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

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

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Among the themes of the conference:

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

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

A Coalescing of Right-Wing Themes

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

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

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

President Obama: ‘He’s just evil.’

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

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

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

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

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

Stopping Health Care Reform

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abortion: No Compromise, New Wedges

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freedom with an Asterisk

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

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

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

Attacking Progressives

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

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

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

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

Taking Back Congress in 2010

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

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

Passing the Torch

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

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

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

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

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

Trent Franks of Arizona said in a speech to conservatives Saturday in St. Louis that given Obama's decision to fund international family planning organizations that support legal abortion, "we shouldn't be shocked that he does all these other insane things."

"A president that has lost his way that badly, that has no ability to see the image of God in these little fellow human beings, if he can't do that right, then he has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an enemy of humanity," Franks said to the "How to Take Back America" conference.

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

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

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

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

Glad they cleared that up.

Right Wing Round-Up

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

Right Wing Round-Up

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

God Commands You To Kill Gays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pam's House Blend has more.

Right Wing Round-Up

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

Right Wing Round-Up

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

The Notre Dame Protests Get Even Fringier

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

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

NOM: Do As We Say, Not As We Do

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Facts, Well They're Sort of Irrelevant Here

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

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

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

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

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

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

Franks and Gohmert Team Up With the Religious Right

It what seems to be becoming a regular occurrence, Rep. Trent Franks has decided to hold a press conference where he will once again be surrounded by a gaggle of right-wing leaders. 

Just last month Franks held a press conference on the need for the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act where he was joined by Rep. Michell Bachmann and people like Wendy Wright, Rob Schenck, and Clenard Childress.

Today, he's participating in an anti-hate crimes press conference where he will again be joined by Wright, Harry Jackson and, of all people, Lou Sheldon:  

HATE CRIMES AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

1:30 p.m. April 28, Terrace, Cannon Bldg. New

GOP Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas and Trent Franks of Arizona hold a news conference to discuss their opposition to hate crimes legislation (HR 1913), which they say would "pose frightening threats to religious freedom."

Agenda:

HR 1913 — Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009

Participants:

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.

Harry Jackson, chairman, High Impact Leadership Coalition, and senior pastor, Hope Christian Church

Louis P. Sheldon, chairman, Traditional Values Coalition

Wendy Wright, president, Concerned Women for America,

Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy and research, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention

Maureen Wiebe, legislative director, American Association of Christian Schools

This list of participants is a real doozy - just yesterday, Wright was speculating that the timing of the swine flu scare was "a political thing to push the [Kathleen] Sebelius nomination through," and Jackson will just be coming off his role in leading the anti-marriage rally in DC today.  

But it is Sheldon's inclusion that is the real head-scratcher because, generally, members of Congress (and frankly most other leaders of the Religious Right) go out of their way not to be seen in public with the likes of him. 

And given the types of things he and his organization say, it is not hard to understand why:

The main purpose of this “hate crime” legislation is to add the categories of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” “either actual or perceived,” as new classes of individuals receiving special protection by federal law. Sexual orientation includes heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality on an ever-expanding continuum. Will Congress also protect these sexual orientations-zoophiles, pedophiles or polygamists?

Gender identity includes such gender confused behaviors as cross-dressing, she-male, drag queen, transvestite, transsexual or transgender. Under the Act, neither “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” are really defined. How can a law be enforced if the new classes receiving special protection remain undefined?

The sexual behaviors considered sinful and immoral by most major religions will be elevated to a protected “minority” class under federal law.

Once “sexual orientation” is added to federal law, anyone with a bizarre sexual orientation will have total protection for his or her activities by claiming that Congress sanctions their appearance, behavior or attitudes.

Inevitably this will negatively affect the performance of co-workers who are forced to work alongside of individuals with bizarre sex habits. Imagine working next to a person who gets sexual pleasure from rubbing up against a woman (Fronteurism) or enjoys wearing opposite sex clothing. These are “sexual orientations.”

Apparently this is the sort of language and anti-gay militancy with which Reps. Franks and Gohmert will willingly associate themselves. 

