Georgia

Herman Cain, KKK Crackers, and Snuffing The Seed of One Of Your Hoes

Given that some polls are now showing Herman Cain leading the Republican presidential field, do you think that maybe someone in the media might be able to get around to asking him about his role in the 2006 radio ad campaign that the Bush administration called "inappropriate" and the RNC called "racist"? 

Here is a refresher:  Back in 2006, an organization called America's PAC was formed for the purpose of spending $1 million to get Black and Hispanic voters to support Republican candidates with absurdly over-the-top and offensive radio ads:

The group, America's Pac, began running ads last month in more than two dozen congressional districts.The campaign discusses issues ranging from warrantless wiretapping to school choice, but the most inflammatory spots pertain to abortion.

"Black babies are terminated at triple the rate of white babies," a female announcer in one of the ads says, as rain, thunder, and a crying infant are heard in the background. "The Democratic Party supports these abortion laws that are decimating our people, but the individual's right to life is protected in the Republican platform. Democrats say they want our vote.Why don't they want our lives?"

...

Another spot attempts to link Democrats to a white supremacist who served as a Republican in the Louisiana Legislature, David Duke.The ad makes reference to Duke's trip to Syria last year, where he spoke at an anti-war rally.

"I can understand why a Ku Klux Klan cracker like David Duke makes nice with the terrorists,"a male voice in the ad says. "What I want to know is why so many of the Democrat politicians I helped elect are on the same side of the Iraq war as David Duke."

According to the New York Sun, Herman Cain was the spokesperson for the group and personally voiced some of the radio ads:

The group referred calls from The New York Sun to a conservative, African-American talk show host who voiced some of the ads, Herman Cain.

"The main thing that America's Pac is up to is it basically is challenging the thesis or the belief on the part of the Republican Party that they cannot attract the black vote," Mr. Cain said. He said similar advertisements run in 2004 helped boost President Bush's share of the black vote in Ohio to 16%, from 9% in 2000.

"We don't believe that was an accident," Mr. Cain said. The IRS filing indicates that the ads are running this year in 10 battleground states, including Ohio, New Mexico, and Nevada.

Mr. Cain, who once managed the Godfather's Pizza chain and ran unsuccessfully for the Senate from Georgia in 2004, said he was not troubled that Mr. Rooney, who is white, is funding ads using black voices who claim to speak on behalf of the black community."You don't have a lot of black billionaires who would want to fund something like this," he said.

We managed to track down the audio of one of America's PAC's most infamous ads a while back and uploaded it to YouTube:

Is that Cain featured in the ad?  We don't know for sure - it kind of sounds like him, but it is entirely possible that it is not him ... but since nobody seems willing to ask Cain about the ads and his role with the organization, it is impossible to know.

It is known that Cain was a voice and spokesman for the America's PAC ad series, so even if he didn't voice this particular ad, it seems worth asking him which ads he did voice and whether he feels ads about a "Ku Klux Klan cracker" or snuffing the seed of "one of your hoes" are appropriate, especially since even the RNC denounced the ad's "racist or race-baiting in intent."

Tea Party Nation: Real Injustice Is That Troy Davis Wasn’t Executed Sooner

The state of Georgia executed Troy Davis last night for murdering a police officer, despite alarming claims of severe police mismanagement, lack of physical evidence tying Davis to the crime, and the fact that seven of the nine eye-witnesses who testified against Davis later recanted their testimony. But according to Judson Phillips, president of Tea Party Nation, the most troubling aspect of the case was that it took twenty years to execute Davis, who was convicted in 1991. “His cause was taken up by liberal celebrities (a pretty good indicator that the jury got it right) as well as the usual suspects,” Phillips writes in a blog post, adding, “A broken system? Only a far left activist can get paid to make such idiotic statements”:

Last night, Troy Davis was executed in Georgia for the murder of an off duty police officer.

In 1989 Davis shot and killed an off duty police officer, Mark McPhail. He was convicted of capital murder in 1991 and spent the last 20 years on death row. His cause was taken up by liberal celebrities (a pretty good indicator that the jury got it right) as well as the usual suspects.

The left wing went nuts, even to the point of threatening Mark McPhail’s 77 year old mother, requiring her to get police protection. Benjamin Jealous of the NAACP tweeted,” In death, Troy Davis will live on as a reminder of a broken justice system that kills an innocent man while a murderer walks free."

