Iowa

Rick Perry Teams Up With AFA For Call-Like Prayer Rally

Reuters reports that Texas Governor Rick Perry has teamed up with the American Family Association to launch his own Lou Engle-like all day prayer rally:

Saying "there is hope for America, and we will find it on our knees," Texas Governor Rick Perry has invited other governors to join him in a "solemn gathering of prayer and fasting" in August in Houston, according to the event's website.

Perry, who said recently he is considering a run for the Republican nomination to contest the presidency in 2012 against Barack Obama, has frequently made calls for prayer while governor.

"I sincerely hope you'll join me in Houston on August 6th and take your place in Reliant Stadium with praying people asking for God's forgiveness, wisdom and provision," Perry wrote in materials promoting the event, called "The Response, a Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis."

A message on the event's website says it is in response to a historic crisis and calls it "a non-denominational, apolitical Christian prayer meeting," with the goal "to rise up and make a sound that will be heard in heaven."

The site says Perry "has invited all US governors as well as many other national and Christian political leaders."

"Right now, America is in crisis," Perry says in a message on the site. "We have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together, and call upon Jesus to guide us..."

Perry's spokeswoman could not be reached for comment on the August event on Sunday.

Eric Bearse, a spokesman for The Response, said on Sunday: "The governor told the American Family Association about a month ago that we need to call Americans together for a time of prayer."

Bearse said the Mississippi-based American Family Association, a conservative Christian activist group, is paying for the event, and admission will not be charged.

According to the event website, the prayer rally will take place at Reliant Stadium in Houston and last from 10 am to 5 pm and will feature Don Wildmon and Buddy Smith of the American Family Association, Jim Garlow of Renewing American Leadership, David Lane, who was involved in the effort to remove the Supreme Court Justices in Iowa and is behind the various "Restoration Project" events across America, former Congressmen Bob McEwen, as well as several leaders associated with Lou Engle and/or the International House of Prayer in Kansas City.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott is meeting with the Council for National Policy.
  • Sarah Palin says she has the "fire in the belly" needed to run for president, which I translate as means "people please pay attention to me."
  • It seems that God just didn't want Mike Huckabee to run for president.
  • Finally, John Stemberger reports that the Florida Bar has dismissed the complaint that was brought against him over his representation of Rifqa Bary.

Right Wing Round-Up

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 5/17/11

Michele Bachmann

2012: More likely to run for president following Mike Huckabee's decision against running (CBS News, 5/16). 

Constitution: High school student challenges her to a debate on the Constitution as a result of her record of making incorrect statements (Minnesota Independent, 5/13). 

Herman Cain

Georgia: Wins praise for speech at Georgia GOP convention (Southern Political Report, 5/16). 

Florida: Tops field in Fort Lauderdale Tea Party straw poll (Sunshine State News, 5/16). 

Mitch Daniels

Reproductive Rights: Signs law defunding Planned Parenthood that costs thousands their health care, state millions of dollars (The Faster Times, 5/16).

2012: Members of Indiana Republican Party encourage Daniels to run during state convention (AP, 5/13).

Religious Right: Anti-choice activists upset Daniels weighed Condoleezza Rice as a running mate because she is pro-choice (Life News, 5/13). 

GOP: Reports say that Governors Haley Barbour, Chris Christie and Scott Walker would endorse Daniels (CBS News, 5/12). 

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Denies advisers' links to Dominionist theology (RWW, 5/16).

Medicare: Describes Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare as "right wing social engineering" but previously said he would've voted for it (Think Progress, 5/16). 

Health Care: Makes inconsistent remarks over his past support for health care insurance mandates (Politico, 5/16). 

Iowa: Will make swing through Iowa this week following official announcement (Dubuque Telegraph Herald, 5/15). 

Jon Huntsman

Religious Right: Set to address Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition (RWW, 5/16).

South Carolina: Huckabee's former state campaign chair announces his support for Huntsman (Politico, 5/16). 

Florida: Meets with key donors in Florida (St. Petersburg Times, 5/11). 

Roy Moore

Religious Right: Claims President Obama is "pushing his own immoral values without regard to what the people think or believe" (WND, 5/16). 

Campaign: Launches website for exploratory committee (RoyMoore2012.com).

Sarah Palin

PAC: Embarks on new direct mail campaign with focus on 2012 election (WaPo, 5/16). 

