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GOP Report Shows Party is Out of Touch With Americans on Threats to Democracy: Money in Politics and Voter Suppression

WASHINGTON – The Republican National Committee released a report today reviewing its losses in the 2012 election cycle and laying out a roadmap for the future of the party.  People For the American Way Vice President Marge Baker released the following statement:

“This report highlights what we already knew: that the Republican party is out of touch with America. Instead of addressing the party’s anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-worker policies that voters resoundingly rejected in 2012, today’s report calls for a complete gutting of campaign finance reform – in essence calling for even more big money to be poured into our elections.  If the Republican party were listening to Americans, they would know that the country supports finding systemic solutions to the problem of unregulated money in our political system.  The answer is certainly not to gut the regulations we already have in place.  Instead, we need to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC and related cases so that we can create more effective regulations to get big money out of our democracy. 

“The GOP report’s recommendations on voting rights also underscore a continuing focus on keeping certain voters from the polls.  After an election cycle overflowing with examples of discriminatory voter suppression efforts aimed at historically disenfranchised communities, the report recommends an ongoing focus on so-called  ‘ballot security training initiatives.’  This is simply another phrase for the same voter intimidation tactics used in the name of preventing supposed ‘voter fraud.’  It’s baffling that the GOP thinks it can improve its image with people of color while still working to block their access to the ballot box.

“This report is yet another example that the GOP’s ‘soul-searching’ hasn’t gotten them very far.  It’s time to refocus our efforts on getting the big money out of elections and the voters into the voting booth.”

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PFAW: Perez Excellent Choice For Labor Secretary

WASHINGTON – People For the American Way today applauded President Obama’s nomination of Tom Perez, head of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, to be Secretary of Labor.

Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way, said:

“Tom Perez is an excellent choice to head the Labor Department. Under his watch, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has been restored to the promise of its founding, fighting to protect the rights of military families, students, homeowners, people with disabilities, people of color, LGBT people, and those disenfranchised by restrictive voting laws. He has demonstrated strong leadership and a commitment to protecting the rights and dignity of all Americans. These traits will serve him well as Secretary of Labor.”
 

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Kuhner: Obama is 'Waging a War on Christians' and 'Is An Enemy of the Church'

Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner is using Pope Francis’ election to attack President Obama as an “enemy of the church” who is “waging a war on Christians and on Catholics in particular.” After making the false claim that “Obamacare encodes the federal funding of abortions” and charging that “homosexual ‘marriage’ is a Trojan horse aimed at smashing the family — an invention by cultural Marxists to undermine Christianity’s ancient foundations,” Kuhner maintains that Obama’s policies contribute to a “culture of death.”

Pope Francis is the opposite of a modern American liberal. In fact, he probably finds much of the Democrats’ agenda repulsive. President Obama is waging a war on Christians and on Catholics in particular. His administration is compelling Catholic institutions — schools, hospitals and charities — to provide free birth control and abortion-inducing drugs to employees. This directly assaults Catholics’ conscience rights and freedom of religion. Obamacare encodes the federal funding of abortions. The health care overhaul forces devout Catholics to hand over their taxpayer dollars to fund a procedure they find not only a moral abomination, but a religious prohibition.

Mr. Obama supports homosexual “marriage.” He has allowed homosexuals to openly serve in the military. His pro-homosexual, pro-abortion and pro-contraception policies violate basic Catholic doctrine. He is an enemy of the church.

Contrary to liberal spin, Pope Francis is an orthodox Catholic. His election to the papacy consolidates the theological legacy of Blessed John Paul II and retired Pope Benedict XVI. The Holy Father is walking in their spiritual footsteps. He opposes the secular West’s culture of death. He is a moral traditionalist and cultural conservative. He denounces the mass murder of unborn children. He bravely criticizes homosexual behavior, decrying sodomy as unnatural and immoral. He eloquently defends the sanctity of the family from the onslaught of homosexual “marriage” and homosexual adoption.

