Arizona

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Blogger In Trouble for Insulting Native American Prayer at Tucson Memorial

After the Tucson memorial service, many right wing bloggers attacked President Obama’s speech on civility in politics and falsely claimed that organizers encouraged the applause throughout the President’s address. One Power Line blogger, Paul Mirengoff, had another target: Dr. Carlos Gonzales, a Native American professor at the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine who gave a Pascua Yaqui prayer at the service. Mirengoff believed that, despite a number of readings from the Bible from other speakers, Dr. Gonzales’s prayer wasn’t “Christian” or “American” enough, and did a disservice to the memorial:

As for the "ugly," I'm afraid I must cite the opening "prayer" by Native American Carlos Gonzales. It was apparently was some sort of Yaqui Indian tribal thing, with lots of references to "the creator" but no mention of God. Several of the victims were, as I understand it, quite religious in that quaint Christian kind of way (none, to my knowledge, was a Yaqui). They (and their families) likely would have appreciated a prayer more closely aligned with their religious beliefs.

But it wasn't just Gonzales's prayer that was "ugly" under the circumstances. Before he ever got to the prayer, Gonzales provided us with a mini-auto biography and made several references to Mexico, the country from which (he informed us) his family came to Arizona in the mid 19th century. I'm not sure why Gonzales felt that Mexico needed to intrude into this service, but I have an idea.

In any event, the invocation could have used more God, less Mexico, and less Carlos Gonzales.

It turns out though that Mirengoff is a partner at a law firm, Akin Gump, which has an active practice in Native American communities, who may not take kindly to Mirengoff’s dismissive and denigrating post about Gonzales’s prayer. The Careerist reports on the reaction to Mirengoff’s post:

Most firms wouldn't give a hoot about the personal rants of their lawyers except for one sticky fact: Akin Gump happens to have a thriving Native American tribes practice. Oops.

But to give the firm credit, it acted quickly. Three apologies were fired off almost immediately--though it's unclear in what order they were sent. James Meggesto, a partner in the Native American practice at the firm, posted the following on Akin Gump's Web site:
  
"As an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation; as an attorney who has dedicated his life and law practice to the representation of Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and tribal interests; and as a partner in the American Indian law and policy practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, I was shocked, appalled and embarrassed by a recent Web posting by another Akin Gump partner, Paul Mirengoff. . . . As soon as I and the firm became aware of this posting, the firm took immediate action to deal firmly with this unfortunate situation. Accordingly, Bruce McLean, chairman of the firm, issued the following statement: “We sincerely apologize for the blog entry posted by Akin Gump partner Paul Mirengoff on his personal blog, powerlineblog.com. Akin Gump is neither affiliated with, nor a supporter of, the blog. We found his remarks to be insensitive and wholly inconsistent with Akin Gump’s values. . . . "

Mirengoff also fell on his sword, and issued the following apology (which is both on his blog and the firm Web site):

"In a post last night, I criticized the use of a Yaqui prayer as the invocation to the memorial service in Tucson. In doing so, I failed to give the prayer the respect it deserves. Although I did not intend this as a slight to the religion or to the Yaqui tribe, it can clearly be interpreted as one. For this, I sincerely apologize to my readers, to the Yaqui tribe, to all tribal leaders and Indian people and, specifically, to Carlos Gonzales, who delivered the prayer. I regret my poor choice of words, and I have removed the post."

 

Right Wing Blogger In Trouble for Insulting Native American Prayer at Tucson Memorial

After the Tucson memorial service, many right wing bloggers attacked President Obama’s speech on civility in politics and falsely claimed that organizers encouraged the applause throughout the President’s address. One Power Line blogger, Paul Mirengoff, had another target: Dr. Carlos Gonzales, a Native American professor at the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine who gave a Pascua Yaqui prayer at the service. Mirengoff believed that, despite a number of readings from the Bible from other speakers, Dr. Gonzales’s prayer wasn’t “Christian” or “American” enough, and did a disservice to the memorial:

As for the "ugly," I'm afraid I must cite the opening "prayer" by Native American Carlos Gonzales. It was apparently was some sort of Yaqui Indian tribal thing, with lots of references to "the creator" but no mention of God. Several of the victims were, as I understand it, quite religious in that quaint Christian kind of way (none, to my knowledge, was a Yaqui). They (and their families) likely would have appreciated a prayer more closely aligned with their religious beliefs.

But it wasn't just Gonzales's prayer that was "ugly" under the circumstances. Before he ever got to the prayer, Gonzales provided us with a mini-auto biography and made several references to Mexico, the country from which (he informed us) his family came to Arizona in the mid 19th century. I'm not sure why Gonzales felt that Mexico needed to intrude into this service, but I have an idea.

In any event, the invocation could have used more God, less Mexico, and less Carlos Gonzales.

It turns out though that Mirengoff is a partner at a law firm, Akin Gump, which has an active practice in Native American communities, who may not take kindly to Mirengoff’s dismissive and denigrating post about Gonzales’s prayer. The Careerist reports on the reaction to Mirengoff’s post:

Most firms wouldn't give a hoot about the personal rants of their lawyers except for one sticky fact: Akin Gump happens to have a thriving Native American tribes practice. Oops.

