economy

Huckabee's Anti-Romney Tome

As I mentioned yesterday, I am currently in the process of reading Mike Huckabee's latest book and, having made it through 150 pages of his 216 page epic, I take issue with Huck's own assessment of the reviews saying that it seems bizarrely focused on former rival Mitt Romney:

The book, released yesterday, has stirred some controversy in the media over its apparent swipes at his former rival for the GOP nomination, Mitt Romney. In several instances in the book, Huckabee charged Romney for being out of touch with voters and for flip-flopping on certain issues. In an example from a debate where Romney was asked about how to help the economy, Huckabee writes that Romney was more focused on reciting lines about his business expertise than on helping the average American.

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Huckabee reassured attendees of the book signing that there’s more to the book than the rehashing of an old beef with Romney. “It’s a very, very small part of the book,” he said. “It’s really not about the past or about the other people in the party. It’s about the future of the party, [which] starts with being true, authentic conservatives with clarity in our convictions.”

Let me just say this: as I was reading his book, I started to become distracted by just how frequently Romney's name appeared in the text, so I counted them all up - in the first 101 pages, the word "Romney" appears at least 60 times. In fact, in the first 21 pages, "Romney" appears 25 times.

And, for the record, in not one of those instances is Huckabee saying anything positive about him.

With the exception of Tommy Thompson, Huckabee doesn't really have anything positive to say about any of his other rivals; not even John McCain. But it is his visceral hatred of Romney and all that he represents that is the one unifying theme of his book.

Economic Crisis a Result of the "War on Christmas"

Last month, I wrote a couple of posts highlighting the Religious Right's claim that our current economic mess was due to a collective loss of morality that could be traced back to abortion, homosexuals, and an overall breakdown in the family.

But, as Think Progress discovered, those weren't the problem at all. What really caused the economic meltdown was people not saying "Merry Christmas":

Notwithstanding the cardboard Santas who seem to have arrived in stores this year near Halloween, the holiday season starts in seven days with Thanksgiving. And so it will come to pass once again that many people will spend four weeks biting on tongues lest they say "Merry Christmas" and perchance, give offense. Christmas, the holiday that dare not speak its name.

This year we celebrate the desacralized "holidays" amid what is for many unprecedented economic ruin -- fortunes halved, jobs lost, homes foreclosed. People wonder, What happened? One man's theory: A nation whose people can't say "Merry Christmas" is a nation capable of ruining its own economy ...

It has been my view that the steady secularizing and insistent effort at dereligioning America has been dangerous. That danger flashed red in the fall into subprime personal behavior by borrowers and bankers, who after all are just people. Northerners and atheists who vilify Southern evangelicals are throwing out nurturers of useful virtue with the bathwater of obnoxious political opinions.

The point for a healthy society of commerce and politics is not that religion saves, but that it keeps most of the players inside the chalk lines. We are erasing the chalk lines.

Keep in mind that this appeared in the Wall Street Journal and was written by the deputy editor of its editorial page.

If you want to know what went wrong with the economy, perhaps the fact that "the leading provider of business and financial news and analysis" has people like this running the show might have something to do with it.

Grover Makes a Funny

Grover Norquist has decided to request a government bailout

I write today to formally request $700 billion from the TARP Capital Purchase Program. Since unionized auto companies, state and local governments, and certain credit card companies are applying, I thought I should, as well … I have a plan for this $700 billion which should be just what’s needed to get the American economy going.  Since the money came from the taxpayers in the first place, I propose giving it back to them.

I suspect that he is trying to make a joke because he tells the Treasury Department to “consult my staff for any ACH transfer information your people may need.”  As anybody familiar with Norquist already knows, that’s not how he operates at all. 

If he was serious about getting funding for his operations, he’d just have Jack Abramoff swindle some Indian tribes out of millions of dollars and then funnel the money to him via his Americans for Tax Reform.  And he certainly wouldn't pass the rest on to the taxpayers; instead he would take a large cut and the rest would go to people like Ralph Reed in order to cover the money trail and nobody would find out until a Senate investigation uncovered the illegal activity and a bunch of people went to jail.

Viva La Resistance!

If anyone thought that right-wing anti-choice groups were going to spend any time licking the wound inflicted by the last election in which they saw several states reject their efforts to restrict the right to chose, think again:

"The election forces the pro-life movement to go back to what we do best — local grass-roots organizing," said the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition. "We will not go silently into the night."

The overall outcome "brings about feelings of great disappointment, of anger," said the Rev. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life. "But that disappointment and anger are forms of energy. ...I believe a lot of people on the sidelines for last eight years will now get engaged."

