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Louisville Activists Protest McConnell's Vote Against Amendment to #GetMoneyOut

On Friday, PFAW members and local activists came out to Sen. Mitch McConnell’s West Louisville campaign office to hold him accountable for his support of big money in politics and for voting against the Democracy For All Amendment during this week’s Senate vote.

The rally included PFAW Regional Political Coordinator Scott Foval, along with MoveOn Council’s Ann Hardman, University of Louisville’s College Democrats President Connor Allen, and local activist Bonifacio “Flaco” Aleman. Activists had a giant “King Mitch” holding fake money and signs saying “Money Is Not Speech” and “Mitch: Go Filibuster Yourself!” and more.

McConnell led the fight to block the Democracy for All Amendment during Senate debates this week. As a leading voice against efforts to get big money out of elections, McConnell has fought hard for years to protect billionaires’ and millionaires’ influence in our elections instead of protecting the average Kentuckian’s interests.

This rally along with over 15,000 signatures on a petition delivered to McConnell last week should make it clear to “King Mitch” that Kentuckians support an amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United and #GetMoneyOut. Polling also shows that three in four voters support the measure nationally.

There were not sufficient votes to pass the proposed amendment this week, but a majority of the Senate did vote on Thursday in support of the Democracy for All Amendment despite “King Mitch’s” best efforts.
 

PFAW

Activists Rally Outside Sen. McConnell’s Campaign Office in Louisville in Support of Constitutional Amendment

LOUISVILLE, KY — This afternoon, People For the American Way members and other activists rallied outside of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s West Louisville campaign office to protest “King Mitch’s” role in supporting big money in politics. The rally was held in response to McConnell’s vote against the Democracy for All Amendment during yesterday’s Senate session. This proposed constitutional amendment would overturn decisions like Citizens United and allow Congress and the states to set reasonable limits on money in elections.
 
During the Senate debates this week, Sen. McConnell led the charge against the Democracy for All Amendment despite receiving petitions from PFAW activists last week signed by over 15,000 Kentuckians urging him to support an amendment.

PFAW Regional Political Coordinator Scott Foval was featured during the rally, along with MoveOn Council’s Ann Hardman, University of Louisville’s College Democrats President Connor Allen, and local activist Bonifacio “Flaco” Aleman.

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

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

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Bachmann: Obama Wants To Be 'Theologian-In-Chief'

Michele Bachmann is upset that President Obama said in his Wednesday night address that “ISIL is not Islamic,” criticizing him for “being the theologian-in-chief.”

The Minnesota congresswoman told the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in an interview yesterday said that Obama should just ask Steven Sotloff and ask James Foley — the two American journalists beheaded by ISIS — “if this was about Islam.”

She said the group’s actions are “all about” Islam and are “exactly done in conformance with their belief, not ours, with the jihadist belief and view of Islam. So the president falsely stated that this was not what Islam looks like or the motivation wasn’t Islam, it exactly is, the president was completely wrong.”

Tony Perkins: US Constitution Doesn't Protect Muslims

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, who now styles himself as an Islamic scholar, said on his “Washington Watch” radio show yesterday that members of militant groups like ISIS are the real Muslims who are truly “practicing their faith.”

Islam is such a danger, Perkins explained, that Muslim-Americans should not have the same religious freedoms as other citizens.

Perkins, who was responding to a caller who worried that mosques in her hometown are harboring terrorist sleeper cells, said the vast majority of Muslims who aren’t committing acts of violence are all phony Muslims who “don’t really believe the Quran or practice it as its written.”

He warned that Islam isn’t necessarily protected under the Constitution because it “tears at the fabric of our society” and undermines “ordered liberty,” adding that Islam is “not just a religion, it’s an economic system, it’s a judicial system and it’s a military system.”

“Those things will tear and destroy the fabric of a democracy,” he said. “So we have to be very clear about our laws and restrain those things that will harm the whole. We are a nation that was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, that’s the foundation of our nation, not Islam, but the Judeo-Chrsitian God.”

Perkins has previously described Islam as “evil” and said that LGBT-inclusive Christians shouldn’t have the same religious rights as conservatives because they aren’t real Christians.

Final day of Senate debate to #GetMoneyOut

The opposition lobbed a few final blows, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Senators David Vitter of Louisiana and Mike Lee of Utah, repeating the same specious arguments made all week, but Democracy for All supporters stood firm.
PFAW

LaBarbera: Ex-Ex-Gays Should Apologize To The Religious Right

As more and more ex-gay activists renounce the movement and strongly criticize sexual orientation conversion therapy, even apologizing for their role promoting ex-gay pseudo-science, you might think anti-gay activists would start asking questions about the efficacy of ex-gay therapy.

