Arizona

Kobach’s Latest Plan to Keep 15,000 Kansans From Voting: Sue the Federal Government

Kansas secretary of state and national voter suppression advocate Kris Kobach has been struggling in recent months to implement a new “proof of citizenship” voter registration requirement that he pushed into law. But now he has a new plan: sue the federal government to make it harder to register to vote with a federal form in his state.

Like a similar Arizona law that was recently struck down by the Supreme Court, Kansas’ law requires those registering to vote to produce documented proof of citizenship beyond the sworn oath required on federal voter registration forms. This has produced an administrative nightmare in Kansas, throwing the voting status of at least 15,000 people who registered with the federal form into limbo.

Kobach’s first plan to fix this was to force the thousands of Kansans who had registered with the federal form to cast provisional ballots in the next election, which would then only count if they showed up later at an elections office armed with a birth certificate or other citizenship document. The state board of elections rejected the plan, which one Republican state senator called “disingenuous at best.”

Kobach then got creative, suggesting that Kansas create two classes of voters, with those who register with the federal form only allowed to vote in federal elections. Voting rights advocates balked.

Now, Kobach has a new plan. Along with Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Kobach is suing the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to require the federal government to add extra “proof of citizenship” requirements to federal voter registration forms in the two states. Andy Marso at the Topeka Capital-Journal sums up the scheme:

Facing the possibility of legal action over 15,000-plus suspended voter registrations, Secretary of State Kris Kobach struck back by announcing Wednesday his own suit against a federal election commission.

Kobach said at a news conference that he and Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, both Republicans, have filed a complaint against the U.S. Election Assistance Commission asking that federal voter registration forms issued to residents of their states include state-specific proof of citizenship requirements like the ones on state forms largely responsible for putting thousands of Kansas registrations on hold.

Kobach said the court case is "the first of its kind."

Kansas voters will be best served when the EAC amends the Kansas-specific instructions on the Federal Form to include submitting concrete evidence of U.S. citizenship when registering to vote," Kobach said.

Kobach said the lawsuit would partially preempt a suit being prepared but he American Civil Liberties Union over the suspended registrations.

“It does block many of the arguments the ACLU might wish to raise,” Kobach said.

Kobach explains that he is answering the “invitation” that Justice Antonin Scalia left in his opinion in the Arizona case, in which the justice suggested that Arizona try such a move.

Kobach and the ACLU have disagreed on much when it comes to voting laws, but both he and Bonney said U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's majority opinion in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., invited a lawsuit.

"This lawsuit is pursuant to Scalia's invitation," Kobach said.

Arizona Congressman Calls for 'National Referendum' to Reverse Supreme Court on Voting Rights

Rep. Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican, told Mike Huckabee on Monday that the U.S. should consider a “national referendum” to make voter registration more difficult.

The two were discussing the Supreme Court ruling that invalidated an Arizona law mandating that people registering by mail to vote in the state using a federal voter registration form produce additional documentation to prove their citizenship. The federal form already requires voters to certify under oath that they are citizens. Civil Rights groups worried that the Arizona requirement would disenfranchise low-income voters and jeopardize voter registration drives.

Gosar told Huckabee that the ruling, which found that Arizona’s requirement was preempted by federal law, was “very disappointing,” adding, “We really have to solve this process from the federal level, with regards to either legislation or a national referendum.” It is unclear what he meant by a “national referendum.”

Gosar also lamented that the Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder has “upheld or disdained certain groups’ privileges over others,”  echoing Justice Antonin Scalia’s dismissal of the Voting Rights Act as a “racial entitlement.” (Scalia, however, wrote the opinion striking down the Arizona law.)
 

Huckabee: This morning, the Supreme Court handed down a very significant decision striking down your state’s law regarding voter documentation. Did the ruling surprise you? And what kind of reaction are you hearing from your home state?

Gosar: Well, I mean, they’re disappointed. They cited the supremecy clause, the federal government over the states, and they bypassed what would be legal documentation. I think that’s what’s eluding us is that what, you know, what is being dictated to the states in regard to voter safety. But then you have a federal government that fails to respond, particularly when you look at the Department of Justice under Eric Holder and how they have upheld or disdained certain groups’ privileges over others. I think it’s very disappointing, and it tells me that we really have to solve this process from the federal level, with regards to either legislation or a national referendum.

