republicans

Scott Walker’s Latest Pro-Voucher Gambit Exposes Dishonesty Of The Voucher Movement

Private school voucher advocates and their allies in the so-called “education reform” movement readily talk about the need for rigorous, constant testing along with the application of free market principles to education: reward high-performing schools and teachers and punish bad ones.

Over the last decade, Milwaukee has been a laboratory for private school vouchers, and the results have been poor: numerous studies have shown that vouchers failed to make any difference in student performance. Just like in Washington, DC and Cleveland, private school vouchers in Milwaukee failed to produce the gains their supporters promised as students, with students in the Milwaukee voucher program actually performing worse than comparable public school students.

But now Republican Gov. Scott Walker wants to expand the ineffective voucher program while cutting funds to public schools. And so much for the emphasis on testing -- voucher students will now be exempted from the tests that revealed the program’s failure.

The Wausau Daily Herald reports:

Milwaukee’s voucher school program would be expanded under a Republican-backed bill expected to pass the state Assembly on Tuesday.



State Superintendent Tony Evers has questioned expanding the voucher program at the same time Walker is proposing cutting public school aid by more than $800 million over the next two years.



Walker is also proposing eliminating in his budget that voucher students take the same statewide achievement tests that public school students must take.

This year, results were released for the first time comparing public school and voucher students. They showed voucher students lagging behind their peers in public schools.

That’s right, even though voucher students are “lagging behind their peers in public schools,” voucher programs are being rewarded with expansion while public schools are punished with cuts. With little care for accountability and testing, this move by Walker and the Wisconsin GOP demonstrates how the push for private school vouchers is really about the Right’s ideological war against public education.

The pro-voucher American Federation for Children is even launching an ad campaign to defend Wisconsin Republicans facing recall votes, and recently hosted an event where they honored Walker for his voucher advocacy. AFC was founded and funded by Betsy Devos, a Religious Right activist and wife of Dick Devos, the son of the founder of Amway and an unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor of Michigan. Today, AFC is one of the most aggressive pro-voucher groups, and aims to fully privatize public education.

Through their advocacy for private school vouchers, the Devos family merged their anti-union and anti-public school beliefs with their mission to chip away at the separation of church and state. The Devos family is a key benefactor of Religious Right groups across the country, financing major social conservative organizations like Focus on the Family and the Council for National Policy, and provided almost the entire funding for Maggie Gallagher’s Institute for Marriage and Public Policy.

With Scott Walker admitting that the private school voucher movement’s emphasis on testing, results and accountability is hogwash, it is abundantly clear what the real goal is: privatizing public education.

CWA: Last Chance To Block Repeal Of Don't Ask Don't Tell

In an email to supporters, Concerned Women For America CEO Penny Nance said that they have one final opportunity to prevent the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Nance tells supporters that while the House GOP is likely to approve amendments to three Defense bill that would block the repeal and restrict gay-rights in the military, the Senate would be a graver challenge because Majority Leader Harry Reid “is beholden to the homosexual lobby.” She asks activists to show the Republicans support “in light of the likely response from the radical homosexual activists.”

Nance writes:

The repeal of DADT will create undue hardships for our military and was passed to fulfill President Obama's campaign promise to homosexual activists. Even though the repeal was signed into law, it has not yet taken effect, and we have been fighting to ensure that it won't.

We have worked with House offices to repeal and delay this misguided law. We have encouraged congressional hearings that highlight the problems and costs associated with imposing this social agenda on our military. And we supported several amendments on the Defense Authorization:

Rep. Vicky Hartzler's (R-Missouri) amendment defined marriage as a union between a man and woman for purposes of military benefits, regulations, and policies. It passed the HASC 39-22.

Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Missouri) amendment prohibited using military facilities for "same-sex marriage" and prohibited chaplains from conducting the ceremonies. It passed the HASC 38-23.

Rep. Duncan Hunter's (R-California) amendment would require all of the service chiefs - and not just President Obama, Secretary of Defense Gates, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mullen - to certify the repeal of DADT.

We expect the Defense Authorization to go to the House floor soon. Please call your representative and ask him to support the Defense Authorization with these amendments. Please thank Representatives Hartzler, Akin, and Hunter for their leadership on these amendments, especially in light of the likely response from the radical homosexual activists. Also, it is important to thank HASC Chairman Buck McKeon (R-California) and Personnel Subcommittee Chairman Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) for holding hearings and shedding light on these important issues.

It is important to also focus on the Senate, because Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) is beholden to the homosexual lobby. Please call your senators and ask them to support the Defense Authorization passed by the HASC.

Why Is A Republican Congressman Working With A Group Linked To Neo-Fascists?

Earlier this year at the Conservative Political Action Conference the group Youth for Western Civilization hosted a panel on immigration with Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA), former Congressmen Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and Virgil Goode (R-VA), and political activist Bay Buchanan. The panel featured inflammatory and biting anti-immigrant rhetoric, along with warnings about the imminent destruction of America.

But the most startling question was why a sitting Republican congressman, Rep. Barletta, would meet with a far-right group of Confederate sympathizers with White Nationalist ties?

The head of YWC's Liberty University chapter proudly took part in an anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim conference with Neo-Fascist European groups:

In the march though the streets of Cologne, despite threats, attacks and futile attempts by radical German anarchists, socialists and communists, YWC, Pro-Cologne, Vlaams Belang, the Freedom Party of Austria, Die Republikaner and Bloc Identitaire of France marched in solidarity with other European patriots from Italy and against the Islaminization of Europe and for the support of freedom of speech.