You would be mistaken, of course, as instead anti-gay activists like Peter LaBarbera deny that there are any problems at all with the rapidly collapsing ex-gay movement. In fact, the Americans For Truth About Homosexuality leader believes that people who have abandoned their positions in the ex-gay movement should apologize to anti-gay conservatives like himself.

While speaking to Janet Mefferd yesterday about recent statements by people like Randy Thomas, Yvette Schneider, Alan Chambers and John Paulk who, among others, have denounced the ex-gay movement they once took part in, LaBarbera said that they are “sellouts” who, instead of apologizing to the LGBT community, should apologize to the Religious Right.

LaBarbera said such activists are “negating the word of God to score some points with the politically correct thought police” while hurting “people trapped in homosexuality.”

“He needs to apologize to the body of Christ now for selling out the Bible,” he said of Thomas. “That’s the apology I want to see from Alan Chambers and Randy Thomas and all of these sellouts, is people saying I’m coming back to this route and then apologizing to the body of Christ for promoting error.”

Mefferd agreed: “That would be nice.”

He also accused Schneider of embracing the “occult” and “opening herself up to an unbiblical counselor in her life, you could use stronger words.”

“This one is very sad and personal to me, I worked with Yvette Schneider at the Family Research Council, she had a wonderful testimony,” he said. “This one is a stab in the back to all of her pro-family friends and I pray that Yvette will turn back to the Bible and turn back to God and apologize for this apostasy.”

Alan Keyes: Obama Only Fighting ISIS So He Can Become A Dictator

Alan Keyes, who recently argued that President Obama is secretly aiding ISIS in hopes that the group will attack the U.S., today warns that Obama will take advantage of a future attack by becoming a tyrant.

Keyes writes in WorldNetDaily that Obama is leaving the southern border wide open for ISIS members, among others, to cross in order “to kill us in our schoolyards and malls,” giving the president the pretext to create a “1984”-style dictatorship in the name of fighting ISIS.

Obama has promoted the view that illegal entrants into the U.S. are only looking for jobs and economic opportunity, not the chance to kill us in our schoolyards and malls.

He has allowed a large influx of illegal entrants, supposedly children but including members of criminal gangs, into the U.S. without careful scrutiny of their health backgrounds, criminal records or possible ties to groups hostile to the United States.

He has, with an unwarranted lack of openness and disclosure, transported such entrants to locations throughout the U.S., including but not limited to U.S. military bases and civilian organizations dependent on U.S. government largesse.



In this respect, management strategy has something in common with the politics of creative destruction. The latter often involves starting a fire in the basement so you can show up at the front door offering “just the thing” to put it out. It’s a concept that helps to make sense of a situation in which someone cast in the role of president of the United States covertly implements a policy that cooperates in arming fanatical forces, which later stir a firestorm of angry reaction with their brutal and well publicized atrocities. Then, playing the role of presiding global strategist in the very war he purposefully neglected, he embarks on a strategy that is not a strategy, in a war that is not a war, against an enemy that … well, may not simply be among his enemies.

“What opportunities would that give rise to?” you wonder. As you ponder that question I invite you to consider what I said about Obama’s real enemy in my column last week, and what I say about his semantic quibbling in my most recent blog post. I also can’t help but refer you to George Orwell’s “1984,” a novel alluded to with great frequency in the era when America’s leadership was still largely committed to the defense of liberty.

Under the oppressive regime therein depicted, perpetual war was the pretext for perpetual tyranny. Enemies were simply the renewable pretext for endless war and for maintaining a regime of domestic terrorism by which “Big Brother” maintained domestic control. They were management tools in the administration of fear, which is the heart of despotism.

With this in mind, perhaps the reason so many people think Obama has no strategy is that they’re not yet willing to enlarge their thinking enough to conceive of his real objective. I pray that those who do will be brought to realize that America can’t afford to let him proceed unchallenged toward his goal. If you’re among them, consider joining the Pledge to Impeach mobilization. And then urge everyone one you know to do likewise, before America passes beyond the point when an electoral strategy still offers any chance of stopping the tyranny Obama surely represents.

Moscow Forum Attended By American Activists Ends With Call For More 'Gay Propaganda' Bans

UPDATED

According to the foundation run by Russian oligarch Constantin Malofeev, this week’s international gathering of anti-gay, anti-abortion-rights activists in Moscow ended with delegates issuing a proclamation that blasts liberal social policies in Western countries and calls for Russian-style “homosexual propaganda” bans to be passed throughout the world.

The forum in Moscow was originally organized under the name of the Illinois-based World Congress of Families, which officially “suspended” its planning of the conference after Russia invaded Ukraine, although two World Congress of Families officials were until recently listed as organizers on the event’s website and attended the gathering. National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown also spoke at the event yesterday, and American representatives from the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, the Christian Broadcasting Network, Personhood USA, and Family Watch International were also scheduled to speak.

It’s unclear if any of the Americans at the conference officially backed the resolution.

In the resolution — which was posted on the website of a foundation chaired by Putin ally Vladimir Yakunin, which also helped fund the event — the delegates express their “profound concern because certain countries are pursuing  tenacious policies and an unprecedented propaganda campaign, all of which is leading to the ultimate destruction of the Natural Family − an institution that in a civilized society is the foundation of order, state’s prosperity and social peace.”

In the resolution, delegates vow to "uphold the interests of children and to work for the adoption of legislative bans on all types propaganda concerning homosexual relationships in the environment of children and juveniles” and to support research on “the negative social and psychological effects of raising children in same-gender couples.”

The delegates also vow “demand initiatives and directives from the governments and heads of state to ensure protection of the natural family, childhood, and motherhood in both, domestic and foreign policies.”

UPDATE: Joe Jervis points out that an English translation of the resolution is available. I've updated the quotes above and you can read the whole thing here:

An Urgent APPEAL
To the Nations of the World

To all people of goodwill in the everywhere: To leaders of all faiths, To the architects of public opinion, To those at the helm of professional, women’s and youth organizations, To the UN General Assembly, To the heads of state and legislative bodies and To the mass media.

 We, the Participants of the Moscow International Forum “Large Family and Future of Humanity” (September 10-11, 2014), express our profound concern because certain countries are pursuing  tenacious policies and an unprecedented propaganda campaign, all of which is leading to the ultimate destruction of the Natural Family − an institution that in a civilized society is the foundation of order, state’s prosperity and social peace. 

 The preservation of mankind is based on a system of family and kindred ties that are formed through the bonds of marriage between a male and a female and the children born to them.  This and only this alone, is capable of ensuring the reproduction, stability and continuity of human civilization. All other kinds of sexual relationships or alliances intentionally that exclude the birth of children are meaningless for they are devoid of the notion set down in the very definition of the word “family.” And no political or economic interests can serve as a pretext for replacing the true and time-tested concept of “family” by any kind of surrogate.  

It is precisely this understanding that was set down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted by the United Nations in 1948), as well as in the constitutions of more than 100 countries and reflected in the holy scriptures of various religions. This understanding determines the philosophy and creativity of humanists and thinkers of the past and the contemporary epoch.

  We regretfully declare that the systemic policy pursued by the ruling elite in the developed countries of the world in order to implement the “theory of the post-modern society” – in essence, a “society of unrestrained consumerism,” a policy of creating a society of individuals who are absolutely unconcerned about the future and who are focused only on satisfying their selfish desires of the moment. Actually, such a society is ultimately aimed at destroying faith in God, as well as belief in good. These post-modern policies focused on the material wealth are destroying what is human in the human being (as created by God), at wrecking the spiritual dimension in Man – all of which are his distinguishing features in Living Nature.

  We appeal to all people who acknowledge the significance and values of the Natural Family for preserving human civilization:

  • To unite before the threat of total dehumanization of society, to set up a barrier on the road of ideology-lined, state-supported interference in the private lives of people, in an attempt to foist specific sexual lifestyles and preferences of the minority upon the majority;
  • To strive to set forth legislative initiatives in the laws and constitutions of all countries that clearly define the naturally predetermined relationships in the Family as relationships between the male and female, their children and their relatives;
  • To advocate and support the Natural Family as the sole source of preserving the civilization, the life of Mankind;
  • To make use of all thematic international Days (…protection of children, the family, etc.) whose slogans and mottos refer to traditional values, for demonstrating their disagreement with and dissent for State-supported destructive tendencies in the sex and family life, especially of the young people, and consolidating the understanding of a Natural Family as the foundation of human life at the level of the individual, society, state and civilization;
  • To oppose  the cynical utilization of women as surrogate mothers in the interests of same-gender liaisons and alliances;
  • To uphold the interests of children and to work for the adoption of legislative bans on all types propaganda concerning homosexual relationships in the environment of children and juveniles;
  • To initiate and support scientific research to study the conditions  and prospects of developing a Natural Family, as well as studying the negative social and psychological effects of raising children in same-gender couples;
  •  To support public efforts aimed at ensuring integrity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death, to protect children from influences taken against their individuality, and to uphold the child-rearing rights of parents – both father’s and mother’s;
  • To demand initiatives and directives from the governments and heads of state to ensure protection of the natural family, childhood, and motherhood in both, domestic and foreign policies.

  We  urgently call upon the UN General Assembly, the UN Secretary General and the UN Supreme Commissioner for Human Rights that, while formulating the programs of the United Nations, to follow the letter and the spirit of Article 16 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which underscores the understanding of the Human Family as the only possible and acceptable notion to human civilization, and to proclaim in the foreseeable future a Special Year or Program in support of the Natural Family.

  We call upon all people who agree with the given Appeal to sign it and support it for the sake of preserving life and civilization on our Earth.

 

 

WND Columnist: Obama Is Just Like Attempted Assassin John Hinckley

WorldNetDaily columnists must be running out of dictators to compare President Obama to, as Burt Prelutsky today likened Obama to John Hinckley, arguing the president “is every bit as delusional” as the man who attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan.

Prelutsky started his column by talking about how he would refuse to take a bullet for Obama or other Democratic president if he were in the Secret Service, which then led to a brief rant about how the “Hollywood bimbos” who recently had their photos hacked had it coming.

There are any number of jobs that I couldn’t handle physically, such as being a professional athlete or a bouncer at a nightclub; and some I wouldn’t consider because of moral objections, such as being a criminal defense attorney. But, after reading Ron Kessler’s latest book, “The First Family Detail,” there’s one I couldn’t handle for any number of reasons, and that’s being a Secret Service agent on a presidential detail.

I mean, imagine swearing to take a bullet or several bullets intended for Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. From having read Kessler’s earlier “In the President’s Secret Service,” I already knew that being assigned to protect Jimmy Carter, John Kerry or Hillary Clinton was tantamount to a prison sentence because of their blatant contempt for those sworn to sacrifice their lives for them. But when it came to guys like Kennedy, Johnson and Clinton, the day-to-day job had less to do with protecting them against assassins than it did with making sure the first ladies didn’t trip over their various bimbos.

Speaking of which, I had a good laugh recently when a bevy of Hollywood bimbos whined that hackers had managed to upload their nude photos and post them on the Internet. It seems to me that if you feel the need to take selfies of yourself in the buff, hackers are the least of your problems.

Frankly, I see little difference between all this and the nudity they often display in their professional lives on screen, aside from the fact that they aren’t compelled to defend this form of exhibitionism as essential to the plot of some cinematic stinkeroo.



Clearly, we have a commander in chief who is every bit as delusional as John Hinckley, who not only believed that actress Jodie Foster would be smitten with him if he could somehow manage to assassinate Ronald Reagan, but never even considered just sending her flowers and a box of candy.

I suspect that even if you’d pointed out to Hinckley that Ms. Foster was a lesbian, he’d have dismissed that as a mere hiccup. Instead, like Joe E. Brown in “Some Like it Hot,” when his beloved Daphne (Jack Lemmon) finally whips off his wig and confesses, “I’m not even a woman,” Hinckley would have said, “Nobody’s perfect.”

But, clearly, every time Obama gazes into a mirror, he finds reason to disagree with Joe E. Brown, even if nobody else does. I mean, what can he possibly be thinking when an American journalist is beheaded in Iraq and he flies off to yet another fundraiser? And when a second journalist is beheaded a week later, he’s the only person in America who not only isn’t screaming for blood, but doesn’t even take a moment to offer the man’s family the nation’s condolences.

GOP Members Of Congress Join Anti-Muslim Group ACT For America At Capitol Hill Briefing

ACT for America, the anti-Muslim group run by Brigitte Gabriel, held a legislative briefing on Capitol Hill today where it was joined by Republican members of Congress including Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan, Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam, and Arkansas Sen. John Boozman.

Gabriel posted pictures on Facebook and Twitter of Boozman, Bachmann and Gohmert speaking and of Roskam receiving the group’s “Patriot Award.” Duncan tweeted that he was planning on speaking to the gathering. Gabriel wrote that she had planned on presenting another award to Sen. Ted Cruz, but that he was unable to attend.

 

Gabriel also presented awards to Alabama state Sen. Gerald Allen, the author of that state’s bill banning the use of Sharia law, and Kansas state Rep. Peggy Mast, who introduced a similar bill in her state.

In addition to pushing meaningless Sharia bans throughout the country, Gabriel has gone after Muslim Student Associations at colleges and school textbooks that she deems too friendly to Islam .

She has also suggested the President Obama secretly a Muslim.

A few months ago, Gabriel made the news when she berated a Muslim woman who asked her a question at a Heritage Foundation panel.

Across the Country Activists Support Amendment to #GetMoneyOut

 

While billionaires and corporations have been busy buying airtime to influence midterm elections, average Americans have been active in letting politicians know that they are sick and tired of big money in politics. As the Democracy for All amendment gets debated and voted on in the Senate this week, an ongoing grassroots push has helped shape the conversation.

On Monday over 3.2 million petition signatures calling for a constitutional amendment were delivered to Congress, gathered by more than two dozen progressive organizations. This diverse coalition includes groups such as the Communications Workers of America, MoveOn.org, Sierra Club, Daily Kos, CREDO Action, Common Cause, Corporate Accountability International, Public Citizen and People For the American Way.

More than 25 local actions have happened across the country, delivering petitions to the district offices of target senators in key states. These events have been hugely successful, with solid attendance at a small spirited event at Senator Murkowski’s office in Juneau, Alaska to a large rally at Senator Kirk’s office in Chicago, IL and a marching band that showed up to help provide support for an event at Senator Ayotte’s office in Portsmouth, NH.

These events have earned a great deal of  media coverage, so much so that most of the five remaining Democrats who have not cosponsored the Democracy for All amendment have now made commitments to vote for it – in large part as a result of the events in their states. Four even put out public statements in connection with the events.

Additionally more than 15,000 calls have been made this week to Senators’ offices asking them to support the Democracy for All amendment. These are only the reported calls, many more have likely been made without being counted. This is an average of over 300 calls per Senate office.

Perhaps most exciting of all – things are just getting started – this first milestone vote on the Democracy for All amendment marks the beginning of what will be a truly historic push to protect the promise of American democracy.

PFAW

Vic Eliason And Mat Staver Link ISIS Beheadings To LGBT 'Meltdown Of Morality'

On yesterday’s edition of “Crosstalk,” Voice of Christian Youth America’s Vic Eliason and Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver connected same-sex marriage in the U.S. to beheadings committed by the terrorist group ISIS.

Discussing recent marriage equality legal victories, Staver made his standard prediction that the legalization of same-sex marriage will pave the way for polygamy. Eliason responded by accusing gay rights advocates of destroying morality and biblical values, leading to a decadent, anything-goes society.

“People see something they want, they steal it or they kill somebody or behead them. Some of this stuff now that’s going on, the beheading, which has become literally a religious, I don’t know what you’d call it— it becomes a very sacred thing to the Islamics to behead somebody because that is a special right that is deserved by the infidels,” Eliason said.

Staver naturally agreed and said it was all President Obama’s fault: “Yeah, that’s exactly right. I think what we’re seeing today is a meltdown of morality. That’s what certainly President Obama has been pushing, he is very much pushing a disintegration of Judeo-Christian values not just here in the United States but he’s actively doing that around the country [sic] promoting abortion and same-sex marriage, he’s trying to do that in every way possible across the world.”

Proposed Texas Textbooks Channel David Barton, Attribute US Government To Moses

Four years ago, the Texas State Board of Education made national headlines when it worked with Religious Right activists like David Barton to create a set of new textbook standards that played up the role of Christianity in the nation’s founding and played down the role of slavery in the Civil War, among other questionable changes.

According to our friends at the Texas Freedom Network , a new set of social studies textbooks up for approval from the state school board contain many flaws that “reflect the ideological beliefs of politicians on the state board rather than sound scholarship and factual history.”

TFN convened a panel of historians to review proposed textbooks and found that a number of the board’s faulty claims had been absorbed into proposed textbooks. For instance, a number of books followed the board’s advice in making vague claims about Moses as a direct influence on the framers of the Constitution — a claim straight out of David Barton’s pseudo-scholarship.

The material presented in these textbooks on this issue seems to have been determined more by political concerns than considerations of good scholarship. On the one hand, the decisions of these textbooks seem to have been strongly influenced by the suggestions and requirements of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE). For instance, that the Texas SBOE suggested in the 2009-2010 debate over curriculum standards that Moses influenced the writing of the nation’s founding documents and that several textbooks mention Moses’ influence on the Founders seems to be no coincidence. On the other hand, the frequently vague nature of the textbooks’ statements about the influence of Moses and other religious ideas and figures on the Founders seems to indicate that the publishers did not want to be held accountable by scholars are those critical of SBOE’s standards. Unfortunately, the result of this at once overly controversial and overly careful strategy is the failure to provide students with an understanding of the influence of religion on our Founders that rests on sound scholarship and captures the diversity of the Founders’ views. These textbooks too often settle for giving students vague impressions about the Founders and religion while denying them the crucial information necessary to evaluate these claims. The SBOE and these textbooks have collaborated to make students’’ knowledge of American history a casualty of the culture wars.

Other concerns that TFN’s reviewers found in the textbooks include:

  • Some textbooks greatly exaggerate religious influences on the American founding, with some going so far as to suggest without substantiation that Moses was a major influence, that “the roots of democratic government” can be found in the Old Testament, and that “the biblical idea of a covenant … contributed to our constitutional structure.”
  • While the textbooks largely make clear that slavery was the central cause of the Civil War, some give nods to neo-Confederate arguments first promoted after the war that “states’ rights” was the driving issue. Some also downplay the serious hardships faced by African Americans during segregation.
  • Some textbooks reinforce negative stereotypes of Islam as a violent religion spread exclusively by conquest. One tells students, inaccurately, that “the spread of international terrorism is an outgrowth of Islamic fundamentalism,” ignoring the numerous examples of terrorism not related to Islam at all.
  • Some textbooks suffer from an incomplete and at times inaccurate coverage of religions other than Christianity. For example, one textbook teaches students, inaccurately, that all Hindus are vegetarians. On other hand, coverage of key Christian concepts and historical events are lacking in a few textbooks, often apparently due to the presumption that all students are Christians and already familiar with that information.
  • Reflecting concerns already noted about the curriculum standards by the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a number of textbooks present an uncritical celebration of the free enterprise system. They downplay or even ignore legitimate problems in capitalism and the role government played in the growth of the American economy of the 1800s.
  • A number of U.S. History textbooks suffer from a general lack of attention to the experiences of Native American peoples and cultures and sometimes include biased or misleading information.
    One textbook includes a biased even offensive treatment critical of affirmative action, including cartoons that jokingly suggest space aliens would qualify.
  • Most textbooks offer scant coverage of the movement for LGBT equality, one of the salient civil rights struggles of the last half-century. One publisher links the gay rights movement of the late 1960s to society “spinning out of control.”

American Religious Right Leaders Join Moscow Event, May Not Be Able To Avoid Foreign Policy

This week, a number of American Religious Right activists are participating an in international forum on “large families and the future of mankind,” which is organized and funded by a number of close allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin and kicked off its session at the Kremlin yesterday with the reading of a personal message from Putin himself.

Among the Americans speaking at the forum, according to a preliminary schedule, are the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute’s Austin Ruse, Family Watch International’s Sharon Slater and representatives from Personhood USA, the Home School Legal Defense Association and the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Janice Shaw Crouse is also scheduled to attend, although possibly no longer as a representative of Concerned Women for America, a group critical of the Moscow conference with which she seems to have parted ways.

The conference was originally organized under the name of the Illinois-based World Congress of Families, but after Russia invaded Ukraine, the group began to lose support from its American allies and announced that it had “suspended planning” on the event, noting that it “takes no position on foreign affairs, except as they affect the natural family.”

In reality, very little but the official name of the conference seems to have changed. World Congress of Families officials Don Feder and Larry Jacobs are attending in their personal capacities, and insist that their group is not “financially sponsoring” the event and would not have its name attached to it. But WCF’s sponsorship was always nominal — the group has a very small budget of its own and instead acts as an agent for bringing together better-funded activists and organizations. Even before WCF dropped its official involvement, it had given credit to a number of Russian allies for funding the conference.

Although the focus of the conference is the promotion of “large families” (and with it the resistance to LGBT equality and abortion rights), it may be impossible for attendees to ignore the foreign policy implications of the event.

As we have noted, Putin played up the supposed dangers of LGBT rights in his efforts to prevent Ukraine from joining the EU — a geopolitical ploy that had dangerous consequences for the LGBT communities in Russian and Ukraine.

Constantin Malofeev, the oligarch who helped to organize and fund the conference this week, brought this up in his speech to the event yesterday, presenting the “propagation of homosexuality and gay parades” as a defining factor in the battle over Ukraine:

In Ukraine, which is our fraternal country, association with European Union was not signed last year because, in this case, the Ukrainians learned that they had to allow propagation of homosexuality and gay parades. So, the new regime in Ukraine, the first thing they did was to allow a gay parade in Kiev. So we are defending our position. We are protecting fathers, mothers and children.

He also attacked the United States for including Yelena Mizulina, the force behind many of Russia’s harsh new anti-gay laws, on its economic sanctions list. (Putin ally Vladimir Yakunin, who along with his wife Natalia also spoke at and helped fund the conference, is another U.S. sanctions target).

And if we are part of the sanctions for Ukraine. But Madam Mizulina was included in the sanctions as one of the first, and this is just because she defends the family values.

And as Richard Bartholomew points out, today’s schedule includes a panel titled “Family Policy in Ukraine: Conclusions and Warnings for Russia.”

An ever-present theme at the first day of the conference was the idea of Russia as a bulwark protecting the world against the U.S. and Europe’s encroaching liberalism. The Moscow Times writes that the theme came up in both Yakunin and Mizulina’s remarks:

In choosing conservative values, Russia represents "the final hope" for the modern world, which has been corrupted by the Western debauchery of individualism, consumerism and globalization, participants of a Moscow forum agreed Wednesday.

Yakunin, whose wife Natalya moderated the proceedings, attended the forum, taking to the stage to talk about Russia's departure from the Western model of development that, according to him, does not lead to either material or spiritual well-being.

Mizulina, who chairs the Duma's committee on family, women and children's issues and has advocated a law requiring women to get their husband's permission in order to have an abortion, lashed out at the West.

"I am sure that in contemporary Europe it would not be possible to hold a forum like this," Mizulina told the audience after reading a welcome note from State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin.

"Even if they are held there, they are not hosted at the Kremlin, like in Russia, but somewhere on the outskirts," she said.

Majority Senate Vote for Amendment to Get Big Money Out of Politics is Historic Milestone for Democracy

WASHINGON — Today a majority of the Senate voted in support of the Democracy for All Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment that would overturn decisions like Citizens United and allow Congress and the states to set reasonable limits on money in elections. While there were not sufficient votes to pass the proposed amendment, the vote itself represents a historic step forward for the movement to restore the power in our democracy to the people. People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker released the following statement:

“Less than five years after the Citizens United decision sparked national outrage, we have seen the movement to get big money out of politics go from local, grassroots organizing to a vote in the United States Senate. Today’s historic majority vote is a remarkable milestone for this movement and a platform for taking the fight to the next level. The debate in the Senate this week is a debate that Americans across the country who are passionate about fixing our broken democracy have wanted to see.

“The fight for a constitutional amendment is never easy. It’s not supposed to be. The women’s suffrage amendment ratified in 1920 was first introduced in Congress in 1878. But the grassroots activists pushing for this — who made more than 15,000 calls to Senate offices on the amendment this week alone, who have pushed successfully for hundreds of state and local resolutions, and who have signed more than 3.2 million petitions — aren’t afraid of a tough fight.

“We know that powerful, entrenched interests will continue to try to block the amendment, but we won’t stop pushing until it becomes a reality. Anyone who doubts that underestimates the American people.” 

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Third day of Senate debate to #GetMoneyOut

While America's foreign policy challenges and other critical issues dominated the Senate floor on Wednesday, debate on the Democracy for All amendment continued for a third day. Those opposed to getting money out of politics are even sounding like they're on our side. They ignore the fact that their points are very much among those that inspired Democracy for All in the first place.
PFAW

Jerry Boykin Is 'Being Persecuted, Literally' For Being A Benghazi Conspiracy Theorist

Family Research Council executive vice president Jerry Boykin said in an interview on “Washington Watch” yesterday that people like himself who believe in discredited conspiracy theories surrounding the 2012 Benghazi attacks are facing “persecution” because no one believes them and dares to think there are political motivations behind their accusations.

“The plight of not only the young service men and women in trying to ensure that their government is going to come and get them, but there is a plight of persecution today of those of us who want to stand up and demand that there be accountability on this,” he told FRC president Tony Perkins. “They’re persecuting us, the leftist media is coming out with all kinds of accusations about what our intent is.”

