Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Sun Sentinel has more on the battle unfolding at Coral Ridge Church.
  • Gary Bauer: "[A]s his scheme to take over healthcare unravels by the day, President Obama is attempting to exploit Jesus to justify more big government. As I recall, government was not very kind to Jesus."
  • Patrick Mahoney says he's being harassed by the FBI and that his organization, the Christian Defense Coalition, "has asked the American Center for Law and Justice to file a Freedom of Information Act request in an attempt to get the bottom of why the Federal Bureau of Investigation sent agents to the home of an American citizen to gather intelligence about protected First Amendment activities."
  • Randall Terry is taking his "Kill Granny Tour" out on the road in order to descend on congressional Town Hall meetings.
  • Finally, the various Religious Right groups behind the Stop the Abortion Mandate effort are out with this new video:

Back From Vacation Leftovers

I just got back after a week off which means a) I have no idea what is going on and b) I have (literally) thousands of blog posts, news articles, and right-wing websites to go through in order to catch up. As such, I figured I'd just throw up a quick post highlighting some of the bits of information I'm coming across in this process in order to get back in the swing of things:

  • Don Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association, has been hospitalized for meningitis.
  • Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition seems to be getting off to a fast start, with Reed headlining events in Iowa, Virginia, and Florida.
  • Tom DeLay will be a contestant on the new season of "Dancing With The Stars."
  • The White House has reportedly pulled the plug on its email address that was being used to try and debunk "fishy" information about healthcare reform thanks to right-wing caterwauling.
  • The Des Moines Register reports that the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority has suspended a bus driver after she refused to drive a bus with an Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers ad on its side because it went against her Christian faith.
  • Operation Rescue says it has "received written confirmation from the Nebraska Attorney General's office that a request for a comprehensive investigation into late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart's abortion business."
  • LifeNews reported on the passing of conservative columnist Robert Novak with an article carrying this odd headline: "Pro-Life Syndicated Columnist Bob Novak Dies, Enjoyed Writing Against Abortion."
  • Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge has a book coming out in which he claims that he was "pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush's re-election, something he saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over."
  • Finally, Rep. Michele Bachmann tells WorldNetDaily that she "will not seek a higher office if God is not calling me to do it" ... but says that if God tells her to run for President, then she will.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • The Southern Poverty Law Center has released a new report: "They're back. Almost a decade after largely disappearing from public view, right-wing militias, ideologically driven tax defiers and sovereign citizens are appearing in large numbers around the country."
  • Be sure to take a look at some of the other crazy things that Orly Taitz believes.
  • Sen. Johnny Isakson has now boldly recanted his statement that people who think healthcare reform will lead to death panels are "nuts."
  • Rep. Paul Broun declares that Democrats are just waiting to use a pandemic disease or natural disaster as an excuse to declare martial law.
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann's son has fallen victim to one of President Obama's "re-education camps."
  • What is the deal with conservative politicians in Oklahoma?
  • Finally, I was not aware that gay sex spread swine flu while straight sex did not, but apparently that is the case in Malaysia.

Thou "Shall" Not Lie

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel steps into the healthcare reform debate to finally set the record straight on the so-called "death panels" and mandatory euthanasia provision in the proposed legislation, claiming that anyone who doesn't understand that consultations will in fact be "mandatory" is a lying idiot:

[D]espite ludicrous denials by both an increasingly partisan AARP and a "snitch on your comrade" White House, pages 424, 425, and 426 of the plan do, in fact, mandate compulsory government "end-of-life" consultations for seniors who have "not had such a consultation within the last 5 years."

According to the bill, these consultations "shall explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice." (Or, as President Kevorkian put it, instruct you that: "Maybe you're better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.")

Again, these are mandatory consultations. The word "shall" is a legal term of art that means – for lack of a better word – "shall." Notwithstanding White House and AARP claims to the contrary, "shall" does not mean "may," "can" or "have the option to."

So, in the interest of candor and for the sake of clarity, let's call ObamaCare's mandatory "end-of-life counseling" what it truly is: "End-your-life" counseling. Better yet, let's call it the "Useless-Eaters-Get-Out-of-the-Way-and-Just-Die-Already" provision.

So let's take a look at pages 424-426 [PDF] of the legislation, shall we?

In doing so, we find lots of confusing language about "striking 'and'’ at the end of subparagraph (DD)" and "adding 'and' at the end of subparagraph (EE)" before it gets to the heart of the matter, which is adding a new paragraph (FF) to the end of the list of medical services set out in the "Medical and Other Health Services" portion of "Section 1861 of the Social Security Act."

And this is the paragraph that is added:

Advance Care Planning Consultation

Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the term ‘advance care planning consultation’ means a consultation between the individual and a practitioner described in paragraph (2) regarding advance care planning, if, subject to paragraph (3), the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years. Such consultation shall include the following:


(E) An explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title.

Now Barber is correct that the term "shall" does appear in this paragraph, but the "shall" obviously refers what "shall" be covered by any such consultations - it does not mandate that anyone "shall" participate in such consultations. In short, nobody is required to take advantage of "advance care planning consultations," but if they do, among the things covered will be "end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice."

That seems pretty straight-forward, but in case Barber is still confused, consider this:  this new paragraph is added to the end of "Section s" of the existing Social Security law covering “medical and other health services.”

Among the services already provided under the existing law are things like "certified nurse-midwife services," "qualified psychologist services," "prostate cancer screening tests," "colorectal cancer screening tests," and "screening for glaucoma," among dozens of others services. 

By the Right's logic, these sorts of things must also be mandatory right now ... but amazingly, I haven't heard of elderly people forced by government bureaucrats to receive "colorectal cancer screening tests" against their will, have you? 

If "advanced care planning consultation" is mandatory, as the Right is claiming, then all of the services currently listed under Section 1861 of the Social Security Act are likewise mandatory.  

