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Fischer: Abortion Rights Will Lead to Terrorist Attacks

Yesterday on Focal Point, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer marked the anniversary of Roe v. Wade by predicting that America “will have to pay” for legal abortion: “It could be through civil war, it could be through anarchy, it could be through Muslim fundamentalists and terrorists attacks on the United States, but one way or another we cannot escape God’s justice.”

He went on to argue that Planned Parenthood clinics are no different from Nazi death camps. “You see a Planned Parenthood clinic, just think Birkenau, just think Auschwitz, just think Bergen-Belsen,” Fischer said, “because that’s what you are looking at, you are looking at an equivalent of a Nazi gas chamber.”

Watch:

Later, he repeated the false charge that Planned Parenthood promotes domestic abuse to its members.

Just like other conservative leaders, Fischer never found time to watch the video he is so angry about. If he did he would learn that it’s a British anti-violence video that uses an intentionally misleading title to deliver the real message: “Don’t cover it up.”

PFAW Urges Congress to Pass Reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act

WASHINGTON – People For the American Way today praised members of the House and Senate for reintroducing a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which House Republicans allowed to expire at the end of last year.

“Democrats in Congress are right to keep pushing until this bill becomes law,” said Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, Director of African American Religious Affairs at People For the American Way. “VAWA was passed and reauthorized twice with broad bipartisan support, and has succeeded for 18 years in making women safer. It’s absolutely shameful that Republicans blocked a routine reauthorization of the law. Fighting domestic abuse and sexual assault should be bipartisan priorities.”

“Tea Party Republicans are jeopardizing the safety of all Americans because they object to protections for LGBT people, immigrants and Native women,” continued Malachi. “This extremist obstruction must stop.”

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Gaffney & McCarthy: Obama 'Contemptuous' of, 'Taking Out a Contract On' Constitution

The Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney and National Review columnist Andy McCarthy were unimpressed with President Obama’s second inaugural address, despite all its references to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. On yesterday’s edition of Secure Freedom Radio, McCarthy told Gaffney that the president is “taking out a contract on the Constitution as we know it.” Gaffney responded that the president “wrapped himself in a sort of nostalgia for the Constitution” while in fact being “rather contemptuous of it.”

McCarthy: I think what Obama’s trying to do -- and a lot of us who followed his career warned about this back in 2007, 2008 -- is really consummate the ambition of FDR to change the very nation of the American system, and certainly to change the nature of our constitutional framework from a charter of negative liberties, which is the protection of the American people against the adhesions and the extreme maneuvers of government, to basically a contract of the have-nots against the haves with government as the intermediary for demanding what government must do for people. With the big problem with that being, number one, what is your license to take from me, which is certainly not what the country was founded on. And number two, enough is never enough with the left. So even if you were to institute such a system it quickly becomes unsustainable.

Gaffney: Yeah, I take it you don’t mean “contract” in the sense of “taking out a contract” on somebody, but it certainly sounds as though that might be the gist.

McCarthy: It’s certainly taking out a contract, it’s taking out a contract on the Constitution as we know it.

Gaffney: Yeah. Even as we talked about with Dr. Paul Kengor earlier, and even as he wrapped himself in sort of nostalgia for the Constitution, he certainly showed himself to be rather contemptuous of it.

Rand Paul Says Obama's Inaugural Address Alluded to Hugo Chavez

While speaking to Iowa-based conservative radio host Steve Deace, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said that President Obama’s inauguration speech reminded him of Hugo Chavez. The potential presidential candidate claimed that unlike Obama, he would have included “reverence for the Constitution [and] reverence for our Creator” in his inaugural address, noting that while Obama “didn’t actually literally refer to Chavez” he “referred to a lot of liberal policies.”

Deace: If that was you up on that podium taking the oath of office, what would your inaugural address sound like and how would it contrast or differ from what the President had to say yesterday?

Paul: Well instead of Hugo Chavez you might hear references to Madison and Jefferson. I know he didn’t actually literally refer to Chavez but he referred to a lot of liberal policies. If it were me on that stage what you would hear is reference and reverence for the Constitution, reverence for our Creator and that all of our liberty comes and is endowed by our Creator and reverence for the rule of law. I think what you’d find is that I would talk about how this country can grow again and how we can prosper if we get back to and believe in the fundamentals upon which our country was founded.

Maybe Paul missed Obama’s speech or is simply dishonest, as the very beginning of Obama’s speech includes references to the Constitution, the Creator and the rule of law:

Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.

