On Election Day, voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., voted to liberalize their marijuana laws, decriminalizing the possession or sale of the substance. But while Oregon and Alaska will be able to go ahead and start implementing their laws, D.C.’s more modest measure will first have to make it through a Republican Congress.
Once D.C.’s city council submits the measure to Congress, Congress will have 30 days to review it and during that time can pass a measure overriding it. Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland has vowed to use all of his political power to stop D.C.’s decriminalization measure from moving forward, including passing a spending bill rider barring the District from implementing its own law.
While D.C. will now be contending with Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress, it’s not clear how much support the GOP congressmen trying to stop the law will get from their colleagues. Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, for instance, has said that overriding D.C.’s law would violate the GOP’s “fundamental principles,” including “limited government” and “states’ rights.”
But other conservatives have no such compunction. In an email to members of his organization on Friday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins backed Harris’ effort to stop D.C. from implementing its decriminalization law by arguing that with a spending bill coming up, Harris “might finally have a way” to give the self-governed city with a population bigger than Vermont and Wyoming “the oversight it desperately needs” from congressional Republicans.
People in D.C. are still on a high after Election Day -- but a handful of congressmen are hoping that high isn’t permanent. As part of the District’s ballot, voters gave the thumbs up to a marijuana proposal that just made the lame-duck session a little more interesting. Under Initiative 71, locals would have the right to both possess pot (two ounces) and grow it at home.
Oregon and Alaska passed similar policies last Tuesday, but unlike the states’, D.C.’s measure is subject to Congress’s approval. And plenty of conservatives aren’t likely to give it. Before the District even planted the policy on last week’s ballot, Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) was trying to put the brakes on the push from D.C. Now, with a major funding bill on the docket, Congressman Harris might finally have a way to give the city the oversight it desperately needs.
Rep. Steve King thinks that if Hillary Clinton decides to run for president, her “fingernails on the chalkboard” voice will make her vulnerable in the Iowa caucuses.
The Iowa Republican told Steve Malzberg today that there is a “lack of excitement” for a Clinton candidacy and that the former secretary of state’s fellow Democrats should challenge her because her “screechy voice” will “play over and over again in Iowa.”
Family Research Council vice president Jerry Boykin told the Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney in an interview last week that he believes President Obama is going to cut a deal with Iran allowing the country to have a nuclear weapon on the advice of his adviser Valerie Jarrett because she “is Persian, she’s an Iranian.”
“I think the administration has essentially, and probably because of the advice of Valerie Jarrett — who is Persian, she’s an Iranian — I think that because of her influence that the president has made some very bad decisions with regards for support for the Iranian nuclear program,” he said.
Jarrett was born in Iran to American parents — her father ran a hospital there — and left when she was five years old.
Boykin and Gaffney also discussed the alleged “penetration” of the U.S. government by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Gaffney, who helped start the right-wing smear campaign against Hillary Clinton aide Human Abedin, asked Boykin, “What is the state of the penetration of our government, not just by the Huma Abedins and the Hesham Islams of the world, but more broadly as evidence of the civilization jihad that’s being waged against us by the Muslim Brotherhood especially?”
Boykin responded by asserting that after 9/11, counterterrorism authorities hired a large number of Arabic translators, “a large percentage” of whom “actually wound up working for the other side.”
He went on to lament what he called “the total infiltration of the intelligence community” by people he believes to be Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood agents, including the counterterrorism chief responsible for many of the targeted killings of Al Qaeda officials, reportedly a Muslim convert. He also repeated the “strong rumors” that CIA director John Brennan has converted to Islam.
“What we do know is that there are penetrations at every level of our government, to include homeland security, to include the military, to include the intelligence community, to include the Congress,” he said. “There are penetrations by nefarious elements, by people that are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, by people who are associated with Al Qaeda. And by the way, Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda are really all the same thing.”
“And the Islamic State and Boko Haram and the rest of them,” Gaffney added. “And the Iranians, too, with their differences on different points of theology, are very much part of this Sharia enterprise and the global jihad to impose it.”
Phil Burress, head of the Ohio-based Citizens for Community Values, thinks that the American people will revolt if the Supreme Court makes a sweeping ruling in favor of marriage equality.
Speaking over the weekend with Mission America’s Linda Harvey, Burress said he feared that the Supreme Court “will force same-sex marriage on all fifty states,” adding that “the nation is not going to stand for this.”
