February 2010

Lisa Miller Held In Contempt, Faces Arrest

It sure took long enough:

A Vermont judge has ordered the arrest of a woman who has refused to turn over her 7-year-old daughter to her former lesbian partner.

Family Court Judge William Cohen found Lisa Miller of Forest, Va., in contempt of court during a hearing Tuesday and issued the arrest warrant.

Miller was ordered to surrender custody of her daughter on Jan. 1 but failed to do so and has since disappeared. Their daughter is now considered a missing person.

Will her lawyers at Liberty Counsel now find the time to finally make a statement acknowledging their star client's kidnapping and disappearance? 

Bob Marshall's Pathetic Response

Yesterday we wrote a post about VA state Rep. Bob Marshall's statement that that God punishes women who have had abortions by giving them disabled children.

Of course, that statement outraged a lot of people and so Marshall backtracked and issued a statement claiming that he would never say something like that and that it was poorly chosen words that were responsible for this "misimpression":

A story by Capital News Service regarding my remarks at a recent press conference opposing taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood conveyed the impression that I believe disabled children are a punishment for prior abortions. No one who knows me or my record would imagine that I believe or intended to communicate such an offensive notion. I have devoted a generation of work to defending disabled and unwanted children, and have always maintained that they are special blessings to their parents. Nevertheless, I regret any misimpression my poorly chosen words may have created as to my deep commitment to fighting for these vulnerable children and their families.

Please. Here is what Marshall said

“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” said Marshall, a Republican.

“In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”

If he doesn't "believe disabled children are a punishment for prior abortions," then why did he say that they were a "special punishment" from God? 

Marshall ought to either stand by his statement or apologize for it, because he's not fooling anybody with his claim that he never meant to suggest what he explicitly stated.

Kincaid: Gay Conservatives Will Use The Military To Overthrow "Homophobic Regimes"

As I was reading through Cliff Kincaid's latest anti-gay column, I had to ask myself if he had always been obsessively anti-gay or if this was a relatively new development.  But then a quick search through out archives made me realize that Kincaid has a long history of militant hostility toward all things gay, which puts his recent obsession with defending Uganda's "Kill the Gays" bill in perspective and explains why he's dedicated his latest column to attacking CPAC for allowing GOProud to participate and praising Ryan Sorba for attacking them from the stage, bizarrely claiming that gay conservatives want to use the military to overthrow anti-gay regimes: 

California Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chairman Ryan Sorba generated a media controversy when he was shown at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) denouncing the organizers for inviting a homosexual Republican group, GOProud, into the event as an official sponsor. In "controversial" remarks, Sorba said homosexuality was unnatural and that he welcomed more debate and discussion about the subject from his political adversaries.

But what many people don't realize is that Sorba's "outburst" was provoked by a speaker who preceded him, Alexander McCobin of Students For Liberty (SFL). McCobin went out of his way to use valuable time from the podium to thank the American Conservative Union, the main CPAC organizer, for making the controversial decision to approve GOProud's participation.

David Keene, a lobbyist, is the chairman of the ACU and personally approved GOProud's involvement in CPAC.

Sorba told AIM, "I think CPAC went overboard this year. I don't think he [Keene] should be sitting at the top of CPAC." He noted that CPAC over the last several years has also allowed groups such as the ACLU to have exhibits at the event.

"What's next?," Sorba asked. "Are they going to have Republicans for Obamacare? Republicans for free abortions?"

...

GOProud, the organization at the center of the storm, claims to be "conservative" but supports the Obama policy of putting active and open homosexuals in the military, supports homosexual marriage, and even advocates a foreign policy of promoting acceptance of sodomy abroad. The latter is referred to as "Standing strong against radical regimes who seek to criminalize gays and lesbians."

These "radical regimes," such as the Christian-dominated government in Uganda, are trying to prevent the spread of AIDS and protect traditional moral values by toughening laws against homosexuality.

Under these "gay conservatives," one can imagine gay soldiers being deployed to overthrow "homophobic" regimes.

Move Along, Nothing To See Here

I guess it should come as no surprise that the establishment conservatives are dismissing Ron Paul's victory in the CPAC straw poll as meaningless. 

While Paul sees his victory as "significant," others do not: 

Jason Mattera, spokesman for the Young America's Foundation (YAF), was a speaker at the event where more than half of the attendees who voted were between the ages of 18-25.

"Ron Paul, his supporters almost have a cult-like allegiance to him," Mattera comments. "They are a vocal minority. It was, I believe, less than 3,000 people who voted in the straw poll, even though there [were] 10,000 people at CPAC. It means nothing in terms of a favored candidate."

