Miranda Blue's blog

Bobby Jindal Will End Mass Shootings By Telling Everyone He Is A Christian

Louisana Gov. Bobby Jindal, desperately seeking attention in his floundering presidential bid, had the most horrifying response to last week’s mass shooting at an Oregon community college, writing in a blog post that the shooter’s “failure” of a father, single mothers, legal abortion, pop culture and other instances of “cultural rot” were to blame for the violence.

Jindal rehashed his “politically incorrect” response to the shooting in an interview with Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson yesterday, adding that the separation of church and state is also to blame for mass murder.

“We fill our culture with garbage, now we’re reaping the result,” he said. “We’ve got evil in our midst. It’s not about taking away law-abiding citizens’ gun rights, it really is about going after the cultural decay, the moral rot we see in our society. The left wants to take God out of the public square. We are now reaping the consequences of that.”

Mickelson was in agreement that “cultural rot” is the culprit behind mass shootings, but asked Jindal if there is anything politicians and elected officials can do to fix “the moral culture caliber” of Americans.

Jindal replied that indeed there is, and that all it takes is a president talking “unapologetically” about his faith.

“What a president can do and a candidate can do is one, publicly call for a time of prayer and spiritual renewal and unapologetically talk about our faith in the public square,” he said. “I’m a Christian and I’m not embarrassed to talk about that.”

He added that elected officials can “fight for the religious freedom rights,” claiming that in Louisiana the “ACLU is going after a principal for simply saying ‘God bless you’ to some parents.” (In reality, the ACLU objected to the school displaying a “pattern of proselytization,” including placing Christian “prayer boxes” throughout the school.)

He also recommended that politicians “stop these policies that undermine family formation,” although he did not provide any details.

Anti-Choice Groups Lobbying To Keep Renee Ellmers Off Planned Parenthood Committee

Roll Call reported yesterday on some interesting behind-the-scenes wrangling that’s going on as House leaders convene a panel to investigate Planned Parenthood. The staunchly anti-abortion Rep. Trent Franks, Roll Call reports, is “serving as an informal liaison” between GOP leaders and outside anti-choice groups that are seeking to influence which members are picked for the select subcommittee.

There’s also one GOP congresswoman whom the anti-abortion movement really does not want the Planned Parenthood committee: Rep. Renee Ellmers.

Ellmers, who opposes abortion rights and wants to defund Planned Parenthood, has reportedly been trying to get on the investigative committee, which was created under the guise of investigating the organization’s fetal tissue donation practices.

But Ellmers got on the wrong side of the anti-choice movement earlier this year when she led a group of Republicans who objected to a 20-week abortion ban because its rape exception was too harsh on rape survivors, which she warned could turn off young voters. The House had planned to vote on the bill during the annual March for Life on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. When Ellmers’ objections led the vote to be cancelled at the last minute, anti-choice leaders were furious, and Sen. Lindsey Graham memorably pleaded that he needed “help to find a way out of this definitional problem with rape.”

It later came out that anti-choice groups including the Susan B. Anthony List and Concerned Women for America had lobbied for the tightened rape exception, which would have only exempted rape survivors if they first filed a report with law enforcement. After the 20-week-ban debacle, the National Right to Life Committee threatened to go after Ellmers “at the polls.”

In the end, House Republicans settled on a rape exception that was only slightly less severe, omitting the reporting requirement but adding a waiting period for rape survivors.

Now, CWA’s Penny Nance is saying that Ellmers “could potentially distract from the overall mission” of the Planned Parenthood committee and Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee is saying that to “reward her with a seat on the special panel would be inappropriate, to put it mildly.”

As we noted earlier this week, the House GOP’s supposed “investigations” of Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue donation program — the ostensible target of a series of anti-choice smear videos — have quickly turned into an all-out assault on Planned Parenthood and legal abortion in general. The fact that Ellmers — who committed one minor infraction against anti-choice orthodoxy — is now deemed to moderate to be in the panel just underscores that point.

Anti-Choice Leader To Planned Parenthood: 'What About Men’s Health?'