But they obviously aren't. 

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Steve Benen: For some reason, a recent Gallup poll showing strong "pro-life" numbers was a huge story, even though the results were dubious, whereas a new Gallup poll showing weaker "pro-life" numbers is a complete non-story.
  • Eleanor Bader at RH Reality Check examines the Right's campaign against ENDA and hate crimes legislation.
  • David Weigel reports that conservative TEA Party and town hall protesters are literally taking a page out of Saul Alinsky 1971 book “Rules for Radicals."
  • Autumn Sandeen: "I couldn't be more surprised to find out that I'm apparently now the honest to gawd, serious 'face' for the second tier religious right organizations regarding Obama Tranny-Care."
  • David Hart debunks Exodus International's new study that claims a 53% "success rate" in converting gays.
  • Good As You reports that the Family Research Council has gotten into the act of peddling Paul Cameron's bogus "research."
  • Truth Wins Out: Even though Focus on the Family is facing a $6 million budget shortfall, it doesn't mean it is necessarily hurting for money.

The Limitless Insanity of Janet Porter

Janet Porter's most recent WorldNetDaily column almost defies belief, even by the exceedingly low standards that we have for anything she says. 

Just about every crackpot right-wing conspiracy theory has been tossed into Porter's delusional stew, starting with her declaration that the "Cash for Clunkers" program was really an effort by the government to gain control of "your computer [so it would be] free to intercept, monitor, record, copy, audit, inspect and disclose everything you have to law enforcement – even to 'foreign officials' who will apparently have the new authority to monitor you."

She then dusts off the bogus claim that the Department of Homeland Security called conservatives "the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States" before claiming that White House Deputy Chief of staff Jim Messina is advising people to beat up those who oppose the administration, which then leads into claims that the White House has set up a network of government informants.

Amazing as it is, this is pretty standard right-wing nuttery. But Porter, never one to stop even when she's reached the outermost edge, proceeds to go right off the deep end:

Given all that's already happened, perhaps this next concern isn't quite so unbelievable.

Swine flu, H1N1, or a crisis they don't want to go to waste?

Last week's Pittsburg [sic] Tribune reported: "The Defense Department is talking about establishing regional military teams to aid civilian authorities should there actually be a major outbreak. There's even talk of troop deployment."

Now the United States Army, National Guard and even are posting job listings for guards for a civilian internment camp.

They are looking for people who can provide "custody," "control" and "counseling" of "civilians." Here's what's posted:

As an Internment/Resettlement Specialist for the Army National Guard, you will ensure the smooth running of military confinement/correctional facility or detention/internment facility, similar to those duties conducted by civilian Corrections Officers. This will require you to know proper procedures and military law; and have the ability to think quickly in high-stress situations. Specific duties may include assisting with supervision and management operations; providing facility security; providing custody, control, supervision, and escort; and counseling individual prisoners in rehabilitative programs.

Internment/confinement/correction camps for American civilians? Maybe there's something to all those rumors of FEMA concentration camps. After all, those internment/resettlement specialists are going to have to report to work somewhere. If you're going to round up American citizens, you're going to need a place to put them.

First things first, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review did in fact write the paragraph Porter quotes ... as part of an editorial decrying the fact that "alarmists have taken to banging the orchestral drums heralding the re-emergence of H1N1 swine flu in deafening fashion" and urging them to "chill."

But instead of chilling, Porter the alarmist took this entirely non-controversial proposal as a sign that the Obama administration was about to set up internment camps and then pointed to a run-of-the-mill National Guard job listing as proof.

Well, you know what? The National Guard has a whole page of job listings on its website that lists dozens of jobs ranging from Cannon Crewmember and Infantryman to Special Forces Weapons Sergeant and M1 Armor Crewman.

So apparently not only is the administration planning on rounding-up and imprisoning conservatives, they are also preparing for an all-out military assault on them.

And I don't even want to know what horrors await this nation once the Guard fills its quota of tuba, trombone, bassoon, piccolo, and cornet players it is also seeking.

By the way, have I mentioned that Porter served as the co-chair of Mike Huckabee's Faith and Family Values Coalition and is co-hosting a right-wing conference next month at which Huckabee will be the keynote speaker.  Just think it is important to keep pointing that out.

The Right Turns Ezekiel Emanuel Into "Doctor Death"

Alex Koppelman has written a good piece on how Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, healthcare adviser to President Obama and brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, has become, for the Right, the poster boy for the supposed push for "death panels" and mandatory euthanasia in healthcare reform legislation, despite the fact that, as Koppelman notes, he "opposes even voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide":

Like Sarah Palin said last week, if you're old, sick or disabled -- or have a friend or loved one who is -- you should be very wary of Democratic healthcare plans. And, too, you should keep an eye on "the Orwellian thinking of the president’s health care advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of the White House chief of staff." This is, after all, one of the two advisors to President Obama dubbed "deadly doctors" by the New York Post, a man also known as "Doctor Death," who, as conservative blogger Gateway Pundit explained, "supports euthanasia ... [and] believe[s] medical care should be reserved for non-disabled 'participating' members of society."

It's become a growing theme on the right: "Obamacare" will mean mandatory euthanasia for your grandmother in order to save money, and the person who created the ideological underpinnings for that policy is the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

There's a certain irony to that suggestion. Ezekiel Emanuel, who's currently advising the administration on healthcare reform through a post at the White House Office of Management and Budget, is actually one of the country's leading medical ethicists, a forceful defender of people approaching the end of their life. Indeed, he opposes even voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

Koppelman points out that the false claims about Emanuel's work, recommendations, and beliefs are the result of notorious right-wing healthcare hack Betsy McCaughey's intentionally misleading smears, which have been quickly picked up by the Right and spread as gospel.

