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No, Trump, Women Who Are Harassed At Work Should Not Have to Find a New Career

This piece was originally published on Huffington Post.

After over a dozen women came forward to say they were sexually harassed by former Fox CEO Roger Ailes, last week Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump offered his “solution” to the pervasive problem of workplace harassment: women who are targeted should just quit their jobs. If his daughter Ivanka were harassed, Trump said, “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company.” As others have noted, it was a response breathtakingly out-of-touch with daily realities for most women, who could not afford simply to leave our jobs and who, it should go without saying, should never be asked to change careers for becoming the target of harassment.

For almost anyone else in the political spotlight, such an outrageous response would have been hard to believe. But for Donald Trump, these remarks are simply the latest example of his dehumanizing brand of sexism, where women are objects to be ranked from one to ten and where proposed “solutions” to the challenges women face are constituted of victim-blaming rather than actual policy changes.

Take his view on the gender pay gap. At an event in New Hampshire last year, a woman in the audience asked Trump about it, telling him that she wants to be paid the same as a man for her work. His response was that “you’re gonna make the same if you do as good a job.” Seriously? In our country, white women are paid 78 cents for every dollar white men make, while African American women make 63 cents and Latinas make only 54 cents. It’s a discrepancy that causes women to lose out on hundreds of thousands of dollars across our lifetimes and threatens the economic stability of countless women and their families. Suggesting that the real issue behind the gender pay gap is that women just don’t do as good a job as men could not be more offensive, or more wrong.

The same can be said about Trump’s comments on workplace harassment. According to a 2011 ABC News/Washington Post nationwide poll, a staggering one in four women has experienced sexual harassment at work, with some polling showing even higher numbers. It’s a pervasive and disturbing trend that affects women across all types of workplaces and requires a serious policy response. But instead, Trump’s answer is to place the blame on those who are harassed, asking them to upend their careers in hopes that they might find in a new career an environment free of harassment. His son, Eric Trump, even went as far as to say that a woman like Ivanka Trump “wouldn’t allow herself to be subjected” to workplace harassment, implying that women who are targeted are part of the problem themselves.

Women who are harassed at work should just quit, and women who are paid less than men should just do a better job: this is how the Republican presidential candidate sees women in the workplace. If voters elect Trump when they go to the polls in less than 100 days, that’s the disturbing worldview he would bring to the presidency. Trump’s brand of chauvinism – one in which he takes every opportunity to demean, blame, and undermine women — doesn’t belong in our country, and it certainly doesn’t belong in the Oval Office. On Election Day, let’s make sure he doesn’t get that chance.

PFAW

FLASHBACK: Mike Pence Delivers Entire Speech Denying Evolution

In a widely posted interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews from 2009, Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence refused to say whether or not he believed in evolution. While Pence dodged the question in 2009, previously the answer was an emphatic no — he does not believe in the theory of evolution.

In 2002, Pence delivered an entire speech in the House of Representatives on the subject. “I believe that God created the known universe, the earth and everything in it, including man,” Pence told his colleagues. “And I also believe that someday scientists will come to see that only the theory of intelligent design provides even a remotely rational explanation for the known universe.”

Pence went to the floor to discuss the discovery of a skull from Sahelanthropus tchadensis, “one of the oldest known species in the human family tree.” He attempted to use this discovery to cast doubt on the entire theory of evolution. While there are still questions being raised about where this discovery fits on the evolutionary spectrum, whether the skull came from a common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees or a direct descendent of humans, the skull did not throw the case for natural selection into doubt.

In his speech Pence also deployed the old Creationist canard of confusing the scientific definition of the word “theory” with its common usage. “The truth is it always was a theory, Mr. Speaker. And now that we have recognized evolution as a theory, I would simply and humbly ask, can we teach it as such and can we also consider teaching other theories of the origin of species?” Pence asked before continuing to push Creationism as an equally scientifically viable alternative. “Like the theory that was believed in by every signer of the Declaration of Independence. Every signer of the Declaration of Independence believed that men and women were created and were endowed by that same Creator with certain unalienable rights. The Bible tells us that God created man in his own image, male and female. He created them. And I believe that, Mr. Speaker.”

While it seems silly to have to point this out, as the National Academy of Science notes, “The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence.”

The NAS also points out:

Many scientific theories are so well-established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the Earth does not orbit around the sun (heliocentric theory), or that living things are not made of cells (cell theory), that matter is not composed of atoms, or that the surface of the Earth is not divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales (the theory of plate tectonics). Like these other foundational scientific theories, the theory of evolution is supported by so many observations and confirming experiments that scientists are confident that the basic components of the theory will not be overturned by new evidence. However, like all scientific theories, the theory of evolution is subject to continuing refinement as new areas of science emerge or as new technologies enable observations and experiments that were not possible previously.