I'm just surprised that they didn't get Mat Staver to join them because if they are rounding up anti-gay fear mongers to oppose hate crimes legislation, Staver would have fit in perfectly:

Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: "Sexual orientation and gender identity include pedophilia and every imaginable deviant fetish. Cross-dressers and pedophiles find refuge in this so-called hate crimes bill, while veterans and grandmas are left to fend for themselves. Obviously, this bill is not about the prevention of crime but is all about pushing a radical sexual anarchy. This bill will crush free speech and trample free exercise of religion."

Jackson to Fight Marriage Equality in DC

Charisma Magazine ran an article on the new National Organization for Marriage ad we mentioned yesterday in which various right-wing leaders say that the recent marriage vote in Vermont is proof that this debate was never about legal benefits but is really part of an effort to fundamentally redefine society:

Pro-family leaders say the vote in Vermont, which in 2000 became the first state to create civil union laws that gave same-sex couples the federal benefits of marriage, is proof that the debate over gay marriage was not about legal benefits.

"That was merely the wedge to demand more, to require that everyone in society accept what cannot-by nature-be, that marriage can be something other than one man and one woman," said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America.

Austin R. Nimocks, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which has argued in court on behalf of traditional marriage supporters, said civil union laws are tools to usher in gay marriage nationally.

"This move [in Vermont] also demonstrates without question that ‘civil unions' are never acceptable middle ground," Nimocks said. "Instead, they are the groundwork used to pave the way toward what you see today. Other states should not be naïve."

NOM executive director Brian Brown said his organization's new ad campaign was about protecting their religious freedom, saying that if states are allowed to pass marriage equality laws then those who "believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman [are going to be treated as] the equivalent of bigots." And it looks like NOM will be getting some help in this effort, as it is also reported that Harry Jackson is setting up his own campaign to prevent Washington, DC from following Vermont's lead:

Bishop Harry Jackson, founder of the Maryland-based High Impact Leadership Coalition, is setting up an office in the District of Columbia and launching a grass-roots campaign to oppose a gay marriage bill he said will likely be introduced in the District within the next 60 to 90 days.

Because the U.S. Congress governs the District, such a move would be a direct challenge to DOMA. Jackson, who is black, said educating African-American and Hispanic pastors in particular about gay marriage efforts will be key in preserving traditional marriage.

"In November, we had three simultaneous, major victories," Jackson said, referring to the passage of marriage amendments in Florida, Arizona and California. "We saw that the church uniting around racial boundaries is what makes the difference. ... When people who know the Lord know the issues, then we find people voting the right way."

This is the first we have head of Jackson's nascent effort, but it is something we will certainly be keeping an eye on.

And speaking of Jackson, he is also not happy with Rick Warren for claiming that fighting against marriage equality is not even on his agenda:

"This man who's been called the next Billy Graham, who I really respect with all my heart and love what he's doing in Africa, is falling into a trap that is emblematic of the problem that the entire church is facing in this generation," Jackson states. "And that is that we love the applause of men more than we love the work of God and the gospel. Jesus...told us that we are to honor God first, and that we are not to fear men but we're to fear God."

Jackson argues that Warren was "aiding and abetting a deception around what kind of stance the Bible calls Christians to take" by telling Larry King that opposing the recent Iowa Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage was "not his agenda."

"He is the author of The Purpose Driven Life book," Jackson notes, "and therefore people are going to think, 'Well, this is not on my mission -- it's not on my purpose. I don't have to stand for truth.'

"Therefore, his defection -- in terms of his stance on this issue -- [and] his backsliding on this issue, becomes of tremendous damage to the strength of the church in this position."

RWWIF: The Right Re-Tools as a 'Resistance Movement'

Our latest Right Wing Watch In Focus is now posted, explaining how, since Barack Obama's election, the Right has re-launched itself as a "resistance movement":

The failure of right-wing leaders to coalesce behind a presidential candidate early in 2008 led some pundits to write, yet again, an obituary for the political influence of the religious and political right. But the movement maintained enough strength within the Republican Party to keep John McCain from choosing his preferred running mate and used the nomination of Sarah Palin as a way to energize its base. It also was able to exercise significant political muscle in state-wide ballot initiatives banning marriage equality in California, Arizona, and Florida and outlawing adoption by gay people in Arkansas.

