand-wring over how we’ve become a runaway welfare state, but as PolitiFact notes, it’s misleading since it includes people we wouldn’t necessarily expect to be working. The drop in labor force participation can be partially attributed to Boomers retiring and young people staying in school. Suffice it to say, they don’t all enjoy lobster dinners on the government’s dime — and suffice it to say, we don’t need to induce another Great Depression to improve our labor stats.

And Rush wasn’t even the only conservative this week to suggest that would be a good idea.

Via Media Matters

Next: Bill O’Reilly

3. Bill O’Reilly

Fox News continues its curious practice of demonizing Black Lives Matter as some kind of radical hate group — curious because the network is so comfy providing a forum for actual hate groups to espouse their views.

On his show Wednesday night, Bill O’Reilly likened Black Lives Matter to the Ku Klux Klan. Recall that BLM emerged two years ago as a response to systemic police brutality and citizen vigilantism that targets African-Americans, and that the KKK emerged some 150 years ago to perpetrate systemic brutality and citizen vigilantism that targets African-Americans. (You can see how one might accidentally conflate the two.)

Turns out the two camps have more in common than anyone would have guessed. O’Reilly complained that “the leadership of Black Lives Matter could have repudiated” inflammatory rhetoric inciting violence against police officers, and because they didn’t, the entire movement must be held to account, in the same way that all Klansman are likely to be criticized, even though the KKK really only has a few bad apples.

O’Reilly continued:

If the movement doesn’t repudiate, it’s like the Ku Klux Klan, alright? You know, are all Klansman going to hang blacks? No. But they’re all in the same soup bowl, alright? Because they don’t divorce themselves from the group who did do those things.

Ah, Fox News’ old “soup bowl” argument — which holds that it is the perennial responsibility of moderate Muslims to repudiate Islamic extremists — that rests on the careless assumption that you can lump disparate groups into an all-inclusive antagonistic “They.”

For the record, the day I stop actively repudiating conservative blowhards on this page, it will not be because I chose to go swimming in the same sour chowder as them. It will be because I got sick of listening to them.

Via Media Matters

Next: Curt Schilling

2. Curt Schilling

When Donald Trump realized that he wasn’t going to be invited to the Democratic debate, the tycoon decided to steal as much thunder as he could via social media, announcing that he would be live-tweeting the event as a one-man Statler and Waldorf (albeit with a more limited vocabulary and wit than those muppet curmudgeons).

At one point, The Donald asked his followers who they thought was winning the debate (other than Trump, of course).

Leave it to former professional baseballer and would-be video game magnate Curt Schilling to tweet the retort that launched a thousand spit-takes.

Schilling responded to Trump, simply: “ISIS.”

This is part of a pattern of intemperate tweeting, which has gotten Schilling in trouble before. Per Huffington Post:

In August, ESPN suspended Schilling from his role as an analyst at the Little League World Series after he tweeted a meme that compared Muslims with Nazis. ESPN called the tweet “completely unacceptable,” and later announced that Schilling’s suspension would apply to Sunday Night Baseball and run through the end of the MLB season, too.

Of course, Breitbart found some way to defend Schilling’s remarks, saying his tweet was a reflection of ISIS’ relative absence from the Democratic debate: “Whereas the Republican event broadcast on CNN witnessed ISIS namedropped 27 times, CNN’s Democratic debate heard five mentions of ISIS or ISIL,” they wrote.

To Schilling’s credit, his tweet did leave Trump without a comeback.

Next: Jerry Boykin and Rick Wiles 

1. Jerry Boykin and Rick Wiles

When far-right-wing activist Jerry Boykin joined Rick Wiles on his radio show Tuesday, the conversation turned into a duet of insane condemnation of usual suspects like President Obama, as well as right-wing watchdog groups that keeps tabs on nutgardens like them, but — as the men readily admit — never misquote them.