2012: Supporters hope that Huckabee's announcement will create an opening for Palin (Commentary, 5/16). 

Tim Pawlenty

South Carolina: Hires political director for South Carolina primary (The Hill, 5/17). 

Environment: Continues to apologize for past support of ‘cap and trade’ system (Minnesota Post, 5/17).

Mitt Romney

Fundraising: Raises over $10 million on Monday call-day in Las Vegas (WaPo, 5/17). 

Health Care: Defends state health plan that is analogous to federal health care law (NYT, 5/13). 

Rick Santorum

Medicare: Criticizes Gingrich for attacking Paul Ryan’s Medicare privatization proposal (The Hill, 5/16). 

Health Care: Knocks Romney for defending his Massachusetts health care law (The State Column, 5/13).

Huntsman Signs Up For Faith and Freedom Conference

Republican presidential aspirants continue to flock to Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition. Reed today announced that former Utah governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman will speak to the group’s Conference and Strategy Briefing on June 3rd. Other GOP presidential contenders addressing the gathering include Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain, along with Donald Trump, House GOP leaders John Boehner, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Ryan, and numerous Republican congressmen.

The Faith and Freedom Coalition seems to be the restoration of Reed’s Christian Coalition, and he has focused on building a presence in key primary and general election states like Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.

Despite Reed’s duplicitous and corrupt background, Republicans persistently seek his support. The Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody today profiled the group’s plans for the 2012 election and collaborations with the Tea Party movement:

"We anticipate we're going to knock on over 2 million doors," Reed, chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, told CBN News.

"We're going to register between 1 million and 2 million new voters so we're going to add 1 to 2 million new voters," he predicted. "And then we'll end up contacting somewhere between 25 and 40 million voters."



The Faith & Freedom Coalition doesn't just focus on social issues. Leaders know that fiscal concerns are huge and will be a major priority but they don't plant to co-opt the Tea Party movement.

"We're saying to them you need to continue to be who you are as Tea Party leaders," conservative strategist Gary Marx told CBN News. "At the same time, there are areas where we can work together and be allied -- like the example of cutting abortion funding for groups like Planned Parenthood," he said.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 5/10/11

Michele Bachmann

Background: NPR looks into her transition from Jimmy Carter volunteer to right-wing culture warrior (NPR, 5/9).

GOP: Breaks with Speaker John Boehner over debt ceiling (The Hill, 5/9).

Herman Cain

Nevada: Addresses conservative group in the early caucus state (Las Vegas Sun, 5/9).

Debate: Claims his candidacy gained momentum, new supporters after Fox News debate (CBS News, 5/6).

Mitch Daniels

Religious Right: Decision to defund Planned Parenthood will bolster social conservative credentials despite 'truce' talk (TPM, 5/9).

2012: Report claims that Daniels' wife is final hold-out to presidential bid (HuffPo, 5/9).

Newt Gingrich

2012: Expects to make official announcement tomorrow in Atlanta (WaPo, 5/9).

Campaign: Built vast network of political organizations to promote his clout, image (WSJ, 5/9).

Family: Wife Callista to play a pivotal role in campaign (NYT, 5/9).

Mike Huckabee

Background: NPR explores his roots as a pastor and church leader (NPR, 5/8).

Media: Fox News wants answer from Huckabee about 2012 plans (MoJo, 5/5).

Jon Huntsman

Campaign: Launches leadership PAC during swing through South Carolina and New Hampshire (Fox News, 5/9).

Religion: Concerns that Huntsman is distancing himself from his Mormon faith (Salt Lake Tribune, 5/9).

Experience: Defends serving as ambassador to China in Obama administration (Business Week, 5/8).

Sarah Palin

Poll: Most popular among low-income Republicans (CBS News, 5/9).

GOP: Neoconservative Republicans increasingly abandon Palin (TNR, 5/6).

Tim Pawlenty

Environment: Abandons past support for cap and trade policy (Christian Science Monitor, 5/9). 

Foreign Policy: Knocks Obama's handling of Libya crisis (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 5/7). 

Government: Backs aspects of Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare (Politico, 5/6). 

Mitt Romney

Religious Right: Plans to address Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Conference (CNN, 5/9).

South Carolina: Campaign wary that South Carolina primary victory is out of reach (Politico, 5/8). 

