"Average Local Doctor" Concerned Over Health Care Reform

WSFA 12 News in Alabama reports that local doctor Randy Brinson is concerend about what health care reform will do to his practice:

Montgomery Doctor 'Troubled' By New Health Care Law

Brinson says he literally read every page, every word of the monster bill over 3 days.

"That is totally different with the way medical care is delivered today," said Dr. Brinson.

A conclusion critics and supporters of the new law agree on. It's the middle part of the 2,700 page bill that troubles Dr. Brinson ...Troubling because Dr. Brinson says medical professionals in the state have a far better idea how to serve the underserved than someone sitting in Washington.

Of course, Brinson is a bit more than just a concerened Montgomery doctor:

Dr. Brinson is the head of the Christian Coalition of Alabama. He's a Republican but insists his concerns over the health care law have nothing to do with party politics.

Now why would anyone think that Brinson's opposition to health care reform legislation might have anything to do with partisan politics?

This weekend's health care showdown in Congress will test the political clout of evangelical Protestant activists, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who are rushing to muster mass opposition to the Democratic bill endorsed by President Obama.

Dr. Randy Brinson, founder of Redeem the Vote, said evangelical leaders will target first-time voters, including Catholics, particularly in the Midwest, and voters not normally involved in religious or social activism, with an appeal highlighted by an e-mail from Mr. Huckabee.

Over the next few days, Mr. Huckabee's name, picture and words will appear on what organizers say will be "millions of electronic messages" urging voters to tell lawmakers to stand firm against the health care bill, set for a climactic vote Sunday in the House.

Mr. Huckabee, who ran for the 2008 Republican presidential nod, has teamed up with the Rev. Rick Scarborough of Vision America and Dr. Brinson, a Montgomery, Ala., founder of Optimum Impact LLC, which he describes as the "largest purveyor of e-mail data regarding political messaging."

"President Obama, [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid are doing everything in their power to push through a health care bill that would mandate federally funded abortions, along with a host of other issues that the American people have clearly said they don't want," Mr. Huckabee claims in his e-mail pitch ... The Huckabee e-mails will go to constituents of eight pro-life House Democrats who are considered on the fence or were heavily lobbied by Mr. Obama and Democratic leaders.

Obstruction for Obstruction's Sake

If you need any more proof that Senate Republicans' sole mission at the moment is to prevent anything from happening in their chamber of Congress, look no further than the fact that today the Senate had to seek cloture on the nomination Barbara Milano Keenan to fill a vacancy on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, resulting in a vote of 99-0.

That's right - not one Republican senator spoke against her qualifications, record, or views or voted to prevent her nomination from receiving an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor ... and yet still they filibustered, forcing Democrats to seek a cloture vote in order to move ahead, simply because they are committed to obstructing the governing process in every way possible.

Earlier today, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy took to the Senate floor to blast the Republicans' refusal to allow the Senate to move on even noncontroversial judicial nominations:

Last year’s total was the fewest judicial nominees confirmed in the first year of a Presidency in more than 50 years. Those 12 Federal circuit and district court confirmations were even below the 17 the Senate Republican majority allowed to be confirmed in the 1996 session. After that presidential election year, Chief Justice Rehnquist began criticizing the pace of judicial confirmations and the partisan Republican tactics.

Among the frustrations is that Senate Republicans have delayed and obstructed nominees chosen after consultation with Republican home state Senators. Despite President Obama’s efforts, Senate Republicans have treated his nominees much, much worse.

I noted when the Senate considered the nominations of Judge Christina Reiss of Vermont and Mr. Abdul Kallon of Alabama relatively promptly that they should serve as the model for Senate action. Sadly, they are the exception rather than the model. They show what the Senate could do, but does not. Time and again, noncontroversial nominees are delayed. When the Senate does finally consider them, they are confirmed overwhelmingly. Of the 15 Federal circuit and district court judges confirmed, twelve have been confirmed unanimously.

