C4

Orrin Hatch Votes Present: Obstruction By Another Name

Orrin Hatch is exhibit A in the abuse of Senate rules to block President Obama’s nominees.
PFAW

Wilson: Government May Classify Christians as Mentally Ill to 'Get Us Out of the Picture'

The American Family Association’s Buster Wilson is latching on to a new conspiracy theory that the government will eventually try to classify Christians as mentally ill in order to “get us out of the picture.” He said that the left uses terms like “right-wing fanatics” and “radicals” so that one day the government and the CDC can level “attacks against Christians based on some form of mental illness diagnosis” since they “hate” Christians.

Someday I believe that they are going to be attacks against Christians based on some form of mental illness diagnosis. I think it is not without reason that the left refers to people like us as those loony, right-wing fanatics or right-wing radicals, far-right-wing nut jobs. I think it is by design that they use those kinds of terminologies against us because one day I think there is going to be something in the hand of doctors, something in the hands of the CDC, something in the hands of the government that will be able to classify us a certain way and get us out of the picture. Again, who does the government hate? Who are they against? Who are they worried the most about? Those are the ones they are going to attack, you keep your eyes open to that.

Wilson’s bold stance against heated political rhetoric may come as a surprise since he frequently describes progressives as the “progressive-homo-left-Christian-Bible-conservative-traditional value-hating crowd,” a “hate filled, heterophobic, christiphobic, and conservaphobic group” and “Bible hating, Christian hating, conservative knocking, vile, foul mouthed name calling, socialist hetero/Christo-haters.”

Rep. Scalise: Obama Is Attacking Freedom, History Has Redeemed Bush Tax Cuts

Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) appeared on Washington Watch with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins yesterday to discuss the State of the Union address where he pushed the standard right-wing canards that President Obama is leading an attack on freedom and trying to exploit “tragedies that he uses to his own benefit.”

Perkins: There’s not been an administration that’s been more hostile to our first freedom, our fundamental right of the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion.

Scalise: Right, look, just go in order. Right after that, he’s gone after freedom of speech and religion, now in that same speech he is going after our second amendment rights, our freedom to defend ourselves by having the ability to own guns for law-abiding citizens. All of these things he talked about, these tragedies that he uses to his own benefit, none of them would have been prevented by his own gun control measures, it just takes away the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Responding to Rep. Steny Hoyer’s insistence that Congress let the Bush tax cuts expire, Scalise falsely claimed that the tax cuts raised revenue and led to an economic boom.

Scalise: You know they are just living in some kind of parallel universe that doesn’t mesh with reality. You know I’ll just give you one point that he mentioned there Tony right out the box, he said, ‘oh we didn’t pay for the Bush tax cuts.’ Maybe Steny Hoyer needs to go back and look at the history, back in 2003 when those tax cuts took full effect the federal government actually took in forty percent more revenue, it actually brought in more money to the federal treasury to cut taxes because people had more money in their pockets and the economy took off in 2003. Go look at the history of this.

Of course, the economy didn’t “take off” after the Bush tax cuts passed. In fact, under President Bush the country had an exceptionally anemic recovery.

Scalise’s assertion about tax revenues also reveals that the congressman himself hasn’t taken a “look at the history of this.”

Citing data from the Congressional Budget Office, the Annenberg Public Policy Center concluded that the Bush tax policy “had a total negative effect on revenue growth,” and former Bush economist Alan Viard of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute said that there is “no dispute” among economists that “federal revenue is lower today than it would have been without the tax cuts.”

Former Reagan economist Bruce Bartlett also determined that “revenue as a share of G.D.P. was lower every year of the Bush presidency than it was in 2000,” citing this helpful chart:

source: Congressional Budget Office.

“Perhaps the whole point of the apparent Republican disinformation effort to deny that the Bush tax cuts reduced federal revenue is to make the reverse argument next year,” Bartlett writes, “allowing them to expire will not raise revenue.”

Tea Party Nation: Jewish Democratic Group Proves Liberals are Nazis

Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips sent an email to members today calling the National Jewish Democratic Council a Nazi group that, like other liberals, is “in love with totalitarian regimes” such as Hitler’s Germany. Phillips said their statement calling on Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to denounce Phillips’ recent comparison of liberals to Nazis is akin to Nazi book burning and proves that liberals “want to allow no dissent or freedom to disagree.”

Of course, asking a public official to denounce a group’s outrageous claims doesn’t take away anyone’s First Amendment rights, but the Tea Party Nation never really understood the Constitution anyway.

