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Ken Ham: Christians Who Believe In Evolution Follow A 'Pagan Religion' & Invite God's Judgment

Ken Ham, the head of the Creationist group Answers In Genesis and founder of the Creation Museum, joined conservative radio host Janet Mefferd last week to discuss a new book about evangelicals who have embraced the theory of evolution. These Christians, Ham said, are following a “pagan religion” and are therefore inviting the judgment of God.

Ham said he wasn’t questioning the salvation of people like pastor Tim Keller who are open to a coexistence between the science of evolution and the Christian faith, but that it’s an “authority issue.”

“It really is an authority issue,” he said. “And once you start questioning the first part of the Bible, and I’ll guarantee that people like Tim Keller and others, when it comes down to it, the bottom line is they believe in millions of years.”

“I’m going to say it out very bluntly,” he said. “Look, millions of years in evolution is the pagan religion of this age to explain, to attempt to explain life without God. And when you compromise God’s word with millions of years and evolutionary ideas, you’re no different to the Israelites, who took the pagan religion of the age—or the Canaanites, or whatever—incorporated into their thinking. And look what happened. It destroyed them, and God judged them before it. We are no different, there’s nothing new under the sun.”

Savage: Hillary 'Was Like A Sumo Wrestler Who Won The Debate Right From The Beginning'

Conservative radio host and Donald Trump ally Michael Savage said on his program yesterday that he couldn’t finish watching Monday’s presidential debate because he knew early in the evening that Hillary Clinton had won the contest.

“Hillary knew how to trigger Trump and drag him off balance,” he said, pointing to Clinton’s accurate claim that Trump received $14 million from his father and lamenting that the GOP candidate “fell right into her trap.”

“When she said to him that he inherited $14 million from his father, she fundamentally was like a sumo wrestler who won the debate right from the beginning with that remark because he took the bait and she threw him off the mat,” Savage said. “He was unbalanced from the point on. She knew that he would take the debate and defend his father. Why? Because he has character and she doesn’t. She’s a lowlife with no character, she has no character whatsoever.”

Trump did not in fact “defend his father,” who wasn’t even the subject of the remark, but instead falsely claimed that he had only received a “very small loan.”

'Catastrophist' Glenn Beck Now Says It's His Job To Merely Warn About What 'Could' Happen, Not What Will Happen

Glenn Beck fancies himself something of a prophet tasked with the responsibility to constantly warn of impending chaos and collapse, claiming that he is right nearly 80 percent of the time and that he never gets the "big things" wrong because he has an amazing ability to see two years into the future.

The actual record, of course, shows otherwise, as Beck is generally wrong time and time and time again, which might explain why he is now insisting that he is merely called by God to warn about what could happen, not what will happen.

"I'm a catastrophist. You know that if you've ever listened to this program," Beck said on his radio show today. "I look at the worst possible scenario and I do it through the lens of history. I can make great points and I could beat you in a debate, if it's an honest debate based on the facts of history, that it could happen, not that it is."

"My job is to warn and ring warning bells based on what I believe and what I see and what I know from history and what I know from doing my own research on today's events," he said. "That's my job. That's my job."

Obviously, literally everyone is capable of issuing dire warnings about what could happen in the future, so that is not a particularly unique or useful skill. Frankly, we expect a little more from someone like Beck, who claims to have been called by God to serve as a watchman for this nation.

John Guandolo: Muslims Working In Hotels, Buying Gas Stations To Prepare 'For A Jihad'

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.”

Trump's Fans Declare Unscientific Online Polls To Be The New Gold Standard

During the presidential primary season, it was always amusing to watch Donald Trump tout his massive leads in online polls, the notoriously unscientific surveys in which participants can vote more than once and fans of one candidate often swarm the vote.

For example, one online poll has Green Party candidate Jill Stein leading the field with nearly 65% support—hardly a precise barometer of the nation.

Soon after last night’s debate was over, Trump declared himself the winner by citing the results of online polls. “I won every single poll other than CNN,” he said, triumphantly tweeting the findings of several online surveys.

He even claimed he won a CBS poll that didn’t actually exist .

Four scientific polls of debate viewers, on the other hand, found that most viewers believed Clinton won the debate.

While it is comical to watch Trump feed his insatiable narcissism by flaunting unrepresentative polls, Trump’s allies in the media are taking a page from the presumptive GOP nominee.

Fox News host Steve Doocy said it was “crazy” that “Hillary was actually number four behind Jill Stein and Gary Johnson” in one online poll. Fox’s Sean Hannity hyped the nonexistent CBS poll that supposedly showed a Trump lead.

Hannity went so far as to say that unscientific online polls are more accurate than real polls because they “have hundreds of thousands if not millions” of respondents, a statement that’s laughable to anyone with an elementary understanding of statistics.

Another Fox News pundit, Martha MacCallum, even dismissed the CNN poll as an “outlier” because it conflicted with the results of online surveys. The conservative network ran an article —with no byline—on how “online surveys had Donald Trump as the yuge winner,” hailing them as “a good gauge of enthusiasm.”

