Hawaii

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Bill Donohue says Randall Terry’s threat not to pay taxes is a "recipe for anarchy."
  • Al Mohler is not impressed by Jimmy Carter's decision to sever his ties with the Southern Baptist Convention.
  • Focus on the Family really seems to be getting behind The Civility Project.
  • Oral Roberts University has signed an agreement with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference that will position ORU as the exclusive educational strategic partner for the NHCLC.
  • The Alliance Defense Fund has filed suit against Wisconsin's Domestic Partnetship law, claiming it violates the marriage amendment passed in 2006.
  • You just can't win against WorldNetDaily: "The announcements of Barack Obama's birth printed by two Hawaii newspapers in 1961 do not provide solid proof of a birth in the Aloha State."
  • Finally, Jesse Lee Peterson weighs in on the arrest of Henry Louis Gates:
  • "Henry Gates and Al Sharpton are abusing police while black," said Rev. Peterson. "Their false allegations say to young blacks that they too can abuse police and cry racism. Gates was abusive and disorderly and the police dealt with him accordingly--where's the racism? This is a case of black males gone wild."

    ...

    Rev. Peterson said, "What's regrettable is that the city of Cambridge and the police have allowed themselves to be intimidated by a race hustler like Al 'The Riot King' Sharpton. The race card has once again been used to unjustly smear law enforcement and thwart justice. This is Tawana Brawley all over again!"

An Exercise In Futility: Battling the Birthers

David Weigel has boldly waded into the right-wing world of Birther conspiracy theories in an attempt to explain how something that started out on the far-flung reaches of the movement has slowly picked up steam and started working its way into the mainstream of conservative commentary:

Six months into Obama’s presidency, after scores of embarrassing legal defeats, and even after tussles between the attorneys who’ve turned frivolous lawsuits about the president’s citizenship into full-time jobs, the cottage industry of conspiracy theories about the president’s birth shows no signs of disappearing. The theories have found a home in talk radio and on conservative web sites such as Free Republic and WorldNetDaily. Conspiracy theorists are increasingly sending letters to their local papers, embarrassing members of Congress at town hall meetings, and hounding Hill staffers about challenges to the president’s citizenship.

As expected, since this piece went up this morning Weigel has been "getting the usual truckloads of mail attacking" it and is doing what he can to set the record straight, but admitting that it's nearly impossible because "these people will say anything, no matter how implausible."

A good example of this showed up today in WorldNetDaily which has been, as Weigel noted, among the websites most obsessed with this issue.  It actually started yesterday when WND discovered a "letter purportedly sent by Obama to Honolulu's Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children in which the commander in chief outright declares his birth at the facility."

WND quickly concluded that the letter was not legitimate, as "the image online is not a picture of an actual paper letter, but is merely a computer-created likeness of a letter" and was really just "a pieced-together likeness of a letter using HTML code." And then the hospital removed the letter from its website, which of course, that set off a new round of conspiracy theorizing, with Birthers demanding to know where this purported letter came from and where the original copy was while WND started threatening "the hospital that the FBI and United States Secret Service said the matter could potentially lead to criminal prosecution were the letter determined to be fraudulent."

So today Keala Peters, director of marketing and communications for Hawaii Pacific Health, which runs the hospital tried to set the record straight, providing photos of the original letter from Obama and explaining the facts behind it:

Peters says Kapi'olani actually has a reproduction of the "original letter" on display at the hospital.

"The original is something that we treasure, and we know that it came from Mr. Obama," she said, explaining only that the paper document was personally presented to them by U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, who read its contents – straying at times from the actual text – at the hospital's Centennial Dinner Jan. 24, the same day the letter in question is dated.

...

Regarding the precise whereabouts of the "original" Kapi'olani birth letter from Obama, Peters opted not to comment, saying "it's not anything we want to be damaged."

 

WND asked her why the hospital simply didn't post a scanned image of the paper letter on its site to begin with instead of the HTML version.

"We did that because we didn't want people to take it from the Web and use it for purposes other than for what it was intended," she responded. "I'm sorry it created suspicion on your part, but it was not our intention."

...

When asked why Kapi'olani suddenly yanked the letter off its website after displaying it online for close to half a year, Peters acknowledged removing it "not because it doesn't exist, but because it was becoming a distraction."

"The inquiries about it became a distraction in running our hospital," she said.

So Kapi'olani didn't post the original letter because they didn't want people (Birthers?) misusing it which caused the hospital to become inundated with demands from Birthers demanding proof of its authenticity, which then lead the hospital to pull it from its website, which in turn just set off even more fevered round of Birther conspiracy theorizing.

Definitive Proof of the Communist Conspiracy

I honestly don't even know how to go about describing Janet Porter's latest column in which she exposes the current economic recovery efforts as part of a Communist conspiracy to take over the United States ... a conspiracy that has apparently been in the works for nearly twenty years and directly involves Barack Obama.