They kicked off their screed-for-two-voices by condemning the president for inspiring the murderer in the the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College. Responding to reports that the killer specifically targeted Christians, the pair located the rampage squarely within the ongoing conservative Christian paranoid fantasia of persecution by vindictive secular forces — what Boykin described as “the fight of the future.” He continued:

Right here in America, the church, the Christian church, has been so demonized and denigrated by the current administration and those that support this administration that I think that you have to expect this because there are enough crazies out there that when you constantly hammer the U.S. Christian church, you have to expect that there is going to be some reaction and that’s what we’re seeing.

[…] It’s not just about having to bake a cake or take photographs for a gay wedding, this is about literally about life and death for Christians in the future. It’s coming.

Even though the shooter described himself as a ”conservative, Republican,” Boykin and Wiles conclude that he must have been a devoted follower of “ultraliberal, anti-Christian, and anti-American organizations” like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups (such as the Family Research Council, of which Boykin is Executive V.P.), and the indispensable website Right Wing Watch.

Audio of these nits’ conversation is below, courtesy of (who else?) Right Wing Watch:

Via Right Wing Watch

Illustration: DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Check out previous editions of This Week In Crazy here. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments!

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This Week In Crazy: Come Hell And High Water

Conservatives are tripping over themselves to paint a halo on the Kentucky clerk who was jailed for trying to keep gay people from getting married in her county. So brave. Ah, America, where you can simultaneously hold the Constitution up as a holy totem and conveniently forget anything in it you don’t like. Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Louie Gohmert

Louis Gohmert 320Republican congressman from Texas Louie Gohmert has said he will pack up his toys and leave the Capitol if the nuclear deal with Iran goes through (which it is going to).

In an email to Glenn Beck, which Beck read on his show, Gohmert said:

Last week, I announced to the world if the House and Senate will treat Iran — the Iran treaty as a treaty, I will not run for my congressional seat again. It’s the only thing that I have left that our leadership wants beside my integrity.

And after last week that I spent in Egypt, I feel so compelled to do absolutely everything I can to derail this president’s drastic move towards a nuclear holocaust. I won’t run again if the House voted on my attached resolution and the Senate voted on ratification.

Gohmert further told Breitbart that “the foolish cowardice of Neville Chamberlain in 1938 will pale by comparison” to the cravenness of congressional Republicans.

In fairness, if nuclear holocaust were to occur, we wouldn’t want to die in Washington, either.

Via Addicting Info and Breitbart

Next: Tony Perkins 

4. Tony Perkins

tony perkinsRemember Tony Perkins? He’s the head of the Family Research Council, the far-right hate group that has repeatedly claimed that gay people were sexual predators, while employing degenerate reality star Josh Duggar as its executive director. He’s the same Tony Perkins who said the anti-bullying campaign “It Gets Better” was “immoral” and “disgusting,” and spoke out in favor of Uganda’s infamous “kill the gays” law.

Fox & Friends invited the very same Tony Perkins to share their couch this week to promote his new book, No Fear, a jeremiad of the struggles of Christian “young people who have taken a stand for Biblical truth” and suffered for it; the book, he said, is “a message of hope for the rest of us.” (Who is “us”? If you have to ask, it’s probably not you.)

Media Matters has assembled a supercut of Fox News hosts giving Perkins a platform to shill his book and spew his noxious riff on the Christian persecution narrative. Which is hilarious in a mirthless kind of way when you consider that the network accuses the Black Lives Matter movement of being a hate group, while Megyn Kelly and her colleagues continue to wheel out Tony Perkins every time they need an old, sensible-sounding white man to rattle his saber against the dreaded gays.

To Kelly’s credit, she did try (not terribly hard) to nail Perkins down on one point: When you open the door to religious liberty exemptions, and start letting government officials opt out of their sworn duties, where does it end? Would a Muslim clerk be permitted a “religious accommodation”? Do you have to allow interracial marriages if the God of your understanding opposes them?

Perkins did not answer, but merely tried to characterize Davis as a reasonable woman caught under the boot of big, bad liberalism.

“All she wants is to have her name off the license. She is not saying nobody in my office can issue this,” Perkins told Kelly. In fact she said exactly that.