Mike Pence might have been cautious with his words when questioned by Chris Matthews in 2009, but in 2002 his answer was clear. He was so dedicated to the cause of Creationism he gave an entire speech on the subject. It should come as no surprise that a politician who denied the dangers of tobacco would not believe in basic science.

 

Bryan Fischer: $400 Million Payment To Iran Is 'Our Sharia Compliant President Paying A Jizya Tax'

Conservative politicians and commentators are outraged today by a report that the United States sent $400 million in cash to Iran earlier this year on the day that Iran released four American hostages that it had been holding, falsely claiming that the payment was essentially a ransom paid to the Islamic republic.

In reality, the payment was part of a settlement over hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons that Iran had purchased from the U.S. prior to the overthrow of the Shah in 1979 but which were subsequently never delivered when diplomatic relations between the two nations were severed.

This was openly announced by the State Department back in January and even mentioned in news reports about the release of the hostages on the same day. 

But American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer obviously doesn't care about the simple truth of the matter and instead used it as an excuse to attack President Obama for supposedly paying a jizya submission tax to Iran on his radio show today.

"Basically, he's being Sharia compliant here," Fischer said. "Our president is a fan of the Islamic faith, he's a Muslim sympathizer and one of the doctrines of Islam is that if you are an infidel nation, you must pay a submission tax. It's called jizya ... What this is is a jizya tax. Our Sharia compliant president paying a jizya tax, a submission tax to an Islamic government."

Glenn Beck's Current Caliphate: Russia Is Trying To Collapse America And Foment Revolution

For the last week, Glenn Beck has been laying out his latest convoluted theory about what is "really" going on with the Russian hack and suspected leak of documents from the Democratic National Committee, which he summarized last night on Fox News by explaining that "Russia is trying to take down Hillary Clinton, destabilize our election and foment revolution on our streets."

On his radio program today, Beck begged his audience to heed his warning because he supposedly has an amazing record of making accurate predictions and he has the same feeling about this theory as he had about his warning of a coming caliphate.

"We have a pretty decent record on some pretty big things," Beck said. "I feel a growing sense that I — and I don't know if this is right yet, so take it with a grain of salt — but I'm beginning to believe that this is the same kind of ... I'm feeling the same way I did at the beginning the caliphate prediction, if you will, that it's the same kind of thing, that people are going to dismiss it and I need to warn you about this."

Russia is "trying to collapse" America "into revolution by going after Hillary Clinton, the DNC and our confidence in the election process," Beck warned. "Now we can either choose to pay attention to it and prepare and have hope in the future because we are not burying our heads in the sand or we can eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. It's our choice. This program is going to cover this in the coming weeks and months and we're going to be prepared for whatever might come out way, God forbid that it does."

Sandy Rios Wonders If The Khans Thought Their Son Died An Apostate

Continuing her smear campaign against Khizr and Ghazala Khan, Sandy Rios of the American Family Association told Alan Colmes yesterday that the Khans may have been disappointed that their son served in the U.S. Army, making him an apostate from Islam when he died.

Rios falsely claimed that Khizr Khan has called Sharia law superior to the U.S. Constitution, claiming that since he “adheres to Sharia,” he would then “absolutely” want to kill Americans. (She appears to be citing an article which, as the myth-busting group Snopes points out, “in no part suggested support for Sharia law or membership in the Muslim Brotherhood and appeared to be an academic piece, not an advocacy paper.”)

After citing the so-called Islamic State’s assertion that the Khans’ son was an “apostate,” Rios said that the Khans may agree with the terrorist group’s assertion: “I believe that they believe that anyone that adheres to Sharia believes their son is an apostate for serving in the American military.”

“He’s an apostate according to Islamic Sharia law,” she said.

Right-Wing Pastor: Clinton Willing To Destroy America For Power

On Friday’s edition of “Trunews” with Rick Wiles, Georgia pastor Benjamin Faircloth claimed that if elected, Hillary Clinton “would have no problem setting this nation on fire” and would attempt to expand her authority just as Turkish President Recep Erdoğan has consolidated power following an attempted coup.

“Turkey, what’s happening there, Pastor Rick, is going to happen here in America,” Faircloth said, arguing that Erdoğan staged the coup in order “to take total control, if you will, and be a dictator over that nation.”

“To me, what it does is it shows us a parallel, it shows us an overlay, it shows us what’s coming to this nation,” Faircloth said. “If they can’t win by the ballot box, if they can’t win by, you know, fair, free elections, there is no doubt in my mind that same scare, that same type of entity here in America will pull the trigger and destroy this nation. If they can’t do it the way they wanna do it, I think that they will pull the trigger.”

“They want to shut you up,” Faircloth continued. “They’re ready to shut you up. They’re ready to shut all of us up, and when Hillary becomes president, that’s gonna be one of their main goals. You have to silence those who are in opposition of you, and that’s exactly what’s happening in Turkey right now.”

“If Hillary Clinton wins the White House, what you think the spiritual and political climate will be in this country?” Wiles asked.

“Well, first of all, Pastor, is how does she get in?” Faircloth responded. “If she gets in by just rigging the election and everything seems to be, you know, somewhat peaceful, I think she could stretch this thing out, but if it’s in anarchy, if it’s in complete chaos already, there’s no telling what’s in her heart. I think her heart is black, I think it’s evil.”

Faircloth claimed that when Clinton talked about the American Revolution during her Democratic National Convention speech, he “saw a change in her face.”

“I saw a change in her old demeanor and attitude, and I think that she would have no problem setting this nation on fire to get their goals completed,” Faircloth said.

Wiles alleged that Clinton wants a second revolution in the U.S., this time against Christianity.

“What she’s saying is we have reached a point where we can eradicate the old America that started after the first revolution,” Wiles said.

Kris Kobach Is Tired Of Being 'Lectured About Our Constitution' By 'Aliens'

Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and informal immigration adviser to Donald Trump, responded this weekend to the controversy over Trump’s feud with Gold Star parents Ghazala and Khizr Khan and to the presence of undocumented immigrants at the Democratic National Convention by saying, “It is maddening to be lectured about our Constitution and about what American law should be by aliens in the United States.”

On his weekly radio program on Kansas City’s KCMO, Kobach took a call from a listener named Sarah who claimed that Khan, in his speech to the Democratic convention, lied about Trump’s call to ban Muslims from immigrating to the U.S., saying that Trump just “wanted to vet them.” (Trump’s own words show that Khan was correct.)

“Well, it’s amazing how the left tries to distort what he says,” Kobach responded. “But the bottom line is he’s voicing a concern that many Americans have that we are letting into the United States radicalized Muslims from high-risk areas.”

The caller said that those radicalized Muslims are “already here, some of them,” citing the murder of a priest in France.

“You know,” Sarah continued, in an apparent reference to Khan’s DNC speech, “I am tired also of foreigners coming in our country and telling us what our Constitution says. We have a Constitution that empowers us and states we must maintain our borders in a sensible, enlightened, civilized way. We are not allowed to let anyone in and it’s against the law to do that because this is against the sanity and order of society. Any sane person of average intelligence should be able to figure this out, but our Constitution, they should learn the Constitution.”

“It is maddening to be lectured about our Constitution and about what American law should be by aliens in the United States,” Kobach agreed.

“My ancestors came here in the 1600s, I think I know a little bit about what it’s all about here,” Sarah interjected.

“Well, you know,” Kobach said, “I think the worst is what happens regularly in Topeka, where illegal aliens come in and lecture the legislators on why they need to continue getting in-state tuition. And we saw it at the DNC, when they bring illegal aliens on the stage. It’s just unbelievable.”

Linda Harvey: America Will 'Bleed To Death' Under 'Jezebel' Hillary Clinton

In her WorldNetDaily column yesterday, Linda Harvey of Mission America warned that electing Hillary Clinton as president will be a stab at the heart of this once-great nation,” predicting that the country will “bleed to death on her watch” and people will be thrown in jail for expressing “Christian views on homosexual behavior.”

Other countries should also fear a Clinton presidency, Harvey said, as she would promote “the diabolical cause of normalizing homosexual conduct worldwide.”

“Fascism continued and extended under a modern-day Jezebel,” she said. “America can do far better than Hillary. Please, if you claim to love the Lord Jesus, do not help elect this corrupt woman.”

Everything in Hillary Clinton’s track record screams the opposite: arrogance, lawlessness, bald-faced deception, alliance with sexual depravity, injustice, greed, unaccountability, godlessness, treason.

The white suit worn during her DNC acceptance speech cannot hide the bloodstains in Hillary’s life. As with Lady Macbeth, those stains are increasingly difficult to wash off.

Hillary’s election as president will be a stab at the heart of this once-great nation. We may bleed to death on her watch, but she either won’t see or won’t care.



In Hillary’s upside-down ethical world, sodomy and gender rebellion are “human rights.” Our children will be further corrupted as Hillary twists the notion U.S. civil rights law into including male/male or female/female sexual behavior, and ramps up the Obama pressure on public schools to deceive children with deviant “LGBTQ” propaganda. Her Departments of Education and Justice are likely to continue the phony interpretation of Title IX allowing privacy-free, open sex bathrooms.

But this deviance-fest won’t end at the U.S border. Under Hillary’s tenure as secretary of state, a State Department fund was set up to finance the diabolical cause of normalizing homosexual conduct worldwide, even in nations with strong cultural or religious objections. Diplomatic pressure has been exerted, and U.S. aid has been withheld, depending on a nation’s accommodation of this goal. As president, she will accelerate this coercion, and as the DNC platform states, “We will continue to stand with LGBT people around the world, including fighting efforts by any nation to infringe on LGBT rights or ignore abuse.”

