Top Leaderboard, Site wide
September 2, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Help us grow by sharing
and liking Truthdig:
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed


sign up to get updates

Truthdig Bazaar
Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

By Gore Vidal

more items

A/V Booth

Jim Hightower and Rick Perry’s Army of God

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Aug 18, 2011
Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

In this week’s Truthdig Radio, Jim Hightower warns us that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is not as brainy as George W. Bush.

(Page 4)

Peter Scheer: So you’ve written extensively for the Observer on budget cuts and the budget situation in Texas, which is very bleak. And here in California and everywhere in the union, there’ve been a lot of budget problems with the states. But you write in a recent article, “Texas spends less per resident than any state in the country, but the two-year spending plan that lawmakers approved on Memorial Day weekend is especially cold-blooded.” Can you just—I wonder, actually; you’ve also written some profiles on people who are really hurting with the budget cuts, including a tea party supporter. And I wonder if this is the kind of thing that will play well in the primaries, or if stories emerge of what he’s done in Texas, people will be maybe more wary of Rick Perry.

David Mann: That’s an interesting question. I think it would seem like at the moment, balancing the budget without raising taxes, which is the line that Perry will use, could be quote popular in a Republican primary. I think the question would be, if he gets into the general election, is that going to be popular with general election voters and people who are more moderate? As you say, we had a huge budget deficit in Texas; it was as bad or worse, depending on how you run the numbers, than California’s budget deficit. It was about a quarter to a third of state spending, again depending on which numbers you use. But we were up at about $27 billion in our total shortfall for the two-year budget that’s upcoming, and that’s a huge number. And Perry decided, along with other Republicans, that we were going to balance that budget through spending reductions alone. Tax increases were off the table, and so was using our so-called rainy day fund, where we had $9 billion that we were apparently, or supposedly, saving for a rainy day, that we ended up not using.

Peter Scheer: Right. How does it get any rainier than this recession.

David Mann: Exactly. So what we ended up doing was cutting programs very severely, including a reduction of $4 billion to public education, which is really the first time in at least 40 years that Texas has reduced spending on public schools. And of course Medicaid, health care programs also saw severe reductions, and basically every state agency in government saw their funding cut between 10 and 25 percent. So we’re looking at a really rough two years; the Texas budget is not in good shape; it’s not going to be in good shape two years from now when they have to do another budget. And of course there’s a human toll. Millions of people across the state are really going to be suffering; teachers are being laid off, schools are being consolidated and shut down, people are losing health care programs and health insurance to the state. It’s not a pretty sight.


Square, Site wide
Peter Scheer: Can you share with us one of those stories that you read about?

David Mann: Well, sure. One of the … there’s two that really come to mind. One is a guy I talked to who runs a community mental health clinic in San Antonio. And as you mentioned, Texas spends less per resident than any other state, and we’re especially bad when it comes to mental health treatment; I think we’re 49th in mental health spending. So this mental health clinic gets precious few dollars from the state; they have a waiting list that stretches several hundred people; they can never keep up with the need. And they’re looking at a cut of about 30 percent to their funding. And it’s already meager funding; they already can’t meet the need, and now they’re trying to find a way to cut that even more. And when I talked to the guy who runs the clinic, he … you know, he didn’t really know what he was going to do. Do you lay off key staff, do you just reduce services. … I mean, in the end you’re just going to have to turn people away who have severe mental illnesses, and they’ll either end up on the street or end up in jail, or both. And when you hear that kind of thing, it’s kind of heart wrenching.

Then you mentioned a guy who was a tea party supporter; he was another person I talked to, he actually owns a nursing home. And nursing homes at one point in the budget cycle were looking at about a 30 percent reduction in their rates that they get from the state. And this guy’s a tea party supporter, and he told me, ‘You know, I like the tea party rhetoric; I want to reduce government spending. But I just didn’t think that nursing home residents would be facing such a severe cut.’ Now, in the end, they did soften those cuts to nursing homes quite a bit. But like I said, nursing home residents and just about everybody else in the state are looking at severe reductions.

Peter Scheer: We’re speaking with David Mann, the editor-in-chief of The Texas Observer, about Gov. Rick Perry. Let me ask you about—you had a story on your site recently, I imagine in the publication, about Rick Perry’s Army of God. And it was about a group of the New Apostolic Reformation, a group of sort of extreme religious figures who visited Perry and said that God speaking through them … well, maybe you can explain this better than I can, but the idea that sort of God is directing him to run.

