Arizona

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Americans United: Mat Staver, Closet Separationist: Falwell Lawyer Says Religious Groups Should Not Take Federal Funds.
  • Eric Lach: Iowa GOPer: When I Said Let's Microchip Illegal Immigrants, I Wasn't Advocating It.
  • Wonk Room: Email From Author Of Arizona Law Reveals Intent To Cast Wide Net Against Latinos.
  • Crooks and Liars: Maddow Eviscerates President of the Federation for American Immigration Reform Dan Stein.
  • Think Progress: Arizona Expands Its Discrimination: Teachers With Heavy Accents Can’t Teach English, Ethnic Studies Are Banned.
  • David Weigel: Why Republicans aren't signing the Contract From America.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Cliff Kincaid's America's Survival, Inc has released a "new blockbuster report argues that the admission of open and active homosexuals into the U.S. Armed Forces threatens the lives of our service personnel."
  • The vice-president of the American Family Association of Kentucky, John Brewer, is among the candidates in the Republican primary for the 28th Kentucky House seat.
  • Guess what?  The AFA's Bryan Fischer thinks Arizona's new immigration law is great.  Who ever would have imagined?
  • Ken Cuccinelli "has demanded that the University of Virginia turn over documents related to a former UVa climatology professor at the center of the so-called 'climategate' scandal."
  • Exciting: "Fox News personality and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is in Nashville to record a music project with various country artists. A source close to the sessions, who declined to provide any other details, said it will probably be officially announced in June in conjunction with the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show in Nashville."
  • Finally, the quote of the day from the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, hailing Rep. Jack Kingston's call for a Congressional investigation into why Perkins and Franklin Graham saw their speaking invitations withdrawn: "I join Congressman Kingston in his call for a thorough Congressional investigation, which will hopefully put a stop to this Administration's efforts to compel the military to do its political bidding. DOD should stand for the Department of Defense - not the Department of Disinvitation of Bible-believing Christians." Ummm ... wouldn't that make it the DODOBBC? 

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Think Progress: Limbaugh suggests Obama is ‘touchy’ about Arizona law because he can’t produce his own ‘papers.’
  • Alvin McEwen: Matt Barber switches from lying about LGBTs to just plain lying.
  • Fort Worth Weekly: Phone Records Raise Questions About Tarleton Being Pressured to Cancel "Gay Jesus" Play.
  • Alan Colmes: Duncan Hunter, Jr. Would Even Deport Some American Citizens.
  • Raw Story: Arizona sheriff won’t enforce law that’s ’stupid and racist’.
  • Steve Benen: Sue Lowden, Still Struggling.
  • Huffington Post: Ken Blackwell, Author Of 'Blueprint,' Tries To Convince Jon Stewart That Obama Is A Tyrant, Fails.
  • Justin Elliot: DeLay Money Laundering Case May Finally Be Headed To Trial.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW statement: Supreme Court Weakens First Amendment.
  • Sarah Posner: Exposing the Christian Right's New Racial Playbook.
  • Americans United: ADF Lawyer Makes Nice With Florida Radio Extremist.
  • Rachel Tabachnick: Hijacking the National Day of Prayer.
  • Warren Throckmorton: Lou Engle issues statement regarding The Call Uganda and Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
  • The Washington Note: Eugene Delgaudio's Really Weird Rant: Beware the RADICAL Homosexuals.
  • Sam Stein: RNC Accuses Obama Of Shredding Constitution, Nominating Sex-Offender Defenders.
  • Think Progress: GOP congressional candidate: We should put microchips in undocumented immigrants, like we do with dogs.
  • Wonk Room: Following Passage Of Arizona Law, At Least Seven States Contemplate Anti-Immigrant Legislation.
  • David Neiwert: Glenn Beck is outraged by comparisons to Nazi Germany. Who would do such a thing? Besides Glenn Beck, that is.
  • David Weigel: Birthers prepare to march on Washington.
  • Good As You: Giving you $15 lies for free: The one time we *do* wanna use ENDA to put FRC out of business.
  • Truth Wins Out: DC Mayor Honors PFOX’s Regina Griggs.

Early Right Wing Round-Up

  • TPM: Court Martial Charges Brought Against Birther Army Doc.
  • Think Progress: Obama: ‘Irresponsible’ Arizona Immigration Bill ‘Threatens To Undermine Basic Notions Of Fairness’.
  • Crooks and Liars: Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim James tells us, "This is Alabama. We speak English."
  • Raw Story: Gingrich: Tea Party will become ‘militant wing’ of GOP.
  • Steve Benen: Back in the Kitchen.
  • Media Matters: Glenn Beck: A Vatican-approved, "wildly important" warrior against forces of "great darkness"?

Arizona Follows Right Wing Playbook In Passing Draconian Immigration Law

It was not too long ago when Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce was considered an embarrassing crank by the state's Republican establishment, and with good reason:

Russell Pearce, had long been considered a politically incorrect embarrassment by more moderate members of his party — often to the delight of his supporters. There was the time in 2007 when he appeared in a widely circulated photograph with a man who was a featured speaker at a neo-Nazi conference. (Mr. Pearce said later he did not know of the man’s affiliation with the group.)

In 2006, he came under fire for speaking admirably of a 1950s federal deportation program called Operation Wetback, and for sending an e-mail message to supporters that included an attachment — inadvertently, he said — from a white supremacist group.

