Georgia

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, OK will host the 2009 Night to Honor Israel from 7-9 p.m. March 2 with the Rev. John Hagee speaking.
  • Rick Santorum says the Quran was "written in Islamic,” which is not a language.  It was written in Arabic.
  • FRC says it is understandable that so many Republicans are refusing to run for re-election.  After all, "who can blame them for choosing not to sit at the foot of the most pro-abortion, socialist Speaker of the House in history?"
  • Bill Donohue gets results. Yesterday the Catholic League voiced its outrage over a poster at the University of Georgia, claiming the "famous Michelangelo painting on the Sistine Chapel ceiling that features the hand of God giving life to Adam has been hijacked to promote condoms." The school's Vice President for Student Affairs immediately apologized.
  • On his last day as Johnson County District Attorney, Phill Kline reportedly had copies of abortion records mailed to his office to Lynchburg, Va., where he had taken a job at Liberty University. The Johnson County District Attorney's Office only found out about it because the box was returned because  the address on the label was incorrect.
  • Finally, this quote from Richard Land in opposition to DOJ nominee David Ogden seemed to be worth highlighting:
  • Ogden told the committee during his oral and written testimony that his legal positions on controversial pornography-related cases represented the views of his clients and did not reflect his personal beliefs. But that hasn't been enough to appease opponents, who say that he could have turned down representing those clients if he found their positions so objectionable.

    "That's a moral cop-out, and it's one reason why there are so many lawyer jokes," Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told Baptist Press regarding Ogden's defense. "… A person's views on pornography are a window to a person's worldview, and this window shows a worldview that is inconsistent with what I want the American Justice Department to be."

Advancing the Right-Wing Agenda Through the Process of Elimination

The AP reports that legislators and right-wingers in Georgia are citing budget shortfalls as the justification for trying to fire college professors who teach things they don't like:

Upset House Republicans are mounting a campaign to purge Georgia's higher education system of professors with an expertise in racy sexuality topics as the state grapples with a $2.2 billion shortfall.

State Rep. Charlice Byrd of Woodstock took House well on Friday to announce a "grass-roots" effort to oust professors with expertise in subjects like male prostitution, oral sex and "queer theory."

"This is not considered higher education," she said. "If legislators are going to dole out the dollars, we should have a say-so in where they go."

Byrd and her supporters, including state Rep. Calvin Hill, said they will team with the Christian Coalition and other religious groups to pressure fellow lawmakers and the Board of Regents to eliminate the jobs.

"Our job is to educate our people in sciences, business, math," said Hill, a vice chairman of the budget-writing House Appropriations Committee. He said professors aren't going to meet those needs "by teaching a class in queer theory."

The Men Behind the Oil

Last week I wrote a post about Rep. Paul Broun, Rob Scheck, and Patrick Mahoney gathering in the Capitol in order to anoint the doorway that Barack Obama will pass through on his way to his swearing in that lead to a post this week vowing to start paying more attention to Broun.  

And so, following through on that pledge, I found this:

Republican Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia told the Associated Press that today's American leadership "needs to serve the Lord Jesus Christ."

But more interestingly, Max Blumenthal has written a good profile of these three men and their mission that contains several bits of interesting information about Broun:

While the Capitol prayer partners appeared earnest in the prayers for the president elect’s success, they have each distinguished themselves from their Christian right comrades by leveling some of the most paranoid imprecations Obama has faced since he arrived in the Senate. On November 10, 2008, a week after Obama’s election victory, Broun took umbrage at the President-elect’s call for a national civilian security force, a proposal also backed by George W. Bush. According to Broun, who acknowledged the possibility that he might be “crazy,” Obama had revealed himself as a radical Marxist Nazi socialist comparable to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

"It may sound a bit crazy and off base,” Broun told an AP reporter, “but the thing is, he’s the one who proposed this national security force. I’m just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may—may not, I hope not—but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism. That’s exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it’s exactly what the Soviet Union did. When he’s proposing to have a national security force that’s answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he’s showing me signs of being Marxist.”

After seeming to back away from his comments when he was heavily criticized, Broun announced that he was “not taking back anything [he] said.” “I firmly believe that we must not fall victim to the ‘it can't happen here’ mentality,” he declared in a press release. “I adhere to the adage ‘eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.’”

“Mr. Speaker,” Broun announced from the House floor in 2007, “if we take our dishes and try to wash ‘em in our clothes washers we’re going to have problems, and that’s what we’re doing in our society, Mr. Speaker. We’re trying to do things against God’s inerrant word… So I rise today to support the Bible as the basis of our nation.”

Though he campaigned for reelection in 2008 as “The #1 Congressman on Immigration,” Broun has introduced only one bill since arriving in Washington: a measure banning pornography in the military. “Our troops should not see their honor sullied so that the moguls behind magazines like Playboy and Penthouse can profit,” Broun proclaimed. His spokesman testified to his expertise as an “addictionologist” who is “familiar with the negative consequences associated with long-term exposure to pornography.” Despite such scientific and personal authority, Broun’s bill to protect the troops from pictures of unclad women has gone nowhere.

Given such views, Blumenthal explains, its not hard to understand why he hooked up with the likes of Schenck and Mahoney:

In the early 1990s, Schenck was arrested a dozen times during protests outside women's health clinics and abortion doctors' homes, and was momentarily detained by Secret Service after shoving an aborted fetus in front of Bill Clinton outside the 1992 Democratic National Convention. Four years later, Schenck grew so upset by President Clinton's veto of a bill banning partial abortion that he managed to creep behind him during a Christmas Eve service at the National Cathedral and whisper in his ear, "God will hold you to account, Mr. President.” He was immediately removed from the chapel and interrogated by Secret Service agents.

