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First day of Senate debate to #GetMoneyOut

Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois was there to set the record straight, about the true reality of this debate, and about the seriousness with which Democracy for All supporters have approached this historic step forward in the movement to take back our democracy from powerful corporations and billionaires.
PFAW

Linda Harvey: 'Homosexual Indoctrination' And LGBT Books Lead To 'Nightmares, Panic Attacks, Deep Depression'

Mission America’s Linda Harvey has a back-to-school message for parents: beware of homosexual indoctrination!

“Don’t let your schools get away with homosexual indoctrination,” Harvey warned in her daily radio commentary today. “Your children’s physical, moral and spiritual future is at stake.”

Harvey attacked Gay-Straight Alliance clubs for supporting “the deviance of homosexual behavior for vulnerable kids” and promoting “homosexual perversion.” She also said that “wild liberals” on school teaching staffs plan to “normalize deviance.”

Later in the radio bulletin, Harvey said educators who make available “pornographic,” “anything-goes,” LGBT-inclusive literature — which she described as “trash” — are harming children: “Who cares if they have nightmares, panic attacks or go into deep depression?”

Ben Carson: Evolution Is An Absurd Myth, 'Give Me A Break'

In a “Faith & Liberty” interview posted last week, potential GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson discussed his rejection of the theory of evolution, arguing that the science of evolution is a sign of humankind’s arrogance and belief “that they are so smart that if they can’t explain how God did something, then it didn’t happen, which of course means that they’re God. You don’t need a God if you consider yourself capable of explaining everything.”

He claimed that “no one has the knowledge” of the age of the earth “based on the Bible,” adding that “carbon dating and all of these things really don’t mean anything to a God who has the ability to create anything at any point in time.”

Carson pointed to the “complexity of the human brain” as proof that evolution is a myth: “Somebody says that came from a slime pit full of promiscuous biochemicals? I don’t think so.”

He said evolution is unable to explain the development of an eyeball: “Give me a break. According to their scheme, it had to occur over night, it had to be there. I instead say, if you have an intelligent creator, what he does is give his creatures the ability to adapt to the environment so he doesn’t have to start over every fifty years creating all over again.”

Carson also said he hopes God will intervene to expose the truth about Obamacare.

Arguing that Obamacare will lead people to lose their health coverage — even though the opposite is happening — Carson said he has “prayed to God that he will expose even to people of low information what is going on. Sometimes things have to be so blatant, it’s like hitting them over the head with a two-by-four, before people wake up.”

Carson ended the interview by warning that Christians in America are facing widespread persecution and religious hostility.

“They’ve been bludgeoned into silence,” he said.

Jim Gilchrist Regrets He Can’t Take Up Arms To Stop 'Tyrannical' Obama From Imposing 'One-Party Communism'

In an interview with Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg yesterday, Jim Gilchrist of the anti-immigrant vigilante group the Minuteman Project, lamented that he is unable to take up arms against a “tyrannical” U.S. government that will use both legal and illegal immigration to impose Chinese-style “one-party communism.”

“This is a politically inspired ploy by the Democratic Party that has been going on for decades to lure as many people from all around the world — it doesn’t matter if they’re here legally or illegally — lure them in,” he said. He predicted that new immigrants, once granted voting rights, will overwhelmingly support Democrats “and for the first time in the history of the United States, we will be a solid one-party system. It’s the same kind of system they have in China, it’s called one-party communism.”

“This is offensive,” Gilchrist raged. “What are we going to do? We can’t do anything. We have a tyrannical government and a wayward Congress who for the past two decades have let this happen.”

“You, your audience and me, we are essentially Americans without a country,” he added. “And what are we going to do about it? We can’t take up arms, we’ll be shot dead in the street. We use the First Amendment to peacefully engage and bring our grievances forward, and no one listens to us.”

Ben Carson Joins Far-Right Outlet WorldNetDaily

It appears that in 2016, there will be two GOP presidential candidates who have worked as columnists for WorldNetDaily: Rick Santorum and, as announced today, Ben Carson.

Back in July, Carson sat down with WND editor Joseph Farah to discuss why he believes that drug reform laws are meant to distract from Benghazi and that President Obama is a Leninist.

As we have noted on previous occasions, WND is a birther, racist outlet which has suggested that Obama is a secretly gayMuslimcommunistdemon-possessed dictator who is setting up concentration camps and cattle cars for his planned holocaust.

WND, nonetheless, remains influential in right-wing circles and has access to high-ranking Republican politicians. Another likely Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul, even cited the website’s “reporting” to substantiate one of his Benghazi conspiracy theories, while admitting: “I don’t have any proof.”

In fact, “I don’t have any proof” is a great way to describe WND’s style of journalism.

Louie Gohmert Reminds America 'It's Not Just Foreign People That Have Dreams'

In an appearance on the radio show “Point of View” last week, Rep. Louie Gohmert took issue with the use of the term “DREAMers” to refer to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.

“People here need to understand, it’s not just foreign people that have dreams,” Gohmert said. “They say, ‘Oh, they’re the DREAMers.’ We’ve got children of our own that have dreams that will never be realized.”

Gohmert went on to compare the thousands of Central American children who have come to the southern border of the U.S. after fleeing drug-related violence in their home countries to North Korean defectors, who he said make a “good neighbor” by comparison.

“And I mentioned that I’ve met with North Koreans before, children and people that they want their families to be free,” he said. “But they’re not asking us to bring millions of people over from Korea. They’re saying, help us make our own country safer. That would be a good neighbor.”

Of course, while very few North Korean refugees have made it to the United States, there are tens of thousands living in neighboring China, which has built a fence along its North Korean border.

Chris McDaniel Will Demand A New Election Until He Is Declared The Winner

Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel is somehow still appealing his election loss to Sen. Thad Cochran, insisting that according to his magic math he was the real victor of June’s Republican primary run-off.

In an appearance on the Tea Party News Network’s “The Capitol Hill Show with Tim Constantine” this weekend, McDaniel said “we are fighting for our lives now as conservatives.”

“They need to order a new election, at the very least,” he said.

Joseph Farah: No Difference Between ISIS And CAIR

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, along with other Muslim-American groups, has repeatedly condemned the actions of ISIS, but WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah holds their denunciations of ISIS as proof that the two groups are actually allies. (Of course, had CAIR not condemned ISIS, Farah then would have said that their silence was proof that they support them).

Farah writes today that CAIR and ISIS are both extremist groups that only differ in their “tactics,” arguing that “it’s like the difference between Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky. The goals are the same; it’s only a matter of strategy for achieving them.”

The stealth jihadists have a public relations nightmare on their hands.

It’s called ISIS – or, as the head-chopping Muslim terrorists of the Middle East prefer to be known, “Islamic State.”

The Muslim Brotherhood front group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a darling of the U.S. media, thinks ISIS is giving “jihadists” like them a bad name.



In other words, [Nihad] Awad, whose organization is actually an offshoot of the terrorist group Hamas, currently bombarding Israeli cities with rockets, thinks ISIS should kill, maim, behead and institute Saudi-style Shariah law less zealously, more judiciously, more moderately and perhaps less conspicuously.

I can’t believe this kind of talk is believed by anyone who has witnessed Islam’s carnage over the last 13 years.



The tactics of Awad and CAIR may differ from ISIS. But it’s like the difference between Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky. The goals are the same; it’s only a matter of strategy for achieving them.

Right now, the Middle East is at stake.

With hand-wringing and vacillation the response from the West, Awad’s tepid denunciation of ISIS may sound comforting.

But, don’t get fooled, again.

People must be judged not by their words but by their fruits. And, it’s fair to say after 1,400 years of terror, genocide and unspeakable tyranny in the Islamic world that its fruit is rotten to the core.

PFAW Members Rally Outside Sen. McConnell’s Louisville Office

LOUISVILLE, KY — People For the American Way (PFAW) members and other activists rallied outside of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s state office on Tuesday afternoon to protest “King Mitch’s” role in supporting big money in politics. Activists held a giant “King Mitch” and signs that highlighted how Sen. McConnell supports millionaires over ordinary Kentuckians.
 
Last week PFAW delivered petitions from more than 15,000 Kentuckians urging Sen. McConnell to support an amendment overturning decisions like Citizens United. This week, McConnell led the effort to block the Democracy For All Amendment, which would have limited the influence of billionaires and corporations in our elections.

“‘King Mitch’ only pays attention to the millionaires and billionaires that fund his campaigns, and ignores the average Kentucky constituent,” said PFAW Regional Political Coordinator Scott Foval. “He not only supports big money in politics, ‘King Mitch’ fights against policies that don’t benefit his ‘court’ of lobbyists, donors, and friends like the Koch brothers. He wants a government where only the most privileged have a voice.”

For more information on People For the American Way’s work to get big money out of politics, please see our Government By the People webpage.

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Ben Carson: To Know Obama, Read 'Mein Kampf'

In an interview with Newsmax host J.D. Hayworth today, Ben Carson said that if people want to know the truth about President Obama, they should simply “read ‘Mein Kampf’ and read the works of Vladimir Lenin.” “Mein Kampf,” of course, was written by Adolf Hitler and is filled with anti-Communist diatribes.

Carson, a likely Republican presidential candidate who is obsessed with the conspiracy-theory-laden book “The Naked Communist,” strongly hinted in the interview that he believes Obama is a communist.

Carson has previously claimed that Obama wants to turn America into Nazi Germany and a Gestapo-like state, warning that “we live in a Gestapo age.”

He also told Hayworth, a former Arizona Republican congressman, that Obama and other Democrats are using the uproar in Ferguson, Missouri, to “manipulate” people and “fan the flames of division.”

Carson said the fatal shooting of Michael Brown “has less to do with racism and a lot more to do with some deep cultural issues that are producing individuals who are likely to end up in trouble with the law, who are likely to end up in conflict with each other which will lead to violence and death.”

Mat Staver: LGBT Acceptance Is 'Very Dangerous' To Society

Last week, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver appeared on “In The Market with Janet Parshall” to argue that the LGBT rights movement is eroding America’s moral compass.

Staver pointed his finger at Christians who either support LGBT equality or have given up fighting against it, realizing they are on the losing side of a political showdown.

“There is some resolution to say, ‘Oh, we’ve lost this battle, we just need to figure out how to move forward and coexist,’” he said. “And that is a wrong, very dangerous position to be in. You cannot coexist, you cannot give up on something, that is literally an attack on God himself.”

Staver added that marriage equality is part of a larger agenda that seeks to “abolish gender, abolish sexual morals and norms” in an act that defies the “natural created order.”

“To assume that you can go against the created order is hubris, it’s arrogance, it’s dangerous and it is not something in which we can simply say, ‘the battle’s over, we need to figure out how to coexist.’ There is no coexistence,” he said.

NPR Highlights Poll Showing Bipartisan Support for Amendment to #GetMoneyOut

As the Senate begins debating the Democracy For All Amendment that would overturn decisions like Citizens United, NPR’s Peter Overby highlighted the strong, bipartisan public support for reforming our campaign finance system in a radio segment this morning.

“When pollsters ask Americans about the political money system, overwhelming percentages basically say they hate it. So why doesn’t Congress do something?” he asked.

Overby spoke with Bob Carpenter, a Republican pollster who helped conduct a recent poll — commissioned by Public Citizen and partially underwritten by People For the American Way — on Americans’ attitudes toward a constitutional amendment like the one being debated this week. Carpenter emphasized that the data is clear: Republicans, Democrats, and independents all agree that Citizens United needs to be overturned. And while Republicans in Congress are pushing the myth that the amendment would gut free speech protections, Carpenter said that according to the poll, most Americans aren’t buying their arguments.

Overby’s segment highlights the fact that, in PFAW President Michael Keegan’s words, “Washington is the only place where campaign finance reform is a partisan issue.”

You can listen to the full segment here.

PFAW

Yet Another Way Activists are Raising the Issue of Campaign Finance Reform: Photo Petition!

Participate in the photo petition at http://www.demanddemocracy.org/

Curtailing the corrupting influence of money in politics may be the most pivotal issue facing our country. Unfortunately, many people see campaign finance reform as an abstract, boring issue that doesn’t resonate with their immediate priorities. In fact, as we’ve seen as the Democracy for All amendment is debated in the Senate this week, the dangerous threat to our democracy posed by big money in politics is absolutely fundamental to every  issue Americans care about:  student loan debt, paycheck equality for women, the stagnant minimum wage, climate change and sound energy policies. By addressing the countless ways that unlimited money in our elections impedes progress, it’s not hard to show how addressing the challenge of money in politics is relevant to every American.

To show how money in politics affects all of us, progressive organizations including People For the American Way, Public Citizen and Rethink Media have launched a photo petition and messaging campaign to help activists all across the country show why they care about getting money out of our elections.  The goal of the One Person One Vote #GetMoneyOut photo petition is simple: to show that democracy is about equal representation – one person one vote – without special privileges granted to a few. Special interest spending in elections has disrupted the balance of one person one vote by amplifying the voices of those who can afford to spend hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in elections.

For the photo petition take a picture of yourself holding your pointer finger in the air (to represent one person one vote) while holding a sign that says #GetMoneyOut. You can be alone, or with a group. You can be in front of a Town hall, or at home in your house. We want as many pictures as possible of people, in as many places as possible, demanding the same thing… to #GetMoneyOut. If you want to get creative and incorporate additional props/signs into their photos… go for it!

Submit your photo at DemandDemocracy.org, along with the state you’re submitting it from. By uploading these photos to one central location, we can generate a trove of images showing activists speaking out on this issue.

We’ll also use your photo to tweet members of Congress dozens, hundreds or thousands of pictures of their constituents demanding that they #GetMoneyOut – and standing up for the core democratic principle of One Person One Vote. Your picture can help remind our elected leaders that money in politics is ultimately about people.

PFAW

David Dewhurst: Unaccompanied Minors Are A 'Mirage'

Speaking with Tony Perkins on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst said that unaccompanied minors fleeing drug-related violence in Central America are just a distraction engineered by President Obama.

“This whole conversation about the unaccompanied children, ladies and gentlemen, this is a mirage, it is a public relations effort, this is an effort by the Obama administration to divert your attention,” he said.

Dewhurst said the children are a small share of the immigrant population compared to the many criminals he said are crossing the border.

Tony Perkins: Overturning Citizens United Will Anger The Founding Fathers

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council thinks the Founding Fathers would be upset by the push to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, warning on “Washington Watch” yesterday that a constitutional amendment would be “dangerous” to the country.

Perkins said amendment supporters “think they know better than the Founding Fathers” and seek to “rewrite the First Amendment to essentially silence political speech and strip it out of the First Amendment.”

He said he can’t believe anyone would support an amendment to allow voters to pass campaign finance regulations, even though a majority of voters, including Republicans, support an amendment [PDF].

Perkins previously claimed that overturning Citizens United is a sign of anti-Christian persecution, even going so far as to link the effort to the imprisonment of a Christian Sudanese woman.

PFAW and Allies Rally, Deliver 3 Million Petitions in Support of Amendment to #GetMoneyOut

On Monday afternoon People For the American Way joined partner organizations, Senators, and Representatives in a rally outside the U.S. Capitol in support of the Democracy For All Amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United and get big money out of politics. As the Senate begins debating the measure, PFAW and ally organizations teamed up to deliver more than three million petitions in support of an amendment.

The rally was kicked off by People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker (pictured speaking above) and Public Citizen President Robert Weissman. Speakers included Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Sen. Al Franken (Minn.), Rep. Ted Deutch (Fla.), and Rep. Jim McGovern (Mass.) Rally footage was featured on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and in the Huffington Post.


Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.)


Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.)


Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)


Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)


Sen. Al Franken (Minn.)


Rep. Ted Deutch (Fla.)


Rep. Jim McGovern (Mass.)

At the rally, PFAW Executive Vice President Marge Baker said, “Today, more money than ever is flooding our democracy. But something else is also happening: everyday Americans are fighting back. Americans are no longer willing to settle for elections auctioned to the highest bidders.” You can watch her speech here.

The massive number of petitions delivered is just one of many indicators of the broad support for an amendment to get big money out of politics. Sixteen states, more than 550 cities and towns, and public figures including former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and President Barack Obama have already voiced support for an amendment. Recent polling found that nearly three in four voters (73 percent) favor it.

Organizations contributing petitions included People For the American Way, MoveOn.org, CREDO, Daily Kos, Public Citizen, Public Change Campaign Committee, USAction, Common Cause, Democrats.com, Free Speech For People, Coffee Party, Center for Media and Democracy, Brave New Films, Progressive Democrats of America, Sierra Club, US PIRG, Communications Workers of America, Wolf PAC, Move to Amend, Food and Water Watch, Corporate Accountability International, Greenpeace, Public Campaign, the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the League of Conservation Voters, and the Story of Stuff Project.

Get more information on PFAW’s Government By the People work here.

PFAW

Republicans are Making Campaign Finance a Partisan Issue, But it Shouldn’t Be

In observing the steep partisan divide on the Democracy for All amendment – with all 55 Democrats in the Senate supporting and not a single Republican – one might conclude that campaign finance reform is a completely partisan issue. Historically speaking, however, this is far from the case. The current amendment, which is in the process of being debated on the Senate floor, closely resembles other proposals that have been introduced and had bipartisan support in nearly every Congress since 1983, when Republican Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska) introduced similar legislation. Up until recently, these proposals have had support from numerous Republicans in Congress, including Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Thad Cochran (Miss.), in addition to many Democrats. Polling shows that Americans of all political persuasions are outraged by the amount of money flooding our political system and support remedies including a constitutional amendment to fix the problem.

Money in politics is not a partisan issue; it has an impact on the lives of all Americans, regardless of party affiliation. The ability of outside interests to influence political debate has fueled an explosion of spending in both primaries and general elections, creating a toxic situation where candidates are forced to cater their views to the whims of donors with the biggest bank accounts, regardless of whether those individuals are even their constituents or not. By allowing for limits on the amount of outside money spent in elections, political leaders can spend less time worrying about how they will raise enough cash to win their reelection campaigns and more time addressing the concerns of their constituents.

An overwhelming majority of Americans are in favor of limiting the influence of big money in politics, often by margins of three or four to one. The fact that the Democracy for All amendment currently has no Republican support in Congress is not representative of Republican viewpoints outside of Washington.  As made clear in a recent report put out by Free Speech for People numerous Republicans currently serving in office on the state and local level are on record in supporting campaign finance reform – to combat the corrosive political environment created by Supreme Court case decisions such as Citizens United. These destructive decisions handed down by the high court threaten the foundation of our democracy, and misrepresent the will of the people. For the time being the Democracy for All amendment may appear partisan, but if politicians listen to the people, campaign finance reform will become bipartisan once again.

PFAW

Jonathan Cahn Links Legal Abortion To Vietnam War, 9/11

Jonathan Cahn, a messianic rabbi and End Times prophet who is a favorite among Religious Right activists and politicians , claimed in an interview last week that America’s defeat in the Vietnam War and the September 11 attacks were both the result of divine judgment linked to the legalization of abortion in 1973’s Roe v. Wade.

Cahn’s theories are based on the idea that major world events occur on “Shemitah” years, which fall every seven years on the Hebrew calendar, and are either positive or negative depending on God’s opinion of a nation at any given time. He has explained, for instance, that the September 11 attacks and the 2008 financial collapse both happened in “Shemitah” years, and that God allowed them to occur to send a warning to the United States about legal abortion and same-sex marriage.

In an interview on the show “Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural” last week, Cahn expounded on his theory that 9/11 was a punishment from God, and added a new idea: that America’s withdrawal from Vietnam was a warning from God about Roe v. Wade.

The First Amendment, According to Mitch McConnell

This post was originally published at the Huffington Post.

Have you heard that Senate Democrats are working this week to repeal free speech?

I did, yesterday morning, from Mitch McConnell.

Have you heard that Democrats are going to go out and "muzzle" pastors who criticize them in the pulpit?

We did, from Ted Cruz.

Did you hear that Democrats are going to shut down conservative activists and then "brainwash the next generation into believing that this is how it should be"?

We did, last month, from the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins.

A good rule of thumb in politics is that the scarier someone sounds, the more you should doubt what they're saying. Another good rule in politics is not to trust what Mitch McConnell says about money in politics.

Because, yes, that's what we're talking about here. Not a secret new Orwellian regime. Not a new anti-pastor task force. What we're talking about is simply limiting the amount of money that corporations and wealthy individuals can spend to influence our elections.

This week, the Senate is debating a constitutional amendment that would overturn recent Supreme Court decisions that have paved the way for an explosion of big money in politics. In those decisions, including Citizens United and this year's McCutcheon, the Supreme Court radically redefined the First Amendment to allow corporations and the wealthy to drown out the speech of everyday Americans with nearly unlimited political spending. The Democracy for All amendment would restore to Congress and the states the power to impose reasonable restrictions on money in politics, just as they had before the Supreme Court started to dismantle campaign finance laws.

So, what are Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz so scared of?

In fact, it wasn't that long ago that Mitch McConnell supported the very laws that he is now dead-set on blocking. Back in 1987, McConnell said he would support a constitutional amendment to allow Congress to regulate independent expenditures in elections -- just as the Democracy for All amendment would. And then he introduced that very constitutional amendment. Either McConnell has dramatically changed his mind regarding what constitutes a threat to the First Amendment, or he's motivated by something more cynical.

So, if Mitch McConnell doesn't actually think that limiting the amount of money that wealthy interests can spend on elections is a violation of the First Amendment, what is he up to? Could it be that he now finds it more useful to court the dollars of major donors than the votes of his constituents?

Washington is the only place where campaign finance reform is a partisan issue. A poll this summer found that 73 percent of voters support a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics. Americans know that our First Amendment is about protecting the speech of citizens, not the interests of wealthy campaign donors.

Faced with a large, bipartisan grassroots movement that threatens their big-spending friends, the only arguments that Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz have left are wild accusations, flat-out falsehoods, and outlandish interpretations of the Bill of Rights.

PFAW

Rick Wiles: Gay Rights Will Turn America Into Antichrist Kingdom, Spark Nuclear Attack

On yesterday’s edition of “Trunews,” Rick Wiles spoke to televangelist Irvin Baxter about America’s role in the End Times war which, according to Baxter, will “kill one-third of mankind.”

Wiles, however, took issue with Baxter’s claim that Russia will join the “kingdom of the Antichrist,” which comes as no surprise since Wiles is a big fan of Vladimir Putin. In fact, he has his own idea for which country will lead the Antichrist kingdom: the United States.

“The country that’s acting like it’s part of the kingdom of the Antichrist is the United States of America, and Russia is standing against homosexual marriage, they’re standing for traditional family values,” Wiles said. “The United States is exporting its wickedness, we’re using our power and might to force nations to change their laws to accept abortion, to accept homosexual marriage and homosexual rights, so which country is part of the Antichrist system and which is not?”

Wiles further backed up his point by claiming that America has betrayed Israel and “is behind ISIS, it’s the United States government that created ISIS.”

He also repeated his claim that America will soon face a nuclear attack for embracing “rebellion” and “debauchery,” referring to the attack as a “wakeup call” from God.

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