David Mann: Yeah, these folks are really on the edge of even the evangelical movement. These are folks that believe that they are literally modern day prophets and apostles, and that they are in communication with God, and that God is making prophecies through them of things that will happen. And even for evangelical Christians, I think their philosophy is quite radical. And they do have a relationship with Gov. Rick Perry. As you mentioned, in our reporting we discovered a meeting in 2009 where two Texas pastors who are in this movement, and kind of professed themselves to be prophets, had a meeting with Gov. Perry and prayed with him and prayed over him and delivered a prophecy. And they said God had prophesized that Texas will take a leadership role, that Texas will be a prophet state in installing godly government in America, and within that, Gov. Perry would have a prominent role.

And he’s … it’s not clear exactly how close a relationship he has with this movement; there’s kind of a loose affiliation of prophets and pastors around the country, some in Texas, some in Missouri and Kansas City. But we can say that quite a few of the people who sponsored Rick Perry’s recent prayer event, “The Response” in Houston a couple of weeks ago, a number of the people who organized that and supported it and sponsored it were in this New Apostolic Reformation movement, and do think of themselves as modern day prophets. This isn’t a movement I was very familiar with before we did this story, and I don’t think a lot of people have really heard of any of these folks. In fact, many of the people in Texas Republican politics who we talked to hadn’t heard of some of this. And I think when this gets wider publicity, it could be potentially a political problem for Perry. Because this is not just the religious right; these folks make Rick Warren and John Hagee look fairly moderate by comparison. 

Peter Scheer: Right, they believe that the Democratic Party is controlled by Jezebel and other demons, and they do things like—I’m just getting this from your story—like driving stakes with biblical quotes into the ground in every Texas county, things like this?

David Mann: Yeah, they’ve done some elaborate ceremonies. They believe that certain institutions are run by demonic forces. Alice Paterson, who’s one of the prominent prophets, has said that she believes the Democratic Party is run by demonic forces. Another prophet has made similar remarks about the Statue of Liberty, and that’s gotten some press. The Masons, you know, they’ve made remarks about Freemasonry being a demonic force. And they have done elaborate ceremonies at Mason buildings and temples around Texas, where they pray over them and try to cast out the demonic forces. In fact, some of the prophets have claimed to have seen demons in plain sight at public meetings. So as I said, it’s definitely a group of people with some fringe beliefs, with some fairly radical beliefs, and things that some voters could find kind of frightening, even evangelicals.

Peter Scheer: What is his support like among Latinos—big block of voters in Texas—and is that a threat, possibly, in the general?

David Mann: Yeah, Perry has shown that he will try to appeal to Latino voters. He’s gotten anywhere between 30 and 40 percent of the Latino vote here in Texas, in his gubernatorial races; he’s been very close to some prominent leaders in the Latino community, and especially along the border, he’s gotten close to mayors and sheriffs down there and gotten their endorsements. So he’s certainly shown in the past that he recognizes the voting strength, the potential voting strength of the Latino community, and shown that he will make a play for that vote. Over the summer he did an event in Los Angeles with some Latino religious right leaders, and clearly has shown that he thinks his conservative cultural beliefs, especially on abortion, will align with some Latino voters. And much like George W. Bush did, I think Perry will certainly try to appeal to the Latino vote in the general election.

Peter Scheer: Well, thanks so much for sharing these insights with us.

David Mann: My pleasure.

Peter Scheer: That was Texas Observer editor David Mann. This is Truthdig Radio; I’m Peter Scheer. … [Thanks to our guests] Jim Hightower and David Mann of The Texas Observer. I also want to thank our board op Jee, engineer Stan Misraje and Alan Minsky. For Robert Scheer and the rest of us at Truthdig, thanks for listening.

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, August 22, 2011 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

I do appreciate perennial protector of the Right Ozark Michael but usually you do diligence instead of simple invective and innuendo you display here. Why not actually go after those on detail and fact about the theocratic elements that have invaded both parties, our military and gov’t. They want a theocracy here of some kind. Implicit or explicit they do. Something you should be against unless you want it. The Left isn’t without totalitarian elements but they are not a factor here. In fact the Left has been out of politics and the NAR/Dominionist/Christian Reconstructinists came in to fill it back in the 1970’s.

