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Right Wing Round-Up - 9/18/14

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/18/14

  • Oh good. Former half-term governor Sarah Palin will speak at next week's Values Voter Summit.
  • FRC prays: "May strong pro-life men and women be elected this November just weeks from now!"
  • BarbWire is really giving WND a run for its money as the Right's premier source for insane content.
  • George Soros is behind everything.
  • Finally, Bryan Fischer spent two segments on his radio program today calling for the reinstatement of DADT, citing a recent GQ article about male-on-male sexual assault in the military. The article, of course, explicitly notes that such assaults have nothing to do with homosexuality: "'One of the myths is that the perpetrators identify as gay, which is by and large not the case,' says James Asbrand, a psychologist with the Salt Lake City VA's PTSD clinical team. 'It's not about the sex. It's about power and control.'"

True The Vote Proves What’s Wrong With Its Voter ID Obsession

True the Vote is one of the most influential groups working to make it harder to vote by pushing for restrictive voter ID laws and launching challenges against people it thinks might be ineligible to vote, tactics which are supposedly directed at preventing voter impersonation fraud and double voting — crimes that in reality are exceedingly rare.

In order to cover up the fact that voter ID laws keep many times more people from the polls than the miniscule number of voter impersonation cases that they might prevent, groups like TTV try to conflate in-person voter fraud — the only thing actually targeted by voter ID laws — with faulty voter registration and with rare but persistent kinds of small-scale voter fraud by elected officials that they have no intention of actually combating.

A great example of this happened yesterday, when TTV reprinted a short blog post by former Bush Justice Department official and conservative activist J. Christian Adams linking to a story about “Three PA Elected Officials Charged With Voter Fraud.”

Adams offers his commentary, implying that this story proves that the numerous studies discrediting the voter ID push are just wrong:

I am curious to see if this barely reported case of voter fraud ever makes it onto one of the ‘academic’ studies purporting to demonstrate very little voter fraud. Those studies are characterized by false negatives.

A quick look at the story in question, however, shows that what happened in Pennsylvania has nothing to do with voter ID or any so-called “voter integrity” laws that Adams and TTV are promoting.

Pennsylvania requires that people requesting an absentee ballot provide a reason, which can be “illness or physical disability” that makes the voter “unable to attend his/her polling place or to operate a voting machine.” Those voters must also provide a copy of their photo ID.

The case that Adams and TTV are touting is that of three township supervisors who were charged with violating election laws in 2011, two for helping 13 elderly voters to apply for and fill out absentee ballots , despite the fact that all were physically able to go to the polls on Election Day and were thus ineligible to obtain absentee ballots in Pennsylvania. One of the supervisors is charged with helping an eligible absentee voter fill out a ballot but failing to report that he had assisted the voter.

None of this would have been prevented by a voter ID requirement. Instead, this is an instance of, at best, a misunderstanding and at worst, public officials using their insider influence to tinker with ballots.

If it’s the latter, all sorts of laws are currently on the books to prevent such instances of election fraud. But it is not something that so-called “voter integrity” activists have shown any interest in addressing, perhaps because it’s already against the law and policed. As the Brennan Center wrote in a 2007 report, such conduct “has been an issue since Senators wore togas” and is a completely separate issue from the kind of supposed fraud that groups like True The Vote claim to be fixing with suppressive voting restrictions.

It is extremely rare for individuals to vote multiple times, vote as someone else, or vote despite knowing that they are ineligible. These rare occurrences, however, are often conflated with other forms of election irregularities or misconduct, under the misleading and overbroad label of “voter fraud.” Some of these other irregularities result from honest mistakes by election officials or voters, such as confusion as to whether a particular person is actually eligible to vote. Some irregularities result from technological glitches, whether sinister or benign: for example, voting machines may record inaccurate tallies. And some involve fraud or intentional misconduct perpetrated by actors other than individual voters: for example, flyers may spread misinformation about the proper locations or procedures for voting; thugs may be dispatched to intimidate voters at the polls; missing ballot boxes may mysteriously reappear. These more common forms of misconduct are simply not addressed by the supposed “anti-fraud” measures generally proposed.

Todd Starnes: Schools Fight Abstinence To Protect 'Condom Profits'

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes appeared on “Washington Watch” yesterday to discuss the case of an Arkansas junior high school student who had to remove her “Virginity Rocks” t-shirt because, according to a local news station, “the school said it contained sexual content.”

Starnes told host Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, that he suspected that school officials were worried that the student’s t-shirt would persuade so many students to become abstinent that they would lose out on the profits they apparently earn through distributing “free condoms.”