Case in point: this new Rick Scarborugh Report from Vision America:

Prov. 13:20 states "He who walks with the wise becomes wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm." The phrase "suffers harm" comes from a word that means "to become evil, to be made worse."

A fool is defined in the Bible as the person who says there is no God. I think we are being fair with Scripture to also include those who redefine who God is and who usurp roles which God has reserved only for Himself, including the choice of who lives and who dies.

It seems that our President has surrounded himself with people who believe they have the wisdom to make decisions which our Founders clearly left in the purview of God.

Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel, one of Obama's top healthcare advisors and brother of Rahm Emmanuel who is the President's Chief of Staff, co-authored an article earlier this year entitled "Principles for allocation of scarce medical interventions" It outlines four principles:

1. Treating people equally - which suggests a lottery type system, because it is "hard to corrupt." In other words, let's just roll the dice to see who gets treatment first!

2. Prioritarianism - treating the youngest first because "they have had the least life." In other words: Good luck Granny, here's another pill!

3. Utilitarianism -maximizes the most life-years produced

4. Promoting and rewarding social usefulness. - In Ezekiel Emmanuel's own words, and reminiscent of members of the Third Reich: Include only irreplaceable people who have suffered serious losses. God, help us stop this madness!


If Obama's Healthcare Czar implements this system, God help the very old and the very young. Is this what you want? Sarah Palin put into words what millions are thinking: what will happen to me or my loved one if government bureaucrats decide that my/their life isn't worth saving prolonging? Do we really want a government bureaucrat making these decisions?

Of course, if you actually bother to read "Principles for Allocation of Scarce Medical Interventions" [PDF] you immediately see that it focuses on the allocation of "very scarce medical interventions such as organs and vaccines" of which there is very clearly a finite and limited number. It is not talking about limiting healthcare treatment, but rather focuses on how best to allocate finite medical resources.

And even then, the article is primarily an examination of the various ways currently used in deciding the allocation of such resources, looking at the pluses and minuses of the various methods and concludes by offering its own system, which it calls "the complete lives system":

[T]he complete lives system combines four morally relevant principles: youngest-first, prognosis, lottery, and saving the most lives. In pandemic situations, it also allocates scarce interventions to people instrumental in realising these four principles. Importantly, it is not an algorithm, but a framework that expresses widely affirmed values: priority to the worst-off, maximising benefits, and treating people equally. To achieve a just allocation of scarce medical interventions, society must embrace the challenge of implementing a coherent multiprinciple framework rather than relying on simple principles or retreating to the status quo.

In short, not one word of Vision America's explanation of the article Emanuel co-authored is true ... and neither is this claim:

Dr. Emanuel has also said that in order to save money, doctors must "eliminate the Hippocratic Oath, which has been the foundation of medicine for centuries, and give more attention to cost when delete treating patients." He advocates rationing care to worthy patients who "need it most." This man and others who think like him are advising our President!

Take one guess where this quote, attributed to Emanuel, actually comes from. 

That's right: Betsy McCaughey.

For what it is worth, Ezra Klein conducted an interview with Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Republican from Georgia who pushed for the inclusion of end-of-life planning in the legislation, and Isakson says that claims that it would lead to "death panels ... where people would be euthanized" are absolutely "nuts." 

Klein also points out that Emanuel happens to believe that physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia ought to remain illegal.

But none of that will matter, because right-wing groups don't care about things like facts or reasonable debate ... especially when they can use their lies and distortions to whip up outrage and opposition and, more importantly, use it to raise money:

The time to act is NOW!!! If you believe that God, not Government, should decide who lives and dies, please fax, email and call our Congressmen. You can find contact information at We have to attend our Town Hall Meetings and express our outrage at the little value placed on human life in this Orwellian healthcare plan. If we are not motivated to action by this outrage, God help us! The time to act is NOW.

Select here to send a fax to all 535 Congressmen and tell them to vote no on the President's $1.6 trillion takeover of health care. Now is not the time to be silent.

Thank you in advance for your generous support!

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Susie Madrak posts the latest healthcare claptrap from Gordon Klingenschmitt.
  • After an outcry, Tim Hortons, a Canadian fast food chain, has pulled out of sponsoring the National Organization for Marriage's upcoming "Celebrate Marriage & Family Day."
  • Jodi Jacobson: Despite mounting threats to the clinic--and potentially to the life--of Nebraska Dr. Leroy Carhart, the U.S. Department of Justice has removed the federal marshals earlier charged with protecting him.
  • Bill Berkowitz: The National Endowment for the Arts back in conservative crosshairs.
  • Ed Brayton: Rep. Bart Stupak is proposing to hand over Coast Guard land to Michigan Christian school for free.
  • Good As You catches Mike Heath, Executive Director of the Christian Civic League/Maine Family Policy Council, claiming that marriage equality is the cause of the state's poor weather.

Harry Jackson: Cancer, Choice, and the Hope for Miraculous Health Care Reform

Writing in Charisma Magazine, Harry Jackson tells how, a few years ago, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and the insurance nightmare and massive out-of-pocket expenses he faced as a result:

After that initial prognosis, we had a constant tug of war between my family and the insurance company. The insurance company dictated the location of my tests and their costs. This did not seem overbearing until my first chemo treatments were called "experimental" and nearly $10,000 of expenses were racked up in less than two weeks by various additional, preliminary procedures.

It seemed to us that during the first month of my treatment, more hours were spent working on the nuances of the insurance puzzle than actually treating me. My problem was that postponement or denial of treatment meant possible death. I, like thousands of others, could not have survived a six-month delay of the special care Hopkins offered. In fact, if I had been treated at a different local hospital, I would probably not be writing this article. I would not have died from cancer, but of a lack of timely medical attention.

Hopkins eventually assigned a team of five doctors to manage my case because of the danger and the complications that ensued. The rationed healthcare approach of a government funded healthcare system would have undoubtedly blocked my last chance for survival. I cannot help but feel concern for the thousands of others who will be caught in the same position in the decades ahead.

Today, I am cancer free and am expecting to live a long and meaningful life. The cost of this new lease on life was approximately $100,000 of unexpected personal costs beyond traditional medical costs. The out-of-pocket costs for special food, clothing and preventive health treatments were huge. These numbers also don't begin to reflect the loss of both opportunity and income that the disease inflicted upon my family. The perfect healthcare system for me would give both patients and physicians great latitude of treatment.

Jackson says that "after reading my story, you will understand my passion about healthcare" ... and we would if he used his personal experience to, say, argue for the need for health care reform of the sort that President Obama is advocating which seeks to alleviate many of the problems faced during his treatment.  Or, if not that, as least use his experience to make his case against those sorts of proposed reforms.

But he does neither, instead using it as a springboard to demand that no coverage for reproductive services be included in any reform legislation:

The funding of abortion with tax dollars is a moral concern, which should incite pastors and spiritual leaders around the world. Current proposals would require U.S. taxpayers to fund, mandate or subsidize coverage for various healthcare services - including abortion on demand. As an employer of over 60 people, I face the real possibility of having to use tithes and offerings to pay for abortions. This is a moral quagmire for pro-life believers.

If you and I do not demand Congress to remove abortion coverage from the legislation this year, abortionists will win a huge cash infusion of millions of tax dollars to fuel their activities.

What connection do Jackson's own health insurance problems have to do with the issue of inclusion of coverage for reproductive health services in reform legislation? None, so far as I can tell. 

And apparently Jackson doesn't know either, because he ends the piece with his own vague call for reform:

We all agree that reforms are needed to the system. I am convinced though that the system we choose must heal two entities - the physicians and patients. Somehow that miracle needs to happen without the government or insurance companies taking us to the cleaners.  

Apparently, hoping that "somehow [a] miracle" will transform our health care system is the best Jackson can come up with.

The Acceptable Insanity of Right Wing Rhetoric

I'll be the first to admit that after nearly a decade of wallowing in the swamp of right-wing political insanity, my sense of what constitutes "acceptable" rhetoric is entirely skewed, so much so that when I see things like these sorts of absurd assertions from the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission that health care reform would lead to a Nazi-like elimination of the elderly, I barely even bat an eye any more:

This is nothing less than state sponsored euthanasia. Hitler began his reign of terror by his application of the brutal, Darwinian ethic, “survival of the fittest.” He started killing the disabled and infirmed because they were considered to be a burden on the state.

Hitler rationalized the killing of innocent people in an effort to advance his fascist, national socialist agenda. In the name of doing what’s best for the good of society, Hitler trivialized human life. Ultimately millions ended up paying with their lives.

In the name of the public good, Obama and the Congress are on the same anti-Christian, pro-death path.

And the reason I don't even blink stems largely from the fact that this type of rhetoric is, in fact, perfectly acceptable to the Right - here's Rush Limbaugh yesterday:

They accuse of us being Nazis, and Obama's got a health care logo that's right out of Adolf Hitler's playbook. Now, what are the similarities between the Democrat Party of today and the Nazi Party in Germany? Well, the Nazis were against big business -- they hated big business. And of course we all know that they were opposed to Jewish capitalism. They were insanely, irrationally against pollution. They were for two years mandatory voluntary service to Germany. They had a whole bunch of make-work projects to keep people working, one of which was the Autobahn. They were against cruelty and vivisection of animals, but in the radical sense of devaluing human life, they banned smoking. They were totally against that. They were for abortion and euthanasia of the undesirables, as we all know, and they were for cradle-to-grave nationalized healthcare.

This is why I have always bristled when I hear people claim conservativism gets close to Nazism. It is liberalism that's the closest you can get to Nazism and socialism. It's all bundled up under the socialist banner. There are far more similarities between Nancy Pelosi and Adolf Hitler than between these people showing up at town halls to protest a Hitler-like policy that's being heralded like a Hitler-like logo.

As Glenn Greewald reminds us, just a few years ago when someone submitted an ad to that compared President Bush to Hitler, MoveOn immediately removed the ad, everyone went completely insane.  But now you have Limbaugh, the most influential voice of the Right in the entire country, literally comparing the Democrats to the Nazis and nobody says anything because this type of rhetoric is some utterly common that it is not even considered newsworthy. 

And, on a similar note, just what exactly does Glenn Beck have to do to get himself yanked off the air?  Apparently, joking about poisoning Nancy Pelosi is likewise perfectly acceptable:

I wonder what it would be like, seriously. I mean, if I could go, you know, to the speaker's shindig, wouldn't that be great? What would it -- oh, look, here she -- oh, she is -- wow -- you're so much prettier and flatter and shinier in the face than I expected. It's almost like you're two people at once.

So, Speaker Pelosi, I just wanted to -- you gonna drink your wine? Are you blind? Do those eyes not work? There you -- I want you to drink it now. Drink it. Drink it. Drink it.

I really just wanted to thank you for having me over here to wine country. You know, to be invited, I thought I had to be a major Democratic donor or a longtime friend of yours, which I'm not.

By the way, I put poison in your -- no, I -- I look forward to all the policy discussions that we're supposed to have -- you know, on health care, energy reform, and the economy.

Hey, is that Sean Penn over there? I know it cost me more than $30,000 to get in here, but hey. Hey, I think I see Ed Markey, the author of cap and trade, right over there.

Like I said, my own sense of what sort of rhetoric is "acceptable" from the Right is admittedly skewed , so much so that, quite frequently, I don't even bother posting certifiably crazy things precisely because they are so common as to not even warrant the coverage.

But even by my warped standard, this type of stuff from Limbaugh and Beck is completely insane.

And yet, at the same time, it is also perfectly acceptable. 

And that is what is really insane.

A Challenge to Allen Unruh and the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission

While perusing the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission's website, I came across this new piece that trots out that standard right-wing claims that health care reform legislation would kill both your baby and your grandparents which was topped off by this suspicious quote attributed to Karl Marx:

Remember, Karl Marx once said, "First you socialize medicine and everything else follows like night follows day."

Now I am going to make a bold claim that this quote is false and that Marx never said it - and I am comfortable making that claim because a quick Google search turns up a mere five results, all of which appear to stem from this piece called "Socialized Medicine – Talking Points" written by Dr. Allen Unruh:

There’s always free cheese in a mousetrap. Along with shekels come shackles.

As Reagan said, “Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don’t need it, and hell where they already have it.” He said, “If we socialized the Sahara desert, in two years we’d be importing sand.”

Karl Marx said, “First you socialize medicine and everything else follows like night follows day.”

Ben Franklin said, “He who would trade freedom for security will end up with neither.”

As Patrick Henry said, “Millions of people armed in the holy cause of liberty are invincible against any force the enemy can rise against us.” The battle is not to the strong, it’s to the vigilant, the active, and the brave.”

Thomas Jefferson said, “Rebellion to tyranny is the natural manure of the tree of liberty.” William Penn said, “Rebellion to tyranny is obedience to God.” Ignorance, apathy, and indifference pave the road to tyranny. To live free is a privilege. To die free is a duty and an obligation.

Remember to refer all your friends, and e mail lists to to hear speakers at our latest rally on socialized medicine. Every American needs to be informed immediately on the threat to their health, their life and their freedom. America is indeed in the 11th hour and the decisions made with change the tide of human history and alter the destiny of mankind.

Anyway, I fully expect that this phony Marx quote will eventually start getting picked up by others on the Right and, in an effort to head that off, I hereby challenge Dr. Unruh or someone from the CADC , or anyone else for that matter, to verify that this statement was actually made by Karl Marx and to document where it came from. 

I don't expect that anyone will actually take up that challenge, but if they do and it can be shown that this quote is indeed real, I will gladly write a post admitting that I was wrong.  

If you believe that you can document this veracity of this quote, please contact us here and put the phrase "Karl Marx Quote" in the subject line.

Incidentally, the name Allen Unruh sounded familiar to me, but I couldn't recall why, but a quick search reminded me that he has been, for the last several years, deeply involved in South Dakota's efforts to institute an absolute ban on reproductive choice in the state:

Dr. Allen Unruh is a chiropractor in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He is the co-founder of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, and served on the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion. He is a member of the Vote Yes For Life Campaign.

Fact-Checking FRC's Health Care Ad

Last week we posted the Family Research Council's television ad opposing health care reform which claims that the legislation would mandate coverage for abortion while denying seniors needed medical coverage. took at look at the claims made by FRC in the ad and concluded that they were misleading, if not outright false, but I wanted to focus on something that has been confusing me about the Right's talking points in opposing this legislation; namely, their claim that a government program would lead to health care "rationing" as if such "rationing" doesn't already take place every day when private insurers refuse or deny coverage.

Fact Check asked FRC's Tom McClusky where they got the idea that the legislation would result in denying the elderly necessary medical procedures:

We asked FRC’s McClusky about the basis for the ad’s assertion that the federal plan wouldn’t pay for the elderly man’s surgery, which was portrayed as a rationing of care. (We’re not told what kind of surgery the man wanted to have, or why it was denied, both important details.)

McClusky cited a June 24 town hall meeting on health care that was held in the East Room of the White House and broadcast on ABC. At the event, Obama responded to a woman who said her 105-year-old mother had received a pacemaker several years earlier, despite being told by some doctors that she was too old. According to McClusky, Obama answered that under a revamped health care system, "the government will look into what is best for her, whether it’s a pill or surgery or whatever." Said McClusky, "That’s rationing."

Fact Check points out that, in the exchange McClusky cited, President Obama actually said the opposite:

The president didn’t say that government would decide what treatments or procedures would be allowed. He said the opposite: "I don’t want bureaucracies making those decisions," and "we want doctors and medical experts to be making decisions," based on scientific evidence of what is likely to result.

But the really interesting exchange came when Fact Check asked McClusky why they were making this claim a central part of their ad considering that private insurers routinely deny coverage for necessary medical treatment:

We don’t know whether or not some form of rationing would eventually take place if one of the pending bills were to become law. We would note, as does Obama, that denials of coverage are routine among private health insurance companies and under Medicare in our current system, and we asked McClusky about that. Why would such decisions about care be more objectionable under a public plan, for instance, than they are when Aetna or UnitedHealthcare denies coverage? "We find it more troubling when the federal government is doing it," he said. "It’s the 800-lb gorilla."

So if your insurance provider refuses to cover necessary medical costs, FRC sees that perfectly acceptable, but if "the federal government is doing it" then it is an absolute outrage.  

In essence, FRC is taking a standard practice among private insurers and using it to try and scare people into opposing "government-run" health care … all in an effort to ensure that private insurers will remain free to continue to do the very thing they are warning that the government would do.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Anti-marriage activists in Maine say they have turned in enough signatures to place a referendum on the ballot in November seeking to overturn the state's marriage equality law.
  • The Christian Coalition has taken a stand on health care reform: No!
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty starts positioning himself for a presidential run in 2012.
  • The Family Research Council's Tom McClusky's concept of blogging seems to consist of regularly posting Republican talking points.
  • Despite what has previously been reported, Sarah Palin will not be attending the Simi Valley Republican Women’s event at the Reagan Library.
  • The Family Research Council warns that President Obama's involvement in the Henry Louis Gates Jr. arrest saga is "just a taste of what's to come if the President signs the hate crimes bill, a massive federal power grab that will allow Washington to judge the thoughts and motives of people involved in matters best left to local law enforcement officials."

"They Won't Pay for My Surgery, But We're Forced to Pay for Abortions"

Last night, in conjunction with its healthcare webcast, the Family Research Council  announced the release of this new ad in which a couple complains that the man cannot get the life-saving surgery he needs while taxpayer dollars are being used for abortion:

Tonight, during a live webcast joined by more than 49,000 viewers, Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins unveiled a new TV ad which will initially run in five key states including Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Alaska, Louisiana, and Nebraska. The hard hitting ad lays out two key threats should President Obama's plan become reality - rationing and taxpayer funded abortions. Patients, particularly the elderly, will face denial of vital treatments while at the same time be forced to pay for abortions.

The ad urges viewers to tell Congress to oppose the government takeover of health care. The ad also urges opposition to a health care plan that will deny care to 'our greatest generation' and deny life to 'our future generation.'

FRC Action President Tony Perkins had this to say:

"In a world of health care rationing, the elderly, the handicapped and the frail are the most likely to lose their lives because care was delayed or denied. Under the government-run plans in England and Canada, the countries' sick and elderly aren't getting the care they need. As a result, their system isn't improving lives but prematurely taking them. Here in the United States, President Obama's rationing would mean that you and I could be denied basic care while our tax dollars are used to underwrite a mother choosing to end the life of her unborn child.

"On the other key life-and-death decisions there is an active commitment on the part of Senate Democratic Leadership to allow the rationing of health care. This is what the White House and Congress mean when they say they will cut costs. It means cutting off your access to health care services by creating the legal authority to do so, while stopping any provision becoming law that would prevent rationing.

"FRC Action will continue to work to mobilize a coalition in opposition to the health care plan in its current form which will force taxpayers to fund abortions, violate the conscience rights of medical workers, and impose a massive tax and debt burden on American families."

Earlier in the day, Tony Perkins joined Reps. Joe Pitts, Mike Pence, Chris Smith, Jeff Fortenberry, Trent Franks, Doug Lamborn, as well as Harry Jackson, Wendy Wright, and Doug Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee for a press conference "to discuss how President Obama's health care takeover plan contains hidden abortion mandates."

We were on hand as well and have put together this highlights reel featuring Franks calling abortion the greatest genocide in human history and asserting that this nation's abortion policies came out of slavery, a point that was echoed by Harry Jackson, while Tony Perkins decried healthcare reform as a "bailout" of Planned Parenthood and Wendy Wright asserted that women would be forced by government bureaucrats into having abortions:

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Religious Right's healthcare webcast was held last night and you can listen to the audio here. It was apparently such a success that the Family Research Council has decided to hold its own webcast next week.
  • Boy, it seems like Republicans can't even send around racist emails about President Obama any more with getting into loads of trouble.  What is this world coming to?
  • Al Mohler explains why the Southern Baptists aren't going to be changing their stance on the role of women in the faith any time soon: "Ultimately, I'm not so fearful that the times will judge us as I'm aware that God will judge us, and I hope with all my heart that he will find our church is faithful to his word."
  • Alan Chambers talks to Focus on the Family about his new book Leaving Homosexuality: "The key thought here is the opposite of homosexuality isn’t heterosexuality. It’s holiness. There are people who are conflicted with their sexuality, involved with homosexuality, and there is a way out for those who want it. But it doesn’t say that they’re going into heterosexuality, because that’s not the point. The point is that people can leave whatever it is that God calls less than His best and move into something that is His best, becoming more like He is."

Terry: George Tiller Was Just Like A Crack Dealer

Alan Colmes interviewed Randall Terry on his radio program the other day to discuss his predictions that the passage of any healthcare reform legislation that would "force Americans to pay for the murder of the unborn" would set off "violent convulsions" and possibly even a civil war.

Terry repeated many of the predictions that he made during his recent press conference about what would happen if such legislation were to pass, claiming that many would refuse to pay their taxes and engage in acts of civil disobedience, while some would go further and begin to target facilities through vandalism and people through acts of violence.

Terry said he "starts to cringe" when protesters cross over into the latter categories, but said he wouldn't condemn acts of vandalism, though he insists the he does not condone them either.  After some pressing by Colmes to use his authority within the movement to make clear that it does not accept acts of violence, Terry said he has already done so several times, but that the point he is trying to make is there are people out there who believe that abortion is murder and will react violently if they believe they are being forced to participate in it via their tax dollars.  In short, Terry's goal is to get members of Congress to "step back" and consider "we might not want to push people that far and that hard."

In essence, Terry's point is that Democrats in Congress will be responsible for the bloodshed that might result from any such legislation.

Toward the end of the segment, Colmes asked Terry about his assertion that Dr. George Tiller was a "mass-murderer" who reaped what he sowed, which Terry defended by stating that Tiller was a victim of his own karma and likened him to a crack dealer who gets "wacked by another crack dealer":

Of course, the key difference between said crack deal and Tiller was that the latter was a law-abiding doctor engaged in legal activity who was shot to death in church by an anti-abortion zealot.

Right Unites to Fight Health Care Reform

We have been collecting everything that the Religious Right has been saying about efforts to pass health care reform for an upcoming Right Wing Watch In Focus report and, in doing so, quickly noticed that their primary focus was on claiming that any such plan would lead to public financing of abortion.

Until recently, activists and organization had been primarily making this case individually, but now it looks like several of them have decided to team-up for a nationwide webcast tomorrow evening:

Pro-life groups, including Focus on the Family, are hosting a webcast Thursday at 9 p.m. EDT to educate and mobilize pro-lifers against President Obama's healthcare reform bill, which currently mandates public and private insurance coverage of abortion.

The healthcare reform has hit a roadblock in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Fiscally conservative Democrats, known as Blue Dogs, have balked at the cost of the plan.

Pro-life advocates are hoping the delay allows them to marshal support for amendments that would take the federal funding of abortions out of the bill.

"We are advocating amendments that would simply remove any mandates for abortion, remove any federal subsidies for abortion," said Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life.

Others agree that this is a watershed event for the pro-life movement.

Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List said: "It is without question the biggest event since Roe v. Wade when it comes to the pro-life issue."

Participants include James Dobson, Charmaine Yoest, Tony Perkins, Frank Pavone, Marjorie Dannenfelser, Wendy Wright, Tom Minnery, Rep. Chris Smith, Richard Land, Day Gardner, and several others, including Mike Huckabee, according to Dan Gilgoff.

Politico has more on their effort:

A coalition of anti-abortion groups is set to open a new front against Democrats’ efforts to restructure American health care, claiming the plans open a back door to publicly financed abortions.

The groups, which are launching a broad campaign on the issue this week, claim that existing health care proposals constitute a stealth “abortion mandate” that will spend taxpayer money on abortions and require insurance companies to cover abortions — allegations that health care reform supporters call misleading.

“President Obama keeps on talking about common ground, and there is really, really common ground on funding issues,” said Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, the group organizing the planned three-week campaign on the issue. “Almost no one wants to fund abortion, regardless of their position on abortion as a whole.”

Yoest’s group plans to release a letter to Barack Obama on Thursday in which it cites, according to its reading of proposed legislation, “our belief that the bills are intended to include abortion.”

The noisy, contentious health care debate — which has grown pointedly acrimonious in recent days — has proceeded largely without reference to abortion. But the decision of these high-profile conservative groups to launch the new campaign under the rubric “Stop the Abortion Mandate” may change that and provide a new obstacle to the reform legislation.

The leaders involved include Christian conservatives such as James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family; Family Research Council President Tony Perkins; and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Dr. Richard Land, who will be launching the push in a webcast Thursday evening.

“We just realized how urgent the situation was, what was at stake,” said David Bereit, the national director of 40 Days for Life, another group involved in the campaign, which will focus on generating pressure on members of Congress to insist on an explicit ban on abortion within the legislation.

Randall Terry Warns of "Random Acts of Violence" over Healthcare Legislation

At a typical Randall Terry press conference one can expect to hear all sorts of overheated rhetoric about abortion – that it’s murder, that abortion clinics are places of "mass genocide," and so forth. But in recent weeks, he has amped up his rhetoric to insane new heights over the healthcare legislation before Congress, which he claims would pay for “child-killing.”

Earlier this week Terry called for the rejection of the bill and warned of "violent convulsions" of a level that hasn't been seen since the Civil War if the bill is passed

At today’s press conference, however, Terry was quick to point out that he has supposedly been a "non-violent" leader for 25 years, and he ridiculed those who accuse him and other right-wing leaders of "stirring up domestic terrorism”:

But when Terry predicted the consequences of passing the bill, he seemed to exalt in warning of “random acts of violence” and violent "reprisals against those deemed guilty":

We, for one, think it’s absolutely right to connect the dots between violent rhetoric and violent acts. 

To end on a lighter vote, if that’s possible, here is a clip of Terry doing his best impersonation of what I assume he would call a "whiny liberal": 

"We Can Never Build Oklahoma’s Republican Party as Long as Sally [Kern] is the Face of our Party"

Apparently, not all Republicans in Oklahoma are pleased with the spectacle that Rep. Sally Kern has been making of herself over the last year, at least according to an email that Brenda Jones, an active Republican in the state and owner of Jones PR, which describes itself as "Oklahoma's most senior-level team of experts accredited in national public relations," sent to Gary Jones, the Chairman and Executive Director of the Oklahoma Republican Party.

The email found its way into the hands of the Oklahoma Journal Record, which has posted it on line:

The Republican Party needs to do something about this.

About a year ago when you and I talked about the future direction of the Party, I stated that the Party needs to stay focused on economic growth, jobs, jobs, jobs, stay true to our anti-tax and pro-business platform. No Party, no group, no any person can ever win new members and sustain its base when the public image is single focused on legislating morality. Especially in these difficult times when people are losing jobs and retirement funds are vanishing, economic growth and a vision for a prosperous future is what will attract young people. This judgmental rhetoric on morality is exactly what repels people away from the Republican Party; and frankly, contracts our core principles for less government and liberty.

A year ago after Sally Kerns [sic] received national coverage on her “terrorist” comment, Oklahoma immediately lost 2 companies who were a week or two away from announcing they were moving to Oklahoma and bringing high-paying engineering and technology jobs.

I was horrified at the Republican National Convention when I personally witnessed her seeking CNN, FOX News and other national media cameras on the convention floor because I knew she would embarrass not only Oklahoma but the entire Republican Party with her inflammatory decisive rhetoric.

My great aunt and uncle built Olivet Baptist Church as members since the late 1930s. Now they are 90 years old and were forced to leave Olivet a couple years ago because they were made to feel that they were going to hell because they are registered Democrats, although they are strong conservatives who voted for Ronald Reagan and both Bushes. She and her husband are politicizing God’s pulpit. It is starting to look scary and a bit like that crazy church in Kansas. They are up to something, and it’s not good.

Gary, we can never build Oklahoma’s Republican Party as long as Sally is the face of our Party. Everyone keeps touting “Ronald Reagan.” As someone who worked for him very closely for 9 years and in The White House West Wing, he rebuilt and grew our Party by attracting Independents and Democrats by standing strong on economic issues and national security. Of course, he strongly opposed abortion and supported many family value issues, but he advocated for these issues from the heart and not a bully pulpit. For example, he strongly opposed the gay agenda. But from concern and compassion about the gay community’s health, he started a Presidential Commission on AIDS to bring healthcare and other leaders to the table to discuss how to stop the spread of AIDS and HIV for the common good of the country. President Reagan understood that his duty was to protect ALL Americans, although he may disagree with their life choices, which is their liberty that does not need government intrusion.

