citizenship

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 2/01/11

Michele Bachmann

SOTU: “Tea Party State of the Union Response” is widely panned, mocked on SNL (HuffPo, 1/31).

Budget: Veterans groups blast Bachmann’s proposal to slash veterans benefits (UPI, 1/28).

Congress: Invites Religious Right notable and anti-Islam activist to teach class on Constitution (RWW, 1/26).

Haley Barbour

Civil Rights: Congressman says Barbour's civil rights work in Mississippi more symbolic than substantive (Clarion Ledger, 1/30).

South Carolina: Privately meets with top South Carolina GOP activists (CNN, 1/25).

John Bolton

Foreign Affairs: In CNSNews interview, claims Obama “basically doesn’t care” about foreign and national security issues (1/31).

Budget: Tells neoconservative group that defense department shouldn’t face budget cuts (Philly Daily News, 1/28).

Mike Huckabee

PAC: Leadership PAC “plagued by anemic fundraising” (Politico, 1/31).

Health Care: Lauds ruling on reform law, says “it’s nice to see the courts upholding the Constitution” (Sunshine State News, 1/31).

Foreign Affairs: Justifies Israeli settlements by saying they are building in “the place that God gave them.” (AP, 1/31).

Polls: Ahead of rivals in early GOP polls with strong support among conservatives (TPM, 1/27).

Jon Huntsman

2012: Leaves post as Ambassador to China, advisers start New Horizons leadership PAC (Salt Lake Tribune, 1/31).

Religion: Will Huntsman’s Mormon faith hurt his presidential aspirations? (WaPo, 1/31).

Sarah Palin

PAC: Led other potential presidential candidates in final quarter fundraising (National Journal, 1/31).

Second Amendment: Defended gun rights and praised conservationism at Safari Club (AP, 1/31).

SOTU: Rants against Obama’s “WTF” moments, says he can’t be trusted (Facebook, 1/27).

Tim Pawlenty

Iowa: Courts Religious Right activists in next visit to Iowa (Iowa Independent, 1/31).

Foreign Affairs: Says Obama Administration’s response to crisis in Egypt was “inconsistent and bordering on incoherent” (Minnesota Post, 1/31).

PAC: Freedom First PAC has about $155,000 on hand after midterm election (WaPo, 1/28).

Religious Right: Meets with anti-choice radical Rob Schenck (RWW, 1/28).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Obama aide says administration “got some good ideas” from Romney’s Massachusetts health law (CNN, 1/31).

PAC: Raised more than all other prospective candidates in 2010 (NYT, 1/31).

New Hampshire: Meets with New Hampshire businessmen (Union Leader, 1/31).

Rick Santorum

Religious Right: Set to address the far-right group Catholic Citizenship (AP, 1/29).

Iowa: Hires staffers with ties to corporate-backed group to lead Iowa campaign (RWW, 1/28).

SOTU: Pens New Hampshire op-ed criticizing Obama’s State of the Union (Union Leader, 1/27).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 2/01/11

Michele Bachmann

SOTU: “Tea Party State of the Union Response” is widely panned, mocked on SNL (HuffPo, 1/31).

Budget: Veterans groups blast Bachmann’s proposal to slash veterans benefits (UPI, 1/28).

Congress: Invites Religious Right notable and anti-Islam activist to teach class on Constitution (RWW, 1/26).

Haley Barbour

Civil Rights: Congressman says Barbour's civil rights work in Mississippi more symbolic than substantive (Clarion Ledger, 1/30).

South Carolina: Privately meets with top South Carolina GOP activists (CNN, 1/25).

John Bolton

Foreign Affairs: In CNSNews interview, claims Obama “basically doesn’t care” about foreign and national security issues (1/31).

Budget: Tells neoconservative group that defense department shouldn’t face budget cuts (Philly Daily News, 1/28).

Mike Huckabee

PAC: Leadership PAC “plagued by anemic fundraising” (Politico, 1/31).

Health Care: Lauds ruling on reform law, says “it’s nice to see the courts upholding the Constitution” (Sunshine State News, 1/31).

Foreign Affairs: Justifies Israeli settlements by saying they are building in “the place that God gave them.” (AP, 1/31).

Polls: Ahead of rivals in early GOP polls with strong support among conservatives (TPM, 1/27).

Jon Huntsman

2012: Leaves post as Ambassador to China, advisers start New Horizons leadership PAC (Salt Lake Tribune, 1/31).

Religion: Will Huntsman’s Mormon faith hurt his presidential aspirations? (WaPo, 1/31).

Sarah Palin

PAC: Led other potential presidential candidates in final quarter fundraising (National Journal, 1/31).

Second Amendment: Defended gun rights and praised conservationism at Safari Club (AP, 1/31).

SOTU: Rants against Obama’s “WTF” moments, says he can’t be trusted (Facebook, 1/27).

Tim Pawlenty

Iowa: Courts Religious Right activists in next visit to Iowa (Iowa Independent, 1/31).

Foreign Affairs: Says Obama Administration’s response to crisis in Egypt was “inconsistent and bordering on incoherent” (Minnesota Post, 1/31).

PAC: Freedom First PAC has about $155,000 on hand after midterm election (WaPo, 1/28).

Religious Right: Meets with anti-choice radical Rob Schenck (RWW, 1/28).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Obama aide says administration “got some good ideas” from Romney’s Massachusetts health law (CNN, 1/31).

PAC: Raised more than all other prospective candidates in 2010 (NYT, 1/31).

New Hampshire: Meets with New Hampshire businessmen (Union Leader, 1/31).

Rick Santorum

Religious Right: Set to address the far-right group Catholic Citizenship (AP, 1/29).

Iowa: Hires staffers with ties to corporate-backed group to lead Iowa campaign (RWW, 1/28).

SOTU: Pens New Hampshire op-ed criticizing Obama’s State of the Union (Union Leader, 1/27).

Schlafly: Overturn Birthright Citizenship Just Like We Overturned Dred Scott

Opponents of birthright citizenship have mobilized in Congress and in fourteen state legislatures to pass legislation that would reinterpret the 14th Amendment to deny birthright citizenship. At a forum of state legislators who support scrapping birthright citizenship, Republican State Rep. Daniel B. Verdi of South Carolina compared illegal immigration to “the malady of slavery” and Republican State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe said such legislation would help “bring an end to the illegal alien invasion.”

Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly praised their efforts in a column today, promoting the plans by Republican politicians to do-away with birthright citizenship through legislation rather than an amendment to the constitution even though the Supreme Court ruled that even the children of illegal immigrants have constitutional protections in United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898), a ruling confirmed in Plyler v. Doe (1982).

According to constitutional scholar James Ho, “the text of the Citizenship Clause plainly guarantees birthright citizenship to the U.S.-born children of all persons subject to U.S sovereign authority and laws” and “the clause thus covers the vast majority of lawful and unlawful aliens.”

Schlafly, however, insists that the longstanding interpretation of the 14th’s Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship should be tossed out just as Dred Scott, the infamous case which declared that African Americans could not be citizens and as result have no rights under the constitution, was reversed by the 14th Amendment:

It's long overdue for Congress to stop the racket of bringing pregnant women into this country to give birth, receive free medical care and then call their babies U.S. citizens entitled to all American rights and privileges plus generous handouts. Between 300,000 and 400,000 babies are born to illegal aliens in the United States every year, at least 10 percent of all births.