Not surprisingly, Pearce holds ultra-militant anti-immigration views and has used his position as chair of the Senate’s Appropriation Committee to turn them into law: 

Passage of the law, which would, among other things, allow the authorities to demand proof of legal entry into the United States from anyone suspected of being in the country illegally, testified to the relative lack of political power of Arizona Latinos, and to the hardened views toward illegal immigration among Republican politicians both here and nationally.

...

The bill makes it a state crime for immigrants not to carry authorization papers, requires the police “when practicable” to check the immigration status of people they reasonably suspect are in the country illegally and allows people to sue cities and counties if the law is not being enforced.

Just as we predicted in our recent Right Wing Watch In Focus, "(P)reviewing the Right-Wing Playbook on Immigration Reform," supporters of this draconian legislation engaged in a variety of standard right-wing strategies for justifying the need for the bill, from portraying immigrants as terrorists to accusing them of "invading" America:  

But supporters of the bill pointed out the problems caused by illegal immigration. Republican Senator John Huppenthal, a sponsor of the bill, says he’s seen evidence of neighborhoods that have been “nuclear-bombed by the effects of illegal immigration.” Republican Senator Al Melvin pointed to the murder of an Arizona rancher last month, possibly at the hands of an illegal immigrant, and the federal government’s failure to act on illegal immigration as the reasons for his vote; and another senator cited 40 murders committed by illegal immigrants. Illegal immigration was called an “invasion” several times on the Senate floor.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Washington Independent: Arizona Legislature Advances Tough Immigration Bill.
  • RH Reality Check: Virginia Governor Signs Bill Creating Pro-Choice License Plate.
  • Truth Wins Out: Nation’s Pediatricians Criticize Counterfeit Christian Group’s Letter to Schools.
  • Alan Colmes: Theological Scholar Forced To Resign After Supporting Evolution.
  • HRC Back Story: Openly Gay Mayoral Candidate Wins in Gainesville, Florida.
  • Steve Benen: Mississippi County Faces Desegregation Order.
  • Finally, poor WorldNetDaily gets no respect despite the fact that they consider themselves a valid news organization: "I think it’s a slight to both Les [Kinsolving] and WND. He’s treated like a pariah in the association. He’s treated like a pariah by his colleagues at every briefing. Half the time he’s standing there with his hand up, and the guy from the AP will just close down the briefing. He’s treated with disrespect by journalists. It’s really sad because it’s not uniform, or universal, that they disrespect elder statesmen of the press corp, because Helen Thomas is treated like a queen. She asks questions that are just as bizarre as Les, but because her ideological leaning is to the port side, she’s treated like a queen. And Les Kinsolving, who is not much of an ideologue, to be honest with you, but his association with World Net Daily pigeon holes him, and he’s treated with disrespect."

Republican Congressmen Joining May Day Prayer Rally to Establish a "Virtual Theocracy"

Last month, we posted a video of Janet Porter speaking at the Convergence 2010 conference during which she prayed that God would had control of the media over to Christians so that they could take dominion over the nation:

She followed that up a few days later by explaining that this was part of an effort to "to take dominion in every area" in order to "occupy until Jesus comes."

When Porter says that it is her goal to "take dominion" over every aspect of American culture, she is entirely serious, as this is a key part of a movement to capture the "7 Mountains" and is going to be a central feature of her upcoming May Day prayer rally:

7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Every hour will generally feature times of prayer and proclamation, including words from the Constitutions of all 50 States, as well as a number of our Presidents and American patriots. Prayer times will include both corporate and personal silent prayer. Prayers of repentance will be offered about each of the "Seven Mountains of Culture," which are: (1) Business; (2) Government; (3) Media; (4) Arts and Entertainment; (5) Education; (6) Family; and (7) Religion. A number of leaders have been asked to offer prayers of repentance in each of these areas and subcategories, such as the military and our court system.

This 7 Mountains theology was started by Bill Bright, Loren Cunningham, and Francis Schaeffer back in 1975 and aims at quite literally having Christains defeat "the enemines of the Gospel" in order to  gain complete control over every aspect of American life:

When it comes to government, the goal of the movement is to install a "virtual theocracy" overseen by "true apostles" who will fight Satan and his Antichrist agenda

All governments suffer from corruption, a built-in sabotage that guarantees their eventual implosion. The only government that will never have any corruption is the theocratic Kingdom of God. Here on earth, there will always be something less than a perfect government. We can (and should), however, insist on high ideals, principles, and individual character—people who can help manifest a form of government that is a blessing to a nation. We cannot instill a theocracy in a human government because theocracy is transcendent to humanity. The Kingdom of God can be superimposed on people through influence, but only God Himself can be “theo.” Therefore, any attempt to establish a physical theocracy is ill-conceived unless it is reinterpreted as something other than what it actually means. (-cracy—government, theo—of God). A government can potentially function as a virtual theocracy, but only as the individuals in power allow themselves to be puppets (i.e. servants) of the theocracy (God’s rule and reign). The goal is to bring the influence of heaven to bear on whatever political machinery that exists

...

One of the primary roles of future government leaders will be to instruct in righteousness. The more God’s judgments are poured out on earth, the more explicitly will they be able to give that instruction

...

We need to fill the entire mountain with children of the Kingdom who know why they are there: to allow the Lord’s house to be exalted. This mountain has many niches and grooves and many ways to approach it. Some may be called to go after unjust laws as their arena of action. Others may be called to formulate foreign policy or push for budget reform. The more significant the repercussions of those laws and policies, the higher the mountain level represented. However high we go, enough grace will be provided because this is our Promised Land

...

