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Copeland: My Books Helped Topple the Berlin Wall

Televangelist Kenneth Copeland is taking at least part of the credit for the collapse of the Berlin Wall, telling guest David Barton that German pastors used his books to topple the wall with the power of positive confession. A Word-Faith preacher, Copeland believes that Christians can use “positive confession” to speak things into existence, typically physical health and material wealth. During Believer’s Voice of Victory, he claimed that his books and those of fellow Word-Faith preacher Kenneth Hagin were used to bring down the Berlin Wall, to which the self-declared “historian” Barton eagerly agreed.

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Big Government the Right Likes: The Kind That Keeps People From Voting

This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

The Republican Party claims to be the party of small government -- with the obvious exceptions of denying marriage equality and massive government oversight of women's medical decisions. But there is another kind of big government that the party has overwhelmingly, enthusiastically gotten behind: expensive and intrusive attempts to make it harder for Americans to vote.

A trio of federal court decisions in Florida, Ohio and Texas last week ripped the lid off the increasingly successful right-wing campaign to limit opportunities for low-income people, minorities and students to vote -- especially, and not coincidentally, in swing states. These decisions, from even-handed and moderate federal judges across the country, show just how far the Right has gone to use the power of government to disenfranchise traditionally disenfranchised groups.

In Florida, a federal judge permanently blocked a law that had made it almost impossible for good government groups to conduct voter registration drives -- which had led groups like the venerable League of Women Voters to all but shut down operations in the state. In Ohio, a federal court ordered the state to reopen early voting in the three days before November's election, which Republicans had attempted to shut down. Early voting on the weekend before the election was enormously successful in 2008 -- especially among African Americans -- and the judge found that Republicans had no legitimate reason to want it to stop.

And finally a federal court, which is required to review changes in election policy in states and counties with a history of voting discrimination, ruled that Texas' new voter ID law couldn't go forward because it "imposes strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor, and racial minorities in Texas."

The effort that Republican governors and legislatures across the country have gone through in the past two years to make it more difficult for citizens to vote is truly remarkable. They have been willing to buck both the law and the spirit of our constitutional democracy to bar groups of people from participating in it. And they have been willing to set up extra layers of government and bureaucracy -- things they claim to despise -- in order to keep people from the polls.

There are plenty of areas of genuine disagreement in our politics, but the right to vote shouldn't be one of them. In an interview with The Atlantic last week, Rep. John Lewis, a hero of the Civil Rights movement, said "there should be public outcry" and a "sense of righteous indignation" at what is happening to our elections. He's right.

It's astounding that nearly 50 years after the Voting Rights Act banned racial discrimination at the polls, it's still needed as a shield against such egregious violations of its principles. And it's astounding that the self-proclaimed party of small government wants to use government's power to keep people from exercising their fundamental right to vote.

PFAW

Barton: Gay Rights and Reproductive Rights mean 'You are Going Down as a Nation'

While appearing on televangelist Kenneth Copeland’s Believer’s Voice of Victory, disgraced pseudo-historian once again used his platform on Copeland’s show to deliver an attack on gay rights and women’s rights, this time saying that marriage equality and reproductive rights lead to a nation’s destruction. “If a nation says, ‘hey, we want abortion, we want homosexual marriage,’ it is going down,” Barton said, “anytime you move away from what God says, you are going down as a nation.”

Watch:

Copeland: I don’t care who you are, if you turn loose of God and the truth of God, you’re going down, brother! You can’t—it’s created that way; you can’t violate the way it was put together.

Barton: That is why public policies in a nation are so important. If a nation says, ‘hey, we want abortion, we want homosexual marriage,’ it is going down.

Copeland: It’s going down.

Barton: You have taken what God had up top and said ‘we’re not going to do that, we want to go in a different’—anytime you move away from what God says, you are going down as a nation.