Are liberals really like the Nazis of 1930’s and 1940’s era German? Are they really the kind of people who engage in that kind of behavior? Or this just some conservative hyperbole?

Do liberals really want to silence their critics? To liberals really believe in a one party state? Do liberals really want to deny those who disagree with them the ability and the opportunity to offer different opinions?

The answer is yes.

Like the book burning Nazis of the 1930’s, the left wants to suppress all dissenting opinion.

This is not true of all liberals, only the overwhelming majority. I appear occasionally on Thom Hartman’s show on RT. Thom is very far to the left but to his credit, he brings on people like me who do not agree with him and he lets us make our points.

The vast majority of liberals are represented by people like Aaron Keyak who is the interim director of the National Jewish Democratic Committee.

After I made my blog post yesterday comparing liberals to Nazis, he took to Twitter to demand that Republicans denounce me.



He actually proved my point. Liberals do not want to discuss or debate issues. They want to silence those who disagree with them.

So did the Nazis.

The left is in love with totalitarian regimes. Obama himself has wistfully admired the power dictators have to simply impose their will.

But the truism of all totalitarian regimes is that they cannot stand criticism. If you look at the history of tyranny, the first thing every tyrant does is to try and control the press and public opinion.

When tyrants take over, freedom of thought, freedom of expression and freedom of speech are always the first things to go.

Why must conservatives stand militantly against liberalism? Liberalism is not simply a policy disagreement. It is not simply a choice between higher taxes and lower taxes. The liberal movement wants more than just to win the policy debate. They want for there not to be a debate. They want to allow no dissent or freedom to disagree.

This is why liberalism is so dangerous to America.

This is why we conservatives must fight for America because if the left has its way, we will even be allowed to speak.

Missouri Faith Leaders Speak Out Against Voter ID Legislation

Yesterday the Missouri House of Representatives gave first-round approval to a proposal requiring voters to present valid, government-issued photo identification in order to vote.  As it did in a failed attempt in 2012, it includes both a constitutional amendment permitting a requirement for voter identification (which would be placed on the 2014 ballot) and legislation restricting the types of identification that can be shown at the polls. This change would have a disproportionate impact on African Americans, the elderly, low-income people, people with disabilities, and students, who are twice as likely to lack the required ID.

Reverend Isaac McCullough of St. Louis, MO, a member of People For the American Way’s African American Ministers in Action, issued the following statement:

“Faith leaders in my state worked hard in the months leading up to November to get our communities to the polls.  It is disheartening to see that some of our Representatives yet again want to discourage, rather than encourage, people from voting.  Suppressive voter ID laws fall especially hard on people who are already marginalized, threatening to keep many Missourians from the polls in future elections. That’s not what our democracy is supposed to be about.  As faith leaders, we have fought hard to protect the right to vote – and we are not about to give up that fight anytime soon.”

Allen West Still Attacking Gays and Liberals in Life after Congress

After losing his bid for a second term in Congress, despite a more favorable district, Allen West is continuing his work as a fulltime conservative blowhard (but without a taxpayer-funded salary). West is working at PJ Media and appeared yesterday on Washington Watch with Family Research Council leaders Tony Perkins and Jerry Boykin, where he criticized the lifting of the bans on women in combat and gays and lesbians in the military.

West told Boykin that “the liberal progressive left” is “coming at the military so viciously and vehemently because they want to tear down that ‘last bastion of strength, honor and moral fortitude,’ things that they really don’t understand,” lamenting that the generals haven’t stopped them.

The former congressman pointed to the election of Ashley Broadway, who is married to Army Lt. Col. Heather Mack, as Fort Bragg’s 2013 “Spouse of the Year” in a Military Spouse magazine poll. Broadway had previously been turned away from joining the base’s spouses club. West said Broadway’s story will undermine military’s resolve and strength.

He added that if he was an “enemy propagandist and I look at the lifting of this combat exclusion ban I’m going to turn that my benefit.”

West: The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy and now this policy about lifting the exclusionary ban, people are starting to ask: what are the Generals in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps thinking about in not challenging to say, ‘this can’t be done.’

Boykin: I think your points are very well taken because I think one of the consequences of this will be a further erosion of the credibility of the General officer corps in the military and all services, as well an erosion of a confidence of the Americans in our military. You know the military has always been sort of the keepers of the keys of traditional American values and I think people are starting to question it and I think that’s what you were saying.

