At this week’s GOP presidential debate on CNN, Rick Santorum hailed Kentucky clerk Kim Davis for defying the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling, likening her to a girl who he said was killed for believing in God during the Columbine massacre. (This claim, as it turns out, is not true and the story of the girl’s death has been badly misreported.)
“I don’t think there is any question that the Supreme Court’s decision goes against the natural law,” Santorum said. “That’s not the way nature functions. So as a result of that, I think Kim Davis and everybody else has the obligation to oppose it. Now that doesn’t mean, like Martin Luther King, you aren’t going to suffer consequences to a society who has gotten it wrong. But the only way you are going to say things is for people to start saying: ‘We are not going to comply with unjust laws.’”
The House today approved a bill that would block federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood for one year, unless the organization certifies that it will no longer perform abortions, something that it does not currently use federal funds for.
The vote, driven by a smear campaign from anti-choice extremists, was divided mostly along party lines, with the notable exception of Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, who voted “present.” In a video statement, King explained that he didn’t think the House bill went far enough in attacking the “diabolical” Planned Parenthood, taking particular issue with the fact that the bill would allow Planned Parenthood to continue offering abortions for women who have survived rape or incest:
The Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser, one of the most influential leaders in the anti-choice movement, held trainings to teach Republican politicians how to change the subject when rape comes up. Dannenfelser has been very clear that she opposes rape exceptions in abortion bans, which she has called “abominable,” “regrettable” and “ intellectually dishonest,” but will urge lawmakers to support a bill that has to contain such exceptions for political reasons.
But hard as Dannenfelser and her allies might try to get anti-choice lawmakers to shut up about rape, they face an uphill battle. Although most anti-choice activists oppose rape exceptions, a vocal portion of the movement believes that lawmakers should automatically reject any bill that includes such exceptions.
A 20-week abortion ban that passed in the House earlier this year and will be coming up for a vote in the Senate next week has been mired for years in anti-choice infighting about rape exceptions. Before a version of the bill came up for a House vote in 2013, Republican leaders scrambled at the last minute to add a rape exception to neutralize controversial comments made by the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Trent Franks.
In January of this year, the House was planning to vote on the bill to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, but scrapped the plan after a coalition led by female Republican lawmakers objected to a provision that would have required rape survivors to report the crime to law enforcement. An exasperated Sen. Lindsey Graham told anti-choice activists the next morning, “I’m going to need your help to find a way out of this definitional problem with rape.”
Yesterday on “The Savage Nation,” conservative talk show host Michael Savage once again lit into Pope Francis for his stance on climate change, criticizing Republican leaders for inviting the pope to speak to Congress in the first place.
“It’s sickening what happened to this country that they would invite a pope to speak to Congress,” he said. “It’s an embarrassment. It’s never ever been done before but the communist revolution is so complete that they dare do it.”
Klayman told Jones that President Obama is a secret Muslim who, in his quest for power, has turned military leaders into subservient “yes-men,” adding: “Maybe Obama is pushing them to the point that maybe someday will wage a coup in this country. I’m not advocating that but I know that some of these retired generals and admirals have talked about it. I know that, it’s been in the public domain, because Obama, and I’ll say it straight up because no one else is, you will, Obama is a Muslim through-and-through. Obama sympathizes with a Muslim caliphate, Obama sympathizes with the mullahs in Tehran, he sympathizes with the radicals in the Far East.”
(Last year, Klayman similarly insisted that he doesn’t support a coup, but did wish that U.S. military leaders would “go to the president and say, ‘Your time’s up,’ just like they did to Mohamed Morsi in Egypt, ‘Take a hike guy, you’re destroying the country.’” He claimed it wouldn’t be a coup because Obama is “not a legitimate president.”)
The only answer, he said, is that the NSA has probably blackmailed Obama, Chief Justice John Roberts and even Republican leaders … except for Donald Trump, of course!
Jones, not to be outshined on his own show, accused the president of “backing head-chopping loons,” leading him to wonder if Obama wants to “become the Mahdi,” an End Times figure in Islam. Klayman responded that Obama is a Muslim because he admired his Muslim father, even though his father was actually an atheist, and that he isn’t even “a natural born citizen to be president of the United States.”
“He would like to see the world run by Muslims,” Klayman said of Obama’s end-game, adding that “anybody who practices the tenants of the Holy Koran, as Obama always calls it, never the Koran, the ‘Holy Koran,’ anybody who practices that is a danger.”