Kevin Swanson: 'Muslims Come in and Kill our People so we Elect a Muslim as President of the United States'

Pastor Kevin Swanson of the Colorado-based Generations Radio took a break from ranting against gays and the Muppets yesterday when speaking to Les Riley, the secessionist who led the unsuccessful Personhood Mississippi campaign. Riley and Swanson said that Americans did not do a very good job repenting following the Aurora shooting massacre or the September 11 attacks. “We see the Muslims killing our people and so we elect a Muslim,” Swanson lamented. “Seems to me like we’re not turning back to the true and living God here, are we?”

Riley: I was in Aurora a few weeks ago helping collect signatures for the personhood amendment out there and help with some of the pro-life work out there and we stayed not far from the theater with a family and I drove by that memorial and it was just a real sobering picture of how ridiculously people would respond to a crisis when they don’t repent, when they don’t turn to God, when they don’t acknowledge their Creator. You see this shooting and rather than crying out to God there’s this big memorial with teddy bears and it’s great that people want to be part of something bigger than themselves but rather than turning to their Creator they again turn to their folly.

Swanson: On Sunday I was preaching from Isaiah Chapter 9 and 10 when people are warned not to embrace those nations that are striking them and I got to thinking about 9/11, remember 9/11, which is probably the most devastating thing which has happened since the War of 1812 at least in terms of an invasion upon our land. God has preserved us for many hundreds of years; we’ve had relative security and peace in this nation for a long time, so 9/11 shows up. These Muslims come in and kill our people so we elect a Muslim as President of the United States. Maybe not a pure Muslim but at least a man who has been very well indoctrinated, rooted, grounded and founded in Muslim theology and he is certainly more sympathetic to the Muslim religion than any other President we’ve ever had in the history of the nation. Five years after the Muslims came in and killed our people! There’s something odd about this, what’s going on here? We see the Muslims killing our people and so we elect a Muslim. Seems to me like we’re not turning back to the true and living God here, are we?

Riley: No, we’re not.

Anti-Immigrant Leader Kris Kobach Levels Dishonest Attacks on Obama Immigration Directive

Kansas Secretary of State and SB 1070 architect Kris Kobach spoke to Janet Mefferd today about a new lawsuit contesting the recent executive order blocking deportation of some younger undocumented immigrants. According to the executive order, young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children can apply for “deferred action,” giving them protection from deportation, as long as they have no criminal background and either have served in the military or received a high school diploma or GED. Kobach told Mefferd that the “shocking” decision has no precedent.

However, this is not the first time prosecutorial discretion has been used in immigration cases. As the Immigration Policy Center notes, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services “exercised its prosecutorial discretion when it adopted a new policy establishing a procedure for surviving spouses and children of deceased U.S. citizens, who were no longer eligible to apply for permanent residence, to apply for deferred action.” Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion in Arizona v. United States (2012) also affirmed the right of the federal government to exercise such discretion:

“A principal feature of the removal system is the broad discretion exercised by immigration officials,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy, the author of the opinion. “Federal officials, as an initial matter, must decide whether it makes sense to pursue removal at all.”

“Discretion in the enforcement of immigration law em¬braces immediate human concerns. Unauthorized workers trying to support their families, for example, likely pose less danger than alien smugglers or aliens who com¬mit a serious crime,” Kennedy’s majority decision continued. “The equities of an individual case may turn on many factors, including whether the alien has children born in the United States, long ties to the community, or a record of distinguished military service.”

Later in the interview, Kobach suggested that undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. on no fault of their own should leave the U.S. and return to their country of origin once they become adults and even falsely claimed that immigrants who commit crimes in the U.S. are eligible for deferred action.

Kobach: This order by Napolitano orders the ICE agents to break the law, regardless of what federal law says, we’re telling you to let them go. So it’s a clear violation of federal law, also it’s a usurpation of the legislative power of Congress. The DREAM Act has been proposed in Congress 24 times in the last 11 years, it never passed and yet this administration thinks it can just circumvent Congress and that violates our constitutional separation of powers.

Mefferd: Boy, because one of the things you state in the lawsuit is the directive commands ICE officers to violate their oaths to uphold and support federal law. In other words, Obama by issuing this executive order somehow thinks he can just make people do things but these ICE agents feel, actually it’s not just a feeling it’s actually what the truth is, they have an obligation to uphold federal law and he’s undermining it.

