You just can’t make this stuff up. A little background:

Back in 2007, actor Chuck “Walker, Texas Ranger” Norris attacked the Texas Freedom Network because we had pointed to dangerous flaws in proposed legislation requiring that Texas public schools teach classes about the Bible. Calling TFN “paranoid,” Norris falsely argued that we were “fighting against the very positions and purposes for which our Founding Fathers raised up this country.” Fortunately, the bill passed only after we succeeded in adding to it nearly all of the safeguards for religious freedom we had proposed.

In any case, the year before — in 2006 — Norris and his wife had also joined the board of directors of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools. “There has been a great social regression since the Bible was removed from our schools,” that right-wing evangelical organization claims on its website.

Of course, there isn’t a shred of evidence to support such an absurd claim. But that hasn’t stopped the National Council, Norris and other religious-righters from trying to claim the moral high ground in the culture wars they declared long ago.

Then today Norris

All Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) seats are up for election this year, but so far there’s not a lot of money flowing into those campaigns. Nearly all SBOE candidates have now filed their July 1, 2011-December 31, 2011, campaign finance reports with the Texas Ethics Commission.

Some non-surprises:… Read More

Texas Gov. Rick Perry lost a key vote in his own backyard on Saturday. Prominent religious-right leaders meeting at a Texas ranch decided to back former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania over Perry, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and other candidates for the Republican presidential nomination this year. That decision should give Santorum a boost in his efforts to rally social conservatives behind his challenge to frontrunner and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. From the Associated Press:

Surrogates for each campaign were said to have made presentations and answered questions. The goal was to determine whether conservative leaders could rally behind one alternative candidate to Romney, in hopes of ensuring one of their own wins the nomination instead of someone they consider more moderate. Many conservative leaders fear a repeat of four years ago when, in their view, a divided conservative base led the GOP to nominate McCain.

Meeting attendees said it took several ballots for 75 percent of attendees to agree on Santorum after winnowing down the field from three candidates: Santorum, Gingrich and Perry. They also said that there was some support for Romney.

The decision appears to have upset David Lane, who in… Read More

Rick Perry’s presidential campaign is stumbling, but the folks behind his prayer extravaganza in a Houston football stadium last August seem to be marching on. An email from organizers of The Response today invites folks to a South Carolina prayer rally on January 17 — just four days before that state’s Republican presidential primary.

In fact, The Response organizers have planned all of their post-Houston events for early Republican presidential caucus and primary states. One was in Iowa on December 6, less than a month before that state’s party caucuses. A January 24 Florida rally is scheduled a week before that state’s presidential primaries. And organizers are planning an event in Arizona for February — Republicans go to the polls there on February 28.

Organizers haven’t set specific dates for events in the March GOP primary and caucus states of Washington, Tennessee, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri and Ohio. Those are all listed as “pending.” Perhaps they think the Republican nomination will be settled by then.

You will recall that the Houston rally came just a week before Gov. Perry formally announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Yet here is what we see posted on TheRead More

Barbara Cargill, chair of the Texas State Board of Education, wasn't honest with her audience at a candidate forum in Conroe (north of Houston) last night. Speaking at the forum (which was hosted by the Montgomery County Eagle Forum), Cargill claimed that she and other board members didn't push through substantial last-minute changes, over the objections of teachers and curriculum specialists, to new language arts standards the board adopted in 2008. From the Magnolia News: It is "absolutely false" that curriculum changes were snuck into the standards; the SBOE was “bogged down” and it was recommended the board bring in a facilitator to help with the process, which is what happened, Cargill said. Six months later, the curriculum changes were completed, she said. “We listen to our teachers and parents and business leaders,” Cargill said of the SBOE. But objective observers know that's not true. Here's how the Associated Press explained what happened at that notorious final state board meeting on the revised language arts standards in May 2008: The State Board of Education's debate on new English and reading standards took another turn Friday as members approved a never-before-seen version of the lengthy…… Read More