It seems that many conservatives learned nothing from the 2012 “unskew” the polls movement. That year, fringe right-wing blogs began to champion the conspiracy theory that liberals in the media were skewing public opinion polls in favor of President Obama to hide the fact that Mitt Romney was the clear favorite. The theory eventually made its way toconservative talk radio,Fox News and even to Romney’s presidential campaign.

One of the most prominent poll truthers in that election was none other than Donald Trump.

When Romney lost, many of the conservatives promoting the “unskew” myth were shocked.

Dana Perino, a former Bush aide turned Fox News host, described how many Republicans, including herself, “believed that the polls were skewed in Obama’s favor, and did not take conservative enthusiasm into consideration.”

“On election night when President Obama easily won reelection, I vowed to never put myself in that position again,” she said.

However, her colleagues are doing just that, and Fox News commentators are now citing everything from crowd sizes to Facebook likes to prove that the polls are wrong and Trump is way ahead.

Trump himself has said that polls showing him trailing are “phony” and that the only way he would lose would be if the election were rigged against him and widespread voter fraud occurred. One of his advisers, Roger Stone, said that if Trump loses due to an “illegitimate” election, “it will be a bloodbath.”

The Trump campaign and its supporters in the media aren’t even bothering to “unskew” the polls anymore and are instead content with citing bogus online surveys that should be taken seriously by no one.

As Trump preaches disdain for basic statistics, it seems his conservative allies are more than happy to follow along.

(This post also appears on the Huffington Post).

'And You Wonder Why They Call Us The Great Satan': Rick Scarborough Rails Against U.S. Embassies Flying The Rainbow Flag

Vision America's Rick Scarborough spoke at a "Pastors Appreciation Brunch" in Orlando, Florida, last week, urging the pastors in the audience to get involved in politics and to mobilize their congregations to vote because Christians in American are being driven into the closet and being robbed of their religious liberty.

Scarborough alleged that Christians didn't vote in recent elections and, as a result, President Obama was able to name two new justices to the Supreme Court and, consequently, "in June of last year, the Supreme Court countered our founders" by legalizing marriage equality.

"Our founders created a nation unlike the world had ever seen based upon natural law and nature's God," he said. "The heartbeat of the birth was that God had a higher law than man's law, but our Supreme Court looked a biblical revelation and natural law and countered both and said the Constitution, unbeknownst to its founders, contained a right of same-sex unions."

"And now, like a hammer, this false teaching is being used to drive you and I in the closets and to rob us of our freedom of religion," he warned.

And to make matters worse, he said that some U.S. embassies are now flying the rainbow flag during Gay Pride Month.

"The rainbow was a reminder of God's judgment and His grace, but now it's embraced to promote homosexuality; not only in America, we export it around the world," Scarborough said. "And you wonder why they call us the Great Satan?"

Mat Staver: Roy Moore Faces The 'Death Penalty'! (Of His Career)

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.

Mat Staver: Christians Must Vote Trump Because Clinton Will 'Bury You By Destroying The Republic'

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver declared that Christians must vote for Donald Trump in November because Hillary Clinton will destroy America.

Staver likened this election to seeking to hire a contractor to build a house, where one builder "may not be able to get it to the actual completion to where you want it to be, but at least they can put a few more bricks in the wall" while the other choice "will put dynamite around the partially constructed house and hit the button and explode it and just completely destroy it."

Trump, Staver said, may not get conservative Christians precisely where they want to go but at least he "is not gonna push the destruct button and literally destroy" America and "bury you by destroying the republic."

"Vote for the person who can at least put a few more bricks in the construction instead of blowing up the house," he said.

Pat Robertson: 'Demonic' Dungeons & Dragons 'Captures' Its Players

Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson issued yet another warning about the perils of Dungeons & Dragons, this time after a viewer claimed that “really weird things” started happening in her house after her husband began playing an online game that “includes elements of witchcraft.”

Robertson urged her to “find a minister or some trusted adviser who will tell him this is a problem,” before going off on Dungeons & Dragons, which he said has lured people “into a fantasy world that really captured them.”

“It is demonic,” he said. “Demons are out to destroy you and your husband needs to understand that.”

Trump's New Pro-Life Adviser Doesn't Want To Talk About Contraception

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.

Gordon Klingenschmitt: Providing Chelsea Manning With Gender Reassignment Surgery Is Unconstitutional 'Government Castration'

On a recent episode of his "Pray In Jesus Name" show, Gordon Klingenschmitt reacted to the news that the Army will pay for gender reassignment surgery for Chelsea Manning, who is currently in prison for leaking classified information, by declaring that providing this surgery violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on imposing cruel or unusual punishments.

After predictably declaring that Manning is possessed by a "demonic spirit of lying," Klingenschmitt asserted that providing her with the surgery amounts to "government castration of prisoners."

"Oh my gosh," he said, "I thought that was cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So when the ACLU says he has a constitutional right to this castration, no! The Constitution says the opposite, that your not allowed to treat prisoners with cruel and unusual treatment. That's clearly a violation ... of his constitutional rights."

