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Far-Right Anti-Government Group Plans Political Takeover Of Arizona County

Earlier this month, Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff and popular “Patriot” movement speaker, gave a speech in Pueblo, Colorado, in which he announced that he was launching a new bid for public office.

Mack said that he would be moving to Navajo County, Arizona, to run as the county sheriff in 2016 and told the members of the Tea Party group in his audience, “I need some backup and I wouldn’t mind if you went there, too.”

He wasn’t joking. In fact, Mack is the most prominent recruit of a group that is seeking to stage a political takeover of the sprawling rural county as an experiment in creating a local government that will ignore and “nullify” federal laws — such as federal lands restrictions and gun regulations — that its leaders believe to be unconstitutional.

Mack explained the plan in a speech to this weekend’s “I Won’t Comply” demonstration in Olympia, Washington, which gathered anti-government activists from around the country to protest a new state law requiring background checks on most gun purchases.

Mack, who runs a group called the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, which argues that county sheriffs are the highest law enforcement officers in the country, urged the Washington crowd to join him in Navajo County.

“I want you to carefully, prayerfully consider moving there with me, and I’m serious. You want to live in a free county? You want to live by constitutional law? You want to not be worried about federal government coming in and ruining your lives and families and hauling you off at midnight? Come live with us there,” he said.

He said that the establishment of “constitutional counties” was the last “peaceful” option for the movement to “regain our constitution and freedom in America.”

“If we’re going to take back freedom, we have one opportunity to keep it peaceful, and that is the enforcement of state sovereignty by our sheriffs and by our state and county legislatures,” he said.

The former sheriff explained how a group called the Constitutional County Project had approached him and asked him to join their first experiment in creating a “constitutional county,” what Mack said would be a “blueprint for freedom” that could then be replicated across the country.

In an interview with the radio show “Liberty Roundtable” in June, Mack discussed early negotiations on the project. Although he didn’t say that he had committed to run for office, he hinted at it, saying "we have got to be able to sacrifice and move to where we can be united and take over a county politically."

Mack told the Washington rally that he planned to move to the county in the spring of 2015 to prepare for a 2016 run for office.

The Constitutional County Project's website says that once it achieves its political takeover of Navajo County, its allied elected officials get to work repealing "local and county laws and regulations which are unrelated to protecting individual rights," enforcing environmental regulations at the "county level," cutting taxes and regulations and using "legal and political means to protect the county’s residents against any attempt to un-Constitutionally interfere with peaceable living and enterprise."

A 2012 Southern Poverty Law Center report on Mack explained his growing influence in the “Patriot” movement and the source of his ideology in Posse Comitatus movement of the 1970s and 1980s, which provided some of the ideological foundation for the militia movement:

An inductee in the National Rifle Association’s Hall of Fame whose stardom dimmed by the turn of the century, Mack is once again riding high in the saddle as a patron saint of the resurgent antigovernment “Patriot” movement and a meticulously coiffed darling of the Tea Party set. For the past two years, the former public relations director for the Gun Owners of America has zigzagged across the country spreading dark fears and conspiracy theories about the federal government, hawking his self-published books about guns and God, and encouraging sheriffs to join his new organization, the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), and be a “line in the sand” against government agents. He recently bragged that he had spoken at 120 Tea Party events across the country (his website says 70), in addition to the many law enforcement gatherings, local political fundraisers, John Birch Society (JBS) meetings, and other events where he is treated as a hero.

Whether he’s speaking to local chapters of the JBS or appearing on far-right radio shows like James Edwards’ white nationalist program “The Political Cesspool,” Mack’s central message is that the federal government has far overstepped its constitutional bounds and that county sheriffs have the rightful authority — and duty — to protect citizens from what he believes are its unlawful incursions. This idea that sheriffs have supremacy over other law enforcement agencies and even the federal government was born and gained traction in the 1970s and 1980s when it was pushed by the explicitly racist, anti-Semitic Posse Comitatus (Latin for “power of the county”), which capitalized on the Midwestern farm crisis of the era to promote an extreme antigovernment ideology. The Posse’s founding tract, the so-called Blue Book written by white supremacist Henry Lamont Beach, asserted the county was “the highest authority of government in our Republic.”