A new model of national leadership will develop as God exalts His mountain above all other mountains. There will be Joseph-type presidents of nations who will carry great spiritual authority and great civil authority. At various times, these presidents will need to step back and forth between those roles and address the concerns of each. There will be times to address the nation and say, “I will now speak to you outside of my civil authority but in my capacity as a minister and servant of God.” One can then address the moral and righteousness issues of the nation and speak out of the spiritual authority God has given him or her.

Among those listed as participating in Porter's May Day prayer rally are dozens of Religious Right leaders including James Dobson, Rick Scarborough, Mat Staver, Wendy Wright, Harry Jackson, and David Barton, as well as several Republican members of Congress: 

Congressman
Randy Forbes (Virginia)

Congressman
Trent Franks (Arizona)

Congressman
Louie Gohmert (Texas)

Congressman
Steve King (Iowa)

Congressman
Cliff Stearns (Florida)

Isolated, Unsolved Murder in Arizona All President Obama's Fault

When we released our latest Right Wing Watch In Focus, "(P)reviewing the Right-Wing Playbook on Immigration Reform" a few weeks back, one of the tactics we highlighted that the Right has used in that past to oppose any effort to reform our immigration laws is to try and "portray immigrants as criminals and terrorists":

An important part of the far right's anti-immigrant rhetorical tactics during previous immigration debates at both local and national levels was portraying undocumented immigrants as criminals responsible for new waves of crime (a persistent portrayal not backed up by crime statistics) or as potential terrorists. Rep. Steve King, for example, has called "illegal immigration" a "slow-motion Holocaust," and a "slow-motion terrorist attack on the United States."

To see this tactic in action today, one need look no further than the recent murder of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz, who was shot to death while tending his land on Saturday.  Nobody has been arrested and authorities have no idea who may have killed Krentz, though various theories are floating around:

One, a drug cartel scout. The Chirachua mountains in southeast Arizona are 11,000 feet tall, rugged and remote. It is a popular drug corridor and the killer may have been clearing the way for a load of drugs moving north when Krentz surprised him.

Two, the suspect belonged to a band of thieves terrorizing the remote ranches spattered around the area — an idea supported by other ranchers.

"Two days earlier a 9mm and a 9mm Glock had been stolen from a home in Portal," said rancher Roger Barnett. "There is no way to know for sure it was the murder weapon. But the bullet the killed Rob and his dog was a 9mm."

Three, retaliation. The day before the killing, Krentz's brother Phil stopped a caravan of illegal immigrants carrying 280 pounds of marijuana. All eight were arrested by the border patrol and the pot was impounded.

But just because nobody has any idea who killed Krentz or why, that is not stopping anti-immigration activists from blaming President Obama:

Tom Tancredo happened to be visiting Cochise County (Arizona) when the shooting occurred on Saturday. Longtime rancher Robert Krentz was found shot to death in his all-terrain vehicle, with the engine still running. Investigators believe he was attacked by a single perpetrator, probably an illegal immigrant.

Tancredo, who now serves as chairman of The Rocky Mountain Foundation, believes the border is clearly not secure.

"Anybody that tells you that is a liar," he contends. "And the people who have been ignoring this problem for now years have blood on their hands."

The Foundation chairman says several things must be done, including resuming work on the border fence that President Obama halted.

The former U.S. lawmaker suggests that "a layered barrier -- a fence, a road and another fence" be constructed. "That's a strong barrier. Not just vehicle barriers -- that's all they've got around on the Krentz ranch. This guy wasn't driving a car. He was walking, and he killed Bob Krentz. We need a physical barrier, and we need the National Guard," Tancredo urges. "It's a war zone. People are dying."

Tancredo adds that now that Obama and Napolitano are talking openly about pushing a new amnesty program, the border invasion has resumed.

Ken Blackwell likewise dedicated his latest column to the topic, using the murder as a justification to blame the Democrats and oppose their efforts at reform:

The tragic murder of Robert Krentz shows just how abysmally the federal government has failed us all in this regard. Secretary Napolitano needs to admit that the system did not work. And President Obama had better drop the hyper-partisanship to address immigration in a way that meets Republican demands to uphold the rule of law and not reward illegal behavior.

This is not the time for far-left pandering or promises of amnesty in the galling hopes of political gain. Nor is this the time for cramming through a law instead of beginning a long, slow, deliberate conversation with the opposition party and the American people. This is the time for addressing a serious problem for this country, a problem that quite clearly includes a deadly threat to our citizens.

Let me note again that nobody has any idea who committed this murder or why ... except those on the anti-immigration Right, who already know that it was an illegal immigrant and it was all Obama's fault.

Anti-Immigration Groups Going Out of Business?

Today, the American for Legal Immigration PAC sent out an email desperately seeking a meger $30,000 in donations to keep the organization afloat, saying it needed $11,000 in the next six days to avoid a potential shutdown, which is what has reportedly happened to the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps:

Only six days remain for us to reach our minimum safe fund raising goal of $30,000. While ALIPAC has never failed to reach our goals, the last few funds drives have been like pulling teeth.

If you want to see Americans for Legal Immigration PAC continue our mission as one of the largest national organizations in America fighting against illegal immigration and against Amnesty on your behalf, then please get your donation on the way now!

Due to many factors, including the bad economy and shifting interests, over 40 smaller groups and organizations in our coalition have folded in the the last year.

