On Monday, Wisconsin became the 25th so-called “right to work” state when Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law that undermines workers’ rights and is likely to reduce wages in the state.
This divisive bill, which would have more accurately been called a “right to work for less” bill, was fast-tracked by Republican leaders despite being met with intense resistance and had the support of major right-wing funders. Two outside groups in favor of “right to work” legislation, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, spent over $5.5 million in support of Scott Walker’s reelection bid. Analysis by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign found that since 2013, Republican legislators in the state have accepted “$26 in contributions from business interests for every $1 in labor contributions.” And the right-wing Bradley Foundation has given millions to groups promoting “right to work” bills, including to a number of groups in Wisconsin.
In Wisconsin and across the country, when people can “follow the money” and see who is bankrolling elected officials and what their agenda is, it changes how they evaluate the bills being considered. But today it’s not always possible to follow the money. Major corporations can funnel an unlimited amount of money through “dark money” groups to influence the political process, and they can do so secretly.
President Obama can, and should, take a big step to shine a light on dark money by issuing an executive order requiring companies that contract with the federal government, companies like Verizon and Lockheed Martin and Exxon Mobil, to disclose their political spending. No matter the issue, voters deserve to know who is trying to buy influence in their state or national government.
The anti-gay Family Research Council is continuing its war with Dan Savage, the columnist and creator of the anti-bullying It Gets Better Project, this time by linking Savage to the video of University of Oklahoma fraternity members singing a racist chant.
On yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” FRC senior fellow Ken Blackwell connected the chant, which included references to lynching “ni****s,” to Dan Savage’s “coarse” language.
Blackwell told guest host Peter Sprigg, another FRC senior fellow, that it wasn’t a coincidence that the chant came “at a time when you have one of our nemeses, Dan Savage, who is now having his life story being portrayed on a new sitcom on ABC, you know, here’s a guy that’s responsible for the coarsening of civil discussion and conversation being celebrated, at a time when there are knuckleheads who are still spewing from their lips the sort of nonsense that we’ve heard from these fraternity members.”
Pat Robertson said today that Americans can’t trust Hillary Clinton’s explanations about her use of a private email address at the State Department since she, he alleged, has a record of scandal and deceit. He cited the case of Vincent Foster, a former Clinton administration official who committed suicide but, according to discredited right-wing conspiracy theories, was actually killed by the Clintons.
“I think she’s history, but the Democrats don’t have anybody else right now,” Robertson said, before listing other Clinton “scandals”: “Just think of going through again Whitewater, the beef scandal, Vince Foster’s potential murder or suicide, the Rose Law Firm. Can you imagine going through all that again?”
“Then Monica Lewinsky and the string of Gennifer Flowers and on and on and on and bimbo eruptions,” he continued. “I mean, who needs that anymore? We’ve got enough problems in America as it is without opening that can of worms.”
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal spoke yesterday to conservative talk show host Steve Deace about the recent “Pastors and Pews” summit in Iowa, one of several gatherings of pastors and GOP candidates organized by Christian Nationalist activist David Lane.
Jindal said that while President Obama is destroying the economy with “$18 trillion of debt, Obamacare and EPA regulations,” the greatest threat to America is Obama’s push for “secularization.”
Such “secularization,” Jindal warned, will eliminate religious freedom and “without religious liberty there is no freedom of speech, there is no freedom of association, it is worse than this president is bankrupting our country financially, morally, as well as our foreign policy standing. All of that is true but it’s worse than that. He’s trying to change the idea of America.”
He lamented that “we have never before had a president this ideologically extreme, who does not believe in American exceptionalism, does not believe in the American dream that you and I were taught, does not believe in religious liberty and has effectively, for six years, done everything he could to change our culture on all three of those areas to become a new country, a new American dream, a new conception of liberty.”
Deace said he hoped Religious Right events like Lane’s would help evangelicals find a “general” to lead them to save America from destruction.
Pat Robertson made it clear today that he shares the right-wing media’s crush on Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying on “The 700 Club” today that if Netanyahu “ran in the United States, he’d probably be elected president.”
Introducing a report that suggested that Netanyahu is facing a foreign plot to oust him from his post, Robertson said that the Israeli prime minister may have trouble forming “a coalition of various party together in order to win in the Likud,” mistaking the name of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, with the name of Netanyahu’s political party.
Televangelist Pat Robertson, who once told viewers to destroy statues of Buddha, said today that he strongly condemns ISIS’s efforts to destroy historical treasures, even though a “700 Club” viewer pointed out that the Old Testament instructs people to destroy idols to deities.
While ISIS claims that it is destroying idols, Robertson said that they were actually smashing works of art. However, if they were destroying idols, that would be acceptable, he said: “This isn’t some heathen idol. By all means, if they were having some heathen deity and this was some mount where they were offering sacrifices, by all means destroy it, but the other I think is just art.”
“The Taliban was destroying statues of Buddha that they thought were — but Buddha’s a different religion,” he added.
A coalition of anti-gay groups is once again urging parents to keep their children out of school on the annual anti-bullying “Day of Silence.” The Illinois Family Institute published the call to action on its website today, signed by activists including Matt Barber, Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality’s Peter LaBarbera, Scott Lively, Linda Harvey, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, and MassResistance’s Brian Camenker.
Calling the GLSEN-sponsored event “the queen of all the numerous homosexuality-affirming activities that take place in public schools,” the activists allege that it is meant to “indoctrinate 16-year-olds.”
“We must demonstrate the boldness and perseverance of the Left if we hope to stop the relentless appropriation of public education for the promotion of homosexuality,” they exhort.
The Day of Silence has long been a target of anti-gay group’ efforts to crack down on anti-bullying efforts in schools.
The Day of Silence is the queen of all the numerous homosexuality-affirming activities that take place in public schools. It started in one university and then like a cancer metastasized to thousands of high schools, and then into middle schools. Before long it will take place in elementary schools. Leftists know that it’s easier to indoctrinate 16-year-olds than 36-year-olds and easier still to indoctrinate 6-year-olds.
GLSEN promotes the Day of Silence as an “anti-bullying” effort. If it were solely about eradicating bullying, everyone—liberals and conservatives alike—would support it. But it’s not.
The Day of Silence exploits government schools, captive audiences, and anti-bullying sentiment to advance the Left’s social, moral, and political beliefs and goals. GLSEN seeks to advance the belief that all public expressions of moral disapproval of homosexual activity are bullying.
A coalition of pro-family organizations is once again urging parents to keep their children home from school on the Day of Silence if their school administrations will be allowing students to politicize instructional time by refusing to speak. This is the only organized national effort to oppose any pro-homosexual activity or event in public schools.
The absence of conservative influence within the culture on issues related to homosexuality is to some extent the fault of conservatives. Ignorance, fear, and an astounding lack of perseverance on the parts of conservatives have turned our cultural institutions—including public education—into the playground of “progressives.” Our passivity has enabled homosexual activists and their ideological allies to become social, political, and pedagogical bullies. Evidence of that is everywhere, including in schools on the GLSEN’s annual April school event, the Day of Silence.
We must demonstrate the boldness and perseverance of the Left if we hope to stop the relentless appropriation of public education for the promotion of homosexuality.
Matt Barber , Founder and Editor-in-Chief, BarbWire
Dr. Michael Brown , Director, Coalition of Conscience
Brian Camenker , President, MassResistance
Linda Harvey , Founder and President, Mission America
Laurie Higgins , Cultural Analyst, Illinois Family Institute
Peter LaBarbera , President, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality
Diane Gramley , President, American Family Association of Pennsylvania
Matt Staver , President, Liberty Counsel
Debra Smith , Founder, Informing Christians
Tom Rasmussen , Executive Director, Montana Family Foundation
Pastor Scott Lively , President, Abiding Truth Ministries
Penny Nance , President, CWA
Debbie Leininger , State Director, CWA of Illinois
Beverly Uhlmer Roberts , State Director, CWA of Texas South
Linda Wall , VA Mass Resistance
Nolan Clayton , Faith and Freedom Family Ministries
Pastor Christopher Clegg , Operation Save America
While Ben Carson ended his column at the conservative Washington Times after he announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee, the Tea Party icon remains a columnist at WorldNetDaily, the conspiracy theorist’s outlet of choice.
Carson uses his WND platform today to declare that the U.S. should use “every military apparatus we have: banking facilities, sanctions, you name it,” against ISIS, adding that he “would not hesitate to put boots on the ground, because nothing should be off the table.”
Carson, who once said that he would allow U.S. troops to commit war crimes, suggested that President Obama should launch an anti-ISIS coalition: “We need to be the leader and take serious action. I am extraordinarily concerned about the fact that we are not responding to the barbaric acts that are taking place, as there is a tremendous leadership void. A coalition will form if it has a leader.”
Carson joins a growing right-wing chorus that seems completely unaware that Obama has already created a multinational anti-ISIS coalition which has pounded the group with thousands of airstrikes. If he cared to, he could easily find a daily list of U.S.-led airstrikes and news reports about U.S. support for the effort that has blunted the terrorist group’s momentum.
As the United States works to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, we are also dealing with ISIS as a formidable enemy that threatens our way of life. Every resource available should be used to eradicate the threat of ISIS while it is still in its adolescent stage. That means using every military apparatus we have: banking facilities, sanctions, you name it. And I would not hesitate to put boots on the ground, because nothing should be off the table.
This whole concept of “no boots on the ground because of what happened in Iraq” is silly. The threat Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida posed at that time was on a completely different level from what we are looking at now. It is immature to equate the two in terms of reactions. ISIS wants to destroy our way of life and us. We have two choices: We can sit back and wait for them, or we can use the resources we have to destroy them.
We need to be the leader and take serious action. I am extraordinarily concerned about the fact that we are not responding to the barbaric acts that are taking place, as there is a tremendous leadership void. A coalition will form if it has a leader.
I would commit everything to eliminating ISIS right now. We have to make sure that our military, which is extremely talented and maintains very good leadership, is not put into a compromised position where we are trying to micromanage things. Otherwise, we will be exposing many people to a state of grave danger.
After years of promoting the birther myth, WorldNetDaily is now embracing the conspiracy theory that President Obama will illegally remain in power after the end of his second term. WND editor Joseph Farah writes today that since Obama was “pampered” in his youth and “never sacrificed or wanted for anything material in his life,” he and his family have been “living it up” in the White House by going on glamorous, taxpayer-funded vacations.
Citing Obama’s alleged love of vacationing, laziness and “immense satisfaction from ignoring the rule of law or placing himself and his office above it,” Farah concludes that there may be “a strong incentive for him to make the White House a more permanent home” rather than leave office.
“Do you really think Obama wants to give up the most powerful position in the world and one that affords him this kind of unimaginable, excessive, non-replicable luxury?” Farah asks.
The 2013 17-day vacation in Hawaii for the president, his family, and staff and security was estimated to cost over $4 million. Even that seems low ball to me.
And, as the story goes, they have two more years left.
Or, do they?
These folks are living it up.
Do you really think Obama wants to give up the most powerful position in the world and one that affords him this kind of unimaginable, excessive, non-replicable luxury?
Might this provide a strong incentive for him to make the White House a more permanent home?
Yes, there I go again.
It’s been a theme lately.
Last week, I dropped the suggestion that Obama might not actually vacate the office when his second term is up. Why should he? Just because it’s constitutional law? When has that ever stopped him from doing something? The answer is never.
Obama seems to derive immense satisfaction from ignoring the rule of law or placing himself and his office above it.
So let’s just consider the fact that Obama has never had it better – not even close. That’s not to say he hasn’t experienced the better things in life. He has. He got the best schooling. He’s been pampered. He never had to get his hands dirty. He never served in the military. He never sacrificed or wanted for anything material in his life.
Usually, people raised like that have high expectations for the future.
No doubt Obama will be in a position to make lots of money after the presidency, whenever he decides to end it. But it’s hard to imagine him enjoying six all-expense-paid vacations every year at his venue of choice. Not too many people live that kind of life – even with the “endowments” recent past presidents often get from their oil baron friends in the Middle East.
Do you think Obama’s about to give that up and move out of the White House to make room for Hillary Clinton?
I don’t know. The more I think about it, the less convinced I am.
WorldNetDaily has become infatuated with a bizarre conspiracy theory that President Obama will remain in office after his second term expires, and today the far-right outlet, best known for promoting birther claims, decided to ask likely GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson the question on everyone’s minds: “Who would stop Obama from remaining in office past his second term?”
Rather than just dismiss the absurd statement outright, Carson said that the people will rise up to defend the Constitution’s limitation on a president serving more than two terms in office against Obama.
President Obama leaves office on Jan. 20, 2017 – or does he? The Internet’s abuzz with talk about the myriad of ways Obama might seek to extend his White House role – sparked in part by radio conjecture from conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh – and now at least one likely presidential candidate, Ben Carson, has weighed in to say: Don’t worry, Obama will leave.
First, the question from WND to Carson: “Who would stop Obama from remaining in office past his second term?”
And Carson’s reply, via email: “We the people would oppose it through our Constitution, the 22nd Amendment of which forbids more than two terms. Even some of the timid people in the other two branches of government would be willing to stand behind the fortified walls of our Constitution.”
Sounds reasonable – but the buzz persists.
The Family Research Council announced today that its president, Tony Perkins, has been invited to testify at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing tomorrow on “protecting religious freedom abroad.”
The inclusion of Perkins threatens to turn a hearing about a critically important issue into a political sideshow. Perkins has consistently used the persecution of Christians abroad as a political bludgeon at home, claiming that LGBT rights in the U.S. are fueling religious persecution worldwide and falsely asserting that President Obama has done nothing to stop the oppression of Christians because he secretly sympathizes with Islamic radicals.
And, even as he accuses the Obama administration of ignoring the plight of Christians, Perkins has attacked international human rights efforts aimed at combating violence against and government oppression of LGBT people.
Perkins routinely trots out the claim that conservative Christians are being persecuted in America to blame the Obama administration and the LGBT rights movement for very real anti-Christian persecution throughout the world. In an interview with Rick Santorum in November, Perkins insisted that there is a “correlation” between the supposed persecution of Christians in America and violent attacks on Christians and churches in the Middle East and elsewhere. “They feel like if it’s not a priority for us to have religious freedom here at home, then certainly it’s not going to be a priority for us to speak out for the persecuted peoples abroad,” he said.
Claiming that nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBT people are in fact discriminatory against Christians, Perkins said in November that combating such laws “will give hope to far-away places around the world” where Christians are being oppressed by tyrannical governments.
He similarly blamed advances in LGBT rights in the U.S. for encouraging religious persecution in Iran and North Korea, citing the case of an Atlanta fire chief who lost his job after distributing an anti-gay book to claim that “tyrants abroad see an administration that is not only not interested in protecting religious freedom but actually persecuting.” At another point, he warned of “deadly consequences” for Christians abroad if marriage equality succeeds in the United States.
Last year, Perkins linked the case of Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was imprisoned for converting to Christianity, to an effort to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, saying “we keep our freedom of religion by working to keep our freedom of speech, and political speech is actually what’s under attack here.”
Perkins frequently brushes aside the evidence he is presented with to suggest that President Obama is ignoring the plight of Christians throughout the world. Throughout Ibrahim’s plight, Perkins insisted that the Obama administration had “done nothing” for her…even after sources including Fox News and a conservative Republican congressman told him that the administration had been working diligently to set her free. Even after diplomatic pressure led to Ibrahim’s release and she was granted asylum in the United States, Perkins claimed in a fundraising letter that there was “no evidence that the Obama State Department did anything to intervene.”
Similarly, when the administration secured the release of Kenneth Bae, a Christian pastor held in a North Korean prison camp, Perkins used the opportunity to falsely claim that the administration was doing nothing to help another Christian political prisoner, Saeed Abedini, in Iran.