But to give the firm credit, it acted quickly. Three apologies were fired off almost immediately--though it's unclear in what order they were sent. James Meggesto, a partner in the Native American practice at the firm, posted the following on Akin Gump's Web site:
  
"As an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation; as an attorney who has dedicated his life and law practice to the representation of Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and tribal interests; and as a partner in the American Indian law and policy practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, I was shocked, appalled and embarrassed by a recent Web posting by another Akin Gump partner, Paul Mirengoff. . . . As soon as I and the firm became aware of this posting, the firm took immediate action to deal firmly with this unfortunate situation. Accordingly, Bruce McLean, chairman of the firm, issued the following statement: “We sincerely apologize for the blog entry posted by Akin Gump partner Paul Mirengoff on his personal blog, powerlineblog.com. Akin Gump is neither affiliated with, nor a supporter of, the blog. We found his remarks to be insensitive and wholly inconsistent with Akin Gump’s values. . . . "

Mirengoff also fell on his sword, and issued the following apology (which is both on his blog and the firm Web site):

"In a post last night, I criticized the use of a Yaqui prayer as the invocation to the memorial service in Tucson. In doing so, I failed to give the prayer the respect it deserves. Although I did not intend this as a slight to the religion or to the Yaqui tribe, it can clearly be interpreted as one. For this, I sincerely apologize to my readers, to the Yaqui tribe, to all tribal leaders and Indian people and, specifically, to Carlos Gonzales, who delivered the prayer. I regret my poor choice of words, and I have removed the post."

 

Graham: Tucson Victims Denied Comfort Because of Prayers to "Father Sky" and "Mother Earth"

During the January 12 memorial service for the victims of the tragic Tucson shooting, a traditional Native American blessing was delivered by Carlos Gonzales, an associate professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine ... and the Right has been outraged by it ever since.

Earlier this week, the Washington Times ran an op-ed by Franklin Graham blasting organizers for allowing such a prayer because "Father Sky and Mother Earth can do nothing to comfort" the victims: 

Rather than calling on the God of heaven who made us and created this universe, which He holds in the palm of His hand, the university professor called out to "Father Sky, where we get our masculine energy" and "Mother Earth, where we get our feminine energy."

How sad. Father Sky and Mother Earth can do nothing to comfort Capt. Mark Kelly, who had been at the bedside of his wife, Rep. Giffords, wondering if she'd ever leave her bed. Or Mavy Stoddard, who was only alive because her husband sacrificed his life by shielding her with his body. Or the family, classmates, teammates and friends of little Christina, whose life was snuffed out before she could play another season of Little League.

For the sake of these innocent people and for Americans everywhere, I wish someone could have prayed to the One who created all of us, Almighty God. The president quoted from the great textbook of grief, the Old Testament book of Job - always fitting words in times like these. Perhaps the Yaqui tribe representative, the president of the university - someone - could have echoed the words of the Psalmist: "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."

What a shame that the University of Arizona didn't have enough sensitivity to suffering families and a watching nation to invoke the name of the God who is "Father to the fatherless and protector of widows."

Graham: Tucson Victims Denied Comfort Because of Prayers to "Father Sky" and "Mother Earth"

During the January 12 memorial service for the victims of the tragic Tucson shooting, a traditional Native American blessing was delivered by Carlos Gonzales, an associate professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine ... and the Right has been outraged by it ever since.

Earlier this week, the Washington Times ran an op-ed by Franklin Graham blasting organizers for allowing such a prayer because "Father Sky and Mother Earth can do nothing to comfort" the victims: 

Rather than calling on the God of heaven who made us and created this universe, which He holds in the palm of His hand, the university professor called out to "Father Sky, where we get our masculine energy" and "Mother Earth, where we get our feminine energy."

How sad. Father Sky and Mother Earth can do nothing to comfort Capt. Mark Kelly, who had been at the bedside of his wife, Rep. Giffords, wondering if she'd ever leave her bed. Or Mavy Stoddard, who was only alive because her husband sacrificed his life by shielding her with his body. Or the family, classmates, teammates and friends of little Christina, whose life was snuffed out before she could play another season of Little League.

For the sake of these innocent people and for Americans everywhere, I wish someone could have prayed to the One who created all of us, Almighty God. The president quoted from the great textbook of grief, the Old Testament book of Job - always fitting words in times like these. Perhaps the Yaqui tribe representative, the president of the university - someone - could have echoed the words of the Psalmist: "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."

What a shame that the University of Arizona didn't have enough sensitivity to suffering families and a watching nation to invoke the name of the God who is "Father to the fatherless and protector of widows."

Fischer Longs for a "Simple" System of Biblical Justice

Bryan Fischer is outraged by the news that the trial of Jared Loughner is going to be moved from Tucson, Arizona, to San Diego, California because moving the trial is "contrary to biblical concepts of justice":

Innocent blood was shed in Tucson, and the public servants of Tucson should be entrusted with the responsibility and authority to execute justice on behalf of the victims and their families.

It is a perversion of justice to deprive this community of the ability to deal with the monstrous act of evil. The murders of six innocent people by the Marxist-loving, Hitler-loving, Bible-hating, atheistic pothead radical leftwinger Loughner is traumatic enough on a city. Now to be deprived of the authority to see for themselves that justice is done is a second injustice.