Pavone predicted that activists would stage more mass demonstrations and abortion-clinic vigils. He also said the election results shed light on the movement's weak points, and would prompt new efforts to register anti-abortion voters and mobilize clergy to be more outspoken in future campaigns … "We will do everything to be sure [the Freedom of Choice Act] fails — the damage it would do to the pro-life movement would be immeasurable," said Mahoney. "On the scale of 1 to 10, that's No. 11 of what our job is."

"Any time you have a loss like that, you have an opportunity to reassess and come back stronger," said Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life. "If they want to see this as a big loss that will set us back, that's OK. Our people are very energized, and ready for Round Two."

This sentiment seems to be sweeping the Religious Right, with Students for Life of America pledging to be unstintingly vigilant and Deacon Keith Fournier vowing to be a part of a “massive resistance” that will not only fight reproductive choice but will end the “culture war” through mass conversion:

We seem to be at war within when we need to join together as one strong voice for life. The real source of the hatred of life is the Devil Himself. The challenge which those whom the late Servant of God John Paul II called “the people of life” face at this crucial time in the history of the West is nothing new. We have been here before in our 2000 year history. The Christian Church goes into Cultures of death and transforms them from within. We can – and we must – do it again in the Third Millennium. Ours is not really a call to a “Culture War” but rather a call to the Conversion of Culture through the conversion of minds, hearts, and lifestyles which will then lead to a transformation of the social structures of governance and way we live our lives together.

In fact, it looks as if the Right is almost welcoming the new Obama administration, sensing it will provide an opportunity for them to mobilize and energize their base as part of new “resistance movement”:

Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, said, "I knew, moments after the election results came in, that I was now part of the resistance movement." As part of its "movement," CWA has launched a nationwide telemarketing advertising campaign. In the ad, Wright says, "We face a president and Congress more hostile to unborn children, to marriage, to religious freedom, to free speech, to protecting our country than has ever existed in our history." According to Wright, the ad generated an immediate response of calls from religious conservatives asking "what they could do" to help, NPR reports.

Religious conservative leaders also have been scrutinizing Obama's speeches from the campaign trail for messages they can use to rally their base, NPR reports. In particular, they have publicized a speech Obama made last year to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in which he said, "The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act." The act -- which would need congressional approval before Obama could sign it -- would eliminate most federal and state restrictions on abortion. Gary Bauer, president of American Values, said of the speech, "I found myself thinking, 'My goodness, I can't believe he's going to make it this easy for us to rally our troops to get off the mat and get back to work.'"

And Clenard Childress, founder of BlackGenocide.Org, goes so far as to declare that the election of Barack Obama was the best thing to ever happen to the anti-choice movement:

With the election of Barack Obama, we now have a face to put on the abortion plague and a link to the leader of the abortion industry, Planned Parenthood. Despite our efforts, in reality, the time to make this connection was clouded by the notoriety of the first black president and a failing economy. The result is: people still don't know who Barack Obama is and many are now looking deeper into the president elect's life and associations. The truth is: knowing his defeat would only minimize this exposure to America, God has now set it up for a global impact of astronomical proportions.

Reality Check for Gary Bauer

Days after President-elect Barack Obama’s rousing defeat over Sen. John McCain, American Values president and long-time McCain supporter Gary Bauer declared an end to racial tension in America.

Barack Obama’s election should also signal something to all those who have made race baiting their raison de ‘etre: dust off your résumés -- it’s time to find new work.
 
That includes Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, whose race baiting has done a disservice to the black community by turning every grievance into yet more evidence of America’s endemic racism.
Nevermind that on the same day that more than 65 million Americans cast their vote for America’s first Black president, Baylor University students reported seeing a rope resembling a noose on a campus tree. Also on Election Day, three students hurled racial epithets at a University of Mississippi sophomore who was celebrating Obama’s victory.
 
Less than 24 hours later in Maine, two black figures resembling gingerbread men were found hanging by nooses from trees. And in North Carolina, where Obama was officially declared the winner of the state’s 15 electoral votes on Thursday, the Secret Service was called in to assist in the investigation of four North Carolina State University students who spray painted racist graffiti including “Shoot Obama” and “Kill that n----.”
 
In a report entitled “The State of Minorities: How are Minorities Faring in the Economy?,” the Center for American Progress found that African Americans are still lagging behind whites in income, unemployment, and poverty, among other categories. African Americans median income in 2006 was $32,132, compared to whites’ median income of $52,423 in 2006. In 2007, the unemployment rate of African Americans was at 8.3 percent compared to 4.7 percent of whites. And poverty? In 2006, 24.2 percent of African Americans were living in poverty compared to 8.2 percent of whites.
 
