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Sen. Richard Blumenthal Discusses the GOP’s Judicial Obstruction and the DC Circuit with PFAW Members

President Obama has nominated three extraordinarily well qualified individuals to serve on the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. But the Republican Party's intransigence and opposition have turned this into one of the most important obstruction fights we've seen in the last five years.

On Tuesday, September 24, People For the American Way hosted a telebriefing with U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) to discuss the matter.

Senator Blumenthal, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, chaired last week’s hearings on the nomination of Nina Pillard to a seat on the D.C. Circuit. He gave a first-hand account of how very qualified she is to serve on this all important court. He explained how important the D.C. Circuit is in the federal judicial system, why it’s important to fill the current vacancies on the court, and how Pillard exemplifies the brilliance and integrity that is so important in filling these vacancies.

Listen to the call for yourself here:

We had a lot of questions from callers about the need to overcome the GOP’s obstruction on these nominees and talked about how important it is for constituents to let their Senators know that it’s time for the obstruction to end.

Thanks to all the PFAW members who the time to join our call. We’ll continue to fight to make sure President Obama's nominees get the simple yes or no votes they deserve.
 

PFAW

Mefferd: Gays 'Overrepresented' On Federal Courts

Conservative talk show host Janet Mefferd is not happy that the Senate, in a unanimous vote, confirmed Todd M. Hughes to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, making him the country’s first openly gay judge to serve on a federal appeals court. “Because he had to be gay?” Mefferd asked. “I mean, that was like a qualification, if you’re going to be on the appeals court you better be gay? That’s how it rolls now.”

“They mention that at least seven gay or lesbian judges now serve or have served on federal district courts; sounds like overrepresentation,” she continued. “I don’t know how many judges are on that system but we’re talking about what, 2-3% of the population? This is overrepresentation but they don’t care.”

Overrepresentation? Let’s see.

There are currently six openly gay judges (and a seventh serving on senior status).

Now, there are 874 federal judgeships. Meaning that openly gay judges occupy a massive… seven tenths of one percent of federal judgeships.

Without counting judicial vacancies, the figure comes to a whopping 0.77 percent.

Such overrepresentation!

Schlafly Objects To LA Schools iPad Program Because It Might Benefit Children Of Immigrants

Phyllis Schlafly is livid about the Los Angeles Unified School District's decision to launch a program last month to put iPads in the hands of every student in the school district. The Los Angeles Times explains that the effort is intended to “put a school district composed mostly of low-income, minority students on an even footing with more prosperous students, who have such devices at home, at school or both.” The program was temporarily halted this week after enterprising students at one test school promptly figured out how to hack the iPads for personal use – but that’s not what concerns Schlafly.

Instead, in her Eagle Forum radio commentary today, Schlafly frets that the “fancy electronics” might be used to educate the children of undocumented immigrants…or any student learning English as a second language:

The superintendent says his goal is to “close the technology gap” for the many low-income students in the district, but technology doesn’t seem to be the central problem. Los Angeles Unified is a very depressed school district, regardless of how much technology students do or do not have. It continually has some of California’s lowest test scores, and almost 1/3 of its students do not finish high school. (Throughout the rest of the state, only 13% of students don’t make it to graduation.) The waste of money on fancy electronics seems even more egregious when we consider what a terrible job Los Angeles Unified currently does educating its students.

To add insult to injury, many of the students who will be receiving a taxpayer-funded iPad aren’t even supposed to be in the United States. Los Angeles has one of the highest illegal alien populations in the U.S. Almost 400,000 illegal aliens live in this district. Almost a third of its students are classified as “English learners.”

You may want to keep these kinds of frivolous expenses in mind next time your own school district asks for a tax increase. In the district I live in, the school board is asking for a tax increase almost every year.

Heritage Once Supported Senate Vote Threshold On Obamacare It Now Opposes

The Heritage Foundation, like Sen. Ted Cruz, has been strongly urging senators to vote against a bill they actually support in order to shut down the government until President Obama and Senate Democrats agree to defund Obamacare.

And, being Heritage, they don’t mind completely reversing a position they held until just last year to do it.

Essentially, Heritage and other right-wing groups like Club for Growth want Senate Republicans to join Cruz in blocking debate (or voting against cloture) on the continuing resolution (CR) until Senate Democrats agree to establish a 60-vote threshold for amendments. Without the 60-vote threshold, Democrats can easily pass an amendment with 51 votes that strikes the Obamacare-defunding measure from the CR.

Cruz alleged that by simply following Senate rules on amendment votes, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is “abusing his power” and using “brute political force.”

Heritage agreed with Cruz’s absurd claim, and urged Republicans to deny cloture in order to “stop Harry Reid’s procedural assault.” The group also framed it as a “procedural trick”; “procedural power play”; “procedural gymnastics” and “Reid’s procedural attacks.”