According to the YAF spokesman, the big draw at CPAC is not the politicians and their "canned speeches," but rather the "culture warriors" like Andrew Breitbart, Ann Coulter, and Glenn Beck, who "really inspire the crowd to take action." Mattera says he wishes Ron Paul would retire because he "has some very wacky, wacky ideas."

Keep in mind that Mattera is the one who spent his speech at CPAC accusing President Obama of using cocaine and called him "scrawny street agitator" and "jack-ass."

But it's not just Mattera dismissing Paul's win ... Gary Bauer is as well, arguing that Paul's supporters are Truthers and that Paul's views encourage that sort of "dangerous and deranged mindset":

[T]hen came surprising news that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) won CPAC’s 2012 straw poll, which according to one report elicited “a cascade of boos” from the audience.

Let me add some perspective to this. First, not every attendee voted. The number of total votes cast was around 2,500, and Paul won 31% or roughly 775 votes out of the eight to ten thousand people there.

Second, it’s difficult to consider Ron Paul within the mainstream of American conservatism. While his views on limited government have some appeal, his voting record on values issues is abysmal. Paul opposed the marriage protection amendment, has voted against key pro-life legislation and critical national security issues, such as military tribunals for terrorists.

The producer of the Bauer and Rose radio show was at the CPAC convention all weekend, and he gave me this disturbing report: The Paul supporters were overwhelmingly young. That’s great. But Paul supporters of all ages were often “9/11 truthers.” That’s very bad. Many were openly spouting conspiracy theories that were favorites among leftists during the Bush years, accusing our own government of attacking us on 9/11.

Paul’s rhetoric and his many appearances on alternative radio shows often encourages this dangerous and deranged mindset. It is way beyond time for Ron Paul to publicly denounce the 9/11 truther movement and reject the support of those who adhere to such nonsense.

Paul was interviewed on CNBC this morning and said, “Why should we be looking for a war with the Iranians? What have they done to us? What are they capable of doing to us?” Let me remind Rep. Paul that Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. We know Iran is responsible for the deaths of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its leaders routinely refer to the United States as “the great Satan.”

When the CNBC hosts said that the regime was pursuing nuclear weapons, Paul denied it three times, adding “Nobody’s proven that.” Somehow convinced that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic views will lend themselves to rational dialogue, Paul repeatedly insisted that we should follow Obama’s policy of reaching out diplomatically to our enemies, including the Iranians. This degree of delusional thinking is on par with that of European leaders who thought they could negotiate in good faith with Adolf Hitler.

I cannot fathom how any Ronald Reagan conservative could share these views, but I’d be happy to hear from those who think Paul is right.

If it's "difficult to consider Ron Paul within the mainstream of American conservatism," then how did Paul just win CPAC's straw poll, which Bauer himself describes as the quintessential gathering of mainstream American conservatism? 

"It's a free country and a free conservative movement," Mr. Bauer, a Christian conservative leader and former White House domestic policy adviser, told The Washington Times. "The people at CPAC represent the three legs of the conservative coalition - traditional values, economic- libertarian and strong national defense."

It seems that even Gary Bauer doesn't seem to know what to make of the fact that the conservative movement appears as if it is being taken over by right-wing fringe activists. 

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Predictably, VA state Rep. Bob Marshall says he was taken out of context for his statement that disabled children are punishment for women who've had an abortion.  You can listen to the statement here and judge for yourself.
  • Utah state Sen. Mark Madsen wants to combine Martin Luther King Day with "John M. Browning State Holiday" to honor the gun manufacturer.
  • Speaking of Utah, a bill passed by the state House and Senate and waiting for the governor's signature will make it a crime for a woman to have a miscarriage.
  • I, for one, do not buy Molotov Mitchell's claim that he has gay friends for a second.
  • Wow, XPAC turned out to be even lamer than predicted.
  • Guess what CPAC-ers don't care about? Fighting marriage equality.
  • The insanity of Orly Taitz knows no bounds.
  • Timothy Kincaid gives some helpful advice to the Alliance Defense Fund.
  • Finally, remember last week when the Right was up in arms over the revelation that there were books about socialism in the White House library? Turns out, they were Jackie Kennedy's.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Tomorrow, a Vermont judge will decide whether to issue an arrest warrant for Lisa Miller if she continues to refuse to come out of hiding and hand over her daughter.
  • Bishop Harry Jackson will reportedly be leading a rally on Wednesday at the Capitol Visitors Center to try to step up the pressure on Congress to intervene in his DC marriage battle.
  • Hey, let's all take the AFA's Don't Ask, Don't Tell poll!
  • Columbus, Ohio police are investigating whether anyone involved in helping Rifqa Bary flee to Florida may have broken the law.  The man who drove her to the bus station has already retained legal representation from the right-wing Thomas More Law Center.
  • Finally, the Quote of the Day from Gary Bauer: "Here is the dirty secret the Left doesn’t want you to know. Joseph Stack’s 'philosophy,' to the extent he had one, was closer to the left-wing drivel at Daily Kos and moveon.org than it is to the patriots who are in the Tea Party movement. Joseph Stack printed his manifesto on his business web page yesterday as he took off to try to kill IRS employees. In it he rails at the wealthy, GM executives, drug companies and insurance companies. His rhetoric sounded like Obama style populism – heavy on class warfare ... No, Joe Stack wasn’t any conservative – he was a left-wing populist!

While AU Asks IRS to Investigate LU, LU Presses For Its Own Polling Place

Back in 2008, we noted several times how Jerry Falwell Jr. sought to do what he could to deliver the state of Virginia to John McCain, from refusing to accommodate local Obama rallies while hosting McCain rallies to registering thousands of Liberty students so that Liberty University "could go down in history as the college that elected a president."

Despite Falwell's efforts, he couldn't deliver the state for McCain but a year later Liberty was able to take credit for delivering a Republican to the House of Representatives.

And now Americans United for Separation of Church and State is asking the IRS to look into Liberty's partisan activities:  

“We have documented a clear pattern of partisan intervention orchestrated by top Liberty officials,” said Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn. “I believe the evidence is clear that Liberty officials have violated the law.”

AU’s letter – the result of more than three months of investigating – makes the following allegations:

• Falwell and other university officials used Liberty Champion, ostensibly a student publication but one that is actually subject to university control, to run a series of articles attacking Valentine and endorsing Garrett.

• University officials twice arranged for a “voter guide” published by the Virginia Family Foundation to appear in the Champion. The guide distorted Valentine’s views and was stacked to endorse Garrett. Copies of the Oct. 27 issue of the newspaper were mailed to all Lynchburg residents.

• On Election Day, Ergun Caner, a top university official, drove around campus with the College Republicans, rounding up voters.

• Falwell and other Liberty officials later boasted that their actions had swayed the election to Garrett. They have vowed to intervene in future elections.

“This is one of the most blatant and dishonest attempts to influence an election by a non-profit religious organization I have ever seen,” Lynn said. “We hope the IRS acts swiftly to stop Liberty’s overt partisan politicking.”

In semi-related news, due to the massive increase in voters in the district due to Liberty's annual registration drives, LU has been pressing the Lynchburg City Council to move the polling place to somewhere that can better accommodate the crowds - i.e., somewhere that Liberty owns, like Thomas Road Church or a local LU-owned shopping center.

But the city council does not appear particularly keen to place the polling place in Liberty U's hands and so, of course, Falwell and LU students are outraged:

Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. is denouncing City Council’s recent rejection of two LU-backed polling place sites as a “travesty” designed to suppress the LU student vote.

“It’s obvious to me the goal was to discourage as many Ward III citizens from voting as possible,” Falwell said, renewing LU’s concerns that Lynchburg First Church of the Nazarene, the current leading contender for the new voting location, is inaccessible and unsafe.

“You have to ask yourself what is the motive of the five Democrats on council in choosing a difficult-to-find church on a residential road that is not equipped to handle this kind of traffic,” Falwell said. “Something smells bad.”

...

Falwell, who said his students were angry and offended over the way this has been handled, said Nelson’s motion was nothing more than a “little game.”

“It was all designed to kill it (LU’s recommendations) without coming out and saying it,” he said. “It was transparent, and our students see through it.”

“I think you’re going to see much more turnout among the students in May than you would have if they had just chosen a safe, convenient polling place … The site they did choose does just the opposite. It makes it more difficult and more unsafe for people to vote.”

LU’s Student Government Association sent out a notice and set up a Facebook group urging students to attend the hearing Tuesday.

In those messages, the association described the upcoming City Council elections as the most important in LU history and said the “anti-Liberty folks” on council appear to be trying to dilute their influence by choosing a bad polling place to discourage them from voting.

“It is important you attend this meeting. This outrage must be stopped,” read the e-mail, which noted that buses will be provided to take students to the hearing.

Anyone want to place any bets on whether Liberty decides to use its local voting power in future city council elections to try and take out council-members who won't do its bidding? 

CPAC Strikes Back At Huckabee

I don't know if Mike Huckabee intends to make another run for president in 2012, but if he does, I have to say that I find his strategy of attacking and alienating conservative groups rather confusing. 

