Barack Obama

CitU Spending Overwhelmingly Benefits Romney

Since Labor Day, 70% of outside spending on the presidential race made possible by Citizens United has benefited Mitt Romney, according to a new analysis.
PFAW

Kengor: ‘I Feel Bad for Obama’ Because He Didn’t Have a ‘Wholesome, Norman Rockwell Upbringing’

Historian Paul Kengor has been doing a circuit of right-wing talk shows, promoting his new book, “The Communist” which ties President Obama to a childhood family friend, the labor activist and writer Frank Marshall Davis. Although Kengor refuses to comment on filmmaker Joel Gilbert’s hypothesis that Davis is actually the president’s biological father, he argues that a direct line can be drawn between Davis’ Communist writings and the president’s support of universal health care, advocacy for the middle class, and even his “Change” and “Forward” slogans.

In an interview with Janet Mefferd this week, Kengor painted Davis as a sinister and strange influence on the young Obama’s life. Echoing Mike Huckabee’s accusation that the president has a “different worldview” because he grew up with “madrassas” rather than “going to Boy Scouts,” Kengor marveled that Obama’s grandfather chose Davis as a mentor for his grandson rather than “a Boy Scout troop master, a little league coach.” Not only that, but Obama’s grandfather and Davis “would even smoke dope together.”

“So I tell people, I honestly feel bad for Obama. This wasn’t exactly a wholesome, Norman Rockwell upbringing,” he added.

Kengor: In 1970, Stanley Dunham was looking for a black male father figure, mentor, role model for his grandson because the father was gone. So, right there, Janet, you or I, we have sons, grandsons, we’d probably pick as a mentor a boy scout troop master, a little league coach.

Mefferd: Yeah, someone upstanding.

Kengor: I mean, to think that you’d pick a card-carrying member of Communist Party USA, called to Washington to testify on his quote-unquote Soviet activities by the Democratic-run Senate Judiciary Committee, is kind of remarkable and kind of revealing.

Mefferd: Sure.

Kengor: But that’s who Stanley Dunham picked. And Stanley Dunham and Frank Marshall Davis were real close. They’d play cards together, Scrabble, drink together. One person named Donna Weatherly Williams, who was there when Dunham introduced Obama to Davis in 1970, says that Davis and Dunham would even smoke dope together.

Mefferd: Oh boy.

Kengor: And, I mean, here you’ve got, at that point Frank Marshall Davis would have been about 65 years old. So I tell people, I honestly feel bad for Obama. This wasn’t exactly a wholesome, Norman Rockwell upbringing.

Mefferd: No, awfully dysfunctional.

Kengor: Very dysfunctional, very.

Later, Kengor revisited the right-wing meme that President Obama somehow hates Winston Churchill because he removed George W. Bush’s bust of Churchill when he redecorated the Oval Office. This hatred of Churchill, according to Kengor, could very well have been instilled by a drunken rant of Frank Marshall Davis:

Kengor: If you would have asked me five years ago, or anybody in America five years ago, name one American who doesn’t like Winston Churchill…

Mefferd: Now we know!

Kengor: Nobody, yeah. Then suddenly in January 2009, well we have one: Obama. And now we know of another: Obama’s mentor. And actually, I should add, as a Cold War historian, I did know of Americans who didn’t like Churchill. It was members of Communist Party USA and the Daily Worker. So Davis was towing the Soviet line, the Communist Party line. Does this mean that Obama doesn’t like Churchill because of Davis? I can’t say that for sure, but I mean these guys met many times together, at least over a dozen times together, and late evenings. And you know Davis was always very political, always talking about politics, drank a lot, could be very incendiary in his comments. And I’m sure that Obama must have heard a few diatribes against Winston Churchill by Frank Marshall Davis.

 

Kengor: Obama 'Change' Platform Appeared 'Almost Verbatim' in Frank Marshall Davis Column

Grove City College historian Paul Kengor had the good fortune this year to release “The Communist,” his biography of President Obama’s early mentor Frank Marshall Davis, just as director Joel Gilbert started promoting “Dreams From My Real Father,” a mysteriously well-funded film claiming that Davis was in fact Obama’s biological father. Gilbert has not only helped boost interest in Kengor’s object of study, he has succeeded in making Kengor by far the most reasonable person on the Right’s Frank Marshall Davis beat.