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
This has been a very sad week for Right Wing Watch as it marks the end of the Jade Helm 15 military exercises that caused an uproar within right-wing media, although something tells us that there will be more bizarre conspiracy theories to look out for…
5) Glenn Beck Was Right! See, This Thing He Read On The Internet…
Obviously, ISIS doesn’t exactly have territory throughout Europe, as Beck predicted, but now he has finally found proof that he was right all along: an online petition calling on Munich to end its Oktoberfest celebrations out of respect for Muslim refugees.
"A caliphate will be established. It will cause chaos. It will spread and begin to destabilize Europe and the western...
As the myth-busting website Snopes points out, the petition on Change.org to ban Oktoberfest was not started by a person living in Germany and “even if the petition were written in earnest, it would represent one person’s opinion and not that of all Muslim refugees.”
“Additionally, the viewpoint expressed by the petition appears to be a minority opinion, as the petition has only managed to muster a few hundred signatures, and the majority of those appear to have come from people who signed in order to add hateful comments,” Snopes continues. “Those comments lead us to believe that this petition may was created by an Internet troll in order to foment outrage. The fact that this petition was posted on 11 September, a day on which items critical of Islam tend to reach fever pitch, supports this hypothesis.”
Other petitions on the website, which can be submitted by anyone for any reason, include demands that President Obama “allow a high school student to have a party after homecoming and for WaWa to bring back roast beef sandwiches.”
Of course, Beck is desperate to find anything to support his claim that the caliphate is gaining a foothold in Europe, even if the “proof” comes from something just as credible as a chain letter. Next, Beck will demand that if you don’t send this email to seven other people, you will be cursed for life and your first crush will never love you.
4) ‘They’re Going To Eat Their Children’
Like Beck, televangelist Jim Bakker comes up with apocalyptic predictions, warns of impending financial crashes, nuclear EMP attacks and divine judgment, sells costly prepper food, urges viewers to buy gold, pushes bogus narratives about anti-Christian persecution in America and promotes a generally dystopian view of the world and its future.
Bakker, however, is a bit more honest about his role as a doomsday prophet.
While selling his survivalist food buckets earlier this month, Bakker said that in order to survive America’s impending collapse, people need to store their food in secret, because otherwise others will come for it. Even their “sweet neighbors” will do whatever it takes to get food, Bakker warned: “They’re going to eat their babies…they’re going to eat their children.”
3) First They Came For Kim Davis…
Next week, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis will receive an award at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit for her decision to go to jail rather than allow deputy clerks in her county to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
The Religious Right has latched on to Davis’ defiance of the courts, despite the fact that her cause is deeplyunpopular in the rest of the country.
The head of Liberty Counsel, the anti-gay group representing Davis and a cosponsor of FRC’s summit, has repeatedlycompared Davis to a Jewish victim of Nazi Germany.
Another Religious Right hero who has similarly defied the federal courts on marriage equality, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, is so enchanted with Davis that he rewrote the famous anti-Nazi poem, “First They Came For The Socialists,” to make it about Davis’ plight:
While Moore hoped that Davis’ commitment to using a public office to impose her religion on others would inspire more conservatives to get involved in U.S. politics, one far-right activist said that Davis’ experience is proof that Americans should “flee” the country to safer shores.
“God tells us how to solve the problem, he says flee,” John Price said. “There’s a time to fight and there’s a time to flee.”
2) Islamic Training Camps In The US: Just Asking The Question
The day following the CNN Republican presidential debate, Donald Trump held a rally in New Hampshire where he fielded a question from a man who had something to say: “We have a problem in this country, it’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one, you know he’s not even an American. We have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question, when can we get rid of them?”
Trump responded vaguely about how he is “going to be looking at a lot of different things,” and his campaign manager later insisted that Trump just wants to stay focused on the “bigger issue” of Obama “waging a war against the Christians in this country.”
Anyone who follows the far-right media could have expected that GOP presidential candidates would eventually be confronted with claims about radical Islamic training camps in the U.S.
“Fears of ‘Muslim training camps’ have simmered on the far right for years, especially since the rise of the Islamic State,” writes Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post. “World Net Daily and Judicial Watch — the latter an advocacy group that has successfully sued for records from Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department — have published stories that allege FBI knowledge of dozens of camps, many across the deep South.”
