Following the passage of his state’s marriage equality law, Minnesota Republican state representative Glenn Gruenhagen is urging constituents to “resist the implementation of the gay agenda in public and parochial schools.” The blog Bluestem Prairie noticed Gruenhagen’s letter to the editor of the McLeod County Chronicle Wednesday, in which he claims that in Massachusetts there have already been cases where “citizens who would not succumb to politically correct speech have been charged with hate crimes.”
He cites the anti-gay group MassResistance as the source of his information and links to their website.
Of course, there are no such cases of people being “charged with hate crimes” for not using “politically correct speech.”
What is more troubling is that a state lawmaker is citing an organization whose leader Brian Camenker suggested gay marriage led to a rise in homelessness, crime, poor air quality and domestic violence, denies that gay people died in the Holocaust, likened pro-gay rights educators to “Nazi concentration camp guards” and compared gay rights efforts to Jim Crow laws.
Under this legislation, children could be chided and corrected for using gender specific terms like “mother and father” and instead will be told to use gender neutral terms like “parent and spouse” so as not to offend certain groups.
This may be difficult to believe, but as a long-term school board member, I do not make this statement lightly. I have personal experience as a board member, where state statutes were changed and eventually school curriculum and speech had to conform. I was then chided for public comments on school issues when I used terminology that was not politically correct.
In other countries and in the state of Massachusetts, where gay marriage has become the law, we have observed that citizens who would not succumb to politically correct speech have been charged with hate crimes and their parental rights infringed upon. (Seewww.massresistance.com for more information.)
When signed, this bill will become the law of our state. We are a nation of laws, however we still have the right as citizens, parents and school officials to passively resist the gay agenda coming into our schools. …
During these past several months, Lutheran and Catholic organizations were key groups opposing the gay marriage bill. As your state representative, I am very thankful for their help in opposing the passage of gay marriage.
I plan to introduce legislation next session in an attempt to strengthen parental rights and school official rights to resist the implementation of the gay agenda in public and parochial schools. I will also introduce legislation to strengthen protection for our religious freedoms.
Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner says that the real political scandal isn’t about the IRS, Benghazi or the Associated Press, “but the president himself.” Kuhner, who has been demanding Obama’s impeachment for several years, calls the scandal “Obamagate,” which he believes best expresses his belief that “Mr. Obama is the root cause of the White House’s woes” and “is a political thug masquerading as a progressive reformer.”
President Obama is facing a perfect storm of scandals, cover-ups and criminality that threatens to sweep him from power. This week marks the 40th anniversary of the first Watergate hearings. They eventually brought down President Nixon, forcing him to resign. Mr. Obama is the liberal Nixon — a corrupt chief executive, who is presiding over a lawless administration.
Beyond the IRS, AP and Benghazi lies a deeper scandal: Obamagate. Ultimately, Mr. Obama is the root cause of the White House’s woes. The problem is not the president’s men (and women). It is the president himself. He has no respect for the Constitution or for legal constraints on his power. He has presided over a scandal-ridden administration — Fast and Furious, Solyndra, the open bribery and abuse of parliamentary procedures to pass Obamacare, suing states seeking to uphold our immigration laws, enabling the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens simply if they’re accused of being “terrorists,” and now the use of government power to suppress dissent, persecute opponents, spy on the press and cover up the jihadist slaughter of Americans. Mr. Obama is a political thug masquerading as a progressive reformer. He is worse than Nixon: No one died as a result of Watergate.
Republicans should insist that several special prosecutors be appointed to investigate the administration’s purported crimes. In the end, Nixon was unable to run from the truth. Mr. Obama is now running as fast as he can. It is our responsibility to catch and expose him.
The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved the nomination of Sri Srinivasan to sit on the powerful Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. There are currently four vacancies on the D.C. Circuit – and Senate Republicans have prevented President Obama from filling a single one.
The Senate GOP has been unusually cooperative with Srinivasan’s nomination, but have signaled that they will not be so friendly to future nominees to the court. Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley is actually trying to permanently lower the number of judgeships on the court to prevent President Obama from reversing its far-right, anti-consumer, anti-worker tilt.