Let’s all remember that the liberal definition of “abuse” includes verbal objections – free speech – by private citizens about homosexual behavior. The left, now led by Hillary, is committed to silencing the opposition. Christians, who learn through Scripture that homosexuality is an abomination and no human needs to engage in this conduct, must recognize what’s unfolding here.

Even in America, people who express Christian views on homosexual behavior are now being jailed. Just ask Kim Davis.



So there you have it. Fascism continued and extended under a modern-day Jezebel. America can do far better than Hillary.

Please, if you claim to love the Lord Jesus, do not help elect this corrupt woman.

Frank Gaffney: Khizr Khan Wants To Promote Sharia Law

Unsurprisingly, Frank Gaffney is joining the right-wing smear campaign against Khizr Khan, alleging in an interview today with Breitbart News that Khan is “lying for the faith” and “absolutely” wants to install Sharia law in the U.S. Of course, there is no evidence of this other than a bogus blog post by a pair of extremist activists and a Breitbart article linking Khan to a law firm that has ties to Saudi Arabia … and also to Donald Trump.

Gaffney also played defense for Trump by claiming that the GOP presidential candidate is merely trying to prevent “jihadists” from entering the country.

However, Trump has advocated for a sweeping ban on all Muslims from entering the U.S., and even cited a discredited poll conducted by Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy to justify his blanket ban.

Walid Shoebat: Khizr Khan Was Practicing Muslim Tradition Of 'Deception'

Walid Shoebat, the anti-Muslim activist whose recent article smearing Donald Trump critic Khizr Khan and his late son Humayun was hyped by Trump advisers on Twitter, spoke yesterday with St. Louis radio host Marc Cox, where he claimed that Khan’s speech to the Democratic National Committee was part of a Muslim tradition of “propaganda” and “deception” and suggested that Muslims who join the military, like Khan’s late son, do so in order to fight secular governments in the Middle East.

“So, these guys know how to speak,” he said of Khan. “We from the Middle East — I was a Muslim — we know propaganda since the U.S. was in diapers. We were there for a thousand-some years creating propaganda. So people need to understand, a bleeding-heart Muslim can cry in the TV and can lure millions. They know what they’re doing. And so it’s called ‘taqiyya al-muruna.’ People need to look up ‘Muslim Brotherhood muruna,’ they need to understand those concepts of deception, but they don’t. They simply think that if his son died in Iraq, that means this man is a patriot.”

“Well, many Muslims joined the military in Iraq and Syria, they joined to fight the secular governments,” he continued. “To the Islamist mindset, the U.S. is doing a service for the Islamist cause. Look at the Iraq today. What’s happening? It’s about to become Iran. Look at Syria: the ousting of Bashar al-Assad, for what? Why did we oust Muammar al-Qaddafi? Today Hillary Clinton is bombing ISIS in Libya. Wasn’t she the one that went to England and France and urged the whole world to bomb Muammar al-Qaddafi? Wasn’t it Huma Abedin who showed the photo of Muammar al-Qaddafi with a stick in his anus and she was laughing?

“I mean, excuse me, who removed all these secular governments in the Middle East? Who? And who is doing the work for the Islamists? The United States military. So is a U.S. soldier serving his country? That’s what he thinks, and he’s naïve. He’s serving a political agenda of Obama and Hillary Clinton.”

Pat Boone: 'God Has Lifted His Hand Of Protection From The United States Of America'

In a column yesterday, conservative activist and musician Pat Boone declared that “God has lifted His hand of protection from the United States of America,” claiming that the use of food stamps, the national debt and ISIS terrorism are all signs that “we’re pretty much on our own now.”

While Boone expressed dismay about both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, he said that there is a chance that Trump will “seek to do the will of God if elected.”

Instead of “Morning in America,” we have 20 trillion in unpayable debt, dollar bills worth about 0 cents in purchasing power, CIA reports of festering ISIS cells in all 50 states and 47 million citizens on food stamps.

Following a president and attorney general who refuse to enforce existing immigration laws, we have a candidate who intends to admit 80,000 Syrian refugees into this country, while both the FBI and CIA guarantee there will be many trained terrorists in that number.

How can our beloved country have deteriorated so drastically? I’ll tell you how.

God has lifted His hand of protection from the United States of America.

In effect, He’s saying, “You as a people have increasingly let me know you don’t need me, you don’t even want me, to guide and determine your affairs. So … have it your way. Try it on your own for a while, and see how it goes.”

We’re pretty much on our own now.



If God can use an ass for His purpose … He can use a Donald Trump, for example. Or, of course, a Hillary Clinton. The question: Which one, if either, will actually look to Him, seek His will and not “political correctness” in the crucial decisions that will determine our future?

How will we choose? How to decide? I quote from Mae West, “If I have to choose between two evils, I’ll go with the one I haven’t tried.”