West: You are absolutely right and you know that from firsthand experience. I believe that is a reason why the liberal progressive left are coming at the military so viciously and vehemently because they want to tear down that ‘last bastion of strength, honor and moral fortitude,’ things that they really don’t understand. Look at just recently happened at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where the ‘Military Spouse of the Year’ for Fort Bragg, North Carolina is a lesbian partner to an Army Lt. Colonel or a Colonel. These are the type of things that are starting to happen which is going to question people’s resolve as far as, what are we doing to our military? Are we focused so much on winning social engineering points for special interest points or are we supposedly focused on what we should be doing which is going out there and fighting this very strong, very vicious, very determined radical Islamist enemy. If I’m an enemy propagandist and I look at the lifting of this combat exclusion ban I’m going to turn that my benefit and my messaging is going to be: the American men don’t want to fight us so they’re turning to their women.

Meanwhile, Perkins once again said that the “social engineering that has gone on in the military” and “tampering with the military environment” under President Obama “could very well lead to a draft.”

Perkins: What you have seen since you left the military but in particular under the four years of the Obama administration, I don’t think anybody could argue with the social engineering that has gone on in the military. My concern here in part is with all this tampering with the military environment that it’s going to have an effect—might be ten years until we see the total effect—it’s going to have an effect on retention, recruitment and this could very well lead to a draft once again because the volunteers are not going to be there in this environment which has been so damaged by these policies.

White House Speaks Out for Judicial Nominees

After committee approval of several judicial nominees, including for the DC Circuit, the Obama Administration urges Senate action on judges.
PFAW

Why It’s Time to Dump DOMA: Caitlin Copple

DOMA’s Days Are Over
 

This piece is the third 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.

All Americans deserve equal treatment under the law. The President has acknowledged that, as have the nine states (plus the District of Columbia) that allow gays and lesbians to marry. A number of other states offer some form of relationship recognition status. But thanks to DOMA, the federal government doesn’t recognize all legally married couples, and states can refuse to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.  And in Montana, same-sex couples can’t get married to begin with. That's why I care about dumping DOMA.

I'm queer and would like the chance to marry the person I love someday. Heck, I've got a master's degree and was elected to the City Council at age 28, but I'm not to be trusted with a lifelong commitment? All loving couples should have access to the legal protections they need to take care of each other, and I don't feel like I should have to move to a city to be myself and have the kind of life I want.

I'm a fourth generation Idahoan and now a proud Montanan, and I want to raise my kid in a place where they can hike, climb, backpack, fish, and hunt just a few minutes from home. Most Montanans value fairness and dignity. They judge you more by how you treat your neighbor than what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom. They believe in following the law. I think my fellow Montanans will come around when they see the sky doesn't fall when committed same-sex couples tie the knot.

So let's do it. Let's dump DOMA, and allow all Americans to pursue happiness by marrying the person they love.

Caitlin Copple, Missoula, MT City Councilmember
Member of affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network

PFAW

PFAW Applauds Senate Judiciary Committee Approval of 13 Nominees, Including D.C. Circuit Court Nominee Caitlin Halligan

This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve Caitlin Halligan to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the D.C. Circuit and Patty Shwartz to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit.  The Committee also approved nine District Court nominees and two nominees for the U.S. Court of International Trade.

Since 2003 Shwartz has served as a Magistrate Judge on the New Jersey U.S. District Court and includes among her supporters New Jersey governor Chris Christie.   Halligan, an accomplished appellate litigator who has practiced in front of the Supreme Court, is currently General Counsel of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and has strong support from the law enforcement community in New York and around the country.  She was first nominated for the seat on the D.C. Circuit in 2010 and has faced ongoing Republican obstruction despite the Court’s pressing vacancies.  The D.C. Circuit Court, the nation’s second most important court, currently has four vacancies (out of only eleven judgeships).  This has serious ramifications for the caseloads for each of the remaining active judges, which have continued to rise steeply in recent years.

“The need to fill vacancies has never been more pressing,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way.  “We are heartened that two highly qualified women have been approved by the Committee for the Circuit Courts.  Halligan and Shwartz both deserve prompt votes.”

Of the thirteen judicial nominees voted on this morning, eight are women, six are minorities, and one is openly gay.

“These highly capable nominees come from diverse backgrounds,” Baker continued.  “It is encouraging to see a list of judicial nominees who look like America.”

###

More Vacancies Mean More Work for DC Circuit Judges

The number of pending cases per active DC Circuit judge is far higher now than when Bush's nominees were confirmed.
PFAW

Hearing for a Diverse Group of Judicial Nominees

The nominees at today's Judiciary Committee hearing exemplify Obama's commitment to increasing personal and professional diversity in the federal judiciary.
PFAW

Ensuring that Desiline Victor, and all Americans, Get to Have Their Say at the Polls

In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama used his bully pulpit to ensure that the critically important issue of voting rights is securely on the agenda in 2013. Calling it “our most fundamental right as citizens,” the President announced the formation of a non-partisan commission focused on improving our country’s system of voting.

One woman who was undoubtedly pleased to hear this news was 102-year-old Desiline Victor of Miami, seated in the House visitors’ gallery, who had waited in line for hours to cast a ballot in November’s election.  President Obama noted that the country should follow her determined example: “As time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say,” he said.

After all, that is the issue at the core of a working democracy: whether folks get to have their say. 

Leading up to the election, our affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s leadership programs witnessed and stood up to efforts across the country – ranging from unnecessary registration obstacles to early voting restrictions – to suppress the votes of those who have traditionally been disenfranchised: communities of color, low-income communities, and youth.  In the past two years alone, more than 65 suppressive voter ID bills were introduced in 34 states.

That’s why it is important that President Obama made it clear last night that he is serious about addressing the problems in our election system.  With increased access to early voting and an end to discriminatory voter ID laws, we can ensure that all Americans “get to have their say” at the polls.

PFAW

Senate Holds First Vote On Circuit Court Nominee in Eight Months

Today the Senate held its first vote on a judicial nominee for a Circuit Court since June 2012.  William J. Kayatta, Jr. of Maine was confirmed as U.S. Circuit Judge for the First Circuit Court of Appeals by an 88-12 vote during today’s session.  Despite broad bipartisan support and the support of his state’s senators in both the 112th and 113th Congresses, Kayatta faced ten months of unnecessary delays.

“We applaud Majority Leader Reid for his leadership in pressing for today’s vote,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “We hope that this will be a turning point signaling a shift toward more timely confirmations for judicial nominees.  This needless stalling – and during a time of unprecedented judicial vacancies – has gone on for far too long.  The bottom line is that Americans need a functioning system of justice. They have grown weary with reckless obstruction.”
 

Huelskamp: 70% of Americans Oppose Marriage Equality; Obama Wants to 'Destroy the Family'

While he certainly has a lot of competition serving among the likes of Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Louie Gohmert and Steve Stockman, Rep. Tim Huelskamp is doing his best to position himself as the leading congressman of the anti-gay radical right.

Huelskamp told Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in an interview before last night’s State of the Union address that President Obama seeks “to destroy the family and replace it with his view of a radical new social agenda.”

This President has a radical social agenda and the media will probably give him a pass when instead of talking about the fact that mom and dad don’t have a job we’re going to talk about how to destroy the family and replace it with his view of a radical new social agenda. So we’re going to hear a lot about that, we’re going to hear a lot of blaming and also a lot of talk about how he would solve this and that problem but gosh darn it he’s had four years to do that and he hasn’t solved one and I would argue it’s gotten progressively worse since he took office.

The congressman went on to criticize the Republican leadership for trying to avoid a discussion of social issues. Huelskamp, who last year falsely claimed that 85 percent of people in the U.S. don’t support legalizing same-sex marriage, insisted that Republicans “defend the seventy percent position that most Americans support traditional marriage,” which in Religious Right-speak means oppose marriage equality.

Of course, most polls find that just over half of Americans support same-sex marriage.

Huelskamp went on to call the Department of Defense’s extension of partnership benefits to same-sex couples and the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) as “radical ideas” that “most Americans do not accept” because they “specifically and selectively reward homosexual behavior.”

Once again, the majority of Americans favor job protections and partnership benefits for gays and lesbians.

The response from the general leadership is: gosh, we can’t talk about social issues. But the President can? Someone has to stand up and defend the seventy percent position that most Americans support traditional marriage, most Americans understand the value of family, they understand it’s under attack and they understand that, they see it, they believe it. So we got to stand up. I’ve always been confused by Republicans that refuse to support a seventy percent position and say, ‘gosh we can’t take our stand there.’ But whether it’s Obamacare, whether it’s these radical DoD [Department of Defense] proposals coming out of the White House or changing all the employment rules to specifically and selectively reward homosexual behavior, those are really radical ideas and most Americans do not accept them.

So we’ll have an opportunity to hear from the President but again don’t forget he is a lame duck President, he’s not running for election again and I think this could be the most radical we’ll hear from him in a long time because it is Obama unleashed. We’re going to hear tonight probably exactly what he would like to do and he promised he’s going to change America and he’s still after that agenda and that goal.

The D.C. Circuit Court's Fourth Vacancy

It is essential to fill the growing number of vacancies on the nation's second most important court.
PFAW

PFAW Calls for ‘Strong, Lasting, Comprehensive’ Reform in Senate Hearing on Immigration

“I believe we are finally at a moment where comprehensive immigration reform is within our grasp.” 

Last month President Obama shared these words in a speech laying out his vision for fixing our broken immigration system. PFAW applauded the President’s approach to immigration reform, which includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and a focus on keeping families – including LGBT families – together. 

As the national discussion around immigration reform continues, this morning PFAW submitted testimony for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”  The testimony noted:

In 2012, Americans voted in great numbers for candidates who promised workable, common-sense solutions to our immigration crisis. Piecemeal legislation will not fix our system in the long term. Now is the time to pursue strong, lasting, comprehensive reform.

People For the American Way, our members and supporters across the country, and members of our advocacy networks urge you to create a viable comprehensive immigration reform plan that will strengthen our economic security and conform to our national values. Such a plan must provide undocumented workers already in the country with a path to citizenship so they can fully contribute to our economy and society. It must reduce the backlog of individuals seeking residency and citizenship by creating a more robust and flexible visa program. It must recognize that immigrants are an integral part of our labor force by addressing employment-based immigration needs. It must ensure strong worker protections and address our enforcement needs in a manner that is just and consistent with our existing due process and civil rights laws. And it must reunite American families by allowing US citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their same-sex partners for immigration to the US, a right that is currently denied based solely on their sexual orientation.


The testimony was jointly submitted by People For the American Way and its advocacy networks YP4 Action, YEO Action, and African American Ministers in Action, each of which represents communities that have experienced the strain of our broken immigration system firsthand.  The testimony explains:

YP4 Action represents youth organizers on campuses across the country, a number of whom have undocumented family members or are themselves undocumented. All of these organizers are leading efforts to create positive social change in their communities and their country, regardless of immigration status. YEO Action represents young, progressive elected officials, who feel the impact of federal immigration policy with their constituents at the state and local level. Finally, African American Ministers in Action represents a multidenominational network of African American clergy, many of whom serve as faith leaders for immigrant communities, in particular those from Africa, Haiti and the Caribbean.


In President Obama’s speech last month, he asked that we “remember that this is not just a debate about policy.  It’s about people.” By the same token, PFAW noted in its testimony that:

Our broken immigration system harms families, communities and our nation as a whole. It creates instability for families, deprives millions of working Americans of civil rights and workplace protections, and prevents many who are providing for their families, paying taxes and contributing to their communities from fully integrating into our country….Together, People For the American Way and its advocacy networks urge you to adopt a comprehensive immigration reform package that creates a healthy, practical, commonsense immigration system worthy of the country it serves.

 

PFAW

Senate Passes Violence Against Women Act

Of all the irresponsible obstruction engaged in by the GOP over the last four years, none is as glaringly reprehensible as the Republican campaign to block reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
PFAW

Tea Party Nation: 'Stalinist' and 'Hitlerian' Obama Building 'A One Party State'

Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation tried and failed to block President Obama’s re-election even after he defeated Mitt Romney, and now is asking Republicans to “walk out en mass [sic] to make a statement” against Obama during his State of the Union address. Why? Because, Phillips warns, Obama “is trying to destroy the Republican Party” as part of his “Stalinist” and “Hitlerian” drive to create “a one party state.”

He claims that liberals, especially those in the Obama administration and the gay rights movement, “are looking more and more like Nazis every day” and seek “to destroy anyone who disagrees with them.”

Unfortunately with the left having achieved its goal of political dominance, liberals are looking more and more like Nazis every day.

How could those “tolerant” liberals be so Nazi like?

Liberals love authoritarian governments. And with authoritarians and liberals, there is one thing in common. There can be no dissent.

Disagree with the liberal orthodoxy and liberals will destroy you. In fact, it is the goal of liberals to destroy anyone who disagrees with them.

At the national level, Barack Obama is trying to destroy the Republican Party. In Obama’s world, a one party state is a desirable goal. If he destroys the GOP, he gets his Stalinist wish.

It is not just Obama that wants to destroy all opposition. The examples of components of the great liberal axis of evil going after conservatives are replete.



The Boy Scouts are another good example of what happens to groups that dare to defy the liberal orthodoxy. The Boy Scouts, for very good reasons, exclude gays as scoutmasters and volunteers. For two decades the left has been engaged in a full frontal assault against the Boy Scouts for their position of not allowing homosexual scoutmasters. The left has pressured private groups not to support the Boy Scouts and pressured government entities not to allow the Boy Scouts to use their property for scouting events.

This is the tyranny of the left. There is no room for disagreement. If liberals disagree with the Boy Scouts’ policy they could start their own group. They could create the gay scouts or the diversity scouts or what ever [sic] else they wanted to call it.

But no, liberals do not want to do that. They want to destroy anyone or anything that dares to offer a contrary opinion.

Tonight Barack Obama will deliver an address to a joint session of Congress. The address is no longer the State of the Union address. Instead it will be a Hitlerian screed attacking Republicans, Conservatives, The Tea Party and anyone who dares to disagree with him. If the Republicans had any courage, they would walk out en mass [sic] to make a statement. Unfortunately they will not. Obama will stand in front of Congress and blame the Republicans and Bush for all of his failures. He will demand that America double down on his failed policies.

Republicans should blame him for the Great Obama Depression, but they won’t. They should blame him for all of his failures. They won’t.

Those Who Threaten the President’s Life Are Not Welcome at the State of the Union

An Open Letter to Speaker John Boehner


Dear Speaker Boehner:

In the wake of a year teeming with incidents of heartbreaking gun violence, it came as quite a shock to see Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX) announce yesterday that he is “excited to have a patriot like Ted Nugent joining me in the House Chamber” for President Obama’s State of the Union address. 

This so-called “patriot” has repeatedly threatened the life of the president. 

With a gun in each hand, Ted Nugent once publicly called Obama a “piece of shit,” saying he “told him [Obama] to suck on my machine gun” and suggested that Hillary Clinton “might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.”  In the same incident, he also threatened Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein with gun violence. 

At an NRA event last year, Nugent infamously warned that he would “either be dead or in jail by this time next year” if President Obama were re-elected.  After People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch publicized the video of his comments, the Secret Service began an investigation of Nugent. 

The First Amendment protects Ted Nugent’s rights to say offensive things, but that right does not extend to making threats of violence against public officials. And it certainly does not give Nugent a “right” to be granted a privileged position of honor as a guest of the House of Representatives at the President’s State of the Union address.

So today we are calling on you, as Speaker of the House, to disinvite Nugent from attending the State of the Union address. This is not a question of civility; it is a question of whether or not to tolerate violent threats.  We cannot invite those who openly threaten the life of the president to be part of this celebrated tradition.  Allowing Nugent into the House chamber for the address will send a clear message of condoning such threats.

In a country still reeling from recent shooting sprees and striving to find ways to reduce gun violence, it is unconscionable to invite to the State of the Union address a man who has repeatedly threatened to kill our nation’s president. 

Michael Keegan
President, People For the American Way

AFA Livid that Same-Sex Partners of Service Members May Be Buried at Arlington National Cemetery

The Pentagon’s recent decision to extend certain benefits to the same-sex partners of service members following the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has provoked the ire of the American Family Association, which is upset that they may now be eligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

A new action alert from the AFA asks members to email their representatives in Congress, telling them that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has “effectively devastated our nation's military by allowing the ‘gay agenda’ to take priority over national defense.”

The AFA claims that homosexuality “presents an unacceptable risk to good order, discipline, morale and unit cohesion” and that the “most disturbing [thing] is his decision to allow homosexual partners to be buried on the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.”

This means the military will recognize homosexual lovers as “married” and will give a full slate of benefits, including burial in Arlington National Cemetery.

Panetta, at every turn, has exposed the military to open homosexuality, which presents an unacceptable risk to good order, discipline, morale and unit cohesion - qualities essential for combat readiness.

TAKE ACTION

Send a letter to your members of Congress, letting them know that, on their watch, they have allowed the security of our nation to be endangered by focusing on social experimentation, rather than defense.

Under your watch, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has effectively devastated our nation's military by allowing the "gay agenda" to take priority over national defense.

This week, his decision to grant "marriage" benefits to homosexuals in the military presents an unacceptable risk to good order, discipline, morale and unit cohesion - qualities essential for combat readiness.

Most disturbing is his decision to allow homosexual partners to be buried on the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.

I urge you to do your part in restoring sanity to the Department of Defense and stop social experimentation in the military.
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