Fighting the Right

Jerry Boykin Hopes Values Voter Summit Will Help Win Conservative Christians To Trump

Jerry Boykin, the executive vice president of the Family Research Council, which is hosting this weekend’s Values Voter Summit, said today that he hopes the event will end with conservative Christians becoming comfortable with voting for Donald Trump.

Boykin, who recently endorsed Trump, told Breitbart News this morning that “we’re going to see a lot more people become comfortable with the Trump-Pence ticket” over the weekend and that greater support for Trump is “what I’m hoping we’ll come away with.” He specifically praised Trump’s hire of Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon, who has made the outlet a platform for the racist alt-right movement, saying that Bannon “has been a great influence on Trump.”

What I think we’re going to see this weekend, we’re going to see a lot more people become comfortable with the Trump-Pence ticket. If you notice what Donald Trump has been doing recently, he has stayed on message, he has really, I think, followed a lot of good advice from the people around him, you know, one of which is your president, Steve Bannon, and I think Steve has been a great influence on Trump.

So I think we’re going to have a lot of people here that are coming in still questioning whether they’re going to support Trump and I think it’s going to be an opportunity for them to be convinced that the guy will make a much better president than Hillary and there just are no perfect candidates. So that’s what I’m hoping we’ll come away with.

Boykin also previewed a panel discussion he will be hosting on “jihad in America,” which he said will inform the audience that the U.S. government should be working with Muslims who don’t “want to be involved in jihad” but that the only people we reach out to as a nation are the very entities of the Muslim Brotherhood that want to destroy America, and we basically ignore the rest of the Muslim population.

Sen. Tim Scott Says His Small Business Experience Makes Him Uniquely Qualified To Legislate On Abortion

Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina kicked off the annual Values Voter Summit today by explaining how his experience as a small business owner makes him uniquely qualified to legislate on the issue of reproductive choice.

Too many people in Washington, he said, have never had a "real" job and so, unlike him, they have never had to deal with an employee coming to them and revealing that she is pregnant. But that once happened to Scott and so he took his employee to a crisis pregnancy center (which are often Christian organizations designed to mislead women away from seeking abortions), which helped his employee to "make the choice of life."

And so, Scott proclaimed, "as an elected official, when I have the responsibility and the opportunity, the privilege to protect life, I do so having been in the private sector, realizing the importance that we should place on life and the choice of life."

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/8/16

  • Brad Reed @ Raw Story: Top Trump adviser: Bill Clinton’s embrace of gays in the military paved the way for 9/11. 
  • Bill Morlin @ SPLC: Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly Leaves A Legacy Tied to Conspiracy Theories.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/8/16

  • Donald Trump Jr. cites Alex Jones’ outlet to claim Hillary Clinton cheated during last night’s presidential forum. 
  • Robert Jeffress says it’s unfair to describe Donald Trump as “a xenophobe” and “a racist.”
  • Sandy Rios laments that Hillary Clinton has “a tremendous advantage” in the upcoming election “because of this influx of immigrants from Third World countries who were accustomed to socialism—who came to our shores and got lots of benefits, and the Democratic Party made sure they knew where those benefits came from.”
  • Linda Harvey wants parents to withdraw their children from “these gross” sex-ed classes or “or remove kids from public schools altogether.”

Roger Stone Floats Possibility Of Executing Bill Clinton For Treason

Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone returned to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ radio program yesterday, this time floating the possibility of executing Bill Clinton for treason.

Jones started the conversation on the Clintons by calling Hillary Clinton “a whore, politically,” alleging that she tried to raise campaign money from foreign leaders. (Incidentally, the only candidate doing that is Trump.)

Stone, for his part, brought up the unsubstantiated claim that Bill Clinton traded “missile technology secrets to the Chinese in return for Chinese funny money, Chinese campaign contributions that were laundered.”

“That’s treason,” he said. “The statutes for treason have no statute of limitations and the penalty for conviction for treason is execution or incarceration, so it’s all back on the table.”

