Filibuster

Mat Staver Flaunts His Ignorance About Goodwin Liu

(cross posted to the People For Blog)

Mat Staver of the ironically named Liberty Counsel has a new video up where he takes credit for the shameful filibuster of Goodwin Liu. That clears up so much.

Was it Mat Staver who "exposed" the "extremism" of this extremely qualified nominee? Was it Mat Staver who convinced every Republican senator but one to ignore Liu's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, his detailed written submissions, and his many articles, all of which disproved the lies being told about him? Was it Mat Staver whose keen legal arguments completely discredited conservative legal figures like Ken Starr, Clint Bolick, Richard Painter, and John Yoo, all of whom were part of the vast network of support Liu received from the nation's legal community across the ideological spectrum?

Yeah, right.

No, it was naked partisan politics at its worst and not Mat Staver that sank Goodwin Liu's nomination.

But the video does raise an interesting question: If Staver knows so much about Goodwin Liu, why does he repeatedly call him "Godwin"? Don't you think he would know the man's name after all of his exhaustive research and outreach to senators?

Right-Wing Groups Make Desperate Last-Minute Attacks On Goodwin Liu, Demand Filibuster

Even after Republicans in the Senate and their conservative allies railed against filibusters of judicial nominees during the Bush administration and pushed to give even the most far-right nominees up-or-down votes, it appears that they have made an exception for President Obama’s nominees.

The Senate is expected to vote tomorrow on UC Berkley Law Professor Goodwin Liu, who is nominated to serve on the 9th Circuit Court. While many conservative legal scholars support Liu, many in the GOP “appear to be opposing his nomination because he is too qualified.” Republicans have worked for over a year to denounce Liu with discredited attacks, and now right-wing groups are pressuring Senators to filibuster his nomination.

Mario Diaz of Concerned Women for America claims that Liu is a “real danger to our freedoms” and Republicans must do everything possible to prevent his confirmation:

"To everything there is a season," says Ecclesiastes 3:1, and the time for Republican senators to fight on judicial nominations is now!

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has filed cloture on the nomination of radical professor Goodwin Liu to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Simply put, Mr. Liu must never be confirmed to this lifetime appointment, and senators should use every tool available to make sure he is stopped.



Those views help expose the real danger to our freedoms with this nomination: Mr. Liu's judicial philosophy. He believes those constitutional rights must be developed, because he believes the Constitution is a "living, breathing" document that the more enlightened judges (like him, presumably) should continue to mold.



Liu's judicial philosophy cannot be more dangerous, since it could mean something different at any given point in time. Any senator who doesn't stand firmly against such a rogue nomination violates his oath to "support and defend the Constitution."

The Committee for Justice also demands Republicans have a no holds barred approach to Liu’s nomination after they failed to obstruct district court nominee John McConnell:

If all 53 Democratic senators follow the party line and vote for cloture, they will need to add seven Republican votes to prevail. The key to this vote are the 11 GOP senators who voted for cloture on Rhode Island district court nominee John McConnell earlier this month. They include Sens. Alexander, Brown, Chambliss, Collins, Graham, Isakson, Kirk, McCain, Murkowski, Snowe, and Thune.

Several of these GOP senators justified their vote for cloture by arguing that the President’s district court nominees deserve more deference or that McConnell did not quite meet the “extraordinary circumstances” threshold. The former argument is not available for appeals court nominee Liu. The latter argument, if applied to Liu, would logically require a GOP senator to answer the question “If Obama’s most radical nominee is not extreme enough to meet the extraordinary circumstances threshold, when would it ever be met?” If the answer is “never,” because the senator believes that judicial filibusters are never justified, that senator must then explain why Republicans are obliged to unilaterally disarm no matter how atrocious the nominee is.

Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council insisted that Republicans block an up-or-down vote:

Perhaps in Senator Reid’s fantasy world Goodwin Liu is a fantastic nominee. Most people agree that the nomination of Goodwin Liu is one of those rare instances constituting “extraordinary circumstances” where the U. S. Senate should reject this nominee as unsuitable for a lifetime appointment. “Extraordinary circumstances” is the standard agreed to by the bipartisan “Gang of 14” U.S. Senators in 2005 for opposing judicial nominations.

Even the Tea Party Nation is getting in the game with this alert from president Judson Phillips:

Goodwin Liu is a radical leftist. He is a professor at the University of California Berkeley. He maybe the most radical lawyer ever nominated for a federal appeals court.



If the cloture vote fails, Liu’s nomination is dead again. This is why we need to take a few minutes today and call our senators to tell them to vote against cloture. Harry Reid needs to peel off seven Republicans in order for cloture to pass. That is of course, if all Democrats vote for cloture. Unfortunately, we are dealing with the GOP, so the possibility of losing seven votes is real.

Religious Right Groups And Chamber of Commerce Fail To Block District Court Nominee

Religious Right and pro-corporate groups failed today to block President Obama’s nominee for U.S. District Court in Rhode Island, John McConnell, from receiving an up-or-down vote in the Senate. The Senate invoked cloture on McConnell’s nomination in a 63-33 vote, defeating the filibuster against McConnell. Filibusters against district court judges are extremely rare—only a handful of District Court nominees have ever faced cloture votes, and none have ever been blocked—and many Republicans previously vowed they would never filibuster a judicial nominee.