Unlike shallow secularists, Pope Francis grasps that civilization depends upon one seminal institution: the sacred marital union between a man and a woman. The purpose of marriage is not cohabitation or affirming some romantic commitment. Rather, it is procreation — having, raising and socializing children. The family is the basic unit that perpetuates one generation to the next. Destroy it, and social collapse is inevitable. Homosexual “marriage” is a Trojan horse aimed at smashing the family — an invention by cultural Marxists to undermine Christianity’s ancient foundations.

This is why Pope Francis publicly challenged the national socialism of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez. Her leftist policies — legalizing homosexual “marriage,” providing free contraception to the public and enabling homosexuals to adopt — are slowly transforming Catholic Argentina. He courageously stood up to her. For this, he has been demonized by the authoritarian Peronist regime.

Garlow: Obama Should Have Repented During the State of Union Address

Today, James Dobson’s Family Talk radio program aired a sermon that pastor Jim Garlow delivered at a recent Religious Right conference in which he said that President Obama should have publicly repented during his State of the Union address. Garlow, who during the address tweeted that Obama will “destroy” America and has an “obsession with homosexuality,” said that the president should have repented over his views on legal abortion, marriage equality and the national debt.

We gathered and we huddled around TV sets on Tuesday night to hear the State of the Union address and we never heard the speech that should’ve been given. The speech should’ve begun with the words: ‘My fellow Americans, the State of the Union is tragic, it is very bad, we are in deep trouble. I as your President, who profess to be a born again Christian, come before you in repentance this day. Knowing that the scripture teaches that a baby in the womb should be safe and not ripped to shreds; knowing that marriage is the number one institution that preserves a nation; knowing that the current debt is stealing, theft from our future generations; therefore I as your President repent of sin and I ask us to work together to do what is right and try to preserve this wonderful experience called America.’ That’s the speech we should’ve had, but we did not have it.

Why Is Microsoft Sponsoring the Anti-Gay CPAC Conference?

As we noted yesterday, the American Conservative Union, which runs the annual CPAC conference, banned the gay conservative group GOProd for the second year in a row. They had previously been allowed to sponsor, and speak at, the conference. Meanwhile, CPAC has thrown open its doors to white nationalists and other extremists.

Last year’s CPAC featured three prominent white nationalists, including Bob Vandervoort. This year, his anti-immigrant group ProEnglish is supporting, and participating at, CPAC as an exhibitor. And it late February, the ACU posted an article by yet another white nationalist on its website. It begins to make you wonder.

As we also noted yesterday, ProEnglish isn’t the only controversial sponsor this year. There’s also the Family Research Council, which is designated an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Accuracy in Media, whose director recently praised the GOProud ban and called for a CPAC panel on “the dangers of the homosexual movement and why some of its members seem prone to violence, terror, and treason.”

I could go on, but the name that really stands out among the list of sponsors, just to the right of Liberty University, is Microsoft, the gay-friendly software giant. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Microsoft shouldn’t sponsor political events or work with both sides of the aisle. That’s all fine by me. But CPAC, at least right now, is different.

CPAC has a segregated – straights-only – sponsorship policy. Meanwhile it’s taking money from, and giving a platform to, white nationalists and anti-gay extremists. Microsoft, as a mainstream and purportedly gay-friendly company that serves the general public and strives to be socially responsible, has no business bankrolling CPAC in its current form.

Microsoft was an exhibitor at least year’s CPAC, and this year they’re a co-sponsor. They also hosted last year’s CPAC Blog Bash at their Washington, DC headquarters, which recognized Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keefe, seen here mugging in front of the Microsoft logo:

I’ve been wondering why Microsoft would get so involved with an anti-gay, right-wing conference like CPAC. Then I read in Lee Fang’s report today at The Nation that ACU board member Suhail Khan is affiliated with Microsoft. (Khan, by the way, is the board member that the Islamophobes Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer love to hate and got themselves banned for attacking).

