Yesterday the Oregon Senate passed an expansive new voter registration bill, a significant step forward in the fight to make voting easier, more secure, and more accessible for everyone in the state.
The Oregonian explains how the legislation will work:
Under the measure, driver's license data stretching back to 2013 will be used to begin registering Oregon citizens who aren't already signed up to vote. Elections officials will send a postcard to the prospective new registrants giving them a chance to opt out…. The secretary of state's office has estimated that the measure will add about 300,000 to the voting rolls, which now total just under 2.2 million.
Gov. Kate Brown, who as secretary of state supported the bill as a way to make it easier for low-income people and young people to vote, has promised to sign the measure.
With new barriers to voting taking root across the country and voting discrimination still a persistent problem, it can be easy to believe that our country is only turning back the clock on voting rights. But this win in Oregon underscores the fact that when we work together to make it easier rather than harder to cast a ballot, we can set an example of how to strengthen our democracy.
Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney, a right-wing activist notorious for his birther and anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, is using the controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email system while she was at the State Department to resuscitate the Right’s absurd claims about Huma Abedin, a close aide to the former Secretary of State.
Gaffney believes that Abedin is a secret agent for the Muslim Brotherhood, claiming in 2013 that “Ms. Abedin was brilliantly placed to run Islamist influence operations for sixteen years under the recently departed Sec. of State, Hillary Clinton.” His bizarre conspiracy theory helped inspire an ugly campaign against Abedin and other Muslims working in public service led by then-Rep. Michele Bachmann.
He has made similarly bizarre allegations against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, CIA Director John Brennan, former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, prominent conservative activist Grover Norquist, and of course, President Obama.
Gaffney today penned a brief, evidence-free op-ed for the Washington Times where he used the just asking the question style of journalism to claim that Abedin may have been using Clinton’s email system to contact Muslim Brotherhood agents as part of their effort to destroy Western civilization.
One other State Department official evidently violated [the department’s email] policy:Mrs. Clinton‘s deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin.
Her emails are of particular interest insofar as Ms. Abedin has extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. That’s the Islamist organization whose self-declared mission is
The indispensable investigative group Judicial Watch has filed suit in federal court for access to these emails. It remains to be seen if they are provided and, if so, what they reveal about these ladies’ contacts with theMuslim Brotherhood – and their damage-control concerning revelations about Ms. Abedin’s connection to it.
Mike Huckabee stopped by Steve Deace’s radio program yesterday to discuss Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress and the ongoing negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program.
Claiming that Obama doesn’t see how dangerous Iran is, Deace asked Huckabee: “Is it because he doesn’t love America? Is it because he has a worldview that blinds him to the realities of good vs. evil?”
“I believe he does not want America to be the superpower that we have been,” Huckabee responded. “It’s almost as if he’s afraid of that. He believes that America would be better off as ‘one of the boys’ instead of the big brother.”
Huckabee went on to blame House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for turning the American relationship with Israel into “a political and partisan issue, God help us all.”
When Deace claimed that the parties no longer agree that “Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon,” Huckabee agreed: “What has changed is Barack Obama’s influence over foreign policy. What has changed is his innate desire to see America a weaker country rather than a stronger country. And some Democrats are more interested in protecting Obama than they are in protecting America, and that’s the real sad fact.”
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes appeared on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program yesterday to chat with Tony Perkins about what they perceive as growing anti-Christian persecution in America, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent announcement that city schools will now close for the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Adha and al-Fitr.
The two right-wing commentators were outraged, claiming that New York City’s move somehow discriminates against Christians.
“But yet when it comes to Christmas and Easter, two very prominent Christian holidays, they’re not on the school calendar, they’re called ‘winter break’ and ‘spring break,’” Perkins said. Starnes concurred: “Oh yes. For the sake of tolerance and diversity, that normally means the Christians are going to be discriminated against or their holidays are going to be minimalized.”