Burress added that in the event of such a ruling anti-gay activists will be forced to reorganize and launch a new campaign to amend the Constitution: “I really believe if the Supreme Court was to rule the wrong way, I think you’re going to see an uprising and a demand for a constitutional amendment that takes this matter out of the hands of the courts and puts it back into the states.”
Burress went on to attack Sen. Rob Portman, the Ohio Republican who endorsed marriage equality after his son came out as gay, pledging to defeat to him if he runs for re-election and unite Portman’s conservative opponents around a single primary challenger.
“We did a poll of just conservatives, the values voters, dealing with just Portman,” Burress said. “Seventy-two percent of them said that they would not support Portman. If he runs, he will lose.”
He claimed that marriage equality is losing support among voters: “The reason they are losing support is because people are understanding this is not about same-sex marriage or same-sex unions anymore, it’s about persecution, it’s about suing people, it’s about forcing people to comply with what they want or else we’re going to put you out of business and if you don’t comply then we’ll put you in jail.”
Anti-Muslim activist Brigitte Gabriel told Newsmax host Dennis Michael Lynch last week that there is “no chance” of American Muslims ever “blending in” with U.S. society.
In an interview on Friday, Lynch told Gabriel that he had recently traveled to Dearborn, Michigan, and “did not see all but maybe one or two homes with an American flag waving outside” and at one point stopped to ask for directions and was ignored.
“Why is it that the Muslim community is not blending in with the rest of American society?” he asked.
“Because this is what they are being told in mosques across the United States,” Gabriel responded, claiming that American mosques are “instructing their people not to shake hands on Christmas or Easter or wish the Americans a happy holiday.”
“Is there any chance that the Muslim community will ever turn it around?” Lynch asked.
“No,” Gabriel responded, “there is no chance, we are seeing a reverse, actually, instead of a blending in, instead of assimilation.”
In an interview yesterday with WorldNetDaily’s Radio America, longtime conservative activist Richard Viguerie predicted that “a lot of Democrats” would back a GOP effort to impeach President Obama, or at least a vote to shut down the government, over his planned executive actions on immigration reform.
Viguerie said that voters of all stripes would back impeachment, which has the support of a majority of Republicans but only a third of Americans, because they would realize that Obama is “threatening our very form of government.”
I think the American people expect somebody who is threatening our very form of government, to be very, very serious and impeach the president if that’s the case or shut down the government, do whatever it is that will be effective in stopping this massive grasp for power. A lot of Democrats will support this action too because this is now threatening our form of government here. I think the grassroots, not only Republicans but the grassroots voters do expect some serious opposition to granting amnesty to maybe up to 6 million illegal aliens. I think if the Republican leaders were serious they would find the American people would be very supportive of strong action.
He said Republican congressional leaders shouldn’t just “talk a tough game” but finally move to impeach Obama to stop his looming dictatorship.
“It’s such a threat to our democracy that the Republicans should use all means available to oppose this effort, including impeachment as well as shutting down the government if that’s what it takes to protect our form of government,” he said. “We can’t allow Obama to become a dictator.”
Viguerie said that such actions wouldn’t damage the popularity of the GOP, insisting that “the American people are behind the Republican leaders in an effort to stop this outrageous usurpation of power.”
Potential Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum had an opportunity to speak at length to Iowa conservatives last week, when he guest hosted Steve Deace’s radio show on Veterans Day. The three-hour program gave Santorum plenty of time to muse on a variety of topics, including his admiration for segregation proponents Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms and his belief that President Obama’s “greatest failing” has been his failure to end racism in America.
Santorum mentioned that he had recently been invited to speak at Liberty University, which led him into a tangent on how much he admires the school’s founder, the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. Although “how the press treated Rev. Falwell was not necessarily positive,” Santorum said, he found Falwell to be “completely gracious, warm [and] affirming.”
This made Santorum think of the late Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, who he said exhibited “probably the starkest contrast of what the press used to portray and what the reality was.”
“There was no one nicer than Jesse Helms,” Santorum said. “I mean, I don’t think a single Democrat would tell you that on a personal level, there was anybody that was more gentlemanly, more kind than Jesse.” (He might want to check with Carol Mosely-Braun on that.)
