Georgia

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has confirmed his appearance at FRC Action's Values Voter Summit this fall.
  • The president of Liberty University's Democrats Club has resigned and announced that he is transferring to another school.
  • Maggie Gallagher insists that her National Organization for Marriage is not a front group for the Mormon church.
  • The Christian Coalition tells Republicans to lay off Sonia Sotomayor's erstwhile membership in the Belizean Grove.
  • Matt Barber is predictably outraged about the Georgia Supreme Court ruling that children cannot be prohibited from visitation with their gay father, saying "Obviously it is not in the best interest of a child to be taken by his father and introduced to a group of people who are engaging in abhorrent sexual behaviors, who are modeling abhorrent sexual behaviors and celebration of that [which is] demonstrably dangerous from a medical, spiritual, and emotional standpoint -- modeling those behaviors for the child."
  • Beginning today, OneNationUnderGod is launching a prayer campaign focused on the conversion of Catholic politicians to further foster a Culture of Life in this country.

Crazy By Association

When I saw a press release announcing that Alan Keyes was going to be in South Carolina campaigning for a woman named Christina Jeffrey who is running Congress, my first thought was "wow, she must be crazy."

After all, no sane candidate would ever seek the assistance of someone like Keyes and expect to win, so I did a little research to try and found out a little about her on her website:

In these difficult economic times, the citizens in the Up-state of South Carolina deserve better representation in Congress. Christina Jeffrey, with a PhD. in Political Science and a college professor, is a person who has built her life based upon Conservative Principles.

Christina has worked in Germany and Turkey, and understands the international problems we are confronted with today. Christina has been a college professor for many years. She has been a tenured Associate Professor of Political Science at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and the Congressional Historian for the 104th Congress of the United States. She currently teaches Foundations of American Government at Wofford College.

What I also found out was that her claim to have been the "Congressional Historian for the 104th Congress of the United States" leaves out a few key pieces of information ... like the fact that she held the job for less than two weeks before she was fired by Newt Gingrich:

Fired by Speaker Newt Gingrich as House historian because she complained Nazi views weren't represented in a Holocaust course, Christina Jeffrey said Tuesday that allegations against her ``are slanderous and outrageous.''

In a statement the morning after her firing, Jeffrey, who was hired less than a week ago, also said she was ``fired in the press.''

Reporters, who received materials from Democratic sources, began making inquiries to Gingrich's office after learning of Jeffrey's review of the Holocaust course in 1986.

House Democrats quickly pounced on her eight-year-old review, one saying it bordered on Holocaust revision.

...

Jeffrey, hired at $85,000 a year, headed a panel that reviewed the Holocaust course for the Republican-run U.S. Department of Education. The panel recommended against a federal grant for the course and the department -- insisting the decision was its own -- declined funding in 1986 and again the next two years.

Concluding her remarks on ``Facing History and Ourselves'' a course designed for eighth and ninth graders, Jeffrey wrote: ``The program gives no evidence of balance or objectivity. The Nazi point of view, however unpopular, is still a point of view and is not presented, nor is that of the Ku Klux Klan.''

While Jeffrey insisted at the time and continues to insist that her remarks were taken wildly out of context, this does at least shed some light on just what sort of political candidate openly welcome the support of someone like Keyes.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • At RH Reality Check, Myra Duran explains how "so-called crisis pregnancy centers lure women into their facilities with promises of free pregnancy tests and options counseling. But once inside, most provide women with false or misleading information about abortion, birth control, and sexually transmitted diseases."
  • Jim Burroway reports that the Georgia Supreme Court threw out a lower court’s order banning children from being “exposed” to their father’s gay partner and friends.
  • What is the deal with state-level Republicans sending out racist "jokes" in South Carolina and Tennessee?
  • As we noted last week, right-wingers in Wisconsin are trying to burn copies of "Baby Be-Bop" - Salon reports that the author of the book is not amused.
  • David Neiwert offers more information about Minuteman "tactical" leader/murder suspect Shawna Forde.
  • The Anti-Defamation League reports that white supremacists have "capitalized on the Sotomayor nomination to characterize Jews as "conspirators seeking world domination, having secretly orchestrated the appointment":
  • "How the (expletive deleted) did that Puerto Rican princess Sotomayor get into Princeton? I mean, she was just another welfare spic from the Bronx…Sotomayor was obviously chosen by the Jews at Princeton to fulfill a quota. Then the Jews at some NY law firm hired her to be their token spicarina, and so on…I can't wait to see what kind of f#cked-up opinions she issues from the Supreme Court Bench. I'll bet they're really insane, using all the tortured and twisted Jew-logic they taught her at Princeton."

SCOTUS Round-Up

Several related articles today, all pretty much saying the same thing:  even though right-wing groups are doubtful that they’ll actually be able to defeat President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, they are raising lots of money to try and do so anyway and, in doing so, hope to make it an issue in the 2010 elections.

The New York Times:

While conservatives say they know they have little chance of defeating Mr. Obama’s choice because Democrats control the Senate, they say they hope to mount a fight that could help refill depleted coffers and galvanize a movement demoralized by Republican electoral defeats.

“It’s an immense opportunity to build the conservative movement and identify the troops out there,” said Richard A. Viguerie, a conservative fund-raiser. “It’s a massive teaching moment for America. We’ve got the packages written. We’re waiting right now to put a name in.”

Gary Marx, executive director of the conservative Judicial Confirmation Network, said donors, whom he declined to identify, had committed to contributing millions of dollars for television, radio and Internet advertisements that might reunite conservatives in a confirmation battle.

Conservatives face big obstacles, though, in rousing supporters or spurring Republican lawmakers to mount an all-out fight.