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: After winning state convention straw poll, looks to gain support from state's Religious Right, business communities (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 5/8). 

Foreign Policy: Says Obama "doesn't understand what it takes to defend America" (Fox News, 5/5).

Donald Trump

Media: Ratings for reality TV show falling rapidly (Hollywood Reporter, 5/9).

Race: Says he can't be racist because he picked a Black contestant as winner of The Apprentice (Think Progress, 5/9).

Will Money Help Gingrich Win Over The Religious Right?

The Wall Street Journal today features an extensive profile on Newt Gingrich’s vast network of political organizations, including American Solutions, Renewing American Leadership (ReAL), and Gingrich Productions. The paper reports that Gingrich’s “network has amassed more than 1.7 million voter and donor contacts and raised $32 million between 2009 and 2010—more than all his potential 2012 rivals combined.” Gingrich also helped steer $150,000 to American Family Association Action to help defeat three Iowa State Supreme Court justices that ruled in favor of marriage equality. Along with ReAL, which is led by anti-gay activist Jim Garlow, and his support for the AFA, Gingrich has made overtures to other Religious Right groups and leaders including John Hagee, Bryan Fischer, Janet Porter, Liberty University, Liberty Counsel, The Family Leader and the Minnesota Family Council.

But will Gingrich’s financial influence, religious documentaries and appeals to prominent Religious Right figures translate to real support from activists who might be wary of backing a thrice-married adulterer? Fischer remains a skeptic, but Iowa’s Bob Vander Plaats, who coordinated the anti-judge campaign, is still grateful for Gingrich’s significant monetary aid:

Mr. Gingrich hasn't run a truly competitive campaign in 21 years. He is given to public gaffes, most recently criticizing President Barack Obama for failing to back the rebels fighting Col. Moammar Gadhafi, only to reverse himself after Mr. Obama ordered U.S. planes into Libya. He resigned from Congress in 1998 under an ethics cloud, after his party suffered a historic midterm loss. It was later revealed that he was having an affair with a congressional aide.

Even groups that have allied with him, such as the conservative American Family Association, aren't poised to back him, citing his two messy divorces and three marriages. "He is brilliant, and has much to offer. But he isn't what we need in the Oval Office," said the AFA's director of issue analysis, Bryan Fischer.



Wearing an array of organizational hats, he has met repeatedly with pastors, trained local candidates, consulted with doctors on his proposed health-care innovations and met with local refiners to tout ethanol. After raising money through one of his groups, Mr. Gingrich funneled $150,000 in seed money to a successful campaign last fall to oust three Iowa Supreme Court judges who supported gay marriage.

"Newt's role was quiet and very low key, but it was pivotal," said Bob Vander Plaats, a well-known Iowa conservative who led the anti-judges campaign.



The heavy emphasis on religion is part of his long push to atone for his multiple divorces, according to people who know him. "He was very direct about this," said Rev. Brad Sherman, a prominent Iowa evangelical leader, recounting a session Mr. Gingrich had last year with a small group of Iowa religious leaders. "He said he had deep regrets, and asked our forgiveness."

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 4/26/11

Michele Bachmann

Media: Included in the Time 100 (Star Tribune, 4/21).

2012: Claims she will reach a decision on presidential bid by June (LA Times, 4/20). 

Haley Barbour

2012: Decides against running for president (Politico, 4/25). 

Newt Gingrich

Energy: Received $300,000 from ethanol lobbying group (Des Moines Register, 4/25).

Immigration: Balances outreach to Hispanic voters with GOP's increasing nativism (Politico, 4/22). 

Mike Huckabee

South Carolina: Leads other candidates among South Carolina Republicans in new poll (The Ticket, 4/25).

Media: War of words with Glenn Beck escalates (HuffPo, 4/22). 

2012: Former campaign manager predicts he will run (The Daily Beast, 4/21). 

Jon Huntsman

Foreign Affairs: Wins praise from Chinese leaders as he leaves post as Ambassador (Salt Lake Tribune, 4/21). 

Campaign: Hires prominent GOP pollster (Fox News, 4/20). 

Roy Moore

Iowa: Completes 27-stop tour in Iowa, focusing on religious voters (Iowa Republican, 4/22). 

Religious Right: Addresses militantly anti-gay Cornerstone World Outreach church (Sioux City Journal, 4/22) 

Sarah Palin

Alaska: 61% of home state voters view her unfavorably (Anchorage Daily News, 4/25). 