Now that the Religious Right and the Republican Party are regrouping from significant electoral defeats, many progressives as well as pundits are tempted once again to dismiss the movement or the continued threat it poses to the constitutional principles of equality, privacy, and separation of church and state. But the legal, political, grassroots, and media infrastructure that has been built steadily over recent decades is still largely in place. It maintains a powerful ability to shape public debate and mobilize millions of Americans. And it is finding a renewed focus in opposing the Obama administration and obstructing progressive change.

Read the whole thing.
 

CPAC is Coming, Lower Your Expectations

The Washington Times reports that organizers of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference are expecting record turn-out this year as the movement tries to get its act together after seeing its Republican allies tossed out of office during the last several elections:

CPAC is expected to draw nearly 9,000 activists and college students from across the country, up from the record 7,000 who attended last year, when the main attractions were personal appearances by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the four remaining Republican presidential nomination hopefuls - former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene says that CPAC is an opportunity for movement leaders to find ways to overcome its current problems and win back the trust of voters … and he sees hope for them all in the fact that GOP is, at the moment, exhibiting an ability to stay on message:

“In calling President Obama's $787 billion plan a 'spending' rather than a 'stimulus' package, the Republican Party finally is showing signs of doing a better job of formulating its message,” Mr. Keene told reporters at the National Press Club on Tuesday.

If Republicans voting essentially in lock-step in opposition to President Obama’s efforts to ameliorate our current economic crisis because it was a “spending” bill rather than a “stimulus” bill is their best evidence that things are turning around for them, then it look like they are going to be wandering in the political wilderness for several election cycles to come.

Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations.

Anyway, CPAC starts tomorrow and the American Family Association will be streaming it live, so you’ll be able to watch it here.

One last thing, I am the only one who finds the AFA's choice of image for its CPAC site a little odd:

Was Mitt Romney's speech dropping out of the presidential race really the highlight of last year's event? How sad is that?

Marriage Amendments Introduced in Wyoming and Indiana

Yesterday was a busy day for anti-marriage equality advocates, with constitutional amendments being introduced in two states. 

First in Indiana, where the Alliance Defense Fund, the Family Research Council, and the Indiana Family Institute joined state legislators in announcing their efforts to pass an amendment after a similar effort failed in 2007.  As FRC 's Tony Perkins explained:

Legislators in Indiana, one of the minority of states that has yet to pass a marriage protection amendment, renewed their effort today by introducing a new amendment to the state's constitution. I was on hand today in Indianapolis as lawmakers vowed to put the Hoosier state in the column with the 29 other states that have taken marriage out of the hands of activist judges. An amendment was narrowly defeated in the General Assembly in 2007. This afternoon, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) joined me for a private pastors briefing in the Indiana Supreme Court Chambers. Mike has been a good friend and solid ally on this issue in the U.S. House, and with his help, Indiana churches stand to bring a victory for marriage to his home state.

After a House and Senate meet-and-greet with key Indiana lawmakers, I joined amendment sponsors State Reps. P. Eric Turner (R-Marion) and Dave Cheatham (D-North Vernon), Curt Smith of the Indiana Family Institute, our friends at the Alliance Defense Fund, and Pastor Ron Johnson Jr. for a press conference in the state Capitol on the importance of the constitutional amendment to the state.

And trying to make up for another effort that also failed two years ago, a similar group of legislators and Religious Right activists in Wyoming are gearing up to pass their own amendment, all while absurdly trying to insist that the effort is in no way motivated by any animus toward gays:

Sen. Curt Meier, R-LaGrange, one of the bill's sponsors, said Monday that the issue came to the forefront in the last election cycle, when voters in California voted to ban same-sex marriage. Meier said many Wyoming residents approached their lawmakers to find the status of the law in Wyoming.

Meier said the proposal to change Wyoming's constitution isn't motivated by any dislike of gays and lesbians.