The Senate yesterday also confirmed William Orrick to serve on the District Court for the Northern District of California, a seat that had been officially designated a “judicial emergency” because of its overworked courts. The confirmation vote came a full eight months after Orrick was first approved with bipartisan support in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In a Senate floor speech Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts discussed the Senate GOP’s extraordinary obstruction of federal judicial nominees, noting the high level of officially-designated “judicial emergencies,” which has risen by 30 percent since the beginning of the year.
The Founders of our Republic gave to the President the task of nominating individuals to serve and gave us the responsibility to advise on and consent to these appointments. For more than 200 years this process has worked.
Presidents over the years have nominated thousands of qualified men and women who were willing to serve in key executive branch positions.
The Senate has considered nominations in a timely fashion and taken up-or-down votes. Of course, there have been bumps along the way, but we have never seen anything like this. Time and again, Members of this body have resorted to procedural technicalities and flatout obstructionism to block qualified nominees.
At the moment, there are 85 judicial vacancies in the U.S. courts, some of which are classified as ``judicial emergencies.'' That is more than double the number of judicial vacancies at the comparable point during President George W. Bush's second term. Yet right now there are 10 nominees awaiting a vote in the Senate, and they have not gotten one.
Senate Republicans like to blame the judicial vacancy crisis on President Obama, whom they say has not been quick enough to nominate judges. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas ran into the fallacy of this talking point last week, when he was called out for blaming the president for Texas vacancies that Cornyn himself was responsible for.
The president continued his steady pace of federal judicial nominations last night, nominating four women to federal judgeships in Utah, Tennessee, New York and Mississippi.
UPDATE: The White House points out in a blog post today that President Obama has now nominated more district court judges than had President Bush at this point in his presidency.
For a number of weeks, the Family Research Council has been shamelessly pushing a myth, concocted by Fox News contributor Todd Starnes, that the Obama administration is conducting a “Christian cleansing” of the military. Never mind that the “cleansing” story is totally untrue -- and that even Glenn Beck’s The Blaze has thoroughly debunked it – in a fundraising email today, FRC’s Jerry Boykin claims that it is part of a “shocking anti-Christian movement that is threatening the future of America.”
The military’s longstanding policy, which applies to members of all faiths, is that "service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one's beliefs (proselytization).” But according to Boykin, this means that Christians “could be prosecuted as enemies of the state” and that it will “destroy military recruiting across the services as Americans realize that their faith will be suppressed by joining the military.”
Tony has asked me, as a 36-year veteran of military service, to add my perspective to the shocking anti-Christian movement that is threatening the future of America.
Here is the situation: The very troops who defend our religious freedom are at risk of having their own taken away. Less than a month ago, anti-Christian and left-wing activists met at the Pentagon with military leaders. What issues would be of such importance to gain such a high-level hearing?
According to these far-left activists, religion is one of the chief problems plaguing our troops. As the Washington Post reported, some are saying that "religious proselytizing" is at the top of the list of problems in the armed forces--even on par with sexual assault.
As a result of such complaints from the Left, the Air Force has--according to the Post--published, but not yet distributed, a new document with the directive that leaders of all levels (including chaplains) may not "promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion."
The penalty these secularists are seeking for those who don't comply with their view of religious speech is court-martial.
If this policy goes forward, Christians within the military who speak of their faith could be prosecuted as enemies of the state. This has the potential to destroy military recruiting across the services as Americans realize that their faith will be suppressed by joining the military.
Minnesota-based Religious Right activist/rock star Bradlee Dean went ballistic on his radio show yesterday in response to his state’s new marriage equality law. Dean warned that Gov. Mark Dayton, who signed the same-sex marriage bill into law, is at “war with God” and is “about to find out what it’s like as to what the fallout is when you throw rocks towards God, he’s going to learn how gravity works.” He added that Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who backed his state’s marriage equality law, and other pro-gay rights “criminals” will face divine justice as well:
Dean even seems to believe that every gay person in the country showed up for yesterday’s celebration of the marriage equality law in order to “push their propaganda and their agendas on the American people,” just as Saul Alinsky commanded.