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the influential anti-choice group Susan B. Anthony List, dismissed the women's health gap in an interview with a West Virginia radio show on Tuesday, saying that Planned Parenthood’s talk about women’s health care is just “gender-based, grievance-oriented politics” and that “real women who truly love what womanhood really is” want “equal rights” for men, including a focus on “men’s health.”

“It’s as if men or other people don’t even matter,” WVHU radio host Tom Roten told Dannenfelser in a discussion of Planned Parenthood. “It just seems like a way to get to people is to talk about ‘women’s health, women’s health, women’s health.’ What about the females who are being aborted? What about those women and their health?”

“Yeah, equal rights for unborn women,” Dannenfelser responded. “But, look, I’m with you, Tom. I love men! What about men’s health? I mean, do we have anything to say about men’s health and the particular health problems that men have? Do we ever talk about the ‘men’s gap’ when we’re moving into an election? I mean, real women who truly love what womanhood really is have enough confidence to go ahead and also really love men and truly see that, yeah, really, equal rights. So this gender-based, grievance-oriented politics is something that I hope the Republican Party will not fall into.”

“I’m not going to pretend that women’s health issues aren’t riveting, but so equally are men’s,” she added. “But the things that are so easily manipulated are the emotions that lead to feeding the lies, and we cannot buy into this lie that somehow Planned Parenthood is the central distributor of women’s health in general, they’re simply not. They are a population-limiting organization, that’s in their 990s, that’s their mission, that’s who they are. They’re not centrally positioned to do much beyond that.”

Planned Parenthood’s 990 tax filings, for the record, do state the organization’s mission as “ensuring the provision of reproductive and complementary health care services.”

Gun Activists: Obama Wasn't Sad About Oregon Shooting, Just Sad That He Can't Take People's Guns

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, joined Mark Walters on Armed America Radio this week, where the two concluded that President Obama got emotional during his speech responding to last week’s mass shooting in Oregon not because the president was upset that nine people had died but because he was sad he couldn’t take people’s guns.

“When I saw Barack Obama’s speech after Oregon, there was no doubt in my mind that he was in fact shaken up, he was in fact angry and he believed what he said, but not for the reasons that Americans think, Larry,” Walters said. “He’s only upset and ticked off that he can’t get anybody’s guns because of that pesky parchment paper. If he was in fact concerned about crime, he’d be having the same conversation on the bully pulpit every day regarding Chicago’s numbers. They need us to complete their agenda, they need to disarm America, they can’t do it. Isn’t that what’s really got him fired up?”

“I think you’re right,” Pratt responded, “and certainly he doesn’t react the way a lot of people were reacting, I think. They were definitely remorseful, they were saddened, they were horrified at what had happened and, as you say, he was ticked that here’s a crisis that’s going to go to waste.”

The two went on to claim that the president wants to emulate gun laws in Australia and England because, in Pratt’s words, he wants Americans to be “docile subjects of a crown” and regrets that “if he had been born in some other country” he “could have had so much more power.”

John Guandolo Blames Obama's 'Pro-Jihadi Ideology' For Oregon Shooting

John Guandolo, the disgraced FBI agent turned anti-Obama conspiracy theorist who recently shared the stage with a number of Republican presidential candidates at an event hosted by Frank Gaffney, blamed President Obama for last week’s mass shooting at an Oregon community college.

Citing a MySpace page linked to the shooter that included images supportive of the Irish Republican Army, a MySpace connection to someone who apparently supported Islamist terrorism, and an early story that the shooter had targeted only Christians, Guandolo speculated in an interview with South Carolina radio host Vince Coakley the day after the murders that the shooter may have been an Islamic terrorist. (Subsequent reports have suggested that the shooter targeted people regardless of religion.)

This, he concluded, was all President Obama’s fault.

No matter what the shooter’s religious views were, he said, “this administration has provided very fertile ground for such people because of his anti-Christian rhetoric, his pro-progressive-left socialist, Marxist, revolutionary ideology, his pro-jihadi ideology, his anti-police policies and actions and the Department of Justice and attorney general who support these.”