Family: Estranged ex-future-son-in-law Levi Johnston to write tell-all on Palin family (LA Times, 4/25). 

Religious Right: Set to speak alongside dominionist ex-General William Boykin (HuffPo, 4/25).

Iowa: Campaign in Iowa a one-man operation (WSJ, 4/22). 

Tim Pawlenty

Polls: Fails to increase support among GOP primary voters in polls (Minnesota Public Radio, 4/25). 

Environment: Former adviser and polar explorer disappointed with Pawlenty's move towards climate change denial (Mother Jones, 4/21). 

Mitt Romney

Budget: Wrongly claims that Obama is managing a "peacetime" budget in op-ed (Washington Monthly, 4/25).

Fundraising: Escalates fundraising to build campaign war chest (AP, 4/25). 

Rick Santorum

Equality: Doubles down on opposition to civil rights for gays and lesbians (Crooks and Liars, 4/25). 

Health care: Regrets voting for Medicare prescription drug benefit plan (HuffPo, 4/24). 

Iowa: Hires state campaign manager and field director before embarking on tour (Politico, 4/21). 

Donald Trump

Birther: Claims President Obama's birth certificate is either "missing" or "does not exist" (Daily Caller, 4/25). 

Voting: Has spotty voting record during primary elections (NY1, 4/23).

Iowa GOP Tries To Impeach State Supreme Court Over Marriage Equality

After the Religious Right’s successful campaign, with massive funding from Newt Gingrich, to remove three state Supreme Court justices in the 2010 elections who backed marriage equality, now the Iowa GOP is pushing for the impeachment of the remaining justices. Bob Vander Plaats, the anti-gay activist who led the drive to remove the Justices and heads The Family Leader, has previously called for the resignation of the entire Supreme Court and advocated for their removal over the marriage equality ruling in Varnum v. Brien. He is also building ties with likely presidential candidates as Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Herman Cain have either addressed or plan to speak during The Family Leader’s “presidential lecture series.”

Despite the heightened activism of the state’s social conservatives, Lynda Waddington of the Iowa Independent reports that the impeachment resolution faces an uphill battle:

Iowa House Republicans drew an immediate negative reaction late Thursday when they filed four articles of impeachment, one for each remaining member of the Iowa Supreme Court that participated in an April 2009 decision that struck down a legislative ban on same-sex marriage as a violation of the state’s equal protection clause.

The four House resolutions target Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady (HR 48) and Justices Brent Appel (HR 47), Daryl Hecht (HR 49) and David Wiggins (HR 50) for “malfeasance in office” specifically for their ruling in the Varnum v. Brien case, saying that each justice “exercis[ed] functions properly belonging to the legislative and executive departments.” …

The articles of impeachment drafted and filed by the five legislators were also immediately attacked by Justice Not Politics, a nonpartisan group that formed in advance of the 2010 retention election in hopes of bolstering support for the three justices on the November ballot and to stress the non-political nature of the Iowa Judicial Branch.



Opposition to retention was led by Bob Vander Plaats, who formed Iowa for Freedom following an unsuccessful GOP gubernatorial primary bid. The ouster movement was well financed by out-of-state anti-gay interest groups. Currently, Vander Plaats is employed as head of The Family Leader organization, which has traveled the state in hopes of “building on the momentum” of the November ousters.

The three ousted justices were replaced by Gov. Terry Branstad in February, following a winnowing of candidates by the State Judicial Nominating Commission.

Although Republicans hold a majority in the Iowa House, it remains doubtful that the articles of impeachment will live beyond their referral to the Judiciary Committee.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 4/19/11

Michele Bachmann

Book: Considering a proposal to write her memoirs (AP, 4/18).

South Carolina: Rally in South Carolina a bust (CBS News, 4/18). 

Birther: Continues to float birther conspiracy on Fox News (The Atlantic, 4/18). 

Budget: Falsely claims that the top 1% pay 40% of taxes (PolitiFact, 4/13). 

Haley Barbour

South Carolina: Wins Charleston County GOP straw poll (The State Column, 4/18). 

New Hampshire: Takes two-day swing in New Hampshire (Boston Globe, 4/15). 

Mike Huckabee

South Carolina: Meets with supporters from the 2008 campaign (RCP, 4/18). 

