Disgraced FBI agent turned anti-Muslim activist John Guandolo joined VCY America’s “Crosstalk” program last week, where he warned that Muslim Americans are taking jobs in hotels and buying convenience stores and gas stations in order to lay the groundwork for “a jihad here in the United States.”
“At least a manager or assistant manager in the largest hotels in the biggest cities in America are in fact Muslim,” Guandolo told the program’s host, Jim Schneider. “And I just ask the question, what do we think that’s about? Because the statistical probability of that being true is zero, so that means it must be an intentional thing.”
“We look up in cities and states from Mississippi to California to Texas to New York and North Carolina and Kansas and places like that, including Oklahoma,” he added, “we’ve got Muslims buying up Quik Marts and fuel stations like 7-Elevens that have an adjacent gas station to it. What’s that about? Is that just random? Is that just all of a sudden the Muslim community decided to buy those places up? Or are they actually doing what they know that they say they’re going to do based on internal documents that have already been entered by the Department of Justice in the largest terrorism trial in American history, which is that they’re preparing for a jihad here in the United States?
“And when you look at it from a military standpoint, from an intelligence collection, intelligence preparation of a battlefield, from a logistical standpoint, preparation of a battlefield, and from a physical weapons training and all of that preparation,” he said, “they’re doing all of it, and we have evidence they’re doing all of it.”
Guandolo went into more detail on this theory in a recent column.
Later in the program, Guandolo argued that the fact that a majority of Syrian refugees resettling in the United States are Muslim shows that President Obama “is intentionally helping our enemies prepare for war here” and “we’re going to deserve what we get.”
“From the Islamic perspective,” he said, “these folks are not refugees, they’re Mujahirun, they’re people coming with a specific purpose of settling here in the United States until it’s time. And part of their settlement, just the process of settlement is a civilization jihadist process.”
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is currently facing trial before the state’s Court of the Judiciary after a judicial ethics panel called for his removal from the bench due to his efforts to defy the federal courts on marriage equality.
Moore is being represented by Liberty Counsel attorney Mat Staver, who also represented Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her efforts to defy the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision.
In an interview with an Alabama Christian radio station yesterday, Staver insisted that the state’s Judicial Inquiry Commission is seeking the “death penalty” for Moore in the sense that removing him from the bench would “kill his career.”
Bob Crittenden, the host of “Meeting House” on the Alabama-based Faith Radio, asked Staver if the court could choose to take a less severe action against Moore than removing him from his post, which Staver said would be like a prosecutor asking for a first-degree murder charge and then changing her request when that doesn’t work out.
What the commission is asking for, he said, “is total removal, not anything less, not suspension, not punishment, not reprimand—total removal. They’re asking for the highest penalty. They’re asking, if you will, for the death penalty, in that sense, to kill his career, end his career. And I don’t think they can punt and go back to some lesser issue.”
He added that the process of being charged and suspended from his job has been punishment enough for Moore.
If past experience is any indication, being removed from the bench would far from “kill” Moore’s career. Back in 2003, he was removed from the state supreme court for flouting an order to remove a 10 Commandments statue from the state judicial building, which he followed up with an activist career, a number of political campaigns, and ultimately his reelection to the court.
Yesterday, The Telegraph published a largely sympathetic profile of Marjorie Dannenfelser, the anti-choice leader who is now heading up Donald Trump’s new “pro-life coalition.” Dannenfelser’s organization, the Susan B. Anthony List, is apparently pleased with the article and has been promoting it to its email list.
As The Telegraph notes, Dannenfelser is one of the best messengers the anti-choice movement has, intent on avoiding topics and tone that might make the movement look bad.
So it shouldn’t have been a surprise that when The Telegraph asked her about her stance on contraception, a critical topic in a movement that has differing views on where the line between contraception and abortion stands, Dannenfelser declared that the question was “not relevant”:
As a result, she doesn't want to speak about her views on contraception: apparently "it’s not relevant" and she is "not interested in talking about it".
A follow-up request to the SBA List spokesperson reveals why: the organisation is opposed to some kinds of birth control – namely, IUD coils and the morning after pill – because in both instances, there’s a chance they could prevent a fertilised egg from implanting.
As The Telegraph notes, SBA List does take a stance on contraception. The Guttmacher Institute reported in 2014, “SBA List has routinely referred to emergency contraceptives as ‘abortion drugs’ and describes the copper IUD as causing ‘early abortion.’” This view was critical to the group’s support for Hobby Lobby, which claimed that a requirement that it insure such contraception methods amounted to support for abortion.
Dannenfelser also repeated to The Telegraph her view that abortion should be outlawed with no exceptions except to save the life of a pregnant woman:
So what would her ‘perfect abortion bill’ look like?
