Let’s get this out of the way up front: the Texas Freedom Network neither supports nor opposes the Common Core standards. But it’s increasingly clear that some opponents are incapable of having a rational debate about these educational standards for mathematics and English/language arts.

A consortium of states and independent organizations developed the standards, which 44 states, the District of Columbia, four territories and the Department of Defense Education Activity have voluntarily adopted. The project is sponsored by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. You can read about the project on the Common Core website.

Support and opposition to the standards is bipartisan, with both conservatives and liberals split over them. But the most virulent, hair-on-fire opposition appears to come from the far right — the commies-and-gays-and-Muslims-and-United Nations-are-coming-to-enslave-us right.

Now, not all conservatives oppose Common Core. Republican Bob Riley, former governor of Alabama, has written a piece in National Review supporting the project, for example. But the tea party, wack-a-doodle right is convinced that Common Core is part of a grand conspiracy to destroy America. And that conspiracy, those opponents claim, involves other projects that have nothing to do… Read More

Texas Eagle Forum, a state chapter of Phyllis Schlafly’s right-wing group, has published in its January newsletter part of an incendiary Internet column from last summer that leveled vicious personal attacks on state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth. Davis is running for Texas governor this year.

The group’s Torch newsletter says Davis and fellow Democratic state senator Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio, who is running for lieutenant governor, “represent a culture of death” and insists that they “must be defeated.” The same article includes an extended excerpt from a June 30, 2013, column by right-wing writer J. Robert Smith. Smith’s column appeared in The American  Thinker.

In the excerpt Smith declares that Davis “is a soldier — now a lieutenant — in the longstanding, broading war waged by the left against traditional morality, virtues, and values” and supports “eliminating unborn babies.” He also calls Davis “this year’s Sandra Fluke,” a Georgetown Law School student whom Rush Limbaugh had called a “slut” because she supported requiring that health insurance cover contraception.

He even sneers that Davis, who was a single mother of divorced parents who worked herself through college, is an elitist because she went to Harvard… Read More

We often hear right-wing groups claim that liberals lack sufficient respect for the principles and rights enshrined in America’s founding documents. The protection of inherent freedoms, they argue, makes the United States exceptional among the nations. So we think it’s a bit ironic to see Texas Eagle Forum, Empower Texans and other groups on the right promoting an event that highlights part but not all of a key phrase of the Declaration of Independence.

In an email to conservative activists today, Texas Eagle Forum invites folks to attend the “LIFE, Liberty and Property Tour” in Dallas (Jan. 15) and Fort Worth (Jan. 16). Other far-right groups sponsoring the event are Empower Texans, Texas Home School Coalition, Grassroots America and Texas Right to Life. Attendees will be treated to “dinner and discussion with leading conservative groups, consultants, candidates and office holders.” (Exciting!)

Yes, we’re aware of the debates over the origins of the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence. But who needs highfalutin philosophical debates? We want to know what Texas Eagle Forum and its partner groups have against the pursuit of happiness. Maybe they think property is all that’s necessary to make one happy.… Read More

From Texas Eagle Forum’s February newsletter:

Lesson in Irony The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free meals and Food Stamps ever, to 46 million people. Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.” Their stated reason for the policy is because “the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.”

This outrageous comparison has been making the rounds in right-wing circles for years now. Apparently, no one at Texas Eagle Forum realizes how smug and offensive it must sound to struggling families trying to put food on the table for their children. Or maybe they do but don’t care.

The group calls itself a leader in the “pro-family movement.” Now, that’s a real lesson in irony.… Read More

Cathie Adams, president of the far-right Texas Eagle Forum, has had more than four years to learn how to spell the name of the president of the United States and still can’t. She still seems more interested in making sure people know that his middle name is Hussein and that she thinks he’s a dirty ol’ MARXIST. From Adams’ front-page article in the group’s November Torch newsletter:

“President Barak Hussein Obama has failed America. His vision for our children and grandchildren is bleak because his worldview is Marxist. He wants to ‘fundamentally transform’ the U.S. socially, economically, and environmentally through global government regulations and control. It is his, and his fellow progressives’, utopian dream, rooted in Marx & Engels’ Communist Manifesto.”

Sigh. “Barak” isn’t a typo. She uses the same incorrect spelling for “Barack” again later in the same article.

Anyway, the rest of the article is a long screed attacking Agenda 21, a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations designed to promote sustainable development. Agenda 21 was adopted at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. Adams claims Agenda 21 is “at the… Read More