Iowa: Volunteers from 2008 bid work to build new campaign (The Ticket, 4/15). 

Jon Huntsman

South Carolina: Organizes campaign in the Palmetto State (CNN, 4/18).

Obama: Conservative website features laudatory letters from Huntsman to Obama (Daily Caller, 4/15).

Roy Moore

2012: Forms presidential exploratory committee (AP, 4/18). 

Religious Right: Travels around Iowa with staffer from the far-right The Family Leader (Des Moines Register, 4/18). 

Sarah Palin

PAC: Launches new website for leadership pac (The Caucus, 4/18). 

Tea Party: Addresses small rally for Koch front group in Wisconsin (TPM, 4/16). 

Ron Paul

South Carolina: Tops the field in the Lexington County straw poll (CNN, 4/16). 

2012: Opens fundraising account for potential presidential bid (Politico, 4/14). 

Tim Pawlenty

Tea Party: Keynotes tea party rally in Boston, slams health care reform (Boston Globe, 4/16). 

Budget: Criticizes compromise budget deal (The Fix, 4/13). 

Mitt Romney

Florida: Leads in early poll of Sunshine State Republicans (Taunton Daily Gazette, 4/17). 

Fundraising: Benefits from network of state leadership PACs (Boston Globe, 4/15). 

Donald Trump

GOP: Presidential campaign gains increasing interest among Republican activists (AP, 4/19). 

Tea Party: Addresses Tea Party rally with Florida Congressman Allen West (The State Column, 4/17). 

Poll: Leads other likely candidates in poll of Republicans nationwide (WSJ, 4/15). 

Rick Santorum

Campaign: Rejects pro-union line of Langston Hughes he used as a campaign motto (The Guardian, 4/18). 

Equality: Supports reinstating Don't Ask Don't Tell policy (Think Progress, 4/18). 

Religious Right: Plans to join The Family Leader's Iowa presidential lecture tour (RWW, 4/18).

New Hampshire: Plays in mini golf tournament in Granite State tour (Foster's Daily Democrat, 4/17).

Santorum To Join The Family Leader In Iowa

Bob Vander Plaats’s The Family Leader just announced that Rick Santorum will join them for two events in early May. The Family Leader is an obsessive, militantly anti-gay organization that wants to remove the entire Iowa Supreme Court for ruling in favor of marriage equality. Already, likely presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty and Ron Paul have joined Vander Plaats for his religious right group’s Presidential Lecture Series, and Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain plan to address the group this summer:

The goal of the Presidential Lecture Series is to provide an educational platform whereby Iowans can learn about the pro-family vision of national leaders.

Come and hear the pro-family lecture of former Senator Rick Santorum on Monday, May 2, 2011.

University of Iowa Iowa Memorial Union - Ballroom 125 N. Madison St., Iowa City, IA 52242 9:00 AM

Pella Christian High School, 300 Eagle Lane, Pella, IA 50219 Vermeer Auditorium 12:30 PM

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann Dordt College, 498 4th Ave. NE, Sioux Center, IA 51250 Campus Center 4:30 PM

Come hear the following leaders on these upcoming dates:
June 6 - Herman Cain
July 11 - Speaker Newt Gingrich
August - TBA
September - TBA
October - TBA

Right Wing Leftovers

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 4/12/11

Michele Bachmann

Iowa: Slams marriage equality in speech to The Family Leader (Politico, 4/11).

Religious Right: Wins straw poll at Liberty University's The Awakening 2011 (Freedom Federation, 4/11). 

Budget: Refuses to endorse budget compromise (NPR, 4/11). 

Haley Barbour

Background: Experience as a lobbyist may make problems for campaign (AP, 4/12).

New Hampshire: Traveling to Republican events in New Hampshire this week (Boston Globe, 4/11).

Herman Cain

South Carolina: Talks about the "ultimate destruction of the IRS" at Furman University (CSBT, 4/9). 

Background: Discusses the role faith plays in his presidential ambitions (Christian Post, 4/8). 

Newt Gingrich

Georgia: Slated to address Georgia GOP convention (The State Column, 4/11).

Religious Right: Speaks to conservative leaders at Liberty University (Lynchburg News & Advance, 4/8). 

Minnesota: To deliver keynote address to anti-gay Minnesota group along with Bachmann (RWW, 4/11). 