In the past, Stone has said that Hillary Clinton should be “executed for murder” and that Bernie Sanders “should be arrested for treason and shot.”

Anti-Choice Activists With Extremist Ties Given Top Billing At Values Voter Summit

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is scheduled to address the Values Voter Summit, an annual Washington, D.C., event hosted by the Family Research Council, tomorrow. In doing so, he’ll be sharing the stage not only with extreme anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim activists, but also with activists who are rooted in the radical fringes of the anti-abortion movement.

Trump will address the summit soon after David and Jason Benham take the stage. The Benhams are twin brothers who became Religious Right megastars in 2014 after HGTV cancelled a show they were set to star in following Right Wing Watch’s revelations about their extreme anti-gay, anti-choice activism.

The Benhams’ status as martyrs within the Religious Right has too often obscured the true radicalism of their activism.

The brothers’ activism is rooted in the work of their father, Flip Benham, a North Carolina preacher who took over the anti-abortion protest group Operation Rescue after the infamous Summer of Mercy, in which anti-abortion activists spent weeks laying siege to Wichita, Kansas, in 1991. Benham later changed the name of his group to Operation Save America and expanded its work to include anti-gay and anti-Muslim activism. (The group is now led by Rusty Thomas, although Benham remains involved.)

David and Jason Benham worked closely with their father and Operation Save America but also became activists in their own right. Leading one protest outside a Charlotte abortion clinic in 2013, David Benham told protesters they were standing against the “gates of hell” and the “altars of Moloch.” He has also called abortion “child sacrifice.” David and his wife lead and fund a Charlotte-based group called Cities4Life that leads sidewalk protests outside of abortion clinics and distributes “abortion pill reversal kits.” On its website, the group compares legal abortion to the Holocaust and explains why it uses graphic signs in its protests:

Women are rarely told the truth about abortion. Without the truth, Satan is free to rob, kill, and destroy. It is urgent for these women to know the truth about this hidden evil, done in secret. We must lay bare the demonic lie that an unborn baby is not a human life. When we shine the light of truth about this “legal” procedure, it wakes up the sleeper and moves them to action.

The Benhams continue to associate with the fringes of the anti-abortion movement that their father represents. This spring, for instance, it was announced that they would appear in a movie directed by Patrick Johnston, an Ohio “personhood” activist. In 2008, the Colorado Independent revealed that Johnston had ties to militia groups and once wrote a troubling essay on the website of the violent anti-abortion network Army of God attacking a pastor for criticizing Paul Hill’s murder of abortion clinic doctor John Britton and his bodyguard.

Also speaking at the Values Voter Summit will be David Daleiden, the young activist who’s undercover “sting” videos of Planned Parenthood took the anti-choice movement by storm last year.

Like the Benhams, Daleiden’s work is rooted in the fringe world of the anti-abortion “rescue” movement. Troy Newman, who runs the group now called Operation Rescue—which has been in a years-long feud with Flip Benham’s Operation Save America over its name—helped Daleiden to get his project off the ground. Newman, who moved his group to Wichita in 2002 in order to go after Dr. George Tiller, who was later assassinated, has written that the U.S. government has “abrogated its responsibility” to execute abortion providers and argued that a man who murdered an abortion provider should have been allowed to argue that the homicide was justifiable. Newman’s second-in-command at Operation Rescue is Cheryl Sullenger, who has spent time in jail for conspiring to bomb an abortion clinic.

The Benhams and Daleiden have both been embraced by the “mainstream” Religious Right despite their roots in the radical fringes of the anti-choice movement. And now all three are speaking alongside the Republican Party’s presidential candidate.

Glenn Beck's Audience Will Guide America Through The 'Birth Pangs' Of This Election

Glenn Beck kicked off his radio program today by literally using the lyrics from the A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera song "Say Something" to explain the state of America heading into the election.