Mat Staver Accuses Obama of 'Blasphemy' and Hopes for Impeachment

Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver appeared yesterday on Crosstalk where he excoriated President Obama for speaking out in favor of gay equality during his inauguration, and went on to predict that House Republicans will call for his impeachment.

After host Jim Schneider of VCY America recounted pastor Louie Giglio’s decision to withdraw from the inauguration proceedings over an anti-gay sermon, Staver criticized Obama and Episcopal priest Luis Leon for their “unbelievable” and “unprecedented” advocacy of gay rights during the inauguration.

“To swear on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible during the inaugural address is just really blasphemy to do that,” Staver said, “Lincoln stood for principles completely different than this President stood for.”

Staver continued his anti-gay rant by maintaining that Obama is “the most immoral president that we’ve ever had in history” who is “pushing an immorality that is stunning.” He called Obama a “dictatorial president” who “does not like America” or the Constitution and blamed his “[putting] in-your face amoral, immoral and anti-American rhetoric and policies” for a spike in gun sales.

Staver: The next four years are going to be worse than the last four years and today’s inaugural address really sets the tone.

Schneider: And also Mat in the parade that’s going on right now we have the participation of the Gay & Lesbian Band Association in this parade and then Rolling Stone came out reporting a source told them that Lady Gaga is going to be one of the artists performing at a ball for the White House staffers tonight.

Staver: What we have is the President who is not the President of the United States, he is president of the divided states and he relishes in dividing the states among each other. He has this famous speech that he gave during a Democratic convention several years ago when he was a state senator and he talks about ‘there’s not red states and blue states but the United States of America,’ that’s not this President. This President runs to divide people, to divide and conquer and ultimately dismantle and deconstruct. He’s doing that with morality, he’s doing it with marriage, he’s trying to divide and conquer. Really, he is the most immoral president that we’ve ever had in history, pushing an immorality that is stunning.

Schneider: Mat, there is another aspect to this too and it is the Messiah-like image. Have you seen the Newsweek magazine yet? This is a side profile photo of the President with the headline, The Second Coming, it’s a biblical reference to the return of Christ. Keep in mind a couple of years ago they had ‘Obama God of All Things’ on the cover and then there’s another poster that’s being sold by street vendors today which Fox News reports doesn’t have the official endorsement of the White House but features the image of the president in prayer with the headline, ‘Prophecy Fulfilled.’ And of course Mat we won’t forget Jamie Foxx called Obama ‘our Lord and Savior’ recently at some music awards as well.

Staver: You know this kind of Messianic complex that people were putting on him and Obama doesn’t do anything to stop it. They may say that this is not what President Obama endorsed but the President can come out and hit that head on and stop that kind of Messianic complex. We saw it during the first inauguration and the first run for president, now we see it again in the second one. He is not the Messiah.

He is someone who does not like America; he is someone who does not like the fundamental values on which America is based; he doesn’t adhere to the Constitution; he is a dictatorial president that thinks the Constitution is an inconvenience put in his path. He as a President doesn’t work across the aisle, in fact he doesn’t even work with his own party, he doesn’t even invite his own party leaders to Camp David, he is not somebody who wants to get involved and actually solve the problems of the country, he wants to dictate how these things that are very important to all Americans ought to work.

Thus as a result you’re seeing gun sales go up all across America. Why is that? These are law-abiding citizens that are concerned that basic fundamental rights are being taken away from them so the lines are long, they’re just enormous in terms of the crowds that are taking place around the country and it’s because he is agitating the people. He is constantly agitating, constantly putting in-your face amoral, immoral and anti-American rhetoric and policies.

Later, Staver dismissed Obama’s re-election a mere two months ago and said that House Republicans should immediately consider impeaching Obama in order to push back against his policy agenda.

Caller: The founders gave us in the Constitution a means of dealing with people like Barack Obama, it is called impeachment. Staver: Yeah. Caller: We need to get onto our legislators and tell them in no uncertain terms if they want to go back to Washington they better get busy and get rid of this man. He has been incalculated [sic] with hate America from that day he was born.

Schnedier: Appreciate that, let’s quickly talk about impeachment. Mat, the House has to develop the articles; some congressmen have said that if the President does such and so we will initiate that.

Staver: Yeah I would not be surprised if shortly after this second term comes that you will have some impeachment proceedings in the House. He’s just going to push, push, push, push and he’s going to push people over the edge. I think the House will respond and if not we need to make sure that they do respond. That’s what the previous caller was getting at, when they initiated these impeachment proceedings during the Clinton administration and stopped him from doing a lot of the things he otherwise wanted to do in his term of office.