However, just last year, Heritage called for the same 51-vote threshold that it now opposes to be against on Obamacare. Then-president Ed Feulner in an email, “Join the Fight to Repeal Obamacare,” urged the Senate to use “the 51-vote threshold available” in order to gut the health care law:

There’s also the fact that the individual mandate has acquired the official constitutional status of a “tax”—and if it is indeed a tax, then that is even more reason for the U.S. Senate to repeal it with the 51-vote threshold available under the Budget Act’s reconciliation process. It is a revenue provision. No filibuster problems there now.

Of course, such hypocrisy is nothing new for Heritage, which developed the idea for the individual mandate before it was against it.

Heritage also backed the individual mandate, insurance exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid…under Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts reform law.

Heritage president Jim DeMint even cited Romney’s health care reform law as a reason to endorse his presidential campaign in 2008.

In an amazing attempt to rewrite history, DeMint is now maintaining that Obamacare wasn’t an issue in the 2012 election — and therefore Obama’s re-election shouldn’t be interpreted as support Obamacare — “because of Romney and Romneycare.”

Doyle: LGBT Community The 'Oppressors' Of Straight People

After Ex-Gay Pride Month was a complete disaster, to say the least, ex-gay activist Christopher Doyle appeared yesterday on Sandy Rios In The Morning to promote his latest event: Ex-Gay Awareness Month.

Rios wanted to know why the White House held a meeting with bisexual leaders while leaving out ‘ex-gays’ like Doyle, who told the American Family Association radio host that it is another sign that straight people like himself are facing discrimination by their “powerful oppressors” in the LGBT community.

“I think that what is really going on is there’s an effort by the White House and by politicians in rank and charge to include and recognize every single sexual orientation, sexual deviance, sexual preference and sexual lifestyle out there except for heterosexuals and ex-gays,” Doyle said. “So the people who say they are oppressed are the ones that are now politically powerful oppressors.”

Lively: CCR Is 'A Truly Demonic Organization' Part Of 'The Global Socialist Agenda'

In an email republished by Peter LaBarbera, anti-gay activist Scott Lively called the Center for Constitutional Rights “a truly demonic organization.” The CCR is currently representing Sexual Minorities Uganda in its case against Lively, who asked for people to pray for “confusion” among the CCR’s “cultural Marxists” and “Marxist activists.”

“CCR is the ‘principality and power’ behind the SMUG lawsuit and many far-left causes, a truly demonic organization, operating from the heart of New York City at 666 Broadway,” Lively continued. “Pray for all of these Marxist activists to be saved and delivered from their sin and error in rejecting the truth of God. As they press forward to attack me, pray confusion into their camp and for all of their strategies and tactics to be turned against them.”

Far-right talk show host Janet Mefferd also pointed to the group’s address to suggest that the group has a demonic bent.

“This case is hugely important to the global socialist agenda and its most powerful players. It will take a miracle to stop them, so please pray hard,” Lively said.

Friends ,Today Federal Judge Michael Ponsor denied my motion to allow me to appeal his denial of my Motion to Dismiss the outrageous SMUG lawsuit. Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) has sued me for “Crimes Against Humanity” for preaching against homosexuality in Uganda. (But it is not the Africans that are at fault in this travesty, the real scoundrels are a coalition of Cultural Marxists led by the Center for Constitutional Rights.)

I am being judged according to a European legal standard in my own federal court system for speech that is 100% protected in both America and Uganda. The Alien Tort Statute (ATS) which allowed this abomination into our U.S. court system was recently stripped of its power to hold Americans accountable for their conduct in foreign countries by the United States Supreme Court in the Kiobel case. Since then every case which had been filed under the ATS has been dismissed except for two. One which had unusual facts was not dismissed but the judge in that case certified it for immediate appeal on his own initiative. The other is my case. Today, Judge Ponsor denied my motion to appeal the part of his recent ruling (against my Motion to Dismiss) that dealt with the ATS. I am thus the only defendant in America still being sued under the ATS.

This means we must now move down the long, unpleasant road toward trial. This email is to provide some guidance to my friends and supporters on how to pray. First, pray for God to guide Judge Ponsor as he makes future decisions in this case.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Ponsor Judge Ponsor is a Bill Clinton appointee, with a self-admitted activist philosophy. In a June 2, 2013 newspaper interview he said “At some point I realized that judges are the unappointed legislators of mankind.“ That is worrisome. (See this link.) Pray for him to be fair and objective, and not swayed by liberal ideology or the lies of my persecutors. Next pray that the Marxist activists that have conspired to bring this bogus litigation forward are thwarted. Leading this group is Luke Ryan, SMUG’s local Northampton-based attorney and ACLU associate who appears to be the chief culprit AND WHO WAS JUDGE PONSORS LAW CLERK FROM 2005 TO 2007. [www.strhlaw.com/attorneys/luke-ryan/] You will notice in his profile he admits to being active in Arise for Social Justice, the local ACORN affiliate which has organized all of the street activism against me for the past several years. And he was also active in the radical homosexual group OUT NOW of Springfield who have provided most of the bodies for the protests against me.