Mike Huckabee

Reproductive Rights: Endorses Janet Porter's "Hearbeat Bill" (RWW, 4/11). 

Religious Right: Faces increasing scrutiny over ties to pseudo-historian David Barton (RWW, 4/7).

Jon Huntsman

Utah: Receives support of just fourteen percent of Republicans in home state of Utah (AP, 4/10). 

South Carolina: Selected to deliver commencement address to University of South Carolina (The Hill, 4/8). 

Sarah Palin

Birther: Lauds Donald Trump's "investigation" of Obama's birth certificate (Mediaite, 4/9). 

Poll: Popularity continues to plunge, even among Republicans (WaPo, 4/8). 

Tim Pawlenty

Campaign: Picks former head of the Republican Governors Association as campaign manager (Star Tribune, 4/11). 

Iowa: Campaign aide arrested for breaking into home while drunk (Des Moines Register, 4/8). 

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Marks fifth anniversary of Massachusetts health care reform law (RCP, 4/12). 

2012: Makes video announcement of exploratory committee (LA Times, 4/11). 

Rick Santorum

New Hampshire: Commits to June 7 presidential debate in New Hampshire (The Hill, 4/11). 

South Carolina: Wins straw poll in GOP-heavy Greenville County (Greenville Online, 4/10). 

Health Care: Says health care reform makes one "less than what God created you to be" (RWW, 4/8). 

Donald Trump

Religious Right: Speaks about faith to David Brody of CBN News (CBN News, 4/11). 

Media: Lashes out at Vanity Fair and the New York Times (Vanity Fair, 4/11).

Jon Stewart Grills Mike Huckabee On His Praise For David Barton

A few weeks back, we captured video of Mike Huckabee being introduced by David Barton at the Rediscover God in America conference in Iowa, during which asserted that he wished every American would be forced - at gunpoint - to listen to Barton's teachings.

Last night, Huckabee appeared on "The Daily Show" and Jon Stewart ended up dedicating nearly the entire interview to questioning Huckabee about his support for and praise of Barton and his pseudo-history:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Mike Huckabee Extended Interview Pt. 1
www.thedailyshow.com
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The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Mike Huckabee Extended Interview Pt. 2
www.thedailyshow.com
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The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Mike Huckabee Extended Interview Pt. 3
www.thedailyshow.com
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During the discussion, Stewart mentioned a few of Barton's more outrageous claims by name, which we first reported here - specifically Barton's claims that Jesus opposed the minimum wage and the Estate Tax and that God set the boundaries of nations.

For more examples of Barton's absurd statements and intentional misuse of history, take a look through our archive of posts about him.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 4/5/11

Michele Bachmann

Iowa: Hires Mike Huckabee’s former state director for campaign (MN Public Radio, 4/4).

Religious Right: Slated to speak at Family Leader events (Des Moines Register, 4/4).

Fundraising: Tops Mitt Romney in fundraising (Time, 4/1).

Obama: Says President Obama is deliberately damaging the economy (RWW, 3/31).

Haley Barbour

2012: Wife concerned about presidential race, says bid “horrifies” her (Reuters, 4/2).

Mississippi: Economic conservatives criticize Barbour’s record as governor (Politico, 4/2).

Poll: Trails Huckabee in poll of home state’s Republican voters (Mississippi Press, 3/31).

Herman Cain

Obama: Says President Obama is “not the president of black people” (Daily Caller, 4/4).

Birther: Joins Donald Trump in questioning President Obama’s birth certificate (Politico, 4/1).

Newt Gingrich

Iowa: Defends financial assistance to Religious Right group in Iowa judicial election (Think Progress, 4/4). 

Obama: Likens Obama's fundraising goal to extortion (CNN, 4/4). 

Religious Right: Poised to kickoff right-wing Awakening conference at Liberty University (RWW, 3/28). 

Rudy Giuliani

2012: Frames himself as an electable Republican candidate (GOP12, 4/4).

Foreign Affairs: Criticizes President Obama’s handling of Libyan crisis (Ozarks Unbound, 4/4).

Mike Huckabee

Campaign: Advisers want Huckabee's 2012 campaign to be less family-run (US News & World Report, 4/4). 

South Carolina: Wins straw poll in heavily GOP county in upstate South Carolina (UPI, 4/3). 

Background: Public records as governor destroyed (Mother Jones, 4/1). 