In the ancient civil code of Israel, the community in which the murder had been committed had the responsibility to carry out justice. The standards of evidence were very high - no one could be sentenced to death without the testimony of two or three eyewitnesses - but when the standard had been met, execution followed.

It’s worth nothing, by the way, that if biblical standards of evidence were still followed in America’s judicial system, as they once were, you would have only an infinitesimal chance of sending an innocent man to death row. Too many are sentenced to die or to long prison terms today based on the testimony of a single witness. That’s exactly how you get innocent people sent away for life. Once again, the Bible is the solution, not the problem.

The only exception was that when a man killed another man unintentionally - the death was accidental - he could flee for safety to a city of refuge until his trial was held. (It’s worthy of note that there was no system of incarceration in ancient Israel. A crime against property was taken care of through restitution plus a substantial penalty. A crime against life was taken care of through execution. Think of the money we could save if we returned to something approximating this simple but elegant system of justice.)

Is anyone surprised that Fischer wants to see our justice system modeled on these "simple" Biblical principles which demand that adulterers, gays, those who curse their parents and those who worship other gods be put to death?

We can just add this to Fischer's long history of demanding that America's legal system needs to operate according to Old Testament principles and practices.

Fischer Longs for a "Simple" System of Biblical Justice

Bryan Fischer is outraged by the news that the trial of Jared Loughner is going to be moved from Tucson, Arizona, to San Diego, California because moving the trial is "contrary to biblical concepts of justice":

Innocent blood was shed in Tucson, and the public servants of Tucson should be entrusted with the responsibility and authority to execute justice on behalf of the victims and their families.

It is a perversion of justice to deprive this community of the ability to deal with the monstrous act of evil. The murders of six innocent people by the Marxist-loving, Hitler-loving, Bible-hating, atheistic pothead radical leftwinger Loughner is traumatic enough on a city. Now to be deprived of the authority to see for themselves that justice is done is a second injustice.

In the ancient civil code of Israel, the community in which the murder had been committed had the responsibility to carry out justice. The standards of evidence were very high - no one could be sentenced to death without the testimony of two or three eyewitnesses - but when the standard had been met, execution followed.

It’s worth nothing, by the way, that if biblical standards of evidence were still followed in America’s judicial system, as they once were, you would have only an infinitesimal chance of sending an innocent man to death row. Too many are sentenced to die or to long prison terms today based on the testimony of a single witness. That’s exactly how you get innocent people sent away for life. Once again, the Bible is the solution, not the problem.

The only exception was that when a man killed another man unintentionally - the death was accidental - he could flee for safety to a city of refuge until his trial was held. (It’s worthy of note that there was no system of incarceration in ancient Israel. A crime against property was taken care of through restitution plus a substantial penalty. A crime against life was taken care of through execution. Think of the money we could save if we returned to something approximating this simple but elegant system of justice.)

Is anyone surprised that Fischer wants to see our justice system modeled on these "simple" Biblical principles which demand that adulterers, gays, those who curse their parents and those who worship other gods be put to death?

We can just add this to Fischer's long history of demanding that America's legal system needs to operate according to Old Testament principles and practices.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/18/10

Michele Bachmann

GOP: Scheduled to address Montana GOP's Lincoln/Reagan Dinner on Feb 5 (Politico, 1/17).

Iowa: Conservatives in Iowa excited about Bachmann's appearance at Iowans for Tax Relief event this week (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/17).

Religious Right: Ultraconservative writer Joseph Farah praises potential Bachmann bid (WND, 1/11).

Haley Barbour

Immigration: Draconian Arizona-style law on immigrant rights to be considered by the Mississippi state legislature (Fox News, 1/17).

2012: Says he won't make a decision about a presidential run until the spring (WSJ, 1/14).

John Bolton

2012: Tells Russia Today that he could win the GOP nomination since he is in "the mainstream of the Republican Party" (GOP12, 1/17).

Foreign affairs: Knocks Obama Administration's handling of the political crisis in Lebanon (The Hill, 1/16).

Mike Huckabee

Alaska: Travelling to Alaska with a "Christian-based" cruise (HuffPo, 1/14).

Religious Right: Sarah Posner analyzes Huckabee's ties to Evangelical voters, "Christian nation mythology" (Religion Dispatches, 1/12).

Sarah Palin

Fox News: Tells Sean Hannity that Tucson shooting was "left-leaning," defends herself from criticism (Mediaite, 1/17).

Polling: Performs well among Republicans nationwide, but not in early primary states (Public Policy Polling, 1/14).

Arizona: Video response to Tucson shootings widely panned (Politico, 1/13; Salon, 1/12).

Tim Pawlenty

Economics: Opposes raising the debt ceiling despite prospect of default (HufPo, 1/16).

Religious Right: Tells Bryan Fischer of AFA that he supports reinstating Don't Ask Don't Tell (RWW, 1/13).

Palin: Says that her "bullseye" crosshairs map of congressional Democrats isn't "his style" (MinnPost, 1/12).

Mike Pence

2012: Former GOP Congressman launches a draft-Pence petition called the American President Committee (AP, 1/17).

