Sen. Rand Paul isn’t the only prominent Republican hanging out with birthers these days. Next month, RNC chairman Reince Preibus and Wisconson Sen. Ron Johnson will travel to Alabama to headline a dinner hosted by state GOP chairman Bill Armistead. Armistead raised eyebrows last year when he publicly recommended “Dreams From My Real Father,” a “documentary” that promotes the alternate birther theory that President Obama somehow inherited a Marxist worldview from his “real father” Frank Marshall Davis. Somewhat unbelievably, Armistead stated that he had “verified that it is factual, all of it.”
Interestingly, Priebus and Johnson will be stepping into the middle of a fight over whether Armistead will keep his job. (He faces a challenger backed by his longtime rival, state House Speaker Mike Hubbard.) Charles Dean at the Birmingham Newsreports that Priebus might be attending as a political favored to Armistead:
Some saw Tuesday's late announcement by Armistead that Priebus had accepted the invitation to attend the dinner as a sign that maybe Armistead had convinced the GOP national party chairman to support him.
Late last week Armistead announced that he was supporting Priebus for a second term as Republican Party Chairman. So far Priebus is unopposed for a second term but rumors have persisted for months that a challenger might step up.
UPDATE: The RNC tells the Birmingham News that Priebus is not taking sides in the party chairmanship race.
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice-elect Roy Moore appeared on City On A Hill Radio to lash out at marriage equality and the theory of evolution, warning that they undermine the Constitution. Moore, who has argued that same-sex marriage leads to divine punishment and will “destroy this country,” maintained that the Founding Fathers “would be up in arms” over President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality as it will “destroy the very foundation” of America.
What we’re doing in this country is—if Washington and Jefferson and Madison, name one, if they were alive today would be up in arms. None of them, federalists or antifederalists, never believed that it would come to this. Those that were for big government like Hamilton, Washington, Adams would never have believed that our courts would be doing what they’re doing today, that people would be trying to change the definition of marriage. We don’t take a moment just to stop and clear our eyes and our ears and think: what is happening when a President of the United States can get up and say we need to redefine marriage? You know, when they do that they are attempting to destroy the very foundation on which this country was built.
Moore also denied the theory of evolution and said it was warping people’s understanding of the Constitution by covering up its Biblical precepts. “Evolution has so distorted our way of thinking,” Moore said, “we know we were created but they say we evolved from whatever, something out of the ocean, you’ve got to understand that evolution affects your mental processes.” He explained that evolution makes people think that they are “smarter” than their predecessors while the Constitution shows that “human nature doesn’t change.”
Barbara Moore: Judge Moore I want to ask you, as you read the United States Constitution you can see that biblical concepts and precepts are within that Constitution, everything from separation of powers because of the sinful nature of man, and I would think that any Bible believing Christian would feel that when they look at our United States Constitution, wouldn’t you say?
Roy Moore: I think they don’t and I think there’s a reason they don’t and I think the reason like you see it maybe because you’ve studied a little bit but I think it’s not evident to those who have lost the knowledge of God. What I mean to say by that is you know we started by teaching history at the beginning of the program and it’s like going to football games and seeing who wins and who loses and going to football games and forgetting the rules. If you know the rules it makes the game more interesting because you know there is some way they get to the end of the game and win or lose and you got to go by the rules. We’re not going by the rules because we don’t think the rules matter anymore.
Evolution has so distorted our way of thinking. It’s not just about where we came from. Of course, we know we were created but they say we evolved from whatever, something out of the ocean, you’ve got to understand that evolution affects your mental processes. When you think you have evolved then you think you’re better than those who have gone before you. If you’re better than those who have gone before you then you won’t make the same mistakes, you won’t think the same way, you know better, you’re smarter. The point is, human nature doesn’t change and human nature is what the Constitution sought to restrain.
The New York Times recently reported that there were lots of Republicans in Alabama who were concerned about the possibility of seeing disgraced "Ten Commandments Judge" Roy Moore return to his seat on the state Supreme Court after being removed from that very position back in 2003.