“They come from all over the country to do this so what you’ve seen was probably the whole lump of the population of the homosexual community in the United States of America,” Dean said.
After lamenting about the “pansies” in the Minnesota legislature, Dean and his co-hosts began discussing the “Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act,” an LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying bill, which he said is proof that “radical homosexuals” are part of a “UN global agenda” to “destroy the family.”
Dean then channeled his inner-Antoine Dodson and claimed that gays are coming after your wife and kids: “Go home, look at your wife and look at your kids, because now that’s what they’re coming for.”
He even lashed out at “my good friend Alex Jones,” who is apparently not anti-gay enough for Dean, despite his belief that chemicals in juices are turning kids gay.
Dean concluded the show by warning that gay rights advocates are creating a “totalitarian system” by pushing the anti-bullying legislation, fearing that “pharmaceutical giants” might diagnose anti-gay activists as mentally ill.
“The conservatives on the airwaves in Minneapolis are sitting there playing games with the homosexuals because they think it’s a puppy to be played with when in fact it’s a stinking water rat filled with rabies,” he concluded.
Thanks to RWW reader Matthew for the tip!
Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt has been widely credited with helping to bring down the Senate background checks bill last month, thanks in part to his cozy relationship with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and his sway among Cruz’s colleagues.
Pratt is also a radical anti-government conspiracy theorist who routinely compares President Obama to King George III and entertains conspiracy theories about the president provoking a race war and setting the police on Christian conservatives.
In an interview with conspiracy theorist Pete Santilli earlier this month, Pratt went even further than usual, detailing what he sees as a plan by the president to turn the Department of Homeland Security into a private army “equally as powerful as the military” -- that is, if the president “can’t actually commandeer the military” first.
A lite version of this DHS conspiracy theory, which holds that the agency is hoarding ammunition in order to keep it away from gun owners, has inspired an actual bill in Congress.
Santilli: Now, Mr. Pratt, here’s my most important discussion that I’d like to have with you, and my most important concern just observing the Department of Homeland Security and the amount of ammunition and guns and the way they’re staffing up. Do you think that that DHS is a fighting force built by Barack Obama’s administration to potentially be used by the American people, even in opposition to a military that choose to be constitutional? Is that one of your greatest fears?
Pratt: During his ’08 campaign, the president had talked about setting up some kind of, what do you call it, a national security force, something of that sort that would be equally as powerful as the military. Well, that should have told us what he was up to. If he can’t actually commandeer the military, then he’ll bulk up the Department of Homeland Insecurity and he’ll have them buy a gazillion bullets. At the time they bought 100 million for this year, they already had 250 million, give or take, on hand. What is that all about? And these are anti-personnel rounds. These are not target practice rounds. They’re not semiwadcutters, they’re not even the military ball ammo, they’re anti-personnel.
Santilli: And that would be billions, not millions, right?
Pratt: It’s 100 million a year for the next ten years, well over a billion, which will then be five times, give or take, what they already have on hand. If nothing else, it would seem to be a strategy designed to drive up the price and lower the availability of ammunition in particular, firearms in general, but ammunition in particular.
WASHINGTON – Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way, issued the following statement on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s unanimous approval today of Sri Srinivasan to sit on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit:
“The Senate Judiciary Committee’s bipartisan approval of Sri Srinivasan is an important step toward ending the extraordinary vacancy crisis on the nation’s second most influential court.
“The seat on the D.C. Circuit that Srinivasan would fill has been open for nearly five years and is one of an astonishing four vacancies on the 11-member court. Senate Republicans have prevented President Obama from filling even one of those vacancies in an effort to preserve the court’s anti-worker and anti-consumer tilt. Republicans twice filibustered the nomination of the eminently qualified Caitlin Halligan and even delayed a committee hearing on Srinivasan for nearly ten months.
“Senate Republicans cannot hide behind their friendly treatment of Srinivasan as they obstruct future nominees to the D.C. Circuit. Republicans are pressing the claim that there’s no need to fill any more vacancies on this critically important court. This argument is false, hypocritical, and clearly politically motivated. We fully expect Srinivasan to be promptly confirmed by the full Senate and will continue to push for the nomination and swift confirmation of strong jurists to the remaining seats on the D.C. Circuit.”
WASHINGTON – The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions today approved the nomination of Tom Perez to serve as Secretary of Labor. Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way, released the following statement:
“Tom Perez will make a superb Labor Secretary. At the Justice Department, Perez has worked hard to restore the Civil Rights Division’s historic purpose, fighting to protect the rights of women, people of color, people with disabilities, military families, LGBT people, workers, consumers and voters.
“As Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez will fight for the rights and dignity of all working Americans. We are pleased that the HELP committee has approved his nomination, and hope that the full Senate follows suit with a swift confirmation.”
While the rest of the conservative movement is already several conspiracy theories ahead of him, Gun Owners of America director Larry Pratt is still hung up on Fast and Furious, the troubled Justice Department operation started under the Bush administration that Pratt and others believe was actually orchestrated by President Obama to promote gun control.
So Pratt is elated by the scandals – some legitimate and some not so much – plaguing the Obama administration this week because, he says, they might finally allow for the chance to impeach the president over Fast and Furious. “If this isn’t the time when you can get him both politically and legally,” he told host Stan Solomon of the Talk to Solomon Show, “I don’t know when.”
Pratt and Solomon then had a baffling exchange about how to remove the president from the White House after his impeachment, involving forcing him to dangle from the bottom of a helicopter and something about gangrene:
Pratt: This last week has been a spectacular spinning out of control of the future of the president. He is no longer the big guy in town. I don’t know who that might be to take his place yet, but it sure is not he. And he’s gonna be doing well not to end up just exactly like Richard Nixon. They still have helicopters that can fly you out of the White House on that last flight.
Solomon: Yeah, right, and of course, with a little luck he can be dangling from the bottom of one.
Pratt: Gangrene One!
The anti-choice movement has for several years been experiencing a quiet rift over extreme state-level measures would ban all abortions – and in some cases, in vitro fertilization and some forms of birth control – in a head-on challenge to Roe v. Wade. As Personhood USA and Janet Porter gain more and more success in pushing “personhood” and “heartbeat” bills at the state level, national pro-life groups who oppose the laws for strategic reasons find themselves in a bind.
In March, when North Dakota passed a “heartbeat” bill which would ban nearly all abortions in the state and strike directly at Roe v. Wade, it also passed two narrower measures banning abortion based on genetic abnormalities or the sex of the fetus. The national anti-choice group Concerned Women for America praised heartbeat the bill, while Americans United For Life issued press releases that ignored the bill and praised the narrower measures. National Right to Life went even further, actively speaking out against the North Dakota bill and similar “heartbeat” measures in other states.
In an article for the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly this week, Americans United For Life’s senior counsel, William Saunders, lays out his fears of what would happen if the Supreme Court were given the opportunity to reconsider Roe v. Wade. While he praises the “admirable and inspiring” efforts behind the trio of new abortion restrictions in North Dakota, Saunders warns that a direct challenge to Roe will give the Supreme Court a chance to rewrite their 1973 decision on more solid “equal protection” footing.
Instead, he argues, anti-choice activists should target incremental measures at wearing away the opposition of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who voted to uphold the so-called “partial birth” abortion ban in Gonzales v. Carhart. “Can the statute be fashioned so as to make it as easy as possible for him (and the others) to go the one step (or two or ten) further than Gonzales in restricting abortion?,” he asks.
Taken together, these three laws provide significant food for thought.
While the persistent efforts of pro-life Americans at the state level are admirable and inspiring and must be encouraged, how does one evaluate the wisdom of any particular proposed (or enacted) law? First, I suggest, one must recognize the legal realities—what kinds of statutes will the courts certainly overturn? Of course, this is not to say that the courts should govern this matter. In fact, the usurpation of the political process by courts is, in my view, unconstitutional itself and should be resisted. However, if we know a law will be overturned by a court, we should consider the risk of such a decision. At least one significant risk is that the Supreme Court, in overturning a law, will entrench “abortion rights” more firmly in constitutional jurisprudence, perhaps under an “equal-protection”-based right, as Justice Ginsburg and three colleagues wanted to do in the Gonzales dissent.