Kim Davis should rest easy knowing she has a such a sterling moral champion in Tony Perkins on her side. He even gave her his new book when she got released from jail, and promised to include a new chapter about her martyrdom in a subsequent edition.

Via Media Matters and Right Wing Watch

Next: Matthew Staver 

3. Mathew Staver

Kim Davis hugs her attorney Mathew Stave after walking out of jail in Grayson Kentucky

Of course Perkins isn’t the only conservative stalwart for Kim Davis.

Mathew Staver, former dean of the law school at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, has been representing the recalcitrant county clerk in her crusade to maintain the sanctity of marriage in her domain of Rowan County, Kentucky. (According to Davis, marriage is an eternal, sacred bond between a woman and three menone of them twice).

As an attorney and head honcho at Liberty Counsel — the righteous anti-gay, anti-abortion counterpart to that vile haven of black magic and Baphomet worship, the ACLU — he has defended Davis’ criminal actions, likened her to a Jew living in Nazi Germany, fought to get her released from jail, and become a white knight in the modern conservative Christian theocratic movement, fighting for your right to practice their religion. Staver even had the temerity to threaten the deputy clerks, who opposed Davis by issuing licenses in her absence, with civil action.

The “religious liberty” rhetoric espoused by Staver is designed to give the impression that Christians of conscience are being oppressed, and would much rather turn the other cheek and go on their way. Right Wing Watch has gathered 10 horrible things Staver has said over the years, making it pretty clear that he’s on the warpath, and his views on gay people place him comfortably in the Dark Ages — and hand in hand with presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

His comments include calling gay people “demonic,” terrorists, and child molesters, and defending the decision to go to war to keep same-sex marriage from becoming legal.

Via Right Wing Watch

Next: Sarah Palin

2. Sarah Palin

The Tea Party rally on Capitol Hill against the Iran deal was a buffet of bonkers. The event was headlined by Senator Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, who conveyed all the usual bombast (the president is “lawless,” said Cruz; our leaders are “stupid,” said Trump — yawn). But then the erst-governor of Alaska and onetime (we pray) VP candidate Sarah Palin put in an appearance as well — a cartoonish blast of nonsense, hypocrisy, and silliness so bizarre and uninformed even Glenn Beck is embarrassed to have ever supported her.

She accused Obama of implicitly supporting violence against police officers “since he still hasn’t called off the dogs.” By “dogs,” we suppose she means the Justice Department probe into the city of Ferguson, or perhaps the #BlackLivesMatter movement… I don’t know. That’s the magic of Palin: her language is vacuous and loaded at the same time — void of meaning and pregnant with innuendo. (“Who’s our enemy? You know who.”)

Although there to voice her disapproval of the Iran deal, she failed to articulate a single coherent thought against it, opting instead to goad the audience into easy cheers with code words like “Reagan.” (Remember when Reagan actually sold weapons to Iran? Neither does Palin, apparently.)

You know you’ve gone too far when even Glenn Beck washes his hands of you.

“Sarah Palin has become a clown,” he said later. “I’m embarrassed that I was once for Sarah Palin. Honestly — I’m embarrassed.

At least someone on the right knows how to feel some shame.

Next: Mike Huckabee 

1. Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee. Photo via Gage Skidmore via Flickr

For any number of reasons, a Mike Huckabee presidency is a highly alarming prospect, but what specifically concerns me this week is his flagrant ignorance of American history and jurisprudence — an ignorance he has been loudly and proudly preaching to score political points with evangelicals and anti-gay-marriage crusaders.

At the carnival supporting Kim Davis’ release Tuesday, Huckabee echoed what is now a familiar line among conservatives angling to delegitimize the Obergefell ruling: The Supreme Court, Huckabee said, has no standing to make the law. “Five unelected lawyers,” by which he means the five-Justice majority that ruled prohibitions against same-sex marriages were unconstitutional, do not have the right to make the law. That right is reserved exclusively for elected officials at the local, state, and federal level.