You see, Sam Webb, chairman of the Communist Party USA is apparently pleased with President Obama's handling of the economic crisis and, Porter reports, he might not be the only Communist rejoicing.  Because, as it turns out, a few months ago Porter received an email from her friend, Wiley Drake (you know, the guy who ran as Alan Keyes' vice president and once called for imprecatory prayers against Americans United) but she didn't write about it at the time because "it just seemed too extreme." But now, in light of recent developments, it seems downright prophetic.

As it turns out, the email from Drake was actually written by a guy named Tom Fife who claims to have regularly traveled to Russia in the early 1990's, where he reportedly met a woman who was active in the Communist movement ... and it was from her that he first heard the name "Barack."

As Porter admits, she "can't prove whether it's true or not, but in light of all that is happening, it just doesn't seem that far-fetched anymore" and then proceeds to re-print Fife's email in which he describes how he came to be informed by this unnamed Russian woman that America "will have a black president very soon and he will be a Communist."

We'll let Fife take it from here:

"Yes, it is true. This is not some idle talk. He is already born, and he is educated and being groomed to be president right now. You will be impressed to know that he has gone to the best schools of presidents. He is what you call 'Ivy League.' You don't believe me, but he is real and I even know his name. His name is Barack. His mother is white and American and his father is black from Africa. That's right, a chocolate baby! And he's going to be your president."

She became more and more smug as she presented her stream of detailed knowledge and predictions so matter-of-factly – as though all were foregone conclusions. "It's all been thought out. His father is not an American black, so he won't have that social slave stigma. He is intelligent and he is half white and has been raised from the cradle to be an atheist and a Communist. He's gone to the finest schools. He is being guided every step of the way and he will be irresistible to America."

...

She was full of little details about him that she was eager to relate. I thought that maybe she was trying to show off that this truly was a real person and not just hot air.

She rattled off a complete litany. He was from Hawaii. He went to school in California. He lived in Chicago. He was soon to be elected to the Legislature. "Have no doubt: he is one of us, a Soviet."

...

She continued with something to the effect that America was at the same time the great hope and the great obstacle for Communism. America would have to be converted to Communism, and Barack was going to pave the way.

So there you go, all the way back in 1992 some unnamed woman in Moscow knew all about Barack Obama and the intricate Communist plot to take over America ... and all it took was fifteen years and a group of borderline lunatics like Folger, Drake, and Fife to unravel it in the pages of WorldNetDaily.

I know that I should probably just start ignoring Porter, as I do all the other insanity that appears on WND, but I can't because I am still terrified by the fact that this woman was a close adviser to Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign and Huckabee himself praises her in his book, citing her as among the "new wave of leaders" who will remake the Republican Party.

Inside the Council for National Policy

Sarah Posner sends a dispatch from inside the most recent Council for National Policy gathering, the secretive right-wing umbrella group that vowed to bolt the GOP if Rudy Giuliani was the nominee and whose members wept tears of joy when John McCain tapped Sarah Palin as his running mate:

While the CNP was trying to look to the future last week, it seemed hopelessly enamored of its aging leaders. When I arrived to meet Warren Smith, the conservative evangelical activist and journalist who had invited me to chat, we ambled past anti-evolutionist Ken Ham, who was holding court to a small but rapt audience in the hallway; eyed Left Behind author and CNP co-founder Tim LaHaye, who was shuffling in and out of the "CNP Networking Room;" caught a glimpse of Rick Santorum, who since being booted out of his Senate seat has led the charge against "radical Islam" from his perch at the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center; and spotted the religious right's anti-feminism doyenne Phyllis Schlafly, 84, who had earlier that day delivered a speech to the CNP Youth Council on how to "find your place in the conservative movement."

Although the CNP's meetings are closed to the press, Smith filled me in on some details: Conservative direct-mail entrepreneur Richard Viguerie, a patriarch of the modern conservative movement, rallied the troops by pointing to prior comebacks, from Reagan to Gingrich to Bush. Viguerie, Smith told me, "is saying that we need to fight for conservative ideas and conservative values and not worry about who embraces them." Smith added that the group talked "about changing the culture, entertainment, media, TV" -- a longtime goal of the religious right's dominionism that it seeks to achieve by taking over social, cultural, and government institutions, much like religious-right figures are now plotting their new takeover of the Republican National Committee.

"What I'm hearing is that there is no loyalty to the Republican Party," said Smith, meaning no loyalty to the party as constituted but loyalty to one purged of insufficiently conservative members. "What Richard Viguerie talks about is not a third party but a third wave. Basically there needs to be a flowering of grass-roots conservative activism and local groups, local PACs. He's basically saying you've got a Republican county commissioner in Buzzard's Breath, Texas, and he's not a conservative? Run a conservative against him."