That is right. Republicans have only voted against three of President Obama's nominees to the Federal circuit and district courts. One of those, Judge Gerry Lynch of the Second Circuit, garnered only three negative votes and 94 votes in favor. Judge Andre Davis of Maryland was stalled for months and then confirmed with 72 votes in favor and only 16 against. Judge David Hamilton was filibustered in a failed effort to prevent an up-or-down vote.

The obstruction and delay is part of a partisan pattern. Even when they cannot say “no,” Republicans nonetheless demand that the Senate go slow. The practice is continuing. This is the 17th filibuster of President Obama's nominees. That does not count the many other nominees who were delayed or are being denied up-or-down votes by Senate Republicans refusing to agree to time agreements to consider even noncontroversial nominees.

Update: Keenan was confirmed by the same margin: 99-0. So why was the cloture vote even necessary when not one Republican voted against it or her confirmation?

Scarborough Merging Tea Party and Religious Right Activism, Hosting Conference Calls With GOP Leaders

Vision America hadn't sent out its "Rick Scarbough Report" in several weeks, but today the most recent email showed up in my inbox and it is carrying an exciting new addition to its name:

In the latest update, Scarborough informs us that his appearance at the National Tea Party Convention was a massive success and that he intends to merge Tea Party activism with his standard Religious Right activism, changing the TEA Party's "Taxed Enough Already" acronym to "Truth Exalts America" and launching a "Patriot Pastors' Tea Party" with the support of David Barton.

Also, he's been regularly hosting weekly conference calls with Republican members of Congress including Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Randy Forbes, Jim DeMint, David Vitter, and others.


On February 4-7, I attended the First National Tea Party Convention at the Gaylord Hotel in Nashville, which brought together over 600 leaders of various local Tea Party groups. These are the folks who've wrought an overnight revolution and I was honored to be with them.

The Convention included speeches by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Roy Moore, former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, and a host of other national leaders.

On the first evening, I spoke to the Convention and led a prayer service. The following day, I conducted an hour-long breakout session on "Why Pastors and Churches Must Engage In Politics." Every chair in the room was filled and people stood around the walls in a hall estimated to hold 300.

To say our message was well received is somewhat of an understatement. The press reported that audience cheered as I explained how this nation has fallen as we have drifted further and further from our Judeo-Christian roots.

We made many friends and allies. I believe the seeds we sowed in Nashville will bear fruit in the months ahead, resulting in a growing alliance between Vision America and the Tea Party movement.

On Saturday morning, I had a closed-door meeting with 16 pastors and several laymen. Some traveled hundreds of miles to be with us. We discussed ways in which pastors can become more involved with local Tea Parties, including organizing their own Tea Party. Former syndicated columnist Don Feder talked about effective communications techniques.


As we have for the past year, we are continuing to do our Thursday afternoon leadership, networking conference calls (3pm Central Time).

Last week, we heard from Congressman Steve King (Iowa) on mega-deficits, taxes and looming fiscal calamity. This week's presenter was Congressman Randy Forbes (Virginia), founder and chair of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, which leads its members in national efforts to protect prayer and America's spiritual heritage. Rep. Forbes spoke on the work of his Prayer Caucus and the sham of a health-care "compromise."

Past presenters have included Senators Jim DeMint (S. Carolina) and David Vitter (La.), Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and Congressmen Louie Gohmert (TX),Lamar Smith (TX), and syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin.



More than 60 pastors have been involved in an effort to organize a Patriot Pastors' Tea Party, just for Pastors. I have been conducting weekly conference calls for the past three weeks to explore the possibility of having a Patriot Pastors' Tea Party in San Antonio, at the Alamo, on July 7th. We have adopted the acronym Truth Exalts America for our TEA Party.

On the last call, the pastors heard from Wallbuilders' David Barton on the role pastors (the "Black-Robed Regiment") played in generating popular support for the American Revolution.