Home ownership. Education. Health care. I could go on.
 
Reality check for Gary Bauer: While Obama's victory clearly signals progress in the long arc of the American story, only willful ignorance could allow one to think it has ended racial tension.

 

 

Vote McCain Or God Will Destory America

Last week Gary Bauer warned that at some point down the line, God will "take his hand of protection off of America" if the country doesn't get its act together and stop coddling gays, finally outlaw abortion, and elect John McCain.

And it looks as if that GOTV strategy is being picked up by others on the Right, judging by Jane Chastain's latest column in WorldNetDaily.

Chastain admits that many Christian voters might be confused about things like the economy, healthcare, or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and so they should just get "back to basics"

Examine the stands of these two candidates —and more important, their records – on the moral issues, and vote accordingly. Then, you can rest assured that this country will be in good hands.

The Ten Commandments given to Moses are not suggestions. They represent God's moral law – and it has never changed. The first commandments are about honoring God and your earthly parents. Next comes God's law against murder. God leaves us no wiggle room when it comes to the shedding of the innocent blood of another human being.

It is no accident that abortion is the most divisive moral issue in America today. God's law may be inconvenient at times, but it is still God's law.

But just in case they are still confused over how to vote, Chastian concludes with a pretty straight-forward argument that God will destory America if Obama is elected:

If you call yourself a Christian and you are still flirting with abortion, or flirting with voting for a candidate who condones the taking of an innocent life, no matter how small, sick or vulnerable, you are only fooling yourself about your Christian commitment – but you will not fool God!

...

If 9/11 wasn't a wake-up call for America, then the financial meltdown of 2008 should be. How many more warnings will God give us before he lifts his hand of protection that has been over this country for more than 200 years? He did not spare the children of Israel. He will not spare the United States of America!

Barton Stumps for McCain

We knew that David Barton was out there doing his part to help elect Republicans, raising money for Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, explaining to Christian audiences the importance of the Supreme Court and how the GOP and God both share the same agenda

We also knew that he was supporting John McCain but we had no idea that he was actually out there on the trail on behalf of the McCain-Palin campaign: 

Fred Thompson, former U.S. senator from Tennessee, told a local crowd Wednesday that the chance to talk about guns and God is his kind of event.

But though the title of the rally was "Guns & Religion," the politician/actor spent more time talking about the economy.

...

Thompson, actor Robert Davi, Republican National Committee Deputy Chairman Frank Donatelli and David Barton, president of the religious-based organization WallBuilders, spoke at the Wednesday afternoon rally at McCain/Palin headquarters in Springettsbury Township.

"I love the guns-and-God mantra, because both are God-given rights," Barton said, telling the crowd to encourage others to vote. "Get people of faith back in the polls."

Dawn Balcom of Springettsbury Township said it was nice to hear religion addressed.

"It was good to hear that these politicians are thinking God is important," she said. "When we get away from God . . . the whole country goes down."

Why is the McCain campaign associating itself with a right-wing pseudo-historian who believes that Christians should "start breaking fingers" of those who don't vote Republican and warns them they'll have to answer to God for their failure to vote properly. 

Did they not learn anything from their Hagee/Parsely debacle?

Vote for Obama, Go To Hell

In her latest column, Janet Porter warns all those Christians who intend to vote for Barack Obama that they are willfully disobeying God and will be punished accordingly: 

To all those who name the name of Christ who plan to willfully disobey Him by voting for Obama, take warning. Not only is our nation in grave danger, according to the Word of God, so are you ... [T]his election is not about race. It's not about the economy. It's about obeying God.

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Be forewarned: If you willfully disobey God on life and marriage because of race or false hope for the economy, you will usher in the kind of change that brought the Soviet Union to collapse.

But the warning goes far beyond that. To those who think that God's grace gives them license to willfully disobey Him without consequences – think again:

Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?" And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (Matthew 7:21-23)

That deals with your eternity.

That's right - if you vote for Obama, you are going straight to hell. 

In Porter's view, you have a relatively simple choice: either vote for McCain or stop calling yourself a Christian:

To those who call themselves by the name of Christ who ignore what God says about life and marriage, who and are clinging to a fantasy of economic gain, think again ... Then obey Him in the voting booth and out of it. If not, do us all a favor and quit calling yourself a Christian. 

Right Beseeches Schieffer to Help McCain

For the last week or so, as the economy continues to dominate the news cycle and presidential election, the Right has been lamenting that their anti-abortion, anti-gay agenda has been relegated to the back burner and wishing that they could choose right-wing moderators to run the debates.  

But since they can’t do that, they’ve decided to do the next best thing and petition Bob Schieffer, the moderator of the final debate, to make sure their issues play prominent in tonight’s debate.  Earlier this week, Ken Blackwell, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, wrote an "open letter" to Schieffer decrying Tom Brokaw's failure to work their agenda into the last debate:

Mr. Brokaw’s choice of topics for the second debate robbed the American people of what was intended to be a look into the more personal and controversial aspects of the candidates. In that debate focusing on domestic policy, there was not a single question about the Supreme Court, gun control, abortion, gay marriage or immigration. It strains credulity to assert that of the more than 1,000 questions offered to Mr. Brokaw, he could not find any that spoke to these issues.

And now the FRC has followed suit. Declaring that “no issue our nation faces is more important than the protection of innocent unborn life,” the FRC has launched a petition to try and pressure Schieffer into asking questions designed to rally so-called “values voters” behind John McCain:

The American people face many crucial issues in this year's elections, including the state of the economy, immigration, health care, the environment, and foreign policy.  The first two presidential debates this year, however, have failed to include the most pressing social issues on the minds of values voters.  We the undersigned urge you to ask questions along the lines of those listed below, which discuss the future of marriage and the sanctity of human life.  These are questions that matter to all Americans, and you have the last remaining opportunity for the American people to compare the candidates' answers as they appear together for the final presidential debate of 2008.

* Do you believe that the U.S. Constitution contains a right for homosexuals to marry?
* Would you change the traditional definition of marriage contained in the federal Defense of Marriage Act?
* Do you support the Defense of Marriage Act's provision allowing states not to recognize same-sex marriages from other states?
* Have you ever opposed any ballot initiative seeking to define marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman?
* Do you agree or disagree with the Supreme Court's decision allowing the government to ban abortions that kill a partially born baby?
* Have you ever supported or opposed any law designed to protect the lives of babies that have survived an attempted abortion?

Moderating a debate is a great responsibility that rests on your shoulders.  We ask that you exercise that responsibility with great care to ensure that the American people have the chance to know where the candidates stand on every pressing issue. 

And just in case this effort doesn’t work out, FRC Action is doing its own part to support McCain by running anti-Obama ads in several battleground states:

Today, FRC Action PAC announced an initial $100,000 TV and radio ad campaign in key battleground states aimed at educating voters on Senator Barack Obama's promise to make the radical "Freedom of Choice Act" his top priority as President. The "Freedom of Choice Act" will overturn virtually all federal and state limitations on abortion. The ad campaign is a response to the Matthew 25 initiative, which sought to mislead voters and downplay Obama's extreme pro-abortion views. The initial TV and radio ad buy will run this week in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Michigan, with additional television commercials airing in the Washington, D.C. market. The radio ads will target Christian radio stations that earlier this year carried the Matthew 25 campaign.

The Logical Next Step

For the last few weeks, I've been mocking the Right's claim that somehow our current economic crisis is actually due to abortion, homosexuals, and an overall breakdown in the family whenever it comes up.

And, for some reason, it keeps coming up and getting odder every time … to the point where we now have Religious Right activists calling for a nationwide prayer vigil as our only hope of reversing the economic slide:

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states, "America is facing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  In times of great crisis and challenge Americans have always turned to God for comfort, support and guidance.  We call upon President Bush, to follow the example of Abraham Lincoln, and issue a proclamation for a National Day of Prayer just as Lincoln did in April of 1863 during the Civil War.

"It is important that Americans humble themselves and turn to God to address this grave crisis which political leaders seem to have no power to solve.

 "As President Lincoln stated, '...it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord:'"

Rev. Rob Schenck, President of Faith and Action, adds, "Americans are living in fear and confusion in the wake of this tragic economic crisis.  Many are seeing their investments and retirement funds vanish before their eyes.  In response to this massive uncertainty, we call upon President Bush to proclaim a National Day of Prayer.

Regardless of whether or not President Bush actually follows through on their demands, I predict that, at some point down the road when the chaos subsides and the economy begins to recover, the Christian Defense Coalition will subsequently release a statement taking credit for it - just as they did back in 2007 when they attempted to take sole credit a decline in the murder rate in Washington DC.

Because What This Election Needs is David Blaine

Some things just defy efforts to try and explain them:

Pastor [Raymond S. Porter] will be put into a casket for three days and three nights, from October 12th at 2:00 pm through October 15th at 9:00 am. Then he will come out and give a message to Mr. Obama from God, that the whole world may hear.