As Max Fischer points out at Vox, Fox hosts like Bill O’Reilly and Lou Dobbs both pushed claims about secret Islamic training camps throughout the U.S., and “just this spring, FBI arrested a Tennessee man named Robert Doggart who was plotting to lead a far-right militia on a killing spree against a heavily Muslim community in New York state. Doggart believed the community was a ‘Muslim Jihadist Training Camp,’ according to a post he made on his web site.”
But maybe President Obama really was plotting to engineer such dastardly deeds, but was exposed by true heroes like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Rep. Louie Gohmert who gave legitimacy Jade Helm 15 paranoia.
Now that Jade Helm 15 is over, the same politicians and pundits who used the military drill to promote baseless fears about the Obama administration will quickly find a new conspiracy theory to latch onto as the cycle endlessly repeats itself.
The announcement yesterday that Doritos will soon release rainbow-colored chips to support the It Gets Better Project, which works towards preventing anti-LGBT bullying, naturally drew the ire of conservative pundits like John Nolte of Breitbart, who said that Doritos is flying the “colors of anti-Christian hate and oppression.”
But Nolte’s protests pale in comparison to a column in the right-wing American Thinker by Ed Straker, which could be confused for parody.
Straker writes that the new chips are “the perfect gateway snack to introduce children to the joys of homosexuality,” lamenting that nowadays “it’s perceived to be cool to push a specific sexual orientation on children.”
Calling for a boycott of Doritos and all products from its parent company, Pepsi, Straker urges conservatives to “push other companies to launch pro-heterosexual campaigns” by, for example, persuading “a hot dog maker and a hot dog bun company to do a joint effort promoting man-woman relationships.”
PepsiCo, who make Doritos (through subsidiary Frito-Lay), are producing a homosexual version of Doritos called "Rainbow Doritos." Doritos are a product marketed to children, so they make the perfect gateway snack to introduce children to the joys of homosexuality.
What business does PepsiCo have pushing homosexuality on our kids? This is how far our culture has shifted; it's perceived to be cool to push a specific sexual orientation on children, even by companies that produce products that have nothing to do with sex. What's next – gay toilet paper and tampons?
I think we need to boycott Pepsi and all related Frito-Lay products to deliver a message to Pepsi that if they are going to push gay propaganda on our kids, we are not going to give their products lip service any longer.
Furthermore, I think we should push other companies to launch pro-heterosexual campaigns. Perhaps we could persuade a hot dog maker and a hot dog bun company to do a joint effort promoting man-woman relationships.
In an interview today on “The Steve Malzberg Show,” Rick Santorum claimed that American evangelicals care more about the future of Israel than do American Jews, a situation that he called a “tragedy.”
Santorum made his comments in response to a question about a typically tasteful tweet from Ann Coulter during last night’s GOP debate, in which she criticized the numerous mentions of Israel, asking, “How many f---ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States?” Coulter later insisted that she was only criticizing Republican presidential candidates for pandering to evangelical voters on the issue.
Santorum said that Coulter was out of line and harming the conservative cause, adding that “Bible-believing Christians” in the U.S. “understand the significance of the heritage of the Jewish people in the Holy Land.”
He went on to say that conservative Christians are far more interested in saving Israel from President Obama and the Iranian government than are American Jews: “Interestingly enough, as you know very well, Steve, it is probably less important to the Jewish community these days than it is in the evangelical Christian community, which is another tragedy in itself.”
Some conservative bloggers are up in arms that the White House has invited a number of prominent Catholics of whom they disapprove to a large reception at the White House greeting Pope Francis next week, including Sister Simone Campbell, leader of the “Nuns on the Bus” social justice group; Mateo Williamson, a transgender man with the Catholic LGBT group Dignity USA; retired Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the denomination; and Aaron Jay Ledesma, a gay Catholic activist.
Today, Newsmax host Steve Malzberg asked Rick Santorum about the “scandal,” which the former senator said “shows the contempt that the president has for people of faith.” Apparently Santorum thinks that liberals or members of the LGBT community cannot be true people of faith.
Santorum insisted that Obama would never invite gay Muslims or Muslims who support gay rights to the White House. “As you know, under Sharia law, they throw gays off buildings and kill them,” he said, alluding to ISIS’ barbaric executions of gays. “But you won’t see the president standing up to the Muslim community, the radical Muslim community, and having gay Muslim activists out there. But when it comes to the Christian faith, then all bets are off. You’re allowed to impose and try to influence as best you can the spin on these meetings and that is what the president is doing.”
Right-wing activist Jesse Lee Peterson joined “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax yesterday to discuss his recent column comparing Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who is refusing marriage licenses to gay couples, to Rosa Parks.
When guest host Amy Holmes asked Peterson if a clerk should be able to cite his or her religious beliefs to deny marriage a license to a person like Davis who has been married multiple times, Peterson explained that it’s an entirely different issue because unlike such marriages, “homosexuality is not about values” and “it’s not about love,” but instead is “based on sex.”
While homosexuality is all about sex, he explained, anti-gay discrimination has nothing to do with sex.
“A marriage is between a man and a woman, not between two men and two women,” he said. “That has been the rule forever, ever since mankind has been on earth, so what homosexuals are trying to do is to get you to change the rules based on sex. And Kim Davis is not concerned about who they have sex with, but when it comes to comparing it to a man and woman being married, then it’s a different story.”
Gaffney reacted today to the controversy over the arrest of Texas 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed, who brought a homemade clock to school to show off to his teachers, by claiming that police and school officials were right to be suspicious of the Muslim student:
Officers said Ahmed was being "passive aggressive" in his answers to their questions, and didn't have a "reasonable answer" as to what he was doing with the case. Investigators said the student told them that it was just a clock that he was messing around with.
"We attempted to question the juvenile about what it was and he would simply only say it was a clock. He didn't offer any explanation as to what it was for, why he created this device, why he brought it to school," said James McLellan, Irving Police.
Police confiscated the case along with Ahmed's tablet computer.
In addition to calling police, Ahmed said the principal suspended him for three days.
The police apparently refused to believe that maybe Ahmed’s clock was just that, a clock, and were convinced that there must be some nefarious reason why a student who has taken an interest in engineering would build a clock to show his engineering teacher.
UPDATE: Lee Fang notes that Gaffney and Jim Hanson of the Center for Security Policy have continued to make absurd claims about the case:
The Center for Security Policy, a think tank that routinely partners with prominent Republican politicians, including many of the current presidential contenders, is defending the arrest of 14-year-old Muslim high school student Ahmed Mohamed for bringing a homemade clock to school.
Americans across the country expressed outrage at the news that Mohamed was handcuffed by police officers in Irving, Texas, on Monday, suspended from his high school, and accused of making a bomb after the electronic components he had connected to make his own digital clock beeped during English class.
But Center for Security Policy vice president Jim Hanson argued on his organization’s podcast that the clock “looks exactly like a number of IED triggers that were produced by the Iranians and used to kill U.S. troops in the war in Iraq.” He said the clock “was half a bomb.”
Frank Gaffney, the center’s founder and president, agreed with Hanson, while suggesting that there is reason to be suspicious of “what we’re told was a clock” because “the story is not being fully explored and explained.”
Gaffney also said that the entire controversy over Mohamed’s clock appeared to be an “influence operation” by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group that Gaffney claimed is using “professional victim-promoting” to wage a “civilization jihad” in connection with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Citing the Tsarnaev brothers, who were the children of refugees from Chechnya, Krikoran declared that the refugee resettlement program is “guaranteed” to “admit significant numbers of ISIS and Al Qaeda into the United States.”
“We all saw the picture of that poor kid who had drowned on the beach in Turkey,” he said. “Well, what are we going to say to an American mom and dad of a kid who’s killed by an ISIS terrorist who’s let in as a refugee?”
After deriding Roberts’ nomination, the Texas Republican criticized the nomination of David Souter, insisting that George H.W. Bush should have picked Edith Jones, a Reagan-nominated judge on the Fifth Circuit Court, instead.
Cruz’s admiration for Jones should raise eyebrows, as she has a lengthy record of extremism. Jones’ views also offer us a glimpse of what kind of judges a President Cruz would attempt to put on the federal bench:
Jones faced a misconduct complaint from civil rights groups after she reportedly suggested that minorities are “predisposed to crime” during a speech to law students. (The complaint was later dismissed by a judicial conduct committee.) The Associated Press reported:
The complaint alleges that Jones said certain "racial groups like African-Americans and Hispanics are predisposed to crime," and that they are "prone to commit acts of violence" and be involved in more violent and "heinous" crimes than people of other ethnicities. The judge also allegedly said Mexicans would prefer to be on death row in the U.S. than serve prison terms in their native country, and that it's an insult for the U.S. to look to the laws of other countries such as Mexico.