I promise to keep you informed of our progress on all of the foregoing, and earnestly solicit your prayers and support.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Media Matters: Rep. Trent Franks: Blacks Better Off Under Slavery.
  • Andy Birkey: Rosa Parks didn’t ‘move to the front of the bus to support sodomy.’
  • Amanda Little: James Inhofe, Senate’s top skeptic, explains his climate-hoax theory.
  • Stephanie Mencimer: Roy Moore: Next Alabama Governor?
  • Alvin McEwen: Why won't One News Now tell us what 'Miss Beverly Hills' said about gays?
  • Alan Colmes: Gun Paranoids Believe ObamaCare Is Step Toward Refusing You A Gun.
  • Finally, as Steve Benen says, there is a key difference between the quality of our health care system and our health insurance system and if would be nice if Republicans could recognize that simple fact.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Jeffrey Rosen: Just how radical is the chief justice?
  • David Weigel: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have a Country to Save!’
  • SPLC: Racists Holding Event at Former Justice Roy Moore’s Foundation.
  • David Neiwert: Tea Party speaker wants Sen. Patty Murray to 'get hung.'
  • Good As You: Anti-gay Ugandans are 'more American than Americans.'
  • Finally, some more CPAC coverage from TPM: Young America's Foundation Spox Tries Obama-Cocaine Joke At CPAC

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Norm Coleman and others are seeking to create a right-wing version of the Center for American Progress and hoping to exploit the Citizen's United ruling to fund it.
  • Mike Huckabee will be heading to Iowa to campaign for GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats.
  • James Dobson has endorsed Kansas GOP Senate candidate Rep. Todd Tiahrt.
  • Apparently both the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints have players who are deeply religious.  Who knew? 
  • According to campaign finance reports, the Alabama Christian Coalition has been accepting money from gambling interests.
  • Finally, here is an argument that you don't see every day, from Bev Ehlen of Concerned Women for America: "I believe people are discriminated because of their age, because of their sexual practices, because of their weight, they have a speech impediment, because they're ugly, maybe because they're good looking. I know that people are being discriminated against. That's still not a reason to change law."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • I see that James Dobson has now been added to the list of those supporting Janet Porter's May day for America rally.
  • Operation Rescue wants to make it clear that it has nothing to do with Randall Terry.
  • Roy Moore is running for governor of Alabama, and now his former spokesperson is running for lieutenant governor.
  • What a surprise, the Family Research Council gives President Obama miserable grades for this first year in office.
  • Finally, we have no idea who Mike Adams is, what he is talking about, or what it has to do with us.

Gay-Baiting in Birmingham: Syphilis, Sexual Perversion, and Personal Grievances

Massachusetts was not the only place that held a special election last night, as Birmingham, Alabama held its own election to replace former mayor Larry Langford, who was convicted of bribery, money laundering, conspiracy and fraud last year.

The mayoral race pitted William Bell against Patrick Cooper and a few weeks back, flyers [PDF] began circulating attacking Cooper for having supported a gay school board member named Howard Bayless in 2007.

At first, nobody knew where the flyers came from because all they said were "Paid for by Faith in Birmingham," but over the weekend it was revealed that a man named Frank Matthews was responsible.

Matthews, as it turns out, had been appointed co-director of the Office of Citizens Assistance by Langford and was fired from that position in December after getting into a heated argument with supporters of Cooper's campaign during a city-wide Christmas party, for which he vowed revenge:

Matthews said his exit from City Hall now gives him more freedom to campaign against Cooper. "I'm one of the most ferocious anti-campaign operatives in America," he said. "I'm calling in all cards. This is a clarion call."

And that is apparently what Matthews was trying to do not only with his flyers, but also with this letter he wrote claiming Cooper's support for Bayless made him unfit for the office of mayor because he would destroy the city's moral fabric, indoctrinate children, and increase the county's syphilis rates: 

Dear Concerned Citizen,

My name is Frank Matthews. As most of you are aware, I am radio talk-show host and former co-director of the Mayor’s Office of Citizen’s Assistance. First, I want to thank you for your prayers and support during the past few weeks, then I want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter. Many in the media criticize my methods, but I have a great love for our city. With that being said, I felt compelled to write this personal letter to you giving you the facts about Patrick Cooper. While this letter is in no way intended to attack his character, as many people accuse me of doing, it is intended to expose how his values will affect our city’s moral fabric.