Easter always falls on a Sunday, which would explain why it is not on a school vacation calendar, while Christmas does in fact appear on New York City’s list of school holidays [PDF]. The city’s schools are also closed for Good Friday, along with the Jewish holy days of Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Passover.
An anguished Perkins lamented that “when 85 percent of the population identifies as Christian but we can’t have a Christmas holiday because it’s religious but yet we can have Muslim holidays, something is not right there in New York City, ‘The Big Apple,’ something is rotten.”
Starnes responded by claiming that Islam is being elevated over Christianity, and it’s all Obama’s fault.
“You’re absolutely right Tony,” the Fox News pundit said. “How many times have we seen this, where the Islamic faith is being given accommodation and the Christian faith and other religious faiths are being marginalized, not just in the public workspace but also through the Obama administration.”
Perkins also managed to attack President Obama for de Blasio’s decision: “I think the Obama administration has created the environment for policies such as this.”
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah personally believes that President Obama will leave office when his second term is up in January 2017, but senses that “there is great concern out there across the fruited plain” that the president will try to stay in office permanently, so he evidently considers it his journalistic duty to explore why this conspiracy theory may be true.
“[W]hy do we assume Obama will step aside willingly from the presidency following an election in 2016?” Farah asks in a column today. “I’m not saying he won’t. I’m just asking why.”
Farah then goes on to cite evidence of Obama’s possible power grab, including that the president that “respects neither the law nor the American tradition of peaceful changes of power,” has said “he and his family might remain in Washington after leaving office,” and, of course, “the ever-present reality that Obama himself may not even be constitutionally eligible for office.”
Question: Why are Americans so certain there will be a presidential election in 2016 and that Barack Obama will leave office in January 2017?
Answer: Because it’s the law and because it’s American tradition.
However, we currently have a man in the White House who respects neither the law nor the American tradition of peaceful changes of power.
And then, of course, there’s the ever-present reality that Obama himself may not even be constitutionally eligible for office. In fact, if he’s telling the truth about his parentage and the “birth certificate” he produced after years of demands from the public is real, he could not possibly be a “natural born citizen” as required by the Constitution.
So with all of this history – and much more, in fact – why do we assume Obama will step aside willingly from the presidency following an election in 2016?
I’m not saying he won’t. I’m just asking why. And judging from the number of questions I’m getting along these lines from the public, I’d say there’s great concern out there across the fruited plain.
Maybe we assume he will respectfully leave office after two terms because he has publicly said he would. In 2013, Obama said he and his family might remain in Washington after leaving office.
But that begs the question of whether Obama is truthful.
Again, do I think Obama will leave office in January 2017? Yes I do.
But, with a track record like this – and, actually much worse – should we simply take it for granted?
Back in November, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach took a call on his weekly radio program from a listener who was worried that if Latinos became a majority in the U.S., they would embark on an “ethnic cleansing” of whites. Rather than simply refute the caller’s suggestion, Kobach – a leading anti-immigrant voice in the GOP -- responded by saying that President Obama was eroding the rule of law so while he didn’t “think it’s going to happen in America” he did “wonder what could happen.”
After we reported on the exchange, Kobach claimed that his remarks had been “ripped out of context” and that he was simply trying to be “polite” as the caller presented his paranoid predictions about the consequences of changing demographics.
So we weren’t entirely surprised this week when Kobach was presented with another paranoid prediction of whites as the victims of a government run by people of color and decided to go along with it too. As we reported yesterday, Kobach took a call from a listener who suggested that the Obama administration might be on the verge of declaring an end to the criminal prosecution of African Americans “regardless of the crime.” Kobach responded that while he thought it was “unlikely,” “it’s already happened more or less in the case of civil rights laws” and “I’ve learned to say with this president, never say never.”