“I think this is a much more reasonable answer to why this happened than the fact that we have too many guns, which is what the president immediately came out and said,” he added.

In a blog post posted the day of the shooting, Guandolo made a similar claim:

While there are reports Chris Harper-Mercer’s online dating profile identifies him as a “Republican” of mixed race, the evidence available as of today reveals he is sympathetic to terrorists and jihadis.

President Obama’s response was to again call for a greater reduction of our liberties and make it harder for Americans to obtain firearms.

The President’s coddling of terrorists and the single-most dangerous terrorist nation on the planet (Iran), his assault on Christians in this country, his support for anti-Constitution progressives and Marxists, his back-room dealings with the Russians, Cubans and others, his example of tossing the rule of law out the window, his assault on law enforcement officers, and his continuous abuse of power are more likely the fertilizers which bred this attack.

Across America, a state of lawlessness is exploding around us, nurtured and bred in the White House and the Attorney General’s office. And Americans remains frozen and unable to act.

GOP’s Favorite Iowa Radio Host Once Again Defends The Confederacy

Jan Mickelson, an influential conservative radio host in Iowa who frequently interviews Republican presidential candidates, has a bit of a rocky history of discussing the Civil War. Earlier this year, he made Sen. Lindsey Graham exceedingly uncomfortable when he said South Carolina was “invaded” in the Civil War, “pretty much like the Russians are invading the Ukraine.” He also made waves in August when he suggested enslaving undocumented immigrants who refuse to leave the state.

Yesterday, Mickelson waded again into the issue of slavery and the Civil War when he invited military historian Edward Bonekemper onto his program to discuss Bonekemper’s new book “The Myth of the Lost Cause,” which pushes back against myths about the Civil War, including a number that, it turns out, are espoused by Mickelson himself. The interview took place immediately before Michaelson interviewed GOP presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul.

When Mickelson said that the war was about “both” slavery and states’ rights, Bonekemper responded, “Well, the only state right that was being defended was the right to have slavery.”

Mickelson was having none of this and insisted that the war was not about slavery, but about “Lincoln’s notion that the states were a creation of the federal government,” just as the current debate over climate change policy isn’t about science, but about the government imposing “its will through the EPA on everybody else.”

More than that, it was about the jurisdictional claims of the federal government and the philosophies about how much the government of the United States was centralized. And the debate was over Lincoln’s notion that the states were a creation of the federal government, rather than the other way around.

A contemporary version of that same notion is the global warming or the climate change debate. The federal government starts with the premise that there’s man-made climate change and starts to impose its will through the EPA on everybody else, and out here in the cheap seats, we say, ‘Number one, you don’t have jurisdiction. Number two, you don’t have science on your side so this is just a big power grab.’ So everything that I just said gets reduced to the notion of ‘climate change, climate change, climate change,’ and the nuance of the argument gets left behind, just like when you say that the only thing these people were concerned about was slavery, which was the shortcut for everything I just mentioned, who owns what and whom and who’s in charge, who’s accountable to whom and what are the limits of the federal government. I think it’s way too simplistic to just reduce it to the one word, slavery.

Later in the program, after another heated debate with Bonekemper in which the radio host insisted that the Civil War was “all about money and tariffs and the propagandists in the North turned this into a slavery issue to cover their tracks much, much later,” he took on the issue of the Confederate flag.

“I got the sense when I lived [in South Carolina] that it’s a big FU to the North and they still are stinging from being an occupied nation 100 years later and they’re still mooning the North with it,” he said. “That’s basically it. There’s no slavery content to it, they just don’t like northerners.”

Rand Paul: Put Stickers On School Windows Warning 'You Will Be Shot'

Falsely suggesting that the recent mass shooting at an Oregon community college took place in a gun-free zone, Sen. Rand Paul said yesterday that as president he would encourage every school in America to place stickers on its windows warning potential criminals that teachers are armed and “you will be shot.”