"This man is not only confused," Klingenschmitt said, "now the Obama administration has joined the demonic spirit in the deception and now they're violating his constitutional rights by castrating him."

PFAW’s Latinos Vote!, Priorities USA Release Spanish-Language Anti-Trump Radio Ad in Nevada

Following last night’s debate, People For the American Way (PFAW) in partnership with Priorities USA launched a Spanish-language radio ad today encouraging listeners to get out the vote against Donald Trump. The ad features a mother with sons in the military discussing how Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric affects her and why it's critical to defeat him this November.

"Disparaging immigrants, slinging insults based on a person’s race or ethnicity, goes against everything that our country stands for, yet that's what we're hearing from the Republican presidential nominee," said PFAW President Michael Keegan. "We released these ads to highlight both how harmful Trump's rhetoric is and how Latino voters in particular can ensure that his hate never reaches the White House."

"We know that the way Trump describes us - as rapists and criminals taking down the American economy - couldn't be further from the truth," said PFAW Director of Latinos Vote! Lizet Ocampo. "So we must stand up against Trump’s lies and hate by casting our votes against Donald Trump. Who wins Nevada could determine who wins the presidency, and Latino voters can and will decide who wins Nevada."

The ads are part of PFAW's Latinos Vote! program which works to expose and counter anti-immigrant, anti-Latino rhetoric and policies. Previously this cycle in Nevada, PFAW launched the first anti-Trump Spanish-language TV ad, “Donald Trump’s Year of Hate.” The ads were announced during a press conference with former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who Donald Trump called “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping,” and civil rights leader and PFAW board member Dolores Huerta. Huerta also joined Latino leaders and voters in Las Vegas to challenge the hateful agendas of Trump and the Republican Party. For more information about the Latinos Vote! program, please email media@pfaw.org.

Listen to the ad: 

Translation:

Voiceover: Careliz has spent her life working hard, raising her kids right, to give them a shot at the American Dream.  She’s the proud mother of two sons who joined the U.S. military.

Careliz: I will never forget the day my sons came home wearing their uniforms.  They were so proud.  To be serving our country. To hear the things that Donald Trump says – it just disgusts me.

Trump:  “He’s a Mexican.  I’m building a wall.”

Trump:  “This is a country where we speak English – not Spanish.”

Careliz: My sons fight for our country.  And when Donald Trump says we don’t deserve to live here.  It’s just a slap in the face.   It disgusts me. He must never be President.

Voiceover: Together, we can stop Donald Trump.  We have a responsibility to vote.

For questions or to request an interview with a PFAW spokesperson, please email media@pfaw.org.

###

20 Lies Donald Trump Told At The First Presidential Debate

Donald Trump, already notorious for his mind-blowing dishonesty, repeated many of his usual lies during last night’s presidential debate—and added some new ones.

Some of Trump’s whoppers were obviously false, while others required a bit more digging to disprove.

Here are just 20 lies that Trump told during his first debate against Hillary Clinton:

 

Trump’s lies about his own history

Lie #1: Denies making remarks about climate change.

Clinton: “Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it's real.”

Trump: “I did not—I do not say that.”

Trump has in fact said that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese:

Lie #2: Denies his own proposal to negotiate down the debt.

Clinton: “You even went and suggested that you would try to negotiate down the national debt of the United States.”

Trump: “Wrong.”

Trump has said that as president, “I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal” on the debt. Economists have widely panned this idea aseconomically catastrophic.

Lie #3: Denies supporting the Iraq War.

“I did not support the war in Iraq.”

Trump expressed support for the invasion of Iraq before it took place and only said that he opposed the war after the conflict had started.

Lie #4: Denies calling pregnancy a business inconvenience.

Clinton: “This is a man who is called women pigs, slobs and dogs, and someone who has said pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers.”

Trump: “I never said that.”

In 2004, Trump said that pregnancy is “certainly an inconvenience for a business.”

Lie #5: Contradicts himself about his tax audit.

Trump: “I’m under a routine audit.”

[moments later]

Trump: “Look, I have been under audit almost for 15 years. I know a lot of wealthy people that have never been audited. I said, ‘Do you get audited ?’ I get audited almost every year. And in a way I should be complaining. I’m not even complaining. I don't mind them. It’s almost become a way of life. I get audited by the IRS. But other people don't.”

Trump has previously claimed that he is facing an audit, which he has used to justify his refusal to release his tax returns, because he’s “a strong Christian,” but his own lawyers say that the “continuous examination” of his returns is “consistent with the IRS’ practice for large and complex businesses.” Experts also point out that there is nothing preventing Trump from releasing his returns.

Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., said that his father was refusing to release his return because it would be a distraction from his campaign.

Lie #6: Falsely claims he already released key financial information.

“You will learn more about Donald Trump by going down to the federal elections where I filed a one hundred and four page, essentially financial statement of sorts, the forms that they have.”

As PolitiFact notes, this information leaves out essential information, including “details on his effective tax rate, the types of taxes he paid, and how much he gave to charity, as well as a more detailed picture of his income-producing assets.”

Lie #7: Falsely claims he only received a small loan from his father.

“My father gave me a very small loan in 1975.”

Trump has been regaling audiences with the tale that he received a “small loan of a million dollars” from his father, real estate mogul Fred Trump, when he first went into business. Far from an up-from-the-bootstraps success story, Trump regularly relied “on his father’s connections and wealth” in the form of “lucrative trusts” and “numerous loans and loan guarantees, as well as his father’s connections,” The Washington Post reports.

“As Trump’s casinos ran into trouble,” the Post reports, “Trump’s father also purchased $3.5 million gaming chips, but did not use them, so the casino would have enough cash to make payments on its mortgage—a transaction which casino authorities later said was an illegal loan.”

Indeed, loans Trump received from his father amounted to $14 million, “a value of $31 million in today’s dollars.”

Lie #8: Claims Clinton’s campaign, not Trump, started the birther movement.

“They were pressing it very hard, she failed to get the birth certificate. When I got involved, I didn't fail. I got him to give the birth certificate. So I'm satisfied with it, and I’ll tell you why I’m satisfied with it.”

There is no proof that anyone in Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign pushed the birther conspiracy theory. Instead, Trump cited an interview with Clinton’s former campaign manager in which she said that the campaign fired a volunteer who forwarded a birther email. He also cited a conversation that Sidney Blumenthal, who had no formal role in Clinton’s campaign, had with a McClatchy reporter, but McClatchy “found no proof that Blumenthal questioned Obama’s birthplace.”

 

Trump’s lies about the economy and finance

Lie #9: Misleadingly claims jobs are “fleeing” abroad.

“Our jobs are fleeing the country.”

Employment has been rising since the end of the Great Recession, but Trump has been using bogus statistics to claim that unemployment is actually as high as 42 percent.

Lie #10: Falsely claims China is devaluing their currency.

“You look at what China is doing to our country in terms of making our product, they're devaluing their currency and there's nobody in our government to fight them.”

In fact, China has of late been doing the opposite of devaluing its currency.

Ian Talley of The Wall Street Journal notes that while “few U.S. economists would disagree China kept the yuan undervalued over the last two decades,” now, “many economists—including some of the strongest advocates for action against Beijing s—say the yuan is now close to fair value. Beijing appreciated the yuan from 2005 to 2014…. In fact, over the last two years, Beijing burned through nearly a quarter of what was once a $4 trillion currency stockpile to prevent the yuan from falling against the dollar.”

Lie #11 : Baselessly claims the Federal Reserve is “doing political” by not increasing interest rates.

“This Janet Yellen of the Fed, the Fed is doing political by keeping interest rates at this level. And believe me the day Obama goes off and he leaves and he goes out to the golf course for the rest of his life to play golf, when they raise interest rates, you are going to see some very bad things happen because the Fed is not doing their job. The Fed is being more political than Secretary Clinton.”

The Federal Reserve is an independent institution and Trump has yet to offer any evidence that Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen is taking her cues from President Obama, a claim that he has been making for weeks.

 

Trump’s lies about national security

Lie #12 : Absurdly claims Clinton has fought ISIS for decades.

“No wonder you’ve been fighting ISIS your entire adult life.”

ISIS was created out of the Islamic State of Iraq, which was founded in 2006, and was in turn the descendent of Al Qaeda in Iraq, established in 2004. Hillary Clinton is 68 years old and graduated from college in 1969.

Lie #13 : Claims other countries don’t pay us for military defense.

“We defend Germany. We defend South Korea. We defend Saudi Arabia. We defend countries. They do not pay us what they should be paying us because we are providing tremendous service and we’re losing a fortune.”

The U.S. is hardly “losing a fortune” in military aid.

Lie #14 : Falsely claims NATO allies aren’t paying the U.S.

Trump: “We pay approximately 73 percent of the cost of NATO.”

Not even close .

Lie #15: Falsely claims the U.S. paid Iran $400 million.

“One of the great giveaways of all time, of all time, including four hundred million dollars in cash nobody’s ever seen that before that turned out to be wrong.”

As the New York Times notes, the money Trump referenced “was Iran’s money, for military goods never delivered to Iran after the Iranian Revolution.”

 

Trump’s lies about crime

Lie #16: Absurdly suggests America is experiencing a crime wave.

“We have a situation where we have our inner cities, African-American, Hispanics, are living in hell because it's so dangerous. You walk down the street, you get shot. In Chicago, they’ve had thousands of shootings, thousands, since January first. Thousands of shootings. And I’m saying where is this? Is this a war-torn countr y?”

Far from a crime wave, FactCheck.org points out that the violent crime rate “is lower than it has been since 1970” and “the murder and nonnegligent manslaughter rate nationwide, at 4.5 in 2014, was at its lowest point since at least the early 1960s.”

Lie #17: Baselessly says stop and frisk “worked very well” in New York.

“You do stop and frisk, which worked very well—Mayor Giuliani is here worked very well in New York.”

Katherine Krueger of TPM writes that a “2013 report from the New York attorney general found that out of 2.4 million stops by police between 2009 and 2012, the stops resulted in a 3 percent conviction rate, and just 0.1 percent of the total stops went on to a violent crime conviction.” Other cities that did not use stop and frisk experienced similar dips in crime, and one study, according to the Washington Post , “found that a high rate of stop-and-frisks was not associated with reduced crime when the practice was indiscriminate.” New York City’s crime rate continued to fall after stop-and-frisk was ended.

Lie #18: Falsely claims the murder rate in New York went up after the end of stop and frisk.

Clinton: “Well, it's also fair to say, if we’re going to talk about mayors, that under the current mayor crime has continued to drop, including murders. So there is—“

Trump: “You're wrong.”

Clinton: “No, I'm not.”

Trump: “Murders are up.”

Trump is wrong: Homicides in New York have been on the decline.

Lie #19: Falsely claims stop and frisk wasn’t ruled unconstitutional.

Lester Holt: “Stop and frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.”

Trump: “No, you're wrong. It went before a judge who was a very against-police judge. It was taken away from her and our mayor, our new mayor, refused to go forward with the case. They would have won an appeal.”

Trump is wrong: Stop and frisk was ruled unconstitutional in 2013 .

Lie #20: Falsely claims ICE endorsed him.

“I was is endorsed by ICE. They’ve never endorsed anybody before on immigration. I was just endorsed by ICE.”

ICE is a federal agency and has not endorsed Trump, or any other candidate for that matter.

Glenn Beck Reveals That He Was Planning To Retire From Radio And Run For Office, But Not Anymore

During his appearance on Dana Loesch's program last night, Glenn Beck revealed that his experience campaigning for God's chosen candidate, Ted Cruz, during the Republican primaries and his betrayal when Cruz endorsed Trump has dissuaded him from his plans to run for office.

Beck said that he will never again endorse a candidate. He also revealed that he told his wife last year that he was thinking of retiring from radio and television and running for office in a future election.

"I want to pray on it," Beck said he told his wife, "because maybe in 2020, 2024, maybe I'll run for something ... Not necessarily for president, I don't know, but I want to prepare myself to be worthy enough to run."

But after what he has seen, Beck said that he wants nothing to do with politics because "it's an absolute cesspool."

Edit Memo: The Numbers Make Clear: Republican Senators Still Refuse to Do Their Jobs

To: Interested Parties
From: Paul Gordon, Senior Legislative Counsel, People For the American Way
Date: September 27, 2016
Re: The Numbers Make Clear: Republican Senators Still Refuse to Do Their Jobs

It’s hard work being a Republican senator.

Earlier this month, the Senate returned from the longest summer recess in 60 years.  That recess came even though Senate Republicans hadn’t found the time to hold a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, or vote on lower court judges who had long ago been fully vetted and approved by the Judiciary Committee.

Now, three weeks after returning to town, the Senate is on the verge of recess again at least until after the November elections, having put far more time into actively blocking confirmation votes than holding them.  Without enough judges, the entire third branch of the United States government fails to perform its functions effectively, delaying or denying justice for millions of people and businesses across America.

Since the Senate returned three weeks ago:

  • McConnell has not allowed a vote on any judicial nominees.
  • The number of Article III vacancies is now 91 (one Supreme Court, 12 circuit courts, 76 district courts, and two Court of International Trade), a vacancy rate about double of that when the GOP took over the Senate last year.
  • The number of vacancies officially designated as emergencies has increased to 35.
  • The number of Article III judicial nominees languishing on the Senate floor without a vote has increased to 25

In fact, McConnell has allowed only six judicial confirmation votes in the past six months.  Only 20 circuit and district courts and two International Trade nominees have been confirmed so far this entire Congress, which is breathtakingly low by historical standards.

Senate GOP leaders could have done what Democratic leaders did at the same point eight years ago, two months before the election to replace George W. Bush.  During the month of September, then-chairman Patrick Leahy held committee hearings and votes for ten Bush nominees, and then-Majority Leader Harry Reid arranged for all ten to be confirmed at the same time by unanimous consent on September 26.

Despite the two-dozen Obama nominees on the Senate floor, it actually wouldn’t take that long to confirm them.  Confirming those ten Bush nominees in 2008 took less than one minute of Senate floor time.

Less than one minute—that bears repeating, because Senate Republicans this month have spent a lot more time than that actively blocking efforts to have votes on long-waiting judicial nominees.  The details of that obstruction are worth recounting, because they show just how ridiculous the GOP’s efforts are.

On Wednesday, Sept 7, several Democrats went to the floor and highlighted the outrageously slow pace of judicial confirmations.  Each asked for unanimous consent (UC) to hold confirmation votes.  Sen. Heidi Heitkamp began, asking for UC to vote on all 20 of the circuit and district court nominees then pending on the Senate floor (2 circuit, 18 district).  Most had been approved by the Judiciary Committee as long ago as May or earlier.  Four had their committee approvals last year, including Tennessee’s Edward Stanton III and New Jersey’s Julien Neals, both African American nominees with home-state senators’ support … or so it seemed.

