Corruption

Rifqa Bary and "The Strange Case Of The Philandering, Muslim-Threat-Hyping FBI Agent"

Talking Points Memo has a good profile of former FBI agent John Guandolo:

An FBI agent who worked on the corruption case of former Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson resigned after superiors found a list he wrote of his sexual conquests with agents and a confidential source, according to court documents.

The same agent, John Guandolo, who is married and who unsuccessfully solicited a $75,000 donation for an anti-terrorism group from a wealthy witness in the Jefferson case with whom he was having an affair, resigned from the FBI and appears to have landed on his feet on the speaking circuit playing up the threat of Islamic terrorism.

What does that have to do with what we write about here at RightWingWatch, you ask?  Well, it turns out that one of the ways in which he's been "playing up the threat of Islamic terrorism" is by injecting himself into the Rifqa Bary saga.

For instance, last week he penned a piece entitled "Florida Department of Law Enforcement earns an F" for the Center for Security Policy website, claiming that, in his "professional opinion," the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's investigation stating that there was no evidence to support the right-wing allegations against Bary's parents was false, due to "negligence-- and willful blindness" on the part of Florida authorities:

The significant errors and omissions that Mr. Guandolo and other experts have found in this FDLE investigation show a failure in FDLE’s professional responsibility in handling the Rifqa Bary case. Governor Crist and FDLE management need to get new investigators on the job, start over, and this time do it right.

He recently reiterated those claims in a piece in Human Events, and his "expert opinion" is now being cited by groups like the Family Research Council and activists like Robert Knight who are supporting Rifqa in their battle against Islam.

Chuck Norris Endorses Roy Moore

It didn't work for Mike Huckabee, but maybe Roy Moore will have better luck:

Chuck Norris, internationally known martial arts expert, actor, and media personality has endorsed Judge Roy Moore for Governor of Alabama. Norris believes Judge Moore is the strongest, best qualified candidate in the race for Alabama's gubernatorial leader, the person who can best lead the state forward in the difficult times ahead.

Judge Moore and Chuck Norris have much in common in addition to their strong conservative beliefs, including their martial arts skills and their service in our nation's armed forces. Mr. Norris has won numerous martial arts tournaments around the world. As described in Judge Moore's book, So Help Me God. Jude Moore fought professionally as a kick-boxer in both the U.S. and Australia, and is known for his strong leadership as a judge and as an Army company commander in Vietnam.

Judge Moore's campaign is based on his defense of our individual rights, his plan for creating new jobs through the proven economic principles of Supply Side economics ("Reaganomics") which brought our nation and state out of a severe recession in the 1980's-by cutting taxes and reducing the size of government. He also has a strong plan to eliminate waste and corruption in state government. Judge Moore is well known for keeping his promises.

Moore, for those who may not remember, was tossed off the Alabama Supreme Court back in 2003 for defying a federal judge's order to move a Ten Commandments monument from the state Supreme Court building.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Carrie Prejean says losing the Miss USA pageant and later her state crown was part of God's plan.
  • The Hill: An aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), was indicted Friday on public corruption charges related to the wide-ranging case involving Jack Abramoff.
  • Personhood Colorado announces that it is launching an effort to get its "personhood" amendment back on the ballot after its humiliating defeat last year, saying they are "seeing incremental advances for the personhood rights of the preborn."
  • Gary Dull and his Faith and Freedom Institute announce that they will be conducting a "Patriotic Prayer Rally" at Lafayette Park in Washington, DC tomorrow.
  • Janet Porter and gang will be hosting yet another web conference early next month highlighting the upcoming How To Take Back America Conference.
  • Finally, Roy Moore came in second at the straw poll conducted by the St. Clair County [Alabama] Republican Party after a gubernatorial forum featuring all six Republican candidates seeking the party's nomination next year.

Michelle Malkin Mocks the Idea of Broadening the GOP for Diversity's Sake

Human Events may want to take an adult education class in headline writing. This morning, Michelle Malkin, a right-wing blogger and "journalist", was on the Today show with Matt Lauer to discuss her new book, "Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies."

The conservative website, Human Events, posted the video on their website with the headline "Lauer Loses Cool During Malkin Interview." It seemed rather odd that Lauer, a guy who usually seems pretty level-headed, would "lose his cool", on national television nonetheless. After reviewing the video, however, there isn't even a fleeting moment in which Lauer does anything that resembles a loss of temper.

Even when Malkin calls President Obama a "racial opportunist" and Michelle Obama "the first crony", Lauer simply restates what Malkin said and asks how she can justify such sweeping, broad based claims. Malkin goes even further by attacking Lindsey Graham's desire for more diversity in the Republican Party:

"I think Lindsay Graham has a history of pandering to this idea that somehow the party should broaden itself for the sake of pandering to diversity."

Here's the video, get ready for Lauer's "insane" outbursts:

Rather than misrepresenting the content of an article for the sake of your own columnist, maybe Human Events should work on writing some more accurate headlines.

Senate Republicans "Collude" With Right Wing Groups to Attack Sotomayor

Just yesterday, I wrote a post about how Manuel Miranda went form an obscure Senate aide to a right-wing judicial confirmation warrior after losing his job on the Hill due to the fact that he had been regularly obtaining internal Democratic documents and sharing them with right-wing groups:

From the fall of 2001 until January 2003, when Miranda left the Judiciary Committee to work for Senator Frist, he and Lundell downloaded several thousand internal Democratic documents and possibly shared them with other Republican staffers and the media. Miranda repeatedly requested files from Lundell even after he began working for Frist and thus no longer had access to the Judiciary Committee’s server. At one point Miranda even asked Lundell to “undertake a discreet mission” to gather documents and provide them to Sean Rushton, Executive Director of the Committee for Justice, so that he could build up a relationship with the press. Lundell replied that he would be “happy to assist in this covert action” and subsequently e-mailed Rushton 169 documents. Lundell and others speculated that Miranda himself also turned over documents to Rushton and others but Miranda denies this and it is impossible to know the truth as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, the Committee for Justice and the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary all refused to cooperate with Mr. Pickle’s investigation. Despite this lack of cooperation, the Pickle Report does note that when the files showed up on the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary’s website, one of the documents contained a directory path that forensic review determined came from “an e-mail from a web page that was viewed and printed by Mr. Miranda with Internet Explorer.”

