health care reform

Pence: Congress Should Defund Planned Parenthood Because of High Unemployment

Empowered by Republican gains and the recent selection of Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) to Chair the Subcommittee on Health, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence is again speaking about ending what he calls “taxpayer funding of abortion.” Pence is the sponsor of the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act,” which would cut-off federal finances to health services groups such as Planned Parenthood. However, the title of Pence’s bill is deceiving, as under current law “Title X funds may not be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” As a result, there is no taxpayer funding of abortion either under Title X or the new health care reform law, another baseless charge frequently used by the right wing activists.

Under Pence’s bill, the government will stop giving taxpayer dollars to organizations which perform abortions or contribute to groups which perform abortions, even though abortion coverage is already banned from using federal dollars. As The Nation points out, Planned Parenthood is one of the largest and most well-known groups working in the extensive field of reproductive and sexual healthcare, and would incur most of the damage from this bill: “The aim is to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest network of clinics for family planning and women’s health, and in many regions the only provider within reach.”

Now Pence, the winner of the Values Voter Summit 2010 presidential straw poll, believes that cutting funds to reproductive healthcare organizations is not just necessary to constrain a woman’s access to healthcare but also to address unemployment. Pence told the anti-choice news service LifeNews:

With a nearly 10 percent unemployment rate, there is simply no reason during these tough economic times why taxpayers’ hard-earned money should fund the activities of abortion providers and equip them with the resources they need to end innocent human life.

The time has come to deny any and all federal funding to Planned Parenthood by passing the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which I intend to introduce again in the next Congress.”

Michele Bachmann has also embraced Pence’s bill, and the bill’s 103 co-sponsors include Speaker-designate John Boehner, incoming Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Pitts, who plans to push anti-choice legislation through his Subcommittee on Health. Pence isn’t the first leader on the Right who suggested that anti-choice bills address economic problems like unemployment, as Jim Garlow, the Chairman of Newt Gingrich's Renewing American Leadership, recently claimed that abortion is responsible for high unemployment:

Right Hails Health Care Ruling As Victory For the Constitution

When a federal judge declared the military's ban on openly gay soldiers to be unconstiutional, the Family Research Council blasted it as unconscionable judicial activism

This is the very definition of judicial activism -- when you are unable to achieve your desired policy goals through the democratic process, simply go to court and get a judge to decree that it must be so.

Today, a right-wing Bush-appointed judge declared that a key portion of the health care reform legislation was unconstitutional, and FRC hails him as a hero: 

"We applaud Judge Hudson for striking down the individual mandate recognizing that no part of the Constitution empowers the federal government to command American citizens to spend their own personal money to purchase health insurance.

...

"We call on the incoming Congress to quickly move to repeal this unconstitutional law in its entirely not merely to tinker with various provisions. Such tinkering would likely doom the legal challenges that are the best hope for dooming this fundamentally flawed law that is a high taxing, poorly thought out, and taxpayer funding of abortion monstrosity."

Amazing, isn't it, how when a judge rules in a way the Religious Right dislikes, it is unadulterated judicial activism but when a judge rules in their favor, it is a heroic stand for the Constitution?

Liberty Counsel:

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, said: “I applaud the ruling by Judge Hudson. There is absolutely no authority in the Constitution that would allow the federal government to force every person to purchase a particular kind of health insurance. Today marks the beginning of the end of this federal power grab. I am confident when the Supreme Court hears the cases of Liberty University and the Virginia Attorney General that the final nail will be driven into this monster’s heart.”

Concerned Women for America:

"It is good to see that we still have judges who take seriously the oath they took to operate within the powers granted to them by the Constitution. The court recognized that the federal government has no power to force Americans to buy a private good and penalize them if they do not. It is nonsensical for the federal government to argue that not engaging in an economic activity is, in fact, an 'economic activity' in the law.

"The individual mandate is just one part of the many troubling issues with ObamaCare. This ruling represents the first step in protecting families from an overreaching federal government that is out of control.

American Center for Law and Justice:

"We're very pleased the federal court reached a sound decision and concluded that the individual insurance mandate is an unconstitutional violation of the Commerce Clause," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. "This decision guts ObamaCare and represents a decisive and significant victory for America against the largest power-grab by the federal government in U.S. history. The court correctly concluded that forcing someone to buy health insurance is not economic activity and that Congress does not have that authority under the Commerce Clause. We're already working on an amicus brief on behalf of members of Congress in support of the Commonwealth of Virginia as this case proceeds through the appeals process."

Traditional Values Coalition:

TVC warned last year that ObamaCare was unconstitutional and was a violation of our right to determine our own health care needs. We also warned that it was going to destroy private health insurance in this country and was designed to force all Americans into a government-run system. This socialist system would include death panels, taxpayer funded abortions, and the creation of dozens upon dozens of bureaucracies that would control our future health needs.

We have pushed for the repeal of ObamaCare since it was enacted – and have repeatedly detailed the numerous flaws in it. In fact, President Obama has admitted that what he really wants a "single payer" system – code for a government-run system. ObamaCare is carefully designed to destroy private health insurance in America.

...

Hudson has correctly determined that Congress has no constitutional authority to force Americans to purchase health insurance or face a financial penalty.

I hope this is the beginning of the end for ObamaCare. It was a bill that no one had read in its entirety and it was rammed through on Christmas Eve last year. It should be gutted and repealed.

Richard Viguerie:

"Congratulations to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for his hugely important first-round victory over Obamacare today in federal district court.

"Mr. Cuccinelli has been a true leader in the cause of freedom and constitutionally limited government. His win is also a victory for the entire Tea Party movement and constitutional conservatives everywhere.

"Now more than ever, Tea Partiers and constitutional conservatives must rally behind and support Ken Cuccinelli as he takes his case--and the Gadsden flag ('Don't tread on me') that decorates his office--through the appeals process.

Judge Hudson’s Right Wing Ties

Today a federal judge in Virginia, responding to a suit filed by the state’s far-right Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, ruled that a key part of health care reform was unconstitutional. The judge, Henry E. Hudson, said that the Constitution’s “interstate commerce clause” does not provide the federal government the right to implement a mandate to make sure that everyone has health insurance coverage. A different federal judge in Virginia dismissed a similar suit brought by Liberty University against the reform law only two weeks ago.

Judge Hudson was first appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1986 to be US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and in 2002, George W. Bush appointed him to serve as district court judge for Virginia’s Eastern District.

According to disclosure forms, Judge Hudson reported collecting “dividends” totaling anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 from Campaign Solutions over a five year period of 2003 to 2008. Campaign Solutions later acknowledged that Hudson has owned stock in the firm since it was founded.

Campaign Solutions has a long record of working with conservative organizations and Republican candidates, including none other than Ken Cuccinelli. As the Alliance for Justice points out, “Campaign Solutions, has done work for a host of prominent Republican clients and health care reform critics, including the RNC and NRCC (both of which have called, to varying degrees, for health care reform’s repeal).”