Kobach: That’s absolutely right. I think we have to just step back here and think how shocking this is. Prior to the Obama administration, if you asked me ‘could you give me an example of where a president has ordered federal law enforcement agents either to break the law or to look the other way when the law is being broken’ I would say no, I don’t think I can give you examples.



Kobach: Under our laws and under the laws of most countries in the world once you hit the age of 18 you can no longer blame your parents for your situation. So if you are in this country 13 years after you turned 18, you’ve been illegal all that time and you’ve been responsible for your own behavior. To say that you are somehow inculpable or just a victim of circumstance is just ridiculous. These cases are not you know college valedictorians and top of their class, these are people of all different stripes who are committing crimes some very serious crimes, some not committing crimes, but the bottom line is they are in the country illegally as adults and the President is trying to claim that they somehow have a moral right or a legal right to stay and they do not.

President Obama voices his support for a constitutional amendment

Two days ago, President Obama sat down for a live “Ask Me Anything” session on the popular social news website Reddit. Of the ten questions President Obama was asked, one pertained to money in the politics:

What are you going to do to end the corrupting influence of money in politics during your second term?

Although not specifically asked about the amendment strategy, President Obama raised the issue in his answer:

Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress - to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change. [Emphasis added]

President Obama already had, through spokespeople, acknowledged his support of constitutional remedies to overturn Citizens United; he had not however done so himself, until now. The very fact that the sitting U.S. President is speaking seriously about the use of constitutional remedies to overturn Citizens United shows how far the movement has come. The movement has clearly made its move to the mainstream.

To date, here is what PFAW and our allies have accomplished:

- 1,951 public officials are now in support of constitutional remedies

- 96 House Representatives; 29 Senators

- 14 amendment resolutions introduced in the 112th Congress

- Over 275 cities and towns have passed resolutions supporting an amendment

- 7 State Legislatures have passed resolutions (HI, NM, VT, MD, RI, CA, and MA)

PFAW

Who's Ted Cruz? Getting to Know the Next Senator from the Tea Party

Cross-posted at AlterNet

The power center that Dick Armey and FreedomWorks have been aggressively building in the U.S. Senate around reigning extremist Jim DeMint will almost certainly welcome Ted Cruz in January. The Republican convention gave most Americans their first look at Cruz, who has become a Tea Party folk hero after crushing the establishment candidate, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, in a bitterly contested primary.

Ted Cruz loves to portray his victory as an upwelling from the grassroots, as he did during his Tuesday night speech from the platform. “I have the honor of standing before you this evening for one reason, because thousands upon thousands of grassroots activists stood united, not for a candidate, but for the sake of restoring liberty.”

It is certainly true that his impressive come-from-behind primary victory captured the fervor of anti-government Tea Party activists as well as conservative evangelicals that Cruz has been courting for years at religious right gatherings. But it wasn’t an act of spontaneous combustion. Pouring gasoline on the prairie fire were national right-wing super PACs and Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks. Club for Growth Action dropped millions into the race on Cruz’s behalf; Jim DeMint’s Tea Party-backing Senate Conservatives Fund also kicked in with seven-figure spending. (DeMint has since cut his formal ties to the group so that it could create a super PAC.) A FreedomWorks spokesperson said after Cruz’s primary that wins by candidates like Cruz would “force Romney to the right.”

Cruz also benefitted from endorsements by an impressive roster of right-wing figures. During the primary he bragged that he was the only candidate this year supported by all four of his favorite senators: DeMint, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Pat Toomey. he Cruz campaign used video of a Palin campaign visit for its GOTV efforts. After his primary win an excited Breitbart blogger quoted Sarah Palin’s celebration on Facebook. She wrote that Cruz's victory was a win "both for Ted and for the grassroots Tea Party movement," and that the “message of this race couldn't be clearer for the political establishment: the Tea Party is alive and well and we will not settle for business as usual. Now, it's on to November!”

While the media accurately describes Cruz as a darling of the Tea Party and its corporate backers, he also had strong backing from religious-right figures. Cruz has campaigned for support at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit and the Freedom Federation’s Awakening conference, where he said “we are engaged in spiritual warfare every day.” James Dobson and David Barton are among the religious-right leaders who backed Cruz; Rick Santorum endorsed Cruz on Glenn Beck’s television show.

Cruz embodies Ralph Reed’s desire to merge the Tea Party and religious right. In his convention speech, Cruz talked about the Tea Party movement as a “Great Awakening” – a not-so-subtle shout-out to religious-right leaders who are calling for a spiritual great awakening that they believe will turn the nation back to God and its Christian roots. At Rick Santorum’s event on Wednesday afternoon, Cruz mocked media conversations about divisions between different “chunks” of Republicans, declaring the party united. “We’re all here because we believe in values and principles bigger than ourselves,” he said.

Perry: 'King' Obama Leading a 'Clear Attack on People of Faith'

During the presidential campaign, Rick Perry was one of the first candidates to embrace the theme that Obama is waging a “war on religion,” a message that was quickly embraced by Mitt Romney. As Perry ponders another run for the presidency, he told Family Research Council head Tony Perkins on today’s Washington Watch Weekly that he believes President Obama thinks he was elected “King” and is leading a “clear attack on people of faith”. How? Perry cited the contraception mandate, the Department of Justice’s stance in the Hosanna Tabor case, where the administration argued that religious groups are not categorically exempt from the Americans with Disability Act, and his own gut instinct.

Yes, Perry said he instinctually feels that the Obama administration is putting together a campaign of “intimidation to churches using IRS as a tool to keep anyone from making any statements about a political election,” even though the rule on church electioneering came about in 1954 and there is no evidence that the administration is actively investigating churches for breaking the rule.

Perkins: You were out on the campaign trail quite a bit early on in the Republican primary, your message obviously on jobs, the economy, which Texas has been leading in the nation in the creation of jobs, but you also touched on the issue of religious liberty and religious freedom. Do you see a growing hostility in America in the wake of this administration towards religious—

Perry: Led by this administration, when you think about the clear messages that they send, whether it’s by fiat—and that’s one of my great concerns about this president, we didn’t elect a King Mr. Obama, we elected a president, we expect the rule of law to be maintained in this country, go to Congress, pass legislation—he’s pushing these programs through whether it’s a clear attack on the Catholic Church and their opposition to contraception, those are purely wars against religion. When you think about the ministerial exception that he went to the Supreme Court to try to overturn, you know thank God he lost 9-0, even his liberal judges wouldn’t go that far, so clear attack on people of faith. My instinct is, I don’t have clear evidence, but my instinct is through other agencies there is this intimidation factor to our places of worship that you best not be in job of anything that we decide is political. For instance, clear intimidation to churches using IRS as a tool to keep anyone from making any statements about a political election.

YEP Primary Winners

People for the American Way extends its congratulations to three Young Elected Progressives endorsees who emerged victorious in yesterday’s primary elections.

In Arizona, Ed Ableser, who currently represents the 17th District in Arizona’s state House, won the Democratic primary for state Senate in the 26th District; he ran unopposed. Meanwhile, Stefanie Mach won the Democratic primary to represent the 10th District in the Arizona House.

In Vermont, Kesha Ram, incumbent state representative from Chittendon’s 3-4 District, won her primary contest; she ran unopposed.

PFAW

Harvey: 'Christians Should Keep Their Kids Away' From Comics' 'Gay Agenda'

Mission America’s Linda Harvey today on her radio program warned Christians to “keep their kids away” from comic books because they have now succumbed to the “ever-present gay agenda.” After reading a blog post by Christian writer Danzil Monk, Harvey said that comics like the Green Lantern and X-Men are now part of the “homosexual agenda” and promoting “lies in our culture.”

I grew up reading comic books. I was a huge Archie and Veronica fan so when I learned that Archie was rolling out a gay character I felt like part of my childhood had been revised according to the ever-present gay agenda. The new character, Kevin, was injected into the story in 2010 and the writers made him a military hero, trying to advance that part of their political goals. Well now this year Kevin was shown entering a homosexual so-called marriage with another male. There had been plans for the glorified Kevin to have even his own comic book. The original Green Lantern character Alan Scott was reintroduced earlier this summer as himself in his long ago days of youth but with the new information that he had really been a homosexual all along as a young man. The Marvel Comics X-Men character Northstar was introduced as a homosexual way back in 1992 and just recently the storyline had him marry a longtime boyfriend. Batwoman, Kathy Kane, was introduced several years ago as a lesbian. In 2005 Marvel introduced a new series called ‘The Young Adventures’ including characters called Hulkling and someone called Wiccan who the publishers decided to make a homosexual couple. Some of these stories are complete with full-on males kissing males, and so on. And some people claim there’s no homosexual agenda?

My friend Danzil is correct that probably it’s only true believers in Jesus Christ who will ultimately stand up against such lies in our culture and try and reverse these trends. I know comic books are not all that important in the grand scheme of things but if we believe that then Christians should keep their kids away from them and we should also be willing to speak out against one more area of depravity.

Video Marks the First Anniversary of Citizens United Decision

Take a look at this video we put together following Citizen Jane as she runs for office in post-Citizens United America.

Public Officials Who Have Recognized the Need for Constitutional Remedies to Overturn Citizens United and Related Cases

See who already supports our movement, and find out how you can help get more officials on board.

July 24, 2012 PFAW Written Testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights

RE: Taking Back Our Democracy: Responding to Citizens United and the Rise of Super PACs

Video from PFAW Panel: Constitutional Remedies to Overturning Citizens United

People For the American Way’s Marge Baker moderates a panel discussion on Capitol Hill about the necessity of a constitutional amendment to address out-of-control corporate spending on elections made possible by Citizens United.

Citizens United v. FEC Constitutional Remedies: List of local and state resolution efforts

Here's a list of federal, state and local bills and resolutions which have been introduced or passed in support of amending the Constitution to undo the harm of Citizens United.

Another Romney Abortion Flip-Flop: No Exceptions for Health of the Mother

In an interview with CBS News on Monday, Mitt Romney said he disagreed with his own party’s support for criminalizing abortion without exceptions: “My position has been clear throughout this campaign; I’m in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest, and the health and life of the mother.”

Of course, Romney’s position on the legality of abortion has been anything but clear. Now his campaign denies that he supports allowing abortion when a woman’s health is in jeopardy, as he told reporter Scott Pelley. Instead, they say he only supports allowing abortion when a woman would die without one.

Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List, a major anti-choice group, in an interview with Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association insisted that the Romney campaign told her that Romney does not in fact believe in exceptions for the health of the mother, contradicting what he said in the Monday interview. If he did, Dannenfelser said, he would not have received the endorsement of her anti-choice organization.

Watch:

 

New Ad Highlights Romney's Right-Wing Agenda for the Supreme Court

Taking over the Supreme Court is an obsession on the far right, and Mitt Romney is on course to do their bidding. Romney selected none other than Robert Bork to serve as his chief judicial advisor. 

Just last week Romney deflected a question about abortion by saying it would be decided by the Supreme Court. He neglected to mention that he’s committed to overturning Roe v. Wade by appointing right-wing judges.
 
A new ad out today from People For the American Way takes Romney to task for his misleading remarks and highlights his extreme agenda for the Supreme Court.
 
 

AFA's Buster Wilson: God is using Hurricane Isaac to Punish New Orleans for LGBT Festival

American Family Association's Buster Wilson, who is the general manager of their radio network, is blaming Hurricane Isaac on the city of New Orleans for hosting Southern Decadence, the annual LGBT festival. Wilson joins other pastors in linking the festival to natural disasters which hit New Orleans in the past.