Reproductive Rights: Planned Parenthood criticizes Pence's legislation to strip the group of federal funds (Muncie Star Press, 1/12).

Media: Introduces bill to block possible implementation of the Fairness Doctrine on talk radio (The Hill, 1/12).

Gun Violence: Denounces calls for gun control measures after Tuscon shootings (TPM, 1/12).

Rick Perry

2012: Begins polling voters outside of Texas (NRO, 1/17).

Immigration: Presses for new laws to curb immigrant rights (NYT, 1/15).

Mitt Romney

Foreign affairs: Meets with Israel's Prime Minister after visiting Afghanistan (Politico, 1/14).

Campaign: Hires new political director and pollster (RealClearPolitics, 1/13).

2012: Signs point to spring announcement as Romney steps down from the board of Marriott International (AP, 1/12).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Addressed the Aiken Republican Club 2011 kickoff meeting (The Augusta Chronicle, 1/17).

Religious Right: Keynoted major anti-choice rally in Columbia, South Carolina (The State, 1/16).

New Hampshire: Interviewed by Boston Herald at Granite Oath PAC house party (Boston Herald, 1/14).

John Thune

CPAC: Set to address Conservative Political Action Conference in February despite Religious Right boycott (Argus Leader, 1/13).

GOP: Keynote speaker for Missouri Republican Party's Lincoln Days fundraiser (News Leader, 1/11).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/18/10

Michele Bachmann

GOP: Scheduled to address Montana GOP's Lincoln/Reagan Dinner on Feb 5 (Politico, 1/17).

Iowa: Conservatives in Iowa excited about Bachmann's appearance at Iowans for Tax Relief event this week (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/17).

Religious Right: Ultraconservative writer Joseph Farah praises potential Bachmann bid (WND, 1/11).

Haley Barbour

Immigration: Draconian Arizona-style law on immigrant rights to be considered by the Mississippi state legislature (Fox News, 1/17).

2012: Says he won't make a decision about a presidential run until the spring (WSJ, 1/14).

John Bolton

2012: Tells Russia Today that he could win the GOP nomination since he is in "the mainstream of the Republican Party" (GOP12, 1/17).

Foreign affairs: Knocks Obama Administration's handling of the political crisis in Lebanon (The Hill, 1/16).

Mike Huckabee

Alaska: Travelling to Alaska with a "Christian-based" cruise (HuffPo, 1/14).

Religious Right: Sarah Posner analyzes Huckabee's ties to Evangelical voters, "Christian nation mythology" (Religion Dispatches, 1/12).

Sarah Palin

Fox News: Tells Sean Hannity that Tucson shooting was "left-leaning," defends herself from criticism (Mediaite, 1/17).

Polling: Performs well among Republicans nationwide, but not in early primary states (Public Policy Polling, 1/14).

Arizona: Video response to Tucson shootings widely panned (Politico, 1/13; Salon, 1/12).

Tim Pawlenty

Economics: Opposes raising the debt ceiling despite prospect of default (HufPo, 1/16).

Religious Right: Tells Bryan Fischer of AFA that he supports reinstating Don't Ask Don't Tell (RWW, 1/13).

Palin: Says that her "bullseye" crosshairs map of congressional Democrats isn't "his style" (MinnPost, 1/12).

Mike Pence

2012: Former GOP Congressman launches a draft-Pence petition called the American President Committee (AP, 1/17).

Reproductive Rights: Planned Parenthood criticizes Pence's legislation to strip the group of federal funds (Muncie Star Press, 1/12).

Media: Introduces bill to block possible implementation of the Fairness Doctrine on talk radio (The Hill, 1/12).

Gun Violence: Denounces calls for gun control measures after Tuscon shootings (TPM, 1/12).

Rick Perry

2012: Begins polling voters outside of Texas (NRO, 1/17).

Immigration: Presses for new laws to curb immigrant rights (NYT, 1/15).

Mitt Romney

Foreign affairs: Meets with Israel's Prime Minister after visiting Afghanistan (Politico, 1/14).

Campaign: Hires new political director and pollster (RealClearPolitics, 1/13).

2012: Signs point to spring announcement as Romney steps down from the board of Marriott International (AP, 1/12).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Addressed the Aiken Republican Club 2011 kickoff meeting (The Augusta Chronicle, 1/17).

Religious Right: Keynoted major anti-choice rally in Columbia, South Carolina (The State, 1/16).

New Hampshire: Interviewed by Boston Herald at Granite Oath PAC house party (Boston Herald, 1/14).

John Thune

CPAC: Set to address Conservative Political Action Conference in February despite Religious Right boycott (Argus Leader, 1/13).

GOP: Keynote speaker for Missouri Republican Party's Lincoln Days fundraiser (News Leader, 1/11).

AFA: Boehner Leading "War" Against "The Powers of Evil"

In a new fundraising letter asking for help to “restore our nation to its Christian roots,” the American Family Association asks its supporters to pray for House Speaker John Boehner, who AFA says is leading a war against the “powers of evil” – meaning pro-equality and pro-choice members of Congress.

After recounting the biblical story of Moses relying on the help of Aaron and Hur to keep his arms raised and help the Israelites defeat Amalek, the AFA letter says this:
 
We are at war with the powers of evil no less than Moses was. In the physical realm of politics, our leader is House Speaker Boehner.
 