The Kentucky Republican told Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson that the Oregon shooting was “an incredible tragedy, but it’s even made worse by the president politicizing it and jumping in.” The president “doesn’t understand,” he said, that “the problem is mental illness and not necessarily gun registration or gun ownership.”

“The other common denominator, other than mental illness,” he added, “is that people are going to places where guns are prohibited. So  when you have a gun-free zone at a school, it’s like an invitation, if you are crazy and want to shoot people, that’s where you go. I would do the opposite. I would have and encourage every school in American put stickers on every window going into the school saying, ‘We are armed. Come in at your own peril. We have concealed carry for teachers who have it and we also have armed security and you will be shot.’”

Such stickers should be placed on “every cockpit of every commercial airliner” and on “every school,” he said.

Paul said that he would support preventing “people who have exhibited criminal insanity” from owning guns, but that such laws would have to be made at the state level. But he added that broader issues, such as the lack of a “Christian foundation” in the country, may also be influencing mass shooting.

“I do think that we have generalized problems in our country that may somehow influence, I’m not sure they’re the answer, but I think that we lack a certain belief in right and wrong, a certain Christian foundation or religious foundation to our country anymore,” he said, “and I think some of this perversion is coming from that. But also there’s some things that are just inexplicable, that’s just mental illness, they’re not getting better with treatment and they’re not going to get necessarily better with religious influence as well.”

Huckabee: Pope Should Fire 'Elitist' Staffers Who Distanced Him From Kim Davis

Last month, shortly after Pope Francis ended his visit in the United States, the right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel blew up what had been a fairly culture-war-free visit by announcing that the pope had met secretly with its client Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has been attempting to block her office form issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

After Liberty Counsel made the Davis meeting into a national news story, the Vatican was forced to clarify that Davis was one of several people who had been brought to see the pope at the end of his visit and that the pontiff “did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects." The only “real audience” the pope granted, it turned out, was with a former student and his same-sex partner

But Mike Huckabee, who says he spoke with Davis about the meeting at the Values Voter Summit, insisted in an interview with Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson yesterday that Davis and the pope “visited privately, just the two of them, for about 15 minutes” and that it is “elitist” forces in the Vatican who are trying to downplay the pope’s support for Davis’ cause. Outside of that “elitist world,” he said, people realize that Davis’ case could mark “the beginning of the criminalization of Christianity.”

“Now, why the Vatican is trying to downplay this meeting, the only thing I can figure is that many of the very liberal elements, not only of the media, but in some cases of the Catholic Church want to distance themselves because in their elitist world, Kim Davis is an unpopular figure,” Huckabee said. “But I’m telling you, wherever she goes and wherever I see people, in every airport I get on a plane and people say, ‘Thanks for standing up for Kim Davis.’ It’s very different because people realize that this is the beginning of the criminalization of Christianity if we don’t stand up to it.” 

Scientific polls contradict Huckabee's anecdotal evidence about Davis’ popularity.

Huckabee later suggested that the pope fire the Vatican officials who have tried to downplay his meeting with Davis and paint him as more moderate on social issues: “I’d like to think that at some point the pope might start reading the press clips and maybe fire some of the people who are trying to represent him. I know, as a candidate, if I had press people that were out there misrepresenting my views, they wouldn’t be my press people any longer.”

Newest Planned Parenthood Hearing Shows Real Goal Of House 'Investigation'

Back in July, after a group called the Center for Medical Progress started to release a series of videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials violating federal laws regarding the donation of fetal tissue for federal research, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte launched an investigation into the claims. The CMP’s claims have not been substantiated — six states have so far closed investigations into Planned Parenthood’s practices without finding any wrongdoing — but that hasn’t deterred Republicans in Congress from going full steam ahead in attacking Planned Parenthood anyway.

The House Judiciary Committee has announced the witnesses for its second hearing on Planned Parenthood (the Oversight Committee also held its own hearing interrogating Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards), and the list makes it pretty clear that Republicans have completely lost interest in the CMP’s original debunked claims and are now just going after Planned Parenthood and legal abortion in general.

The witnesses for Thursday’s hearing are progressive constitutional lawyer Caroline Frederickson, along with three outspoken anti-choice activists: Dr. Anthony Levatino, Susan Thayer and Luana Stoltenberg.

While committee Republicans invited to the last hearing two self-professed “abortion survivors,” Levatino, Thayer and Stoltenberg are all representatives of another favorite group within the anti-abortion movement – people who have experienced a “conversion” from being an abortion provider or patient to being an anti-choice activist.

Levatino is a former abortion provider who has since become an activist working with extreme anti-choice groups including Priests for Life and the Pro-Life Action League; Thayer is a former Iowa Planned Parenthood manager who has also become an anti-choice activist; and Luana Stoltenberg tells a story of getting pregnant as a teenager, becoming “very, very promiscuous” and having several abortions before converting to Christianity and becoming an anti-abortion activist.

These three activists may have interesting stories, but none is at all relevant to the question that the committee is supposedly investigating. Instead, the choice of these witnesses reveals yet again that House Republicans are using the smear on Planned Parenthood not to launch a genuine investigation, but to attack the very existence of legal abortion.

Michael Farris: Gay Marriage Leading To 'Heresy Trials' Of Christians, A New 'Dark Ages'

Michael Farris, the homeschooling activist and founder of Patrick Henry College, joined South Carolina pastor Kevin Boling on his “Knowing the Truth” radio program yesterday, where he claimed that Christians have entered a new “dark ages” of religious intolerance and “heresy trials” thanks to gay marriage.

Recalling the ideologically diverse coalition that worked to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993 (which included us at People for the American Way), Farris claimed that the “political left” has since abandoned religious freedom and freedom of speech, causing the coalition to fall apart. In fact, it was the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case that drastically reshaped the federal RFRA, turning it from a shield to protect religious liberty into a sword allowing people to impose their beliefs on others. Subsequent state-level versions of the bill, such as a law in Indiana that was quickly amended, have sought to even further expand the power of individuals and corporations to cite religious liberty in discriminating against others, especially LGBT people.

Farris claimed, however, that gay rights have brought American Christians back to a time “no better than the era of William and Mary’s Toleration Act” of 1688.

“In the intervening 20 years [since the passage of RFRA], because of increased secularization and especially because of the advance of the homosexual rights movement, particularly in the homosexual marriage arena, that coalition of across-the-board, left-right coalition that gave us the Religious Freedom Restoration Act has completely disintegrated,” he said. “The political left today no longer believes not only in religious freedom, but they don’t believe in freedom of speech, they don’t believe in freedom of association. They want to crush people that dissent.”

“And so we’ve really gone frankly to … no better than the era of William and Mary’s Toleration Act,” he said, “where if you didn’t differ too much from the Church of England, you could get away with some stuff but not too much. So that’s really the era that we’re living in.”

“We’re back to that,” he later added. “If ... Christian people differ on same-sex marriage there are what amount to heresy prosecutions. And so we have gone full circle, we’ve gone away from liberty and gone toward toleration, and with toleration comes persecution and heresy trials and we’re back to the dark ages before liberty in the United States. It’s very distressing.”

Later in the interview, Farris blasted the Obama administration for denying asylum to a family of German homeschoolers he was representing when “they’re willing to have the Muslims come here from Syria, they’re willing to have homosexuals who were persecuted in other countries come here.” (The German family was eventually allowed to stay in the country indefinitely.)

This led Farris to bring up contentions that President Obama is secretly a Muslim, which, he said, he wasn’t sure about either way.

“I don’t really know what his personal faith is, one way or the other, and it really almost doesn’t matter in this sense,” he said. “What I can see and what I can tell, and I’m not judging his heart, is that his political actions give favoritism to Muslims and his political actions punish Christians on a systematic basis, so that bias is very obvious.”

“We are at war on a religious freedom basis,” he added, “and the question is, are Christians going to stand up or are we just going to roll over on this one.”

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