Today’s vote came after a long wait for McConnell: according to The Providence Journal, the delay caused by the concerted right-wing effort to block McConnell forced Rhode Island’s chief federal judge to “take the unusual step of reassigning more than two dozen civil cases to judges in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.”

Why the tough fight? McConnell faced virulent opposition from the Chamber of Commerce over his role fighting big tobacco companies and lead paint manufacturers. The Chamber and other groups that oppose corporate accountability found allies in the Religious Right groups that decided to fight McConnell as well.

The Conservative Action Project made McConnell a top target of their efforts. The group includes pro-corporate organizations like the 60 Plus Association, National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Limited Government, Citizens United, and American Tax Reform, along with social conservatives such as the Family Research Council, Traditional Values Coalition, Heritage Action, American Values, Liberty Counsel Action, and Eagle Forum. The Conservative Action Project’s Memo to the Movement [PDF] claimed McConnell was unqualified to serve in the judiciary because he was a trial lawyer with a history of challenging big business.

Eagle Forum derided him as a “pro-choice, anti-business, pro-judicial activism nominee” who “has made numerous anti-business statements.” The Family Research Council slammed McConnell for his ties to the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the country’s most prominent civil rights organizations, and Phillip Jauregui’s Judicial Action Group said that his link to the SPLC and the American Constitution Society shows he “supports organizations who support homosexual marriage and oppose conservative politicians.”

While the Corporate Right and the Religious Right of the McConnell nomination failed, many of these organizations will continue to work together to block other qualified judicial nominees and aggravate the country’s burgeoning judicial vacancy crisis.

After Being Called a "Charlatan," Frank Pavone Vows To Vote For Randall Terry

Last year, Randall Terry went on a rampage against other anti-choice groups, accusing them of not fighting hard enough to stop the confirmation of Elena Kagan.

And the primary focus of his ire was a fundraising letter sent out by Priests for Life and Father Frank Pavone, which Terry claimed was a perfect example of "why we are losing this fight" to stop abortion:

1) He tells people that to be REALLY pro-life, they just have to send Priests for Life money. This falsely trains people to think that they can discharge their duty to God with money; that they are champions for the babies who are being murdered because they write a check. This is not true. It is a false paradigm.

2) He tells the reader that "Priests for Life is the Voice of the Pro-life Movement." This is a falsehood on two counts. First, they have not been heard in the key fights against Kagan, Sotomayor, Health care, etc., because of their tax exempt status. In real, political terms, they barely give a peep. Second, YOU CAN NEVER GIVE UP YOUR VOICE. You have a duty to lift YOUR VOICE. When someone tells you they can be your voice in this life and death struggle, they are misleading you. You have to go to the abortion mills; you have to go to lobby your elected officials. You cannot have a hired gun do it.

3) He tells the readers "we are winning!" This is also a falsehood. The pro-life movement is not winning, it is losing, and it is losing badly. 50 million babies are dead, with no end in sight. We cannot even filibuster Kagan, perhaps the most evil judge to ever take the bench! Is this what "winning" looks like?!

In Terry's view, Pavone and Priests for Life were claiming victory while doing nothing to stop abortion in order to raise money and were therefore guilty of "living off the blood of babies:" 

But the essence is this: some LEADERS and MANY CHARLATANS in the pro-life movement are like PRO-LIFE VAMPIRES, living off the blood of babies. The very fact that they DO NOT FIGHT KAGAN is the proof of their hypocrisy and duplicity. And their silence is driven by MONEY; the "tax exempt status."

They are useless; they are collaborators with the baby killers themselves. (I DO NOT perceive Fr. Pavone to be fully in that camp, but he is flirting with the wrong people, and it comes out loud and clear in his letter. His organization has clearly put money ahead of the babies in certain fights; I beg your prayers for him and his organization.)

So, using the words of the Priests for Life letter that just went out, and using the useless, godless letter sent out by Americans United for Life - and signed by other pathetic groups - I am drawing a line in the sand, for the sake of the babies.

So it is interesting, not that Terry is planning on running for president so that he can exploit an election loophole and run graphic anti-choice ads on television, that Pavone is heaping praise upon the idea and vowing that he will vote for Terry:

After Being Called a "Charlatan," Frank Pavone Vows To Vote For Randall Terry

Last year, Randall Terry went on a rampage against other anti-choice groups, accusing them of not fighting hard enough to stop the confirmation of Elena Kagan.

And the primary focus of his ire was a fundraising letter sent out by Priests for Life and Father Frank Pavone, which Terry claimed was a perfect example of "why we are losing this fight" to stop abortion:

1) He tells people that to be REALLY pro-life, they just have to send Priests for Life money. This falsely trains people to think that they can discharge their duty to God with money; that they are champions for the babies who are being murdered because they write a check. This is not true. It is a false paradigm.