Although the 1964 Civil Rights Act contributed to the advancement of women’s careers in society, I would have to defer to others for an overview of the impact of these equal rights laws, when balanced against factors such as the increase of out of wedlock births, the prevalence of divorce, the sexualization of society and the youth. Women’s ‘rights,’ in the end, depend heavily on what goes on outside as well as in the workplace.
Seldom are employment discrimination suits in our court supported by direct evidence of race or sex-based animosity. Instead, the courts are asked to revisit petty interoffice disputes and to infer invidious motives from trivial comments or work-performance criticism. Recrimination, second-guessing and suspicion plague the workplace when tenuous discrimination suits are filed creating an atmosphere in which many corporate defendants are forced into costly settlements because they simply cannot afford to vindicate their positions.
She lamented that America’s legal system is losing its focus on divine instructions:
The first 100 years of American lawyers were trained on Blackstone, who wrote that: 'The law of nature, dictated by God himself, is binding in all counties and at all times; no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all force and all their authority from this original.' The Framers created a government of limited power with this understanding of the rule of law - that it was dependent on transcendent religious obligation…. Having lost sight of the moral and religious foundations of the rule of law, we are vulnerable to the destruction of our freedom, our equality before the law and our self-respect. It is my fervent hope that this new century will experience a revival of the original understanding of the rule of law and its roots. The answer is a recovery of moral principle, the sine qua non of an orderly society. Post 9/11, many events have been clarified. It is hard to remain a moral relativist when your own people are being killed.
In an interview with Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson yesterday, Rep. Steve King warned that President Obama is “seeking to change the demographics” of the U.S. through his immigration and refugee resettlement policies, asking, “How long is it before the culture of America is changed?”
King had a simple explanation for the president’s policies: He wants to “change the demographics” of America in order to increase the number of “Democrat voters.”
The Iowa Republican challenged advocates of refugee resettlement to “tell me how you want America to look, because America’s being transformed because of immigration policy and I’m like Ann Coulter, I like the America we had.”
Why would you do this if you were president of the United States? He’s seeking to change the demographics of the United States of America. And changing the demographics changes the politics, they’re going to have Democrat voters at least two-to-one, some numbers go all the way to five-to-one, and I’m not speaking only of Muslims, I’m speaking of the Central American immigrants that come into America too.
So, any way to win. Bill Clinton accelerated the naturalization of more than a million people before his ’96 re-elect, and we were appalled by that. But this president is pushing, and it turns out to be millions. And we should look at the kind of character that America’s going to be.
As much as I love and appreciate people from any place on the planet, this country has been made up of, is a center-right country, is Christian based, that is our morality, we believe in freedom of religion but if you brought in, say, all the Muslims in the world into the United States, you know it changes the culture.
So if it turns into a few hundred thousand every year, how long is it before the culture of America is changed? And we’re willingly, we’re knowingly and willingly changing the culture of America by government policies driven out of the White House and we aren’t even having a national debate about how that changes our country and is it good or is it bad. I have not seen either the level of assimilation of Muslims into the broader American society, or any place in the world, for that matter. So I’d like to see that model, point to that, tell me how you want America to look, because America’s being transformed because of immigration policy and I’m like Ann Coulter, I like the America we had.
NRA board member Ted Nugent says that GOP leaders have utterly failed to stop Democrats from carrying out their supposed plan to destroy the country, and now Americans must turn to Donald Trump to save the nation from the brink of destruction.
Writing today in WorldNetDaily, Nugent says that Trump alone “is counterpunching effectively” against “the life-threatening dynamic of the Democrat communist battle cry” and accuses Democratic leaders like President Obama and Hillary Clinton of “quoting Marx, Mao, Lenin, Castro and all the other monsters behind tyranny, dictatorships, slavery and the resultant historic ruination of every society this evil scourge has touched.”
Nugent urges readers to pray for Trump to lay out his specific plans “to make America great again.”
Mr. Trump’s unprecedented support is due to the fact that working-hard, playing-hard, caring Americans are painfully aware of the suicidal path and dire consequences of Obama’s crazy fundamental transformation destructo derby, and Trump alone is counterpunching effectively with blow for blow outrage shared by the masses.
Do I admire Walker, Carson, Cruz, Rubio, Fiorina and some others? Of course I do. And though Cruz and Fiorina show a good sense of awareness and passion for the fight, many of the others are way too passive and status quo to rally any support. And the polls prove it.
Many of us are dumbfounded at the abject failure of the GOP overall to adequately identify the depth of this scourge taking over America. We cannot believe so many in the GOP act like we are facing a minor inconvenience instead of the life-threatening dynamic of the Democrat communist battle cry. And face the facts – liberalism, progressivism and the mantra of the left are pure, nasty, proven communism, lick for lick.
Listen to Bernie Sanders. Listen to Obama. Listen to Wasserman-Shultz. Listen to Pelosi. Listen to Hillary. Who doesn’t know that they are quoting Marx, Mao, Lenin, Castro and all the other monsters behind tyranny, dictatorships, slavery and the resultant historic ruination of every society this evil scourge has touched?
So listen up, lady and gentlemen, the future of America is in your hands.
Trump, stay on course, but implement presidential upgrade immediately. No more personal attacks. No more sleight of hand. Give us the gory details of your vision. Tell us how you will bring back fiscal accountability. Tell us how you will end the insanity of “Americans giving up looking for jobs.” The insanity of “jobs Americans are not willing to do.”
Tell us how you will bring Hillary, Holder, Obama, Lerner, Rice et al. to justice for their crimes and lies.
Tell us, Mr. Trump, exactly how you are going to make America great again. We pray that you will. We pray that you can. We are waiting.
Last night’s Republican presidential debate made clear just how extreme the party has gotten when it comes to the Supreme Court … which means danger to the entire country should one of them have the power to nominate the next one, two, or three Justices.
For instance, Jeb! Bush praised Chief Justice John Roberts, but suggested that his own Court nominees would have longer records of far-right jurisprudence than Roberts did when he was first nominated by George W. Bush in 2005:
John Roberts has made some really good decisions, for sure, but he did not have a proven, extensive record that would have made the clarity the important thing, and that’s what we need to do. ... And, I think he is doing a good job. But, the simple fact is that going forward, what we need to do is to have someone that has a long standing set of rulings that consistently makes it clear that he is a focused, exclusively on upholding the Constitution of the United States so they won’t try to use the bench as a means to which legislate.
Ted Cruz, on the other hand, angrily focused on the very few times when Roberts did not collaborate with the Republican Party’s efforts to destroy Obamacare. Cruz blasted John Roberts as insufficiently conservative:
I’ve known John Roberts for 20 years, he’s amazingly talented lawyer, but, yes, it was a mistake when he was appointed to the Supreme Court. He’s a good enough lawyer that he knows in these Obamacare cases he changed the statute, he changed the law in order to force that failed law on millions of Americans for a political outcome.
And, you know, we’re frustrated as conservatives. We keep winning elections, and then we don’t get the outcome we want.
Mike Huckabee made clear what type of Justice he would nominate when the moderator asked if he would apply a litmus test to potential nominees:
You better believe I will … Number one, I’d ask do you think that the unborn child is a human being or is it just a blob of tissue? I’d want to know the answer to that. I’d want to know do you believe in the First Amendment, do you believe that religious liberty is the fundamental liberty around which all the other freedoms of this country are based? And I’d want to know do you really believe in the Second Amendment, do you believe that we have an individual right to bear arms to protect ourselves and our family and to protect our country? And do you believe in the Fifth and the 14th Amendment? Do you believe that a person, before they’re deprived of life and liberty, should in fact have due process and equal protection under the law? Because if you do, you’re going to do more than defund Planned Parenthood
So Huckabee Justices would help right-wing extremists accomplish their longtime dream of eliminating abortion rights altogether. They would also change U.S. law in keeping with the current conservative project to make it easier for them to disobey laws that offend them religiously, even when it deprives other people of their rights.
The current Supreme Court has done so much damage to our basic rights and liberties, yet it is not conservative enough for Republicans seeking to be the next president.
At last night’s GOP debate, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz both advocated for adding Rosa Parks’ picture to U.S. currency, with Rubio saying she should be on the $10 bill and Cruz saying that she should be on the $20 bill. Donald Trump also liked the idea of putting Rosa Parks on the $10 bill, but said he would probably choose his daughter, Ivanka, for the honor.
Many conservatives have attempted to whitewash Parks’ legacy, like those of other civil rights leaders, claiming that Parks was simply a woman who was too tired to get up from her seat on a segregated bus.
These GOP leaders may not realize that Parks was actually a political activist for the very same movements that have in recent years become targets of Republican ire.
Parks was an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for more than a decade before she helped to instigate the Montgomery bus boycott, and was a leading member of the group’s local chapter by the time she refused to give up her seat on the bus. “Contrary to the folkloric accounts of her civil rights role, Mrs. Parks was not too tired to move from her seat,” the NAACP points out. “Rather, she had been a knowledgeable NAACP stalwart for many years, and gave the organization the incident it needed to move against segregation in the unreconstructed heart of the Confederacy, Montgomery, AL. Mrs. Parks headed the Youth Division of the Montgomery NAACP branch for years.”
Parks also served on the board of a group that Cruz, Rubio and Trump have roundly denounced: Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders, Parks supported Planned Parenthood, the bête noire of today’s GOP.
Danielle McGuire notes that Parks “worked to secure ‘Black Power,’ fought for open housing and against police brutality, railed against the war in Vietnam, and campaigned for George McGovern.” The New York Times adds more details: “Supporting U.A.W. Local 600, calling Malcolm X her hero, visiting a Black Panther school in Oakland, opposing American involvement in Vietnam and attending the Million Man March at the invitation of Louis Farrakhan, she collaborated with left-wingers and Black Power advocates.”
Today, an activist like Rosa Parks would be at the very center of Glenn Beck’s blackboard.
At last night’s debate, Sen. Ted Cruz attempted to show his Second Amendment bona fides by touting his recent endorsement from Gun Owners of America, a group that thinks the National Rifle Association is not extreme enough on gun rights.
You mentioned that the U.S. Supreme Court had rightly upheld the individual right to keep and bear arms. I was proud to lead 31 states before the U.S. Supreme Court defending the Second Amendment, and we won that landmark victory. And indeed, just a couple of years ago, when Harry Reid and Barack Obama came after the right to keep and bear arms of millions of Americans, I was proud to lead the fight in the United States Senate to protect our right to keep and bear arms, and for that reason. I was honored to be endorsed by Gun Owners of America as the strongest supporter of the Second Amendment on this stage today, and I will fight every day to defend the Bill of Rights.
Although Cruz may be GOA’s only outspoken ally in the presidential race, he has been a good one for them. During the effort to defeat the background checks bill, the New York Times reported that Cruz was GOA’s “key ally in the Senate.” Cruz is the also the only candidate to have agreed to give a telephone briefing to GOA’s members; in his briefing, he praised GOA’s members as “fighters” and “patriots” and thanks them for helping him get elected to the Senate.
Cruz evidently has no qualms about associating with a group that promotes paranoia about an impending race war, birther conspiracy theories about President Obama, and not-so-veiled threats that elected officials will face assassination if they step out of line.
To begin with, the gun group’s executive director, Larry Pratt, has a long history on the fringes of the radical right that was too extreme for even Pat Buchanan, who dropped him from his 1996 presidential campaign because of his ties with white supremecist groups. As we wrote back in May:
Pratt has long stood at the intersection of the “mainstream” right, Christian nationalists, and fringe militia movements. In 1996, he was forced to step down from a position on Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign when it came to light that he had spoken at a militia event featuring a number of neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic activists. Several years earlier, Pratt had coauthored what the Southern Poverty Law Center calls the book that “introduced the concept of citizen militias to the radical right.”
A few days after the Oklahoma City bombing, he spoke to a far-right “Christian Patriots” group on the “biblical mandate to arm,” telling them that whoever had taken on the government “beast” in Oklahoma knew that “they can’t rely on the Lord to take vengeance.”
In an interview last year, Pratt said that being afraid of assassination was “a healthy fear” for members of Congress to have, because that’s what makes them “behave.” When Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, who had felt threatened by one of GOA’s members, complained about his comments, Pratt doubled down, saying that elected officials should fear “ the cartridge box” and accusing the congresswoman of being “ foolish” and having “a hissy fit .” Later, he boasted that Democratic proponents of stricter gun laws are “afraid of getting shot and they ought to be!”
