Arizona

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.

Franks: I Meant Obama Was An Enemy of "Unborn Humanity"

To follow-up on our last post about Rep. Trent Franks calling President Obama an "enemy of humanity," a spokesperson for his office attempts to clarify:

Trent Franks of Arizona said in a speech to conservatives Saturday in St. Louis that given Obama's decision to fund international family planning organizations that support legal abortion, "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," Franks said to the "How to Take Back America" conference.

Bethany Haley, spokeswoman for Franks, said the congressman was referring to "unborn humanity" and should have clarified his statement. She also said that Franks meant to say that Obama's abortion-related policies have no place in government, rather than that Obama has no place in government.

Haley said she spoke to Franks early Tuesday before he boarded a plane from Arizona to Washington.

"He was just referring to the way President Obama has set himself up as the most pro-abortion president in America's history," Haley said. She ticked off a list of the president's policies and appointments she said were favorable to abortion rights.

"It's a trend — it's not just one or two things. Ever since his days in the Illinois Senate, President Obama has been radical on the issue of abortion," Haley said.

Glad they cleared that up.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Glenn Beck is certifiably insane ... and Sarah Palin thinks he's brilliant.
  • Firedoglake rounds up some of a classless right-wing commentary on Sen. Kennedy's passing.
  • For those who can't get enough of Steven L. Anderson's rantings, Good As You has found even more, along with video of his appearances at a couple of Tea Party rallies.
  • And check out this related video from David Neiwert on one of the members of Anderson's church carrying around an assault rifle outside a town hall meeting.
  • As promised, Randall Terry got himself tossed out of last night's town hall meeting with Rep. Jim Moran and Howard Dean.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • AP: A total of 33 Fox advertisers, including Walmart, CVS Caremark, Clorox and Sprint, directed that their commercials not air on [Glenn] Beck's show.
  • Greg Sargent: Americans United For Change, the labor-backed White House ally, is attempting a new one: Running an ad on Facebook — one directly targeted to Sarah Palin’s hundreds of thousands of Facebook supporters — telling them Palin has been lying to them.
  • It really is mind-boggling how Michael Steele has managed to hang on to his position as RNC Chairman.
  • David Weigel reports that the Department of Veterans Affairs has yanked “Your Life, Your Choices: Planning for Future Medical Decisions,” a guide to writing a living will, from the main portion of its web site. and that "all it took was an article and a Fox News appearance for one man to scare the VA into pulling this material."
  • Finally, David Neiwert has more on the hate-filled views of Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church.

God Commands You To Kill Gays

I spend a lot of time here mocking Religious Right groups and activists for their views of homosexuality, but as Jeremy says about these audio clips he posted the other day, "this 'culture war' is all fun and games until someone wants to execute you."

And he's not joking. Just listen to these rants from Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, AZ, explaining to his audience how gays are out to rape their children in order to recruit them and says that the only way to stop them is to kill them:

You want to know who the biggest hypocrite in the world is? The biggest hypocrite in the world is the person who believes in the death penalty for murderers and not for homosexuals. Hypocrite. The same God who instituted the death penalty for murderers is the same God who instituted the death penalty for rapists and for homosexuals - sodomites, queers! That's what it was instituted for, okay? That's God, he hasn't changed. Oh, God doesn't feel that way in the New Testament ... God never "felt" anything about it, he commanded it and said they should be taken out and killed.

You know why God wanted the sodomites in the Old Testament to be killed? You know why every good king of Israel, the Bible says they got rid of the sodomites in the land? You know, the good kings that came after the bad kings who had allowed the sodomites to infest their land, they had infiltrated ... King Asa got the sodomites out of the land, Jehoshaphat exterminated the sodomites that were left from the days of his father, Asa. Why? Because the sodomites are infectious, that's why. Because they're not reproducers, that goes without saying, they're recruiters.

How are they multiplying? Do you not see that they're multiplying? Are you that blind? Have you noticed that there's more than there were last year and the year before, and the year before that? How are they multiplying? They're reproducing right? No, here's a biology lesson: they're not reproducers, they're recruiters! And you know who they're after? Your children. Remember you dropped off your kids last week? That's who they're after. You drop them off as some daycare, you drop them off as some school somewhere, you don't know where they're at. I'll tell you where they're at: they're being recruited by the sodomites. They're being molested by the sodomites. I can tell you so many stories about people that I know being molested and recruited by the sodomites.