2) He tells the reader that "Priests for Life is the Voice of the Pro-life Movement." This is a falsehood on two counts. First, they have not been heard in the key fights against Kagan, Sotomayor, Health care, etc., because of their tax exempt status. In real, political terms, they barely give a peep. Second, YOU CAN NEVER GIVE UP YOUR VOICE. You have a duty to lift YOUR VOICE. When someone tells you they can be your voice in this life and death struggle, they are misleading you. You have to go to the abortion mills; you have to go to lobby your elected officials. You cannot have a hired gun do it.

3) He tells the readers "we are winning!" This is also a falsehood. The pro-life movement is not winning, it is losing, and it is losing badly. 50 million babies are dead, with no end in sight. We cannot even filibuster Kagan, perhaps the most evil judge to ever take the bench! Is this what "winning" looks like?!

In Terry's view, Pavone and Priests for Life were claiming victory while doing nothing to stop abortion in order to raise money and were therefore guilty of "living off the blood of babies:" 

But the essence is this: some LEADERS and MANY CHARLATANS in the pro-life movement are like PRO-LIFE VAMPIRES, living off the blood of babies. The very fact that they DO NOT FIGHT KAGAN is the proof of their hypocrisy and duplicity. And their silence is driven by MONEY; the "tax exempt status."

They are useless; they are collaborators with the baby killers themselves. (I DO NOT perceive Fr. Pavone to be fully in that camp, but he is flirting with the wrong people, and it comes out loud and clear in his letter. His organization has clearly put money ahead of the babies in certain fights; I beg your prayers for him and his organization.)

So, using the words of the Priests for Life letter that just went out, and using the useless, godless letter sent out by Americans United for Life - and signed by other pathetic groups - I am drawing a line in the sand, for the sake of the babies.

So it is interesting, not that Terry is planning on running for president so that he can exploit an election loophole and run graphic anti-choice ads on television, that Pavone is heaping praise upon the idea and vowing that he will vote for Terry:

Lou Engle's War on the Supreme Court

Last week, the International House of Prayer hosted a four-day conference called "One Thing" during which Lou Engle explained that he is leading a spiritual war against the Supreme Court to get abortion outlawed in America and that because of the efforts of his team of prayer warriors, Chief Justice John Roberts was nominated and confirmed and the efforts to filibuster President Bush's judges failed ... and that now they are asking God to visit Justices Sotomayor and Kennedy with dreams and revelation:

FRC Losing It Over DADT

In yesterday's Washington Update from the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins writes that Senators will have "the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands" if they vote to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell and allow gays to serve openly in the military:

How many brave men and women are liberals willing to sacrifice so that homosexuals can flaunt their lifestyle? The only reason for changing the present policy is if it would help the military accomplish its mission. So far, no one has produced a single reason how it would. Until then, the Senate has to ask itself: Do they want the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands just to appease the political base of Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)? If they can live with that, then they're unlike any human beings I've ever met.

And FRC also sent out a desperate alert to its prayer warriors asking for them to pray that the "evil plans ... to foist ungodly laws upon our nation" will be thwarted:

Our nation is threatened today, within and without, by those who oppose Biblical truth, Biblical moral standards and freedom of speech among Bible believers. We who pray must invoke the supernatural intervention of God so that those who seek to foist ungodly laws upon our nation will be confused, divided, and prevented from achieving their evil plans.

...

These people are obsessed because they are spiritually blind. They are driven (Eph 6:12). Obviously they either do not know, do not believe or do not care what God has said about the consequences that will come upon a people who approve what He calls an "abomination." There should be an uprising from among our churches, but alas, there has not been to date. As for the advocates of open homosexual practice, they know that breaking down the barrier to homosexuality in the military is to capture the last remaining institution in America that maintains conservative moral standards, such as prohibiting the practice of adultery, homosexuality and other aberrant sexual behaviors that are harmful to good order and discipline in the ranks.

  • May God's people awaken, cry out to God, and by the power they have been given to impact their nation through believing prayer - stop this effort to bring open homosexuality into our military forces. May the Senators mentioned above and other who have intended to support this measure have a change of mind. May God OPEN THEIR EYES. May God send CONFUSION to those laboring to push this measure! May He protect our troops and require our elected men and women to do their duty to do right! May our champions in the Senate filibuster; may cloture fail, and may the effort to overturn DADT be stopped once and for all! Have mercy upon our nation, O God!

For the record, Ephesians 6:12 reads: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

So, in essence, FRC is saying that DADT repeal is a plot by the Devil.

If Ensign Votes To Repeal DADT, Expect the Right To Suddenly Care About His Infidelity

As we know, there is one sin that any Republican member of Congress can commit for which they will never be forgiven by the Religious Right, and that is not supporting their anti-gay agenda. 

Whereas a Republican like Sen. David Vitter could admit to involvement with prostitutes and still receive the support of Religious Right groups when he sought re-election, other Republicans like Rep. Joseph Cao found out the hard way that if you don't toe the anti-gay line, you will find yourself on the receiving end of Religious Right attack ads.

Which brings us to Sen. John Ensign, the Republican Senator from Nevada who has been embroiled in a controversy for over a year now stemming from an extra-marital affair he with a staffer and a subsequent effort to keep it quiet.