“Here’s my take on it, I thought it was interesting, [the student’s mom] said what’s really interesting is that any child in that junior high school can go to the counselor’s office and ask for and receive free condoms and yet her daughter cannot wear her pro-abstinence t-shirt in the public school,” Starnes said. “Here’s what I think the issue is Tony Perkins, I believe that maybe they were concerned this pro-abstinence t-shirt might cut into this school’s condom profits.”

Sadly, Starnes never bothered to explain exactly how students being convinced to remain abstinent would undermine the school's ability to profit from providing free condoms:

Jody Hice: Separation Of Church And State Caused Gang Violence, Teen Pregnancy

On his radio program yesterday, Georgia GOP U.S. House nominee Jody Hice blamed court decisions barring school-sponsored prayer and the display of religious texts in public buildings for a “downward slide” in America, including low test scores, gang violence, drugs, teenage pregnancy and “promiscuity.”

“[A]s we have removed prayer and Bible and our Christian heritage from our public school, what has been the counter consequence?” he asked. “Has behavior increased or decreased? Has education gotten better or worse? Have our overall citizenship, our citizenry, have we become a better place to live or a worse place to live? Is there more drugs or less? More gang violence or less? More teenage pregnancy or less? More promiscuity or less?”

“Folks, across the board we have suffered,” he concluded.

In fact, teen pregnancy rates have been falling steadily over the past two decades as has the rate of sexual activity among teens, and in 2011 violent crime in the U.S. fell to the lowest rate in 40 years, a trend that has persisted. But somehow we don’t think Hice meant to credit the separation of church and state for these positive trends.

So we had in 1952 a clear understanding of the role of religion in our public life, even in our schools. Then shortly thereafter we had the beginning of a reinterpretation of the First Amendment, a reinterpretation of separation of church and state as it applies to the public school system.

And wow, have we been on a downward slide ever since. Removing prayer, then removing the Bible, then removing religious documents such as the Ten Commandments, which of course has led to the removal of other symbols and so forth, and then removal of benedictions and invocations at any kind of school event or activity.

And I just want to ask you, what kind of behavior, as we have removed prayer and Bible and our Christian heritage from our public school, what has been the counter consequence? Has behavior increased or decreased? Has education gotten better or worse? Have our overall citizenship, our citizenry, have we become a better place to live or a worse place to live? Is there more drugs or less? More gang violence or less? More teenage pregnancy or less? More promiscuity or less? What has happened in our society as we have removed our religious heritage from being taught, from even being allowed in our public schools?

Folks, across the board we have suffered. Education scores have gone down, violence and crime has gone up and we are witnessing more and more of the consequence of those decisions.

Ohio GOPer: Fight Against ISIS 'Is No Different' Than Fight To Outlaw Abortion

Yesterday, Janet Porter hosted her "Appeal To Heaven" rally outside the Ohio statehouse, which is just the latest step in her years-long effort to get the state to pass her radical anti-choice legislation known as the "Heartbeat Bill," which would outlaw abortion within weeks of conception.

Prior to the rally, Porter was joined for a press conference by various state lawmakers who support her bill, at which State Representative Matt Lynch compared the fight to outlaw abortion in Ohio to the fight against ISIS in the Middle East.

In a video posted on YouTube by OhioCapitalBlog, Lynch declared that ISIS beheading journalists and civilians in Syria and Iraq is no different than the practice of legal abortion in Ohio.

The two issues "are not dissimilar," Lynch insisted. "As a nation, as we're aroused literally to move Heaven and earth to combat this evil on the other side of the world somehow we're blind and we're silent to the twenty thousand plus deaths that are occurring, seventy a day, right here in the state of Ohio."

"We have to have the courage," he said, "to understand that the moral right against evil in the mid-east is no different than the moral fight against evil right here in the state of Ohio and that evil is abortion":

Pat Robertson: 'One Little Jewish Radical' Has 'Terrorized' Our Cowardly Military

Pat Robertson is not pleased by the Air Force’s recent decision to make the words “So help me God” optional in the oath of enlistment, a result of the controversy over an airman in Nevada who was not allowed to re-enlist after he omitted the line.