This is very damaging to Oklahomans, Oklahoma Republican growth, and the Republican Party at the national level. 

It's odd that Jones seems to rely so heavily on the memory of Ronald Reagan in criticizing Kern as the sort of thing that is keeping the state party from moving forward considering that one of Reagan's most famous axioms came to be known as the "Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican."

The Religious Right's Last Hope: Hipness

Despite the fact that it has only been a few weeks since Ralph Reed announced the formation of his new Faith and Freedom Coalition and that the effort appears to consist entirely of a bare-bones website, he is getting lots of attention and is seemingly succeeding in resurrecting his reputation and re-establishing himself as a bona fide leader of the Religious Right.

Today, Reed was interviewed by Newsmax where he gave his thoughts on Sonia Sotomayor, the Obama administration, and the 2012 GOP presidential primary, as well as explaining just what role his new Faith and Freedom Coalition will play in it all:

"It is a coalition of grassroots citizens, conservatives — both fiscal and social conservatives — people of faith, and others who are concerned about the direction of our country," Reed said.

"Look at what's happening in Washington today, with the overreach on healthcare, rationing healthcare, dramatically raising taxes, crushing small business, the cap-and-tax energy plan, the failed stimulus package, liberal judicial nominees, a weakening of our defense, sending signals in my view of timidity in prosecuting the war on terrorism.

"The Faith and Freedom Coalition is designed not only to oppose the Obama agenda in Washington, but to offer conservative constructive alternatives.

"We need to get this economy moving again. We need to create jobs. We believe the way to do that is lower taxes, limited government, fiscal discipline, stronger families, and the growth of small business."

Reed said one priority of the Faith and Freedom Coalition is to bring younger people into the conservative ranks. The organization intends to have a strong presence on college campuses, and to employ Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites that young people use to communicate.

"We need to be hipper, more technology savvy," he said. "This is where the culture is going and we need to be there if we're going to compete."

He also said the coalition plans to have chapters in every key county in the country, in all 50 states, and virtual chapters on line.

Newsmax also has the nine minute audio of the interview posted as well, which I am not embedding here because it annoyingly starts automatically playing as soon as it loads.

Though Reed continues to insist that "this isn't your daddy's Christian Coalition," I have to say that the more I hear about it, the more it sounds exactly like the Christian Coalition, only with the addition of social networking.

So I am going to make a bold prediction: spreading the age-old Religious Right agenda on Twitter and Facebook is not going to make it any "hipper."

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healthcare Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Friday 05/14/2010, 11:29am
Founded as the Judicial Confirmation Network to press for confirmation of all of President Bush's judicial nominee, the group recently underwent a name change which reflects the fact that the confirmation of judges is no longer their mission, thus re-naming themselves the Judicial Crisis Network. And the Judicial Crisis Network is now hard at work leading the opposition to the nomination of Elena Kagan, demanding that "the Obama administration, The Clinton Presidential Library and the national archives to expedite the process of releasing all of Elena Kagan's documents from her service... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 05/04/2010, 5:37pm
The Eagle Forum is no longer calling judges "judicial activists": they are now "judicial reconstructionists." Former Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode has reportedly joined the Constitution Party. The AFA's Bryan Fischer claims that the fact that the White House didn't use the phrase "year of our Lord" in a proclamation declaring Jewish Heritage Month proves that the US is a Christian nation. The Susan B. Anthony List launched a $30,000 radio ad campaign targeting Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) "on his retreat from his pro-life... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 03/23/2010, 5:36pm
Several state Attorneys General have already filed suit against the health care reform legislation that President Obama just signed into law today. In related "news," the Religious Right doesn't like the health care bill and is ready to fight. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott will receive the "Vision America Guardian of the Family Award" at the organization's dinner and gala on Monday, March 29. A tea party organizer who urged activists “to drop by” Rep. Thomas Perriello’s house to voice their displeasure with his health care vote,... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 03/22/2010, 9:37am
Last night, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Senate's version of health care reform legislation, making it the latest step in what has been a long and bitter process to overhaul the nation's health care system.  And given how vehemently opposed the Right has been to this effort, it doesn't come as much of a surprise to see that their response to this development has been nothing short of apoplectic, starting with the Susan B. Anthony List which had been planning on giving Rep. Bart Stupak its "Defender of Life" Award but has now publicly rescinded the offer:... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 03/18/2010, 3:23pm
The other day we noted that it was seemingly impossible for any Religious Right figure to be deemed so radical that Republican members of Congress would decline to appear at events with them, highlighting the fact that the American Family Association's militantly anti-gay Director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy, Bryan Fischer, was being featured in a Family Research Council hosted health care webcast along with Rep. Tom Price, (R-GA), Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). The event aired earlier this week and, as it turned out, Fischer wasn't even the... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 03/02/2010, 6:45pm
The Sam Adams Alliance released a reported today entitled "The Early Adopters: Reading the Tea Leaves" which analyzes the issues motivating Tea Party leaders. It turns out that the man who killed an anti-choice protester in Michigan last year was motivated primarily by the fact that his mother did not approve of the man's signs. What do you know? Despite all the right-wing claims, an investigation by the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office found that ACORN broke no laws in the infamous "pimp/prostitute" sting video. A judge has ruled that SunTrust... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/17/2010, 12:37pm
Supporters of The Mount Vernon Statement are calling it the "definitive statement" regarding the central principles of the conservative movement, claiming that it represents a "significant moment as social, fiscal, and national security conservatives come together to declare the importance of partnering to defend our nation's founding principles." The statement itself is pretty underwhelming, but if you want to get a sense of just how utterly meaningless it is, just note that its unveiling was timed to coincide with the beginning of the annual CPAC conference tomorrow... MORE