From a mailman flying a gyrocopter to the Capitol to protest big money in politics, to Hillary Clinton making the issue a centerpiece of her campaign, to Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Lindsey Graham being asked about their stances on campaign finance reform at Q&A events, it’s clear that money in politics is shaping up to be a major issue in 2016. Yesterday The Washington Post’s Matea Gold reported on the grassroots push to spotlight the topic of big money’s influence on our democracy:
[F]ive years after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision — which held it was unconstitutional to ban independent political spending by corporations and unions, and helped set off a financial arms race — there are signs that politicians are beginning to confront a voter backlash.
….For those who feel strongly about it, the 2016 primaries and caucuses — and the up-close access they bring to the presidential contenders — offer a ripe opportunity to elevate the topic.
In New Hampshire, nearly 500 people have volunteered to attend public forums and press the White House hopefuls about money in politics, Weeks said.
In an interview aired Friday on National Public Radio, PFAW Executive Vice President Marge Baker underscored the importance of top candidates elevating this issue:
"When the leading candidate for president says she's going to make reducing the influence of money in politics one of the four pillars in her campaign, you know that that's going to be a major issue in 2016," Baker said. "So this is a very, very big deal."
While there are many issues that divide Americans, addressing the big-money takeover of our political system is not one of them. That both Lindsey Graham and Hillary Clinton expressed support for an amendment to get big money out of politics in the past two weeks underscores the fact that fighting to fix our broken democracy is not only the right thing to do, it’s also good politics – across the political spectrum.
With the movement to take back our democracy from wealthy special interests growing by the day, some of the country’s top political leaders are taking note and bringing the issue of money in politics front and center for 2016.
Yesterday presidential candidate Hillary Clinton expressed support for a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics and said that campaign finance reform was going to be one of the four pillars of her campaign.
As PFAW’s Executive Vice President Marge Baker pointed out:
That Hillary Clinton will make the fight against big money in politics the centerpiece of her campaign is indicative of how much Americans care about this issue. She’s tapping into a deep-seated belief among people of all political stripes that we have to reclaim our democracy from corporations and billionaires. Americans are ready for a constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United, and ready for leaders who are going to make it a priority.
Amending the Constitution to overturn cases like Citizens United is a widely popular proposal with cross-partisan support. A July 2014 poll of Senate battleground states found that nearly three in four voters (73 percent) favor a constitutional amendment, including majorities “in even the reddest states.” In the five years since the Citizens United decision, local organizing has led 16 states and 650 cities and towns to support an amendment to overturn the decision and get big money out of politics. More than 5 million Americans have signed petitions in support of an amendment.
WASHINGTON – According to media reports, today presidential candidate Hillary Clinton expressed support for a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics, with campaign finance reform set to be one of the four pillars of her campaign.
“That Hillary Clinton will make the fight against big money in politics the centerpiece of her campaign is indicative of how much Americans care about this issue,” said People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker. “She’s tapping into a deep-seated belief among people of all political stripes that we have to reclaim our democracy from corporations and billionaires. Americans are ready for a constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United, and ready for leaders who are going to make it a priority.”
Amending the Constitution to overturn cases like Citizens United is a proposal that enjoys broad, cross-partisan support. A July 2014 poll of Senate battleground states found that nearly three in four voters (73 percent) favor a constitutional amendment, including majorities “in even the reddest states.” In the five years since the Citizens United decision, local organizing has led 16 states and 650 cities and towns to support an amendment to overturn the decision and get big money out of politics. More than 5 million Americans have signed petitions in support of an amendment.
This is not the first time Clinton has spoken about a possible amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United. In July 2014, Clinton said that she would “consider supporting an amendment.”
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.”
WorldNetDaily columnist Gina Loudon is promoting her book "What Women Really Want" by arguing today that Republicans should be "giddy" about the prospect of running against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.
She calls on GOP politicians to attack Clinton for supposedly tolerating rape and other forms of violence against women: "If she stood passive while Islamic women were raped and stoned to death, what will she passively let happen to women were she president of the United States?"
Loudon goes on to claim that immigration reform and gun policy reform are part of the real "war on women."
The first war is one where women are being serially gang-raped and stoned to death by Islamists across the world who believe women are only one-fifth of a person. If a woman is raped, under Shariah law, five men must testify that they witnessed the woman being raped. Otherwise, she is stoned to death in front of her friends and family. Christian and Jewish women are being led like lambs to slaughter by Islamists. There is definitely a war on women, but not the one the statist elites in D.C. like to pretend is happening. That is but a ruse designed to distract the simple minded.