Sarah Palin

Media: Slated to appear in E! True Hollywood story biopic (Mediaite, 4/4).

New Hampshire: Former GOP Senator from New Hampshire slams Palin as overly ambitious, polarizing (Boston Globe, 4/4). 

Rand Paul

Religious Right: Scheduled to address Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition (RWW, 4/4).

Iowa: Speaks to Iowa GOP’s “Night of the Rising Stars” (Iowa Independent, 4/4).

Tim Pawlenty

Obama: Launches new cinematic video to respond to Obama's reelection announcement (HuffPo, 4/4). 

Background: Left Minnesota with a massive budget deficit (LA Times, 4/2). 

Mitt Romney

Foreign Affairs: Claims his experience in business will help him in foreign policy (RCP, 4/5).

New Hampshire: Set to address Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity forum in New Hampshire (CNN, 4/4). 

Campaign: Runs subdued campaign in order to reintroduce himself to voters (NYT, 4/2).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Accepts invitation to appear in South Carolina debate for presidential candidates (CBS News, 4/1).

Religious Right: Blames legal abortion for Social Security problems (RWW, 3/29).

Rand Paul To Address Ralph Reed's Religious Right Conference

Newly elected Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is set to address the Faith & Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing in June, the hallmark event of Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition. Sen. Paul and his father, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, both appear to be testing the waters for a presidential bid. The younger Paul recently address the Iowa Republican Party’s “Night of the Rising Stars” and the Iowa Campaign for Freedom; he also told The Hill that he feels ready to run for president even though he has only held elected office since January.

Paul has also helped serve as a bridge between the Tea Party and the Religious Right, and conservatives were quick to defend him after he said he publicly opposed the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2009 Paul headlined an event for the Constitution Party, which wants to establish “biblical law,” and his far-right positions have helped him win endorsements from prominent Religious Right figures like James Dobson and Beverly LaHaye.

During his Iowa speech, he said that politicians should refuse to compromise on the issue of abortion, connecting it to compromises on slavery laws prior to the Civil War. Earlier this year, he tried to connect his opposition to abortion rights to his battle against low flush toilets.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who is forming a presidential exploratory committee, is also slated to speak at the conference. The group’s Iowa convention hosted likely candidates such as Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, and Buddy Roemer.

Anti-Choice Activist Likens American Cancer Society To Nazi Scientists

Religious Right activists have frequently found themselves at odds with the prominent health organization the American Cancer Society, attacking the group over its support for stem-cell research, the approval of an HPV vaccine, and for an anti-smoking program by an Iowa Planned Parenthood clinic. Josh Braham, the director of Right to Life Central California and the host of Life Report, has taken this antipathy to a new level, calling for a boycott of American Cancer Society activities because of the group’s support for stem cell research. Writing for the anti-choice website LifeNews, Brahm calls for a boycott of the Relay for Life and claims that supporting the group is no different than aiding Nazi scientists:

A friend of mine and strong pro-life advocate, Clinton, found himself in an awkward situation last week. His Christian band had agreed to play at a Relay For Life not knowing that some of the money goes to HESCR. While meeting with Clinton, this question came up: “which is worse, giving up a ministry opportunity where Christian music could be heard by non-believers, or supporting something contrary to one’s beliefs?”

I responded by offering this analogy:

Imagine you’re in a German Christian band in 1941. You’ve happily agreed to play at a rally in support of research and treatments for hypothermia. It sounds like an important cause, raising money to treat a condition that plagues many people around the world every year. However, a few days before the event you learn that a portion of the money raised at the rally will be sent to support the research of Dr. Rascher at the Dachau concentration camp. Dr. Rascher conducted human experiments on Jews, for the purpose of creating treatments for hypothermia, an issue Nazi soldiers were struggling with on the Eastern front. One study forced subjects to endure a tank of ice water for up to five hours. Another study placed prisoners naked in the open air for several hours with temperatures as low as 21°F. Approximately 100 people are reported to have died as a result of these experiments. Would you still play at the rally?



If human embryos are just as human as you or me, than the Dachau analogy is a fair one, except that embryos don’t feel pain when they’re experimented on or killed. This doesn’t affect the moral equation much though, as what Dr. Rascher did would have still been considered a heinous human rights violation even if he anesthetized the Jews before using them for unethical experiments.
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