Schenck spent several months in 1992 picketing the Buffalo, New York, home of Dr. Barnett Slepian, an obscure area abortion doctor that he personally targeted for scorn. Six years later, while cooking dinner for his wife and four children, Slepian was shot to death through his kitchen window by James Kopp, a volunteer at Operation Rescue's Binghamton, N.Y., office. Though Schenck denied knowing Kopp, the two had been arrested together at several clinic blockades.

When Schenck placed flowers at the doorstep of Slepian's office, his infuriated wife returned them with a letter that read, “It's your ‘passive’ following that incited the violence that killed Bart [Slepian] and took away both my and my children's future.”

Schenck attained a new prominence during the George W. Bush era, forging friendly ties with culture warriors like House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Sen. Rick Santorum, and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who allowed Schenck to hang a Ten Commandments plaque in his office. He even became a golfing buddy of Sen. Orrin Hatch. But DeLay and Santorum are gone from the Congress, victims of their own excesses, while Lieberman and Hatch have become marginalized by the Democratic majority.

Sensing his influence on the wane, Schenck targeted Obama. In January 2007, Schenck described the newly sworn-in senator’s Christian faith as “woefully deficient.” In a March 2008 videoblog, he accused Obama of crypto-Muslim religious sympathies.

Mahoney appeared at Obama’s Capitol Hill office in June 2008 to present his aides with a poster depicting the senator as Uncle Sam, declaring, “I Want YOU To Pay For Abortions.” Mahoney plans to hold an anti-abortion vigil along Obama’s parade route this January 20. “Sadly, President-elect Obama is on the wrong side of history and human rights by embracing the most radical abortion policies of any President in American history,” Mahoney said in announcing the vigil.

A founding member of the hardline anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, Schenck and his allies have engaged in what they call “direct action” to stop abortion by any means necessary. "There's going to be people wounded,” Mahoney, a fellow Operation Rescue leader, declared at a 1993 rally. “It's about whose will shall rule on this planet, God's or man's.”

We'll Have to Start Paying More Attention to Paul Broun

Until last week, we had never paid much attention to Rep. Paul Broun ... in fact, when he showed up last week with Rob Schenck and Patrick Mahoney for some pre-inaugural anointing, it was the first time we had ever written about him. 

But I am beginning to suspect that that is about to change:

Congressman Paul Broun has reintroduced legislation that he says would stop abortion and the "clone-and-kill" mentality in the U.S.

Representative Paul Broun (R-Georgia) believes the "greatest moral issue facing our nation" is the killing of unborn children, and that all Americans have a "moral and constitutional obligation" to protect every unborn child. That's why Broun, a medical doctor, has promised that the Sanctity of Human Life Act will be the very first bill he will introduce in every Congress until abortion is banned in the U.S. He notes the bill scientifically defines life as beginning at the point of fertilization with the creation of a human zygote.

"It gives the right of personhood to that one-celled human being," Broun explains. "If you look at Roe vs. Wade, the whole decision was predicated on no definition of the beginning of life being ever established legislatively." Roe v. Wade is the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in America.

"[But] this [bill] would define life beginning at fertilization," he continues. "It would give the right of personhood to that one-celled human being -- thus that person should be protected under the law as we are today."

We'll probably have to start trying to keep an eye on Tim Echols, one of Broun's former aides, as well, since he seems to have big plans to resurrect the Religious Right in Georgia:

One of U.S. Rep. Paul Broun's closest advisers is starting a consulting firm to bring religious conservatives back to political prominence and elect the first black Republican to statewide office in Georgia.

Winterville resident Tim Echols, a former spokesman for Mr. Broun, resigned Friday as his campaign treasurer to form Gold Dome Consulting.

One of the firm's goals will be to develop black candidates to run for state and federal office on the Republican ticket, Mr. Echols said. The GOP has neglected black voters, but they often share Republicans' conservative views on social and moral issues, he said.

"When it comes to issues of marriage and family, they're Republicans," he said. "But Republicans haven't reached out to them they way we should have."

Mr. Echols, 48, said he is talking with potential candidates but declined to identify them.

Gold Dome will be selective in choosing politicians to advise, and Mr. Echols will spend at least half his time on nonprofit clients, he said.

One of Gold Dome's first clients is the Christian Coalition of Georgia, which once dominated state politics. It lost influence after scandal-plagued Ralph Reed lost his 2006 bid for lieutenant governor and former head Sadie Fields left to start a rival group, the Georgia Christian Alliance.

"I'm going to come alongside them and bring them back to a place of strong stature," Mr. Echols said.

The Anointers Strike Again

As something of a follow-up to my last post, it looks like Patrick Mahoney has found time in his hunger-striking, prayer-vigil-organizing, anti-abortion rally-planning schedule to join a few of his allies for some good old fashioned pre-inaugural anointing:

In a first for presidential inaugurations, Congressman Paul Broun (pronounced BROWN) of Georgia joined the Reverends Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK) of Faith and Action and Patrick J. Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, both based in Washington, DC, in a prayer service inside the US Capitol today that included anointing the doorway President-Elect Barack Obama will pass through on his way to the platform to be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on January 20.

"Anointing with oil is a rich tradition both in the Bible and in the history of the US Capitol," said Rev. Schenck. "Oil symbolizes consecration, or setting something apart for God's use. George Washington used oil during the dedication of the US Capitol. We used oil today to set apart the walkway and doors that will be the literal right of passage for Barack Obama as he ascends to the highest office in our land."