Today, we say farewell to ALIPAC's ally known as the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps headed up by Chris Simcox and Carmen Mercer. Citing a lack of adequate funding, the group has sent out a national release announcing their permanent closure.

This leaves ALIPAC as the only major national group formed since 2004 to still be in operation.

We need a very strong response to THIS EMAIL request to make sure ALIPAC does not join the growing organizational casualty list.

We only have SIX DAYS LEFT to raise almost $11,000. Should we fail to reach our minimum operations budget, we will use your donations to keep the main site operational as long as possible during a phased out shutdown.

This was the first we had heard about the Minutemen shutting down, but it looks like that is indeed the case:

The Arizona-based Minuteman Civil Defense Corps that was a border watch group comprised of private citizens has decided to disband.

Minuteman president, Carmen Mercer, says she and the board's two other directors voted to dissolve the group after a five-year run over concerns that her recent "call to action" would attract the wrong people to the Arizona-Mexico border.

Mercer sent an e-mail on March 16 urging members to come to the border "locked, loaded and ready." She proposed changing the group's rules to allow members to track illegal immigrants and drug smugglers instead of just reporting the activity to the U.S. Border Patrol.

Janet Porter Goes 9 for 9

You know how yesterday I was marveling at the fact that there it was seemingly impossible for any right-wing activist to be considered so radical that Republican members of Congress would refuse to be seen anywhere near them? 

Allow me to follow that up with this simple observation that, over her last nine radio program, Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter's has had nine different Republican members on Congress on as quests:

March 9 - Guest: U.S. Senator Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska)

March 10 - Guests: Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming)

March 16 - Guests: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)

March 17 - Guests: U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)

March 18 - Guests: U.S. Rep. Todd Akin (R-Missouri) and U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Arizona)

March 19 - Guests: U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) and Rep. Tom Price (R-Georgia)

Do I really need to recount all of the crazy things Porter has said?

And yet multiple Republican members of Congress have been making time to appear on her radio program on a regular basis. 

Straight Out of the Right-Wing Playbook

Yesterday when we posted the link to our new Right Wing Watch In Focus on the Right's playbook for stopping immigration reform, one of the strategies we highlighted was the effort to "Portray Immigrants and Their Supporters as Invaders, Conquerors, Enemies of the U.S."

Today, NPR ran a story about the immigration reform rally taking place in Washington, DC this weekend which featured exactly that sort of attack

Republican state Sen. Russell Pearce defends Arizona's reputation as one of the most unwelcoming spots for undocumented workers in the U.S. He says those headed to the nation's capital are promoting anarchy.

"These folks who march with no respect for the law, have no regard for the victims of crime and the damage and cost to America," Pearce said. "Shame on them. Shame on them! They're as treasonous and as un-American as anyone I know."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Sarah Palin is writing another book, one that will "reflect on the key values—both national and spiritual—that have been such a profound part of her life and which continue to inform her vision of the future." I can hardly wait.
  • The Arizona Republic looks at the behind-the-scenes influence the right-wing Center for Arizona Policy has in shaping public policy in the state.
  • Do you ever get the impression that Mat Staver just doesn't like gay people?
  • Thanks to the AFA, the Chairman of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors has been inundated with more than 40,000 emails protesting the NCAA's decision to drop the Focus on the Family ad from its website.
  • The Traditional Values Coalition pretty much loses it over DADT.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Don Feder in a lengthy attack on CPAC: " Gay rights is about indoctrinating your children in behavior that would make a proctologist gag. It’s about criminalizing dissent via speech codes and hate crimes laws. It’s a frontal assault on First Amendment free speech and religious freedom. This is freedom only in the sense that killing unborn children is choice."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Did you know that today is the "Day of Purity"?  It is, thanks to the Liberty Counsel.
  • Maggie Gallagher and Andrew Sullivan will debate the question "Is There a Place for Gay People in Conservatism and Conservative Politics?" next week at the Cato Institute.
  • Concerned Women for America hops aboard the Judge-Walker-Is-Biased-Because-He's-Gay bandwagon.
  • Do you ever get the impression that conservatives are just going to attack President Obama over anything and everything.
  • Finally, why did Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing suddenly stop distributing food to those in need in Arizona?

Right Wing Leftovers

  • A collection of right-wing leaders give President Obama a resounding "F" for his first year in office.
  • Jesse Lee Peterson is demanding that Michael Steele resign from the RNC immediately.
  • The president of the Center for Arizona Policy is outraged at Cindy McCain's support for marriage equality.
  • Apparently, Roe's days are numbered.  Of course, they've been saying this for years.
  • According to FRC "the Left is preparing a desperate 120-day assault on your values to appease its culture-of-death" and so, of course, they need donations.
  • And finally, this has got to be the most moronic post-Brown analysis I have seen yet. And that is saying something.

Anti-Immigration Activists On The Warparth

Though the topic has fallen off the radar since 2006, it is widely expected that the Obama administration and congressional leaders will try to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform legislation sometime this year.

As such, we can expect to hear more from right-wing anti-immigration groups like Americans for Legal Immigration, which are still active around the country as demonstrated by the group's response to the failure of legislation in New Jersey that would have allowed undocumented immigrants to obtain in-state tuition rates at public universities. 

