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Supreme Court Rejects Attempt At Restrictive Six-Week Abortion Ban

There has long been a debate raging within the anti-abortion movement between those who have mapped out a careful strategy to slowly chip away at Roe v. Wade through incremental restrictions on abortion and those who want to launch legal broadsides against abortion rights in the hopes that one will take Roe down once and for all.

The incrementalists will have their big day in court on March 2, when the Supreme Court hears arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, a challenge to a set of laws in Texas that seeks to cut off access to legal abortion even as the procedure remains legal. Whole Woman’s Health is the culmination of a decades-long strategy by groups like Americans United for Life to choke off abortion access by creating unnecessary regulations on clinics. These groups are also hoping to get the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe in the form of laws banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, just before when the court has said that abortion bans are legal.

But those who want to find a silver bullet to end abortion rights completely just had a day in court too … and it didn’t go well for them.

The Supreme Court today declined to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that struck down North Dakota’s “fetal heartbeat” law, which would have banned abortion at about six weeks of pregnancy, before many women even know that they are pregnant. The law was clearly unconstitutional — one prominent anti-choice lawyer has called such efforts “futile” — but North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said that it was an “attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade.”

The boundaries of Roe v. Wade, it turns out, however much they may be weakened by incremental restrictions, still prevent banning almost all abortions.

Yet today’s rejection is unlikely to halt the efforts of “heartbeat bill” crusaders, the most prominent of whom is Religious Right activist Janet Porter, who is currently running for the legislature in her home state of Ohio in an effort to push such a bill through.

PFAW

Supreme Court Rejects Attempt At Restrictive Six-Week Abortion Ban

There has long been a debate raging within the anti-abortion movement between those who have mapped out a careful strategy to slowly chip away at Roe v. Wade through incremental restrictions on abortion and those who want to launch legal broadsides against abortion rights in the hopes that one will take Roe down once and for all.

The incrementalists will have their big day in court on March 2, when the Supreme Court hears arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, a challenge to a set of laws in Texas that seeks to cut off access to legal abortion even as the procedure remains legal. Whole Woman’s Health is the culmination of a decades-long strategy by groups like Americans United for Life to choke off abortion access by creating unnecessary regulations on clinics. These groups are also hoping to get the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe in the form of laws banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, just before when the court has said that abortion bans are legal.

But those who want to find a silver bullet to end abortion rights completely just had a day in court too … and it didn’t go well for them.

The Supreme Court today declined to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that struck down North Dakota’s “fetal heartbeat” law, which would have banned abortion at about six weeks of pregnancy, before many women even know that they are pregnant. The law was clearly unconstitutional — one prominent anti-choice lawyer has called such efforts “futile” — but North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said that it was an “attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade.”

The boundaries of Roe v. Wade, it turns out, however much they may be weakened by incremental restrictions, still prevent banning almost all abortions.

Yet today’s rejection is unlikely to halt the efforts of “heartbeat bill” crusaders, the most prominent of whom is Religious Right activist Janet Porter, who is currently running for the legislature in her home state of Ohio in an effort to push such a bill through.

The Agenda of National School Choice Week: Don't Be Blinded by the Bright Yellow Scarves

National School Choice Week is a massive public relations campaign featuring rallies and other public events to promote the idea that parents and students benefit from maximizing "school choice" options. But by deliberately trying to smooth over crucial distinctions between policies that promote stronger public schools and policies that promote private interests, National School Choice Week distorts a necessary public debate.

Maddow Calls Out Cruz For Embracing Pastor Who Said God Sent Hitler & Oprah Presages Antichrist

Sen. Ted Cruz has been embracing so many far-right figures in his quest to become president that we’ve almost stopped being surprised every time he rolls out a new, more extreme endorsement.

Almost.

Last week, Cruz outdid himself when he sent out a press release announcing the endorsement of Mike Bickle, head of the 24-hour International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri.

Cruz’s announcement was remarkable because associating with Bickle had already caused a considerable amount of trouble for Cruz’s fellow Texan Rick Perry back when he was launching his first presidential run in 2011. Bickle, whose theology iscontroversial even among evangelicals, was involved in organizing a prayer rally meant to launch Perry’s campaign, which ended up causing trouble for the then-Texas governor when Bickle’s extreme views — including his belief that Oprah Winfrey is the forerunner to the Antichrist — came to light. Nonetheless, Bickle ended up emceeing the second half of the event.

Even more disturbing than his unusual theological beliefs about Oprah was a sermon that came to light after Perry’s prayer rally in which Bickle declared that in the End Times, God will “raise up a hunter” to kill Jews who don’t accept Christ “and the most famous hunter in recent history is a man named Adolf Hitler.’”

This statement was similar to remarks made by Religious Right leader John Hagee that had caused Sen. John McCain to publicly reject his endorsement during his own presidential campaign in 2008.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who extensively covered Bickle’s role in Perry’s prayer rally back in 2011, took on Cruz’s latest endorsement on Friday, saying that while “candidates cannot be held responsible for everything said and done and believed by people who like them and endorse them and vote for them,” once you welcome and campaign on an endorsement, “you kind of own it” … and while John McCain sought to quickly distance himself from this type of controversy, Ted Cruz doesn’t seem to mind at all.

Kim Davis: God Chose Me To Stand Against Gay Marriage

Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who became a Religious Right hero last year when she tried to stop issuing marriage licenses in the wake of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, told an American Family Radio host that she was chosen by God to fight gay marriage.

On Friday, American Family Radio host and American Family Association official Sandy Rios broadcast an interview that she had conducted with Davis, in which she lavished praise on Davis for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. "It's interesting to me how God chose you," Rios said. "Not a Sunday school teacher, not a Republican, not the standard — this is like God, this is so like God, so he chose you."

Davis said that she considered it "a joy to be chosen, to make a stand and to defend my God's word, the infallible word of God."

"You were chosen, Kim," Rios agreed. "I know that. God picked you, plucked you out."

David Barton: Thomas Jefferson Would Endorse Ted Cruz

Last year, a Christian publisher pulled "The Jefferson Lies," a book authored by right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton, off the shelves after it came under heavy criticism from actual historians who pointed out the book's significant factual inaccuracies.

Fortunately for Barton, the conspiracy theory site WorldNetDaily decided to republish his book on Thomas Jefferson shortly after Barton found a new job running a super PAC supporting Ted Cruz's presidential candidacy.

Naturally, Barton gave an interview yesterday to WorldNetDaily about who Jefferson would support for president in 2016, and — surprise, surprise — Barton said that Jefferson would likely back Cruz. 

Historian and Thomas Jefferson scholar David Barton says the choice is clear when it comes to the 2016 presidential candidate Thomas Jefferson would endorse.

“Jefferson would eliminate 80 percent of the candidates,” said Barton. But after that, he said, “one of the last guys standing would be [Ted] Cruz.”

Barton, who serves as head as of the pro-Cruz Keep the Promise political action committee, told WND Cruz is the candidate who comes closest to Jefferson and what he believes were the third president’s principles on “debt, religious liberty, and the war on Islam.”

...

"Two hundred years ago, the Founding Fathers dealt with abortion," said Barton. "They dealt with marriage laws, they dealt with homosexuality in the military, they dealt with whether the federal government should bail out private businesses 'too big to fail.' Everything we're going through now, they already dealt with and so we can learn from history if we're willing to do so."

PFAW, CODEPINK and Allies Speak Out Against Trump

Donald Trump has established himself as the candidate of hatred and bigotry, and he's dragging the rest of the party along with him. Anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric has become the norm in the GOP presidential debates, as Trump's policy proposals become more absurdly racist and xenophobic -- like a ban on allowing any Muslims to enter the United States.

In the face of this, the progressive movement is standing up for what's right. Over 30,000 PFAW members have already pledged to stand strongly against fascist policies that restrict our basic rights, like the ones Trump has built his campaign on. And our allies at CODEPINK are leading the #StopHateDumpTrump campaign, calling on Americans of all political affiliations to speak out in every way possible against political fear-mongering.

Together, we are pledging to take action in the face of hatred and bigotry that stand in stark contrast to our fundamental American values. 

PFAW

Republican Presidential Candidates: End Your Campaigns of Hate

This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

It seems there's no end to the Republican presidential candidates' campaigns of hate. As showcased by last week's Republican debate, their deeply-troubling rhetoric on immigrants and Muslims has become a standard talking point. It's impossible to turn on the TV without hearing the newest iteration of the candidates' hateful stances.

Sitting through last week's debate was nothing short of painful. Donald Trump doubled down on his commitment to ban Muslims from entering the United States. All the candidates were united in their anti-refugee stances.

Of course, it's not just debates where the Republican candidates spew their xenophobia. Their anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies are flooding the airwaves. The ad Donald Trump released recently is focused on banning Muslims from entering the U.S. and paints immigrants as a danger to national security. Trump's fellow Republican contenders have been mirroring his language. As Marco Rubio campaigns throughout the country, he's repeating the talking point he used in the last debate, that all immigrants and refugees pose a terrorist threat to America. He also has gone so far as to accuse President Obama, our Commander in Chief, of having "deliberately weakened America." Ted Cruz, for his part, is trying to out-Trump Trump. He too released a new TV ad that falsely portrays immigrants as taking jobs and draining the U.S. economy and he'sproposing not only that the US should not accept any Syrian refugees, but that we should expel refugees who are already here.

That's not the American way. As President Obama said at the State of the Union: "We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This isn't a matter of political correctness. It's a matter of understanding what makes us strong."

It's time for the Republican candidates to end their campaigns of hate. The bigoted rhetoric and policy positions we're hearing from these candidates go against core American values. They don't merit discussion at the kitchen table, and they certainly don't merit discussion at a debate for those aspiring to the nation's highest office.

Sadly, I'm not holding my breath for Republicans to stop vilifying Muslims or immigrants.

As the Republican presidential candidates continue their attacks, it's critical that ordinary Americans stand up for the values we know are right. The message we heard from President Obama during the State of the Union, his call to embrace diversity and our history as a nation that welcomes immigrants and refugees, is rooted in our country's deepest principles, and no matter what happens in the GOP primary, that's the message we need to carry forward.

PFAW

As Anti-Abortion Groups Gather in D.C., A New High Profile For A Radical Movement

This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

This week, many of the various factions of the anti-abortion movement will gather in Washington for the March For Life, an annual event that marks the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade.

The wide array of events surrounding the march reflect many of the strands of the anti-choice movement. This morning, far-flung members of the “rescue” movement -- those who protest outside of clinics and sometimes harass providers and patients -- joined local activists who have been protesting at a new Planned Parenthood building, much to the dismay of the elementary school next door. On Wednesday, a group of demonstrators elsewhere in Washington mistakenly protested outside of a closed Planned Parenthood building. Over the next few days, young activists will have two rallies and a conference dedicated just to them. Lawyers and law students will meet about legal strategies for turning back abortion rights. For the first time, there will be a conference focused on evangelicals.

But many of these events will be connected by the presence of one familiar face: David Daleiden, the young activist whose “sting” operation against Planned Parenthood has shaken up the anti-abortion movement. Daleiden isn’t scheduled for a main-stage slot at the march, but he’ll be making appearances at the Planned Parenthood protest, the evangelical summit, the lawyers’ event and a Family Research council event, along with a related Students for Life event on the West Coast on Sunday.

Daleiden’s influence will likely be felt even at events where he isn’t present: The keynote speech at the march itself will be delivered by Carly Fiorina, the Republican presidential candidate who has routinely recited a false story of what she claims to have seen in one of Daleiden’s films.

The central role of Daleiden in this week’s events reflects the extent to which his project, which stemmed from one of the most radical strands of the anti-choice movement, has brought radical protest groups back to prominence and shifted the strategy and priorities of the more “mainstream” parts of the movement.

Last summer, Daleiden started releasing a series of videos, taken undercover in conversations with Planned Parenthood employees, which he claimed showed the women’s health organization illegally profiting off fetal tissue donated for research. Those claims didn’t hold up, but they opened up a new line of attack for the anti-choice movement -- along with a new wave of violence -- that culminated in the recent votes in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood, something that anti-choice leaders say they will now be able to do once and for all if a Planned Parenthood foe is elected president. Planned Parenthood is now suing Daleiden and his accomplices.

This renewed focus on Planned Parenthood has helped to elevate the rescue movement, which Daleiden’s project grew out of. Two of Daleiden’s closest advisors, Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman and Life Dynamics’ Mark Crutcher, helped to pioneer the strategy of cutting down access to abortion by making life miserable for abortion providers and patients. Crutcher has specialized in doing this through “sting” operations, including one that Daleiden’s was modeled after, and now hopes to train and “unleash a whole army of David Daleidens” on abortion providers.

Planned Parenthood has long been a target of these groups. After Daleiden started releasing his videos, anti-choice groups began directing their activists to protests in front of Planned Parenthood clinics led by some of the old guard of the rescue movement. This created what Newman described as “the largest coordinated protest of abortion clinics” since the prime of the rescue movement in the 1980s and 1990s.

Daleiden’s videos have also prompted a shift in how major anti-choice groups are talking about their work. Americans United for Life, the influential anti-abortion legal group, has been a leader in the strategy of pushing abortion restrictions in the name of “women’s health,” offering legislators anti-choice model bills through what it calls its “Women’s Protection Program.” But since Daleiden started releasing his videos, AUL has sensed an opportunity and started shifting its rhetoric toward legal rights for fetuses, launching what it calls an “Infants’ Protection Project” that quietly aims to build on “personhood” protections for fetuses.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the anti-choice campaign powerhouse Susan B. Anthony List, told ProPublica that in Daleiden’s videos, her group “saw our opening -- and we jumped all in.”

That has certainly also been the case with Fiorina and her fellow Republican presidential candidates, nearly all of whom say they want to remove federal funding from Planned Parenthood’s services to low-income women (none of which goes towards abortions), and several of whom have vowed to attempt to ban all abortion, some through a radical “personhood” strategy.

The official theme of this year’s March for Life is “Pro-Life and Pro-Woman go Hand in Hand,” a nod to the strategy of portraying abortion restrictions as protections for women. But it seems likely that it will be hard to escape Daleiden’s attack on Planned Parenthood and its aftermath.


PFAW

House GOP Seeks Names Of Medical Students, Could Endanger Abortion Patient Information

Roll Call reported yesterday that Democratic members of the House select committee investigating the accusations against Planned Parenthood inspired by recent “sting” videos have taken issue with a set of “overbroad document requests” that Republicans on the committee have sent to some health care providers, including requests for information on medical students who learn about abortion and one request that could expose information on patients:

Six Democrats serving on a select panel investigating Planned Parenthood are accusing their Republican counterparts of issuing document requests that “pose grave privacy and security concerns.”

In a letter sent Thursday to the panel’s Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., the Democratic members of the select committee cite a recent request to a health care provider in which Republicans ask for “a list of any students, residents, or other medical personnel” who have participated in an abortion, prenatal or postnatal infant care, as well as all communications between the provider and any government officials.

The requests “appear to be a completely unjustified attack on women’s healthcare,” wrote the Democrats, who said they were not consulted about the queries. “Whether intended or not, these requests would require a healthcare provider to turn over to Congress the personal medical information of any patient who happens to work for the federal government or any State.”

Whatever led to the committee’s requests, the providers who received them had good reason to express concern. Efforts to root out the identity of abortion providers and even patients have long been a mainstay of radical anti-choice activists. This effort has also included intimidating medical students.

In 1993, Mark Crutcher, the activist who inspired the video project that led to the congressional investigations, somehow got a list of tens of thousands of medical students and sent them a “joke” book that included this barrel of laughs:

Q.: What would you do if you found yourself in a room with Hitler, Mussolini and an abortionist and you had a gun with only two bullets?

A: Shoot the abortionist twice.

Crutcher said he wasn’t advocating violence against abortion providers, but was trying to dissuade medical students from becoming abortion providers, saying, “Basically, what we’re saying to the medical community is, ‘Look, if you want to do abortions, that’s fine, but you’d better understand something. There’s a hell of a price to pay.’”

There’s no evidence that Republicans on the committee are deliberately intimidating medical students or patients, but it’s not hard to understand why these requests might make providers nervous.

Protesters Warn 'The Troubles For Planned Parenthood Have Only Just Begun'

On Thursday morning, about 50 protesters gathered in the bitter cold in front of a new Planned Parenthood facility that is under construction in northeast Washington, D.C. Although local protesters have been picketing the construction site for months, yesterday’s protest brought in activists from around the country who were in town for the March for Life, becoming something of a reunion for the old guard of the anti-abortion “rescue” movement.

The event included an appearance by David Daleiden, the activist behind this summer’s anti-Planned Parenthood “sting” operation, whose work grew out of the radical “rescue” movement and who has become a hero in all factions of the anti-abortion movement. It also included a one-man counter-protest from a parent whose child’s school next door was closed to avoid the event; an exhortation to be willing to die fighting legal abortion; and a brief exorcism.

Although the event was fairly small, the mood was hopeful, even victorious.

Daleiden, who is now being sued by Planned Parenthood for racketeering, told the crowd that the facility under construction behind them looked “kind of like fortresses or the castle of an evil baron in a fairy tale” but that Planned Parenthood was “stopped in their tracks” and “the days of legalized, state-subsidized, industrial-scale child-killing in our country are numbered.”

He said that 2016 would be a “historic, watershed year” for opponents of legal abortion, citing the congressional select committee investigating his allegations about Planned Parenthood and the upcoming Supreme Court hearing in Whole Women’s Health v. Texas, which he said “will be something that will continue to break down the fortress.”

Joe Scheidler, the founding father of the “direct action” anti-abortion movement,  which seeks to cut off legal abortion at its source by picketing clinics and harassing providers, was at the protest along with his son and successor at the Pro-Life Action League, Eric Scheidler. Eric Scheidler presented Daleiden with a tongue-in-cheek “Racketeers for Life” button, noting that Daleiden is being represented by the same attorneys who represented his father when he faced similar charges.

Father Frank Pavone, the head of Priests for Life, also acknowledged the link between Daleiden’s work and the rescue movement. He noted that Mark Crutcher, whose unsuccessful “sting” operation 15 years ago inspired Daleiden’s attempt to frame Planned Parenthood for mishandling fetal tissue, is now creating a national training facility to build what Crutcher hopes will be “a whole army of David Daleidens.”

“The troubles for Planned Parenthood have only just begun,” Pavone said, adding that he thought that Daleiden’s operation would lead to prosecutions and then praising Crutcher’s effort to build “a new army of people into the abortion industry undercover.”

“So our message to Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry today is very simple,” he said. “Be on your toes because we are in your midst, we are behind your doors, we are in your secret meetings, we are working for you and with you though you know it not, but in His good time the God who reveals all secrets will reveal that too.”

“We will see the end of this Holocaust,” he declared.

Joan Andrews Bell, known in the movement for having spent years in jail for various violations of trespassing laws during abortion clinic protests, spoke briefly, saying, “I want you to know that the rescue movement isn’t dead. Jesus rescued us on the cross, he rescued us. And every single one of you ... you are part of the rescue movement, you are rescuing babies.”

Monica Miller, another longtime leader of the rescue movement, compared the efforts of protesters to the civil rights movement, saying that anti-abortion activists must be willing to give up their livelihoods and even their lives for the cause.

“To stop abortion, to be involved with this injustice, to want to see it end, you can’t live a normal life anymore,” she said. “All that’s gone. All your plans of having, ‘Oh, let’s get married, we’ll have children, we’ll buy the house, this is going to happen next and this is my plan,’ all that’s gone. You’re not going to live a normal life anymore. Are we willing to really allow ourselves to be spent, to allow ourselves to be spent so that others may live? And that means are we willing to allow our property to be taken, our jobs to be lost, our reputations to be lost, are we willing to go to jail, are you willing to die, give up your life for this social justice, moral spiritual cause?”

She urged activists to use any peaceful means necessary to prevent the new Planned Parenthood building from opening, including blocking its doors or handcuffing themselves to construction equipment, using old-school rescue movement tactics.

“On the day that this death mill will open, will there be anybody here, will somebody lay their body in front of the door, will you handcuff yourself to construction equipment?” she asked. “Come on guys, think about it, let’s be creative, what are you willing to do to stop this place from being built? Non-violent action, laying down your life, allowing yourself to absorb the violence without retaliating against it, but laying down your life so that others may live.”

Another direct-action tactic on display was a large poster with pictures of the owners of the construction company building the Planned Parenthood building, urging activists to call them and accuse them of “killing children.”

At one point a man who said he had a child in the school near the construction site, which had to close for the day to avoid the protest, started yelling at the speakers. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, who has been leading protests in front of the building site and emceed Thursday’s rally, responded that he should instead be blaming Planned Parenthood for opening its building in the location.

Shortly after the disruption, one speaker led the crowd in a short exorcism of the construction site to “take out the demons that hover above this place.”

Kevin Swanson: 'A Homosexual Ruined The World'

On his “Generations Radio” program today, right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson blamed the recent turmoil in the financial markets on the U.S. national debt, which he in turn blamed on John Maynard Keynes.

Swanson said that Keynes’ supposedly “nihilistic” economic beliefs were shaped by his sexuality. (Keynes is widely believed to have been bisexual, but Swanson claimed he was homosexual).

“It will be interesting to know that a homosexual ruined the world,” Swanson said. “Somebody will indeed write the story about this in the year 2060 or 2070, no doubt. This will be the great exposé of how the world economies came down all because of a homosexual who was promiscuous, who was perhaps one of the most wicked, flagrantly licentious men who has lived in the modern world and he becomes the grandfather of the modern economies, bringing them all down. It makes a lot of sense: Sexual nihilism, of course, will produce sexual burnout, and that must be tied to economic burnout and epistemological burnout as well when societies lose the will to live.” 

Swanson isn’t the first critic of Keynesian economics to skew a quote from Keynes to claim that he didn’t care about the long-term impact of his economic beliefs. Back in 2013, American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer pointed to Keynes’ sexuality as evidence that “homosexuality in the end is going to be responsible for the collapse of the Western economy.”

Swanson said at a summit he organized in Iowa last year, which was attended by Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee, that God will punish America because the character Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series is gay and that gay people who fail to repent should be put to death.

Todd Starnes, Who Questioned Obama's Faith, Criticizes Those Questioning Trump's Faith

Fox News pundit Todd Starnes is absolutely flabbergasted that some conservative Christian commentators such as Southern Baptist Convention official Russell Moore are questioning Donald Trump’s Christian faith, largely over Trump’s claim that he has never repented for anything or asked God for forgiveness.

Trump, who has questioned the faith of Ben Carson and Ted Cruz, has also raised eyebrows over his pronunciation of “2 Corinthians” and claim that Christians need to “get even” with their enemies.

Starnes jumped to the GOP presidential frontrunner’s defense, using his daily bulletin to criticize Christian leaders “who are attacking Donald Trump” and deriding them as “modern day Pharisees” who are “casting judgment” and conducting “a theological witch hunt.”

He similarly told “AFA Today” that evangelical leaders want to subject Trump to “some sort of a theological trial in front of the Liberty University student body as if he had to confess all of his sins and transgressions.” “I really think that was sort of sad that it’s come to this in evangelical Christian circles,” he added.

We wonder where Starnes’ newfound sensitivity of conservative activists questioning someone’s Christian faith has come from, as conservative leaders have regularly claimed that President Obama is a fake Christian who wants to persecute the real ones, including none other than Todd Starnes himself:

Conservative Pundit: Impeach Kennedy Over Marriage Equality Ruling

On Tuesday, Sandy Rios of the American Family Association denounced the nomination of Wilhelmina Wright for a seat on the federal district court in Minnesota, urging Senate Republicans to not only oppose Wright but also to block every single one of President Obama’s remaining judicial nominees.

The Senate confirmed Wright’s nomination yesterday, angering Rios, who invited right-wing activist Phillip Jauregui of the Judicial Action Group on to her radio show this morning to talk about the importance of judicial nominations.

Rios told Jauregui that the Senate must stop even holding a vote for President Obama’s judicial nominees because “when you put judges on the court who do not respect the Constitution or are not really loyal to American values as expressed in the Constitution, there is no justice.”

The two moved on to discuss the Supreme Court’s decision to take up a case on the legality of Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which Rios found “tremendously concerning because that court is out of control itself and is not delivering justice, they’re delivering their own personal opinions.”

She cited the Obergefell decision, which struck down state bans on same-sex marriage, as one such ruling, saying she was “just devastated” upon hearing about the “absolutely irrational” decision. “It made no sense whatsoever and I don’t trust them anymore,” she said.

Jauregui, criticizing Justice Kennedy’s “horrendous” opinion in Obergefell, said that the justice is “horrible and he’s honestly a judge that ought to be impeached”

Later, Jauregui claimed that members of Congress would never block the president’s executive actions, giving him a reason to issue further ones of questionable legality. “This is not far from an imperial dictator we’re talking about,” he said.

Rios urged congressional Republicans to “find their spine” and stop spending time hating on Ted Cruz.

Rafael Cruz: Public Education Is A Communist Plot

Rafael Cruz, the father of and top campaign surrogate for Sen. Ted Cruz, claimed today that the country’s public school system was founded by “a member of the American Communist Party.”

The elder Cruz alleged in an interview on the Sirius XM program “Breitbart News Daily” this morning that public schools are brainwashing children into communism as a result of the work of education reformer John Dewey.

While he did correctly identify Dewey as a secular humanist, Cruz alleged that “John Dewey was a member of the American Communist Party,” when, in fact, Dewey was “an avowed anti-Communist” who even believed that “known Communists should not be permitted to teach children.” He co-founded the anti-Communist Committee for Cultural Freedom and was widely denounced by supporters of the Communist Party. 

Cruz said that Dewey’s influence in the school system instilled anti-American values in children and, as a result, created “chaos in society.” This prompted Cruz to discuss Common Core, which he claimed “is about redefining education, redefining history and attempting to brainwash kids with a secularist view of history which denies the fundamental principles that have made America great.” 

This is just another example of Cruz promoting bunk history in an attempt to bolster his policy positions.

Ted Nugent Wants Obama Executed: 'He's The Enemy Of America'

Yesterday, National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent took to Facebook to declare that President Obama and Hillary Clinton “should be tried for treason & hung,” and later that day appeared on Newsmax TV to continue to rail against Obama.

“He’s been groomed to fool the dumbing-down victims, the self-inflicted, dumbing-down victims of America,” Nugent said of Obama. “Nobody in their right mind, and I do mean correct-educated, conscientious, logical, self-evident-truth-grasping mind, will believe this punk. This guy does want an unarmed public. This guy does want to economically ruin America. This guy hates America, he hates the Constitution and he hates the Bill of Rights. I believe, as so many Americans are learning more and more every day, that the president of the United States hates freedom. He’s the enemy of America.”

Nugent went on to claim that Obama is “the engineer and the ramrod for the worst clusterfuck in the history of America” who was “raised by Frank Marshall ‘Communist’ Davis and adheres to the Saul Alinsky book of destroying America.”

Naturally, Nugent said that all of Obama’s supporters are “liabilities” to America and “braindead” haters of freedom, while gushing that “Donald Trump is as close to Ted Nugent as you’re going to get in politics.”

However, “my dream is if Ted Cruz became president tonight.”

On Citizens United Anniversary, PFAW Calls on President Obama to Issue Executive Order on Secret Money in Politics

PFAW: Everyone from Justice Scalia to Leader Pelosi Understands the Essential Role of Disclosure

WASHINGTON – Today marks the sixth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which paved the way for unlimited corporate political spending to influence elections. Also this week, The New York Times reported that President Obama is “seriously considering” an executive order requiring companies with federal contracts to disclose their political spending. People For the American Way (PFAW) Executive Vice President Marge Baker released the following statement:

“The anniversary of a decision that unleashed a torrent of secret money into our elections is the perfect moment to take a look at the solutions in front of us that would help repair our democracy.

“President Obama shouldn’t wait another day to take action. He should pick up his pen and issue an executive order on secret money, and allow Americans to see which corporations are trying to buy political influence.

“Even the conservative Supreme Court majority that issued the disastrous Citizens United decision emphasized the importance of disclosure. The Citizens United Court actually upheld a disclosure requirement, explaining that ‘transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions.’ Everyone from Justice Scalia to Leader Pelosi understands the essential role that disclosure plays in an effective campaign finance system. It’s a commonsense action that would be a significant step forward for transparency and accountability in our democracy.”

PFAW has been actively involved in the campaign for an executive order, collecting nearly 100,000 petition signatures in support of such an action. In December, PFAW joined ally organizations in delivering one million signatures to the White House urging the president to issue an executive order on secret money.

PFAW is also one of the leading organizations pushing for a constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United. To date, 16 states and more than 680 cities and towns have officially called for an amendment to get big money out of politics. President Obama, as well as all of the Democratic presidential candidates, have expressed their support for an amendment.

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Sarah Palin Blames Son's Alleged Domestic Abuse On Obama

While campaigning for Donald Trump today in Tulsa, Sarah Palin addressed the news that her son has been arraigned “on charges of domestic violence assault, interfering with a report of domestic violence crime and possession of a firearm while intoxicated.”

Palin attributed her son’s alleged actions to PTSD, which she said was a result of veterans, such as her son, having a president who doesn’t admire them and their military service.

After suggesting that Obama has deserted and disrespected veterans, Palin explained in her classic gibberish:

My son, like so many others, they come back a bit different, they come back hardened, they come back wondering if there is that respect for what it is that their fellow soldiers and airmen and every other member of the military so sacrificially have given to the country. And that starts from the top, and it’s a shame that our military personnel even have to wonder if they have to question if they’re respected anymore. It starts from the top. The question, though, that comes from our own president, where they have to look at him and wonder, ‘Do you know what we go through? Do you know what we’re trying to do to secure America and to secure the freedoms that have been bequeathed us?’

And that is why, Palin explained, people should vote for Trump.

She said that her son’s PTSD “makes me realize more than ever, it is now or never for the sake of America’s finest that we have that commander-in-chief who will respect them and honor them.” 

Rick Wiles: Prepare For UN Invasion Of America

While chatting with televangelist Jim Bakker earlier this month, “Trunews” host Rick Wiles said that Americans must get ready because foreign troops are on the verge of invading America.

“There’s a consuming fire coming to America,” Wiles said, claiming that the U.S. is about to “unravel” as it experiences “a financial breakdown,” “an internal war with Islam” and eventually a conflict with “Russia and China and other nations.”

“I believe they are going to come into this country under the banner of the United Nations to restore order,” he added.

Wiles added that “the Lord has clearly told numerous Christians the same warnings, the same scenes: burning cities, refugees.”

Jim Bakker: Ronald Reagan Told Me Armageddon's Coming, 'America Will Become Sodom And Gomorrah'

Earlier this month, televangelist Jim Bakker sat down with Rick Wiles, the host of the End Times radio program “Trunews,” where Wiles alleged that the U.S. is supporting terrorism while Russia under Vladimir Putin is bravely standing for God.

This led Bakker to describe “never-been-aired” footage of a 1979 interview he conducted with then-Gov. Reagan in which “Ronald Reagan prophesied.”

“He said, ‘Jim, if America doesn’t change, repent, America will become Sodom and Gomorrah,’” Bakker claimed.

Lori Bakker, Jim’s wife who also says she saw the footage, added that “he said, ‘If America doesn’t turn from its ways right now,’ he said, ‘this could be the generation that sees Armageddon.’”

Unfortunately, the Bakkers said they don’t have the tape of Reagan’s remarks.

Wiles said that this footage must be released “because what America is going through right now is a cultural cleansing, this is a communistic cultural cleansing.” He claimed that the communists who have supposedly taken over the U.S. are doing away with America’s knowledge of God and their own history and lamented that “America has been under a communistic cultural cleansing for the last forty years” … which would include the Reagan era.

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