The amnesty crowd tries to tell us that the 14th Amendment makes automatic citizens out of "all persons" born in the United States, but they conveniently ignore the rest of the sentence. It's not enough to be "born" in the U.S. -- you can claim citizenship only if you are "subject to the jurisdiction thereof."

The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, overruled the Dred Scott decision wherein the U.S. Supreme Court declared that African-Americans could not be citizens. Those who support court-made law should forever be reminded of Abraham Lincoln's warning that if we accept the supremacy of judges, "the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."



Terminating the anchor-baby racket is very popular with the American people. A Rasmussen poll reports that 58 percent oppose it, while only 33 percent favor it.

Now that state legislatures are flexing their muscles, representatives from 14 states unveiled state legislation to clarify who is and who isn't a citizen in those states. The Arizona bill establishes that state law parallels the definition of citizenship in the 14th Amendment, and that a U.S. citizen is, "for the purposes of this statute, a person who owes no allegiance to any foreign sovereignty."

The Arizona bill, introduced by Sen. Russell Pearce and Rep. John Kavanagh, would create two kinds of state birth certificates. One would be for children of citizens and the other for children of illegal aliens.

Right Wing Round-Up

House GOP Picks Ethically-Challenged Freshmen for Judiciary Committee

The House Republican Leadership recently announced that incoming Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino and Arkansas Congressman Tim Griffin have been assigned seats on Rep. Lamar Smith’s Judiciary Committee. Marino and Griffin, who were profiled in Right Wing Watch’s The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress, are peculiar picks for a committee which has “jurisdiction over matters relating to the administration of justice in federal courts, administrative bodies, and law enforcement agencies” since both Republicans were dogged by corruption and ethics scandals prior to their successful bids for Congress.

Marino resigned from his position as a US Attorney in the wake of a brewing scandal over his ties to resort owner and convicted felon Louis DeNaples. He described DeNaples as his “close friend” and provided a reference for DeNaples when he attempted to win state approval to have slot machines at his resort.

But when Marino’s own office opened an investigation into DeNaples over his ties to organized crime, Marino's assistants discovered the reference and the Department of Justice (DOJ) transferred the case to the US Attorney of Binghamton, NY. The DOJ later launched an investigation of Marino “for allegedly violating several department guidelines” over the “reference letter he wrote to help Louis DeNaples get a casino license,” but the investigation ended once Marino resigned.

Responding to criticism about his ties to DeNaples, Marino declared during an interview that he has evidence the DOJ gave him permission to serve as a reference. However, Boryk Krawczeniuk of The Times-Tribune found that DOJ officials never gave him permission, and Marino failed to produce his “evidence.” Krawczeniuk writes that the DOJ confirmed to multiple news outlets that Marino never sought or received such permission: “an Associated Press story, quoting an anonymous Justice Department source, said the department had ‘no record’ that Mr. Marino sought or received Justice authorization to serve as a reference for Mr. DeNaples. A Justice spokeswoman confirmed the department had no such record last week to The Citizens’ Voice newspaper in Wilkes-Barre, which is owned by the same company as The Times-Tribune.”

Eventually, Marino backed away from his false claim that he was given permission from the DOJ, and “told the Sunbury Daily Item he never asked the Justice Department for permission to serve as a reference.”

After Marino resigned in order to end the DOJ investigations into his actions, he quickly obtained a $250,000-a-year job as “DeNaples’ in-house lawyer.” In his financial disclosure form, Marino under-reported his income and stated that his DeNaples’ salary was just $25,000 annually.

The conservative blog RedState’s Zack Oldham said of Marino’s actions: “The reality is just as bad as–if not worse than–the optics of this scandal.”

Marino’s relationship with DeNaples and his attempts to cover-up his ethics troubles were not his first encounter with ethics questions. As a District Attorney, Marino approached a judge to toss out his friend’s conviction on drug charges. After the Judge refused, the Luzeme County Citizens Voice reports that Marino “approached another judge and won the expungement, but the plan backfired when the second judge learned of the first judge's involvement in the case.”

Despite the corruption accusations, false statements, and the DOJ investigation which plagued Marino’s legal career, House Republicans still picked him for a Judiciary Committee post. Perhaps, Marino was picked due to his staunchly anti-immigrant views, as incoming Judiciary Committee Chair Lamar Smith (R-TX) intends to use the committee to push a hard line agenda that includes overturning the 14th Amendment’s of birthright citizenship. Marino opposes comprehensive immigration reform, backs Arizona’s draconian SB 1070, and was endorsed by Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, which has been described as a “nativist extremist organization.” Just as Smith said that President Obama was “awfully close to a violation of [his] oath of office” as a result of his immigration policy, Marino said he would consider impeaching the President over his handling of immigration.

Like Marino, freshman Tim Griffin was forced to resign as a US Attorney and faced his own ethics questions. Griffin worked his way up through the Republican Party ranks through his work in opposition research and was known as “a protégé of Karl Rove.” He worked for the Bush presidential campaigns and has ties to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Griffin then aided efforts in the Bush White House to replace US Attorneys with partisan appointees, and then-US Attorney Paul Charlton said that Griffin “spread the rumors around the White House that Bud Cummins,” who was the US Attorney of Northeast Arkansas at the time, “was not a good U.S. attorney.”

When Cummins was fired, Griffin was appointed to take his place. Deputy Attorney General Paul McNaulty later testified that “Cummings was fired to make a place for Griffin at the urging of Karl Rove and Harriet Miers,” the former White House Counsel. Kyle Sampson, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s Chief of Staff, wrote in an email that “getting him appointed was important to Harriet, Karl, etc.” Former US Attorney David Iglesias, said that Tim Griffin “never should have been U.S. Attorney, he was fundamentally unqualified.”

However, Griffin resigned from his position as US Attorney when the BBC uncovered documents showing his work in “vote caging” operations in Florida while he was working for the Bush reelection campaign. Griffin tried to suppress the vote by designing and sending out “caging lists” which “were heavily weighted with minority voters including homeless individuals, students and soldiers sent overseas.”

The Arkansas Leader wrote that “The White House intended to fully consolidate the entire federal criminal justice system into its political operation” and Griffin’s “resignation or dismissal ought to be imminent.” Griffin resigned from his post as US Attorney on May 30, 2007.

Now, two former US Attorneys who resigned under the cloud of scandal will have seats on the Judiciary Committee. By selecting Marino and Griffin, the Republican leadership rewarded coveted posts to two freshmen with serious and troubling ethics questions on the committee which oversees the court system, the rule of law, and law enforcement.

O’Leary: Obama Wants to “Replace the Power of God with the Power of Government”

Conservative writer Brad O’Leary, who was last seen predicting that the government will try to shutdown Religious Right groups using hate crime laws, appeared on Phyllis Schlafly’s radio show to discuss his book America’s War on Christianity.

Schlafly: What inspired you to write this book, Brad?

O’Leary: The President. When he was in a Muslim country and made a public statement saying that America is not a Christian nation. I thought it was a ludicrous, un-inspirational statement to pander to the Muslim, Middle East. And, so I started putting together all the things that are happening around the country to justify what he wants to do. I guess his goal is to replace the power of God with the power of government.

O’Leary appears to be referring to Obama’s speech in Turkey, where he claimed that “one of the great strengths of the United States is -- although as I mentioned, we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation; we consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”

Naturally, this unleashed a firestorm in the conservative echo-chamber, and Religious Right groups have pointed to it as proof of Obama’s supposedly anti-Christian tack in government.