The Times reports that "many in the Alabama business and legal establishment, a community that is overwhelmingly and faithfully Republican, are privately despondent over the prospect of a Moore victory and its effect on the state’s image," and it is easy to see why, since Moore is the sort of politician who shows up at anti-abortion rallies, as he did this weekend, and proceeds to tell the audience that "Satan is out to destroy everything that God has created" and has convinced many in this nation to support things like abortion and gay marriage, which is why God "has a controversy with the inhabitants of this land, and until we reject those evils, we shall suffer accordingly":
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.
Speaking to a Republican women’s group in Alabama yesterday, state GOP chairman Bill Armistead recommended to his audience a fringe birther movie that claims that President Obama’s real father is American labor activist Frank Marshall Davis, according Mobile Press-Register political editor George Talbot, who was reporting the event on Twitter:
The movie Armistead reportedly recommended, “Dreams From My Real Father,” represents a breakout fringe of the birther movement. The film, according to its director Joel Gilbert, “presents the case that Frank Marshall Davis, a Communist Party USA organizer and propagandist, was Obama's real father, both biological and ideological, and indoctrinated Obama with a political foundation in Marxism and an anti-White world view.”
A trailer for the film cuts to various right-wing bogeymen including Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers and ACORN in between misleadingly edited snippets of speeches by the president and Michelle Obama:
Gilbert’s film has divided the birther movement, since its assertion that Davis is Obama’s real father would seem to be incompatible with the theory that the president was born in Kenya. Jerome Corsi of World Net Daily, apparently untroubled by the contradiction, has embraced the film. Birther leader Orly Taitz, however, claims that by promoting the film, Corsi is “trying to kill the case by making up an American citizen father for Obama.”
Thanks to an aggressive campaign by Gilbert, “Dreams From My Real Father” has had a remarkably wide reach. In September, the New York Post ran a full-page ad for the movie. Yesterday, World Net Daily reported that Gilbert has sent 1 million copies of the film to households in Ohio and plans to send 1 million more out in swing states. Gilbert and Corsi both fault the mainstream media for ignoring their film, which Gilbert claims they’re doing “because they support national health care.”
In a National Press Club appearance this summer, Gilbert expanded on his theory, claiming that Obama and strategist David Axelrod were both “red diaper babies,” born of communist parents to carry on the cause; that Obama is pursuing Davis’s “dreams of a forced imposition of a classic Stalinist-Marxist agenda upon America at home and abroad”; and that Obama worked with ACORN to cause the subprime mortgage crisis as part of a plan to “use minorities and the poor to collapse capitalism.”
“We have to win this election. This is about our country. Our country will not be the same,” Armistead said. “I’m convinced, if Obama wins, our children and grandchildren will not live under the same conditions that we’ve lived in these wonderful years. Obama has a different ideology than we do.”
Armistead suggested that audience members see the movie '2016: Obama’s America,' a documentary by conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza that is critical of the president.
“If you haven’t seen it, you should,” he said. “But I’m going to tell you about another movie. The name of it is ‘Dreams From My Real Father.’ That is absolutely frightening. I’ve seen it. I verified that it is factual, all of it. People can determine.”
"On voting rights in America, the arc of the universe has indeed been long, centuries long, from the three-fifths compromise in the Constitution to the poll tax to the literacy test. But it has always bent toward justice. These new laws seek to bend the arc backward again, to take away from people their effective right to vote."
Last month we reported on a suspicious move by the Alabama Educational Television Commission, which oversees Alabama Public Television, to fire two television managers potentially over a disagreement on airing a series produced by right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton. It appeared that the two managers did not feel comfortable airing Barton’s discredited and partisan “history” material, which was pushed on them by a local Republican official and member of the commission.
Allan Pizatto, who along with fellow manager Pauline Howland was fired by the commission, has now filed a civil suit which “alleges that commissioners violated the state's Open Meetings Act by discussing Pizzato's job performance during a closed executive session.” “The suit also reveals that Pizzato's attorneys have been unable to obtain from the commission's attorneys audio recordings and other related materials from the March and June commission meetings,” Current Public Media reports, “During those meetings, disagreements between Pizzato and commissioners surfaced over religious programming, and commission members imposed a new mission statement for the station.”