Pray especially for Holly Richardson of both Arise and OUT NOW, the self-described 44-year-old “butch” lesbian at the bottom right in the photo under the “Harm Reduction” category of the OUT NOW website. She has been especially aggressive against me and against our church. Lastly, pray for the George Soros-funded so-called “Center for Constitutional Rights.” CCR is the “principality and power” behind the SMUG lawsuit and many far-left causes, a truly demonic organization, operating from the heart of New York City at 666 Broadway (no joke; see this link).Pray for all of these Marxist activists to be saved and delivered from their sin and error in rejecting the truth of God. As they press forward to attack me, pray confusion into their camp and for all of their strategies and tactics to be turned against them.

Lastly, I ask you to pray for my attorneys at Liberty Counsel, especially lead counsel Horatio Mihet to be strengthened and given favor by God. And to pray for Anne and I as we are forced to endure this continuing persecution.

This case has enormous implications for First Amendment rights here at home and abroad, for the supremacy of our Constitution over foreign law, for Christian values under international law, and for the future power of homosexual activists to crush anyone who stands in the way of their global agenda.

I am just a pawn in this international power-play, the one they want to make an example of to discourage all the Christians from speaking the truth of God. This case is hugely important to the global socialist agenda and its most powerful players. It will take a miracle to stop them, so please pray hard.

Pray for my victory and an enlargement of the scope and impact of my work for His Kingdom, but more than that: that God will be glorified in whatever results from this case.

Saleem: Islamists 'Repopulating The Nation' To Turn America Into A Muslim Country

Kamal Saleem, the phony ex-terrorist, appeared on The John Ankerberg Show alongside Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council where he explained how Islamic extremists intend to destroy the US and turn America into a country where Islam reigns supreme. Saleem, a regular guest at Religious Right conferences and radio shows, has claimed to have worked for the PLO, the Muslim Brotherhood, Muammar Qaddafi, Saddam Hussein, the Saudi royal family and Osama bin Laden and to be the nephew of the “Grand Wazir of Islam,” a position which doesn’t exist.

He claims that the U.S. is secretly under the control of an Islamic shadow government tied to President Obama’s babysitter that is seeking to “legalize terrorism” and impose Sharia law through the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights. Saleem has also argued that feminist and gay rights groups are Muslim Brotherhood pawns and predicted that Hillary Clinton will use her position as Secretary of State to “shut down” churches and imprison Christians.

During his interview with Ankerberg, Saleem said that he came to the US in order to “subjugate this nation to Islam” by “repopulating the nation and start becoming popular and start choosing our leadership.”

He added that Muslims use schools to “turn the American student against America” and “came to infiltrate the jail system because we knew if we take those broken ones, those that are injured, we can turn them into beasts against this nation and therefore we can populate this nation with segregation and causing the culture to break open” for Islam.

Watch:

How close are Islamists to “repopulating the nation” to bring about a Muslim majority?

According to Pew, Muslims represent a mere 0.8 percent of the United States population.

Bachmann: Clintons Closely Tied To Muslim Brotherhood

Louie Gohmert wasn’t the only far-right congressman to stop by The Lars Larson Show in recent days, as Michele Bachmann last week told the conservative radio host that “the Clintons have very close ties to people who have very close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

“We’re not talking about the Lutheran Brotherhood here, we’re talking about the Muslim Brotherhood,” Bachmann said, once again pointing to Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin as a Muslim Brotherhood agent.

Gohmert Claims Obamacare Will Lead To Mass Unemployment, Refusal Of Pacemakers

Yesterday, after suggesting that the Obama administration is opening the door for domestic terrorism and aiding Al Qaeda, Rep. Louie Gohmert and talk show host Lars Larson talked about the alleged dangers of Obamacare. The Texas Republican claimed that once “Obamacare kicks in fully, you can’t get your pacemaker, you can’t have this, you can’t have that.”

He then went after PolitiFact and accused them of being “Democratic operatives” for refuting one of his claims about the reform law. While PolitiFact, a non-partisan group, has rebutted plenty of Gohmert’s untrue statements, he was actually referring to a report by FactCheck.org, which is run by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center.

“It’s just so bad for most Americans, it’s just terrible,” Gohmert claimed.

Gohmert also attacked the Senate immigration bill for including a Republican provision that prevents formerly undocumented immigrants from receiving health insurance subsidies.

Gohmert: The Senate says there solution is the immigration bill they passed because under their immigration bill companies would have a hard time not doing what the Senate bill encourages and that is firing every fulltime American employee and hiring the immigrants who have just been given legal status because if you fire the Americans and hire the people that came in illegally, they get legal status under the Senate bill, then you don’t have to provide them Obamacare insurance or pay the fines. SO maybe if the Senate got everything they wanted, both Obamacare and their amnesty bill, you’d have most Americans that work for big companies losing their jobs all over America.

Larson: So we’re just going to hand all the jobs to people who aren’t legally in the country and say they’re cheaper to employ because we don’t have to buy health insurance for them.

Gohmert: Right, exactly. That’s what the Senate immigration bill does.