Mack focuses most of his advocacy on promoting county- and state-level resistance to federal gun laws — he won a Supreme Court case against the Brady bill in the ‘90s — but has also involved his group in anti-immigration efforts and has spoken out against LGBT rights, urging sheriffs to back up county clerks who refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. However, he finds common ground with many progressives in his opposition to the drug war.

Mack, a board member of the Oath Keepers, was a prominent presence earlier this year at the Bundy ranch in Nevada, where armed “Patriot” and militia groups resisted the Bureau of Land Management’s effort to collect more than a million dollars in grazing fees that rancher Cliven Bundy had refused to pay for 20 years of using federal lands. Mack compared the stand of the anti-government groups at the Bundy ranch to Rosa Parks’ resistance to segregation.

An acolyte of “New World Order” alarmist Cleon Skousen, Mack shares his movement’s taste for conspiracy theories. Mack believes that President Obama fabricated his birth certificate and is threatening those who know about it to keep them from coming forward, has speculated that the 1995 Waco siege was a federal government setup to rustle up more ATF funding, and said this year that he had “no doubt” the federal government might stage a false flag attack on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Still in its early days, the Constitutional County Project has the backing of the chairman of the Navajo County GOP and the Republican chairmen of Maricopa and Pinal counties, as well as the leaders of the Arizona chapters of the John Birch Society and the Tenth Amendment Center. The project had its official launch in October immediately after a "Prepperfest" in Scottsdale.

Mack said in his speech in Olympia that moving with him to Navajo County would be a perfect project for retirees. But for those who still need employment, the Constitutional County Project’s Facebook page is advertising job openings in the county for those who are looking to move.

Josh Duggar Says He Helped Overturn Non-Discrimination Law To Show Love To LGBT Community

Former top Southern Baptist official Richard Land was the guest host of the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” yesterday, where the rabidly anti-gay pastor spoke to a self-proclaimed ex-gay caller about his time leading a church in New Orleans which had people “who had been delivered out of both homosexual and lesbian lifestyles.”

“It’s such a sad, lonely lifestyle,” Land said of homosexuality. “It just seemed to me that one of the cruelest jokes the devil has ever played is to have that lifestyle described as ‘gay.’”

Earlier in the program, Land spoke with Josh Duggar of the Family Research Council and TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” about their work to successfully overturn an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance in Fayetteville, Arkansas, which they agreed was a sign of their love for the LGBT community.

NOM Warns Marriage Equality Will Lead To Community-Marriage, End Of First Amendment

National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown is furious that a gay couple who were legally married in Iowa but now live in Missouri have filed for divorce in Missouri, which a local judge has refused to recognize.

Speaking with WorldNetDaily about the case, Brown accused LGBT rights advocates of seeking to undermine the First Amendment and contended that the legalization of same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy and even marriages among “entire communities,” whatever that means.

Attorneys for the men insist their case is not about advancing the same-sex marriage movement but simply about a court’s “authority to say ‘Dissolution of Marriage granted.’”

However, Brian S. Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, said such divorce cases are a routine maneuver by activists seeking to change marriage laws.

He told WND the entire time the debate of marriage has been going on, “the other side has been working behind the scenes to level challenges to overturn state laws.”

“One method is to file for divorce in states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage.”

In some cases judges have overruled the will of voters who defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman

“It is true that judges have … decided they’re going to force their superior moral values on the rest of the country,” he said. But “in the rush of doing so, they have not thought about the complications.”

Brown noted that humanity for millennia, up until about 15 or 20 years ago, considered marriage to be the union of one man and one woman.

But once that definition is abandoned, where are the limits? he asked.

If love the basis for the relationship, he said, why not allow “three, four, five, six, entire communities” to marry?



“If judges, including circuit court judges, around the country can create out of thin air a right to same-sex marriage, then what’s to stop them from totally undermining the First Amendment and not protect churches and organizations who know the truth [about marriage] and want to live that out?”

He said Americans should have gotten a clear view of late of how far courts are willing to go. He pointed to the Supreme Court’s refusing to intervene in a case of a wedding photographer fined by the state for refusing to memorialize with her artistic talent a same-sex wedding.

“The First Amendment also is at stake in this fight,” he said.

Religious Right Group Defends Bogus Ex-Gay Billboard

The ex-gay group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) is standing by a controversial billboard it has erected in Richmond, Virginia, which shows what it claims is a photo of identical twins, one gay and one straight, to prove that “nobody is born gay.”

Not only is the science behind such a claim shoddy, but the gay stock-photo model featured on PFOX’s billboard does not have a twin sibling.

Greg Quinlan, PFOX’s conspiratorial and extremist spokesman, defended the billboard in an interview today with the far-right outlet WorldNetDaily, insisting that that his group just wants gay people to know that “the truth that homosexuality is destructive to someone.”

“The billboard speaks to the scientific fact that to quote the American Psychiatric Association, ‘there still remains no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology for homosexuality,’” Quinlan told WND. “There is zero evidence that a person is born a homosexual. In fact, Dr. Francis Collins of the human genome project with the National Institute of Health, who was appointed by President Clinton to do the project said homosexuality was “not hard-wired.’”



When asked about Christian leaders who are calling for churches to be accepting of the homosexual lifestyle and begin to support same-sex marriage, Quinlan says the challenges Christians are facing today are not different than those faced by the early Christians.

“The reason we see so much of a proliferation of homosexuality in our society now is because we live in a sex-saturated culture,” Quinlan explained. “The first century church thrived in a hyper-sexualized homosexual culture in an age of sexual anarchy. So can the 21st century church. We do not need to compromise our message in order to bring homosexuals into the church or accommodate them.”

He said, “The truth is the truth, and if we love someone, we will tell them the truth that homosexuality is destructive to someone. I know because I watched 100 of my friends die of AIDS.”

PFAW Member Telebriefing: What We Can Expect From the Right in 2015

On Friday PFAW members and activists joined senior staff on a telebriefing about the types of priorities and tactics we can expect to see from the Right in the coming year. PFAW Communications Director Drew Courtney kicked off the call with a description of the political landscape in the wake of the midterm elections, where right-wing politicians are “now holding the levers of power in critical decision-making roles.”

Executive Vice President Marge Baker discussed the “CRomnibus” spending bill, saying that the antics we have seen during the lame duck are a microcosm of what we’re going to see in the new Congress. She noted that the harmful special interest riders snuck into the bill, such as the Wall Street giveaway and the raising of limits on contributions to political parties, are examples of the kind of “strong-arming techniques” we are likely to continue to see going forward.

Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery also joined the call, noting that the Right has a sizable agenda for the new year — one that begins with right-wing activists’ hatred of President Obama. This agenda, he said, includes repealing Obamacare, impeaching the president, resisting “to the bitter end” the advancement of marriage equality, and fighting anti-discrimination laws. Montgomery noted that in the coming year, we can expect to see GOP politicians making their already-close ties with Religious Right figures even closer.

Regional Political Coordinator Scott Foval discussed the Right’s political work at the state level. He highlighted Michigan’s state house, where in only the past couple of weeks both a “right to discriminate” bill and an electoral college-rigging bill have been moving through the legislature. Foval pointed out that this type of legislation may surface in other states across the country. The coming year will provide many opportunities for PFAW members to get involved at the state level as citizen lobbyists, he said.

Speakers underscored that the answers to all of the issues PFAW members raised on the call — from the damaging spending bill riders, to the influence of the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) at the state and local level, to the disturbing revelations from the recently-released torture report — is to organize and advocate for the values we believe in.

You can listen to the full telebriefing here:

PFAW

Vivek Murthy’s Confirmation as Surgeon General is a Loss for the NRA, a Victory for Common Sense

Last night, after months of delay, the Senate voted to confirm Dr. Vivek Murthy as the new U.S. surgeon general.

Dr. Murthy's confirmation was strenuously opposed by the National Rifle Association and its allies in Congress, due to his belief that guns and gun violence are a public health concern. Murthy, an experienced and highly qualified physician who teaches at Harvard Medical School, has expressed support for limited, common-sense reforms regarding assault weapons, mandatory safety training and ammunition.

Murthy's confirmation is a victory for public health and common sense, and a loss for one of America's most influential special interest groups, the NRA.

PFAW

PFAW Applauds Confirmation of Vivek Murthy as Surgeon General, Progressive Groups Calls Confirmation Loss for NRA, Victory for Common Sense

People For the American Way today applauded the confirmation of Vivek Murthy as U.S. Surgeon General after months of delay and obstruction instigated by the National Rifle Association.

“Today’s vote is a victory for public health and for common sense,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “And it’s a big loss for the NRA. Dr. Murthy is unquestionably well qualified to serve in this position. For far too long, Republicans in the Senate have obstructed this confirmation for no credible reason beyond the pressure brought to bear by pro-gun extremists. The attacks on Dr. Murthy were as flimsy as they were absurd, and today the Senate rejected them decisively.”

The NRA had strenuously opposed Murthy due to his belief that guns, which are designed to kill people, might pose a public health risk.

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Kelly Shackelford: LGBT Advocates Will 'Destroy' People Until We 'Lose All Freedom'

In a conference call held by E.W. Jackson’s group Staying True to America’s National Destiny (S.T.A.N.D) last week, Liberty Institute president Kelly Shackelford said that the advancement of LGBT rights and laws protecting against anti-LGBT discrimination have led to a loss of religious freedoms and other fundamental rights in the U.S.

Shackelford, whose group works against antidiscrimination laws and represents those who claim to have been hurt by them, described how LGBT equality supporters have been “taking over the airwaves” in order to pressure people into supporting their cause.

“People are afraid to speak up, which is the opposite of our country — our country is all about people having different beliefs,” he said. “And the scary thing to me is how quickly it moved from the GLBT [community] having some victories on this issue of marriage to having complete intolerance, of trying to force people to violate their faith. This is antithetical to our country and anything we’re about.”  

He claimed that Christians have explicitly been targeted and ostracized for their views. “Whether you’re a baker, or a photographer, or a florist, or who else. It’s not that there aren’t plenty of people to do a wedding for two women or two men in the states where that’s legal. They sniff around to find out the one person who has a religious conscience objective and then try to destroy them,” he added. “It kind of shows you how, once you lose your religious freedom, you lose all freedom.”

 

Geller: Obama Imposing Islamic Jizya Tax On Non-Muslim Americans

Anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller said last week that the Obama administration’s actions on behalf of civil rights for Muslim Americans amount to the imposition of the jizya, a tax on non-Muslims.

In an interview with Rick Wiles of “TruNews,” Geller fumed about a New Jersey town’s $7.75 million settlement with an Islamic group that sued after the township denied its request to build a mosque, a decision that a judge ruled [PDF] was made in part as a result of “anti-Muslim prejudice.”​

While the Brennan Center for Justice and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund represented the Islamic center in the lawsuit, Geller blamed the Department of Justice, which according to one of the center’s attorneys had opened an investigation into the case.

“That’s the jizya, that’s the poll tax we see all through Islamic history imposed upon Christians and Jews living under Islamic law,” she said of the settlement, accusing the Department of Justice of becoming the “de facto legal arm of many of these Muslim Brotherhood groups in the country.”

Later in the broadcast, Geller claimed that there is “no question” that America has been “overthrown” by progressives who hate all things good, ushering in “terrible” and “catastrophic” consequences for the country.

“The coup is complete, this is the left and this is the war that they’ve had,” Geller said. “The coup is complete, the left’s war on morality, on the good, is complete.”

She said President Obama’s re-election victory in 2012 represented the fulfillment of the left’s anti-American coup and lashed out at the voters who voted for him:

We have absolutely crossed the line. We’ve crossed the threshold. I think the coup was complete when the American people chose to be bamboozled after the second term. I wrote the Obama book, ‘The Post-American Presidency: The Obama’s Administration’s War on America,’ in 2009, but I understood how he was elected, I understood the love affair. It was unforgiveable, it was unforgivable after Benghazi, it was unforgivable.

Sandy Rios: Ted Cruz Can Save America From Implosion, Riots And Complete Meltdown

American Family Association spokeswoman Sandy Rios, who thinks that Republican compromise on the bipartisan “cromnibus” bill will jeopardize the future of the republic, warned on her radio show last week that the appropriations bill’s success would lead to America’s destruction.

Rios called Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Jeff Sessions and Rep. Steve King “real heroes” for fighting to block President Obama’s executive action on immigration, lamenting that if their undertaking were to fail “then it may be that we’ll all just have to fold up and retreat and really, I believe, at that point America will implode. That’s really what I believe.”

She went on to say that “the house will come down” and America will experience attacks, rioting and an economic crash.

“Our financial systems will come crashing down, your pensions will be gone, your social security, your medical care will not be available, there will be rioting in the streets,” she said. “Even your neighbors and friends who are paying no attention at all will be saying ,‘what happened, why didn’t I know, why didn’t I see this coming,’ and it will be too late.”