According to the lawsuit [pdf], “certain members of the Commission wanted to impose their own personal, political and religious views” on the commission and staff to guide the station’s programming, and at least one commissioner “has publicly expressed support for and aligned himself with a political group with a stated goal of defunding public broadcasting.” The Plaintiff also notes that a mass exodus of staffer and fundraisers followed the firings and that a number of commissioners “made threats against the Plaintiff.”
From the beginning of his tenure as Executive Director of Alabama Public Television in 2000 until his termination, Plaintiff received near universal acclaim for his leadership including, until recent months, from members of the Commission.
Several months ago, it became clear that certain members of the Commission wanted to impose their own personal, political and religious views on other members of the Commission, the programming that aired on Alabama Public Television, the staff, and the direction of the station itself.
Certain members of the Commission have also made threats against Plaintiff.
After the terminations of Plaintiff and Howland, all of the active, non-Commission members of Alabama Educational Television Foundation Authority, a statutorily-created public nonprofit fundraising entity, and five of the seven members of the Alabama Television Foundation Board of Directors, a private entity charged with helping Alabama Public Television raise money, resigned from their respective entities.
The mass resignation of these individuals represented the virtual eradication of the independent business and community leaders who served Alabama Public Television in a fundraising capacity.
At least one of the Commissioners has publicly expressed support for and aligned himself with a political group with a stated goal of defunding public broadcasting. This conflicts with the Commission’s statutory duty of controlling and supervising the use of channels reserved by the Federal Communications Commission to Alabama for noncommercial, educational use.
Alabama’s Roy Moore, the Republican Party’s nominee for Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court who in 2003 was removed from the same post after he refused to move a Ten Commandments monument he installed in the courthouse rotunda, spoke to Steve Deace last week to register his disapproval with the Supreme Court’s rulings on Arizona’s anti-immigrant SB 1070 and the health care reform law.
He maintained that the Court, by striking down parts of SB 1070 while upholding the Affordable Care Act, have given undocumented immigrants more rights than citizens. “I’m curious what would happen if an Arizona policeman arrests an illegal alien going to a health care facility without a green card and find out that they haven’t paid the individual mandate, are they to be detained or released or what?” Moore asked, even though undocumented immigrants are not covered in the law. “Steve, do we have less rights than people that have no right to be here?” he continued.
Later, he warned that “false religions” are taking hold in America and as a result “Christians are being persecuted while people of a religion foreign to our country are doing what they want.” Moore, who earlier warned that secular government leads to Sharia law, appeared to twist Thomas Jefferson’s Bill for Religious Freedom, where Jefferson said that governments throughout history have established and imposed religions forcibly on their people, to attack non-Christian minorities:
Moore: Thomas Jefferson in his Bill for Religious Freedom said that would happen, when men presume to restrict your freedom then they will allow false religions to come into your country and it all began when he said ‘well aware that the opinions and beliefs of man depend not upon their own will but follow involuntarily the evidence proposed to their minds that almighty God hath created the mind free.’ You see he recognized that God gives him that freedom of conscience and when men come in and try to restrict it what happens is false religions come in and that’s what’s happening in our country today. Christians are being persecuted while people of a religion foreign to our country are doing what they want.
Since Barton’s discredited claims about American history have such a following it was no surprise to see that a member of the Alabama Educational Television Commission pressured the state’s educational public television outlet to air one of Barton’s “history” series. And yesterday, the Current Public Media blog reported that Alabama Public Television managers Allan Pizzato and Pauline Howland were fired possibly after refusing a request from commissioner Rodney Herring, a Republican Party official and donor, to broadcast Barton’s program:
The Alabama Educational Television Commission came out of an executive session Tuesday afternoon and ordered veteran pubcaster Allan Pizzato and his deputy Pauline Howland to clean out their desks and leave APT’s headquarters in Birmingham.