Senator McConnell asked to modify the UC request to a mere four nominees to be voted upon at some unknown future date.  All were white, all four had been waiting for significantly less time TN’s Stanton, and three had been waiting less time than New Jersey’s Neals.  This would have skipped over a number of other nominees who had been waiting longer than one of the nominees McConnell was including.  Rather than permit McConnell to violate regular order and allow his favored, Republican-supported nominees to “jump the line” significantly, Sen. Cory Booker spoke up for the Democratic caucus, rejecting McConnell’s plan.  At that point, McConnell objected to Sen. Heitkamp’s original request.

Since 20 thoroughly vetted nominees ready for confirmation months ago was clearly too much for McConnell, Sen. Tammy Baldwin sought UC to vote on just the oldest 14, which included a 7th Circuit nominee from Wisconsin named Donald Schott who would fill a seat that has been vacant for more than six years.

McConnell said no.

Sen. Mazie Hirono tried next: What if we take the circuit court nominee off?  She sought UC on the remaining 13 district court nominees.

McConnell said no.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren came up next.  What about the ten longest-waiting nominees?  As with all the other Democrats’ efforts, this one included Tennessee’s Stanton.

This time, it was Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander who said no—no to a vote on a Tennessee nominee whose nomination has been left hanging since last year, and who Sen. Alexander claims to support.

At this point, Cory Booker returned to the floor and pointed out that McConnell’s “compromise” of four judges had skipped over the two African American nominees who had been waiting the longest.  So he made a UC request just for them:  Edward Stanton of Tennessee (waiting for a floor vote since October 29 of last year), and Julien Neals of New Jersey (waiting since November 5 of last year).

This time it was GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana who said no.  And Sen. Alexander?  He did not speak up for his nominee at all.  Even with a UC for just Stanton and one other nominee who have been waiting since last year, Sen. Alexander’s “support” was MIA.

And the excuse that McConnell and his obedient GOP senators gave for not allowing a vote even on two consensus nominees waiting since last year?  They repeatedly claimed that Republicans were being fair to President Obama’s nominees overall during his presidency, citing the fact that there have been more Obama nominees confirmed than Bush had.

Misleadingly, he failed to say that there have been more vacancies to fill during Obama’s presidency, which is why there have been more confirmations.  He also failed to point out that Republicans had forced cloture votes on an incredible 93 of the confirmed nominees while they were the minority party; it takes gall to take credit for confirmation votes that you and your party actively tried to prevent.

But perhaps most importantly, even if McConnell’s explanation weren’t intentionally misleading, it would still be completely irrelevant.  An increasing number of courtrooms across the country are experiencing troubling, extended vacancies that are harming their communities.  They need judges desperately, and there are fully vetted nominees willing to step in to their robes and start work as soon as possible.  Why not let them?  In what possible way would treatment of other nominees over the past seven years justify denying access to justice to communities today? Is there some unknown quota on the number of confirmations that only Senator McConnell knows about?

So we’re left with a Republican Party that leaves town again having taken no confirmation votes on lower court nominees, and still refusing to even hold a committee hearing for Merrick Garland.

This is anything but normal, as is made clear when comparing this year’s obstruction with the way the Democratic-controlled Senate treated Bush’s nominees during his final two years in office.  The figure below shows the stark difference in the pace of circuit and district judicial confirmations under today’s Republican-controlled Senate as compared to the Democratic-controlled Senate of Bush’s last two years.

graph1

Another way of contrasting how seriously Senate Democrats took their job in 2007-2008 versus the attitude of Republicans today is to track the number of vacancies. Judicial vacancies open regularly and predictably, since judges usually announce their intent to retire or go into semi-retirement up to a year in advance. Just to keep the number of vacancies at an even level requires that several new judges be confirmed each month.

At the beginning of 2007, there were 56 circuit and district court vacancies. Throughout the next two years, the number of vacancies generally remained at 50 or fewer, getting as low as 34 in the early fall of 2008. Because an unusually high number of vacancies opened up after Election Day, that number climbed back to 55 by Inauguration Day, but even with that increase, the number of vacancies ended up at about what it had been two years earlier.

Today, in stark contrast, the number of circuit and district court vacancies is climbing, more than doubling from 40 at the beginning of the year to 87 today.  (Including the Supreme Court and International Trade vacancies, the increase has been from 43 to 91.)

graph2

We see the same thing with judicial emergencies, a formal designation assigned by the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts for vacancies where the caseload per judge is so high that it endangers access to justice. Judicial emergencies have skyrocketed from 12 at the beginning of the new Congress to 35 today1. As the chart below shows, Democrats in the Senate during Bush’s last two years did not allow the number of judicial emergencies to increase in a similar fashion, and in fact the number generally remained steady or decreased during most of those two years.

 

graph3

So just three weeks after returning from an unearned (and record) seven-week vacation, the GOP-controlled Senate prepares to leave town having made no progress on filling the Supreme Court vacancy, and having spent far more time on the Senate floor blocking confirmation votes than it would have taken to confirm those same nominees.