The movement is much diminished from four years ago under President George W. Bush, when Supreme Court vacancies last arose and conservatives marshaled their forces to champion his nominees. (Judge Richard Posner, a prominent Reagan appointee, wrote recently that the conservative movement suffers from “intellectual deterioration.”) Republicans have lost control of the White House and Congress, have no clear party leader and have received low approval ratings.

And some leading groups are having budget woes. Focus on the Family, a Colorado-based evangelical group led by the semi-retired James C. Dobson, rallied social conservatives in support of Mr. Bush’s judicial nominees, but it recently cut more than 200 jobs.

The conservative movement is sharing its resources as it prepares for the nomination. The Judicial Action Group, founded in 2006 and based in Alabama, has organized a research network — dubbed the Supreme Court Review Committee — of about 15 “pro-family ministries” and conservative legal groups, said Phillip Jauregui, president of the group.

 

Manuel Miranda, who has led conference calls for conservative groups about judges, said the focus on such issues would present “a great opportunity to really prepare the great debate with a view toward Senate elections in 2010 and the presidency.”

“It isn’t just about the nominee,” he said. “It’s about the fact that the American people gave control of presidency to a Democrat who will appoint a certain type of judge and the Senate that will most likely rubber stamp that choice.”

Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family’s political arm, said he believed that despite conservatives’ recent political troubles in other arenas, the public still prefers their judicial philosophy.

“This is an issue that if Americans focus on it, it will bring out their conservative side,” he said. “And that could help the political fortunes of conservatives in the future.”

The Washington Times:

Republicans are going on offense to tarnish potential Supreme Court justice hopefuls, attempting to spark an early fight over President Obama's first nomination to the high court.

Wendy Long and Gary Marx of the Judicial Confirmation Network penned a memo for activists on the issue last week, predicting, "The first Obama nominee to the Supreme Court will be hailed by Democrats, liberal interest groups and many in the media as a 'moderate.' No matter how liberal, activist, or extreme she may be."

They said they have crafted a video to "expose the liberal activist records of those who have been named as front-runners to fill Justice [David H.] Souter's seat."

Scott Wheeler, executive director for the National Republican Trust PAC, sent a letter to Republican senators, warning that activists "will hold them accountable" for the nomination process, so they should "keep steadfast and stay true to your Republican conservative values and beliefs."

Mr. Wheeler also went after Mr. Obama's empathy standards, saying that because they "have nothing to do with interpreting the law or the rule of law ... It is up to you and your fellow Republican colleagues to stop such a nomination."

The Washington Independent:

Conservatives, on the other hand, have a number of catch phrases they want to apply to Supreme Court nominees. “We will continue to be using the metaphor of the neutral umpire,” said Marx, echoing the language used by now-Chief Justice John Roberts in his 2005 confirmation hearing. Marx listed two other qualifications a justice should possess: “judicial restraint” and “not legislating from the bench.”

He also pulled out a Biblical reference to make his point. King Solomon, he said, did not need “empathy” or “compassion” to resolve the famous baby case. “Was that compassionate?” he asked rhetorically. “No, it was wisdom.”

Despite their success in determining which terms have come to dominate the debate, conservatives acknowledge that their purpose may not be so much to block the confirmation of a justice as to score political and perhaps fundraising points for future elections.

Marx says that the confirmation debate will have “three huge implications”: it will educate the American people about the issues, help them understand Obama’s true political philosophy and set the stage for the 2010 U.S. Senate campaigns.

According to [Brian Darling of the Heritage Foundtion], the effects of this battle could extend to 2012 as well. “Whoever this nominee’s going to be,” he said, “if the court moves forward on gay marriage or restricts the Second Amendment or goes forward with another change that’s unpopular among the American public… that’s something that will affect the president’s reelection bid.”

Still, the game is likely to change considerably when Obama announces his nominee. “To be honest, I think this is all noise,” Darling conceded. “It will become completely irrelevant when the nominee is put forth.”

Finally, the Right sees signs of hope for its chances of stopping Obama’s SCOTUS nominee in their obstruction of Dawn Johnsen’s confirmation: 

Curt Levey, executive director of the Committee for Justice, says the stalled Johnsen nomination should send President Obama the message that he does not have a free hand to appoint someone "extreme" to the Supreme Court, even when there are 59 or 60 Democrats in the Senate.
 
"Dawn Johnsen was an executive branch appointee to the Department of Justice. They get more deference, not less, from the Senate than judicial nominees," he notes. "So, if he were to appoint somebody anywhere near as extreme as Dawn Johnsen to the Supreme Court, the nominee would very likely not be confirmed by the Senate."
 
A bold but unlikely pick for Obama, according to Levey, would be black Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, who is a friend of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and is more moderate than the other potential High Court picks whose names have been floated. 

Tilting At Windmills: The On-Going Crusade Against the DHS

Earlier this week I wrote a post about the fact Janet Porter and a gaggle of other fringe right-wing groups announced that they would be placing an ad in The Washington Times in which they demanded the resignation Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ever the recent “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” report.  

I’ve already written too much about this idiotic issue, so I’m not even going to get into it again and will simply note that the ad ran today and highlight the groups sponsoring it:

Current sponsors include: American Family Association, Religious Freedom Coalition, Let Freedom Ring, United States Justice Foundation, Faith2Action, Georgia Christian Alliance, Population Research Institute, Vision America, American Decency Association, Americans for Truth, AFA of Pennsylvania, Center for Security Policy, Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education, Eagle Forum of Alabama, Federal Intercessors, Legacy Church (Albuquerque, NM), Liberty Counsel, Move America Forward, Operation Rescue, Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ, Take Back Our Country and Traditional Values Coalition.