Even as you read this letter, he is combating those in Congress who seek to destroy our families and the unborn. As he does so, we need to be holding him up in prayer!
 
It’s worth noting that the Amalekites that the AFA invokes for comparison to its political opponents were, according to scriptures, the most despicable and implacable enemies of Israel and God, so much so that God ordered that they all be slaughtered, including women, children, and animals.
 
The AFA letter also asks recipients to sign a postcard to Boehner, which reads:
 
Dear Mr. Speaker
 
I am thankful that God has chosen you to lead the 112th Congress, as you are a man of faith and integrity. I want you to know that I am praying for you. I am praying especially that you will guide your fellow Representatives to govern as they campaigned!
 
As you know, our country is engaged in a great culture war. The outcome of this conflict will determine whether or not America survives as a free and blessed nation.
 
I am counting on you to protect our families - especially the unborn - by following the Constitution and acting on Godly principles. Working together and trusting God, we can restore our nation to the greatness which He bestowed on it at its founding, and one [sic] again, make this an honorable and just nation for our posterity.
 
Speaker Boehner received some praise for his response to the recent shootings in Arizona. Will he now  repudiate AFA’s portrayal of his colleagues as “the powers of evil?”

AFA: Boehner Leading "War" Against "The Powers of Evil"

In a new fundraising letter asking for help to “restore our nation to its Christian roots,” the American Family Association asks its supporters to pray for House Speaker John Boehner, who AFA says is leading a war against the “powers of evil” – meaning pro-equality and pro-choice members of Congress.

After recounting the biblical story of Moses relying on the help of Aaron and Hur to keep his arms raised and help the Israelites defeat Amalek, the AFA letter says this:
 
We are at war with the powers of evil no less than Moses was. In the physical realm of politics, our leader is House Speaker Boehner.
 
Even as you read this letter, he is combating those in Congress who seek to destroy our families and the unborn. As he does so, we need to be holding him up in prayer!
 
It’s worth noting that the Amalekites that the AFA invokes for comparison to its political opponents were, according to scriptures, the most despicable and implacable enemies of Israel and God, so much so that God ordered that they all be slaughtered, including women, children, and animals.
 
The AFA letter also asks recipients to sign a postcard to Boehner, which reads:
 
Dear Mr. Speaker
 
I am thankful that God has chosen you to lead the 112th Congress, as you are a man of faith and integrity. I want you to know that I am praying for you. I am praying especially that you will guide your fellow Representatives to govern as they campaigned!
 
As you know, our country is engaged in a great culture war. The outcome of this conflict will determine whether or not America survives as a free and blessed nation.
 
I am counting on you to protect our families - especially the unborn - by following the Constitution and acting on Godly principles. Working together and trusting God, we can restore our nation to the greatness which He bestowed on it at its founding, and one [sic] again, make this an honorable and just nation for our posterity.
 
Speaker Boehner received some praise for his response to the recent shootings in Arizona. Will he now  repudiate AFA’s portrayal of his colleagues as “the powers of evil?”

Conservative Blogs Unleash More Animosity in Reaction to Obama’s Speech

After President Obama called for more civility and reconciliation in politics and asked Americans to remember the late Christina Taylor Green, saying, “I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it,” right-wing blogs came out swinging and swiftly responded with their predictable enmity.

RedState’s Erick Erickson wrote that Obama was the one to atone for his ties to Bill Ayers, and also said that progressives were plotting Sarah Palin’s murder:

This is, after all, a man who got his political start in the home of a terrorist who’d dedicated a book to Robert F. Kennedy’s killer — a man who never repented but who Mr. Obama then gave grant money to.

Will the President live up to his own standard? Everyone can change. Everyone can repent. Let’s hope this President will.

But there is much that still must be done and much the left must still learn.



All week long, the left has said Jared Loughner was persuaded to try to kill Congresswoman Giffords because of right-wing hate. We know that was not true. But here is what else I am sure of.

Out there somewhere is someone who would love to kill Governor Palin. God forbid they do it. But you and I both know there is some crazy MSNBC watcher and Media Matters reader who even now is dreaming of doing so.

And should they try, we can be equally sure of something else. The left will be divided into two camps: (1) bitch deserved it and (2) not my fault.

It is unfortunate. I hope it never happens. But you and I both know the reality in which we live.

John Hayward of Human Events charged Obama and event organizers for putting on a political rally rather than a memorial service, and while Hayward said the President’s speech was “mostly excellent,” he then slammed him for being a “hard-core liberal” and for supporting Sheriff Dupnik’s earlier call for tolerance:

One of the most emotional moments came when President Obama departed from his script to announce that wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords had opened her eyes… and he proceeded to work the line with hallelujah fervor, repeating it several times to juice up the crowd. There doesn’t seem to have been much effort to engineer an atmosphere of solemn dignity.



The most anticipated, and problematic, passage in the President’s speech was his call for a return to civility in politics. “What we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another,” he declared. Sorry, Mr. President, but a vast segment of your supporters has already done that. Admonishing every part of the political spectrum to avoid “pointing fingers and assigning blame” is horribly disingenuous. Barack Obama is not a centrist wandering into a partisan squabble, and offering a hand of peace to both sides. He’s a hard-core liberal, and the hard Left has been doing all of the finger-pointing during this drama, beginning within minutes of the shooting.