But O’Leary may just as easily have referred to the Treaty of Tripoli, the treated between the United States and Algiers negotiated under President George Washington, ratified unanimously by the Senate, and signed by President John Adams. Article XI of the Treaty reads:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Alternatively, O’Leary could have found George Washington’s letter to the Jewish community of Newport, Rhode Island, problematic too:

All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support ... May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants -- while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

Hispanics Support Republicans Says Republican Opposed By Hispanics

Rep. Lamar Smith says that the GOP should go ahead and press it's anti-immigration agenda because Hispanics support the Republican agenda and don't really care about the issue of immigration:

"The idea that we need to listen to our liberal Democratic friends who say you have to be for amnesty if you want to get Hispanic votes, we've disproved that this year -- and I hope we've laid that to rest," he adds.

With the understanding that "Hispanics have the same values that almost every other American has," he thinks the GOP can attract Hispanic voters by treating everybody as Americans.

"They care about education for their children, they care about jobs for their family members [and] they care about good healthcare, of course," Smith reports. "According to the various polls they've been taking of Hispanic voters, immigration is number five. I think it's in the single digits, it's so far down the list of their priorities."

The Texas representative goes on to point out that the Republican Party ran more new Hispanic candidates this year than Democrats, many of whom are identified "as having a pro-enforcement or anti-amnesty stance."

He finds it interesting that "Republican Hispanics are not going with the stereotype that they have to be for amnesty, but actually that they want to enforce immigration laws." He thinks that should also send a powerful message that "you can be respectful, you can be for law and order, you can be for the rule of law, and you can be for secure borders and opposed to amnesty and be elected, either as Hispanics or Anglos."

Of course, this argument might be more convincing if Somos Republicans, "the largest and fastest growing Hispanic Republican Organization in the Southwest," hadn't recently written a letter to Reps. John Boehner and Eric Cantor begging them not to let Smith and Rep. Steve King become assume key leadership positions because of their radical anti-immigrant views and rhetoric:

As we are already looking toward the 2012 Presidential Elections, we respectfully ask you to take heed to our request out of concern for our nation. Congressmen Smith and King have repeatedly engaged in rhetoric that is aimed negatively toward Hispanics. Steve King has used defamatory language that is extremely offensive to Hispanics, which is found in numerous congressional records. We believe Steve King’s behavior is not appropriate for a high-level elected Republican who might be in charge of a committee that handles immigration rules. Steve King and Lamar Smith have adopted extreme positions on birthright citizenship, and promise legislation that would undermine the 14th amendment of the constitution, which both swore an oath to uphold.

While it is indeed the duty of the Judiciary and Immigration committees to oversee and enforce existing immigration laws, Representatives Smith and King have engaged in an ill-advised platform and rhetoric that has been perceived as insensitive with their inflammatory “immigration statements,” and this has caused an exodus of Hispanic voters to the Democratic party. We ask that you review Mr. King’s and Mr. Smith’s congressional statements desiring to “pass a bill out of the House to end the Constitution’s birthright citizenship for U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants,” or what Steve King has made reference to “anchor babies.” We find both this rhetoric and this un-constitutional conduct reprehensible, insulting and a poor reflection upon Republicans because we don’t want our Party to be viewed as the Party of changing the United States Constitution.

...

It is our sincere belief that if representatives Smith and King were to become the Chairs of the House Judiciary and Subcommittee on Immigration, and if they indeed continue such insensitive rhetoric towards Hispanics, the conditions for a Republican presidential candidate to garner the necessary Electoral College Delegates to win the 2012 presidency will not be possible.

Right Wing Panics Over DREAM Act

As the House is set to vote on the DREAM Act, right wing commentators and politicians are going into overdrive to disparage and vilify the bill. The DREAM Act provides a pathway to legal status to students and military servicemembers to the children of illegal immigrants who were not born in the country. Individuals considered for citizenship under the latest proposal cannot be older than 29; must have lived in the US for at least five consecutive years, have a clean record, and “would limit individuals from being able to sponsor family members for U.S. citizenship, among other changes.” According to the National Immigration Law Center, the bill won’t lead to preferred treatment for illegal immigrants, affect tuition rates, or have an impact on college admission rates.

Michelle Malkin blasted “the entitlement mentality” of students supporting the DREAM Act, as only in the world of right wing fear-mongers like Michelle Malkin can students who lack legal status be considered privileged and entitled:

Open-borders radicalism means never having to apologize for absurd self-contradiction.

The way illegal alien students on college campuses across the country tell it, America is a cruel, selfish and racist nation that has never given them or their families a break. Yet despite their bottomless grievances, they're not going anywhere.

And despite their gripes about being forced "into the shadows," they've been out in the open protesting at media-driven hunger strikes and flooding the airwaves demanding passage of the so-called DREAM Act. This bailout plan would benefit an estimated 2.1 million illegal aliens at an estimated cost of up to $20 billion.

Like Malkin, radio talk show host Roger Hedgecock used bogus figures and claims in his WorldNetDaily tirade against the DREAM Act:

With "comprehensive immigration reform" dead because of voter awareness that this is code speak for blanket amnesty for "undocumented Democrats," the new amnesty is called the DREAM Act. Democrats are determined to push for congressional votes on the DREAM Act this week.



As WND reported last week, the cost to taxpayers for the "student amnesty" could reach $44 billion. That's because the estimated 2.1 million new "students" (and it will be many more than this administration estimate) qualify for student assistance under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Republican lawmakers tempted to follow the liberal ethnic group playbook and vote for the DREAM Act to placate Latino radical groups need to look at the actual election results, too.

Iowa Congressman Steve King, who will soon chair the main subcommittee on immigration policy, called the DREAM Act an “affirmative action program for illegals” and said Congress should oppose the law since “sitting in the classroom next to some of them if the DREAM Act passes, will be inevitably a widow or a widower or a son or a daughter of someone who has lost their life in Iraq or Afghanistan defending our liberty and our freedom.”

 

Renewed Push for Birther Bills Following GOP’s Midterm Gains

Texas State Rep. Leo Berman, who introduced a “Birther bill” in the State House because “we have a president whom the American people don’t know whether he was born in Kenya or some other place,” appears to be part of a growing trend among Republican state legislators. In Pennsylvania, State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe told WorldNetDaily that he will be “introducing the legislation that would require presidential candidates to prove their natural born citizenship before they are allowed to file petitions to have their name on the state ballot.”

Metcalfe, who was last seen calling veterans who supported actions to prevent climate change “traitors,” dubbing a Domestic Violence Awareness Month resolution part of the “homosexual agenda,” and decrying Muslims because they “don't recognize Jesus Christ as God,” believes that the bill will gain momentum after the Republicans won control of the State House in the 2010 elections. Metcalfe said that he and his cosponsors “hope we would be able to pass this legislation and put it into law before the next session.”

Like Metcalfe, Georgia State Rep. Mark Hatfield confirmed to WND that he is seeking to reintroduce his Birther bill in the State House since the Republicans control both chambers of the legislature and “"every constitutional statewide office.” Hatfield claimed that Hawaii only made “cryptic” statements confirming Obama’s birth in the state, and that, “I don’t think anyone has seen his original long-form birth certificate.” But Hatfield not only has doubts concerning Obama’s birth certificate but also his time in college and abroad, saying: “The President himself could release the records to show and document where he was born, he could release the records to show where he went to college and what he did in college, and he can release his passport. These are things that are completely within his control and he has chosen not to show those to the American people.”