Now, Kobach is being forced again to defend his comments, and this time is standing by them, citing the Obama Justice Department’s decision to drop voter intimidation charges against the Fox News villains of the New Black Panther Party. Despite the claims of right-wing activists, there is no evidence to suggest that the Justice Department dropped the case against the small-time radical group because of the race of its members.
Kobach told the Wichita Eagle that the New Black Panther Party case shows that the Obama administration has already fulfilled the caller’s nightmares “in one limited context":
Kobach dismissed criticism.“My point was to bring attention to the Obama Justice Department’s position that some civil rights statutes can’t be enforced against people of color,” Kobach said. “For example, one of the Obama administration’s first actions it took in 2009 was to drop the slam-dunk charges against the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation.”Kobach said the Justice Department dropped the charges specifically because of race, a claim that has been disputed.…“The point is the Obama administration has already done what the caller suggests in the context of voting civil rights statutes,” Kobach said Thursday. “So it’s already happened in one limited context. No, I don’t think it will happen in other contexts. I made it clear I don’t think that’s likely to happen.”
Correction: This post originally misidentified the newspaper that Kobach gave his response to. It was the Wichita Eagle, not the Kansas City Star.
Answers in Genesis (AIG) founder Ken Ham has been on a warpath ever since Kentucky's tourism board denied his group $18 million worth of tax incentives for its planned Noah's Ark theme park, a companion to Ham's Creation Museum. Although the tourism board cited AIG's stated intention to discriminate based on religion in its hiring of theme park employees and to use the taxpayer-subsidized park for religious evangelism, Ham insists that the state has violated his "fundamental rights" and "freedom of speech" by denying him the tax breaks.
On Monday, Ham took his case to the right-wing program "In the Market with Janet Parshall," where the host claimed that Ham is being "treated as a second class citizen" and is the victim of "viewpoint discrimination."
Ham said that the rights of all people of faith are at stake in his case. "If we don't do something about this it's like the old idea of the frog in the water that you can boil it up and boil it to death and it doesn't you're doing it because it keeps accommodating to the temperature around it," he told Parshall. "If Christians just keep accommodating and allowing this to happen more and more, we will lose that free exercise of religion."
"It's more and more of that trying to eliminate the Christian freedom that we have in this nation," he said.
During his appearance on yesterday's edition of "Crosstalk," Religious Right legal activist and Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver fielded a call from a listener who claimed that President Obama is a communist Muslim out to destroy America. "Crosstalk" host Vic Eliason said that the truth of the caller's claim was "evident" since Obama won't "combine the word Muslim and terror."
Staver agreed, alleging that Obama was "ideologically raised in the Islamic world and ideology" and falsely claiming that Obama "still to this day hasn't acknowledge that the 21 Coptics were Christians who were beheaded by the Islamists."
"This is a president that hates America," Staver said. "Rudy Giuliani got a lot of fire, pushback because he said that. I think that this president does hate our values, he hates our Judeo-Christian values and he does everything in his power to try to destroy them."
After Eliason expressed outrage that Obama once read the critically acclaimed book "The Post-American World," Staver said Obama wants to "eliminate America's strong influence around the world with regards to its strength and military presence" while at the same time emerge as a "colonialist with regards to his immoral values."
"He's exporting abortion and homosexuality in any way possible," he said.
Writing today in BarbWire, Tea Party activist Bob Ellis declared that the anti-gay movement needs its own Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. to resist the "tyranny" of marriage equality.
Ellis praised the Alabama Supreme Court's ruling against marriage equality, writing that other state bodies should follow Alabama's example in defying federal court rulings in favor of marriage equality.
"State governors, attorneys general, judges, court officials and anyone else involved in upholding the law in a state should have been telling these judicial activists where they can shove their tyranny (i.e. the same place homosexual activists like to shove things)," he wrote.
Ellis added that the anti-gay Right needs its own champions like Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr. who will resist the legalization of same-sex marriage: "Indeed, we need a whole lot of refusal to cooperate with these tyrants, just as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and their fellow civil rights champions refused to cooperate with the Democrats who were trampling freedom and the Constitution."