“We’re being hammered by the media now, being persecuted, literally, by the media as being on a witch hunt and being people that are not willing to accept the truth that has already come out. The truth hasn’t come out yet.”

Boykin insisted that no one has investigated the Benghazi attack yet…even though, as Media Matters notes, the House Intelligence Committee, along with “the State Department's independent Accountability Review Board (ARB), the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Armed Services Committee” have all “repeatedly debunked right-wing Benghazi myths that have persisted since the attacks, including the falsehood that a ‘stand down’ order was given to troops stationed in Tripoli and the myth that the administration lied about the attacks having been caused by an anti-Islam YouTube video.”

But who cares what four — including two GOP-led — panels found, because Boykin knows the truth and won’t rest until investigators agree with him.

He also made the extraordinary claim that his goal in promoting Benghazi conspiracy theories “is not to go after Hillary or the president.”

Rep. Chris Smith Claims Obama Ignores Religious Persecution Overseas, Only Cares About 'The LGBT'

Yesterday on “Washington Watch,” the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins said that the violent persecution of Christians in the Middle East is closely connected to “the religious intolerance that is growing here at home” under the Obama administration.

His guest, Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., agreed with his assessment of Obama’s purported “animus towards promoting religious freedom.”

The congressman alleged that the Obama administration is ignoring anti-Christian persecution because White House officials are either nonreligious or hostile to religion. According to Smith, they only care about “the LGBT, the abortion that is being promoted so aggressively overseas.”

No, Ted Cruz, The #GetMoneyOut Amendment Wouldn't Censor SNL

Cross-posted from PFAW's blog.

Sen. Ted Cruz has been known to make some pretty outlandish comments about the Democracy for All Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment being debated in the Senate which would overturn decisions like Citizens United, but his latest may take the cake. “Lorne Michaels [of Saturday Night Live] could be put in jail under this amendment for making fun of any politician,” Sen. Ted Cruz claimed on the floor of the Senate this week.

Luckily, a number of more grounded voices were able to set the record straight about Cruz’s wild and inaccurate remark. Last night, CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin said:

I think [Cruz] is wrong… This amendment is simply about restoring the old status quo about campaign contributions… I think his point…really has very little, if anything, to do with the constitutional amendment that the Senate is debating.

Amendment sponsor Sen. Tom Udall clarified that “[n]othing in the amendment would permit the arrest of anyone for engaging in political speech,” and pointed out that the proposal intends to bring the country’s campaign finance rules back to what they were in 1975, when Saturday Night Live began.

Other responders were a little more fiery, including former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson, who on Monday published an op-ed with Sen. Udall in support of the Democracy for All Amendment. Simpson called Cruz’s remarks about Saturday Night Live “outrageous,” and urged Sen. Cruz to “read the damn amendment. That would be a wonderful thing.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders also joined the conversation on The Ed Show last night, noting that Sen. Cruz “sounds like he is on Saturday Night Live. It’s a very funny skit.” He pointed out that “Citizens United is a little over four years old; Saturday Night Live has been on the air for decades. And I don’t recall too many people on Saturday Night Live going to jail for making fun of politicians.” Sen. Sanders added that it’s a “preposterous argument” and “just another scare tactic.”

Indeed, as Sen. Udall said in a speech on the Senate floor yesterday, quoting People For the American Way President Michael Keegan:

‘A good rule of thumb in politics is that the scarier someone sounds, the more you should doubt what they’re saying.’ We heard some scary things in the last couple of days. Lorne Michaels is going to jail. And he’s sharing a cell with the little old lady who put up a $5 dollar political yard sign. Books and movies are banned. The NAACP, Sierra Club, and Moveon.org have been prohibited from speaking about politics. Scary stuff. But none of it is true. [emphasis added]

Here’s what is true: the proposed amendment is supported by 73 percent of voters, including a growing body of grassroots activists who have pushed for hundreds of state and local resolutions and who are making senators’ phones ring off the hook this week with thousands of calls expressing their support for fixing our democracy.

So if the best that amendment opponents like Sen. Cruz can do is to push wild-eyed myths about comedic producers being thrown in jail, it’s clear that the American people are winning this fight.
 

Second day of Senate debate to #GetMoneyOut

When Senators returned to the floor on Tuesday for the second day of debate on the Democracy for All amendment, supporters continued to build a strong case for getting money out of politics, while the opposition ramped up its hyperbole.
PFAW
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