Meet Congressman-Elect Tom Marino: Plagued by Corruption Charges

Following the election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our ninth candidate profile is on Tom Marino of Pennsylvania:

In 2007, Tom Marino resigned from his position as US Attorney in Pennsylvania after a corruption scandal clouded his career and raised questions about his honesty. Marino had used his official title as US Attorney to provide a reference in 2005 to his “close friend,” convicted felon Louis DeNaples, who was trying to win the state gaming commission’s approval to open slot machines at a resort he owned. When his office began an investigation into DeNaples for lying about his ties to organized crime, Marino's assistants uncovered his reference and notified the Justice Department, which transferred the investigation out of Marino’s office. But questions about Marino’s ties to DeNaples remained.

Defending his actions, Marino said on a local radio show that the Department of Justice gave him permission to be a reference for DeNaples. But the Justice Department says there is “no record of Marino having received the permission” to serve as a reference for DeNaples and that Marino never informed the General Counsel office. Although Marino stands by his claim that he received written permission, he failed to produce any letter from the Department.

When the Justice Department launched an investigation into Marino’s actions, he resigned and promptly took a $250,000-a-year job as “DeNaples’ in-house lawyer.” Marino later under-reported his income on his financial disclosure forms, reporting that he only received $25,000 from DeNaples. Even Zack Oldham of the conservative blog RedState said of Marino’s actions: “The reality is just as bad as–if not worse than–the optics of this scandal.”

The DeNaples affair wasn’t even the first time Marino had run into corruption accusations. When Marino was District Attorney in Lycoming County, he tried to get a friend out of a drug charge by going behind the back of the county judge who had refused to toss out his friend’s conviction. According to the Luzeme County Citizens Voice, Marino “approached another judge and won the expungement, but the plan backfired when the second judge learned of the first judge's involvement in the case.”

Marino continued to struggle with the truth in his campaign for Congress. He criticized his opponent, Rep. Chris Carney, for leaving Washington as an anti-abortion rights bill was being circulated during the health care reform debate. Carney was not in Washington at the time because his wife was undergoing surgery for breast cancer.

He later alleged that Carney “has no problem spending taxpayers’ money for abortions” and that Pennsylvania women were receiving taxpayer-subsidized abortions under the new health care law, even though nonpartisan fact-checkers have confirmed, repeatedly, that the law prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion.

Marino also berated his opponent for refusing to take questions from the press on political matters after Carney, a Navy Reservist, was called for active duty and was barred by law from making “statements to or answer questions from the news media regarding political issues or regarding government policies.”

But his ethical challenges have not kept the far-right from embracing him. In fact, his rightwing politics have earned him the endorsement of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, Rick Santorum’s America’s Foundation, Mike Huckabee’s HuckPAC, the Family Research Council, and the Government Is Not God PAC.

On the issue of immigration, Marino opposes a pathway for citizenship for illegal immigrants, and touts his endorsement from Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, which has been called a “nativist extremist organization” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In his Americans for Legal Immigration PAC survey, Marino says he strongly favors Arizona’s severe SB 1070 law, would refuse to support comprehensive immigration reform, and that he would consider impeaching the President over immigration policy.

Marino said he would vote against extending unemployment benefits, maintaining that some of the people on unemployment simply don’t “want to go get work because they are being paid to stay home.” He said that non-senior citizens should face cuts in Social Security benefits if not the elimination of the program altogether, saying: “my generation and probably the generation that follows me, we are going to have to step up to the plate and say, ‘We are not going to get Social Security.’” The 60 Plus Association, a front group for the health care and pharmaceutical industries which supports privatizing Social Security, aired TV ads on Marino’s behalf.

In a radio interview in August, Marino reportedly suggested eliminating the IRS and the Departments of Education and Energy and replacing them with new agencies, saying, “There’s got to be a total revolution there.”

Despite the ethical cloud surrounding Marino, his hard-line conservative views and support from the Radical Right helped him win election to Congress. Watch this segment from an NBC affiliate revealing Marino’s ethical troubles:

 

 

 

Keyes: GOP Can’t Be Trusted Until They Embrace Birtherism

No stranger to hyperbole, Alan Keyes in his latest column for WorldNetDaily suggests that the war between “Obama’s Mao Zedong-style forced march to socialism” and people who “love liberty” comes down to the question of Obama’s eligibility to serve as President. Keyes claims that while the GOP’s sins of massive spending, elitism, and political moderation are bad, their refusal to endorse Birtherism outright is even worse.

According to Keyes, the Republicans in the House can only defend the “constitutional republic” if they ardently contest Obama’s eligibility to serve as President, and assist Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, the Birther soldier who refuses to obey orders from the military and is facing a dishonorable discharge. Keyes writes:

I see little or no evidence that the GOP embraces the forthright and positive commitment to liberty America has and should always represent. I see strong evidence that they do not. The best proof is their cowardly acquiescence in Obama's contemptuous disregard for the authority of the U.S. Constitution, epitomized by his stubborn refusal to do what's necessary to establish that he is in fact constitutionally eligible to hold the office whose perquisites he presently abuses to defend that refusal. Not content with arrogant legal maneuvers, the Obama faction and its fellow travelers are now doing what all those determined to establish tyranny routinely do. They are seeking to destroy, and so make an example of, an honorable individual whose only "crime" is his refusal to join the jackals who are willing to conspire in Obama's overthrow of the Constitution's authority. Lt. Col. Terry Lakin awaits the commencement of the Stalinesque "show trial," a planned and orchestrated travesty of military justice intended to stifle legitimate public doubts by showing what happens to those who have the nerve to insist that politicians and government officials respect the Constitution's prerequisites for the exercise of power.

All the powers that be in the Republican Party have joined in the conspiracy of silence that allows this good man, this decorated officer, this truly courageous patriot, to be persecuted. Many of them and their cohorts in the Republican-leaning media have joined in the insidious effort to demean and silence anyone who articulates the reasonable arguments that prove the rightness of his cause. They have thus tacitly espoused and abetted the poisonous elite intention to establish by this powerful precedent the liberty-killing notion that the winners of any given election thereby gain a license to treat the Constitution's requirements as optional.

Keyes has previously argued that only Birthers are truly loyal to the Constitution and should be allowed to be President. Despite such resentment, there is growing support for Birther ideas within the GOP:

  • Missouri House Majority Leader, Republican State Rep. Timothy W. Jones, is a close ally and partner of “Birther Queen” Orly Taitz, and was “was listed as a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by lawyer-dentist Taitz to obtain an original birth certificate, immigration records, passports and other vital records from Obama.”
  • Congressman-Elect Tim Walberg (R-MI) claims that the he “really didn’t know” if Obama was a citizen, and that the President “hasn't resolved” the controversy over his eligibility. He suggested that House Republicans should consider impeaching Obama over the matter.
  • Congressman-Elect Steve Pearce (R-NM) agreed with the Birthers arguments for questioning Obama’s citizenship and said that “Barack Obama raised the most significant questions himself.”
  • US Senator David Vitter (R-LA), who just won reelection, said that he supports Birther lawsuits and called them “the valid and most possibly effective grounds” to contest Obama’s eligibility.
  • Roy Blunt (R-MO), the former GOP Minority Whip and now US Senator-Elect, said: “What I don't know is why the president can't produce a birth certificate. I don't know anybody else that can't produce one. And I think that that's a legitimate question -- no health records, no birth certificate.”

Maybe the Republican Party is moving in Keyes’s direction after all.