It is so refreshing to finally see at least one state (Alabama) stand up and push back against the tyranny of the federal government and judicial activists.
This is what ALL state officials (going all the way back to the 2003 judicial activism in Massachusetts when Governor Mitt Romney rolled over and began the domino of counterfeit marriage in America) should have been doing all along, as Leftist tyrants have been usurping the federal and state constitutions, the rule of law, and the will of the people (not to mention usurping the institution of marriage itself). State governors, attorneys general, judges, court officials and anyone else involved in upholding the law in a state should have been telling these judicial activists where they can shove their tyranny (i.e. the same place homosexual activists like to shove things).
Indeed, we need a whole lot of refusal to cooperate with these tyrants, just as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and their fellow civil rights champions refused to cooperate with the Democrats who were trampling freedom and the Constitution.
Hopefully, the courage and backbone of a few good men in Alabama will help good people in other states to grow some anatomy and start to push back against this tyranny and usurpation. Our nation’s founders would be aghast and ashamed of their posterity for the cowardly way so many of us have behaved. These actions in Alabama (and hopefully a new and growing number of other states to follow) may yet restore some of the faith of the founders.
Yesterday on “Washington Watch,” Rep. Louie Gohmert criticized President Obama and Vice President Biden for declining to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he came to speak to the U.S. Congress just before the Israeli elections.
Gohmert told the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins that while he attends Obama’s speeches out of “respect for the office” even though he rarely agrees with what the president is saying, Obama and other administration officials “disrespected Israel and disrespected the leader of Israel, it was not about the man.”
“If you named a caucus by who it helped, you’d have to name this one the Ayatollah Caucus,” Gohmert said of Obama, before hailing Netanyahu as the “Esther for the United States.”
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, one of the chief architects of the anti-immigrant movement’s legal and legislative strategies, told a caller to his weekly radio program last week that while he thought it was “unlikely,” it would not be a “huge jump” to predict that the Obama administration could call an end to the prosecutions of African Americans for any crime. Claiming that “it’s already happened more or less in the case of civil rights laws,” Kobach told listeners that “I’ve learned to say with this president, never say never.”
Kobach was discussing the University of Minnesota’s decision to stop including race and other physical descriptions in email alerts of crimes on campus unless they have “sufficient detail that would help identify” a perpetrator, when a listener named Stu called in to share a theory.
“Given the situation in Minnesota, given the recent story that Obama was instructing immigration enforcement to not enforce the immigration laws against illegal aliens, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch, Kris, to envision an announcement that any black person accused of a crime, charged with a crime, is not going to be prosecuted, regardless of the crime,” he said, adding that “we’ve already seen it from Eric Holder in his failure to prosecute the Black Panthers.”
Holder, Kobach agreed, “basically made it clear….that the civil rights laws were only to protect minority races, and he was not going to be enforcing them to the benefit of white people who were discriminated against on the basis of their race. So, that’s basically what you’ve described.”
“So the word is going to come down that there just won’t be any prosecutions of black criminals,” Stu predicted. “And I can see it happening. I don’t think I’m nuts for envisioning it.”
“Well, it’s already happened more or less in the case of civil rights laws,” Kobach responded. “So I guess it’s not a huge jump, I think it’s unlikely, but you know I’ve learned to say with this president, never say never.”
Kobach got national attention back in November when a caller presented the outlandish scenario that a Latino majority in the U.S. would embark on an “ethnic cleansing,” to which Kobach responded in a similar noncommittal way, saying that while he didn’t “think it’s going to happen in America,” under Obama “things are strange and they are happening.”
Today on “Generations Radio,” Religious Right pundit Kevin Swanson repeated his criticisms of the Girl Scouts, which he previously said is a “wicked” organization that is turning young girls into lesbian communists. “Please, I beg of you, do not buy Girl Scout cookies,” he said at the time. “Please, I beg of you, stop buying Girl Scout cookies.”