Rep. Broun spoke during the 10-minute prayer service, delivering a short sermon-like talk on the need to obey God and His will, and for the future president to do what is right. Rev. Schenck read Bible passages and applied sacred oil to the doorposts of the arched doorway leading out of the Capitol and onto the inaugural stage, immediately in front of the riser where Obama will stand with Chief Justice John Roberts who will administer the Oath of Office. Rev. Mahoney, who is undertaking a 21-day fast and daily prayer schedule for Mr. Obama across the street from the White House, read an inaugural prayer by Dr. Billy Graham delivered 40 years ago.

You might recall that, a few years ago, Schenck and Mahoney also anointed the seats and doors in the Senate rooms where John Roberts and Samuel Alito held their confirmation hearings ... so at least they are being bipartisan about it.

The Resistance Movement: Targeting African Americans With Prayers, Buzzwords, and Charges of Genocide

With Barack Obama’s inauguration just around the corner, it looks like anti-choice activists are swinging into high gear:

Beginning January 1, the Christian Defense Coalition will lead prayer for President-Elect Obama outside of the White House every day at 12:00 noon until the Inauguration.

The group will close with a large prayer vigil on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday on Monday, January 19 at noon.

The Christian Defense Coalition is encouraging the faith community to pray for Mr. Obama at noon in their homes, churches and local communities all across the nation.

That sounds rather innocuous, but the Baltimore Sun reports that, like every other CDC event, there is more to it than meets the eye:

The Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, will be going on a 21-day fast and hunger strike to pray for and "stand in solidarity and identify with the homeless, poor and disenfranchised of America, as well as the 50 million innocent victims of abortion."

Considering that Mahoney is a tireless anti-choice crusader, it’s pretty safe to assume that his efforts are aimed more at ending abortion than helping the homeless.  

But Mahoney is not alone is seeing the upcoming inauguration as an opportunity to press his anti-choice ideology:

Dr. Alveda King, Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said today that African Americans celebrating the upcoming inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama should carry a pro-family agenda to Washington, DC.

"African Americans are pro-life and favor procreative marriage," said Dr. King.  "As we see the dawn of a new year and a great milestone being passed, blacks across the country should let our new president know that we want babies in the womb protected and traditional marriage respected.  The accomplishment of an African American holding the nation's highest office will be of little value if the black community continues to be destroyed by the horrible plague of abortion."

Tips-Q raises a good point – when did the Religious Right start replacing their standard “traditional marriage” with “procreative marriage”?

But nobody in the anti-choice movement seems to be as excited about the opportunity they believe they will have to highlight the evils of abortion under Barack Obama as Clenard Childress, who proclaims the incoming president to be the face of black genocide:

Clenard Childress Jr., senior pastor of New Calvary Baptist Church in Montclair, N.J., and founder of BlackGenocide.org, criticizes Obama's pro-abortion voting record and rhetoric but says, "The good thing about an Obama presidency is that we now have a face to put on the genocide of African-American babies in this country."

In fact, it looks like anti-choice adovcates are now embarking on an effort to specifically target African American communities:

Georgia Right to Life is pleased to announce that Catherine Davis will be leading GRTL in outreach efforts to the African American community. In 2006, Catherine Davis ran for the 4th District Congressional Candidate because she had a desire to impact her community. Now just a few years later, she will have that opportunity by helping GRTL to preserve the legacy of the African American community ... As the new director of minority outreach for GRTL, Catherine will work to dramatically decrease the number of abortions while educating Georgians about the holocaustic impact this practice has had on the Black community.

Right after the election, we wrote about many of the people mentioned here when they simultaneously announced that they intended to form an anti-abortion resistance movement once Obama took office … and it looks like that is exactly what they are setting out to do.

The Far Right’s Newest Boogeyman: Environmentalism

Back in July, we wrote about the then-upcoming 9th Annual Freedom21 National Conference where a bevy of second, third, and fourth string right-wing activists were gathering to blow the top off the nefarious plot behind the idea of sustainable development.

Now, the SPLC has published an account of the gathering … and it was apparently every bit as unhinged as one would expect:

"Environment is not about saving nature," the founder of Freedom Advocates, Michael Shaw, sternly warned an audience of antigovernment "Patriots" and far-right conspiracy theorists during a mid-July conference. "It's about a revolutionary coup in America. [Environmentalism] is to establish global governance and abandon the principles of Natural Law." Sustainable development policies, Shaw argued, will require "a police state" and ultimately "turn America into a globally governed homeland where humans are treated as biological resources."

Shaw's fearful call to arms against environmentalism was sucked in whole hog during the Ninth Annual Freedom 21 conference held in a Dallas-area Crowne Plaza hotel. Co-hosted by the Texas Eagle Forum, a hard-line Christian Right organization, and the anti-"New World Order" American Policy Center (APC), the three-day convergence included such right-wing heavyweights as the error-prone conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, gay- and feminist-hating Phyllis Schlafly, and the far-right Constitution Party's presidential candidate, Chuck Baldwin.

One former popular Freedom 21er was disinvited. Bob Barr, a former conservative Republican congressman from Georgia, was asked not to return by the head of APC, Tom DeWeese, because Barr had talked to Al Gore about global warming. "This is not some nice little debate," DeWeese said he told someone in Barr's office. "This is war."

The SPLC recounts that while Phyllis Schlafly was content to deliver her anti-judges stump speech, the other speakers were committed to exposing how instituting sustainable development policies was the ultimate goal of those shadowy one-world government figures who are behind the (non-existent) efforts to create a so-called North American Union so that they can institute a new worldwide false religion based on “earth worship”:

Michael Coffman, executive director of the United Nations-hating Sovereignty International, took on something called Agenda 21, which was drawn up in 1992 for the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. Agenda 21 is a comprehensive blueprint of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the UN, governments, and major groups in every area in which humans impact on the environment (21 refers to the 21st century). In Coffman's eyes, Agenda 21 is a menace.