In an interview with Phyllis Schlafly on Eagle Forum Radio this week, Kengor declined to comment on the veracity of Gilbert’s “real father” hypothesis. But like Gilbert, Kengor is convinced that Davis was a bigger influence on Obama’s thinking than the mainstream media will admit. One example, he told Schlafly, are Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan of “Change” and his 2012 slogan of “Forward,” in which he sees “remarkable” similarities with Davis’ writing. He points to a 1946 column by Davis which contains “almost verbatim the Obama platform for 2008”:



Schlafly: I want to be clear about this, Paul. Nobody’s saying President Obama is a Communist, but there’s no question about the man who had the biggest influence on his life, Frank Marshall Davis. He was a real, honest to goodness Communist who had a membership card issued by the Communist Party. And in those days, a certain number of people actually did that. But today, when you read and hear Obama’s speeches, it’s kind of like it’s an echo of the many things that Frank Marshall Davis wrote in communist publications. What are some of those, and do they remind you of Frank Marshall Davis and you kind of think those are wordings that, goals that kind of hung around in his subconscious for years?

Kengor: They do, Phyllis, they remind me very much so of Frank Marshall Davis. And I have to say, as a scholar, I can’t say that, ‘Well, Obama said A and that’s because Davis believes in B.’ But, well, you look at these things and they’re remarkably similar. The constant use of class warfare, of class rhetoric. Some of these seem to be beyond the sort of standard similarities that you would see, just because Obama and Davis are both on the left. I’ll give you just another example. Obama, of course, ran under the mantra of ‘Change’ in 2008, ‘Hope and Change.’ Well, the very first column that Frank Marshall Davis wrote for the Chicago Star…

Schlafly: A Communist paper.

Kengor: Yes, a Communist paper. This is the kick-off column, and he wrote a piece, this was July 6, 1946, and it was called “Those Radicals of ’76.” And in that column, Frank Marshall Davis talked about the importance of advancing, quote, ‘fundamental change,’ unquote, in America. America needs to be ‘transformed through fundamental changed.’ And that’s almost verbatim the Obama platform for 2008. And Obama’s 2012 campaign slogan, which is simply, ‘Forward,’ I found on the front page of the Chicago Star, very top, right below the masthead, Frank Marshall Davis using that same slogan. One of them says, ‘Bravely Forward!” exclamation mark. So, could this just be a coincidence? Yeah, sure I guess it’s possible that it’s a coincidence. But you look at all the long list and the rhetoric and you look at that and you say, ‘Well, it seems like it might be more than just a coincidence.’

‘Dreams From My Real Father’ Director’s New Project: Obama’s Secret Muslim Wedding Ring

WorldNetDaily’s intrepid birther Jerome Corsi is out with a new report today, in which he uncovers that President Obama’s wedding band is actually inscribed with the Arabic for “There is no god except Allah.”

Corsi’s source for this revelation? None other than all-purpose anti-Obama conspiracy theorist Joel Gilbert. Gilbert has recently achieved some success with his film “Dreams From My Real Father,” in which he claims that the president’s real father was labor activist and communist organizer Frank Marshall Davis. The film is currently being sent to households around Ohio, with the help of an undisclosed source of funding, and recently received the enthusiastic endorsement of the chairman of the Alabama Republican Party. Gilbert, apparently, believes that Obama is not only a hard-core Marxist, but also a secret Muslim:


"Dreams from My Real Father” producer Joel Gilbert, an Arabic speaker and an expert on the Middle East, was the first to conclude that Obama’s ring, reportedly from Indonesia, bore an Islamic inscription



Filmmaker Joel Gilbert, an expert on Islamic history, noted Obama wore the ring during his high-profile speech in Cairo on June 4, 2009, in the first months of his presidency.

“Now we have a new context for what Obama meant when he told the Islamic audience in Cairo that he has ‘known Islam on three continents,” Gilbert said. “He also told the Cairo audience that he considered it part of his responsibility as president of the United States ‘to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.’ All religious Muslims are by definition required to defend Islam.”

Before he turned his attention to the president’s supposed Communist genetics, Gilbert directed a number of Bob Dylan documentaries and “Atomic Jihad,” a film accusing President Obama of appeasing Iran.

Corsi has previously speculated that the same ring, which the president has been pictured wearing before his marriage to Michelle Obama, is proof that he was once married to his male Pakistani roommate.

Toobin Asks Candidates to 'Take a Stand' on Supreme Court. They Already Have.

On CNN’s website today, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin laments out how small a role the Supreme Court has played in the presidential election so far. He writes:

With a little more than a month to go, it's not too late to ask the candidates to take a stand on their plans for the court. The president has already had two appointments, and he named Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. But what does Obama, a former law professor, think about the court? Does he believe in a "living" Constitution, whose meaning evolves over time? Or does he believe, like Justices Scalia and Thomas, that the meaning of the document was fixed when it was ratified, in the 18th century.

By the same token, what kind of justices would Romney appoint? Who are his judicial role models? Romney has praised Chief Justice John Roberts, but is the candidate still a fan even after the chief voted to uphold the ACA?

No one is asking these questions. But there are few more important things to know about our current and future presidents.

Toobin is absolutely right that the candidates’ plans for the Supreme Court deserve a lot more air time than they’re getting. But he’s wrong to suggest that we know nothing about what President Obama and Governor Romney have in mind for the Court.

President Obama has already picked two Supreme Court justices. Both, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, have been strong moderates, balancing out the retro extremism of Justices Scalia and Thomas. When female Wal-Mart employees wanted to band together to sue their employer for pay discrimination, Sotomayor and Kagan stood on the side of the women’s rights, while Scalia and Thomas twisted the law to side with the corporation. When Justices Thomas and Scalia ruled that a woman harmed by a generic drug couldn’t sue the drug’s manufacturer in state court, Justices Sotomayor and Kagan stood up for the rights of the consumer.

Mitt Romney obviously hasn’t had a chance to pick a Supreme Court justice yet, but he’s given us a pretty good idea of who he would choose if given the opportunity. On his website, Romney promises to “nominate judges in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito.” After the Supreme Court’s ruling in the health care reform case, Romney announced he had changed his mind about Roberts, who declined to destroy the law while still writing a stunningly retrogressive opinion redefining the Commerce Clause.

And, of course, Romney sent a clear signal to his conservative base when he tapped Robert Bork to advise him on legal and judicial issues. Bork’s record, and what he signals about Romney’s position on the Supreme Court, is chilling:

Romney’s indicated that he would want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. He’s even attacked the premise of Griswold v. Connecticut, the decision that prohibited states from outlawing birth control by establishing a right to privacy.

Yes, the candidates should be made to answer more questions about their plans for the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts. But there’s a lot that we already know.

(For more, check out PFAW’s website RomneyCourt.com.)

PFAW

Michelle Obama is an 'Anti-American Extremist,' Says Popular Birther Filmmaker

We ordinarily wouldn’t really pay attention to Joel Gilbert, a Bob Dylan enthusiast who also dabbles in anti-Obama conspiracy theories, most recently making a film that alleges that the president’s real father is labor activist and communist party organizer Frank Marshall Davis.

But when Bill Armistead, the chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, started promoting Gilbert’s movie, “Dreams from My Real Father,” and when news surfaced that Gilbert was sending thousands of copies of his movie gratis to households in swing states and that conservative groups were holding showings, we thought we should start keeping track of him.

Gilbert has a spiel that he repeats pretty much word for word on media appearances, but once in a while he comes up with something new (for instance when he said that the Aurora movie theater shooting could very well have been an Obama administration inside job).

In an interview with Iowa radio host Steve Deace yesterday, Gilbert asserted that the president is “comfortable around anti-American extremists” – including Michelle Obama. He also elaborated on his theory that Obama is “attempting to turn the entire United States into this one-party system by doubling the food stamp rolls, putting everybody on government healthcare, making illegals legal.”

Obama is comfortable around anti-American extremists, people that are anti-American – Bill Ayers, Michelle Obama, dare I say. These are the people that he feels comfortable with and they’re comfortable with him. Obama’s policies mirror this classic Marxist indoctrination that he received and reinforced his entire life by joining the Midwest Academy, his relationship with Bill Ayers and his family for 25, 30 years, as well as Bernadine Dorn, and this entire rat’s nest of Marxist ideologues that came out of Chicago and transformed their, took their little one-party ideology from Chicago and are attempting to turn the entire United States into this one-party system by doubling the food stamp rolls, putting everybody on government healthcare, making illegals legal. Their intent, it’s all about keeping power and creating a one-party state that they can never have to give up power.

 

Joel Gilbert: ‘”Change” is a Code Word for a Revolution to End Capitalism’

Joel Gilbert, the filmmaker behind the theory that President Obama inherited a Marxist worldview from his “real father” Frank Marshall Davis – a theory adopted this week by the chairman of the Alabama Republican Party -- spoke last month with right-wing radio host Michael Savage.

Gilbert told Savage that Obama’s 2008 “Change” slogan was actually “a code word for a revolution to end capitalism” and assured listeners that by the end of his second term, the president will “achieve what he wants, which is to make America irreversibly socialist.” Part of this transformation, Gilbert said, is that “the middle class’ health care is going to be given away to poor and illegals.”