That Prayer Rally was an open sign of it. (It bothers me that they think things are in such a state they can be so open about it.) Not surprisingly it was poorly attended because most people don’t want a theocracy here nor a Plutocracy or fascist (corporate governance) type gov’t running things here. [Hint: it will be an admixture of all them into one toxic stew.] Democrat or Republican or Green or Liberterian or Dem-Soc are against it. I certainly am. Just a few most at the top and their adherents and wannabes want it. By hook or by crook they want it here. Why do you think the Tea Party types want to bring down our economy? It’s called “Disaster Capitalism” and Naomi Klein chronicled some of its hidden history in the book of the same name.

Obama is good at playing the passive-aggressive game. Be passive for us and aggressive to help the Reich wing which he is part of as are many top level Democrats. When we question him for giving away the farm before even ‘negotiating’ he get’s hot under the collar at us, not at the Republicans. He isn’t weak, he is a mole. Not a patsy but an agent for the side of the oligarchs who want our gov’t to fall so that they can come in and ‘help’ us to rebuild. But in their fashion of corporate freedoms of economy and Bible based laws to rule us. Forget about the ACLU and Bill of Rights, they don’t have truck with such “un-Christian” kinds of things. We may have 21st century technology of war and surveillance, but the mind set not too different from the Massachusetts Bay Colony of 1610. They aren’t Luddites, just anti-Modernists socially.

JC how do you run a radio station on a part time basis? Most of them already have just a few who are on staff the rest are volunteers. It takes $150 an hour to run such a station. Fund raisers are necessary because they don’t take on corporate funding. You aren’t buying the DVD, that is just a small token for your support. You can give them whatever you want but they need it or if they go down we lose it forever. Just remember that.

The Fraternity, as Charles Higham called them were very busy to take over our country in 1933-1934. They literally barely failed because they chose the wrong military man for their commanding general of their army to be, armed by ITT, to occupy Washington, DC. If it hadn’t been for Major-General Smedly Darlent “Gimlet Eye” Butler  we would have either been a Fascist nation joining the Axis or had a second Civil War during the backdrop of a growing world war breaking us up. Because FDR was afraid to punish with treason the richest families and dissolve important corporations like ITT, Chase Bank, the Bush‘s and Ford Motor company among others—-they were just spoken to and no more. Many in the Fraternity made money dealing with both sides of the war. At the end of the war they got off scott free. I say they still want domination. Only they will be the Axis leader of a new American Century. The corporate empire way coupled with a new zeal at missionary work for Dominion theology.

Report this

By Marian Griffith, August 21, 2011 at 1:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

—But oh noes!...then he turns around and makes an accusation that Perry is gonna “force a Bible into everyone’s hands” What sort of accusation is that?—

In your writings here you have not shown great capacity, or willingness, to recognise a metaphor but ... that is just what that remark you quoted is.

And in case the word metaphor has too many syllables:
1. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another.
2. One thing conceived as representing another; a symbol.

In other words, it refered to the thinly veiled intention of Perry to base his rule, policies and laws on the bible (and on his own narrow subset of interpretations of that book).

Report this

By Morri Creech, August 20, 2011 at 9:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This morning God told me Himself that Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann should not be nominated or elected to office; and since, apparently, anyone who piously evokes His name immediately becomes vested with His unerring authority, that should resolve the matter once and for all. Amen.

Report this
EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, August 20, 2011 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

RE: David Mann

If a group of radical left-wing hippies tried to exorcise masonic temples or say levitate the pentagon, how many of us would object???

If this same group made the same claim about the democratic party being run by voices from ????

I dunno.

Maybe there is a new “right-wing” hippie revolution going on.

Stop hey what’s that sound ev’rybody look what’s goin’ round.

Report this

By bogi666, August 20, 2011 at 4:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rick Parry fits the definition of the Anti Christ and the timing coincides with the Beast of Revelations, which is the One World System, or Globalization which is the Beast, system. The Anti Christ is not opposed to Christ but pretend to be Christ which is what Parry is doing, pretending that his false doctrines are Christ’s. Rick has made god in his own image and violates,disobeys the definition that The Christ made clear. No public displays of piety, embracing usury,such are the hypocrites, to name a few.These are meant to provide forewarning of the tactics of the Anti Christ and 90% of christians will embrace the false doctrines of the Anti Christ as the teaching of Christ. The Anti Christ, Parry, arrival coincides with the establishment of the One World Globalization System

Report this

By SteveL, August 19, 2011 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

Ricky discussed on local NPR station today.  They say he does not care what his
political opponents think.  He only cares what his supporters think.  Obama and
Democrats take note of that!

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, August 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

“It’s time to separate the bullshit from reality. This idiot and his compatriots are ready and willing to put bibles in the hands of all Americans—-whether they want ‘em or not.”

anaman51 wants to separate bullshit from reality, that sounds like a good idea.