AILPAC is rejoicing that it has defeated this "globalist plan to restructure America" and vows to "go on offense" and "fire more politicians in D.C. than you can count": 

"This makes about the 20th time we have helped to defeat this aspect of the Globalist plans to restructure America since 2005," said William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC. "Citizen activism has helped defeat in-state tuition for illegals in every state except for two in the last five years, since we defeated the measure in North Carolina."

In-state tuition for illegal immigrants is part of a Globalist plan to build an economic block in North America that integrates populations and suppresses Americans using hyper legal immigration and rampant illegal immigration as a nation building tool.

"Tonight we celebrate our latest victory in New Jersey and we thank and congratulate our supporters and activists," Gheen said. "Tomorrow we will announce plans to go on offense to reverse in-state tuition for illegals in the states of Nebraska and Texas using legislation and court challenges."

The defeat of in-state tuition for illegal aliens in New Jersey creates an opportunity for the pro-immigration enforcement Americans to return to strategic positions of political offense. After every battle, each side must decide to advance, dig in, or retreat.

"Tomorrow, we go on offense," said Gheen. "Time for the illegal aliens and their supporters to start playing defense in the states and the elections. Tomorrow we advance in Texas and Nebraska!"

ALIPAC plans to release plans to support legislation in Nebraska that will rescind in-state tuition in the state, after some lawmakers sneaked the provision through without significant public knowledge or input two years ago.

ALIPAC also plans to launch support for a lawsuit that has been filed in Texas to rescind in-state tuition and other taxpayer benefits for illegals.

Other plans are being made to circulate and file strong state level comprehensive immigration enforcement legislation such as the laws passed in Georgia, Arizona, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.

"We are going to launch a major initiative in the states as part of our plans to defeat the Amnesty legislation in Washington," said Gheen. "And then we are going to fire more politicians in D.C. than you can count!"

What Do You Expect From TVC?

A few months back, I wondered what the Traditional Values Coalition's obsession was with "she-males," noting that the term appears more than 100 times on the organization website.

And that count has just gone up, as TVC uses the term three times in its statement on Amanda Simpson in which TVC says that people like her need "psychiatric help" for her "mental illness":

President Obama may be breaking most of his campaign promises to Americans, but he’s keeping his promises to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and she-males (euphemistically known as “transgenders”).

He has just appointed Amanda Simpson to become a Senior Technical Advisor at the Department of Commerce. Simpson, is a male-to-female person who used to be a test pilot and worked for Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona.

...

The liberal YWCA recognized Simpson as one of their “Woman on the Move” in 2004, despite the fact that Simpson is still a man. He dresses like a woman and underwent surgical procedures to remove his male sex organs, had fake breasts created and his adam’s apple removed, but he isn’t a woman and never will be. His DNA doesn’t change.

In short, Simpson is a she-male without male sex organs. He is a surgically mutilated man who is pretending to be a woman and pushing a political agenda.

The Commerce Department will now be forced to deal with Simpson’s she-male status in restrooms and whatever shower facilities are available at the department. Real women at Commerce will be forced into uncomfortable restroom situations with Simpson. It is likely that they will be forced into sensitivity training sessions to be taught to accept and affirm Simpson’s blurry and bizarre sexual status.

He is a gender confused individual who has a treatable mental condition known as a Gender Identity Disorder (GID). Individuals with this condition are uncomfortable with their birth sex and feel that they must reject their birth sex and live as the opposite sex. They need psychiatric help, not surgery or public affirmation for a mental illness.

Pure Bigotry Driving Attacks On Amanda Simpson

After years of monitoring the Religious Right, I always assume that I have more or less become immune to being shocked by their displays of naked bigotry ... but then they always manage to surprise me. 

Take, for instance, the newest backlash against Amanda Simpson, a transgender appointee to the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security where she will serve as a senior technical adviser monitoring the export of U.S. weapons technology.

Despite her thirty years of experience and degrees in physics, engineering, and business, all the Right can focus on is her gender, claiming that her appointment is part of some conspiracy to criminalize Christianity (and note also how they insist on referring to Simpson as "he"):

“He may very well be qualified for this position but it appears that he was not picked (merely) for his qualifications, he was picked because of his wardrobe,” [Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs for the Liberty Counse] commented to CNA. “That is not diversity or tolerance. It's political correctness run amok” ... Barber continued to express his concern regarding the future ramifications of Simpson's appointment, arguing that it is part of a larger movement within the current administration.“With hate crimes legislation and ENDA (Employment Non Discrimination Act) and other radical GLBT pieces of legislation that are being pushed by the Obama Administration,” Barber told CNA, those who disagree with the GLBT perspective “literally can and will face criminal or civil penalty.”

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth voiced similar concern on the Focus on the Family Action website on Jan. 4. “Is there going to be a transgender quota now in the Obama Administration? How far does this politics of gay and transgender activism go? Clearly this is an administration that is pandering to the gay lobby,” he said.

Barber added that in his opinion “there is no doubt” that Simpson's appointment “is an effort to normalize” transgender issues and “desensitize” American society.

And I know I should be shocked by anything I find in WorldNetDaily ... but I can help but shake my head in disbelief at articles like this, with its repeated use of the term "he" and inclusion of wholly irrelevant details:

Mitchell Simpson, now known as "Amanda" following a sex change, is said to have been appointed senior technical adviser at the Commerce Department. He purportedly began work today.

...

Simpson, 49, is a former test pilot who made the gender switch 10 years ago while working in Tucson, Ariz., for Raytheon Missile Systems, a major Department of Defense contractor where he became deputy director. According to the Arizona Daily Star, Simpson underwent six surgeries at a cost of $70,000 to make the transition from male to female. He had his Adam's apple removed, breasts added, forehead ground down and genital surgery.