Meet Alan Nunnelee: Mississippi’s Newest Member of Congress is on a “Crusade to Save America”

Following Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our third candidate profile is Mississippi state senator and self-described “crusader” Alan Nunnelee.

Mississippi Democrat Travis Childers was a prime target for the GOP the moment he took office after a special election in May, 2008 in a seat that Republicans had held for 14 years. One of the most conservative Democrats in the House, Childers opposed health care reform and abortion rights, supported gun rights, and voted with his party less often than almost any other House member.

But despite his conservative bona fides, Childers couldn’t hold onto his seat against the challenge of far-right State Senator Alan Nunnelee. Nunnelee describes himself as on a “crusade to save America.” Although Childers voted against almost all of the Democrats’ major pieces of legislation, Nunnelee criticized him for not being conservative enough. In a speech before his primary victory, Nunnelee declared that Democratic policies are “more dangerous” than Pearl Harbor or 9/11: “What I see in Washington over the last 16 months is a more dangerous attack because it’s an attack on our freedom that’s coming from the inside.”

In an interview with a local Tea Party group, Nunnelee questioned whether the Obama Administration has a national security policy, saying “the administration has been so preoccupied with their domestic agenda that they have ignored our national defense.”

In a speech before the Byhalia Chamber of Commerce in August, Nunnelee dipped his toes in conspiracy theory, announcing that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was planning to investigate American citizens who oppose the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque”: “Just yesterday, the Speaker of the House said that those people that were opposed to building a mosque at the site of Ground Zero need to be investigated. So if you had a conversation at work, if you picked up your cell phone and called your brother in law, if you sent an email to your children, and you expressed concern about that, you need to watch out, because the Speaker of the House thinks you should be investigated.”

A state senator since 1994, Nunnelee has been a leader in far-right initiatives including hard-line anti-choice laws, opposition to gay rights, reducing environmental oversight, and making it more difficult to obtain Medicaid.

Nunnelee was at the forefront of Mississippi’s efforts to all but eliminate abortion services in the state. He was instrumental in the effort to pass Mississippi’s ban on late term abortion and led the effort to create a law directly challenging Roe v. Wade, which he called “the worst kind of law.” Nunnelee’s law set up tough parental consent requirements and provided that, in the event that Roe v. Wade was overturned, doctors performing abortions could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. Nunnelee also wrote an “informed consent” law requiring women to look at a picture book of fetal development before agreeing to an abortion procedure. He worked with anti-choice groups to write a law requiring abortion clinics in Mississippi to meet “ambulatory surgical facility” standards, intended to put abortion clinics out of business by requiring them to follow onerous and precise standards including having hallways over six feet wide and “an attractive setting.” This year, Nunnelee sponsored a bill requiring Mississippi to “opt-out” of using federal health care funds for abortion—although the state already has such a ban and the federal health care bill involves no such funding. He called it the “"Federal Abortion-Mandate Opt-Out Act."

There is now only one abortion clinic in Mississippi.

On the issue of marriage, Nunnelee brags of having pushed Mississippi’s anti-marriage equality constitutional amendment, and of working to prevent gay couples in the state from adopting children, saying: “I am proud to have pushed the statutory language prohibiting same sex couples from adopting as well as the Constitutional Amendment prohibiting same sex marriage in Mississippi.” He also voted to allow an option for covenant marriage, a marriage agreement under which it is very difficult to get a divorce.

Moreover, Nunnelee was behind the successful push to make the DMV print “Choose Life” license plates, with the proceeds going to benefit anti-choice groups, and also boasts that he “led the efforts to place our national motto, In God we Trust, on the classroom wall of every school classroom in the state.”

Nunnelee also boasts of his roll in a 2004 plan that cut 65,000 Mississippians from the state’s Medicaid rolls. His suggestion for those who lost coverage was to call drug companies to find out about free or reduced price prescriptions. The Mississippi Human Services Coalition  gave him a 0 percent ranking for his abysmal voting record.

He has consistently voted for Voter ID laws, which often work to prevent low-income people from voting. He has said he supports Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant law, saying, “unless the federal government is willing to enforce existing laws, states must protect themselves as Arizona has.” In a GOP candidates’ debate, he stated, “I would be absolutely opposed to granting any kind of amnesty to any man or woman who is in this country illegally,” and also supports ending the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship.

Finally, after he was elected, Nunnelee went on the radio with notorious bigot Bryan Fischer to discuss the GOP’s policies in the new Congress, repeatedly agreeing that health care reform should be repealed at all costs, even if it takes a government shut-down:

 

 

 

The Warped Feminism of the Susan B. Anthony List

Although a number of media narratives describe 2010 election as revealing the rise of conservative woman, the "Awakening of the Conservative Woman," or the "Year of the Mama Grizzly," and what Sarah Palin calls “the emerging conservative, feminist identity,” it’s easy to forget that women have always played a prominent role in the conservative movement: Phyllis Schlafly, Clare Boothe Luce, and Beverly LaHaye, just to name a few.

But are women really running to embrace the rightwing agenda in 2010? Most polls show that the growing support for Republican candidates is a result of disproportionate backing from men, while Democrats still lead among women voters; Sarah Palin, the foremost Republican woman, is viewed favorably by an abysmally low 22% of Americans. But it is true that more and more women are running as Republicans for elected office, and the Religious Right has embraced the fiercely anti-choice Republican Senate candidates like Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Kelly Ayotte and Carly Fiorina. While it is difficult to say that women are turning to the GOP, at least one group is pushing the narrative that women will be at the center of the Right’s resurgence.

The Susan B. Anthony List was founded by Marjorie Dannenfelser and Jane Abraham, two women long-tied to Republican politics and anti-choice activism. Dannenfelser compared her fight against “the oligarchy of pro-choice women” to Susan B. Anthony’s campaign against second-class citizenship for women, and claims that Susan B. Anthony and the original women’s movement were all “strongly pro-life.”

Of course, real  historians and experts have thoroughly debunked Dannenfelser’s interpretation of women’s history: “Anthony spent no time on the politics of abortion. It was of no interest to her, despite living in a society (and a family) where women aborted unwanted pregnancies.” But the SBA List is now appropriating the legacy of Anthony and the women’s movement to serve their political agenda.

In 2010, SBA List has become a critical voice in the Religious Right in not only transforming the notion of “feminism” but also running extremely deceptive political ads. The group teamed up with the National Organization for Marriage to launch a $200,000 ad campaign against Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer targeted at the Latino community, claiming that Boxer opposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Naturally, PolitiFact rated their anti-Boxer ad to be “false” and “highly misleading,” as the Senator is one of the leading advocates of immigrant-rights in Washington.

Now, SBA List has just initiated a campaign targeting anti-choice Democrats who voted in favor of Health Care Reform by employing the immensely discredited and deceptive charge that the new law leads to “taxpayer funding of abortion.” Politico reports that the group plans to spend millions of dollars on television and radio advertisements, billboards, and a bus tour. SBA List has invested heavily in Carly Fiorina of California, New Hampshire GOP nominee Kelly Ayotte, a star of the anti-abortion rights movement, and said that the ultraconservative Nevada Republican Sharron Angle represents an “authentic, pro-life feminism that puts the ‘feminine’ back in the word” who would make “Susan B. Anthony proud.” Yes, the SBA List has such a warped view of feminism that they call the same Sharron Angle who described the situation of a girl impregnated by her father as “really [turning] a lemon situation into lemonade” an “authentic” feminist. Their other top candidate, State Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana who is running for the House, is a staunch Religious Right advocate who notoriously sunk hate-crimes legislation by trying to add “fetuses” as a protected class of citizens.

