Following the terrorist attack by Islamist extremists targeting Christians in Lahore, Pakistan, on Easter Sunday, we're seeing the usual attempts to make sweeping judgments of all Muslims. For example, Peggy Venable -- Texas policy director and senior states policy advisor for Americans for Prosperity, a right-wing public policy group founded and funded by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch -- retweeted this vicious post attacking Islam:…… Read More

What is it with right-wingers who seem to have so much trouble with American history? See this tweet today from Peggy Venable, Texas policy director for the Koch-funded, anti-government Americans for Prosperity:

“Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading” — Thomas Jefferson

Except that there’s no evidence Jefferson ever said that. The Monticello website notes that this quotation has been making the rounds on the Internet since about 2001:

This quotation has not been found in the writings of Thomas Jefferson. The language is somewhat uncharacteristic of Jefferson’s style. “Stand around” in the sense used here is not an expression that can be found in Jefferson’s letters. He almost always wrote “every body” instead of “everybody.” And there are no instances of the word “reload” (or variations thereof) referring to firearms in Jefferson’s writings.

Of course, someone posting a dubious quote from a famous American is hardly news on the Internet. Venable has plenty of company there — on both sides of the political spectrum.

But we’re fascinated by how often leaders and activists on the far right misquote the Founders and get so much else about our nation’s history so incredibly wrong — especially since… Read More

Religious-righters have hurled insults at state Sen. Wendy Davis and other supporters of women’s access to reproductive health care in Texas for weeks now. While Sen. Davis filibustered legislation that would effectively bar women’s access to abortion across much of Texas, for example, Cathie Adams of Texas Eagle Forum repeatedly referred to her as “whining Wendy.” Adams also called Davis’ supporters “stinky stalking feminists” and “feminazis.” We saw one religious-righter send out an email calling Sen. Davis “murderer in chief.” State Rep. Bill Zedler called opponents of anti-abortion legislation “terrorists.” Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst have referred to them as a “mob.”

Peggy Venable, head of the Texas chapter of the anti-government (oh, the irony) Americans for Prosperity, has joined the party with her own despicable insults. One of her tweets tonight (which Venable has now taken down):

Wow. Classy.

UPDATE: To her credit, Venable is now tweeting apologies. And we can understand how long days and strong emotions can lead to poor judgments. It happens to all of us from time to time. On the other hand, she’s describing her previous tweet as simply “inarticulate” and a “lame… Read More

Peggy Venable, head of the Texas chapter of the right-wing group Americans for Prosperity, doesn’t seem to understand the concept of religious freedom very well. Here’s what she tweeted about state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, as the Texas House began what is always a long day at the end of a legislative session:

Not all Texans share the same religious beliefs, of course. Nor does religious faith require (nor necessarily benefit) from the favor of government. So we see nothing disappointing about giving legislators the opportunity to pray or reflect individually, in their own ways, on the important day before them. Rep. Howard simply demonstrated real respect for religious freedom for all.

We are also proud to say that Rep. Howard served for a number of years on the Texas Freedom Network’s Board of Directors.… Read More

It looks like anything is fair game for anti-public school fanatics. Peggy Venable, who directs the Texas office of (David and Charles Koch-funded) Americans for Prosperity, put up this odious Twitter post last week after police shot and killed an eighth-grade student in Brownsville:

AFP-Texas tweeted the same thing.

“School choice,” of course, is code for private school vouchers. During the 2011 Texas legislative session, Venable’s group supported a radical voucher scheme that could have diverted billions of dollars from the state’s public schools to private and religious schools. The bill would actually have had the state of Texas (not counting local or federal funds) pay more for a student to attend a private school than a public school. Venable was also thrilled that the Legislature slashed more than $5 billion in funding for public schools from the current two-year budget.

Now she is using the horrifying and tragic death of a junior high school student to push her anti-public education agenda. How cold and shameful.… Read More