The “700 Club” host reacted to the news today by criticizing the Air Force as cowards for “caving” to the “little Jewish radical” Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, whom he said is “terrorizing” the military:

There is a left-wing radical named Mikey Weinstein who has gotten a group about ‘people against religion’ or whatever he calls it and he has just terrorized the Armed Forces. You think you’re supposed to be tough, you’re supposed to defend us, and you’ve got one little Jewish radical who is scaring the pants off of you. You want these guys flying airplanes to defend us when you’ve got one little guy terrorizing them? That’s what it amounts to. We swear oaths, ‘So help me God,’ what does it mean? It mean’s with God’s help. You don’t have to say you believe in God, you just have to say you want some help beside myself with the oath I’m taking. It’s just crazy. What is wrong with the Air Force? How can they fly the bombers to defend us if they cave to one little guy?

Of course, as Don Boys of the Baptist Joint Committee notes, it’s not just atheists but also some Christianswhose religious teachings prohibit oaths to God” who would be affected by the policy.

Linda Harvey And Molly Smith: Anti-Choicers Must Oppose Gay Rights Because Gay Rights Cause Abortion

Molly Smith, the director of Cleveland Right to Life, lost her group’s affiliation with National Right to Life Committee last year when she criticized Sen. Rob Portman for announcing his support for marriage equality after his son came out as gay.

The national group chided Smith [pdf] for taking on “an advocacy agenda that includes issues beyond the right to life,” but her group pushed back, saying that “any politician, including Portman, who supports the break-up of the American family and supports the denial of a mother and father for children has forfeited the right of support and endorsement of the prolife movement .”

Then, earlier this year, Smith was picked as the head of the National Personhood Alliance, a new group meant to be an even more extreme rival to National Right to Life.

Which is to say, feelings are still raw. The subject came up in Smith’s interview this month with anti-gay activist Linda Harvey, who wholeheartedly agreed with Smith that anti-choice activists must also oppose LGBT rights because, she said, LGBT rights lead to a greater incidence of abortion.

“The Planned Parenthood and anti-life lobby is heavily imbued and connected to homosexuality,” Harvey told Smith. “They’re in favor of opening up the doors and spreading the boundaries of sexuality all across the board. That includes homosexuality. The lines are very blurred, and unless you stand strong on this issue, you’re going to see much more, and you do see much more, out of wedlock sexuality and then of course, more abortion.”

Harvey said that she had seen Planned Parenthood march in the Columbus, Ohio, LGBT pride parade: “Why are they doing that? Because they know, you muddy the water, and you get a lot more of their business, abortion.”

Smith and Harvey then discussed polls showing rapidly increasing support for gay rights, which they decided must be skewed.

“I’m beginning to lose all kinds of respect for these polls,” Smith said.

“Yes, they’re inaccurate, they portray things in the wrong way,” Harvey agreed, adding that if polls gave people “all the information” about LGBT people “they would change their minds” and realize that “maybe these people are defending something that is not defensible and is, indeed, shameful.”

Tony Perkins: Congress Must Be Courageous And Impeach Obama

Yesterday on “Washington Watch,” Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said that Congress is suffering from a lack of courage.

If congressmen were really brave, Perkins explained, then they would vote to impeach President Obama.

Perkins made the remarks while discussing the opening hearing of the House Benghazi Special Committee: “We are a society, a government that operates under the rule of law and when we have people who don’t want to play by the rules, it really doesn’t work. And that’s why this president has messed thing up so much, he doesn’t want to play by the rules. And Congress is too fearful, too politically-minded to impeach this president because they’re fearful. We need leaders who are not fearful.”

Glenn Beck Literally Stands Up And Applauds Parents Who Are Refusing To Have Their Children Vaccinated

During yesterday's morning staff meeting, Glenn Beck reacted to a report that vaccination rates in wealthy California neighborhoods have dropped dramatically, resulting in a resurgence of disease like whooping cough and measles, by literally standing up and applauding parents who are refusing to have their children vaccinated.

"I think that there is a lot of be said for being cautious on what we are jamming into our children's arms by law, all the time," Beck said, insisting that he is not against all vaccinations but simply objects to the arrogance of doctors and the government telling people they must get vaccinated.

"Whenever you put medication in your body," he said, "there is an equal and opposite. It happens. You're putting it in to fix this organ or to fix this flaw, it's going to push something else out of the way."

When Beck's executive producer, Tiffany Siegel, pointed out that this drop in vaccinations is leading to outbreaks of contagious disease and sometimes resulting in death, Beck was not overly concerned.

"It seems like we have an outbreak of Ebola," Beck said dismissively. "Disease is going to come. I'm not saying that we don't use modern medicine. I'm not saying that I'm against all vaccinations. I'm saying that we consider the arrogance of doctors and governments jamming needles in our arms and our children's arms and forcing us to do these things."

"There's a balance in all things," he concluded: