In his typically incoherent way, Donald Trump told a meeting of right-wing pastors today that church attendance has declined in America “and a lot of it has to do with the fact that you’ve been silenced.”
“You’ve been silenced like a child has been silenced,” he told the pastors at an Orlando event organized by the American Renewal Project, making the bogus claim that pastors are barred from addressing political issues. “Your power has been totally taken away.”
Trump said that “they took away your voice” but he can restore it by repealing the Johnson Amendment, which he claimed will in turn increase church attendance.
He then expressed dismay that people don’t even know about the existence of Sunday school: “I mean Christianity, when you think of what’s happening and you look at the numbers, I talk about Sunday school and people don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore, it’s true, they don’t even know what I’m talking about.”
“We’re gonna bring it back because it’s a good thing, it’s a good thing,” he said. “They treat it like it’s a bad thing but it’s a great thing, not a good thing, it’s a great thing.”
As we have notedseveraltimesbefore, American Family Radio's Bryan Fischer regularly promotes an entirely incoherent theory about the First Amendment, insisting that its prohibition against an establishment of religion only applies to Congress while also insisting that its prohibition against infringing upon the free exercise of religion applies to just about any government entity.
Fischer made this nonsensical argument against on his radio program today when he praised Joe Kennedy, a former assistant high school football coach who is now suing his school district for firing him for refusing to stop praying with students after games.
Despite the fact that, time and again, Fischer has insisted that the provisions of the First Amendment only apply to Congress and therefore cannot be violated by any other entity, Fischer bizarrely declared that the school district has violated Kennedy's First Amendment rights.
"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.'"
Fischer's current assertion that Bremerton is violating Kennedy's First Amendment rights directly contradicts his longstanding assertion that only Congress can possibly violate the First Amendment. As he wrote just last year:
The truth is that it is constitutionally and historically impossible for a school to violate the First Amendment. Why? Easy. Because a school is not Congress.
As the very first word in the First Amendment makes clear, the First Amendment applies to Congress and Congress alone. “Congress shall make no law...” The only entity that is restrained by the Founders’ Constitution is Congress. Since Congress is the only entity restrained by the First Amendment, Congress is the only entity that can violate it.
In recent days, Donald Trump has taken to calling President Obama the “founder” of ISIS, repeating the line at campaign rallies and in interviews, including one with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt where he insisted that he wasn’t speaking figuratively. Trump has also claimed that ISIS terrorists “honor Obama.”
Of course, Trump ignores the fact that ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, is the successor to the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq, which was established before Obama’s presidency, and ISI itself was created out of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Al-Qaeda in Iraq was the successor to a different terrorist group formed in 1999.
He also has deployed one of his favorite rhetorical tools—a lot of people say—to suggest that Obama is a terrorist sympathizer: “Well there are a lot of people that think maybe he doesn’t want to get it. A lot of people think maybe he doesn’t want to know about it.”
“We can’t close our eyes,” he said while addressing terrorism at one campaign rally. “I don’t know what’s wrong with Obama, he wants to close his eyes and pretend it’s not happening. Why is he so emphatic on not solving the problem? There’s something we don’t know about. There’s something we don’t know about.”
Back in February, Trump said that “maybe [Obama] doesn’t want to get rid of the problem” of terrorism. “I don’t know exactly what’s going on.”
In 2014, Trump falsely claimed on Twitter that Obama was actively arming ISIS.
Obama sent weapons through Benghazi to ISIS yet he is holding up shipments to Israel. What is he thinking?
Responding to the news that a Muslim-American woman won a Democratic primary for a seat in the Minnesota state legislature, former Rep. Michele Bachmann accused Democrats of aiding “civilization jihad” and promoting Sharia law.
Bachmann, of course, never went into detail about why she thinks that Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American political organizer who won her primary race on Tuesday, believes in “civilization jihad” and the imposition of Sharia law, but that didn’t stop her from making the accusation against Omar in a WorldNetDaily interview yesterday. (WND points out that Omar’s Republican opponent in the race is also a Somali-American).
End Times radio host Jan Markell, conservative activist Philip Haney and ACT! for America coordinator Debra Anderson joined Bachmann in implicating Omar in a plot to establish Sharia law in the U.S., alleging that Muslim-Americans only act patriotic to further an ulterior agenda.
“The Democratic Party rejects the idea of civilization jihad as advanced by the Muslim Brotherhood,” said former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. “Who’s laughing now?”
Omar won her victory over two other candidates in a three-way race. Besides incumbent Kahn, another Somali, Mohamud Noor, also ran for the seat. Like Omar, Noor is also Somali-American and an activist in Democratic politics.
In November, Omar will face Republican Abdimalik Askar, a school teacher who political observers in Minnesota say has no chance of winning.
Jan Markell, founder of Olive Tree Ministries, a Christian radio broadcaster in Minnesota and co-author of “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell” with Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman, said she will be watching the political career of Omar closely but she doesn’t have high hopes based on the performance of Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress who is also from Minnesota.
She said many Minnesota Christians will be praying that Omar is “a productive part of our political process and not an advocate of Shariah law.”
Debra Anderson, the Minnesota chapter coordinator for ACT For America, a watchdog group that opposes Shariah law, said Omar’s election is just the first shoe to fall in what will inevitably be many conquests of Islam in her state as a result of the growing Somali enclaves not only in Minneapolis but in St. Cloud, Willmar, Austin, Owatonna and other cities.
“She believes America is oppressive, classic Islamic worldview,” Anderson said of Omar’s platform as laid out on her website. “Throughout, she uses progressive speak, policies that, if enacted, will ultimately promote the incremental accommodation to Islam.
“She is following the example of Mohammad: Settle. Seek power through politics. Once power is achieved, impose Islamic law.”
“Their extensive co-opting of American ideas and words overwhelm me. I don’t know where to even begin to counter their lies.”
“If the predominant political climate of America was conservative, they would support every conservative cause with just as much fervor as they are now supporting liberal causes,” Haney said of politically active Muslims. “These guys are master chameleons, and even though their colors are red, white and blue, they’re still chameleons.”
Traditional non-Islamic Minnesota Democrats don’t realize their days are numbered, Bachmann said.
“Democrats don’t realize that Shariah-sympathetic politicians see the supplanting of the U.S. Constitution by Shariah, in addition to other U.S. laws, as their ultimate goal,” Bachmann said. “This isn’t far-fetched.”
All of this means Minnesota is “far down the road of civilization jihad,” Bachmann said.
Another long-term Democrat politician was defeated Tuesday in Minneapolis by another refugee, Fue Lee of Thailand, though Lee is not Muslim.
“The Democratic Party may think they are brilliantly adding coalitions under their inclusive umbrella,” Bachmann said. “But they fail to realize their power will be quashed sooner than they can say ‘Shariah.'”
Back in 2014, extremist anti-gay activist Scott Lively appeared in a virulently anti-gay documentary that aired on Russian television:
While Lively's views can't find much domestic audience, they play well in Vladimir Putin's Russia. Lively's anti-gay zeal is on display in Sodom, a new documentary that aired on Russian television last month, to much acclaim. The film was produced by famously anti-gay TV host Arkady Mamontov, who once implied that the Chelyabinsk meteorite explosion was caused by the gay rights movement. The film aired on Rossiya-1, Russia's main government-funded TV channel.
"For American homosexuals, this man, Scott Lively, is public enemy number one," intones the film's narrator. On camera, Lively speaks about the gay "agenda," which seeks "anti-discrimination policy" in the name of ultimate "societal conquest." Lively insists that "The average American is not in favor of homosexuality. But they are afraid to speak publicly about it, because the gays have so much power and they can do harm to those people."
Lively brings the film's producers to the headquarters of the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, DC. Set against a dramatic soundtrack, Lively paces outside. "This organization, instead of focusing on the true needs of people around the world, they are trying to declare that homosexuality is a human right," Lively says. "They spend vast amounts of money to promote this agenda around the world instead of defending genuine human rights."
It begins by recounting the story of Sodom and Gomorrah before declaring that the "Phoenician demon" that was at work there is still "satiating his belly with human sacrifices [and] devouring youth and children today" through gay rights activism.
"Evil is now called virtue and darkness light," the narrator intones. "Sin and debauchery are becoming a cult."
Lively eventually appears on camera to rail against the LGBT-friendly "Queen James Bible," which he calls "an abomination before God."
"There is no sacred ground for the homosexuals," Lively says. "There is nothing that they will not do to promote their agenda. There is no opposition that they will accept at any level. They must conquer every opponent and the spirit that has produced this book, this false Bible, this gay theology is the heresy of the modern world."
Even as GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump hits new lows in his campaign—from attacking Gold Star parents to suggesting gun violence as a way to stop Hillary Clinton—Republican senators continue to hold open the vacant Supreme Court seat for Trump to fill.
Yesterday People For the American Way held a telebriefing for members and supporters about the critical role the Supreme Court plays in 2016 and beyond, and how progressive activists can hold GOP senators accountable for their unconscionable blockade of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. PFAW’s Marge Baker, Drew Courtney, and Elliot Mincberg were joined by Public Policy Polling director Tom Jensen to discuss how to make the Supreme Court a winning issue in the election.
Conservative talk show host Michael Savage said yesterday that he finds Hillary Clinton’s voice to be “very offensive,” expressing dismay at her “grating,” “hard voice.”
“What do you fear most about a Hillary presidency, other than hearing her grating voice for eight years?” he asked. “That’s the part I can’t take, it’s listening to her, that hard voice. It’s not that it scares me, it offends me deeply. I find it very offensive.”
He added: “I don’t like women who are not feminine. I don’t like hard women who are like men without, let’s put it this way, men without pants.”
Savage, a close ally of Donald Trump, said he doesn’t understand “why women are so excited about, ‘Oh she’s the first woman.’ In what sense is she the first woman president? What does that matter?”
While speaking to a caller, Dan, who said that he was also fearful of “listening to that shrill voice for the next eight years” along with Clinton’s “lust for absolute power,” Savage said that Clinton “will continue to attack the white male portion of the population” and “has a vendetta for white males.”
Clinton, according to Savage, plans on “importing” new voters and believes, “Give us all the minorities, give us all the gays, give us all the immigrants because eventually we will win by demographics. How can any white male ever vote for a Democrat? I’ll never understand. I don’t understand it because they’re digging their own grave.”
Yesterday, right-wing talk show host and Donald Trump ally Michael Savage asked his listeners, “What do you fear most about a Hillary presidency?”
Savage said he was particularly afraid of Clinton bringing in criminal, indolent, “uneducated” and “diseased” immigrants “because they’re born Democrat voters.”
“They’re not coming here to work, they’re not coming here to be Americans, they’re not coming here to learn English, they’re not coming here to learn the Star-Spangled Banner, why do we need them?” he continued.
“Trump says he’ll build the wall and close the borders, she says she’ll open the borders even further until you are a minority in your own country,” he said. “Think about it before you vote.”
Following the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando in June, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said he was so affected by the tragedy that he changed his mind and decided to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate, while Donald Trump claimed that he would best represent the LGBT community by opposing Muslim immigration.
“Ask the gays” who their true friend is, Trump said.
Now, Trump and Rubio are both set to appear in Orlando two months after the Pulse nightclub shooting.
But rather than stand in solidarity with the LGBT community, as they pledged to do, they will be addressing a summit on the dangers of “homosexual totalitarianism” organized by some of the country’s most extreme anti-LGBT activists.
While Rubio has denied that the “Rediscovering God in America” event has anything to do with LGBT issues, its chief organizer, David Lane of the American Renewal Project, said explicitly that the gathering will focus on how LGBT equality endangers religious liberty.
Besides Lane, Trump and Rubio will be joining Religious Right activists Mat Staver, David Barton, Bill Federer and Ken Graves. That Trump and Rubio would stand with these activists shouldn’t be surprising, since both have promised to back anti-LGBT legislation and support judicial nominees hostile to LGBT rights, but it does show how their promises to defend the LGBT community only amounted to cynical and shallow political ploys.
Here is just a sampling of what Trump and Rubio’s far-right allies have said about the LGBT community:
“Homosexuality is debauchery,” he wrote, adding: “Homosexual desire and marriage is unnatural and—more so—is a symptom of advanced cultural decay and precursor to the collapse of the Republican Party and the nation.”
Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver has been fighting LGBT rights for years, representing clients like Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who both defied the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, and Lisa Miller, who during a custody battle with her former female partner, kidnapped their daughter and fled to Central America.
As we noted earlier today, a federal judge issued a ruling yesterday ordering Glenn Beck to reveal the names of several confidential sources upon whom he relied during his 2013 crusade to prove that Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi was "the money man" who financed and orchestrated the Boston Marathon bombing.
Alharbi is now suing Beck for defamation and demanding to know the identities of Beck's sources so that they can be deposed by his lawyers, and the judge overseeing the case has ordered Beck's legal team to reveal them.
Beck kicked off his radio program today by discussing the conspiracy theory that a Democratic National Committee staffer was recently murdered, supposedly because he was some sort of whistle-blower who was going to expose Hillary Clinton. And while Beck did not directly address the defamation lawsuit or the judge's ruling in his comments, it was quite obvious that he was using this conspiracy theory as justification for his refusal to reveal the sources behind his attack on Alharbi.
"Read the papers," Beck said. "Read the internet. Sources are under attack. Confidential sources are under attack and you cannot reveal confidential sources because there are sources that are concerned about this very kind of thing ... I am convinced, after talking to people in the government and talking through others to sources, I am absolutely convinced that people feel this way; that if I say anything [they will be killed.]"
"Have we crossed a line to where our government or our politicians or our political institutions now feel comfortable enough to where they will kill you?" Beck asked. "Now that sounds crazy, but are we not moving towards Russia?"
Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson defended GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump over his recent comment that if Hillary Clinton is elected president, nothing could be done to prevent her and her judicial nominees from doing away with gun rights unless “Second Amendment people” stop them.
Robertson blamed liberal monitoring groups for the uproar, alleging that they twisted Trump’s remarks, before he himself went ahead and altered Trump’s remarks to make them more benign.
The televangelist told co-host Wendy Griffith that he feels for his “buddy” because he has been the victim of similar hit jobs from Media Matters and People For the American Way. (Right Wing Watch is a project of People For the American Way).
“I sympathize with Donald Trump. I had a group called Media Matters, I had another group called People For the American Way, they taped every single word that I said and I did about 10,000 broadcasts, I did many adlibs, and every time they would take my words and transpose—they would take connectors out and they would put it out, and there was somebody at the AP who was one of their clones and they picked [it] up and across the country would come these idiotic statements,” he said. “The same thing is being done to Trump.”
“Out of context, twist it around, and then throw it out, ‘Robertson just said,’ and around the world,” Robertson continued. “So they’re doing to Trump now. There’s a whole team of people just looking for every word he speaks to make him look silly. What he said yesterday I think, or the day before, whatever, the Second Amendment crowd would give me a hand, and what he’s talking about are those who are concerned about gun control, and what he’s saying is a new Supreme Court judge, it’s been virtually a tie on it, and the next time they put a liberal judge on, they’ll be reversing the Second Amendment. So he said the Second Amendment. So what his opponents are saying, Donald Trump is encouraging people to shoot Hillary, it’s just nonsense.”
These supposed lies about Trump and himself, Robertson explained, are inspired by the same source: Satan.
“Every time they’re going to twist the words, I know what it’s like, he has my profound sympathy but these people are profound liars and they’re set up as liars,” he said. “The devil is a liar and the father of lies, according to the Bible.”
Yesterday, the federal judge overseeing the defamation lawsuit filed against Glenn Beck by Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, who was injured in the Boston Marathon bombing and whom Beck spent a month accusing of being an al-Qaida "control agent" and the "money man" who financed and orchestrated the attack, issued a ruling ordering Beck to identify the confidential sources that he relied on when making these claims so that Alharbi's lawyers can depose them:
U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris ruled that Beck must disclose the names of two Department of Homeland Security employees who allegedly gave a Beck producer information backing up the radio and TV host's claim that Alharbi was the "money man" behind the attack.
The judge said deposition testimony from Beck and two of his top deputies at the time — Joel Cheatwood and Joe Weasel — was "vague and often contradictory" about what the sources said and when they said it. She also noted that the key sources spoke directly only with Weasel, who claimed to record the information on Post-It notes "which he then discarded."
Saris said she ordered the production of records from several government agencies, but they were not of help in confirming what the Beck aides were allegedly told. "None of the documents supports the idea that Alharbi was the 'the money man' financing the Boston Marathon attacks," the Boston-based judge wrote in her 61-page ruling.
As the judge's ruling makes clear, there is no evidence to back up Beck's assertion that Alharbi was "the money man" behind the bombing other than the say-so of Beck's confidential sources. And that is bad news for Beck, as the judge also dismissed his legal team's effort to assert that Alharbi was a "limited-purpose public figure," which would have required Alharbi to prove that Beck knew that the allegations that he was making against Alharbi were false or that he made them with reckless disregard for the truth. Instead, the judge ruled that Alharbi was merely a private figure who was thrust into the news by events beyond his control and therefore he simply needs to prove that Beck was negligent in leveling these public allegations.
And, according to the judge, Alharbi looks to have a strong case since Beck's legal team was unable to produce any documentation to support Beck's claim that Alharbi financed and orchestrated the terrorist bombing, which he continued to make long after claims about Alharbi's involvement in the attack had been debunked by the government, investigators and even reporters from Beck's own network:
As a private figure, Alharbi is only required to prove negligence as opposed to malice. See Ravnikar, 782 N.E.2d at 510-11. Under the negligence standard, “the defendants are required to act reasonably in checking on the truth or falsity of the communication before publishing it.” Jones v. Taibbi, 512 N.E.2d 260, 269 (Mass. 1987) (internal quotation marks and alterations omitted). At this stage, the plaintiff has put forward enough evidence for a reasonable jury to conclude that the defendants did not act reasonably in verifying the truth of the broadcasts about Alharbi, particularly the May 8 statement that Alharbi was the “money man.”
To begin with, the defendants have put forth no admissible evidence that the statements are true. At the summary judgment hearing, the plaintiff highlighted an email from Weasel to Cheatwood on April 22, which states that another staff member of TheBlaze, Sara Carter, was “getting a very different picture” about Alharbi’s connection to the Boston Marathon bombing from her sources. Weasel Decl., Docket No. 117, Ex. 18, at 84. According to Weasel, Carter reached out to the FBI and ICE on the record to ask about the plaintiff’s involvement and the government documents provided by Source 2. Her sources allegedly responded that “Alharbi is considered innocent and not connected to the bombings or the suspects.” Id. at 85. Her sources also corroborated Secretary Napolitano’s testimony that Alharbi was temporarily placed on the terror watch list as a “precaution” before the government “determined whether he was more than a witness from the scene of the crime.” Id. at 84.
According to the defendants, TheBlaze’s determination that Alharbi was involved in the Boston Marathon bombing was ultimately based on the two government documents they received from Source 2, and Source 1’s and 2’s explanation of these documents. The documents themselves are dated April 15 and 16, and the defendants agree that they were created in the immediate aftermath of the bombing. Although the documents refer to Alharbi as a “suspected terrorist,” who is “armed & dangerous,” and mention the § 212(a)(3)(B)(i)(II) designation, they do not say anything about Alharbi being the “money man” or otherwise funding the attacks.
When asked specifics about what Sources 1 and 2 told the defendants at his deposition, Weasel testified that the sources did not explain when the alleged financing took place, how any funds were transferred, the amounts of financing, what the financing was used for, or how the financing was otherwise accomplished. See Weasel Dep., Docket No. 109, Ex. H, at 160. Thus, the plaintiff has put forward enough evidence to demonstrate a genuine issue with respect to whether the defendants were negligent.
The latest right-wing conspiracy theory being promoted by GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is that the recent execution of an Iranian nuclear scientist who had worked with Americans was the result of emails about him that had been compromised by going through Hillary Clinton’s private server.
It’s not true, but that didn’t stop right-wing attorney and conspiracy theorist extraordinaire Larry Klayman from using the case to drive home his claim that 80 people connected to Clinton “scandals” mysteriously wound up dead during Bill Clinton’s administration.
When Detroit radio host Frank Beckmann asked Klayman about the conspiracy theory surrounding the Iranian scientist yesterday, Klayman eagerly piled on, linking the case to the death of former Commerce Secretary Ron Brown in a 1996 plane crash and, of course, to the 2012 attack on Americans in Benghazi. (Klayman is representing the parents of two Benghazi victims in his latest lawsuit against Clinton.)
Absolutely. I mean, look, this is a woman who, whether she was responsible for it or not, that during the administration of Bill Clinton over 80 people died, vanished. And I’m not saying that she was responsible for all 80 people, but people have asked questions. Why did 80 people die, material witnesses in the cases? I was involved with Ken Starr in going against her. Ron Brown died in a mysterious plane crash in Croatia. Maybe it was an accident, but you know what, when 80 people die questions are going to be asked.
And bad things have happened in our system and, in this case, Hillary Clinton, whether she intended it or not, is likely responsible for the death of this double American agent spy with Iran and she’s undoubtedly responsible for the death of Sean Smith and also Tyrone Woods.
Last night, My Faith Votes, the Religious Right effort overseen by Ben Carson that seeks to mobilize millions of Christians to vote in 2016, hosted another teleforum, this one featuring Religious Right activist and pseudo-historian David Barton, who told participants that they will answer to God if they fail to vote for Donald Trump.
Barton ran a pro-Ted Cruz super PAC during the Republican primary, but quickly shifted his support to Trump once it was clear that he would be the GOP nominee, even going so far as to declare that Trump is obviously "God's guy" in this election. As such, it came as no surprise to hear Barton tell caller after caller last night that Christians must vote for Trump and will have to answer to God if they don't.
Barton said that Christians who refuse to support Trump are just looking for "excuses" and would probably have refused to vote for biblical leaders like King David because he was a murderer and adulterer or Noah because "he had trouble with drunkenness" or Lot, who slept with his own daughter.
Christians who won't vote for Trump, Barton said, need to realize that "maybe God's got a different standard than what we do. Maybe at a national leadership level, there are people who do good things for the nation who have character flaws ... What God calls great leaders wouldn't fit your litmus test, but maybe you need to catch up with where God is rather than expecting God to catch up with where you are."
"Voting is not a right, it is a responsibility," Barton said. "God wants you to be locked in that room with a ballot box and don't come out until you vote. And if you have that approach, then you're going to have to find the best you can of what is there and vote for it."
"We will stand before God one day and answer for everything we've said and thought and done," he continued. "[God will say,] 'I gave you your country, what did you do that with?' 'Well, I didn't do anything because I didn't like any of the candidates.' Really? You think God is going to buy that? In Matthew 25 and Luke 19, the guy who was given something to do and didn't do anything with it, he's the one who got in trouble with the master. He's going to say, 'I gave you a vote. What did you do with that vote I gave you?' 'Well, I couldn't use it for anybody.' And again, we're back to Matthew 25 and Luke 19 where Jesus turned to him and said, 'Wait a minute, you didn't do anything with what I gave you, at all?' And that is the one who got thrown into outer darkness."
"That mentality that this is my choice is the wrong choice," Barton said. "It should be this is my accountability; I will account to God and I have to vote because He put that ballot in my hand and I'm going to have to account to Him for what I did with it. And I can't use the false standard of I have to have somebody perfect because there is nobody perfect except for Jesus and, by the way, when He was on earth, they didn't think He was perfect; we only think He's perfect now. Back then, they called him a winebibber and a glutton; he had all sorts of campaign ads run against him. So nobody is going to fit the criteria, so let's get God's mind on this thing instead of finding excuses ... [because] you will answer to God for what you do with that ballot and what you do with this country."
Donald Trump delivered a speech to the Detroit Economic Club yesterday in which he promised to lay out his plan to improve the economy and encourage job growth. Unsurprisingly, Trump’s proposals were nothing more than the GOP’s standard offerings of tax cuts for the wealthy and the elimination of regulations. Casting even more doubt on the idea that a Trump administration would place any focus on jobs are the policy preferences that his vice presidential running mate, Mike Pence, expressed at the height of the great recession.
The unemployment rate in November, 2010 was 9.8 percent, near its peak level. However, joblessness was not Pence’s concern at the time. That month he went to the floor of Congress and called on the Federal Reserve to stop focusing job growth and proposed legislation to enshrine this change into law. In a speech titled “End The Dual Mandate At The Fed,” he called on Congress to alter the bank’s role in the economy.
“It is time, once again, to demand that the Federal Reserve focus exclusively on price stability and protecting the dollar,” he said.
The “dual mandate” refers to a requirement that the Federal Reserve focus both on achieving full employment and controlling inflation. In May 2016, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. John Conyers Jr. and more than 100 of their congressional colleagues wrote a letter to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen thanking her for placing “renewed emphasis on the importance of building a full employment economy,” while criticizing the lack of minority representation at the institution. In response, Hillary Clinton’s campaign pledged that she would “defend the Fed's so-called dual mandate — the legal requirement that it focus on full employment as well as inflation — and will appoint Fed governors who share this commitment.”
On the other hand, Pence has made clear that he would like inflation to be the only focus of the Fed, leaving job growth to Congress, a change that would allow Republicans to limit economic stimulus plans to tax cuts and regulatory rollbacks.
What Pence’s speeches reveal was that at a time when Americans were hurting from a lack of jobs, he wanted the Federal Reserve to ignore the present problem of unemployment in favor of the theoretical problem of inflation. His reverence for conservative economic orthodoxy led him to want to pull out the rug from one agency whose mission it was to help put people back to work at a time when it was critically necessary.
At a rally this afternoon in Wilmington, North Carolina, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump claimed that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton would “abolish the Second Amendment” if elected, telling rally attendees that “there’s nothing you can do, folks—although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is.”
People For the American Way president Michael Keegan released the following statement:
“There has been no shortage of inexcusable rhetoric from Trump, but suggesting gun violence is truly abhorrent. There is no place in our public discourse for this kind of statement, especially from someone seeking the nation’s highest office.”
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.
At a campaign rally today in Wilmington, North Carolina, Donald Trump said that if Hillary Clinton is elected president, she will “abolish the Second Amendment” and “if she gets to pick her judges,” there’s “nothing you can do.”
“Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is....” he continued in his usual, cryptic fashion. “I don’t know.”
Update: Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller said that Trump was referring to the “amazing spirit” and “great political power” of “2nd Amendment people” and was not suggesting that he wanted someone to assassinate Clinton or her judicial nominees.
On his radio show today, Glenn Beck became so alarmed over Donald Trump's cratering poll numbers and forecasts showing him falling further and further behind Hillary Clinton that he called on Mitt Romney to throw his hat into the ring just so that Republicans have someone to vote for in case Trump has a complete meltdown.
"I am not a Romney fan," Beck said, but "Romney should be drafted at this point and put his name in on Friday just in case this guy implodes and is 20 points behind. We have to have some place else to go."
"I really think that we have to draft somebody," he said. "I know he hates my guts, but I think we should reach out to Mitt Romney ... or maybe I should reach out to Ted [Cruz]" and encourage them to "just put your name on the ballot in case we start to have [Trump falling] 20 points behind."
Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., defended Donald Trump’s economic policies today in an interview with American Family Radio’s Sandy Rios, saying that Democratic claims that Trump's proposals would overwhelmingly benefit billionaires undermine American values.
“So the left, right off the bat, gets us into this class-division dialogue, they’re billionaires vs. the poor. It’s not about that; that kind of language was back at Karl Marx but it was not at our founding, and for the last 200 years we’ve had a growth record because we didn’t get into those petty debates on these class divisions the way we are now and it’s killing us,” he said.
Brat said that America’s bedrock values include “the Judeo-Christian tradition,” “the rule of law” and “the free market system,” and “the left is opposed, right now in academia, to all three.”
The congressman said liberals are leading “a full-out assault on the Judeo-Christian in higher ed,” “mocking our police officers” and refusing to thank and praise billionaires for all their hard work.
Rios, for her part, said that the “there is no wiggle room” between the platforms of the Democratic Party and the Communist Party.
Last week, My Faith Votes, the Religious Right effort overseen by Ben Carson that seeks to mobilize 25 million Christians to vote in 2016, hosted a teleforum with Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson, during which he threatened to run for president.
Given that My Faith Votes was behind the meeting that Donald Trump held with hundreds of Religious Right leaders back in June, it was no surprise that most of the focus of the call was on encouraging Christian voters to support Trump.
Robertson kicked things off by agreeing with a caller who said that "rising secularism" in the United States is "the greatest assault on Christianity" in modern times. This assault, Robertson said, is the fault of the voters who "elect depraved souls" to serve in public office instead of candidates who will defend religious liberty and the Second Amendment and oppose abortion rights and gay marriage.
"You call it secularism," he said, "I just call it the Evil One, the Evil One that controls human beings."
Robertson went on to claim that society is overrun with murder and lying, which are the works of Satan and the result of the teaching of evolution and the separation of church and state in public schools.
The only hope is for Christians to vote for the godliest candidate, Robertson said. "The one that at least won't disarm us, spiritually speaking and physically speaking."
"I can't tell you how to vote," he said, but "if they keep fooling around long enough, they're going to force me to run. If you want to see a change in America, get me in there, dude, and there will be a big change then, if you all are ready for it."