Pratt repeatedly suggests that President Obama will seek to bring violence against white Christians, possibly in the form of race riots. In a 2013 conversation with far-right pundit Stan Solomon, Pratt predicted that “there is inevitably going to be some kind of social implosion, some kind of neighbor-against-neighbor” violence brought about by “these folks in power.” When Solomon predicted that that “implosion” would take the form of a race war pitting “black, Muslim and/or atheist…have-nots” on “Christian, heterosexual white haves,” Pratt replied that he wasn’t “stretching” anything.
Earlier this week, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed of Irving, Texas, brought a digital clock he made from a pencil case to his school. He brought the clock to show off to his teachers, but instead of receiving encouragement, Mohamed’s school day ended in handcuffs and with the threat of being charged with making a “hoax bomb.” While many have condemned the actions of the school officials and law enforcement, Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne has come out in defense of the decision to arrest the teenage boy.
In a Facebook post today, Van Duyne wrote, “I do not fault the school or the police for looking into what they saw as a potential threat. . . We have all seen terrible and violent acts committed in schools, the workplace, and in public venues. Perhaps some of those could have been prevented and lives could have been spared if people were more vigilant. I hope this incident does not serve as a deterrent against our police and school personnel from maintaining the safety and security of our schools.” The mayor later edited her post to remove the latter three sentences and replaced them with a message encouraging Mohamed to not be dissuaded from pursuing engineering dreams.
Van Duyne came under fire earlier this year after she publicly condemned a rumored “Islamic Sharia court” in Irving. Van Duyne claimed the non-existent Sharia court was set up by Muslims trying to gain a foothold in America to “bypass” American courts. In another Facebook post, Van Duyne wrote, “I am working with our State Representatives on legislation to clarify and strengthen existing prohibitions on the application of foreign law in violation of constitutional or statutory rights. . . Our nation cannot be so overly sensitive in defending other cultures that we stop protecting our own.” The “court” that Van Duyne referred to is, in reality, simply a dispute resolution process, similar to systems set up by Christians and Jews, and does not attempt to take precedent over the law.
Engaging Video Focused on Student Loan Debt Is Third Weekly Prize Winner in Democracy for All Video Contest
Today Say No to Big Money and People For the American Way announced the third of 14 weekly winners in a new contest tapping into the creative potential of Americans of all political stripes through short videos in support of a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics.
The winner of the $64,000 Democracy For All Video Challenge provides an explanation of the current problems surrounding student loan debt and outlines how changing campaign finance regulations could provide students with much-needed relief. The winning video was submitted by Natalia Abrams, Executive Director of Student Debt Crisis in Sherman Oaks, California.
Previously, a spoken-word rap tying corruption in the chemical industry to lobbying and campaign contributions and a student parody video titled ‘Democramole’ won the first two weekly prizes.
From when the contest launched in August until December 2, contest entrants can submit a 30-90 second video that includes a call-to-action in support of the Democracy For All Amendment for a chance to win thousands of dollars in prize money, including a $25,000 grand prize. Supporters of an amendment to fix the nation’s campaign finance system have already submitted a diverse array of entries.
“Natalia’s video highlights how our country’s broken campaign finance system has far-ranging repercussions – for student loan debt and across the policy spectrum,” said Jeff Haggin, president of Say No to Big Money. “We’re excited to see the creative and diverse range of video submissions and the broad support for the Democracy for All Amendment.”
“We entered the contest because we feel strongly that we need to get money out of politics in order to fix the $1.3 trillion student debt crisis,” said Natalia Abrams, Executive Director of Student Debt Crisis. “Removing the powerful grip of billionaires and corporations on our political system is the only way we can move on to helping 43 million struggling borrowers.”
The Democracy For All Amendment is a proposal being considered by Congress, currently with 137 cosponsors in the House and 41 supporters in the Senate, that would overturn decisions like Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court case that paved the way for unlimited political spending by corporations and the super wealthy.
Say No to Big Money, the official sponsor of the contest, and People For the American Way are partnering with Act.TV, Agenda Project, American Family Voices, Coalition to Restore Democracy, Coffee Party USA, Courage Campaign, Common Cause, Free Speech For People, National Priorities Project, PF Pictures, People’s Email Network, Public Citizen, and US PIRG in this effort, with the support of more than 140 other organizations.
Full contest details and rules are available at www.DemocracyForAll.com. Marge Baker and Jeff Haggin are available to speak with press. To arrange an interview, please reach out to Alec Saslow at Alec@FitzGibbonmedia.com or 720-319-4948.