Savage: How is Obama’s campaign different this time around?

Gilbert: Well, what’s different is he was being very general and vague about ‘hope and change’ and everybody just read into it what they wanted, nobody really knew what ‘change’ meant from the socialist point of view. ‘Change’ is a code word for a revolution to end capitalism. Now his Marxist ideology is just coming through loud and clear. His entire campaign is based on the top one percent, of the breathtaking greed of a few. He talks about how the rich don’t pay their fair share. Well, anybody can just Google it and see that the top income brackets do pay up to 40 percent of income and it kind of goes down from there. So his entire campaign is based on this lie, this absurd notion that we don’t have a fair tax system. But this is the classic Marxist rhetoric that Obama would have gotten during this indoctrination from his real father, Frank Marshall Davis.

Gilbert: National healthcare is simply a socialist tool to eliminate the middle and upper classes. So for Obama, poor quality, long waits and high taxes in this national health care doesn’t matter. It’s just a socialist tool. For Obama in the next term, the middle class’ health care is going to be given away to poor and illegals. Middle class’ employers are going to be taxed and regulated out of business. And the middle class’ retirement will evaporate into a bankrupt, socialist state, and Obama will achieve what he wants, which is to make America irreversibly socialist without anyone ever realizing how it happened.

Joel Gilbert Speculates That Obama May Have Been Behind Aurora Shooting

Joel Gilbert, the filmmaker whose theory that President Obama is secretly the son of American labor activist Frank Marshall Davis was recently promoted by the chairman of the Alabama GOP, is apparently open to any number of Obama-related conspiracy theories.

In an interview with master conspiracy theorist Alex Jones back in July, Gilbert asserted that the mass shooting in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater could very well have been orchestrated by the Obama administration in an effort to promote gun control. "I hate to say it, but you can't put anything past them," he said:

President Obama voices his support for a constitutional amendment

Two days ago, President Obama sat down for a live “Ask Me Anything” session on the popular social news website Reddit. Of the ten questions President Obama was asked, one pertained to money in the politics:

What are you going to do to end the corrupting influence of money in politics during your second term?

Although not specifically asked about the amendment strategy, President Obama raised the issue in his answer:

Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress - to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change. [Emphasis added]

President Obama already had, through spokespeople, acknowledged his support of constitutional remedies to overturn Citizens United; he had not however done so himself, until now. The very fact that the sitting U.S. President is speaking seriously about the use of constitutional remedies to overturn Citizens United shows how far the movement has come. The movement has clearly made its move to the mainstream.

To date, here is what PFAW and our allies have accomplished:

- 1,951 public officials are now in support of constitutional remedies

- 96 House Representatives; 29 Senators

- 14 amendment resolutions introduced in the 112th Congress

- Over 275 cities and towns have passed resolutions supporting an amendment

- 7 State Legislatures have passed resolutions (HI, NM, VT, MD, RI, CA, and MA)

PFAW

FRC Calls Islam a 'Fanatical Religion,' Attacks White House Event with Muslims

When the Family Research Council wasn’t rallying support this week for Todd Akin or pushing to keep the ban on abortions in the case of rape or incest in the GOP platform, it found time to denigrate an entire religion. FRC sends out weekly Prayer Team alerts, asking “for your prayers relating to various public policy issues.”

This week’s alert called Islam – the religion of 2.6 million Americans and 1.6 billion people around the world – a “fanatical religion.” The alert also attacked a recent White House event with the American Muslim community – an Iftar dinner to mark the end of the Ramadan fast.
 
At the dinner, President Obama highlighted the role of Muslim-Americans in government and showcased Thomas Jefferson’s Koran. Here’s FRC’s interpretation:
In his remarks, the President suggested that Thomas Jefferson may have hosted the first White House Iftar Dinner and he showcased the Koran from Jefferson's library (Fact: Thomas Jefferson long advocated using military force to deal with hostile Muslims in the Mediterranean and ordered the Marines to Tripoli among his first acts as President and had a Koran primarily to study the fanatical religion of his adversaries).
FRC characterized Obama’s remarks at the event as “amazing,” and not in a good way. What was so amazing, you ask? For one thing, Obama “praised Muslims in positions throughout his administration,” including Huma Abedin. The group also accused Obama of giving preference to Islam at the expense of Christians and Christianity:
The Iftar event stood in bold contrast to the National Day of Prayer. In four years, President Obama has neither hosted a White House NDP event nor sent a representative to the national event on Capitol Hill, as previous presidents have done. […] President Obama's Iftar remarks are amazing reading. While he said great things about religious freedom, his tribute to Islam stands in shocking contrast to his dealings with Christians and the National Day of Prayer. He praised Muslims in positions throughout his administration.
This is a very telling line of argument. FRC is conflating the National Day of Prayer – which is chaired by the wife of FRC’s founder, James Dobson – with all of Christianity, and it’s not by mistake. Religious Right leaders have long thought of themselves and their followers as the only real Christians.
 