“It would have an exception for the life of the mother only," she says, eventually, before her pragmatism rears its head. "But we’re not living a perfect world, and I have also been behind bills that have included the rape, incest and life of the mother exception."
Dannenfelser told the paper that she trusts Trump “immeasurably” (a change from her assertion during the presidential primaries that she was “disgusted” by his treatment of women), specifically citing his pledge to nominate foes of abortion rights to the Supreme Court.
At last night's presidential debate, Hillary Clinton apparently got under Donald Trump's skin when she brought up a letter signed by 50 Republican national security experts who said that Trump would be "the most reckless President in American history." Trump responded:
I do want to say that I was just endorsed—and more are coming next week—it will be over 200 admirals, many of them here—admirals and generals endorsed me to lead this country. That just happened, and many more are coming. And I’m very proud of it.
In addition, I was just endorsed by ICE. They’ve never endorsed anybody before on immigration. I was just endorsed by ICE. I was just recently endorsed—16,500 Border Patrol agents.
The immigration allies Trump mentioned are similarly troubling. Trump was clearly not, as he claimed, endorsed by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is a federal agency that cannot endorse candidates. He was probably referring instead to his endorsement that morning from the National ICE Council, a union the represents somewhere between 5,000 and 7,600 of the agency's 20,000 employees. The other endorsement he boasted of was that of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), a union for border patrol officers.
As the Center for New Community has documented, both the National ICE Council and the NBPC have close ties to the organized anti-immigrant movement. “Instead of fulfilling organized labor’s traditional role of advocating for respectable wages and working conditions, leaders of these particular unions appear more focused on coordinating with special interest groups in the Beltway to advance anti-immigrant policy goals,” the Center wrote in a recent report.
The Center explains how the leadership of the National ICE Council collaborated with leading anti-immigrant groups to challenge President Obama’s DACA order in the courts and speak out against it in public:
In August 2012, shortly after the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) was announced, but before it was enacted, ten ICE agents filed a lawsuit against then DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and the directors of ICE and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit was Christopher Crane, President of the National ICE Council. In anticipation of President Obama announcing the DACA program, the leaders of the anti-immigrant movement began exploring ways to counter the program by falsely arguing that DACA represented an unconstitutional act of executive overreach. In order to mount a legal challenge against the program, however, the leaders of that movement needed to recruit a plaintiff who could credibly claim injury and be granted legal standing in a court of law.
Chris Crane was their man.
Crane v. Napolitano was initially dismissed on a legal technicality, and then in a separate ruling on April 7, 2015 the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals once again dismissed Crane and his colleagues’ case. Despite this, the lawsuit allowed anti-immigrant groups like NumbersUSA to construct a platform from which Crane could act as a prominent spokesperson, helping to advance the anti-immigrant movement’s targeting of DACA. NumbersUSA announced that it would cover all legal fees incurred for the duration of the suit, and the anti-immigrant movement’s most prominent attorney, Kris Kobach, was recruited to represent Crane and his colleagues. …
In announcing the National ICE Council’s endorsement of Trump, Crane cited the Republican candidate’s support for “the canceling of executive amnesty and non-enforcement directives”—in other words, DACA and DAPA.
The border patrol officers’ group has had similar collaboration with anti-immigrant groups. That includes, according to the Center for New Community, a California official with the union helping to tip off the extremistanti-immigrantactivists who in the summer of 2014 physically blocked busses of Central Americans fleeing violence who were being brought to a border patrol facility.
At the very end of last night’s presidential debate, Hillary Clinton brought up the story of Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe who says that Trump, the owner of the pageant, called her “‘Miss Piggy’ after she gained weight and ‘Miss Housekeeping’ because she was not fully fluent in English.”
On “Fox and Friends” this morning, Trump attempted to justify his treatment of Machado, whom he referred to as “a girl,” by citing her “attitude” and the fact that “she gained a massive amount of weight” after winning the beauty pageant.
“I know that person,” he said. “That person was a Miss Universe person and she was the worst we ever had. The worst. The absolute worst. She was impossible. And she was a Miss Universe contestant and ultimately a winner who they had a tremendously difficult time with as Miss Universe… She was the winner and she gained a massive amount of weight and it was a problem. We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude. And we had a real problem with her.”
When Piper asked Franks about President Obama’s opposition to so-called “born-alive” bills that are a favorite ofanti-choice activists, Franks responded that the president “knows that if this country ever wakes up and realizes that we’re in the center storm of the greatest human genocide in the history of humanity, what we’re doing to unborn children and newborn children, that there won’t be a Democrat left standing in the northern hemisphere… in an election, that is, if there’s ever a realization of what the Democrat Party has stood for.”
“It’s so sad, because we’re just not students of history, Doctor,” he continued. “You know, the left gets very angry when we use the slavery parallel, but the parallel is so profoundly appropriate. Because the Supreme Court said in Dred Scott that the slave was not a person, that they were chattel, and you could do whatever you want.