The irony, of course, is that Miranda defended his behavior by claiming that he was merely a “whistleblower” who was trying to expose the Senate Democrats' "collusion" with outside interest groups ... and chose to do so by obtaining and sending internal Democratic memos to right-wing interest groups. 

Which brings us to this article in The Hill today about how Senate Republicans are trying to appear moderate and fair-minded regarding the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor while privately telling right-wing interest groups to dig up whatever they can on her and keep up their harsh attacks, though they are now trying to deny it:

In public, Senate Republicans have kept their distance from conservative attacks on Sonia Sotomayor — but behind the scenes, they have encouraged activists to keep their crosshairs trained on the Supreme Court nominee.

Lanier Swann, an aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), told a private meeting of conservative activists Wednesday to keep up their pressure on Sotomayor.

“Swann told us she wanted to encourage all of us in our talking points and that we’re having traction among Republicans and unnerving Democrats,” said an attendee of Wednesday’s weekly meeting hosted by Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform.

“The point was we should keep it up,” said the source. “She told us at this meeting to put our foot on the pedal.”

A second source who attended the meeting confirmed the account. Both sources requested anonymity because it was a private meeting.

Swann declined to respond to the characterization of her comments by other people present at the meeting because the discussion was supposed to remain private.

Don Stewart, a spokesman for McConnell, said Swann would not encourage the groups to attack the nominee.

"I'm at a bit of a disadvantage here. Those meetings are off the record, so Lanier won't respond on it, though I'm sure she wouldn't be calling for attacks," Stewart said.

Norquist, who spoke to The Hill late Wednesday at the request of McConnell's office, said that Swann was encouraging conservatives to keep up their fire on the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, not Sotomayor.

"It was all about how Gitmo is getting incredible traction and was separate from her coversation about how pleasant the Supreme Court nominee was when she visited [McConnell's] office," Norquist said.

But two sources who attended the meeting said that explanation was absurd and insisted there was no doubt that Swann was encouraging conservatives to continue their harsh criticisms of the nominee.

I wonder if Miranda was in attendance for this meeting - the article doesn't say.

Who knows - maybe he was one of the article's unnamed sources and just felt obligated to speak out about the meeting because, as he claims, its his duty to “expose corruption wherever [it is] discovered.”

If Familiarity Breeds Acceptance, We Must Avoid Familiarity

Last week, Gallup released a poll showing that, not surprisingly, people who know someone how is gay are more inclined to support marriage equality:

While 57% of Americans oppose legalizing gay marriage, Americans who personally know someone who is gay or lesbian are almost evenly divided on the matter, with 49% in favor and 47% opposed. Among those who do not personally know anyone who is gay, 72% oppose legalized gay marriage while just 27% favor it.

Andrew Sullivan saw the poll as evidence that gays "need to accelerate the process of coming out," but  Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission sees it differently ... primarily as evidence that Christians need to disassociate themselves from gays and everyone else who doesn't share their right-wing values:

The polling discovered that one of the most important factors that control a person’s opinion about homosexual marriage was that of association, it even trumps a person’s political ideology ... In fact, former Vice President, Dick Cheney, is a perfect example. Cheney is reliably conservative on virtually every issue except homosexual marriage. This is likely as a result of the fact that he is the father of an open, practicing lesbian.

...

The natural human tendency is to be deceived in situations when we associate with openly sinful people. Human sentimentality kicks in and biblical thinking is set aside. We rationalize and justify behaviors in people we know more than in people we don’t.

This applies to more than homosexuality; it touches other sins as well. Of course, because there is a powerful deceptive dynamic you will be tempted to say, “Having close relationships with the ungodly will not affect me.” Don’t be deceived!

...

You are who you associate with ... We must find our significant associations with our Lord and His wise people. Associate daily with Christ by spending time in His Word and in prayer. Listen to His voice and cultivate a conscience that is informed by God’s Word.

Find like-minded servants of Christ with which to fellowship and to whom you can be accountable on a regular basis. Sit under the sound biblical teaching of a biblically qualified pastor. These are the ways that God will keep you from the corrupting associations of this world.

Be very careful out there in the world. Remember, “Don’t be deceived; Bad company corrupts good morals.”

The Best Thing Ever To Happen to Huckabee

It is rapidly becoming clear that the emergence of the National Council for a New America is just about the best thing that could have happened to Mike Huckabee politically. The new organization, with its obvious effort to push social conservatives aside, has allowed Huckabee to establish himself as a bona fide champion of those who feel they are being marginalized by the Republican party and solidify his effort to position himself as their candidate of choice in 2012. 

Even though Rep. Eric Cantor has been working to appease Huckabee (and by extension the Religious Right groups who have suddenly discovered Huckabee's appeal) it doesn't look like Huckabee is about to let this "controversy" dissipate, at least not without one last shot:

A new group was recently formed that is calling itself a group of experts for the purpose of making the Republican Party attractive to voters again. The strategy is supposedly to go on a listening tour so they can talk to the American people and hear what people are concerned about.

It's hard to keep from laughing out loud when people living in the bubble of the Beltway suddenly wake up one day and think they ought to have a listening tour; even funnier when their first earful expedition takes them all the way to the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

...

In my book, "Do the Right Thing," I dedicate an entire chapter called "Politically Homeless" to the unfortunate attitude between some in the party who treat values voters as if they were embarrassing distant cousins who are allowed to come to the family gatherings a couple of times a year, but aren't expected to be seen beyond that. Values voters are conservative on social issues, and economic ones as well.

For those on the listening tour, listen to this: If the party elite want to abandon principled leadership to protect life, support traditional marriage while going along with deficit exploding spending, interference and micro-managing of private business and failing to police corruption and govern competently, then hearing aids or a panel of experts won't help.

The ironic thing is that while this opportunity for Huckabee to establish himself as the Religious Right's most stalwart and committed advocate fell right into his lap, Huckabee himself may have been undermining his ability to capitalize on it because, ever since the election, he's been busy poking his eyes of all of those Religious Right leaders who did not support him. 

As he says in his column, he dedicated a whole chapter to the "politically homeless" values voters ... but what he doesn't mention is that the focus of the chapter was on the fact that he was now "politically homeless" because those who were leaders of the social conservative movement had refused to support him during the primary, as I explained in my review:

What is astonishing is the outright contempt with which Huckabee treats the religious right establishment and its leadership. His sense of betrayal courses through the chapter on the subject, in which he laments that he has now been made “politically homeless,” declaring that the “generals” of the movement are going to be surprised with they see their foot soldiers abandon them for true leaders—presumably, Huckabee and the gaggle of right-wing figures who supported his campaign.

“[I]n so many ways, I was the perfect choice for them. I was not coming to them, I was coming from them,” Huckabee writes, going on to complain that “none of the candidates had accomplished more on the life issues than I had—no one,” and that “no one in the race supported traditional marriage more strongly than I did.” And yet the religious right establishment was not only lukewarm to his candidacy, most were downright hostile. Huckabee attacks the influential Arlington Group for jerking him around and goes after several high-profile leaders by name: Pat Robertson, John Hagee, Rod Parsley, Bob Jones III, and especially Gary Bauer, whom he calls “politically clueless.”

...

In the end, Huckabee declares that the movement is no longer led by “clear-minded and deeply-rooted prophets with distinct moral lines,” but rather by “political operatives…whose goal was to be included and invited” to hobnob with the insiders. Yet Huckabee concludes that, in the end, it was probably best that the religious right establishment didn’t back him because they would have just “thought that they were solely responsible for any success I might have had.”

The fact that Huckabee was able to do so well without their support is clearly a great source for pride for him, so much so that he declares that the success of his campaign will be the harbinger of a “new wave of leaders…[with] prophetic voices…[who are] determined to follow their convictions instead of the conventional wisdom.” Those constituting this “new wave” of leadership, according to Huckabee, is a veritable who’s who of fringe right-wing second-stringers like Janet Folger, Don Wildmon, Michael Farris, Rick Scarborough, Mat Staver, and David Barton. The one thing they all have in common, interestingly enough, is that they endorsed Mike Huckabee.

If Huckabee really wants to become the Right's choice in 2012, he's going to have to start doing a lot more defending and a lot less criticizing of its leadership. 

Faith And Action's Tangled Web

A few weeks back, Faith and Action's Rob Schenck provided a video update in which he reported that Focus on the Family's new lobbyist to Capitol Hill, former Bush administration aide Tim Goeglein, would soon be sharing office space with them.

Shortly after we highlighted the video, Faith and Action yanked it down, but in it Schenck related how their office was actually the office of several allied ministries as well including the Christian Defense Coalition, Priests for Life, the National Pro-Life Action Center, the Judicial Action Group, and the Life Education and Resource Network.

In fact, there are so many different organization operating out of that office and being run by people with ties to Faith and Action that it is almost impossible to tell them apart.  For instance, Schenck and Christian Defense Coalition Director Patrick Mahoney regularly work together, like when they got together to annoint the door through which Barack Obama would walk on his way to his inauguration.

Priests for Life is run by Frank Pavone, who is also a trustee at Faith and Action, as well as president of the National Pro-Life Religious Council and Pastoral Director of Rachel’s Vinyard.

The National Pro-Life Action Center is run by Paul Schenck, Rob's twin brother, who is Chairman of Faith and Action as well as the Chief Operating Officer for National Pro-Life Radio, which itself was founded by Stephen Peroutka, who just so happens to also be the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Pro-Life Action Center.  National Pro-Life Radio's on air broadcasters include Frank Pavone, Paul Schenck, and Rob Schenck, as well as other allies like Day Gardner of the National Black Pro-Life Union and Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice who has his own close ties to Rob and Paul Schenck.

As for Rob Schenck, in addition to being a co-founder of Faith and Action, he is also president of the National Clergy Council. Among the board members of the NCC are Patrick Mahoney of the CDC as well as a man named Gary Dull, who is also an executive board member of Faith and Action.

All of which is a long way of saying that it looks like we'll soon have yet another Faith and Action-related group to try and keep an eye on because Dull is set to announce that he is starting his own new right-wing organization to confront the problem of godlessness in America:

Why is the USA in the midst of a great economic crisis? Why is there so much corruption in government? Why are American marriages breaking up at the rate of nearly 50%? Could it be that there is a root cause that many are overlooking? Could it be that the America we love is facing the judgment of God due to rejecting His laws regarding abortion, same-sex marriages, the public display of God in public spaces, trying to borrow our way into wealth, and the funding of godless programs? It appears that we too often attempt to fix the symptom of the problem, as the root of the problem continues to eat at the very core of the nation.

Today, Faith and Action in the Nation's Capitol, HOPE Ministries of Hickory, NC, and The Way of Truth Ministries of Altoona, PA are announcing the formation of THE FAITH AND FREEDOM INSTITUTE for the purpose of motivating religious, governmental, and community leaders to call our nation back to its basic values defined in historical documents. The vision of TFFI will be to perpetuate true patriotism and generate a genuine desire for biblical values in churches, schools and governmental entities within the USA.

...

Today (March 5) at 4:00 PM, a press conference will be held by the organizers to TFFI at the headquarters of the Faith and Action Ministry at 109 2nd Street, NW Washington (behind the Supreme Court) to explain the mission and objectives of the organization.

The Right That Cries Wolf

I can't tell you how many times over the years I have been watching the Religious Right that they have threatened to bolt the Republican Party if the GOP doesn't fully embrace its cultural and political agenda.  And then, every election season, the Right backs down and goes all-out to help elect Republican candidates to office.

Most people think that the GOP is already inexorably linked and fundamentally beholden to the movement, but apparently Religious Right leaders see it differently ... and from their perspective, if the GOP does't get its act together and start doing their bidding, then they are going to see their decade's long symbiosis soon come unraveled all together.  That, at least, seems to be what Tony Perkins is telling Dan Gilgoff.

Apparently, the latest "last straw" stems from the fact that the RNC elected Michael Steele as its next chairman, with Perkins complaining that some of Steele's statements and positions are "less than encouraging" and proclaiming that "social conservatives are not going to be banging the door down to establish a relationship with the GOP. The party leadership is going to have to show a good-faith effort" to keep them in the fold:

[S]ocial conservatives are still committed to the issues and still involved in the political process, but don't see the GOP as the only means to affect things in this culture. And to the degree that the party is not moving with them, they are not going to move with it. There is not the strong connection to the Republican Party that there once was. I'm more representative of the younger generation and I don't have as strong allegiance to the Republican Party. And to the degree that they try to avoid the values issues and put them at the back of the bus, I don't have a lot of desire to mess around with that.

...

It's quite clear that the Republicans in the last few years have tried to move away from those issues and deemphasize those issues. You saw it in the presidential election, with more emphasis on religion and its role in the public square more from the Democratic Party than from the Republicans. I'm not saying it's genuine from the Democrats. It's yet to be seen. Obama has overturned the Mexico City Policy, a clearly pro-abortion move. But the Republicans can't just assume that because social conservatives are not supportive of Democrats means they'll support Republicans.

Gilgoff then asked Perkins just when the relationship went sour:

It is something that happened after 2004, when there was a great emphasis by the Republicans and the president on the need to protect marriage. It was used to secure a second term for President Bush and to expand Republican control of Congress. And after the election, the issue was basically dropped.

That, combined with corruption that distracted the Republican Party, Mark Foley—it all added up to where people began to scratch their heads and say, "This is not the party that is really reflecting our values."

Of course, we've had two national elections since then and, both times, the Religious Right has fully supported the GOP's candidates and pressed its grassroots activists into getting out the vote on their behalf.

So one has to ask just how much longer will the Right go on supporting a Republican Party that isn't "really reflecting our values"? Of course, the answer to that question is "forever" because they have nowhere else to go.  They know it, the GOP knows it, and so does everyone else who pays attention to these sorts of things. 

The JCN’s Million Dollar Mystery

Just last month I wrote about the Judicial Confirmation Network, a bogus grassroots organization set up by Jay Sekulow to help press for confirmation of President Bush’s judges back in 2005.

As I noted then, the JCN dedicated itself to fighting for the confirmation of the likes of Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown in preparation for confirmation fights over Supreme Court nominees.  True to form, JCN was active in defending both John Roberts and Samuel Alito and ginning up right-wing support for their confirmations.  But then an interesting thing happened:  Samuel Alito was confirmed and the JCN all but ceased to operate.  

From January 21, 2006 when they issued this press release, they issued just a handful of releases over the next two years (8, by our count) until they swung back into action in August.  

And now, with the election gearing up, the JCN is back on the scene announcing a new million dollar ad campaign targeting Barack Obama on the issue of the courts by linking him to Tony Rezko, Jeremiah Wright, and William Ayers:

The Judicial Confirmation Network (JCN) today launched a $1 million first phase of a nationwide grassroots campaign, which includes television ads in national and targeted markets, to raise awareness and recruit activists on the critical issue of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The text of the ad:

Wendy: With the help of hundreds of thousands of Americans, the Judicial Confirmation Network fought for the nominations of Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Sam Alito. The next President may nominate 4 new Justices. So we'd like you to see this....

VO: Choosing the right Justices is critical for America. We don't know who Barack Obama would choose, but we know this: He chose as one of his first financial backers a slumlord now convicted on 16 counts of corruption. Obama chose as an associate a man who helped to bomb the Pentagon and said he "didn't do enough." And Obama chose as his pastor a man who has blamed America for the 9/11 attacks. Obama chose to associate with these men, while voting against these men.

Wendy: Please join the Judicial Confirmation Network. We need a Supreme Court that respects the Constitution and Justices who won't legislate from the bench. Judicial Confirmation Network paid for this message and is responsible for it.

Considering that the JCN had been all but defunct for more than two years while its two employees were busy working on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, it raises the question of just how they managed to raise a million dollars for ads despite seemingly doing no fund raising and only having re-opened their bogus front-group a little over one month ago.

Folsom Street Fair, Not Just A One-Year Stand

As we reported last year, San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair became the subject of a controversy that began when Concerned Women for America took umbrage at this provocative flyer, which they deemed “open ridicule of Christianity.”

Matt Barber urged that “the mainstream media…cover this event with cameras in hand. There's an unbelievable news story here. The Folsom Street Fair is reminiscent of Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah, and the media should document exactly what the city of San Francisco is allowing to occur - in public - in the name of 'tolerance.”

That the media did…or, at least, the story landed on Fox News.

But it doesn’t end there.  Because of the California gay marriage decision, the Right thinks there may be more material to be drawn from the Folsom Street Fair.  As Linda Harvey of Mission America explains, the event is symptomatic of a larger corrupting influence, the “polluting effects of California’s moral decay”:

California’s sexual license is not something we welcome in Middle America.  We don't want same sex 'marriage' legalized, nor to have our children taught to praise homosexuality, as California children now must do after the passage of SB 777 and AB 394. And we don't want naked people having sex in our streets.

Of course, the only way to keep this “corruption footprint” from infecting Middle America is for a few brave souls like Harvey and her allies to wade right into the middle of San Francisco, where they will “protest and expose” the Folsom Street Fair.  For its part, CWA announces that “Peter LaBarbera, President of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality will return to document the street fair's activities.”

It would be amazing if LaBarbera weren’t there, because his entire career seems to consist of attending these types of events.  Nevertheless, he is already at work attacking Joan Rivers for making an appearance, exposing Gavin Newsom’s cheery letter of greeting to fairgoers, and even imagining “the conversation between leather partners Stephane and Jahn before the big event”:

Jahn: “Oh, I wouldn’t live anywhere else. Who wants to live in one of those prudish cities where you they make you wear clothes in public and where you can’t have sex in the streets?”

Stephane: “What’s extra special is that we’re even allowed to bring Thad and Chad, our three-year-old adopted twins, to come on Sunday to join in the fun! They just love to watch.”

Jahn: “Thank the gods for the California Supreme Court and our new right to marriage equality. Now that we’re married it will be so much easier to adopt our next child!”

Santorum Hails Ave Maria’s Religious Warriors

Addressing faculty and students Ave Maria University late last month, Former Senator Rick Santorum hailed the right-wing school for producing class after class of warriors for God who are desperately needed in order to win the “spiritual war” that is threatening to destroy America:

As the guest speaker at Ave Maria University's fall convocation August 29, Sen. Rick Santorum described the sources of what he called a "spiritual war" currently engulfing America. He told faculty and students at the Catholic college in Naples, Fla. that corruption is all around us, from our academics and culture, to politics and government. Even our nation's religious heritage and material prosperity have been corrupted to undermine the values on which America was founded, and "exterior attacks from radical Islam" complete the assault. Observing the current political climate he said, "This is not a political war, it is not a cultural war; it's a spiritual war."

Explaining what he calls a "spiritual war," Sen. Santorum said, "The Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on - a good, decent, powerful, influential country: the United States of America."

Among the institutions under spiritual attack, Sen. Santorum identified academia as the "first to fall." Our university students are being taught to "pursue no truths, or to deny the existence of [objective] truth," he said. Mr. Santorum said American has abandoned the Judeo-Christian ethic it was founded on. Consequently in his view a culture in which "poor behavior is made fashionable," has been Satan's subsequent success.

"Things are so bad and you are here," he said triumphantly. "God has chosen you to be here in a time when he needs soldiers the most; congratulations!"

"The greatest thing is, signing up for His army is easy," he said, "but, the money's lousy, you'll be unpopular, you'll be ridiculed and you'll lose most if not every one of your battles."

With still elevated speech, he ended, "But you know who's going to win in the end, so you warrior on happily."

Sarah Palin Is Your New Ronald Reagan

In less than a week, one-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has gone from a complete unknown to savior of the Republican Party.  From the moment she was announced as John McCain's vice presidential pick, the Right has been gushing nonstop, heaping praise upon her, and proclaiming her the answer to all of their prayers.

And so it doesn't really come as much of a surprise that, after days of non-stop Palin hagiography, the Right is starting to run out of ways to express its adulation and that all that was left was to pay her the greatest compliment they know by christening her "the next Ronald Reagan":

"A week ago, conservatives and most Republicans were down-in-the-dumps, listless, unengaged. That lack of enthusiasm is a thing of the past. Tonight, thanks to Senator McCain and Governor Palin, conservatives and Republicans are fired up as they have not been since Ronald Reagan was president," he said.

"Sarah Palin is the next Ronald Reagan," Viguerie, the Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, said.

"In less than a week, Governor Sarah has captured the heart and soul of this convention, the Republican Party, and the conservative movement. She brings together social conservatives, and economic conservatives and libertarians, and people who are fed up with the Culture of Corruption that infests our nation's politics," he said.

"From this moment forward, there's no limit on where Sarah Palin might go," Viguerie concluded.

This is especially remarkable considering that Viguerie has, in recent years, been not only a militant critic of John McCain but the GOP in general - just a few months ago he was demanding the wholesale resignation of the Republican Party's leadership for destroying the GOP's reputation and having "failed - or outright betrayed - the conservative voters who put them in their positions."

How prevelant is this idea becoming?  Even Michael Reagan is making it:

I've been trying to convince my fellow conservatives that they have been wasting their time in a fruitless quest for a new Ronald Reagan to emerge and lead our party and our nation. I insisted that we'd never see his like again because he was one of a kind.

I was wrong!

Wednesday night I watched the Republican National Convention on television and there, before my very eyes, I saw my Dad reborn; only this time he's a she.

The Many Sides of Sarah Palin

Ever since John McCain named Sarah Palin as his running mate, the central question has been “Who is Sarah Palin?”  The fact of that matter is that nobody really seems to know, especially Palin herself.

When the announcement came down, politicos of every stripe began scrambling to examine her thin record in an attempt to figure out just what McCain thought that she could bring to the ticket beyond crass electoral benefits.    Everyone, that is, except the Religious Right, which hailed the decision with a staggeringly over-the-top fervor considering that McCain had just named a one-term, relative unknown to fill out his ticket.

But as more becomes known about Palin, it is becoming increasingly clear just why the Right was so overjoyed.

Her militant opposition to abortion, going so far as to even refuse to support her own mother-in-law’s candidacy for Mayor because she was pro-choice; her efforts to oppose equality for gays and lesbians; her apparent affiliation with the secessionist Alaskan Independence Party; her support for teaching Intelligent Design; her reported efforts to censor library books and fire the town librarian – on and on it goes, with new details seemingly emerging by the hour, all suggesting that Palin is indeed the dream candidate the Right has been praying for.

Lost in all of this is Palin’s apparent willingness to utilize right-wing wedge issues when they suit her political needs and then downplay them when they don’t.

As John Stein, whom Palin defeated to become mayor of Wasilla, Alaska in 1996, recently told KCAW, Palin worked to inject the issue of abortion into the traditionally non-partisan mayor’s race and helped her pave the way for her own political aspirations: “The fundamental Christian values were very much a part of her background and the election, interestingly enough, tended to turn around the abortion issue.  John Stein: pro-choice.  Sarah Palin: anti-abortion.  That was heavily promoted by local, state, and I think even national anti-choice groups.”

When she ran for Governor in 2006, Palin was only one of two candidate to respond to the Eagle Forum of Alaska’s Questionnaire – a questionnaire that the organization is now trying to hide by taking it off of their website – in which she explained her opposition to abortion, providing benefits to same-sex couples, to sex-ed and contraception distribution in schools, to hate crimes legislation, and declaring that “Preserving the definition of ‘marriage’ as defined in our constitution” would be among her top priorities if elected.

So while Palin is clearly willing to exploit wedge issues when they serve her needs, she seems to prefer to do so on the down-low and somewhat away from the public eye.  When her opponent for Governor in 2006 tried to make an issue of her staunch anti-abortion views, Palin dismissed the issue, saying “I think it's a shame ... that anyone would try to make this issue a headline, banner issue in the campaign when it's not” and saying that she wouldn’t push for state constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion because “there is no law that I could sign in office that could ever supersede the Supreme Court's ruling.”  While standing by her militant views, she insisted that "I am not one to be out there preaching and forcing my views on anyone else."

When she was criticized for her views that creationism should be taught in science class, she backed off, saying that she wouldn’t "have religion as a litmus test, or anybody's personal opinion on evolution or creationism" for members of the state school board.

In fact, it seems that when ever anyone tried to actually pin Palin down on her right-wing positions, her response was to dismiss the efforts as divisive and hypothetical:

A significant part of Palin’s base of support lies among social and Christian conservatives. Her positions on social issues emerged slowly during the campaign: on abortion (should be banned for anything other than saving the life of the mother), stem cell research (opposed), physician-assisted suicide (opposed), creationism (should be discussed in schools), state health benefits for same-sex partners (opposed, and supports a constitutional amendment to bar them).

Palin and her staff complained that efforts to raise these issues in public were divisive and hypothetical. The normally unflappable candidate seemed put-upon when she faced a string of such questions in the last debate, on public television and radio Thursday night.

“It’s interesting that so many questions do resolve around that centeredness that I have,” she said with a half-smile.

Palin said her reading of the Bible would not “bleed over into policy.”

In fact, Time Magazine suggests that central operating principle of Palin’s political career is the willingness to adopt a “new political identity” that suits her needs at any given moment:

By the time Sarah Palin was entering state politics, the hottest issue in Alaska wasn't gay marriage or even abortion. It was corruption and cronyism. … She needed a new political identity to make it to the next level, so ethics reform became her calling card. "She's a very savvy politician," says Halcro. "So wedge issues were not part of the portfolio."

"If anything," he says, "she got tired of answering questions about them." Halcro recalls one debate in October 2006 in which, after repeated questions about her opposition to abortion even in cases of rape or incest, she looked at the moderator with exasperation and asked if they were going to talk about anything besides abortion. It was detracting from her new message: cleaning up the capitol.

In the end, her political journey from banner-waving GOP social conservative to maverick reformer may simply be about good timing. It's what former journalist Bill McAllister, who now works for Palin's press staff, used to call "Sarah-dipity" — that uncanny gift of knowing exactly what voters are looking for at a particular moment. And, of course, the political will to give them what they want.

This ploy might have worked on the state-level, but Palin is now in the national spotlight and her “I’m-a-right-winger/I’m-a-moderate-independent-maverick” shtick is no longer going to fly.

While the McCain campaign is obviously pushing the narrative that Palin is a “co-maverick”, the GOP’s right-wing base is screaming that she is their dream come true and, it goes without saying, that both of those things cannot be true.  And considering that Palin had been scheduled to be honored by Phyllis Schlafly and Republican National Coalition for Life today at the convention but cancelled at the last minute, it looks like the McCain campaign hasn’t quite been able to figure out which way it wants to go.

McCain Refuses to Cancel Reed Fundraiser

Take a stroll around John McCain’s website and you’ll see that he is no fan of corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff.  In fact, he seems to view him as a symbol of what is wrong with Washington DC and himself as the one man who can fix it:

I led the Abramoff investigation. I can bring about the necessary changes. Are we going to hand off to the next generation these problems? Of course we shouldn't. Have to regain the trust that dollars they send to Washington are being wisely and carefully spent. I know these people (in Congress) well and I know how to reach across the aisle to solve these problems.

McCain says he gets angry when “I uncover a guy like Abramoff ripping off Indian tribes” and when, just last week, his campaign unveiled its “Broken” ad, it cited McCain’s role in leading “the Congressional investigation into Jack Abramoff” as proof of the ad’s assertion that he “fought corruption in both parties.”

Yet, despite his pose as a crusading maverick, McCain has committed himself to attending a fundraiser with Ralph Reed, one of Abramoff’s closest friends and associates who was repeatedly and directly implicated in the very investigation that took down Abramoff:

Republican presidential candidate John McCain so far is ignoring calls from several watchdog groups to cancel an Atlanta fundraiser promoted by Ralph Reed, a longtime friend and business partner of imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Reed lost his 2006 campaign for Georgia lieutenant governor in large part because of details about his relationship with Abramoff — much of the information uncovered by McCain’s Indian Affairs Committee investigation into the wide-ranging lobbying corruption scandal.

The Senate probe discovered $4 million in payments Reed accepted to run a bogus anti-casino campaign aimed at reducing gambling competition. An Indian tribe with a competing casino made payments to Reed, which according to the Senate investigation’s final report, were “passed through” Abramoff’s firm, Preston, Gates, Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds, and another organization, Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform.

In our report on Reed written back in 2006, we explained just how deeply involved he was in Abramoff’s shady dealings:     

In 1999, Abramoff subcontracted Reed’s firm to generate opposition to attempts to legalize a state-sponsored lottery and video poker in Alabama, an effort that was bankrolled by the Choctaw Tribe in order to eliminate competition to its own casino in neighboring Mississippi.   Reed promised that Century Strategies was “opening the bomb bays and holding nothing back” and his firm ultimately received $1.3 million from the Choctaws for this effort, which included engaging the Alabama chapter of the Christian Coalition, as well as influential right-wing figures such as James Dobson, to work to defeat the proposals. 

The strategy had one small problem: the Alabama Christian Coalition had an explicit policy that it “will not be the recipient of any funds direct or in-direct or any in-kind direct or indirect from gambling interests.” (Emphasis in original.) Knowing this, Reed and Abramoff worked to hide the source of the $850,000 paid to the Christian Coalition for its anti-gambling efforts by funneling money from the Choctaws through Americans for Tax Reform, a Washington, DC anti-tax organization headed by their old College Republican friend Grover Norquist.  When asked why the tribe’s money had to be funneled through conduits such as ATR, a Choctaw representative stated it was because Reed did not want it known that casino money was funding his operation: “It was our understanding that the structure was recommended by Jack Abramoff to accommodate Mr. Reed’s political concerns.”

Perhaps the most audacious of all of Abramoff’s efforts on which Reed worked was the successful attempt on behalf of the Coushatta Tribe to shut down a rival casino in Texas.  After doing so, Abramoff then sold his lobbying services for $4 million to the same Texas tribe – the Tiguas - vowing to reopen the very casino he had just managed to shut down.

Reed was instrumental in the initial effort, building public support for then-Texas Attorney General, now a US Senator, John Cornyn’s drive to close the casino.  Reed organized a group of Texas pastors to “provide cover” for Cornyn’s effort to shutter the casino, at one point pledging to send “50 pastors to give him moral support” when it appeared as if Cornyn was going to be confronted by protestors.

Reed also developed close ties with sources in Cornyn’s office who kept him informed on developments, which he shared with Abramoff.  When Reed found out from Cornyn’s office that a court decision shutting down the casino was expected soon, he emailed Abramoff.  Thinking ahead, Abramoff was already preparing to fly to Texas to meet with the tribe whose casino was about to be closed thanks, in large part, to his handiwork.  In an email he sent to Reed just before his trip, he wrote “I wish those moronic Tiguas were smarter in their political contributions. I’d love to get my hands on that moolah!! Oh well, stupid folks get wiped out.”

Just days after the Tigua’s casino was closed, Abramoff met with them and offered to work to reopen the casino at no charge, though Scanlon’s PR work was going to cost them more than $4 million.  Abramoff declared himself outraged by the “gross indignity perpetuated by the Texas state authorities” – an “indignity” that he had helped orchestrate and for which he had been well paid.

Of the four men identified in this photo, all were implicated in Abramoff's corruption and three received prison sentences – McCain is attending a fundraiser with the fourth:

AbramoffReedII.JPG

Keyes Calls Out Dobson

For today’s edition of WorldNetDaily, Alan Keyes penned an 11,000+ word essay dedicated to laying out the religious, moral, and philosophical grounds upon which James Dobson has succumbed to moral relativism in suggesting a few weeks ago that he might consider supporting John McCain after earlier saying that he would never do so “as a matter of conscience.”   

In typical Keyesian fashion, he spends the first 1500 words comparing his essay to Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" and explaining that its crushing length is necessary to wake the American public out of their intellectual stupor.  But when he finally gets down to business, he peppers his tome with the sorts of quasi-philosophic ramblings for which he is known, such as this explanation of the dangers of gay couples getting married and how “disregarding the natural basis of family leads to tyrannical government:  

By nature the child has the right to a kind of natural dominion over its progenitors, including the opportunity at least to try out the appeal that its helpless condition makes to their natural sensibility. Moreover, a child systematically deprived of any knowledge of at least one of its biological parents cannot fulfill the filial obligations that arise from the natural connection, or avoid the oedipal risks connected with such ignorance.

In this respect, just as abortion suppresses the child's right to life, homosexual marriage suppresses the child's natural belongings, the first rights of property in the primordial sense of the term. But once we abandon respect for the authority of nature as it establishes the rights of the child, we have in principle abandoned that respect when it comes to any human beings whose situation makes them as helpless or vulnerable as children with regard to their superiors in power. Thus the issue of homosexual marriage actually poses the question of our allegiance to the principle of natural human equality, the principle from which we derive the form of government meant to secure our liberty.

In light of the fact that we are “in the midst of the feverish crisis that marks either the recovery of the Republic, or its dissolution,” Keyes declares that both John McCain and Barack Obama are unqualified to fight the “insidious war [that] is being waged against the moral pillars of our freedom”

In light of such grim possibilities, can the issues involved in the assault on the natural family be treated as matters of political convenience or emotional whim, as John McCain and others like him do? McCain's statements on the issue of homosexual marriage, civil unions and the need to protect traditional marriage by constitutional means show no regard for the profound destruction of moral principle that will result from overthrowing the claims of the natural family. Like Barack Obama, he takes positions exclusively calculated to win votes from the constituencies he needs for political victory, no matter if they risk the soul and moral foundations of the republic. At the very least, he wants to harvest votes from people deeply concerned about the besieged moral foundations of our liberty even though he obviously lacks the understanding needed to defend them. He cannot see, or perhaps even conceive of, the connections between our moral ideas and practices and the survival of our institutions of self-government. Such a leader might be barely adequate in the "weak, piping time of peace." But when, on every front insidious war is being waged against the moral pillars of our freedom, his inadequacy is not just lamentable, it will be deadly.

Which brings Keyes to his key point – which is that James Dobson is a hypocrite and a failure as a Christian:

Reed Forgives McCain for Ruining His Electoral Hopes

It is no secret that Ralph Reed’s political ambitions went down in flames in 2006 thanks primarily to his ties to corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff.  It is also no secret that Sen. John McCain, then Chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, played a central role in highlighting Abramoff’s corruption, as well as his ties to Reed, with the release of its “Gimmie Five” report just weeks before Reed’s primary in Georgia.  

But apparently Reed is not one to hold a grudge, nor is McCain one to turn down assistance from someone who’s dirty dealings made him unelectable in his own state.  And so, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Political Insider reports, the two are teaming up for a fundraiser in Atlanta later this month:

A Message from Ralph Reed:

Senator John McCain will be coming to Atlanta on August 18 for a very special event at the Marriot Marquis downtown and I have agreed to serve as a member of the McCain Victory 2008 Team.

Never in my career can I recall a starker contrast between two major-party nominees for President. Barack Obama is advocating higher taxes, more spending, a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, and an energy plan that opposes drilling on the outer continental shelf. The nonpartisan publication National Journal concluded that he had the most liberal voting record in the U.S. Senate.

John McCain believes in a strong national defense, a smaller, more accountable government, steady economic growth and opportunity, the dignity of life and traditional values. He will make it a top priority to balance the budget and get federal spending under control so that our children aren’t burdened with a mountain of debt that will rob them of their future.

John McCain also believes that tax cuts work best when tied to spending restraint. He has a 26-year pro-life voting record and has pledged to appoint conservative judges who will interpret the law, not legislate from the bench.

Attached is a contribution form and a fact sheet that details the event. Please complete the contribution form and return it to me at XXXXX Duluth, GA 30097. If you select to use your credit card, you may fax the form to me at 770-XXX-XXXX.

I hope you will join me and Jo Anne at the August 18 event in support of Senator McCain in Atlanta. The outcome of this presidential election is going to determine the future direction of this country. Please join us as we work together to elect John McCain. Your participation is critical to success.

Pat Boone, Voice of Reason

In the Nation, Christopher Hayes offers some insight into the origin of the “North American Union”—“NAFTA Superhighway” conspiracy theory, which he writes came out of a proposal for a toll-highway in Texas and spiraled into “the first stage of a long, silent coup aimed at supplanting the sovereign United States.”

“North American Union” rumors swirl around the Internet, in spite of (or because of) a lack of factual support beyond a couple disparate, exaggerated elements – such as the Texas highway proposal and meetings between Bush and the leaders of Canada and Mexico that invoke the menacing word “partnership.” These rumors are championed by CNN host Lou Dobbs, Phyllis Schlafly, “Swift Vet” co-author Jerome Corsi, and the John Birch Society, as well as politicians such as Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) and presidential candidates Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).