Obama is different from Clinton in many respects because he is more ideologically driven than Clinton, he is more radical than Clinton, it’s amazing when you almost think it would be nice to have Clinton back because he’s radical but he’s not as radical. Obama is the most radical ideologically driven president in history. He will do anything to reach his ideological agenda. He is not a politician and he doesn’t want to compromise, he doesn’t want to reach out to push his agenda. I think we’re going to have to have some very strong push back and impeachment I think is one of those areas.

Sandy Rios Mourns Obama's Inauguration and Equality for Non-Christians

American Family Association radio host Sandy Rios yesterday spoke to Religious Right historian Bill Federer on her show where she criticized President Obama for mentioning nonbelievers and non-Christians as having “equal standing” with Christians in the U.S.

“When he lists all these denominations and atheists and Buddhists and Muslims it’s like we’re all equal, of equal proportion, and we are not,” Rios said, once again revealing that the AFA does indeed believe that people who do not subscribe to its version of Christianity are inferior and minority rights should be dictated by the whims of the majority.

Federer agreed and said it was part of Obama’s “intentional denigration of the contributions of Judeo-Christian faith in America’s history” and went on to say that “Obama’s been using the bully pulpit to advance Islam.”

Later, Rios mourned that African-American Christians support Obama even though he is working to “usher in a time of godlessness” and is “radically transforming this country” by including an openly gay poet and a gay band contingent in inaugural festivities. She naturally ended by doubting Obama’s Christian faith and patriotism: “Something is terribly wrong and it’s terribly wrong to see this man swear allegiance to the country on the bibles of men who went before him who were men who understood faith and who God was.”

We are radically transforming this country and it is happening by the first black president, which brings me to another point: today is Martin Luther King’s birthday and that’s something to really celebrate and I think about my black brothers and sisters, especially in Christ, and I think about the irony that the first black president that they are so excited about, and rightfully so, should usher in a time of godlessness. It’s just amazing to me. Isn’t that ironic? I mean that is really one of the most twisted things. The black community has to choose between rejoicing that there’s an African American president for the first time in the nation’s history while understanding in their deep conscience that he’s ushering in things that they live their lives are the opposite of, their passions are the opposite of. It’s a dilemma.



I think ironies of today are just not escaping any of us; it’s very hard, I would be lying if I said otherwise, to celebrate today. But I think it’s very good for us to remember our history, what our founding fathers stood for and there is nothing wrong with reminding each other and fighting to retain it because today does not example that when we have homosexual poet laureates and we have an evangelical pastor who has said that homosexuality was a sin banned from the platform and we have gay bands performing. Something is terribly wrong and it’s terribly wrong to see this man swear allegiance to the country on the bibles of men who went before him who were men who understood faith and who God was, it’s really ironic.

40 Years After Roe, My Personal Fight for Justice

"I am my mother's child. The one she told one day many years ago, as I laid on a hospital table that, 'God did not intend for your life to be like mine!' The forms had been signed, we were in agreement and I was tearfully rolled into the very cold, unfriendly operating room.

"It was 1974, one year after the landmark decision Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. I was fourteen and my mother was twenty-eight, on welfare with five other children. Fourteen at the time of my birth, she was what we now call 'an unwed teen mother.' On this day, at that moment, the decision was not about legislation or white men in suits far away. It was not about the doctor, the nurse, or the technicians. It was just the two of us and God."

I wrote those words, published in In Motion magazine, 15 years ago. I had at that point devoted more than a decade to working with the black church to fight for reproductive rights in my home state of Louisiana and in Washington, making sure that girls and women like me have not only reproductive choice, but reproductive justice -- the choice to determine our own futures and the justice that comes from a system that respects us as human beings with equal dignity and equal rights.

Today, on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and after 15 more years of fighting and praying, I see many reasons to celebrate. I am grateful for those who continue to fight for women's rights in the halls in Congress and in front of clinics; to the doctors and medical staff who risk their own safety to care for women in need; to the women who must shut out the noise of politics to make the most personal of decisions; and to the family and friends who stand behind them. Behind an issue that inspires so much venom and shouting, it's easy to forget that there are countless men and women who are quietly fighting for justice on a small, personal scale.

But on the national scale we see a very different picture. In 2012, state legislatures passed 92 laws restricting reproductive justice and many more followed in 2012. Republican presidential candidates and their allies in Congress went after women's right to birth control, claiming that an employer should decide whether a woman's health care covers her contraceptive care. Prominent figures on the right dismissed the wrenching circumstances of women who become pregnant by rape, claiming it wasn't possible or that some rapes are more "legitimate" than others. While so many Americans grappled with their own and their loved ones' decisions with decency and grace, our politicians experienced a crisis of empathy and a deficit of facts.