Appearing on radio host Michael Medved’s show, Huckabee elaborated:

The Supreme Court in the same-sex marriage decision made a law and they made it up out of thin air. Therefore, until Congress decides to codify that and give it a statute it’s really not an operative law and that’s why what Kim Davis did was operate under not only the Kentucky Constitution which was the law under which she was elected but she’s operating under the fact that there’s no statute in her state nor at the federal level that authorizes her

In other words, until a legislative body gets around to actually writing a law, we don’t have to follow the Supreme Court ruling. After all, he said, the Dred Scott decision “still remains to this day the ‘law of the land,’ which says that black people aren’t fully human. Does anybody still follow the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision?”

So, Huckabee believes that Dred Scott, which holds that African-Americans don’t have citizenship, is still the “law of the land.” (It’s okay — he isn’t the only GOP candidate to forget the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.)

He also believes that the Supreme Court is basically an impotent body that has the capacity to do… well, nothing basically. (He’s in good company. Fellow GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson also believes it’s high time we revoked Marbury vs. Madison, the landmark 1803 decision that established the Supreme Court’s role in judicial review.)

But what a relief to know then that President Huck would have no trouble ignoring the Hobby Lobby decision! And Citizens United! And Shelby County!

In fact, the answer to Huckabee’s ignorance can be found in any middle-school history textbook (outside of Texas, anyway). But since cracking open a book can be such a pain, here’s PolitiFact to save us some time:

[T]he Supreme Court can clearly overrule the other two branches of government. Congress may pass a law and the president can sign it, but the Court can invalidate it.

The Supreme Court, however, only has the ability to interpret laws — not to draft or enforce them. So the president is obligated to enforce the law as determined by the courts, said Katy Harriger, a professor of constitutional law at Wake Forest University.

[… T]he Supreme Court indeed has the power to overrule the other branches through judicial review — the court’s ability to rule that a law passed by Congress and signed by the president is unconstitutional. While there are certainly tools the president and Congress can use to go around a Supreme Court decision it doesn’t like — such as amending the Constitution or selecting justices that support the alternate position — these are difficult to accomplish and usually require years of effort, making them rare. The much more common result is for the executive and legislative branches accept a Supreme Court decision as the final word.

Huckabee may not like this state of affairs, but on balance, we rate his claim Mostly False.

My guess is that Huck mostly doesn’t care.

Via The New Civil Rights Movement and BuzzFeed

Illustration above: Sam Reisman, National Memo (via Ismo and Drriss & Marrionn)

Check out previous editions of This Week In Crazy here. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments!

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Josh Duggar Was ‘A Child Preying On A Child,’ His Father Says

Los Angeles Times (TNS)

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, stars of the hit TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting, said they felt like failures after hearing that when their oldest son, Josh, was a teenager, he was involved in inappropriate conduct with several underage girls, including more than one of his younger sisters.

In a sit-down interview with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly that aired at 6 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday, the Duggar parents publicly addressed the allegations for the first time since reports surfaced two weeks ago.

Two of the Duggars’ daughters — Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard, who are now in their 20s — briefly appeared in the show’s final minutes. “We’re victims,” one said tearfully.

It was unclear exactly what she was discussing, however. Michelle Duggar had told Kelly that because of the current media frenzy, the people Josh touched have been “more victimized these last few weeks more than they were 12 years ago.”

A fuller interview with Seewald and Dillard is to air Friday night.

In the interview that aired Wednesday, Jim Bob Duggar said his son Josh, who is now 27, came to him at age 14 and said he had “improperly touched some of our daughters” under their clothes while they were sleeping.

“The girls didn’t know,” their father said.

“Safeguards” were put in place, but then Josh started to touch the girls in the living room, he said. On two occasions, the girls were awake, Michelle Duggar said.

“He was still a kid,” Jim Bob Duggar said of his son. “This was not rape or anything like that.”

The last incidence of touching was with a sister younger than 10, the father said. “At that point,” he said, “we pulled him out the house and said, ‘You can’t be here.'”

Kelly asked the couple whether they were a worried their son would be labeled a pedophile.

