Update: After filing WTF Friday, we found a stunner from Rep. Jonathan Stickland—a Bedford tea party Republican who struck this stunning pose for the New York Times last year. In an article about anti-abortion causes in the evangelical World magazine, Stickland said of the summer’s pro-choice rallies at the Capitol, “There were times when I thought, ‘there are probably demons in this room.’”
Not to be outdone, the author of House Bill 2—the anti-abortion bill that led to the closure of one-third of abortion facilities in Texas—had this to say about who was behind her legislation:
“I knew God would prevail,” Laubenberg said: “I was on the side of life and the other side was death. It wasn’t my bill. It was God’s bill.”
Original story: If, for the past few weeks, your world has seemed suspiciously free of wingnuts, weird tea partiers and slimy politicians, that’s only because WTF Friday has been on hiatus during the War on Christmas. We are back at WTF HQ now, ears to the ground, listening for the crazy shit our politicos say. They have not disappointed us. In this week’s edition we explore soshulism and Chuck E. Cheese with a lady named Lady, perform literary exegesis with Barry Smitherman and check in on—who else?—Ted Cruz.
Yep, 2014 is gonna be a helluva year.
H.L. Mencken has written that “democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.” Don’t tell that to State Board of Education candidate Lady Theresa Thombs, who really deserves an entire WTF Friday devoted just to her.
Before we get started, here is a suggested soundtrack for the post: Lady’s singing of a song titled “God Bless America… Again.”
At a candidate forum this week, the Lady—who explained in this podcast that she has been knighted by something called the Sovereign Order of the Knights of Justice—explained her position on evolution:
Thombs had said she wanted history lessons written by “experts, not people from some socialist higher education.”
She went on: “We know we didn’t come from monkeys!”
The Lady also “went medieval” (in the words of Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy) on her opponent, accusing him being unqualified for the job.
Then, calling him “inexperienced,” she said in an accusatory tone, “His real experience in management is — Chuck E. Cheese!”
On Twitter she went after that most influential of Texas voting blocs: Satanists.
(Note to opposition researchers: It appears the Sovereign Order of the Knights of Justice is friendly toward… THE UNITED NATIONS!!!!)
Meanwhile, Texas Railroad Chairman, author of If Jesus were an Investment Bankerand Texas Attorney General candidate Barry Smitherman joined anti-CSCOPE activists Alice Linahan and Rebecca Forest for an hour-long
hard-hitting interview infomercial in Arlington. Smitherman spent a good bit of time cheerleading for the fossil fuel industries (a prerequisite for the Texas Railroad Commission, it seems) while underscoring his belief that seasonal weather covering a few percent of the planet’s surface area is all the proof you need that global warming is an elaborate hoax carried out by the planet’s scientists.
“Now they call it climate change because the earth is not warming. In fact up here in North Texas we know the earth is not warming. It was bitterly cold the last four or five days.”
Smitherman also explained why he pulled his daughter out of public school over To Kill a Mockingbird. (The Observer broke the story in September that Smitherman wrote a letter to his daughter’s teacher objecting to the labeling of hate groups, including neo-Nazi organizations, as hate groups.)
“When I read that book I take away from it hope for the South that we are coming to grips with a legacy of racial issues and yet the townspeople of that town actually recognized and wanted to do the right thing but they just couldn’t do it. And yet the way this teacher was teaching it she was using the book as an example that we have still have racism and discrimination in Texas and America. …It was exactly in contravention to what I take out of To Kill a Mockingbird, which is we are making progress. We have an African-American president, we have many African Americans in a position of leadership.”
The townspeople “wanted to do the right thing but they just couldn’t do it.” In the book, a black man, Tom Robinson, is falsely accused of raping a white woman and is convicted by a jury despite Atticus Finch establishing that the accusers are liars. While a lynch mob fails to murder Robinson, he is later killed trying to escape prison. But, hey, they tried. Also: wrongfully convicting young black men of rape is so far in the past, just ask Tim Cole.
Finally, we leave you with Ted Cruz, who spoke today at a conference convened by his old employer, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and called President Obama “dangerous and terrifying,” in part, because his administration isn’t blocking legal dope smoking in Colorado and Washington State.To support journalism like this, donate to the Texas Observer.