Glenn Beck Reveals That He Was Planning To Retire From Radio And Run For Office, But Not Anymore

During his appearance on Dana Loesch's program last night, Glenn Beck revealed that his experience campaigning for God's chosen candidate, Ted Cruz, during the Republican primaries and his betrayal when Cruz endorsed Trump has dissuaded him from his plans to run for office.

Beck said that he will never again endorse a candidate. He also revealed that he told his wife last year that he was thinking of retiring from radio and television and running for office in a future election.

"I want to pray on it," Beck said he told his wife, "because maybe in 2020, 2024, maybe I'll run for something ... Not necessarily for president, I don't know, but I want to prepare myself to be worthy enough to run."

But after what he has seen, Beck said that he wants nothing to do with politics because "it's an absolute cesspool."

Edit Memo: The Numbers Make Clear: Republican Senators Still Refuse to Do Their Jobs

To: Interested Parties
From: Paul Gordon, Senior Legislative Counsel, People For the American Way
Date: September 27, 2016
Re: The Numbers Make Clear: Republican Senators Still Refuse to Do Their Jobs

It’s hard work being a Republican senator.

Earlier this month, the Senate returned from the longest summer recess in 60 years.  That recess came even though Senate Republicans hadn’t found the time to hold a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, or vote on lower court judges who had long ago been fully vetted and approved by the Judiciary Committee.

Now, three weeks after returning to town, the Senate is on the verge of recess again at least until after the November elections, having put far more time into actively blocking confirmation votes than holding them.  Without enough judges, the entire third branch of the United States government fails to perform its functions effectively, delaying or denying justice for millions of people and businesses across America.

Since the Senate returned three weeks ago:

  • McConnell has not allowed a vote on any judicial nominees.
  • The number of Article III vacancies is now 91 (one Supreme Court, 12 circuit courts, 76 district courts, and two Court of International Trade), a vacancy rate about double of that when the GOP took over the Senate last year.
  • The number of vacancies officially designated as emergencies has increased to 35.
  • The number of Article III judicial nominees languishing on the Senate floor without a vote has increased to 25

In fact, McConnell has allowed only six judicial confirmation votes in the past six months.  Only 20 circuit and district courts and two International Trade nominees have been confirmed so far this entire Congress, which is breathtakingly low by historical standards.

Senate GOP leaders could have done what Democratic leaders did at the same point eight years ago, two months before the election to replace George W. Bush.  During the month of September, then-chairman Patrick Leahy held committee hearings and votes for ten Bush nominees, and then-Majority Leader Harry Reid arranged for all ten to be confirmed at the same time by unanimous consent on September 26.

Despite the two-dozen Obama nominees on the Senate floor, it actually wouldn’t take that long to confirm them.  Confirming those ten Bush nominees in 2008 took less than one minute of Senate floor time.

Less than one minute—that bears repeating, because Senate Republicans this month have spent a lot more time than that actively blocking efforts to have votes on long-waiting judicial nominees.  The details of that obstruction are worth recounting, because they show just how ridiculous the GOP’s efforts are.

On Wednesday, Sept 7, several Democrats went to the floor and highlighted the outrageously slow pace of judicial confirmations.  Each asked for unanimous consent (UC) to hold confirmation votes.  Sen. Heidi Heitkamp began, asking for UC to vote on all 20 of the circuit and district court nominees then pending on the Senate floor (2 circuit, 18 district).  Most had been approved by the Judiciary Committee as long ago as May or earlier.  Four had their committee approvals last year, including Tennessee’s Edward Stanton III and New Jersey’s Julien Neals, both African American nominees with home-state senators’ support … or so it seemed.

Senator McConnell asked to modify the UC request to a mere four nominees to be voted upon at some unknown future date.  All were white, all four had been waiting for significantly less time TN’s Stanton, and three had been waiting less time than New Jersey’s Neals.  This would have skipped over a number of other nominees who had been waiting longer than one of the nominees McConnell was including.  Rather than permit McConnell to violate regular order and allow his favored, Republican-supported nominees to “jump the line” significantly, Sen. Cory Booker spoke up for the Democratic caucus, rejecting McConnell’s plan.  At that point, McConnell objected to Sen. Heitkamp’s original request.

Since 20 thoroughly vetted nominees ready for confirmation months ago was clearly too much for McConnell, Sen. Tammy Baldwin sought UC to vote on just the oldest 14, which included a 7th Circuit nominee from Wisconsin named Donald Schott who would fill a seat that has been vacant for more than six years.

McConnell said no.

Sen. Mazie Hirono tried next: What if we take the circuit court nominee off?  She sought UC on the remaining 13 district court nominees.

McConnell said no.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren came up next.  What about the ten longest-waiting nominees?  As with all the other Democrats’ efforts, this one included Tennessee’s Stanton.

This time, it was Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander who said no—no to a vote on a Tennessee nominee whose nomination has been left hanging since last year, and who Sen. Alexander claims to support.

At this point, Cory Booker returned to the floor and pointed out that McConnell’s “compromise” of four judges had skipped over the two African American nominees who had been waiting the longest.  So he made a UC request just for them:  Edward Stanton of Tennessee (waiting for a floor vote since October 29 of last year), and Julien Neals of New Jersey (waiting since November 5 of last year).

This time it was GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana who said no.  And Sen. Alexander?  He did not speak up for his nominee at all.  Even with a UC for just Stanton and one other nominee who have been waiting since last year, Sen. Alexander’s “support” was MIA.

And the excuse that McConnell and his obedient GOP senators gave for not allowing a vote even on two consensus nominees waiting since last year?  They repeatedly claimed that Republicans were being fair to President Obama’s nominees overall during his presidency, citing the fact that there have been more Obama nominees confirmed than Bush had.

Misleadingly, he failed to say that there have been more vacancies to fill during Obama’s presidency, which is why there have been more confirmations.  He also failed to point out that Republicans had forced cloture votes on an incredible 93 of the confirmed nominees while they were the minority party; it takes gall to take credit for confirmation votes that you and your party actively tried to prevent.

But perhaps most importantly, even if McConnell’s explanation weren’t intentionally misleading, it would still be completely irrelevant.  An increasing number of courtrooms across the country are experiencing troubling, extended vacancies that are harming their communities.  They need judges desperately, and there are fully vetted nominees willing to step in to their robes and start work as soon as possible.  Why not let them?  In what possible way would treatment of other nominees over the past seven years justify denying access to justice to communities today? Is there some unknown quota on the number of confirmations that only Senator McConnell knows about?

So we’re left with a Republican Party that leaves town again having taken no confirmation votes on lower court nominees, and still refusing to even hold a committee hearing for Merrick Garland.

This is anything but normal, as is made clear when comparing this year’s obstruction with the way the Democratic-controlled Senate treated Bush’s nominees during his final two years in office.  The figure below shows the stark difference in the pace of circuit and district judicial confirmations under today’s Republican-controlled Senate as compared to the Democratic-controlled Senate of Bush’s last two years.


Another way of contrasting how seriously Senate Democrats took their job in 2007-2008 versus the attitude of Republicans today is to track the number of vacancies. Judicial vacancies open regularly and predictably, since judges usually announce their intent to retire or go into semi-retirement up to a year in advance. Just to keep the number of vacancies at an even level requires that several new judges be confirmed each month.

At the beginning of 2007, there were 56 circuit and district court vacancies. Throughout the next two years, the number of vacancies generally remained at 50 or fewer, getting as low as 34 in the early fall of 2008. Because an unusually high number of vacancies opened up after Election Day, that number climbed back to 55 by Inauguration Day, but even with that increase, the number of vacancies ended up at about what it had been two years earlier.

Today, in stark contrast, the number of circuit and district court vacancies is climbing, more than doubling from 40 at the beginning of the year to 87 today.  (Including the Supreme Court and International Trade vacancies, the increase has been from 43 to 91.)


We see the same thing with judicial emergencies, a formal designation assigned by the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts for vacancies where the caseload per judge is so high that it endangers access to justice. Judicial emergencies have skyrocketed from 12 at the beginning of the new Congress to 35 today1. As the chart below shows, Democrats in the Senate during Bush’s last two years did not allow the number of judicial emergencies to increase in a similar fashion, and in fact the number generally remained steady or decreased during most of those two years.



So just three weeks after returning from an unearned (and record) seven-week vacation, the GOP-controlled Senate prepares to leave town having made no progress on filling the Supreme Court vacancy, and having spent far more time on the Senate floor blocking confirmation votes than it would have taken to confirm those same nominees.

And after all this time refusing to do their jobs, many of these senators are now asking the voters for another six years.  And they do it without blushing.




[1] Judicial emergencies are based on caseloads, which are weighted to reflect the wide variations in time and resources generally associated with different types of cases. On April 15, the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts list of emergency vacancies began to incorporate a new weighting system adopted a month earlier by the Judicial Conference of the United States. As a result, the number of officially designated judicial emergencies dropped from 34 on April 14 to 28 the next day, a drop that had nothing to do with Senate action.


Trump Wasn't 'Endorsed By ICE,' But He Was Backed By Group That Attacked DACA

At last night's presidential debate, Hillary Clinton apparently got under Donald Trump's skin when she brought up a letter signed by 50 Republican national security experts who said that Trump would be "the most reckless President in American history." Trump responded:

I do want to say that I was just endorsed—and more are coming next week—it will be over 200 admirals, many of them here—admirals and generals endorsed me to lead this country. That just happened, and many more are coming. And I’m very proud of it.

In addition, I was just endorsed by ICE. They’ve never endorsed anybody before on immigration. I was just endorsed by ICE. I was just recently endorsed—16,500 Border Patrol agents.

Trump's boast of military endorsers seems to be a reference to a letter in support of his candidacy signed by 88 retired generals and admirals. The list contained no "major names," but did include such activists asJerry Boykin. Boykin, who was repeatedly criticized by President George W. Bush for giving speeches framing the fight against terrorism as a holy war between Christianity and Islam, now has a platform for his vicious anti-gay and anti-Muslim rhetoric as a top official at the Family Research Council.

The immigration allies Trump mentioned are similarly troubling. Trump was clearly not, as he claimed, endorsed by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is a federal agency that cannot endorse candidates. He was probably referring instead to his endorsement that morning from the National ICE Council, a union the represents somewhere between 5,000 and 7,600 of the agency's 20,000 employees. The other endorsement he boasted of was that of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), a union for border patrol officers.

As the Center for New Community has documented, both the National ICE Council and the NBPC have close ties to the organized anti-immigrant movement. “Instead of fulfilling organized labor’s traditional role of advocating for respectable wages and working conditions, leaders of these particular unions appear more focused on coordinating with special interest groups in the Beltway to advance anti-immigrant policy goals,” the Center wrote in a recent report.

The Center explains how the leadership of the National ICE Council collaborated with leading anti-immigrant groups to challenge President Obama’s DACA order in the courts and speak out against it in public:

In August 2012, shortly after the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) was announced, but before it was enacted, ten ICE agents filed a lawsuit against then DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and the directors of ICE and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit was Christopher Crane, President of the National ICE Council. In anticipation of President Obama announcing the DACA program, the leaders of the anti-immigrant movement began exploring ways to counter the program by falsely arguing that DACA represented an unconstitutional act of executive overreach. In order to mount a legal challenge against the program, however, the leaders of that movement needed to recruit a plaintiff who could credibly claim injury and be granted legal standing in a court of law.

Chris Crane was their man.

Crane v. Napolitano was initially dismissed on a legal technicality, and then in a separate ruling on April 7, 2015 the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals once again dismissed Crane and his colleagues’ case. Despite this, the lawsuit allowed anti-immigrant groups like NumbersUSA to construct a platform from which Crane could act as a prominent spokesperson, helping to advance the anti-immigrant movement’s targeting of DACA. NumbersUSA announced that it would cover all legal fees incurred for the duration of the suit, and the anti-immigrant movement’s most prominent attorney, Kris Kobach, was recruited to represent Crane and his colleagues. …

In announcing the National ICE Council’s endorsement of Trump, Crane cited the Republican candidate’s support for “the canceling of executive amnesty and non-enforcement directives”—in other words, DACA and DAPA.

The border patrol officers’ group has had similar collaboration with anti-immigrant groups. That includes, according to the Center for New Community, a California official with the union helping to tip off the extremist anti-immigrant activists who in the summer of 2014 physically blocked busses of Central Americans fleeing violence who were being brought to a border patrol facility.

Glenn Beck Says Ted Cruz Endorsed Donald Trump Because He Lost Faith In Divine Providence

Glenn Beck appeared on Dana Loesch's program, which airs on his TheBlaze television network, last night to discuss his outrage and disappointment in Ted Cruz for endorsing Donald Trump. He speculated that "the smarmiest of the smarmy" within the Texas GOP had threatened to destroy Cruz's political career and derail his bid for re-election in 2016 if he didn't endorse Trump, which caused Cruz to cave because he lost faith in divine providence.

"I think he had a moment of doubt, not of the people, of the protection of divine providence," Beck theorized.

Beck said that if he lost his entire company and wound up in jail, he would trust that divine providence would ensure that he still had a voice because even "Nelson Mandela had a voice because he was in jail."

"If you really know your principles and you say, 'I believe in the protection of divine providence, whatever is supposed to happen and get His message out, He will get it out,'" Beck said, "I believe in that. What Ted did was, I think, is what all of them do, 'I've got to be there so I've to to triangulate, this will work and this won't work and I don't see a way of that working.'"

"Well, I don't see a way that any of this works. I believe that will work," Beck said, pointing to heaven.

Trump Justifies Criticism Of Miss Universe Winner: 'She Gained A Massive Amount Of Weight'

At the very end of last night’s presidential debate, Hillary Clinton brought up the story of Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe who says that Trump, the owner of the pageant, called her “‘Miss Piggy’ after she gained weight and ‘Miss Housekeeping’ because she was not fully fluent in English.”

Trump, who still seems to be nursing an inexplicable grudge against Rosie O’Donnell, also couldn’t help but continue to trash Machado after the debate.

On “Fox and Friends” this morning, Trump attempted to justify his treatment of Machado, whom he referred to as “a girl,” by citing her “attitude” and the fact that “she gained a massive amount of weight” after winning the beauty pageant.

“I know that person,” he said. “That person was a Miss Universe person and she was the worst we ever had. The worst. The absolute worst. She was impossible. And she was a Miss Universe contestant and ultimately a winner who they had a tremendously difficult time with as Miss Universe… She was the winner and she gained a massive amount of weight and it was a problem. We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude. And we had a real problem with her.”

Unpacking that debate...

Millions of Americans, and frankly people all around the world, are anxiously asking the very same question today, “So, what did you think?!"

There’s much to unpack -- too much for one email, but here’s a partial recap, with some thoughts from our perspective.

Donald Trump and the Right Wing have been hammering the issue for the last year, but for all of their baseless attacks on Hillary Clinton’s stamina, it was clear that he was the only person on that stage with a stamina issue. As the night wore on, Trump went farther and farther off the rails, stumbling awkwardly to defend his record of Birtherism, his refusal to release his tax returns, and his support for unconstitutional and discriminatory policies.

Trump doubled down on previous insults he’s hurled at women, Latinos, and African Americans. And it was painfully obvious how ill-prepared he was to offer any coherent explanation of foreign policy, economic policy, and even his own actions.

PFAW’s Right Wing Watch:
20 Lies Donald Trump Told At The First Presidential Debate>>

In stark contrast, despite the very high bar set for her, Secretary Clinton simply nailed it. She offered a brilliant takedown of Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, listing the possible things that he might be hiding. She beat Trump at his own game by trumping him not just on substance, but on style. And she beat the sexist double standard that had TV news reporters talking almost exclusively about how her demeanor was going to determine her performance. If you watched the debate, you saw that she was the only candidate with the competence, stamina, temperament, and experience to answer the tough questions and do the tough job of president. And, Donald, maybe it is you who should try to smile more.

Clinton also called Trump out for his racist and sexist attacks on former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, whom he labeled “Miss Housekeeping” because she is Latina and referred to as “Miss Piggy” for gaining weight after she won her title. On the Fox and Friends morning show this morning, Trump kept digging himself in deeper, angrily criticizing Ms. Machado for being difficult primarly because, yes, she put on weight. At PFAW, we were honored to work with Alicia in our Latinos Vote! campaign, highlighting her personal story and connection with one of the uglier sides of Donald Trump. Alicia is clearly Trump’s worst nightmare: a Latina who has become a US citizen so that she can vote against him. 

Moderator Lester Holt, though not perfect, did an admirable job under challenging circumstances in getting out of the way to let voters see who the candidates really are. And he provided some basic, but important, real-time fact checking. It was important that he called out Trump on crucial points like: Trump’s persistent promotion of the racist Birther conspiracy theory against President Obama; Trump’s insistence that “stop and frisk” laws were not unconstitutional; and Trump’s dishonest assertion that being under IRS audit is what’s keeping him from releasing his tax returns.

Trump’s answers on the Birther topic were among the most bizarre and offensive of the night. Trump portrayed his leading the Birther conspiracy, a racist attack on the legitimacy of our first black president, as a great public service to the nation. Not only did he fail to apologize for promoting this racist myth, he insisted that he had succeeded where Secretary Clinton had failed: in getting President Obama to release his birth certificate -- something Clinton never tried to do. He dodged the questions about his promoting Birtherism for years after the birth certificate was produced, attempting to rewrite history on the fly, and then he proudly repeated this incoherent nonsense in post-debate interviews, again bragging about how he got the birth certificate that Clinton could never get. Art of the Deal! 

Now, for what was one of the most telling and insightful parts of the debate -- something that disappointingly has not gotten a lot of attention from press and commentators -- we have this brief exchange, amidst a flailing attack-filled rant by Trump:

CLINTON: I have a feeling that by, the end of this evening, I'm going to be blamed for everything that's ever happened.

TRUMP: Why not?

Trump was dead serious… serious in his suggestion that one of the most irrational notions imaginable -- blaming one person for all of the world’s ills -- was actually a valid thing to do … at least when it comes to Hillary Clinton.

And that really says it all. Hate is the language of Trump’s “movement,” and Hillary is now the number one person -- without rival, now that President Obama is no longer running for office -- who conservative America loves to hate.

There has been a seemingly endless amount of time spent trying to crack the code of the Trump supporter, trying to analyze the electorate in a way that makes sense of his support and the fact that this is an incredibly competitive race for president (and that Trump could win).

Surely there has to be some legitimate grievance or issue that he speaks to, that appeals to such a huge number of voters! They can’t all be bigoted, or that easily manipulated by fear of crime, terrorism, and changing demographics … can they?

Well, the truth is that Trump doesn’t appeal to people on actual issues. And, of course, not all of his supporters are bigots. What many have in common though is that they have become addicted, in a way, to hating Hillary Clinton.

Hate for Hillary and the no-holds-barred attacks on her that have no foundation in any truth whatsoever have been legitimized and made OK for people to engage in … and far too many people enjoy engaging in the hate -- people who have spent years watching Fox News, listening to right-wing talk radio, or reading “Alt-Right” websites like Breitbart.com. If you want a sense of it, just visit our RightWingWatch.org now, or any day of the week.

The attacks go far beyond believability and logic. They shun basic decency. But the right-wing airwaves and the Facebook feeds of conservative Americans are nonetheless teeming with them.

Trump connects with these people first on their common animosity towards Clinton. He endears himself to them by attacking her in ways they find both entertaining and self-validating. And then, after he’s earned their trust by showing that he is “one of them,” he can say anything, act any way, and he will be forgiven for it, the way a friend or family member might be forgiven for an offensive remark … you’ll say you don’t agree with the person on that point, but you’re not going to disown him (or, in this case, not vote for him).

So, after last night, we have reason to celebrate Secretary Clinton’s clear debate victory, and we have much more ammunition against Trump, who again showed himself to be ridiculously unqualified. We also need to face the possibility that while Trump may not have picked up many voters last night, sadly, he probably didn’t lose many either. 

Trump’s performance -- which was aimed squarely at his right-wing base -- offered yet another disturbing insight into the state of American politics and the right-wing movement. Just think about how empowered this right-wing movement will be after the election, whether they win or lose, because of the rise of Trumpism. 

We have a ton of work to do -- as progressives and as a country. But make no mistake, we’re up to the task. And continuing to call out the lies and extremism is never futile, because it’s only when we give up that the Donald Trumps of the world and their right-wing allies win.


Gordon Klingenschmitt: Hillary Clinton Is Possessed By A 'Demonic Spirit Of Hatred' For Christians

On his "Pray In Jesus Name" program today, Colorado state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt responded to Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" comment by declaring that she is un-Christian and possessed by a "demonic, evil spirit of hatred."

"She's talking about you, the viewer of this program," Klingenschmitt declared. "If you believe the Bible, Hillary deplores you! Now, those are just the facts; let's discern the spirits, let's take a moment and say what is it inside of Hillary that makes her deplore us? She's labeling an entire category of people as we're deplorable, does that mean she deplores us? Does that say something about what's inside of her, not what's inside of us?"

"What is inside of her but the spirit of hatred?" he continued. "This demonic, evil spirit of hatred and deploring is not inside of us, it's inside of her toward us. And her behavior, her hatred makes her a very hateful woman, a very deploring woman. Do you see it inside of her? Can you look inside of her and say, 'That must be a Christian woman who loves Jesus, who loves the Bible and even loves her enemies'? ... No, she deplores us. By her own confession now, she is manifesting the spirit of hatred and that makes her anti-Christian."

Klingenschmitt closed out the segment by praying that God will deliver Clinton "from this demonic spirit of hatred."

Rick Joyner: Donald Trump Is Just Like St. Peter

Last week on “The Jim Bakker Show,” Rick Joyner said that Donald Trump is the “warrior leader” that the U.S. needs at this time of war and insecurity.

Joyner, a conservative televangelist, even compared Trump to St. Peter, saying that like St. Peter, Trump is outspoken, bold, tireless and, absurdly, “humble.”

“All I’m saying, I’m just saying, I’m just saying, he is going to say some outrageous things but he’s an honest man,” Joyner said of Trump.

Pat Robertson: Halloween Is Satan Worship

Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson advised a viewer not to let her son attend a haunted house on Halloween and instead to explain to him that the devil is using the holiday to try to “destroy you.”

“Mother, don’t let your babies grow up to be demon-worshippers, if I can quote from Willie Nelson,” he said. “Don’t let him do it.”

Robertson said churches should organize their own alternative events with “all the nice, pretty girls and all the handsome boys” where “they’re praising the Lord instead of worshiping Satan.”

“Halloween has become a night when the devil rejoices,” Robertson added.

New List Makes Even Clearer the Dangers of a Trump Supreme Court

Much has already been written about the dangers that a Supreme Court with even one or two Donald Trump-appointed justices would pose to all our rights and liberties. Trump’s latest list of 10 more possible nominees makes that even clearer. In making his announcement last Friday, Trump proclaimed he was using the late Justice Antonin Scalia as a model for his picks, delighting the far Right. A quick look at these potential nominees’ records shows that they would in fact swing the court far to the right, maybe even further than Justice Scalia, on issues like the environment, voting rights, money in politics, consumer rights, gun violence, LGBT and reproductive rights and more. For the sake of all our rights and liberties, Trump cannot be given the opportunity to nominate Supreme Court justices.

Most of the attention so far has focused on Trump’s naming of Sen. Mike Lee as a potential Supreme Court nominee. Among his many other radical positions, Lee has denounced Supreme Court decisions upholding marriage equality and a woman’s right to choose, and has claimed that Social Security, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, minimum wage and child labor laws, and many more are unconstitutional. Although Lee has indicated he is satisfied with his current job, at least for now, the prospect of Lee on the court has excited the far Right.

The lesser-known candidates on Trump’s list are similarly alarming. Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles Canady, who as a member of the House helped lead the fight to impeach President Clinton in the Senate, has been dubbed one of the Florida Court’s “Scalia-Thomas duo” because of far-right dissents he and one other conservative have written. These included one dissent that would have invalidated state restrictions on soliciting campaign contributions by state judges, and another that would have reversed a decision protecting vulnerable seniors from mandatory arbitration rules by nursing homes.

Another new Trump candidate, Neil Gorsuch of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, recently argued that the Supreme Court’s Chevron decision, under which courts defer to environmental and other agency interpretations of ambiguous laws and which even Justice Scalia had supported, is unconstitutional and should be overruled. Tim Tymkovich, another 10th Circuit judge on Trump’s new list, argued in a dissent that a federal regulation banning the carrying and storing of guns on U.S. Postal Service property should be partially struck down as unconstitutional.

The records of other state supreme court judges on Trump’s list are also disturbing. Georgia’s Keith Blackwell wrote in one case that homeowners injured by a plant’s release of hydrogen sulfide gas could not bring a class action against the plant, even though several lower courts said that they could. Iowa’s Edward Mansfield argued in one dissent that a fired employee should not be able to claim retaliatory discharge when she was fired by an assisted living facility for complaining about a supervisor forging state-mandated training documents. And Michigan’s Robert Young campaigned for re-election as a Tea Party candidate, appearing before Tea Party groups and securing their endorsements. His judicial record has been criticized as “partisan, wildly activist, rabidly pro-insurance, and anti-consumer.” For example, in one case he dissented from a decision that restored the basic rule, which he himself had helped strike down in an earlier case, that allows auto accident victims to sue for pain and suffering. And Young wrote one opinion upholding a requirement mandating photo ID at the polls, despite another judge’s contention that “history will judge us harshly” for the decision.

Perhaps the best summary of Trump’s new list was offered by Carrie Severino of the right-wing Judicial Crisis Network. Trump “continues to take unprecedented steps,” she proclaimed, to show that he would nominate people “like Scalia, Thomas, and Alito” to the Supreme Court. Severino and Trump are clearly hoping that this will shore up Trump’s support on the far Right. In fact, it has already helped secure Trump’s endorsement by former rival and right-wing Sen. Ted Cruz. But for all other Americans, the prospect of Trump nominees to the Supreme Court is truly frightening. This November, voters need to ensure that Donald Trump does not become President Trump.

This piece originally appeared in The Huffington Post.

Rick Joyner: Many People Say Obama Is A Secret Muslim Using Taqiyya

Last week, Rick Joyner revealed to his fellow conservative televangelist Jim Bakker that he is giving spiritual advice to Donald Trump.

Joyner, it seems, has been spending so much time with Trump that he has even adopted his rhetorical style, claiming that a lot of people are saying that President Obama is a secret Muslim and he is just asking whether Obama is using taqiyya to keep his true faith a secret.

After insisting that approximately 400 million Muslims are radicals bent on murdering Americans, Joyner said, “I know there’s an overwhelming amount of evidence and a lot of people believe he is a Muslim and using taqiyya.”

Regardless of whether Obama is secretly Muslim or has been deceived by dark spirits, he added, it is clear that the president’s work is “doing great damage to us, great damage to Christianity and great damage to our country.”

Rep. Trent Franks: Civil War Started Because 'The Left Was So Committed' To Slavery

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., compared legal abortion to slavery on Friday, insisting that it was in fact “the left” in America that started the Civil War because “the left was so committed” to slavery.

Franks made the remarks while speaking with Everett Piper, the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, who was guest-hosting the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program.

When Piper asked Franks about President Obama’s opposition to so-called “born-alive” bills that are a favorite of anti-choice activists, Franks responded that the president “knows that if this country ever wakes up and realizes that we’re in the center storm of the greatest human genocide in the history of humanity, what we’re doing to unborn children and newborn children, that there won’t be a Democrat left standing in the northern hemisphere… in an election, that is, if there’s ever a realization of what the Democrat Party has stood for.”

“It’s so sad, because we’re just not students of history, Doctor,” he continued. “You know, the left gets very angry when we use the slavery parallel, but the parallel is so profoundly appropriate. Because the Supreme Court said in Dred Scott that the slave was not a person, that they were chattel, and you could do whatever you want.

“And there were a group of people, they called them Republicans, they began to coalesce as a new party, that said, no, these slaves are children of God and we as Americans stand for the notion that we’re all created equal and that includes slaves. And we stood up for them and the left was so committed to it that it precipitated a bloody civil war and we ended up shooting ourselves to doll rags. That’s how committed an irrational conclusion can become when there is an investment of these kinds of political proportions in a certain narrative.”

Franks is far from the first conservative politician to conveniently forget the history of the last half century to declare that today’s Democrats are the party of slavery and Jim Crow.

Ted Cruz Tries To Justify Trump Endorsement To A Furious Glenn Beck

On Friday, Ted Cruz officially endorsed Donald Trump and the news did not sit well with Glenn Beck, who had campaigned for Cruz during the Republican primaries on the grounds that he had been anointed by God to save America, and who has vowed never to support Trump.

Cruz appeared on Beck's radio show today to try and justify his decision and it did not go well for Cruz.

Beck grilled the Texas senator on what could have changed about Trump to convince him that he can now support the man he once called an utterly amoral pathological liar. Cruz defended himself almost entirely by citing Trump's latest promise to appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court, which Beck wasn't buying because Trump first made that promise months ago and yet Cruz still refused to endorse Trump when he spoke at the Republican National Convention in July.

"I'm asking you for new information," Beck said. "Why now?"

Upon returning from a commercial break, Beck unloaded on Cruz and his disingenuous justification for endorsing Trump, declaring that Cruz had said things during their interview that Beck personally knows to be untrue.

"For the very first time, I heard Ted Cruz calculate and when that happened, the whole thing fell apart for me," Beck said, declaring that he blames himself for thinking that Cruz was a man of principle instead of just another politician.

Eventually, Beck's fury got the better of him as he worked himself up into a bellowing frenzy.

"We have become PETA. Shame on all of us," Beck fumed over being repeatedly told by Cruz that this election represents a "binary choice" between Hillary Clinton and Trump, outraged that on every issue, the only thing that seems to matter now is that you agree with the people on your side.  "Why not, if you won't vote for Hillary or you won't vote for Trump, why not just cover me in a bucket of blood?"

"Why not just shame me in the public square?" Beck thundered. "There is no difference between the two teams any more ... Which one is for the idea that all men are created equal? That all men have a right to pursue their own happiness and make their own goddamn decisions? Which one? Which one? I contend neither of them and so we will just soak each other in buckets of blood. We'll be a happy little bumper-sticker community that shames one another to make sure you walk in goosestep with all the other Hillary supporters or walk in goosestep with all the other Trump supporters."

Roger Stone Fears Real Assassination Of Trump, Fake Assassination Of Clinton

Yesterday, longtime Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone spoke with conspiracy theory broadcaster Alex Jones about potential “October surprise” events that the “globalists” might concoct to prevent a Trump victory in the presidential election.

“I fear for Trump’s physical safety,” Stone said, which caused Jones to ask about the prospect of “a fake attempted assassination on Hitlery.”

Stone, an informal adviser to Trump, warned that since “the globalists” have “killed John Kennedy” and “infiltrated the Watergate burglar teams to botch the mission and bring Nixon down,” they “will do anything” to achieve their goals.

Jones’ co-host, Lee Ann McAdoo, had an even bleaker outlook, wondering if the New World Order would start a nuclear war: “They’re already planning World War III behind the scenes. This might be the October surprise, that we’re all going to get nuked before anyone gets into office.”

Religious Right Leaders Vow To Defy Laws On Abortion, 'Sexual Perversion' In 'Declaration Of Dependence Upon God'

A group of Religious Right activists, including prominent advocates of dominionism, have joined together to circulate a “Declaration of Dependence upon God and His Holy Bible” in which signers vow to “refuse any mandate by the government that forces us to fund or support abortion” and to “oppose same-sex marriage, polygamy, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual perversion prohibited by Holy Scripture.

Colorado Springs pastor Andrew Wommack, who wrote the pledge, says that he will spend $500,000 promoting it online and in newspaper ads. On Sunday, Wommack’s ministry bought a pricey full-page ad in the New York Times that showed the full text of the “declaration” and some of its most prominent signers.

Among those who have signed Wommack’s pledge, according to the ad, is Religious Right activist David Barton, who has been teaching students at a Bible college run by Wommack to retake the “mountain” of government in accordance with the Seven Mountains dominionist belief that conservative Christians must take control of the seven areas, or “mountains,” of society.

Other signers are Jerry Boykin, the executive vice president of the Family Research Council; Focus on the Family founder James Dobson; prominent televangelist Kenneth Copeland; leading Seven Mountains advocate Lance Wallnau; prosperity gospel preacher Creflo Dollar; and Kelly Shackelford, whose First Liberty Institute has been at the forefront of the narrative that conservative Christians are losing their religious liberty in America.

Another notable signer is Oklahoma state Sen. Nathan Dahm, who earlier this year sponsored a bill to make abortion a felony in the state, which was vetoed by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.

Among the signers are some prominent supporters of Donald Trump’s presidential bid. Dobson and Copeland are members of Trump’s evangelical advisory board. Boykin was recently one of the retired military leaders to sign a letter supporting Trump, which was promoted by the GOP nominee’s campaign. Wallnau is a member of the “National Diversity Coalition for Trump” who has argued that Trump can help reclaim the “seven mountains” from Satan.

In a video message, Wommack says that he believes he was “divinely inspired” to write the declaration, warning that “Satan is fighting for the heart and soul of this nation.”

Another video promoting the declaration shows Fox News pundit Todd Starnes reacting to the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, saying, “The Supreme Court’s decision means gay rights now trump religious liberty. If you think the cultural purging of the southern states has been breathtaking, wait until you see what the activists are about to release on American Christians.” In the video, a young girl turns to her grandfather and asks, “Grandpa, we’re Christians, aren’t we?”

Wommack’s declaration reads like a shorter version of the Manhattan Declaration, a 2009 document that joined conservative Catholic and evangelical leaders in a pledge to commit civil disobedience in the face of the supposed impending government persecution of Christians.

Here’s the full text of the “Declaration of Dependence upon God and His Holy Bible”:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Since our Creator gave us these rights, we declare that no government has the right to take them away. Among these rights is the right to exercise our Christian beliefs as put forth in God’s Holy Bible.

We therefore declare that God grants life at conception and no one has the right to take that life unless it is a direct threat to the life of the mother.

Marriage was instituted by God between one man and one woman. The Lord gave only this family unit the responsibility to have children and raise them in the fear of the Lord.

We therefore respectfully reserve the right to refuse any mandate by the government that forces us to fund or support abortion. We also oppose same-sex marriage, polygamy, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual perversion prohibited by Holy Scripture.

We proclaim that Jesus has provided the cure for all sin and therefore reach out to the sinner in love, but do not embrace the sin, knowing its destructive nature.

Therefore, we, the undersigned—not only as Christians but also believing we have the constitutional rights as Americans to follow these time honored Christian beliefs—commit to conducting our churches, ministries, businesses, and personal lives in accordance with our Christian faith and choose to obey God rather than man.

Bryan Fischer Clearly Doesn't Understand His Own Incoherent View Of The First Amendment

As we have noted several times before, American Family Radio's Bryan Fischer has an understanding of the First Amendment that makes absolutely no sense, as he regularly insists that it only applies to Congress ... except for all the times when he insists that it applies to all sorts of government entities.

Fischer's incoherence has been on full display regarding the case of Joe Kennedy, a high school football coach from Washington state who was fired after he refused to stop praying with players and students after games. Despite the fact that Fischer has repeatedly declared that "it is constitutionally and historically impossible for a school to violate the First Amendment ... [b]ecause a school is not Congress," he simultaneously insists that the school district has violated Kennedy's First Amendment rights by not allowing him to pray after games.

"Good for you, coach Joe Kennedy," Fischer declared. "He's taking the district to court for violating his First Amendment rights, which is exactly what they've done ... What does the First Amendment say? It says that Congress—and Bremerton [School District,] they interpret that to mean any governmental authority, that would include schools because they're government schools—is not allowed to prohibit the free exercise of religion. What did Bremerton School District do when they told Joe Kennedy, 'You can't pray at midfield after a game'? They prohibited his free exercise of religion! They told him, 'Your constitutional right—even though this is government property and the government is specifically prohibited from infringing on your free exercise rights—we are going to destroy the First Amendment here, doesn't apply in Bremerton, doesn't apply on a football field, you have lost that right. You have not only lost that right, you have lost your job.'"

Today, Fischer posted a column blasting a report recently released by the United States Commission on Civil Rights that further undermines his argument in the Kennedy case, as he explicitly states that a school district can never be guilty of violating the First Amendment:

The very first word in the First Amendment is “Congress.” The First Amendment was intended as a restraint on Congress and Congress alone. It is simply impossible for any other entity - be it a state, a county, a city, a school district, a school teacher, or a student - to violate the First Amendment for the simple reason that it wasn’t written to restrain them.

Only Congress can violate the Founders’ Constitution, and it can do so in only two ways. First, it can violate the Establishment Clause by picking one Christian denomination and making it the official church of the United States. As long as Congress doesn’t do that, it can do anything it wants with regard to religious expression. It can pay a chaplain to pray Christian prayers and proclaim as many national days of prayer as it would like.

States under the Founders’ Constitution are free to regulate religious expression in any way they would like without any interference from the federal government. States can even have an established religion if they want to, and at the time of the Founding, 10 of them did.

Secondly, only Congress can violate the Free Exercise clause because it applies specifically and exclusively to Congress. Congress - and by extension the entire federal government, including the judiciary - is flatly prohibited from interfering with the free exercise of the Christian religion in any way, shape or form. Any such effort on the part of any branch of the federal government, whether it’s the legislative branch, the executive branch, or the judicial branch, is flatly and permanently forbidden by the Founders’ Constitution.

The federal government has zero authority to tell schools what they may and may not do with regard to Bible reading in classrooms, prayer at assemblies and graduation ceremonies, or the posting of the Ten Commandments on school room walls. Those matters are for state and local authorities to decide. Period. 

Just last month, Fischer accused the Bremerton School District of violating the First Amendment, but today, he stated that it is "impossible" for a school district to ever violate the First Amendment.

Unless Fischer is arguing that he believes that local public schools are also "Congress," then his argument makes no sense, especially since he asserts in his latest piece that states are "free to regulate religious expression in any way they would like."

Under Fischer's own argument, any state would be free to prohibit Kennedy or anyone else from exercising their religion for any reason, or, for that matter, to restrict the freedom of speech, freedom of the press or the right to peaceably assemble, which are also protected by the First Amendment. 