This coalition is also seeking donations so that they can run the ad in other media outlets and vowing to keep up the fight:

Coalition Chairman Janet Folger Porter (who hosts a nationally syndicated daily talk show and is the president of Faith2Action) observed: "If we don't speak out against this unconscionable attack on law-abiding citizens now, the left will use it to discredit everything we do from this point forward."

The irony here, of course, is that everyone realizes the report itself was entirely uncontroversial and that what is really discrediting the Right is their incessant hyperventilation and victimization over the report.

Note to Porter:  we don’t need a meaningless DHS report to discredit everything you do because you are perfectly capable of doing that all by yourself.

Your Risk-Free Way To Survive The Coming Global Collapse

One of the “perks” of this job is that we end up on lots of right-wing email lists and then our email addresses are sold to others who use those lists to pitch all sorts of fringe ideas and products, which means that our inboxes get cluttered with rambling, over-the-top messages like this one recently sent out through Townhall:

This briefing is a critical, time-sensitive warning.  Please read what I am about to say carefully, because your very life may depend on it.

A whole lot of already shell-shocked people are going to learn the hard way that the veneer of “civilization” is far thinner than most realize.

U.S. Preparing a Military Response to Coming Social Chaos

As the shocking confidential information contained in this briefing shows, the threat of social meltdown and chaos is so large a domestic law-enforcement arm of the U.S. military (referred to by The Army Times as the "Consequence Management Response Force") has been created to deal with what U.S. officials believe to be a coming, unprecedented wave of massive social chaos.

Later I'll show you why many Washington insiders (including officials directly involved in homeland security) are personally making emergency preparations for social chaos. In addition, outgoing Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson told Sen. James Inhofe and Rep. Brad Sherman that so much financial mayhem lies ahead U.S. troops may have to impose martial law to deal with social unrest.

Yes, U.S. Officials Are Quietly Preparing for BIG Trouble Ahead

A new report by the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute states flatly the U.S. military must prepare for "a violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States" that could be provoked by "unforeseen economic collapse" or "loss of functioning political and legal order."

Late last year, The Washington Post noted the incoming Obama Administration is going to "earmark" at least 20,000 troops returning from Iraq to deal with "domestic emergencies." Since then, the Army Times has broken the story that the domestic emergency army unit has been increased to 80,000 troops, who are being trained right now in Georgia.

In short, U.S. officials expect big trouble ahead — but they are not warning the general public about the danger (much less urge the unsuspecting masses to make basic preparations).

A rare critic of the government's keep-the-public-in-the-dark mentality is former head of the U.S. Commission on National Security, Stephen Flynn.  He noted in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial: "Too many officials believe telling the truth to Americans about the risk would set off a nationwide panic. Thus, they keep us sheep in the dark for our own good."

Boiled down, you need a real plan to deal with massive social dislocations that are headed our way. And you need to get started right now, because the government isn't going to give you a heads-up.

My name is Lee Bellinger, publisher of the monthly financial, health, and taxation intelligence advisory Independent Living. In my two decades of publishing discreet information about threats to your liberty, health and prosperity, never before have we produced as important a document as my best-selling Social Chaos Survival Guide: Smart, Savvy Precautions To Make You Self-Reliant in These Dangerous Times.

This is literally the first one-tenth of the email, which goes on for another fourteen pages and five thousand words.  It’s not even worth trying to debunk this nonsense because it is a) so obviously insane and b) too easy … like merely pointing out that quote attributed to Flynn comes from a five year old op-ed he co-wrote with Warren Rudman, Leslie Gelb, and Gary Hart urging Congress to stop playing politics with the Department of Homeland Security and its spending priorities.

But on and on it goes about how society is about to “come completely unglued,” food, gas, and medicine are going to disappear, and that the government will be forced to unveil a “draconian response to social chaos … when all hell breaks loose.”  

But of course, there is hope in the form of Bellinger’s “Social Chaos Survival Guide” which tells you how to stockpile food and water, plan your escape route, and live off the land … all for the low price of $79.

And here’s where it gets really odd:

Enter your risk-free trial subscription to Independent Living for two full years for a mere $79 (24 information-packed issues at an inflation-busting rate) and I will rush you the 2009 edition of my Social Chaos Survival Guide. And as always, this offer comes with my full guarantee of your total and complete satisfaction.

So society as we know it is about to disintegrate, but Bellinger can offer me a “risk-free” subscription of his insights? And a two year one at that? When the world crumbles, how exactly is Bellinger still going to be able to not only produce his books, newsletters, and DVDs, but also get them delivered to me?  To where, the cave I’m living in?

Anyway, the most entertaining aspect of this screed is just who Bellinger seems to think his target audience is, considering that while we received it via Townhall, it has also been sent out to Newsmax and GOP USA readers as well.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • John Feehery takes up the unenviable task of defending George W. Bush from comparisons to Barack Obama, saying "Linking Bush with Obama is not credible. And bashing Bush without at least acknowledging some of his important achievements is counterproductive to the Republican Party."
  • The Christian Coalition wins again ... this time preventing Sunday alcohol sales in Georgia.
  • It looks like the Club for Growth's Pat Toomey is planning on challenging Sen. Arlen Specter yet again.
  • Focus on the Family warns that atheists are out to destory the National Day of Prayer.
  • Day Gardner commemorates the 157th anniversary of the Dred Scott decision to, predictably, compare it to abortion. Of course, the decision was handed down on this day in 1857, which means its really the 152nd anniversary.
  • Finally, how are Obama and FDR alike?  According to the Eagle Forum, Obama's use of a teleprompter is like FDR's use of a wheelchair:
  • This is one of those dirty little secrets about Obama. He is supposed to be a great speaker, but he cannot give a speech without reading it from a script. The press goes to great lengths to conceal this fact by carefully making sure that the Teleprompter does not show up on TV and in pictures. It is a bit like the way the press would never show FDR in a wheelchair so that people would not know that we had a crippled president.