They responded that the label would be incorrect: Josh was not a pedophile because he was not an adult when the incidents happened, they said.

“He’s a child preying on a child,” Jim Bob Duggar said.

Believing that their son should confess to a police officer, his parents took him to Arkansas State Police headquarters, and Josh “shared everything” with an officer, who in turn gave the boy a stern talk, the couple said.

Kelly said that officer has since been convicted of child pornography charges and is incarcerated.

“We had no idea” that the officer was involved in anything wrong, Jim Bob Duggar replied.

“There was so much grief in our hearts. I think as parents we felt we’re failures, you know?” Michelle Duggar told Kelly. “Here we tried to raise our kids to — to do what’s right and know what’s right. And yet, one of our children made really bad choices and I think as a parent we were just — we were devastated.”

The day allegations surfaced, Josh Duggar resigned his post as executive director of FRC Action, the lobbying arm of conservative Christian group Family Research Council. He then issued an apology on his family’s Facebook page. “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” it began.

The scandal ignited on social media, where many expressed anger and disappointment toward the Arkansas family using the hashtags #CancelTheDuggars, #DitchTheDuggars and #BoycottTLC.

Streaming giant Hulu severed ties last week with 19 Kids and Counting. Companies and brands including Walgreens, Payless Shoe Source, Choice Hotels, Pure Leaf Iced Tea, and General Mills have said they plan to remove their ads from the show.

(c)2015 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Screenshot: Fox News/YouTube

Meet The Duggars: Reality TV Stars And Moral Hypocrites

The Duggar family, of TLC’s popular reality series 19 Kids and Counting, has admitted their oldest son had a undisclosed history of molesting his own sisters. Josh Duggar, now 27 years old and father to three young children, has since made statements regretting his “inexcusable” actions.

The Duggars are known for their unusually G-rated show, in which they espouse a conservative, Christian lifestyle. Birth control is discouraged (obviously), women wear modest clothing, and contact between the sexes is strictly monitored.

Despite their moralizing, Josh, the oldest in the long line of children, has been revealed to have a history of fondling multiple unnamed minors. According to InTouch magazine, which originally broke the story, a female member of the Duggar brood informed her father in early 2002 that Josh had been fondling her while she slept.

Several months later, another daughter also confessed that Josh had been sexually abusing her. Other minors complained of ongoing abuse, finally prompting Jim Bob, the Duggar family patriarch, to go to the authorities.

Unfortunately, those “authorities” were, in fact, the church elders — and in their wisdom, they chose not to involve the police. Instead, Josh Duggar was sent to a “Christian program” consisting of “hard physical work and counseling” from March to July 2003.

Michelle Duggar, the family’s mother, later admitted the so-called program was actually just a temporary stay at a family friend’s house. The friend, a contractor, had no counseling experience.

Finally, in 2006, Jim Bob reported the abuse to the police. No other official action was taken and the family says that the victims “forgave” Josh, who had “sought after God and turned back to God.”

Since the molestation came to light, Josh Duggar has resigned his position at the Washington, DC-based Family Research Council, a conservative, religious non-governmental organization considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

TLC has canceled all shows featuring the Duggars that were set to air, and the program’s chances of renewal remain questionable.

The family has spoken out in defense of their son, stating, “That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before. Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God.”

Josh’s wife, Anna, has also spoken out in support of her husband. She was evidently informed of Josh’s so-called “mistakes” two years before their engagement, and believes he is simply “someone who had gone down a wrong path and had humbled himself before God and those whom he had offended.”

The man at the center of the storm has also issued a statement, released to People magazine, saying, “I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”

As far as Josh Duggar is concerned, God’s grace may let a confessed child molester off the hook, but it does not extend to gays and lesbians, whose sexual orientation Duggar has, not incidentally, frequently linked to pedophilia.

But if God has forgiven Josh and his family, He is not alone. Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has already declared his support, so at least he’s guaranteed 10 votes from the Duggar household.

Screenshot: Josh Duggar speaking at the Rally for Religious Freedom, 2014. Via Family Research Council/YouTube

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