Fischer's outrage over the Kennedy case proves that he clearly does't believe, or possibly doesn't even understand, his own stated position. 

Rep. Dave Brat: The Real 'Institutional Racism' Is Taking The Bible Out Of Public Schools

Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., had an unusual take yesterday on recent protests around the police shootings of African-American men in North Carolina and Oklahoma, saying that while Black Lives Matter is made up of “radical groups” and “confused people,” the real “institutional racism” is policies that removed government-sponsored religious teaching from public schools.

Virginia talk radio host John Fredericks asked Brat yesterday, “Help me understand, what is Black Lives Matter rioting about in Charlotte?”

“Well, that’s just sub-groups,” Brat responded, “some of these radical groups that are funded out of George Soros’ pot of money and just some confused people.”

In contrast, he said, he recently visited a prison and met with former heroin addicts who told him that they wanted him to “get the Bible back in the classroom and religion back in the classroom so my kids and grandkids don’t end up like me.” Because of the lack of religious instruction, he said, these men were “never taught what was good and bad in life in the public school system.”

“The Democrat policy in education is holding back an entire generation from being successful,” he said, “and then you end up with this racial system when your school system … [is] teaching them about isosceles triangles but we’re not giving them any hope.”

“There is institutional racism,” Brat told Fredericks, “and if Obama and Hillary want to talk about institutionalized racism, I just mentioned the source of it. It’s their own policies. that’s where the institutional racism is, right? When you don’t tell people what is ethically good and bad, right, if you cannot even define what a morally good life is anymore and you block the Bible and you block the Judeo-Christian tradition and you block the Baptist church, which is fundamental in the African-American community, from being the voice of power and the only hope you give is a broken federal system of government …”

He added that since Martin Luther King Jr., we haven’t had “any nationally prominent philosophers or theologians out there promoting the Judeo-Christian tradition in the African-American community and across the board in education.”

Ohio Minister Denounces Trump County Chair Kathy Miller

Yesterday, the Guardian published an article in which Trump Mahoning County Chair Kathy Miller made comments including that “I don’t think there was any racism until Obama got elected.” Following the article’s publication, Miller resigned her position. In response to Miller’s remarks and subsequent resignation, Dr. Carolyn Hurst, an Ohio doctor, clergywoman and member of People For the American Way’s African American Ministers in Action, released the following statement:  

“While I’m thankful that Kathy Miller has resigned and apologized for her reprehensible remarks, the incident speaks to the troubling rise in racism from Donald Trump’s campaign. Miller’s comments go hand-in-hand with other racist language that Trump and his allies use and uplift.

“It’s scary to imagine how much worse this could get for all Americans, especially those of color, if Donald Trump became president. This November, it’s up to Ohioans to reject bigotry, racism, and discrimination through the casting of their votes for one who works to unite us as Americans and not divide us.”

Trump and his campaign and companies have a long history of racism. As just a few examples: His companies engaged in racial discrimination, Trump delayed in condemning former KKK grand wizard David Duke, and Trump has repeatedly elevated white supremacists throughout his campaign.


NOM Draws Tiny Crowd To Protest Mexico Marriage Equality

The National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown has been attempting to mobilize U.S. support for activists in Mexico who are trying to stop President Enrique Peña Nieto from putting marriage equality into the country’s constitution.

However, like a lot of NOM’s recent efforts, this one doesn’t seem to quite be catching on.

Today, NOM hosted a rally in front of the Mexican embassy in Washington, D.C., along with the World Congress of Families, which Brown also now leads, and CitizenGo, an international petition platform whose board Brown sits on.

The rally drew a grand total of 11 people, not counting a handful of children in strollers, bystanders and reporters:

Brown, who has said he is traveling to Mexico City for anti-marriage-equality marches there this weekend, was not in attendance. One activist who was there was Gualberto Garcia Jones, a fetal “personhood” advocate who now runs an organization called the International Human Rights Group, which shares a Washington office with Brown’s CitizenGo.

At the rally, activists read a letter that they said they were delivering to the Mexican ambassador announcing that they were joining “in spirit” the protests this weekend led by the National Front for the Family.

The letter stated the group’s support for “natural marriage as a stable relationship between one man and one woman,” saying that “several scientific research studies” have shown that this is the best environment for children. It claimed that “extracting marriage from its procreative and educative purpose … weakens the legal, social and cultural fabric” of a society. The letter also included a reference to adoption by gay couples and a plea to keep “content and ideologies that do not belong to the public educative sphere” out of school curricula, instead demanding that curricula be based on “scientific criteria.”

Jesse Lee Peterson: Intellectuals Are 'Absolute Nutcases'

Right-wing activist Jesse Lee Peterson recently delivered a sermon in which he warned his congregation not to become intellectuals because intellectualism is responsible for foisting things like gay marriage upon America.

"I notice that the people who are really into the intellect are nutcases," Peterson said. "Absolute nutcases. Because of this intellectual thing taking over and the people rule us, we now have so-called same-sex marriage. That wouldn't happen if we weren't into the intellect. Common sense would dictate that is not going to happen and common sense wouldn't care what you thought about it because we would know that that's wrong." 

Intellectuals are also responsible for the fact that "we now have drag queens running around in the military," Peterson added.

"Can you imagine jumping down in a foxhole, running from bin Laden, and there is a man in there with a dress and lipstick on? It would shock you. You would rather be out with bin Laden," Peterson stated, apparently so dedicated to being anti-intellectual that he's totally unaware that Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011.

People simply need to rely "on the intellect of God," he recommended, because human intellect is a tool of the devil, which is why "all intellectual people are insecure people ... because their father is weak, their father Satan is a deceiver."

Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious