economy

Signs G.O.P. Is Rethinking Its Stance on Gay Marriage?

The New York Times' Adam Nagourney has a piece in today's paper claiming that the "the issue of gay marriage may be turning into more of a hindrance than a help" for the Republican Party. 

Citing a recent poll showing that 57 percent of those under the age 40 said they support marriage equality, Nagourney says it suggests to "many Republicans that the potency of the gay-marriage question is on the decline." He then quotes three Republicans, the first being Steve Schmidt, John McCain's senior strategist during his presidential campaign.

Schmidt recently came out in favor of marriage equality, so it is no surprise that he thinks the GOP should re-examine its stance on the issue. But, as Timothy Potter of the Family Research Council put it, Steve Schmidt isn’t exactly speaking for the majority of the party these days:

Steve Schmidt isn’t the head of the GOP. But I don’t doubt that there are others in the GOP establishment who think like him, and I don’t care. The GOP should do what it thinks is best for itself. I don’t think abandoning a third of your base is necessarily a good idea.

The article also contains a quote from Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty:

Asked if he thought, given recent events, that Republicans were making a political mistake in emphasizing gay issues, Mr. Pawlenty, who is 48, responded: “I think it’s an important issue for our conservative voters.” But he notably did not dwell on the subject.

Apparently, because he didn't "dwell" on the topic, that somehow suggests that the party as a whole is undergoing some sort of shift.

Finally, Nagourney quotes Rudy Giuliani of all people, saying that voters are more concerned with issues like the economy and national security and don't really care about social issues right now:

“Right now, people are not concerned about issues like gay marriage because they are concerned about the economy,” Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former Republican mayor of New York, told reporters in Albany after meeting with Republican members of the state Senate, who are opposing legislation to legalize gay marriage.

Mr. Giuliani explained that he opposed gay marriage — while supporting civil unions — but that he did not think it made much sense for Republicans to be harping on the issue if the party had any serious interest in returning to power.

“The Republican party does best organizing itself around economic issues and issues of national security,” said Mr. Giuliani, 64, who ran for president last year and is now thinking about running for governor of New York.

It should be pointed out that Giuliani might not be a particularly good representation of just what the Republican Party thinks about anything, considering that he spent $60 million seeking the GOP nomination last year and dropped out after securing a whopping one delegate. His campaign tanked thanks, in part, to right-wing threats to abandon the GOP should he become the nominee because of his views on the issue of marriage and reproductive choice.

While polls may show that the GOP's anti-gay views are becoming less popular with voters, especially younger voters, there is still a long way to go before the party itself abandons its traditional stance on the issue ... and considering that the Religious Right would rather see the party destroyed than allow that to happen, it's unlikely that any such a massive shift will be happening any time soon.

Newsmax Asks: "Is Christ About to Come Back?"

Perhaps it was just coincidental timing, but just a week after Newsweek declared "The End of Christian America," Sarah Posner points out that Newmax is out with its own special edition entitled "Jesus: Will He Return?"

Seriously:

Experts of various stripes tell Newsmax that public buzz about the biblical last days is at its highest level since 9/11. Although the Second Coming may appear purely theological to some, end-times beliefs can profoundly influence where people worship, where they donate their money, which politicians they vote for, and how they spend their time and energy.

Over the course of more than a dozen pages, Newsmax reports the views of a variety of right-wing figures, including the likes of Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, Richard Land, Chuck Colson, Tom Minnery, and Tim LaHaye:

“There is rising concern over the economy and national security, as well as downright open alarm at the leftist drift of our national government in the Obama era,” says Tom Minnery, the Focus on the Family executive who frequently co-hosts Dr. James Dobson’s influential Christian radio program. “Although evangelicals are confident about the outcome in the long run — that is, the Second Coming — we are very concerned about the short term.”

Similar concerns are voiced by radio host, author, and Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson. Prison Fellowship is a nonprofit prison ministry. Colson has seen his share of personal tribulations, including his front-row view of Watergate, the Arab oil embargo, and the rise and fall of the Soviet Union.

Yet with all that perspective, Colson confides, “If I were in the business of speculating when Christ will return, I would certainly have a field day today. There is enough going on to make you think that Western Civilization is in the balance. If civilization falls there’s nothing to keep stability in the Middle East and then, of course, you could see the Armageddon.”

The article actually contains an interesting analysis of whether predictions about the End Times are actually harmful because, when they fail to come true, it damages the Christian faith and "hurts the Bible’s credibility in the eyes of the secular world" ... and, as LaHaye points out, the secular world already hates Christians as it is:

“The one thing that the seculars hate more than anything else is Christians,” he tells Newsmax. “You see that in our newspapers today. It indicates that they don’t trust Christians. They hate Christians. They want to stamp us out and keep us out of the public schools."

But, of course, that didn't stop him suggesting that the rise in "socialism" might just be a harbinger of things to come:

LaHaye sees ominous parallels between today’s times and Christ’s message to his disciples in Matthew 24:5-8. In it, Christ said: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: See that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

In an exclusive interview, LaHaye tells Newsmax: “What we see going on in the world is just like Jesus said — in the last days, perilous times will come. Well, they are perilous, not only in the political field. And socialism is sweeping the world. Even Newsweek magazine recently announced on its cover that ‘We Are All Socialists Now.’

“It’s a new thought, for the American people anyway. World socialism is the forerunner to the Antichrist kind of government that he is going to run during the Tribulation period.”

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Dan Gilgoff reports that Rick Warren, despite bailing on his scheduled weekend interview, is "eager to schedule another high-profile TV interview to clarify his views on gay marriage and Proposition 8, California's recently adopted gay marriage ban."
  • Ed Brayton goes after Jane Chastain for trying to pass off a fake quote from James Madison.
  • Pam reports that openly gay Iowa state Senator Matt McCoy received death threats on the day that anti-marriage equality activists were scheduled to rally outside the Capitol.
  • Like Andrew Sullivan, we find this ad to be incomprehensible.
  • Good as You finds Concerned Women for America likening the Day of Silence to encouraging kids to drink or smoke crack.
  • John Aravosis debated Dennis Prager on the issue of marriage equality, during which Prager repeatedly insisted that gay marriage was a more important issue than the economy.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Good as You has the letter as well as the complete list of names of those who signed Elaine Donnelly's latest effort to save Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
  • Anti-illegal immigration activist William Gheen is blaming the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League for a recent Missouri law enforcement report linking some right-wing organizations to the growing militia movement, despite that fact that neither group had anything to do with it.
  • Media Matters catches Fox News once again passing off Republican talking points as "facts."
  • Steve Benen finds that Norm Coleman's legal team responding to yesterday's damaging court loss by claiming they have "no choice but to appeal that order to Minnesota Supreme Court." As Benen notes: "And when that doesn't work out, it's safe to assume Ginsberg will have 'no choice' but to head to federal district court. And when that fails to give the GOP the results the party wants, Ginsberg will have 'no choice' but to seek relief from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Eventually, the U.S. Supreme Court will be asked to weigh in."
  • Sarah Posner is back with her latest FundamentaList - she also has a good post on Tony Dungy, saying the invitation risks creating a situation where the "White House's approval institutionalizes the cover that religion gives people like Dungy for their hostility to their fellow citizens."
  • Dan Gilgoff reports on the growing rift between "Religious Progressives" and the "Religious Left," though I think his use of the term "religious progressives" to describe the centrists ends up glossing over what is actually one of the key areas of contention between the two groups.
  • Think Progress reports that the authors of a report, which Republicans are citing to back up their claim that the green economy legislation before Congress would "cost every American family up to $3,100 per year in higher energy prices," are telling the GOP to stop intentionally misinterpreting their study.
  • Jonathan Stein argues that "conservatives have a built-in ideological reason for opposing expertise on all subjects, not just science and the environment" which stems from the fact that "they fundamentally do not believe government should play an active role in Americans' lives."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Religious Right is acting as if President Obama has sold them out with his decision to reverse Bush's stem cell policy.
  • Want to go skeet shooting with Mike Huckabee and Duncan Hunter?  Of course you do!  And for just $250, you can.
  • Tony Perkins sees the bright side of the economic crisis and the news that religious affiliation in this country is dropping, saying that the two are linked and that "if this poll is taken next year" the outcome will be different because "as the economy goes downward, I think people are going to be driven to religion."
  • Finally, Ken Blackwell and Star Parker team up to try to explain why African Americans don't support the Republican Party:
  • Black marriage and families were not always in this sorry state. A substantial body of research shows that the breakdown followed the growth of socially intrusive big government in the 1960s - the same socially intrusive big government that the Democratic Party continues to promote today.

    But these facts are mainly discussed only in conservative intellectual circles - which are overwhelmingly white. Most blacks don’t hear it, or think about it much. The churchgoers probably know it in their bones, but they don’t act on it in the voting booth.

    Instead, the black community drowns in the message that conservatives are racists and that it’s racism that causes black poverty and lack of opportunity.

Does Anyone Understand the Meaning of "Used"?

Anyone who have been reading this blog over the last week knows, I have spent a great deal of time trying to knock down the misinformation swirling around regarding a provision in the stimulus bill that would prohibit funds for being used to upgrade or repair university facilities when said facilities function is primarily religious.

But, despite my efforts, this fraud keeps cropping up on right-wing website, with the Christian Coalition now spreading it and the Family Research Council continuing to peddle it:

First, we know that the current stimulus legislation in Congress is a disaster for the free market economy. But, did you know that there are limitations in the legislation against religious liberty? David French of Phi Beta Cons on National Review Online finds some disturbing facts restricting religious liberty within the stimulus legislation.

The Higher Education, Modernization and Renovation component of the bill requires that the money allocated in the stimulus would not be spent on religious instruction, worship, or any department of divinity, or any building that would be devoted for religious purposes on college campuses.

So, this leaves the question: where will religious groups meet on campus? I guess this means it will be back to dorm rooms or nearby churches. However, this ban would not apply to groups, like Amnesty International, College Feminists, Greenpeace, etc., who can meet in any room on campus. Seems odd, doesn't it? I guess it is 24/7 liberal indoctrination...thanks to the Obama's stimulus plan.

FRC doesn't provide a link to French's post ... but if they did send their readers there, they'd find out that French, who happens to be Senior Legal Counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund, links to our first post about this whole issue and says that we are right:

One clause indeed prohibits funding for buildings only when a "substantial portion of the functions of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission." (emphasis added). The meaning here is obvious, and it clearly applies to buildings like chapels, or perhaps divinity schools, or many facilities at religious universities. It has no real application to secular, public universities that open up classroom buildings to student groups.

Another clause, however, prohibits funding for buildings that are "used" for "sectarian instruction" or "religious worship." It does not say "primarily used." It simply says "used." For People for the American Way's reading to be correct, one has to assume that the drafters intended "used" to be read as "primarily used."

I have to give French credit, as his post on this issue is the only one that I have seen that actually seeks to understand the provision instead of simply proclaiming it anti-Christian.  And he raises an interesting point regarding the meaning of the word "used" in the section that proclaims that "no funds awarded under this section may be used for ... modernization, renovation, or repair of facilities used for sectarian instruction, religious worship, or a school or department of divinity."

French is correct to note that the provision does not say "primarily used" ... but neither does it say "occasionally used" and yet, for some reason, that is how the Right is interpreting it.  Despite the fact that, as Sen. Dick Durbin pointed out last week, this sort of language "has been in the law for 40 years [and] is the result of three Supreme Court decisions," the Right's interpretation of this standard, boilerplate language is that it means that any building on campus that is ever occasionally "used" for religious worship (i.e., a student group meets in their dorm for a Bible study) would be prohibited from using stimulus funds, as opposed to the more straightforward and logical interpretation that "used" refers to a building's primary function (i. e., a church is occasionally "used" for potluck dinners and Bingo nights, but its primary function is religious worship).

The language of this provision is clearly concerned with facilities in which a "substantial portion of the functions ... are subsumed in a religious mission" and it is within that context that the word "used" must be understood.  

Only an intentionally obtuse reading of this provision could lead one to conclude that the word "used" in this context was intended to mean "occasionally used" rather than "primarily used." Yet that is exactly what the Right is claiming ... and I, in turn, have had to spend hours of my life rebutting false claims that hinge entirely on their nonsensical understanding of the meaning of the word "used."

I feel so used.

Et Tu, Hucakbee?

We can add Concerned Women for America and Faith 2 Action to our list of right-wing groups seeking to make hay out of the entirely non-controversial provision in the stimulus legislation, as both have had representatives of the Liberty Counsel on their radio programs in recent days to proclaim that the provision will “promote religious discrimination.”

And joining them is Mike Huckabee, who is using the “controversy” to raise money for his Vertical Politics Institute:

The dust is settling on the "bipartisan" stimulus bill and one thing is clear: it is anti-religious … Why would Democrats add this provision about religion into a spending bill that they say is "urgently needed" to help our economy?

The answer is troubling and predictable. For all of the talk about bipartisanship, this Congress is blatantly liberal. Emily's List, radical environmental groups, etc. all have a seat at the decision making table in Washington these days. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are in charge and they are working with an equally "progressive" President Obama (remember his voting record is more liberal than Ted Kennedy!).

Republicans and conservatives must rally against their agenda and propose new ideas ourselves.

This is the opening round of the Democrats' campaign for BIG government. We cannot afford to sit round one out, because if we do, they will only become more emboldened and their grab for power more audacious and damaging to our country and our freedoms.

Please make an immediate contribution of $10 or more today.

And then forward this email to 10 friends. Too much is at stake for Republicans to sit this one out on the sidelines. Your contribution will be invested into our ongoing efforts to educate voters about our ideas.

Interestingly, Huckabee didn’t have much to say about this last week, when the whole farce was rolling along, but now that it is over, he’s using it to raise donations.  

Of course, hopping into the right-wing culture war in order to raise money whenever it suits his needs seems to be standard operating procedure for him.

All Hail the Obstructionist Heroes

Despite the fact that the economy is going from bad to worse, Republicans are quite pleased with their unanimous opposition to the stimulus package and are planning on continuing it when the legislation heads to the Senate.

After being crushed at the polls for the last two elections by voters fed up with their inability to govern, those on the right side of the aisle have apparently decided that the best course of action is to simply obstruct President Obama and the Democratic Congress as they attempt to repair the damage the Republicans have done to the country over the last eight years .... and for that they are being hailed as heroes by the likes of the Family Research Council:

In the face of the most popular incoming President since JFK, Republicans stood together in statement of solidarity. We applaud them for showing real backbone against unprecedented government expansion ... Swimming against the liberal tide isn't easy, and House Republicans need your encouragement to stay motivated for the work ahead. Please call the leader in your district today and thank them for refusing to back down on H.R. 1.

And here is Tony Perkins saying that the stimulus bill is "more about pork and political payoffs than economic recovery" and calling on Congress to enact more tax cuts instead of "abortion promotion":

Apparently, Republicans and their allies on the right believe that they have "better" ideas for dealing with our myriad problems ... and just because those "ideas" have failed to work, damaged the nation, and caused the party's prospects to utterly collapse, it doesn't mean that they aren't going to press ahead with their obstructionism. 

Just check out this email from Vision America:

Stop Taxpayer Funded So-Called "Recovery!!"

"Tell Congress to STOP the So-Called Taxpayer-Funded "Recovery" TODAY!!"
– Pastor Rick Scarborough

Friends of Vision America,

In the revised edition of my newest book, Enough is Enough, I wrote the following:

Jonah Goldberg documents in his best-selling book, Liberal Fascism, how liberals need a crisis to in order to push their agenda forward, whether it's a declared war on poverty or a real war. During a perceived or real crisis people make decisions that reflect the seriousness of their situation. Christians have the wonderful advantage of calling on an all-sufficient Creator to provide guidance through the crisis. Crisis can force us to a place of fully placing all of our trust in God and God alone.

Unfortunately, most people in America no longer turn to God first but rather government as their source and provider which makes them vulnerable to exploitation.

Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who was given god-like powers to dispense the first Federal bailout which we now know did not work, made a dire prediction that the current financial meltdown could become "so extreme that martial law may have to be imposed on the American people." This was an ominous warning granting the government almost unlimited power to impose the will of those in charge.

This week the House of Representatives presented its version of the major economic stimulus bill, H.R.1, otherwise known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Senate is considering its own version (S.1), expecting the completed bill to be signed by Obama by mid-February. One version of the bill contains over six hundred pages of promises to preserve and create jobs; invest in our national infrastructure, decrease unemployment; and stabilize our local and state economies. But as always, the devil is in the details and the more we learn of what's in the fine print, the more convinced I become that WE THE PEOPLE MUST SEE THAT THIS BILL NEVER BECOMES LAW!!!

That's right - according to the Religious Right, the biggest problem at the moment is that "people in America no longer turn to God" and the stimulus bill will only exacerbate that, so it must be defeated.

Two Right-Wingers Mulling Governor Bids

According to news reports, both Club for Growth President Pat Toomey and disgraced “Ten Commandments Judge” Roy Moore are signaling that they might run for Governor of their respective states of Pennsylvania and Alabama.

From the Morning Call:

Former Lehigh Valley Congressman Pat Toomey has begun formally exploring a run for governor, setting up a meeting with area GOP donors as he assesses his potential candidacy in 2010.

Toomey, president of the anti-tax group The Club for Growth, is scheduled to sit down with several influential and deep-pocketed Lehigh Valley Republicans in early February to “discuss his thinking of a possible gubernatorial run,” according to an e-mail invitation sent out Friday on behalf of Arcadia Properties founder Richard Thulin.

He has also put calls out statewide to supporters this week with the aim of raising $50,000 to do some preliminary polling, said a GOP source who was briefed on his plans this week.

Toomey, in a statement released today, said he has had “several preliminary conversations with supporters of mine regarding a possible run for governor in 2010.”

“Given the state of Pennsylvania’s economy and the disastrous state budget deficits we face, there certainly is a need for major changes in Harrisburg,” Toomey said. “It is still very early in my exploration of a possible run but it is something I will consider.”

From the AP:

Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore says he is seriously considering making another race for governor in 2010.

Moore has been running a legal organization, the Foundation for Moral Law, since losing the Republican primary to incumbent Gov. Bob Riley in 2006. But in recent weeks, a growing number of supporters has been calling and visiting Moore, encouraging him to run again.

Moore says that if he runs, it will be as a Republican. He expects to make a decision in the spring.

How Large is Vision America?

Last year we noted that Vision America claimed to have sent out ten million emails in one day in support of Mike Huckabee during the GOP primary, which seemed hard to believe considering that a powerhouse organization like MoveOn only claims 3.2 million members.

But they are sticking with their story - according to a recent "Rick Scarborough Report," the organization claims to have more than 1 million subscribers:

As the end of the year approaches, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who receives this Report and prays for our efforts. Because we now have over 1,000,000 subscribers, I am certain some will forward this email to friends who do not typically read our reports so let me rehearse who I am and what I do, and most importantly, why.

How could that possibly be true?  Even by fringe right-wing group standards, Vision America is among the smallest and fringiest.  I follow VA as closely as I follow influential groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council and yet if you were to ask me what they actually do, I'd be hard-pressed to tell you. They rarely issue press releases or hold events and almost never generate any press coverage, even by their own admission.

Could this tiny organization, which always seems to be in desperate need of money, really have more than a million subscribers?  That just seems beyond belief - I just can't imagine that there are a million people in this country who would sign up to receive Scarborough's rambling emails, which are full of hyperbole and nonsense: 

I believe that America is facing the gravest challenge since the Second World War, and one that will forever change the course of this great nation if Christians do not experience a renewed commitment to freedom and understanding of the role of God in government.

...

I am not hopeless, but I do believe that Christians and other god-fearing Americans must be willing to confront what Barrack Hussein Obama has made clear will be the most radical pro-abortion and pro-homosexual big government administration ever. We still have friends in Congress, but we must mobilize millions of Americans to stand with them and let them know we are here to pray and to act!

...

And now we are hearing of plans to take the financial crisis this country is facing and using it as the gateway to nationalizing enormous chunks of the American economy, moving us down the road to European style socialism. One of the foundational principles of the Declaration of Independence was the inalienable right to pursue happiness. With nationalized healthcare, no health care professional will ever be included in that right again, and you will see an erosion of the greatest healthcare system the world has ever known.

Who knows?  Maybe there really are a million people out there just waiting for Vision America to mobilize them to action.  I doubt it, but if that is the case, one has to wonder just why the organization has seemingly been unable to accomplish anything at all. 

Right Wing Leftovers

I'm thinking of starting a new semi-regular feature consisting of some of the things I see during the day that don't necessarily warrant a post of their own but are still worth noting. 

For instance, here is Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin offering up his take on the best and worst things of 2008 - among his "worst" is something that'll get no argument from us:

In addition to the mainstream media, and worthless talk show hosts such as Sean Hannity, I must include the majority of so-called leaders within the Religious Right as making my "worst" list for 2008. I include James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and Tony Perkins on this list.

For all intents and purposes, the Religious Right has become nothing more than a gaggle of glorified hacks for the Republican Party. They have sacrificed virtually every principle worth defending. For the sake of sitting at the king's table, or not losing financial support from brain-dead contributors, these men have sold the cause of freedom and constitutional government down the river. Their mindless support for John McCain was inexcusable and embarrassing! In so doing, they have lost all credibility.

Elsewhere, Phyllis Schlafly laments that America is losing its "common national identity" and has a rather odd solution to remedy it:

We should celebrate and honor our nation's heroes, starting with George Washington. Federal law clearly specifies that the name of the "legal public holiday" on the third Monday in February is "Washington's Birthday."

Americans should refuse to buy the calendars that wrongly label this February holiday as "Presidents Day." This calendar mischief is very offensive because there are quite a few presidents who are not worthy of a special "day."

As for Mike Huckabee, he's still traveling the country and delivering speeches at his favorite venue - church:

An ordained Baptist minister, Mike Huckabee was right at home Tuesday night at the pulpit of Community Bible Church.

The former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate was the guest of honor at the church's annual Men's Wildlife Supper, an event that drew an all-male audience of more than 3,500 to the church on Parris Island Gateway.

After dining on a free buffet of alligator tail, wild boar and venison, the crowd packed the church's auditorium as Huckabee delivered an impassioned 45-minute speech with the feel of a Sunday sermon.

"There's a lot of anxiety in the world right now with the economy, and no one is really sure what's going to happen," he said. "I don't know what's going to happen in 2009, but no matter what happens with the economy, God is still God."

Finally, I don't really have anything to say about this graphic from a recent Family Research Council Washington Update other than to say that I think they might be getting a little paranoid:

It’s That Time of the Year

It’s the beginning of the year, so you know that that means:  Pat Robertson is back with his report on what God told him to expect in this coming year during his annual prayer retreat:

Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, announced at his staff's annual prayer retreat that God told him Americans would embrace socialism in 2009 "in order to relieve their pain" and that the economy would rebound under an Obama administration.

"The Lord said the economy of your nation will recover," Robertson told a group assembled at Founders Inn on the campus of Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., a university Robertson founded.

Robertson said God also declared, "The steps taken will lead to a dramatic increase in the power of government. The people will welcome socialism in order to relieve their pain. Nothing will stand in the way of a plan by Obama to restructure the economy in the same fashion as the New Deal in the '30s."

Socialist policies and massive government spending, Robertson told Meeuwsen, could lead to heavy hyperinflation, sending prices through the roof and the value of the dollar through the floor.

"The Lord said the dollar is going to go down dramatically," Robertson said in the interview. "If I'm hearing him right, gold will go to about $1900 dollars an ounce and oil to $300 a barrel."

Conveniently, CBN has posted the entire segment on YouTube for easy viewing, so you can listen for yourself as Robertson informs his audience that "Islam is weakening" and that poverty and misery will become so widespread that it will lead ten of millions to Christ:

Since they began the segment by highlighting a few instances where Robertson’s 2008 predictions proved correct, it only seems fair for us to remind everyone of his dire 2007 predictions when he warned that God had told him to expect a massive terrorist attack on US cities that would kill “possibly millions of people.”

Rick Warren Walks the Line

Last week, Beliefnet Editor-in-Chief Steven Waldman sat down for an interesting discussion with Rick Warren during which Warren worked hard to maintain the image he has created for himself as a moderate, nonpartisan religious figure (rather than the James Dobson-lite he actually is) but struggled to explain himself when asked to clarify some of his seemingly contradictory positions.

For instance, when the topic of the discussion turned to reproductive choice, Warren made no bones about his opposition to it, referring to it repeatedly as a “holocaust” and proclaiming that he has, and will continue, to press Barack Obama on the issue: 

Of course I want to reduce the number of abortions. Barack Obama is a friend of mine. We totally disagree on this issue. I’ve actually talked to him privately about this before and intend to again in the future. It’s not something I protest out on the street about. It’s something you deal with individually as rational civil people. The reason I believe life begins at conception is ‘cause the Bible says it. In Psalm 139, David says “you formed me in my mother’s womb. You planned every day of my life before I was born.” To me that means God had a purpose driven life for you before you were even born. He already knew in advance. To me, abortion short circuits that plan … [T]o me it is kind of a charade in that people say we believe abortions should be safe and rare. Why do you believe it should be rare? If you don’t believe life begins at conception, it shouldn’t be rare. That’s an illogical statement. Don’t tell me it should be rare. That’s like saying on the Holocaust well maybe we could save 20% of the Jewish people in Poland and Germany and get them out and we should be satisfied with that. I’m not satisfied with that. I want the Holocaust ended.

When the conversation then turned to the subject of torture, Warren proclaimed that he was “totally against torture,” but when Waldman asked if he had ever made that position clear to President Bush, Warren said that he had not because it was not his place and stating that presidents “don’t need me to be a political advisor. I’m not a pundit. I’m not a politician and that’s why I don’t take sides.”

When Waldman then smartly asked Warren why he was pressing Obama on choice but not pressing Bush on torture, Warren hemmed and hawed, explaining that “everybody has a single issue that they care about” and that for him that issue is the “America holocaust” of abortion:

I just didn’t have the opportunity. It’s actually when Barack, the first time I’d invited Barack-before he’d even decided to run-when I’d invited him to our AIDS conference and we came out and we were just sitting around and we were talking about different issues and that one came up. Actually, that’s not true, it even started before that. I was invited, before I invited Barack out, to speak to the Democratic Senate Caucus and it was Barbara Boxer and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and Harry Reed and Chuck Schumer--all of these guys in the room. And Barack actually brought it up. And he said, “Hey Rick, let’s talk about the big elephant in the room.” And he said, ‘When we Democrats, we do stuff for the poor and we do stuff for the sick, we don’t get many letters about it. But when we vote to support abortion we get thousands and tens-of-thousands of letters. What’s the issue here?” And I had to say, “Well, let me just explain this. Almost everybody has a single issue that they care about. You know, it may be gay rights, it may be farm aid, it may be- everybody has some issue that they care about the most. And I said, “let me just go around the room.” I said, “Hillary, when you were growing up, you were probably a single issue voter because it was during the civil rights movement. And to me-uh, to you-a candidate could be right on everything else; foreign aid, jobs, economy, but if they were wrong on civil rights, there’s no way you were going to vote for them OK. That’s understandable.” And I went around the room and when I came to Chuck Schumer I said, “Chuck, how bad, if you had a candidate and he was right in EVERY SINGLE AREA that you agreed with but he’s a holocaust denier, there’s no way you’re gonna vote for a holocaust denier. That’s a single issue issue for you. And I said, “For these people who believe life begins at birth, alright--at conception--it’s an America holocaust. They believe that there’s 40million people who should be here. And to them that’s an issue.”

Likewise, when Waldman raised the issue of Warren’s support for Prop 8, Warren again danced around, saying that he fully supports equal rights before likening gay unions to incest, polygamy, and pedophilia, claiming that defeating Prop 8 would have limited free speech, and then finally playing the tired “I-have-gay-friends-so-I-can’t-be-a-homophobe” card: 

One controversial moment for you in the last election was your support for proposition 8 in California. … Just to clarify, do you support civil unions or domestic partnerships?

I don’t know if I’d use the term there but I support full equal rights for everybody in America. I don’t believe we should have unequal rights depending on particular lifestyles so I fully support equal rights.

What about partnership benefits in terms of insurance or hospital visitation?

You know, not a problem with me. The issue to me, I’m not opposed to that as much as I’m opposed to redefinition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.

Do you think those are equivalent to gays getting married?

Oh , I do. For 5,000 years, marriage has been defined by every single culture and every single religion – this is not a Christian issue. Buddhist, Muslims, Jews – historically, marriage is a man and a woman. And the reason I supported Proposition 8, is really a free speech issue. Because first the court overrode the will of the people, but second there were all kinds of threats that if that did not pass then any pastor could be considered doing hate speech if he shared his views that he didn’t think homosexuality was the most natural way for relationships, and that would be hate speech. We should have freedom of speech, ok? And you should be able to have freedom of speech to make your position and I should be able to have freedom of speech to make my position, and can’t we do this in a civil way.

Most people know I have many gay friends. I’ve eaten dinner in gay homes. No church has probably done more for people with AIDS than Saddleback Church. Kay and I have given millions of dollars out of Purpose Driven Life helping people who got AIDS through gay relationships. So they can’t accuse me of homophobia. I just don’t believe in the redefinition of marriage.

There you have it. The kinder, gentler face of the same old Religious Right.

The Bitterness That Drives Mike Huckabee

There is a truly exceptional review of Mike Huckabee's latest book up on Religion Dispatches that argues that the driving forces behind Huckabee, his campaign, and his new book tour are resentment and bitterness.  I have to say that I completely agree with that assessment ... probably because I happen to be the one who wrote it:

Billed as an inside look at “the movement that’s bringing common sense back to America,” the book is part campaign memoir, part policy statement, and partly a challenge to all Americans to stop being so fat, lazy, and mean. But mostly it is a means for Huckabee to settle scores with all those who failed to support his candidacy, see its genius and, consequently, to save America from itself.

From the very beginning, Huckabee makes no effort to conceal his disdain for his presidential rivals and seemingly goes out of his way to invoke Mitt Romney wherever he can, mentioning the former Massachusetts Governor by name more than sixty times in the first one hundred pages. While Huckabee doesn’t have anything particularly nice to say about Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, or John McCain—the others barely rate a mention—it is Romney who personifies everything that is wrong with the Republican Party.

It’s clear that Huckabee resents Romney’s wealth and the millions of dollars he pumped into his own campaign. Huckabee and his staff, who were often just scraping by, at one point blasted Romney for attempting “a leveraged buyout of the Republican presidential nomination,” calling him one of those “political wannabes with self-inflicted funding [who] let themselves be sculpted and focus-grouped into what a high-priced pollster thinks is a winning package.” Time and again he mocks the former Massachusetts Governor for spending millions, yet failing to win half the votes that Huckabee and his rag-tag campaign racked up, dismissing Romney’s entire campaign as a fraud perpetuated solely by the fact that his “net worth bought him instant status … [as] a serious contender.”

While Huckabee nurtures a deep personal dislike of Romney, what he truly despises is everything Romney represents: the rich, East Coast, insider elites who dominate the Republican Party. Huckabee, the son of a fireman who struggled to make ends meet, effectively wages class warfare against the party insiders and libertarian “faux-cons” in Washington; he lashes out at the likes of The National Review and the Club for Growth, whom he calls “the silk-stocking crowd,” for looking down their noses at the blue collar “values voters” that Huckabee claims to represent. Two chapters are devoted to holding himself up as the representative of those who shop at Wal-Mart and not Neiman Marcus; of those who eat at The Waffle House rather than Ruth’s Chris Steak House; of those who watch “Touched By an Angel” and not “Desperate Housewives.” He expends several pages rehashing old campaign attacks on his record from the Club for Growth and several more pages striking back at The National Review for their opposition to talk that John McCain might pick him as his running mate. But even here Romney remains representative of everything that “was wrong with our party.”

But you don't have to take my word for it.  Here's Huckabee displaying that bitterness during a book tour stop in Iowa earlier in the week:

Appearing on Christian conservative Steve Deace’s drive-time program, Huckabee said though he was criticized by “establishment Republicans” during his unsuccessful bid for the GOP presidential nomination, he has been proven right time and again.

“When I said the economy was beginning to sputter, I was absolutely pilloried by the Wall Street Journal and the National Review and all the other snobbish folks who thought that I was just a dumb hick from Arkansas who didn’t have a clue,” he said.

...

Huckabee’s book has gotten a lot of attention, mainly due to the portions that discuss his fellow Republicans. He was particularly hard on Gary Bauer, the conservative Christian leader and former presidential candidate, whom he described in the book as having an “ever-changing reason to deny me his support.” He also accuses Bauer of putting national security before social issues like the sanctity of life and traditional marriage.

Deace seemed to share his opinion of Bauer.

“The phrase ‘Better for one man to die than the whole nation to perish’ comes to mind,” Deace said.

Huckabee said he couldn’t pull any punches with the book because if he did he would lose credibility with his supporters.

“I want people to know the truth. I got a reputation during the campaign as someone who was plain spoken, who didn’t try to sugar coat or frost things over,” he said. “I would have lost credibility if I had written this book and not told some of the things that I try to at least bring forth.”

But the passages that discuss his fellow Republicans are just a small portion of the book, and the attention they are getting is disappointing, he said.

“Shouldn’t be surprised that people would take a few passages out of a 240-page book and act like that’s all that’s there,” Huckabee said. “This book lays out not just what’s happened and why we’ve had the problems we’ve had in the conservative movement, but it also lays out how we get our groove back.”

I take issue with Huckabee's repeated assertion that his attacks on Romney and various GOP-insiders constitute just a "few passages" in his book because, in fact, they make up the bulk of the first 130+ pages. 

Huck may like to pretend that the purpose of the book was to help resurrect the conservative movement, but the fact is that it was written to settle scores and position himself for a future run at president.  As such, his relentless trashing of the very Republican institutions from whom he will need support the next time around is inevitably going to grab the bulk of the media's attention.  If he wanted the press to pay attention to his "Fair Tax" proposals or dedicated to bad-mouthing Mitt Romney and the Religious Right.

Rep. Bachmann Named "Guardian of Worker Freedom"

Sometimes you just have to laugh:

Last week, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was presented with the "Guardian of Worker Freedom" award by the Alliance for Worker Freedom.  The AWF honored the Congresswoman with the award for her commitment to workers’ rights, open markets, and labor freedom in the [sic] 2008.  Bachmann also received the award for her efforts in 2007.

“I am honored to be receiving this award,” said Bachmann. “The men and women who make up America’s workforce are the heart and soul of this economy.  And in the face of our serious economic challenges it is more critical now than ever to encourage job creation and expand workers’ freedoms and opportunities.”

The nonpartisan Alliance for Worker Freedom presented the “Guardian of Worker Freedom” award to Representatives who stood up for the freedoms and interests of workers and against special interests and regulatory schemes that crush employment opportunity.

“By voting in favor of workers [sic] rights and freedoms, Congresswoman Bachmann deserves to be honored for siding with the rank-and-file American worker,” said AWF Executive Director Brian M. Johnson.  “Representative Bachmann is without a doubt a true guardian of worker freedom.”

The Alliance for Worker Freedom is a “special project” (aka “front-group”) for Grover Norquist and his Americans for Tax Reform, which is not exactly known for being overly committed to the well-being, security, or rights of the American worker. 

Apparently Bachmann and Norquist think that the American workforce is made up primarily of idiots who can’t see through their pathetically self-serving charade.

"We Are Overdue God's Wrath and Judgment"

You may remember Bill Keller, the man who has dubbed himself "the world's leading internet evangelist," whatever that means, for causing a bit of a stir during the Republican Primary when he launched an all-out attack on Mitt Romney because of his Mormon faith during which he declared that "if you vote for Mitt Romney, you are voting for Satan!"

Seemingly having successfully used the power of the internet and prayer to destroy Romney's presidential aspirations, Keller has now turned his attention toward solving our economic crisis calling for a National Day of Prayer and Fasting for the Economy and is seeking 250,000 signatures for his petition asking President Bush and Congress to proclaim Thursday, December 18th as a National Day of Prayer:

The reason, Keller explained, none of the solutions put forth by the world's greatest economists to correct the falling economy have worked is simple: the problem is not an economic one.

"The crisis is a spiritual problem," said Keller. "The answer to our economic downfall is not an infusion of trillions of dollars, but the humble prayers of forgiveness and repentance for our sin and rebellion against God."

In this video from back in October, Keller explains that the only way to "fix the economy is for this nation to repent of its sins, ask God's forgiveness, and turn back to God and His truth ... Sadly this nation is so blinded by its sin, so far away from God, that it can't see that what is happening in the economy is the start of God pouring out his judgment on our nation for our sins and our wickedness. Every twenty-four hours we legally slaughter over 4,000 innocent babies, we've made a mockery of God's holy institution of marriage, we bow down and worship every idol and false god man has created. We live in complete and total rebellion to God and His word. My friends, we're not only due God's wrath and judgment, we are overdue God's wrath and judgment."

For what it's worth, WorldNetdaily gives us a little bit of background about Keller and his ministry:

A former businessman convicted of insider trading in 1989, Keller served two years in federal prison, was released and later earned a degree in biblical studies from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

In 1999, Keller launched LivePrayer, which claims to have responded personally to more than 60 million online requests for prayer since its inception and claims its LivePrayer devotional is received daily by over 2.4 million e-mail subscribers.

Heads We Win, Tails You Lose

The Religious Right is understandably concerned about what a Barack Obama administration will mean for their influence and agenda in the coming years and its leaders are already hard at work trying to reign him in by suggesting that, despite his clear victory, he doesn't have any sort of mandate: 

Wasting little time, conservative Christian groups have already drafted open letters to Obama stressing their opposition to abortion, and are taking steps to reassure supporters that they will fight any attempt to give the new administration a blank cheque -- especially on social issues.

"Barack Obama can clearly claim a mandate from the American people on the economy, maybe even our standing in the eyes of the rest of the world, but he cannot claim a mandate to impose or to advance a liberal social agenda," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council ...

Though conservative Christians won't have "the same type of relationship we had with the Bush administration," Perkins said the passage of amendments in three states that banned same-sex marriage shows their values have staying power.

"This was, I think, more of a referendum on the Republican Party than conservative values," he said. "We focused upon the marriage amendments in the three states ... They passed in two states (California and Florida), which Barack Obama carried handily."

Fair enough, but what about the various anti-choice issues that were also on the ballot and all lost? Those apparently don't count:  

None of the state referenda on abortion -- including one on parental consent in California and a "personhood" amendment in Colorado -- passed on Election Day, but [Richard] Land said conservative Christians will be undeterred by those losses at the polls.

"Pro-life Catholics and pro-life evangelicals aren't going anywhere," he said.

So the anti-gay amendments that passed prove that Obama has no "mandate to impose or to advance a liberal social agenda," but conversely nothing at all can be concluded about choice issues even though every such initiative failed just because the anti-choice forces say so?  

Who Benefits From the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund?

The Hartford Courant raises some interesting questions about just what the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund - a right-wing Virginia non-profit organization overseen by the likes of Ed Meese, William Bradford Reynolds, and Al Regnery - is doing with the funds it has been raising because it seems like most of it is going to toward fund-raising, salary for its leadership, and to prop up right-wing organizations to which they have ties, like The American Spectator, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and the Federalist Society :

Tens of thousands of Americans have contributed to the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund after reading letters like Stephanie Lawlor's. But while those donations total millions every year, the fund spends only pennies on the dollar directly assisting officers facing criminal charges, state and federal filings show.

Over the past five years, the charity collected more than $13 million, primarily through direct-mail pitches. But most of that money — more than $9 million — went right back to the professional fundraisers hired by the nonprofit legal defense fund.

Last year, for example, the group spent 81 cents on fundraising for every dollar collected, according to federal tax forms. After other expenses, the defense fund last year devoted only about 8 cents on the dollar to charitable grants, the tax forms show.

That grant money — about $275,000 — was less than the group's co-founders paid themselves in salary and benefits for the year. David H. Martin, a Washington lawyer who serves as chairman, collected $156,000, while Alfred Regnery, publisher of The American Spectator Magazine, received $81,000 for the part-time job of secretary-treasurer. In addition, the charity paid $54,000 into retirement accounts for Martin and Regnery.

In a telephone interview earlier this month, Martin said the charity is at the mercy of expensive mail solicitations. "It's hard to raise money through direct mail. Why? Because postage is so expensive," he said. "It's just a killer."

Martin said he believed the group's fundraising efficiency had consistently improved in recent years. But federal filings suggest just the opposite, showing the cost of raising money increasing each of the last five years, from about 60 cents in fundraising costs for every dollar raised in 2003, to 81 cents last year.

At the same time, administrative costs have soared, particularly for salaries and rent. For years, the legal defense fund was run out of Martin's law office. But the nonprofit now subleases space at Regnery's financially strapped American Spectator. The initial rent in 2003 was $9,000 a year, but the nonprofit agreed last year to increase its payments to $42,000 a year — about a third of the total rent for the American Spectator's space. Martin said the rent covers a large amount of storage space and offices for himself and a clerk, and he said he thought the rent was fair.

And even as the charity devoted only a small fraction of its budget to grants, not all of the money doled out went to help accused officers. Instead, the charity's executives have sent a sizable and growing amount of cash to a small number of universities and conservative policy groups not mentioned in their fundraising pitches.

The charity's biggest beneficiary last year, for example, was not a police officer, but the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a national campus-based think tank that promotes "limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, the rule of law, market economy, and moral norms."

The Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund sent $75,000 to the institute last year, part of at least $360,000 the defense fund has pledged. Regnery, secretary-treasurer of the defense fund, is chairman of the institute's board of trustees. The charity has also given tens of thousands of dollars to the Federalist Society, described by The American Conservative magazine as a "training ground for young conservative lawyers"; to the Law and Economics Center at George Mason University in Virginia, a leading center of conservative and libertarian legal studies; and to a project at McDaniel College — Martin's alma mater.

The Huckabee Bitterness Tour Rolls On

As Mike Huckabee travels the country promoting his new book, the overarching theme seems to be “It Should Have Been Me,” in that the book is essentially a 200 page gripe about how the Republican Party lost its way and ended up losing the election primarily because it failed to choose him as its nominee:

The former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who won eight states and more than four million votes in the Republican Presidential primaries, spent Election Night at home in Little Rock. Eating takeout in the den with his family and a few staffers, Huckabee wasn’t surprised to see Barack Obama win, although he couldn’t help but think that things might not have turned out the way they did had he been the nominee. “It would’ve been very different,” he said the other day. “Because I would’ve campaigned that the economy was headed toward meltdown. And I was saying this back when I was getting laughed at by the Wall Street Journal and pilloried by the National Review. They were just dicin’ and slicin’ me for not following the company line.”

And while his book is basically an extended attack on Mitt Romney and all that he represents, it looks like Huckabee doesn’t exactly have warm feelings about Sarah Palin - or rather, he’s really miffed that all the insiders who wrote him off suddenly rallied about Palin when the only difference between the two was that, unlike her, he was arguably qualified for the position:

Asked about Sarah Palin, he responded, “She, uh, was an appropriate choice, because she put John McCain back in the game.” That was the get-along answer, but a few minutes later the new, aggrieved Huckabee resurfaced. He recalled, “It was funny that all through the primary—I mean literally up until McCain got enough delegates to win—people said, ‘You know, Huckabee’s really running for Vice-President. Gee, Huckabee would be a great Vice-President.’ And from that day forward, when I actually was no longer running for President, nobody ever said, ‘Gee, Huckabee would be a great Vice-President.’ ” Neither was he quite so unperturbed by the Palin pick: “I was scratching my head, saying, ‘Hey, wait a minute. She’s wonderful, but the only difference was she looks better in stilettos than I do, and she has better hair.’ It wasn’t so much a gender issue, but it was like they suddenly decided that everything they disliked about me was O.K. . . . She was given a pass by some of the very people who said I wasn’t prepared.”

I think that is actually a really smart observation on Huckabee’s part. Why was it that all the Religious Right and Republican insiders who dismissed Huckabee, with his ten years of experience as governor and staunch record on their issues, rallied around Palin with her limited time in office and a record utterly devoid of accomplishments?

And yes, we are looking at you, Gary Bauer.

Pat Boone Welcomes The Coming Nightmare

Pat Boone lays out what he and his ideological allies can expect to endure during the forthcoming Obama administration: 

In a terrible pincer movement, an assault is taking place on two fronts simultaneously – one all-out attack on the foundations, the very pillars of our society, and the other on the executive suites in the ivory towers of business and finance. The jihadists in these organized, hugely funded attacks on our morality and virtue are not Middle Eastern – they're homegrown Americans who actually believe they're promoting a better America by destroying the foundations on which this nation was built!

Recall that George Washington declared, "Religion and morality are the twin pillars of liberty" … two foundational supports.

Well, on one front, our jihadists would grant homosexual activity "marriage rights," which outweigh the will of the majority and defy the societal structuring of all human history. And they believe that destroying babies in the womb is a woman's "right" – oblivious to the divinely and constitutionally ordained rights of the unborn American citizen. What if one of those had been Obama?

On the second front, leftist political genetic engineers are moving into power, taking advantage of immoral and irresponsible greed in the economy to socialize industry and finance, and make Big Brother government everybody's boss and banker.

That all sounds rather terrifying, but rest assured that Boone is not only unafraid, he’s actually welcoming it because the slavery, tyranny, and sheer misery we are all about to endure will eventually lead this nation back to God:

But yes, I'm thankful. We the people are getting what we deserve and what we need. Like the people of Israel long ago, we've got the king we demanded, and now we'll experience the benign slavery that comes with a king. At some point down the road, we'll wake up, shake ourselves and again throw off governmental tyranny, this time self-imposed. At least, that's my prayer. The kingdom we're getting can be rejected, if we bring God and morality back into our national life. I'm thankful that His kingdom is still available to us.
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economy Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Friday 03/04/2011, 6:42pm
Michael B. Keegan @ Huffington Post: Buy a TV Ad, Get a Tax Cut! The New Economy of Political Spending. Justin Elliott @ Salon: Palin tries to walk back First Amendment tweet. Good As You: Homosexuality = incest = mainstream media credence?! Warren Throckmorton: Bryan Fischer sees silver lining in Phelps ruling. Ryan J. Reilly @ TPM: Gaffney, Jones Fight For Soul Of Anti-Sharia Movement At Rally By White House. Jeff Spross @ Think Progress: Meet Peter King — Islamophobe. James Downie @ TNR: The Decline of Glenn Beck. MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/04/2011, 11:40am
When the Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice will end its defense of the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Religious Right groups were naturally apoplectic. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council likened President Obama to a Middle East dictator, the Traditional Values Coalition blasted the “unprecedented power grab,” and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel said Obama “betrayed the American people.” However, the government will continue to enforce DOMA and the move by the Department of Justice was not without precedent,... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 03/01/2011, 11:14am
A writer for the far-right Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview wonders whether any of the Wisconsin labor protesters are genuine Christians, and also says she is “pretty certain” that Martin Luther King Jr. would have opposed the Wisconsinites protesting Governor Scott Walker’s plans to dismantle the collective bargaining rights of public employees. Of course, it was King who condemned so-called “right to work” laws because their “purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 02/28/2011, 2:03pm
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) today sat down with Kaiser Health News to discuss her proposal to repeal and replace the health care reform law. However, Ellmers was unable to name a single policy alternative to the reform law. The Tea Party-favorite recently defended her decision to take a taxpayer-subsidized health care plan because she said that her $174,000 annual salary is too little to live on in Washington DC, and also opposes mandatory coverage for maternity care and pre-existing conditions. Ellmers, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Health and Technology, was unable to muster a single... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 02/28/2011, 2:03pm
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) today sat down with Kaiser Health News to discuss her proposal to repeal and replace the health care reform law. However, Ellmers was unable to name a single policy alternative to the reform law. The Tea Party-favorite recently defended her decision to take a taxpayer-subsidized health care plan because she said that her $174,000 annual salary is too little to live on in Washington DC, and also opposes mandatory coverage for maternity care and pre-existing conditions. Ellmers, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Health and Technology, was unable to muster a single... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 02/28/2011, 11:21am
Conservative activist Alan Caruba usually works as a shill for corporations and is the former communications director of the American Policy Committee, which staunchly opposes environmental protections and the United Nations. Instead of criticizing regulations on businesses, Caruba yesterday launched a tirade against the Obama administration’s decision to stop defending the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act, calling marriage equality “an act of societal suicide” and the administration’s decision “a stealth attack on the nation.” He also derided the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 02/28/2011, 11:21am
Conservative activist Alan Caruba usually works as a shill for corporations and is the former communications director of the American Policy Committee, which staunchly opposes environmental protections and the United Nations. Instead of criticizing regulations on businesses, Caruba yesterday launched a tirade against the Obama administration’s decision to stop defending the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act, calling marriage equality “an act of societal suicide” and the administration’s decision “a stealth attack on the nation.” He also derided the... MORE