Swanson insisted on today’s program that he isn’t “backing away” from the Girl Scouts issue because the organization corrupts children and, as Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew, “If you offend one of these little ones who believes in me, it would be better for you that a millstone be hanged around your neck and you be drowned at the bottom of the sea.”
Later in the program, Swanson said that people are leaving the Girl Scouts because the vast majority of “parents who really care about their little girls do not want them being lesbians at 24 years of age.”
“Now there’s a six percent out there that are thinking, ‘I would love for my girl to grow up and become a lesbian and never get married and never, ever, ever, ever fulfill God’s role for her as a woman,’” Swanson continued. “My guess is the average parent in America, I’m talking 95 percent of parents in America, are not going to be keen on their kids growing up and becoming lesbians and homosexuals at 24 years of age. It’s one reason why I have a hard time understanding why they send their kids, their little six-, seven-, eight- and nine-year-old kids to schools with the GLSEN-sponsored signs plastered all over the facilities.”
Swanson also posed an important question to parents who send their children to public schools: “I would love to ask these parents: Is it your objective that your kids be well indoctrinated in lesbianism and homosexuality such that they will become the future lesbians of America?”
“I think 94, 95, 96 percent of Americans will say, ‘That’s unacceptable, that is not my vision for my little girl, I don’t want my little girl turning into a lesbian,’” he added.
Joel Gilbert, a conspiracy theorist filmmaker who followed up his 2012 opus on President Obama’s secret communist father with a recent movie comparing the president the Wizard of Oz, joined Alex Jones yesterday to discuss Obama’s “game plan” to stage a radical Marxist takeover of America.
Jones was, of course, in complete agreement, telling Gilbert, “That’s what I’ve found when I’ve been around socialists and communists at events over the decades.”
“I’ve been around a lot of them at all sorts of behind-the scenes Democratic conventions,” he said. “They’re really like criminal, bank robber types, like felon types I’ve been around before that are really creepy and have bad will towards people. And behind the scenes they’ll go, ‘Listen, when we take over we’re going to kill everybody. We want blood.’”
“They really are demonic villains, but on the surface, it’s like ‘I’m liberal.’ They are just so sick.”
Rios, reeling over yesterday’s collapse of the GOP effort to defund part of the Department of Homeland Security in order to block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, said Obama’s immigration policy could lead to the death of Christians at the hands of ISIS.
“Some of us, honestly, may face martyrdom, there’s no question,” Rios said. “I’m not sure in our lifetime although it could be with ISIS waging — you know, now the borders are so porous and we are being so careless with our immigration policy, there are many things that may unfold more quickly than we think.”
Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., is none too pleased that the House GOP leadership allowed members to vote on a clean bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, avoiding a department shutdown over President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. While speaking yesterday with conservative talk show host Steve Deace, Huelskamp said that grassroots Republicans have been “double-crossed by the establishment.”
Huelskamp was especially angry with the conservative American Action Network, a group close to the House GOP leadership, which launched attack ads against him and other congressmen who opposed fully funding the DHS.
“How can we trust them when on one hand they say they’re going to fight and on the other hand they always lose?” Huelskamp said. “I know some of my colleagues have been fond of saying, ‘Our leadership keeps fighting the same way and expecting different results.’ I don’t think that’s accurate. They keep fighting the same way and expecting the same result. Which is a lot: a loss of liberty, a loss to Obama and let Pelosi and Reid run the House and the Senate, they’re now the de factor leaders.”
He said that the GOP leadership betrayed the will of “conservative grassroots activists” and “average, ordinary Republicans.”
“We were double-crossed in the election,” he said. “This could be the day we look back and say, that was the time the Constitution was finally surrendered to the left. And where are our Republican friends? Voting with Nancy Pelosi, many of them.”