As it turns out, Khan isn’t just a run-of-the-mill Microsoft employee. He’s the Director of External Affairs for the company’s Washington, DC headquarters and lobbying shop (the so-called Innovation and Policy Center). He’s clearly able to use his position to aid his extracurricular activities, so to speak.

It must be said that Khan has made earnest efforts to overcome intolerance, which is why Geller and company despise him. Just the same, Microsoft should think twice about following his lead on CPAC.

Ted Cruz: Don't Believe What I Said to the Supreme Court

Did Sen. Cruz contradict his previous statement to the Supreme Court that its 2008 Heller ruling would not undermine federal and state assault weapon bans?
PFAW

CPAC Women's Panel Fights 'Sexist' Obamacare and 'Liberal Indoctrination Camps'

At a conference which literally banned a gay group from participating, blogger Crystal Wright during CPAC’s panel on women’s issues called on right-wing activists to “come out of the closet” as conservatives and fight the liberal elites.

Following Wright’s bold declaration, author Kate Obenshain said that the entire education system, “pre-school all the way to college to post-graduate work,” is one big “liberal indoctrination camp” that convinces women to reject marriage in order to go about life “determined to find evidence of sexism everywhere they turn.”

Naturally, columnist Katie Kieffer later called Obamacare “sexist” because it expands access to birth control, which she believes lets men get women pregnant or give women STDs without feeling any responsibility. “Obamacare is sexist because it puts guys off the hook,” Kieffer explained, “all he has to do is say, oh that’s not my fault you should have been using Obama’s free birth control.”

Watch:

Randy Forbes at CPAC: America on the Verge of Rejecting God

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) warned today at CPAC that America has started to “reject the sanctity of life” and the “rights set forth in the Constitution.” Speaking during a panel focused on undermining reproductive rights, Forbes warned that we are “dangerously close as a nation to rejecting the God that gave us that life” and who “gave us those rights.”

Watch:

Traditional Values Coalition: Homosexuality Is Just Like Drunk Driving

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition is mocking Sen. Rob Portman’s recent announcement that he changed his views on marriage equality after his son came out of the closet. Lafferty asked in a statement if a politician would support drunk driving if his son was a drunk driver. She maintained that civilization is “doomed to collapse” if gay rights laws succeed, and Portman should have told his son that it is “wrong” to be gay.

Traditional Values Coalition president Andrea Lafferty issued the following statement in reaction to Ohio Senator Rob Portman's recent repudiation of his stance against gay marriage in reaction to his son's homosexual preferences:

These past few days have been very painful ones for me.

Earlier this week one of my children came to me and told me something which was shocking.

He is a drunk driver and has been driving drunk regularly since college.

I have taken several days to reflect on this and I have decided to reverse my earlier opposition to drunk driving.

My child is a drunk driver and I love him. It is a part of his identity, who he is.

I have reflected on all of this, consulted Scripture (the story of Jesus changing water into wine when the wedding he was attending in Cana ran dry is particularly relevant) and decided that drunk driving is a generational issue. Younger people take a much different view of drunk driving than older people.

Therefore, today I am reversing my opposition to drunk driving. My child has caused me to revisit a decision which, up until now, had been based simply on morality.

My child is a drunk driver. That has personalized the issue for me and taken me above the whole discussion of the morality of it. It is now personal with me.

In addition, I would like to say that drunk driving will make all of us stronger drivers. Think of how much more interesting driving will be in the future if more people have the freedom to drive drunk. It will sharpen the defensive driving skills of the rest of us.


"This unreleased press statement follows the same twisted, self-serving logic that several public officials have used in explaining their switch from opposing homosexual marriage to favoring it.

"If you remember nothing else from this exchange, remember this: our children are learners and unable to determine morality and then hand it down to their parents and other impressionable adults. This is one factor in why our culture is so morally upside down!

"This whole line of argument suggesting that opposition to homosexual “marriage” is a personal and “generational” matter is equally silly.

"There are absolutes. There is right and there is wrong. There are objective truths. A civilization which has no governing principles or laws is doomed to collapse. That is the soul of conservatism.