Along with Cuccinnelli, who was elected Attorney General in 2009, Campaign Solutions worked for John McCain and Bush’s presidential campaigns, the notorious Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and the Judicial Confirmation Network (since renamed the Judicial Crisis Network). In fact, Campaign Solutions was behind the establishment of the JCN, which was founded to support George W. Bush’s conservative judicial nominees and coordinate activities right-wing organizations, especially with Religious Right groups, although the JCN has since changed its name and works to oppose the confirmation of Obama’s nominees.

In 2008, The New Republic found that the JCN “publicly consists of two employees, a post box, and a website” and was “originally created in November 2004 by Becki Donatelli, a Republican PR doyenne who chairs Campaign Solutions (the firm used by Bush-Cheney ‘04, McCain 2008, the RNC, the NRCC, and even the 527 Vets For Freedom).”

As reported earlier today, according to legal expert Tim Jost, who has been following the many health care reform decisions being issues, “This decision is very defective and will be reversed by the appellate court or the Supreme Court."

Anti-Choice Crowd Celebrates as GOP Picks Joe Pitts, Presses for New Restrictions on Abortion

When Michigan Republican Fred Upton was tarred as a “moderate” during his campaign to lead the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, leading anti-choice groups including the National Right to Life Committee and the Susan B. Anthony List suggested back in November that they could support Upton if he picks Joe Pitts to chair the Health Subcommittee. Pitts, the co-author of the restrictive Stupak-Pitts amendment during the health care reform debate, is one of the most fervently anti-choice members of Congress. Now, Upton won his campaign to lead the committee and selected Pitts to chair the Health Subcommittee which not only deals with health care legislation but also sets policy with regards to abortion rights and reproductive health.

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser called Pitts’s appointment “a major pro-life victory,” and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told LifeNews that Pitts is committed to passing anti-choice legislation to stop the purported taxpayer funding of abortion.

While the nonpartisan PolitiFact already determined that rightwing claims of taxpayer funding for abortion are false and simply untrue, the facts didn’t stop groups like SBA List, CitizenLink (formerly Focus on the Family Action), and the Family Research Council from spreading the badly misleading claim.

The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” better known as “Stupak on steroids” would impel private insurers to drop abortion coverage by taking away the insurance plans’ tax deductions, make the Hyde Amendment permanent, and prevent “any government department from funding any program that touches on abortion in any way, however notional.” There is already a drive by Mike Pence and Michele Bachmann to pass the "Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act," which would de-fund reproductive healthcare organizations which provide abortions, like Planned Parenthood, even though such financing does not go to abortion coverage.

During an interview with CNSNews, Bachmann was asked “What should Republicans do to advance protections for the lives of those unborn babies who are being slaughtered in this country?” Bachmann repeats the two baseless and fallacious claims that women in Pennsylvania received taxpayer funding for abortions and that “for the first time in American history under Obamacare, socialized medicine, under President Obama, we have federal funding of abortion.” She also calls for the reinstatement of the global gag rule, which cuts off US funding to international family planning services.

Watch:

Boykin: Islam "Should Not Be Protected Under the First Amendment"

A few weeks back we posted a video that Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin had recorded for Rick Joyner's Oak Initiative in which he explained how President Obama was going to use the health care reform law to create his own army of Brownshirt soldiers loyal only to him.

It turns out that Boykin has recorded several videos on varying topics for Joyner's group, including this one in which he explains that Islam "should not be protected under the First Amendment":

We need to realize that Islam itself is not just a religion - it is a totalitarian way of life. It's a legal system, sharia law; it's a financial system; it's a moral code; it's a political system; it's a military system. It should not be protected under the First Amendment, particularly given that those following the dictates of the Quran are under an obligation to destroy our Constitution and replace it with sharia law.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann says there will be an "insurrection" if House Republican leader don't hold a straight up-or-down vote on repealing health care reform.
  • I guess Dick Cheney won't be traveling to Nigeria any time soon.
  • Grover Norquist and Christopher Barron say Sarah Palin "has earned the right to run [for President] if she chooses." I have no idea what they are talking about.
  • Apparently Matt Barber is an authority on who is and who is not a Catholic, despite the fact that he is not actually a Catholic.
  • I guess this is supposed to be funny.
  • Quote of the day from FRC's latest prayer target asking God to stop the repeal of DADT: "May God's people prevail with Him in prayer to deal with this crisis in National Security and Morality. May God-fearing Senators stand to defeat this evil initiative and protect our troops!"
  • Finally, it looks like Al Mohler's daughter is going to work for Sen. Mitch McConnell:

Liberty Counsel Declares Victory After Judge Tosses LU Lawsuit Challenging Health Care Reform

For months now, Mat Staver and Liberty Counsel have been bragging about how they are leading the legal fight against the new health care reform law on behalf of Liberty University because the organization filed suit "on the same day the bill was signed into law and was the first private party lawsuit in the nation challenging the 2,409-page healthcare bill."

Today, a US District Court judge dismissed the suit and spent fifty pages [PDF] explicitly rejecting just about every claim put forth by Liberty Counsel ... and amazingly Staver is portraying this is some sort of victory:

Liberty University’s challenge to the healthcare law will now be heard by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals following today’s ruling by District Court Judge Norman Moon. Judge Moon found that Liberty University and two individual plaintiffs had standing to assert their constitutional claims against the individual and employer mandates in the healthcare law and that their claims were ripe for consideration. Judge Moon also held that the Anti-Injunction Act, which prohibits taxpayers from trying to enjoin the collection of taxes, does not bar the claims. He then ruled on the merits of the substantive claims, finding that Congress acted within its authority under the Commerce Clause when it enacted the mandates in the healthcare law.

...

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law said: “I am confident that the federal healthcare law will eventually be struck down on appeal because it is unconstitutional. Congress does not have the authority to force every American to purchase a particular kind of health insurance product. I am pleased the federal court found that Liberty University and the private plaintiffs have standing to pursue this claim. The court’s ruling on the merits of the Commerce Clause, while wrong now, puts the case on a fast track to the federal court of appeals. This ruling will expedite a final resolution of the case.”

Land Calls for Constitutional Amendent Instituting Retention Elections For SCOTUS, Federal Judges

In day two of James Dobson's discussion with Richard Land on the state of America today that I mentioned earlier, Land let loose on the dangers of health care reform, guaranteeing that it'll fill the lives of everyone with pain and misery:

Land: I'm absolutely confident in saying this: ninety-nine percent of the people who are hearing me right now over the radio, if Obamacare is not rescinded, you will live a shorter life and it'll be more filled with pain and suffering before you die because they're not going to give you hip transplants, they're not going to give you knee transplants, and they're not going to give you other treatments as you go into old age.

Eventually, the topic turned to the vote in Iowa which removed three state Supreme Court justices, prompting Land to announce his desire to see constitutional amendment passed that would institute this process nationwide:

Land: In Iowa they have what seems to me to be a very sensible law and I'm ready to start a discussion that we ought to have it at the federal level.

I'm ready to put an amendment to the Constitution that says that every six years, on a rotating basis, we'll have three Supreme Court justices and they will be on the ballot nationwide, and you get to vote - I want to keep Justice Scalia or I don't want to keep Justice Scalia.

And the same thing with federal district court judges - in the district where they serve, you get to vote whether you're going to keep them or not.

Dobson: Well, to do that you'd have to have a constitutional amendment ...

Land: Yes sir , I'm ready to start ...

Dobson: I'll go with you ...

Land: Judges aren't all that popular. 

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 11/23/10

Newt Gingrich

Government: Claims that Attorney General Eric Holder “endangered national security” and should resign (NewsMax, 11/21).

Media: Says he will refuse to attend a debate hosted by “hostile” and “left-wing” Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann (Mediaite, 11/21).

Mike Huckabee

2012: Warns that GOP takeover of the House will help Obama in 2012 (The Note, 11/22).

Religious Right: Iowa Independent looks at Huckabee’s ties to Vander Plaats, IFPC (Iowa Independent, 11/22).

Iowa: Congratulates voters for ousting judges who backed same-sex marriage rights (AP, 11/21).

Sarah Palin

Obama: In new book says that the President betrays “a stark lack of faith in the American people” (USA Today, 11/23).

Media: Tells Sean Hannity she will only speak to non-biased reporters and shun Katie Couric (CBS News, 11/22).

2012: Conservatives4Palin lists the five top reasons she is qualified to be President, includes PTA volunteering and “Pro-Life Advocacy” (C4P, 11/19).

Tim Pawlenty

Government: Calls on Attorney General Eric Holder to resign (Iowa Independent, 11/22).

Health Care: Writes Op-Ed on how states can stop health care reform (San Diego Union Tribune, 11/18).

Mitt Romney

Poll: New poll has Romney as most competitive Republican, in statistical dead heat with Obama (Quinnipiac, 11/22).

Fundraising: NYT explores Romney’s web of state leadership PACS (NYT, 11/20).

Rick Santorum

2012: Set to address Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) meeting in February (Sunshine State News, 11/22).

New Hampshire: Plans on seventh appearance in the Granite State later this month (CNN, 11/17).

Tea Party: After claiming to be only Tea Party presidential hopeful, says that Angle, Miller, and O’Donnell don’t represent movement either (GOP 12, 11/16).

Meet Renee Ellmers: Cracking down on Monarchy and Mosques

Following the election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our final candidate profile is on Renee Ellmers of North Carolina:

Leading Democratic Rep. Bob Etheridge by 1,489 votes in North Carolina’s second district, conservative activist Renee Ellmers has declared victory and is now attending freshman orientation in Washington DC.

A self-declared “product of the tea party,” she ran on anti-health care and anti-Stimulus platform: she compared President Obama to “Louis XIV, the Sun King” and asserted that his administration is establishing “a socialistic form of government.” She blasted Democrats for their “imperial ruling class attitude,” and referred to the Stimulus Plan as “massive government takeovers of the economy.”

Ellmers believes that Obama put the country at risk because he supposedly refuses “to recognize – and tell the American people – [that] he understands radical Islamic terrorism does exist.” She then launched an ugly and bigoted campaign ad equating all Muslims with the 9/11 terrorists, and arguing that the Islamic Community Center in Lower Manhattan is a “Victory Mosque” and a symbol of Muslim conquest:

Narrator: “After the Muslims conquered Jerusalem, and Cordoba and Constantinople, they built victory mosques. And now, they want to build a mosque near Ground Zero. Where does Bob Etheridge stand? He won’t say, won’t speak out, won’t take a stand.”

Ellmers: “The terrorists haven’t won, and we should tell them in plain English, ‘No, there will never be a mosque at Ground Zero.’”

In an interview with Anderson Cooper, she suggested that Obama’s foreign policy subtly shows support for terrorists by using foreign aid to build mosques. Cooper, however, pointed out that she was referring to a program started by President Bush that helps rebuild houses of worships including churches and temples. When he asked if the Roman Catholic Church built a “Victory Church” in Rome over a Pagan temple, she took umbrage and asked Cooper if he was “anti-religion” or “anti-Christian.” Cooper replied: “That’s like the lowest response I have ever heard from a candidate, I have got to tell you.” (Watch the ad and interview below).

Defending her ad to rightwing radio talk show host Tammy Bruce, she said that “it’s time for elected officials to go to Washington who are ready to stand up for America.”

Ellmers says she decided to run for Congress after her work with Americans for Prosperity, a corporate front group tied to the Koch brothers, campaigning against health care reform. She told G. Gordon Liddy that the health care reform bill was “put in place simply to control our lives.” She also maintained that “physicians are not going to be able to continue to practice” because of the reform law, which she said “is just a monster.”

According to Ellmers, insurance companies should be able to deny individuals coverage for pre-existing conditions, saying: “private insurance companies [should] decide how they’re going to handle the pre-existing conditions situation.” Ellmers also attacked requiring insurance companies to cover maternity care and other health issues, calling such coverage “very costly.”

In a debate she came out against emergency funding to protect the jobs of teachers, and suggested that diverting public funds towards private school vouchers through “school choice” would help prevent job losses among teachers.

She said that her plan to reduce the debt would be to cut taxes and end foreign aid, and as a proponent of the “FairTax” she believes that the progressive income tax should be scrapped and replaced with a national sales tax.

An avowed opponent of immigrant rights, she claimed that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has shown “the kind of leadership we have not seen in a long time” by signing SB 1070, and suggested that Congress vote to defund the Department of Justice over their lawsuit against the draconian immigration law.

Ellmers told the conservative RedState blog that she is fiercely anti-choice and opposes the feminist movement. She was been endorsed by Sarah Palin, Concerned Women for America, and the Susan B. Anthony List.

A Tea Party activist who smears minority groups for political gain and has no real plan to cut the deficit or save jobs, Renee Ellmers appears to exemplify many of the ugliest qualities of the tea party movement.

 

Meet Congressman-Elect Tom Marino: Plagued by Corruption Charges

Following the election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our ninth candidate profile is on Tom Marino of Pennsylvania:

In 2007, Tom Marino resigned from his position as US Attorney in Pennsylvania after a corruption scandal clouded his career and raised questions about his honesty. Marino had used his official title as US Attorney to provide a reference in 2005 to his “close friend,” convicted felon Louis DeNaples, who was trying to win the state gaming commission’s approval to open slot machines at a resort he owned. When his office began an investigation into DeNaples for lying about his ties to organized crime, Marino's assistants uncovered his reference and notified the Justice Department, which transferred the investigation out of Marino’s office. But questions about Marino’s ties to DeNaples remained.

Defending his actions, Marino said on a local radio show that the Department of Justice gave him permission to be a reference for DeNaples. But the Justice Department says there is “no record of Marino having received the permission” to serve as a reference for DeNaples and that Marino never informed the General Counsel office. Although Marino stands by his claim that he received written permission, he failed to produce any letter from the Department.

When the Justice Department launched an investigation into Marino’s actions, he resigned and promptly took a $250,000-a-year job as “DeNaples’ in-house lawyer.” Marino later under-reported his income on his financial disclosure forms, reporting that he only received $25,000 from DeNaples. Even Zack Oldham of the conservative blog RedState said of Marino’s actions: “The reality is just as bad as–if not worse than–the optics of this scandal.”

The DeNaples affair wasn’t even the first time Marino had run into corruption accusations. When Marino was District Attorney in Lycoming County, he tried to get a friend out of a drug charge by going behind the back of the county judge who had refused to toss out his friend’s conviction. According to the Luzeme County Citizens Voice, Marino “approached another judge and won the expungement, but the plan backfired when the second judge learned of the first judge's involvement in the case.”

Marino continued to struggle with the truth in his campaign for Congress. He criticized his opponent, Rep. Chris Carney, for leaving Washington as an anti-abortion rights bill was being circulated during the health care reform debate. Carney was not in Washington at the time because his wife was undergoing surgery for breast cancer.

He later alleged that Carney “has no problem spending taxpayers’ money for abortions” and that Pennsylvania women were receiving taxpayer-subsidized abortions under the new health care law, even though nonpartisan fact-checkers have confirmed, repeatedly, that the law prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion.

Marino also berated his opponent for refusing to take questions from the press on political matters after Carney, a Navy Reservist, was called for active duty and was barred by law from making “statements to or answer questions from the news media regarding political issues or regarding government policies.”

But his ethical challenges have not kept the far-right from embracing him. In fact, his rightwing politics have earned him the endorsement of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, Rick Santorum’s America’s Foundation, Mike Huckabee’s HuckPAC, the Family Research Council, and the Government Is Not God PAC.

On the issue of immigration, Marino opposes a pathway for citizenship for illegal immigrants, and touts his endorsement from Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, which has been called a “nativist extremist organization” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In his Americans for Legal Immigration PAC survey, Marino says he strongly favors Arizona’s severe SB 1070 law, would refuse to support comprehensive immigration reform, and that he would consider impeaching the President over immigration policy.

Marino said he would vote against extending unemployment benefits, maintaining that some of the people on unemployment simply don’t “want to go get work because they are being paid to stay home.” He said that non-senior citizens should face cuts in Social Security benefits if not the elimination of the program altogether, saying: “my generation and probably the generation that follows me, we are going to have to step up to the plate and say, ‘We are not going to get Social Security.’” The 60 Plus Association, a front group for the health care and pharmaceutical industries which supports privatizing Social Security, aired TV ads on Marino’s behalf.

In a radio interview in August, Marino reportedly suggested eliminating the IRS and the Departments of Education and Energy and replacing them with new agencies, saying, “There’s got to be a total revolution there.”

Despite the ethical cloud surrounding Marino, his hard-line conservative views and support from the Radical Right helped him win election to Congress. Watch this segment from an NBC affiliate revealing Marino’s ethical troubles:

 

 

 

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 11/16/10

Newt Gingrich

Obama: Calls President’s policies “very dangerous” but believes “he loves this country” (CBN News, 11/15).

GOP: Says Republicans can “replace the left” with a ten-year plan (CBS News, 11/12).

Mike Huckabee

Congress: Like Romney, launches petition to support earmark ban (HuckPac, 11/15).

Defense: Open to cutting defense spending to reduce the deficit (Think Progress, 11/15).

Religious Right: Confusion over form of Huckabee’s speech to Iowa Family Policy Center (RWW, 11/11).

Sarah Palin

Reality TV: Premier of new show draws close to 5 million viewers (WSJ, 11/15).

Alaska: Lisa Murkowski criticizes Palin’s leadership capabilities (CBS News, 11/15).

Language: “Refudiate” declared the year’s best new word by the New Oxford American Dictionary (LA Times, 11/15).

Economy: Reuters analyst explores Palin’s “free-market populism” (Reuters, 11/12).

Book tour: Releases schedule for latest book tour with focus on “the heartland” (LA Times, 11/12).

Tim Pawlenty

Health Care: Files amicus brief to support lawsuit calling health care reform unconstitutional (Gov Monitor, 11/15).

Electability: Nate Silver dubs Pawlenty a “league-average politician” (NYT, 11/15).

New Hampshire: Writes anti-spending Op-Ed for state’s foremost conservative newspaper (Union Leader, 11/14).

Mitt Romney

Congress: Like Huckabee, launches petition to support earmark ban (The Hill, 11/15).

Fundraising: Has edge among early fundraisers (NYT, 11/12).

Tea Party: Tea Party Express leader says conservatives “not going to let go of the health care” law in Massachusetts (ABC News, 11/11).

Rick Santorum

2012: Building infrastructure in key states for 2012 run (Sunshine State News, 11/12).

Tea Party: Dubs himself the only authentic Tea Party presidential prospect (Politico, 11/10).

Meet Tim Walberg: The Birthers’ Man in Washington

Following the midterm elections, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Today, meet Tim Walberg, who “was a tea partier before there was a tea party”:

Tim Walberg, who is returning to the House next year after representing Michigan's 7th district for one term from 2007-2009, brags that he “was a tea partier before there was a tea party.” Indeed, Walberg enthusiastically embraces the most extreme aspects of the Tea Party—from corporate pandering and vowing to cut social safety-net programs to far-right views on social issues and a predilection for conspiracy theories.

Walberg is perhaps most famous for his unabashed embrace of birtherism. Asked by a radio show caller if he thinks President Obama is an American citizen or a Muslim, Walberg responded:

"You know, I don't know, I really don't know," Walberg responded. "We don't have enough information about this President. He was never given a job interview that was complete."

"But that's not the issue now," Walberg went on. "He is President. Right now, we need to make sure that he doesn't remain as President. Whether he's American, a Muslim, a Christian, you name it."

While other candidates have tried to tiptoe away from their own birther claims, Walberg later doubled down, saying that he would “take [Obama] at his word that he’s an American citizen”…and then suggested that Congress impeach Obama in order to obtain a copy of his birth certificate.

But birtherism isn’t the only right-wing conspiracy theory that Walberg backs. He has repeated the bizarre—and completely debunked—theory that the Chinese are drilling for oil off the coast of Florida. And he continues to repeat discredited ideas about the origins of the Iraq war. He said that Saddam Hussein funded the Al Qaeda terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks, and insisted in a debate last month that Iraq “absolutely” had weapons of mass destruction before the American invasion—something that even George W. Bush now admits is not true.

Walberg backs an extreme pro-corporate economic agenda. When Walberg first won election in 2006, the ultra-conservative Club For Growth counted his victory as its own, bragging that its PAC “scored its first-ever knock-out of an incumbent” when Walberg defeat a moderate incumbent in the Republican primary. The Club for Grouth had poured millions of dollars into Walberg’s 2006 campaign, spending $1 million in the primary, and then producing vicious attack adds against his Democratic opponent in the general election. This year, American Future Fund, an especially shadowy group with ties to Big Agriculture, spent over $500,000 to run an ad attacking Walberg’s opponent with false claims about health care reform and clean energy legislation.

And, it seems, Walberg’s big business backers will get what they paid for. The League of Conservation Voters named him to their 2010 Dirty Dozen, the second time he had made that list. During his one previous term in Congress, LCV said, “Walberg opposed every major clean energy reform…earning a 0% LCV score.” LCV continued, “During his two years in office, he was on the wrong side of conservation and clean energy on 32 out of 33 votes. He even voted against the No Child Left Inside Act, designed to help educate children about the natural environment.” Indeed, no clean energy effort is too small to earn Walberg’s disdain: on the campaign trail, he slammed Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm for riding her bicycle to work.

Walberg wants to dramatically cut social safety net programs, and directs much of his scorn on Social Security. He’s advocated for privatizing the program, and agreed with a supporter at a Tea Party event who said Social Security is unconstitutional and “a Ponzi scheme.” In 2006, he called Social Security “socialism at its finest,” adding, “That’s defined as socialism when the government is required to take care of us all.”

Walberg’s Religious Right credentials are also stellar. He opposes abortion rights, including in cases of rape or incest. As a member of the House, he cosponsored two bills that, according to NARAL, “would end all legal abortion, most common forms of birth control, stem cell research, and in vitro fertilization". He voted against a bill that would have provided for stem cell research.

In 2008, Walberg was the only member of the House education committee to vote “no” on extending funding for the Head Start program. He objected to a provision in the bill that prohibited Head Start preschools from discriminating based on religion, warning that a Christian parochial school might have to hire a Muslim or “a Wiccan from a coven in Ann Arbor.”

In the House, Walberg voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and against expanding hate crimes legislation to include gender identity and sexual orientation, and against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He also opposed equal pay legislation and the 2008 Paycheck Fairness Act.
 

 

Meet Lou Barletta: America's Anti-Immigrant Mayor Heads to Congress

Following last Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our sixth candidate profile is on Lou Barletta, America’s anti-immigrant mayor:

Those disappointed to see anti-immigrant zealot Tom Tancredo off the national political stage will find a similar one-issue firebrand in Pennsylvania congressman-elect Lou Barletta.

Barletta rose to national prominence as the mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, a small working class city that in 2006 enacted some of the most draconian anti-immigrant measures in the country. Hazleton’s law put tough penalties on individuals and businesses who knowingly or unknowingly did business with undocumented immigrants—it revoked for five years the business license of any business caught employing an undocumented immigrant, and slapped landlords renting to undocumented immigrants with a $1,000-a-day fine. The law also declared English the official language of Hazleton, and prohibited city officials from translating documents without permission.

When the law passed, Barletta told the Washington Post, “I will get rid of the illegal people. It's this simple: They must leave." On the day the city passed the measure, Barletta wore a bulletproof vest to illustrate his concern over crimes he said were being committed by undocumented immigrants. Statistics, however, showed that undocumented immigrants were hardly responsible for a crime wave in Hazelton: the city’s data showed that of 8,575 felonies committed in the city between 2000 and 2007, 20 had been linked to undocumented immigrants. Later, forced to admit that he had no proof of an illegal immigrant-caused crime wave, or proof that illegal immigrants were crowding Hazleton’s schools and hospitals, or even any idea how many illegal immigrants were in Hazelton, Barletta responded, “The people in my city don’t need numbers.”

After the law took effect, businesses catering to Latino residents that had revitalized Hazleton’s downtown area saw a sharp drop in business, and Latino residents reported increased hostility from white residents.

A federal judge struck down Barletta’s law in 2007, writing, "The genius of our Constitution is that it provides rights even to those who evoke the least sympathy from the general public. Hazleton, in its zeal to control the presence of a group deemed undesirable, violated the rights of such people, as well as others within the community." An appeals court this year upheld the ruling.

Although Barletta claimed to be defending “the legal taxpayer of any race,” he admitted that he found inspiration for the law from the website of self-described “proud nationalist” Jim Turner, who pushed a similar measure in San Bernardino, California to prevent the state from becoming, as he put it, a “Third World Cesspool.”

As copy-cat laws started to pop up in towns around the country, Barletta became a hero to anti-immigrant and nativist groups. When he ran for Congress in 2008, Barletta’s campaign received $10,920 from the Minuteman PAC, the political spending arm of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a vigilante border-patrol group that the Southern Poverty Law Center calls “nativist extremist.” It was the largest donation the Minuteman PAC made to a candidate that year.

In 2009, Barletta drew fire for speaking at a conference hosted by The American Cause, a group that had earlier that year released a report urging the Republican Party to not “pander to pro-amnesty Hispanics and swing voters,” and instead to put anti-immigrant policies at the forefront of the party’s strategy. The report was authored by several anti-immigrant advocates, many who had clear records of dabbling in white supremacy. The executive director of the group, and main author of the report, had even been charged with a hate crime against an African American woman. The immigrants’ rights group America’s Voice described the 2009 conference as “a forum for white nationalists to forge ties with ‘mainstream’ media commentators and conservative leaders.”

Although Barletta frames most of his politics through the lens of illegal immigration, he has also embraced Tea Party talking points on social issues, the environment, and the scope of government. In a candidates’ debate, he said his first action as a member of Congress would be to vote to repeal health care reform. He says the Affordable Care Act brought about “nationalized health care” and said it would put “life-affecting health decisions in the hands of bureaucrats,” and echoed the false claim raised by many in the Tea Party that health care reform “will take $500 billion out of Medicare." He told a forum in Pocono, "We're afraid of our government. We're afraid of what our government is going to do” and claimed on his campaign website that President Obama and Democrats in Congress are “spending our country into servitude.”

In terms of government spending, Barletta took particular issue with the comparatively miniscule $1.1 million that was spent to send members of Congress and their staffers to last year’s climate summit in Copenhagen. He claims to be a climate change skeptic, saying, “You know there's arguments on both sides. I'm not convinced that there's scientific evidence that proves that. I believe there's some that can also argue the opposite.”

When Obama created a panel to distribute recovery funds from BP’s $20 billion escrow account after the Gulf oil spill, Barletta said, “It’s exactly what the people of the Gulf don’t need – more bureaucracy.”

Barletta’s record as mayor of Hazleton doesn’t speak well, however, for his future as a fiscal problem solver: his budget for Hazleton last year hikes taxes and fees, and called for laying off government workers—including a number of police officers. As Barletta leaves office, Hazleton has the highest rate of unemployment in Pennsylvania. Despite raising taxes as Mayor of Hazleton, Barletta has signed Americans for Tax Reform’s pledge to never raise taxes in Washington.

Barletta opposes marriage equality, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, and abortion rights. He has also embraced right-wing conspiracy theories about government-run “death panels” and the imminent risk of human cloning, stating on his website, “I will oppose the efforts of some to increase or expand the protection or establishment of legal euthanasia, abortion, and human cloning. As Congress begins to tackle the issues of Medicare and health care reform, I will never support a program that results in rationing of life-saving procedures to those covered under those programs.”

In his predictably hostile response to the planned Islamic community center in lower Manhattan, he advanced the popular right-wing pseudo-historical theory of Muslim “victory mosques.”

While Barletta, it seems, will be a reliable vote for the Republican Party’s far-right wing, he’s already emerging as a leader on anti-immigrant zealotry. Two days after the election, he went on Fox News to accuse Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of attempting to buy Hispanic votes by introducing the DREAM Act. Watch:
 

 

 

 

 

Meet Tim Griffin: Karl Rove’s Man in Congress

Following last Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our fifth candidate profile is on Tim Griffin of Arkansas:

Running in an open Democratic district, Tim Griffin defeated progressive champion Joyce Elliott to win the election to represent Arkansas’s 2nd Congressional District.

Tim Griffin worked in the two Bush presidential campaigns and McCain’s 2008 campaign as the Republicans’ chief opposition researcher. In 2000, he said with regards to his opposition research department: “We think of ourselves as the creators of the ammunition in a war…. We make the bullets.” Conservative columnist Robert Novak called Griffin “a protégé of Karl Rove, who is a leading practitioner of opposition research — the digging up of derogatory information about political opponents.”

He received notoriety in 2004 for his work to advance the false smears propagated by the discredited group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Griffin next came to light when President Bush appointed him U.S. Attorney as part of his ongoing efforts to politicize the Department of Justice. “In December 2006, US Attorney Bud Cummings was fired from his district in Northeast Arkansas and replaced with Tim Griffin,” writes investigative journalist Shannyn Moore, as the Bush Administration used a little known provision of the USA Patriot Act to avoid confirmation hearings and votes by the US Senate. Deputy Attorney General Paul McNaulty later testified that “Cummings was fired to make a place for Griffin at the urging of Karl Rove and Harriet Miers,” the former White House Counsel. Kyle Sampson, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s Chief of Staff, wrote in an email that “getting him appointed was important to Harriet, Karl, etc.”

Paul Charlton, who was also ousted in the Bush Administration’s Purge of US Attorneys, said that Griffin “spread the rumors around the White House that Bud Cummins was not a good U.S. attorney” in order to get him fired. Another U.S. Attorney who was pushed out during the purge, David Iglesias, maintains that Tim Griffin “never should have been U.S. Attorney, he was fundamentally unqualified.”

When defending Griffin’s nomination, the Bush Administration used “misleading talking points” which significantly exaggerated his experience as a prosecutor.

Griffin continued his deeply political work while serving as a U.S. Attorney, but was forced to resign in 2007 when he was caught in a “vote caging” operation to prevent minorities from voting. The BBC uncovered emails sent by Griffin during the 2004 campaign which included ‘caging lists’ to bar typically marginalized groups voting, and Griffin’s “caging lists were heavily weighted with minority voters including homeless individuals, students and soldiers sent overseas.”

According to Iglesias, his management of the vote caging maneuvers represents “reprehensible conduct and it may be illegal.” As a result of his disreputable background, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) rated him one of the “most corrupt” candidates for Congress.

When he was not working in the Bush Administration or for GOP campaigns, Griffin was a high-paid consultant and earned hundreds of thousands of dollars while working for “lobbying and consulting firms on shadowy causes,” including the corporate astro-turf campaign that was fighting Alaska’s Clean Water Initiative.

Throughout his congressional campaign, Griffin has closely followed the Karl Rove-playbook of appealing to both corporate interests and the Religious Right. Griffin wants to repeal health care reform and once supported the elimination of corporate taxes in favor of a national sales tax. At a candidate forum, he even went out of his way to laud the state’s relatively low wages for workers and anti-union laws.

An opponent of equal rights and a woman’s right to choose, Griffin supports a Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage, believes that employers should be allowed to fire their employees due to their sexual orientation, and has pledged to protect the discriminatory Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA). The fervently anti-choice group Americans United for Life Action ran ads boosting Griffin and criticizing his opponent, saying that she does not care about “the life of an innocent child.”

After a long career of dirty tricks, corporate astro-turfing, and Rovian politics, Griffin is a darling of the Republican leadership and set to become a star member of the GOP’s freshman class.

Watch this segment from the Bill Moyers Journal on Tim Griffin:

 

 

 

Meet Alan Nunnelee: Mississippi’s Newest Member of Congress is on a “Crusade to Save America”

Following Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our third candidate profile is Mississippi state senator and self-described “crusader” Alan Nunnelee.

Mississippi Democrat Travis Childers was a prime target for the GOP the moment he took office after a special election in May, 2008 in a seat that Republicans had held for 14 years. One of the most conservative Democrats in the House, Childers opposed health care reform and abortion rights, supported gun rights, and voted with his party less often than almost any other House member.

But despite his conservative bona fides, Childers couldn’t hold onto his seat against the challenge of far-right State Senator Alan Nunnelee. Nunnelee describes himself as on a “crusade to save America.” Although Childers voted against almost all of the Democrats’ major pieces of legislation, Nunnelee criticized him for not being conservative enough. In a speech before his primary victory, Nunnelee declared that Democratic policies are “more dangerous” than Pearl Harbor or 9/11: “What I see in Washington over the last 16 months is a more dangerous attack because it’s an attack on our freedom that’s coming from the inside.”

In an interview with a local Tea Party group, Nunnelee questioned whether the Obama Administration has a national security policy, saying “the administration has been so preoccupied with their domestic agenda that they have ignored our national defense.”

In a speech before the Byhalia Chamber of Commerce in August, Nunnelee dipped his toes in conspiracy theory, announcing that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was planning to investigate American citizens who oppose the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque”: “Just yesterday, the Speaker of the House said that those people that were opposed to building a mosque at the site of Ground Zero need to be investigated. So if you had a conversation at work, if you picked up your cell phone and called your brother in law, if you sent an email to your children, and you expressed concern about that, you need to watch out, because the Speaker of the House thinks you should be investigated.”

A state senator since 1994, Nunnelee has been a leader in far-right initiatives including hard-line anti-choice laws, opposition to gay rights, reducing environmental oversight, and making it more difficult to obtain Medicaid.

Nunnelee was at the forefront of Mississippi’s efforts to all but eliminate abortion services in the state. He was instrumental in the effort to pass Mississippi’s ban on late term abortion and led the effort to create a law directly challenging Roe v. Wade, which he called “the worst kind of law.” Nunnelee’s law set up tough parental consent requirements and provided that, in the event that Roe v. Wade was overturned, doctors performing abortions could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. Nunnelee also wrote an “informed consent” law requiring women to look at a picture book of fetal development before agreeing to an abortion procedure. He worked with anti-choice groups to write a law requiring abortion clinics in Mississippi to meet “ambulatory surgical facility” standards, intended to put abortion clinics out of business by requiring them to follow onerous and precise standards including having hallways over six feet wide and “an attractive setting.” This year, Nunnelee sponsored a bill requiring Mississippi to “opt-out” of using federal health care funds for abortion—although the state already has such a ban and the federal health care bill involves no such funding. He called it the “"Federal Abortion-Mandate Opt-Out Act."

There is now only one abortion clinic in Mississippi.

On the issue of marriage, Nunnelee brags of having pushed Mississippi’s anti-marriage equality constitutional amendment, and of working to prevent gay couples in the state from adopting children, saying: “I am proud to have pushed the statutory language prohibiting same sex couples from adopting as well as the Constitutional Amendment prohibiting same sex marriage in Mississippi.” He also voted to allow an option for covenant marriage, a marriage agreement under which it is very difficult to get a divorce.

Moreover, Nunnelee was behind the successful push to make the DMV print “Choose Life” license plates, with the proceeds going to benefit anti-choice groups, and also boasts that he “led the efforts to place our national motto, In God we Trust, on the classroom wall of every school classroom in the state.”

Nunnelee also boasts of his roll in a 2004 plan that cut 65,000 Mississippians from the state’s Medicaid rolls. His suggestion for those who lost coverage was to call drug companies to find out about free or reduced price prescriptions. The Mississippi Human Services Coalition  gave him a 0 percent ranking for his abysmal voting record.

He has consistently voted for Voter ID laws, which often work to prevent low-income people from voting. He has said he supports Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant law, saying, “unless the federal government is willing to enforce existing laws, states must protect themselves as Arizona has.” In a GOP candidates’ debate, he stated, “I would be absolutely opposed to granting any kind of amnesty to any man or woman who is in this country illegally,” and also supports ending the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship.

Finally, after he was elected, Nunnelee went on the radio with notorious bigot Bryan Fischer to discuss the GOP’s policies in the new Congress, repeatedly agreeing that health care reform should be repealed at all costs, even if it takes a government shut-down:

 

 

 

Meet Congressman-Elect Raul Labrador: Bryan Fischer’s Favorite Tea Partier

Following Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our second candidate profile is on a hero to Idaho's Religious Right and Tea Party movements, Raul Labrador:

In the Republican primary to see who would face off against Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick, Raul Labrador ran to the right of his very conservative opponent who was endorsed by Sarah Palin and the NRCC. Labrador rallied support from Religious Right and Tea Party groups in order to upset Republican Vaughn Ward, whose campaign imploded, and he went on to defeat Rep. Minnick.

Labrador made his right-wing views clear when he announced his campaign in an email “to a former Idaho blogger known for his extreme conservative views.” He supports withdrawing the US from the United Nations, returning to the Gold Standard, and eliminating the Department of Education. Labrador even wants to repeal the 17th Amendment and end the right of voters to elect their Senators, bizarrely saying that it is “the constitutional position to take” and the only way to make sure “that US Senators are actually beholden to the people.”

In the State House, Labrador said he will work “tirelessly to defund and repeal Obamacare” and spearheaded the passage of a bill which compels the Attorney General to challenge the health care reform law in federal court and bars the government from mandating coverage. When speaking to radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, Labrador maintained that the law was “historic, but remember, Benedict Arnold was also historic, he betrayed our nation. And I think the Democratic Party betrayed our nation yesterday as well.”

An anti-government zealot, he backed bills which seek to reaffirm Idaho’s sovereignty from the federal government, to limit “Congress’ power under the commerce clause,” and to stop the federal government from enforcing gun laws.

He won support from the Religious Right community and the American Family Association’s director of public policy and talk show host Bryan Fischer, who compared gays to terrorists and believes that Muslims should be prohibited from building mosques in the US, called Labrador his “good friend” and the two hosted Tea Party rallies together. Labrador voted to make the federal government “provide for the presence of God in the public domain,” supports the ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers from serving in the military, and opposes same-sex marriage rights.

The Family Research Council Action PAC ran radio ads endorsing Labrador, who supported him as a result of his 100% anti-choice record: he voted to allow medical professionals to refuse contraceptives, voted in favor of increasing burdens on women seeking to terminate their pregnancy, and lauds his opposition to abortion in all cases. Penny Nance of the far-right Concerned Women for America showered praise on Labrador, the National Right to Life Committee extolled his “exemplary pro-life record,” and he was a principal legislative ally of Idaho Chooses Life.

A proponent of corporate interests, Labrador wants to scrap the progressive income tax in favor of a national sales tax, supports the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, and signed Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. Even though he opposes the Stimulus, as a State Representative he repeatedly voted in favor of spending federal money provided by the Stimulus. On immigration, Arizona’s notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio endorsed Labrador, who has said that illegal immigrants are “going to have to self-deport.”

Raul Labrador’s fanatical mission to rewrite the Constitution and dismantle the federal government has generated massive support from the Tea Party, and Religious Right figures like Bryan Fischer and Peggy Nance have given Labrador their blessing as a result of his rigid anti-choice and anti-equality views. As a result of the election, Labrador is set to bring his extremist views and rightwing platform from the Idaho State House to the US Congress.

 

 

 

Meet Congresswoman-Elect Sandy Adams: Conspiracy-Theorist, Religious Extremist

Following Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress."  Our first candidate is Florida's version of Sharron Angle, Sandra "Sandy" Adams:

After serving four terms in the Florida State House, Sandy Adams ran for US Congress and handily defeated freshman Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas. She built-up a far-right voting record as a state representative, and she campaigned as the most conservative candidate in the competitive Republican primary.

As a legislator and candidate Sandy Adams has embraced the agenda of the Religious Right. Adams voted to enact burdensome waiting periods and tougher parental notice laws for young women seeking abortions, and voted in favor of forcing women to have ultrasound tests before terminating their pregnancy, which the Governor ultimately vetoed for placing “an inappropriate burden on women seeking to terminate a pregnancy.” During the GOP primary she was endorsed by militantly anti-choice groups such as the Republican National Coalition for Life and the American Conservative Union. Moreover, she is on-record opposing stem-cell research and boasts that she “fought against this type of research funding in the Florida House of Representatives.”

She is also an avowed opponent of teaching evolution, and voted in favor of a bill that calls on teachers to “teach theories that contradict the theory of evolution.” Adams herself does not believe evolution and says that Christians should reject evolution in favor of “the biblical terms of how we came about.” When asked “by a caller in a telephone town hall meeting whether she believed in evolution…Adams replied, ‘I’m Christian. What else do you want to know?’” Adams also supports Florida’s unsuccessful private school vouchers program and wants the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public schools.

Like Sharron Angle, Sandy Adams floats the baseless conspiracy theory that Islamic, or Sharia, law is thriving in Muslim communities in Michigan and in danger of spreading throughout Michigan and the United States:

The Muslim extremist project is to create pockets and to grow their Muslim extreme philosophies, and if you look at some of our towns within our own borders, like Michigan, Michigan has cities that have a lot of Muslim influence and even so much as I would say some extremist Muslim influence because they are trying to operate under Sharia law, not American law. And I believe that we need to continue to operate under our Constitutional laws and the laws of our country and our state and we should not be under any other form of the law.

Sarah Palin endorsed Sandy Adams, and Adams claims that she “can’t wait to join the Tea Party Caucus” and said that “I believe what Michele Bachmann is doing is the right thing to do and I will be part of that Caucus, I can assure you of that.”

She has embraced anti-government extremism, and wants to radically alter the Constitution by repealing the 16th and 17th Amendments, which would eliminate the progressive income tax and the right of voters to elect their US Senators, respectively. Adams believes that instead of voters, state legislators like herself should pick the state’s Senators. Adams also wants to abolish the Department of Education, said that the Departments of Energy and Interior Departments should be “completely dismantled” because they are “not allowed by our Constitution,” and strongly opposes Wall Street Reform. She wouldn’t “vouch for the constitutionality of the federal Clean Water and Clean Air acts without reading them,” writes the Orlando Sentinel, “yet she’s all for big government when it comes to NASA.,” which is based in her district.

Furthermore, she backs Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap for America,” which calls for the privatization of Social Security and Medicare. According to Florida Today, Adams “wants to cut government spending, but couldn’t cite one area to cut; wants to repeal health care reform, but offered no alternative; and is willing to look at privatizing Medicare, something that should alarm seniors.” Adams was also the chief sponsor of a state constitutional amendment that would stop Florida from cooperating with the recently passed health care reform law by barring mandatory insurance coverage.

Adams is also ardently opposed to immigrant rights and touts the endorsement of Americans for Legal Immigration, which has been classified as a “nativist extremist organization” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group is “allied with various Minuteman factions” and according to the SPLC, the group says that its “‘rallying cry is: Illegals Go Home!’” While serving in the State House, Adams was one of just fourteen members to vote against allowing undocumented children to receive healthcare through Florida KidCare.

On the environment, Adams supports offshore oil drilling off Florida’s coast and tried to censure the Governor for attempting to pass a constitutional amendment to prohibit such drilling.

A steadfast and longtime advocate of the Religious Right and anti-government extremism, Sandy Adams plans to be a bridge between Christian conservatives and Tea Party reactionaries in addition to a stalwart ally of Michele Bachmann in the House.

 

 

 

 

Fischer: "The American Standard Ought to be a Minimum of Three Children per Married Couple"

The great thing about the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer is his willingness to take a current Religious Right issue and carry it to its logical conclusion, regardless how of extreme said conclusion might be. 

Case in point, last week we noted that the Family Research Council announced that it was willing to fight any effort to include coverage for birth control in health care reform legislation on the grounds that "fertility isn't a disease."

But leave it to Fischer to take an even more radical position by announcing not only his opposition to using tax dollars to provide birth control to the unmarried couples, but to married couples as well ... and then taking a position even more radical than that by declaring that married couples ought to be obligated to have a minimum of at least three children

We want married couples to have more children, not fewer. Our problem is not that married couples are having too many kids, our problem is that they aren't having enough.

Our fertility rate right now is barely at replacement level, and that’s with 40% of our children born out-of-wedlock -- bastards, to use the quaint and correct term (dictionary: “bastard: a person born of parents not married to each other”). That’s not name-calling, it’s telling the truth.

...

The last thing we need is any public policy that encourages married couples to have fewer children. In fact, the American standard ought to be a minimum of three children per married couple.

God’s original instruction to our first parents was to “be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth.” This command, which theologians call the “Cultural Mandate,” has never been rescinded. It’s still in effect today, just as much in effect as it was when first uttered 6,000 years ago.

In order to “multiply” - that is, to grow in number - each couple has to have at least three children.

FRC To Fight Coverage For Birth Control Because "Fertility Isn't a Disease"

Everybody knows that the Religious Right was dead-set against abortion and fought tooth-and-nail against health care reform on the grounds that it provided for taxpayer funded abortions. 

But it is also important to keep pointing out that it is not just abortion that FRC opposes, but birth control entirely:

Is Fertility a "Pre-existing Condition?"

Planned Parenthood certainly thinks so. That's why the country's biggest abortion provider is pushing to include free birth control as part of the new health care law. Making a change in the law would not only add billions more to the tab, but it would force Americans to pay for something they shouldn't. Birth control is not only optional, it's objectionable to some people. Despite what Planned Parenthood may believe, fertility (like pregnancy) isn't a disease. It shouldn't be placed in the same category as other basic types of medical care. FRC Action has actively lobbied against the possibility of making abortion a preventive service for women and will continue to do everything possible to ensure that this does not happen.

Just to be clear, FRC is announcing that it will fight any effort to get health care reform to cover birth control because "fertility isn't a disease" and therefore shouldn't be included among the "basic types of medical care" that are covered.

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health care reform Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 07/06/2012, 10:55am
Musician and Mitt Romney backer Ted Nugent took to the Washington Times today to blast the Supreme Court, and Chief Justice John Roberts in particular, for upholding the “un-American, Constitution-violating” health care reform law. “Because our legislative, judicial and executive branches of government hold the 10th Amendment in contempt,” Nugent writes, “I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War.” Nugent, who was successfully courted by Mitt Romney in April, goes on to claim that the Supreme Court’s... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/02/2012, 12:15pm
Operation Rescue president Troy Newman reiterated his pledge not to comply with the health care reform law while speaking with Janet Mefferd on Friday, telling Mefferd that like the leaders of the American Revolution who protested British taxation he will not “chip into this ungodly health care system.” While speaking about the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, Newman said people “experienced this day like we did 9/11” and must now think about how people might have acted under Nazi Germany, warning that “we are all moving down the... MORE
Peter Montgomery, Friday 06/29/2012, 4:44pm
As Kyle has been documenting, there is no shortage of rhetorical excess from right-wing leaders upset about the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act.  But the response from Rick Joyner, head of MorningStar Ministries and the dominionist Oak Initiative, has to be among the most unhinged. Joyner has a penchant for apocalyptic rhetoric, warning of demonic threats and natural disasters facing an unrepentant America. Joyner is embraced by other right-wing leaders, appearing at the Awakening conferences organized by the Liberty Counsel and the Freedom Federation, a Religious Right... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 06/22/2012, 11:30am
While most readers found the recent Time Magazine profile of Justice Anthony Kennedy to be an innocuous piece about the justice who has emerged as a deciding vote on some of the more divisive Supreme Court decisions, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) sees a surreptitious effort by the media to convince Kennedy to uphold the health care reform law. While speaking to Sandy Rios of the American Family Association earlier this week, Bachmann warned that if Kennedy is “succumbing to flattery in the media” then “he could potentially be persuaded to go the way of the left,” as... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 05/04/2012, 2:05pm
Michele Bachmann yesterday sat down with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, two days before delivering the commencement address at Regent University (formerly CBN University), where she reiterated her claim that God called her to run for president. Bachmann, who ended her campaign following a sixth place finish in the Iowa Caucus with just 5% of the vote, told Brody that her purpose in the race was to drive the push to repeal the health care reform law, and also agreed with Brody’s analysis that she ran an “impeccable” and “mistake-free campaign.... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 04/19/2012, 11:36am
On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Matt Barber and Shawn Akers were positively incensed by President Obama's "shameless attack on U.S. Supreme Court Justices," by which they meant his remarks from a few weeks ago that it would be "unprecedented" for the Supreme Court to  strike down health care reform legislation. Despite the fact that President Bush made a very similar point during his presidency, Barber was particularly outraged at the idea that Obama would dare to call it "judicial activism" because, as he explained, not striking... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/30/2012, 11:20am
Mission America president Linda Harvey today lambasted the Obama administration’s support for gay rights and recent move to require contraceptives coverage by insurance plans, urging listeners to pray for President Obama to repent “because his insulting rebellion in the face of God is breathtaking.” She warned that while “a godless dictator and his minions do not rule this country yet,” Obama is attacking liberty and religion in order to promote “abortion and homosexuality.” Far from apologizing or changing his mind or respecting both our faith and... MORE