As a minister, I am compelled to reveal to you Mr. Cooper’s public position concerning a vital moral issue that impacts the foundation of our families, our churches, our schools, and all of society: the issue of homosexuality. It is true “all of us have sinned and fallen short of bringing God glory” as stated in Romans 3:23. It is also true that we must repent for known sins. The Word of God clearly states homosexuality is a sin according to Romans 1:24-32. God loves us as sinners, but He hates our sin. Traditional marriage between a man and a woman has been the foundation of every civilized culture since the beginning of time. The citizens of Alabama understand this and showed their agreement by voting overwhelmingly in 2006 by an 81% to 19% margin in favor of the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment Act defining marriage as between one man and one woman. In October 2007, Birmingham elected the first openly gay man to public office in Alabama as Howard Bayless won a seat on the Birmingham City School Board governing the affairs of almost 30,000 young hearts and minds in our city. He did this with the support of the largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender political action committee in the nation along with the very public endorsement of Patrick Cooper standing proudly at Mr. Bayless’ side. It is not my intention to disrespect either of these men, but it is my duty to remind God’s people that this is an abomination and unpleasing in the eyes of our Heavenly Father.

All across the nation, school boards for children at the elementary and kindergarten levels are approving curriculum that promotes the homosexual lifestyle. This is morally wrong, brings confusion about gender identity to our children, condones sexual perversion, and can ultimately have detrimental influence socially. Not only would Patrick Cooper seek to advance this radical agenda upon our matriculating school children, but he wants to eliminate the “Laptops for Kids” program altogether, and replace it with Pre-K programs. These programs would indoctrinate the acceptance of this lifestyle, by our children, at an even earlier age. Within the last two years, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that Jefferson County had the highest rate of syphilis per 100,000 residents of any county in the nation and warned our citizens about the “epidemic rate” of the growing number of cases. Of course, syphilis is spread through heterosexual as well as homosexual relationships, but we need a leader who will stand for purity and traditional family values.

In conclusion, Patrick Cooper’s anti-traditional family values can only be a detriment to the children of our city. This is not the kind of leadership, vision, and action we want and need in Birmingham. Please get out and vote January 19th for what’s best morally, for Birmingham now and for future generations. Vote William Bell to be the next mayor of our great city!

Brought to you, and paid for, by:
Frank Matthews

The mayoral election was held yesterday, and Cooper lost 54-46.

Palin, Bachman, Moore, and Scarborough to Speak At Tea Party National Convention

Where can you find Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann rubbing elbows with the likes of Roy Moore and Rick Scarborough?

At the National Tea Party Convention next February in Tennessee:

Tea Party Nation is pleased to announce the First National Tea Party Convention. The convention is aimed at bringing Tea Party representatives together from around the nation for the purpose of networking and supporting the movements' principle goals.

Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska (2006-2009) and the 2008 Republican Vice Presidential Nominee will be the guest of honor and keynote speaker.

Rep. Michele Bachmann will be a breakfast speaker at the convention. Also speaking at the convention are Rep. Marsha Blackburn and former Alabama Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore.

Other participants include: Phil Valentine (Nationally Syndicated Conservative Talk Radio Host), Bruce Donnelly (President, SurgeUSA), Ana Puig, Dr. B. Leland Baker (author of Tea Party Revival), Mark Skoda (The Memphis Tea Party), Keli Carender (aka Liberty Belle), Dr. Rick Scarborough (author of "Enough is Enough"), Lori Christenson (The Evergreen Conifer Tea Party), David DeGerolamo (NC Freedom Tea Party), Walter Fitzgerald (Tea Party Nation - Emergency Preparedness), The Leadership Institute, Judicial Watch, SurgeUSA, FAIR, National Taxpayers Union, American Majority, Smart Girl Politics.

Back in September, Bachmann and Scarborough both appeared at the How To Take Back America Conference, and this is what we got:

We are expecting more of the same the next time around.

Right Wing Leftovers

Eagle Forum Blasts "Personhood" Initiatives

Despite the fact that the effort to pass a "personhood amendment" last year in Colorado was an absolute failure, proponents have continued to press ahead with similar efforts all over the country. 

According to, there are there are efforts underway to "outlaw all abortions and certain types of birth control, including oral contraceptives and the morning-after pill" in various states, including Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, South Carolina, and Virginia.

One of the problems plaguing the effort has been the opposition of most Religious Right and anti-choice groups ... a problem that obviously continues to this day, as earlier this week the Eagle Forum announced its opposition, calling the efforts misleading, hurtful to the anti-choice effort, and basically a scam:

The "personhood" initiative lost by a landslide of 73% to 27% in Colorado in 2008, and its unpopular coattails hurt good pro-life candidates there. This poorly designed initiative would not prevent a single abortion even it if became law, and its vague language would enable more mischief by judges.

Now its organizers, who provide little information about themselves or their funding, spread their disaster to key swing states like Florida, Missouri, Nevada and Montana. This hurtful effort misleads pro-lifers with the false hope that a referendum can overturn Roe v. Wade, when only the U.S. Supreme Court can do that. This enriches pro-abortion groups with a fundraising issue as they claim to preserve abortion by suing to stop this initiative, and they have already filed several lawsuits.

Florida's Catholic Bishops recently banned the collection of any signatures for this ill-advised initiative at churches there, and most pro-life groups also oppose this initiative. We encourage support of pro-life candidates, and oppose hurtful gimmicks like the personhood initiative.

Mat Staver's Anti-Gay Exhibition

In Alabama, a school district has reversed itself and decided that it won't bar Cynthia Stewart from bringing her girlfriend to the prom after the school's principal initially said the couple wouldn't be permitted to attend.

Stewart sought the assistance of the ACLU in getting the initial decision reversed - and it is pretty clear that Mat Staver really does not like the ACLU ... or gays ... and he really, really hates it when the ACLU gets involved in trying to help gays:

According to Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, the case is typical of the ACLU in that "anything that is anti-moral, anti-religious liberty, and anti-freedom, you can always find them on the other side."

"Here they are again: They're supporting lesbianism in a school situation where...the school does not want to promote lesbianism," the attorney explains. "The prom is [designed] for young men and young women to come and celebrate -- it's not [intended] for an exhibition of lesbianism; and the school simply has said [it's] not going to allow lesbianism in the prom."


Staver warns against giving in to the ACLU's demands. "The ACLU would essentially undermine all the core values that made America great," he remarks, "and they would use these radical agendas of homosexuality, abortion, and other kinds of anti-faith and [anti-]family policies to literally undo America."


Staver believes the school has the right to set boundaries on the prom, as it is not intended to shine a spotlight on lesbianism.

Why is it that every time a gay person is being discriminated against and fights back in the name of equality, people like Staver see it as an attempt to "promote lesbianism"?  Apparently, in Staver's warped view, anything and everything a gay person does is an "exhibition" of their sexual orientation.

And finally, given the way Staver worded his attack on the ACLU, he is actually saying that the organization is always "on the other side" of everything that is "anti-moral, anti-religious liberty, and anti-freedom" ... and given that it is Staver's Liberty Counsel that is usually on the "other side" of the ACLU on issues, then it must be LC that is siding with those promoting an "anti-moral, anti-religious liberty, and anti-freedom" agenda.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Pam's House Blend: Washington Times publishes ugly hit piece on Kevin Jennings.
  • Truth Wins Out: Focus on the Family Seeks to Exempt Alabama Gays from Antibullying Protection.
  • Rob Boston: At the Values Voter Summit, Wing-Nut Christian Right Plots Its Comeback.
  • Texas Freedom Network: David Barton Promotes Oklahoma Extremist Sally Kern.
  • Amanda Hess: Ex-Gay Group Calls Hate Crime Laws “Anti-Ex-Gay.”
  • Wow, Hitler and Obama really do have a lot in common.
  • Finally, I'll be out for the rest of the week.  See you Monday.

HuckPAC's Healthcare Threat

Mike Huckabee's PAC, HuckPAC, has issued the following warning

Huck PAC will not endorse any Republican candidate that votes for the government takeover of health care. And if we have endorsed your campaign, and you vote for this monstrosity of a bill, we will revoke your endorsement immediately.