They recruit through rape. They recruit through molestation. They recruit through violation. They are infecting our society. They are spreading their disease. It's not a physical disease, it's a sin disease , it's a wicked, filthy sin disease and it's spreading on a rampage. Can't you see that it's spreading on a rampage? I mean, can you not see that? Can you not see that it's just exploding in growth? Why? Because each sodomite recruits far more than one other sodomite because his whole life is about recruiting other sodomites, his whole life is about violating and hurting people and molesting 'em.

So how many sodomites is one sodomite going to produce? A lot, and that's why it's just exploding. The only way to stop it, you say "how do we stop it?" ... You want to know why sodomites are recruiting? Because they have no natural predators.

Amazingly, that is the more sane of the two clips Jeremy posted - I'm not even going to bother transcribing this second clip in which Anderson screams about the "faggots running this country" because you simply have to listen to it: 

Pam's House Blend has more.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Orly Taitz says "You know I never ran for office, but I would not exclude this as a possibility." If she does, I will immediately demand to see proof of her eligibility.
  • Joe.My.God has video of Harry Jackson at the recent "Genocide is not Health Care" press conference.
  • After calling high-speed rail projects "wasteful spending," Gov. Bobby Jindal is now asking the federal government for $300 million to build one in Louisiana.
  • SPLC: Minuteman Civil Defense Corps president Carmen Mercer has been called out by her state’s chief prosecutor for allegedly participating in a mail fraud conspiracy.
  • Greg Sargent: A new poll that finds a majority of Republicans believe the health care reform bill will force old people to decide in advance how and when they meet their maker.
  • Finally, check out the cover of Glenn Beck's forthcoming book:

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Ed Whelan didn't like the criticism that publius had leveled at him for his opposition to Sonia Sotomayor, so he did the natural thing: he outed him. Classy.
  • Think Progress notes that Newt Gingrich may have backed off his claim that Sotomayor is a "racist" ... in favor of calling her a "racialist." Big improvement.
  • On a related note, Jonathan Singer points out that only 8 percent of people are buying into the Right's "Sotomayor is a racist" nonsense.
  • Alan Colmes observes that George Tiller's murder has turned those who had been picketing his office for years into "an army in search of a war."
  • With Tiller's alleged murder declaring "there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal," John Cole wants to know when the Right will start demanding that this domestic terrorist be tortured to find out more.
  • Digby points to the president of Colorado Right to Life explaining that Tiller's murder was expected with this analogy : "If a Mafia hit man gets killed, people recognize it's an occupational hazard."
  • Finally, Jim Burroway reports supporters of Arizona's anti-marriage amendment claimed that they had no interest in denying anyone’s domestic partnership benefits ... but are now trying to do just that.

The Notre Dame Protests Get Even Fringier

Just when it seemed like the fringe right-wing protesting at Notre Dame couldn't get any more ridiculous, we come to find out that some anonymous donor has now handed Rick Scarborough a thousand dollars so that he could join the fray as well:

Today a gentleman entered my office and donated the $1,000 needed to pay for my trip to South Bend, IN to join Alan Keyes and Randall Terry in protest of Obama's commencement speech on Sunday at Notre Dame. This came after much prayer seeking God's direction and financial provision concerning whether or not I was to say yes to their request to join them and many others facing potential arrest tomorrow for standing for life on the Notre Dame campus.

...

I will be arriving in South Bend Thursday to join them. It is my privilege to stand for truth and with courageous men and women, going to jail if called upon, to bring awareness to our nation that this madness must stop. Please be in prayer as we choose to take our stand for the sanctity of life.

Now, it was at least understandable that Keyes and Terry would target Notre Dame with protests claiming that the Catholic University is violating Catholic teachings by inviting President Obama to speak, because both men are Catholic.

But Scarborough is a Baptist, so what exactly warrants his participation in these protests? 

The whole "controversy" here is that a Catholic University had invited a pro-choice president to address its graduating class ... and it is predominantly right-wing Catholics who are upset about it (while most other Catholics hadn't even heard about it and those that had largely support it.)

Scarborough seems to be going to just protest Obama's pro-choice views ... but why he needed a $1000 to fly from Texas to Indiana to do that is beyond me because he probably could have saved himself considerable time and money if he had just gone and protested at Arizona State University where Obama spoke last night.