As we noted earlier, for this first time in the last several years Huckabee skipped CPAC and explained that he did so because the event was becoming too pointless, corrupt, and libertarian.

Not surprisingly, CPAC organizers did not take too kindly to Huckabee's slam:

The organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference are hitting back at former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who argued over the weekend that the annual convention's influence among conservatives is waning.

CPAC is becoming "increasingly libertarian and less Republican," Huckabee told Fox News on Saturday, one reason he said he decided not to attend this year.

But that claim is not true, said David Keene, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, which has organized CPAC for 37 years.

"We were frankly a perplexed by Governor Huckabee's comments about CPAC given our long and cordial relationship with him and his family," Keene said in a statement provided to CNN.

Keene said Huckabee could not appear at the conference due to a scheduling conflict with his television show. At no point, he said, did Huckabee express concerns about the legitimacy of the event.

"We offered him several time slots, but on December 18th received an email from his scheduler saying essentially what the Governor's daughter told reporters over the weekend," Keene said. "The email from Kristin Dulin, the Governor's Director of Scheduling, said that he wouldn't be able to join us because he would have to be in New York to do his show, but assured us that he 'appreciates the invitation and hopes that you have a wonderful event.'"

Huckabee, who finished a disappointing tie for sixth place in the CPAC presidential straw poll, also accused the conference of being a "pay for play" event, not "truly grassroots."

Keene said the governor "has been misinformed."

"Many of those invited are from groups that are neither co-sponsors nor financial supporters of the conference itself," he said in the statement.

Since he lost the GOP primary to John McCain, Huckabee has attacked several high-profile Religious Right leaders and organizations by name, accusing them of being sell-outs and fundamentally irrelevant.

Of course, Huckabee lost to McCain due in large part to the fact that he couldn't get the support of these influential groups and individuals.  As such, it is rather hard to understand how he expects to be able to get their support next time around, should he decide to run again, when he's intent on spending more time attacking them than trying to win them over.

VA Legislator: Disabled Children Are God's Punishment for Women Who've Had Abortions

Last week we noted how Pat Robertson, Jonathan Falwell, and other right-wing activists in Virginia are targeting Gov. Bob McDonnell and other top elected officials to cut off any state funding for Planned Parenthood.

During a press conference unveiling the effort last week, a state legislator declared that God punishes women who have had abortions by giving them disabled children later:

Western Prince William Del. Bob Marshall, R-13th, says disabled children are God’s punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy.

He made that statement last Thursday at a press conference to oppose state funding for Planned Parenthood.

“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” said Marshall, a Republican.

“In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”

Marshall was among more than 20 people, mostly Christian pastors and clergy, who gathered for the press conference in the General Assembly Building ...The press conference was held by a group called Virginia Christian Action. Its members presented a petition calling on Gov. Bob McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to stop funding for Planned Parenthood. All three top officials are Republican.

The petition was signed by a number of prominent Christian leaders, including the Rev. Jonathan Falwell of Lynchburg and the Rev. Pat Robertson of Virginia Beach.

UPDATE: It looks like Marshall has quite a history of making outrageous statements.

Fischer, LaBarbera Hail Sorba For This Anti-Gay Rant at CPAC

Last week we posted this video of California Young Americans for Freedom's Ryan Sorba blasting CPAC organizers for allowing the gay conservative group GOProud to serve as a conference co-sponsor:

Not surprisingly, Sorba is now being hailed as a hero by the likes of Peter LaBarbera:

I am so proud of this young man, Ryan Sorba of California Young Americans For Freedom, for having the guts to hold CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, accountable for allowing a homosexual activist group, GOProud, to sponsor its conference. Organized homosexuality has no part in a truly “conservative” movement. We need a few dozen more Ryan Sorbas in our pro-family movement to put the “queer” activists on their heels for a change – instead of constantly being put on the defensive by a perversion lobby that equates sexual misbehavior and gender confusion with “civil rights.

The AFA's Bryan Fischer likewise praised him:

Sorba showed the courage of his convictions by simply declaring the truth. Said Sorba, "Civil rights are grounded in natural rights, and natural rights are grounded in human nature...and the intelligible end of the reproductive act is reproduction...civil rights, when they conflict with natural rights, are contrary..."

...

Sorba was certainly right to condemn CPAC for this move. The bottom line here is if conservatives are looking for an annual convocation of genuine conservatives - those who are fiscal, national security and social conservatives - the place to be is the Values Voter Summit.

VVS, sponsored each fall by the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, will never waver on the truth that protecting one man - one woman marriage is the most fundamental conservative value of all.