Sarah Palin has emerged as the symbolic head of SBA List, and the group founded the Team Sarah website to attract more women to their brand of “feminism.” “It’s only natural that women like these are responding to someone like Sarah Palin,” writes Dannenfelser, and “now millions of Americans, men and women, are going to the polls to make 2010 not only the Year of the Pro-Life Woman but the dawn of the Decade of Pro-Life Women.”

While SBA List’s view of feminism is different from the more openly anti-feminist groups like Eagle Forum and the Independent Women’s Forum, the groups essentially share the same reactionary ideas and principles. SBA List merely cloaks their anti-women’s rights agenda around a right-wing understanding of “feminism” and a misconstrued view of history.

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 9/22

Your update on the right-wing candidates running for US Senate for 9/15-9/22.

Sharron Angle

Radical Right: Speaks at John Birch Society and Oath Keepers-sponsored event in Utah, describes crowd as “mainstream America” (Salt Lake Tribune, 9/20).

Tea Party: Planned Las Vegas convention featuring Angle quietly cancelled (TPM, 9/20).

Health Care: Claims that pre-existing conditions coverage can be “addressed very well by the free market” (Huffington Post, 9/21).

Poll: Fox News poll shows Angle and Reid running neck-and-neck (Washington Times, 9/21).

Ken Buck

Ads: New Democratic ads hit Buck over the 17th Amendment and reproductive health (CNN, 9/21).

Civil Rights: Left-leaning group holds rally protesting Buck’s views on contraception and choice (Denver Westward, 9/21).

Economy: Favors extending all of the Bush tax cuts (Colorado Independent, 9/17).

Carly Fiorina

Poll: New poll shows Fiorina trailing Boxer by 8% (Public Policy Polling, 9/21).

Ad: Boxer blasts Fiorina’s performance as CEO of HP (Daily Kos, 9/18).

Tea Party: Wins endorsement from Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks PAC (WaPo, 9/21).

Economy: Supports extending tax cuts for the wealthy (AP, 9/20).

Campaign: WSJ profiles Fiorina’s focus on the San Joaquin Valley (WSJ, 9/21).

Joe Miller

Government: Big-Government critic received farm subsidies (AP, 9/21).

GOP: Knocks Murkowski for running as a write-in candidate (CNN, 9/21).

Poll: Rasmussen poll shows Miller leading with 42% (Rasmussen, 9/21).

Economy: Changes position on unemployment benefits after criticism (ThinkProgress, 9/21).

Tea Party: Receives endorsement from Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks PAC (Business Wire, 9/20).

Christine O’Donnell

Campaign: Used $20,000 of campaign money to pay rent for house and served as her own campaign’s treasurer (Christian Science Monitor, 9/21).

Religious Right: Journalist unearths 2008 comment where she called homosexuality an “identity disorder” (ABC News, 9/20).

Poll: Fox News poll shows Chris Coons leader 54-39% (Fox News, 9/21).

Bewitched: Reactions to “dabbled into witchcraft” comment vary (Yahoo News, 9/20).

Ad: DSCC slams O’Donnell in new ad on finances (DSCC, 9/17).

Rand Paul

Government: AFL-CIO mailer condemns Paul’s views on Social Security, workplace safety (Politico, 9/20).

Media: Criticized by journalists for not speaking to press about views (WHAS, 9/20).

Palin: Sarah Palin fundraises with Paul and joins him for Fox Business interview (Mediaite, 9/18).

Education: Knocked for supporting Dept. of Education’s elimination (McClatchy, 9/21).

Dino Rossi

Economy: Stimulus-critic Rossi visits shipyard that benefited from Stimulus funding (Seattle Times, 9/17).

Government: Rossi hammered for views on government subsidies for refueling tanker competition (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 9/21).

Poll: Patty Murray leads Rossi by 5% in new poll (Rasmussen Reprots, 9/16).

Immigration: Opposes both a path for citizenship and deportation of illegal immigrants in the US, offers no alternatives (Seattle Times, 9/20).

Marco Rubio

Tea Party: Speaks to “Forward with the Constitution Rally” in St. Augustine (St. Petersburg Times, 9/19).

Ad: Crist disparages Rubio for earmarks in new ad (TPM, 9/20).

Pat Toomey

Fundraiser: Scott Brown (R-MA) to fundraise in Philadelphia for Toomey (Boston Globe, 9/21).

Poll: Leads Joe Sestak 48-40% in Fox News poll, 50-43% according to Quinnipiac (PA2010, 9/21).

Economy: Signs pledge to back Estate Tax repeal (CBS21, 9/20).

Wall Street: Ties to Wall Street banks come under scrutiny (LA Times, 9/17).

We Rest Our Case: Bryan Fischer Tries to Defend His Bigoted Record

Today, People For the American Way issued a statement calling out all those conservative leaders who will attending the upcoming Values Voter Summit and sharing the stage with notorious bigot Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association and chronicled the myriad of outrageously offensive things Fischer has said about gays and Muslims and others.

Needless to say, Fischer is not particularly pleased with our statement and dedicated a portion of his radio program today to "defending" himself ... and in doing so, only helped to make our point even clearer.

Fischer took particular exception to our point that "any candidate thinking seriously of running for president in 2012 should think twice about standing alongside a man who has called for the deportation of all Muslims in America," by claiming that he did no such thing (but, of course, he did when he claimed that Muslim citizens were, simply by being virtue of being Muslim, guilty of treason against the US.)

Fischer's "defense" is that he simply wants to deny entry to all Muslims because we are doing them a favor since they could not possibly handle or tolerate our freedoms:

"Any candidate thinking seriously of running for president in 2012 should think twice about standing alongside a man who has called for the deportation of all Muslims in America."

That, as a matter of fact is not true. What I has said is that if Muslims are here and they have citizenship status, we shouldn't do anything to them. They have citizenship status, it might have been a mistake to give it to them, but they have it and we need to respect it because we uphold the rule of law.

What I was talking about is when you have Muslims who are applying for permanent residency, for permanent legal residency, or applying for citizenship, my recommendation is that instead of granting them citizenship, we help them return to their homeland, to their native country, we help repatriate them to their country of origin where they can have the freedom to be Muslims without having to chafe against our religious liberty and our freedom of speech and first-class citizenship status for wives and for women.

This has got to be awkward for them, it's got to be painful for them, it's got to be uncomfortable for them to see so many people enjoying the fruit of Christianity, its liberty and its freedom, its respect for the individual, its respect for the freedom of individuals to think and make decisions for themselves, its got to chew them up because it is so the polar opposite of what Islam is all about.

So I say we are doing them a favor by repatriating them to their homeland where an entire nation shares their values.

We also pointed out that Fischer demanded a ban on Muslims serving in the US military which he "defended" by saying that he was merely telling the truth about how all Muslims are required to kill Christians and Jews:

So if telling the truth about Muslim service-members is an insult, then truth is now the new insult, truth is now the new hate speech.

All I have said about Muslims in the military is that their god commands them to kill us and it does not make sense to me that we would allow people to enlist in the body that is designed to protect our security and enable us to sleep peacefully in our beds at night, we should not invite into our military - the very organization that is supposed to protect us - invite into our military those who have a solemn and sacred obligation to kill us and kill their fellow soldiers.

Finally, Fischer explains that he doesn't "hate" gays or Muslims - he just hates the horrible, empty, disease-filled lives they lead:

 I am pro-gay; I am anti-homosexuality. I am pro-Muslim; I am anti-Islam. 

I am for homosexuals because I want them to be delivered from the bondage and the death sentence of homosexual conduct. So I am against homosexual behavior, I am against homosexual expression, I am against homosexual conduct because I want to see the people that are trapped in that lifestyle, I want to see them set free.

And the same is true when it comes to Islam: I am for Muslims; I am against-Islam. And, as I mentioned before, the primary victims of Islam are Muslims. I mean, it's got to break your heart when you visualize the life that these people lead in Muslim-dominated countries.

There is darkness, there is tyranny, there is repression, there is hatred, there is a complete absence of freedom, a complete absence of liberty, women are second-class citizens, they're considered as property, as chattel who can be beaten by their husbands according to Allah, according to the Holy Quran, according to the Prophet.

I mean the poverty, and the disease, and the emptiness and the sterility of life in a Muslim-dominated land, it ought to break our hearts. And that is why I am against Islam because I see what it does to people, I see what it does to cultures, I see what it does to entire nations when it is allowed to take root and flourish.

So I am pro-Muslims, but anti-Islam. I am pro-homosexual, I am anti-homosexuality. 

Let me point out again that this is Fischer defense against charges of being an anti-gay and anti-Muslim bigot.

So let us ask again why conservative leaders like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence, Bob McDonnell, Newt Gingrich, and Michele Bachmann are so willing to share a stage with this man and attend an event being co-sponsored by the American Family Association, the group that has given Fischer a national platform?

Maddow: Are There Any Political Consequences For Appearing With Bryan Fischer?

On her program Friday, Rachel Maddow asked a very smart question:  namely, whether there will ever be any political consequences for Republican leaders for appearing alongside an anti-Muslim bigot like the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, which Michele Bachmann, Jim DeMint, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Bob McDonnell, Mike Pence, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and several others will all be doing later this week at the Values Voter Summit:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Presumably, the answer to this question is "no", because there is seemingly nothing that any Religious Right activist can ever say that get them ostracized by the movement ... which is why Fischer is free to say that Muslims are stupid and dangerous because they are all inbred and should all be banned from serving in the military and deported and stripped of their citizenship and denied their religious liberties and still get to share the stage with conservative leaders and Republican presidential hopefuls.  

Why Not Just Invite Terry Jones To the Values Voter Summit?

Given the notoriety Terry Jones and his Dove World Outreach church have achieved in the last week, what do you think the chances are that Jones will be invited to speak at a gathering of social conservatives any time soon, or that leading Republican presidential contenders and Congressional leaders would attend a conference hosted by Dove World Outreach?

The chances of that are probably rather slim ... but, for some reason, social conservatives and Republican leaders seem to have no problem sharing the stage with anti-Muslim bigot Bryan Fischer at the upcoming Values Voter Summit.

The Summit is being co-sponsored by the American Family Association, where Fischer is Director of Issues Analysis, and Fischer is scheduled to be a featured speaker along with the likes of Michele Bachmann, Jim DeMint, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Bob McDonnell, Mike Pence, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and others.

Would any of these leaders be willing to share a stage with Terry Jones?  If not, then why are they sharing a stage with Fischer, who has declared that all Muslims should be banned from serving in the military, that all Muslim noncitizens must be deported and all Muslim citizens must be stripped of their US citizenship and expelled from the country, that the construction of mosques in the United States must be completely banned, and that all the soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan have died in vain because the US did not convert those countries to Christianity?

In comparison to Fischer, Terry Jones actually seems rather moderate since all he wanted to do was burn the Quran, not expel every single Muslim from the country, treat them like criminals, and completely strip them of their religious freedoms. 

So it is worth asking why, if leaders like Gingrich, McDonnell, and Huckabee wouldn't be caught anywhere near the likes of an anti-Muslim bigot like Terry Jones, they are so willing to share the stage with one like Bryan Fischer?

Fischer: Muslim Reaction to Quran-Burning Proves They Are All Violent Terrorists

On Saturday, Terry Jones, senior pastor from the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida is planning on burning copies of the Quran to mark the anniversary of 9/11, despite the fact that Gen. David Petraeus says his actions could "endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort [in Afghanistan]."

The AFA's Bryan Fischer says Jones' plan is a step too far:

Pastor Terry Jones intends to burn copies of the Qur'an at his church on 9/11. It's not something I would do were I still in the pastorate, and not something I recommend.

Really?  What exactly is Fischer's standard for what is appropriate when it comes to demonizing Islam?  He's already called for the deportation of every Muslim in the US on the grounds that they are traitors and demanded an end to the construction of any mosques anywhere in America.  So why would Fischer consider burning copies of the Quran to be beyond the pale?  Especially since he seemingly supports it because it proves his point that all Muslims are violent terrorists: 

How can American lives be endangered by doing nothing more than putting a match to pieces of paper, if Islam is a religion of peace and moderation? How can this be?

When atheists and secularists like the minions of the ACLU, get the Bible banned from schools what do Christians do? They make phone calls, send emails, and go to court. What do Muslims do under similar circumstances? They start shooting and throwing bombs.

Notice as well that nobody is asking what Muslims might have done that ticked off Rev. Jones, how the Muslim world may in fact to blame for his little demonstration. Nobody is out there saying that Muslim policies are "an accessory" to his bonfire, or he is "made in the Muslim world" because of Islamic attacks against America. Nope.

Islam has defenders galore, all eager to excuse Muslim violence against Americans on the grounds that Muslims have been provoked by the West. But when Rev. Jones does nothing more than commit violence against a dead tree, he has nary a defender to say that Muslim provocation is to blame. 

So, according to Fischer, the Quran is just a book and if Muslims react badly to the idea of people burning copies of it, it just proves that Islam is inherently violent ... which itself only goes to further demonstrate why the US must take steps to strip all Muslims of their citizenship and expel them from the country.

The Black Robe Regiment: Glenn Beck's Redundant New Group

One thing I find fascinating about the Religious Right is how seemingly every major new organization or effort that it launches is literally the same as every other organization or effort it has ever launched.

Just today I noted how yet another group was calling for 40 days of prayer heading into the mid-term elections, as if all the other calls to 40 days of prayer and fasting were not enough.

Similarly, it seems like every few weeks, some new Religious Right group is formed that does exactly the same thing all of the other Religious Right groups are doing.

And now we have Glenn Beck announcing the formation of his Black Robe Regiment:

Apparently, the idea began with Beck's favorite historian, David Barton. When Beck told Barton he wanted to "get religious leaders together," Barton suggested forming a Black Robe Regiment -- named after what Barton had said was a group of preachers who supported the American Revolution from their pulpits. Beck decided that was "exactly" what he was looking for because it was a movement supposedly like his that was "not about politics."

Beck then described the first meeting he held with "the largest evangelical leaders in the country" some of whom had been involved in the Christian Coalition. ... Beck elaborated on his call to "mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes," calling on his listeners to "tithe 10 percent" and encouraging them to "sacrifice our fortunes so our children don't have to pay for our lifestyle." Beck implored his listeners: "You must tithe because these people [the Black Robe Regiment] are going to be in trouble. They're going to come under attack."

So Beck's brilliant idea is to bring together a bunch of Religious Right leaders in an effort to motivate pastors to play a bigger role in politics and the culture?

Has Beck never heard of the Patriot Pastors?

Fellow pastor Russell Johnson lacks [Rod] Parsley's charisma, but he has mastered the art of organizing. His group, the Ohio Restoration Project (ORP), recruited nearly 1,800 churches with "Patriot Pastors" and deputized them to draft new "values voters."

The ministers signed 410,000 Ohio homes onto Johnson's mailing list, and the ORP can tap 100,000 prayer warriors through e-mail in a moment's notice. This is more than just a group of voters ready to punch some ballots. According to ORP outreach materials, it is a "mighty army" ready to do battle.

While Johnson reaches white evangelicals and fundamentalists, Parsley appeals to both African Americans and Pentecostals. Together, the two men have forged a political machine that aims to remake Ohio politics—and the nation.

Or what about the US Pastor Council?

The mission of the Houston Area Pastor Council and sister councils in USPC is to empower pastors and their congregations across racial and denominational lines to impact the culture and community through concerted prayer, to equip our congregations for effective citizenship and to provide a unified voice on spiritual, cultural, social and moral issues from a Biblical perspective. The AMERICA Plan was developed as a Purpose Statement of how pastors and churches can and must enage in godly citizenship.

HAPC has become a respected voice on front line cultural and political issues from a non-partisan perspective, holding elected officials of both major parties and non-partisan offices to a Biblical standard. The Pastors' Declaration of Godly Citizenship was developed to clarify the core values of this coalition.

HAPC has conducted numerous luncheons, workshops, rallies, elected official summits, Pastors' Day At the Capitol and many other activities bringing pastors together, proving top quality Biblical, historical, legal and public policy information as well as standing in the gap for our nation.

Or what about the Pulpit Initiative:

Historically, churches have emphatically, and with great passion, spoken Scriptural truth from the pulpit about government and culture. Historians have stated that America owes its independence in great degree to the moral force of the pulpit. Pastors have proclaimed Scriptural truth throughout history on great moral issues such as slavery, women’s suffrage, child labor and prostitution. Pastors have also spoken from the pulpit with great frequency for and against various candidates for government office ... It is time for the intimidation and threats to end. Churches and pastors have a constitutional right to speak freely and truthfully from the pulpit – even on candidates and voting – without fearing loss of their tax exemption.

Or the Watchmen on the Wall:

Watchmen on the Wall" is a powerful conference in the nation's capital especially designed for pastors and ministers, based on Isa. 62:6: "I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem. They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent..." FRC launched the Briefing in May 2004 to:

* Remind spiritual leaders of our nation's Judeo-Christian heritage.
* Inform them about the moral issues being debated in the public square.
* Ignite their passion to become watchmen who will sound the alarm.
* Inspire them to encourage their churches to engage the culture.

Our hope is that you will return home encouraged and educated about the issues of the day that affect faith and family and that you will be inspired to share with your congregations what they may do to take a more active role as salt and light in your community and government.

Or what about the Patriotic Pastors, or Pastors for Family Values, or even the Patriot Pastors’ T.E.A. Party?

And those are the groups I can think of just off the top of my head. 

Obviously, none of the previous efforts have accomplished their goals - if they had, there would be no need to keep launching new groups with the exact same mission over and over again. 

But apparently Beck believes that Beck thinks that he (with the help of the very Religious Right leaders behind all these other efforts) has finally found the key:  getting pastors more engaged in the political process. 

Gee, why has nobody ever thought of that before?  

Pastors Who Vouch for Obama's Christian Faith Are Just Like Churches Who Gave Cover to Nazis

The last time we wrote about Dave Welch of the U.S. Pastor Council, he was calling on pastors to rise up and save America from the "Fourth Reich of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid".

But I guess we know a few pastors whose help Welch doesn't want as he fights off this Nazi-like siege from President Obama ... and that would be any pastor, like Kirbyjon Caldwell or Joel Hunter, who vouches for Obama's Christian faith:

[P]astors like Hunter and Caldwell who serve as spiritual lapdogs to Obama are even more culpable for giving him cover. They are much like the clergy of Hitlerian Germany and the "Positive Christianity" that represented complete acquiescence to and control by the Nazi state.

Welch claims that "neither I, you nor anyone is in complete position to be the judge of whether Obama" is truly a Christian ... and then proceeds to state that Obama is not a devout Christian by any stretch of the imagination.  

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citizenship Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Tuesday 04/26/2011, 10:02am
Earlier this month House Democrats reintroduced the Uniting American Families Act, which “would grant same-sex couples the same residency rights currently enjoyed by heterosexual couples under U.S. immigration law.” Such legislation is unsurprisingly despised by the Religious Right, with Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council calling it an “an assault on the definition of family,” adding, “I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 04/13/2011, 4:40pm
Perhaps the rise of Donald Trump’s poll numbers among Republicans following his escalating “birther” rhetoric has given a boost to the discredited birthers, as the Arizona State Senate just passed a “birther” bill. The legislation requires candidates to prove that they are born on U.S. soil if they want to receive a spot on the ballot, and its chief sponsor in the House even met with Trump to discuss the bill’s prospects: The measure, House Bill 2177, is aimed at President Barack Obama and those on the political right who want him to produce a birth... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 03/09/2011, 2:37pm
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) believes that radical Islamic terrorists and progressives are working together to bring down America out of their shared “hatred” for conservatives and Christians, and intend to use “terror babies” as part of their plan. Speaking with a receptive audience of Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association, Gohmert explained his allegation that terrorists are plotting to come into the United States in order to gain citizenship for their children. After Gohmert first floated his conspiracy theory on... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/24/2011, 7:03pm
PFAW - Right Wing Watch In Focus: Citizenship in the Balance: How Anti-Immigrant Activists Twist the Facts, Ignore History, and Flout the Constitution.    Steve Benen: How The Media Covers Health Care Rulings, Cont'd.    Jim Burroway @ Box Turtle Bulletin: Tennessee Lawmakers Propose Ban on Mentioning LGBT People in Schools.    Nick @ Bold Faith Type: Fact-check: Religious Right Overstates Opposition to Expanding Marriage.    HRC Back Story: Hawaii Governor Signs Civil Unions into Law.   ... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/24/2011, 7:03pm
PFAW - Right Wing Watch In Focus: Citizenship in the Balance: How Anti-Immigrant Activists Twist the Facts, Ignore History, and Flout the Constitution.    Steve Benen: How The Media Covers Health Care Rulings, Cont'd.    Jim Burroway @ Box Turtle Bulletin: Tennessee Lawmakers Propose Ban on Mentioning LGBT People in Schools.    Nick @ Bold Faith Type: Fact-check: Religious Right Overstates Opposition to Expanding Marriage.    HRC Back Story: Hawaii Governor Signs Civil Unions into Law.   ... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/23/2011, 12:21pm
It looks like Arizona’s draconian racial profiling law was only the beginning. Republicans in the State Senate Appropriations Committee just approved a flagrantly unconstitutional bill that would eliminate citizenship by birthright, a right protected by the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. As recently as 1982 in Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court ruled that undocumented immigrants are protected by the 14th Amendment, which guarantees birthright citizenship. The debate over the citizenship bill may even show signs of splintering inside the Republican Party, with one leading anti-... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/23/2011, 12:21pm
It looks like Arizona’s draconian racial profiling law was only the beginning. Republicans in the State Senate Appropriations Committee just approved a flagrantly unconstitutional bill that would eliminate citizenship by birthright, a right protected by the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. As recently as 1982 in Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court ruled that undocumented immigrants are protected by the 14th Amendment, which guarantees birthright citizenship. The debate over the citizenship bill may even show signs of splintering inside the Republican Party, with one leading anti-... MORE