Pizzato had served 12 years as executive director of APT, a statewide network governed by a board of seven political appointees.
Howland, deputy director and chief financial officer, described the firings in an interview with Current and said she was "baffled" by the dismissals. But she also recalled how Pizzato had asked staff in April for advice about a series of videos that AETC commissioners wanted APT to air.
The videos featured David Barton, an evangelical minister and conservative activist whose publications and media appearances promote his theories about the religious intentions of America’s founders. He frequently appears on political commentary programs hosted by conservative Glenn Beck.
AETC Commissioner Rodney Herring, an Opelika-based chiropractor, had provided the series to APT for broadcast consideration. Herring joined the commission last year and was elected board secretary in January. As of late Wednesday evening, Herring did not return a voice message from Current.
Kyle Whitmire of the weekly newspaper Weld for Birmingham also reported on the firings and pressure from “members of the commission to air programing produced by David Barton”:
Sources who spoke on condition of anonymity told Weld on Tuesday that APTV executive director Allan Pizzato and chief financial officer Pauline Howland were ordered to clean out their desks and escorted from the building on Tuesday, and the two executives were not allowed to speak to staff or explain the change on the premises. The sources requested anonymity because they are not authorized to make public statements about APTV’s internal affairs.
In recent months, APTV has been pressured by members of the commission to air programing produced by David Barton, a Texas evangelist. Barton’s organization, Wall Builders, has produced a series of videos promoting a religious conservative view of American History. The Wall Builders website explains its purpose is to promote Christian religious values.
The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved the nomination of Maine attorney William Kayatta Jr. to sit on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. Only two committee members voted against allowing Kayatta a vote from the full Senate: Utah’s Mike Lee, who is still protesting all Obama nominees, and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who gave the following reason, according to the Portland Press Herald:
In a statement on his opposition to Kayatta's nomination, Sessions cited Kayatta's role as lead evaluator for the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary during the nomination of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan.
Sessions said Kayatta saw fit to give Kagen the highest rating despite her lack of substantial courtroom and trial experience, as a lawyer or trial judge. Sessions said the rating was "not only unsupported by the record, but, in my opinion, the product of political bias."
Yes, that’s right. Kayatta was involved in the American Bar Association’s nonpartisan rating process, which dared to call the solicitor general and former Harvard Law School dean “well qualified” for the job of Supreme Court Justice.
Sessions, one of the most outspoken opponents of Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination frequently slammed her lack of judicial experience in her confirmation hearings two years ago. He seemed to conveniently forget that the late conservative icon Chief Justice William Rehnquist also came to the High Court without having previously served as a judge – as have over one third of all Justices in U.S. history. The American Bar Association similarly found Rehnquist qualified for the job and called him “one of the best persons available for appointment to the Supreme Court [pdf].
It would be funny if it weren’t so appalling: Sessions’ grudge against Kagan runs so deep that he not only objected to her nomination, he’s objecting to anyone who who’s dared to call her qualified for her job.
Roy Moore was removed from his job as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2003 after he disobeyed a court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument he placed in his court house, but last Tuesday he won the Republican nomination for the position, making it extremely likely that Moore will soon have his old job back. Moore celebrated his victory today with Sandy Rios of the American Family Association, where he urged Congress to impeach Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, among other judges he would like to see removed from office. The Religious Right went off the rails after Ginsberg suggested in an interview that Egypt look to the South African constitution when drafting its new constitution, acknowledging that what works in the US may not work in Egypt, and ignoring her immense praise for the Constitution in the same interview. Rios even suggested that progressives wanted to do away with the Constitution altogether:
He also told Rios that America has always been based on a “biblical standard” and warned that “if you take away that standard then you have same-sex marriages, marriages between two and three people, or whatever.”
Moore: There is no standard without the biblical standard that we’ve lived under for 225 years. If you take away that standard then you have same-sex marriages, marriages between two and three people, or whatever. You don’t have a standard and moral atheists may want to hold on to the past without any basis of doing so, they’ve got to recognize the basis of why they have the right to believe in whatever they want to believe in and that right comes from God, it is not from government. You can go to governments over in Southeast Asia or the Mideast and you find governments that restrict what you believe and what you think and how you worship and that is because that is what governments will do when you don’t have this freedom.