...

This is about murdering innocent babies. Our society calls it abortion, but I call it what it is murder.

The reason why I am doing this is out of obedience to God. Many Americans think our economy is failing because of the Bush Administration, but they are wrong, it is because of sin.

We are a very sinful nation, therefore God is against us. The only quote I have is from God's word. 2 Chronicles 7:14 say's 'If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land'. We are suppose to be a civilized nation but we are practicing Barbaric behavior called human sacrifice. It is sad that we live in a county were it is perfectly legal to murder an unborn child for convenience, maybe the mother to be says, 'It's not the right time, I must further my career', or a mother may tell her teenage daughter, 'You must get rid of the baby because you are to young. You must finish school'. It is human sacrifice for one's own convenience. Senator Barack Obama said if he becomes president that he would intervene in the African countries where genocide is taking place. He will not however, intervene in Roe vs. Wade which is genocide that is taking place here in America everyday disguised as planned parenthood.

Right Begs McCain to Talk Social Issues

Yesterday we noted Fred Barnes fantasizing over the idea of having Rick Warren moderate more presidential debates so as to ensure that right-wing social and wedge issues could dominate the agenda.  It seems that he is not alone on the Right in wishing that their issues were playing a bigger role during this election cycle, because now the Family Research Council is weighing in, practically begging John McCain to start talking about abortion, marriage, and religion so that they have something to get excited about:

With the economy on the mind of almost every American it was no surprise that last night's presidential debate, the second of three, was again dominated by economic issues. However, Americans should be given credit for being able to focus on several important issues at once. While the economy is of paramount importance it does not exclude concern about and interest in core issues like life, marriage and family. This is especially true for values voters ... With just one debate left, millions of values voters are still anxiously waiting for an honest exchange on the fundamental issues of life, marriage, and religion.

In essence, FRC is saying that while "values voters" care about our tanking economy and various wars and all that, what they really care about are gays and fetuses and if McCain doesn't start talking about those things, he'll only have himself to blame if he fails to rally them and ultimately loses the election.

Oddly, I was fully expecting this to be the spin they trotted out should McCain be defeated next month. Looks like they are just getting an early start.

Your Debate Moderator Tonight Will Be James Dobson

Fred Barnes is dismayed that the first two presidential debates have been so boring and uninformative and wishes that, instead of taking about the economy, healthcare, and the war, they would focus more on the social and wedge issues that the Right loves  … kind of like the faith forum hosted by Rick Warren back in August: 

Oddly enough, it wasn’t a journalist who staged the best debate between McCain and Obama. It was an ordained minister, Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California, the author of best-selling The Purpose-Driven Life. In separate sessions, he asked the same questions, first of McCain, then of Obama.

Their answers gave voters a far better idea of what makes the two candidates tick than all the policy-reality questions asked in the two official presidential debates and one vice presidential debate.

What did Warren ask? Questions like, who is the wisest person you know and do you listen to that person? And what is your greatest moral failure and what is America’s.

Here are more Warren questions: What have you changed your mind on? What was your toughest decision? What does your faith and your trust in Jesus Christ mean to you on a daily basis? When does life begin? What’s your definition of marriage? Does evil exist? What is worth sacrificing American lives for? How do you define “rich”? What would you do as president for the millions of orphans in the world?

In an hour with each candidate, Warren managed to draw more out of McCain and Obama than either Brokaw did last night or Jim Lehrer did in the first presidential debate. There’s a lesson in that that the media professionals would be wise to learn.

Apparently it is the purpose of presidential debates is to skew the issues to focus on those that help McCain rally his base.  Heck, why not just have Warren moderate them all? Maybe he could offer to personally pray with McCain, like he’s done with Sarah Palin.  Or better yet, why not just have James Dobson moderate the debates? After all, the only real difference between the two, as Warren admits, is tone.

They Really Mean It

For the last week or so, I've been mocking the Right's claim that somehow our current economic crisis is actually due to abortion, homosexuals, and an overall breakdown in the family. 

I assumed that this was just some knee-jerk default response they were giving, since their inclination is to just assume that everything can be related to gays and abortion and families and that once they gave it a bit of thought, they'd realize how ridiculous it is and they'd stop saying it.

And, of course, I was wrong:

Conservative U.S. Christians say the culture has gone to hell and it has taken the economy and Wall Street down with it.

...

The narrative goes roughly like this: the "collapse" of the traditional family, widespread divorce and a "permissive" culture have led to a disregard for personal responsibility.

A culture focused on instant gratification -- through the overuse of credit cards to buy consumer goods, for example -- has also lost other "traditional values" such as thrift and hard work.

"You can't have a strong, vibrant society when you don't have strong, vibrant families. It's a crisis of commitment, it's a crisis of responsibility," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative lobby group with strong evangelical ties.

"If you don't live up to your responsibility you are going to see that in the broader culture. You see this on Wall Street," he told Reuters.

Lesson learned - next time you are tempted to think that the Right can't possibly believe the ridiculous things they say, rest assured that, in fact, they do.

More Layoffs at Focus on the Family

Has Focus on the Family been promoting abortion or the homosexual agenda?  Because, as everyone knows, that is what is responsible for our current economic crisis.  What else could explain the fact that Focus has to lay off nearly fifty employees:

Focus on the Family has announced a restructuring within its distribution arm that will affect 46 employees through layoffs or reassignment.

Over the last several years, Focus has experienced a significant decline in its sales of books, CDs and DVDs because of competition from online retailers and large retailers like Wal-Mart.

The restructuring is tied to Focus' partnership with Christian Book Distributors, which will take over its product distribution, according to a news release from Focus.

"We are accountable to our donors to spend their money in the most cost-effective and productive manner possible," Focus Chief Operating Officer Glenn Williams said in a statement. "It is certainly heartbreaking that in this case fulfilling that duty means having to say goodbye to some members of our Focus family, but industry realities really leave us no alternative."

This comes on top of last year’s round of lay offs, in which Focus was forced to shed thirty employees.  If this isn’t proof that  abortion, weak families, and the homosexual agenda are destroying our economy, I don’t know what is.;

Economic Crisis the Result of “Breakdown in the Family”

There have been several articles recently suggesting that with John McCain’s decision to name Sarah Palin as his running mate, the focus of the election was shifting toward wedge issues like abortion and gay marriage and that the so-called “culture war” was about to be reignited, to the benefit of the Republican Party.

But that was before the economy went into a meltdown and became the primary issue in the campaign.  Of course, just because the focus has shifted away from their issues doesn’t mean that the Religious Right isn’t desperately trying to find ways of exploiting the current economic crisis to further their own agenda:

While the economy clearly is at the forefront of voter priorities, conservative Christians also draw a connection between traditional social issues like abortion and gay marriage and the economy, said Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based Family Research Council.

"As there's a breakdown in the family and the family weakens, it's only logical it will hit Wall Street," Perkins said. "A nation cannot be strong just because of a financial structure alone. It has to have strong families and values."

Obviously, as soon as women stop having abortions and gays stop trying to get married and adopt children everything on Wall Street will turn right around.  It’s as simple as that.

Harry Jackson: Hurricanes, Hard Times Setup for Christians to Take Control

Bishop Harry Jackson, the Religious Right’s most visible African American spokesman, who has recently been shilling for an Astroturf campaign accusing environmentalists of waging a “war against the poor” got back basics when he kicked off this year’s Values Voter summit with a breakfast touting his High Impact Leadership Coalition, pushing his books, and asking for financial support for his anti-gay road tour in Florida to push a constitutional ban on same-sex couples getting married.

But Jackson also had his eye on a bigger prize – “We’re in a time of crisis when the Christians have to determine the course of the nation.” This isn’t a new theme for Jackson. At previous events he has called for activists to bring about “the rule and reign of the Cross” to America. Jackson was introduced by one of his associate pastors, who had sounded the same theme, saying, “now is the moment in history when Black and White churches in America must come together to direct the affairs of our nation.” It’s clear that electing the McCain-Palin ticket is an important step – the warm-up speaker was the chair of African Americans for McCain in Illinois who was promoting a new magazine for Black conservatives that pitches a David Barton-esque view of the Republican Party as the champion of Black America.

Jackson has adopted McCain’s audacious claim to be an outsider seeking change even thought Republicans have controlled the White House for the past eight years. Jackson was so eager to distance himself from the people he helped put into power that he engaged in some overt Bush-bashing, chastising the president and Karl Rove for selling out Christians by not forcing passage of the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment.

Jackson claimed that the series of hurricanes and tropical storms, the bad economy, and the war in Iraq are all part of God’s plan to create such hard times in America that people will turn to the church. “God is setting the state for our voice to be heard once again,” he said. “If they’re not going to listen to us in good times, it may take bad times to set that platform.” While joking that he didn’t want to sound like Rev. Jeremiah Wright, he said Wright raised an interesting question – is America, or should America, be under God’s judgment? Jackson said that if Christians, who he said have been playing defense for too long, would go on the offense and count on God’s help to overcome the nation’s sins, there’s still time to avoid that wrath. (Unless, I guess, you’re in the path of one of those stage-setting hurricanes.)