He added that the “breakup of any kind of cooperation” in government is happening because people like President Obama are failing to be gentlemen like Jesse Helms:
Later in the program Santorum took a call from a listener who complained that the media was giving less coverage to looting and vandalism in Ferguson, Missouri, than to “this police officer who has generally a pristine record in law enforcement" who "simply chose to defend himself.”
“I completely understand your position,” Santorum responded, before accusing the media and President Obama of fomenting “racial division” and “pitting one group against another.”
President Obama’s “greatest failing,” he added, was that he had the opportunity "to be a transformational figure from a racial point of view and he has abandoned the field.”
Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly believes that President Obama’s upcoming announcement on temporary relief for some undocumented immigrants will lead to “suicide for America because he would be bringing in people who will vote Democratic.”
“I think it’s worth impeachment, but I don’t think that’s going to happen,” she told the far-right outlet WorldNetDaily, adding that the president wants to “bring us down” and “fundamentally transform our country into something like the Third-World countries.”
“If he goes ahead with his plans, I think it’s suicide for America, because he would be bringing in people who will vote Democratic. That’s his plan,” Schlafly said. “And bringing people the American people do not want, and he’s already bringing in all kinds of diseases.”
Schlafly doesn’t think the United States would survive in its current form under a massive grant of amnesty. She even agreed the collapse may happen by 2025, as conservative author Patrick Buchanan suggested in the title of his 2011 book, “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”
“[Obama] is trying to fundamentally transform our country into something like the Third-World countries, because he thinks it’s just really unfair that we’re better, richer, freer and more prosperous, and he’d like to bring us down to the level of other countries,” Schlafly said.
The longtime conservative activist said she expects another border surge, like the one this past summer, once word of Obama’s “deferred action” plan spreads throughout Central America. She also thinks amnesty by executive action rises to the level of a high crime or misdemeanor.
“I think it’s worth impeachment, but I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Schlafly said.
She sees Obama and other Democratic Party leaders as complicit in the importation of people who don’t share the American value of self-reliance.
“The Democrats know perfectly well that the people coming in are people who are not accustomed to our ideas of self-government and limited government, and they expect government to take care of them, and that’s what we’re doing,” Schlafly said in an interview.
Mike Huckabee is currently leading dozens of conservative pastors through the U.S. and Europe on a junket he’s calling “Mike Huckabee’s Reagan, Thatcher, Pope John Paul II Tour.” On Friday, the group stopped at Auschwitz and Birkenau, where a speaker inevitably compared today’s America to Nazi Germany.
Werthmann frequently travels the country speaking about what she sees as similarities between President Obama and Adolf Hitler, warning that Obama is ushering in Nazi-style tyranny and urging people to stock up on guns: “Keep your guns and buy more guns.” She also believes that Obama and Mexican immigrants are planning a Marxist “revolution” and told one Tea Party group, “I heard President Obama say anybody who is criticizing him, report it to the White House, the snitch program, so be careful what you say.”
She offered a similar message to Huckabee’s tour group, according to the Christian Post, which also drew a comparison between Nazi Germany and the IRS and a Houston court case involving a LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance.
Another Religious Right leader who believes the U.S. is heading towards Nazism, David Lane, also addressed the group.
Retracing the steps of Pope John Paul II in Krakow Poland, Margaret Thatcher in London England, and Ronald Reagan in California, The Journey: A Spiritual Awakening, was designed to exemplify how "God raises extraordinary leaders for extraordinary times." Huckabee explains, "their lives and messages brought hope to generations and freedom to millions by confronting evil everywhere. From their lives and their leadership we can extract immeasurable lessons for every nation wishing to be free and great."
In the wake of Houston Mayor Annise Parker's subpoena of emails and sermons of ministers, his timing, many argue, could not be more relevant. On Friday, November 14,Journey attendees visited Auschwitz and Birkenau and a museum located in the administrative building of Oskar Schindler's enamel factory. On route to Auschwitz, Lane referenced similarities between 1930 Germany and 2014 America. Quoting from Inside Hitler's Germany, Life Under the Third Reich, he paraphrased Martin Bormann's assessment that national socialism and Christianity are "irreconcilable."
Pointing to what was largely a Lutheran country and the former home of the Martin Luther who sparked the Protestant Reformation in 1517, life under Hitler immeasurably transformed Germany's identity and culture. By 1938, much of Germany's Christian practices were eliminated. Crosses in schools were replaced with Hitler's picture, the Bible, with Mein Kampf, Christmas carols and the nativity play were eliminated, and the greeting, "Happy Christmas," was replaced with "Yuletide."
Former Austrian Kitty Werthmann helps clarify context and perspective from her experience living seven years under Hitler and three under Stalin. During an unrelated and recent even in New Jersey, she explains similarities between 1938 Austria and 2014 America. Austria was in a deep depression with one third of its workforce unemployed. It's inflation rate and bank loan interest rates were 25 percent. Many Austrians were declaring bankruptcy and begging for food.
She says, "everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force. We were led to believe that everyone [in Germany] was happy. We were told that they didn't have unemployment or crime; they had a high standard of living. We wanted the same way of life in Austria.
"We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler. We were overjoyed and for three days danced in the streets and had candlelight parades."
She lists how the government opened up field kitchens and everyone was fed, crime disappeared under the new government, and within one month people were employed through the Public Work Service.
The comparison to America could not be more profound.
American unemployment is 25 percent when including the unreported U-3 and U-6 numbers of those who have dropped out of the workforce are no longer on unemployment, and/or are underemployed working several jobs unable to feed their families. Americans are in 28 billion dollars in credit card debt, with credit card interest rates exceeding 25 percent in most states.
Whether its eliminating prayer in school, the ten commandments from court rooms, disallowing the teaching of creationism and only teaching evolution, removing religious holidays from school calendars, common core redefining the family to include same-sex parents and transgender children as normal, and teaching Islam as part of grade school
Additionally, the IRS has pledged to adopt new parameters for auditing churches and Christians are losing their livelihoods because of their religious beliefs.
Upon leaving Birkenau, Huckabee said, "these people were brutally murdered because they did not fit into the plan of a government that only wanted a people to follow them blindly." He went on to explain that remembering what millions of people believed and did because of the power of one man, Hitler, is not enough. "It's not enough unless it does something to change the way we live the rest of our lives. This is not a time to say I've been to Auschwitz… because when the day comes when we are called upon to put at risk our lives, our families, our fortunes, we have to decide if we will march like lemmings to our death, or take whatever steps necessary to stop the kind of tyranny that results ultimately in what we've been able to see first hand today."
In an interview with Rick Santorum on Tuesday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins claimed that American Christians are being persecuted because the U.S. “began to normalize behavior that had long been considered inappropriate” and that such supposed persecution in the U.S. is contributing to violent religious persecution around the globe.
“You hate to use the term persecution, because when you look around the world, we see real religious persecution,” Santorum, who was guest hosting Steve Deace’s show, said. “We see people dying, churches being burned, we see mass killings of Christians, so I sort of tread lightly on the world persecution.”
But, he added, “this is really the first time in this country where we’ve seen any kind of coordinated effort of government really imposing its will on the American public and forcing them to comply or else.”
Perkins told Santorum that he need not use caution in referring to things like nondiscrimination ordinances in the U.S. as “persecution,” telling him “there is a correlation…between the increase in persecution abroad and the increase of intolerance from our own government here at home.”
“They feel like if it’s not a priority for us to have religious freedom here at home, then certainly it’s not going to be a priority for us to speak out for the persecuted peoples abroad,” he said.
Perkins routinely attacks the Obama administration for “doing nothing” to stop the persecution of Christians abroad, even in cases when the administration is demonstrably doing things to combat such persecution.
Earlier in the program, the two gave a clearer idea of what they mean by the “persecution” of Christians in America, discussing the situation in Houston where a number of pastors received subpoenas as part of a lawsuit filed by anti-gay activists trying to take down the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance.
Perkins commended Santorum for warning America that “this was coming if we began to normalize behavior that had long been considered inappropriate and began to protect it and provide preferential treatment to it.”
Yesterday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins once again called for President Obama’s impeachment, telling “Washington Watch” listeners that Obama deserves to be impeached for using executive action to relieve some immigrants of deportation.
“What the president is about to do on amnesty is essentially tell, using his authority as the chief executive, the president, to the executive branch, Homeland Security, immigration, not to enforce the law, which is a violation of his oath to uphold the law,” Perkins said. “I think there is already, but clearly with this, if he takes this approach on amnesty and immigration — if the president does not uphold the law then that’s an impeachable act. Now you don’t impeach somebody because you don’t like their policies, it’s when they fail to uphold or abide by the law.”
Perkins added that Obama’s imminent announcement on immigration policy will undermine the republic, arguing that the message of last week’s election was a rejection of Obama’s “lawlessness.”
In an interview this week with Rick Santorum, who was guest-hosting Steve Deace’s radio program, Rep. Steve King of Iowa said that if President Obama takes executive action to grant deportation relief to some immigrants, he may push for Congress to shut down the government or impeach President Obama in order to prevent the country from “descending abruptly into an abyss that we have never seen in the history of this country.”
King said that if the president were to issue such an order, he would advocate for Congress to only pass a spending bill funding the government until January “so that we could address this thing by shutting off the funding.”
“I don’t want to go down the path that would bring us to where the confrontation between Congress and Bill Clinton in 1998, but neither would I take it off the table,” King said, referring to impeachment. He then compared his strategy for confronting Obama with the president’s national security policy: “The president has said some things like no boots on the ground and the war in Afghanistan is over at the end of 2014. You don’t make those kinds of predictions and you don’t unilaterally disarm. You use all the constitutional tools at our disposal. ”
“Our constitution will be torn asunder if we let the president do this,” King continued.
“What he’s contemplating doing is the equivalent of standing up in front of America, opening up the Constitution, taking ahold of Article 1 — all of the congressional legislative authority — tearing that out and putting it in his shirt pocket and saying, ‘I’ll do the lawmaking in this country, it’s not your business, Congress.’ If we let that happen, our constitutional republic is descending abruptly into an abyss that we have never seen in the history of this country.”
As the American Immigration Council has documented, every president since Eisenhower has used executive authority to grant “temporary immigration relief to one or more groups in need of assistance.”
Rep. Doug Lamborn claimed yesterday that the Obama administration is overlooking religious persecution abroad because it is too busy defending LGBT rights.
In an interview on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program, the Colorado Republican told FRC President Tony Perkins that the Obama administration is “really more motivated and active promoting things like lesbian and gay rights, transgendered [sic] rights and those kind of issues” than in preventing religious persecution.
“We have the sad situation of persecuted religious minorities in the Middle East and other parts of the country, including Christians and other various sects out there, that are being really persecuted, sometimes they’re being beheaded or crucified or tortured because of their religious views,” he said. “So the State Department,y ou would think, would want to be all over that, would want to be pressing for countries to be respecting the rights of religious minorities.
“But it seems like they are really more motivated and active promoting things like lesbian and gay rights, transgendered [sic] rights and those kind of issues to the neglect of religious prosecution [sic]. And I just want them to pay attention to the severe and deadly prosecution [sic] of Christians and other religious people wherever that occurs in the world.”
Perkins agreed, saying that “Christians are dying around the world and they’re doing nothing.”
The claim that the Obama administration is “doing nothing” to combat the persecution of religious minorities around the world is a frequent refrain among Religious Right commentators — and it’s completely deceptive.
In fact, when President Obama announced airstrikes in Iraq this summer, he cited ISIS’s violence against Yazidis, Christians and other Muslims as a reason for the intervention. Obama and National Security Advisor Susan Rice recently met with Mideast Christian leaders, one of whom said he “felt how deeply moved he was by what was happening to the Christians there.” Administration officials have repeatedly denounced anti-Semitic and anti-Christian attitudes in the Mideast, and the State Department operates its own Office of International Religious Freedom.
Even when the Obama administration has helped to free Christians imprisoned because of their faith, Perkins and his fellow Religious Right activists have ignored the administration’s efforts. Perkins actually criticized the Obama administration after it helped free Kenneth Bae, a U.S. missionary jailed in North Korea, and he tried to use the imprisonment of Meriam Ibrahim — a Sudanese Christian who was freed with the help of U.S. diplomats —to attack Obama’s support for gay rights and attempt to overturn Citizens United.
Meanwhile, while Perkins has been falsely claiming that the Obama administration is ignoring the persecution of Christians, he has been actively opposing State Department efforts to protect LGBT people from oppressive laws and state-sanctioned violence abroad. Perkins has praised Uganda’s draconian anti-LGBT law and warned that Obama’s “radical sexualism” is promoting “global homosexuality.”