Perkins hasn’t just exploited the cases of persecuted Christians to attack Obama — he has also used them in an effort to lend legitimacy to his fight against LGBT rights in the United States.
He frequently portrays protecting LGBT people from violence and protecting Christians from religious persecution as an either-or choice…and, unsurprisingly, claims that Obama has chosen the former. In a direct mail piece in August, for instance, Perkins vowed to fight the administration’s “devotion to the cause of sexual immorality and their simultaneous indifference toward Christians suffering persecution for their faith.”
Perkins may portray the issues as mutually exclusive because he vehemently opposes any U.S. efforts to protect LGBT people from violence and persecution from their governments. Back in 2010, he defended a Uganda bill that would have imposed life imprisonment for consensual sex with someone of the same sex and the death penalty for so-called “aggravated homosexuality,” saying it was an effort to “uphold moral conduct.” When then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched an initiative to promote LGBT rights throughout the world, he accused her of promoting a “radical social agenda” including “special rights for homosexuals and homosexuality”… while claiming that she had remained “silent” on anti-Christian persecution.
Religious persecution around the world is certainly a worthy topic for the Senate to address. But including Tony Perkins in such a hearing is not the way for a committee to convey that it is taking this issue seriously.
End Times preacher Jonathan Cahn believes that if the Supreme Court strikes down the remaining state bans on same-sex marriage, America will experience tremendous calamities.
Cahn, a messianic rabbi who has linked gay rights to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, fascism and the End Times, told WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah in an interview at the National Religious Broadcasters convention posted online today that the court could usher in a series of divine punishments just as it did with the 1973 ruling on abortion rights, Roe v. Wade.
“Within one month of Roe v. Wade, that Supreme Court decision with abortion, the financial realm collapsed, led to a global recession, the same year America lost its first war in modern history or ever in Vietnam,” he said.
He added that the upcoming marriage case is “a very cataclysmic, moral, spiritual thing. What’s that going to do in the rest of the realm? Well I believe it is all coming together.”
As the GOP embraces the reactionary politics and anti-government zealotry of the Tea Party, it is steadily purging “moderates” and empowering extremists. Nothing shows this trend more clearly than the lineup of potential Republican presidential candidates. In this new series, we’ll be looking at the records and promises of the Republican Party’s leading presidential prospects. Next up is Ben Carson:
Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson became an overnight conservative celebrity in 2013, when he delivered a National Prayer Breakfast speech criticizing President Obama — who was sitting beside him while he spoke from the podium — for his handling of the deficit, the national debt, taxes and health care.
He has opened an exploratory committee and PAC, while a “Draft Ben Carson for President Committee” has beencampaigning on his behalf and raising lots of money. Its leaders insist that Carson can defeat Democrats by capturing a significant share of the black vote.
As a black conservative, Carson quickly emerged as a favorite speaker among Tea Party activists who relish his assurance that criticism of President Obama is never motivated by racism, while criticism of Ben Carson most certainly is.
Carson has expanded on his views in speeches to conservative gatherings and a timely book tour, revealing himself to be a politician adept at dishing out conservative talking points and playing into right-wing fears about government persecution.
For example, Carson has called the Affordable Care Act “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” declaring it to be "slavery in a way,” and has said that the law is worse than the September 11, 2001 attacks, claiming that its passage was part of a larger Leninist push to impose communism on America.
Far-right activists eat up Carson’s claims that the U.S. military should not follow rules about war crimes and that supposedly anti-American AP U.S. History courses will inspire students to join ISIS.
Carson has inserted himself directly into popular Tea Party martyrdom narratives, claiming that he is the victim of liberal media bias and IRS targeting. Carson, a former Fox News contributor, also alleges that the Obama administration is trying to “shut down” the conservative network. Without Fox News, Carson said, Obama would have successfully introduced communism and “we would already be Cuba.”
Carson has even claimed that he is losing his First Amendment right to free speech and that Hitlerian progressives are turning America into a society “very much like Nazi Germany.” “We live in a Gestapo age,” he has said, also arguing that Obama takes his cues from Mein Kampf and is effectively committing treason.
He is a favorite of the anti-gay right, and with good reason. Carson has linked gay rights advocates to supporters of pedophilia and bestiality, attacked LGBT-affirming churches as offensive to God, demanded that Congress oust judges who back gay rights, and accused gay people of seeking “extra rights” and creating a powerful “P.C. police who have tried in many cases to shut me up.”
Speaking at a National Organization for Marriage fundraiser, he insisted that gay marriage is a communist plot designed to bring down America and usher in a “New World Order.” However, Carson said he would no longer discuss gay rights issues after he received criticism for telling a CNN host that prison sex proves homosexuality is “absolutely” a choice.
Add Carson’s anti-gay rhetoric to his remarks that legal abortion is the same as “human sacrifice,” that the progressive income tax violates biblical principles and that America is facing a “war on God,” and you have a strong potential “standard-bearer” for the Religious Right.
Stoking fears of conservative persecution, political correctness, Big Government and gay rights is a necessary staple for Republican politicians, and Carson has mastered the art.
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes dedicated his news bulletin today to discussing the case of University of Oklahoma students who reportedly led a racist chant for their fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon: “There will never be a ni**** SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me. There will never be a ni**** SAE.”
Starnes said that while the fraternity’s chant was “disgusting and racist” and clearly inappropriate, he believes that the university’s leadership is enforcing a double standard: “Oklahoma’s president says that ‘those who have misused their free speech in such a reprehensible way’ are ‘disgraceful’ and I agree. And I hope he applies the same standard the next time a student plays racially offensive rap music. The same standard should apply to all.”
Mike Huckabee, who once vowed to fight the purported secular theocracy running America, spoke yesterday to American Family Association President Tim Wildmon about how the left seeks to “impose” its “secular values” on conservative Christians, who Huckabee insisted do not want to impose their views on anybody.
He added that liberals simply cannot and will not understand the intellectual principles found in his book “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy.”
“We’re never going to be fully understood by people on the secular left,” Huckabee said. “They don’t want to understand us, they want to ridicule us, they want to hold us in contempt, they want to hold us up to scorn and so they’re going to because we represent a direct threat to their worldview. If there really is an alternative to the secularist’s mind and we can articulate it, defend it and do it in a way that even can be intellectually defensible, then that’s a direct threat to their worldview.”
Huckabee said people on the left resist such views because “their version of diversity is really uniformity; they don’t want diversity, they don’t want a different point of view, they want everyone to agree with their point of view.”
The potential GOP presidential candidate went on to rail against groups like Right Wing Watch for quoting remarks he makes on conservative media: “Every time I’ve come on this radio show, as you know your show is monitored by the secular left, they listen to every word that is uttered on AFA…. Every time I’m on this show there is something I say that will just end up getting picked up by the secularists and they’ll blow it up and it will go viral.”
“So let me go ahead and give them one just so they’ll have something that they can write down and Twitter out right now,” Huckabee continued. “The second reason that a lot of this reaction comes against believers is because of the New Testament principle of ‘don’t cast your pearls before the swine.’ I’m going to let them look that up, they’ll get the context, they won’t use the context, they won’t understand the context but it’s a metaphorical device that Jesus used to explain why people can’t see the obvious.”
“The point is that for many of us we’re accused of wanting to impose our religious values on someone else; the fact is we just don’t want someone’s secular values imposed upon us,” he said.
Sen. Ted Cruz told Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson yesterday that he plans to introduce a constitutional amendment to allow states to ban gay and lesbian couples from marrying because court decisions in favor of marriage equality present “a real danger to our liberty.”
The Texas Republican deflected Mickelson’s questions on whether states could simply ignore a Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality, saying he preferred his constitutional amendment as a solution. “If the courts were following the Constitution, we shouldn’t need a new amendment, but they are, as you put it quite rightly, making it up right now and it’s a real danger to our liberty,” he said.
Cruz told a group of Iowa pastors yesterday that judges who have made decisions in favor of marriage equality are “ignoring their oaths, ignoring the Constitution and legislating from the bench.”