Gohmert: Obama Administration Supports Al Qaeda And Opened The Door For Domestic Terrorist Attacks

During an interview with a conservative talk show host yesterday, Rep. Louie Gohmert suggested that terrorists may not fear attacking a mall in a city in Texas as a result of the Obama administration’s supposed support for Al Qaeda.

After right-wing commentator Lars Larson brought up the massacre in a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, he told the congressman that he would “bet those Islamic terrorists wouldn’t have tried that in a Texas shopping mall.”

“Well, I don’t know, it’s hard to say.” Gohmert replied. “Right now when they know that the federal government is supporting Muslim Brothers and Al Qaeda in places like Syria, where this administration just sent hundreds of tons of weapons, it’s like some of our allies were asking a few weeks ago when I was in the Middle East, ‘We’re wondering which one of us is going to be thrown under the bus next. You’re supporting the guys that believe what the bombers did on 9/11.’”

“We keep helping those that want to destroy us and casting aside allies that want to fight against the bad guys,” Gohmert said.

C. Boyden Gray Comes Up With Most Ridiculous Argument Yet for Filibustering DC Circuit

The former George W. Bush administration official who founded a group to push for the confirmation of Bush’s judicial nominees has come up with the most ridiculous justification yet for a possible Republican filibuster of President Obama’s three nominees to vacancies on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In a Washington Times column today, C. Boyden Gray argues that Obama’s filling all the seats on the court is in fact a "drive to pack" the court and would “risk politicizing an institution that is – and should be – above politics” and lead to a loss of “collegiality” among the judges on the court.

Gray’s concern for the independence of the judiciary is admirable, but it’s interesting that he seems to have developed this concern only when a Democratic president started nominating judges.

In fact, Gray seems to have held the opposite view of what to do with the D.C. Circuit during the George W. Bush administration, when he founded and led an organization dedicated to getting President Bush’s most conservative nominees confirmed to the federal courts. Among the nominees Gray worked to confirm were current D.C. Circuit judges Thomas Griffith, Brett Kavanaugh and Janice Rogers Brown, who have given the court a serious right-wing ideological bent, and now- Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. In total, thanks in part to Gray, Bush had four nominees confirmed to the D.C. Circuit, filling all eleven of the twelve seats then available.

In contrast, President Obama has had just one nominee confirmed to the D.C. Circuit in his five years in office, bringing the total number of judges on the court up to eight out of eleven designated seats. This puts him far behind all of his recent predecessors in placing judges on the court. In fact, every president since Jimmy Carter, going through the process laid out in the Constitution, has had at least three nominees confirmed to the D.C. Circuit.

So, why does Gray think President Obama’s nominees would so unbalance the careful social order of the court? He cites the effort that Judge Harry Edwards, a Carter nominee, made in the mid-1990s to get judges on the court to work together across ideological lines, and Judge Edwards’ observation that “smaller courts tend to be more collegial.”  Which is a great argument for confirming judges who are skilled at working across ideological lines (for instance, Nina Pillard) but makes no sense as an argument simply not to let a given president fill seats on the court.

In the column, Gray also backs Chuck Grassley’s effort to eliminate the three D.C. Circuit seats to prevent President Obama from filling them and transfer two to other, less influential, circuits – a plan that has no backing in actual caseload data

If these are the logic-jumping lengths that conservatives have to go to justify their all-out obstruction of President Obama’s judicial nominees, maybe it’s time they just gave up and admitted that they just don’t want to let President Obama do his job.

 

Jerome Corsi And Alex Jones Link Obama To Nairobi Attack

Birther conspiracy theorist and Tom DeLay co-author Jerome Corsi appeared on InfoWars with Alex Jones to explain his theory that President Obama and Raila Odinga, the former prime minister of Kenya, “made this pact with the radical Islamists in Kenya that was going to allow Al Qaeda to come through the door through Somalia into Kenya,” and are therefore to blame for the Nairobi mall attack by the Al Qaeda-linked group al-Shabab.

He said Obama and Odinga “engineered” an “open door to Somali terrorists to pour into” Kenya. “This is the Saudis backing Al Qaeda, joined by Obama backing Al Qaeda,” Corsi maintained.

“This is basically Obama behind jihadis, connected to this attack,” Jones contended. “So they are using Al Qaeda worldwide as the proxy war to take over all these countries in North Africa and now into Kenya.”

“They are going to turn everything over to radical Muslims,” he continued. “So Obama is lowering the drawbridge from Egypt to Syria to Kenya to Libya to Central Asia to everywhere to bring in Al Qaeda, this is high treason.”

First of all, Corsi’s reporting on Obama’s supposed ties to Odinga has been widely discredited, as Obama never endorsed, advised or campaigned for Odinga. And while Corsi claims that Odinga is an Islamist, he is in fact an evangelical Christian.

While Corsi tried to paint Odinga as a friend of al-Shabab, in fact, Odinga called for Kenyan troops to wage an “onslaught” against the extremist group and tried to win Western aid for their fight in Somalia.

Corsi went on to allege that Saudi Arabia has been helping the Muslim Brotherhood take over the Middle East and North Africa—which is hard to believe seeing that the Saudis were the chief funders and supporters of Egypt’s military government that pushed the Muslim Brotherhood out of power.

The interview continues devolve as they claim that high-ranking military officers, including the Joint Chiefs, listen to InfoWars and that is why Obama wasn’t able to attack Syria. Corsi also charged that CIA Director John Brennan “converted” to Islam and is a “puppet of the Saudis.”

“We are Al Qaeda, we have always been Al Qaeda,” Corsi said.

Gaffney: US Must Stop CAIR Like It Fights Terrorist Attacks

On his Secure Freedom Minute radio program yesterday, Frank Gaffney said the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) “must be stopped”…just like the terrorists who attacked a mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Gaffney claimed that CAIR is waging a “stealthy, pre-violent” kind of jihad known as “civilization jihad” against the US, citing their criticisms of laws that are ostensibly designed to ban Sharia but are in reality a ploy to unfairly target Muslim-Americans.

CAIR is a frequent punching bag of anti-Muslim activists like Gaffney. “Like jihadists in Kenya and elsewhere, CAIR’s must be stopped – not tolerated or appeased,” Gaffney claims.

A murderous jihadist attack on a Kenyan mall prompts the question: Could it happen here? Unfortunately, it could.

But there’s another kind of jihad already being waged against us in this country. It’s the stealthy, pre-violent kind the Muslim Brotherhood calls “civilization jihad.” And the Brotherhood’s Council on American Islamic Relations is a prime practitioner.

Last week, CAIR railed against efforts to keep Sharia law from being used in U.S. courts. Then, we learned that some FBI agents were still meeting with and taking advice from CAIR operatives, despite explicit direction from superiors not to do that.

Now, the Daily Caller reports, CAIR’s Islamists seem to be engaged in money-laundering foreign funds to pay for civilization jihad here. Like jihadists in Kenya and elsewhere, CAIR’s must be stopped – not tolerated or appeased.

Sandy Rios Uses Kenya Massacre To Promote Birther Conspiracy Theories

Never missing an opportunity to stoke anti-Obama conspiracy theories, American Family Association radio host Sandy Rios yesterday used the massacre at a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, to suggest that President Obama was born in the country and is related to a leading Kenyan political figure:

The implications of this are pretty frightening and of course it’s interesting that this is the country from which our President hails. This is his lineage. We know his cousin Raila Odinga is a Muslim communist. It’s just amazing. I think he’s the Prime Minister right now.

The AFA commentator’s claim that Obama “hails” from Kenya is not the first time she promoted birtherism, and her suggestion that Obama is related to the “Muslim communist” Raila Odinga most likely comes from discredited chain emails. Odinga is Kenya’s former prime minister and is neither a Muslim (he’s an evangelical Christian) nor a communist

The right-wing rumor mill has claimed that Obama donated to Odinga’s presidential campaign (false), endorsed Odinga’s candidacy (false) and campaigned for him (false). While Odinga has claimed to be Obama’s cousin, they are not biologically related and it is likely that Odinga was simply trying to garner publicity for his campaign.

The myth-busting website Snopes.com found that “no evidence has been offered to document that claim,” noting that Odinga was not the only candidate for president to claim to be Obama’s cousin and that Obama’s uncle denies that they are blood relatives. PolitiFact adds:

"It's stretched to the point of ridiculousness," said Joel D. Barkan, political science professor emeritus at the University of Iowa and senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. "To my knowledge, they are not first cousins in the normal sense. To my knowledge, there's absolutely no relationship at all."

Alex Awiti, a Kenyan postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University, says you have to consider the context of when Odinga was speaking, in the middle of a political crisis.

"Raila Odinga was groping all over the place, trying to find some political legitimacy to get on a high pedestal to claim leadership and using Obama was basically going to add some political points," said Awiti, who lived in Kenya until three years ago. "This is very opportunistic and it should be totally disregarded."

[Salim] Lone, Odinga's spokesman, said cousins in the African sense is very different from cousins in the American sense, so they might be distant relatives.

Farah: Navy Yard Shooting Part of Obama's Plan to 'Render the Population Helpless' Before Government

In his WorldNetDaily column today, Joseph Farah hints at what you might call a false-flag lite theory on last week’s Navy Yard shooting. While stopping short of saying that the Obama administration deliberately staged the attack, as Fox News regular Erik Rush quickly did on Twitter, Farah speculates that the mass shooting was all part of President Obama’s plan to “disarm Americans” and “control the population from the top-down.”

“This is going to sound brutishly harsh and judgmental,” Farah writes, “but, I believe, he is consciously using the escalation of violence his anti-gun policies knowingly and predictably cause to render the population helpless before a government with a monopoly on force.”

“Sometimes I fear there is a creeping resignation that these tragedies are just somehow the way it is,” he said at the outdoor service at Marine Barracks Washington, less than three blocks from the base where three women and nine men died in the recent Navy Yard attack. “We must insist here today there is nothing normal about innocent men and women being gunned down where they work.”