"I really think what we're trying to do is protect the institution of marriage, and trying to make the family unit as strong as it can be for the future," he said.

A newly formed group called WyWatch Family Institute is lobbying for passage of the proposed amendment. The group's Web site describes it as a "group of Judeo-Christian families who have a goal to preserve traditional family values in the great state of Wyoming."

The group is getting advice from Focus on the Family Action, and the Alliance Defense Fund, said Becky Vandeberghe, chairwoman and lobbyist with the Wyoming group. Focus on the Family is a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based evangelical group founded by evangelist James Dobson, while the Alliance Defense Fund is an Arizona-based conservative Christian legal group.

"We're trying to protect the children, because when you have a same-sex marriage, you're denying that child either a mother or a father," Vandeberghe said. "And the family unit is very, very precious to us, and we want to make sure that every child has that."

Asked whether her group is motivated by any religious conviction that homosexuality is wrong or immoral, Vandeberghe said, "It plays a small part in it. But a large part is just wanting to protect traditional marriage."

Blame The Alliance Defense Fund

Earlier this week we mentioned that some people were upset about a sign placed in the Washington state Capitol by the Freedom From Religion Foundation that reads "Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds." The sign sits in the Capitol alongside a Christmas tree and a nativity scene placed there by Ron Wesselius.

Now Bill O'Reilly has jumped into the mix, calling Gov. Chris Gregoire "a coward" for allowing the sign and insisting that "there's no law that says atheists have to have signs up denigrating religion during the Christmas season."

The Governor's office has since been inundated with calls from angry O'Reilly viewers and was forced to release a statement explaining its position:

"The Legislative Building belongs to all citizens of Washington state, and houses the state Legislature, as well as the offices of several state-elected executives, including the governor. The U.S. Supreme Court has been consistent and clear that, under the Constitution’s First Amendment, once government admits one religious display or viewpoint onto public property, it may not discriminate against the content of other displays, including the viewpoints of non-believers."

The thing about this is that, typical of O'Reilly, he's focusing his outrage on the wrong people.  If he's really upset by this, he ought to be blasting the right-wing Alliance Defense Fund which successfully sued the state last year on behalf of Wesselius when he wasn't allowed to place his nativity scene in the Capitol.

As part of the settlement [PDF] it was agreed that:

Plaintiff and all other persons and organizations will be treated similarly to other private members of the public in all respects, including access to the areas in the Capitol Rotunda, pursuant to CCF policy attached as Exhibit A, to display a Nativity Scene during the 2007 traditional holiday season.

The relevant portion of the CCF policy reads: 

Public use of capitol facilities may include, but is not limited to, activites such as rallies, demonstrations and vigils related to government issues, performances, community events, activities sponsored by state agencies, cultural, historical and educational activities, exhibits and displays, affairs of state, wedding ceremonies, choral presentations, and memorial services. Authorization for use of capitol facilities shall not be made on a discriminatory basis based on the religious or political content or viewpoint of the public speakers seeking access to the facilities.

So this particular situation arose directly out of the ADF's suit and eventual settlement and the state of Washington is now obligated to ensure that decisions regarding access to the Capitol can not "be made on a discriminatory basis based on the religious or political content or viewpoint."  

If O'Reilly and his followers want to inundate anyone with calls of outrage regarding this policy, they should be targeting the Alliance Defense Fund:

Mailing Address:
15100 N. 90th Street
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260

Phone: 1-800-TELL-ADF
Fax: 480-444-0025
Website: www.alliancedefensefund.org  

Anti-Gay Forces Pretend to Rise "Above the Hate"

Via Good as You we find out that the National Organization for Marriage has launched a petition drive to thank the Mormon Church for its deep involvement in the passage of Prop 8 and to declare solidarity with them:

We write firstly to express our deep gratitude to you and the entire LDS community for the large and impressive contributions of your church and its members in protecting marriage in California and Arizona.

Anyone who participated in this process has come to admire the competence, diligence and moral courage that so many members of your faith community displayed as part of this coalition effort—as Catholics, Evangelicals, Mormons, and people of other faith communities all came together to fight this great battle for marriage.