One we’ve tried, and know perhaps too well. The other is unknown, but will he seek to do the will of God if elected?

This is what we do now: Ask God to make plain to us His choice. Is there yet another David to confront our Goliath?

Anti-LGBT Congressman Tim Huelskamp Loses Re-Election Bid

Last night, Kansas Republican Tim Huelskamp lost his race for re-election to a primary challenger who said that the three-term congressman’s tense relationship with House leadership was detrimental to the congressional district.

While LGBT issues did not play a major role in the campaign, Huelskamp’s hardline anti-LGBT stances made him a favorite of the Religious Right.

At a 2014 National Organization for Marriage rally, he told “real men” to “stand up” against same-sex marriage in order to protect “your woman” and warned that marriage equality would “destroy the institution of marriage and of [the] family.”

Huelskamp even appeared in an insane anti-gay documentary directed by activist Janet Porter and has repeatedly claimed that marriage equality is harmful to children and amounts to an attack on Jesus Christ.

The “radical homosexual agenda,” according to Huelskamp, is destroying the military and freedom in America.

As Think Progress reported back in 2012, Huelskamp has put his words into action:

The most anti-gay member of Congress has been freshman Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS). As the author of his state’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages and civil unions, during his previous tenure as a state senator, his anti-gay fervor in Washington is not unexpected. In his first 18 months, he has authored an amendment to ban a directive that allows military chaplains to voluntarily solemnize same-sex unions, an amendment to “prohibit the use of funds to be used in contravention of the Defense of Marriage Act,” and a bill to ban the use of military facilities for any same-sex unions. He also co-sponsored three measures to criticize the Obama administration for not defending the Defense of Marriage Act, to direct the Speaker of the House to defend the law instead, and to delay implementation of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal.

Fortunately for the Religious Right, there are still many anti-LGBT lawmakers who will carry on Huelskamp’s work in Congress.

Walid Shoebat: Khizr Khan Supports Clinton Because He Wants War In The Middle East

Walid and Theodore Shoebat, the father-son duo whose baseless article claiming that Khizr Khan is a Muslim Brotherhood spy has been promoted by two Donald Trump aides, joined Detroit radio host Frank Beckmann yesterday, where they continued to smear Khan, his wife, Ghazala, and their deceased son, Humayun.

Trump and has allies have launched a sustained attack against the Khan family, who lost Humayun when he was fighting for the U.S. Army in Iraq, after Khizr Khan delivered a powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention slamming Trump for his anti-Muslim politics.

Beckmann asked the Shoebats why “a devout, Sharia-based Muslim like Mr. Khan” would back Hillary Clinton for president if “Sharia believes that women have a secondary role to men in life.”

“That’s a very good question,” Walid Shoebat replied. “Because if, really, Khan does not want warfare in the Middle East, he would back Trump. Trump wants to pull out of the Middle East, he doesn’t want war in the Middle East. Khan wants war in the Middle East because the whole process for an Islamist Sharia promoter is to the removal of all secular governments in the Middle East.”

Theodore Shoebat, who has a long record of over-the-top extremism, including calling for the deaths of gay people, women who have abortions and Hillary Clinton, added later in the interview that Humayun Khan, and presumably others who died in Iraq, should not be called a “hero” because “the only freedom that he died for is the freedom for Iran to invade Iraq.”

“Khan is conning everybody,” he said. “Everyone’s acting like he’s some sort of patriotic parent. If anything, he’s using the death of his son to get leverage. And here’s another thing. They say that his son is a hero and that he died for our freedoms. Well, let’s be very clear. How did he die for American freedoms? The only freedom that he died for is the freedom for Iran to invade Iraq, because that’s what the removal of Saddam did.”

Beckmann cautiously contradicted him, saying, “We may bear suspicions but I don’t know if we can prove that right now.”

Bryan Fischer Rewrites History Regarding His Feud With Mitt Romney

American Family Radio's Bryan Fischer has an amazing ability to "misremember" history, especially when doing so allows him to conveniently ignore his own well-documented record of unmitigated bigotry.

In the latest example, Fischer dedicated a portion of his radio program yesterday to promoting the upcoming Values Voter Summit, which ended with him recounting that the last time he spoke at the annual event back in 2011, he was denounced from the stage by Mitt Romney, who would go on to secure the Republican presidential nomination:

Our values ennoble the citizen, and they strengthen the nation. We should remember that decency and civility are values too. One of the speakers who will follow me today, has crossed that line I think. Poisonous language does not advance our cause. It has never softened a single heart nor changed a single mind. The blessings of faith carry the responsibility of civil and respectful debate. The task before us is to focus on the conservative beliefs and the values that unite us – let no agenda, narrow our vision or drive us apart.

