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Tony Perkins: Smithsonian 'Ignores The Destructive Side Effects Of Homosexuality'

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins is angry that the Smithsonian is expanding its LGBT history collection, arguing in radio bulletin today that the Smithsonian is embracing “unnatural history” and deciding to “ignore the destructive side effects of homosexuality.”

“Students are already bombarded with the LGBT agenda, do they really need to walk past exhibits treating its extremists as heroes?” Perkins asks, attacking the collection as “propaganda” meant “to rewrite history.”

Is it the Museum of Natural History or 'Unnatural History'? Hello, I'm Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. You can't blame people for asking after the Smithsonian's decision to add a special exhibit on the LGBT movement. The collection highlights everything from "Will & Grace" show props to a transgender pride flag. Sports, politics, and cultural memorabilia are all part of the propaganda, which -- like most Smithsonian projects -- is funded by taxpayer dollars. "It's a good example," said the director, "of the kind of work that we want to move forward with." And that's exactly what people should be afraid of. This is just another platform for the Left to rewrite history -- and ignore the destructive side effects of homosexuality. Students are already bombarded with the LGBT agenda, do they really need to walk past exhibits treating its extremists as heroes? The Smithsonian may know art, but it should stop trying to frame the culture debate.

Religious Right Hero Vladimir Putin's Forces Persecute Christians In Ukraine

The same Religious Right activists who accuse President Obama of persecuting Christians by supporting gay rights, have over the last few years hailed Russian leader Vladimir Putin as a hero and global leader of conservative Christians.

Religious Right leaders such as Franklin Graham, Phyllis Schlafly, William MurrayPat BuchananBryan FischerBrian BrownDon Feder and Scott Lively, among others, have lionized Putin as a fearless Christian leader who is bravely cracking down on gay rightsThe World Congress of Families even decided to hold its annual summit in the Kremlin this year (the group officially cancelled the event after Russia began its conflict with Ukraine, but its Russian partners are quietly going ahead with it).

Of course, while claims that Obama is persecuting Christians are completely manufactured by conservatives, there is ample evidence that Putin-sponsored forces in eastern Ukraine are violently persecuting evangelical and Ukrainian Orthodox Christians. The New York Times reports:

Embracing Orthodox Christianity as a force to unite these now divided Slavic lands and also their own fractured movement, the rebels, fortified recently by an influx of weapons and soldiers from Russia, used their period in power here purging Slovyansk of rival Christian denominations.



Among their principal targets were Christians defiant of the Moscow church’s claims of religious primacy and suspected of connections with the West.

“Their logic is simple: You are an American church and America is our enemy so we have to kill you,” said Mr. Dudnik, the evangelical pastor. No one at his center had been killed, he said but added that the rebels had murdered four evangelical Christians from another Slovyansk church.

Grabbed by pro-Russian gunmen in June after a Pentecost service at the Divine Transfiguration Church, all four victims were taken away for interrogation and were later found dead in a burned-out car.

We have previously noted that evangelicals in Russia, including Baptists and Pentecostals, are facing discrimination as a result of Putin’s drive to push minority denominations underground while growing the clout of the Russian Orthodox Church, which considers evangelical Protestants to be heretics.

While inventing never-ending conspiracy theories about Obama’s supposed crackdown on Christianity, Religious Right leaders don’t appear to mind the real attacks on Christians happening in Russia, under the watch of a leader who they see as an ally in the fight to turn back gay rights and reproductive freedom.

A New Reason to Confirm Texas Judicial Nominees This Fall

Yet another of Texas's federal court vacancies has officially been designated a judicial emergency.
PFAW

“The Wealthy Get to Shout, But the Rest of You May Only Whisper”: Former GOP Senator Alan Simpson Calls for Amendment to #GetMoneyOut

This morning, former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson (Wyo.) and Democratic Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.) published a powerful joint op-ed in The Hill in support of the Democracy For All Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment that would overturn decisions like Citizens United and help get big money out of politics.

The authors write that the Supreme Court’s line of decisions overturning common-sense campaign finance laws says to Americans: “the wealthy get to shout, but the rest of you may only whisper.” They debunk the myth that the amendment would repeal First Amendment free speech protections and make clear that it would actually do “the exact opposite”:

The constitutional amendment would make it clear that campaign finance regulations are up to the voters who elect Congress and state legislatures. It would not dictate any specific policies or regulations, but instead it would protect sensible and workable campaign finance laws from constitutional challenges.

Critics have claimed that the amendment would repeal the First Amendment’s free speech protections. But it does the exact opposite – the proposal is an effort to restore the First Amendment so that it applies equally to all Americans. When a few billionaires supporting both political parties can drown out the voices of millions of Americans, we can’t have any real political debate.

Sen. Udall and former Sen. Simpson note that the money in politics situation has gotten far worse over the course of their times in office:

Over the course of our Senate careers, spending on campaigns has gotten out of control. According to a joint study by Brookings and the American Enterprise Institute, outside groups spent $457 million to influence Senate and House races in 2012. In the 1978 election, when Senator Simpson was first elected, outside groups spent only $303,000. There is a deeply troubling trend here, and we simply cannot let it continue.

That former Sen. Simpson has joined the chorus of voices calling for change underscores the broad, bipartisan support for an amendment. A recent poll found that Republican voters support an amendment by a 26-point margin, and 137 Republican officials have called for an amendment to overturn Citizens United.

You can read the full op-ed here.

PFAW

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/5/14

  • Layne Amerikaner @ PFAW: Civil Liberties Experts: Limiting Big Money In Elections Doesn’t Infringe on Free Speech Rights. 
  • Randy Thomas: Gay Marriage And Public Policy: Personal Reflection, Apology.

Top Anti-Immigrant Activist Charged With Sexual Abuse

Maryland GOP politician Michael Hethmon, who also serves as senior counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, has been charged with child sexual abuse over claims that he molested an 8-year-old girl, according to WUSA.

The IRLI is the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and Hethmon worked with Kris Kobach, who is now the Secretary of State of Kansas, to push anti-immigrant laws across the country and provide legal advice to anti-immigrant lawmakers.

Hethmon has warned that immigration is a threat to the country’s white majority and will lead to violence, and especially focused on creating policies that would lead to “self-deportation.”

WUSA reports:

The 60-year-old is now accused with molesting an 8-year-old girl Sunday on his farm off Croom Road in Upper Marlboro.

According to court records, the girl's mother is a nurse practitioner helping Hethmon care for his elderly father at the home. Investigators claim Hethmon was with the 8-year-old outside a barn on the property when he offered to brush hay off her. The child alleged Hethmon put his hands inside her pants and touched her sexually. Hethmon then attempted to put the victim's hand inside his pants, court records say.

The child ran to tell her mother, who reported the incident to police.

Hethmon declined to speak with WUSA9 via phone on Thursday.

In addition to running for the house of delegates, Hethmon is the senior counsel at the Immigration Reform Law Institute in Washington, an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center has linked to a hate group targeting immigrants.

Hethmon has helped states, such as Arizona, and counties, such as Prince William in Virginia, write controversial tough legislation that allows local police and governments to crack down on illegal immigrants, hoping to force them to move away.

With the child sex charges here in Prince George's Now Hethmon is facing his own legal problems. He's currently free on bail.

Fischer: NFL 'Discriminated Against Everybody But Michael Sam'

The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who isn’t exactly a fan of Michael Sam, said that the only reason the Dallas Cowboys signed Sam to the team’s practice squad was due to pressure from NFL officials, even though Cowboys owner Jerry Jones flatly denied the suggestion.

The “Focal Point” host argued today that Sam is only on the practice squad “because he’s a homosexual.”

“What the NFL has done here is they have discriminated against every heterosexual football player that also got cut,” Fischer said. “They didn’t go to bat for those guys, they discriminated against everybody but Michael Sam.”

AFA: Satanic 'Forces Of Darkness' Behind Opposition To Uganda's Anti-Gay Law

Ugandan evangelist Troy Smith has built a partnership with the American Family Association through the Thomas Street Coffee Co., and he recently appeared on Bryan Fischer’s show “Focal Point” to promote the group’s work in the East African nation.

Fischer, never the one to pass up an opportunity to talk about gay people, asked Smith about his views on Uganda’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act, a law that Fischer said “honors God’s standard of sexuality.”

Smith said he shared Fischer’s support for the law, adding that the anti-gay law’s opponents are motivated by the Devil: “I believe that not only did Heaven notice but Hell noticed when they made that stance and that dedication and I think they were strategically zeroed-in on to say, ‘You’re really serious about this? We’re going to take you to task.’ I’m talking about the forces of darkness, of course, using human agents here.”

Paranoia-Rama: Obama Will 'Mow Down' White People While 'Big Sodomy' Takes Over America

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

Conservative activists know the truth about President Obama’s agenda to destroy America by murdering white people, opening the border, ending the freedom of religion and aiding terrorist groups. And all of these things will happen any day now….

5. Obama Wants To Kill White People

Conservative talk show host Michael Savage is worried that readers may not get their hands on his book, “Stop the Coming Civil War,” because they may already be dead … thanks to President Obama!

Savage warned listeners that Obama is hoping to “stimulate insurrection in this country in order to declare martial law” and “mow down” white people who are protesting immigration reform.

“The most racist administration in American history,” Savage explained, has made sure that the “entire government is geared up to fight a war against white people” and gun down “all you evil white crackers.”

4. Border Vigilantes Confront Conservationists

A frequent message among anti-immigrant activists is that the federal government is refusing to do its job in guarding the border, and therefore civilians should consider joining border patrol militias to stop the purported massive flood of immigrants, sometimes with tragic results.

Calls to join such vigilante groups only increased with the rise of unaccompanied minors fleeing drug violence in Central America, even though the minors were actually seeking out border patrol officers.

This week, one of these armed groups ambushed a group of geologists who were “counting bats in a local cave” for a wildlife survey. One of the researchers told the Huffington Post, “We didn’t know what they were doing. We started hiding behind rocks. We’re not doing what they’re saying, and they’re acting kind of jumpy. … We had them yelling at us with spotlights, acting like they have some kind of authority.”

Of course, that led actual Border Patrol officers to come to the scene of the (non)crime…taking time away from their, well, actual job that they are supposedly not doing.

3. ‘Big Sodomy’ On The March

Not only are immigrants and President Obama trying to destroy America, but so is “Big Sodomy.”

According to far-right activist and BarbWire columnist Lee Duigon, “wicked officials in thrall to Big Sodomy” will “force churches to perform same-sex ‘marriage’ exercises” and make sure “pastors and priests will be punished if they speak against it.”

He goes on to warn that religious freedom and free speech will be banned due to “insatiable and unappeasable” gay rights advocates, who will force Christians in America to “form house churches, as the Christians do in China.”

“Never, never speak of a same-sex coupling as ‘marriage.’ It is no marriage, and will never be,” Duigon writes. “The hard part will be to decide what to do when they come for your children.”

2. Obama’s Clandestine Mosque Visit

Kamal Saleem, a Religious Right activist who insists he used to be a terrorist for dozens of different groups before coming to America to wage “culture jihad,” believes that the media is “suffocating the truth” about President Obama’s secret Muslim faith and support for radical Islamic terrorists.

For example, Saleem said Obama is covering up the “fact” that Obama attended a Washington, D.C. mosque on Christmas: “We see him on Christmas, he goes to the mosque, on Christmas Day he’s in a mosque in Washington D.C. taking his shoes off to celebrate that day on Christmas Day in a Washington D.C. mosque.”

Of course, Obama has actually been in his home state of Hawaii on Christmas in every single year of his presidency.

1. Obama Said ‘ISIL’ … Impeach!

As you may know, there are different translations for the group known as ISIS or ISIL. Some translate the last word of the group’s name, “al-Sham,” as Syria; others translate it as the region encompassing Greater Syria, or the Levant.

But according to Pamela Geller, President Obama uses the latter translation, “ISIL,” because he wants “to distract, dissemble, deceive and disarm the American people” by using a confusing term like “the Levant.”

Never mind the fact that Geller actually uses “ISIL” on her anti-Muslim blog and told her own readers that “the correct name is ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant).” Following Geller’s own logic, she too must want to “disarm” America! 

The wise Fox News anchors on “Outnumbered,” have their own idea as to why Obama uses “ISIL”…because he is “tipping his hat to them” and wants to distract Americans that he is a big failure of a president.

As Thomas Bishop of Media Matters points out, other Fox News commentators have used the acronym “ISIL” as well, but never mind that!

Jim Gilchrist Warns Of Future 'Islamic President' Who Will Enforce Sharia Law Through Executive Order

The Minuteman Project’s Jim Gilchrist appeared on Dove TV earlier this week, where he warned that an increasingly powerful federal government under “presidents current and past” might eventually lead to an “Islamic president” who will “give an executive order that we will all now obey Sharia law.”

Gilchrist warned that the federal government is ignoring the rule of law by rebuffing states seeking to implement harsh anti-immigrant measures, arguing that such actions pave the way for Sharia: “For some reason [they believe] the central government should control everyone, control our lives. What’s going to be next, Sharia law?”

“Many of us are now beginning not only to fear our government but to despise it, I don’t mean in a hateful way, but in a very, very distrustful way,” he said.

But he was not so concerned about California, whose pro-immigrant policies he called “a cancer.”

“This is insane, it’s absurd, it’s like living in a home with no doors and let strangers come in and have their way with your family members, with your stuff, with your property,” he said.

2014 Midterm Elections: PFAW Holds Member Telebriefing with Political Strategist Celinda Lake

People For The American Way hosted a telebriefing Thursday evening to update PFAW members on the electoral landscape for 2014.  The call, which was kicked off by PFAW President Michael Keegan and moderated by Director of Communications Drew Courtney, featured prominent pollster and political strategist and current President of Lake Research Partners Celinda Lake, as well as PFAW’s Political Director Randy Borntrager and Executive Vice President Marge Baker.

Lake discussed the political climate in Congress and the general frustration voters feel toward both political parties. She emphasized multiple times throughout the call that in this election “the key is voter turnout.” In Kentucky, for instance since most undecided voters are leaning towards Alison Lundergan Grimes, turnout will be critical to help unseat Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Political Director Randy Borntrager discussed the work PFAW is doing to make the biggest impact possible in the most pivotal races to help progressives win this election. Lake and Borntrager emphasized that increasing awareness to voters of what is truly at stake – from reproductive rights to potential Supreme Court vacancies – will help make a difference come November.

Questions from callers also focused on other critical races including gubernatorial races in Florida and Wisconsin, the Senate race in North Carolina, and contests in Alaska and Iowa, among others.

In closing, Drew Courtney noted that the telebriefing shows that “we have some challenges ahead, but we are going to fight hard and push forward, and we’re not going to go back to the way things were before.”

Listen to the full audio of the telebriefing for more information.
 

PFAW

Linda Harvey: Nazi Liberals Intimidate Poor Conservatives Who Want To Ban Books

Just as Laurie Higgins marked Banned Books Week by hoping children will read books about kids celebrating the death of their gay parents, Mission America’s Linda Harvey wants conservative activists to use Banned Books Week to pressure school libraries to offer her book on ex-gay pseudo-science, “Maybe He’s Not Gay.”

“They suggested ‘Maybe He’s Not Gay’ to the libraries and the book was added to the collections, praise the Lord,” she said in today’s radio commentary.

Harvey said that while progressives are modern-day “Nazis” who “only want certain ideas available” to the public, conservatives are rightfully trying to stop libraries from offering “very, very questionable” and “inappropriate material” to young people:

What Banned Books Week is really all about is to intimidate any parent trying to question the use of a specific group in a specific class or school. There are no efforts, except maybe by liberals, to totally shut off certain materials everywhere in the country. The books that are questioned are always available elsewhere, it’s just that not everything is appropriate for kids. But often the library profession seems reluctant to allow kids to read conservative books. Doesn’t this seem rather hypocritical to you? Some folks believe that the whole purpose is to get some very, very questionable material in front of kids and label any concerned parents as ‘book banners.’ It’s a slick strategy and has resulted in lots of really inappropriate material now in front of children everywhere. Yet meanwhile, some really valuable ideas and information is somehow bypassed.

Ben Carson: US Turning Communist, Obama Refuses To Attack ISIS

According to potential Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, not only is the U.S. turning into Nazi Germany but the country is also taking its cues from communists.

In an interview yesterday with Iowa-based broadcaster Steve Deace, Carson said the powers of the executive branch are growing “because if somebody refuses to cooperate, you just pull the noose on them. That’s basically the way a lot of communist countries work, that’s been happening to us over the last several years and most of us are completely unaware of it.”

“The best way to curb that is you get somebody in office who actually understands the separation of powers and is not trying to become a dictator,” he said.

In a Wednesday interview with Andy Parks of the Washington Times, Carson said that ISIS could be easily defeated in no time but President Obama refuses to do it.

“I’ve had the privilege of meeting so many of our top military people, these are smart people and they are terrific when it comes to strategy. They’ve offered these strategies to the administration, they just have not been accepted. We could get rid of those people in no time at all,” Carson said. “It’s having the will to do it. It’s just like with the border, we could seal the border if we have they will to don’t it. We have the ability to do it, we just don’t have the will.”

Kevin Swanson Is No Longer 'Playing Patty-Cake' With Feminists, LGBT People

On “Generations Radio” this week, host Kevin Swanson brought Religious Right activist Jay Grimstead on the air to warn of the coming destruction of America, and the principles needed to “rebuild civilization” following its inevitable demise. Swanson and Grimstead agreed that society has become imperiled by the dissolution of Christian values at the hands of radical deviants.

“We are at the point where social security won’t provide, euthanasia’s coming on like a steam train,” Swanson said.

“[Progressives] have destroyed the character of the next generation: they broke down faith, family and freedom, manhood, womanhood. And I’m at the point where I’m not playing patty-cake with the feminists and the homosexuals and the socialists…as many do.”

Later in the program, Swanson and Grimstead disparaged liberal arts colleges as minefields for Christian students that seek to dismantle the conservative values they were raised on.

“A huge percentage of kids coming out of nice little red-state homes and churches get off to the blue-state universities, and they are corrupted again and again and again and again,” Swanson said. “How do we reform education, especially university-level education, where the kids who graduate aren’t more pro-feministic, aren’t pro-homosexual or pro-socialistic, pro-big government and pro-evolution, pro-everything that is anti-Scripture?”

In the face of secular adversity, Grimstead added that evangelicals must “prepare” and “protect” their children from the onslaught of liberalism, or else parents might as well be placing their children “into Nazi territory.”

Anti-Immigrant Activist On Deporting Child Refugees: 'We're All Going To Die Someday'

Yesterday, the Daily Show aired an interview with the Minuteman Project’s Jim Gilchrist on his plan to patrol the border with vigilante groups to stop what he calls a “Trojan Horse invasion” of Central American children fleeing violence in their home countries. Gilchrist dismissed concerns about the safety of the children — at least five of whom have been murdered after being deported from the U.S — in home countries that are plagued by drug-related violence.

“It’s unfortunate, but throughout history there have been children in one country who could not get to another country,” Gilchrist told the Daily Show’s Michael Che. “We’re all going to die someday. We can’t stop that.”

Trying to catch himself, Gilchrist added, “I’m not giving a death wish on these children coming here or the illegal aliens, I’m just saying that there are some things, realistically, you cannot stop.”

Back in July, Gilchrist sympathized with a caller to a radio show who suggested putting the child migrants in a prison camp and gassing them to death.

Trent Franks: Nuclear Terrorist Attack Will Hit US Because Obama Went Golfing

Rep. Trent Franks appeared on Fox News last week to accuse President Obama of encouraging unaccompanied minors to cross the southern border, which he said could potentially lead to a nuclear attack.

The Arizona congressman suggested that ISIS may link up with Iran, even though the two are sworn enemies, to attack America while Obama is busy golfing.

“This president has ignored the intent of enemies like ISIS to exploit our porous border and if they ever gained the capacity to hurt us, with Iran on the cusp of potentially gaining a nuclear weapons capability, we could see a situation where terrorists could gain access to nuclear weapons and the shadow of nuclear terrorism could fall across this world and if that happens this president will be remembered in history as the one who stood by with a golf club in his hand and let it happen,” he said.

HT: RWW reader Bruce.

Infighting Among Anti-Choice Groups Intensifies With Personhood Trademark Feud

The effort of hardline “personhood” groups to break free of an anti-choice movement they see as too compromising is hitting a roadblock as the two major groups advocating fetal personhood are now feuding with each other .

The conservative website Z Politics printed an email this week from Personhood USA, the group that brought radical “personhood” initiatives to states like Colorado and Mississippi, announcing that it has cut ties with a new group, the National Personhood Alliance (NPA), which was founded this year by the disgruntled former Georgia chapter of the National Right to Life Committee. NPA hoped to bring together activists who believe that the strategy of groups such as NRLC to chip away at abortion rights doesn't go far enough, pledging to instead enact personhood laws that would give legal rights to zygotes.

Personhood USA initially supported the new group, as did its national spokeswoman Rebecca Kiessling, and Z Politics reports that NPA’s founder, Dan Becker, “initially gained support from Personhood USA by suggesting that the two groups work alongside one another as counterparts.” In fact, NPA is billing its first convention next month as “the founding coalition of two new national groups seeking to give voice to the pro-life battle of the 21st century.”

But the good feelings apparently didn’t last long, as Personhood USA is now accusing Becker and NPA of “trying to replace Personhood USA by using our structures and Intellectual property” — including copying its logo — and “violating Personhood USA’s trademark of Personhood.” (For what it’s worth, the only official “personhood” trademark we could find in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s database belongs to Becker’s group).

Personhood USA’s email also hints at possible legal action.

After much prayer and deliberation, the Personhood USA board is deeply sadden to inform you, that Personhood USA will not be participating in the new National Personhood Alliance.

From everything Dan Becker had told us about his vision of NPA while he was in our employment. We had great hopes that it would be a complement to the Personhood movement, a counterpart to Personhood USA. Instead it appears that National Personhood Alliance is trying to replace Personhood USA by using our structures and Intellectual property.

NPA has incorporated in Georgia as a 501c4 under the name “Personhood Inc.” and will be doing business as “Personhood”, Violating Personhood USA’s trademark of Personhood. In addition, the emails and documents we have seen indicate that they intended to use our logos, branding, and intellectual property.

One of the main concerns here is duplication of focus and confusion among all grassroots supporters.

When we contacted Dan and asked that NPA stop using our logos and name, he agreed to stop using our logos and to allow us to preview any new logos before they are implemented, but he has refused to un-incorporate Personhood Inc. and suggested we enter into arbitration.

We have worked for years developing our branding. We are known as Personhood, PersonhoodUSA, Personhood Education, Personhood PAC & have invested in promoting Personhood(insert your state). We do not want to fight over a name, but we do feel if a separate virtually identical organization is started it will hurt the movement.

We want to honor God and protect all innocent life. We want to see the movement grow and branch off in new directions. We want abortion to be abolished. We want to fight abortion, not each other.

All we ask of NPA is to create it’s own logos, names, and branding without using ours, and ask that they keep NPA as it was presented to us: a separate organization with unique purpose created to build the movement. Not a divisive, confusing organization meant to compete with Personhood USA.

Alan Keyes: Obama Is Funding ISIS To Wage 'War On The People Of The United States'

Alan Keyes has joined a growing chorus of far-right activists who claim that President Obama is secretly supporting ISIS, writing today in WorldNetDaily that Obama administration officials believe “the enemy is not ISIS, but the life and liberty of the people of the United States.”

Keyes writes that Obama’s remarks on ISIS are “calculated to obfuscate the charge of treason that ought to be duly brought and tried if and when a serious investigation shows it to be a fact that that Obama and his cohorts aided and abetted the terrorist forces that constitute ISIS.”

He claims that Obama administration officials funded ISIS “because they knew the declared aim of the terrorist forces in question and understood, therefore, that those forces are committed to making implacable war on the people of the United States and their self-government.”

Once we remember this root meaning we realize that, in order to understand what strategy is at work, we must first answer the critical question: Who is the enemy? In light of their declared hostility toward the United States, and the grisly murders they have perpetrated on account of it, we naturally assume that, when someone purporting to be the president of the United States speaks of a strategy for dealing with ISIS we are right to assume that they are the enemy. But the statements and actions of Obama and his cohorts suggest the likelihood that, in the strategy he is pursuing, the enemy is not ISIS, but the life and liberty of the people of the United States.

In his statement after Jim Foley was murdered Obama said disparagingly of the perpetrators that “They may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors. …” He was speaking in the context of the gruesomely hostile murder of an innocent American citizen, dramatically enacted and publicized as an act of war against the United States. So what sense did it make to imply that the perpetrators’ claim to be at war with us is at all questionable?

It makes no sense, except perhaps as a lawyer’s quibble. Taken as such, it seems calculated to obfuscate the charge of treason that ought to be duly brought and tried if and when a serious investigation shows it to be a fact that that Obama and his cohorts aided and abetted the terrorist forces that constitute ISIS; that they did so in ways that risked and eventually claimed American lives, including innocent civilians, and military, diplomatic and security personnel, e.g., at Benghazi; and that they did so covertly precisely because they knew the declared aim of the terrorist forces in question and understood, therefore, that those forces are committed to making implacable war on the people of the United States and their self-government.

Voters Skeptical of Arguments Against Amendment to Get Money Out of Politics

Polling evidence has consistently shown that a strong majority of American voters are opposed to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates for freewheeling spending by corporations to influence elections. Increasingly wary of the shadow big businesses and billionaires can cast on the democratic process, voters also understand the need to curtail the influence of wealthy special interests the Democracy for All Amendment (S.J. Res. 19). Previous polling has shown that nearly three-quarters of voters support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and reduce the influence of big money in elections.

But a new, bipartisan poll of likely November 2014 voters released this week found that not only are Americans fed up with the saturation of money in politics, they are also skeptical of the arguments of those trying to stand in the way of progress by opposing a constitutional amendment. Only 25 percent of voters agree with opponents’ assertions that an amendment would be an assault on our free speech rights. Conversely, more than six out of ten voters agree that an amendment would help restore equal representation to our democratic process and ensure that our government is truly of, by, and for the people. Tellingly, while support of an amendment to overturn Citizens United is divided along largely partisan lines in Congress, public outrage over the amount of money shaping campaigns reaches both sides of the aisles.

“The poll affirms that our message resonates far more strongly than the message of those who oppose the amendment, and that voters do not accept misleading talking points,” said Marge Baker, executive vice president of program and policy at People For the American Way, during announcements of the new polling data. “The American people  get that to have real political debate we need to return to core First Amendment values in support of a democracy where all points of view can be considered and all voices heard. The momentum against Citizens United is tremendous and will only keep growing The public is ready for that fight.”

In addition to widespread public support, the Democracy for All Amendment currently has 50 supporters in the Senate, where it is headed for a vote on Monday, September 8. 

PFAW

Civil Liberties Experts: Limiting Big Money In Elections Doesn’t Infringe on Free Speech Rights

This morning, six civil liberties experts released a letter emphasizing that reasonable regulations on money in elections do not violate the free speech rights guaranteed in the First Amendment. The authors — academics, philanthropists, and lawyers, all of whom are former leaders of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — make clear that the protection of civil liberties is entirely compatible with commonsense limits on money in elections.

The letter was released following a barrage of misleading arguments pushed by Sen. Ted Cruz and others about the Democracy for All Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United that will be voted on in the Senate on Monday. Though opponents have tried to position themselves as defenders of free speech, with Sen. Cruz going so far as to claim that the amendment would repeal the First Amendment and “muzzle” Americans, this letter emphasizes that it is, in fact, the Court’s twisted interpretation of the First Amendment that threatens to leave Americans without a voice:

Rather than interpreting the First Amendment as assuring everyone a reasonable opportunity to be heard, the Court (and the National ACLU) has turned the First Amendment on its head by guaranteeing the wealthy an expensive set of stereo speakers, and leaving the average citizen with a bad case of laryngitis. Most Americans would find it preposterous to allot more time in a debate to the speaker with the most money. Yet, that is precisely how our campaign finance system functions today.

The authors, many of whom signed a similar letter in 1998, note that our country’s money in politics problem has only gotten worse since then. In the wake of decisions like Citizens United and McCutcheon, they write, “American democracy is almost irretrievably broken.” While they do not weigh in on the Democracy for All Amendment specifically, the civil liberties experts close the letter with a call to restore the promise of the First Amendment by overturning these damaging decisions:

We believe that overturning many of the Court’s narrow 5-4 campaign finance precedents and implementing generous, content neutral political spending limits is the best way to fulfill the promise of James Madison’s First Amendment as democracy’s best friend.

You can read the full text of the letter here.
 

PFAW
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