Remember, this is the same President Obama who recently called the vicious partisan gasbag sheriff of Pima County, Clarence Dupnik, to congratulate him on a job well done. There is absolutely no evidence that Obama, or anyone from his Administration, told Dupnik to lay off his wacko theories about Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin inspiring Loughner to commit murder… theories he has loudly repeated in front of every television camera he can find.

Paul Mirengoff of Power Line was angry that despite numerous readings from the Bible from the President and other speakers, the service wasn’t 'Christian' or 'American' enough:

As for the "ugly," I'm afraid I must cite the opening "prayer" by Native American Carlos Gonzales. It was apparently was some sort of Yaqui Indian tribal thing, with lots of references to "the creator" but no mention of God. Several of the victims were, as I understand it, quite religious in that quaint Christian kind of way (none, to my knowledge, was a Yaqui). They (and their families) likely would have appreciated a prayer more closely aligned with their religious beliefs.

But it wasn't just Gonzales's prayer that was "ugly" under the circumstances. Before he ever got to the prayer, Gonzales provided us with a mini-auto biography and made several references to Mexico, the country from which (he informed us) his family came to Arizona in the mid 19th century. I'm not sure why Gonzales felt that Mexico needed to intrude into this service, but I have an idea.

In any event, the invocation could have used more God, less Mexico, and less Carlos Gonzales.

Conservative Blogs Unleash More Animosity in Reaction to Obama’s Speech

After President Obama called for more civility and reconciliation in politics and asked Americans to remember the late Christina Taylor Green, saying, “I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it,” right-wing blogs came out swinging and swiftly responded with their predictable enmity.

RedState’s Erick Erickson wrote that Obama was the one to atone for his ties to Bill Ayers, and also said that progressives were plotting Sarah Palin’s murder:

This is, after all, a man who got his political start in the home of a terrorist who’d dedicated a book to Robert F. Kennedy’s killer — a man who never repented but who Mr. Obama then gave grant money to.

Will the President live up to his own standard? Everyone can change. Everyone can repent. Let’s hope this President will.

But there is much that still must be done and much the left must still learn.



All week long, the left has said Jared Loughner was persuaded to try to kill Congresswoman Giffords because of right-wing hate. We know that was not true. But here is what else I am sure of.

Out there somewhere is someone who would love to kill Governor Palin. God forbid they do it. But you and I both know there is some crazy MSNBC watcher and Media Matters reader who even now is dreaming of doing so.

And should they try, we can be equally sure of something else. The left will be divided into two camps: (1) bitch deserved it and (2) not my fault.

It is unfortunate. I hope it never happens. But you and I both know the reality in which we live.

John Hayward of Human Events charged Obama and event organizers for putting on a political rally rather than a memorial service, and while Hayward said the President’s speech was “mostly excellent,” he then slammed him for being a “hard-core liberal” and for supporting Sheriff Dupnik’s earlier call for tolerance:

One of the most emotional moments came when President Obama departed from his script to announce that wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords had opened her eyes… and he proceeded to work the line with hallelujah fervor, repeating it several times to juice up the crowd. There doesn’t seem to have been much effort to engineer an atmosphere of solemn dignity.



The most anticipated, and problematic, passage in the President’s speech was his call for a return to civility in politics. “What we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another,” he declared. Sorry, Mr. President, but a vast segment of your supporters has already done that. Admonishing every part of the political spectrum to avoid “pointing fingers and assigning blame” is horribly disingenuous. Barack Obama is not a centrist wandering into a partisan squabble, and offering a hand of peace to both sides. He’s a hard-core liberal, and the hard Left has been doing all of the finger-pointing during this drama, beginning within minutes of the shooting.

Remember, this is the same President Obama who recently called the vicious partisan gasbag sheriff of Pima County, Clarence Dupnik, to congratulate him on a job well done. There is absolutely no evidence that Obama, or anyone from his Administration, told Dupnik to lay off his wacko theories about Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin inspiring Loughner to commit murder… theories he has loudly repeated in front of every television camera he can find.

Paul Mirengoff of Power Line was angry that despite numerous readings from the Bible from the President and other speakers, the service wasn’t 'Christian' or 'American' enough:

As for the "ugly," I'm afraid I must cite the opening "prayer" by Native American Carlos Gonzales. It was apparently was some sort of Yaqui Indian tribal thing, with lots of references to "the creator" but no mention of God. Several of the victims were, as I understand it, quite religious in that quaint Christian kind of way (none, to my knowledge, was a Yaqui). They (and their families) likely would have appreciated a prayer more closely aligned with their religious beliefs.

But it wasn't just Gonzales's prayer that was "ugly" under the circumstances. Before he ever got to the prayer, Gonzales provided us with a mini-auto biography and made several references to Mexico, the country from which (he informed us) his family came to Arizona in the mid 19th century. I'm not sure why Gonzales felt that Mexico needed to intrude into this service, but I have an idea.

In any event, the invocation could have used more God, less Mexico, and less Carlos Gonzales.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • After the Tucson shooting, an Arizona Republican District Chairman opposed by the Tea Party resigned, saying, “I don’t want to take a bullet for anyone.”
  • North Carolina State Rep. Larry Brown wants to end government funding for treating people with HIV since they’re living “perverted lifestyles.”
  • An Atlanta pastor raises money to help one of the architects of Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill.

More Right-Wing Spin on Tucson Shootings; Malkin Sees Campaign to “Criminalize Conservativism”

While Sarah Palin tries to make herself out as the real victim of the shootings in Arizona, even going so far as to compare herself to Jewish victims of “blood libels,” the right-wing echo-chamber has been busy spinning the shootings in Tucson. After Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips called Jared Lee Loughner “a liberal lunatic,” conservatives eagerly promoted his claims. NewsMax claimed that Loughner has links to “left-wing politics” since his favorite books include “‘The Communist Manifesto’ by Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf,’ and the fiction classic ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest.’” The American Family Association’s news service declared the “AZ shooter a leftist, not tea party supporter,” quoting Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America who “believes there is substantial evidence to show that suspect, Jared Lee Loughner, is an angry leftist who hates America and Christianity.” The RightNetwork’s Gateway Pundit maintained that Loughner is a “Left-Winger” because he “likes watching US flags burn & favorite book is ‘Communist Manifesto,’” and WorldNetDaily said Loughner may have been influenced by a “liberal group founded by Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers and funded by President Obama.”

Rush Limbaugh even alleged that Loughner “has the full support of a major political party in this country. He's sitting there in jail; he knows what's going on. He knows that a Democrat [sic] Party -- the Democrat [sic] Party -- is attempting to find anybody but him to blame.”

But when the Right isn’t attempting to paint Loughner as a liberal, they try to demonize Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. Right-wing writer Michelle Malkin today called Dupnik “The Worst Sheriff in America” and condemned his “vulture-like exploitation of the shooting rampage.” Dupnik, who has spoken out against the role of violence and hate mongering in politics, has found himself in the crosshairs of conservative pundits and politicians. Now, Malkin seeks to blame the Sheriff for the shooting and accuses him of seeking publicity for himself and attempting to “criminalize conservatism”:

Dupnik's mouth has done more to stoke self-inflicted ire against elected government clowns than anything the right could muster against him. Had the hyper-partisan Democrat been more in tune with his job than the media airwaves, the murderous, maniacal gunman might have been stopped.

As Dupnik himself has now admitted, Loughner leveled death threats against others that were investigated by law enforcement -- and then apparently shrugged off. Locals note that Loughner's mother worked for the county and may have had some pull. Pima County College campus police reported five serious confrontations with the mentally unstable young man before he was kicked out of the school, which he decried as an unconstitutional "torture facility." Classmates said they feared for their lives. His friends say he was a pothead, a 9/11 Truther and a UFO conspiracist so kooky that even flying-objects adherents spurned him.

Despite zero evidence that Rush Limbaugh, cable news, the tea party movement or immigration enforcement activists had anything to do with Loughner's warped attack, shameless Sheriff Dupnik shows no signs of shutting up.

The worst sheriff in America is walking in the footsteps of another infamous law enforcement official who put fame, ambition and ideology above public safety: disgraced Montgomery County (Md.) Police Chief Charles Moose, the publicity-hungry Keystone Cop who grossly bungled the Beltway sniper attacks in 2002.

...

Dupnik is now following the same ill-gotten path. But decent Americans understand that he and his civilian counterparts have traveled a smear too far. Despite desperate attempts by the progressive left to pin the massacre on the "harsh tone" of its political opponents, a vast majority of Americans reject the cynical campaign to criminalize conservatism, suppress political free speech and capitalize on violent crime for electoral gain.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • TPM: How Glenn Beck And Fox News Successfully Painted AZ Shooter As Hitler, Marx Devotee
  • Alan Colmes: Pawlenty On Palin’s “Crosshairs”: “I Wouldn’t Have Done It.”
  • The Plum Line: Paul Begala to right wing: Why so defensive about Arizona shooting?
  • Steve Benen: A Trip Down Memory Lane With Newt Gingrich.
  • Joe.My.God: Bishop Robert Evans: Satan Is Trying To Bring Gay Marriage To Rhode Island.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Supreme Court will rule soon on Bishop Harry Jackson’s petition to hear a case on the status of DC’s marriage equality law.
  • Jim Garlow and California Republicans plan to rally against the ruling that the cross at the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial is unconstitutional.
  • Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and “historian” David Barton are teaming up for “South Carolina Awake!”
  • Anti-Islam activist Debbie Schlussel can’t call herself “Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations” anymore.
  • Speaking of anti-Islam activists, Pamela Geller wants New Yorkers to “Say Yes to Wal-Mart, No to the Mega Mosque.”

Schlafly: Overturn Birthright Citizenship Just Like We Overturned Dred Scott

Opponents of birthright citizenship have mobilized in Congress and in fourteen state legislatures to pass legislation that would reinterpret the 14th Amendment to deny birthright citizenship. At a forum of state legislators who support scrapping birthright citizenship, Republican State Rep. Daniel B. Verdi of South Carolina compared illegal immigration to “the malady of slavery” and Republican State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe said such legislation would help “bring an end to the illegal alien invasion.”

Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly praised their efforts in a column today, promoting the plans by Republican politicians to do-away with birthright citizenship through legislation rather than an amendment to the constitution even though the Supreme Court ruled that even the children of illegal immigrants have constitutional protections in United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898), a ruling confirmed in Plyler v. Doe (1982).

According to constitutional scholar James Ho, “the text of the Citizenship Clause plainly guarantees birthright citizenship to the U.S.-born children of all persons subject to U.S sovereign authority and laws” and “the clause thus covers the vast majority of lawful and unlawful aliens.”

Schlafly, however, insists that the longstanding interpretation of the 14th’s Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship should be tossed out just as Dred Scott, the infamous case which declared that African Americans could not be citizens and as result have no rights under the constitution, was reversed by the 14th Amendment:

It's long overdue for Congress to stop the racket of bringing pregnant women into this country to give birth, receive free medical care and then call their babies U.S. citizens entitled to all American rights and privileges plus generous handouts. Between 300,000 and 400,000 babies are born to illegal aliens in the United States every year, at least 10 percent of all births.



The amnesty crowd tries to tell us that the 14th Amendment makes automatic citizens out of "all persons" born in the United States, but they conveniently ignore the rest of the sentence. It's not enough to be "born" in the U.S. -- you can claim citizenship only if you are "subject to the jurisdiction thereof."

The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, overruled the Dred Scott decision wherein the U.S. Supreme Court declared that African-Americans could not be citizens. Those who support court-made law should forever be reminded of Abraham Lincoln's warning that if we accept the supremacy of judges, "the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."



Terminating the anchor-baby racket is very popular with the American people. A Rasmussen poll reports that 58 percent oppose it, while only 33 percent favor it.

Now that state legislatures are flexing their muscles, representatives from 14 states unveiled state legislation to clarify who is and who isn't a citizen in those states. The Arizona bill establishes that state law parallels the definition of citizenship in the 14th Amendment, and that a U.S. citizen is, "for the purposes of this statute, a person who owes no allegiance to any foreign sovereignty."

The Arizona bill, introduced by Sen. Russell Pearce and Rep. John Kavanagh, would create two kinds of state birth certificates. One would be for children of citizens and the other for children of illegal aliens.

Right-Wing’s Dupnik Pile-On Continues

After calling for politicians and political commentators to tone down violent and hateful political rhetoric, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik is now experiencing himself the force of right-wing hostility and rancor. Dupnik never suggested that the deeply disturbed shooter was directly influenced by political debate, but called into question the use of vicious rhetoric and violent imagery that has become all too commonplace in political discourse today. “The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country,” Dupnik said, “is getting to be outrageous.” After facing a preliminary assault yesterday, now Dupnik is facing an all-out barrage from the Right.

Drudge Report is claiming that Dupnik blamed Rush Limbaugh for the attack:

Actually, Dupnik asserted that Limbaugh “attacks people, angers them against government, angers them against elected officials,” but never blamed Limbaugh. Now Limbaugh is responding, saying, “This sheriff out there, Sheriff Dupnik, you know, this guy, he's gotta be very careful. If I were him I wouldn't say another word about this….But the sheriff is out saying that everybody but the kid's responsible for this.” Limbaugh went on to say that “He has taken the occasion of this, a law enforcement officer, to politicize it, to advance his own political agenda, which he claims he doesn't even have.” Limbaugh then implied that the Sheriff may be botching the investigation of the case in order to cover his own failure to stop the shooting:

The shooter did what he did in your community! You're in charge of keeping that community safe, Sheriff. What did you do? Was this the first time you heard about the shooter or did you have knowledge of the shooter before this? I would wager that the sheriff knew of this shooter long before this event, but the sheriff has gone ahead now with these comments, and he's given... He has given the defense a case. My guess is the sheriff wouldn't mind president shooter's acquitted. After all, it's not the shooter's fault! If you carry the sheriff's logic all the way out.

David Limbaugh, Rush’s brother and a conservative commentator, slammed Dupnik for not having “a scintilla of proof to support his slander,” Allahpundit of the popular right-wing blog HotAir called Dupnik “a ludicrous political hack and a disgrace to his office,” and Michelle Malkin dismissed him as a “pro-illegal alien amnesty sheriff.” The Heritage Foundation accused the Sheriff of using “this tragedy for political gain” and the Media Research Center was riled that Tom Brokaw “praised Sheriff Dupnik of Pima County, Ariz. for condemning political vitriol.”

Of course, any time Rush Limbaugh is on the defensive a Republican congressman must get involved. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) told the Associated Press that Dupnik is an “irresponsible” sheriff: “I don’t see any link whatsoever at this point between vitriolic discourse and someone plowing down his fellow citizens. I think frankly it's irresponsible of the sheriff to say that.” Like Limbaugh, Rep. Kingston tried to put the onus on the sheriff: “If the local jurisdiction knew about this guy, there's a question to me of this sheriff who's so quick to condemn vitriolic political discourse ... how come he missed it?”

If you would like to show your support for Sheriff Dupnik, please take a moment to sign a letter of solidarity with him against the increasing smears he is facing from the Right.

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