Jackson also told of being confronted in a Boston Market by a gay activist who confronted him about his role on an anti-gay conference call in California, which People For the American Way Foundation documented. “We have spies that are working against us; even in this meeting there may be some spies.” Jackson urged attendees to join in the 40 days of prayer and fasting that evangelical Christians in California have planned seeking God’s help in passing Proposition 8, and suggested it could also balance the fasting and prayers that Muslims all over the world are doing during Ramadan – “there is spiritual warfare going on.”

Idaho Family Takes Bold Stand Against Evil Greeting Card Menace

When it was first revealed that Hallmark was going to start selling cards for same-sex weddings, the Right predictably threw a fit and quickly swung into action with an equally predicable boycott.

Now, a family that owns seven Hallmark stores in Idaho has announced that their stores will not carry the new cards and the Idaho Values Alliance is taking the credit:

Great news on the culture front! The owners of the seven local Hallmark stores, which all go by the name “Jordan’s Hallmark,” will not stock the corporation’s newly developed homosexual-marriage greeting cards.

The owners live here in the valley, and in a phone conversation this morning with me, they made it clear that they would not stock the card in any case because of their personal values, which are shaped by the Judeo-Christian tradition.

They were blindsided by Hallmark on this rollout, and had no idea the cards were coming until they read about in the newspapers.

Realize that if gay activists get their way, and introduce "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" protections into Idaho law, these owners could be sued for discrimination for their conscience-driven decision not to sell pro-gay greeting cards.

The best thing IVA supporters can do at this point is to make sure we buy our next special occasion card at a Jordan's Hallmark. They've felt the pinch of the slowdown in the economy like everyone else, and are also up against some big box stores which also carry Hallmark cards.

Warren Wows the Right His Faith Forum

The emerging right-wing narrative coming out of Saturday’s faith forum at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church is John McCain won in a landslide.   That is not particularly surprising – and neither is the fact that Religious Right leaders are now smitten with Rick Warren himself.  As Catholic Online put it, “at the Saddleback Forum, Pastor Rick Warren and Senator John McCain both took the Gold” and that seems to be a view widely shared by others on the right as well, such as FRC’s Tony Perkins:

Warren, who was urged to ask some weighty values questions, did not disappoint and drew some stark contrasts between the candidates on key issues …After the forum, I gave some of my perspective as part of CNN's pre- and post-panel discussion from Washington. As I saw it, there were two winners-Sen. John McCain and Pastor Rick Warren …As for Pastor Warren, who has been called the Billy Graham of this generation, he asked the right questions. Some have implied that Pastor Warren with his non-confrontational style is evidence that Evangelicals are moving to the Left. I would suggest he is evidence that Evangelicals are more involved and more committed than they were 25 or 30 years ago. If he is the new Billy Graham, and he certainly has similar favor with elected leaders of all political persuasions, there is a big contrast. Pastor Warren showed Saturday night that you can have a personal relationship with those in positions of power and still ask the hard questions.

Tom DeLay: Still Hard At Work

So what has Tom DeLay been up to since leaving office, besides telling Rick Scarborough’s congregation that “America was created by God to spread the Gospel; to spread the word of Jesus Christ and to propagate Christianity,” that is?

Well, in addition to starting a consulting firm and writing the occasional blog post, he’s apparently been hard at work trying to get his Coalition for a Conservative Majority off the ground, though so far it seems that he’s been more successful in getting media coverage of his grandiose plans to become the MoveOn of the Right than in actually transforming CCM into any sort of grassroots powerhouse: 

"Obama is too radical," he says, calling the presumptive Democratic nominee a "socialist" and a "Marxist." But even if McCain wins, that won't be sufficient for a 1994-style conservative comeback. "Conservatives will have to fight McCain too on issues like immigration, affirmative action, and global warming," DeLay says. He warns that the cap-and-trade policies favored in varying degrees by both Obama and McCain could "destroy our economy."

Since leaving the House, DeLay has been busy raising money for conservative causes, huddling with movement leaders over political strategy, training activists, and rallying true believers to keep the faith. The Coalition for a Conservative Majority now has eight active chapters, with hopes of growing across the entire country. Even more important to DeLay than reclaiming the congressional majority is defending Israel, another area where he has remained active behind the scenes now that he is no longer in office.

..

In many ways DeLay's task may be the hardest, especially given the tools the Hammer has at his disposal. Enforcing party discipline in the House isn't exactly the same as keeping together a fractious group of economic, social, and national-security conservatives who have been demoralized by defeat and are still adapting to Obama after gearing up to fight Hillary. This may include the Coalition for a Conservative Majority, whose website contains more references to Hillary than Obama. The group's chairman, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, was an honorable exception to the Buckeye State GOP's unprincipled big-government drift, but his landslide gubernatorial defeat raises questions about whether he is the man to topple MoveOn.Org.

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Kyle Mantyla, Friday 02/25/2011, 11:36am
When news broke that the Obama administration had decided to stop defending DOMA in court because the law in unconstitutional, the Religious Right went nuts and immediately swung into action to get Congress to step in and take up the fight. But as both the Washington Post and New York Times report, the GOP establishment doesn't appear particularly eager to wade into this battle: President Obama’s decision to abandon his legal support for the Defense of Marriage Act has generated only mild rebukes from the Republicans hoping to succeed him in 2012, evidence of a shifting political... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/22/2011, 10:25am
Michele Bachmann South Carolina: Slams Obama's foreign policy and says striking workers should be fired in address to GOP activists (Spartanburg Herald Journal, 2/20). Health: Criticizes Michele Obama for encouraging breast feeding (WaPo, 2/19). Veterans: Faces resistance to her plan to dramatically cut funding to veterans (The Daily Beast, 2/18). Haley Barbour Iowa: Tells state's governor that he will campaign in Iowa if he decides to run (Des Moines Register, 2/21). Huckabee: Wins praise on race-issues and political strategy from Mike Huckabee (CNN, 2/21). Race: Silent on proposed car tag... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/22/2011, 10:25am
Michele Bachmann South Carolina: Slams Obama's foreign policy and says striking workers should be fired in address to GOP activists (Spartanburg Herald Journal, 2/20). Health: Criticizes Michele Obama for encouraging breast feeding (WaPo, 2/19). Veterans: Faces resistance to her plan to dramatically cut funding to veterans (The Daily Beast, 2/18). Haley Barbour Iowa: Tells state's governor that he will campaign in Iowa if he decides to run (Des Moines Register, 2/21). Huckabee: Wins praise on race-issues and political strategy from Mike Huckabee (CNN, 2/21). Race: Silent on proposed car tag... MORE
Peter Montgomery, Friday 02/11/2011, 3:24pm
Early risers got a chance to start the second day at CPAC by quaffing champagne mimosas and rubbing shoulders with a group of freshman GOP representatives. The reception was hosted by the Texas-based Institute for Policy Innovation, a think tank founded in the 1980s by Dick Armey and dedicated to “Advocating lower taxes, fewer regulations, and a smaller, less-intrusive government.”   Greeting the mimosa drinkers was IPI President Tom Giovanetti, who once complained that Republicans “blew it” in the 1990s when they got a congressional majority and failed... MORE
Peter Montgomery, Friday 02/11/2011, 3:24pm
Early risers got a chance to start the second day at CPAC by quaffing champagne mimosas and rubbing shoulders with a group of freshman GOP representatives. The reception was hosted by the Texas-based Institute for Policy Innovation, a think tank founded in the 1980s by Dick Armey and dedicated to “Advocating lower taxes, fewer regulations, and a smaller, less-intrusive government.”   Greeting the mimosa drinkers was IPI President Tom Giovanetti, who once complained that Republicans “blew it” in the 1990s when they got a congressional majority and failed... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 02/10/2011, 2:22pm
Family Research Council head Tony Perkins has taken to the right wing website The Daily Caller for one last dig at CPAC for including GOProud in the gathering, claiming that GOProud’s support for marriage equality (on a state level) “is intrinsically illogical and defiant of rudimentary biology.” Perkins said that GOProud and “other homosexual activists” want “their sexual behavior to be actively affirmed in every sphere of the American experience,” and will ultimately “destroy the foundations of conservatism itself.” Perkins writes:... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 02/10/2011, 2:22pm
Family Research Council head Tony Perkins has taken to the right wing website The Daily Caller for one last dig at CPAC for including GOProud in the gathering, claiming that GOProud’s support for marriage equality (on a state level) “is intrinsically illogical and defiant of rudimentary biology.” Perkins said that GOProud and “other homosexual activists” want “their sexual behavior to be actively affirmed in every sphere of the American experience,” and will ultimately “destroy the foundations of conservatism itself.” Perkins writes:... MORE