Since the story broke, the Religious Right has had next to nothing to say about Ensign's infidelity, with the small exception of FRC's Tony Perkins saying it was "disappointing." But I suspect that that is about to change if this report from Greg Sargent turns out to be true:

Another step forward on Don't Ask Don't Tell, ladies and gents.

In a letter to constituents who have inquired about his position on DADT, GOP Senator John Ensign strongly suggests he is leaning towards supporting repeal of the policy, another sign that there may be enough tacit GOP support in the Senate for repeal to get it past a GOP filibuster.

"It is my firm belief that Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, should be able to fight and risk their lives in defense of this great nation," Ensign writes in the letter, which I've obtained. "As a nation currently engaged in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, the focus of all decisions affecting military readiness, recruiting and retention, and unit cohesion should be to maximize the success of ongoing operations."

In the letter, Ensign adds the caveat that he's still awaiting a Pentagon report, due out on December 1st, that will gauge the impact of repealing the policy. Asked for comment, Ensign spokesperson Jennifer Cooper reiterated this point: "Senator Ensign is waiting on the report from the Pentagon and the testimony of the military chiefs to see if any changes to this policy can or should be done in a way so as not to harm the readiness or war fighting capabilities of our troops."

Ensign has already stated that he intends to run for re-election in 2012, so don't be surprised if you suddenly start hearing the Religious Right attack him for his immorality and infidelity - and not because he had an affair and tried to cover it up (which, to date, they haven't cared about at all) but because he committed the even bigger sin of supporting equality.

Religious Right Wants Jewish TX House Speaker Replaced With a "True Christian" Conservative

Back in 2009, a battle erupted in the Texas House of Representatives as Republicans fought over which member would serve as Speaker of the House.  The Religious Right lined up behind Tom Craddick, but everyone else supported Joe Straus who ended up winning, leading Rick Scarborough to decry it as a "coup."

And now a similar battle is unfolding yet again, as the same coalition of right-wing activists have mounted an effort to replace Straus with someone more inclined to do their bidding:

A group of conservative groups is trying to capitalize on that frustration, issuing a letter Nov. 4 calling for a new Speaker. The signatories include representatives from a lot of major conservative groups, including Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Texas Right to Life, Americans for Prosperity, the Texas Eagle Forum, [Vision America,] Liberty Institute, former Republican Party of Texas Chairman Cathie Adams, and former Republican Party of Texas vice-chairman David Barton. Of particular concern to grass roots conservatives is the fate of bills requiring showing photo ID prior to voting and bills that limit property taxes.

And, not surprisingly, the effort has started to take on religious overtones

[A] handful of outside socially conservative groups are running a fairly deceitful but noisy campaign trying to pressure lawmakers who actually like the speaker’s management style to vote against him.

They blame him for the failure of the sonogram bill but the pro-life Texans for Life said the claim is false. They blame him for the failure of voter ID by permitting the Democratic filibuster, but that’s false. Straus followed the direction of his colleagues in the Republican caucus

They said that Straus appointed moderate chairman, but the budget under Straus was more fiscally conservative than the last one under Craddick.

Now, the so-called grassroots effort has crossed over the line with coordinated email and robocall programs calling for a true Christian speaker. Straus is Jewish.

The Texas Freedom Network reports that supporters have also been sending out emails explaining the importance of replaced Straus with a Christian:

Has the religious right’s effort to topple Texas House Speaker Joe Straus become an anti-Semitic smear campaign? Quorum Report (subscription required) has now posted various e-mails from groups and individuals opposed to Straus, who is Jewish. Excerpts:

“Straus is going down in Jesus name.”

“[W]e finally found a Christian conservative who decided not to be pushed around by the Joe Straus thugs.”

Another e-mail calls for replacing Straus as House Speaker so

“…that our nation will again prosper and hold to values that the Christians and Republicans hold so dear in their souls.”

Straus only needs the support of 76 members and has reportedly already secured pledges from nearly twice that number, but his opponents are not giving up. 

In fact, just today, Mike Huckabee through his support behind challenger Ken Paxton:

While Republicans across Texas and across the nation had many great victories on November 2nd, the battle for true conservatism is not over. Now, as the majority Party in many State Houses, and the U.S. House, Republicans have the duty and ability to select strong conservatives to be new Speakers of the House. That position should be filled by one who has the knowledge, ability and relationships to create and push a strong conservative agenda. In Texas, that’s Ken Paxton.

Huck PAC and I are pleased to again endorse Ken, this time for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

Soon to start his fifth term in office, Ken has twice been named "Texas Taxpayer Hero" by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. Ken proudly believes in the sanctity of life, and supporting conservative family values like traditional marriage between one man and one woman. Ken recognizes that the matters of social issues directly impact our economy, and I’m confident having Ken’s conservative voice lead the new Texas House of Representatives will result in some great accomplishments.

I hope you will join me in supporting Ken Paxton. Texas is fortunate to have him serving in the State House, let’s make sure we make him the next Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

The Right Loses It As Kagan's Confirmation Nears

It seems that the closer Elena Kagan gets to being confirmed to the Supreme Court, the weaker the Right's case for opposing her becomes and, as such, the more desperate their campaign becomes.

While Phyllis Schlafly is warning that Kagan is part of President Obama's plan to "break free from our Constitution" and "fundamentally transform America," others, like Robert Knight, are going completely off the rails:

As we watch in disbelief, the United States Senate is about to take the Fifth on a Supreme Court nominee who has no business being near a courtroom except as a defendant.

The word from Capitol Hill is that the GOP won’t even bother with a filibuster despite evidence from Elena Kagan’s Judiciary Committee hearing that she falsified evidence used in a Supreme Court case and committed what might be perjury before that committee.

One wonders what it would take for the Senate to deny this nomination? A daytime bank robbery, guns drawn? No, that could be chalked up to youthful exuberance or perhaps research in pursuit of insight into the criminal mind. When the Gang of 14 Democrats and Republicans agreed to clear the path for some Bush Administration nominees, that arrogant group’s presumption was that a president is entitled to his pick unless there are “exceptional circumstances.”

If Elena Kagan’s malfeasance does not fit “exceptional circumstances,” the term has no meaning.

For the record, the phrase used by the Gang of 14 was "extraordinary circumstances," not "exceptional circumstances."

But Knight has nothing on the Family Research Council, which appears to be on the verge of losing its mind at the prospect of seeing Kagan on the Supreme Court:

In all of American history, only 111 justices have had the privilege of serving on the U.S. Supreme Court. By the end of this week, members of the Senate will have made their decision on the 112th. If it is Elena Kagan, the President's controversial Solicitor General, she will most likely join this elite club with the third fewest confirmation votes of any nominee in history. Outside the Beltway, she is unpopular even with everyday Americans, who are "more convinced than ever" that she is an ideological liberal one goal: to supplant the Constitution with a permanent Obama agenda. "It is all but certain," Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said, "that, if confirmed, Ms. Kagan will bring to the [Court] a progressive activist judicial philosophy which holds that unelected judges are empowered to set national policy from the bench." Her entire career--from the Clinton administration to Harvard Law School and the Solicitor General's office--is marred by a trail of unprincipled decisions.

Whether it was rewriting a medical group's opinion to promote infanticide or intentionally fixing a case to sink marriage, Kagan has proven that she will always ignore the law if it conflicts with her ultra-Left philosophy (or career goals). She may have zero experience as a judge, but the White House believes that she has plenty where it matters most: in years of pro-abortion, anti-American activism. Like the liberals in Congress, she is on the wrong side of the American people (and the Constitution) on every value we hold dear: the promise of new life, the stability of the family, the valor of our troops, the power of faith, and the significance of speech.

Terry and Crew Beat Effigy of Sen. Graham

Randall Terry and his merry band of anti-abortion zealots have been traveling the country in an RV and protesting outside of the state offices of Republican Senators who are refusing to filibuster Elena Kagan.

When they arrived in South Carolina last week, they planned to "burn, hang, or beat" an effigy of Sen. Lindsey Graham for supporting Kagan in committee:

If a man brings the enemy into your camp, he is helping the enemy; when he helps the enemy, he has become the enemy, and must be treated as such. Mr. Graham has betrayed God and innocent babies; we must treat him as a fraud and a traitor from this moment forth.

Turns out, Terry did not actually burn the effigy of Graham, but they did hang and beat it

A mannequin with a picture of Sen. Lindsey Graham's face taped to the head was hung in effigy in downtown Greenville by a protester.

Randall Terry, a nationally-known pro-life supporter from Washington, D.C., came with three supporters to tape a portion of his television show called, "Randall Terry: The Voice of the Resistance."

The anti-abortion activist filmed two skits while in downtown. One of them involved Randall's employee constructing gallows to hang the mannequin with Graham's picture on it.

The other skit involved a stick and a pinata. The workers hit the pinata, which had a picture of Graham on it, until plastic babies fell out of it.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Truth Wins Out: Major ‘Ex-Gay’ Life Coach Accused of Sexual Misconduct By Former Clients.
  • Sarah Posner: Glenn Beck’s ‘Social Justice’ Heresies.
  • Steve Benen: 'Refudiating' Palin's Inanity.
  • Matt Yglesias: Erick Erickson: Failure to Filibuster Elena Kagan is “High Act of Treason”.
  • Joe.My.God: GOP Group Challenges Legality Of Rep. Tammy Baldwin's Nomination.
  • Dump Bachmann: Bachmann and Emmer's Pal Bradlee Dean Repeats Anti-Semitic Remarks on the Radio.
  • Andrew Sullivan: Mel Gibson And The Christianist Right.
  • Alvin McEwen: Concerned Women for America outdoes itself with vile anti-gay campaign.
  • Think Progress: Trent Lott: Most Americans Don’t Want ‘A Lot Of Jim DeMint Disciples’ In The Senate.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Ken Hutcherson explains how the "Minority Thought Pattern" causes White people to be discriminated against and Black people to be duped by Democrats.
  • It is even possible for Alveda King not to turn everything into an attack on abortion?  I doubt it.
  • What could be more exciting than West Virginia's 8th annual Creation Conference?
  • Hooray, Rep. Michele Bachmann's "Tea Party Caucus" is now officially a thing.
  • Lou Engle will be on The 700 Club tomorrow, so we have that to look forward to.
  • Randall Terry's "Filibuster Elena Kagan" bus tour is off to a rough start.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Rep. Randy Forbes: "[I]f we do not do anything else, we must make a commitment that we will never look the 56 Americans who signed the foundational document of freedom of the world in the eye and apologize for the greatness of America. America is a nation that was born to be special, and the moment we begin to apologize for America is the moment we begin to spread roots that choke out any seeds of success. America may not be perfect, but America is great."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Maggie Gallagher doesn't want gays to be able to get married and she doesn't want straight couples to be able to get divorced.
  • MassResistance is going on vacation ... until the Fall?
  • Randall Terry is launching a "filibuster Elena Kagan/somebody please pay attention to me" tour.
  • Beware of yoga.
  • Concerned Women for America takes a bold anti-stoning women stance .. or at least an anti-Muslims stoning women stance.
  • Finally, if you watch the latest Generals International webcast, you'll see that Cindy Jacobs is also a proponent of the prosperity gospel, promising those who donate to her organization that God will reward them financially for their gift.

What Passes For News and CNSNews.com

Yesterday I posted a press release from Rabbi Yehuda Levin claiming that if Elena Kagan is confirmed to the Supreme Court, she will issue "extremist decisions" from the bench that will, in turn, unleash a "backlash" of anti-Semitic violence across the nation to sweep the nation. As such, Kagan's confirmation represents an "existential threat" to Jews in America and she therefore must be defeated.

Now obviously, that is insane.  But, as Media Matters notes, apparently not too insane for CNSNews to pick it up and turn it into an article.  And not just an old article that regurgitates Levin's absurd release, but one that actually contacted him for further comment:

Levin told CNSNews.com that his fellow rabbis--and hundreds of thousands of Orthodox and traditional Jews--are puzzled at the president’s choice of Kagan.

“What exactly was Obama thinking, President Obama thinking, when he nominated Kagan? Because eventually, down the road, someone--or some group--is going to ‘take the hit’ for the crazy decisions that Kagan is bound to make. So we would have much preferred if President Obama had given this ‘distinction’ to another minority group, instead of singling out the Jews.”

Barring a rebuff from the Senate Judiciary Committee, Levin told CNSNews.com that the rabbis want someone in the Senate to launch a filibuster to stop Kagan's nomination from coming to a vote.

"We’re waiting for the more courageous, decent senators--whether it’s a (Sen.) Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) or a (Sen.) Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) or a (Sen.) Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)--we’re looking for them to stand up and filibuster this embarrassing endangerment of a nomination,” Levin said. 

And, of course, Matt Drudge is now promoting this article ... and so the cycle continues.

If Gays Can Serve Openly In The Military, God Will Cause Us To Lose Wars

You might remember Rabbi Yehuda Levin from his statement earlier this year that repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell was the "equivalent of the spiritual rape of our military" and would cause untold natural disasters because "homosexuality is a spiritual cause of earthquakes."

Well, today he is back with another warning that letting gays serve openly will cause the US to lose wars because God will "repel [HIS] Divine Grace from our military's struggles, and beyond":

"Passage of such evil legislation would expedite our hurdling towards Sodom and Gommorah. It would also threaten to repel Divine Grace from our military's struggles, and beyond. We call upon the Senate to unapologetically filibuster this legislation. We also ask all people of faith to adhere to our previous declaration that it is forbidden to vote for office-seekers who support the homosexual agenda.

"We wish to express our deep anguish, and apologize to the American people for the role Senators Lieberman and Levin have played in advancing this 'abominable' legislation. WE CONDEMN THEM. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."

Prophecy and Political Update With Cindy Jacobs

It's been a rather slow news day here, so why not spend ten minutes getting up to speed on the latest prophecies from Cindy Jacobs?

The video is actually dated April 29, but just showed up on the General's International website and in it, Jacobs highlights two prophecies she made recently, the first about the birth of a new island and the second about fire coming from ice.  Both have come true, Jacobs explains, citing some new island forming off of Hawaii and the volcanic explosion in Iceland.

She goes on to prophecy that the upcoming Global Day of Prayer, which coincides with the Day of Pentecost, will lead to news reports all over the world of "great and mighty miracles." In addition, there will be great breakthroughs in fighting human trafficking, as well as earthquakes, flooding, and the bursting of dams as God prepares to show the world that he is in command.

Also, there is going to be some "shaking" along the border between North Korea and China, but she is not sure what exactly:

In other, more straightforward political news, Jacobs and GI want activists to utilize the resources and action steps set out by Faith 2 Action, Gordon Klingenschmitt, and the Family Research Council to urge the Senate to "oppose and filibuster Elena Kagan":

The President's nomination to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, is a social liberal with no judicial experience, and she is allegedly a lesbian. Among many other points of concern, Kagan possesses an incredibly hostile view of the military, opposing "don't ask, don't tell", and she endorses presidential control of federal agencies on domestic issues as well as the federal banning of certain books, pamphlets and "hate speech"--a violation of First Amendment rights. For more information:

* Elena Kagan Profile from FRC Action's thecloakroomblog.org
* Roundup of Articles on Kagan from FRC's thecloakroomblog.org