Particularly galling is the campaign by some far-right groups to promote the idea that legal abortion is a "genocide" of African Americans. This campaign seeks to paint black women as passive victims rather than as fully realized human beings facing real, tough choices. In the process, it has helped to make the political debate about reproductive rights even more about caricatures of women and less about real women.

Polling consistently shows that Americans' personal views of reproductive rights are not always the same as their political views. A recent poll by Planned Parenthood found that 23 percent thought abortion was "morally acceptable" and 40 percent said it "depends on the situation." That "depends" is important -- as has been the case with the LGBT rights, civil rights, paycheck fairness and gun violence prevention movements, sometimes strongly held political opinions must bend when they run up against the real experiences of a real person.

I celebrate 1974 and the start of my "pro-choice, pro-faith" journey. I have hope for the future of reproductive rights. Roe v. Wade still holds in the courts. And last year, as attacks on reproductive rights reached a fever pitch, women across the country rose up with their votes. Women didn't ask our politicians to make the personal political. But we must continue to fight back by making the political personal. This is about choice and it's about justice -- for every woman, no matter her story.

This post was originally published at the Huffington Post.

PFAW

'Non-Political' Prayer Breakfast Welcomes Pastor Who Prays for Obama's Death

As RWW reported two weeks ago, organizers of the official-sounding-but-not-remotely-official Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast hoped that Rep. Michele Bachmann, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Sen. Roy Blunt, and other big names would join them, along with birther extremist Joseph Farah.  After some embarrassing back-and-forth about Farah’s participation, he didn’t show up. Neither did Bachmann, Cantor, Blunt or Pat Robertson, though Robertson, Farah, and Pat Boone sent messages that were read out loud. People who did show up representing foreign embassies may have been duped by the name of event into thinking they were attending something connected to the actual inauguration.

Organizers insisted that the event had no political agenda, that it was called simply to pray for President Obama and the nation. But there was plenty of politics.  Speakers included Marjorie Dannenfelser of the anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List.  Sid Roth, a Messianic Jew and radio host, said there were three sins that cause a land to "vomit out" its people: child sacrifice (abortion), homosexuality, and the “tipping point” sin of dividing up the land of Israel.  Stewart Greenleaf, a Pennsylvania state senator, said he could make an argument for Israel’s right to disputed lands based on history, but that the best argument is that “the Lord gave Israel that land.”

Even Pastor Wiley Drake – infamous for his devotion to “imprecatory prayers” against his political opponents, and his admission that he regularly prays for President Obama’s death, was recognized, applauded, and called up to the stage.

The interminable event – four hours and counting when I left – felt like a disorganized muddle. It started with an altar call and communion -- “Let’s sing about the blood of Jesus for a moment….who has the chuppah?” -- and included prayers from Native American Christians, a delegation from Newtown, repentance for anti-Semitism, and some marketing for a new American Christian flag. “We may not be as formal” as other events, said one speaker, “but I bet we love God more.”

The Chaplain of the House of Representatives, Patrick Conroy, did briefly lend an air of officialdom. Perhaps with the pre-event controversy in mind, Conroy led a prayer for President Obama and reminded attendees pointedly that Obama was reelected by a clear majority of Americans. Former Democratic Rep. Diane Watson brought a bit of bipartisanship, and while her belief that President Obama has been anointed for our time got a smattering of affirmation from Obama supporters in attendance, that was a minority view, to put it lightly.

Keynoter Jonathan Cahn decried the withdrawal of Rev. Louie Giglio from the inaugural program over anti-gay-rights comments, portraying it as evidence of anti-Christian persecution: “…it is a new America in which one can be banned from the public square simply for believing the Bible, where profanity is treated as holy, and the holy is profane. A new America where the Bible is treated as contraband and nativity scenes are seen as dangerous.”

Cahn’s overall message is that America is facing the judgment of God the way ancient Israel did when it stopped following God’s orders.  Cahn heads Beth Israel Worship Center, which bills itself the largest Messianic congregation in the world. He believes that the 9-11 attacks were a “wake-up call” from God, who lifted divine protection from America as a warning. Since the country did not turn back to God,  says Cahn, God slammed us with financial collapse. He warned President Obama of judgment “if you utter the words so help me God, and you should in any way take part in leading a nation farther away from God….”

Cahn’s speech was essentially a summary of the argument in his book, “The Harbinger,” which purports to connect the inauguration of George Washington, 9-11, and more through his revelations about the “ancient mysteries.”

“There exists an ancient mystery that lies beyond everything from 9-11 to the collapse of the American economy, a mystery so precise that it actually reveals the actions of American leaders before they take them, the exact words of American leaders before they speak them, a mystery so exact that it gives the actual dates even the hours of some of the most dramatic days in recent history.”

Cahn’s keynote ended with a rousing call against “political correctness” and compromise, saying “the shadow of judgment is upon us” and urging, “It’s time to be strong! It’s time to be bold! It’s time to be radical!” as shouts and shofar-blowing thundered through the room.

PFAW Praises President Obama’s Common Sense Plan to Reduce Gun Violence

People For the American Way praised President Obama for putting forward bold proposals to combat gun violence and joins him in urging Congress to take swift action on the issue.
PFAW

Anti-Muslim Activists Apoplectic Over PFAW's Michele Bachmann Petition

On Monday, People For the American Way delivered a petition with 178,000 signatures to House Speaker John Boehner calling for the removal of Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Bachmann, one of Congress’ leading purveyors of conspiracy theories, earned rebukes from Boehner and others last year when she accused several Muslim-American government employees, include top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, of being secret agents of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The petition, to put it mildly, hit a nerve among Bachmann’s allies in the anti-Muslim Right. FrontPageMag, an online outfit led by David Horowitz, has published a full three articles defending Bachmann and accusing PFAW of “smearing” the “vindicated” Bachmann by launching an “all-out war” on her.  In one article, Robert Spencer of JihadWatch argues, “If they really had any genuine concern for the American way, instead of calling for her removal from the Intelligence committee, the People for the American Way would be calling for Bachmann to be appointed to chair that committee.”

Yesterday, Horowitz launched his own petition, titled, ironically, “Stop the Witch Hunt Against Rep. Bachmann.”

Horowitz and Spencer aren’t the only ones coming to Bachmann’s defense. The Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney, who was the source of the bulk of Bachmann’s accusations against Abedin, and conservative columnist Diana West discussed the petition on Wednesday’s edition of Secure Freedom Radio. People For the American Way, Gaffney suggested, is part of the “Red-Green Axis” and should be called instead “People For the Islamist Way”:

Gaffney: I wanted to turn to a woman who has probably understood this jihadist enterprise, most especially the civilization jihadist element of it, that is to say the so-called non-violent -- actually pre-violent form -- that we’ve talked about in the book that you contributed marvelously to, Sharia: The Threat to America, namely Michele Bachmann. She has been savaged now for almost a year for having actually raised an alarm about some of this. What’s going on with her at the moment and what should our listeners be thinking about it and doing?

West: Well, you have People For the American Way, a leftist advocacy group, actually putting together a petition asking to have Speaker John Boehner to remove Michele Bachmann from the House Intelligence Committee. Now this actually all ties in to what we were talking about already because FOX has also savaged Michele Bachmann, specifically going back to last summer when she and a few of her colleagues were raising questions about Muslim Brotherhood penetration into the United States government. Specifically, one of the cause celebre was the perhaps penetration, her question of the secretary of state’s office with her top aide being Huma Abedin, who we’ve spoken about before. And this is one of these…

Gaffney: Closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

West: Correct.

Gaffney: I think what we’re really getting at here is Michele Bachmann is being vilified for having exposed some of that influence operation, penetration problem and she should be, if anything, lauded for it, not taken to task by the Red-Green Axis, as they call it, doing business under the form of People For the Islamist Way.

Tea Party Nation: 'Anti-American Marxist' Obama 'Wants to Destroy America'

Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation is running out of ways to express his belief that President Obama is working to destroy America. In his column for members today, he warns Republicans against cooperating with Obama on anything because “underneath that grey hair lies the heart of the young anti-American Marxist that went to Occidental and Columbia.”

“Barack Obama wants to destroy America,” Phillips maintains, warning Obama is “disarming America” because he “believes America is the focus of evil in the modern world.”

John Boehner and the House Republicans cannot seem to grasp the idea that Barack Obama does not simply want his name to go down on his agenda like Johnson did on the Great Society or Roosevelt did on the New Deal. Barack Obama wants to destroy America.

Underneath that grey hair lies the heart of the young anti-American Marxist that went to Occidental and Columbia. He still believes in disarming America, just as he did as a young man. He still believes America is the focus of evil in the modern world, just as he did then.

The Republicans believe if they can just escape the “obstructionist” label, they can move on and win.

How stupid can John Boehner be?

This is not about winning or losing an election. This is about saving the nation.



We conservatives are ready to bolt the GOP. What the hell good is an opposition party that does not want to oppose really bad ideas?

The fate of this nation hangs in the balance. Great men like George Washington, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson founded America. Unfortunately our fate now lies in the hands of John Boehner.

Sotomayor Debunks Right-Wing Line on Courts

In an interview with “60 Minutes” this weekend, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor gave one of the best debunkings I’ve seen of the Right's line that a judge should be no more than an umpire, exercising no independent judgment and facing no difficult questions. Using the politically neutral example of the 3rd Amendment, Sotomayor explains how even the most seemingly clear-cut parts of the Constitution still require interpretation by judges and Justices:

Chief Justice John Roberts made headlines when, in his confirmation hearings, he said that a judge’s job was merely to call “balls and strikes.” The comforting words of his analogy hide the fact that most of the issues the Supreme Court approaches are complex and require human judgment – that’s why they reach the Supreme Court in the first place. They also conveniently obscure the fact that the conservative bloc on the Court is plenty influenced by their own ideology – there are plenty of examples here.

Justice Elena Kagan, in her confirmation hearings, gave another great rebuke to Roberts’ flawed baseball analogy. “We know that not every case is decided 9-0,” she said, “and we know that’s not because anybody’s acting in bad faith. It’s because reasonable people can reasonably disagree sometimes. So in that sense, the law does require a kind of judgment, a kind of wisdom. “

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PFAW

Rand Paul Pushes Conspiracy Theory that Obamacare 'Databanks' Gather Information on Gun Owners

The right-wing group Gun Owners of America has for the past few years been pushing the debunked conspiracy theory that the health care reform law will be used to collect information on gun owners, information that will later be used as part of a gun-confiscation scheme.

Speaking with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins yesterday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) echoed that theory, claiming that President Obama’s new executive actions have “language in there talking about doctors being required to report on patients and ask patients if they own guns or not.”

He warned that President Obama’s “going to use Obamacare apparently to have doctors informing on their patients to whether or not they have guns” and will put the information into “government databanks.” He added: “I’m very much opposed to this kind of information going into government databanks because I fear that the time will come when this data will be misused.”

Paul: He’s going to use Obamacare apparently to have doctors informing on their patients to whether or not they have guns.

Perkins: I mean, that’s crazy.

Paul: How exactly he’s going to make this work, I don’t know, but there is language in there talking about doctors being required to report on patients and ask patients if they own guns or not.

Perkins: I read that and I was just flabbergasted…. Senator, not everybody may know this but you’re also a physician so I think you have probably a pretty different perspective on that, not just as a patient but as a doctor. I mean do you want to ask, how are you feeling, got a little fever and by the way how many guns do you have? I mean, how do you work that into the conversation?

Paul: The whole idea that the government is going to be in between you and your doctor, that the doctor-patient relationship which is a very private relationship. In fact it’s part of our Hippocratic Oath that if you come to me and see me and I’m treating you for problems which often can become personal problems and private problems would you want me going down to the grocery store and saying, I just saw so-and-so and he’s got this. You know it’s really not the kind of relationship you want with your patients.

Same way would you want your government to know and does your government need to know what medications you take, whether you own guns. I’m very much opposed to this kind of information going into government databanks because I fear that the time will come when this data will be misused.

Paul’s interpretation of the executive action is, of course, completely off-base, as are his claims about Obamacare.

The White House statement does discuss having doctors talk to patients about gun safety if someone in the home has mental health issues, rebutting the rumor that Obamacare prohibits doctors from asking about gun ownership.

Contrary to Paul’s claims, this neither “requires” doctors to ask patients about gun ownership nor makes doctors give government “databanks” information on who owns guns. A plain reading of the law finds that it explicitly prohibits such data collection:

‘‘(c) PROTECTION OF SECOND AMENDMENT GUN RIGHTS.—

‘‘(1) WELLNESS AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS.— A wellness and health promotion activity implemented under subsection (a)(1)(D) may not require the disclosure or collection of any information relating to—

‘‘(A) the presence or storage of a lawfully possessed firearm or ammunition in the residence or on the property of an individual; or

‘‘(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition by an individual.

‘‘(2) LIMITATION ON DATA COLLECTION.—None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used for the collection of any information relating to— ‘‘(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition;

‘‘(B) the lawful use of a firearm or ammunition; or

‘‘(C) the lawful storage of a firearm or ammunition.

‘‘(3) LIMITATION ON DATABASES OR DATABANKS.—None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used to maintain records of individual ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition.

‘‘(4) LIMITATION ON DETERMINATION OF PREMIUM RATES OR ELIGIBILITY FOR HEALTH INSURANCE.— A premium rate may not be increased, health insurance coverage may not be denied, and a discount, rebate, or reward offered for participation in a wellness program may not be reduced or withheld under any health benefit plan issued pursuant to or in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act on the basis of, or on reliance upon—

‘‘(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition; or

‘‘(B) the lawful use or storage of a firearm or ammunition.

‘‘(5) LIMITATION ON DATA COLLECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS.— No individual shall be required to disclose any information under any data collection activity authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act relating to—

‘‘(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition; or

‘‘(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition.’’

Santorum: Colleges 'Indoctrinating' Students in 'Sea of Antagonism Toward Christianity'

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins welcomed former presidential contender Rick Santorum to his “Washington Watch” radio program on Tuesday, where the two discussed the moral decline of the nation. Santorum blamed colleges and universities for “indoctrinating in a sea of relativism and a sea of antagonism toward Christianity,” leading to the “symptoms” of abortion, marriage and pornography:

Santorum: The cultural indicators that I talked about earlier that are sort of going the wrong way, we're, you know, in ever-increasing numbers, less and less people here in America, you know, and believe in God, and believe in Jesus Christ, and believe in truth and right and wrong. It’s understandable, I mean, if you certainly, if you look at popular culture and what comes out of Hollywood, if you go to our schools and particularly our colleges and universities, they are indoctrinating in a sea of relativism and a sea of antagonism toward Christianity -- religion in general, but Christianity in particular. And so it’s understandable that that happens, but we, you’re right. Abortion is a symptom, marriage is a symptom, I mean pornography is, all of these are symptoms to the fundamental issue that we’ve gotten away from the truth and the Truth-Giver.

Earlier in the program, in a conversation with FOX News’s Todd Starnes, Perkins fondly reminisced about the days “before repressive government” when his elementary school teacher would discipline her students with a yardstick:

Perkins: I remember my third grade teacher had a big Bible, one of the biggest Bibles I ever saw, sitting on the corner of her desk, and on the other side of the desk was a yardstick, and I think she used the yardstick more. In classrooms today, you couldn’t have either one. But that was, we date things in terms of A.D., that was B.R.G., Before Repressive Government, back when God was still welcome in our schools.

PFAW and Allies Mark Citizens United Anniversary, MLK Day With Dozens of Actions Across the Nation, New Data on Election Spending

Washington, DC –  This week People For the American Way joined with ally organizations to mark Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the third anniversary of Citizens United v. FEC with events drawing attention to the dual threats of voter suppression and unlimited corporate and special interest money in politics. Under the banner of Money Out/Voters In, organizers are hosting “Day of Action” events in more than 76 cities in 33 states on and around the weekend of January 19.

Additionally, two reports highlighting new data on spending in the 2012 election season were released today.  A report by Demos and the U.S. PIRG Education Fund provides a wide-ranging analysis of the role of money in the 2012 elections, and a report by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the Center for Media and Democracy examines the role dark money nonprofits and shell corporations played in 2012.

“Voter suppression and unlimited corporate and special interest money in politics serve as barriers to full civic participation, transparency, and accountability,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President at People For the American Way. “Both stand in the way of democracy. We are excited to come together with our allies on this important weekend to signal our intentions to confront the multi-faceted assault on the voices of everyday Americans in our political system.”

“Big Money over Voters, or Voters over Big Money. The Kochs and Roves have made their choice, and they're in it for the long-term. Now We, the People are rising up to announce our choice: Money Out, Voters In,” said Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen. “With the actions on January 19, a growing movement calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, a guarantee of voting rights and a restoration of our democracy is announcing that we're in it for the long haul also, and we aim to win.”

“We are facing a dual attack on our democracy – everyday voters are being disenfranchised while corporations are being hyper-enfranchised,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “We need to fix the fundamentals of our political system if we want to get down to solving our long-term problems.”

“Our reports found clear evidence of what the vast majority of Americans already understand: political power in America is concentrated in the hands of an elite few,” said U.S. PIRG Democracy Advocate Blair Bowie. “It’s time for our leaders in Washington and across the country to take concrete action to build a democracy in which every citizen is truly a political equal. It’s time we make good on the promise of government of, by, and for the people.”

“Getting big money out and more voters in are two critical fronts in the ongoing fight for true political equality in America,” said Demos Counsel Adam Lioz.  “We all deserve a meaningful voice in shaping the decisions that affect our lives, and we won't stand for being blocked by red tape at the polls or drowned out by millionaires and billionaires in the public square.”

“Big, secret money is corrupting our democracy. This was the most expensive election year in the world and one of the least transparent in decades, with nonprofit groups having more influence than ever before while keeping CEO and corporate donors secret,” said Lisa Graves, Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy and a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department.

“Since the Citizens United decision three years ago, voters have been clear in their disdain for this decision,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. “The big question is whether our elected representatives will listen to those voices. Our goal is to build a wave of grassroots support so strong that they cannot ignore it.”

For more information about the Money Out/Voters In Days of Action, please visit http://www.moneyout-votersin.org.

Groups supporting the Money Out/Voters In effort include 350.org, African American Ministers in Action, Campaign for America's Future, Center for Media & Democracy, Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Coffee Party, Common Cause, Communications Workers of America, Consumer Action, CREDO Action, Demos, Free Speech for People, Friends of the Earth, Global Exchange, Hip Hop Caucus, League of United Latin American Citizens, Move to Amend, MoveOn, NAACP, National People's Action, National Women's Health Network, Oil Change International, Organic Consumers Association, People For the American Way, Public Citizen, Rootstrikers, Stamp Stampede, Sierra Club, Story of Stuff, U.S. PIRG, United for a Fair Economy, United Republic/Represent.Us.

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Buster Wilson Warns Obama Might Confiscate Guns of Anti-Gay Activists

The American Family Association’s Buster Wilson has been warning for the last few weeks that President Obama is getting ready to confiscate guns en masse. When Obama announced his twenty-three executive actions yesterday, gun groups largely shrugged them off, but not Wilson. In his latest effort to stoke fear, he’s warning that the Obama administration may take guns away from pastors and radio talk show hosts like himself who denounce homosexuality:

Wilson: What if the Attorney General, and listen the reason I say this might happen is because if you remember the first report put out by the Director of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, when the President became President of the United States, she put out a paper talking about the people who are the categories of people who might be homegrown terrorists. In that list she put people who believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ, people who believe in pro-life issues, people who don’t believe in having illegal aliens here, they put a lot of good, decent categories of people in that paper. Well here’s what number four says, the Attorney General can put who he wants to on the list of people who are too dangerous to get guns. What if he decides radio talk show hosts who don’t believe in gay marriage, they’re dangerous, so they shouldn’t get guns; what about pastors who preach against abortion and homosexuality, they’re too dangerous get guns; that could happen.

Contrary to what Wilson said, the fourth executive action simply directs the Attorney General to make sure that people who are already prohibited from owning a firearm do not do so, not to come up with any new categories:

Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

Not only did Wilson clearly distort the plain wording of the executive actions, but he also grossly misrepresented the DHS report on right-wing terrorism.

He said that the DHS report tacked “good, decent” people “who believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ, people who believe in pro-life issues, people who don’t believe in having illegal aliens here.”

Not so.

The 2009 report [PDF], which concentrates on racist and anti-government militias, only mentions abortion in a single footnote as an example of how violent actions can be driven by a single issue, such as the bombings of clinics or the murder of abortion doctors. The only references to the Second Coming or Christianity are to the racist, anti-Semitic Christian Identity movement – whose members have engaged in violence – and a note about how End Times and doomsday prophesies have in the past radicalized certain individuals or groups.

As for immigration, the DHS only addresses the connection between anti-immigrant militarism and hate crimes against Hispanics, like violent border vigilantes, not political activism on illegal immigration.

The author of the report, Daryl Johnson, is actually an anti-choice, Mormon gun owner and a Republican. His warnings were prescient – right-wing extremists recently committed a massacre in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and a shooting at the Holocaust Museum.

But to Wilson, completely twisting Obama’s gun orders and the DHS report on right-wing extremism are all par for the course of a job of an AFA spokesman.

Sen. Leahy Talks About Judges at Georgetown Law

The Judiciary Committee chairman condemns obstruction of qualified judicial nominees.
PFAW

PFAW Praises President’s Gun Violence Plan, Urges Quick Action From Congress

WASHINGTON – People For the American Way today praised President Obama for putting forward bold proposals to combat gun violence and urged Congress to quickly take action on the issue.

“Our dire situation requires bold action,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “We’ve seen too many American lives lost to senseless gun violence. The president is correct to recognize that there is no one solution to this national blight, just as there is no one cause. We must take quick and meaningful action to prevent further tragedies by restricting access to weapons of war.”

“Gun violence is a threat to everyone in America, but it particularly plagues young African Americans,” added Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, Director of African American Religious Affairs at People For the American Way. “We are morally required to do everything we possibly can to keep our children safe and free from fear, whether they are in the classroom or playing on the streets in their neighborhood, whether they live in Newtown or in Chicago or in the District of Columbia. These proposals are an important step in the right direction.”

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