[A]ctivist and radio host Janet Porter, an early Huckabee backer in the 2008 campaign, told me she favored either Palin or Huckabee in 2012. Porter is straight out of the wing of the movement that is all frothing ideology, and no stone-cold strategy. That explains her ongoing fixation with the long-debunked lie that Barack Obama does not have a U.S. birth certificate, and her attempt to stop the electoral college from voting next month in the formality that will officially make him president.

Porter insists that Obama has not produced a U.S. birth certificate (he has) and that he was actually born in Kenya (he was born in Hawaii). She claims to be awaiting the results of the lawsuits filed by attorney Philip J. Berg, whose effort to halt the presidential election because of the alleged question of Obama's U.S. citizenship was rebuffed by the United States Supreme Court.

When I asked Porter about the mood around the CNP meeting, she said, "My mood is more upbeat than those who don't actually know these cases are being filed and that there's actually still a chance to maintain the freedom that we have. We're not going away. Win or lose, whether this goes through, whether it amounts to anything, we just believe that [for] something this important we need the answers. And we're going to fight for freedom, and we're going to use whatever freedom we have until it's taken away with the efforts of hate crimes, ENDA, fairness doctrine, wiping out all the pro-life legislation. Everything's on the line."

My skepticism showed, I suspect. "I think this might be a little more newsworthy than you think," she insisted and handed me a flyer about her effort that read: "Not extreme. Not fringe. Just Constitutional."

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

Petty, Partisan, and Disingenuous

In delivering his “if you liked Bush’s judicial nominees, you’re going to love mine” speech today, John McCain blasted Democratic “obstruction” of President Bush’s nominees and held himself up as a paragon of virtue and integrity:

Of course, in the daily routine of Senate obstructionism, presidential nominees to the lower courts are now lucky if they get a hearing at all. These courts were created long ago by the Congress itself, on what then seemed the safe assumption that future Senates would attend to their duty to fill them with qualified men and women nominated by the president. Yet at this moment there are 31 nominations pending, including several for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that serves North Carolina. Because there are so many cases with no judges to hear them, a "judicial emergency" has been declared here by the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts. And a third of the entire Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is vacant. But the alarm has yet to sound for the Senate majority leadership. Their idea of a judicial emergency is the possible confirmation of any judge who doesn't meet their own narrow tests of party and ideology. They want federal judges who will push the limits of constitutional law, and, to this end, they have pushed the limits of Senate rules and simple courtesy.

And yet when President Bill Clinton nominated Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsberg to serve on the high court, I voted for their confirmation, as did all but a few of my fellow Republicans. Why? For the simple reason that the nominees were qualified, and it would have been petty, and partisan, and disingenuous to insist otherwise. Those nominees represented the considered judgment of the president of the United States. And under our Constitution, it is the president's call to make.

So, to hear McCain tell it, nobody but him in the Senate understands “simple courtesy” or the basic rule that senators should defer to the president on nominations or that voting against a nominee is “petty, partisan, and disingenuous.”

It is not surprising that McCain would use this opportunity to attack the Democrats on this issue – after all, he is trying to win over the Right and, as we all know, they just love to fight over judicial nominations.  

Of course, it is not as if Republicans have been good stewards of the confirmation process, as McCain realized back before he was busy pandering for right-wing votes:

“We Republicans are not blameless here,” McCain told me. “For all intents and purposes, we filibustered Clinton’s judges, by not letting them out of committee.”

Nor has McCain always upheld his own standard of deferring to the president, as evidenced by his own voting record during the Clinton administration:

Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Nomination of H. Lee Sarokin to be United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit: McCain - Nay

On the Confirmation of H. Lee Sarokin: McCain - Nay

On the Confirmation of Rosemary Barkett to be U.S. Circuit Judge for 11th Circuit: McCain - Nay

On the Confirmation of William A. Fletcher to be U.S. Circuit Judge for 9th Circuit: McCain - Nay

On the Confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to be U.S. Circuit Judge for 2nd Circuit: McCain - Nay

On the Confirmation of Ronnie L. White to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri: McCain - Nay

On the Confirmation of Ann L. Aiken to be US District Judge for the OR District: McCain - Nay

On the Confirmation of Susan Oki Mollway to be U.S. Dist. Judge Central Dist. Hawaii: McCain - Nay

On the Confirmation of James J. Brady to be United States District Judge Middle District of Louisiana: McCain - Nay

Of course, all of these Clinton nominees must have been unqualified because otherwise it would have been petty, partisan, and disingenuous of McCain to have voted against them.

Or perhaps McCain only applies this standard to Supreme Court nominations, which would explain his gushing support of Robert Bork.

Far-Right TVC Warns against 'Common Good' Democrats

Special report” calls Wallis a Communist and asserts “Liberals are the sworn enemies of religious Americans.” Meanwhile: TVC warns civil unions in Hawaii step to “force homosexual marriage” and towards “polyamory.” Also: FRC on Hawaii.

States Reject Federal REAL ID Law

Montana bill would ignore national ID requirements, Maine urges Congress to overturn it. Also: Hawaii, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont and Washington.
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