Sad as it is to consider, Gonzales was decided by only one vote, that of Justice Anthony Kennedy. The opinion he wrote for the majority, while speaking of the right of the legislature to choose among divided experts in fashioning law and while recognizing that abortion harms at least some women, did no more than uphold the outlawing of one abortion procedure when others were available. Is such a person likely to uphold a ban on all abortions at any point in pregnancy? If so, what rationale for doing so (what basis) is likely to appeal to him? Can the statute be fashioned so as to make it as easy as possible for him (and the others) to go the one step (or two or ten) further than Gonzales in restricting abortion? Might a statute with a ban (or limit) early in pregnancy lead him to “protect” the “abortion right” and vote with Ginsburg and her colleagues in favor of a firm affirmation of a “constitutional” right to abortion? Is it better to move the ball gently, seeking to build momentum for the ultimate reversal of Roe/Doe, or to force the issue with a broad and early ban? While reasonable people can differ on the answers to these questions, the consequences of a possible forty more years of unlimited abortion due to another Casey-like decision by the Supreme Court counsels for very careful consideration of what prudence requires.
Next time Christian Broadcasting Network correspondent Erick Stakelbeck talks about religious liberty, just remember that he doesn’t seem to extend that freedom to Muslims. During a conference call with the group Tea Party Unity, Stakelbeck attacked the Obama administration for having “literally” intervened in cases to defend the construction of mosques.
Stakelbeck said he is outraged that the Obama administration is trying to stop residents from blocking the construction of mosques because how dare the Justice Department defend the First Amendment!
He was also livid that Muslims may want to build “a $5 million mega-mosque,” just as we are sure he is angry that a Southern Baptist congregation in Dallas constructed a $130 million megachurch.
Caller: How is it we can get these facilities, because I’m not going to call it a church or a religion, how can we get them shut down?
Stakelbeck: Well look under this administration, good luck, because I’m just working on a chapter in my new book about how this administration when locals, in places like Murfreesboro, Tennessee, when local residents are up in arms about a mosque being built, the Obama Department of Justice literally intervenes, files amicus briefs in support of the mosque, we’ve seen this time and time again. Here’s a statistic for you, folks, in the year 2001 there were 1,200 mosques in America; now, just twelve years later after 9/11, that number has doubled to over 2,000 mosques, that’s a 74 percent increase since 9/11 alone, that is astounding and it is not a coincidence. Under the Obama administration the floodgates are open even more; they are literally intervening in these mosque cases around the country, in small towns with very small Muslim populations. I’m sorry, if you have a 200-strong Muslim population, why do you need a $5 million mega-mosque? And where is the money coming from? Look no further than Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. So getting mosques shut down in this era, in the age of Obama? Good luck. What you’re going to see is more mosques built.
Stakelbeck told another caller that “there is a concerted effort by Islamists to infiltrate the very heartland of American society,” particularly the Bible Belt.
Just to be clear, Muslims represent just 1% of the population of Tennessee and less than 0.5% in other Bible Belt states like Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Arkansas.
But maybe they’re all just hiding in national parks….
Caller: We are seeing so much Saudi in middle Tennessee, I mean they have the best health care in the Saudi embassy, we have classes at the university, so we are just seeing a major, major influx of Saudi nationals here in middle Tennessee.
Stakelbeck: Folks, it’s not a coincidence. Middle Tennessee is the buckle of the Bible Belt. This is not just in New York City, Boston, Chicago, LA, traditional gateway cities for immigrants, anymore; there is a concerted effort by Islamists to infiltrate the very heartland of American society. I write about this in my book “The Terrorist Next Door,” I call it “Southern Inhospitality,” and that’s what we’re seeing, and you’re seeing it in a major way in that Nashville area where you have tens of thousands of Muslim immigrants in Murfreesboro and Shelbyville.