He couldn’t be more wrong.

It is normal to see increases in gun violence against the innocent when you strip them of their means of self-protection. What is so difficult to understand about that? It literally invites gun violence from those who are not law-abiding and who desire to inflict harm on others.

Unlike many of my friends, I don’t believe Obama is stupid. Nor do I believe he is incompetent. I believe he has another motive to disarm Americans – one that has nothing to do with safety. It’s about control of the population from the top-down. This is going to sound brutishly harsh and judgmental, but, I believe, he is consciously using the escalation of violence his anti-gun policies knowingly and predictably cause to render the population helpless before a government with a monopoly on force.

Again, let’s look at who the shooter was in the Navy Yard attack.

He has repeatedly broken gun laws. He was never prosecuted.

He was stark, raving bonkers, and the Navy Yard was even warned about him by Rhode Island police. Nobody paid attention.

He used a shotgun, the kind of self-defense weapons recommended by none other than Vice President Joe Biden. He still managed to kill 12 people and injure many more.

Isn’t it obvious all of the prescriptions of the Obama administration and the gun-grabbing crowd are doing exactly what they are intended to do?

Rubio Holding Up Nomination of Openly Gay African American Florida Judge

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has for months been single-handedly holding up the nomination of William Thomas, an openly gay African American Miami judge, to a federal district court.

Rubio’s indefinite hold on Thomas’ nomination is one of the most egregious examples yet of Senate Republicans using the obscure “blue slip” procedure to prevent home-state judicial nominees from even having a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Under a Senate custom that has varied over time Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy will not advance a nominees’ consideration --  won’t even hold a hearing, let alone take a vote -- until both of that nominee’s home-state senators return a “blue slip” giving their permission for a nomination to go forward. The blue slip doesn’t indicate a senator’s approval of the nominee – the senator is still free to vote against the nominee and to lobby their fellow senators to do the same.  It just means that the nominee can be considered by the Judiciary Committee and then the full Senate. But if just one senator doesn’t return a blue slip, the nomination won’t see the light of day.

Republican senators have been routinely using this tactic of withholding blue slips in order to slow-walk President Obama’s judicial nominees. Currently, five nominees are being held back because one or both senators have refused to return blue slips. And all are women or people of color.

Because the blue slip process is secretive and little-known, senators are often able to get away with holding nominees this way with little public pressure and no public explanation.

Rubio, however, faced pressure from the Florida legal community in recent weeks for his failure to return blue slips for Thomas and another Florida nominee, Brian Davis. The senator finally gave in under pressure and allowed Davis’ nomination to go forward, but is digging in his heels on his blockade of Thomas.

Rubio’s stated reasons for blocking Thomas’ nomination are exceptionally flimsy. He has cited  two cases where he claims Thomas gave insufficiently harsh sentences in criminal trials; in one case, even the prosecutor has defended Thomas’ judgment and a local judge has written to Rubio to correct the record. In the other case the senator cites, Judge Thomas sentenced the defendant to death, which Rubio seems to think was insufficiently harsh. It is clear that there is no merit to the senator’s claims. Holding hearings on this nominee would help clarify that, if they were allowed to take place.

The real reason for Rubio’s blockade and his smear of Judge Thomas’ character, writes Miami Herald columnist Fred Grimm, is plain and simple “crass Tea Party politics.”

Rubio has stated no compelling reason why Thomas should not have a hearing before the Judiciary Committee, where he can answer any of Rubio’s alleged concerns in the public record. 

PFAW

Senate Confirms First Ever Openly Gay Circuit Court Judge

The Senate today confirmed Justice Department attorney Todd Hughes to a federal appeals court, making him the highest-ranking openly gay federal judge in U.S. history.

President Obama has nominated more openly gay men and women to the federal courts than all his predecessors combined – by a long shot. So far, the Senate has confirmed seven openly gay Obama nominees to federal district courts. Before Obama’s presidency, there had been just one openly gay federal judge, Clinton nominee Deborah Batts.

Two other openly gay district court nominees are still in committee, but one of them –openly gay district court nominee, Florida’s William Thomas – is currently being held up indefinitely by Sen. Marco Rubio.

But today, the Senate’s attention is on Todd Hughes, who will be the newest judge on the Federal Circuit. The Washington Post outlines Hughes’ impressive credentials:

Hughes, who has served as deputy director of the commercial litigation branch of the Justice Department's civil division since 2007, has specialized in the kinds of issues that come up before the bench on which he will soon sit. Unlike the other 12 Circuit Courts of Appeals, the Federal Circuit specializes in a handful of designated issues including international trade, government contracts, patents, trademarks, veterans' benefits, and public safety officers' benefits claims. Hughes could not be reached for a comment.

Geovette Washington, who is the Office of Management and Budget's general counsel and has been friends with Hughes since they attended law school together, described him as "a problem solver" who "can do very complicated constitutional issues," but also brings a degree of pragmatism to cases.