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John Derbyshire: Blacks are 'Radically Ill-Fitted for Life in Bourgeois Society'

After losing his job at the National Review, John Derbyshire has found a new home at the White Nationalist website VDARE where he can even more openly spew vitriol at minorities, as he did yesterday in his column comparing the situation of African Americans in the U.S. to the Roma, better known as gypsies, of Europe. “In both cases you have a big racial-ethnic bloc of people who are, for whatever reason—discuss among yourselves—radically ill-fitted for life in bourgeois society,” Derbyshire writes. “In both cases, actual bourgeois citizens opt for ethnic disaggregation: for the gypsies to be moved on, for separation by white flight from the underclass blacks. National authorities respond appropriately, with expulsion and incarceration.”

With views like these, it makes you wonder why National Review took so long to fire him.

The thing I find myself wondering is: are these truly, as I said back then, different kinds of problem—underclass blacks in America, gypsies in Europe?

In both cases you have a big racial-ethnic bloc of people who are, for whatever reason—discuss among yourselves—radically ill-fitted for life in bourgeois society.



In both cases, well-intentioned Left activists—under the banner of Civil Rights in the U.S.A., Human Rights in Europe—propose social-engineering solutions that would cost scads of public money, even as all our public money is vanishing into chasms of debt. Many of the proposed solutions have already been tried; all of them rest on implausible assumptions about human nature.

The best that either bloc has come up with on its own is the absurd-yet-sinister crackpot mock-militarism of the Nation of Islam.

In both cases, actual bourgeois citizens opt for ethnic disaggregation: for the gypsies to be moved on, for separation by white flight from the underclass blacks. National authorities respond appropriately, with expulsion and incarceration.

Jeffrey Kuhner: Democrats Seek to 'Break the Back of Christian America'

Every month or so Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner appears on The Janet Mefferd Show to deliver an incoherent, unhinged rant about the news of the day, and yesterday was no different as he told Mefferd that the “radical secular liberals” who purportedly control the Democratic Party are out to “entrench radical feminism” and “break the back of Christian America” through same-sex marriage and legal abortion.

I think that the Democrats, somebody like Obama, you just have a ‘D’ after their name, they will get 43, 44, 45 percent of the vote automatically. Why? Since the 1960s, this country has been engulfed in a major culture war and what you’re seeing now is the growing rift between liberal America and conservative America, red state America and blue state America, secular America and Christian America. What is now clear is there is an ideological and cultural war for the heart and soul of this country and the Democratic Party, especially since 1972, has been essentially hijacked, it has become hostage, to the radical secular liberals of the 1960s and they are bent on a social revolution. That is why you will not see any pro-life Democrats speak at the DNC; it is why they’ve been purging the party systematically of people who are opposed to abortion or people who support traditional family values; that is why the Democrats have now embraced gay marriage; it’s why Obamacare has federal funding for abortion; it’s why now they are making free birth control, government-subsidized contraception, now almost a civil right, a human right for women. This is an attempt to entrench radical feminism, this is an attempt to break the back of Christian America.

Kuhner also questioned whether Vice President Joe Biden is “literally mentally insane” for making his poorly-phrased “chains” comment, which was referring to Republican plans that would punish consumers in order to help Wall Street, and claimed that the real “extremists” are those who support reproductive rights and marriage equality. He even slammed Obama for using an “assassination list” to kill people “they deem to be terrorists.”

Now, you have to ask yourself this question, either Joe Biden is literally mentally insane, he’s living in the century, he literally is so crazy, so detached from reality that he honestly believes that Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are going to re-impose slavery, or he is a complete liar, a complete smear merchant who is willing to lie, say and do anything, even inflame racial tensions, even fan the flames of racial hatred and division to get re-elected. Either way the man is a complete extremist, he’s a complete race-baiter, a complete fear-monger, and then you add the list of all the other crazy comments that he said going back 20 years and you have to ask yourself: how is it a man who supports abortion on demand, who believes in the fundamental transformation of the most basic institution of society—marriage, an institution that has been defined as between a man and a woman going back thousands of years in every culture, in every age, in every major civilization—and I have to ask this question: the Republicans are extremists? Conservatives are extremists? Christians are extremists? This is the same man Joe Biden, who along with Barack Obama, have an assassination list where they look over people that they deem to be terrorists and say ‘let’s kill ‘em.’
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