Let's suppose that HuckPAC-endorsed candidate Les Phillip of Alabama announced that he would support healthcare reform and Huckabee revoked his endorsement: would HuckPAC then reimburse Phillip for the tens of thousands of dollars that Huckbee's endorsement has already cost his campaign? 

Just curious.

Chuck Norris Endorses Roy Moore

It didn't work for Mike Huckabee, but maybe Roy Moore will have better luck:

Chuck Norris, internationally known martial arts expert, actor, and media personality has endorsed Judge Roy Moore for Governor of Alabama. Norris believes Judge Moore is the strongest, best qualified candidate in the race for Alabama's gubernatorial leader, the person who can best lead the state forward in the difficult times ahead.

Judge Moore and Chuck Norris have much in common in addition to their strong conservative beliefs, including their martial arts skills and their service in our nation's armed forces. Mr. Norris has won numerous martial arts tournaments around the world. As described in Judge Moore's book, So Help Me God. Jude Moore fought professionally as a kick-boxer in both the U.S. and Australia, and is known for his strong leadership as a judge and as an Army company commander in Vietnam.

Judge Moore's campaign is based on his defense of our individual rights, his plan for creating new jobs through the proven economic principles of Supply Side economics ("Reaganomics") which brought our nation and state out of a severe recession in the 1980's-by cutting taxes and reducing the size of government. He also has a strong plan to eliminate waste and corruption in state government. Judge Moore is well known for keeping his promises.

Moore, for those who may not remember, was tossed off the Alabama Supreme Court back in 2003 for defying a federal judge's order to move a Ten Commandments monument from the state Supreme Court building.

A Sign of Changing Times?

When I saw an article covering a forum hosted by the Alabama Christian Coalition with candidates running for governor, I have to admit that I did not expect this:

Five Republicans and one Democrat running for governor showed up tonight at Taylor Road Baptist Church in Montgomery for a forum sponsored by the Alabama Christian Coalition.

But this was not your typical Christian Coalition forum, at least not compared to what has typically been the focus of political get-togethers sponsored by the group before it underwent a split several years ago and then came back under new leadership, leadership that many Republicans in the state now believe is nowhere near as conservative as the group once was.

Evidence of that was everywhere Monday. For starters, the panel asking questions featured some moderate Democrats along with some Republicans.

The real indication that maybe the focus of the group is not what it once was came when the questions were asked of the candidates. In a two-hour event, not one question was asked about their views on same-sex marriage, abortion, school prayer or even their views on taxes.

Some candidates, such as Republican Bill Johnson, had to seemingly go out of their way to say they were for traditional marriage and against abortion.

Other candidates, such as Republican Bradley Byrne and Democrat Artur Davis, occasionally referred to the Bible when making points. Former Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was the darling of the group as it existed in 2006 when he ran for the GOP nomination for governor, received at best polite applause but not the kind of thunderous ovations he saw three years ago.

Instead of plenty of questions about abortion, prayer and sin, Monday night's forum was filled with questions about health care, the economy, education and yes, some moral issues. But those took the form of what to do about crowded prisons, the candidates pledging not to play the race card -- Davis is black -- and whether gambling should be made legal and taxed.

The Christian Coalition of Alabama has undergone some confusing changes in recent years.  Back in 2006, then-president John Giles announced that they were breaking from the national Christian Coalition and reforming under the name Christian Action Alabama.  The Christian Coalition of Alabama subsequently tapped Randy Brinson as president and the two organizations then got into a legal battle over assets.

Brinson, who was a key backer of Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign, and his organization also made news last year when they attacked Freedom's Watch over ads it ran in the state because Sheldon Adelson, the man behind the organization, had made his fortune in the gambling industry and the even blasted the National Republican Congressional Committee for ads it ran attacking Democratic Congressional Candidate Parker Griffith, claiming the NRCC ad intentionally misrepresented some of Griffith's statements "to cast aspersions on his character, patriotism and even Christian commitment."