"An anti-human document, which takes aim at Western culture, and the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions," is how Coffman referred to it. Coffman also alleged that Agenda 21 would lead to a kind of communist reallocation of property rights and redistribution of assets. Using a big word, Coffman labeled the proposed changes "usufructual," which he said means the government would own everything. Michael Chapman of Ed Watch, a group that opposes public education, reiterated Coffman's allegations that Agenda 21's real aim is to redistribute wealth. Coffman added that economic development is not being restricted in order to protect the environment, but rather to give power to the government.

"The new world theology is pantheism," Coffman said, "Nature is God."

The John Birch Society (JBS), a group that once insisted that President Eisenhower was a Communist Party member but now focuses on immigrant-bashing, agrees with Coffman. JBS was on hand to warn that environmentalists are really out to get your children. The JBS handed out cards featuring a strange depiction of a group of children holding hands under a large, glowing, balloon-like mockup of the earth that warned of "The New False Religion, Worshipping the Earth." "Advocates of a UN world government have drafted an Earth Charter, which they compare to the Ten Commandments and keep in an 'Ark of Hope,'" warns the JBS without any apparent reference to reality. "Will you let the United Nations or any other group undermine the faith of your family?" The JBS is so concerned with this that is has created a new website, www.getusout.org/earthworship, to battle "Earth Worship."

It should be noted that Rep. Michelle Bachmann was initially listed as scheduled to appear, but the SPLC article makes no mention of her being in attendance, nor does the official conference webpage.

Obama Brings Hope To All … Even Steve Dillard

There have been several articles recently about the future of the federal judiciary under President Obama and how he will have a chance to reshape it after eight years of Bush appointments.  Which makes this article all the more interesting:

While it will likely be months before President-elect Barack Obama makes an appointment to fill a vacancy on Middle Georgia’s federal bench, several Macon lawyers and a judge have expressed early interest in the post.

Macon lawyers Bill Clifton, Marc Treadwell, Stephen Dillard and Floyd Buford, as well as Macon Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Tripp Self, have expressed interest in the post or are considering filing applications.

Dillard, of the James, Bates, Pope & Spivey law firm, said he plans to apply for the position although he doesn’t share the president’s political affiliation.

“It never hurts to try,” said Dillard, a Republican.

Dillard is not just any old Republican, he’s a right-wing Federalist Society member who blogged for Red State’s Confirm Them and was among the most vocal opponents of President Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.  He was also a founding member of both Catholics Against Rudy and later Catholics Against Joe Biden.

Also, according to his bio:

Dillard served as a legal-policy advisor to Governor Mike Huckabee during the 2008 presidential campaign, and is currently a member of the National “Catholics for McCain” Steering Committee.

He’s an ardent opponent of reproductive choice who apparently doesn’t have much use for precedent, considering that his mantra is “Stare Decisis is fo' Suckas!”

And for good measure, he’s prone to referring Barack Obama as “the lying proabort” and “a monster … who must be stopped.”

Call me crazy, but I don’t think that Dillard has much of a chance of getting nominated by President Obama to a coveted seat on the federal bench.

Musgrave Finally Surfaces

Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, who lost her re-election bid nearly a month ago, has yet to call her opponent or even officially concede the race and has, since Election Day, steadfastly refused to talk to the media. But it looks like someone was able to convince her to channel her bitterness and anger into helping mobilize voters to support Sen. Saxby Chambliss in his run-off election in Georgia yesterday:

In her first public comments on her re-election loss - made in a mass phone call to Georgia voters - Rep. Marilyn Musgrave blamed her defeat on "leftist special interests" that "smothered the truth with vicious attacks and lies."

Musgrave's remarks came in a so-called "robo-call" that went out to 275,000 Georgia voters Monday and Tuesday on behalf of Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a Republican who was forced into a runoff with Democratic challenger Jim Martin. The election was Tuesday and Chambliss won.

"Hello, I'm Marilyn Musgrave. Until last month I was the congresswoman from Colorado," Musgrave said in the call, which was paid for by the Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund, a political committee that supports anti-abortion candidates.

"Leftist special interests from around the country poured money into my district to defeat me. They overwhelmed us with money. And they smothered the truth with vicious attacks and lies.

"We are seeing the same pattern in Georgia. Pro-abortion radicals and liberal activists won't stop until they have a chokehold on our government. You can stop them with your vote. It's too late to change the results in Colorado, but on Tuesday you can cast your vote for Saxby Chambliss.”

Musgrave hadn’t spoken publicly since shortly after vote totals started coming in the evening of Nov. 4. The three-term Republican incumbent was crushed by Democratic challenger Betsy Markey, 56 percent to 44 percent.

The incumbent never conceded defeat or called Markey to congratulate her. Musgrave hasn’t given an interview since the election.

The robo-call was made on behalf of “Team Sarah,” which was created by the Susan B. Anthony List to build “a coalition of women dedicated to advancing the values that Sarah Palin represents in the political process” … Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said she contacted Musgrave on Monday about recording a robo-call for the Georgia race and Musgrave agreed.

“She truly is one of the best people I know, and a lot of money can go a long way toward painting a completely different picture, you know, kind of painting a straw woman, so to speak,” Dannenfelser said in a phone interview.

Dannenfelser said Musgrave recorded the call for Chambliss because “she wanted to do something instructive and help somebody else.”

You can hear her robo-call here.

The Georgia Renewal Project

I wrote a post last year noting that the Right-Wing had a lot of different groups under which they pressed the agenda.  On top of their own organizations, a lot of right-wing leaders are also involved in umbrella organizations like the Arlington Group and the Council for National Policy.  There are also various state-level organziations like the "Patriot Pastors" movement and the "Restoration Projects" that are active in places like Texas and Ohio. 

And then there are things like the Iowa Renewal Project, where Mike Huckabee hobnobbed with various right-wing leaders as he rallied to win the Iowa primary.   Apparently there is also one in Georiga as well, which is slated to host Gov. Sonny Perdue, Daivd Barton, Mat Staver and other for a luncheon next week:

Georgia Renewal Project

Cordially invites you to participate in its Pastors' Policy Briefing Luncheon

Rediscovering God in America

With Special Guests

The Honorable Sonny Perdue
Governor of Georgia

and

Historian David Barton
WallBuilders

Who will be accompanied by

The Honorable Bob McEwen
Dr. Mat Staver
and other guest speakers

To be held at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel
2450 Galleria Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30339
on Tuesday, November 25, 2008.

11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Registration begins at 11:00 AM.

There will be a reception prior to the luncheon beginning at 11:00 AM.

The luncheon is complimentary and will be provided by the Georgia Renewal Project.

CWA's Beverly LaHaye also seems to be involved, as she is issuing her own invitations to the event.

I have to admit that, as someone who follows this stuff for a living, even I am routinely confused by sheer number of different organizations that have different names, yet all seem to contain the same handful of Religious Right leaders. 

RGA Snubs the Future of the Party

If Sarah Palin is slated to become the future of the Republican Party, someone apparently forgot to make that known to the Republican Governors Association which just announced its new leadership ... and one name was conspicuously absent:

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford was voted RGA chairman, taking over the top job from Texas Gov. Rick Perry who will now serve as finance chairman. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is vice-chairman, while Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will serve as chair for the annual RGA gala, and Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue will head up the recruitment effort.

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will also sit on the RGA’s executive committee.

“Republican Governors are natural leaders who will find solutions to our nation’s challenges and bring back the Party,” Sanford said in a statement.

Not on the list? Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who also attended the Miami meeting.

Via Think Progress

Robertson Makes More Dire Predictions

Via Steven Vegh at The Virginian-Pilot, we see that Pat Robertson is still making dire predictions:

Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson is urging prayer before Election Day to stave off an imminent Middle Eastern war he said could bring nuclear attacks on the United States.

In a letter on his Web site, Robertson said his opinion was that Israel would bomb Iranian nuclear sites between Nov. 4 and the inauguration of the United States' new president.

Robertson tied his warning to biblical prophesy. His letter, which starts out describing his concerns about Russian aggression in Georgia, predicted that Russia would also enter the war, though the United States wouldn't.

"However, we may not be spared nuclear strikes against coastal cities" in America, he wrote.

A version of the letter was sent in September to members of Regent University, where Robertson is founder and president. He is also founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and host of its daily show, "The 700 Club." The network and university are based in Virginia Beach.

"We have between 75 and 120 days before the Middle East starts spinning out of control," Robertson wrote. "If there was ever a time for fervent prayer, it is now."

...

In the letter, Robertson said that "what is clear is this: The Israeli strike against Iran will be the trigger. From then on, dramatic events will follow in quick succession."

"It all will conclude when God has rained fire on the islands of the sea and on the invading force coming against Israel."

You can see the full letter here.

Of course, back at the beginning of 2007, Robertson reported that God had told him to expect an attack on America that would claim millions of lives, so it is not as if he was a particularly good track record.

The Right-Wing Solution to Our Economic Crisis

Last week, we noticed Tony Perkins blaming the current financial crisis on a “breakdown in the family” and the idea that social issues are somehow behind our current economic woes seems to be gaining traction among the Right.

Today, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel blasted Google’s opposition to California’s Proposition 8 by declaring that it will hurt their bottom line and cited WaMu and Wachovia, which both failed recently, as evidence:

"Google should focus on technology instead of warring against marriage and family values held by the majority of people worldwide," said Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of the Liberty University School of Law. "Marriage between a man and a woman is the norm throughout the world. Google executives should be searching for ways to make the Internet more usable rather than promoting a radical redefinition of marriage.

"Companies that promoted anti-family policies have learned the hard way that such policies are bankrupt," Staver continued. "K-Mart learned its lesson several years ago. Washington Mutual and Wachovia, both of which actively promoted the homosexual agenda, have come to realize that anti-family policies will bankrupt the bottom line."

Maybe instead of fighting over a bailout of Wall Street, Congress should just outlaw the homosexual agenda, since that is obviously what is causing our current economic panic.  

But OneNewsNow informs us that there is some good news to come out of all the chaos:

A well-known pastor and author says the current economic crisis facing the United States should be a wake-up call for Americans to turn to Christ.

Dr. Charles Stanley is pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia, and founder of In Touch Ministries. He says there is no question that America needs a spiritual awakening -- and he believes the ongoing economic woes could cause some in the country to turn to the God of the Bible.

"When God gets a hold of Americans' money -- whatever messes with our money gets people's attention, but we need enough heartache that drives us to God," Dr. Stanley contends.

Now if only Congress would start listening to the Religious Right instead of all those egghead economists and just get Americans to turn to Christ, stop having abortions, and defeat the homosexual agenda, all of our economic problems would be solved.

How Many Pro-Hucakbee/Anti-Romney Efforts Do They Need?

Earlier today, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins participated in an on-line Q&A on The Washington Times’ website during which he set out the characteristics the Right is looking for in John McCain’s vice-presidential running mate.  His choice of words that the running mate “needs to be strong where he is weak” by having “have a record of delivering” on the issues that matter to the Right suggests that he, like so many others, is not particularly enthused about McCain:

Question: There has been a lot written about possible VP candidates for McCain that will be acceptable to the Christian value voters. Who are a few possibilities that you could see this coalition being comfortable with?

Answer: To date I have resisted the temptation to play the name game. Rather, I have focused on the qualities we would like to see in John McCain’s running mate. His running mate needs to be strong where he is weak, someone who is not reluctant to talk about the issues that remain top priority for most social conservatives; the sanctity of human life, the preservation of traditional marriage and the strengthening of the family. Not only must this person be able to communicate a concern and a commitment for these issues, they have to have a record of delivering on these and other issues.

So who would be a good choice?  Mike Hucakbee, of course:

Answer: There is no question in my mind that Mike Huckabee would raise the intensity level of support for John McCain, something the Senator really needs. I do have some policy differences with Mike, but we share a common view on most, if not all, of the social policy issues. I think he would compliment John McCain and I would be supportive of him as John McCain's running mate.

It seems that just about every right-wing activist currently supporting McCain wants him to pick Hucakbee and is warning him not to pick Mitt Romney.  In fact, as we reported yesterday, McCain is currently in Michigan meeting with former Huckabee supporters who are telling him the same thing yet again.  And just in case that message hasn’t yet sunk in, another group of Huckabee supporters in Ohio are starting groups all over the state in order to get the message out: 

Some Ohio social conservatives say they know whom they don't want John McCain to pick as his running mate: former Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney.

In a move that may say as much about their continuing uneasiness regarding McCain as it does about their mistrust of Romney, an alliance of Buckeye State social conservatives is trying to form a group: Social Conservatives Against Romney.

Although McCain is keeping his potential vice-presidential choices a tightly held secret, Romney is said to be on the short list.

"Christians are praying earnestly for the right person," said Diane Stover, a Parma resident who was a delegate for GOP candidate Mike Huckabee, a favorite of many social conservatives, in the Ohio primary. "McCain wouldn't have been our person. But we definitely feel like it would be a huge help to John McCain to pick someone we can be confident will represent the value-voter position. I don't think it helps him (McCain) at all in Ohio if he picks Romney."

Jane Maines of Hamilton, also a former Huckabee delegate, said the anti-Romney Ohioans hope their group will spread to other states.

Stover and Maines are among about a dozen activists who met near Cincinnati last week, with Stover participating via phone from the Cleveland area, to discuss how to launch the group.

"We're hoping this will become hugely widespread," Maines said.

Presumably, the fact that McCain is not ruling out the possibility of naming a pro-choice running mate is only going to displease the Right further:

IN A WIDE-RANGING INTERVIEW aboard his campaign plane this morning, John McCain said that he is open to choosing a pro-choice running mate and named former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge as someone who merits serious consideration despite his support for abortion rights. McCain also criticized Barack Obama's presidential campaign for attempts to "politicize" the debate over Georgia and criticized President Bush for failing to recognize the true nature of Vladimir Putin.

"I think that the pro-life position is one of the important aspects or fundamentals of the Republican Party," McCain said. "And I also feel that--and I'm not trying to equivocate here--that Americans want us to work together. You know, Tom Ridge is one of the great leaders and he happens to be pro-choice. And I don't think that that would necessarily rule Tom Ridge out."

McCain Refuses to Cancel Reed Fundraiser

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AbramoffReedII.JPG

Reed Forgives McCain for Ruining His Electoral Hopes

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

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

A Message from Ralph Reed:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The World Congress of Families Chooses Its Destination

Every few years, right-wingers from all over the globe gather for the World Congress of Families in order to “affirm that the natural human family is established by the Creator and essential to good society,” share strategy, and urge their governments to adopt policies that “protect and support the family, and not usurp the vital roles it plays in society.”  Not surprisingly, high on their list of priorities is the protection of marriage and families against “pornography, promiscuity, incest or homosexuality”: 

 

The complementary natures of men and women are physically and psychologically self-evident. These differences are created and natural, not primarily socially constructed. Sexuality is ordered for the procreation of children and the expression of love between husband and wife in the covenant of marriage. Marriage between a man and a woman forms the sole moral context for natural sexual union. Whether through pornography, promiscuity, incest or homosexuality, deviations from these created sexual norms cannot truly satisfy the human spirit. They lead to obsession, remorse, alienation, and disease. Child molesters harm children and no valid legal, psychological or moral justification can be offered for the odious crime of pedophilia. Culture and society should encourage standards of sexual morality that support and enhance family life.

 

So where is the next World Congress of Families going to be held, you ask?  Of all places, Amsterdam:

 

Last week, the Selection Committee for World Congress of Families V met in Washington, D.C. and unanimously recommended Amsterdam as the site for the next Congress. Their recommendation was accepted by the WCF Management Committee.

 

If the World Congress of Families sounds like some sort of international version of the sorts of “values voters” events put on in this country by right-wing political groups, that probably has something to do with the fact that many of those same groups are members of the WCF’s various steering committees, with groups like Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America all playing a role:

The 16-member Selection Committee was composed of: Ignacio Arsuaga (HazteOir.org, Spain), Chuck Donovan (Family Research Council), Don Feder (World Congress of Families), Farooq Hassan (Pakistan Family Forum), Jesus Hernandez (The Family Network, Mexico), Marie-Claire Hernandez (Family & Society, Mexico), Randy Hicks (Georgia Family Council), Robert Knight (Culture and Media Institute, Media Research Center), Ewa Kowalewska (Human Life International,  Europe), Gwendolyn Landolt (REAL Women of Canada), Yuri Mantilla (Focus on the Family), Dorothy Patterson (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), Austin Ruse (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute), Mary Ellen Smoot, Jennifer Swim (GFC Foundation) and Father Jaroslaw Szymczak (Institute of Family Studies, Poland). The meeting was chaired by Gwen Landolt (Real Women of Canada).

...

The Management Committee, which has ultimate oversight of the Congress, consists of Carlson, Janice Crouse (Senior Fellow, Beverly LaHaye Institute, Concerned Women for America), Paul Mero (President, Sutherland Institute), William Saunders (Senior Fellow & Human Rights Counsel, Family Research Council) and Christine Vollmer (President, Latin American Alliance for Families).

When the event was held last year in Poland, members of the European Parliamentary Working Group on Separation of Religion and Politics were not particularly jazzed that right-wing advocates were preparing to use the nation as a staging ground for saving Europe and the rest of the world from the “demographic winter and … the secularists.”

But the group soldiered on, despite the opposition. As Robert Knight of the Media Research Center put it

 

This is a nation that has suffered enormously over many decades. First from Nazism and then communism. They're a tough bunch of people who appear to have the strength to resist especially the homosexual agenda. If you've been victim of communists and Nazis, you're not going to run in fright from the forces from San Francisco.

 

The “Most Honest Book” Ralph Reed Has Ever Written

Ever since losing the Republican primary for Lt. Governor in Georgia thanks to his ties to corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed’s once stratospheric career has come fully crashing back to earth.

Once hailed as “The Right Hand of God,” Reed built the Christian Coalition into one of the most powerful political organizations in the country in the mid-1990s, only to watch its, and his, influence wane after backing Bob Dole in 1996.  Shortly thereafter, Reed left the Coalition, which went into a tailspin, while he set up his own public relations and public affairs firm, Century Strategies, in Georgia with an eye on running for office.  Things looked good, with Reed becoming chairman of the Georgia Republican Party in 2002 and serving a key role in the Bush campaign in 2004, until his shady business dealings with Jack Abramoff came to light and doomed his chance of winning elected office.

Since then, Reed has more or less fallen off the public radar, though he has been spotted occasionally offering analysis on CNN, stumping with Mitt Romney, and offering political advice to John McCain.  But with his political career seemingly at a standstill, it looks like Reed has decided to try out a new career as the author of a new political thriller:

As the general election approaches, a contentious battle for the Democratic nomination continues right up to the convention between the two remaining candidates. The Republican contender is a military hawk, loathed by the religious right. And the country has the possibility of the first African-American president.

Campaign 2008? No, the plot for "Dark Horse," a political thriller by Ralph Reed.

Mr. Reed, the 46-year-old former head of the Christian Coalition and a onetime darling of the Republican Party who fell from grace, has penned a work of fiction that mirrors the current political landscape. But he put his own twist on the race. The defeated Democratic candidate becomes a born-again Christian and wins the White House as an independent.

Of course, just because Reed is taking a break from his political work doesn’t mean that his new book doesn’t serve the very narrative he has been honing for two decades:

In an interview, Mr. Reed calls the book "a fable of sorts." "If the Republican Party were to try to chart a course without the faith-based constituency that has become critical to its success," Mr. Reed says, "it will find itself in permanent minority status.”

Reed told the Wall Street Journal that this novel was the "most honest book, without question, I've written."  Considering that Reed has penned several books in the past, all of them nonfiction, it seems a little curious that he considers his one work of fiction to be the “most honest” thing he’s ever written.

Reports of Huckabee’s Moderation Are Greatly Exaggerated

Running as a “Christian Leader” was enough to proper Mike Huckabee to victory in Iowa, but it didn’t play too well in New Hampshire, where he finished a distant third.  

So what is his plan going forward?

Republican Mike Huckabee is trying to soften the image of the religious right as he reaches out to liberal Christians and blue-collar workers for support in his presidential campaign.

It's a delicate balancing act for the ordained Baptist minister who staunchly opposes abortion and gay marriage.

But the folksy southerner told Reuters he believed some evangelicals had widened their political concerns beyond the hot-button cultural issues that helped put George W. Bush in the White House and had mellowed enough to embrace causes like poverty and the environment.

Huckabee, who won the first presidential nominating contest in Iowa with the support of evangelicals and placed third in New Hampshire on Tuesday, wants to help bridge that divide.

"Unquestionably there is a maturing that is going on within the evangelical movement. It doesn't mean that evangelicals are any less concerned about traditional families and the sanctity of life," the former Arkansas governor said.

"It just means that they also realize that we have real responsibility in areas like disease and hunger and poverty and that these are issues that people of faith have to address," he said in an interview aboard his campaign bus.

Presumably, any effort to soften his image or reach out beyond his right-wing religious base will have to wait until he gets back from this

Together for Life Memorial Service and Walk, Georgia's annual pro-life gathering, will be held Tuesday, January 22, 2008 on the steps of the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Memorial Service, sponsored by Georgia Right to Life (GRTL) begins at 11:30 am and is followed by a one-mile long silent walk through downtown Atlanta.

This year's keynote speaker is Gary Bauer, an esteemed author, political activist, and President of American Values. He stated, "We must build an America where all of our children, rich and poor, black and white, are welcomed into the world and protected by the law. Human life has dignity at every age; the taking of innocent human life is always wrong."

Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee will also speak as a strong pro-life advocate and supporter of the Human Life Amendment. "I'm pro-life because I believe life begins at conception, and I believe that we should do everything possible to protect that life because it is the centerpiece of what makes us unique as an American people. We value the life of one as if it's the life of all... it's what separates us from the Islamic jihadists who are out to kill us. They celebrate death. They have a culture of death. Ours is a culture of life." The Georgia Right to Life PAC has endorsed Mike Huckabee for President.

State-Level Abortion Bans Head for 2008 Ballots

Activists are likely to place a far-reaching abortion ban on the Missouri ballot this year, one pegged to the emerging anti-abortion strategy of claiming to be protecting women. The Baltimore Sun reports:

If passed, it would stand as possibly the most restrictive abortion law in the country, requiring abortion providers to investigate each patient's background and lifestyle in order to certify that the woman was not coerced into the procedure.

Under the initiative, doctors would not be allowed to perform a nonemergency abortion unless they believed "the imminent death or serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman" would occur.

Critics say the proposal would expose doctors to lawsuits from women who later regretted their decisions to terminate pregnancies. …

Anti-abortion groups say the proposal would make Missouri a model for the country.

Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt laid groundwork last fall by forming a “task force” on “the impact of abortion on women,” a group composed of anti-abortion activists, and a major backer of the initiative is the Illinois-based Elliot Institute, whose founder was described as the “Moses” of the movement to define anti-choice as a defense of women’s interests, whether the women know it or not.

This tactic found validation in last year’s Supreme Court decision upholding the “Partial Birth Abortion Ban”—the court’s majority opinion seemed to echo the paternalist view, a point certainly not missed by any activists attempting to pass a far-reaching abortion ban.

But an initiative likely to reach the Colorado ballot takes a different approach: giving fertilized eggs equal protection and full rights under law. Playing the ingénue, the 20-year-old law student spearheading the amendment “insists her only aim is to define when human life begins, and any discussion about abortion is up to lawmakers.” Of course the “Human Life Amendment,” as it has been known since before she was born, was designed specifically to overturn Roe v. Wade and ban abortion completely.

The hard-line approach of Colorado’s amendment—and a similar initiative being considered for the ballot in Georgia—goes to the heart of a rift between absolutists and incrementalists in the anti-abortion movement. From the Washington Times:

"National Right to Life thinks this will do more harm than good," [Brian Rooney of the Thomas More Law Center, which backs the amendments] said. "They argue that the makeup of the court isn't right for a decision. We argue that this is the best opportunity we're likely to have in the next decade. If we don't confront Roe now, the way the politics of the presidential election are going, we could be waiting for years."

Indeed, National Right to Life ended up divorcing its Colorado affiliate last year after a spat over incrementalism. (The head of Colorado Right to Life accused NRLC of selling out to the Republican Party.)

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Georgia Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/01/2011, 11:55am
As we have said time and time again, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer is among the most openly and viciously bigoted Religious Right leaders active today ... but that does not seem to bother any of the Republican leaders who continually appear on his radio program. Just last week, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker joined Fischer to discuss his anti-choice legislation, and before that it was presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty telling Fischer he'll reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell. This is in addition to past appearances from Sen. Jim Inhofe, Sen. Jim DeMint, Rep. Lamar Smith, Rep.... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 01/26/2011, 12:51pm
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who is inching closer to a presidential run, told a meeting of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association that he wants to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. Like other leading Republicans, Gingrich says that the EPA’s life-saving oversight is too burdensome for businesses, calling the agency “a job-killing, centralizing engine of ideological litigation and regulation that blocks economic progress at every turn.” He wants to replace it with an agency that is more friendly to business, asserting that the “EPA’s... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 01/26/2011, 12:51pm
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who is inching closer to a presidential run, told a meeting of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association that he wants to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. Like other leading Republicans, Gingrich says that the EPA’s life-saving oversight is too burdensome for businesses, calling the agency “a job-killing, centralizing engine of ideological litigation and regulation that blocks economic progress at every turn.” He wants to replace it with an agency that is more friendly to business, asserting that the “EPA’s... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 01/25/2011, 10:59am
Michele Bachmann SOTU: Plans to give her own State of the Union Response to a Tea Party Express rally, even though Wisconsin Rep. Jim Ryan is the official Republican speaker (Star Tribune, 1/24). History: Maintains that skin color didn’t matter in early America at an Iowans for Tax Reform event (TPM, 1/24). Religious Right: Addressed the “March for Life” Rose Dinner (Politico, 1/24). Iowa: “Encouraged” by reception at Iowa events (Des Moines Register, 1/22). Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 01/25/2011, 10:59am
Michele Bachmann SOTU: Plans to give her own State of the Union Response to a Tea Party Express rally, even though Wisconsin Rep. Jim Ryan is the official Republican speaker (Star Tribune, 1/24). History: Maintains that skin color didn’t matter in early America at an Iowans for Tax Reform event (TPM, 1/24). Religious Right: Addressed the “March for Life” Rose Dinner (Politico, 1/24). Iowa: “Encouraged” by reception at Iowa events (Des Moines Register, 1/22). Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 12/16/2010, 4:39pm
Politico’s Ben Smith discussed today the unforeseen possibility that right wing activist Herman Cain could be a surprise Republican candidate for president, after he bested all other Republicans in an online straw poll conducted by the conservative blog RedState. Cain, an African American businessman and radio talk show host, even topped Sarah Palin, who came in second, to be the favorite of the right wing blogosphere. Erick Erickson of RedState writes, “I like Herman Cain and, though truth be told I never thought he’d make it past Mike Pence, I am delightfully surprised... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 12/02/2010, 4:34pm
After Republican and Religious Right leaders clamored over who was more outraged about 11 seconds of video in the Smithsonian’s new “Hide/Seek” exhibit, censorship advocates now not only want the Smithsonian to remove the video in question (which they have) but to close the whole exhibit. Georgia Republican Congressman Jack Kingston, who earlier called for congressional investigations into the Smithsonian, told the rightwing website CNSNews that while the museum’s removal of artist David Wojnarowicz video was a “positive” step, he does not think the... MORE