Let us pray that the Senate Judiciary Committee would thoroughly and diligently examine Kagan's qualifications. May the new Supreme Court Justice pick be someone who will uphold righteousness in this Nation. Here are some action steps, outlined by Faith2Action.org, which we can take:

1.The following seven Republicans sadly voted for Kagan in 2009 in the 61-31 vote to confirm her as Solicitor General. Please call each to say "oppose and filibuster Elena Kagan" right away. Let's seize momentum! Kyl (R-AZ, 202-224-4521), Hatch (R-UT, 202-224-5251), Coburn (R-OK, 202-224-5754), Lugar (R-IN, 202-224-4814), Snowe (R-ME, 202-224-5344), Collins (R-ME, 202-224-2523), Gregg (R-NH, 202-224-3324). Also please call new Senator Scott Brown (R-MA, 202-224-4543)

2. Send correspondence to the offices of your Senators.

a. Chaplain Klingenschmitt's Pray in Jesus' Name organization can send a fax petition to all 100 U.S. Senators, or a couple of smaller groups of swing-vote or Judiciary Committee Senators on your behalf, opposing this nomination. Click here for details on sending your petitions.

b. The Family Research Council has also set up a system for sending letters to your Senators in the form of an email or a printed letter. For details, click here.

As for the 2010 U.S. elections, I urge you to take note of who is running in your state at every level, and where they stand on the issues--and vote righteously. We all know that we are seriously reaping from a whole generation of believers, that as a whole, have not paid adequate attention to the election process and, as the Body of Christ in general, have not voted, or have not voted responsibly. Let us be the Salt and Light we are called to be, exercising our right and responsibility to vote with Scriptural convictions. Here is an excellent resource to help you make informed choices.

Chaps Klingenschmitt Likewise Demands To Know if Kagan Is Gay

Gordon "Chaps" Klingenschmitt is also demanding to know whether Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is gay and is launching a petition urging the Senate to "oppose and filibuster reported Lesbian Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court":

As far back as 2006 and 2007, four different Harvard Law Students confirmed that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was a Lesbian. Why is the Obama Administration now suddenly ashamed of Kagan's homosexual orientation?

CBS News first reported that President Obama's new Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan will be the "first openly gay justice," pleasing much of Obama's liberal base. But after pressure from the White House they amended the report: "I have to correct my text here to say that Kagan is apparently still closeted -- odd, because her female partner is rather well known in Harvard circles." CBS later pulled the report entirely, after The Washington Post criticized CBS policy, saying "most major news organizations have policies against 'outing' gays or reporting on the sex lives of public officials unless they are related to their public duties."

Why the sudden media blackout, even among conservative news organizations?

Only the Alliance Defense Fund asked, "If Elena Kagan Is a Lesbian, She Should Say So because Public Has a Right to Know." Kagan's private sex life already has, and will directly impact her public Supreme Court decisions, especially on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and other issues.

In breaking news, Chaplain Klingenschmitt reveals that four different Harvard Law School students reported Kagan was Lesbian Homosexual as far back as 2006 and 2007.

The 4 Harvard law students' quotes are now online at www.prayinjesusname.org/kagan.

Will any news reporter dare to track down and interview these four students?

Chaplain Klingenschmitt, who delivered over one million faxes to the Senate against the anti-Jesus Judge David Hamilton, is now launching a new "Fax Congress" petition drive campaign to oppose and filibuster reported Lesbian Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court.

For the record, it was not the Alliance Defense Fund that asked if Kagan is gay, it was Peter LaBarbera and his Americans for Truth.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Alan Colmes: Doctor Against Treating Obama Supporters Admits Not Knowing What’s In Health Reform Bill.
  • Americans United: Religious Right Leader Says He Fears Theocracy (And We Fear He’s Fibbing).
  • Towleroad: Deepak Chopra Apologizes for Causing Mexicali Earthquake.
  • Minneapolis City Pages: Michele Bachmann's Census claptrap ignored in Minnesota.
  • Justin Elliot: Idaho GOP Gov Hopeful: I'm OK With Militias Showing 'A Little Force.'
  • Think Progress: GOP Willing To Filibuster Obama’s Yet-To-Be-Named SCOTUS Nominee.
  • Finally, John McCain declares "I never considered myself a maverick" and Steve Benen calls it "as pathetic a political display as anything we've seen in quite a while."

Obstruction for Obstruction's Sake

If you need any more proof that Senate Republicans' sole mission at the moment is to prevent anything from happening in their chamber of Congress, look no further than the fact that today the Senate had to seek cloture on the nomination Barbara Milano Keenan to fill a vacancy on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, resulting in a vote of 99-0.

That's right - not one Republican senator spoke against her qualifications, record, or views or voted to prevent her nomination from receiving an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor ... and yet still they filibustered, forcing Democrats to seek a cloture vote in order to move ahead, simply because they are committed to obstructing the governing process in every way possible.

Earlier today, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy took to the Senate floor to blast the Republicans' refusal to allow the Senate to move on even noncontroversial judicial nominations:

Last year’s total was the fewest judicial nominees confirmed in the first year of a Presidency in more than 50 years. Those 12 Federal circuit and district court confirmations were even below the 17 the Senate Republican majority allowed to be confirmed in the 1996 session. After that presidential election year, Chief Justice Rehnquist began criticizing the pace of judicial confirmations and the partisan Republican tactics.

Among the frustrations is that Senate Republicans have delayed and obstructed nominees chosen after consultation with Republican home state Senators. Despite President Obama’s efforts, Senate Republicans have treated his nominees much, much worse.

I noted when the Senate considered the nominations of Judge Christina Reiss of Vermont and Mr. Abdul Kallon of Alabama relatively promptly that they should serve as the model for Senate action. Sadly, they are the exception rather than the model. They show what the Senate could do, but does not. Time and again, noncontroversial nominees are delayed. When the Senate does finally consider them, they are confirmed overwhelmingly. Of the 15 Federal circuit and district court judges confirmed, twelve have been confirmed unanimously.

That is right. Republicans have only voted against three of President Obama's nominees to the Federal circuit and district courts. One of those, Judge Gerry Lynch of the Second Circuit, garnered only three negative votes and 94 votes in favor. Judge Andre Davis of Maryland was stalled for months and then confirmed with 72 votes in favor and only 16 against. Judge David Hamilton was filibustered in a failed effort to prevent an up-or-down vote.

The obstruction and delay is part of a partisan pattern. Even when they cannot say “no,” Republicans nonetheless demand that the Senate go slow. The practice is continuing. This is the 17th filibuster of President Obama's nominees. That does not count the many other nominees who were delayed or are being denied up-or-down votes by Senate Republicans refusing to agree to time agreements to consider even noncontroversial nominees.

Update: Keenan was confirmed by the same margin: 99-0. So why was the cloture vote even necessary when not one Republican voted against it or her confirmation?

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Filibuster Posts Archive

, Wednesday 06/08/2011, 12:07pm
(cross posted to the People For Blog) Mat Staver of the ironically named Liberty Counsel has a new video up where he takes credit for the shameful filibuster of Goodwin Liu. That clears up so much. Was it Mat Staver who "exposed" the "extremism" of this extremely qualified nominee? Was it Mat Staver who convinced every Republican senator but one to ignore Liu's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, his detailed written submissions, and his many articles, all of which disproved the lies being told about him? Was it Mat Staver whose keen legal arguments... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 05/18/2011, 1:45pm
Even after Republicans in the Senate and their conservative allies railed against filibusters of judicial nominees during the Bush administration and pushed to give even the most far-right nominees up-or-down votes, it appears that they have made an exception for President Obama’s nominees. The Senate is expected to vote tomorrow on UC Berkley Law Professor Goodwin Liu, who is nominated to serve on the 9th Circuit Court. While many conservative legal scholars support Liu, many in the GOP “appear to be opposing his nomination because he is too qualified.” Republicans have... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 05/04/2011, 3:20pm
Religious Right and pro-corporate groups failed today to block President Obama’s nominee for U.S. District Court in Rhode Island, John McConnell, from receiving an up-or-down vote in the Senate. The Senate invoked cloture on McConnell’s nomination in a 63-33 vote, defeating the filibuster against McConnell. Filibusters against district court judges are extremely rare—only a handful of District Court nominees have ever faced cloture votes, and none have ever been blocked—and many Republicans previously vowed they would never filibuster a judicial nominee. Today’... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/02/2011, 4:33pm
Last year, Randall Terry went on a rampage against other anti-choice groups, accusing them of not fighting hard enough to stop the confirmation of Elena Kagan. And the primary focus of his ire was a fundraising letter sent out by Priests for Life and Father Frank Pavone, which Terry claimed was a perfect example of "why we are losing this fight" to stop abortion: 1) He tells people that to be REALLY pro-life, they just have to send Priests for Life money. This falsely trains people to think that they can discharge their duty to God with money; that they are champions for the... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/02/2011, 4:33pm
Last year, Randall Terry went on a rampage against other anti-choice groups, accusing them of not fighting hard enough to stop the confirmation of Elena Kagan. And the primary focus of his ire was a fundraising letter sent out by Priests for Life and Father Frank Pavone, which Terry claimed was a perfect example of "why we are losing this fight" to stop abortion: 1) He tells people that to be REALLY pro-life, they just have to send Priests for Life money. This falsely trains people to think that they can discharge their duty to God with money; that they are champions for the... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 01/03/2011, 4:56pm
Last week, the International House of Prayer hosted a four-day conference called "One Thing" during which Lou Engle explained that he is leading a spiritual war against the Supreme Court to get abortion outlawed in America and that because of the efforts of his team of prayer warriors, Chief Justice John Roberts was nominated and confirmed and the efforts to filibuster President Bush's judges failed ... and that now they are asking God to visit Justices Sotomayor and Kennedy with dreams and revelation: MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 12/16/2010, 11:42am
In yesterday's Washington Update from the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins writes that Senators will have "the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands" if they vote to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell and allow gays to serve openly in the military: How many brave men and women are liberals willing to sacrifice so that homosexuals can flaunt their lifestyle? The only reason for changing the present policy is if it would help the military accomplish its mission. So far, no one has produced a single reason how it would. Until then, the Senate has to ask itself: Do they want the... MORE