Fox News contributor Erik Rush complains in his latest column at World Net Daily that he was only joking when he said that Muslims are evil and should be killed. But he manages to prove otherwise by closing the column with a justification for killing Muslims:
For the record, I still maintain that Islam is, by its nature, wholly incompatible with Western society. I analogize liberalism, which is promoting this dhimmitude, to Stage 3 cancer in America’s body politic. For the record: While killing people is definitely undesirable, that is what war tends to be about.
And we are at war – just study the history of Islam, or ask any Islamist.
We reported on the exchange, and it was quickly picked up by other media outlets. Rush accuses us and others of “leaving out the fact that it was sarcasm.” Rush claims that Bill’s “irate” tweet prompted his “sarcastic response,” and that “kill them all” was merely echoing Muslims’ “favored disposition toward Americans.”
Rush deleted the tweet later that day and rolled out his sarcasm defense, which numerous outlets uncritically parroted. We didn’t buy it then, and we certainly don’t buy it after reading Rush’s latest column.
Rush has a long track record of paranoid and hate-filled rhetoric. The “just kidding” defense doesn’t work when you’ve previously called for armed revolution against President Obama, said that liberals and journalists should be jailed for treason and claimed that the Chinese government is building a military base inside the US with help from Obama.
It’s clear that Rush supports the sentiment behind his “sarcastic” tweet. The onus was on him to prove otherwise. Not only has he failed to do so, he’s doubled down with a justification for killing Muslims.
Until now, Rush has enjoyed a close relationship with Fox News, and Sean Hannity in particular. A transcript search reveals that he’s appeared on Fox nearly 20 times and has made additional appearances on Fox News Radio, as recently as last Friday. Hannity’s website even features a review for Rush’s book, with the catchy name of Negrophilia.
Despite this close relationship, representatives of Fox News scrambled behind the scenes this week to distance the channel from Rush. If they don’t want their precious brand to be tainted by him, they need to cut ties with him entirely. We have a petition calling on Fox to do so, which has already been signed by more than 50,000 people.
As we noted yesterday, the American Conservative Union, which runs the annual CPAC conference, banned the gay conservative group GOProd for the second year in a row. They had previously been allowed to sponsor, and speak at, the conference. Meanwhile, CPAC has thrown open its doors to white nationalists and other extremists.
Last year’s CPAC featured three prominent white nationalists, including Bob Vandervoort. This year, his anti-immigrant group ProEnglish is supporting, and participating at, CPAC as an exhibitor. And it late February, the ACU posted an article by yet another white nationalist on its website. It begins to make you wonder.
As we also noted yesterday, ProEnglish isn’t the only controversial sponsor this year. There’s also the Family Research Council, which is designated an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Accuracy in Media, whose director recently praised the GOProud ban and called for a CPAC panel on “the dangers of the homosexual movement and why some of its members seem prone to violence, terror, and treason.”
I could go on, but the name that really stands out among the list of sponsors, just to the right of Liberty University, is Microsoft, the gay-friendly software giant. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Microsoft shouldn’t sponsor political events or work with both sides of the aisle. That’s all fine by me. But CPAC, at least right now, is different.
CPAC has a segregated – straights-only – sponsorship policy. Meanwhile it’s taking money from, and giving a platform to, white nationalists and anti-gay extremists. Microsoft, as a mainstream and purportedly gay-friendly company that serves the general public and strives to be socially responsible, has no business bankrolling CPAC in its current form.
Microsoft was an exhibitor at least year’s CPAC, and this year they’re a co-sponsor. They also hosted last year’s CPAC Blog Bash at their Washington, DC headquarters, which recognized Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keefe, seen here mugging in front of the Microsoft logo:
I’ve been wondering why Microsoft would get so involved with an anti-gay, right-wing conference like CPAC. Then I read in Lee Fang’s report today at The Nation that ACU board member Suhail Khan is affiliated with Microsoft. (Khan, by the way, is the board member that the Islamophobes Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer love to hate and got themselves banned for attacking).
As it turns out, Khan isn’t just a run-of-the-mill Microsoft employee. He’s the Director of External Affairs for the company’s Washington, DC headquarters and lobbying shop (the so-called Innovation and Policy Center). He’s clearly able to use his position to aid his extracurricular activities, so to speak.
It must be said that Khan has made earnest efforts to overcome intolerance, which is why Geller and company despise him. Just the same, Microsoft should think twice about following his lead on CPAC.
One of the hottest tickets tonight at CPAC is the invite-only Blog Bash event, organized by the right-wing National Bloggers Club and co-sponsored by NRCC, NRSC and others. Last year the event recognized Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keefe, among others. The nominees for this year’s awards are no less controversial.
The organizers of Blog Bash, including president Ali Akbar, are apparently not fans of the American Conservative Union, which runs CPAC and is co-sponsoring tonight’s Blog Bash, or its chairman Al Cardenas. Akbar and other event organizers, including Adrienne Royer of “What to Wear at CPAC” fame, exchanged a series of emails on a public Google Group which have been republished by the blog Breitbart Unmasked.
The emails reveal that the Blog Bash organizers have a low opinion of ACU and Cardenas and don’t agree with many of ACU’s positions. They also reveal that the controversy around the exclusion of GOProud – the gay conservative group that has been banned from CPAC by ACU – is an incredibly sore topic that is not to be mentioned to Cardenas under any circumstance.
Here is Akbar on February 21st:
The ACU Chairman will be at Blog Bash for a time. It's our job to protect him. I did a lot of reassuring today them that they wouldn't regret attending.
No one, no one is to talk to him or be allowed to talk to him about GOProud or anything like that.
Akbar went on to say that the “same goes for Goodlatte and his whole SOPA mess,” referring to Rep. Bob Goodlatte, whom Akbar said would be in attendance. Anyone who violates these rules is to be escorted out by security, said Akbar.
In response, Royer said she doubted that people will even know who Cardenas is and probably haven’t even heard of ACU:
I doubt that people know what he looks like. Most people think CPAC is the organization and have never heard of ACU. The organization isn't as well-known as it used to be, and CPAC has eclipsed all their other work. Yesterday, my boss -- who has worked in the conservative realm for 12-15 years – asked, "ACU puts on CPAC?"
Akbar replied that Cardenas will be brought on stage and identified. He’ll know that most people in the room disagree with ACU on numerous issues, Akbar said, but they shouldn't allow anyone to express that to him:
Allow me to clarify. The Chairman will take the stage. Melissa and I will recognize him while on stage with him, the room will applaud. […]
When he's making his way through the room – if you hear anyone say GOProud or other bullshit – put your body between their mouths and the Chairman's body. [...]
FWIW, the Chairman knows most of that room disagrees with the ACU Board on a variety of issues. But if a blogger is looking to make news at Blog Bash by making a fool of anyone --- they're going to fine themselves in the rain.
The following day (February 22nd), Royer sarcastically noted that “today would not be a good day to release this information,” referring to a Red State post entitled, “The American Conservative Union’s Embarrassing Scorecard.”
Akbar, exasperated, replied:
Not that I agree with ACU (because I don't), but hot damn, could RedState shill for Heritage's scorecard less?
Nothing is ever good enough.
But back to Blog Bash, yeah we're not going to add the Chairman's photo until a week or two and we wont even make a release like I said. We'll just announce him at the event like kind hosts.
This. Movement. Sigh.
According to the organizers, Blog Bash is expecting a number of members of Congress tonight, including Speaker John Boehner. I can’t imagine that they will appreciate the candor of the Blog Bash organizers. And it will be particularly interesting to see how ACU and Cardenas react and whether Blog Bash continues as an add-on to CPAC. Stay tuned.
Last year we wrote about how CPAC allowed notorious white nationalists to speak on multiple panels but banned the gay conservative group GOProud. This year the CPAC organizers, who aren’t entirely oblivious to the 2012 election, are trying to emphasize diversity. There’s even a panel entitled, “Conservative Inclusion: Promoting the Freedom Message to all Americans,” which boasts a racially diverse lineup of conservative activists.
“Conservative inclusion” is a nice idea, but it doesn’t go very far at CPAC. For the second year in a row, the gay conservative group GOProud has been banned from the conference. So at best, “inclusion” at CPAC means “straights only.”
Even more telling is the roster of sponsors and exhibitors at CPAC. Most troubling is the inclusion of the anti-immigrant group ProEnglish, which is run by longtime white nationalist organizer Bob Vandervoort. The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights has reported extensively on his activities:
Vandervoort was at the center of white nationalist activity during his time in Illinois. While he was in charge, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance often held joint meetings with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens. The group held events featuring numerous white nationalist figures. Vandervoort also made appearances at white nationalist events outside Illinois, for instance participating in the 2009 Preserving Western Civilization Conference.
When CPAC and its organizers at the American Conservative Union were widely criticized last year for allowing Vandervoort and other white nationalists to speak on multiple panels, the conference organizers played dumb:
“This panel was not organized by the ACU,” CPAC spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told The Daily Caller, ”and specific questions on the event, content or speakers should be directed to the sponsoring organization.”
There’s no such excuse this year. CPAC knew all too well about Vandervoort’s white nationalist background and yet they allowed his group to return. Apparently “conservative inclusion” means shunning gays while including racists.
The reality is that CPAC couldn’t open its doors to gay conservatives even if it wanted to. As Brian reported last week, the head of CPAC sponsor Accuracy In Media is not only pleased with the GOProud ban, he wants to see a panel at the conference on “the dangers of the homosexual movement and why some of its members seem prone to violence, terror, and treason.”
Another important sponsor is the Family Research Council, which has been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group. The group’s top policy expert, Peter Sprigg, explicitly supports the criminalization of homosexuality, and readers of this blog are familiar with FRC’s aggressive and dehumanizing advocacy against gays and lesbians. There is no compromising on gays with extremists like these.
As we’ve reported, GOProud isn’t the only group banned this year. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, co-founders of the Freedom Defense Initiative, are vicious Islamophobes and conspiracy theorists. Had CPAC banned them for spreading lies and fomenting hate against Muslims, it would be a sign of progress. But Geller and Spencer were really banned for having made the mistake of extending their Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy theory to include two American Conservative Union board members, Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist.
In past years, ACU has happily given Geller and company a platform to bash Muslims. And Spencer, who runs the blog “Jihad Watch,” overwhelmingly won this year’s CPAC People’s Choice Blogger Award. But their paranoid rantings hit too close to home this year, so CPAC pulled the plug. Even “conservative inclusion” has its limits.
First Baptist Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress, who made headlines when Tim Tebow backed out of an upcoming appearance at his new $130 million megachurch campus, spoke at length about the controversy during a recent appearance on the Alan Colmes Radio Show. Jeffress complained that he had been taken out of context and tried to downplay and sidestep some of his most explosive remarks. But for the most part, he just cemented his reputation as an extremist.
Jeffress began his defense on an inauspicious note, noting that he has a Jewish friend in New York so he can’t possibly be anti-Semitic. While we’ve never called him anti-Semitic, we have noted that Jeffress believes Jews are destined for hell – along with Catholics, Mormons, Muslims and gays, so at least they’ll have company.
Colmes asked Jeffress about many of his most contentious remarks, such as whether he ever said that “Roman Catholicism is Satanic.” “I never used the term ‘Satanic,’” Jeffress responded. That’s technically true but highly misleading: Jeffress has said Satan is behind the Catholic Church. It only got more disingenuous from there.
Jeffress relegated the overwhelming majority of the world’s Catholics to hell while trying to make it sound like he was doing no such thing:
I believe today that there are millions of Catholics who are gonna be in heaven because of the relationship with Christ. I work with Catholic priests in our community. We march together on the pro-life issues. I think there are millions of Catholics who are in heaven.
There are over one billion Catholics alive today around the world, and there have been countless more over the course of nearly two millennia. Jeffress wants to assure us that he’s not an extremist who would just assign all Catholics to hell. So instead he damned about 99% and saved “millions” from eternal damnation. Lucky for Jeffress, they’re the same ones that show up for anti-abortion rallies. What are the odds?
Jeffress also tried to clear up a misunderstanding about President Obama and the Antichrist. He does not believe that Obama is the Antichrist per se, as some have reported, but merely believes that Obama is paving the way for the Antichrist, as we first reported. Gee, I can't imagine why there was confusion.
Jeffress was only willing to fully own up to one of his comments. “Mormonism, you said, Islam, is from the pit of hell?” Colmes asked. “Yes, now that one they actually got right Al,” responded Jeffress.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, made an interesting observation on his radio show yesterday. Speaking about the confirmation of Chuck Hagel, Perkins mused about the ‘irony’ that Hagel, whom he considers to be anti-Israel, was backed by Democratic senators who are “mostly aligned with a lot of the Jewish lobby” and “enjoy the money coming from the Jewish community.” Hmmm, “Jewish lobby,” where have I heard that before?
Hagel has been savaged in recent weeks for having used the phrase in a 2006 interview. He has since apologized and said he should phrased his comments differently. In case it isn’t obvious, the ADL’s Abe Foxman explains the many problems with saying “Jewish lobby.”
Notwithstanding Hagel’s apology, Sen. Lindsey Graham grilled him about his use of the phrase during his confirmation hearing. FRC also cited Hagel’s use of “Jewish lobby” in its background document opposing his confirmation. Meanwhile over at the website of the American Family Association, which broadcasts Perkins’ show, David Limbaugh railed against Hagel’s “bigoted accusation” about the “Jewish lobby” and said he failed to provide a “satisfactory explanation for his disgraceful terminology – because there is none.”
“Bigoted” and “disgraceful” sounds about right, but don’t hold your breath waiting for conservatives to denounce Perkins’ comments:
But here’s the irony. Is that the Democratic Party and the Democratic senators that supported Hagel, in spite of the fact that he has a record that’s deplorable on Israel, it comes from Democratic senators who are mostly aligned with a lot of the Jewish lobby here in Washington and around the nation, enjoy the money coming from the Jewish community. The Jewish community tends to be liberal, not all, but a lot of it is, and it supports Democratic candidates. But yet the Democratic Party works against the benefit of Israel in many ways, and this is an example of it.
Perkins seems mystified as to why most American Jews support Democrats, but his right-hand man thinks he knows the reason. FRC’s Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin has argued that Hitler was “an extraordinarily off the scale leftist” but “many Jews in America, for example, can't identify with the Republican Party because they're called the party of the Right, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.”
This is the same Boykin who was rebuked by the ADL in 2003 and believes that the “Jews must be lead to Christ.” And this is the same FRC – a certified hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center – that warned yesterday that Hagel's confirmation may bring God's judgment on America. So I guess we shouldn't be suprised.
Roger Hedgecock is a syndicated right-wing talk show host based in San Diego. For years, he was a regular fill-in for Rush Limbaugh, and before that he was a Republican mayor of San Diego – briefly, that is. He was convicted of campaign finance violations and thrown out of office only two years into his first term.
Speaking on his program earlier this week, Hedgecock lamented that “hatred of white people has now become an epidemic in this country” and is even “informing political decisions that are made.” The cause? President Obama and white-hating public schools.
While most Americans see Obama’s election as a landmark victory for racial equality, Hedgehock thinks it’s tearing America apart at its racial seams:
No one has ever more racially divided this country since John C. Calhoun than Barack Obama. No one in this country believes we are better off in race relations, that there is less racial tension today, because of Barack Obama's election. [...]
It was my hope, and the hope of many voters, particularly those who did not vote for Barack Obama, that the silver lining here would be, here was a man who understood the history, and would bring us together, and would get us past the racism question. And instead of that has gone exactly the other way.
Further complicating Hedgecock’s life-as-a-white-man is that public schools are teaching “hatred of white people” and “hatred of white privilege.” The curriculum, he argued, is “as anti-American, anti-West and anti-white as you could imagine.” As proof, he cited a diversity program in Portland, OR schools that dared to mention that whites have traditionally enjoyed a number of privileges.
Hedgecock said he wants everybody to get along so we can all get past racism and live up to the Republican Party’s history. If only Obama could be more like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., racial tensions wouldn’t be so high:
Racial tensions in this country are at an all-time high in my lifetime, and I lived through the 50s. I lived through Rosa Parks. I lived through Martin Luther King, Jr. The consensus was at that time among white people that those civil rights efforts were in the noblest tradition of the American republic, lived up to our values as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, and lived up the Republican Party's history, including why it was even formed, to get rid of slavery in the first place.
Ah, yes. The consensus among whites in the ‘50s was that King and Parks were awesome and not the least bit controversial. They just politely asked for equality, and the white people said, “okay, sorry about that.” Everybody held hands and sang. And it was going perfectly until a white-hating black man got himself elected president.
By now everyone has seen NRA head Wayne LaPierre declare that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” while calling for armed guards in every American school. The NRA’s proposed solution to gun violence can be boiled down to even more guns, and the group wants concealed weapons in all public spaces – including churches, schools, bars and airports.
If there’s one place that I would expect to be able to take a concealed gun, it’s to a gun show. That’s why I was struck by the advice doled out by the NRA’s National Firearms Museum on “How to be a Gun Collector.” In the article, authored by NRA museum director Jim Supica, would-be gun collectors are directed to “practice basic gun safety” at gun shows.
Supica starts off with the most basic rule of gun safety, warning against allowing “the muzzle of a gun you're handling to point at other folks.” But then he stumbles badly off-message (from the NRA party line) with some commonsense advice that, were President Obama to say it, would hasten comparisons to Mao and Hitler.
The NRA’s Supica directs gun collectors to “keep your guns tied inoperable” (like this) when attending a gun show, noting that this is a “requirement at the better shows.” And he isn't done.
Supica then directs gun collectors to “never bring a loaded gun into a show,” even if it’s a “legal concealed carry gun.” Furthermore, collectors should never “test chamber a round in a show.” Of course, your typical armed guard or concealed carry enthusiast already has a round in the chamber, but never mind that.
Supica observes that “negligent discharges are very rare at shows.” However, when they do happen they typically involve “a concealed carry gun that was brought in loaded.”
You might be wondering why this namby-pamby Supica character hates the Second Amendment so much or whether the NRA knows it has a gun-hating pinko running its museum. But in their defense, Supica’s article bears this disclaimer: “Opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of NRA or the National Firearms Museum.” Well, that’s a relief. Supica may be an NRA employee and run their museum, but at least his commonsense, life-saving advice can’t be pinned on the NRA.
But maybe Supica isn’t such an outlier. As Scott Keyes reported in January, gun shows typically ban attendees from carrying loaded guns. Yet the NRA categorically supports efforts to expand concealed carry to “previously prohibited places.”
The takeaway, then, is that guns should be unloaded, tied inoperable and held out in the open at gun shows. But if you’re at a church, school, bar or shopping mall, you should feel free to conceal and carry a loaded gun with a bullet in the chamber. And that is how you practice basic gun safety.
Tim Scott, who is set to replace Jim DeMint in the Senate, got his start in politics when he was elected in 1996 to the Charleston County Council. One year later, according to his 2010 campaign website, “he placed a plaque of the Ten Commandments outside council offices to show his support for the Ten Commandments as a guide for conduct, especially within the county chambers.”
The city was promptly sued for this blatant violation of the First Amendment. By 1998, Scott’s colleagues had decided to remove his display and settle the lawsuit. When challenged on why he was wasting taxpayer dollars, Scott replied that “whatever it costs in the pursuit of this goal is worth it.”
Scott’s unconstitutional grandstanding as a county councilmember made him a favorite of the Christian right in South Carolina and put him on the track that he’s followed ever since. Scott returned to his roots while addressing a Tea Party rally in January, hosted by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, ahead of a GOP primary debate.
Scott claimed that the “greatest minority under assault today are Christians.” “No doubt about it,” he emphasized. (Note that Scott says 1995 in the video, but he misspoke – he was elected in 1996 and posted the display in 1997.)
Over the last 17 years of public service, I have seen the concept of faith tested time and time again. The greatest minority under assault today are Christians. No doubt about it.
When I was on county council in 1995, I posted the Ten Commandments. And the ACLU and the folks for separation of church and state all came and attacked us at Charleston County and said we were wasting taxpayer dollars.
Think about where we are today, 17 years later. We are in desperate need of a compass, a moral compass that tells us the difference between right and wrong. And I believe that you can look no further than the word of God to find that compass.
Tim Scott actually believes what he said about Christians being a minority under assault. Never mind that Christians aren’t a minority. Never mind that Christians control every branch of government at every level. Never mind that Christians aren’t under assault in any conceivable way.
Still, Scott feels that Christians are a minority under assault because Christians like him are being prevented by the Constitution and other Americans – Christian and non-Christian alike – from forcing everyone to live in accordance with their extreme views and beliefs. It’s a bit like the Taliban claiming that the Afghan government is attacking Islam.
Scott clearly has not changed with time and will display the same utter disregard for the First Amendment as senator that he did as a county councilmember. It’s just another way that Scott will fill the shoes of his right-wing predecessor.