republicans

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann announced (again) her intention to run for president.
  • And she is off to a great start.
  • The Family Research Council says that passage of marriage equality in New York was the result of "enormous political coercion [that] resulted in a profound failure of moral courage in the New York Senate."
  • The National Organization for Marriage is pledging $2 million to defeat the NY Republicans who voted for the marriage equality bill.
  • Bryan Fischer continues his hate crime crusade.
  • Finally, part two of Randall Terry's interview with Rick Santorum was disappointingly dull.

Kern: Gay Marriage "Opens Pandora's Box" To Bestiality and Pedophilia

As I noted yesterday, I have started reading "The Stoning of Sally Kern" and will probably have another "Random Book Blogging" post up about it later today. 

I have made it halfway through and two things stand out: one being how Kern frames everything that has happened in her life as part of God's plan for her, so much so that she claims she never even wanted to run for public office, but did so only because God wanted her to so that she could be used "ultimately for His glory."

The second thing that stands out is how utterly clueless Kern is over why people were so outraged over her statement that the "homosexual agenda is destroying this nation ... it's the biggest threat that our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam" and that gay/straight alliances are like a cancer which is destroying America.  She literally cannot understand how people could get so angry at her for simply telling the truth ... and, judging by this interview with the Tulsa Beacon, it seems that Kern is content to remain a lightening rod as she says gay marriage will lead to bestiality and pedophilia and that nobody is born gay because God would never make a mistake like that:

“The average American doesn’t understand the threat that homosexuality and the total acceptance of it into our society is to our nation,” Kern said. “We need to wake up to this threat.

“I am always being accused of hating homosexuals. I don’t hate anyone. This isn’t a matter of hating someone or trying to deny them their equal rights. All American citizens have equal rights under our Constitution. This is trying to get acceptance for a behavior that is specifically mentioned in God’s Word that is wrong.”

If the homosexuals get special status for same-sex marriage, what would stop them from seeking approval for group marriage or marriage to animals or children, Kern said.

“It just opens Pandora’s Box,” Kern said.

The book looks at the AIDS epidemic and points out that infection is much higher among homosexual men than any other group – even illegal drug addicts.

“I took a lot of heat when this all started because I said this is a lifestyle they choose,” said Kern.

"And when I say choose, they don’t choose it in the sense of like going through a cafeteria line and looking at all the different types of lifestyles and saying, I’ll take that one because it looks exciting.

“No. Everybody knows it is not exciting. It has many harmful effects. They choose it in the sense that they succumb to the temptation to give into it. They are not born that way. God would not call something an abomination and make someone where they had no choice. They have the opportunity, they have the power to say no to that lifestyle.”

“None of us gets to choose the temptations we deal with. We are all tempted. We are all sinners. We can all say no to destructive temptations.”

Not only is there a battle against the homosexual movement but the so-called mainstream media is generally a partner against defense of biblical and traditional values ... "The media, Hollywood – all of them are in bed, trying to promote this ungodly, humanistic philosophy,” Kern said. “It’s really sad because if you are a Christian and you believe God’s Word, you have to believe in the sovereignty of God. You have to believe in the goodness of God. God makes no mistakes.

Random Book Blogging: Sally Kern Is a Modern Day Anita Bryant

So guess what I received in the mail today?

That is right, Sally Kern's new book "The Stoning of Sally Kern: The Liberal Attack on Christian Conservatism - And Why We Must Take a Stand."

Having just received it, I have not yet had an opportunity to read it, but I will be providing updates as I make my way through it.

Kern made a name for herself by declaring that "homosexual agenda is destroying this nation ... it's the biggest threat that our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam."

That, of course, made Kern a hero to the Religious Right and many of those leaders provided glowing blurbs for her book, including Tony Perkins, Phyllis Schlafly, William Federer, David Barton, Paul Blair, Dick Bott ... and none other than Anita Bryant:

I was before her time, but Sally Kern is here for such a time as this. I am grateful for her life and her friendship. Reading The Stoning of Sally Kern was at times like déjà vu, reminding me of my stand in Dade County in 1977. I can highly recommend this book to anyone who loves God, their family, and their country. It is a must-read for any believing woman or man who wants to make a difference in these perilous times. Those soldiers who have counted the cost of character assassination or endured other losses yet are willing to take a stand in truth and love for the glory of God, our children, and future generations will especially enjoy this inspiring book.

Barber: Right Wing Watch Are Creepy Cyberstalkers!

Last week, we put up a video and wrote up a post featuring Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber claiming that unlike the Left, Republican members of Congress who were caught in sex scandals were run out of town on a rail by conservatives and Religious Right activists.

Alan Colmes then had Barber on his radio program to discuss this claim and, about half-way through, he went after Colmes for relying on "that little fellow over at Right Wing Watch" and calling me a creepy cyberstalker:

For the record, I have never actually seen or met Barber in person.

We are going to start developing a complex because it seems like all of the anti-gay bigots are ganging up on us today.

You can watch the entire segment here:

Religious Right Writer Derides Marriage Equality Advocates As "Forces Of Anarchy"

Lauding former New York Giant David Tyree’s strong criticism of a pending New York marriage equality bill, Janie Cheaney of the ultraconservative WORLD Magazine dubbed supporters of the legislation “forces of anarchy.” According to Cheaney, passing a bill allowing gay couples to marry will only help a “minuscule number of people” and will lead to the “undefining of the family.” Cheaney writes:

The minuscule number of people who stand to directly benefit from such legislation suggests further that it’s not about marriage at all—it’s about breaking down all barriers to consenting adults living exactly how they please, with dissenting voices confined to the margins.

Last week, former New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree stated his opposition to Cuomo’s bill in a video interview with the National Organization for Marriage. Tyree, best known for his legendary catch against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLII, is now catching heck. A Yahoo Sports headline read, “Super Bowl hero’s shocking same-sex marriage comments.” Shocking? Tyree said, “The moment we have [same sex marriage], if you trace back even to other cultures, other countries, that will be the moment where our society . . . loses its grip with what’s right. Marriage is one of those things that is the backbone of society.” He predicted anarchy otherwise, a fighting word if internet reaction to his interview is to be taken seriously.

And it should. We’re in a bare-knuckle fight with forces of anarchy, whether they know it or not. They think they’re about redefining the family, but it actually goes a step further: This is about undefining the family. The family becomes whatever they say it is, on any given day or legislative session. Kudos to the Republicans of the New York Senate (and one lone Democrat), and kudos to David Tyree for resisting the push.

Barber: Conservatives Run Scandal-Ridden Republicans Out Of Town On A Rail

The topic of today's episode of Liberty Counsel's Faith and Freedom Radio program was "How Should Christians React To Rep. Weiner Twitter Scandal?" and Matt Barber and Deryl Edwards used it as an opportunity to comment on the "hypocrisy" of the left because, they asserted, Republican members of Congress who get caught in a scandal get run out of town on a rail by conservatives:

Oh, I see ... just like Republicans and the Religious Right didn't do with either Senator David Vitter and Senator John Ensign?

In fact, the last time I checked, Vitter was still sitting in the US Senate.

So when was it that Religious conservatives gathered around and told Vitter he needed to step down? Was it before or after self-proclaimed "values voter" leader Tony Perkins co-hosted a local town hall event with Vitter?  Or maybe it was after Perkins invited Vitter on to his radio program to discuss the "ethical problems" of Kathleen Sebelius.

So maybe Barber can explain again the "hypocrisy" that is at work here.

Personhood Bill Flounders In Louisiana

In another stinging defeat for the burgeoning “personhood” movement, a Louisiana personhood bill which would ban all abortions was defeated in the state legislature. The legislation, sponsored by Republican State Rep. John LaBruzzo, was hailed by Personhood USA as one of their best chances to pass a personhood law this year.

Personhood legislation gives legal rights to zygotes, banning all abortion without exception along with procedures to treat problem pregnancies, certain forms of contraception, and even in-vitro fertilization. Incidentally, the federal Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funds for abortion procedures, was the rationale used by the bill’s opponents to table the measure to send it back to committee. Personhood USA lamented that “The Hyde Amendment had a chilling effect on prolife legislators.”

Personhood USA is still counting on Mississippi voters to pass a personhood amendment this November, a referendum backed by other Religious Right groups like the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel along with top Republican politicians. The Mississippi effort is led by a proponent of Christians creating their own separate, theocratic country in America. In 2006 and 2008, personhood amendments were overwhelmingly defeated in Colorado.

The Associated Press reports:

A Metairie lawmaker's attempt to force a direct challenge to the Roe v. Wade decision by banning abortion outright in Louisiana was derailed Wednesday to the House budget committee.

The 65-30 vote of the House to send Rep. John LaBruzzo's bill to the House Appropriations Committee could shelve the measure for the legislative session.

"This would basically defeat the bill by running out the clock," LaBruzzo said. Only two weeks remain in the legislative session. LaBruzzo is proposing to define a fetus as a person from the moment of conception, which would ban abortion entirely, in violation of current federal law. Anti-abortion groups are split on the worth of the idea.

Lawmakers who supported sending the bill to the Appropriations Committee cited the possibility it could jeopardize $4.5 billion in federal health care funding Louisiana receives for its Medicaid program. A financial analysis said the proposal would put Louisiana at odds with a 1976 federal law requiring Medicaid to cover abortion services to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest. Rep. Jim Fannin, D-Jonesboro, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, pushed for the diversion of the bill.

"I am truly and completely opposed to abortion, but that's off the table," he said.

LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, disagreed with the financial analysis done by the Legislative Fiscal Office.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • It looks like Newt Gingrich's entire campaign staff resigned en masse today, but Gingrich and his ego will soldier on.
  • Tim Pawlenty has secured the coveted Joe "You Lie" Wilson endorsement.
  • FRC says Govs. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Nikki Haley (R-S.C.) and Christine Gregoire (D-Wash.) are matching Rick Perry's prayer rally with days of prayer in their own states.
  • Herman Cain surprises nobody by saying being gay is a sin and a choice.
  • Another informative poll from the AFA.
  • Apparently, the problem with George W. Bush was that he was really just too moderate: "A lot of people who had been in the [Reagan] administration were systematically thrown out by the Bush crowd. They only wanted people who were more pragmatic...moderate...middle-of-the-road and establishment Republicans. And look at what we ultimately got -- we ultimately got Barack Obama."

Bryan Fischer's Two Modes Of Operation: Bigotry and Denial

The AFA's resident spokesbigot Bryan Fischer operates on a very consistent pattern:  he spends months saying and writing outrageously bigoted things but when some pressure starts to mount over all of the bigoted things he says, he lashes out and accuses his detractors of lying about what he said.

He has done it several times before, and now that Gov. Rick Perry is getting some heat for associating with Fischer and the AFA, he has done it again, taking issue with this Tim Murphy piece in Mother Jones.  Fischer claims that Murphy "strung together a litany of lies and distortions" and then proceeds to try and set the record straight.

In three instances Fischer fully admits to the views attributed to him - gays should be banned from public office and Muslims should be banned from the military and from building mosques:

- "gays should be banned from holding public office" — This is accurate. I do believe this, for the same reason that I believe Anthony Weiner should resign, as did Larry Craig, John Ensign and Mark Foley and numerous other Republicans caught in sexual misconduct. Aberrant sexuality morally disqualifies a practitioner from public office, and whatever else homosexual behavior is, it is aberrant sexual behavior.

- "there should be a permanent ban on mosque construction in the United States" — Partly true. What I have recommended is that local planning and zoning boards no longer issue permits — what about the word "permit" do people not understand? — for the building of mosques. This is because 81% of the mosques in America distribute literature that supports violent jihad and the imposition of sharia law by force, and 95% of Muslims who attend prayers regularly attend one of these mosques. I have suggested our policies toward Islam should be the same as our policies toward the KKK and white supremacist groups, since they are equally and violently antisemitic. Whatever the NAACP thinks ought to be done to halt the spread of the KKK and white supremacists I'll be happy to adopt as our policy against the spread of Islam.

- "Muslims should be prohibited from serving in the armed forces" — True. Serving in the United States military is a privilege not a right, and we should have no room in our military for those whose religion teaches them to "slay the idolaters wherever you find them" (Surah 9:5). If you don't think this policy suggestion makes sense, ask the families of Major Nidal Malik Hasan's homicidal rampage at Ft. Hood, done in the name of Allah.

But Fischer takes issue with several other assertions ... and, in typical Fischer fashion, attempts to clarify the record by more or less reiterating the very thing he claims he never said in the first place:

1. "gays caused the Holocaust." False. What I spoke is the simple truth: the Nazi Party was responsible for the Holocaust. If the question is then further asked, who was responsible for the Nazi Party, the answer, as a matter of simple historical truth: homosexual thugs. The Nazi Party was actually formed in a gay bar in Munich, and virtually all of Hitler's early enforcers in his rise to power were homosexuals.

Here is what I wrote in my column on what Nazi Germany teaches us about the wisdom of allowing open homosexuals in the military:

"Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews. Gays in the military is an experiment that has been tried and found disastrously and tragically wanting. Maybe it's time for Congress to learn a lesson from history."

So I clearly lay the blame for the Holocaust on the Nazi Party, but attribute the rise of the Nazi Party to homosexual brutes. That's not a matter of opinion, it's a matter of historical fact, as inconvenient as that fact may be to the mavens of political correctness on the left.

2. "gays...are planning on doing it (the Holocaust) again." False.

Here is the transcript of my remarks:

"Homosexual activists, when it comes to freedom of speech, are Nazis. When it comes to freedom of religion, they are Nazis. There is no room in their world for dissent, there is no room in their world for disagreement, there is no room in their world for criticism. You criticize homosexual behavior, they tag you as a bigot and a homophobe and then they go to work to silence you just like the Roman Catholic Church did in the days of Galileo — it's no different; it's the Spanish Inquisition all over again.

"Ladies and gentlemen, they are Nazis. Do not be under any illusions about what homosexual activists will do with your freedoms and your religion if they have the opportunity. They'll do the same thing to you that the Nazis did to their opponents in Nazi Germany."

Clearly the parallel I was drawing here is that homosexuals are out to suppress freedom of speech, religion, and dissent just as the Nazis did. This is indisputable.

So Fischer never said that gays caused the Holocaust and they are going to commit another one against Christians - he simply said that the Holocaust was the fault of the Nazis (who were all gay) and that, if given the chance, gays would do the same thing again today.

So you can see that that is totally different. 

Fischer also claims he never called for the forced conversion of Muslims or their deportation from America:

5. "foreign Muslims should either be exterminated or forced to convert to Christianity" — Horrendous distortion. What I said was that, if we are attacked from or by a Muslim nation, we should go in with military force and neutralize the threat. Then I suggest we bring missionaries in, since it is Christianity that has made the United States the freest, strongest, and most prosperous nation on earth. If they don't want to listen to our missionaries, fine. We'll bring them and our soldiers home. But we let them know that if you attack us again and we have to come back, this time we'll come back not with missionaries but with overwhelming lethal force.

6. "American Muslims should be deported" — Wrong again. What I have written is that American Muslims who have been naturalized of course should remain, as well as American citizens who convert to Islam. But I do believe we should not extend citizenship any longer to immigrant Muslims, even the ones who are here legally. When their legal immigration provisions expire, we should happily bear the cost of repatriating them to their homelands. Immigration is a privilege, not a right, and the god of Islam teaches his followers to kill Americans. It's simply bad policy to extend citizenship to people who have a solemn, sacred, religious obligation to exterminate us.

Fischer was quite clear when he said that when the US goes into a Muslim nation, it must try to convert them to Christianity but if the Muslims refuse to convert, then the next time the US returns, it will be to kill them. 

Likewise, Fischer has asserted that simply by virtue of being a Muslim, they are guilty of treason and that Muslims living in the US ought to be deported.

Yet, somehow Fischer thinks it is an unfair distortion of his views to claim that he supports forced conversion and the deportation of Muslims.

Fischer has a long history of saying openly bigoted things on an almost daily basis ... and he has just as long a history of claiming that all of the bigoted things he said were taken out of context or misrepresented.

As I have said before, it is utterly pointless to try and have any sort of rational debate with Fischer ... and this is further evidence of just why that is the case. 

Santorum: Global Warming Is "Patently Absurd"

While speaking to Rush Limbaugh yesterday, presidential candidate and former Senator Rick Santorum called global warming “patently absurd” and “junk science.” In addition, Santorum said that climate change science was simply a “beautifully concocted scheme” to allow the “government to come in and regulate your life some more.” In 2006, Santorum claimed that “scientists have not decisively concluded” that climate change is real and received a zero percent score from Republicans for Environmental Protection.

Later in the program, Santorum lavished praise on the right-wing talk show host for making people remember “to believe in ourselves instead of having someone tell us they need to believe in him, the anointed one to provide for them.”

Limbaugh: And we're back, Rush Limbaugh here with Rick Santorum, Republican seeking the presidential nomination. Mitt Romney in his announcement earlier this week in New Hampshire said, yes, he believes there is global warming, and, yes, he thinks human beings are contributing to it. Do you?

Santorum: I believe the earth gets warmer, and I also believe the earth gets cooler, and I think history points out that it does that and that the idea that man through the production of CO2 which is a trace gas in the atmosphere and the manmade part of that trace gas is itself a trace gas is somehow responsible for climate change is, I think, just patently absurd when you consider all of the other factors, El Nino, La Nina, sunspots, you know, moisture in the air. There's a variety of factors that contribute to the earth warming and cooling, and to me this is an opportunity for the left to create -- it's a beautifully concocted scheme because they know that the earth is gonna cool and warm. It's been on a warming trend so they said, "Oh, let's take advantage of that and say that we need the government to come in and regulate your life some more because it's getting warmer," just like they did in the seventies when it was getting cool, they needed the government to come in and regulate your life because it's getting cooler. It's just an excuse for more government control of your life, and I've never been for any scheme or even accepted the junk science behind the whole narrative.



Limbaugh: I have a minute and a half. You ever ask yourself where the American people are politically? Do you ever fear the American people just maybe want a European socialist country, that they'd rather be dependent on government? Does that worry you?

Santorum: Does it worry me? Well, you know, Rush, 'cause you combat it every day with the popular culture and the media and academic institutions, that gets pounded away every day into the minds of our young people, and I don't know how many times I've listened on your show where people said, "You know, you opened, the scales fell from my eyes. It's finally making sense to me. I understand all of these lies I've been told." You tell people lies enough and you indoctrinate them enough, of course I've got grave concerns and that's one of the reasons I'm doing this is because I think we need -- look, the person who's been able to win the presidency since the age of television has had one thing in common. They've been the best communicator in the race. We need someone like a Rush Limbaugh who can communicate and can touch the soul of Americans and can reach out across the radio and television and paint a vision that helps drop those scales, that can remind people what a great country we are and that it's a great country because we believe in free people and the ability of free people to provide for themselves, their family, their community, and the God they love. That's what America is about, and we can with get back to that. We need to begin to believe in ourselves instead of the having someone tell us that they need to believe in him, the anointed one to provide for them.

Limbaugh: Rick, thanks for your time. Your passion is infectious. It really is.

Hartzler: Gay Marriage Is Like Incest, Letting Three-Year Old Children Drive

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) built her political career on opposing gay rights: she spearheaded the Missouri campaign to enshrine discrimination in the state constitution and since her election to Congress last November has fought to preserve the Defense of Marriage Act and block the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Yesterday, Hartzler addressed Eagle Forum Collegians 2011 Summit in Washington on why young people should oppose marriage equality.

Joined by Eagle Forum head Phyllis Schlafly, Hartzler compared gay marriage to polygamy and incest, and later argued that we shouldn’t give equal marriage rights to gay couples just as “it’s not a right of a three-year old to drive a car.”

Watch:

Opposition to marriage equality was a major theme at the conference, due in part to fears that young people disproportionately favor legalizing gay marriage. Participants even received a pamphlet “77 Non-Religious Reasons to Support Man/Woman Marriage” from Jennifer Roback Morse of The Ruth Institute, a project of the National Organization for Marriage. The pamphlet harshly criticized gay families as “unjust and cruel to the child” and argues that “we will not be able to maintain a free society” if gay marriage is legalized.

Reed: Cain and Bachmann Will Be The Religious Right's Candidates of Choice

Ralph Reed's "Faith and Freedom Conference & Summit" kicks off on Friday and, as today's New York Times reports, it serves as proof that Reed has been able to shrug off his deep ties to Jack Abramoff and regain his prominence and prestige as a leading Religious Right organizer:

As with the Christian Coalition, this group’s conference roster includes nearly all the likely contenders for the presidential nomination, including former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Herman Cain, a retired businessman, and Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, as well as a famous almost-candidate, Donald Trump. There will also be evangelical leaders like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and establishment Republicans like Speaker John A. Boehner and Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman.

...

Many of the retirees gathered here could not even recall who Ralph Reed was, let alone ponder his past. But they loved his message. Weaving together themes of the Tea Party and evangelical Christians, he called the debt crisis a sign that the country has lost sight of its founding moral principles. He said that by working together, fiscal and cultural conservatives can “begin the process of turning the country around.”

Yesterday Reed appeared on The Jordan Sekulow Show to discuss the upcoming conference, during which he predicted that Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain would be the Religious Right's candidates of choice:

Sekulow: Ralph, let me ask you about the field. Has anyone caught your attention that maybe is a name that people aren't talking about enough or that is really exciting social conservative voters?

Reed: It's awfully early, but there are two that I'm hearing on the ground that are really getting a close look. One is Herman Cain, who is a terrific speaker and has a compelling personal testimony in addition to his conservative credentials. And the other is Michele Bachmann.

I think if they both go - and Cain's in and Bachmann looks like she's going to get in - they're both going to do extremely well among this constituency.

Reed then went on the predict that this event was not only going to change the lives of those in attendance, but the life of the nation as well ... which is the same thing he said last year:

DeMint: We Cannot Compromise or Cooperate With Democrats

Sen. Jim DeMint spoke today at FRC's "Watchmen on the Wall" pastor's conference and afterward joined the AFA's official spokesbigot Bryan Fischer, who was broadcasting his daily radio program live from the conference, for an interview.

During the discussion, DeMint said that the 2012 election is literally the "last chance" they have to save America and that conservatives and Republicans simply cannot cooperate or compromise with Democrats on any level because Democrats are bent on instituting socialism and don't share the same values, visions, or goals:

I think it's out last chance. I really think it's now or never. Just looking at the financial situation of our country and just the polarization of views between the two parties. I mean, we have one that is really pushing toward centralization, collectivization, secularism - and we have some good people in that party; some of them are my best friends - but frankly they do not believe in individualism, they do not believe in the type of moral values that we do and we cannot compromise with them. You cannot cooperate with someone who does not have your values, does not share your vision, and does not have your goals.

Minnesota Republicans Invite Bradlee Dean To Deliver Opening Prayer

Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent reports that House Republicans invited ultra-right wing anti-gay, anti-Islam activist Bradlee Dean to deliver the morning prayer ... and it went about as well as one would expect:

Minnesota House Republicans invited anti-gay preacher Bradlee Dean of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide to give the morning prayer. The prayer was so offensive to many legislators that House leadership brought in the chaplain to redo the prayer.

Dean has made many controversial statements as pastor of You Can Run, including advocating the incarceration of gays and lesbians, that the LGBT community is trying to usher in Sharia law in Minnesota, that gay men molest an average of 117 children “before they get caught,” and that Muslim nations that execute gays are more moral than American Christians. His prayer on Friday touched off a firestorm at the Capitol as the LGBT community was rallying outside the House chambers against a proposed anti-gay marriage amendment.

Dean said during his prayer, “I know this is a nondenominational chamber,” he said listing off a litany of Christian denominations and leaving off any mention of Judaism.

Then he took a dig at President Obama, insinuating that he is not a Christian. “The head of the denomination is Jesus as every president up until 2008 has acknowledged, in Jesus name.”

Dean and his You Can Run But You Cannot Hide ministry has the support of Rep. Michele Bachmann and Religious Right leaders like Harry Jackson and Bryan Fischer.

UPDATE: Here is Dean's opening prayer:

Right Wing Round-Up

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Religious Right And Republican Establishment Square Off Over Mitch Daniels

Politico reports today that the prominent Republican politicians and activists are increasingly displeased with the current field of presidential candidates (I wonder why) and are pressuring Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to jump into the race. “With Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s decision not to run, the party’s elites are holding out a desperate hope to persuade Daniels, who is publicly reluctant, in part because of his wife’s concerns,” Mike Allen writes, adding that the one scenario which “terrifies Washington Republicans” is “the possibility that some very conservative, insurgent candidate will become the Romney alternative.”

But Daniels’s proposed “social issues truce” has made him a persona non grata among social conservatives who will play key roles in deciding the party’s nominee.

Religious Right leaders are now taking shots at Daniels as he gets ready to announce his decision on a 2012 bid, and it appears that his support for a law that defunds Planned Parenthood has done little to tamper down criticism.

Micah Clark of the American Family Association’s Indiana chapter knocked his “weakness on the homosexual demands”:

I think he has a bit of a weakness on the homosexual demands. Two months after he was elected, he signed an executive order, elevating gender identity and cross-dressing to the same [level] as race and skin color, which was really unfortunate.

The AFA’s Bryan Fischer called the Indiana governor “toast” among the Republican faithful:

Daniels. Kept foolishly defending his call for a “truce” on social issues. But conservatives know that “truce” is just a euphemism for “surrender.” They’re looking for someone to carry the banner, not run up the white flag. He showed no eagerness to sign the Indiana ban on funding for Planned Parenthood, and showed no leadership on that issue at all. Not a good sign if you’re looking for someone who thinks pre-born babies have a right to life. Daniels ain’t gonna fight for unborn babies, and social conservatives know it. Plus he said he’d pick pro-abort Condi Rice as his VP candidate. Daniels is toast.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council was angered by Daniels’s suggestion of running on a ticket with Condoleezza Rice:

I’ve been asked a lot about the chances of Gov. Mitch “Truce” Daniels in 2012. On the heels of signing a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, Daniels managed to poke pro-lifers in the eye again when he answered a question about a possible running mate with Condoleezza Rice. Although she has stellar credentials on national defense, the former Secretary of State has long held pro-abortion views, which makes her a non-starter with social conservatives. It is ironic, however, that Governor Daniels seeks a truce with liberals while he attacks the sensibilities of pro-family conservatives within his own party.

As Kyle noted yesterday, Religious Right leaders are looking for a candidate to rally behind after Mike Huckabee decided against running. If Daniels runs and doesn’t apologize for his ‘truce’ talk, expect social conservative activists to pull out all the stops to defeat his candidacy.

Newt: Worst Campaign Promise Ever?

“I know how to get the whole country to resemble Texas.”  

      Newt Gingrich on Sean Hannity, May 11, 2011
 
In his presidential campaign announcement on Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel show, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich praised job creation in Texas and said he’d been talking to Texas governor Rick Perry and knows “how to get the whole country to resemble Texas.” That could go down as the worst campaign promise ever. 
 
“I dearly love the state of Texas,” the late Texan and progressive icon Molly Ivins wrote, “but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults.” Noting that Texas was a state that provided relatively few services to its residents, she once wrote, “The only depressing part is that, unlike Mississippi, we can afford to do better. We just don’t.”  Maybe that should be the motto for Newt Gingrich and his fellow anti-government demagogues.
 
The impact of that governing philosophy is spreading a lot of pain in Texas right now. Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote earlier this year:  
 
Texas is where the modern conservative theory of budgeting — the belief that you should never raise taxes under any circumstances, that you can always balance the budget by cutting wasteful spending — has been implemented most completely. If the theory can’t make it there, it can’t make it anywhere.
 
In fact, Texas lawmakers have been struggling all year to figure out how to deal with a massive budget deficit.  An AP story from March, headlined “Texas’ economic miracle beginning to tarnish,” noted that the state’s budget shortfall was “among the worst in the nation.” A temporary budget deal in March involving more than $1 billion in spending cuts still left the state $23 billion short over the next two years by one estimate. Proposed cuts could result in layoffs for 100,000 school employees and 60,000 nursing home workers and eliminate 9,600 state jobs this year. Just this week lawmakers struggled to reach agreement on a deal to close a $4 billion deficit in the current year, which ends in August.  
 
It is possible that entire crisis may have been manufactured by Perry and other anti-government Republicans to give lawmakers a justification for further slashing government and basic human services.
 
Does Newt think we really want the whole country to look like Texas, which ranks:
 
 50th in percentage of population without health insurance (2010)
 
50th  in percentage of children insured (2009)
 
50th  in percentage of women receiving early prenatal care (2010)
 
45th  in rate of infectious diseases (2010)
 
44th  in percentage of children in poverty (2010)
 
42nd  in per capita health care funding (2010)
 
40th  in overall health (2010)
 
36th  in high school graduation rate (2010)
 
35th  in crime (2010)
 
35th  in percentage of children immunized (2010)
 
34th  in rate of occupational fatalities (2010)
 
30th in percentage of people with college degree (2008)
 
Texas also ranks:
 
1st  in amount of recognized carcinogens released into the air (2002)
 
4th highest  in release of toxic chemicals into the environment (2002)
 
8th highest  in percentage of people below poverty level (2008)
 
13th highest  in obesity (2010)
 
“I know how to get the whole country to resemble Texas.”   Uh, thanks, Newt, but no thanks.
 

Huntsman Signs Up For Faith and Freedom Conference

Republican presidential aspirants continue to flock to Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition. Reed today announced that former Utah governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman will speak to the group’s Conference and Strategy Briefing on June 3rd. Other GOP presidential contenders addressing the gathering include Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain, along with Donald Trump, House GOP leaders John Boehner, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Ryan, and numerous Republican congressmen.

The Faith and Freedom Coalition seems to be the restoration of Reed’s Christian Coalition, and he has focused on building a presence in key primary and general election states like Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.

Despite Reed’s duplicitous and corrupt background, Republicans persistently seek his support. The Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody today profiled the group’s plans for the 2012 election and collaborations with the Tea Party movement:

"We anticipate we're going to knock on over 2 million doors," Reed, chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, told CBN News.

"We're going to register between 1 million and 2 million new voters so we're going to add 1 to 2 million new voters," he predicted. "And then we'll end up contacting somewhere between 25 and 40 million voters."



The Faith & Freedom Coalition doesn't just focus on social issues. Leaders know that fiscal concerns are huge and will be a major priority but they don't plant to co-opt the Tea Party movement.

"We're saying to them you need to continue to be who you are as Tea Party leaders," conservative strategist Gary Marx told CBN News. "At the same time, there are areas where we can work together and be allied -- like the example of cutting abortion funding for groups like Planned Parenthood," he said.

Right Wing Round-Up

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Kyle Mantyla, Monday 09/19/2011, 4:48pm
Greg Sargent @ The Plum Line: It's official: `Don’t ask don’t tell’ is history. Eric Kleefeld @ TPM: Through The Looking Glass: Bachmann’s Long History Of Strange Statements. Warren Throckmorton: David Barton: Did Early Presidents Sign Documents “In the Year of Our Lord Christ?” Nick @ Bold Faith Type: ACT! for America and "Open the Koran" Day. Joe My God: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Works To Keep Obama Off 2012 Ballot. Lee Fang @ Think Progress LGBT: California Christian Coalition Explains Repeal Effort Against... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 09/14/2011, 2:41pm
One of the things we are constantly hearing from Religious Right leaders is that we are in, or will soon be in, "the next great awakening."  What that means, nobody ever really explains but it seems to entail millions of people becoming dedicated Christians and then voting for Republicans who will outlaw abortion and gay marriage and taxes. The question of how we will actually know that we are in the midst of "the next great awakening" also goes unexplained ... but on "Prophetic Perspective on Current Events" yesterday Rick Joyner gave us a hint: NFL ... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 09/13/2011, 4:46pm
How long before the GOP gives Oregon Republicans the boot for removing anti-gay language for their platform? Rick Perry will be speaking at Liberty University tomorrow. Mat Staver has been appointed to something called The Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations. Apparently the Hubble Telescope discovered proof of God. Finally, quote of the day from Bryan Fischer: "This is not behavior that any rational society should condone, endorse, subsidize, reward, promote or sanction in domestic policy or in the marketplace. It’s a choice... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 09/08/2011, 2:43pm
Prior to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally, we posted video of one of the rally’s official endorsers, John Benefiel, claiming that demonic spirits ruling Washington, D.C. were literally warping the minds of politicians and elected officials. Benefiel, who leads the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network, is not alone in this view. David Barton, the right-wing pseudo-historian who has counseled leading Republicans like Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee, similarly believes that demonic principalities are literally controlling parts of... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 09/02/2011, 1:37pm
After blaming daycare and public schools for ruining society, Jeffrey Kuhner of the Edmund Burke Institute now has another figure to blame for America’s ills: Martin Luther King, Jr. Reflecting on the recent dedication of the King memorial in Washington, D.C., Kuhner writes in The Washington Times that King’s support for progressive causes was responsible for keeping African Americans bound to the “shackles of affirmative action and the welfare state.” Such claims may be news to Glenn Beck, who claimed that he was going to “reclaim the civil rights movement... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 08/30/2011, 3:20pm
For the last several weeks, the Religious Right has been hyping allegations from Kelly Shackleford and his Liberty Institute claiming that the Department of Veterans Affairs has instituted a ban on "the use of Christian words or phrases at veterans’ funerals." Liberty Institute has even launched a website called "Don't Tear Us Down" which claims that "Jesus is not welcome at gravesides" and the campaign is receiving support from other Religious Right groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association. Today the New York Times took a... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/26/2011, 9:20am
Joseph Farah, the editor of WorldNetDaily, is out with yet another column attacking marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, arguing that it will lead to the downfall of civilization. Farah, who once called for “literally, a break-up of the nation” because several states have legalized same-sex marriage, writes that marriage equality will inevitably lead to polygamy. Claims that same-sex marriage are not uncommon from the Right, Farah fears that if Republicans support the right of states under the Tenth Amendment to legalize same-sex marriage that they will ultimately... MORE