"The tough part of being a parent is telling one of those young souls whom we have been charged with raising that he or she is wrong. But because it is tough that doesn’t mean that we are excused from doing it or we can delegate our responsibility to a teacher or “the village” or some other entity.



"Being a good parent is infinitely more difficult than being a Senator or President. And telling someone you love that he or she is wrong is the most difficult part of that difficult job.

"A nation which recognizes this is on the road to a vast spiritual recovery."

Government Is Not God PAC Warns Rob Portman That His Son May Now Die of AIDS, Should Go To Ex-Gay Therapy

William Murray’s far-right Government Is Not God PAC has some harsh words for Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who today revealed that his son is gay, and he now supports marriage equality.

The Religious Right organization in a blog post today warned Portman that homosexuality is “a sexually destructive behavior,” and is “accepting a behavior that may eventually kill his son from AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases, or oral cancer.”

“Homosexual sex is ultimately just as destructive as cocaine use,” GING-PAC said in the post. “Would Portman suddenly call for the legalization of cocaine if his son had announced that he was a cocaine addict?”

Portman put his son into ex-gay conversion therapy, saying that “a person with a same-sex attraction has a treatable condition” and “there is hope for those who want to overcome these destructive behaviors.”

Ohio Senator Rob Portman has announced that he supports so-called “gay” marriage. Why? Because his son told him he was “gay” two years ago.

According to Portman, he talked this over with former Vice President Dick Cheney (who has a lesbian daughter) and his pastor and has concluded that “love” and “compassion” taught in the Bible compels him to accept homosexuality and his “gay” son.

Portman has conveniently ignored the warnings against the sin of homosexuality in both the Old and New Testaments – and is accepting a behavior that may eventually kill his son from AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases, or oral cancer.

Homosexual sex is ultimately just as destructive as cocaine use. Would Portman suddenly call for the legalization of cocaine if his son had announced that he was a cocaine addict? Would that be “loving” and “compassionate”?

Will Portman support “group” marriage – which is the next phase of the gay agenda?

What if his son had announced that he’s really a girl trapped inside a boy’s body – and wanted a “sex change” operation? Would Portman support his son’s mutilation of his male body to become a fake female? How would that be loving?

Or, what if his son had been involved in insider trading and ripped off thousands of investors? Would he support his son’s behavior and call for the legalization of insider trading?

What sort of core values motivate a U.S. Senator to change his mind about a sexually destructive behavior simply because his son is involved in it? What will happen to Rob Portman’s belief system when he discovers that his son is infected with HIV or throat cancer?

A person with a same-sex attraction has a treatable condition. No one is “born gay” and there is hope for those who want to overcome these destructive behaviors.

Ohio Anti-Gay Leader Calls Rob Portman 'A Very Troubled Man' For Endorsing Marriage Equality

Anti-gay activists have started hurling attacks against Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) for reversing his opposition to marriage equality after his son came out as gay.

Phil Burress of the Religious Right group Citizens for Community Values, which is based in Ohio, told the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow that Portman is a “a very troubled man right now” and is “distraught over what’s happening with his son.”

Burress added that Portman had assured him that he won’t help any campaign to repeal Ohio’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage despite his new position: “Rob did tell me that he would not campaign for the same-sex marriage issue if it got on the ballot in Ohio. He would not be their spokesman or participate in their campaign.”

Phil Burress is chairman of the Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values Action Political Action Committee. He says Portman, who is a personal friend, talked with him Thursday night.

"I just have a feeling that his son was pushing him into this for political reasons,” Burress tells American Family News. “But Rob did tell me that he would not campaign for the same-sex marriage issue if it got on the ballot in Ohio. He would not be their spokesman or participate in their campaign."

But Burress says Portman's comments on CNN seemed to contradict what the senator told him.

"Now I'm seeing some of his remarks that he gave the news last night about repealing DOMA, and it seems contrary to what he told me [in our conversation] last night,” says the traditional values advocate. “So I think he's a very troubled man right now. I think he's distraught over what's happening with his son."

Burress now wonders if Portman can be trusted on the pro-life issue as well. “If he had a daughter and she became pregnant, would he change his position on abortion, too?” he asks. “Because he told me last night that [he had not] changed his position on abortion or any other issue. You don’t change your mind on principled positions.”

And Burress says his political action committee cannot support Portman in light of his new position. "CCV has what we call non-negotiable issues; if you're wrong on any of these issues, we cannot support you for public office – and two of those issues are abortion and same-sex marriage,” he explains. “So therefore Rob cannot receive our endorsement for his next election."

Senator Portman’s change of heart and the legacy of Harvey Milk

Why did Senator Portman’s change of heart take two years? Why has he continued to support the anti-gay policies of his party? There’s a lot of debate on both points, but one thing is certain: it was his son’s own coming out that forced the Senator to come out in support of marriage equality, and to do that interview and write that op-ed.
PFAW

Why It’s Time to Dump DOMA: Jen Herrick

This piece is the seventh in a series of guest blog posts on “Why It’s Time to Dump DOMA.” In the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court arguments on the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, we’re asking friends of PFAW to share why dumping DOMA matters to them. Be sure to check back soon for the latest post in the series.

Nine years ago, as I was preparing to leave Ohio University, I said goodbye to Adam, one of my best friends. I remember writing to him in a card that I hoped our husbands would someday get to meet. That November – November 3, 2004 to be precise – I was on the phone with him, and he was heartbroken at what for many was a difficult election (including Ohio passing a state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to the union of one man and one woman).

Fast forward to 2011, and a visit with Adam and his partner of several years, Michael. Marriage equality came up in conversation. It seemed to us to be possible but still five or ten years away.

Then came 2012. In May, President Obama affirmed his support for the freedom to marry of same-sex couples. In December, the Supreme Court agreed to hear cases challenging California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

With oral arguments looming at the end of the month, Adam’s reaction to the President’s announcement rings ever more true:

THANK YOU President Obama! Those of you who know Michael and I: we have such an incredibly strong, stable, loving relationship. Opening our relationship up to marriage does nothing but STRENGTHEN the institution!

That’s exactly why we should dump DOMA.

Yes, dumping DOMA is just one step on the long road to marriage equality. But it’s an important step, and one that’s many years overdue. DOMA unconstitutionally defines marriage for all federal purpose as the union of one man and one woman. That means that legally married couples in nine states and the District of Columbia are denied the more than one thousand rights and benefits that the federal government ties to marriage. That means that these couples and families aren’t afforded the safety and security that comes along with many of those rights. That means that they are discriminated against based solely on their sexual orientation.

That means that if Adam and Michael were to legally marry, despite progress made under the Obama administration, the federal government – bound by the discrimination enshrined in law – would have no choice but to turn its back on them in most cases.

That is not right. Dump DOMA.

Jen Herrick, Senior Policy Analyst
People For the American Way

PFAW

Ben Shapiro at CPAC: A Liberal Is A 'Morally Deficient Human Being'

At the sparsely attended panel on liberal bullying, we learned that anti-gay activists, conservative “journalists,” supporters of laws combating mythical voter fraud and the Koch Brothers are the victims of unfair attacks. Ben Shapiro of Breitbart News, sitting alongside Brian Brown, Hans von Spakovsky and Cleta Mitchell, went through his usual talking points about how conservatives are too nice to their left-wing bullies. He said that the progressives are “keeping millions of children in poverty” and “are trying to impoverish the country” while at the same time framing conservatives as “the bad guys.” “The fact is that when they use sorts of tactics, that’s what makes them a morally deficient human being,” Shapiro said.

Watch:

Blog Bash Emails Reveal Bitter Disagreements over CPAC, GOProud and SOPA

One of the hottest tickets tonight at CPAC is the invite-only Blog Bash event, organized by the right-wing National Bloggers Club and co-sponsored by NRCC, NRSC and others. Last year the event recognized Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keefe, among others. The nominees for this year’s awards are no less controversial.