Rick Santorum: Obama Is Faking War With ISIS, Allowing Persecution Of Christians

In an interview on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program this weekend, Rick Santorum expressed his anger that President Obama hasn’t deployed the same resources to fight ISIS as the U.S. did in the Persian Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He told FRC President Tony Perkins that Obama, who has launched over 1,000 airstrikes against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, delivered a “muted” response to the militant group and has no intention to destroy it.

The former Pennsylvania senator said that this same lack of political will and urgency was the reason that the U.S. failed in Vietnam:

This is not an attempt by the president to defeat ISIS, it’s an attempt by the president to convince America that he’s trying to do something and by flying these very limited strikes that are having no tactical success because they’re not sufficient to achieve any tactical victories. So you have a political war, in a sense. If you go back and look at the war that I grew up with as a kid, which was Vietnam, you didn’t have a commitment, you didn’t have a commitment by the political leadership to have success.

Santorum and Perkins then agreed that Obama’s supposed “assault” on religious freedom in the U.S. is also permitting extremists to violently persecute Christians in the Middle East.

“I believe there is a correlation between the increase in the persecution of Christians globally and the increase in intolerance towards Christianity here at home,” Perkins said.

Santorum responded by bringing up the phony right-wing talking point the Obama refuses to use the words “freedom of religion”: “You have a president who is increasingly hostile to people of faith and in fact has changed the term he uses from ‘freedom of religion’ to ‘freedom of worship’ and sort of narrowing the rights that even Americans have. And when you have a president who is clearly assaulting religion here at home, it is sort of hard to then turn around and say ‘I’m going to defend religion around the world.’”

The recent rash of violence against Iraqi Christians started after Bush’s invasion of Iraq, a war that Santorum voted for and still supports.

Ted Cruz: Too Extreme For Pat Robertson

Ted Cruz handed Senate Democrats a major victory this weekend when he forced an unsuccessful vote challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, a move that badly backfired since it allowed Democrats to move forward with votes to confirm several of Obama’s nominees that Republicans hoped to block.

While Cruz’s ploy gave Democrats a reason to celebrate, it upset right-wing televangelist Pat Robertson, who said that he won’t put up with the Texas senator and Tea Party leader’s “nonsense.”

“I tell ya’, this Ted Cruz, a lot of people in Texas just think he’s wonderful and I don’t want to rain on their parade but what he did was this, he held the Senate open by his delaying tactics and in the process Harry Reid says, ‘Oh, we’ve got some time, let’s rush through some appointees.’ So they started approving one after the other, left-wing appointments that Barack Obama had made that a more deliberative process would’ve held up, that was what Mr. Cruz gave us,” Robertson said.

“This bomb-throwing stuff and ‘I’ll be a lone wolf and I’m the man in the Senate who is going to be like Jimmy Stewart and I’m just going to Washington to represent the people,’ it’s nonsense.”

Anti-Government Leader Promises 'Second Amendment Remedies' To Washington Background Check Law

Leaders of radical anti-government groups and a few hundred activists converged on Olympia, Washington, this weekend for an armed protest against a successful state ballot initiative requiring background checks for nearly all gun purchases. The “I Will Not Comply Rally” was organized by Gavin Seim, an activist who had spent time at the armed standoff at the Bundy ranch in Nevada earlier this year, and drew several speakers who had also spent time with the Bundys, including “constitutional sheriff” Richard Mack and Three Percenter leader Mike Vanderboegh. (Cliven Bundy’s son Ammon was scheduled to speak as well but was a no-show.)

Vanderboegh, who gave a notorious speech at the Bundy ranch promising “civil war on a vast scale,” was similarly unrestrained in his remarks to the Olympia rally, calling supporters of the background checks initiative “domestic enemies of the Constitution” and suggesting that “Second Amendment remedies” may be necessary to combat them if political negotiations fail.

Promising to “win this or die trying,” Vanderboegh warned that “when democracy turns to tyranny, the armed citizenry still gets to vote! So be careful what you wish for or you may get it.”

Vanderboegh's full speech can be viewed here.

Pat Robertson: Who Needs A Doctor When God Is Your Physician

Today on “The 700 Club,” a 76-year-old viewer asked host Pat Robertson if he should yield to his family’s pleas to see a doctor even though he already asked God “to be my physician.”

Robertson defended the viewer’s refusal to take a trip to the doctor’s office: “There’s some people who think that doctors are god and they really aren’t. You’ve asked God to be your physician so stick with it and say ‘Lord, I’m asking you for it.’”

The televangelist and faith-healer qualified that while people should still take medicine, a doctor’s visit isn’t necessary.

“You’ve made a commitment to the Lord, stick with it, don’t let your family influence you, do what you feel like doing,” he said. “Live your life, God bless you.”

FRC's Craig James Can't Quite Bring Himself To Repudiate Demand That Gays Be Put To Death

Craig James, the failed Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former sportscaster who now works at the Family Research Council, spoke on Friday with a “Washington Watch” radio show caller who shared his “solution” to the problem of gay people filing complaints against businesses that deny them service because of their sexual orientation: execute gay people.

“I want to say something very horrific, a solution, and I think it’s the right solution,” said the caller, who said his name was Phillip. “We pray for the homosexuals, we’ve prayed for our enemies but at the same time when they try to force us to go against God, I think that’s where they cross the line and we should pass laws to execute them when they have judges to go against our businesses.”

James couldn't quite bring himself to denounce or oppose this call to put gays to death, instead merely saying “I don’t know about the executing” before offering up a response about the need for Christians in America, like the martyrs of the past, to get “firm” in challenging gay people:

Thank you Phillip. You know what, that part there, I don’t know about the executing, but I do know that we have to be bold and firm and much stronger. God doesn’t tell us and calls us that we have to be timid and to stand for our straight — our beliefs. I’m doing a course right now in seminary and it’s the history of the early church and it’s fascinating, there’s been lots and lots and lots of men and women who have died for their Christian beliefs since the beginning and now we are in a time in this country and in this world where we must be bold and stand for God and His truths.

Perhaps the FRC just doesn’t mind calls demanding the execution of gay people, as its president Tony Perkins once defended a Ugandan law which made homosexuality a crime punishable by death in certain cases.

Wall Street Giveaway in Spending Bill is Big Money Political Influence at its Worst

It’s hard to know where to begin when running down the list of harmful special interest giveaways in the omnibus spending bill narrowly passed by the House yesterday. Earlier this week, we wrote about a rider in the bill that would allow the amount of money rich donors can give to political parties to skyrocket. The legislation moving through Congress also includes a provision that would have the effect of allowing mountaintop mining companies to keep filling Appalachian streams with toxic waste. Yet another rider is a “Wall Street giveaway,” actually drafted by Citigroup’s lobbyists, that would repeal a piece of financial regulation and let banks take part in more kinds of high-risk trading deals with government backed money.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren railed against the Wall Street rider on the Senate floor:

[Americans] see a Congress that works just fine for the big guys, but it won’t lift a finger to help them. If big companies can deploy armies of lawyers and lobbyists to get the Congress to vote for special deals that benefit themselves, then we will simply confirm the view of the American people that the system is rigged.

It is, as Sen. Warren says, hard not to think that “the system is rigged” when members of Congress use a spending bill to sneak through major policy shifts that benefit wealthy political donors, Wall Street executives, and big businesses, while leaving the majority of Americans with an even weaker political voice.

This is especially true when you consider that those who voted for the rider-filled spending deal were, by and large, the members who received bigger contributions from the benefitting industries. The Washington Post compared the House spending bill votes with Center for Responsive Politics data on campaign contributions to each representative from the finance, insurance, and real estate industries. What they found is disheartening, but not surprising:

On average, members of Congress who voted yes received $322,000 from those industries. Those who voted no? $162,000.

And that doesn’t even take into account the dark money whose source is unknown to the public (but likely known by the officials who benefit from it).

It’s one more example of the influence that money can buy in our current system, where big gifts from corporate spenders pave the way for corporate political victories. When Wall Street lobbyists can literally write the laws they want, no matter the impact on ordinary Americans, it’s clear that we need serious reform to the rules governing money in politics.
 

PFAW

Sandy Rios Furious At House GOP: 'I Don't Know If The Republic Will Survive Two More Years'

The American Family Association’s governmental affairs director, Sandy Rios, dedicated her radio program this morning to excoriating House Republicans for approving a compromise appropriations bill last night, thereby averting a government shutdown.