A broken system? Only a far left activist can get paid to make such idiotic statements.



Troy Davis was on death row for twenty years. He was given a trial by a jury of his peers and then had countless opportunities to relitigate his death penalty.

The justice system was not broken.

On second thought, may be it was. For twenty years, he sat on death row while Mark McPhail’s family had to endure all of the appeals. Perhaps the question we should be asking is why does it take twenty years and an untold amount of taxpayer money for justice to be delivered?

'Abortion In The Hood' Campaign Revives 'Black Genocide' Smear

No matter how many times the deceitful claim that abortion providers are systematically targeting the black community for genocide is repudiated, new anti-choice groups can’t seem to stop running more ‘black genocide’ billboard campaigns. In March, a group called Life Always notoriously used images of President Barack Obama and a young black girl in their billboard campaign that abortion is black genocide. Earlier this summer the National Black Pro-Life Coalition put up billboards in Atlanta likening legal abortion to slavery and the Radiance Foundation and Issues4Life placed billboards in Oakland as part of their campaign comparing abortion rights to the genocide in Darfur.

Now, a new group called the Restoration Project is placing billboards in Atlanta with a similar message in their ‘Abortion In The Hood’ campaign.

The Restoration Project was founded and is led by Catherine Davis, who previously was “director of minority outreach” for Georgia Right to Life with a role of “educating Georgians about the holocaustic impact this practice has had on the Black community.” Davis says that the ‘Abortion in the Hood’ billboards are supposed to both spread the ‘black genocide’ message while also shaming pro-choice female and black leaders. Davis told the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow: “If this were alcohol or tobacco, we would have African-Americans marching in the street. But because it's abortion, they are not willing to examine this question, and they're turning a blind eye, and we are asking why that is.”

Her group calls out the Congressional Black Caucus in particular for supporting “abortionists as they prey on Georgia’s black women and target our children”:

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has long told the black community they are “leading our communities and country with passion and commitment” assuring us that they “… continuously strive to be a voice for the voiceless, earning the moniker “the conscience of the Congress” (Emmanuel Cleaver, III, Chairman, Congressional Black Caucus).

Yet, neither the CBC, nor its members from Georgia has examined abortion’s impact on the people they serve. Instead they have turned a blind eye to abortion’s impact by voting for legislation that promotes and supports abortion. They have betrayed their constituents instead giving “voice” to the abortionists as they prey on Georgia’s black women and target our children. They refuse to examine the disproportionate number of abortions on black women. They do not seek explanation for abortion’s depopulation effect on us.

Each is rated 100% by the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), indicating a pro-abortion voting record. Georgia is among the states leading in abortions on black women and our members of the CBC will not question why. They will not discuss the fact that one hundred percent of Georgia’s abortion clinics are in urban areas where blacks reside. We demand they begin to ask why!

Barton: The Free Enterprise System Came Directly Out Of The Bible

As we have noted time and again, David Barton has this absurd tendency to simply assert that major parts of our system of government have been plucked directly out of the Bible while never bothering to provide any explanation or evidence whatsoever.

And he did it again while speaking at First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Georgia where is asserted that the free market system came directly out of five specific Bible passages:

Of course, if you bother to actually look up the verses Barton just rattles off, you might be left scratching your head trying to understand how the entire concept of free markets came from these short passages:

1 Timothy 5:8

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

2 Thessalonians 3:10

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

As for Matthew 20 and 25 and Luke 19, they are parables in which Jesus is talking about Judgment Day and the Kingdom of Heaven. 

In Matthew 25 and Luke 19, the parable is meant to illustrate that every person will be judged by God for how they have used the gifts He has given them while Matthew 20 reveals that all those who accept Christ will receive the same eternal reward. 

In each case, it is clear that the parables Jesus tells are designed to teach about spiritual issues, but Barton blindly asserts that they are about economic issues and that our entire economic system is based upon them.

It is a good thing for Barton that the audiences to which he spreads his pseudo-historical nonsense never seem to take a few minutes to actually research any of his assertions.  Because, if they did, his reputation as America's greatest historian might not survive.

Yet Another Example of David Barton's False History

Last week David Barton bought his patented brand of psuedo-history to the pulpit to the First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Georgia where he unveiled a new "fact" that we had never heard from him before.

While discussing Black history, Barton asserted that Indiana's "Hoosier" nickname derived from itinerant Black preacher Harry Hoosier:

Harry Hoosier was one of the great evangelists in the First Great Awakening ... but we never heard of Harry Hoosier. By the way, look at his last name. Does that last name seem familiar to anybody? Anybody recognize the name "Hoosier" anywhere? I wonder how many people who live in Indiana know that they're named for a Black evangelist. But that's where the name came from because of the impact he had in his preaching all across that part of the country. You got converted, your life became different, you changed your lifestyle, they'd look as say "oh, that's another one of those Hoosiers."

Of course, that is David Barton's version of history.  The Indiana Historical Society has rather different explanation:

It’s safe to conclude the Hoosher and Hoosier nickname adopted by Indiana residents and for them by their nearby neighbors was derived from the dialect term (probably traceable from England) not uncommon among southern immigrants to Indiana and the Ohio Valley several years before [John] Finley arrived and penned his famous poem [The Hoosier’s Nest].

Although the term implied a frontier roughness just beyond the most recently settled and “civilized” regions (which of course were always moving west), its subsequent widespread acceptance in the 1830s and 1840s was definitely good-natured, if not independent-minded, in meaning then and thereafter.

Right-Wing Columnist: Eliminate Public Schools To Stop "Stalinist" LGBT History Law

Writing for the ultraconservative Crisis magazine, Kevin Ryan of Boston University’s Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character is outraged over the recently signed California law that makes sure textbooks cover important LGBT historical figures. Ryan said that the policy has a “distinct Stalinist odor” that will bolster the “gay agenda.” But Ryan has a way to respond to the new textbook law: abolish public schools. “Eliminate state-run public schools,” Ryan writes, “make a transition to one of the many school choice options” like home schooling:

Given the brute fact that the state can and does put parents in the slammer for not delivering up their children for the state approved and directed schooling, this new legislation has about it a distinct Stalinist odor. The odor is particularly strong in the nostrils of those parents who believe such grave matters as how one lives out their sexuality is not the educational province of the state bureaucrats who create the lesson plans for teachers.

It is tempting to dismiss this soon-to-be statewide curriculum as just another in a long line of outrageous and kooky, La-La Land events seemingly designed to keep the rest of us chuckling and mildly finger-wagging. However, the Sunshine State is the 800-pound gorilla of the textbook world and teachers and parents in Montana, Iowa and Georgia will surely be seeing the “gay agenda” in their next textbook adoptions.



Another idea — and one which is receiving a great boost from legislation requiring a gay-friendly curriculum — is to eliminate state-run public schools. That is, make a transition to one of the many school choice options that put parents back in charge of their children’s education.

Increasingly, the very idea of the state answering the core educational question, “what is most worth a child knowing,” is being acknowledged as dangerous and a violation of parents’ right to control the education of their children. Currently in the US the parents of well over one million children are making huge personal and financial sacrifices to homeschool their children, and the movement is growing. While motivations vary, many of these parents have withdrawn their children from the public school because of the very over-sexualized environment this new California legislation will doubtlessly intensify.

It is tempting to take solace in the idea that this latest school victory by gay activists is a step too far and will spark a revolt. However, the public school teachers unions, local, state and national, are very strong and very politically protected. The opposition is underfunded, disorganized and tends to have a short attention span.

On the other hand, if attempts to alter our children’s understanding of their sexuality and what is the correct way for them to live out their sexuality cannot arouse parents to action, what, in God’s name and our nation’s future, will?

Herman Cain Can't Stop Lying About His Ban On Muslim Appointees

Today, TPM reports that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain continues to distance himself from his claim that he wouldn’t allow Muslims to serve in his administration. Cain told TPM he would simply be cautious about appointing a Muslim but does not support an outright ban, which he said during a ThinkProgress interview in March:

"I am not anti-Muslim," he said. "I am anti-terrorist. And so my statement has been misconstrued several times, I've even been called a bigot because I expressed a desire to be cautious if I were to consider a Muslim for my administration. That was the intent of [the answer to ThinkProgress]."



"If you're trying to make me lose my cool, you are almost succeeding," Cain said, his voice rising. "I never said I would use any special precautions!"