“And there were a group of people, they called them Republicans, they began to coalesce as a new party, that said, no, these slaves are children of God and we as Americans stand for the notion that we’re all created equal and that includes slaves. And we stood up for them and the left was so committed to it that it precipitated a bloody civil war and we ended up shooting ourselves to doll rags. That’s how committed an irrational conclusion can become when there is an investment of these kinds of political proportions in a certain narrative.”
Franks is far from the first conservative politician to conveniently forget the history of the last half century to declare that today’s Democrats are the party of slavery and Jim Crow.
A group of Religious Right activists, including prominent advocates of dominionism, have joined together to circulate a “Declaration of Dependence upon God and His Holy Bible” in which signers vow to “refuse any mandate by the government that forces us to fund or support abortion” and to “oppose same-sex marriage, polygamy, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual perversion prohibited by Holy Scripture.
Colorado Springs pastor Andrew Wommack, who wrote the pledge, says that he will spend $500,000 promoting it online and in newspaper ads. On Sunday, Wommack’s ministry bought a pricey full-page ad in the New York Times that showed the full text of the “declaration” and some of its most prominent signers.
Among those who have signed Wommack’s pledge, according to the ad, is Religious Right activist David Barton, who has been teaching students at a Bible college run by Wommack to retake the “mountain” of government in accordance with the Seven Mountains dominionist belief that conservative Christians must take control of the seven areas, or “mountains,” of society.
Other signers are Jerry Boykin, the executive vice president of the Family Research Council; Focus on the Family founder James Dobson; prominent televangelist Kenneth Copeland; leading Seven Mountains advocate Lance Wallnau; prosperity gospel preacher Creflo Dollar; and Kelly Shackelford, whose First Liberty Institute has been at the forefront of the narrative that conservative Christians are losing their religious liberty in America.
Another notable signer is Oklahoma state Sen. Nathan Dahm, who earlier this year sponsored a bill to make abortion a felony in the state, which was vetoed by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.
Among the signers are some prominent supporters of Donald Trump’s presidential bid. Dobson and Copeland are members of Trump’s evangelical advisory board. Boykin was recently one of the retired military leaders to sign a letter supporting Trump, which was promoted by the GOP nominee’s campaign. Wallnau is a member of the “National Diversity Coalition for Trump” who has argued that Trump can help reclaim the “seven mountains” from Satan.
In a video message, Wommack says that he believes he was “divinely inspired” to write the declaration, warning that “Satan is fighting for the heart and soul of this nation.”
Another video promoting the declaration shows Fox News pundit Todd Starnes reacting to the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, saying, “The Supreme Court’s decision means gay rights now trump religious liberty. If you think the cultural purging of the southern states has been breathtaking, wait until you see what the activists are about to release on American Christians.” In the video, a young girl turns to her grandfather and asks, “Grandpa, we’re Christians, aren’t we?”
Wommack’s declaration reads like a shorter version of the Manhattan Declaration, a 2009 document that joined conservative Catholic and evangelical leaders in a pledge to commit civil disobedience in the face of the supposed impending government persecution of Christians.
Here’s the full text of the “Declaration of Dependence upon God and His Holy Bible”:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Since our Creator gave us these rights, we declare that no government has the right to take them away. Among these rights is the right to exercise our Christian beliefs as put forth in God’s Holy Bible.
We therefore declare that God grants life at conception and no one has the right to take that life unless it is a direct threat to the life of the mother.
Marriage was instituted by God between one man and one woman. The Lord gave only this family unit the responsibility to have children and raise them in the fear of the Lord.
We therefore respectfully reserve the right to refuse any mandate by the government that forces us to fund or support abortion. We also oppose same-sex marriage, polygamy, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual perversion prohibited by Holy Scripture.
We proclaim that Jesus has provided the cure for all sin and therefore reach out to the sinner in love, but do not embrace the sin, knowing its destructive nature.
Therefore, we, the undersigned—not only as Christians but also believing we have the constitutional rights as Americans to follow these time honored Christian beliefs—commit to conducting our churches, ministries, businesses, and personal lives in accordance with our Christian faith and choose to obey God rather than man.
Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., had an unusual take yesterday on recent protests around the police shootings of African-American men in North Carolina and Oklahoma, saying that while Black Lives Matter is made up of “radical groups” and “confused people,” the real “institutional racism” is policies that removed government-sponsored religious teaching from public schools.
Virginia talk radio host John Fredericks asked Brat yesterday, “Help me understand, what is Black Lives Matter rioting about in Charlotte?”
“Well, that’s just sub-groups,” Brat responded, “some of these radical groups that are funded out of George Soros’ pot of money and just some confused people.”