Rios said she felt “kicked in the gut” by the House leadership’s “shocking betrayal” and declared that House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are “as big a liar as is Barack Obama.”

When a caller suggested that it was time to form a third party, Rios said she wasn’t prepared to endorse that but “a lot of people have been saying that” and that conservatives would somehow have to “find a way” to get Republicans in line.

“I don’t know if the republic can survive two more years, that’s the thing,” she said. “We could find candidates who can run against these congressmen who betrayed us because they have to run every two years, but by the time two years is up, I’m just not sure, I just am not sure what’s going to happen to the republic.”

Later in the program, in response to another caller, Rios said that the vote helped bring the conservative movement “dangerously close to civil disobedience.”

“We are getting dangerously close to civil disobedience, I believe. I’m not advocating it, don’t misunderstand me, but boy, we have to obey God rather than man, so we’ll see what the next chapter brings,” she said.

Phyllis Schlafly Warns Central American Immigrants Will Spread Ebola In US

Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly devoted her second radio bulletin in a row today to accusing President Obama of failing to keep Ebola out of the United States, where there are currently no known cases of Ebola.

Declaring that “nobody elected Barack Obama to clean up Africa,” Schlafly attacked the president for not banning all travel to the U.S. from the West African countries at the center of the Ebola outbreak, and went on to warn that “unchecked foreigners” from Central America — where there are also currently zero cases of Ebola  will spread the disease in the U.S.

“With the massive influx of unchecked foreigners coming across our borders, including 130,000 from Central America since October, why are we surprised about this alarming spread of foreign diseases into the United States?” she declared.

While refusing to sensibly secure our borders, U.S. officials announced that they expect an increase in Ebola-related incidents in the United States. With the massive influx of unchecked foreigners coming across our borders, including 130,000 from Central America since October, why are we surprised about this alarming spread of foreign diseases into the United States? Obama has failed to use his legal power to deny entry. Federal law gives the president the power to seal our borders to any class of aliens who pose a threat to the U.S., but Obama continues to insist it is unlikely that anyone with Ebola will reach our shores.

Twelve More Judges to Go

The Senate should not leave town before confirming all the pending judicial nominees, including the three cleared by committee yesterday.
PFAW

Creationist Group Fights For Its 'Fundamental Rights' To $18 Million In Tax Incentives

Yesterday, Kentucky’s tourism board announced that the state would not be granting an estimated $18 million tax break to the Creationist group Answers In Genesis (AIG) for its construction of a Noah’s Ark theme park, after learning that AIG intended to discriminate based on religion in its hiring.

Now, AIG’s CEO Ken Ham is crying religious persecution, claiming that Kentucky is violating his “fundamental rights” by failing to provide millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to his project. Ham told WorldNetDaily that he intends to sue the state for discriminating against him, saying, “We are fully prepared to defend our fundamental rights in court if necessary, as this issue is of huge importance, not only to us, but to every religious organization.”

Answers in Genesis, which is building the life-size version of Noah’s Ark – 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and three stories high – announced Thursday it was informed by the state that it could participate in the tourism program on two conditions.

The organization is required to “waive its right to include a religious preference in hiring” and “affirm that it will tolerate no ‘proselytizing’ at the theme park.”

Not possible, AiG responded, on billboard messages and elsewhere.

AiG said Kentucky officials bowed to pressure from secularist groups when it denied the Ark Encounter theme park an opportunity to participate in a popular tax rebate incentive program offered by the state’s tourism office.”

The restrictions demanded by the state are “unlawful,” AiG asserted.

“It is well-established under both federal law (Title VII) and state law (KRS 344.090) that religious organization and entities like AIG are specifically permitted to utilize a religious preference in their hiring,” the organization said.

“Moreover, the government cannot show hostility toward religion or discriminate against persons or organizations who express religious viewpoints.”

Answers in Genesis CEO Ken Ham explained his organization’s position.

“We have been working on this project with Kentucky for more than two years, so this just-received denial announcement is as disappointing as it is costly for our ministry without the expected rebate,” he said. “Our construction has already begun at the Williamstown, Kentucky, site, and it must proceed. We are fully prepared to defend our fundamental rights in court if necessary, as this issue is of huge importance, not only to us, but to every religious organization.”

He said two law firms, Freedom Guard and the Center for Religious Express, already have agreed to represent AiG in the matter.

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