Interestingly, Giles left his new organization shortly after it broke with the Christian Coalition and now the organization appears defunct.  Meanwhile, the Christian Coalition of Alabama has been branching out and taking stances one would never have expected from this sort of group:

The Christian Coalition of Alabama teamed up with a Democratic lawmaker on Tuesday to call for better health care for the state's uninsured.

The event may defy con ventional wisdom about Christian Coalition priorities and partnerships, but it is only the latest example of what the group's leader says is an effort to expand its focus.

"Yes, we're ardently pro-life. Yes, we're ardently for marriage," said Dr. Randy Brinson, chairman of the state Christian Coalition. "But beyond just that, there's other moral failings that are having (an) impact. ... Not enough emphasis is put on that."

One such problem is the number of people who lack medical care because they are uninsured or underinsured, said Brinson, a Montgomery physician and lifelong Republican, during a news conference with state Sen. Linda Coleman, D-Birmingham.

Brinson and Coleman said the rising cost of gas and food exacerbate the plight of the uninsured, forcing them to choose between transportation, sustenance and basic medical care.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Carrie Prejean says losing the Miss USA pageant and later her state crown was part of God's plan.
  • The Hill: An aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), was indicted Friday on public corruption charges related to the wide-ranging case involving Jack Abramoff.
  • Personhood Colorado announces that it is launching an effort to get its "personhood" amendment back on the ballot after its humiliating defeat last year, saying they are "seeing incremental advances for the personhood rights of the preborn."
  • Gary Dull and his Faith and Freedom Institute announce that they will be conducting a "Patriotic Prayer Rally" at Lafayette Park in Washington, DC tomorrow.
  • Janet Porter and gang will be hosting yet another web conference early next month highlighting the upcoming How To Take Back America Conference.
  • Finally, Roy Moore came in second at the straw poll conducted by the St. Clair County [Alabama] Republican Party after a gubernatorial forum featuring all six Republican candidates seeking the party's nomination next year.

Mike Huckabee's Costly Endorsement

Last month, Mike Huckabee and his HuckPAC endorsed Les Phillip who is running for a seat in Congress representing District 5 in Alabama. Huckabee called him "a true American success story" and "an outstanding Conservative Republican who fully understands the important issues facing his district, his state and his country. His principles are the same as those of Huck PAC and me." As such, Huckabee was "pleased to endorse Les Phillip and urge you to support him and his campaign."

When Huckabee headlined an event for Phillips a short time later, Phillips glowed that it was a "complete success" ... but that was presumably before he realized that it had just cost him tens of thousands of dollars:

One of the most curious fundraising reports of the second quarter came from Republican Les Phillip, who is looking to challenge Rep. Parker Griffith (D-Ala.) in a top national race.

If you've heard of Phillip, it's probably because he welcomed former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to his district for a fundraiser during the second quarter, and Huckabee endorsed him.

It was an expensive endorsement.

According to his Federal Election Commission report, Phillip raised just $17,000 and spent more than $56,000 during the second quarter.

His disbursements include a $33,990 speaking fee for Huckabee, $600 for photography for the Huckabee event, $438 for a lunch with Huckabee, $6,233 for a stage rental and equipment (presumably for the Huckabee event), and a $2,350 facility rental fee (also presumably for the Huckabee event).

In other words, Phillip spent nearly $45,000 to raise less than $20,000 and took a major financial hit for the Huckabee event.

Perhaps the most painful part is the fact that he was forced to loan his campaign $50,000 in four installments after the event.

The purpose listed? A "Personal Loan from Les Phillip to cover general campaign expenses and Mike Huckabee event expenses."

A Remembrance of CFJ Ads Past

In honor of the Committee for Justice's most recent ad basically accusing Sonia Sotomayor of being a terrorist, I thought I'd dust off the ol' archives and take a look back at the ads CFJ put together during the Bush administration.

Like these newspaper ads they ran accusing Democrats of blocking Bill Pryor for religious reasons:

And the accompanying radio ad:

Why are some in the U.S. Senate playing politics with religion?

As Alabama Attorney General, Bill Pryor regularly upheld the law even when it was at odds with his personal beliefs. Raised a Catholic, those personal beliefs are shared by Rhode Islanders all across the Ocean State.

But some in the U.S. Senate are attacking Bill Pryor for having “deeply held” Catholic beliefs to prevent him from becoming a federal judge. Don’t they know the Constitution expressly prohibits religious tests for public office?

Bill Pryor is a loving father, a devout Catholic, and an elected Attorney General who understands the job of a judge is to uphold the law – not legislate from the bench. It’s time for his political opponents to put his religion aside and give him an up or down vote. It’s the right thing to do.

Thank Senators Chafee and Reed for making sure that the Senate stops playing politics with religion.

Paid for by the Committee for Justice and the Ave Maria List

And who can forget this great ad in support of Miguel Estrada:

America is a monument to the willing, where we can dream and build, despite race creed or color. But there's still intolerance.

President Bush nominated Miguel Estrada to be the first Hispanic ever to serve on the Federal Appeals Court in Washington. But the radical left says he's not liberal enough. For the first time in history they're blocking his nomination with a filibuster.

Call your senators. Tell them it's time for intolerance to end. Anything less is offensive, unfair and not the American way.

Or this one in support of Janice Rogers Brown:

When Janice Rogers Brown, the daughter of a sharecropper, said she'd become an honor student and finish high school, some people said no way.

When Janice went to college and said she'd work her way through law school as a single mother, again they said no way.

Today President Bush wants this highly qualified Judge on the DC Federal Court of Appeals, the second highest court in America, and now John Edwards says no way.

Shame on you, Sen. Edwards.

Support the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown.

So, in summary, the Committee for Justice's positions seems to be:

Bill Pryor - loving father, devout Catholic, terrific judicial nominee.

Miguel Estrada - conservative, Hispanic, epitome of the American dream, terrific judicial nominee.

Janice Rogers Brown - daughter of a sharecropper, honor student, single mother, terrific judicial nominee.

Sonia Sotomayor - terrorist. 

Norquist Giddy About Reed's New Venture

Yesterday in writing about Ralph Reed's triumphant return with his Faith and Freedom Coalition, we noted that his reputation has been badly tarnished by his close ties to imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff. 

One other figure who played a key role in Ambramoff and Reed's business dealings was Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, who often served as a conduit through which Abramoff funneled the money gambling interests ponied up to fund Reed's anti-gambling work among the Religious Right.

As such, it is rather hilarious to see Norquist gushing about Reed's new endeavor:

One veteran conservative leader who's got a pretty good track record himself thinks this is just what the conservative movement needed.

"This is going to be big," said Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist.

It's almost as if Norquist is salivating at the idea of being able to partner with Reed once again in hopes of cashing in, just as he did the last time around:

Reed, who left the Christian Coalition in 1997 to found a political consultancy, said he was counting on Abramoff "to help me with some contacts."

As it turned out, Abramoff needed them too. In 2000 Alabama was considering establishing a state lottery, which would compete with the casino business of the Mississippi band of Choctaws, an Abramoff client. Norquist and Reed were well positioned to help.

"ATR was opposed to a government-run lottery for the same reason we're opposed to government-run steel mills," Norquist told TIME. Reed publicly opposed gambling. It wouldn't do to have casino owners directly funding an antigambling campaign.

So Abramoff arranged for the Choctaws to give ATR $1.15 million in installments. Norquist agreed to pass the money on to the Alabama Christian Coalition and another Alabama antigambling group, both of which Reed was mobilizing for the fight against the lottery. Reed knew the real source of the money was the casino-rich Choctaws. The antigambling groups say they didn't.

On February 7, 2000, Abramoff warned Reed that the initial payment for antilottery radio spots and mailings would be less than Reed thought. "I need to give Grover something for helping, so the first transfer will be a bit lighter," Abramoff wrote.

The transfer was apparently lighter than even Abramoff expected. In a note to himself on February 22, Abramoff wrote, "Grover kept another $25K!"

Norquist says he had permission. He says a Choctaw representative -- he can't remember who -- instructed him on two occasions to keep $25,000 of the money for his group.

If Reed is trying to re-establish himself as a trustworthy player on the Right, it probably doesn’t help to have Norquist gleefully rubbing his hands together in the background.

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