Photo credit: City of Minneapolis Facebook
Thousands of Minnesotans streamed into St. Paul Tuesday afternoon to witness history in the making. Governor Mark Dayton welcomed an estimated crowd of 7,000 equality supporters to watch him sign marriage equality legislation into law, making Minnesota the twelfth state to legalize marriage for same-sex couples.
People For members helped make this historic event happen. In 2012 PFAW activists joined the fight to vote down an anti-gay ‘one-man, one-woman’ measure on the November ballot. Following that first step, they continued working hard, joining PFAW ally organizations Minnesotans United and OutFront Minnesota in organizing their neighbors, making phone calls, sending emails, and writing letters to their newspapers, demanding full marriage equality for same-sex couples.
In late April, even a massive Midwestern blizzard didn’t stop hundreds from waving rainbow flags while rallying for same-sex marriage on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol before heading inside to lobby their legislators. Last week the big moment finally arrived, as activists from across Minnesota trekked to St. Paul to witness the historic debate of HF 1054 in the MN House. After a contentious three-hour debate, the bill passed easily on a vote of 75-59, evidence of the measure’s broad bi-partisan support.
On Monday the action moved to the Minnesota Senate chamber. Once again, PFAW members in their bright red PFAW ‘Equality Now!’ t-shirts joined thousands of marriage equality supporters at noon in the capitol as the MN Senate took up the measure. A massive crowd packing the rotunda and hallways chanted ‘Vote Yes!’ and sang protest songs, letting Senators know where they stood. By a vote of 42-45, the Senate voted down a divisive amendment that would have allowed business owners to refuse goods and services to same-sex couples based on religious objections. The hours-long but respectful debate on the intact same-sex marriage bill resulted in another bipartisan vote; the measure passing 37-30, sending the bill to Gov. Mark Dayton for his signature.
At 5:00 pm yesterday Gov. Dayton and supportive members of the Minnesota Legislature gathered in the 90-degree heat on the front steps to celebrate the historic bill signing. A deafening roar rose from the crowd as Dayton signed the bill into law. Following the ceremony, the thousands of equality revelers paraded to downtown St. Paul for a free party thrown by St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. The celebration lasted late into the warm spring night.
PFAW congratulates all Minnesotans and our People For members in celebrating the state’s newly-minted status as the twelfth marriage equality state!
Americans of all political stripes should be outraged at the recent revelation that the Tea Party was unfairly targeted by the IRS before last year's election. The IRS should never base its decisions on political preferences or ideological code words, regardless of what bureaucratic challenges it may face. But the lesson that the right is drawing from the IRS's misdeeds -- the lesson that threatens to dominate the public conversation about the news -- is wrong.
We're seeing a knee-jerk reaction, particularly from the Tea Party and their allies in Congress, that is threatening to turn the IRS's mistakes into an indictment of "big government" writ large. Some are already trying to tie the scandal to the Right's favorite target, Obamacare, and to the Benghazi conspiracy theory.
The danger of this frame is that it will discourage the IRS from fully investigating all nonprofit groups spending money to influence elections. And it will distract from the core problem behind the IRS's mess: the post-Citizens United explosion of undisclosed electoral spending.
Before the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United, only a limited number of nonprofit 501c(4) groups could spend money to influence elections -- those who did not take contributions from corporations or unions. But Citizens United lifted restrictions on corporate spending in elections, setting the stage for individuals and companies to funnel unlimited money through all corporations, including c(4)s and super PACs in an effort to help elect the candidates of their choice. Spending by c(4)s has exploded since Citizens United, since the decision allowed any c(4) nonprofit corporation that didn't spend the majority of its money on electoral work to run ads and campaign for and against candidates. And c(4)s, as long as they follow this rule, don't have to disclose their donors under the laws currently in place.
The IRS, then, was forced to play a new and critical role in policing this onslaught of electoral spending. IRS officials clearly made poor choices in how to confront this sudden sea change and those mistakes should be investigated and properly addressed. But strong oversight of this new wave of spending remains critically important and clearlywithin the IRS's purview.