But we write for an even more important purpose: to express our outrage at the vile and indecent attacks directed specifically and uniquely at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members because of your courage in standing up for marriage.

The best thing about this is the name they have chosen for their new effort - Above the Hate.com.  Its name is especially ironic considering the list of those who rushed to add their signatures to the letter:

Maggie Gallagher

Donald E. Wildmon

James C. Dobson, Ph.D.

Charles W. Colson

Tony Perkins

Paul Weyrich

Dr. Gary Bauer

Bishop Harry Jackson

Richard Land

Tom Minnery

Ron Prentice

John Stemberger

Phil Burress

Kelly Shackelford

Regina Griggs

Wendy Wright

Janice Crouse, PhD

That's right - the leaders of the professional anti-gay lobby are "rising above the hate" to thank the Mormon Church for helping them deny gays and lesbians their basic equality.

Good Riddance to the Filibuster

I had been on vacation for the last several days, so I missed this little nugget when it first surfaced last week:

Jon Kyl, the second-ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate, warned president-elect Barack Obama that he would filibuster U.S. Supreme Court appointments if those nominees were too liberal.

Kyl, Arizona’s junior senator, expects Obama to appoint judges in the mold of U.S Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter and Stephen Breyer. Those justices take a liberal view on cases related to social, law and order and business issues, Kyl said.

“He believes in justices that have empathy,” said Kyl, speaking at a Federalist Society meeting in Phoenix. The attorneys group promotes conservative legal principles.

Kyl said if Obama goes with empathetic judges who do not base their decisions on the rule of law and legal precedents but instead the factors in each case, he would try to block those picks via filibuster.

That would be the same Jon Kyl who, as Steve Benen pointed out, supported the "nuclear option” back in 2005 to do away with the filibuster regarding judicial nominees.  It would also be the same Jon Kyl who explicitly argued that junking the filibuster would in no way ever hamstring Republicans because they would be too principled [PDF] to ever even try to use it down the road:

My friends argue that Republicans may want to filibuster a future Democratic President’s nominees. To that I say, I don’t think so, and even if true, I’m willing to give up that tool. It was never a power we thought we had in the past, and it is not one likely to be used in the future. I know some insist that we will someday want to block Democrat judges by filibuster. But I know my colleagues. I have heard them speak passionately, publicly and privately, about the injustice done to filibustered nominees. I think it highly unlikely that they will shift their views simply because the political worm has turned. So I say to my friends: what you say we Republicans are losing is, in fact, no loss at all.

And while we are on the subject of right-wingers suddenly changing their tune regarding judicial nominations, I found this rather amusing:

But Manuel Miranda, chairman of the Third Branch Conference, a coalition of conservative activists who have weighed in on Supreme Court appointments, warned that judicial nominees similar to Marshall and Brennan would face strong opposition.

“Outside groups will always push to the extremes to get people who would be turning back the clock to Brennan or Marshall,” said Miranda.

That would be the same Manuel Miranda who has been a one-man right-wing judicial confirmation army ever since he lost his job on the Hill after accessing internal Democratic memos.  Miranda was the primary force behind just about every right-wing “grassroots” effort to force the confirmation of President Bush’s judicial nominees, as well as their effort to compel Harriet Miers to withdraw her Supreme Court nomination.  So it’s pretty interesting that he’s suddenly concerned about “outside groups” pushing “extreme” nominees … and even more interesting that he’s now quite concerned that Obama’s nominees will “turn back the clock.”

The Right's Response to 2008

I had been working on this post throughout the day, but before I actually got around to writing it I found that David Waters of the Post's "On Faith" blog had already pretty much written it, so I figure I'll just link to that and highlight this bit:

Officials at James Dobson's Focus on the Family seem to agree. They chose to focus on the success of Tuesday's anti-gay marriage ballot initiatives in Arizona, California and Florida. "A tremendous night for the cause of righteousness," senior vice president Tom Minnery said on Focus's CitizenLink webcast.

Southern Baptist leader Richard Land told Christianity Today that "Evangelicals did their part. The exit polling is showing that there's no drop-off among evangelicals. The 2006 elections showed us that evangelicals can't win elections by themselves. If indeed the three marriage initiatives win, it will show that the values voters were not the ones who lost this election. If evangelicals are sad about the election, I'm going to say, 'Do you have faith in God? Is your faith in God or in government?'"

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Arizona Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Tuesday 01/18/2011, 10:47am
Michele Bachmann GOP: Scheduled to address Montana GOP's Lincoln/Reagan Dinner on Feb 5 (Politico, 1/17). Iowa: Conservatives in Iowa excited about Bachmann's appearance at Iowans for Tax Relief event this week (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/17). Religious Right: Ultraconservative writer Joseph Farah praises potential Bachmann bid (WND, 1/11). Haley Barbour Immigration: Draconian Arizona-style law on immigrant rights to be considered by the Mississippi state legislature (Fox News, 1/17). 2012: Says he won't make a decision about a presidential run until the spring (WSJ, 1/14). John Bolton... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 01/18/2011, 10:47am
Michele Bachmann GOP: Scheduled to address Montana GOP's Lincoln/Reagan Dinner on Feb 5 (Politico, 1/17). Iowa: Conservatives in Iowa excited about Bachmann's appearance at Iowans for Tax Relief event this week (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/17). Religious Right: Ultraconservative writer Joseph Farah praises potential Bachmann bid (WND, 1/11). Haley Barbour Immigration: Draconian Arizona-style law on immigrant rights to be considered by the Mississippi state legislature (Fox News, 1/17). 2012: Says he won't make a decision about a presidential run until the spring (WSJ, 1/14). John Bolton... MORE
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 01/13/2011, 3:05pm
In a new fundraising letter asking for help to “restore our nation to its Christian roots,” the American Family Association asks its supporters to pray for House Speaker John Boehner, who AFA says is leading a war against the “powers of evil” – meaning pro-equality and pro-choice members of Congress. After recounting the biblical story of Moses relying on the help of Aaron and Hur to keep his arms raised and help the Israelites defeat Amalek, the AFA letter says this:   We are at war with the powers of evil no less than Moses was. In the physical realm of... MORE
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 01/13/2011, 3:05pm
In a new fundraising letter asking for help to “restore our nation to its Christian roots,” the American Family Association asks its supporters to pray for House Speaker John Boehner, who AFA says is leading a war against the “powers of evil” – meaning pro-equality and pro-choice members of Congress. After recounting the biblical story of Moses relying on the help of Aaron and Hur to keep his arms raised and help the Israelites defeat Amalek, the AFA letter says this:   We are at war with the powers of evil no less than Moses was. In the physical realm of... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 01/13/2011, 12:00pm
After President Obama called for more civility and reconciliation in politics and asked Americans to remember the late Christina Taylor Green, saying, “I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it,” right-wing blogs came out swinging and swiftly responded with their predictable enmity. RedState’s Erick Erickson wrote that Obama was the one to atone for his ties to Bill Ayers, and also said that progressives were plotting Sarah Palin’s murder: This is, after all, a man who got his political start in the home of a terrorist who’d dedicated a book to Robert... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 01/13/2011, 12:00pm
After President Obama called for more civility and reconciliation in politics and asked Americans to remember the late Christina Taylor Green, saying, “I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it,” right-wing blogs came out swinging and swiftly responded with their predictable enmity. RedState’s Erick Erickson wrote that Obama was the one to atone for his ties to Bill Ayers, and also said that progressives were plotting Sarah Palin’s murder: This is, after all, a man who got his political start in the home of a terrorist who’d dedicated a book to Robert... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 01/12/2011, 6:36pm
Businessman, right-wing activist and Tea Party favorite Herman Cain establishes a presidential exploratory committee. Mike Huckabee already has problems with the Tea Party. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney get together to spew anti-Muslim diatribes. After the Tucson shooting, an Arizona Republican District Chairman opposed by the Tea Party resigned, saying, “I don’t want to take a bullet for anyone.” North Carolina State Rep. Larry Brown wants to end government funding for treating people with HIV since they’re... MORE