A recent MSNBC report also looked into its ties to white nationalism, and said that Germany’s National Democratic Party also participated in the rally.

While these groups may be unknown to an American audience, they are far-right Neo-Fascist organizations:

• Die Republikaner, or The Republicans, is a German political party founded by a former Waffen-SS officer Franz Schönhuber that trumpets “right-wing extremism.” According to the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism, the party’s “main agitation is directed against foreigners and against what they refer to as the africanization and islamization of German society.”

• The National Democratic Party was founded by former members of the Neo-Nazi Socialist Reich Party and uses the “practice of mobilizing skinheads and neo-Nazis.” The party also has close ties to Neo-Nazi groups in America and Europe and Holocaust-deniers. After President Obama’s election, the group said his victory represents “the American alliance of Jews and Negroes,” “a declaration of war,” and an “African tropical disease” under a statement entitled “Africa conquers the White House.”

• Vlaams Belang, or Flemish Interest, is a Belgian separatist party which The Economist says “holds extreme right wing positions on many political issues.” In fact, it is the immediate successor of Vlaams Blok, which was shut down by authorities for violating the country’s Anti-Racism law.

• The Freedom Party of Austria as founded by Joerg Haider, a group with such a deep anti-Semitic past that when it entered government Austria faced sanctions from the European Union. The Anti-Defamation League found that Haider “has consistently parried accusations of anti-Semitism” has a history of “utilizing Holocaust terminology and legitimizing Nazi policy and activities.”

• Bloc Identitaire, or Identity Block, is considered a “neo-fascist organisation” that is best known for its opposition to miscegenation and including pork in soup for the poor to exclude Muslims.

• Pro-Cologne has been “watched with suspicion by the domestic intelligence agency” for its links to Neo-Nazis, according to Der Spiegel. The party was based on its opposition to the construction of mosques and is staunchly anti-Muslim.

While Rep. Bartetta is an anti-immigrant leader in his own right, should he really be working with a group that is in a coalition with Neo-Fascist political parties?

Ohio State Rep Wants To Ban Abortion Because China Has Too Many Smart Kids

During a rally in Columbus for Janet Porter’s Heartbeat Bill, which would criminalize abortion in the vast majority of cases, Ohio Republican State Representative Jarrod Martin came up with an economic rationale to pass the legislation: to help the U.S. compete with China.

Martin argued that since there are far more Chinese students taking AP classes than American students, the U.S. needs to ban abortion so women will have more children in order to rival China’s academic dominance.

Martin: When you look at China and you look at their population, the population growth that China has and other Third World countries have compared to the population growth of the United States; China right now how more children in AP and gifted classes than the United States has in school. Think about that, they have more children in their gifted classes than we have in our entire school system. And we are killing thousands and tens of thousands of babies every year. How do we compete? We have to think about our future. That’s a little bit of economics behind this bill.

Martin was introduced by Porter, a radical dominionist and conspiracy theorist who had fetuses testify for the legislation. The Heartbeat bill, which is backed by leading Republicans like Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann, passed out of committee but has not yet been scheduled for a vote by the full Ohio State House.

Colson Warns Of The Creeping Influence Of Ayn Rand In The Conservative Movement

The rise of the Tea Party and economic libertarians has inspired a revitalization of Ayn Rand’s book sales and sparked more curiosity for her ‘Objectivist’ thinking. Leading Republicans have embraced Rand, as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) called Rand the “the reason I got involved in public service” and Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) gives a copy of Atlas Shrugged to his interns. The movie Atlas Shrugged: Part I premiered at CPAC and won burgeoning interest from conservative moviegoers, until it received abysmal reviews that were so bad it convinced the producer to drop plans for parts II and III.

But Religious Right leader Chuck Colson isn’t happy with the Ayn Rand retrospective. He made a two minute video attacking Rand and her devotees, deriding Rand as an anti-Christian atheist. “Not only should you stay away from the film,” Colson says, “you ought to stay away from anybody who wants to see the film, unless their interest is ironic.” Colson warns that Rand’s “patently anti-Christian ideas seem to be gaining steam” among conservatives, cautioning that her Objectivist philosophy is the “antithesis of Christianity” and that her followers are “undermining the Gospel”:

Colson also posted an article that expresses bewilderment on how Ryan or any other politician could have been inspired by Rand:

What makes this newly-renewed regard especially troubling is that Rand’s worldview is explicitly anti-Christian. She once said she wanted to be known as “the greatest enemy of religion.” And when Rand said “religion” she meant Christianity, which she once called the “kindergarten of communism.”

For Rand the idea of God, as understood by Christianity, was “degrading to man.” According to her, the only god who can bring men peace and joy was not the great “i am” but “I.” Yet even some prominent Christians are being sucked in.

It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that her worldview, called Objectivism, which rejects love of God, has even less regard for love of neighbor. Jennifer Rubin, who wrote the definitive biography of Rand, says that “whereas traditional conservatism emphasized duties, responsibilities, and social interconnectedness, at the core” of Rand’s ideology “was a rejection of moral obligations to others.”

Thus, Rand could say that the world was “perishing from an orgy of self-sacrifice.” Not because it was true but because, for Rand, any regard for your neighbor was an offense against the only god who mattered: the self. How such a toxic idea can inspire “public service” is beyond me.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 5/10/11

Michele Bachmann

Background: NPR looks into her transition from Jimmy Carter volunteer to right-wing culture warrior (NPR, 5/9).

GOP: Breaks with Speaker John Boehner over debt ceiling (The Hill, 5/9).

Herman Cain

Nevada: Addresses conservative group in the early caucus state (Las Vegas Sun, 5/9).

Debate: Claims his candidacy gained momentum, new supporters after Fox News debate (CBS News, 5/6).

Mitch Daniels

Religious Right: Decision to defund Planned Parenthood will bolster social conservative credentials despite 'truce' talk (TPM, 5/9).

2012: Report claims that Daniels' wife is final hold-out to presidential bid (HuffPo, 5/9).

Newt Gingrich

2012: Expects to make official announcement tomorrow in Atlanta (WaPo, 5/9).

Campaign: Built vast network of political organizations to promote his clout, image (WSJ, 5/9).

Family: Wife Callista to play a pivotal role in campaign (NYT, 5/9).

Mike Huckabee

Background: NPR explores his roots as a pastor and church leader (NPR, 5/8).

Media: Fox News wants answer from Huckabee about 2012 plans (MoJo, 5/5).

Jon Huntsman

Campaign: Launches leadership PAC during swing through South Carolina and New Hampshire (Fox News, 5/9).

Religion: Concerns that Huntsman is distancing himself from his Mormon faith (Salt Lake Tribune, 5/9).

Experience: Defends serving as ambassador to China in Obama administration (Business Week, 5/8).

Sarah Palin

Poll: Most popular among low-income Republicans (CBS News, 5/9).

GOP: Neoconservative Republicans increasingly abandon Palin (TNR, 5/6).

Tim Pawlenty

Environment: Abandons past support for cap and trade policy (Christian Science Monitor, 5/9). 

Foreign Policy: Knocks Obama's handling of Libya crisis (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 5/7). 

Government: Backs aspects of Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare (Politico, 5/6). 

Mitt Romney

Religious Right: Plans to address Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Conference (CNN, 5/9).

South Carolina: Campaign wary that South Carolina primary victory is out of reach (Politico, 5/8). 

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: After winning state convention straw poll, looks to gain support from state's Religious Right, business communities (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 5/8). 

Foreign Policy: Says Obama "doesn't understand what it takes to defend America" (Fox News, 5/5).

Donald Trump

Media: Ratings for reality TV show falling rapidly (Hollywood Reporter, 5/9).

Race: Says he can't be racist because he picked a Black contestant as winner of The Apprentice (Think Progress, 5/9).

Heck: DC Mayor Vince Gray Wants To Punish Kids Who "Survive The Abortion Holocaust"

During the heated fight over the federal budget, Republicans won a compromise that stopped the city of Washington D.C. from using its own tax dollars to help low-income women access reproductive health services and added more funding to a DC private school voucher program opposed by local officials. Strongly objecting to the House GOP’s blatant encroachment on home rule, which included financing an ineffective voucher program while taking away crucial funding for women’s family planning, DC Mayor Vince Gray and a number of Council members were arrested during a protest. Anti-choice leaders harshly criticized Gray, deriding him a proponent of black genocide who wants to destroy the city’s African American population.

Indiana right-wing commentator Peter Heck, who called President Obama a disgrace to his ancestors over his pro-choice views, is out with a new column charging Gray with supporting the “slaughter [of] innocent children” while punishing those “who survive the abortion holocaust”:

But beyond the blatantly obvious flip-flops which the Obama-loving mainstream press find a way to excuse as just part of the president's remarkably nuanced mind, this behavior fits a much larger pattern of inconsistency that has come to define the liberal mind in America. Inconsistencies that should bring great embarrassment when exposed, and that rationality would demand be confronted and resolved, are systematically embraced and welcomed in the land of left-believe.

How else can one explain the recent protest that took place in Washington, DC? There, over 40 liberals (including the city's mayor and several councilmen) took to the streets to complain that the budget deal recently passed by Congress would deprive the nation's capital city of federal tax dollars to fund abortions. In the name of choice, these left-wing activists blocked the streets until being detained by police. On its own, seeing a group of liberals championing the right to choose to kill children in the womb is nothing new.

But that wasn't all they were protesting. Another part of the budget deal that had raised their ire was the reinstatement of the Opportunities Scholarship Program. This school-choice program provides poor families the chance to move their children from failing inner-city schools to higher performing ones, allowing future generations of predominantly minority students the opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty that engulfs them. This protest, then, is the perfect embodiment of modern liberal thought: rally in the streets to continue facilitating the choice to slaughter innocent children in the womb while simultaneously demanding that those children who survive the abortion holocaust be given no choice to break free from their deplorable surroundings.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Hate Watch: David Barton – Extremist 'Historian' for the Christian Right.

Fact Checking Barton Part I: Texas Textbooks

With no academic credentials as a historian, David Barton toldThe Daily Show host Jon Stewart that his involvement in editing textbooks around the country was proof that he is a respected and esteemed historian. However, his work with textbooks if anything reveals his blatant partisanship and pseudo-scholarship.

As Mariah Blake writes in The Washington Monthly, Barton’s Christian nation mythology was indeed just one aspect of his role shaping the Texas textbooks as a consultant for the Texas School Board. Barton wanted to give a positive spin to Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist politics and “purge the standards of key figures of the civil rights era, such as César Chávez and Thurgood Marshall.” As Blake writes, Barton tried to diminish the work of civil rights leaders like Martin Luther Ling Jr. by arguing “that they shouldn’t be given credit for advancing the rights of minorities. As Barton put it, ‘Only majorities can expand political rights in America’s constitutional society.’ Ergo, any rights people of color have were handed to them by whites—in his view, mostly white Republican men.”

Barton, who was once vice-chair of the Texas GOP and a paid surrogate of the Republican National Committee, tirelessly works to convince black audiences that they should vote for Republicans and oppose the Democratic Party because the GOP is responsible for black civil rights.

But Barton’s claims that he writes about more than just America as a “Christian nation” shouldn’t distract from the reason Texas School Board members invited Barton to edit their textbooks in the first place. In fact, then-Texas School Board member Cynthia Dunbar admitted that it was the board’s goal to promote religion through the state’s textbooks to counteract “a Biblically illiterate society,” and another ex-member Don McLeroy said that it was his job at the School Board to fight “secular humanists” because “we are a Christian nation founded on Christian principles” and “the way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel.”

Barton also told Jon Stewart that he was used to help write textbooks in other states, namely California. However, this is quite an exaggeration. Rob Boston writes that while Barton was invited by a conservative to advise California in its development of textbooks, his proposals went nowhere:

In 1998, a conservative member of the California Academic Standards Commission appointed Barton to an advisory position, asking the Texan to critique proposed social studies/history standards. From that perch, Barton attacked the portion of the standards that discussed the development of religious freedom, trying to remove every reference to separation of church and state.

He almost pulled it off. Commission members, unfamiliar with Barton’s agenda, seemed open to adopting his suggestions. They changed course only after intervention by Americans United’s Sacramento Chapter, AU’s national office and others.

Chris Rodda of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation notes that this isn’t the only time Barton embellished his work with other states, as he also worked with Michele Bachmann when she was a Minnesota state legislator to ensure that schools display the Declaration of Independence.

Such a record of exaggeration demonstrates why real historians, including Christian historians, who have followed David Barton have repeatedly criticized and dismissed his faulty “scholarship.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pennsylvania Republican Introduces Amendment To Ban Gay Marriage

Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe has introduced an amendment to the State Constitution to ban equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. Same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania is already banned by statute, and the amendment would need to win the approval of the state legislature in two consecutive terms, which would result in a popular referendum. Republicans currently control both chambers of the Pennsylvania legislature and Metcalfe chairs the House State Government Committee. A committee in the Minnesota State House passed a similar amendment earlier today.

A longtime opponent of gay rights who opposed a resolution condemning domestic violence because he said it was part of the “homosexual agenda,” Metcalfe is one of the most fervently right-wing lawmakers in Pennsylvania. He founded and chairs State Legislators for Legal Immigration, which seeks to overturn the right of birthright citizenship, and also introduced legislation to forcefully undercut the right of workers to form a union. I addition, he introduced a “Birther bill” in Pennsylvania, attacked veterans who protested climate change as “traitors,” and voted against an honorary resolution for a Pennsylvania Muslim group because “Muslims do not recognize Jesus Christ as God.”

He said in a statement that Obama, “bureaucrats” and “special interests” forced him to introduce an amendment:

"Pennsylvania House State Government Committee Chairman State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) announced today the introduction of a Constitutional amendment to allow the citizens of Pennsylvania to precisely define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

“The institution of traditional marriage has never been under greater attack,” said Metcalfe. “This not only includes the special interests who want to permanently redefine marriage, but unfortunately the executive branch and the federal Department of Justice who have blatantly and recklessly refused to uphold and defend its Constitutionality. Once again, it falls to the responsibility of state lawmakers to restore the rule of law and carry out the will of the people.”



To date, voters in 30 states have ratified similar amendments to their state constitutions.

“Pennsylvania voters deserve the opportunity to do the same,” Metcalfe said. “The definition of marriage as ‘the union of one man and one woman,’ defended and upheld by this legislation, is the traditional definition of marriage that has been recognized and accepted throughout history and the world for centuries. It should not be the Obama administration’s Department of Justice and the executive branch bureaucrats that decide this critical issue for our Commonwealth, but rather the voters.”

Return of the "Death Panels": The Latest GOP Invective Against Health Care Reform

Republicans are back with more smear-ridden criticism of the new health care reform law’s attempt to streamline burgeoning Medicare costs, regenerating the discredited “death panel” smear. The law established the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to replace the ineffectual Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and to “recommend policies to Congress to help Medicare provide better care at lower costs.” Even though the board is “specifically prohibited by law from recommending any policies that ration care” and its members and decisions are subject to congressional approval, the GOP has targeted the board as the latest “death panel.”

WorldNetDaily dubs IPAB the “ultimate ‘death panel’” and interviews Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), who alleges that the board “is going to be able to tell you what kind of care you can get, where and when you can get it and worst of all, when you've had enough”:

However, there's a new round of alarms developing over what critics have described as the ultimate "death panel," concerns that have been raised because Barack Obama himself suggested giving an already-unaccountable board more authority.



U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, who has authored "Doctor in the House" on the issue of the nationalization of health care, said the IPAB was a bad idea when ex-Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., proposed it before voters removed him from office, and it hasn't gotten better.

"Now for the first time ever the primary party for health care for seniors, Medicare, is going to be able to tell you what kind of care you can get, where and when you can get it and worst of all, when you've had enough," he told WND today.

"If all you're looking to do is be able to figure how to take care of old people cheaply, this is the way to go," he said. "If what you want to provide is meaningful medical care, why would you set up or embellish a system that leads to waiting lists and rationing?"

He cited Obama's recent comments, and said the board will become "the central command and control system" and the "primary tool" to limit, ration, reduce or restrict treatments.

Among other reactions was Stanley Kurtz at National Review Online, who followed Obama's vague references with an explanation.

"They're back. Rationing, death panels, socialism, all those nasty old words that helped bring Republicans victory in 2010 … They're back because of IPAB. Remember that acronym. It stands for The Independent Payment Advisory Board. IPAB is the real death panel, the true seat of rationing, and the royal road to health-care socialism.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 4/26/11

Michele Bachmann

Media: Included in the Time 100 (Star Tribune, 4/21).

2012: Claims she will reach a decision on presidential bid by June (LA Times, 4/20). 

Haley Barbour

2012: Decides against running for president (Politico, 4/25). 

Newt Gingrich

Energy: Received $300,000 from ethanol lobbying group (Des Moines Register, 4/25).

Immigration: Balances outreach to Hispanic voters with GOP's increasing nativism (Politico, 4/22). 

Mike Huckabee

South Carolina: Leads other candidates among South Carolina Republicans in new poll (The Ticket, 4/25).

Media: War of words with Glenn Beck escalates (HuffPo, 4/22). 

2012: Former campaign manager predicts he will run (The Daily Beast, 4/21). 

Jon Huntsman

Foreign Affairs: Wins praise from Chinese leaders as he leaves post as Ambassador (Salt Lake Tribune, 4/21). 

Campaign: Hires prominent GOP pollster (Fox News, 4/20). 

Roy Moore

Iowa: Completes 27-stop tour in Iowa, focusing on religious voters (Iowa Republican, 4/22). 

Religious Right: Addresses militantly anti-gay Cornerstone World Outreach church (Sioux City Journal, 4/22) 

Sarah Palin

Alaska: 61% of home state voters view her unfavorably (Anchorage Daily News, 4/25). 

Family: Estranged ex-future-son-in-law Levi Johnston to write tell-all on Palin family (LA Times, 4/25). 

Religious Right: Set to speak alongside dominionist ex-General William Boykin (HuffPo, 4/25).

Iowa: Campaign in Iowa a one-man operation (WSJ, 4/22). 

Tim Pawlenty

Polls: Fails to increase support among GOP primary voters in polls (Minnesota Public Radio, 4/25). 

Environment: Former adviser and polar explorer disappointed with Pawlenty's move towards climate change denial (Mother Jones, 4/21). 

Mitt Romney

Budget: Wrongly claims that Obama is managing a "peacetime" budget in op-ed (Washington Monthly, 4/25).

Fundraising: Escalates fundraising to build campaign war chest (AP, 4/25). 

Rick Santorum

Equality: Doubles down on opposition to civil rights for gays and lesbians (Crooks and Liars, 4/25). 

Health care: Regrets voting for Medicare prescription drug benefit plan (HuffPo, 4/24). 

Iowa: Hires state campaign manager and field director before embarking on tour (Politico, 4/21). 

Donald Trump

Birther: Claims President Obama's birth certificate is either "missing" or "does not exist" (Daily Caller, 4/25). 

Voting: Has spotty voting record during primary elections (NY1, 4/23).

Iowa GOP Tries To Impeach State Supreme Court Over Marriage Equality

After the Religious Right’s successful campaign, with massive funding from Newt Gingrich, to remove three state Supreme Court justices in the 2010 elections who backed marriage equality, now the Iowa GOP is pushing for the impeachment of the remaining justices. Bob Vander Plaats, the anti-gay activist who led the drive to remove the Justices and heads The Family Leader, has previously called for the resignation of the entire Supreme Court and advocated for their removal over the marriage equality ruling in Varnum v. Brien. He is also building ties with likely presidential candidates as Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Herman Cain have either addressed or plan to speak during The Family Leader’s “presidential lecture series.”

Despite the heightened activism of the state’s social conservatives, Lynda Waddington of the Iowa Independent reports that the impeachment resolution faces an uphill battle:

Iowa House Republicans drew an immediate negative reaction late Thursday when they filed four articles of impeachment, one for each remaining member of the Iowa Supreme Court that participated in an April 2009 decision that struck down a legislative ban on same-sex marriage as a violation of the state’s equal protection clause.

The four House resolutions target Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady (HR 48) and Justices Brent Appel (HR 47), Daryl Hecht (HR 49) and David Wiggins (HR 50) for “malfeasance in office” specifically for their ruling in the Varnum v. Brien case, saying that each justice “exercis[ed] functions properly belonging to the legislative and executive departments.” …

The articles of impeachment drafted and filed by the five legislators were also immediately attacked by Justice Not Politics, a nonpartisan group that formed in advance of the 2010 retention election in hopes of bolstering support for the three justices on the November ballot and to stress the non-political nature of the Iowa Judicial Branch.



Opposition to retention was led by Bob Vander Plaats, who formed Iowa for Freedom following an unsuccessful GOP gubernatorial primary bid. The ouster movement was well financed by out-of-state anti-gay interest groups. Currently, Vander Plaats is employed as head of The Family Leader organization, which has traveled the state in hopes of “building on the momentum” of the November ousters.

The three ousted justices were replaced by Gov. Terry Branstad in February, following a winnowing of candidates by the State Judicial Nominating Commission.

Although Republicans hold a majority in the Iowa House, it remains doubtful that the articles of impeachment will live beyond their referral to the Judiciary Committee.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 4/19/11

Michele Bachmann

Book: Considering a proposal to write her memoirs (AP, 4/18).

South Carolina: Rally in South Carolina a bust (CBS News, 4/18). 

Birther: Continues to float birther conspiracy on Fox News (The Atlantic, 4/18). 

Budget: Falsely claims that the top 1% pay 40% of taxes (PolitiFact, 4/13). 

Haley Barbour

South Carolina: Wins Charleston County GOP straw poll (The State Column, 4/18). 

New Hampshire: Takes two-day swing in New Hampshire (Boston Globe, 4/15). 

Mike Huckabee

South Carolina: Meets with supporters from the 2008 campaign (RCP, 4/18). 

Iowa: Volunteers from 2008 bid work to build new campaign (The Ticket, 4/15). 

Jon Huntsman

South Carolina: Organizes campaign in the Palmetto State (CNN, 4/18).

Obama: Conservative website features laudatory letters from Huntsman to Obama (Daily Caller, 4/15).

Roy Moore

2012: Forms presidential exploratory committee (AP, 4/18). 

Religious Right: Travels around Iowa with staffer from the far-right The Family Leader (Des Moines Register, 4/18). 

Sarah Palin

PAC: Launches new website for leadership pac (The Caucus, 4/18). 

Tea Party: Addresses small rally for Koch front group in Wisconsin (TPM, 4/16). 

Ron Paul

South Carolina: Tops the field in the Lexington County straw poll (CNN, 4/16). 

2012: Opens fundraising account for potential presidential bid (Politico, 4/14). 

Tim Pawlenty

Tea Party: Keynotes tea party rally in Boston, slams health care reform (Boston Globe, 4/16). 

Budget: Criticizes compromise budget deal (The Fix, 4/13). 

Mitt Romney

Florida: Leads in early poll of Sunshine State Republicans (Taunton Daily Gazette, 4/17). 

Fundraising: Benefits from network of state leadership PACs (Boston Globe, 4/15). 

Donald Trump

GOP: Presidential campaign gains increasing interest among Republican activists (AP, 4/19). 

Tea Party: Addresses Tea Party rally with Florida Congressman Allen West (The State Column, 4/17). 

Poll: Leads other likely candidates in poll of Republicans nationwide (WSJ, 4/15). 

Rick Santorum

Campaign: Rejects pro-union line of Langston Hughes he used as a campaign motto (The Guardian, 4/18). 

Equality: Supports reinstating Don't Ask Don't Tell policy (Think Progress, 4/18). 

Religious Right: Plans to join The Family Leader's Iowa presidential lecture tour (RWW, 4/18).

New Hampshire: Plays in mini golf tournament in Granite State tour (Foster's Daily Democrat, 4/17).

Right Wing Leftovers

Profiles in Debt-Busting Courage (Not)

Friday’s Washington Post features a story about a battle within the conservative movement. Hard-right figures like Sen. Tom Coburn and Grover “drown the government in the bathtub” Norquist are fighting among themselves about which is more important: reducing the deficit or sticking to Norquist’s  “no new taxes” pledge, which many Republicans have signed in recent years. 

The same question played out at last weekend’s “Awakening” conference, sponsored by the Freedom Federation at Liberty University. In a Saturday panel moderated by Tim Phillips, president of the Koch-funded Tea Party astroturfing group Americans for Prosperity, Norquist urged participants not to focus on the size of the deficit, but the size of government. 
 
Being told not to focus on the size of the deficit was a bit stunning given that a major theme of the conference had been that the growing national debt was an evil, immoral force. In fact, the night before Norquist’s panel, participants were told that the national debt was on the verge of destroying civilization as we know it. Former Reagan administration official Marc Nuttle, now on the board of the dominionist Oak Initiative, gave a gloom-and-doom-and-more-doom analysis of the mounting national debt. Nuttle’s thesis is that we could be less than two years from hitting a catastrophic debt wall, where interest rates rise and we can’t keep up payments, the U.S. fails, and with it freedom, and the world collapses into 1,000 years of darkness.
 
Nuttle had given essentially the same analysis in an interview with “apostles” Cindy and Rick Jacobs a few weeks earlier. But in that interview, Nuttle also presented the outline of his suggested plan for averting catastrophe. The dire threat required a spirit of shared sacrifice, he said, and the “Nuttle plan,” as he described it then, called for extraordinary temporary measures, including four years of sales taxes and taxes on the rich along with means-testing social security.
 
I had been surprised at parts of Nuttle’s proposal, and expected some sparks to fly when I saw he was appearing on the Norquist panel.  But under the gaze of Phillips and Norquist, Nuttle choked. His presentation painted the same frightening picture that he had described the night before, but did not talk about the kind of tax-inclusive shared sacrifice he had described in his interview with Cindy and Rick Jacobs.  So during the Q&A I asked him whether there wasn’t some disagreement on the panel between his and Norquist’s visions.
 
Nuttle was clearly uncomfortable and apparently unwilling to stand up to Norquist on the tax question, so he declared “I don’t want to raise taxes” and suggested the government could survive on 20 percent of what it now spends. When asked about his earlier interview, he suggested that he was talking about the fact that after the nation hit the wall and we were in crisis, we would be forced to take drastic measures to help the nation survive. 
 
But wouldn’t you want to make a shared sacrifice to prevent disaster rather than during the aftermath? It seems quite clear in Nuttle’s interview with the Jacobs that his call for shared sacrifice and temporary taxes was to help prevent the U.S.  from hitting the “wall” by dealing with the deficit while we still had a chance to get it under control. But his unwillingness to say so while seated next to Norquist demonstrates the same kind of uncomfortable position Republican lawmakers are in. Under pressure from Norquist, they’ve been making easy “no new taxes” pledges for years.  But this year, many Republicans were swept into power by Tea Partiers’ fears that the debt was destroying their children’s and grandchildren’s future and their urgent desire to reduce federal deficits.  And it's not so easy to reconcile the two.  Welcome to governing.

Fischer: Boehner's Compromise On Planned Parenthood Was An Offense To God

Bryan Fischer is doubling-down on his previous comparison of House Speaker John Boehner to Pontius Pilate and Nazi apologists over the budget deal which includes funding for Planned Parenthood, and is now suggesting that the Republican leader was “was more of afraid of answering to the Washington Post than he was of answering to God.”

While Planned Parenthood by law is prohibited from receiving federal funding for abortion services, Republicans originally wanted to stop the organization from receiving support for its work in a wide variety of women’s healthcare. Under the compromise deal between Boehner and President Obama, Planned Parenthood’s funding was secured and a vote to defund the organization failed in the Senate. Fischer, the AFA’s Director of Issues Analysis, now claims that Boehner “sold out” the Tea Party to the “pro-death” Obama by having the government to “continue to pay Planned Parenthood to run their chambers of horror” and has allowed “the wicked to pollute the stream”:

The president was so committed to his pro-death platform that he was willing to see our soldiers go without pay. Think about that for a moment. It was more important to Mr. Obama to pay people to dismember babies in the womb than to pay the men in uniform who protect our liberties. Paying abortionists was more important to the president than paying soldiers.

Why did the speaker crumple while the president stood strong? The likeliest explanation is simple: the fear of man. The speaker has always seemed deathly afraid of a government shutdown, surrendering up his hole card before anyone had even anted up.

He seemed paralyzed at the thought that he would be blamed for a government slowdown, and everybody in the room knew it. He apparently was more of afraid of answering to the Washington Post than he was of answering to God. The Proverbs says, “The fear of man lays a snare” (Prov. 29:25),” and the speaker fell into a trap of his own making.

The speaker is afraid of the wrong people. Instead of fearing the New York Times, he should be living in mortal fear of the Tea Party. The Tea Party cannot help but feel they have been sold out, their pro-life convictions abandoned in exchange for a mess of pottage, a $352 million reduction in actual government outlays. That’s about what we will now continue to pay Planned Parenthood to run their chambers of horror.

I have no doubt that the speaker is a good man. He’s decent, upright and wanted to do the right thing. But the Scriptures also say, “Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked” (Prv. 25:26). When a good and upright man surrenders his principles under pressure from the wicked, the stream is polluted just as much as if he gone to the water’s edge and dumped the toxins in himself. Weakness is as deadly as malice. Allowing the wicked to pollute the stream when it is in your power to stop it is little different than doing the deed yourself.

Anti-Choice Leader Claims Obama Supports Black Genocide

While one anti-choice group is using President Obama’s image to attack legal abortion as black genocide, others are coming out saying that President Obama is advocating the extermination of African Americans because he is pro-choice. The abortion as “black genocide” myth is gaining increasing prominence in the anti-choice community, and the Family Research Council even asserted that Planned Parenthood was responsible for Washington D.C.’s shrinking black population.

Jim Sedlak of the American Life League, a champion of the radical personhood laws, argued that statistics showing that black women have a disproportionate number of abortions is proof that the black community is targeted by abortion providers. After D.C. mayor Vince Gray was arrested for protesting the budget deal that prevented the city from using local tax dollars to help low-income women access reproductive healthcare, Sedlak said that that “Margaret Sanger would be proud of her elitist black disciples” like Obama and Gray, asking, “with leaders like the president and the DC mayor, is it any surprise this black genocide continues?”:

With those statistics in mind, the American Life League said it is surprised that “America’s first black president drew a bizarre line in the sand declaring he would shut down the government of the United States to keep federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the organization that aborts over 125,000 black children nationwide each year.”

“The president of the United States champions aborting over one-third of the next generation of African-Americans as empowerment,” said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League. “We do not. We see it as the worst bigotry of low expectations. Margaret Sanger would be proud of her elitist black disciples. We are not.”

Based on its calculations, ALL says Planned Parenthood is responsible for the death of at least 126,601 black unborn children each year.

“With leaders like the president and the DC mayor, is it any surprise this black genocide continues? It needs to stop and the place to start is with the total defunding of the organization where it began: Planned Parenthood,” Sedlak concluded.

"Birther Bill" Advances In Arizona, Introduced In Pennsylvania

Perhaps the rise of Donald Trump’s poll numbers among Republicans following his escalating “birther” rhetoric has given a boost to the discredited birthers, as the Arizona State Senate just passed a “birther” bill. The legislation requires candidates to prove that they are born on U.S. soil if they want to receive a spot on the ballot, and its chief sponsor in the House even met with Trump to discuss the bill’s prospects:

The measure, House Bill 2177, is aimed at President Barack Obama and those on the political right who want him to produce a birth certificate proving he was born in Hawaii and not Kenya, where his father is from.

The Arizona Legislature passed the bill 20-8 on a party-line vote in the State Senate with Republicans backing and Democrats opposing.

The measure includes some changes that allow for other documents beside birth certificates to be produced by presidential contenders. It now goes back to the Arizona House of Representatives for another vote. The House previously approved the birther bill without new Senate changes.

In addition, Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe today introduced a similar bill in his state, saying, “It is beyond perplexing and greatly troubling that a political candidate can ascend to the highest levels of government without providing sufficient documentation verifying his or her place of birth or American citizenship.”

Trump, who will be speaking this weekend to the South Florida Tea Party, has won plaudits from leading ‘birthers’ and Republicans like Sarah Palin for promoting the discredited conspiracy theory. At least ten states are considering such “birther bills” this year.

Syndicate content

republicans Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 08/22/2011, 5:22pm
William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC joined Janet Mefferd today to make the case that President Obama is now a dictator who plans to create a police state and use undocumented immigrants to wage war on “White America.” Gheen, who previously accused Obama of treason and “replacing many core Americans” (among other radical claims), told Mefferd that “extra-political activities that I can’t really talk about because they’re all illegal and violent” may be needed to bring down Obama. Later in the interview, Gheen demanded that... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/22/2011, 3:19pm
The Austin Chronicle has begun tweeting links to old articles about Rick Perry, like this one from 2005 when Perry spoke at a "Texas Restoration Project" with a gaggle of anti-gay Religious Right activists: A source who attended the event spoke to the Chronicle but requested anonymity because he serves in a local congregation and was sensitive to its politically diverse viewpoints. He recorded the event and provided the audiotape to the Texas Freedom Network, which in turn provided copies to the media. Millionaire San Antonio conservative James Leininger was in attendance, as was... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 08/18/2011, 5:33pm
Lisa Miller demonstrates just how easy it is to dismiss the rise of dominionism by doing no research and providing no evidence at all. I have no idea what this is, but it seems rather sketchy to me. The Christian Defense Coalition's Pat Mahoney is protesting President Obama's "$50,000 a week vacation." Michele Bachamann stopped by Liberty University to meet with Jerry Falwell Jr. yesterday. It is truly amazing to watch right-wing activists now rail against George W. Bush and his aides as "Ruling Class Republicans." Concerned Women For America... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 08/17/2011, 10:37am
Pamela Geller has a second column out today attacking Texas Gov. Rick Perry for his ties to the Aga Khan, the leader of the Ismaili sect of Shiite Islam, and to one of Geller’s favorite targets, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Anti-Muslim activists have long viewed Norquist as one of the principal architects of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the conservative movement and American society at large because of his work to make the political Right more inclusive of Muslim-Americans. Geller writes today in her WorldNetDaily column that she doesn’t “want to see a... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 08/16/2011, 1:16pm
Perennial North Carolina Republican congressional candidate Vernon Robinson is asking for money for his campaign to readers of the far-right website WorldNetDaily. Robinson is best known for his Twilight Zone ad, which he ran during his unsuccessful campaign against Democratic Rep. Brad Miller. While he failed in his bid for Congress, Robinson endeared himself to Republicans across the country. Now, Robinson is running in the 8th congressional district against Rep. Larry Kissell and in a fundraising email blasts President Barack Obama for “hanging out with terrorists” and “... MORE
Peter Montgomery, Sunday 08/14/2011, 1:26pm
On Sunday, after a disappointing defeat in Iowa's Ames Straw Poll, Tim Pawlenty withdrew from the presidential race, saying that "the audience, so to speak, wanted something different." What Iowa Republicans want, at least according to the straw poll results, is Michele Bachmann, who many pundits agreed had bested Pawlenty in a harsh exchange at last week's GOP debate. Just hours before he dropped out of the race, Pawlenty's campaign emailed supporters with a claim that he was eager to continue the fight, a fundraising pitch, a new video title "The American Comeback Begins... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 08/12/2011, 5:10pm
Texas Freedom Network: Rick Perry: Politics, Faith and the Culture Wars. Forrest Wilder @ Texas Observer: The Mainstream Media's Shallow Coverage of The Response. Igor Volsky @ Think Progress LGBT: All The Anti-Gay Rhetoric From The GOP Presidential Debate…In Under 2 Minutes. Colby Hall @ Mediaite: Joe Scarborough’s Brutally Honest Take on Michele Bachmann: “She Is A Joke.” Charles Johnson @ LGF: All 8 Republicans Would Walk Away from '10 to 1' Deal. Jeremy Holden @ County Fair: James O'Keefe's Medicaid Sting Is Still... MORE