If we let understandable concerns about bad decisions by the IRS lead to weakening of campaign finance oversight, our democracy will be the worse off for it. Instead, we should insist that the government strengthen its oversight of electoral spending -- equally across the political spectrum. We should pass strong disclosure laws that cover all political spenders, including c(4)s. And we should redouble our efforts to overturn Citizens United by constitutional amendment and reel back the flood of corporate money that led the IRS to be in this business in the first place.
On Monday, we reported that Truth In Action Ministries spokesman Jerry Newcombe wrote a column defending a Texas student athlete who claimed he was disqualified from a tack race over a religious gesture, which Newcombe used as evidence of anti-Christian persecution in America.
But Newcombe’s account had one tiny little problem: the week before he published his column, the athlete admitted that he made the story up.
Rather than retract his post, our friends at Wonkette point out that Truth In Action Ministries scrubbed it from their website and Newcombe rewrote the column to detail the case of Texas cheerleaders who wanted to put Bible verses on banners during football games.
But despite Truth In Action Ministries’ best efforts, you can still read Newcombe’s original (and never corrected) column here:
Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Texas, has spent his first few months in office making enemies on both sides of the aisle. Perhaps this is because the Tea Party hero employs a potent mix of of sanctimonious rhetoric and hatchet-job politics that led one of his fellow GOP senators to call him “Jim DeMint without the charm.” His particular brand of smarminess was on display, for instance, when he delivered a condescending, elementary school-level lecture about the Constitution to Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Or when he explained that he was for gun sales background checks but opposed a bill to expand them because the very real gun-show loophole “doesn’t exist.” Or when he mocked his Republicans colleagues who did support the background check bill, calling them weak “squishes.”
So it was a treat today to stumble across this interview that Cruz gave earlier this month to Red State, in which he explains that if anybody has a problem with him it’s their own fault because, “When others have chosen to insult me, to throw rocks at me, I have not and will not respond in kind.”
“Washington is a place where people often shy away from speaking the truth,” he explained. “And so my focus will remain on the substance...and I think there’s some that don’t like a consistent and explicit focus on the substance of the issue.”
We thought we’d help Sen. Cruz out by highlighting just a few examples of times when he has refrained from throwing rocks and displayed “a consistent and explicit focus on the substance of the issue”:
Yesterday, as the Minnesota Senate voted 37-30 to allow same-sex marriages in the state, PFAW and friends expressed their support for marriage equality through signs, chants, and songs:
Rep. Tom Price, Republican of Georgia, has what you might call a loose grip on the truth. In just the last year, for instance, he has cited a sham study to attack Obamacare, warned about the health and economic impacts of gay rights, and declared that “there is not one woman” without access to birth control.
He has also shown a penchant for Tea Party “America is doomed” rhetoric, such as his warning last year that the Affordable Care Act “removes the very freedom and liberty that our founders fought for at its very core” and will destroy “the America that you and I love.”
Price combined these two traits in an interview with conservative bloggers at Red State today, in which he completely made up facts about the stimulus bill and the deaths of dimplomats in Benghazi in order to argue that the Obama administration has “led to what many people have called a government that no longer has the consent of the governed.” This missing trust, he says, is what “allows a democracy to stand.”
Price started out by claiming that funds in the 2009 stimulus bill were spent on “things that didn’t improve the economy, that didn’t turn things around, that didn’t decrease unemployment.” In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and many leading economists found that the bill did, in fact, do all three of those things.
Well, it’s because they’ve been deceived. The American people have been deceived by this administration and by what their policies were. And it all started with the stimulus bill, that was a non-stimulus bill that took hundreds of billions of dollars, nearly a trillion dollars, and spent it on things that didn’t improve the economy, that didn’t turn things around, that didn’t decrease unemployment, in spite of the testimonials of the president and those in his administration. So that was the first part.
And then came all of the healthcare debate over a year and a half, culminating in Congress passing a bill that the American people didn’t want at that time and still don’t want. It has led to what many people have called a government that no longer has the consent of the governed, and it’s that trust that’s so absolutely vital between the people and their government that allows a democracy to stand. And so, it needs to be recovered, and that’s why I call on the president immediately to get out in front on these issues, come clean, admit where the errors were made and the mistakes were made.
He then moved on, of course, to Benghazi, repeating the completely debunked right-wing myth that the Obama administration told Special Forces to, as Price puts it, “stand down and don’t go protect Americans.”
It’s hard to say that the cover-up is always worse than the deed, when you have four Americans who were murdered without the administration doing anything to go to their aid and protect them. Not because the assets weren’t there or the opportunities weren’t there, but because somebody in the administration said, ‘It’s time to stand down and don’t go protect Americans.’ This is incredibly important, again, it gets to that huge trust issue. But it does keep snowballing because the administration refuses to come clean, the president refuses to take responsibility for what happened. This is absolutely unconscionable.
And I think now, with the IRS and with Benghazi as it is, and now with the AP story that we’ve just gotten out, that the Department of Justice tapped and got records, phone records, from 20-plus AP reporters, now the mainstream media is brought into the fray, and they realize that this administration is wayward and, as somebody has described, drunk with power. And that we will now see a much more critical view of the administration from the press.
After insisting that President Obama’s gun policies are “intended to make sure that people will be slaughtered by the thousands and the hundreds of thousands,” Alan Keyes is now warning that Obama is encouraging the “targeted slaughter” of African Americans by supporting legal abortion.
Keyes, who was Obama’s opponent in the 2004 US Senate race, told conservative commentator Stan Solomon last week that “a lot of black folks are waking up and realizing that there is a terrible tragedy that is playing out in the person of Barack Obama,” whom he claimed African Americans have “come close to worshiping instead of God.”
He went on to say that Obama is “implementing the agenda of death and murder” and “represents the open maw of a charnel house into which the future hopes of the Black-American community are to be fed.”
In his latest syndicated column, Buchanan argues that Hispanic Americans exhibit “underclass behavior” and warns of the dangers of “racially mixed communities.”
“With the immigration bill granting amnesty to 12 million illegals, an open door to their dependents and a million new immigrants each year, almost all from the Third World, America in 2040 is going to look like Los Angeles today,” he writes.
Buchanan also attempts to back up Richwine’s theories about racial differences in IQ, pointing to global rankings among “Hispanic nations” in math, reading and science. He is forced to undercut his own theory, however, but leaving the most prosperous Spanish-speaking nation, Spain, out of his bogus statistics.
The 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment, PISA, which measures the academic ability of 15-year-olds worldwide, found the USA falling to 17th in reading, 23rd in science, 31st in math.
Yet, Spain aside, not one Hispanic nation, from which a plurality of our immigrants come, was among the top 40 in reading, science or math.
But these folks are going to come here and make us No. 1 again?
Is there greater “underclass behavior” among Hispanics?
The crime rate among Hispanics is about three times that of white Americans, while the Asian crime rate is about a third that of whites.
Among white folks, the recent illegitimacy rate was 28 percent; among Hispanics, 53 percent. According to one study a few years back, Hispanics were 19 times as likely as whites to join gangs.
What about Richwine’s point regarding “social trust”?
Six years ago, in “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the 21st Century,” Robert Putnam, author of “Bowling Alone,” wrote that after 30,000 interviews he found that ethnic and racial diversity can be devastating to communities and destructive of community values.
In racially mixed communities, Putnam wrote, not only do people not trust strangers, they do not even trust their own kind.
“People living in ethnically diverse settings appear to ‘hunker down,’ that is, to pull in like a turtle … (to) withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more but have less faith they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television.”
With the immigration bill granting amnesty to 12 million illegals, an open door to their dependents and a million new immigrants each year, almost all from the Third World, America in 2040 is going to look like Los Angeles today. Yet, it was in L.A. that Putnam found social capital at its most depleted and exhausted.
If Richwine is right, America in 2040 will be a country with whites and Asians dominating the professions, and 100 million Hispanics concentrated in semiskilled work and manual labor.
The issues Richwine raises go to the question of whether we shall survive as one nation and one people.