Moore went on to claim that he doesn’t know the faith of President Obama, a committed Christian, adding he thinks the President does “favor the Muslim faith” and is trying “to remove any acknowledgement of a particular God” in America.
Moore: We have people like Barack Obama who do favor the Muslim faith and there is a reason for this. Do I believe he is a Muslim? I don’t know his faith but he certainly doesn’t represent what this nation is founded upon. He is typical of secular humanists in government that try to remove any acknowledgement of a particular God and say they grant religious freedom and that is entirely opposite to what this country is founded upon.
Back in 2003, "Ten Commandments Judge" Roy Moore was removed from his position as chief justice Alabama Supreme Court after refusing to obey a court order to remove a two ton Ten Commandments monument he had installed outside the court house.
But recently, Moore decided that he would like his old job back .... and it looks like the Republican voters in Alabama agreed and have handed him a win in the Republican primary over two other candidates, including the current Chief Justice:
Roy Moore said about 2 a.m. Wednesday that even though he had not been declared the winner of the Republican primary for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court that he expected to win without a runoff.
“Statistically, there is just no way we’re going to have a runoff in this race,” the former chief justice said to reporters just before leaving his election night headquarters.
Moore, the former chief justice who was removed from office refusing a federal judge’s order, said about two hours earlier that, with him well ahead of his two competitors in the Republican primary, “the people have spoken.”
Moore was well ahead of former Alabama Attorney General Charlie Graddick and current Chief Justice Chuck Malone. He needed more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff.
With more than 98 percent of precincts reporting at about 2:15 a.m., Moore was hovering about 4,600 votes ahead of the 50 percent level he needed.
Rick Santorum has demonstrated, yet again, his willingness to associate with people whose views are repugnant to most Americans. This afternoon he appeared on one of the most extreme Religious Right programs in the country – American Family Radio’s Focal Point with Bryan Fischer.
Fischer, the Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, has been accused of crossing the line against “decency and civility” and of using “poisonous language” – by none other than Mitt Romney at the Values Voters Summit, who was trying to cautiously distance himself from Fischer’s repeatedattacks on his Mormon faith while still courting the Religious Right. Later in January, Fischer claimed that a electing a Mormon president would threaten the “spiritual health” of the country.
That brings us to Rick Santorum, who is hoping today’s appearance on American Family Radio will help him reach right-wing voters in Alabama, Mississippi and Kansas – the next states to vote in the GOP primary. He even gave a shout-out to the Deep South at the top of the interview: “We spent yesterday in Mississippi and Kansas and today we’re in Alabama. I’ll tell ya, there’s just nothing friendlier than the Deep South. We’re just enjoying the heck out of it here.”
Santorum knew he would be warmly received, and the interview was nothing short of a lovefest. Fischer gushed that his wife was a Santorum supporter from back when “being a Rick Santorum fan wasn’t cool,” and Santorum responded in kind: “We appreciate all the help and support. We were in your home town there, Tupelo, yesterday, and had a great reception from folks.”
Listening to Fischer and Santorum talk, it was clear that both men have very similar world views. For instance, Santorum told Fischer that President Obama ignores the Constitution and “believes he is more of an emperor than a president.”
Their conversation reminded me of a compliment Fischer gave Santorum just two weeks ago on his show:
This ought to be a tremendous encouragement to all of us that the leading candidate for the GOP nomination sounds like he’s hosting a conservative talk radio program.
Ladies and gentlemen, where do you hear anybody on the campaign trail talk like Rick Santorum talks? He sounds much more like he’s hosting a program on AFR Talk.
On that point, I’m in full agreement with Fischer. Santorum does sound like a Religious Right talk show host, and while that may help him in the GOP Primary, it’s also why he’ll never be president of the United States.
You can watch the full Santorum interview on Focal Point here: