Women

Brownback's Double Standard

We have been following Sen. Sam Brownback’s on-going hold of Janet Neff’s nomination to serve on the US District Court for the Western District of Michigan because Brownback is concerned that Neff attended a commitment ceremony for a lesbian couple back in 2002.  

Brownback is stalling her nomination simply because she attended a commitment ceremony in her personal capacity, but now said that he will consider lifting his hold on her nomination – but only if she agrees to recuse herself from any case that deals with the issue of same-sex unions

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, a potential presidential candidate, said Friday he would lift his hold on a federal judicial nominee if she agrees to step aside from any case dealing with same-sex unions.

Brownback, a Republican raising money for a possible White House bid, has stalled the confirmation of Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Janet Neff to the federal bench because she once attended a lesbian commitment ceremony.

Neff has said she attended the ceremony as a friend of one of the two women, a longtime neighbor. She insisted in an Oct. 12 letter to Brownback that the ceremony had no legal effect and would not affect her ability to act fairly as a federal judge.

Brownback, a prominent gay marriage opponent, says he is concerned the incident colors her legal view on the constitutionality of allowing same-sex marriages.

It should be noted that Brownback voted to confirm William Pryor to a seat on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals despite Pryor’s open hostility to Supreme Court precedent and his extremist views on church-state separation, gay rights, and other matters

During an April 1997 rally, Pryor decried the decades-old precedent of Roe. He said, “I will never forget January 22, 1973, the day seven members of our highest court ripped the Constitution…” In a survey of state attorneys general on the issue, Pryor said, “Abortion is murder and Roe v. Wade is an abominable decision.” Pryor opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

One of Pryor’s most memorable efforts to move the law closer to his ideology is seen through Alabama Justice Roy Moore’s crusade to defy a federal court order and display the Ten Commandments in his courtroom and on other state property. Moore parlayed his refusal to remove such a display, even after a court ordered him to do so, into a successful campaign for the state’s top judgeship. There, he again displayed his Ten Commandments, this time on a granite monument in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery.

William Pryor has backed Judge Moore, even though the judge’s actions plainly violate the Constitution’s requirement of the separation of church and state.

… Speaking at a rally in support of Judge Moore in 1997, Pryor said, “God has chosen, through his son Jesus Christ, this time and this place for all Christians…to save our country and save our courts.”

Brownback made no such demands that Pryor recuse himself from any case involving the Ten Commandments or reproductive choice, even though there was no doubt about Pryor’s views on the issues and how he would rule in such cases – yet, Brownback is now demanding that Neff agree to recuse herself from any case involving the issue of same-sex unions merely because she attended a commitment ceremony.  

Concerned Women for America Bemoans Failure of 'Fetal Pain' Bill

Congress “voted to not let women know that abortion will torture their innocent unborn babies,” says head Wright; group invokes animal slaughter regulations.

Right on Veep’s New Grandchild: 'Tragic'

Media Research Center ’s Robert Knight called it “tragic.” Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth called it “immoral.” Concerned Women for America ’s Janice Crouse called it “unconscionable.” What are they talking about? A couple deciding to have a kid. If Vice-President Cheney thought that some of his biggest supporters would congratulate him on a new grandchild – or at least restrain themselves from sending out press releases – he had to be disappointed at the right-wing reaction to his daughter’s pregnancy and her plans to raise the child with her lesbian partner.

According to the Right, gays just aren’t fit to be parents – and raising a child is akin to a malicious act. CWA’s Crouse told ABC that Cheney and her partner are “deliberately bringing a child into the world without a father, leaving a great gaping hole” and that leads to “all sorts of negative outcomes — drug use, juvenile delinquency. You name it.” Crouse’s former fellow Concerned Woman Bob Knight went further, claiming that the “child has been conceived with the express purpose of denying it a father,” and “they're shortchanging this child from the start." LaBarbera described the situation as “fatherless by design,” and decry the couple’s plans to “model immoral homosexual behavior before innocent children.”

Carrie Gordon Earll of Focus on the Family was a little more tactful, saying, "Just because you can conceive a child outside a one-woman, one-man marriage doesn't mean it's a good idea. Love can't replace a mother and a father.” She also talked, obliquely, about gay adoption, saying it “intentionally denies children either a mother or a father” and put the “desires of adults” above the “needs of children.” In this she echoed radio talker Kevin McCullough, who wrote that Cheney and her partner were withholding a father “purposefully, simply to stroke one's own desire to have a child - sort of like a new handbag, or pair of shoes.”

Gay advocates pointed out that Mary Cheney’s home state, Virginia, recently passed a constitutional amendment to bar her partner, Heather Poe, from marrying her (or even entering a legal arrangement to approximate marriage), and so the efforts of the right-wing will have a real, deleterious effect on the child’s family situation. “Unless they move to a handful of less restrictive states, Heather will never be able to have a legal relationship with her child,” said Jennifer Chrisler of Family Pride.

But the Right took the opposite view: that Cheney was getting in the way of their anti-gay mission. Crouse told the L.A. Times, “Not only is she doing a disservice to her child, she's voiding all the effort her father put into the Bush administration.” Knight said, "Mary and Heather can believe what they want, but what they're seeking is to force others to bless their nonmarital relationship as marriage" and to "create a culture that is based on sexual anarchy instead of marriage and family values.”

“God’s Senator” Explores Run for President

Now that Sen. Sam Brownback has announced he is setting up an official exploratory committee to prepare to run for president, he is poised to become the Right’s preferred candidate.   

Facing a presidential primary in which “not one of [the] front-runners is a bona fide social conservative” wholly committed to the right-wing agenda, Brownback’s entry is being welcomed as the Right’s best hope

"He will add a lot to the national, not just the presidential, debate," said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, a group represented at those meetings. "He truly understands the conservative point of view. It is so frustrating for us when politicians try to pander to us. Brownback is consistent."

It is easy to see why Brownback’s candidacy would be embraced by the Right. He was, after all, named Distinguished Christian Statesman by D. James Kennedy in 2000.  And a quick look at the people he has chosen to serve on his presidential exploratory committee shows just how committed he is to the Right’s agenda.  

Brownback.jpg

Among those listed is Chuck Hurley of the Iowa Family Policy Center, which is part of a network of state-level affiliates that work closely with Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, and Dr. Jack Willke, President of the Life Issues Institute. In addition to Willke and Hurley, Brownback has tapped the likes of Alveda King, a right-wing stalwart who, among other things, participated at the Family Research Council’s “Justice Sunday III” event.  

But two names among those listed as members of Brownback committee stand out: Tom Monaghan and Frank Pavone.

War on Christmas: Right Blasts Chicago for Not Airing Movie in Christmas Market

David Limbaugh, Robert Knight, Concerned Women complain. City said “Nativity Story” clips were “too commercial”; the festival has its own nativity scene.

AFA Still Thinking up New Reasons to Boycott Ford

Hoping to be the biggest threat to American automobile manufacturers since the arrival of large numbers of low-priced Japanese cars in the 1980s, the American Family Association, a virulently anti-gay group, has marshaled a large portion of its resources over the last two years attempting to organize its constituents to boycott the Ford Motor Company over its marketing to gays and lesbians. While a planned boycott one year ago was cancelled, AFA almost immediately reconsidered – claiming the automaker had “reneged” on some kind of “agreements” – and began a boycott in earnest in March.

Adding to its list of grievances – such as Ford running a commercial during a CBS program that had a kiss between two women – AFA cites an e-mail sent by Ford’s “grassroots action program” that urged its employees to vote, and directed them to two sites with information about candidates and ballot initiatives. One of the sites, Ballot.org, describes ballot initiatives in various states and provides links to proponents’ and opponents’ web sites.  The AFA didn’t like Ballot.org’s descriptions or endorsements – especially the site’s opposition to anti-gay constitutional amendments.

According to AFA, this is just more evidence that Ford has “elected to throw their company resources behind the promotion of homosexual marriage.” AFA is urging more of its supporters to join its boycott and to contact local Ford dealers.

At the Values Voter Summit in September, AFA President Don Wildmon bragged that his efforts were having a considerable effect on the company’s bottom line. While this claim is dubious to say the least – AFA’s nine-year Disney boycott fizzled out – the Ford boycott did at least become an issue in Michigan’s race for governor, with pro-gay groups publicizing ties between AFA and Republican candidate Dick DeVos in order to undermine DeVos’s stated support of the auto industry.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Americans Have Judges on Christmas List,” according to a press release from Concerned Women for America pushing the lame-duck confirmation of a handful of controversial judicial nominees whom Bush resubmitted after the election.