Where are the old-school feminists who cussed conservative icons like Phyllis Schlafly and burned their bras in protest of equal pay, in the face of this bloody war on women? Do equal rights not to be stoned matter less than equal pay or birth control?
Where is Hillary on this? If I were GOP leadership, I would be giddy about the thought of a Hillary run. Aside from Benghazi, think about a campaign based on what she never did to stop the real war on women. If she stood passive while Islamic women were raped and stoned to death, what will she passively let happen to women were she president of the United States?
Women with whom we spoke on our book tour are most concerned with safety and security, and that is because of failed foreign policy and open borders exacted on them by the pro-old-feminist administration (including old feminists like Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, etc.). Economic security and national security are of grave concern to women today. Open borders give away jobs, especially starter jobs for youth. Open borders let terrorists in our country, and that threatens women’s families and futures. Open borders mean children with unknown, untreatable and, in some cases, latent diseases sit in classrooms with our children.
Even for those women who don’t care to ever touch a gun (and that is OK), most still wouldn’t want to take away the rights of other moms to protect their children, their families from abusers, or their homes from tyranny.
As part of Matt Barber’s apparent quest to bring down the Religious Right from the inside by making it look completely ridiculous, his website today published this column by contributor Luke Hamilton about how the “Demokratik Party” is deciding between “Shrillary” and the “hardcore socialist progressive” Elizabeth Warren.
Hamilton writes that Hillary Clinton may not capture the “Demokratik” nomination because “she has looked more ready for a knockout than the Oval Office. It’s hard to tell with her pantsuits, but those legs look rubbery and her corner has got to be concerned.”
If voters instead nominate and elect Warren president, Hamilton warns, it would represent “a contiguous communist coup with long-ranging repercussions.”
That’s right, voters using the democratic, constitutional process to elect a president are actually carrying out a communist coup!
At one point, it seemed virtually predetermined that Shrillary would be the 2016 Demokratik Presidential candidate. So it’s surprising that recently she has looked more ready for a knockout than the Oval Office. It’s hard to tell with her pantsuits, but those legs look rubbery and her corner has got to be concerned. Her political blunders over the past several weeks seem to confirm the fact that the political acumen in that family resides exclusively in Bubba. For someone with such extensive experience with the limelight and televised interviews, it is hard to believe that she misspoke so badly by claiming poverty after Bill left office. She has since tried to fall back on relativism and insist that she and Bill aren’t broke but they’re also not like some of those people who are “truly well off”. Riiiight, because the rest of us have made $100m over the past 20 years.
But hold the phone! There appears to be a new snout in the pigpen. The whisper campaign is gaining a full head of steam to draft Senator Elizabeth “Fauxcohontas” Warren into the race for President. According to Edward Klein, the author of Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. The Obamas, the President has tasked Valerie Jarrett with the job of convincing Elizabeth Warren to run in 2016. It is hard to know if Klein’s sources are accurate, but it is logical to think that Obama is involved in this effort. Primarily because Obama is incessantly distracted from doing his actual job by anything and everything. This project would allow him to avoid geopolitical crises like the Islamification of Iraq, unknown numbers of people (with unknown identities!) pouring over our borders, ongoing attacks faced by our allies Ukraine & Israel, and an American economy more fragile than the sanity of Ed Schultz. Also, it’s logical to think that Obama would be interested in convincing Warren to run for President because playing Kingmaker to the next progressive socialist in the White House would scratch his egomaniacal itch and cement his name as the first of a new generation of Marxist “forefathers” who fundamentally transformed the United States into poverty-stricken irrelevancy. A Chicago Machine Marxist is an unfortunate accident, a Chicago Machine Marxist followed by an East Coast Socialist Egghead is a contiguous communist coup with long-ranging repercussions.
What would a Warren Presidency mean for the country? Like Obama, she’s a hardcore socialist progressive, but there is a subtle difference. Obama seems to feel the need to explain his redistributive policies, almost apologetically at times. Warren is unashamed of her avarice. Her boilerplate stump speech seems to suggest that she would be able to tap into the populist anger which Clinton is so desperately trying to access; anger at the capitalist cronies who have benefited from the Clinton, Bush, and Obama presidencies. But unlike libertarian conservatives, who share her anger at crony capitalism, her only solution seems to be the vilification of success and the exponential growth of central authority. In many ways, a Warren presidency would complete the transformation begun on Barack’s watch, which explains why Jarrett is helping measure lawn space for Elizabeth’s presidential teepee.
Alex Jones is miffed about reports that one of Hillary Clinton’s clients when she was a defense attorney was an accused child rapist, because as we all know in the American system of justice unsavory clients do not deserve legal representation.
On his radio program yesterday, Jones launched into a rant against Clinton, attacking her for the well-known photo of her looking at her phone, which he called “disgusting ” and “gangster,” and upbraiding her fellow “women who run the State Department right now who are overthrowing Ukraine and turning it over to Nazis and turning areas of Syria and Iraq over to Al Qaeda.”
He said that Clinton and other women have a warped way of thinking that leads to “endless evil”: “I hate men, that’s a Freudian slip because they’re kind of like men, and hate my kids.”
“I’d vote for the Le Pen lady over in France, she’s a Tea Party type libertarian, I’d get down and kiss her feet,” he said of the leader of France’s neo-fascist National Front party Marine Le Pen.
“I see flaming, evil, criminal fascism, I know it when I see it, and that’s what Hillary Clinton is and has always been,” Jones said. “We just can’t seem to ever get rid of her, it’s like cancer, it just keeps coming back.”
In an interview with USA Today’s Capital Download today, Rick Santorum defended his one-time — and possibly future — presidential rival Rick Perry’s comparison of homosexuality to alcoholism, arguing that homosexuality is indeed a choice.
Santorum, who has notoriously attempted to explain his opposition to marriage equality by speaking about beer and paper towels, told USA Today that while politicians should avoid making comparisons, Perry’s larger point was “accurate.”
Back in 2011, the former Pennsylvania senator back in 2011 insisted that homosexuality is a choice because he knows of “people who were gay and lived a gay lifestyle and aren’t anymore.”
Santorum also claimed in the USA Today interview that Hillary Clinton may not win the Democratic nomination for president if she decides to run because she is “old” and not “young and bling” enough for Democratic voters.
Monday afternoon, Right Wing Watch reported on conspiracy theories by conservative talking heads Bernard Goldberg and Rush Limbaugh who claim that the shoe-throwing incident in Las Vegas was staged by Hillary Clinton so she could seem more presidential. Similarly, Mark Blitz told WorldNetDaily yesterday that the “blood moon” from Monday night was a divine warning to President Obama about his plans to use executive action and his bully pulpit in the face of GOP obstruction.
Last night, PFAW Director of Communications Drew Courtney joined Rev. Al Sharpton on Politics Nation to discuss these outrageous conspiracy theories and what they say about the GOP and the political process today:
UPDATE: Rush Limbaugh also seems to think the incident was staged.
Fox News contributor Bernard Goldberg is promoting the claim that Hillary Clinton staged the incident where a woman threw a shoe at her during a speech in Las Vegas.
On a post for Goldberg’s website, blogger Arthur Louis writes that “Hillary arranged to have the shoe thrown at her,” having “calculated that this would make her seem presidential.”
“Hillary, claiming to be unsure what was thrown, called out ‘Was that a bat?’ I don’t think she meant bat as in baseball,” he continues. “I think she meant bat as in creepy flying rodent. Perhaps she based her guess on the premise that likes attract.”
A couple of nights ago, as Hillary Clinton started to address a gathering of recycling experts in Las Vegas, a woman came striding down the aisle toward the stage and threw a shoe at her. Hillary, claiming to be unsure what was thrown, called out “Was that a bat?” I don’t think she meant bat as in baseball. I think she meant bat as in creepy flying rodent. Perhaps she based her guess on the premise that likes attract.
The incident called to many minds the occasion, late in his second term, when George W. Bush, during a public appearance, was forced to duck two shoes thrown by a Muslim journalist. He did so coolly and deftly, like a veteran baseball player trying to avoid being beaned by Roger Clemens. Hillary, on the other hand, ducks flying shoes like a girl, as you can plainly see on the video.
There is a political axiom, I believe first posed by Euclid or Archimedes, that when Hillary does something, or when something happens to her, she has carefully calculated it beforehand. This is almost always true, the one trivial exception being the nomination and election of Barack Obama in 2008.
So it would not be stretching logic to suppose that Hillary arranged to have the shoe thrown at her. Remembering the Bush incident, she may have calculated that this would make her seem presidential. This would explain why Ms. Ernst was not pounded to a pulp by Hillary’s bodyguards, and why she seems on the verge of getting off scot free. Don’t be too surprised, the next time you visit Phoenix, if you see her sitting at a table in a downtown Hillary for President store front, stuffing and sealing envelopes.
I am just guessing, of course, but let’s all watch for possible further evidence that Hillary is trying to remind us of other presidents in their finest hours.
Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised that Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute head Austin Ruse wanted to have liberal and women’s studies professors “taken out and shot,” as he once called for the murder of Hillary Clinton.
Back in 2001, Catholics for Choice released a report [PDF] on Ruse and his lobbying efforts at the United Nations, especially his campaign against the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Beijing Platform for Action, which he dubbed the work of “radical feminists.”
The report notes that in a 2000 address to the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation, Ruse told a story about talking to a Catholic priest about killing Clinton: “Hillary [Clinton] is the ‘conquering queen’ at the United Nations…I was standing on the floor of the UN a couple of months ago, when she was thinking about running, and I was talking to a priest from the Holy See delegation and — I shouldn’t tell you this but he offered me guaranteed absolution if I just took her out — and not on a date.”
Catholics for Choice adds that Ruse sees his conflict with “radical feminists” in “terms of war and attacks and battles”:
Its values and the way in which it promotes them have a negative impact on international policy discourse, especially the efforts of NGOs and governments to work more closely for the development and implementation of public policies on social issues. Perhaps most disturbing is the warlike mindset that permeates [Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute’s] thinking and actions. It is of course very shocking that such a mindset should exist within the Holy See delegation, where, according to Ruse, a priest member of the delegation suggested to him that he should “take out” Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is hard to believe that a member of the Catholic clergy would even joke about such things, but why would Austin Ruse lie about such things?
Suggestions of this kind emerge when groups or individuals see value conflicts in absolutist terms; when they believe God is on their side. The values and ideas of the “other”—who is demonized—need to be crushed. Note how frequently and passionately Austin Ruse talks about this conflict in terms of war and attacks and battles:
My friends, we are in a war….this war is being fought exclusively in quiet and carpeted room at international fora in Rome, Istanbul, Cairo, Beijing, and Rio. I believe one day these place names should be recognized as battlefields just like Bunker Hill, Normandy and Khe San for they are the sites of major battles in this war…
…In the summer of 361 B.C., a Theban general gathered an army of 60,000 freemen, yeoman farmers, a democratic army of citizens…Their victory came almost all at once and their victory rocked the ancient world.
Long under attack by her enemies, the family seems now to be disintegrating all around us….I will focus on one institution with which I am most familiar, the United Nations, an institution that is increasingly at the forefront of the attack on the family.
It was a windowless office where UN negotiators held something called informals...It is the room where the battles are won and lost.
Louie Gohmert wasn’t the only far-right congressman to stop by The Lars Larson Show in recent days, as Michele Bachmann last week told the conservative radio host that “the Clintons have very close ties to people who have very close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.”
“We’re not talking about the Lutheran Brotherhood here, we’re talking about the Muslim Brotherhood,” Bachmann said, once again pointing to Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin as a Muslim Brotherhood agent.
Last week, Rick Wiles of TruNews hosted Dr. Preston Bailey of the Spiritual Warfare Center to discuss how the “New World Order” is trying to restore the “Luciferian government” that existed before Noah’s Flood and will accelerate the End Times.
After asking if President Obama, whom Wiles believes is literally a demon, is of the Illuminati’s bloodline, Bailey responded that he is not, at least according to his Illuminati “source.”
But don’t be disappointed just yet.
Bailey told Wiles that the Illuminati consider Obama to be the “forerunner of the Antichrist” (which we always thought was Oprah Winfrey) and that there is an Illuminati member who may be in the White House soon enough: Hillary Clinton.
Wiles: Lucifer ran this world and that is what they are seeking to bring back in the Last Days, that is the world government, that is the last beast, that is the fourth beast that is coming, it is a resurrection of the pre-Flood Luciferian government and the Illuminati is the bloodline that exists today with the assignment to bring about the resurrection of this pre-Flood Luciferian government.
Bailey: That is exactly what they’re doing; now the New World Order, so the head of the New World Order — there are many organizations — but the head of it is the Illuminati.
Bailey: You’re born into the Illuminati so if you hear these people who claim ‘well I joined the Illuminati and blah blah blah’ well they’re lying, that’s just not true, they have delusions of grandeur.
Wiles: Do you think Barack Hussein Obama is part of the bloodline?
Bailey: No he’s not; I’ve asked specifically. He is called the ‘Forerunner of the Antichrist.’ But Hillary [Clinton] is in the Illuminati.
For decades, the Right has attempted to discredit Hillary Clinton with attacks ranging from the disturbing (killing people) to the bizarre (killing cats). But after serving four years as Secretary of State, Clinton is leaving office with sky-high approval ratings. Before she steps down on Friday, we decided to look back on some of the most extreme and befuddling accusations she has faced from the far-right during her term as the nation’s top diplomat.
1. Clinton Engineered Benghazi Cover-Up
While the official report on the U.S. mission in Benghazi found multiple security and management breakdowns that Clinton had already taken responsibility for, many on the right claimed that she actually was behind a massive cover-up. Several Republican politicians and conservative commentators said that the Obama administration withheld military assistance while watching a live feed of the attack.
The State Department’s Accountability Review Board report debunked the right-wing conspiracy theories, but that didn’t stop Fox News and conservative talk show hosts from reporting them as fact and arguing that the administration used the attack in Benghazi to pass blasphemy laws protecting Islam.
As the Right’s claims about Benghazi continued to unravel, they shifted to baselessly asserting that the administration manufactured the Petraeus affair in order to preserve the alleged cover-up and that Clinton faked a concussion and blood clot to get out of testifying about the incident.
When she did testify, she faced redundant and ill-informed questions from Republicans like Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson, who skipped a classified briefing on the incident, and Kentucky senator Rand Paul, who admitted he had no proof to back up his claim that the Benghazi mission was used to send arms to Syrian rebels.
2. Clinton Supports the Muslim Brotherhood
Latching onto rumors that emerged on the far-right fringe, Rep. Michele Bachmann sought to spark a McCarthyite investigation that accused Clinton’s deputy chief of staff of acting as a Muslim Brotherhood spy. Bachmann insisted that “there has been deep penetration in the halls of our United States government by the Muslim Brotherhood,” and along with a handful of Republican colleagues, made allegations that Clinton aide Huma Abedin was working on behalf of the group.
Of course, Bachmann couldn’t substantiate her claims and literally ran away from a reporter when asked about them. Even Republican leaders criticized Bachmann for starting the witch hunt. But her unfounded claims took off in the conservative media, which was more than happy to paint Clinton and Obama as secret Islamist sympathizers, and eventually caused trouble overseas.
3. Clinton Loves Sharia
Anti-Clinton conspiracy theorists claim that her supposed Muslim Brotherhood sympathies have turned her into a covert advocate of Sharia law. Bachmann said that Clinton was working “to take away the free speech rights of the American people” and “our right of free speech and expression, religious practice, freedom of assembly, freedom of the printing press” in order to “empower the Islamists.”
Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy claimed that Clinton had accepted “submission to the stealthy Islamist effort to enforce in this country the supremacist doctrine known as shariah” and the Family Research Council’s Jerry Boykin said the administration had shown “support for the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood into our government.” Rick Joyner, the televangelist who has worked closely with Gaffney and Boykin, was left wondering why Clinton was “advocating” Sharia:
4. LGBT Rights Advocacy Will Destroy America
While the Right’s Benghazi, Muslim Brotherhood and Sharia law claims didn’t hold water, they at least got one thing right: Clinton acted as a champion for LGBT equality while leading the State Department. The Religious Right fumed at her work on behalf of gay rights and exploded in anger following a speech in Geneva in which she defended the rights of LGBT people and called for the decriminalization of LGBT status.
Liberty University’s Mat Staver warned that Clinton was backing a “radical sexual anarchist agenda” while Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention said that Clinton’s support of “sexual paganization” would bring about God’s judgment on America. Pat Robertson reacted to Clinton’s speech by warning that God may destroy the U.S.
5. Clinton Opposes Religious Freedom
All of the conspiracy theories and accusations seem to come together in an attempt to smear Clinton as an enemy of religious freedom. Conservatives argued that she was using both gay rights and Sharia law to undercut Christianity and religious freedoms.
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins maintained that Clinton was trying to subvert the freedom of religion by using the term “freedom of worship,” even though the Obama administration frequently uses the phrase “freedom of religion” and President Bush talked about the “freedom of worship” without receiving a similar outcry from social conservatives.
At the Values Voters Summit, phony “ex-terrorist” Kamal Saleem even warned that Clinton was planning to “shut down” churches and synagogues this month. Since Clinton serves just one more day at the job, she better speed up with her diabolical plans!