But oh noes!...then he turns around and makes an accusation that Perry is gonna “force a Bible into everyone’s hands” What sort of accusation is that?

Its bullshit, completely divorced from reality.

Sheer’s articles always have the same effect, it makes his monkeys go crazy.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, August 19, 2011 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

“Then the Governor Mission had a big fire. Mr. Perry made every single document on this fire Top Secret.  Why?  It was just a fire. Their are members of a certain group that when they are betrayed they go basaltic.  Could that been the case.  Some believe that it is.”

their are members of another group that go basaltic even if it isnt.  Could that been the case. Maybe not.

And then…“Rick Perry’s Army of God” (trademark registered. its a real thing. Truthdig said so.)

That was just too cute,and several fell for it. omop, that was great, you are a true believer! keep up the good work.

Some Leftists are dumber than a bag full of hammers.  Sheer makes cute hints which entices you to elaborate on his smear as if its a fact. And others read your elaboration of Sheers hint and they believe that and expand upon it. An entire Leftist universe of opinion which becomes fact… based on a little smear. Sheer gets so much mileage out of you guys.

Report this

By vicente carranza, August 19, 2011 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am a local radio talk show host and the first station I work for was sold to Clear Channel.  I was almost fired by Clear Channel for a comment I made on the radio Feb. 20 2004.  I got a phone call from Austin from someone which was a tip for me.  This happen February 17, 2004.  Later I got the same info from 3 other persons, one being a Texas State Representative.  Mrs. Perry caught David Perry in the Jacuzzi with someone else doing something and she was going to expose him the next day.  What save my job was that the whole national media was out side the Governor Mission the next morning.  The next morning Mrs. Perry did not come out. The whole national media left by noon. Some feel that Mrs. Perry was paid off to keep quite.  Then the Governor Mission had a big fire. Mr. Perry made every single document on this fire Top Secret.  Why?  It was just a fire. Their are members of a certain group that when they are betrayed they go basaltic.  Could that been the case.  Some believe that it is. Mr. Perry also does not want any of his travel documents made public.  It is not where he went but who he went with that we believe he is trying to hide.  Many in the National Media know all this but they would rather be politically correct with this one group of individual males and let Perry take this country deeper in to hell..  WHY IS EVERYONE SCARE TO MENTION ANY OF THIS.

Report this
Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, August 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

Too bad Scheer the Shill missed this one about the moral Rick Perry’s investment into pornography:


I just tried to post the link from and a ‘blacklisted’ page showed up.  Thanks TruthDig, further digging the truth into a ditch so no one will know.

CENSORSHIP on this rag of the hegemony!

Look for it yourselves. 

Or put the rest of url in the address after getting to the site, here it is:


Report this
anaman51's avatar

By anaman51, August 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

Great. Just what America needs in the White House—-another grinning fool who thinks god is giving the directions. It’s time to separate the bullshit from reality. This idiot and his compatriots are ready and willing to put bibles in the hands of all Americans—-whether they want ‘em or not. It’s time for the separation of church and state to take place, and not electing this cheesebrain would be a good start.

Report this

By omop, August 18, 2011 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

News reports in Texas report that Douglas Feith whom Gen. Tommy
Franks once referred to Feith as the “the f***ing stupidest guy on the face
of the earth,” and who at one time was an aide to Rumsfeld is advising
Mr. Perry on foreign policy strategies.

Forecasting the return of the chickenhawk neocons if Perry becomes Pres.

Report this
prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, August 18, 2011 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

It’s Jim Jones time again in America…

Only this rime it’s not just Jonestown who will be drinking the cool aide but the whole
God Dam country…

Report this
prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, August 18, 2011 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

Convert or die…...

Warren Jeff’‘s light…...With faith you don’t need anything but to believe…

Report this
CJ's avatar

By CJ, August 18, 2011 at 6:52 am Link to this comment

What I heard Hightower say re the “Texas miracle” is in accord with what Bob
Moser was saying to Amy Goodman yesterday—creation of a lot of low-paying
jobs (which reminds of the ones Clinton created). And yes, more uninsured in
Texas than anywhere else, etc. etc. Moser said Perry is governor for the rich,
which alone doesn’t make him unusual, since aren’t most governors?

Hightower called Perry a plutocrat (but dumber than Bush) while Perry is also a
Dominionist, which was mentioned by Mann. Moser noted that both Perry and
Bachmann are at the fringe of the fringe. And otherwise that Perry’s given to
shooting his mouth off—obviously.