OK, then, TPM followed up: "So a Muslim applies to be in the administration, he gets in like anybody else?" "Yes," Cain said.

But Herman Cain told Bryan Fischer the exact opposite in April, stating that he wouldn’t appoint any Muslims to his administration. Now, PolitiFact gave him a “pants on fire” rating for denying that he would refuse to appoint Muslim officials.

Watch:

Cain: I have been upfront, which ruffles some feathers, but remember Bryan, being politically correct is not one of my strong points; I come at it straight from the heart and straight from the way I see it. And the comment that I made the become controversial, and that my staff keeps hoping will die, is that I wouldn't have Muslims in my administration. And it's real simple: the Constitution does not have room for sharia law. I want people who are going to believe and enforce the Constitution of the United States of America. And so I don't have time, as President of the United States, to try and screen people based upon their religious beliefs - I really don't care what your religious beliefs are, but I do know that most of the people of the Muslim faith, they believe in sharia law. And to introduce that element as part of an administration when we have all of these other issues, I think I have a right to say that I won't.

Herman Cain's Pants Are On Fire

So long as Herman Cain continues to lie about his pledge to ban Muslims from serving in his administration, we are going to continue writing posts about how Herman Cain continues to lie about his pledge to ban Muslims from serving in his administration.

Cain has recently started claiming that he merely said he's be "uncomfortable" with having a Muslim serve in his administration, not that they would be banned outright and that has apparently become his latest stock response, as he used it on CBS and again to Glenn Beck, telling Beck that he would hire Muslims, provided they could pass some sort of loyalty oath:

BECK: You said you would not appoint a Muslim to anybody in your administration.

CAIN: The exact language was when I was asked, “would you be comfortable with a Muslim in your cabinet?” And I said, “no, I would not be comfortable.” I didn’t say I wouldn’t appoint one because if they can prove to me that they’re putting the Constitution of the United States first then they would be a candidate just like everybody else. My entire career, I’ve hired good people, great people, regardless of their religious orientation.

BECK: So wait a minute. Are you saying that Muslims have to prove their, that there has to be some loyalty proof?

CAIN: Yes, to the Constitution of the United States of America.

BECK: Would you do that to a Catholic or would you do that to a Mormon?

CAIN: Nope, I wouldn’t. Because there is a greater dangerous part of the Muslim faith than there is in these other religions. I know that there are some Muslims who talk about, “but we are a peaceful religion.” And I’m sure that there are some peace-loving Muslims.

But Cain keeps intentionally ignoring the statement he made to Bryan Fischer where he explicitly stated that he wouldn't hire Muslims because most Muslims believe in sharia and he, as President, doesn't have the time to "screen people based on their religious beliefs":

I have been upfront, which ruffles some feathers, but remember Bryan, being politically correct is not one of my strong points; I come at it straight from the heart and straight from the way I see it. And the comment that I made the become controversial, and that my staff keeps hoping will die, is that I wouldn't have Muslims in my administration. And it's real simple: the Constitution does not have room for sharia law. I want people who are going to believe and enforce the Constitution of the United States of America. And so I don't have time, as President of the United States, to try and screen people based upon their religious beliefs - I really don't care what your religious beliefs are, but I do know that most of the people of the Muslim faith, they believe in sharia law. And to introduce that element as part of an administration when we have all of these other issues, I think I have a right to say that I won't.

Cain clearly told Fischer that he doesn't have time to sort through a Muslim's religious beliefs and figure out if they support the Constitution, so he was just going to have a blanket ban on hiring them.

But he is now telling Beck that he would be willing to hire Muslims, provided that "they can prove to me that they’re putting the Constitution of the United States first" ... which is exactly the sort of screening based on religious beliefs that Cain told Fischer he didn't have time to undertake!

There is a reason that PoliFact declared that Cain's pants are on fire in claiming that he never said he wouldn't hire Muslims to serve in his administration.  And yet he continues to lie about it.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • As we have been saying all along, Herman Cain's pants are on fire.
  • Speaking of Cain, if he doesn't become president, some would like to see him run for governor in Georgia.
  • Is a spat brewing between the Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin camps?  Let's hope so.
  • The Fairness Doctrine is dead ... but I don't expect that will stop the Religious Right's fear-mongering.
  • Harry Jackson has launched some new group ... to do something.
  • Finally, Focus on the Family claims its ultrasound program has stopped 100,000 abortions.

WND: Conservatives Losing Marriage Debate Because They Weren't Anti-Gay Enough

Only a writer for the ultraconservative WorldNetDaily would believe that the Religious Right is too soft on the issue of gay rights.

WND’s Josh Craddock of the Institute for Cultural Communicators claims that the reason more Americans support marriage equality is because social conservatives haven’t fought gay rights or attacked the LGBT community enough. Responding to Focus on the Family president Jim Daly’s recent claim that the Right Wing “probably lost” the debate over equal marriage rights, Craddock alleges that organizations like Focus on the Family simply didn’t fight gay rights hard enough.

He points to the case of the campaign for Colorado’s Amendment 2, the unconstitutional law that barred anti-discrimination ordinances from covering gays and lesbians, protections that anti-gay activists said granted “special rights” and ceded too much ground to the gay-rights movement. Craddock argues that Religious Right activists should have more vigorously and forcefully opposed the decriminalization of homosexuality and letting anyone who was gay or sympathizes with gay rights from serving in public office:

Rewind to 1992's Colorado campaign on Amendment 2, designed to ban homosexuals from receiving special rights based on their sexual orientation. It was then that Dr. James Dobson and the vice president of public policy for Focus on the Family, Tom Minnery, adopted the unwise but politically opportunistic pro-Amendment 2 campaign slogan "Equal rights, not special rights." If homosexuals are entitled to "equal rights," then why should homosexual couples be prohibited from marrying? Focus on the Family lost the gay-marriage debate in 1992 when they broke with 3,500 years of Judeo-Christian history and sided with Hillary, Hollywood and the humanists by legitimizing homosexual behavior.

Incidentally, that victory was short-lived. It was overturned in Romer v. Evans (1996) with the help of a prominent Washington, D.C., lawyer who specialized in oral arguments before the Supreme Court. Less than a decade later, Dr. Dobson actually supported that attorney's bid to become the nation's next chief justice. In 2005, John Roberts was confirmed to the Supreme Court.

Most recently, Focus on the Family announced that they wouldn't oppose a homosexual nominated to the Supreme Court over sexual orientation. A spokesperson for the organization commented in 2009 that the nominee's sexual orientation "should never come up" because "it's not even pertinent to the equation." Not even relevant to know if an individual appointed for life to the highest court in the nation has a traditional view of the family, or is a self-avowed homosexual? Where did that come from? Certainly America's Founding Fathers would be shocked, since they followed lock-step with Christian Western tradition that criminalized homosexuality.

Today's conservative Christian leaders believe what was scandalous just 30 years ago: that homosexuality should be legal. Back in the Dark Ages, way back in 1986 when the Supreme Court upheld Georgia's anti-sodomy law, Christian leaders actually believed that homosexual behavior should be criminal. Their beliefs have changed rather quickly with the culture, preferring to garner social acceptance through a moral fluidity that reminds me of Groucho Marx's quip: "If you don't like my principles, I have others."

Despite victories for traditional marriage in states across the Union, social conservatives are losing because they've missed the heart of the issue. Same-sex marriage is a diversion. The real battle is over the morality of homosexuality itself.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 5/17/11

Michele Bachmann

2012: More likely to run for president following Mike Huckabee's decision against running (CBS News, 5/16). 

Constitution: High school student challenges her to a debate on the Constitution as a result of her record of making incorrect statements (Minnesota Independent, 5/13). 

Herman Cain

Georgia: Wins praise for speech at Georgia GOP convention (Southern Political Report, 5/16). 

Florida: Tops field in Fort Lauderdale Tea Party straw poll (Sunshine State News, 5/16). 

Mitch Daniels

Reproductive Rights: Signs law defunding Planned Parenthood that costs thousands their health care, state millions of dollars (The Faster Times, 5/16).

2012: Members of Indiana Republican Party encourage Daniels to run during state convention (AP, 5/13).

Religious Right: Anti-choice activists upset Daniels weighed Condoleezza Rice as a running mate because she is pro-choice (Life News, 5/13). 

GOP: Reports say that Governors Haley Barbour, Chris Christie and Scott Walker would endorse Daniels (CBS News, 5/12). 

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Denies advisers' links to Dominionist theology (RWW, 5/16).

Medicare: Describes Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare as "right wing social engineering" but previously said he would've voted for it (Think Progress, 5/16). 

Health Care: Makes inconsistent remarks over his past support for health care insurance mandates (Politico, 5/16). 

Iowa: Will make swing through Iowa this week following official announcement (Dubuque Telegraph Herald, 5/15). 

Jon Huntsman

Religious Right: Set to address Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition (RWW, 5/16).

South Carolina: Huckabee's former state campaign chair announces his support for Huntsman (Politico, 5/16). 

Florida: Meets with key donors in Florida (St. Petersburg Times, 5/11). 

Roy Moore

Religious Right: Claims President Obama is "pushing his own immoral values without regard to what the people think or believe" (WND, 5/16). 

Campaign: Launches website for exploratory committee (RoyMoore2012.com).

Sarah Palin

PAC: Embarks on new direct mail campaign with focus on 2012 election (WaPo, 5/16). 

2012: Supporters hope that Huckabee's announcement will create an opening for Palin (Commentary, 5/16). 

Tim Pawlenty

South Carolina: Hires political director for South Carolina primary (The Hill, 5/17). 

Environment: Continues to apologize for past support of ‘cap and trade’ system (Minnesota Post, 5/17).

Mitt Romney

Fundraising: Raises over $10 million on Monday call-day in Las Vegas (WaPo, 5/17). 

Health Care: Defends state health plan that is analogous to federal health care law (NYT, 5/13). 

Rick Santorum

Medicare: Criticizes Gingrich for attacking Paul Ryan’s Medicare privatization proposal (The Hill, 5/16). 

Health Care: Knocks Romney for defending his Massachusetts health care law (The State Column, 5/13).

Right Wing Leftovers

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 4/12/11

Michele Bachmann

Iowa: Slams marriage equality in speech to The Family Leader (Politico, 4/11).

Religious Right: Wins straw poll at Liberty University's The Awakening 2011 (Freedom Federation, 4/11). 

Budget: Refuses to endorse budget compromise (NPR, 4/11). 

Haley Barbour

Background: Experience as a lobbyist may make problems for campaign (AP, 4/12).

New Hampshire: Traveling to Republican events in New Hampshire this week (Boston Globe, 4/11).

Herman Cain

South Carolina: Talks about the "ultimate destruction of the IRS" at Furman University (CSBT, 4/9). 

Background: Discusses the role faith plays in his presidential ambitions (Christian Post, 4/8). 

Newt Gingrich

Georgia: Slated to address Georgia GOP convention (The State Column, 4/11).

Religious Right: Speaks to conservative leaders at Liberty University (Lynchburg News & Advance, 4/8). 

Minnesota: To deliver keynote address to anti-gay Minnesota group along with Bachmann (RWW, 4/11). 

Mike Huckabee

Reproductive Rights: Endorses Janet Porter's "Hearbeat Bill" (RWW, 4/11). 

Religious Right: Faces increasing scrutiny over ties to pseudo-historian David Barton (RWW, 4/7).

Jon Huntsman

Utah: Receives support of just fourteen percent of Republicans in home state of Utah (AP, 4/10). 

South Carolina: Selected to deliver commencement address to University of South Carolina (The Hill, 4/8). 

Sarah Palin

Birther: Lauds Donald Trump's "investigation" of Obama's birth certificate (Mediaite, 4/9). 

Poll: Popularity continues to plunge, even among Republicans (WaPo, 4/8). 

Tim Pawlenty

Campaign: Picks former head of the Republican Governors Association as campaign manager (Star Tribune, 4/11). 

Iowa: Campaign aide arrested for breaking into home while drunk (Des Moines Register, 4/8). 

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Marks fifth anniversary of Massachusetts health care reform law (RCP, 4/12). 

2012: Makes video announcement of exploratory committee (LA Times, 4/11). 

Rick Santorum

New Hampshire: Commits to June 7 presidential debate in New Hampshire (The Hill, 4/11). 

South Carolina: Wins straw poll in GOP-heavy Greenville County (Greenville Online, 4/10). 

Health Care: Says health care reform makes one "less than what God created you to be" (RWW, 4/8). 

Donald Trump

Religious Right: Speaks about faith to David Brody of CBN News (CBN News, 4/11). 

Media: Lashes out at Vanity Fair and the New York Times (Vanity Fair, 4/11).