Next week, American Religious Right leaders including the Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore, pastor Rick Warren, Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput, and Latter-Day Saints official Henry Eyring will be joining opponents of LGBT equality from around the world at an interfaith conference on the “complementarity of man and woman in marriage” hosted by the Vatican.
The conference follows a synod at which Catholic bishops considered, but ultimately rejected, proposals to soften the church’s stances on homosexuality, as well as those who have been divorced.
Although he is not listed as a speaker, another prominent American opponent of LGBT equality will also be attending the conference. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in an interview on Newsmax TV today that he plans to attend the conference in Rome and expects the Catholic Church to “make a very clear statement that pertains to marriage and what the Church views marriage to be” to provide “clarity” to the confusion coming out of the recent synod.
“I don’t see the Catholic Church making a great deviation” on the issue of homosexuality, Perkins said. “They can’t because the scripture is quite clear on the issue.”
He added that there has been “a lack of clarity” on the part of the Catholic Church that have “allowed interpretations to be made that are less than accurate.”
On his "Washington Watch" broadcast yesterday, Perkins said that he will be broadcasting live from the event next week.
The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios today called on conservatives to voice their support for impeaching President Obama over his upcoming executive action on immigration reform, telling listeners that “the president has committed many impeachable offenses but impeachment cannot take place unless the will of the people is behind it.”
“The word that no one wants to talk about is the word ‘impeachment,’” Rios said on her daily radio show, insisting that Obama “is far more dangerous than Bill Clinton ever was.”
“Bill Clinton was immoral, selfish, a narcissist with a leftist view, but nothing, nothing, nothing compared to the bizarre, out-of-control, narcissistic, leftist, socialistic leader that we have right now who is running amok,” she said.
At least one of her listeners seems to think that Obama may cancel the next presidential election, telling Rios that the president “is a Muslim and believes in the Muslim life” who is “trying to bankrupt this nation so that he can declare martial law and therefore there will be no more elections.”
Rios replied that the caller is right to believe that “part of his goal is bankrupting the country, I don’t know how you can argue otherwise because that is exactly what he is doing and I think whether he is waiting for martial law to be declared or not I don’t know, I hear from people in the know here that he is trying to divide and cause tremendous dissension in the Republican Party.”
On Monday, President Obama publicly urged the Federal Communications Commission to adopt strong rules preserving net neutrality, the principle that internet service providers must treat all data equally.
Obama’s comments placed a previously fairly niche technical issue right into the middle of the national political debate, forcing commentators to take a side on something many of them did not seem to understand. But luckily, many conservative politicians and pundits have an easy way of deciding where to stand on an issue: if Obama is for it, it will destroy America and they are against it!
1. Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz got the right-wing net neutrality pile-on started with a tweet calling the proposal “Obamacare for the Internet."
"Net Neutrality" is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 10, 2014
It didn’t really make sense, but as Matt Yglesias notes, that wasn’t the point: “What, if anything, that phrase means is difficult to say. But its political significance is easy to grasp. All true conservatives hate Obamacare, so if net neutrality is Obamacare for the internet, all true conservatives should rally against it.”
2. Bryan Fischer
As soon as Cruz spoke out, his far-right acolytes seem to have felt obligated to follow. On his radio program on Monday, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer struggled to grasp the proposal that he was definitely against, claiming that it would ban internet providers from charging customers more for faster service — something that already happens and that has nothing to do with net neutrality.
3. Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck is outraged that President Obama wants to end “the freedom of the internet” and ruin something that’s “working pretty well” because “the government is not involved in it at all.” Apparently unaware that current FCC regulations allow his online network, The Blaze, to stream on an open internet, Beck claimed that regulations preserving net neutrality would end this supposedly government-free system in which he operates his business.
Beck’s cohost Pat Gray accidentally debunked his own point by comparing Internet regulation to the interstate highway system, which he seems to also think remains open and accessible because it’s free from government interference.
The Tea Party group FreedomWorks got into the game yesterday with a video “clearing up” net neutrality for its supporters.
As Consumerist explains, FreedomWorks’ net neutrality explanation is basically a work of fiction:
“Supporters of the plan call it a [uses finger quotes] ‘free and open Internet’ but in reality it’s anything but,” says Somberg. “What net neutrality does is force providers to treat all Web content equally — the same speeds, the same prices, the same access.”
This is simply untrue.
Net neutrality merely says that ISPs can’t slow down, block, or prioritize any content. It doesn’t mean that everything gets treated with the same speed — just that an ISP does nothing to impede or boost any particular content company’s speed. So if it’s fast coming in from the company, it should be fast going out to the end-user. And if the host is slow, then it remains slow.
5. Alex Jones
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones added his own special twist to the net neutrality debate, claiming that it is a “high tech version of what the Soviets and the Nazis and the Chinese Communists and Fidel Castro and every other nut ball did.”
Bonus: David Barton
While net neutrality might have just recently crossed the radar of many right-wing commentators, make-believe historian David Barton has been beating the anti-net-neutrality drum for years. In 2011, Barton called net neutrality “socialism on the internet” and “redistribution of wealth through the internet” and insisted that it is "wicked stuff" that goes against the dictates of the Bible and the Founding Fathers.
This launched Barton into a discourse on the concept of “fairness,” which he said “is a word no Christian should ever use in their vocabulary” because “what happened to Jesus wasn’t fair.”
Alex Jones is the latest right-wing broadcaster to completely misrepresent net neutrality, telling “Infowars” viewers this week that President Obama’s support for net neutrality will lead to big government tyranny.
Jones, in his typically paranoid fashion, claimed that the White House will use net neutrality to “shut down” his Infowars website along with the Drudge Report, calling it a “high tech version of what the Soviets and the Nazis and the Chinese Communists and Fidel Castro and every other nut ball did.”
That’s right, supporting equal treatment of internet data and preserve an open internet is just like what Hitler did.
Jones compared net neutrality to paying the mafia not to threaten your family or your business, creating a “nation of sheep ruled by wolves” who will “put you in government housing pins to run your life, bring you down and imprison your children.”
“Well not me, ever!” Jones declared.
After completely misrepresenting net neutrality, Jones asked God to give him “the strength of the words to unlock the spirit of humanity with a huge awakening to bring these people down forever and to bind them to Hell.”
Jones cited Ted Cruz’s widely mocked “net neutrality is Obamacare for the Internet” tweet as proof of his absurd claim that net neutrality is a government takeover of the internet: “I like Ted Cruz, he knows what he’s talking about.”
Small business owners are in favor of reforming our current campaign finance system, according to a new opinion poll from the Small Business Majority. In a nationwide survey last month, 77 percent of small business employers said that “big businesses have a significant impact on government decisions and the political process,” and nearly as many (72 percent) said they believe major changes are necessary to reform campaign finance laws. Only four percent of respondents said they believe no changes are necessary.
Yesterday Sam Becker from the Wall Street Cheat Sheet highlighted the conclusions of the survey:
[T]here is significant concern about the political and economic landscape, and the growing influence of corporate power on the parts of small business owners. With nearly three-quarters of small businesses saying they feel that they are at a disadvantage because of corporate influence in politics, it lends extra credence to the notion that our election process — which typically tends to cater heavily to the small business crowd — is in need of some serious reforms.
This is a good reminder that when enormously powerful corporate interests claim to speak for “the business community,” they are not necessarily speaking for the small businesses that play such an important role in our economy and in our communities. The results of this survey underscore the idea that campaign finance reform enjoys broad support among Americans of diverse professions and backgrounds. Religious organizations, labor unions, and business associations – in addition to many groups in the progressive nonprofit community – are mobilizing around solutions to big money in politics. These solutions include transparency in political donations and public financing of elections, as well as a constitutional amendment to overturn Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens United v. FEC, which opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate spending in politics.
Sandy Rios of the American Family Association is angry that President Obama may announce a major overhaul of immigration policy just before Thanksgiving, saying that the proposed deportation relief for many undocumented immigrants, such as the parents of U.S. citizens, shows the left’s contempt towards family values.
“Remember Obamacare was finally voted in on Christmas Eve? This is what they do because they have no regard for, I’m not saying Thanksgiving is sacred, but it’s sacred in the sense that people are thankful, bow before God, celebrate the holidays with their families, at least Americans used to, but the left doesn’t, that’s not so much important to them,” she said.
“What’s important to them is having their way and altering and changing this country as aggressively as they possibly can no matter what it takes.”