That’s why Obama’s 2012 Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House and Obama’s speech at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast don’t count. Obama’s 2012 White House Seder is probably just more evidence to them that he’s not really Christian. Obama even issued a presidential proclamation declaring the 2012 National Day of Prayer, but that’s not good enough. They want him to come and kiss Dobson’s ring.
 
Remarkably, FRC used the same alert described above to call for prayers for “moderation and civility in the public debate” over social issues. That’s how blind FRC is to its own rhetoric.
 
Meanwhile the group is preparing to host Paul Ryan as the headliner of its Values Voter Summit next month in DC. Earlier in the month, Romney met privately with Dobson and FRC’s Vice President, Jerry Boykin, who has said that Islam is “evil” and should not be protected under the First Amendment. Romney met one-on-one with Perkins in mid-July.

 

People For Raises Awareness of the 'Romney Court' on Sotomayor Anniversary

PFAW Activists Rally Outside Romney Headquarters in Greentree, PA

Yesterday marked the 3rd anniversary of Sonia Sotomayor officially assuming her office as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. People for the American Way, in partnership with other progressive organizations including NARAL and the AFL-CIO, marked the occasion with activists on the ground in the key states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

At a campaign event in Colorado yesterday, President Obama underscored the importance of the election for its impact on the future of the court.

Today is the three-year anniversary of Sonia Sotomayor taking her seat on the Supreme Court. Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of Elena Kagan taking her seat on the Supreme Court. So let's be very clear -- the next President could tip the balance of the Court in a way that turns back the clock for women and families for decades to come. The choice between going backward and moving forward has never been so clear.

People For president Michael Keegan also laid out the stakes in the Huffington Post.

President Obama’s decisions to nominate Justices Kagan and Sotomayor prove his commitment to selecting qualified jurists and building a more representative and inclusive court that respects the Constitution and the rights of every American. Mitt Romney’s decision to turn to ultra-conservative judge Robert Bork for judicial counsel is a clear signal that he would only appoint far-right figures to the Supreme Court, judges that are even further to the right than Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia.

It’s difficult to imagine a more conservative court than the one we have now, but that’s exactly what a Romney presidency would bring. With critical issues such as reproductive rights, voting rights, LGBT rights, campaign finance, and worker protections almost certain to come before the court next presidential term, stakes have never been higher.

For more on Mitt Romney’s dangerous vision for the Supreme Court, visit Romneycourt.com.

Yesterday, PFAW avtivists were featured on Ohio Public Radio:

 

ONN Tv,

and Ohio Capital Blog:

PFAW

A Sotomayor or a Bork? The Decision Is Ours in November

This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

Three years ago today, the first Supreme Court confirmation battle of Barack Obama's presidency came to an end. Justice Sonia Sotomayor took the oath of office on August 8, 2009, after enduring days of hearings at which she had been lambasted by Senate Republicans for such offenses as calling herself a "wise Latina" and acknowledging, like many male nominees before her, the shocking fact that her life experiences had shaped her perspective on the law.

In the three years since, I've been relieved to have Justice Sotomayor on the Court. I haven't agreed with all her decisions, but she has shown time and again that she understands how the Constitution protects our rights -- all of our rights. In 2010, she dissented to the Court's disastrous Citizens United decision, which twisted the law and Constitution to give corporations and the super wealthy dangerous influence over our elections. In 2011, she joined the four-justice minority that stood up for the rights of women Wal-Mart employees who were the victims of entrenched sex discrimination. This year, she was part of the narrow majority that upheld the Affordable Care Act, saving a clearly constitutional law that is already helping millions of Americans receive health care coverage.

Over and over again in the past years, the Supreme Court has split between two very different visions of the law and the Constitution. On one side, we have justices like Sotomayor who understand how the Constitution protects all of our rights in changing times. On the other side, we have right-wing justices like Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, who are determined to walk back American progress, turn their backs on the values enshrined in the Constitution, and ignore decades of our laws and history. On issues from voting rights to women's equality to environmental regulation, Americans' rights are being decided by the Supreme Court -- often by a single vote. Even the decision to uphold health care reform, in which Chief Justice John Roberts joined Sotomayor and the three other moderates on the court, would not have been as close as it was if the Court had not moved steadily to the right.

November's presidential election will be a turning point for the Supreme Court. The next president will likely have the chance to nominate at least one Supreme Court justice, setting the course of the Court for decades to come. President Obama has shown his priorities in his picks of Justice Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan.

Mitt Romney has a very different vision for the Supreme Court. Campaigning in Puerto Rico earlier this year, Romney bashed Sotomayor -- who also happens to be the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice and the Court's third woman ever. Instead, he says he'd pick more justices like Thomas, Alito and Antonin Scalia, the core of the right-wing bloc whose decisions are systematically rolling back Americans' hard-won rights. He used to say that he'd pick more Justices like Chief Justice Roberts, but changed his mind when Roberts ruled in favor of the health care reform plan similar to the one that Romney himself had helped pilot in Massachusetts.

So who would Romney pick for the Supreme Court? We've gotten a hint from his choice of former judge Robert Bork as his campaign's judicial advisor. Bork's brand of judicial extremism was so out of step with the mainstream that a bipartisan majority of the Senate rejected his nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987. Bork objected to the part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that desegregated lunch counters; he defended state laws banning birth control and "sodomy"; he was unabashedly in favor of censorship; he once ruled that a corporation could order its female employees to be sterilized or be fired. And, though it might not seem possible, since his confirmation battle Bork has gotten even more extreme.

Any justice appointed by Romney would likely fall in the footsteps of Bork in undermining workers' rights, eliminating civil rights protections, siding with corporations over the rights of individuals, threatening women's reproductive freedom, and rolling back basic LGBT rights. President Obama, on the other hand, has promised to pick more justices who share the constitutional values of Justice Sotomayor.

Three years into the term of Justice Sotomayor, the Court hangs in the balance. It's important that we all know the stakes.

PFAW

President Obama: A Romney Court Could ‘Turn Back the Clock for Women and Families for Decades’

Speaking at a campaign event in Colorado today, President Obama laid out the crucial importance of the Supreme Court in November’s election:

Today is the three-year anniversary of Sonia Sotomayor taking her seat on the Supreme Court. Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of Elena Kagan taking her seat on the Supreme Court. So let's be very clear -- the next President could tip the balance of the Court in a way that turns back the clock for women and families for decades to come. The choice between going backward and moving forward has never been so clear.

The choice has never been so clear. In the Huffington Post today, People For president Michael Keegan lays out what’s at stake as we pick the man who will pick our next Supreme Court justices:

So who would Romney pick for the Supreme Court? We've gotten a hint from his choice of former judge Robert Bork as his campaign's judicial advisor. Bork's brand of judicial extremism was so out of step with the mainstream that a bipartisan majority of the Senate rejected his nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987. Bork objected to the part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that desegregated lunch counters; he defended state laws banning birth control and "sodomy"; he was unabashedly in favor of censorship; he once ruled that a corporation could order its female employees to be sterilized or be fired. And, though it might not seem possible, since his confirmation battle Bork has gotten even more extreme.

Any justice appointed by Romney would likely fall in the footsteps of Bork in undermining workers' rights, eliminating civil rights protections, siding with corporations over the rights of individuals, threatening women's reproductive freedom, and rolling back basic LGBT rights. President Obama, on the other hand, has promised to pick more justices who share the constitutional values of Justice Sotomayor.

To learn more about Mitt Romney's dangerous vision for the Supreme Court, visit www.RomneyCourt.com.

 

PFAW

Author of Obama Exposé Repeats Debunked Churchill Bust Myth, Says Churchill ‘Rolled Over in his Grave’

Grove City College professor Paul Kengor is out with a new book, The Communist, which examines President Obama’s relationship with his grandfather’s friend Frank Marshall Davis, who has become the nexus of several right-wing conspiracy theories.

In an interview with American Family Radio’s Sandy Rios this week, Kengor went into detail about the “amazing” similarities between Davis and Obama, including what he claims is their “hate” for Winston Churchill. Kengor and Rios went on to recount the favorite right-wing story that “one of the first things” Obama did as president was remove a bust of Churchill from the Oval Office and send it back to England.

Kengor imagines that when this imaginary diss of the British leader took place, “Churchill rolled over in his grave” and “Frank Marshall Davis leapt up in his grave and laughed and saluted.”

Kengor: Well, I dug into the Chicago Star writings, the Honolulu Record writings, and you see here in Frank Marshall Davis a man who constantly bashed Wall Street, excess profits, capitalism, the rich, GOP tax cuts, General Motors, was calling for taxpayer funding of public works projects and universal healthcare, was trashing Winston Churchill. I mean, here’s a thought for you: name two Americans who hate Winston Churchill. Well, I couldn’t have done that five years ago. Now I can give you two: Barack Obama and Frank Marshall Davis. The similarities are amazing.

Rios: Well, and evidenced by, you know, one of the first things Barack Obama did, you and I both know but others might not, that he removed the bust of Winston Churchill from the White House. Sent it back to Great Britain!

Kengor: Yeah

Rios: Unbelievable!

Kenger: Unbelievable. Unbelievable and so many Americans just yawned when that happened. I mean, Churchill rolled over in his grave when that happened. Frank Marshall Davis leapt up in his grave and laughed and saluted when that happened, because Davis despised Winston Churchill, called him, like Harry Truman, called him a ‘fascist,’ a ‘racist,’ an ‘imperialist,’ a ‘colonialist,’ every name in the book. And to imagine that today, Frank Marshall Davis must be looking at the results of November 2008 and seeing all these young people that voted for Obama and all these old, one-time Cold War anti-communist Democrats and all these moderates and independents and he must just be laughing so hard that he can hardly control himself at what’s happened.

For the record, here is a photo the White House posted today of Obama and British Prime Minister looking at the Churchill bust outside the Oval Office in 2010:

Update: White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer clarifies that there were at one point two busts of Winston Churchill in the Oval Office area. One, which was a gift to George W. Bush, was removed when President Obama took office to make room for a bust of Lincoln. The other, which has been in the White House since the 1960’s, remains. And the argument that President Obama’s change of Oval Office décor signals a “hatred” for Churchill remains absurd.

Mitt Romney and America’s “Anglo-Saxon Heritage"

Mitt Romney traveled to Europe last night, and flew right into a political mess. Romney’s campaign is running away fast from a comment made by one of the candidate’s foreign policy advisers to Britain’s The Telegraph:

One of his advisers told Britain’s Daily Telegraph on Tuesday that Romney is better positioned than President Obama to foster a strong relationship with the U.K. because of his "Anglo-Saxon" connection to the country. "We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels the relationship is special," the unnamed aide said of Romney. "The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have."

The accusation that President Obama doesn’t appreciate America’s “Anglo-Saxon heritage” is a barely veiled racist attack against the president, not to mention the millions of Americans who are not descended from ancient Britons. Newt Gingrich was getting at the same thing when he accused the president of having a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview. Mike Huckabee was too when he said Obama grew up near “madrassas” rather than “going to Boy Scout meetings.”

Unsurprisingly, the Romney campaign is now denying that the words were ever said (though they won’t specify by whom they were not said, nor have they asked for a retraction). I hope they’re telling the truth: the comment was massively offensive, and shouldn’t be coming from anywhere near a major political campaign. But the Romney campaign’s denials aren’t really letting the candidate off the hook. That sort of comment calls for a strong rebuke, not just a tepid denial.

But I’m not holding my breath. After all, when another Romney surrogate, former George H.W. Bush chief of staff John Sununu said the president needs to "learn how to be an American" – another appeal to the popular right-wing idea that the president is some sort of foreign imposter – Sununu attempted to walk back his own comment, but the campaign was silent.

As it happens, Romney is in a similar situation with another of his foreign policy advisers, former Bush administration official John Bolton who went on anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney’s radio show yesterday to defend Rep. Michele Bachmann’s attacks on Muslim-Americans working for the U.S. government. Bolton’s comments set him apart from prominent Republicans including John McCain and John Boehner, who have rebuked Bachmann’s witch hunt. Yet Romney, who apparently will be only appearing for photo ops in London tomorrow, hasn’t said a word.

PFAW

Don’t Forget Who John Roberts Is

Add this to the good news/bad news mix from the Supreme Court's healthcare decision: Because of the good news (Chief Justice Roberts voted to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act), we get the bad news that his standing among the nation's Democrats has significantly increased. This collective amnesia about who John Roberts is and what he has done is disturbing, especially since the direction of the Court is one of the most important issues upon which Democrats should be voting in November.

A new Gallup Poll shows wild fluctuations in Democrats and Republicans' assessment of Chief Justice John Roberts since their last poll in 2005, a change Gallup attributes to his role in upholding the Affordable Care Act. Roberts' approval rating among Republicans has plummeted 40 percentage points from 2005, falling from 67% to 27%. In contrast, his favorability among Democrats has risen from 35% to 54%. That the healthcare decision is a catalyst of this change is supported by a PEW Research Center poll last week showing that between April and July, approval of the Supreme Court dropped 18 points among Republicans and rose 12% among Democrats.

Yes, John Roberts upheld the ACA, but only as a tax. At the same time, he agreed with his four far right compatriots that it fell outside the authority granted Congress by the Commerce Clause, leaving many observers concerned that he has set traps designed to let the Court later strike down congressional legislation that should in no way be considered constitutionally suspect. He also joined the majority that restricted Congress's constitutional authority under the Spending Clause to define the contours of state programs financed with federal funds.

Just as importantly, Roberts's upholding the ACA does not erase the past seven years, during which he has repeatedly been part of thin conservative majority decisions bending the law beyond recognition in order to achieve a right wing political result. John Roberts cast the deciding vote in a number of disastrous decisions, including those that:

Oh, and then there's that little 5-4 Citizens United opinion that has upended our nation's electoral system and put our government up to sale to the highest bidder.

With a rap sheet like that – and this is hardly a complete a list – no one should be under the illusion that John Roberts is anything but a right-wing ideologue using the Supreme Court to cement his favorite right-wing policies into law.

Next term, Roberts is expected to lead the judicial front of the Republican Party's war against affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act. Whether he succeeds may depend on whether it is Mitt Romney or Barack Obama who fills the next vacancy on the Supreme Court.

PFAW

Waking up from the Nightmare

Although the DREAM Act seemed to remain a dream after being blocked by Senate Republicans in 2010, the Obama administration has recently taken steps to make staying in the United States a reality for thousands of young undocumented immigrants.

Last Friday, President Obama announced a new policy directive to allow undocumented immigrants under the age of 30 to apply for a two-year, renewable work permit if they met an array of criteria, including arriving to the United States before the age of 16, and are in high school, graduated from high school, or were honorably discharged from the armed forces. The plan doesn’t grant amnesty or a road to citizenship; but as the president stated, it is a “temporary solution” and “the right thing to do.”

This decision will positively impact up to 800,000 law-abiding, hard-working Americans who have until now lived in constant fear of deportation. One such DREAMer is 26 year-old Mohammad Abdollahi, who immigrated to this nation at the age of three from Iran. His family’s visa soon expired and was not renewed. Not only has Mohammad had to live the majority of his life in fear of deportation, but the price of being sent back to Iran was incredibly high. Mohammad is openly gay and due to Iran’s policy of capital punishment towards gay individuals, his deportation could be a death sentence.

With his life literally on the line, and running out of options, Mohammad became one of the first students to come out as undocumented in an attempt to pressure congress to pass the DREAM Act in 2010. Although the act didn’t pass, he hasn’t given up the fight. When President Obama made this historic announcement last week, Mohammad was occupying an Obama re-election office in Deerborn, Michigan as a symbolical plea directed towards the president to take action. This change in policy ends this nightmare for Mohammad and so many other DREAMers like him.

In his address in the Rose Garden, President Obama stated, “We are a better nation than one that expels innocent young kids.” Sadly, it seems many Republicans in Congress don’t share this value. After the announcement, Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith of Texas claimed, "President Obama's decision to grant amnesty to potentially millions of illegal immigrants is a breach of faith with the American people…It also blatantly ignores the rule of law that is the foundation of our democracy.”

Not only is Rep. Smith just flat wrong to claim that the plan grants “amnesty,” he appears to believe that the foundation of our democracy requires ridding our nation of young, productive and patriotic members of society. Republicans should wake up and embrace this change as an opportunity to finally be a part of a more permanent solution.

PFAW

PFAW Applauds Obama’s Change to Deportation Policy

President Obama announced a new immigration policy today that would allow undocumented residents who would qualify under the DREAM Act to gain work authorization and avoid deportation.

“The President’s announcement today is a victory for common sense,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “This country was built on the premise that each of us is responsible for our own actions. It’s outrageous to punish and deport hard working young people who were brought to this country at a very young age and who want nothing more than to stay here and contribute to their communities.

“While it’s disappointing that Republicans in Congress, even some who have sponsored the DREAM Act in the past, have chosen to play politics with immigration, President Obama’s order today is an important step forward for the country. It draws a sharp contrast between this President’s willingness to stand up for what’s right and the GOP’s willingness to sacrifice the economy and basic fairness in order to cater to an increasingly extreme base.”

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Bain's Not Just Fair Game, It's the Only Game

Romney's experience at Bain is beyond fair game: if this election is truly about jobs and the economy, then Bain is one of the only games in town.
PFAW
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