In contrast, he said, he recently visited a prison and met with former heroin addicts who told him that they wanted him to “get the Bible back in the classroom and religion back in the classroom so my kids and grandkids don’t end up like me.” Because of the lack of religious instruction, he said, these men were “never taught what was good and bad in life in the public school system.”
“The Democrat policy in education is holding back an entire generation from being successful,” he said, “and then you end up with this racial system when your school system … [is] teaching them about isosceles triangles but we’re not giving them any hope.”
“There is institutional racism,” Brat told Fredericks, “and if Obama and Hillary want to talk about institutionalized racism, I just mentioned the source of it. It’s their own policies. that’s where the institutional racism is, right? When you don’t tell people what is ethically good and bad, right, if you cannot even define what a morally good life is anymore and you block the Bible and you block the Judeo-Christian tradition and you block the Baptist church, which is fundamental in the African-American community, from being the voice of power and the only hope you give is a broken federal system of government …”
He added that since Martin Luther King Jr., we haven’t had “any nationally prominent philosophers or theologians out there promoting the Judeo-Christian tradition in the African-American community and across the board in education.”
The National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown has been attempting to mobilize U.S. support for activists in Mexico who are trying to stop President Enrique Peña Nieto from putting marriage equality into the country’s constitution.
However, like a lot of NOM’s recentefforts, this one doesn’t seem to quite be catching on.
Today, NOM hosted a rally in front of the Mexican embassy in Washington, D.C., along with the World Congress of Families, which Brown also now leads, and CitizenGo, an international petition platform whose board Brown sits on.
The rally drew a grand total of 11 people, not counting a handful of children in strollers, bystanders and reporters:
At the rally, activists read a letter that they said they were delivering to the Mexican ambassador announcing that they were joining “in spirit” the protests this weekend led by the National Front for the Family.
The letter stated the group’s support for “natural marriage as a stable relationship between one man and one woman,” saying that “several scientific research studies” have shown that this is the best environment for children. It claimed that “extracting marriage from its procreative and educative purpose … weakens the legal, social and cultural fabric” of a society. The letter also included a reference to adoption by gay couples and a plea to keep “content and ideologies that do not belong to the public educative sphere” out of school curricula, instead demanding that curricula be based on “scientific criteria.”
According to news reports, Donald Trump is set to release today more names of individuals whom he would consider nominating to the Supreme Court if elected, a key part of his strategy to win over the Religious Right and the conservative establishment.
The new list includes Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who, as Peter noted earlier this year, is not only a staunch social conservative but also believes that large parts of the federal social safety net are unconstitutional:
Lee also has some ideas about how he’d like to change the Constitution. We wrote when Lee was running for Senate in the Tea Party wave of 2010:
He wants to eliminate capital gains taxes and make the current tax system more regressive – more reliant on lower income taxpayers – and says his favorite approach to taxation would actually be to repeal the 16th amendment altogether, strip the federal government of the power to tax income, and leave it to the states to determine how they would tax their own citizens to pay for the limited federal government that would be left.
He’s a constitutional lawyer who’d like to make lots of changes to the Constitution: he has said he supports repeal of the 17th Amendment, which calls for popular election of U S Senators; he wants to "clarify" the 14th Amendment through legislation to deny citizenship to children born in the U.S. to parents who are not citizens or legal residents; he wants to amend the Constitution to require a balanced federal budget and to impose congressional term limits.
Other names on Trump’s expanded list are also sure to please those who are hoping to radically reshape American law.
The Trump campaign’s statement boasts that one potential pick, Michigan Chief Justice Robert Young, is part of a court majority that has “embraced originalism and led what one scholar described as a ‘textualism revolution.’” The article in question notes that much of the Michigan majority’s philosophy draws on the arguments of the late Justice Antonin Scalia (while differing with Scalia in some ways).
In 2007, Young wrote a majority opinion upholding Michigan’s voter ID law, writing that it was a “reasonable, nondiscriminatory restriction designed to preserve the purity of elections and to prevent abuses of the electoral franchise."
The new list also includes Charles Canady, a Florida Supreme Court justice who served four terms as a Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1990s. In the House, Canady was the first to introduce the so-called ban on “partial-birth” abortion, a term that had been newly coined by anti-choice activists to stir up opposition to a specific abortion procedure and prompt a legal challenge to undermine Roe v. Wade.
Also on Trump’s list is Timothy Tymkovich, the chief judge of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, who wrote that court’s opinion in favor of Hobby Lobby’s attempt to cite religious objections to deny its employees health insurance coverage for contraception. That case later made it to the Supreme Court, resulting in a dramatic reinterpretation of the idea of religious liberty in America.
Trump’s new Supreme Court list is, like his original list released in May, clearly aimed at pacifying social conservatives who want assurance that his federal judges will uphold their policy priorities and by conservative legal groups intent on remaking American law.