...

Simpson told ABC News he's worried that people will assume he was hired because he is a transgender and not on his merits.

What does any of this have to do with Simpson's qualification for the job?  Nothing whatsoever. 

This is nothing more than a personal attack based entirely on Simpson's gender and a flagrant display of undisguised right-wing bigotry.

Jackson Named "The Paul Weyrich Faith Community Leader of the Year"

Speaking of Bishop Harry Jackson, is seems as if he was recently honored at the first-ever Paul Weyrich Awards Dinner, along with a gaggle of other right-wing activists: 

Well over 230 conservative leaders and guests gathered Thursday evening to celebrate the life and legacy of Paul Weyrich, a colossus in the conservative movement, who perhaps now in death even more than in life reminds conservatives that while they hold a diversity of views, a real bond exists uniting them into one conservative coalition.

Fiscal conservatives, pro-life and pro-family leaders, foreign policy and national security conservatives of many different groups found themselves together in the same room for dinner at Georgetown's Four Seasons Hotel for the first-ever Paul Weyrich Awards Dinner. There they paid tribute the man they knew as "Paul" and recognized those contemporary leaders who share his broad vision of conservatism.

...

Coalitions for America awarded Bishop Harry Jackson, the senior Black pastor of Hope Christian Church and leader of the fight against same-sex "marriage" in Washington D.C., the "Faith Community Leader of the Year" award. The bishop later spoke to LSN and said that unity is "something we have struggled with these last few years." However, he was encouraged by the strides being made, especially with the recent Manhattan Declaration ..."I come at these things as a person of faith," Bishop Jackson told LSN. "None of the stuff that I do I consider political really at all," emphasizing that he views his fight primarily as a "moral engagement based on faith."

"But [Paul] was such a strategist in terms of saying, 'take your principles, and then they have an impact,' as opposed to just sitting on the outside saying 'what to do, what to do.'"

The night honored many conservative finalists and all leaders outstanding in their fields and in their contributions to their movement:

The Paul Weyrich award winners were Media Person of the Year: Glenn Beck; New Media Person of the Year: Andrew Breitbart and Erick Erickson; Courageous Citizen of the Year: ACORN investigators Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe; National Legislator of the Year: Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.); Local Elected Official of the Year: Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio; Business Person of the Year: Whole Foods CEO John Mackey and Solantic Chairman Rick Scott; Faith Community Leader of the Year: pro-family leader Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church; Conservative Hall of Fame - Lifetime Contribution: Phyllis Schlafly; Youth Leader of the Year: Students for Life executive director Kristan Hawkins; and Benefactor of the Year: mutual fund executive Foster Friess.

Conference Recap: Far Right Leaders Vow to 'Take Back America' from 'Evil' Obama and Democrats

The How To Take Back America conference held in St. Louis September 25 and 26 drew some 600 activists and, according to organizers, 100,000 online viewers. The gathering was an expanded version of the annual conference held by Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, co-hosted this year by radio personality and far-right activist Janet Folger Porter and promoted by other right-wing bloggers and radio shows.

Conference leaders and participants were both fearful and optimistic: fearful that if the Obama administration gets its way, freedom in America will give way to servitude to a tyrannical socialist government; and optimistic that Americans are angry enough to resist that tyranny and will sweep Democrats out of power in House elections in 2010.

Joining conference participants and echoing the themes were presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and several Republican Members of Congress, including Michele Bachmann (MN), Trent Franks (AZ), Steve King (IA), and Tom McClintock (CA).

Among the themes of the conference:

  • a continued merging of messaging and organizing among the Religious Right and “teabagger” right
  • the fervent belief that America is at a tipping point between freedom and fascist power: President Obama and his congressional allies are on the verge of delivering America into Socialism, Communism, and/or Nazi-style tyranny, and that government is therefore to be feared and resisted
  • optimism that the tea bag movement and anti-health-reform town halls are a sign that Americans are prepared to resist that tyranny
  • extreme opposition to Democratic health care reform efforts, with some support for the congressional Republican alternative and some demands for a no-compromise approach that would involve ending all government involvement in health care, including Medicare
  • recent attacks on ACORN are just part of a larger effort to target progressive community organizing groups and their religious supporters and “defund the left”
  • hostility not only to same-sex marriage but also to any legal protections for LGBT Americans and same-sex couples
  • a new push to use “abortion as black genocide” as a wedge between African Americans and pro-choice progressives built around a new “documentary” portraying abortion as 21st century genocide
  • American exceptionalism – the belief that America’s founding was divinely inspired and the nation has been uniquely blessed by God – is alive and well, though America is now living under a curse for having elected Barack Obama
  • activists don’t need a majority to take back America; if their minority or “remnant” is committed enough God will use them
  • the apparent passing (or grabbing) of the torch from Phyllis Schlafly to Janet Folger Porter

The most widely read book among these activists may not be Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny or Glenn Beck’s Common Sense but Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, which was invoked repeatedly by speakers and participants.

A Coalescing of Right-Wing Themes

The wide range of issues covered by workshops indicated the ongoing merging of Religious Right and far-right anti-government rhetoric that has been a hallmark of anti-Obama organizing. In this, you could say that Phyllis Schlafly has been ahead of her time: for decades she has combined Religious Right opposition to abortion, feminism, reproductive choice, and gay rights with concerns about a far-ranging list of threats to the American way of life, including federal judges, international treaties, the United Nations, and supposed secret plans to merge the U.S. with Mexico and Canada in a North American Union.  

Former and probably future presidential candidate Mike Huckabee won a cheering standing ovation from this crowd when he adopted its anti-UN stance, demanding that the organization leave the U.S. and not get one more dime in American funding. Huckabee complained about giving a platform to “murderous thugs” and said, “Enough! It’s time to get a jackhammer and to simply chip that part of New York City and let it float into the East River never to be seen again.” Huckabee managed to combine a couple of the far right’s favorite targets by declaring that the UN “has become the international equivalent of ACORN and it’s time to say enough.” (This from the man who said minutes earlier that the conservative movement was at its best when it was built on a strong intellectual grounding.)

Ferocious hostility toward the Obama administration is a unifying force in bringing together social and religious conservatives, a trend also evident at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. the week before. At How To Take Back America, for example, a session on health care reform focused less on the threat of publicly funded abortion and more on the “fascist” government “takeover” of the economy as a “power grab” by the president. The proposed “cap and trade” energy legislation was described as an effort to tax and control every American’s energy usage. 

President Obama: ‘He’s just evil.’

The depth of hostility toward President Obama -- described by a representative of the American Family Association as “a scary, scary individual” -- cannot be overstated. Rep. Trent Franks called Obama “an enemy of humanity” who “has no place in any station of government.” Another speaker, anti-gay activist Matt Barber, strung together as many insults as he could in describing the president as “a secular humanist, a radical socialist moral relativist.” 

Obama’s push for health care reform is not about health care, said Rep. Tom Price, it’s about power. A representative from Oregon Right to Life said “it’s not about health care, it’s about subjugation and control…He is a statist. He believes in control by government and its dear leaders, fascism by any other name.”  During a session on how feminism is destroying society, a questioner asked if President Obama’s push for women to go back to college was a precursor to women being forced into hard labor like they were in Russia. 

In fact many speakers and participants suggested parallels between the Obama administration’s actions and the rise to power of the Nazis. (One favored technique is to list a set of policy actions that sound like Democratic proposals and then spring the surprise that they were all actions taken by Hitler.) 

Similar hostility was directed toward Democratic congressional leaders. Speaker after speaker accused the president and his allies of pursuing a Marxist agenda, and one dubbed Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid the “new axis of evil.”

Several people suggested that armed resistance to tyrannical government may be needed. A speaker who drew parallels between America today and her experiences growing up under Nazis and Communists urged activists to buy more guns and ammunition; someone suggested that “the Second Amendment” would be the answer to threats by state governments to impose forced vaccination and quarantines during a flu pandemic.

Stopping Health Care Reform

Blocking Democratic health care reform proposals (Rep. Price called House Democrats’ HR 3200 a “monstrosity”) was among the hottest topics at the conference. As noted above, rhetoric focused on the issue less as a policy disagreement and more as a last-ditch battle against a power-hungry president to preserve freedom in America. One speaker said dramatically that if this “diabolical change” were not defeated, government of the people, by the people, and for the people would perish from the face of the earth.

Among the most extreme anti-Obama and anti-government speakers were three doctors who led a workshop session on “How to Stop Socialism in Health Care,” which moderator Andy Schlafly called “the most important issue we’re facing.” 

Lawrence Huntoon, representing the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (which bills itself as a conservative alternative to the AMA), argued that any governmental “interference” in the practice of health care is unconstitutional, and that the Obama administration is really only interested in power. “Just like the fraud and deception of socialism itself,” he said, proposals for reform have more to do with government gaining control over the lives of individuals than of health care. 

The second speaker, Dr. Frank Rosenbloom of Oregon Right to Life, lashed out at President Obama’s policies and at suggestions that opposition to his administration reflected racism. Obama, he said, is a supporter of Planned Parenthood and therefore responsible for genocide against black children. “Liberals are the true racists in this society,” he proclaimed. But he was just warming up.  Rosenbloom compared Obama to Adolf Hitler, saying “fascism is happening here and now.” Recalling President Obama’s statement that if his daughter mistakenly became pregnant, he would not want her to be punished with a baby, Rosenbloom said that is the sort of “moral sewage that is running our country.”

Rosenbloom, who said Obama is “not stupid,” but “just evil,” rejected Rep. Price’s plug for HR 3400, a Republican alternative bill, demanding that government get out of health care completely. He called for an end to Medicare and Medicaid, saying that people could be provided for through tax subsidies for buying insurance. 

A third speaker,Dr. Allen Unruh, said “we either live in freedom or in servitude, there is no middle ground.”  Unruh said Obama health care plans would result in dismantling the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, and 13th amendments and said it would turn all doctors into “slaves of the state” and result in "slavery reenacted by our first black president."

Abortion: No Compromise, New Wedges

While anti-Obama and anti-government fervor felt like the energizing force of the conference, the intensity of opposition to legalized abortion was also undiminished. 

Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, citing Obama’s pro-choice policies, called him an “enemy of humanity:”

Obama’s first act as president of any consequence, in the middle of a financial meltdown, was to send taxpayers’ money oversees to pay for the killing of unborn children in other countries…there’s almost nothing that you should be surprised at after that….we shouldn’t be shocked that he does all these other insane things….A president that has lost his way that badly, that has no ability to see the image of God in these little fellow human beings, if he can’t do that right, then he has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an enemy of humanity.

Huckabee also called for “no compromise” on the issue:

That’s why the position that I believe that we must uncompromisingly hold toward the sanctity of human life is an absolute and cannot be negotiated and cannot be given away. And I will never support anyone for public office who does not believe that we should protect every single human life. It’s better to lose elections than to lose our culture and to lose civilization.

Huckabee added that he didn’t believe an uncompromising anti-choice stance would lead to lost elections, saying he was encouraged that younger women are more anti-choice than their mothers and grandmothers.

Anti-choice activists are mounting a renewed effort to use abortion as a wedge issue, portraying legaliized abortion as “black genocide” and promoting Maafa 21, a new “documentary” meant to help stir anti-abortion sentiment in African American churches. Janet Porter told of attending a showing of the movie in Arizona, after which a speaker urged people to confess if they had voted for pro-choice candidates like President Obama. An African American woman, Porter says, rose and prayed, “Forgive me Lord, for putting race over you.”

Along the same lines, Rep. Franks touted his “Susan B. Anthony – Frederick Douglass Pre-Natal Non Discrimination Act,” which would ban abortions carried out on the basis of race or sex. He bragged that the bill would put members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other liberals in a box, because they don’t want to support discrimination, but that if they do vote for the bill, they will be acknowledging that “there’s a person involved.” 

Freedom with an Asterisk

An overriding theme of conference speakers was that the nation is poised on losing its freedom. Rep. Tom Price said that in Washington “we see a crowd in charge that is not too fond of freedom.” 

Of course, freedom to these conference-goers does not extend to LGBT Americans who want to live their lives free from discrimination or serve the nation in the armed forces. Several workshops focused on the dire threat to children and communities posed by the prospect (and reality) of gay couples getting married. And for this crowd, stopping marriage equality is not enough: they are out to prevent civil unions and domestic partnerships as well. They believe the Employment Anti-Discrimination Act is a grave threat to religious liberty. They believe that allowing gays to serve openly in the military would threaten national security. And please don’t get them started on transgender people.

Gay rights advocates, like Obama, were described by Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber as bullies who get their way with propaganda and “goose-stepping” intimidation of those who oppose equality.

Attacking Progressives

Conference participants were downright gleeful about the troubles facing ACORN, which they claim has been routinely engaged in voter fraud. They were warned, however, that congressional action to deny funding to ACORN is only a first step in attacking funding for organizations affiliated with ACORN and more broadly, groups doing community organizing in poor communities like the Industrial Areas Foundation.

A group of participants from Wisconsin, for example, distributed materials attacking the state’s Catholic bishops for supporting social justice-oriented religious coalitions like Common Ground, which they argue has a “Radical Left Agenda” -- which in their mind includes things like government support for day care. 

In her address, Rep. Michele Bachman said liberalism is repulsive to the American people and called for a renewed effort to “defund the left,” something she criticized Republicans for failing to do when they were in power. “Defunding the left is going to be so easy and it’s going to solve so many of our problems,” she said.

Franks touted his “pre-natal discrimination” bill as a way to “completely defund Planned Parenthood,” which is high on the Right’s agenda.

Taking Back Congress in 2010

Many speakers shared Phyllis Schlafly’s optimism that the anti-Obama, anti-government anger evident in the health care town halls, the tea bag parties, and the conference itself is spreading like wildfire and will make it possible for the Republicans to reclaim the House of Representatives in 2010 and bring a screeching halt to the Obama administration’s plans to drive America into socialist subservience.

Porter announced plans for a rally at the Lincoln Memorial on May 1, 2010, and she’s already got several members of Congress, including Reps. Franks and King signed up. Porter claimed that the event was not about impressing the media or Washington elite, but about touching the heart of God with a show of national repentance for having elected such wicked leaders. She said attendees would be able to give God a sign of their readiness to turn from their wicked ways by putting money into barrels that would be given to the opponents of targeted Democratic congressional leaders.

Passing the Torch

The entire conference had the feel of a generational passing of the leadership torch from Phyllis Schlafly to Janet Folger Porter. Photographic tributes to Schlafly’s life were capped with a long “surprise” recounting of her career by Porter during the final evening program. Porter presented Schlafly with the “American Hero of the Century” Award. For her part, Schlafly praised Porter repeatedly throughout the weekend, saying, “there aren’t extravagances enough to praise Janet for the role she’s played in taking back America and rebuilding the conservative movement.”

Although they don’t agree about everything (Porter argued that Mike Huckabee was God’s chosen candidate in 2008, while Schlafly disparaged his conservative credentials), Porter is in many ways a perfect successor to Schlafly. She shares many of her characteristics, including a no-compromise approach to politics, a strategy of promoting the most extreme and fantastical claims about opponents’ aims and goals, seemingly limitless energy for the fight, and a talent for self-promotion.

Porter has a documented record of promoting even the wildest right-wing conspiracy theories, including “birtherism” and claims that the Obama administration is planning to round up conservatives into internment camps and exterminate millions of Americans through a flu vaccine plot. None of that apparently can diminish her shine in the eyes of the public officials hoping to gain or keep her favor. Both Rep. Franks and Mike Huckabee credited Porter for getting them to the conference. Huckabee went a little further, saying there are two Janets he answers to, his wife and Porter. Porter co-chaired the Faith and Values committee of Huckabee’s presidential campaign. So if Porter does indeed become the new leader of Schlafly’s loyal followers, that’s good news for Huckabee’s future political ambitions.

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