Christmas Surprise!

Catholic League: 'Cultural Fascists' to Steal Christmas

CheermeterThe Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights placed a costly advertisement in the op-ed section of the New York Times declaring that “cultural fascists” are preparing to destroy Christmas again this year. Catholic League President William Donohue writes:

There is something sick about Friendship Trees, Winter Solstice Concerts, Holiday Parades and Holly Day Festivals. The neutering of Christmas extends to the banishment of Nativity Scenes from the public square, the expulsion of baby Jesus from crèches not otherwise forbidden, the banning of red and green at school functions, the censoring of “Silent Night” at municipal concerts, etc.

(It’s worth noting that these latter two examples apparently refer to accusations made by Fox News hosts and Religious Right figures last year that turned out to be bogus – see here and here.) Last year, Donohue developed a brief boycott against Wal-Mart, and had another “beef” with Land’s End, for the use of those retailers of the phrase “Happy Holidays” in their promotional material rather than the supposedly more potent expression “Merry Christmas.”

This year, the group has set up a “Christmas Watch,” compiling alleged violations of the spirit (if not the letter) of Christmas law. “Grinches” include a mail-order catalog that sells a “Cat Nativity” scene and thieves who stole a man’s nativity scene from his front yard in Greenfield, Pennsylvania.

Whipping up a paranoid conspiracy theory of a “War on Christmas” is becoming something of an annual, festive tradition on the Right. While nobody is “banning” Christmas, right-wing groups can at least attack retailers, school administrators, and others whose yuletide cheer doesn’t cut muster. But what’s unusual about Donohue’s Times ad is the strange argument he makes to convince people not to say things like “Happy Holidays” – a seasonal greeting used not only as shorthand for “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” but also as a way to express kind sentiments to those who celebrate other days. According to Donohue, one should make a point of impoliteness – excluding people is the reason for the season, apparently, and it is also the true meaning of “diversity”:

To be excluded is normal. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Black History Month, Gay Pride Parades—they all exclude someone. The Olympic Games are a showcase of segregation—men are barred from women’s sports—yet not even radical feminists call it sexist. Should all of these holidays and events be banned because some feel excluded?

By celebrating Christmas we are celebrating diversity. Don’t let the cultural fascists get their way this year.

Facts Optional When It Come to Judges

As we have noted before, there appears to be something about the issue of judicial nominations that makes the Right take leave of their senses.  

For example, Vision America’s Rick Scarborough frets about the Democratic take-over of the Senate in January but insists that, despite the election results, “the American people elected George W. Bush in 2004 with the expectation that he would keep his campaign promise to nominate judges” who share the Right’s agenda regardless of which party controlled the Senate and is urging him to ignore calls to nominate any sort of “compromise” candidates.

To this end, Scarborough claims

 

When Clinton was president, there was no talk of compromise candidates. Our 42nd President put hard leftists like Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the bench.

 

The only thing that can be taken from this ridiculous claim is that Scarborough either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about the facts because, as Senator Orrin Hatch recounted in his autobiography, at a time when Democrats controlled the Senate and he was merely the ranking minority member of the Judiciary Committee, President Clinton still conferred with him when it came to potential nominees for the Supreme Court

Our conversation moved to other potential candidates. I asked whether he had considered Judge Stephen Breyer of the First Circuit Court of Appeals or Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. President Clinton indicated he had heard Breyer’s name but had not thought about Judge Ginsberg.

I indicated I thought they would be confirmed easily. I knew them both and believed that, while liberal, they were highly honest and capable jurists and their confirmation would not embarrass the President. From my perspective, they were far better than the other likely candidates from a liberal Democrat administration.

In the end … he nominated Judge Ginsburg and Judge Breyer a year later, when Harry Blackmun retired from the Court. Both were confirmed with relative ease.

Scarborough is not the only one who seems oblivious to history, no matter how recent. In Human Events, Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton writes that

 

Liberals in the Senate have turned the judicial confirmation process on its head, obstructing the President’s judicial nominees for political reasons. They even resorted to launching judicial filibusters, ignoring the constitutional directive to provide up-or-down votes on all judicial nominees. Why? Not because the nominees were unqualified. But rather because they didn’t like the nominees’ philosophy of judicial restraint.

 

As we have noted repeatedly, if folks on the Right are really concerned about judicial nominees being denied a vote because one or more senators don’t “like the nominees’ philosophy,” perhaps they can start hounding Sen. Sam Brownback to lift his hold on the nomination of Janet Neff -  a hold that Brownback says is going to continue indefinitely

“I’m still looking at the Neff situation, and I will in the future,” Brownback said.

Neff has said she attended [a same-sex commitment ceremony] as a friend of one of the two women, a longtime neighbor.

Neff has declined to answer Brownback’s queries on whether the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage or civil unions, saying it would be improper to address questions that might come before her as a federal judge.

Brownback called gay marriage a developing area of the law best not left to the judiciary anyway.

“To me these issues should be decided by the legislative bodies, not by the judicial bodies, and it seems to me this may indicate some view of hers on the legal issue. And that’s what I’m concerned about here, is her view of the legal issue involving same-sex marriage,” Brownback said.

One has to marvel at Scarborough’s willingness to claim that there is no need for consultation or compromise on Supreme Court nominees despite the standard set by Hatch and Clinton - and Fitton’s willingness to blast Democrats for opposing nominees based on philosophy at a time when Brownback is doing exactly that.   

Never let it be said that the Right will let pesky things like facts get in the way of their partisan polemics.

Anti-Abortion Groups File Briefs in 'Wrongful Death' Suit Involving Frozen Embryo

Last year, a Chicago judge allowed a wrongful-death suit to go forward against a fertility clinic that had accidentally destroyed a couple’s frozen embryos. This month, religious-right groups have signed on to the cause, reports the American Family Association’s AgapePress:

On November 17, a coalition of nine Illinois and national pro-life organizations filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the case in support of the parents. Comprising the coalition are Illinois Citizens for Life, Concerned Women for America, the Illinois Right to Life Committee, Life Advocacy Resource Project, Illinois Federation for Right to Life, Concerned Christian Americans, the Illinois Family Institute, Lutherans for Life, Inc., and the Catholic Conference Center of Illinois. The case is now pending before the Illinois appellate court.

Paul Linton is special counsel for the Thomas More Society of Chicago, which is representing the pro-life coalition. He says the trial judge was correct in concluding that the embryos were human beings under the state's wrongful death statute and should be protected by the law in the event of their destruction.

"Of course," Linton points out, "we want to maintain the standard that human life begins at conception -- understood as fertilization -- and not at a later stage of development, for example, where there is implantation."

According to Thomas Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, this case, on the cutting edge of abortion politics, “is the modern equivalent to Dred Scott in a Petri dish” – one in which the far limits of the “pro-life” position could potentially be legally delineated. But given that in-vitro fertilization involves the fertilization of a number of embryos, most of which will be discarded, one has to wonder what the Illinois couple was thinking when they began the process.

Right Creates Early, Extreme Campaign against Obama

Nov. 29: Update appended.

When it was recently announced that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois) would speak at a global AIDS conference at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, radio talker Kevin McCullough was quick to denounce the partnership between the “evil” young senator and Warren, author of the best-selling “Purpose-Driven Life”:

In doing so he has joined himself with one of the smoothest politicians of our times, and also one whose wickedness in worldview contradicts nearly every tenant of the Christian faith that Warren professes.

So the question is, "why?"

Why would Warren marry the moral equivalency of his pulpit - a sacred place of honor in evangelical tradition - to the inhumane, sick, and sinister evil that Obama has worked for as a legislator?

According to McCullough, what makes Obama “a man who represents the views of Satan at worst or progressive anti-God liberals at best” is his position on abortion and his support of “the radical homosexual activist lobby.”

Obama, who in his keynote address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention famously called for political ecumenism, will appear with far-right Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) to be tested for HIV on stage. But the spirit of bipartisanship in approaching issues, like AIDS, that cross the ideological divide is not enough to tamper the Right’s political efforts. Perhaps hoping to preempt a future presidential bid by Obama, right-wing leaders are coming out unusually strong against the AIDS Day appearance.

A (White) Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

In a telling display of the right wing’s contempt for affirmative action, College Republicans in Boston have decided to take a break from limiting the rights of gays, women and non-Christians to stand up for one of our society’s most down-trodden and ignored groups: white people.
Looking to draw attention to what they call the "worst form of bigotry confronting America today," Boston University's College Republicans are circulating an application for a "Caucasian Achievement and Recognition Scholarship" that requires applicants be at least 25 percent Caucasian.
Just in case any students of a non-pure blood attempt to swindle money from needy white Republicans, the scholarship application requires students to provide a written essay describing their lineage. Applicants are also required to write an essay describing “what is means to be Caucasian-American today.” Will applicants bemoan the lack of prominent white role models in government and business? Or, will they opine on the unequal treatment white people often receive from the criminal justice system? Perhaps, applicants will discuss their dream of a day when being white is not such a hardship. The Boston University group is not the first to offer scholarships to white folks. Two years ago a group of College Republicans in Rhode Island offered a similar scholarship, though their application required a photograph to “confirm whiteness,” and asked applicants to write an essay extolling white pride. Former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie criticized those white only scholarships.

Perhaps Colson Isn’t the Best Example

Appearing in Wednesday’s edition of the Washington Post was an op-ed by Joseph Loconte and Michael Cromartie, both affiliated with the right-wing Ethics and Public Policy Center, entitled “Let's Stop Stereotyping Evangelicals.”

The gist of the piece was that the culture’s conception of evangelicals “is a gross caricature” because it ignores “evangelicalism's deepening social conscience.” 

There can be no doubt that certain segments of the evangelical community have long been committed to social and justice issues beyond the Right’s standard anti-abortion and anti-gay agenda. In fact, as we noted in a post the other day, the National Association of Evangelicals is attempting to broaden its agenda to include everything from global warming to the crisis in Darfur, Sudan. Of course, such efforts have not been welcomed by some right-wing pundits and Religious Right leaders, some of whom are attempting to discredit this effort by tying it directly to the NAE’s disgraced former president, Ted Haggard. 

Loconte and Cromartie insist

Even the Moral Majority in its most belligerent form amounted to nothing more terrifying than churchgoers flocking peacefully to the polls on Election Day. The only people who want a biblical theocracy in America are completely outside the evangelical mainstream, their influence negligible.

So as Jerry Falwell and other ministers were jumping into politics, leaders such as Charles Colson -- former Nixon aide turned born-again Christian -- were charting another path. In 1976 Colson launched Prison Fellowship, a ministry to inmates, to address the soaring crime problem. Today it ranks as the largest prison ministry in the world, active in most U.S. prisons and in 112 countries. "Crime and violence frustrate every political answer," he has said, "because there can be no solution apart from character and creed." No organization has done more to bring redemption and hope to inmates and their families.

Colson’s organization has indeed been very effective reaching out to inmates.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t always been doing so in a manner that is constitutional

Operation Rescue Says Kansas Voters Have Blood on Their Hands

Amid the myriad of losses the Right suffered this election – be it the anti-abortion measure in South Dakota, the stem-cell amendment in Missouri, the parental notification measure in California, the fall of Sen. Rick Santorum, or the loss of more than two dozen seats in the House – nothing seems to have generated as much rage as Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline’s, an anti-abortion zealot who has long been trying to obtain medical records from women’s health clinics in the state, defeat.

Operation Rescue was practically beside itself   

Morrison Slithers into Kansas AG's Office on Backs of Dead Babies

“Kansas has opted to continue the practice of looking the other way when innocent young girls are taken to abortion clinics by their rapists, who are looking to destroy the evidence of their crimes,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “It has also voted to ignore violations of Kansas law that bans post viability abortions. That vote has bloodied the hands of the Kansans who cast those votes.”

Being upset after losing a race that one feels passionately is understandable, but telling the nearly half-million voters who supported your preferred candidate’s opponent that they have blood on their hands is probably not going to generate a lot of sympathy or support.

Right Sees New Jersey Marriage Ruling as Opportunity for Election-Day Push

Going into the final two weeks before the election with their party facing daunting losses, their appeal to Christian conservatives dimmed, and their anti-gay mobilization tactics falling flat, the Religious Right is looking at the New Jersey Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex unions as a glimmer of hope that they might maintain their influence in Congress.

"Pro-traditional-marriage organizations ought to give a distinguished service award to the New Jersey Supreme Court," said Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Concerned Women for America’s Jan LaRue Stumps for Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

In Virginia, as activists target college campuses.

Right Wing Reacts Quickly to New Jersey Marriage Decision

Today the New Jersey State Supreme Court unanimously ruled that, according to the state’s constitution, same-sex couples cannot be denied the rights and benefits of marriage. While a majority stopped short of specifically granting the right to marry to same-sex couples, the court ordered the legislature to extend the same rights, whether through marriage or another institution.

“The New Jersey Supreme Court has blatantly and arrogantly ordered the state Legislature to rip up what marriage has meant for thousands of years,” said James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. “The justices have made clear their disdain and disrespect for the true decision makers in our democracy -- the people -- as well as for the institution of marriage.” He added: “Nothing less than the future of the American family hangs in the balance if we allow one-man, one- woman marriage to be redefined out of existence. And, make no mistake, that is precisely the outcome the New Jersey Supreme Court is aiming for with this decision.”

“This is a textbook example of agenda-driven judges who are willing to twist their state laws and invade the province of the legislative branch in order to force same-sex 'marriage' on the people of New Jersey,” said Jan LaRue, chief counsel for Concerned Women for America. CWA President Wendy Wright added, “The New Jersey Supreme Court has distinguished itself once again for imposing its own form of discrimination by arrogantly declaring that a woman is not needed to make a marriage, or that a man is not.”

“This is nothing more than an act of veiled judicial activism,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. “As in Massachusetts and Vermont, the New Jersey Supreme Court has acted as a super-legislature imposing their will on the people of New Jersey. He called on the legislature to “ignore this ruling.” Dobson, Perkins, and Wright also said that the ruling should give impetus for voters in the 8 states with ballot initiatives regarding same-sex marriage.

Radio-talker Mark Levin, author of the anti-Supreme Court book “Men in Black,” asserted that the ruling was “as political as any I've seen.” “New Jersey joins Massachusetts in transitioning away from democratic government,” intoned Hugh Hewitt. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) quickly called for the passage of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, perhaps hoping to be the first member of Congress to do so.

Some struck a positive note. “This is a plus for those of us who have been pressing for a constitutional amendment that would limit marriage to a union between a man and a woman,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, explaining that he meant the case is “a wakeup call to the vast majority of Americans who are opposed to gay marriage but are reluctant to access the constitutional amendment process as the right remedy.”

Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Glen Lavy also called it a “wake-up call for people who believe that marriage doesn’t need constitutional protection.” According to Lavy, the court’s declining to require marriage over civil unions should be interpreted as “mak[ing] marriage meaningless” because it is characterized as “just another option along with other ‘unions.’”

Expect more tomorrow.

Who's "Pathetic?"

Sandy Rios, formerly of Concerned Women for America and now with the Culture Campaign, appeared on Tuesday’s edition of ”The O’Reilly Factor” to discuss the ads Michael J. Fox has filmed in support of candidates who support stem-cell research.  

When was asked about Rush Limbaugh’s recent comments that Fox was “exaggerating the effects of [his Parkinson's] Disease” and that the movements he exhibits in the commercial are “purely an act,” Rios defended the comments by claiming that Fox has publicly admitted that he stops taking his medication in order to “exaggerate” his symptoms and that Limbaugh mentioned that fact in the course of his remarks. 

O’Reilly bought her explanation and suggested that it made Limbaugh’s remarks less offensive because Fox was doing it intentionally to make himself "look more pathetic" – but according to the original transcript provided by Media Matters, Rios was wrong because Limbaugh didn’t mention it until the following day.

RIOS: Yes. So Michael J. Fox has been public that he does exaggerate. He allows his.

O'REILLY: I don't know if it's exaggerating, but he uses drama.

RIOS: If you don't take your medication and you have Parkinson's, you begin to have these movements.

O'REILLY: Sure. And he uses drama. But if Limbaugh did, and you saw it, you heard it?

RIOS: I heard it, I read the transcript.

O'REILLY: OK. OK. So he did read the portion of Michael J. Fox's book that said when I want drama, and I testify, don't take my medicine so I look more pathetic.

Rios.jpg

Watch This Exchange: Broadband or Dial-Up –  Watch the Entire Segment:  Broadband or Dial-Up

It is hard to know which is worse: Rios insisting that by not taking his medication, Fox is somehow “exaggerating” the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease or O’Reilly claiming that Fox does so in an effort to “look more pathetic.” 

In Promoting GOP, Religious Right Expands Agenda to War, Economic Policy

In a message to the Family Research Council’s “prayer team,” Tony Perkins warns what could happen “If Democrats Win the House”:

Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will likely become House Speaker. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) boasts, "When I become chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, we will have power over the entire tax system, Social Security system, pension system, Medicare and all international trade." Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., the vociferous former Marine who derides the Iraq war, will chair the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) will become Judiciary Committee Chairman and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) chairman of the Government Reform Committee.

While Perkins asks FRC supporters to pray that “God-fearing men and women be elected and may those with no fear of God be unelected,” he does not explain the connection between fearing God and pension policy.

Right Motivated by State Ballot Issues

Roy Moore, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, and Rick Scarborough and Alan Keyes focus on the importance of state initiatives on abortion, marriage, and the Ten Commandments
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Women Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 11/02/2010, 4:22pm
I have to admit that I was a little surprised to see Vision America's Rick Scarborough show up on Joyce Meyer's television program yesterday, mainly because I had never really associated Meyer's with this sort of Religious Right activism.   But judging by the discussion they had, it is pretty clear that she shares Scarborough's right-wing agenda, as the two discussed how important it is for Christians to vote in order to make sure that Godly men and women are writing our nation's laws instead of allowing Satan to pass laws aimed at silencing preachers, their fear that God will... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 11/01/2010, 12:12pm
In 2008, the Family Research Council endorsed Joseph Cao for Congress: Today FRC Action PAC is endorsing Joseph Cao for Congress representing the second district of Louisiana. "Joseph Cao will be a true friend of the family. We need representatives who will fight to defend the family against the radical leadership in the House of Representatives," said Tony Perkins, President of FRC Action PAC. "I feel confident in Joseph Cao's ability to do just that. "Joseph Cao's amazing life story is a testament to the high-caliber Congressman he would be. The second district of... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 11/01/2010, 11:30am
Last week we noted on James Dobson was practically begging Christians to get out and vote tomorrow in order to save America from certain destruction.  Well, he is still hammering home that point and so has decided to dedicate his next two days to reminding his listeners of the importance of freedom ... and he is doing so by honoring the military on his program. And how is Dobson honoring the military, you ask?  By running a speech recently delivered by Jerry Boykin: “God Bless America” is a beloved patriotic tune we might hum while watching fireworks or standing on the... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 10/29/2010, 4:56pm
Everybody knows that the Religious Right was dead-set against abortion and fought tooth-and-nail against health care reform on the grounds that it provided for taxpayer funded abortions.  But it is also important to keep pointing out that it is not just abortion that FRC opposes, but birth control entirely: Is Fertility a "Pre-existing Condition?" Planned Parenthood certainly thinks so. That's why the country's biggest abortion provider is pushing to include free birth control as part of the new health care law. Making a change in the law would not only add billions... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 10/28/2010, 4:01pm
Mike McManus runs an organization called Marriage Savers, which he co-founded with his wife Harriet. As the name suggests, the organization's mission is to "increase the success of marriage, reduce divorce rates, and provide a better environment for children to thrive."  And as that sort of mission would suggest, the organization is endorsed by Religious Right leaders like Tony Perkins, Don Wildmon, Mike Huckabee, Richard Land, and Robert George. Which makes this new column by McManus rather remarkable, because people on the Right generally don't give any credence to the claims... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 10/28/2010, 12:16pm
The Religious Right's "Judge Bus" continues to roll through Iowa and participants just keep coming up with wilder and wilder explanations of why three Supreme Court justices need to be removed from office, like Rep. Steve King claiming that if they aren't, pretty soon we'll have a society in which children will be taken away from parents and raised in warehouses to be vicious warriors ... or something: Speaking exclusively with The Iowa Independent following Wednesday’s event, King reaffirmed those statements and expanded on why he believes the institution of marriage is... MORE
Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 10/27/2010, 1:16pm
 In less than two years, the Tea Party movement emerged with an angry shout, became a major player in the national debate over health care reform, toppled incumbent senators and defeated candidates backed by the GOP establishment, and pushed radically right-wing views about the role of government into public debate. And they’re about to see a number of their candidates elected to Congress. For a while last year, journalists and other political observers weren’t sure whether to take the Tea Party movement seriously as a force in American politics. But Lawrence Rosenthal,... MORE