GOP Congressmen Line-Up To Attend Ralph Reed's Conference

Leading Republicans have signed up to address the conference led by disgraced Religious Right activist Ralph Reed this summer in Washington. Following commitments by potential presidential candidates Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), numerous Republican congressmen are now confirmed to speak to Reed’s 2011 Conference and Strategy Briefing.

Reed, who also plans to speak alongside presidential candidate Herman Cain and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in Florida next week, has just announced a new list of speakers: Rep. Allen West (R-FL); Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO); Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX); Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL); Rep. Tom Price (R-GA); Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX); Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA); Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), and Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC).

The freshmen Congressmen slated to speak are strongly tied to the Religious Right: West’s anti-gay and anti-Muslim rhetoric has made him a darling of leaders like Pat Robertson; Hartzler has consistently fought against gay rights in both Congress and Missouri, and even wrote a book about tips for Religious Right activists running for office; Webster is a Christian Reconstructionist and close to David Barton and Phyllis Schlafly, and Mulvaney was a legislative leader of the far-right Palmetto Family Council.

Personhood Law Would Ban Treatment of Life-Threatening Pregnancies

As personhood legislation sprouts up in states like Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Iowa, the radical anti-choice group Personhood USA also hopes to introduce their extreme (and unconstitutional) legislation in North Dakota. Personhood bills criminalize abortion and certain forms of birth control by granting legal rights to zygotes, declaring it a separate ‘person’ from the mother. Many doctors believe that such legislation would ban in vitro fertilization and prohibit doctors from giving medical assistance to women with serious pregnancy complications like ectopic pregnancies. The AP reports on North Dakota doctors speaking out against the radical legislation in their state:

Doctors told the North Dakota Senate's Judiciary Committee that it could affect couples using in vitro fertilization to try to have a baby as well as women who have complications in early pregnancy that will prevent an embryo from developing into a viable baby. Such complications include an ectopic pregnancy, which happens when a fertilized egg begins growing outside the uterus. The doctors who testified said they did not perform abortions.



Although the measure exempts in vitro fertilization from criminal penalties, it includes language saying that "causing injury to a human being" is not justified.

Dr. Stephanie Dahl, a Fargo infertility specialist who works at North Dakota's only in vitro fertilization center, said the bill would make it illegal to do the procedure.

"The process of IVF may result in injury to an embryo," Dahl said. "It is unavoidable."

Dr. Shari Orser, a Bismarck obstetrician and gynecologist, told the committee that most eggs that are fertilized for in vitro fertilization never become viable embryos "and only a small percentage of embryos thought to be viable produce a child."

"To suggest that every embryo is a person is absurd," Orser said.

Orser said the law also would complicate the treatment of ectopic pregnancies. Without treatment, a tubal pregnancy can result in serious internal bleeding and death, she said.

Other conditions can result in a fetus developing without kidneys, lungs or a brain, Orser said.

"These diagnoses are often made in the first half of these pregnancies," Orser said. "Should a woman be forced to continue the pregnancy when she knows that her baby will die, or can she be spared the emotional distress and the risks of carrying a pregnancy to term?"

Porter: My Heartbeat Bill Is Not Unconstitutional, Roe v Wade Is!

Yesterday we mentioned that Janet Porter had brought two fetuses to "testify" before an Ohio committee on behalf of her "Heartbeat Bill," and last night Alan Colmes had Porter on his radio program to give her a chance to explain just what she hoped to accomplish with this stunt.

Colmes tried to get Porter to admit that her goal is, ultimately, to outlaw abortion entirely but she kept dancing around the issue, insisting instead that she is really just embracing science and technology and that it is not her legislation that is unconstitutional, but rather Roe v. Wade that is unconstitutional.  She also reported that legislators in Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arizona are "lining up" to introduce their own versions of her "Heartbeat Bill."

Oh, and a big "thank you" to Alan for the shout out to RightWingWatch - we love him too:

Right Wing Round-Up

Iowa Personhood Bill Could Legalize the Murder of Abortion Providers

After the failed attempt in South Dakota to push a bill that would legalize the killing of abortion providers, Iowa is now set to take up legislation with a similar effect. The Iowa State House is weighing both a Personhood bill, which gives legal rights to zygotes by classifying them as separate “persons,” and a bill that expands the right to use deadly force to protect a third party. The Personhood legislation attempts to criminalize abortion and common forms of birth control and has already been approved by a State House subcommittee; Personhood Amendments are also under consideration in Mississippi, North Dakota, and Georgia. Essentially, by declaring that a zygote and a fetus have all of the same legal rights as a “person” while also broadening the legal protections regarding the reasonable use of deadly force, abortion providers could be legally targeted with the rationale of protecting a third party.