Sounds to me like a recipe for a winner of the presidency, particularly taking
into account the “goodhair,” which is what Ivins’ dubbed Perry. (We could sure
use Molly now!)

Here in the political culture of the lightweight and the pretty, and supposedly
straight-talking, Perry might be a shoe-in. Big media is in a tizzy over the
“treasonous” remark but has said nothing of the phoniness of the Texas
miracle. Nor will it ever, but instead and far more likely will take that to be true,
as though it were one of Perry’s great achievements.

Perry is on the surface so much more appealing than Bachmann, and better-
looking too, certainly, as Hightower noted, with better hair than Bachmann. And
Perry’s prettier than Romney too. (Sadly, all this chauvinist stuff still matters.)

Hightower also said something interesting about the Democratic Party in
Texas—in connection with the fact Perry’s not really all that popular in Texas.
But according to Hightower, the Dems had about disappeared, though he said
they’re making something of a comeback. He later noted, however and rightly,
that Obama’s not acted like a Democrat, indicating that Hightower well knows
of whom the Dems are supposed to be and to represent. Alas, something the
Dems haven’t been and haven’t done in decades. A fact that hasn’t been bringing
out Democratic voters over the years. At least not until Obama looked like the
real deal.

Why has Obama turned out so damn stupid? For such a smart guy and a smart
politician? Partly, I think he gives the public more credit than it deserves. He
thinks we get all the difficulties of trying to work with an opposition party,
though Obama’s still much to blame for not showing much backbone. Causing
even his base to wonder if ever meant what he said prior to his election.

If Obama doesn’t start paying attention, we could well be looking at a President
Perry come next November, mostly due to low turn-out. This thing of
constantly having to choose between two evils seems to get worse and worse
with every passing term.

And since, as Nader proved when he couldn’t get into debates or even on
ballots, there’ll never be a third alternative able to get the necessary money and
media attention… Which is one reason so much that’s gone wrong can rightly
be laid at the feet of big, enormously irresponsible media, which in another
decade or so will anyway all be owned by Murdock, either the old man or the
wife and the kid.

After talks with Hightower and Mann, KPFK entered into it’s “Summer Fund
Drive.” Seems to me they have about three for every season. How much money
is required? And who can afford $100 in exchange for one DVD? I’m starting to
think commercials might be more tolerable, so long as selective. Hearing one-
third of a talk only to have the rest held hostage gets to be seriously irritating.
I’ve taken to giving up and switching stations. (I’ve given my share in the past,
but can’t do it anymore, and I think Pacifica is spending too much money. I
won’t say exactly on and for whom in particular, but those in the know already
know, and that needs to end, among other excessive expenses. Some people
could get other jobs and do their KPFK thing voluntarily, like a lot of the rest of
us do.)

Report this

By SarcastiCanuck, August 18, 2011 at 6:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Rick becomes Prez and a neo-religous cult figure,then how much different will America be from Iran’s theocracy….Army of God or Army of Bullshit.Doesn’t anyone in America read Thomas Jefferson any more.Remember him,the guy who penned the constitution that all these bible thumpers love to quote out of context.Tom keeps warning you from the grave,but is anyone listening…

Report this

By omop, August 18, 2011 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

Given the “miltary” emphasis ....“perry’s army of god” could not one
conclude that its one decibel lower than the Nazis taking over Germany
and proclaiming its “Uber Alles”?

A diquiting prospect to say the least.

Report this

By Big B, August 18, 2011 at 5:01 am Link to this comment

Ranger Rick is just what the GOP has been hoping for, a CHRSTIAN WACKO MAN to run for president. Lets face it, the rpugs are never going to go balls to the wall to support a (gasp)Mormon! And a lesser woman? not gonna happen. Nope, guvner Rick is their godsend, a friend of big business, and a bible humping, flag sucker. Praise Jebus and pass the ammo.

Report this

By ardee, August 18, 2011 at 4:38 am Link to this comment

Both Jefferson and Madison were greatly influenced by the Anabaptists, a sect which devolved into the modern day Mennonites and Amish. The key to this influence was the belief that separation of church and state were essential to the well being of BOTH church and state.

The greatest peril in this extremist religious attempt to force the views of the few upon the many seems obvious enough to me. I am of the conviction that these people, while represented all out of proportion to their numbers in our media, are but a passing phase in the perilous journey of our democracy.

Report this
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.