LaBarbera Continues His Crusade Against the Log Cabin Republicans

A few weeks ago, Peter LaBarbera unleashed a pre-emptive attack against new Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, warning him not to even consider meeting with the Log Cabin Republicans, whom he called "homosexual activists whose agenda would restrict our precious religious and First Amendment freedoms by using the government to promote aberrant sexual lifestyles."

On a related note, we mentioned last week that John McCain's daughter and former campaign manager are scheduled to speak at the LCR's convention in April ... and guess what?  LaBarbera is not happy about that either:

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, says McCain is taking the wrong message to young voters.

"I'm afraid that some Republicans are going to think, 'Hey, we have to go pro-gay and try to be hip to get the youth vote,'" suggests LaBarbera. "Look, the kind of youth who are going to be the long-term heroes in the Republican Party are going to be the principled youth of today -- and the principled youth don't want us to play around or go half-way on homosexuality, or just fight gay marriage and not anything else."

Also speaking April 17 at the Log Cabin conference will be Steve Schmidt, John McCain's former campaign manager. The topic of Schmidt's address is "Moving Forward." LaBarbera admits he feels "very sorry" for people like Schmidt, who has a lesbian sister who is living in a domestic-partner relationship.

"They believe that they're showing love for their family member by promoting homosexuality and embracing homosexuality -- and that's just not the case," the Christian activist emphasizes. "Homosexuality is a sin whether your sister or brother or son is engaged in it. We want to hope that those people will come out of that lifestyle because it's wrong."

This latest salvo comes amid a feud LaBarbera is having with Jamie Ensley, the president of the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans, who responded to LaBarbera's attack on the LCR and Steele by calling LaBarbera's Americans For Truth About Homosexuality a “radical Christian domestic terrorist group” and comparing it to Nazis.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, OK will host the 2009 Night to Honor Israel from 7-9 p.m. March 2 with the Rev. John Hagee speaking.
  • Rick Santorum says the Quran was "written in Islamic,” which is not a language.  It was written in Arabic.
  • FRC says it is understandable that so many Republicans are refusing to run for re-election.  After all, "who can blame them for choosing not to sit at the foot of the most pro-abortion, socialist Speaker of the House in history?"
  • Bill Donohue gets results. Yesterday the Catholic League voiced its outrage over a poster at the University of Georgia, claiming the "famous Michelangelo painting on the Sistine Chapel ceiling that features the hand of God giving life to Adam has been hijacked to promote condoms." The school's Vice President for Student Affairs immediately apologized.
  • On his last day as Johnson County District Attorney, Phill Kline reportedly had copies of abortion records mailed to his office to Lynchburg, Va., where he had taken a job at Liberty University. The Johnson County District Attorney's Office only found out about it because the box was returned because  the address on the label was incorrect.
  • Finally, this quote from Richard Land in opposition to DOJ nominee David Ogden seemed to be worth highlighting:
  • Ogden told the committee during his oral and written testimony that his legal positions on controversial pornography-related cases represented the views of his clients and did not reflect his personal beliefs. But that hasn't been enough to appease opponents, who say that he could have turned down representing those clients if he found their positions so objectionable.

    "That's a moral cop-out, and it's one reason why there are so many lawyer jokes," Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told Baptist Press regarding Ogden's defense. "… A person's views on pornography are a window to a person's worldview, and this window shows a worldview that is inconsistent with what I want the American Justice Department to be."

Advancing the Right-Wing Agenda Through the Process of Elimination

The AP reports that legislators and right-wingers in Georgia are citing budget shortfalls as the justification for trying to fire college professors who teach things they don't like:

Upset House Republicans are mounting a campaign to purge Georgia's higher education system of professors with an expertise in racy sexuality topics as the state grapples with a $2.2 billion shortfall.

State Rep. Charlice Byrd of Woodstock took House well on Friday to announce a "grass-roots" effort to oust professors with expertise in subjects like male prostitution, oral sex and "queer theory."

"This is not considered higher education," she said. "If legislators are going to dole out the dollars, we should have a say-so in where they go."

Byrd and her supporters, including state Rep. Calvin Hill, said they will team with the Christian Coalition and other religious groups to pressure fellow lawmakers and the Board of Regents to eliminate the jobs.

"Our job is to educate our people in sciences, business, math," said Hill, a vice chairman of the budget-writing House Appropriations Committee. He said professors aren't going to meet those needs "by teaching a class in queer theory."

The Men Behind the Oil

Last week I wrote a post about Rep. Paul Broun, Rob Scheck, and Patrick Mahoney gathering in the Capitol in order to anoint the doorway that Barack Obama will pass through on his way to his swearing in that lead to a post this week vowing to start paying more attention to Broun.  

And so, following through on that pledge, I found this:

Republican Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia told the Associated Press that today's American leadership "needs to serve the Lord Jesus Christ."

But more interestingly, Max Blumenthal has written a good profile of these three men and their mission that contains several bits of interesting information about Broun:

While the Capitol prayer partners appeared earnest in the prayers for the president elect’s success, they have each distinguished themselves from their Christian right comrades by leveling some of the most paranoid imprecations Obama has faced since he arrived in the Senate. On November 10, 2008, a week after Obama’s election victory, Broun took umbrage at the President-elect’s call for a national civilian security force, a proposal also backed by George W. Bush. According to Broun, who acknowledged the possibility that he might be “crazy,” Obama had revealed himself as a radical Marxist Nazi socialist comparable to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

"It may sound a bit crazy and off base,” Broun told an AP reporter, “but the thing is, he’s the one who proposed this national security force. I’m just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may—may not, I hope not—but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism. That’s exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it’s exactly what the Soviet Union did. When he’s proposing to have a national security force that’s answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he’s showing me signs of being Marxist.”

After seeming to back away from his comments when he was heavily criticized, Broun announced that he was “not taking back anything [he] said.” “I firmly believe that we must not fall victim to the ‘it can't happen here’ mentality,” he declared in a press release. “I adhere to the adage ‘eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.’”

“Mr. Speaker,” Broun announced from the House floor in 2007, “if we take our dishes and try to wash ‘em in our clothes washers we’re going to have problems, and that’s what we’re doing in our society, Mr. Speaker. We’re trying to do things against God’s inerrant word… So I rise today to support the Bible as the basis of our nation.”

Though he campaigned for reelection in 2008 as “The #1 Congressman on Immigration,” Broun has introduced only one bill since arriving in Washington: a measure banning pornography in the military. “Our troops should not see their honor sullied so that the moguls behind magazines like Playboy and Penthouse can profit,” Broun proclaimed. His spokesman testified to his expertise as an “addictionologist” who is “familiar with the negative consequences associated with long-term exposure to pornography.” Despite such scientific and personal authority, Broun’s bill to protect the troops from pictures of unclad women has gone nowhere.

Given such views, Blumenthal explains, its not hard to understand why he hooked up with the likes of Schenck and Mahoney:

In the early 1990s, Schenck was arrested a dozen times during protests outside women's health clinics and abortion doctors' homes, and was momentarily detained by Secret Service after shoving an aborted fetus in front of Bill Clinton outside the 1992 Democratic National Convention. Four years later, Schenck grew so upset by President Clinton's veto of a bill banning partial abortion that he managed to creep behind him during a Christmas Eve service at the National Cathedral and whisper in his ear, "God will hold you to account, Mr. President.” He was immediately removed from the chapel and interrogated by Secret Service agents.

Schenck spent several months in 1992 picketing the Buffalo, New York, home of Dr. Barnett Slepian, an obscure area abortion doctor that he personally targeted for scorn. Six years later, while cooking dinner for his wife and four children, Slepian was shot to death through his kitchen window by James Kopp, a volunteer at Operation Rescue's Binghamton, N.Y., office. Though Schenck denied knowing Kopp, the two had been arrested together at several clinic blockades.

When Schenck placed flowers at the doorstep of Slepian's office, his infuriated wife returned them with a letter that read, “It's your ‘passive’ following that incited the violence that killed Bart [Slepian] and took away both my and my children's future.”

Schenck attained a new prominence during the George W. Bush era, forging friendly ties with culture warriors like House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Sen. Rick Santorum, and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who allowed Schenck to hang a Ten Commandments plaque in his office. He even became a golfing buddy of Sen. Orrin Hatch. But DeLay and Santorum are gone from the Congress, victims of their own excesses, while Lieberman and Hatch have become marginalized by the Democratic majority.

Sensing his influence on the wane, Schenck targeted Obama. In January 2007, Schenck described the newly sworn-in senator’s Christian faith as “woefully deficient.” In a March 2008 videoblog, he accused Obama of crypto-Muslim religious sympathies.

Mahoney appeared at Obama’s Capitol Hill office in June 2008 to present his aides with a poster depicting the senator as Uncle Sam, declaring, “I Want YOU To Pay For Abortions.” Mahoney plans to hold an anti-abortion vigil along Obama’s parade route this January 20. “Sadly, President-elect Obama is on the wrong side of history and human rights by embracing the most radical abortion policies of any President in American history,” Mahoney said in announcing the vigil.

A founding member of the hardline anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, Schenck and his allies have engaged in what they call “direct action” to stop abortion by any means necessary. "There's going to be people wounded,” Mahoney, a fellow Operation Rescue leader, declared at a 1993 rally. “It's about whose will shall rule on this planet, God's or man's.”

We'll Have to Start Paying More Attention to Paul Broun

Until last week, we had never paid much attention to Rep. Paul Broun ... in fact, when he showed up last week with Rob Schenck and Patrick Mahoney for some pre-inaugural anointing, it was the first time we had ever written about him. 

But I am beginning to suspect that that is about to change:

Congressman Paul Broun has reintroduced legislation that he says would stop abortion and the "clone-and-kill" mentality in the U.S.

Representative Paul Broun (R-Georgia) believes the "greatest moral issue facing our nation" is the killing of unborn children, and that all Americans have a "moral and constitutional obligation" to protect every unborn child. That's why Broun, a medical doctor, has promised that the Sanctity of Human Life Act will be the very first bill he will introduce in every Congress until abortion is banned in the U.S. He notes the bill scientifically defines life as beginning at the point of fertilization with the creation of a human zygote.

"It gives the right of personhood to that one-celled human being," Broun explains. "If you look at Roe vs. Wade, the whole decision was predicated on no definition of the beginning of life being ever established legislatively." Roe v. Wade is the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in America.

"[But] this [bill] would define life beginning at fertilization," he continues. "It would give the right of personhood to that one-celled human being -- thus that person should be protected under the law as we are today."

We'll probably have to start trying to keep an eye on Tim Echols, one of Broun's former aides, as well, since he seems to have big plans to resurrect the Religious Right in Georgia:

One of U.S. Rep. Paul Broun's closest advisers is starting a consulting firm to bring religious conservatives back to political prominence and elect the first black Republican to statewide office in Georgia.

Winterville resident Tim Echols, a former spokesman for Mr. Broun, resigned Friday as his campaign treasurer to form Gold Dome Consulting.

One of the firm's goals will be to develop black candidates to run for state and federal office on the Republican ticket, Mr. Echols said. The GOP has neglected black voters, but they often share Republicans' conservative views on social and moral issues, he said.

"When it comes to issues of marriage and family, they're Republicans," he said. "But Republicans haven't reached out to them they way we should have."

Mr. Echols, 48, said he is talking with potential candidates but declined to identify them.

Gold Dome will be selective in choosing politicians to advise, and Mr. Echols will spend at least half his time on nonprofit clients, he said.

One of Gold Dome's first clients is the Christian Coalition of Georgia, which once dominated state politics. It lost influence after scandal-plagued Ralph Reed lost his 2006 bid for lieutenant governor and former head Sadie Fields left to start a rival group, the Georgia Christian Alliance.

"I'm going to come alongside them and bring them back to a place of strong stature," Mr. Echols said.

The Anointers Strike Again

As something of a follow-up to my last post, it looks like Patrick Mahoney has found time in his hunger-striking, prayer-vigil-organizing, anti-abortion rally-planning schedule to join a few of his allies for some good old fashioned pre-inaugural anointing:

In a first for presidential inaugurations, Congressman Paul Broun (pronounced BROWN) of Georgia joined the Reverends Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK) of Faith and Action and Patrick J. Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, both based in Washington, DC, in a prayer service inside the US Capitol today that included anointing the doorway President-Elect Barack Obama will pass through on his way to the platform to be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on January 20.

"Anointing with oil is a rich tradition both in the Bible and in the history of the US Capitol," said Rev. Schenck. "Oil symbolizes consecration, or setting something apart for God's use. George Washington used oil during the dedication of the US Capitol. We used oil today to set apart the walkway and doors that will be the literal right of passage for Barack Obama as he ascends to the highest office in our land."

Rep. Broun spoke during the 10-minute prayer service, delivering a short sermon-like talk on the need to obey God and His will, and for the future president to do what is right. Rev. Schenck read Bible passages and applied sacred oil to the doorposts of the arched doorway leading out of the Capitol and onto the inaugural stage, immediately in front of the riser where Obama will stand with Chief Justice John Roberts who will administer the Oath of Office. Rev. Mahoney, who is undertaking a 21-day fast and daily prayer schedule for Mr. Obama across the street from the White House, read an inaugural prayer by Dr. Billy Graham delivered 40 years ago.

You might recall that, a few years ago, Schenck and Mahoney also anointed the seats and doors in the Senate rooms where John Roberts and Samuel Alito held their confirmation hearings ... so at least they are being bipartisan about it.

The Resistance Movement: Targeting African Americans With Prayers, Buzzwords, and Charges of Genocide

With Barack Obama’s inauguration just around the corner, it looks like anti-choice activists are swinging into high gear:

Beginning January 1, the Christian Defense Coalition will lead prayer for President-Elect Obama outside of the White House every day at 12:00 noon until the Inauguration.

The group will close with a large prayer vigil on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday on Monday, January 19 at noon.

The Christian Defense Coalition is encouraging the faith community to pray for Mr. Obama at noon in their homes, churches and local communities all across the nation.

That sounds rather innocuous, but the Baltimore Sun reports that, like every other CDC event, there is more to it than meets the eye:

The Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, will be going on a 21-day fast and hunger strike to pray for and "stand in solidarity and identify with the homeless, poor and disenfranchised of America, as well as the 50 million innocent victims of abortion."

Considering that Mahoney is a tireless anti-choice crusader, it’s pretty safe to assume that his efforts are aimed more at ending abortion than helping the homeless.  

But Mahoney is not alone is seeing the upcoming inauguration as an opportunity to press his anti-choice ideology:

Dr. Alveda King, Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said today that African Americans celebrating the upcoming inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama should carry a pro-family agenda to Washington, DC.

"African Americans are pro-life and favor procreative marriage," said Dr. King.  "As we see the dawn of a new year and a great milestone being passed, blacks across the country should let our new president know that we want babies in the womb protected and traditional marriage respected.  The accomplishment of an African American holding the nation's highest office will be of little value if the black community continues to be destroyed by the horrible plague of abortion."

Tips-Q raises a good point – when did the Religious Right start replacing their standard “traditional marriage” with “procreative marriage”?

But nobody in the anti-choice movement seems to be as excited about the opportunity they believe they will have to highlight the evils of abortion under Barack Obama as Clenard Childress, who proclaims the incoming president to be the face of black genocide:

Clenard Childress Jr., senior pastor of New Calvary Baptist Church in Montclair, N.J., and founder of BlackGenocide.org, criticizes Obama's pro-abortion voting record and rhetoric but says, "The good thing about an Obama presidency is that we now have a face to put on the genocide of African-American babies in this country."

In fact, it looks like anti-choice adovcates are now embarking on an effort to specifically target African American communities:

Georgia Right to Life is pleased to announce that Catherine Davis will be leading GRTL in outreach efforts to the African American community. In 2006, Catherine Davis ran for the 4th District Congressional Candidate because she had a desire to impact her community. Now just a few years later, she will have that opportunity by helping GRTL to preserve the legacy of the African American community ... As the new director of minority outreach for GRTL, Catherine will work to dramatically decrease the number of abortions while educating Georgians about the holocaustic impact this practice has had on the Black community.

Right after the election, we wrote about many of the people mentioned here when they simultaneously announced that they intended to form an anti-abortion resistance movement once Obama took office … and it looks like that is exactly what they are setting out to do.

The Far Right’s Newest Boogeyman: Environmentalism

Back in July, we wrote about the then-upcoming 9th Annual Freedom21 National Conference where a bevy of second, third, and fourth string right-wing activists were gathering to blow the top off the nefarious plot behind the idea of sustainable development.

Now, the SPLC has published an account of the gathering … and it was apparently every bit as unhinged as one would expect:

"Environment is not about saving nature," the founder of Freedom Advocates, Michael Shaw, sternly warned an audience of antigovernment "Patriots" and far-right conspiracy theorists during a mid-July conference. "It's about a revolutionary coup in America. [Environmentalism] is to establish global governance and abandon the principles of Natural Law." Sustainable development policies, Shaw argued, will require "a police state" and ultimately "turn America into a globally governed homeland where humans are treated as biological resources."

Shaw's fearful call to arms against environmentalism was sucked in whole hog during the Ninth Annual Freedom 21 conference held in a Dallas-area Crowne Plaza hotel. Co-hosted by the Texas Eagle Forum, a hard-line Christian Right organization, and the anti-"New World Order" American Policy Center (APC), the three-day convergence included such right-wing heavyweights as the error-prone conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, gay- and feminist-hating Phyllis Schlafly, and the far-right Constitution Party's presidential candidate, Chuck Baldwin.

One former popular Freedom 21er was disinvited. Bob Barr, a former conservative Republican congressman from Georgia, was asked not to return by the head of APC, Tom DeWeese, because Barr had talked to Al Gore about global warming. "This is not some nice little debate," DeWeese said he told someone in Barr's office. "This is war."

The SPLC recounts that while Phyllis Schlafly was content to deliver her anti-judges stump speech, the other speakers were committed to exposing how instituting sustainable development policies was the ultimate goal of those shadowy one-world government figures who are behind the (non-existent) efforts to create a so-called North American Union so that they can institute a new worldwide false religion based on “earth worship”:

Michael Coffman, executive director of the United Nations-hating Sovereignty International, took on something called Agenda 21, which was drawn up in 1992 for the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. Agenda 21 is a comprehensive blueprint of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the UN, governments, and major groups in every area in which humans impact on the environment (21 refers to the 21st century). In Coffman's eyes, Agenda 21 is a menace.

"An anti-human document, which takes aim at Western culture, and the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions," is how Coffman referred to it. Coffman also alleged that Agenda 21 would lead to a kind of communist reallocation of property rights and redistribution of assets. Using a big word, Coffman labeled the proposed changes "usufructual," which he said means the government would own everything. Michael Chapman of Ed Watch, a group that opposes public education, reiterated Coffman's allegations that Agenda 21's real aim is to redistribute wealth. Coffman added that economic development is not being restricted in order to protect the environment, but rather to give power to the government.

"The new world theology is pantheism," Coffman said, "Nature is God."

The John Birch Society (JBS), a group that once insisted that President Eisenhower was a Communist Party member but now focuses on immigrant-bashing, agrees with Coffman. JBS was on hand to warn that environmentalists are really out to get your children. The JBS handed out cards featuring a strange depiction of a group of children holding hands under a large, glowing, balloon-like mockup of the earth that warned of "The New False Religion, Worshipping the Earth." "Advocates of a UN world government have drafted an Earth Charter, which they compare to the Ten Commandments and keep in an 'Ark of Hope,'" warns the JBS without any apparent reference to reality. "Will you let the United Nations or any other group undermine the faith of your family?" The JBS is so concerned with this that is has created a new website, www.getusout.org/earthworship, to battle "Earth Worship."

It should be noted that Rep. Michelle Bachmann was initially listed as scheduled to appear, but the SPLC article makes no mention of her being in attendance, nor does the official conference webpage.

Obama Brings Hope To All … Even Steve Dillard

There have been several articles recently about the future of the federal judiciary under President Obama and how he will have a chance to reshape it after eight years of Bush appointments.  Which makes this article all the more interesting:

While it will likely be months before President-elect Barack Obama makes an appointment to fill a vacancy on Middle Georgia’s federal bench, several Macon lawyers and a judge have expressed early interest in the post.

Macon lawyers Bill Clifton, Marc Treadwell, Stephen Dillard and Floyd Buford, as well as Macon Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Tripp Self, have expressed interest in the post or are considering filing applications.

Dillard, of the James, Bates, Pope & Spivey law firm, said he plans to apply for the position although he doesn’t share the president’s political affiliation.

“It never hurts to try,” said Dillard, a Republican.

Dillard is not just any old Republican, he’s a right-wing Federalist Society member who blogged for Red State’s Confirm Them and was among the most vocal opponents of President Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.  He was also a founding member of both Catholics Against Rudy and later Catholics Against Joe Biden.

Also, according to his bio:

Dillard served as a legal-policy advisor to Governor Mike Huckabee during the 2008 presidential campaign, and is currently a member of the National “Catholics for McCain” Steering Committee.

He’s an ardent opponent of reproductive choice who apparently doesn’t have much use for precedent, considering that his mantra is “Stare Decisis is fo' Suckas!”

And for good measure, he’s prone to referring Barack Obama as “the lying proabort” and “a monster … who must be stopped.”

Call me crazy, but I don’t think that Dillard has much of a chance of getting nominated by President Obama to a coveted seat on the federal bench.

Musgrave Finally Surfaces

Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, who lost her re-election bid nearly a month ago, has yet to call her opponent or even officially concede the race and has, since Election Day, steadfastly refused to talk to the media. But it looks like someone was able to convince her to channel her bitterness and anger into helping mobilize voters to support Sen. Saxby Chambliss in his run-off election in Georgia yesterday:

In her first public comments on her re-election loss - made in a mass phone call to Georgia voters - Rep. Marilyn Musgrave blamed her defeat on "leftist special interests" that "smothered the truth with vicious attacks and lies."

Musgrave's remarks came in a so-called "robo-call" that went out to 275,000 Georgia voters Monday and Tuesday on behalf of Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a Republican who was forced into a runoff with Democratic challenger Jim Martin. The election was Tuesday and Chambliss won.

"Hello, I'm Marilyn Musgrave. Until last month I was the congresswoman from Colorado," Musgrave said in the call, which was paid for by the Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund, a political committee that supports anti-abortion candidates.

"Leftist special interests from around the country poured money into my district to defeat me. They overwhelmed us with money. And they smothered the truth with vicious attacks and lies.

"We are seeing the same pattern in Georgia. Pro-abortion radicals and liberal activists won't stop until they have a chokehold on our government. You can stop them with your vote. It's too late to change the results in Colorado, but on Tuesday you can cast your vote for Saxby Chambliss.”

Musgrave hadn’t spoken publicly since shortly after vote totals started coming in the evening of Nov. 4. The three-term Republican incumbent was crushed by Democratic challenger Betsy Markey, 56 percent to 44 percent.

The incumbent never conceded defeat or called Markey to congratulate her. Musgrave hasn’t given an interview since the election.

The robo-call was made on behalf of “Team Sarah,” which was created by the Susan B. Anthony List to build “a coalition of women dedicated to advancing the values that Sarah Palin represents in the political process” … Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said she contacted Musgrave on Monday about recording a robo-call for the Georgia race and Musgrave agreed.

“She truly is one of the best people I know, and a lot of money can go a long way toward painting a completely different picture, you know, kind of painting a straw woman, so to speak,” Dannenfelser said in a phone interview.

Dannenfelser said Musgrave recorded the call for Chambliss because “she wanted to do something instructive and help somebody else.”

You can hear her robo-call here.

The Georgia Renewal Project

I wrote a post last year noting that the Right-Wing had a lot of different groups under which they pressed the agenda.  On top of their own organizations, a lot of right-wing leaders are also involved in umbrella organizations like the Arlington Group and the Council for National Policy.  There are also various state-level organziations like the "Patriot Pastors" movement and the "Restoration Projects" that are active in places like Texas and Ohio. 

And then there are things like the Iowa Renewal Project, where Mike Huckabee hobnobbed with various right-wing leaders as he rallied to win the Iowa primary.   Apparently there is also one in Georiga as well, which is slated to host Gov. Sonny Perdue, Daivd Barton, Mat Staver and other for a luncheon next week:

Georgia Renewal Project

Cordially invites you to participate in its Pastors' Policy Briefing Luncheon

Rediscovering God in America

With Special Guests

The Honorable Sonny Perdue
Governor of Georgia

and

Historian David Barton
WallBuilders

Who will be accompanied by

The Honorable Bob McEwen
Dr. Mat Staver
and other guest speakers

To be held at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel
2450 Galleria Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30339
on Tuesday, November 25, 2008.

11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Registration begins at 11:00 AM.

There will be a reception prior to the luncheon beginning at 11:00 AM.

The luncheon is complimentary and will be provided by the Georgia Renewal Project.

CWA's Beverly LaHaye also seems to be involved, as she is issuing her own invitations to the event.

I have to admit that, as someone who follows this stuff for a living, even I am routinely confused by sheer number of different organizations that have different names, yet all seem to contain the same handful of Religious Right leaders. 

RGA Snubs the Future of the Party

If Sarah Palin is slated to become the future of the Republican Party, someone apparently forgot to make that known to the Republican Governors Association which just announced its new leadership ... and one name was conspicuously absent:

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford was voted RGA chairman, taking over the top job from Texas Gov. Rick Perry who will now serve as finance chairman. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is vice-chairman, while Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will serve as chair for the annual RGA gala, and Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue will head up the recruitment effort.

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will also sit on the RGA’s executive committee.

“Republican Governors are natural leaders who will find solutions to our nation’s challenges and bring back the Party,” Sanford said in a statement.

Not on the list? Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who also attended the Miami meeting.

Via Think Progress

Robertson Makes More Dire Predictions

Via Steven Vegh at The Virginian-Pilot, we see that Pat Robertson is still making dire predictions:

Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson is urging prayer before Election Day to stave off an imminent Middle Eastern war he said could bring nuclear attacks on the United States.

In a letter on his Web site, Robertson said his opinion was that Israel would bomb Iranian nuclear sites between Nov. 4 and the inauguration of the United States' new president.

Robertson tied his warning to biblical prophesy. His letter, which starts out describing his concerns about Russian aggression in Georgia, predicted that Russia would also enter the war, though the United States wouldn't.

"However, we may not be spared nuclear strikes against coastal cities" in America, he wrote.

A version of the letter was sent in September to members of Regent University, where Robertson is founder and president. He is also founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and host of its daily show, "The 700 Club." The network and university are based in Virginia Beach.

"We have between 75 and 120 days before the Middle East starts spinning out of control," Robertson wrote. "If there was ever a time for fervent prayer, it is now."

...

In the letter, Robertson said that "what is clear is this: The Israeli strike against Iran will be the trigger. From then on, dramatic events will follow in quick succession."

"It all will conclude when God has rained fire on the islands of the sea and on the invading force coming against Israel."

You can see the full letter here.

Of course, back at the beginning of 2007, Robertson reported that God had told him to expect an attack on America that would claim millions of lives, so it is not as if he was a particularly good track record.

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