Lynda Waddington of The Iowa Independent reports:

Currently, abortion is also settled law in Iowa. But House File 153, sponsored by 28 Republicans, challenges it. Under that bill, the state would be mandated to recognize and protect “life” from the moment of conception until “natural death” with the full force of the law and state and federal constitutions. Essentially, the bill declares that from the moment a male sperm and a female ovum join to create a fertilized egg that a person exists.

House File 7, which has been sponsored by 29 GOP House members, seeks to expand state law regarding use of reasonable force, including deadly force. Current state laws provide that citizens are not required to retreat from their dwelling or place of business if they or a third party are threatened. The proposal would significantly expand this to state that citizens are not required to retreat from “any place at which the person has a right to be present,” and that in such instances, the citizen has the right to use reasonable force, including deadly force, to protect himself or a third party from serious injury or death or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.



Todd Miler, a criminal defense attorney in Des Moines, agrees that these two bills, when combined, create a situation that could lead to someone claiming the killing of an abortion provider or a family planning worker was reasonable use of deadly force.

“My first thought when I looked at House File 153 was that it was a first step — something that had been put out there as a first step toward a larger political goal. But, when you place it next to House File 7 the potential ramifications are startling,” Miler said.

“[House File 7] explicitly provides that people have a right to defend themselves or others at any place they are legally allowed to be. That would definitely include sidewalks or streets outside of clinics. They could attempt to kill a physician or a clinic worker, and if they did so while believing they were protecting another person, which would be defined under House File 153 as a fetus, then, under this law, they would have the right to do that.”

Iowa Personhood Bill Could Legalize the Murder of Abortion Providers

After the failed attempt in South Dakota to push a bill that would legalize the killing of abortion providers, Iowa is now set to take up legislation with a similar effect. The Iowa State House is weighing both a Personhood bill, which gives legal rights to zygotes by classifying them as separate “persons,” and a bill that expands the right to use deadly force to protect a third party. The Personhood legislation attempts to criminalize abortion and common forms of birth control and has already been approved by a State House subcommittee; Personhood Amendments are also under consideration in Mississippi, North Dakota, and Georgia. Essentially, by declaring that a zygote and a fetus have all of the same legal rights as a “person” while also broadening the legal protections regarding the reasonable use of deadly force, abortion providers could be legally targeted with the rationale of protecting a third party.

Lynda Waddington of The Iowa Independent reports:

Currently, abortion is also settled law in Iowa. But House File 153, sponsored by 28 Republicans, challenges it. Under that bill, the state would be mandated to recognize and protect “life” from the moment of conception until “natural death” with the full force of the law and state and federal constitutions. Essentially, the bill declares that from the moment a male sperm and a female ovum join to create a fertilized egg that a person exists.

House File 7, which has been sponsored by 29 GOP House members, seeks to expand state law regarding use of reasonable force, including deadly force. Current state laws provide that citizens are not required to retreat from their dwelling or place of business if they or a third party are threatened. The proposal would significantly expand this to state that citizens are not required to retreat from “any place at which the person has a right to be present,” and that in such instances, the citizen has the right to use reasonable force, including deadly force, to protect himself or a third party from serious injury or death or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.



Todd Miler, a criminal defense attorney in Des Moines, agrees that these two bills, when combined, create a situation that could lead to someone claiming the killing of an abortion provider or a family planning worker was reasonable use of deadly force.

“My first thought when I looked at House File 153 was that it was a first step — something that had been put out there as a first step toward a larger political goal. But, when you place it next to House File 7 the potential ramifications are startling,” Miler said.

“[House File 7] explicitly provides that people have a right to defend themselves or others at any place they are legally allowed to be. That would definitely include sidewalks or streets outside of clinics. They could attempt to kill a physician or a clinic worker, and if they did so while believing they were protecting another person, which would be defined under House File 153 as a fetus, then, under this law, they would have the right to do that.”
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