Trent Franks Goes Akin: His History of Anti-Choice Extremism

At a hearing today on his bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy without exception, Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona said he opposed adding a rape exception to the bill in part because “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.” 

Franks added, nonsensically, “But when you make that exception, there’s usually a requirement to report the rape within 48 hours. And in this case that’s impossible because this is in the sixth month of gestation. And that’s what completely negates and vitiates the purpose of such an amendment.”

Franks’ misinformed, Todd Akin-like comments on the mechanics of pregnancy are just the latest in a long line of extreme anti-choice positions.

Aside from his anti-choice activism, Franks pushes anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, has flirted with birtherism, and has claimed that marriage equality is a “threat to the nation’s survival.”

Rep. Trent Franks Compares Anti-Choice Movement to Abolition of Slavery, Ending Holocaust

Rep. Trent Franks, Republican of Arizona, joined Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and anti-choice activist Lila Rose on an FRC webcast yesterday  on “exposing America’s late-term abortion industry.” Franks, who recently introduced a bill that would institute a national ban on the rare practice of abortion after 20 weeks, compared his fight against reproductive rights to the ending of the Holocaust and the abolition of slavery. “We are the ones that rushed into Eastern Europe and arrested the Holocaust, we are the ones that said no more to slavery after thousands of years, and by the grace of God,  we’re going to be the ones that say that we’re going to protect our own children,” he said.

When Perkins asked him to elaborate on the stakes of his bill, Franks answered that if it fails, “I would suggest to you that we undermine everything that America was ever dreamed of to be and we step into that Sumerian night where the light of compassion has gone out and the survival of the fittest finally prevails over man…If we turn our backs on this, I’m afraid we’ve broken the back of what America really is.”

Birthers of the World Unite: Larry Klayman to Represent Group Defending Joe Arpaio

Well this comes as no surprise.

Larry Klayman, the birther attorney who is now calling for an armed revolution against President Obama, is representing a new group of Tea Party members defending Sheriff Joe Arpaio from a potential recall election.

The Judicial Watch founder is threatening to sue activists who are collecting petitions to recall the Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff. In a video posted by Arizona Nightly News, Klayman ironically calls Arpaio opponents “vigilantes” who seek to “harass” the sheriff and distorts state election law to claim that the recall attempt is illegal.

Poor legal advice aside, Klayman’s selection to represent the group may not be a boon to the image of Arpaio, who is currently under fire for hiring a child-sex offender for his armed posse to guard schools, since Klayman himself has been accused of child sexual abuse.

Arizona Republicans Propose Anti-Evolution Education Bill

A group of Arizona Republicans are out with a new bill to undermine the teaching of evolution and subjects such as climate change and cloning in the classroom. The National Center for Science Education called the legislation another “instance of the ‘academic freedom’ strategy for undermining the teaching of evolution and climate change.”

The proposed “teach the controversy” bill is a stealthy attack on evolution as it tries to make science classes give equal weight to nonscientific beliefs and theologies. It’s the equivalent of including claims made by the Flat Earth Society in a geology class, all for the sake of “balance.”

A. THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, COUNTY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS, SCHOOL DISTRICT GOVERNING BOARDS, SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS, SCHOOL PRINCIPALS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS SHALL ENDEAVOR TO:

1. CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT IN SCHOOLS THAT ENCOURAGES PUPILS TO EXPLORE SCIENTIFIC QUESTIONS, LEARN ABOUT SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE, DEVELOP CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS AND RESPOND APPROPRIATELY AND RESPECTFULLY TO DIFFERENCES OF OPINION ABOUT CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES.

2. ASSIST TEACHERS TO FIND EFFECTIVE WAYS TO PRESENT THE SCIENCE CURRICULUM AS IT ADDRESSES SCIENTIFIC CONTROVERSIES. TEACHERS SHALL BE ALLOWED TO HELP PUPILS UNDERSTAND, ANALYZE, CRITIQUE AND REVIEW IN AN OBJECTIVE MANNER THE SCIENTIFIC STRENGTHS AND SCIENTIFIC WEAKNESSES OF EXISTING SCIENTIFIC THEORIES COVERED IN THE COURSE BEING TAUGHT.

B. THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, COUNTY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS, SCHOOL DISTRICT GOVERNING BOARDS, SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS, SCHOOL PRINCIPALS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS SHALL NOT PROHIBIT ANY TEACHER IN THIS STATE FROM HELPING PUPILS UNDERSTAND, ANALYZE, CRITIQUE AND REVIEW IN AN OBJECTIVE MANNER THE SCIENTIFIC STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF EXISTING SCIENTIFIC THEORIES COVERED IN THE COURSE BEING TAUGHT.

C. THIS SECTION PROTECTS ONLY THE TEACHING OF SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION AND DOES NOT PROMOTE ANY RELIGIOUS OR NONRELIGIOUS DOCTRINE, PROMOTE DISCRIMINATION FOR OR AGAINST A PARTICULAR SET OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OR NONBELIEFS OR PROMOTE DISCRIMINATION FOR OR AGAINST RELIGION OR NONRELIGION.

Sec. 2. Intent

The legislature finds and declares that:

1. An important purpose of science education is to inform students about scientific evidence and to help students develop critical thinking skills necessary to becoming intelligent, productive and scientifically informed citizens.

2. The teaching of some scientific subjects, including biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning, can cause controversy.

3. Some teachers may be unsure of the expectations concerning how they should present information on such subjects.

Beck Tells Tea Party Activists They're Being Attacked, Just Like Washington, Lincoln, & Reagan

Over the weekend, Glenn Beck traveled to Arizona where he delivered a "spoken word speech while accompanied" by music to Tea Party activists attending a FreedomWorks "FreePAC" event.  For an hour, Beck lamented the loss of America's greatness while beseeching the audience to rise up and save this nation, but warning them that by doing so, they would be making themselves unpopular to the media and the elites who would ridicule and marginalize them, just as they have always done in the past: “They did it to Abraham [in the Bible]. They did it to Washington. They did to Lincoln. They did it to Reagan. They’re doing it to you”:

FRC Partners with Church that Urged Members to ‘Actively Pray and Work for the Defeat of Barack Obama’

FRC president Tony Perkins and vice presidents Jerry Boykin and Kenyn Cureton are heading to Catalina Foothills Church in Tucson, Arizona for “Recapture America.” Cosponsors include the Center for Arizona Policy, the Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund) and the church’s Christian Impact Committee. Recently the church claimed [PDF] that Obama is pushing a “reprioritization in human rights policy in favor of the advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights” that is contributing to a “global crisis in religious liberty” and likened Obama to Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong and Saddam Hussein.

During his Sunday sermon, Rev. Allen Cooney called on members of the church to “actively pray and work for the defeat of Barack Obama” in the upcoming election as he is an “enemy” of Christianity and religious freedom.

Of course that shouldn’t be a surprise as Perkins believes it is a sin for a Christian to vote for Obama and Boykin thinks Obama is using health care reform to create a personal Brownshirt army.

Barton: Cops Should Have Refused to Arrest Arizona Pastor for Illegally Building a Church

Yesterday on "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green discussed the case of Arizona pastor Michael Salman who has recently become a Religious Right cause célèbre because he is  supposedly being persecuted simply because he wanted to hold Bible study meetings at his home. 

In reality, Salman had been attempting to illegally build a church in his back yard and had been holding multiple-weekly church services on his property until he was found guilty of dozens of code violations and sentenced to sixty days in jail.

Barton took up the case today and voiced his outrage, calling on voters in Phoenix to work to remove political leaders in that city for allowing something like this to happen. Barton went on to falsely claim that Salman's home was raided by a SWAT team sent to arrest him and said that law enforcement officers must refuse to participate in things like this because they have an obligation to uphold the Constitution:

And the one we have today, the one we're going to talk about today is a great example is a bunch of political leaders in a city who need to be seriously removed. The fact that they would even think about enforcing this particular ordinance against anybody means that we've got a bad set of leaders there that need to be gone.

...

There needs to be some changes in Phoenix and people really do need to let city hall hear it over this. And I'm really concerned about cops who are willing to go in as a SWAT team to arrest a pastor who's had Bible study. The cops should have said "no, we're not doing that. I mean, we take an oath to uphold the Constitution too; there's the right of assembly, the right of speech, the right of religion. We're not going to go arrest this guy with AR-15s and a SWAT team." At some point, citizens are going to have to say we're not going to be part of this and that should have happened at this point.

Jailed AZ Unfairly Pastor Stuck in Arpaio's 'Concentration Camp'

Yesterday we wrote a post noting that John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute, which is representing jailed Arizona pastor Michael Salman, was complaining about the conditions in which Salman is being held within the infamous tent city jail compound created by "America's Toughest Sheriff" and Birther extraordinaire Joe Arpaio.

Whitehead is now making the rounds on right-wing radio programs to plead Salman's case and stopped by AFA's "Today's Issues" where he complained that Salman was being held in a "concentration camp":

He's in Tent City. If you don't know what Tent City is, I'm telling your listeners, go Google it - it is a concentration camp. It has stun fences, electric fences, no air conditioning, people live in tents on the ground and men have to wear pink underwear to humiliate them. There's no air conditioning; it's a 145 degrees there. So that's where he's at.

The Right's Sudden Concern About Arpaio's Prison Camps

Over the last few weeks, Arizona pastor Michael Salman has become a Religious Right cause célèbre and the current poster boy for religious persecution. In the Religious Right's version of events, Salman has supposedly been harassed and persecuted by local officials for years simply because he wanted to hold bible study meetings at his home. 

In reality, Salman had been attempting to illegally build a church in his back yard and was found guilty of dozens of code violations, resulting in a sixty day jail sentence, which Salman is now serving ... and about which his supporters are now complaining:

Pastor Michael Salman is serving his 60-day sentence for holding a home Bible study in Tent City Jail, a prison compound in Maricopa County, Ariz. The Phoenix pastor’s attorney describes conditions there as similar to the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.

“This is where you would put Osama bin Laden, not Michael Salman,” says Rutherford Institute founder and attorney John Whitehead in an interview yesterday with International Christian Concern (ICC).

“The temperature there has been around 140 degrees, and there is no air conditioning. They’re [living] in tents. They have stun fences … barbed wire … large German shepherds walking the perimeter, armed guards and facial recognition software so that the prisoners are studied all the time.”

According to Whitehead, Salman has reported being imprisoned with “really hardened criminals.” He is unsure why the pastor has been specifically sent to Tent City. In late June, the jail was the focus of thousands of protesters who gathered outside the Maricopa County Sherriff’s office to express their disapproval of the allegedly prison camp-like conditions.

It should be noted that this Guantanamo-like prison camp in which Salman is currently serving his time just so happens to be the system set up by the Right's hero, "America's Toughest Sheriff," and Birther extraordinaire Joe Arpaio.

Oddly, nobody on the Right seemed particularly concerned about the conditions in the compound until now. 

Franks: Obama Assaults Catholics While Apologizing to Muslims

Last week, President Obama issued an apology after NATO mistakenly burned copies of the Quran, which not only set off riots in Afghanistan while the apology predictably outraged Republicans here at home.

Today, Rep. Trent Franks joined Tony Perkins and Tim Wildmon on the "Today's Issues" radio program, where all three voiced their disgust with President Obama, whom they accused of undermining the troops while appeasing the enemy.

Franks was so incensed that he even managed to compare Obama's apology for this incident to his push for contraception coverage in health insurance, saying Obama has no problem about blatantly insulting and assaulting Catholics while groveling before Muslim.  Franks then went on to warn Catholics that if Obama is willing to "crush under foot their religious freedom in an election year, God help us when he gets re-elected ... because you ain't seen nothing yet":

Anti-Immigrant Activists Blast Perry Over DREAM Act Defense

At last night’s Republican presidential debate Gov. Rick Perry defended a state law he signed that allows the children of undocumented immigrants living in Texas to pay in-state tuition at the state’s public colleges and universities. Although Perry has attacked the federal DREAM Act as “amnesty,” anti-immigrant activists are furious over his defense of the Texas law.

In a statement, Americans for Legal Immigration-PAC president William Gheen speculated that Perry has “assured his own defeat”:

Texas Governor Perry destroyed his chances of winning the GOP Presidential primary during last night's debate when he defended his support for in-state tuition for illegal aliens which is opposed by 81% of all Americans.

"Rick Perry proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is not the right choice for America by supporting these radical illegal immigration attracting measures," said William Gheen, President of ALIPAC. "Perry's support for in-state tuition for illegals forces taxpayers to pay to replace their own children in the limited seats in our colleges!"



"GOP voters cannot vote for Rick Perry now without legitimizing and supporting in-state tuition for illegal immigrants," said William Gheen. "Perry has assured his own defeat despite the fact that he is receiving so much support and favoritism from globalist groups in the media. It is clear to me that the globalists who are responsible for illegal immigration in America are using their power to promote Rick Perry at this time."

Chris Chmielenski of Numbers USA also criticized Perry:

Legal immigration aside, the storyline of tonight's debate was Gov. Perry's insistence to stand behind his decision to sign the Texas Dream Act, granting in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens. Perry's response continues to be that these individuals will become a drag on society, but what he fails to understand is that with or without an education, these young people can't legally work in the United States. Plus, as Rick Santorum pointed out, no one is denying illegal aliens an education. Illegal aliens can still go to the University of Texas, but they should have to pay the same tuition rate that Arizona residents who attend the University of Texas pay.

Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation wrote in an email to members that his stance will haunt him throughout the primary:

Perry blew it.

How?

By pandering to the illegal alien vote.

Perry has gained a lot of traction from the Tea Party movement. By doubling down on the illegal alien issue, he has gained no friend and alienated many in the conservative movement.



His support of illegal aliens is hurting him.

Even American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer got into the mix, taking particular issue with Perry’s claim that those who oppose in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants don’t “have a heart”:

It’s fine to say we should not punish children for the sins of their fathers. But neither should we reward them. And we are not just rewarding the children, we are rewarding the parents, since many of them stole into the U.S. because they wanted to give their children a shot at a decent education. (The solution: help Mexico improve its educational system.) So Gov. Perry simply cannot get around the fact that he is rewarding the illegal behavior of aliens who have no right to be here. That is an exceedingly troublesome position for someone who wants to be our nation’s chief law enforcement officer.



Public schools at every level should be reserved for students who have a legal right to be in this country. The immigration status of every applicant should be checked and enrollment reserved for legal residents of the United States. If illegal aliens wants [sic] to pursue higher education, let’s repatriate them to their native land where they can pursue education to their heart’s content.

Right Wing Round-Up

Author of ‘Anti-Christian’ DHS Report on Right-Wing Extremism is a Conservative, Anti-Choice Gun Owner

The Religious Right loves manufacturing controversies that “prove” the victimization of Christians in the United States. When NBC left the words “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance in the broadcast of a golf tournament, Religious Right groups jumped to proclaim that the network was in the pocket of God-hating liberalism. When an exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery included an image of Christ’s suffering made by a gay artist, the Religious Right called it “hate speech” and got the work of art pulled.

Recently, we’ve been reminded of one of these made-up controversies that may have more sinister consequences. In 2009, a Department of Homeland Security report on the threat of violent right-wing extremists was leaked. The report dealt exclusively with violent racist and anti-government groups – your Timothy McVeighs and Hutaree militias – but the Religious Right saw an opportunity to play the victim and do some fundraising. Groups including the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and the American Center for Law and Justice labeled the report an attack on American Christians, ginned themselves up some allies in Congress, and ultimately got the report pulled. (But not before Liberty Counsel had a chance to print up some “I’m Proud to be a Right Wing Extremist” membership cards).

Now, the main author of the DHS report, who left his job after the fallout from the controversy made it “difficult to get any work accomplished,” is speaking out. Daryl Johnson tells California State University’s Brian Levin that he is a gun-owning, anti-choice Republican Mormon who started work on the report under the Bush Administration. And he’s worried that the manufactured controversy over the report continues to hinder DHS’s ability to combat violent right-wing extremism:

Do you have any political antagonism towards conservatives, military veterans or religious people?
Absolutely not. I am a conservative. I'm married, have children and am a lifetime third generation registered Republican. I have military veterans in my extended family. I'm also a Mormon. I respect people of all faiths. I feel so strongly about our religious freedoms, that I served two years as a missionary for my church.

Would you consider yourself prolife?
Yes. I believe in the sanctity of life including the preborn.

Do you support a broad right to individual gun ownership by competent non-felons?
Yes, I am a gun owner myself and enjoy target shooting and experienced game hunting in my youth.

Why interview now?
Obviously, I couldn't discuss this with the media while employed at DHS. It took me a year after leaving to finally decide that this was truly the right thing to do. I also wanted to give DHS adequate time to determine whether or not it wanted to reconstitute the domestic non-Islamic terrorism effort. It never did.
Since Obama took office, there have been nearly twenty extremist rightwing attacks and plots, including the killing of almost a dozen police officers in six separate attacks. There have also been militia plots in places like Alaska and Michigan that targeted government officials such as a judge and police. Package bombs were mailed in the DC area. In recent months we had three sovereign citizen related shootings in Florida, Arizona and Texas.

How many people worked on your team?
Six worked directly for me with two others in support roles.

How many analysts at DHS worked Muslim extremism issues?
A: In 2008, there were close to 40. A year later that number had decreased to around 25. There were additional analysts working other topics such as critical infrastructure, border security and weapons of mass destruction.

How does the threat from radical Muslim extremists in the U.S. compare with that of right wing domestic extremists?
During the past 10 years there have been five successful attacks in the U.S. by Muslim extremists, but in the last three years there have been 20 attacks attributed to domestic right wing extremists and the number of fatalities is about equal between the two. There were more firearms possessed by the Hutaree [an alleged extremist] militia than by all 200 of the Muslim extremists arrested in the U.S. since 9/11.

What happened at DHS as a result of the criticism?
My team was dissolved. All training courses and briefings presentations were stopped. DHS leaders made it increasingly difficult to release another report on this topic.
Why would DHS leaders dissolve your team and stop these analytic activities?
The subject had become too politically charged. As a result, DHS leaders adopted a risk adverse approach toward this issue. Perhaps they thought it was a matter of organizational preservation.

Do you think the dissolution of your unit that you discuss has negatively affected State and local law enforcement?
Certainly. There is one less agency to assist state and local law enforcement with this growing and dangerous problem at a time of heightened activity.

Why did you leave DHS?
I could no longer effectively do my job. New processes made it increasingly difficult to get any work accomplished.

Have the conditions which affected your conclusions changed since the report was issued?
No. The factors have remained the same - the economy remains sluggish and uncertain; unemployment hovers around 10 percent nationally; Obama is still President; and the 2010 Census results show a changing demographic in America shifting away from a predominantly Caucasian nation.

Has the leak had a chilling effect on the analyst community?
Within the intelligence community at-large, I don't think so. Inside the Department of Homeland Security, I believe it did. Other DHS analysts saw what happened to us - saw leadership backing away from supporting the report and those responsible for writing it. Many left the agency as a result.

 

Eagle Forum Wonders, "Is Arizona State Promoting a Left-Wing Agenda?"

Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum Collegians is on the case to investigate whether Arizona State University is promoting socialism…through a sports motto. If the SunDevil wasn’t bad enough, a video celebrating the college’s sports teams ends with an image of a clenched fist with the Sun Devil’s pitchfork that turns into the college’s pitchfork hand gesture. But Eagle Forum finds a far more nefarious message in the video, accusing the school of trying “to communicate its traditional leftist message on the ASU campus” by using “a symbol of socialism, communism, and other extreme left-wing organizations”:

Is Arizona State Promoting a Left-Wing Agenda?

The Sun Devils of ASU are gearing up for this year’s football season with redesigned uniforms and logos. The school is promoting this greatly anticipated change with several YouTube videos.

Several of these videos end with an image of a clenched fist. After a second or two, the fist lifts three fingers, turning into the Sun Devil’s “pitchfork” hand-symbol.

The raised fist is a symbol of socialism, communism, and other extreme left-wing organizations, according to Wikipedia, It was first used as the emblem of the Red Front Fighter’s League of the Communist Party of Germany in 1932 and has since been used by groups such as the Black Panther Party and the Socialist Workers Party of the UK.

Why would ASU choose to put a symbol representing left-wing organizations at the end of a video promoting its football team?Will this symbol be used to express the Sun Devil's team spirit or will it continue to communicate its traditional leftist message on the ASU campus?

We all know sports teams already promote collectivism by encouraging cooperation and teamwork but see for yourself if you agree with the Eagle Forum. The image in question is 1:15 into this video from ASUAthletics:

Anti-Choice Leader Claims Obama Supports Black Genocide

While one anti-choice group is using President Obama’s image to attack legal abortion as black genocide, others are coming out saying that President Obama is advocating the extermination of African Americans because he is pro-choice. The abortion as “black genocide” myth is gaining increasing prominence in the anti-choice community, and the Family Research Council even asserted that Planned Parenthood was responsible for Washington D.C.’s shrinking black population.

Jim Sedlak of the American Life League, a champion of the radical personhood laws, argued that statistics showing that black women have a disproportionate number of abortions is proof that the black community is targeted by abortion providers. After D.C. mayor Vince Gray was arrested for protesting the budget deal that prevented the city from using local tax dollars to help low-income women access reproductive healthcare, Sedlak said that that “Margaret Sanger would be proud of her elitist black disciples” like Obama and Gray, asking, “with leaders like the president and the DC mayor, is it any surprise this black genocide continues?”:

With those statistics in mind, the American Life League said it is surprised that “America’s first black president drew a bizarre line in the sand declaring he would shut down the government of the United States to keep federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the organization that aborts over 125,000 black children nationwide each year.”

“The president of the United States champions aborting over one-third of the next generation of African-Americans as empowerment,” said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League. “We do not. We see it as the worst bigotry of low expectations. Margaret Sanger would be proud of her elitist black disciples. We are not.”

Based on its calculations, ALL says Planned Parenthood is responsible for the death of at least 126,601 black unborn children each year.

“With leaders like the president and the DC mayor, is it any surprise this black genocide continues? It needs to stop and the place to start is with the total defunding of the organization where it began: Planned Parenthood,” Sedlak concluded.

The Religious Right's Merger With Apostolic Dominionism Continues Apace

Janet Porter lost her radio program after she became deeply involved in Dominionism ... but that hasn't in any way dissuaded her.  And why would it?  Dominionism is an increasingly accepted agenda within the Religious Right.

So, since losing her program, Porter has gone on to fully embrace the movement and its theology, bringing in Dominionist economists to testify on behalf of her "Heartbeat Bill" in Ohio and teaming up with Cindy Jacobs to pray that God will hand the government over to Christians.

So it is no surprise to find out that Porter will again be joining Jacobs for a "Sealed Conference" in August in Arizona where she will once again preach on "Reclaiming the Government":

But before that, Porter will be in South Carolina with Rick Joyner and Jerry Boykin for the "Oak Initiative Summit" this weekend which has just made two key additions - Alan Keyes and Tony Perkins:

I guess it should not come as a surprise to see Perkins lining up with full-blown Dominionists like Porter, Boykin, and Joyner since just last month it was announced that he'd be part of the modern-day Spartan army of Religious Right activists they were forming called "300":

"Birther Bill" Advances In Arizona, Introduced In Pennsylvania

Perhaps the rise of Donald Trump’s poll numbers among Republicans following his escalating “birther” rhetoric has given a boost to the discredited birthers, as the Arizona State Senate just passed a “birther” bill. The legislation requires candidates to prove that they are born on U.S. soil if they want to receive a spot on the ballot, and its chief sponsor in the House even met with Trump to discuss the bill’s prospects:

The measure, House Bill 2177, is aimed at President Barack Obama and those on the political right who want him to produce a birth certificate proving he was born in Hawaii and not Kenya, where his father is from.

The Arizona Legislature passed the bill 20-8 on a party-line vote in the State Senate with Republicans backing and Democrats opposing.

The measure includes some changes that allow for other documents beside birth certificates to be produced by presidential contenders. It now goes back to the Arizona House of Representatives for another vote. The House previously approved the birther bill without new Senate changes.

In addition, Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe today introduced a similar bill in his state, saying, “It is beyond perplexing and greatly troubling that a political candidate can ascend to the highest levels of government without providing sufficient documentation verifying his or her place of birth or American citizenship.”

Trump, who will be speaking this weekend to the South Florida Tea Party, has won plaudits from leading ‘birthers’ and Republicans like Sarah Palin for promoting the discredited conspiracy theory. At least ten states are considering such “birther bills” this year.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: PFAW Applauds Ruling on Arizona Immigration Law.
  • Good As You: Of course NOM's misrepping Louis' role. It's the one constant of the Brown/Marinelli marriage.
  • Alan Colmes: Sarah Palin Encourages Donald Trump’s Birther Fantasies.
  • Towleroad: Catholic League Takes Out Full-Page Ad in NYT Blaming Priest Abuse on Homosexuality.
  • Scott Keyes @ Think Progress: As Bachmann Preps For Speech To Family Leader, Her Political Director Calls Group’s Claim About Gays ‘Absurd.’
  • Equality Matters: Linda Harvey: Day Of Silence Creates "Hitler Youth Product."
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