The organizers of Blog Bash, including president Ali Akbar, are apparently not fans of the American Conservative Union, which runs CPAC and is co-sponsoring tonight’s Blog Bash, or its chairman Al Cardenas. Akbar and other event organizers, including Adrienne Royer of “What to Wear at CPAC” fame, exchanged a series of emails on a public Google Group which have been republished by the blog Breitbart Unmasked.

The emails reveal that the Blog Bash organizers have a low opinion of ACU and Cardenas and don’t agree with many of ACU’s positions. They also reveal that the controversy around the exclusion of GOProud – the gay conservative group that has been banned from CPAC by ACU – is an incredibly sore topic that is not to be mentioned to Cardenas under any circumstance.

Here is Akbar on February 21st:

The ACU Chairman will be at Blog Bash for a time. It's our job to protect him. I did a lot of reassuring today them that they wouldn't regret attending.

No one, no one is to talk to him or be allowed to talk to him about GOProud or anything like that.

Akbar went on to say that the “same goes for Goodlatte and his whole SOPA mess,” referring to Rep. Bob Goodlatte, whom Akbar said would be in attendance. Anyone who violates these rules is to be escorted out by security, said Akbar.

In response, Royer said she doubted that people will even know who Cardenas is and probably haven’t even heard of ACU:

I doubt that people know what he looks like. Most people think CPAC is the organization and have never heard of ACU. The organization isn't as well-known as it used to be, and CPAC has eclipsed all their other work. Yesterday, my boss -- who has worked in the conservative realm for 12-15 years – asked, "ACU puts on CPAC?"

Akbar replied that Cardenas will be brought on stage and identified. He’ll know that most people in the room disagree with ACU on numerous issues, Akbar said, but they shouldn't allow anyone to express that to him:

Allow me to clarify. The Chairman will take the stage. Melissa and I will recognize him while on stage with him, the room will applaud. […]

When he's making his way through the room – if you hear anyone say GOProud or other bullshit – put your body between their mouths and the Chairman's body. [...]

FWIW, the Chairman knows most of that room disagrees with the ACU Board on a variety of issues. But if a blogger is looking to make news at Blog Bash by making a fool of anyone --- they're going to fine themselves in the rain.

The following day (February 22nd), Royer sarcastically noted that “today would not be a good day to release this information,” referring to a Red State post entitled, “The American Conservative Union’s Embarrassing Scorecard.”

Akbar, exasperated, replied:

Not that I agree with ACU (because I don't), but hot damn, could RedState shill for Heritage's scorecard less?

Nothing is ever good enough.

But back to Blog Bash, yeah we're not going to add the Chairman's photo until a week or two and we wont even make a release like I said. We'll just announce him at the event like kind hosts.

This. Movement. Sigh.

According to the organizers, Blog Bash is expecting a number of members of Congress tonight, including Speaker John Boehner. I can’t imagine that they will appreciate the candor of the Blog Bash organizers. And it will be particularly interesting to see how ACU and Cardenas react and whether Blog Bash continues as an add-on to CPAC. Stay tuned.

Gun Owners of America: Background Checks May Lead to Genocide

Gun Owners of America has been enjoying its moment in the media spotlight recently, placing spokespeople  on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, drawing attention for its Capitol Hill lobbying efforts, and even being cited in official Senate Republican talking points about a filibustered judicial nominee.

It’s important to keep noting, then, that Gun Owners for America is an unhinged, conspiracy-theory promoting, extremist fringe group.

Adding to the evidence this week was GOA’s legislative counsel Michael Hammond, who joined VCY America’s Jim Schneider on Crosstalk radio Wednesday in order to share his theories that universal background check legislation might well lead to government-led genocide; that gun control advocates “bear some responsibility” for the Sandy Hook shooting; and that liberals have become “paranoic” and “racist against people who hold traditional American values.”

Schneider kicked things off by reading an email he’d been cc’d on explaining how universal background checks would lead us down a slippery slope to “confiscation” and “tyrannization.” Hammond wholeheartedly agreed, adding that there is a “real danger” that those would in turn lead to “extermination” and “genocide” not unlike in Nazi Germany:

Schneider: Let’s talk about this universal background check. Someone was drafting a letter to the president and they copied me in on the email, and here’s what  they said, and I’d like to get your reaction to it. They said that the consequence of a background check can be reduced to a simple formula: Examination (universal background checks) leads to registration (local, state and federal databases), which leads to investigation (bureaucratic decisions regarding fitness or need to bear arms), and that leads to confiscation, which leads to tyrannization (the oppression and genocide against a subgroup, whether by its ethnicity, religion, political views or status or against the entirety of a state citizen). So they use examination, goes to registration to investigation, confiscation, and tyrannization or…

Hammond: Which leads to extermination. And I was actively involved in rebuilding the Polish Solidarity Trade Union, which ultimately overthrew communism in the Eastern Bloc, and I can say that both when I talked to these people, they said, you know, ‘The Soviets have all these tanks stationed in our country and we have nothing.’ And let me say that 40 years before in the Warsaw ghetto uprising, the Nazis, who the first thing they did when they came into power was ban firearms, they exterminated the Jews in Warsaw and they did so because the government was the only one who was armed. And, if you watch documentaries of that period, the people facing mass slaughter and saying, ‘We just, what do we do? We have no firearms.” And so ultimately, registration, confiscation, tyrannization has the real danger of leading to extermination.

Schneider: So you wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that progression that this writer was talking about.

Hammond: No. I think there’s a danger that you go in that direction. There’s certainly been governments in our lifetime that have engaged in genocide on a very significant scale. And I have been on the radio in a lot of them, in places like Holland, in places like Poland, in places like the old Soviet Union, and I say to these people, ‘If, in America, we ever reach the point in which you were during our lifetimes, we would like to think that we would be able to defend ourselves.’

Later, discussing the Sandy Hook school shooting, Hammond said that Connecticut gun control advocates “bear some responsibility for what happened in Newtown” because they prevented teachers from carrying guns:

Hammond: Connecticut, as you probably know, had among the most stiffest gun control in the world prior to the shooting at Newtown, and as a result of politicians like Chris Murphy and Sen. Blumenthal and the other little Democrat politicians in that state. And all the gun control they had didn’t stop Newtown. As a matter of fact, what it said to Adam Lanza is, ‘You can kill all these kids, you can get your fifteen minutes of fame, you don’t have to worry that we’re going to allow any principles, staff or teachers to shoot back at you.’ These people in some respects, I think, horrifically bear some responsibility for what happened in Newtown.

Finally, Hammond reminisced about going to school during the Vietnam War and seeing “fourteen year-old kids walking up and down the hall with semi-automatic rifles.”

“Exactly what has happened to our country that we have become so paranoic, that we have become so gun-hating, in cases of the liberal media, and that the liberal media has become so almost racist against people who hold traditional American values?” he asked.

Hammond: When I was a kid, and there are very few advantages in life to being very, very, very old, but one, it means you have a little perspective. When I was kid during the Vietnam War, in high school, fourteen to seventeen year-old kids ended up walking back and forth across the campus, across the playground, up and down the halls, up and down the sidewalks of my ghetto school – it wasn’t a rural or suburban school, it was a ghetto school – with M1 semi-automatic firearms, fully functional, except they didn’t have a firing pin but you couldn’t tell that to look at them. Fourteen year-old kids walking up and down the hall with semi-automatic rifles, no one, no one thought that we were going to shoot up the school.

I graduated in 1967. 1968 they passed the first big gun control law, the Gun Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 [sic]. Now look, we’ve gone 40 years and we’ve reached the point in which holding up a Pop-Tart is considered threatening. Exactly what has happened to our country that we have become so paranoic, that we have become so gun-hating, in cases of the liberal media, and that the liberal media has become so almost racist against people who hold traditional American values?

 

PFAW is United for Marriage

Marriage equality will be before the Supreme Court on March 26 and 27. PFAW will be there with the United for Marriage coalition. You can join us in DC or attend an event near you.
PFAW

Gays Out, Racists in at CPAC, Again

Last year we wrote about how CPAC allowed notorious white nationalists to speak on multiple panels but banned the gay conservative group GOProud. This year the CPAC organizers, who aren’t entirely oblivious to the 2012 election, are trying to emphasize diversity. There’s even a panel entitled, “Conservative Inclusion: Promoting the Freedom Message to all Americans,” which boasts a racially diverse lineup of conservative activists.

“Conservative inclusion” is a nice idea, but it doesn’t go very far at CPAC. For the second year in a row, the gay conservative group GOProud has been banned from the conference. So at best, “inclusion” at CPAC means “straights only.”

Even more telling is the roster of sponsors and exhibitors at CPAC. Most troubling is the inclusion of the anti-immigrant group ProEnglish, which is run by longtime white nationalist organizer Bob Vandervoort. The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights has reported extensively on his activities:

Vandervoort was at the center of white nationalist activity during his time in Illinois. While he was in charge, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance often held joint meetings with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens. The group held events featuring numerous white nationalist figures. Vandervoort also made appearances at white nationalist events outside Illinois, for instance participating in the 2009 Preserving Western Civilization Conference.

When CPAC and its organizers at the American Conservative Union were widely criticized last year for allowing Vandervoort and other white nationalists to speak on multiple panels, the conference organizers played dumb:

“This panel was not organized by the ACU,” CPAC spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told The Daily Caller, ”and specific questions on the event, content or speakers should be directed to the sponsoring organization.”

There’s no such excuse this year. CPAC knew all too well about Vandervoort’s white nationalist background and yet they allowed his group to return. Apparently “conservative inclusion” means shunning gays while including racists.

The reality is that CPAC couldn’t open its doors to gay conservatives even if it wanted to. As Brian reported last week, the head of CPAC sponsor Accuracy In Media is not only pleased with the GOProud ban, he wants to see a panel at the conference on “the dangers of the homosexual movement and why some of its members seem prone to violence, terror, and treason.”

Another important sponsor is the Family Research Council, which has been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group. The group’s top policy expert, Peter Sprigg, explicitly supports the criminalization of homosexuality, and readers of this blog are familiar with FRC’s aggressive and dehumanizing advocacy against gays and lesbians. There is no compromising on gays with extremists like these.

As we’ve reported, GOProud isn’t the only group banned this year. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, co-founders of the Freedom Defense Initiative, are vicious Islamophobes and conspiracy theorists. Had CPAC banned them for spreading lies and fomenting hate against Muslims, it would be a sign of progress. But Geller and Spencer were really banned for having made the mistake of extending their Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy theory to include two American Conservative Union board members, Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist.

In past years, ACU has happily given Geller and company a platform to bash Muslims. And Spencer, who runs the blog “Jihad Watch,” overwhelmingly won this year’s CPAC People’s Choice Blogger Award. But their paranoid rantings hit too close to home this year, so CPAC pulled the plug. Even “conservative inclusion” has its limits.

Gun Violence Prevention Legislation Advances, Newtown Unites, and the Gun Lobby Doubles Down

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved gun violence prevention legislation with the support of Newtown citizens and other families across the nation. NRA officials, meanwhile, continue to rely on incendiary rhetoric and fear mongering.
PFAW

Keyes: 'Semi-Psychotic' Obama Establishing 'Totalitarian Communism'

Alan Keyes won’t be speaking at CPAC this year like he did in the old days. Instead, he’s appearing on forums like The Talk to Solomon Show in order to warn Americans that President Obama’s policies will “make sure that people will be slaughtered by the thousands and the hundreds of thousands.” Keyes joined host Stan Solomon again on Tuesday, using the opportunity to argue that Obama is a “communist” with a “narcissistic, totalitarian, semi-psychotic personality” who intends to “move the country in the direction of despotic, tyrannical, totalitarian communism.”

Watch:

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