"I have always been amazed by how intelligent he is, but also how practical he is," she said, adding that Hughes is well prepared for the Federal Circuit because he's appeared before it so many times. "He's dug in and done the hard work on those issues."

 

 

PFAW

Bryan Fischer Lashes Out At Transgender Homecoming Queen

A transgender California teenager has been a target of bullying after she was named her high school’s homecoming queen, and now American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer has joined in the backlash against the sixteen-year-old. Fischer called her election as homecoming queen a “charade” that “violates every known standard of decency and normality.”

He has a mental illness, he thinks he’s a girl and they elected him homecoming queen and the school officials allowed this charade to go on. That violates everything we know about gender, about sex, about genetics, about biology, about human health, about what mental health is, it violates every known standard of decency and normality in America.

Fischer also criticized CBS News for using the correct pronouns in their story on the high school girl.

Watch:

Klayman Sets Date For Revolution To End Obama's 'Reign Of Terror'

The totally-not-delusional Larry Klayman has finally set a date for his proposed uprising to remove President Obama from office: November 19. The Judicial Watch founder writes today that protesters will “descend on Washington, D.C., en masse, and demand that he leave town and resign from office if he does not want to face prison time” for pushing “his Muslim, socialist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-white, pro-illegal immigrant, pro-radical gay and lesbian agenda.”

Klayman, who has repeatedly called for a revolution, claims that demonstrations will use the same tactics as Mahatma Gandhi and Egyptian protesters to “shut the city down, by blocking roads and massing in front of the White House” and “bringing the victims of his reign of terror” to Lafayette Park.

He contends that Obama is even worse than King George III: “King George III may have been a greedy ‘control freak,’ but at least he was a Christian. The United States is being run by a Muslim bent on furthering an Islamic caliphate who seeks to destroy our spirituality and the body politic of our Judeo-Christian roots.”

“Let us now walk in their footsteps and march into to Washington, D.C., this November 19th, and rid the nation of the criminal who lurks in our White House.”

On November 19, 2013, a day that will hopefully live on in the history of our once great republic, I call upon millions of Americans who have been appalled and disgusted by Obama's criminality – his Muslim, socialist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-white, pro-illegal immigrant, pro-radical gay and lesbian agenda – among other outrages, to descend on Washington, D.C., en masse, and demand that he leave town and resign from office if he does not want to face prison time.

I further propose that we borrow the techniques perfected and used by such epic crusaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, to show Obama and his enablers that the American people are more than fed up and will not take it any more. The millions who are being summoned to our nation's capital should, like Gandhi did in India and South Africa, peacefully shut the city down, by blocking roads and massing in front of the White House chanting for Obama to get out of our nation's capital. In addition, I propose bringing the victims of his reign of terror to a podium across from the White House in Lafayette Park to give their testimony on how he has singularly severely harmed and in some instances even killed their loved ones through his actions.



We must act now. Our Founding Fathers pledged their sacred honor, fortunes, and lives to form a new nation under God. They knew that the odds of defeating the British were not great, save for His Divine grace and intervention. Now, 237 years after they signed the Declaration of Independence in my native city of Philadelphia, the nation has come full circle to the tyranny that has been imposed by a new despot, one far more evil than King George III. King George III may have been a greedy "control freak," but at least he was a Christian. The United States is being run by a Muslim bent on furthering an Islamic caliphate who seeks to destroy our spirituality and the body politic of our Judeo-Christian roots.

Life is not easy. It requires risk and sacrifice. If as a nation we want to restore our freedom, and we are on the verge of being enslaved under Obama's socialist Muslim inclinations, we must take our fight to a new level. Tea partiers, bikers, construction workers, police officers, school teachers, farmers, truckers, clergy, housewives, husbands, students, doctors, lawyers and all elements of our society who see our nation slipping away into the abyss, must now stand tall and descend on the capital, much like the Egyptians recently did in ousting another radical Muslim, their then president Mohammed Morsi. If the Egyptians can seek to rid their country of the poison of the Muslim Brotherhood without any real history of democracy, then we Americans, who know what democracy is and have practiced it prior to the ascension of the great usurper, can and must succeed.

Obama has now been convicted of having defrauded the American people into electing him as president. Even more so than Nixon during Watergate, he has no legitimacy to remain president and must be forced to resign. If We the People do not demand justice and remove him from office, then we will be furthering his fraud and we will have no one but ourselves to blame for the death of the greatest nation ever to have been on this earth.

In the words of one of our great Founding Fathers and an architect of our Constitution, "we must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately." Benjamin Franklin walked the walk along with the likes of George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Let us now walk in their footsteps and march into to Washington, D.C., this November 19th, and rid the nation of the criminal who lurks in our White House. Let us send a message to the other corrupt government officials of all political persuasions, that this is our nation, not theirs. Let's "Occupy Washington" and restore freedom to our shores!

Support for Amending the Constitution to Overturn Citizens United is Now One-Third of the Way There

Support Growing in U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and State Legislatures

WASHINGTON – Advocates are celebrating a significant milestone in the campaign for a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United that opened the floodgates of money from corporations and the ultra wealthy into our political system. Support for the campaign now stands at one-third of what is needed for victory.

The Constitution can be amended by votes of a supermajority of each chamber of Congress, followed by ratification by three-quarters of the states. Support for an amendment now stands at one third of each of those thresholds:

Share required Number needed Number today %
2/3 Senators 67 27 sponsors and co-sponsors 40%
2/3 Representatives 290 99 sponsors and co-sponsors 34%
3/4 States 38 16 official resolutions, ballot measures or official calls for an amendment 42%

“This milestone represents important progress toward a goal that’s critical to preserving the integrity of our democracy,” said Marge Baker, executive vice president of People For the American Way. “Amending our country’s constitution should be difficult.  But this isn’t the first time Americans have encountered a serious problem that needs a serious solution. Citizens United and other cases that paved the way for big money to flood our elections have given us one of those moments. As more states and elected officials go on record in support of an amendment, the clearer it becomes that the American people will not stand to have their voices overpowered by wealthy special interests.”

“In just three years since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, we have come one third of the way to amending the US Constitution to reclaim our democracy and to ensure that people, not corporations, shall govern in America,” said John Bonifaz, co-founder and executive director of Free Speech For People.  “Americans across the political spectrum are standing up to defend that fundamental promise of government of, by, and for the people.”

“Sixteen states representing tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of cities and towns, from Los Angeles to Boston, have passed resolutions and ballot measures in support of a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United," said Karen Hobert Flynn, senior vice president for strategy and programs at Common Cause. “Voters and legislators are justifiably outraged at the way Citizens United has created a system of legalized bribery around our elections, and are building the momentum we need to make a change.”

“Fast gaining momentum, the movement for a constitutional amendment aims to reassert popular sovereignty and return America to the founding constitutional principle embodied in the phrase, We, the People,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “We, the People of the United States are fast on our way to winning a constitutional amendment to ensure our government works for us, not JP Morgan, Pfizer and Walmart.”

Citizens United set a dangerous precedent by opening the floodgates for special interest money in our elections,” said Emma Boorboor, Democracy Associate, U.S. PIRG. “Yet, as a nation we overwhelmingly value the idea that the size of your wallet should not determine the volume of your voice in our democracy. The fact that we are already a third of the way to passing a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics clearly demonstrates the building momentum and the desire of Americans to stand up for our democratic values.”

Sixteen states have formally called for an amendment by ballot measure, resolutions passed by the legislature, or official letters signed by a majority of state legislators:

California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Hawaii
Illinois
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Montana
New Jersey
New Mexico
Oregon
Rhode Island
Vermont
West Virginia

In addition, nearly 500 cities, towns, and counties, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia have called for an amendment, and more than 2,000 elected officials nationwide are on record supporting one.

A 2010 Peter Hart poll found that 82% of Americans support congressional action to limit corporate spending on elections (which Citizens United unleashed), and that 79% support a constitutional amendment to accomplish this. This past September, an Associated Press poll found that 83% of Americans favor limits on the amount of money corporations, unions, and other organizations can spend on our elections.

Public support is also bipartisan. The 2010 Peter Hart poll revealed that 68% of Republicans, 82% of independents, and 87% of Democrats support an amendment.  The 2012 AP poll showed that 81% of Republicans, 78% of independents, and 85% of Democrats want to limit corporate, union, and other outside spending.

Free Speech For People works to challenge the misuse of corporate power and restore republican democracy to the people. The group advances the movement to amend the U.S. Constitution to overturn Citizens United v. FEC, an earlier case called Buckley v. Valeo, and the fabricated doctrine of corporate constitutional rights. For more on Free Speech For People, visit: www.FreeSpeechForPeople.org.

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest, and accountable government that works for the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard.

People For the American Way engages in lobbying and activist mobilization to support local, state and federal initiatives to ameliorate the impact of, and eventually overturn via constitutional amendment, the effects of Citizens United and other court cases that have opened the floodgates of unlimited corporate and special interest spending to influence elections.  PFAW activates its membership, its youth leadership networks (the Young Elected Officials Action and Young People For Action programs) and its African American Ministers in Action network for money-in-politics work. PFAW co-leads coalition efforts to confirm judges and justices who respect the progressive ethic of the Constitution and has a dynamic political arm engaged in electoral strategies to hold money-in-politics obstructionists accountable.

Public Citizen is national non-profit membership organization. Since 1971, we have fought for corporate and government accountability to guarantee the individual’s right to safe products, a healthy environment and workplace, fair trade, and clean and safe energy sources. Public Citizen is deeply invested in limiting the damaging effect of money in politics and passing an amendment to overturn the Citizens United ruling and related cases. www.DemocracyIsForPeople.org

U.S. PIRG is a citizen's group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society. For decades, we’ve stood up for consumers, countering the influence of big banks, insurers, chemical manufacturers and other powerful special interests. www.uspirg.org

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