In Fischer's retelling of the episode, he falsely claimed that Romney attacked him because he had criticized the Romney campaign for hiring a national security and foreign policy spokesman, Richard Grenell, who was openly gay:

In reality, Romney criticized Fischer because of his long history of unapologetic bigotry and not because of the Grenell incident, which didn't occur until months after Romney called him out from the stage. It was, in fact, because Fischer was so outraged by Romney's criticism of him that he waged his one-man war against Grenell in the first place, which ultimately resulted in Grenell resigning from the Romney campaign.

DNC & RNC: Facts vs. Feelings

This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

As millions of Americans tuned into the national conventions of the Democrats last week and Republicans the week before, the tone and substance between the two parties could not have been more different. During his weekly satirical news show, comedian John Oliver put the contrasting frames used by the political left and right in perspective while commenting on the Republican National Convention.

“It was a four-day exercise in emphasizing feelings over facts,” said Oliver.

It doesn’t take an especially sensitive person to see that fear is a common theme in Republican messaging, particularly this election cycle. Whether it’s lies about Mexican immigrants or smears about Muslim Americans, fear is consistently used as part of the core Republican message. Donald Trump, perhaps the worst offender of this in modern history, has presented himself as the sole solution to all problems - real and perceived - faced by the United States, without explaining how he would actually solve them.      

It’s not uncommon for the fear and insecurity stoked by Republicans to conflict with facts. For instance, in his RNC commentary, Oliver included a news clip from an interview with former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. The segment does an excellent job of highlighting how in the world of Republican rhetoric, feelings often get conflated with facts. In the clip Gingrich says “the average American, I bet you this morning, does not think that crime is down, does not think they are safer.” He presents his statement as a fact, which may be technically true in terms of feelings, but in reality, people are actually safer. For that matter, crime rates have been steadily dropping across the board since the 1990s, with few exceptions.   

Compared to the Democratic National Convention, the difference could not be more clear. The message of the event was largely rooted in empirical facts, citing job growth and other quantifiable factors to show the progress that has been made over the past eight years with Obama in the White House. But it was also a message of enduring hope. In her speech accepting the democratic nomination for president of the United States, Hillary Clinton quoted the famous line from Franklin Delanor Roosevelt, “the only thing to fear is fear itself,” presenting a stark contrast to the paranoid and divisive rhetoric of her opponent.

Clinton’s campaign slogan, “Stronger Together,” invokes unity, collaboration and creating common purpose in order to make a “more perfect union.” Indeed, many of our nation’s greatest advances in history have come about through people coming together to find common ground, working as one with a shared sense of optimism. When voters go to the polls in November to cast their ballots, they will be faced with a choice of historic proportions: take a radical step to the right, deepening divisions and elevating hateful rhetoric, or continue along the path exemplified by the American ideals of diversity and inclusivity.

 

PFAW

The Trump Test -- Searching for Decency

This piece was originally published in Inside Sources.

What first seemed like faux pas and jabs at political correctness by Donald Trump have turned out to be a series of deeply troubling revelations about his malignant character and his seemingly pathological dishonesty. Trump’s campaign is providing Republican Party officials with repeated tests of their character, tests that they are failing again and again, to the long-term detriment of their party and our country.

Consider Trump’s devotion to — in his words — “getting even.” As he promised during the Republican primary, “Anybody who hits me, we’re gonna hit them 10 times harder.” He’s given us many examples, including his declaration during a rhetorical feud with Sen. John McCain that McCain (and by implication other prisoners of war) was not a war hero because he had been captured. “I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said.

This Trump trait was on full display during the Democratic convention. When retired four-star general John Allen criticized Trump over his support for torture and other violations of international law, Trump responded by calling Allen a “failed general.” Michael Bloomberg, who Trump had previously called a “fantastic” mayor, became a “disaster” who “couldn’t get elected dog catcher.”

Most notoriously, Trump attacked Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the Muslim parents of an American soldier who was killed in Iraq. Khizr Khan challenged Trump’s vow to block Muslims from entering the United States, speaking movingly about his son’s sacrifice and asking Trump if he had ever read the U.S. Constitution. Trump considered this criticism a “vicious” attack, and responded to the family’s loss with shameful religious bigotry and innuendo.

When his actions generated significant outrage, Trump did not acknowledge error or apologize. Instead, his allies are doubling down on Trump’s bigotry. Mike Huckabee, for example, has flatly denied the fact of Trump’s repeated vow to block Muslims from entering the United States. Trump confidant Roger Stone and campaign adviser Al Baldasaro both promoted a stunningly irresponsible post from fringe extremists alleging that Khan is a Muslim Brotherhood agent and suggesting that his son was an Islamist double agent who was killed before his murderous mission was accomplished. Baldasaro tweeted a link to the article, saying “Read the truth about your hero.” (He later tweeted that he was “not sure” about the extremists’ credibility.)

In the face of this ugliness, most Republican elected officials have remained weak kneed or shamefully silent. Some have put out statements supporting the Khan family but they didn’t have the courage to criticize Trump by name.

Even John McCain, who strongly criticized Trump, has not repudiated his endorsement for a candidate whose recklessness has become undeniable. This is the same John McCain who, in refusing to consider President Obama’s nomination of the unquestionably well qualified judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, is holding the vacancy open to be filled by the reckless, irresponsible and unprincipled Donald Trump.

More than 60 years ago, a dangerous, bullying demagogue was deflated with a simple question, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

An open letter to Donald Trump from a group of Gold Star families echoes those sentiments, calling Trump’s comments about the Khans “repugnant,” and saying, “This goes beyond politics. It is about a sense of decency. That kind decency you mock as ‘political correctness.’”

It is time for Republican Party leaders to recognize that Trump poisons everything he touches, including, and especially, them and their party. Trump shares Joseph McCarthy’s cruelty and reckless disregard for others and for the truth. So the question must be asked of Reince Priebus, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders who have refused to leave Trump’s side: Have you left no sense of decency?

And we as Americans should ask ourselves, is there decency enough left among people of good will to reject Trump and Trumpism, and begin to recover an honest discourse, grounded in facts and shared values, about the future of our country?

PFAW

The InfoWars Candidate: How Donald Trump Is Broadcasting Conservative Misinformation

Hardly a week goes by without Donald Trump championing a new conspiracy theory, often qualifying his claims by saying that he is just asking a question or repeating what he heard or read from an unnamed source.

So it wasn’t too surprising to see Trump allege yesterday that the general election may be “rigged” and claim today that “there’s something phony” about polls which show him trailing Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s warning that the election will be stolen and that the polls are deliberately suppressing his level of public support came just days after his confidant Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones similarly claimed that Clinton plans to rob Trump of the election and that her allies in the media are skewing polls against him so people won’t notice it when the election gets stolen.

The typical path that a bizarre or dubious story takes to get from the cesspool of the far-right fringe media to the mouth of a GOP politician goes something like this: A fringe right-wing outlets like Jones’ InfoWars or WorldNetDaily will report a “fact” that will then get picked up by conservative talk radio hosts, who either use the story in its entirety or refine it a bit. The story then makes its way to Fox News and, from there, to leading GOP politicians and even presidential candidates.

But not for Trump.

Rather than wait for them to percolate up through the right-wing media, Trump takes conspiracy theories straight from the source, often picking up bizarre claims directly from outlets like InfoWarsWorldNetDailyFreedom Outpost, or even email chains and the National Enquirer:

And hes proud of it.

Trump has appeared alongside Alex Jones, hailing the unhinged radio conspiracy theorist’s “amazing” reputation.

He rejoiced at the news that WorldNetDaily — the site whose “reporting” he has cited to in his birther accusations against President Obama — named him its 2015 Man of the Year.

Trump has also made clear that he believes everything he reads in the National Enquirer because if what the grocery store tabloid publishes isn’t true, they can get sued.

He often boasts, while making one or another outrageous claim, that he has the best sources.

We can only wonder what will happen when Trump reads Infowars’ and WorldNetDaily’s coverage of such topics as false flag attacks or Obama’s “real” father.

FLASHBACK: Mike Pence: 'It Is A Literal Truth... I Am In Congress Today Because Of Rush Limbaugh'

It is widely known that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was born in the fever swamps of conservative talk radio: In 2014, former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg listened “to thousands of hours of talk radio” as he formed the basis for the campaign’s message.  

Previously Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate has been quoted describing himself as "Rush Limbaugh on decaf," but it turns out the fully caffeinated version inspired his political career. 

Just over a month after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Pence delivered a speech on the House floor which served no other purpose than to heap praise on the conservative talker. Later that evening, many of his Republican colleagues would do the same, but Pence was unable to join a series of Special Orders speeches organized by Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston because his daughter was sick.

Pence, though, did dedicate his time on the floor to noting that “it is a literal truth, Mr. Speaker, to say that I am in Congress today because of Rush Limbaugh, and not because of some tangential impact on my career or his effect on the national debate; but because in fact after my first run for Congress in 1988, it was the new national voice emerging in 1989 across the heartland of Indiana of one Rush Hudson Limbaugh, III, that captured my imagination.”

He went on to claim he was “inspired by” Limbaugh’s “dulcet tones to seek a career in radio and television.”

While Pence has been portrayed as a moderating force on the Trump campaign, the truth is he has been “inspired” by the same offensive rhetoric the GOP nominee uses today. Limbaugh, by the time Pence effusively praised him on the House floor, already had a long track record of racist, sexist and homophobic comments.

Limbaugh told an African-American caller in the 1970s to “take that bone out of your nose and call me back." On his television show during the Clinton administration he stated, “Socks is the White House cat. But did you know there is also a White House dog?” while holding up a picture of Chelsea Clinton. He has since the 1990s repeatedly referred to prominent women as “feminazis” and has recalled saying on-air in the 1980s that “feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.” Of Native Americans he once said, “There are more American Indians alive today than there were when Columbus arrived or at any other time in history. Does this sound like a record of genocide?”

These were just a few quotes from the days before progressive groups and the media monitored Limbaugh’s show and posted his most offensive statements. However, his offensive and divisive reputation was already known.  

Pence, in his first year in Congress, decided to tie his career to Limbaugh’s and he hasn’t cut the cord since.

Sandy Rios: Khizr Khan Is 'Dishonest' Since 'Faithful Muslims Can't Embrace Our Constitution'

On her radio show yesterday, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios continued her criticism of Khizr Khan, father of U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who died while serving in Iraq. Rios was joined by guest Clare Lopez of the far-right Center for Security Policy to question Khan’s political motives for giving a speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Throughout the interview, Lopez represented the view of the terrorist group ISIS, which recently attacked Humayun Khan as an apostate, as the “truest expression of Islam” and alleged that the Khan family knows that their son “died as an apostate” when he protected his fellow service members from a suicide bomber.

“As devout, faithful Muslims, [the Khans] know perfectly well what the commandments of their faith are,” Lopez said. “Now, they may not be obedient to those commandments, and that’s their right as long as they live in a free country like America, but the commandments of the faith are still there, and a Muslim like their son who died fighting against other Muslims has died an apostate, and they know that, and they yet chose to highlight that infidelity of their son before an international audience of millions.”

Lopez continued, “So the question has to be then, why were they up there sort of highlighting all of this in front of the entire world? Well, I think we have to understand that there are a couple of messages going on. The father, of course, is a lawyer. He works on immigration matters, helping to bring Muslim immigrants into the country, and his objective there was a political one to smear Donald Trump, who has spoken out against the unrestrained import, unvetted influx of Muslims who cannot be properly screened and called for a temporary moratorium on such immigration until the United States can work out a proper screening protocol for such Muslims.”

Lopez also suggested that Khan’s “political objective took precedence over the fact that he was highlighting his family’s shame in a way, not the shame of the son as an American; as we look at it, the son was an absolute hero and died in service to his country, but from the Muslim perspective – and this is what we have to get inside of – they look at that son as an apostate who died fighting other Muslims, which is absolutely forbidden in Islamic law.”

“The question to me is then, does that mean there’s some redemption in them cooperating with the, really it’s the Muslim Brotherhood line that Islam is so peaceful and that there’s no violence in it, I mean, do you see any link at all?” Rios asked. “I mean, is the cooperation with this whole deception a part of their penance? Is that possible?”

“Well, I wouldn’t call it penance, I would call it collaboration,” Lopez said.

Lopez also asserted that there was a secretive message in Khan’s speech only meant for Muslims’ ears.

“Muslims heard and understood that the political message Trump must be defeated because if he is not, the jig is up for all of those who support the Islamic supremacist objective promoted by jihad and Sharia and certainly immigration of non-vetted Muslims into this country would certainly be curtailed at least for a time,” Lopez said.

“The message that many Americans have heard is, you know, this is a grieving father and mother of a hero son, and that is also true, but there are two messages and we just have to realize that there are two,” Lopez continued.

“For any Muslim in America who truly does love this country and truly is patriotic, I’ve always felt, especially after 9/11, that’s when I first started talking about these kinds of things, it really does fall on them to distinguish themselves,” Rios maintained.

“[Khan] stood up there and pretended and fed the American people and everyone else listening a load of hogwash that this is not what Islam is, that Islam is not about jihad and Sharia, and of course, he was lying,” Lopez said, adding that the Islamic State “is the truest expression of Islam in the world today.”

“So Mr. Khan at the very least was being dishonest with us,” Rios said. “I was incensed, I felt he had no right to wave the Constitution and to insult Mr. Trump in the way that he did.

“Just to insult an American, any of us, to wave the Constitution and say you haven’t read it, what Mr. Khan does not know about the American public school system when Donald Trump was raised, you better believe each and every one of us memorized that thing practically, so that’s just ridiculous. He knows not what he’s talking about, and also, Clare, just what you alluded to, that faithful Muslims can’t embrace our Constitution, can they?” (Trump attended a boarding school, not a public school).

“Not if they’re going to be faithful to the doctrine of Islam, no,” Lopez said. 

Alex Jones: Pope Francis Sounds Like 'Satan Himself'

Yesterday, Alex Jones unleashed yet another diatribe against Pope Francis, this time wondering if Francis is the false prophet mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

“I wonder if he’s got a little red tail wrapped up in his shorts,” Jones said. “I mean, if I heard the stuff he says and I didn’t know who said it, I’d say that’s Satan himself.”

The Trump-aligned conspiracy theorist declared that “the Catholic Church is no more” and that Francis is ushering in the End Times.

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