And after all this time refusing to do their jobs, many of these senators are now asking the voters for another six years.  And they do it without blushing.

 

###

 


[1] Judicial emergencies are based on caseloads, which are weighted to reflect the wide variations in time and resources generally associated with different types of cases. On April 15, the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts list of emergency vacancies began to incorporate a new weighting system adopted a month earlier by the Judicial Conference of the United States. As a result, the number of officially designated judicial emergencies dropped from 34 on April 14 to 28 the next day, a drop that had nothing to do with Senate action.

 

Trump Wasn't 'Endorsed By ICE,' But He Was Backed By Group That Attacked DACA

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.

Trump's boast of military endorsers seems to be a reference to a letter in support of his candidacy signed by 88 retired generals and admirals. The list contained no "major names," but did include such activists asJerry Boykin. Boykin, who was repeatedly criticized by President George W. Bush for giving speeches framing the fight against terrorism as a holy war between Christianity and Islam, now has a platform for his vicious anti-gay and anti-Muslim rhetoric as a top official at the Family Research Council.

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 extremist anti-immigrant activists who in the summer of 2014 physically blocked busses of Central Americans fleeing violence who were being brought to a border patrol facility.

Glenn Beck Says Ted Cruz Endorsed Donald Trump Because He Lost Faith In Divine Providence

Glenn Beck appeared on Dana Loesch's program, which airs on his TheBlaze television network, last night to discuss his outrage and disappointment in Ted Cruz for endorsing Donald Trump. He speculated that "the smarmiest of the smarmy" within the Texas GOP had threatened to destroy Cruz's political career and derail his bid for re-election in 2016 if he didn't endorse Trump, which caused Cruz to cave because he lost faith in divine providence.

"I think he had a moment of doubt, not of the people, of the protection of divine providence," Beck theorized.

Beck said that if he lost his entire company and wound up in jail, he would trust that divine providence would ensure that he still had a voice because even "Nelson Mandela had a voice because he was in jail."

"If you really know your principles and you say, 'I believe in the protection of divine providence, whatever is supposed to happen and get His message out, He will get it out,'" Beck said, "I believe in that. What Ted did was, I think, is what all of them do, 'I've got to be there so I've to to triangulate, this will work and this won't work and I don't see a way of that working.'"

"Well, I don't see a way that any of this works. I believe that will work," Beck said, pointing to heaven.

Trump Justifies Criticism Of Miss Universe Winner: 'She Gained A Massive Amount Of Weight'

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.”

Trump, who still seems to be nursing an inexplicable grudge against Rosie O’Donnell, also couldn’t help but continue to trash Machado after the debate.

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.”

Unpacking that debate...

Millions of Americans, and frankly people all around the world, are anxiously asking the very same question today, “So, what did you think?!"

There’s much to unpack -- too much for one email, but here’s a partial recap, with some thoughts from our perspective.

Donald Trump and the Right Wing have been hammering the issue for the last year, but for all of their baseless attacks on Hillary Clinton’s stamina, it was clear that he was the only person on that stage with a stamina issue. As the night wore on, Trump went farther and farther off the rails, stumbling awkwardly to defend his record of Birtherism, his refusal to release his tax returns, and his support for unconstitutional and discriminatory policies.

Trump doubled down on previous insults he’s hurled at women, Latinos, and African Americans. And it was painfully obvious how ill-prepared he was to offer any coherent explanation of foreign policy, economic policy, and even his own actions.

PFAW’s Right Wing Watch:
20 Lies Donald Trump Told At The First Presidential Debate>>

In stark contrast, despite the very high bar set for her, Secretary Clinton simply nailed it. She offered a brilliant takedown of Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, listing the possible things that he might be hiding. She beat Trump at his own game by trumping him not just on substance, but on style. And she beat the sexist double standard that had TV news reporters talking almost exclusively about how her demeanor was going to determine her performance. If you watched the debate, you saw that she was the only candidate with the competence, stamina, temperament, and experience to answer the tough questions and do the tough job of president. And, Donald, maybe it is you who should try to smile more.

Clinton also called Trump out for his racist and sexist attacks on former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, whom he labeled “Miss Housekeeping” because she is Latina and referred to as “Miss Piggy” for gaining weight after she won her title. On the Fox and Friends morning show this morning, Trump kept digging himself in deeper, angrily criticizing Ms. Machado for being difficult primarly because, yes, she put on weight. At PFAW, we were honored to work with Alicia in our Latinos Vote! campaign, highlighting her personal story and connection with one of the uglier sides of Donald Trump. Alicia is clearly Trump’s worst nightmare: a Latina who has become a US citizen so that she can vote against him. 

Moderator Lester Holt, though not perfect, did an admirable job under challenging circumstances in getting out of the way to let voters see who the candidates really are. And he provided some basic, but important, real-time fact checking. It was important that he called out Trump on crucial points like: Trump’s persistent promotion of the racist Birther conspiracy theory against President Obama; Trump’s insistence that “stop and frisk” laws were not unconstitutional; and Trump’s dishonest assertion that being under IRS audit is what’s keeping him from releasing his tax returns.

Trump’s answers on the Birther topic were among the most bizarre and offensive of the night. Trump portrayed his leading the Birther conspiracy, a racist attack on the legitimacy of our first black president, as a great public service to the nation. Not only did he fail to apologize for promoting this racist myth, he insisted that he had succeeded where Secretary Clinton had failed: in getting President Obama to release his birth certificate -- something Clinton never tried to do. He dodged the questions about his promoting Birtherism for years after the birth certificate was produced, attempting to rewrite history on the fly, and then he proudly repeated this incoherent nonsense in post-debate interviews, again bragging about how he got the birth certificate that Clinton could never get. Art of the Deal! 

Now, for what was one of the most telling and insightful parts of the debate -- something that disappointingly has not gotten a lot of attention from press and commentators -- we have this brief exchange, amidst a flailing attack-filled rant by Trump:

CLINTON: I have a feeling that by, the end of this evening, I'm going to be blamed for everything that's ever happened.

TRUMP: Why not?

Trump was dead serious… serious in his suggestion that one of the most irrational notions imaginable -- blaming one person for all of the world’s ills -- was actually a valid thing to do … at least when it comes to Hillary Clinton.

And that really says it all. Hate is the language of Trump’s “movement,” and Hillary is now the number one person -- without rival, now that President Obama is no longer running for office -- who conservative America loves to hate.

There has been a seemingly endless amount of time spent trying to crack the code of the Trump supporter, trying to analyze the electorate in a way that makes sense of his support and the fact that this is an incredibly competitive race for president (and that Trump could win).

Surely there has to be some legitimate grievance or issue that he speaks to, that appeals to such a huge number of voters! They can’t all be bigoted, or that easily manipulated by fear of crime, terrorism, and changing demographics … can they?

Well, the truth is that Trump doesn’t appeal to people on actual issues. And, of course, not all of his supporters are bigots. What many have in common though is that they have become addicted, in a way, to hating Hillary Clinton.

Hate for Hillary and the no-holds-barred attacks on her that have no foundation in any truth whatsoever have been legitimized and made OK for people to engage in … and far too many people enjoy engaging in the hate -- people who have spent years watching Fox News, listening to right-wing talk radio, or reading “Alt-Right” websites like Breitbart.com. If you want a sense of it, just visit our RightWingWatch.org now, or any day of the week.

The attacks go far beyond believability and logic. They shun basic decency. But the right-wing airwaves and the Facebook feeds of conservative Americans are nonetheless teeming with them.

Trump connects with these people first on their common animosity towards Clinton. He endears himself to them by attacking her in ways they find both entertaining and self-validating. And then, after he’s earned their trust by showing that he is “one of them,” he can say anything, act any way, and he will be forgiven for it, the way a friend or family member might be forgiven for an offensive remark … you’ll say you don’t agree with the person on that point, but you’re not going to disown him (or, in this case, not vote for him).

So, after last night, we have reason to celebrate Secretary Clinton’s clear debate victory, and we have much more ammunition against Trump, who again showed himself to be ridiculously unqualified. We also need to face the possibility that while Trump may not have picked up many voters last night, sadly, he probably didn’t lose many either. 

Trump’s performance -- which was aimed squarely at his right-wing base -- offered yet another disturbing insight into the state of American politics and the right-wing movement. Just think about how empowered this right-wing movement will be after the election, whether they win or lose, because of the rise of Trumpism. 

We have a ton of work to do -- as progressives and as a country. But make no mistake, we’re up to the task. And continuing to call out the lies and extremism is never futile, because it’s only when we give up that the Donald Trumps of the world and their right-wing allies win.

PFAW

Gordon Klingenschmitt: Hillary Clinton Is Possessed By A 'Demonic Spirit Of Hatred' For Christians

On his "Pray In Jesus Name" program today, Colorado state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt responded to Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" comment by declaring that she is un-Christian and possessed by a "demonic, evil spirit of hatred."

"She's talking about you, the viewer of this program," Klingenschmitt declared. "If you believe the Bible, Hillary deplores you! Now, those are just the facts; let's discern the spirits, let's take a moment and say what is it inside of Hillary that makes her deplore us? She's labeling an entire category of people as we're deplorable, does that mean she deplores us? Does that say something about what's inside of her, not what's inside of us?"

"What is inside of her but the spirit of hatred?" he continued. "This demonic, evil spirit of hatred and deploring is not inside of us, it's inside of her toward us. And her behavior, her hatred makes her a very hateful woman, a very deploring woman. Do you see it inside of her? Can you look inside of her and say, 'That must be a Christian woman who loves Jesus, who loves the Bible and even loves her enemies'? ... No, she deplores us. By her own confession now, she is manifesting the spirit of hatred and that makes her anti-Christian."

Klingenschmitt closed out the segment by praying that God will deliver Clinton "from this demonic spirit of hatred."

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