But if you were waiting for a moment to take the conspiracy seriously, your moment has arrived: legendary crooner (and occasional far-right spokesman) Pat Boone writes that “We've arrived at the most precarious time in this country since the Revolutionary War…”

Pat Boone

Disenfranchisement Strategy at Heart of Modern Right Wing

As Eric Rauchway noted in the New Republic Online this week, the Right’s myth of rampant voter fraud persists in spite of the facts of its near-nonexistence:

The divergence of rhetoric from reality resembles that of a hundred years ago, when reformers first supported registration laws. Although the reformers talked about "corruption," they didn't really mean vote-buying or repeat voting. They meant the wrong kind of people voting: "Universal suffrage," one reformer noted in 1903, meant "'tramp' suffrage"; it meant "licensed mobocracy."

Characterizing the modern right-wing campaign to place restrictions on voting -- to counter mythical “fraud” -- as simply a cynically veiled attempt to disenfranchise citizens seems unfair. Nevertheless, this view was more or less plainly articulated by Paul Weyrich, one of the founders of the conservative movement, in 1980:

Get the Flash Player to see this video clip.

Now many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome -- good government. They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.

Weyrich was addressing one of the seminal events in the creation of the New Right, the Religious Roundtable’s National Affairs Briefing in Dallas. At this gathering of 15,000-20,000 ministers and activists just a few months before the election, Ronald Reagan joined speakers including Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Phyllis Schlafly, and many more. Reagan famously declared, “I know you can’t endorse me, but I endorse you” – cementing the alliance between the Religious Right and the Republican Party that continues to this day.

The Most Objective Name in News

Apparently, the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of The Washington Times qualifies as national news.  At least it does to The Washington Times, which ran a 2200+ word “article” about itself on its own “Nation/Politics” page yesterday.  

Written by one of its own staff members, The Times’ love letter to itself is remarkable for its complete and utter lack of humility.  

As the piece explains, the Vietnam War and Watergate “contributed to a surge of self-regard among the news elite” that “curdled into an inflexible, often arrogant bias that has cost news organizations the public's trust” – but not The Times and that it is why it became the “vanguard of a media insurgency”:

The Times, however, has upheld traditional journalism standards with far fewer resources than its more lavishly funded competitors. Indeed, The Times earned its credibility precisely because of its shoe-leather reporting on corruption at every level of government as well as its scoops on issues involving national security and U.S. intelligence services.

The tumultuous administration of D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, the House banking scandal, the exposure of Rep. Barney Frank's live-in call boy, President Clinton's Whitewater troubles, the 1995 budget showdown between Mr. Clinton and the Republican Congress, the September 11 terrorist attacks -- on these stories and many others, The Times has been a vital source of information.

For some reason, nowhere in the piece is it mentioned that the paper was started by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a man who admitted back in 1991 that “literally nine hundred million to one billion dollars has been spent to activate and run the Washington Times.

Just as The Times is anything but modest about its accomplishments, it is likewise swollen with pride over its ability to maintain its “standards of objectivity” – with “objectivity” presumably meaning "serving as a reliable mouthpiece for the Right”:

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Corruption Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 06/27/2011, 10:40am
Following the successful passage of marriage equality in New York, Mission America’s Linda Harvey was sure to speak out. In a ranting essay for WorldNetDaily against equal marriage rights, hate crime laws, pride parades, and anti-bullying initiatives, Harvey yet again makes clear her antipathy towards gay and lesbian Americans and their families, lamenting that Americans “are selling ourselves into bondage” by supporting LGBT equality: New York now has "gay" marriage. The back-slaps and celebration will go on for weeks. The day before this historic vote ( a.k.a... MORE
Coral, Monday 06/06/2011, 4:39pm
Linda Harvey, founder of the fringe anti-gay group Mission: America, not only condemns the LGBT community but condemns anyone who isn’t condemning them. Harvey is also the host of the Mission: America Radio show, and last week she spoke out against pro-tolerance education: Sex Change Pushed on Children Recently, I read an outstanding article on the website American Thinker. It’s called The Left’s Dirty Little Secret. It exposed what has been obvious for a long time, that liberal values in schools and in our culture are leading to widespread sexual abuse of children. The... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 03/22/2011, 1:50pm
On today's broadcast of "Wallbuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green discussed the "Islamic Flood is Coming to the United States " with former FBI agent John Guandolo whom, as Barton explained, was forced out of the Bureau after it was taken over by those with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood: Barton: John used to be the guy who briefed the FBI on terrorism and radical Islamic terrorism and so many Islamic folks worked their way into the FBI, they got him thrown out. They said "he keeps speaking bad about Islam, he keeps saying bad things about radical Islam... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 03/16/2011, 1:48pm
On today's broadcast, James Dobson interviewed Ralph & Danielle Drollinger, longtime friends of his who run an organization called Capitol Ministries, an organization that hosts regular Bible studies for, and ministers to, Members of Congress. Among the members listed as sponsors on the organization's website are Todd Akin, Michele Bachmann, Paul Broun, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Sue Myrick, Mike Pence, Tom Price, Lamar Smith, Joe Wilson and various others. Danielle was actually a former employee of Focus on the Family before Dobson helped her get a job as a staffer for a Congressional... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 03/11/2011, 6:44pm
Equality Matters: Maryland's Marriage Equality Bill Sent Back To Committee, Reportedly Delayed Till Next Year. Tim Murphy @ Mother Jones: Birther Bill Author: What's a Long-Form Birth Certificate? Towleroad: Leading Anti-Gay Utah State Senator Chris Buttars is Retiring. Joe.My.God: Corruption Bust: New York Post Outs Anti-Gay Sen. Carl Kruger And Boyfriend. Media Matters: Wash. Times Gives Platform To Anti-Choice Extremist Randall Terry. Igor Volsky @ Wonk Room: Iowa Kingmaker Vander Plaats Still Comparing Gay Marriage To Polygamy, Incest. Brian... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 12/30/2010, 2:36pm
As organizations such as Focus on the Family vigorously work to stop schools from implementing anti-bullying policies that protect gay students, the Minnesota Family Council (MFC) is leading the charge against anti-bullying programs in Minnesota schools. MFC head Tom Prichard previously condemned schools for permitting Gay Straight Alliances, which he says have “kids indoctrinated in homosexuality,” adding that “it’s sad and harmful for kids to celebrate homosexuality when in fact it’s not a healthy lifestyle.” Barb Anderson of the MFC and the Parents... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 12/21/2010, 12:32pm
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... MORE