NOM: Do As We Say, Not As We Do

The New York Times reports that Equality California is laying the groundwork for a campaign to overturn Proposition 8 if the court challenge is not successful. Not surprisingly, the National Organization for Marriage does not approve:

Opponents of same-sex marriage said a second campaign would be a mistake. “The fact is that the people of California have already spoken,” said Brian S. Brown, the executive director in National Organization for Marriage, in Princeton, N.J. “And they don’t like being told they were wrong the first time.”

Interesting ... especially considering that NOM itself was founded in response to the failed effort to pass a marriage amendment in Arizona in 2006:

After spending 15 years as the director of the marriage program at the Institute for American Values, [Maggie Gallagher] said, in 2003 she became aware that gay marriage was about to become a major political issue. She founded the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy as a think tank that would focus on the issue, using a $10,000 check from a Protestant group as seed money.

"I felt very strongly that the people who cared about marriage were not sufficiently involved in this debate," she said.

After an anti-gay marriage initiative went down in 2006 in Arizona, she said, she wanted to create a group that could be more directly involved politically. In the summer of 2007, she worked with Robbie George, a Princeton professor and current board member of NOM, to create the group. This time they started out with $100,000 from a Catholic group and $125,000 from a Protestant one.

Apparently anti-marriage equality activists had no problems telling the people of Arizona "they were wrong the first time" and got the issue back on the ballot in 2008 and won

But of course, nobody from NOM would never support that, would they?

Lopez: Are initiatives in Florida and Arizona less important? They seem to be getting less attention.

Maggie Gallagher: In Florida, 60 percent of voters are needed to pass Amendment 2. Getting to 60 percent will be tough, especially as opponents have a great deal more money. Nonetheless, it’s very close. In Arizona, it will take only a simple majority to pass Prop 102. I think we will win. Victory in Arizona will be sweet, because Arizona in 2006 was the only state ever to reject a marriage amendment. If at first you don’t succeed. . . .

So it really comes as no surprise that NOM has now announced that it is joining the effort to overturn Maine's recent decision to legalize gay marriage because it doesn't represent the will of the people:

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today announced that it will join the Maine Marriage Coalition to push for a People's Veto of the same-sex marriage bill signed into law by Governor John Baldacci. Robert Emrich of Maine Marriage Alliance and Marc Mutty of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland are leading the coalition effort and filed for a People's Veto to overturn Governor John Baldacci's signature of the same-sex marriage bill this morning.

"NOM stands foursquare with our colleagues in Maine to give voters the ability to overturn this misguided legislation by referendum," said Brian Brown, executive director of NOM. "We will devote staff, volunteers and resources to this battle in Maine. Marriage means a man and a woman, and we will work hard to ensure that voters in Maine have the ability to do what voters in every other state where they have had a chance have done and stand up for marriage as we have always known it."

The Facts, Well They're Sort of Irrelevant Here

The news from today’s right-wing press conference on the Hate Crimes legislation: no news at all, in case you were expecting any. GOP Representatives Louie Gohmert of Texas and Trent Franks of Arizona joined by Bishop Harry Jackson and spokespeople from other groups including the Traditional Values Coalition and Concerned Women for America for another opportunity to spread lies about the intent of hate crimes legislation. Even with explicit First Amendment protections for clergy and religious communities written into the Hate Crimes legislation, the right wing’s dishonest talking points remain the same: The Hate Crimes bill will threaten religious teachings on morality and First Amendment rights as pastor’s sermons could be considered “hate speech.” And, of course, pastors could be prosecuted for “conspiracy to commit a hate crime.”

We got a copy of the talking points handed out by Rep. Louie Gohmert’s people:

“The Hate Crimes bill creates a new Federal “Thought Crime.” The Hate Crimes bill will require criminal investigations of a suspect’s philosophical beliefs, politics, biases, religion, membership in organizations, activities of those organizations, and any past statements.”

And perhaps one of the most ridiculous talking points comes from the Traditional Values Coalition, who says “the ‘moral’ of this law, if it has one, is that child molesters and those who only ‘date’ dead people need to be protected but is open season on pastors and churchgoers:”

“Ensures that crimes against a transgender, drag queen or a gay man are treated more harshly than a sexual assault on a child. It will make pedophiles a protected class who can claim federal protection if they are injured by a parent as a result of molesting a child.” Read more

Who needs facts when you can just make stuff up (and when you’re getting paid to do it). For the real facts on hate crimes, People For the American Way and the African American Ministers in Action put together a helpful 2-pager on the legislation.

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