Americans, Beck lamented, are ruthlessly attacking one another because nobody is willing to listen to what the other side has to say and, as a result, don't know how to communicate effectively any more about our shared values and desires. 

Eventually, Beck compared the election to "birth pangs," saying that it is up to his audience to maintain their cool through the process so that they can bring the nation back together once the election is over.

"What we're going through right now is birth pangs," Beck said. "In 60 days, we give birth to something and we're in the room right now and this is the time where your wife is like, 'Get your hands off me, I'm never going to let you touch me again!' and screaming at you and saying all kinds of things that you know she doesn't mean. She's going to be fine the moment the pain stops. The moment she gives birth, that's all going to be over."

"These are birth pangs," he continued. "We need to be ones in the room that just looks and smiles and says, 'Uh huh, I know, breath, honey, breath.'"

Lashing out at a woman in labor "would cause massive problems," Beck explained, which is why his audience must be the voice of comfort and reason during this time so as not to cause permanent division.

"We need to understand we're giving birth to something new, to an entirely new life" he said. "And whether that life turns out to be good or Damien, we don't know. But as parents that gave that life its start, we better be one."

Donald Trump To Convene With Ex-Gays, Self-Styled Knights & The John Birch Society

Donald Trump is set to appear Friday at the Values Voter Summit, a Washington, D.C., conference organized by the Family Research Council that brings together what we’ve called “some of the country’s most extreme opponents of LGBT rights, vocal conspiracy theorists and outspoken critics of the separation of church and state.”

Several of the summit’s organizers and speakers are so radical that they have even backed laws criminalizing homosexuality.

But pandering to extremists is nothing new for Trump. And he himself has found political success by promoting many of the Religious Right’s fears about supposed anti-Christian persecution in America and a pro-Muslim bias within the Obama administration.

Trump will be joining some of the country’s most hateful groups at the Values Voter Summit. Here are just 10 of the convening’s sponsors and exhibitors:

1) Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX)

PFOX is dedicated to promoting ex-gay conversion therapy and “educating society on the facts about sexual orientation in order to eliminate negative perceptions and discrimination against ex-gays and those trying to overcome same-sex attraction.”

The group’s materials have described coming out as “a kind of murder of the family” and railed against “homofascism.” One of the group’s top officials, Greg Quinlan, has claimed that President Obama and Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy and Elena Kagan are all secretly gay and has accused gay people of “sexual cannibalism.” Quinlan even blamed suicides among gay youth on gay “recruitment”: “We’re making martyrs out of kids that we’re recruiting to behave as homosexuals when no one is born that way, and that’s the problem and that’s the issue.”

PFOX also has ties to the FRC, the summit’s chief sponsor: FRC senior fellow Peter Sprigg is a PFOX board member and the FRC has promoted PFOX’s events.

FRC President Tony Perkins, who has defended PFOX’s work giving “options” to children “struggling” with homosexuality, successfully lobbied the Republican National Committee to adopt a resolution opposing laws that seek to curb the use of ex-gay therapy on minors as part of its 2016 party platform.

2) The John Birch Society

Since its founding, the John Birch Society has been a racist clearinghouse of far-right conspiracy theories.

JBS has accused Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy, Civil Rights Movement leaders and advocates of water fluoridation of advancing a communist plot…a plot that goes all the way back to the founding of the Illuminati. More recently, the group linked the Sandy Hook massacre to “the assault on white men” that includes everything “from ‘affirmative action’ to massive Third World immigration,” and attacked the GOP for turning into the “Gay Old Party.”

Jeet Heer of The New Republic writes that the Birchers’ conspiratorial nature helped set the stage for Trump’s nomination: “Far from belonging merely to the lunatic fringe, the Birchers were important precursors to what is now the governing ideology of the Republican Party: Trumpism. Bircherism is now, with Trump, flourishing in an entirely new way. Far from being drummed out of conservatism, it has become the dominant strain.”

3) Americans For Truth About Homosexuality

A former Family Research Council official, Peter LaBarbera founded Americans For Truth About Homosexuality in order to apply “single-minded determination to opposing the radical homosexual agenda” or, as he sometimes calls it, “the hydra-headed monster of the Homosexual/Transsexual Lobby.”

LaBarbera, an outspoken defender of laws criminalizing homosexuality and banning pro-gay speech , has warned about the threat of what he calls “Gayria law” and “homofascism,” calling for “civil disobedience on a massive scale” to prevent same-sex couples from marrying.

He has said that the people really being persecuted today are anti-gay activists,comparing himself and others to Jews living in Nazi Germany. He has claimed that anti-LGBT activists like himself can’t help but follow their “natural inhibition against homosexual behavior,” while gay rights advocates use “ political terrorism” to advance “like an insatiable, devouring monster” while promoting “Satan’s plan.”

LaBarbera has lamented that anti-gay violence is no longer “normal,” called pedophilia “a subset of the larger deviance of homosexuality,” said that he’d “love to see” a group organize a class action lawsuit against homosexuality and found it “reassuring” that the gay community is affected by STIs and violence.

In LaBarbera’s ideal America, the government would imprison doctors who perform sex reassignment surgery for transgender people, close the door to refugees who are gay, launch a campaign against “homosexual behavior” just as it did against tobacco products and “re-stigmatize” homosexuality.

4) Family Watch International

With a global focus, Family Watch International has promoted ex-gay therapy and laws criminalizing homosexuality overseas.

One of the most glaring examples of its activism is in Nigeria, where the group’s leadership pushed the country’s lawmakers to adopt a law that “punishes those who enter into a same-sex marriage with up to 14 years in prison” and “prohibits anyone from officiating a gay union, bans same-sex ‘amorous relationships’ and membership in an LGBT advocacy group.” The law has led to dozens of arrests.

The group has been particularly active in promoting ex-gay pseudo-science and opposing United Nations resolutions calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality. For a time, FWI even worked withMartin Ssempa, an extreme anti-gay activist in Uganda, and praised Iran as “one of the strongest nations in standing up for family values at the UN.”

5) Liberty Counsel

Liberty Counsel is a conservative legal advocacy firm with close ties to Liberty University, the school founded by Jerry Falwell. The group recently gained national attention for its work representing Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and Alabama state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who defied federal courts by attempting to obstruct the recognition of marriage equality in his state.

Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver has called for mass disobedience against the Supreme Court’s landmark decision striking down bans on same-sex marriage, warning that the ruling will lead to revolution and civil war. Staver, as we’ve reported, has also “predicted that President Obama will impose ‘ forced homosexuality’ upon the nation, regularly likened gay people to terrorists, labeled the gay rights movement as ‘demonic’ and defended countries that outlaw same-sex relationships. Gay equality, Staver warns, will lead to the end of civilization and cause America to ‘implode’ and ‘unravel.’”

Anita Staver, Staver’s wife and the president of Liberty Counsel, recently said that she would take her gun into restrooms in reaction to Target’s decision to let transgender customers use the restroom that matches their gender identity, although she was unable to connect the store’s policy to any criminal acts.

6) Thomas More Law Center

The conservative legal group the Thomas More Law Center, as we’ve noted, is “best known for its unsuccessful lawsuit against Planned Parenthood and the Shepard-Byrd hate crimes law as well as its botched defense of a Pennsylvania’s school’s Intelligent Design curriculum.”

While the group wrongly predicted that the 2009 Hate Crimes Act would “criminalize the Bible,” that didn’t stop it from similarly insisting that marriage equality would lead to the end of “intellectual liberty.” The Thomas More Law Center has also warned that Arabic lessons in school will train kids to become terrorists and claimed that Islam is not a religion but a “Trojan Horse” seeking “to destroy America.”

7) American Family Association

The American Family Association has truly earned its designation as a hate group.

It’s one-time spokesman Bryan Fischer, who still hosts a radio program on the group’s affiliate American Family Radio, has repeatedly called for homosexuality to be outlawed, while cheering on countries like Uganda that criminalize homosexuality, calling for an “Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households” and declaring that God will use ISIS terrorists to punish Americans for their tolerance of homosexuality. Upon learning that the Boy Scouts of America rescinded its ban on gay members, Fischer said that the group should change its name to the “Boy Sodomizers of America.”

Fischer has alsolikened homosexuality to terrorism and blamed the Holocaust on gay people, and said that non-Christians have no First Amendment rights and that non-Christian immigrants should be forced to convert to Christianity. Fischer has repeatedly defended the massacres and expulsions of Native Americans from their lands as divine justice and once lamented that welfare makes African-American women ‘rut like rabbits.’”

The AFA’s current governmental affairs director, Sandy Rios, has linked homosexuality to terrorism, train crashes and pedophilia.

8) Intercessors for America

Intercessors for America, as we’ve reported, has “prayed to stop anti-bullying laws to protect LGBT and LGBT-perceived youth, warning they ‘can only lead to God’s judgment,’ and that support for marriage equality ‘leads a soul to eternal damnation.’” The group also “believes that federal government is developing technology to implant microchips in all citizens as a form of mind control.”

9) Tradition, Family And Property

The Roman Catholic organization Tradition, Family and Property is a group of men who dress up like knights with trademark red capes and costumes and tour the country protesting events they perceive as anti-Catholic, as well as abortion rights and same-sex marriage. The group is particularly active in its opposition to gay rights, advocating for colleges to disband LGBT clubs and protesting Desmond Tutu due to his “affirmation of the homosexual agenda.” One of the group’s board members suggested that tornadoes were God’s judgment for gay marriage .

10) Family Research Council

The Values Voter Summit’s chief sponsor, the Family Research Council, is far from a mainstream group.

FRC Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg has called for bans on homosexuality and the exportation of gays from the U.S., and its executive vice president, Jerry Boykin, has promoted a wide range of bizarre conspiracy theories .

But the group’s most extreme official is its president, Tony Perkins, who has defended Uganda’s “kill-the-gays” bill, connected homosexuality to pedophilia , asserted that same-sex relationships are a government “population control” scheme, depicted LGBT rights supporters as terrorists and minions of Satan bent on murdering Christians, called for a revolution to stop same-sex marriages and denounced anti-bullying efforts for spreading “perversion.” He has also suggested narrowing the definition of religious freedom to exclude Muslims and liberal Christians, and once falsely claimed that it has been a “federal crime” to be a Christian since 2009.

Values Voter Summit Features Extremists on LGBT, Women’s, Religious Issues

Today, People For the American Way (PFAW) hosted a press call detailing the extremist backgrounds of the speakers at and sponsors of Values Voter Summit 2016, the Religious Right conference that begins tomorrow and at which Donald Trump is scheduled to appear.

“The Values Voter Summit doesn’t shy away from the Religious Right’s extremism – it puts it on display,” said PFAW Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery, who will be attending the conference. “Donald Trump will be the first one to address this conference as the Republican nominee for president. Among the featured speakers are people who have said Islam doesn’t deserve First Amendment protection, who have opposed every advance in legal recognition of the rights of LGBT people, and who promote outlandish conspiracy theories about President Obama, who, some say, is paving the way for the anti-Christ.”

Montgomery and PFAW Research Editor Miranda Blue detailed the speakers and sponsors of the conference who have advocated for criminalizing homosexuality in the U.S. and abroad. Montgomery provided one example: “Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, the group sponsoring Values Voter, defended Uganda’s infamous Anti-Homosexuality Act – at a time when it was known as a ‘kill the gays’ bill because it included a death penalty – as a ‘laudable’ effort to ‘uphold moral conduct.’” Blue elaborated that FRC along with other groups sponsoring the summit including the American Family Association and First Liberty “all filed amicus briefs supporting Texas’ right to outlaw homosexuality” in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case. Some of these briefs, she said, used “explicitly anti-gay arguments, such as the American Family Association’s claim that outlawing homosexuality would prevent ‘injury caused to the public by same-sex sodomy.’ And many continue to hold these views; FRC spokesman Peter Sprigg, who will be speaking at VVS, said in 2010 that he would support outlawing ‘homosexual behavior.’”

Criminalizing homosexuality is far from the only anti-gay stance many of these speakers and sponsors have taken. PFAW Senior Research Analyst Brian Tashman provided examples including that of Sprigg, who has said that “homosexuality is destructive to society,” and James Dobson who in 2012 attributed the Sandy Hook shooting to God’s judgment on America for “kill[ing] fifty-four million babies and the institution of marriage [being] right on the verge of a complete redefinition.” Tashman noted that Trump has long courted anti-gay extremists, such as last month when “Trump addressed a conference organized by David Lane, who once said that God will punish America for gay rights in the form of car bombings and the destruction of the country.”

Miranda Blue detailed the anti-choice, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant sentiments and policy priorities of many of the speakers and sponsors of the conference, such as the Family Research Council’s Jerry Boykin, who “recently joined a group of retired generals endorsing Trump and has said that ‘Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections.’” Blue also described how anti-choice speakers like David Daleiden and the Benham Brothers “all came out of the ‘rescue’ movement, which is the extreme clinic-protest wing of the anti-choice movement.” FRC President Tony Perkins has said that President Obama’s immigration actions that aimed to prevent DREAMers and immigrant families from deportation were an “impeachable act.”

PFAW Resources on Values Voter Summit 2016:

A recording of the call is available upon request. Peter Montgomery will be attending the conference this weekend, and he, Miranda Blue, and Brian Tashman are all available for interviews. To schedule an interview, or if you have any questions, please email media@pfaw.org.

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Phil Robertson Links Drug Addiction To Laws on 'Perversion' And Abortion Rights

In an interview with a West Virginia radio station yesterday, “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson linked drug addiction and other social ills to the country forgetting “the God of the Bible” and instituting legal abortion and “perversion.”

Brian Sexton, a host with WVHU in Huntington, asked Robertson what he had learned from ministering to drug addicts and other troubled souls.

Robertson connected these issues with the themes of an upcoming "documentary" he’s starring in, which is directed by now-Trump campaign chief Steven Bannon.

“The documentary is what happens to any empire or culture, nation, what happens to them when they forget the God of the Bible, the God of Creation,” he said. “You forget Him and what they do is they allow men to determine what’s right and wrong instead of God, they let men decide what’s good and evil instead of God, and they allow men to decide how much your life is worth. So once that happens, you start seeing these, like in America, these court cases. I mean we’ve legislated the murder of our own children, we’ve legislated perversion, and instead of vetting our thinking through the word of God, we just decided, no, well, we know more than God.

“And now we look around and we see what we have, we’ve confined God inside these structures, everybody’s got a different sign, you know, there’s a church on every street corner, and it became so splintered and divided and the government came along and made sure, they basically said keep Him in those church buildings but do not bring Him out in public education, they ran Him out of there, saying ‘don’t bring Him into the public square.’”

He added that he is now being criticized just for quoting “a few Bible verses,” just like Jesus.

Phil Robertson: Founders Didn't Want Government To Provide Louisiana Flood Aid

Phil Robertson, the “Duck Dynasty” patriarch who will be speaking alongside Donald Trump at the Values Voter Summit this weekend, offered his thoughts on natural disasters in an interview with a West Virginia radio station yesterday, explaining that the government shouldn’t be providing relief to people affected by the devastating flooding in Louisiana because everybody should just chill out, stop whining and move to higher ground.

Brian Sexton, who was hosting “ The Tom Roten Morning Show,” asked Robertson to discuss the flooding in his home state of Louisiana, which led Robertson to embark on an extended reflection on natural disasters and how everyone always gets “bent out of shape whether it doesn’t rain or if it does rain,” when the country’s founders thought you should just deal with it on your own:

Here’s my view of disasters, whether it be hurricanes, tornados, it just rains a lot. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and say—You know, I’ve noticed something. We bellyache when it doesn’t rain because we can’t grow anything and ‘It’s a drought, it’s a drought!’ We all bellyache and then cry out. Well, when it rains, starts raining and it rains too much so you have a flood, ‘It’s a flood, it’s a flood!’ and everyone gets all bent out of shape whether it doesn’t rain or if it does rain.

So everybody is saying, running around on planet earth, seemingly saying in America at least, if it just rained just right all the time we would be happy. Here’s the deal: When it rains a lot, it’s going to flood. And if it doesn’t rain too much you have a drought. Both of them are bones to be chewed.

But it’s my studied opinion, just from observing, our founders basically said, ‘When disasters come your way, it’s unfortunate, they do happen, but you can’t expect the United States government to start pouring in and coming down there.’

What everyone needs to realize is we need to love one another enough that when you or your neighbors when they flood, we call come together, we all start cooking some meals here, looking after one another. These things, it’s the way life is. I mean, we’re not going to have the perfect temperature and the perfect amount of rainfall. So my view is, when it floods here we just move all our stuff higher and higher up the hill and if it starts coming in the house, we move it up, up, up as far as we can and then if it comes right down to it, we’re going to find ourselves another hill higher than the one we were on.

After discussing how he always picks land with potential flooding in mind and so people should never have built homes near the Gulf of Mexico in the first place, Robertson concluded: “We bring a lot of this stuff on ourselves. I don’t think the government ought to be a part of it. That’s when you ought to come together as human beings, love one another, help each other out. The waters will recede and life will go on, so let’s just keep it in proper context. It’s the way life is.”

Philip Haney: The Defamation Lawsuit Against Glenn Beck 'Is An Intrusion Of Sharia Law'

Yesterday, Philip Haney, a former Department of Homeland Security analyst who has become a prominent right-wing anti-Islam activist since retiring, spoke at a conference in Washington, D.C., organized by the anti-Muslim group ACT for America.

Near the end of his remarks, Haney took questions from the audience, including one from a woman who asked his thoughts about Abdulrahman Alharbi, a student from Saudi Arabia who was injured in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, who she said she thought "had something to do with the marathon bombing."

The questioner may have gotten this idea from Glenn Beck. Alharbi was briefly considered to be a person of interest in the early part of the investigation, but was quickly cleared by investigators, but that didn't stop Beck from repeatedly asserting on his radio and television programs that Alharbi was really an Al Qaeda "control agent" and the "money man" who financed and orchestrated the terrorist attack.

Alharbi is now suing Beck for defamation and, earlier this month, a federal judge ruled that Beck would have to reveal the identities of the confidential sources upon whom his network relied in leveling these accusations against Alharbi so that Alharbi's legal team can depose them. Beck is refusing to do so and during Haney's response to the question about the bombing, he made a somewhat cryptic remark regarding that particular issue. 

Haney accused former Department of Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano of lying to Congress about Alharbi and decried the lawsuit against Beck, calling it an effort to impose Sharia on America.

"[Alharbi] is suing Glenn Beck right now," Haney said. "This is an intrusion of Sharia law—slander or defamation - ghiba, which is a capital offense—through the auspices of the Saudi government against an American citizen. The judge just ruled on the 10th of August that he has to disclose his confidential sources. Well, who might that be?"

After that rather revealing remark, Haney wondered why "a foreign government or a foreign national [has] any standing in America to sue an American citizen," complaining that he, Haney, was a victim of "invisible shrapnel because when Janet Napolitano lied to Congress, she set off a third bomb and she shredded the lives of a lot of people."

David Barton Removes Video Claiming He Has 'An Earned Doctorate'

Yesterday, we reported that in response to questions about his claims that he has a Ph.D., right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton released a video insisting that he does, in fact, have "an earned doctorate."

As we and others pointed out, Barton's assertion seemed a little odd since he never actually stated where or when he "earned" his supposed doctorate and the documents in the background to which he pointed were difficult to read, though one clearly came from Pensacola Christian College, from which Barton received an honorary doctorate. The other two documents appear to have come from Ecclesia College and Life Christian University, an unaccredited Christian university that has also awarded Ph.D.s in theology to televangelists like Joyce Meyers and Benny Hinn.

Despite his claims to the contrary, Barton's video did not prove that he has "an earned doctorate" and, instead, simply raised more questions than it supposedly answered. 

And perhaps that is why the video has now been removed from Barton's WallBuilders Facebook page and the video has been made private:

A New Species of Politicians: “Trumpublicans”

This piece originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

The number of Republican elected officials criticizing Donald Trump and condemning his policies while pledging to vote for him has many people understandably scratching their heads, and it’s not hard to see why: politicians calling out the GOP nominee in one breath and then working to bring him and his agenda into power in the next utterly defies logic.

I’d like to propose a name for this odd species of politicians: Trumpublicans.

Trumpublicans: /trəmˈpəbləkən/ — n., pl. 1. Republicans who’ve endorsed or pledged to vote for Trump to win support from far-right voters. 2. Republicans who claim to oppose Trump’s hateful campaign, yet work to advance his candidacy and agenda (e.g. holding a Supreme Court seat open for him to fill.)

Examples of Trumpublicans abound. Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire has tried to separate herself from Trump, refusing to endorse him and saying that she would “stand up” to him. But she also says that she’s “glad to get his endorsement” and still plans to vote for him. Huh? Senator John McCain of Arizona is trying to toe the same line, at times criticizing Trump while repeatedly stating his commitment to vote for him. Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey says that Trump’s actions “give me great pause” but has still refused to disavow him.

There’s no more egregious example than the fight over the Supreme Court vacancy to show how each of these senators are already actively working to support Trump’s extremist agenda. They may express misgivings about Trump with their words, but with their actions, they are holding open the vacant Supreme Court seat so that it can be filled by him. They are going to extraordinary lengths—ignoring their constitutionally-defined responsibilities—to let the next Supreme Court justices be picked by Donald Trump, a man who says a judge can’t do his job because of his Mexican heritage.

Senators’ comments against Trump mean nothing when their actions and votes are still with him in all the ways that count. These senators are trying to have it both ways in a straddle to appeal to both voters with common sense and decency and those who are turned on by Trump’s hate. 
  
Too many people have written off the Trumpublican phenomenon as being only about Trump as if he’s a one-time thing. “He’s coming out of left field,” the story goes. “He’s so out-there that he’s putting ‘moderate’ Republicans in a tough place.” But when it comes to his anti-Latino, anti-women, anti-just-about-everyone agenda, Trump’s not coming out of left field; he’s coming straight from home plate. He’s riding the sorry momentum that the Republican party has built for years.

After all, way before Trump, this is the party that has threatened to shut down the government over immigration reform and the funding of Planned Parenthood. The party of “self-deportation.” The party that wants to ban abortion. The party that now denies science and doesn’t believe in the president’s birthplace or religion. There is no question that Trump’s rhetoric is horrific, but don’t believe the myth that he is a wild aberration; in many ways, he is tapping into the very core of the Republican party that tragically for the country has become more and more extreme every year.

There’s a reason why the strong recommendations of the infamous 2012 GOP post-loss post-mortem couldn’t be heeded, and this was long before the idea of a Trump candidacy was a glimmer in any Republican eye.

This is no longer your granddaddy’s GOP. And it’s not going to be the “the party of Lincoln”—a description they love to throw around, no matter how increasingly inaccurate—again until people start to stand up to the likes of Donald Trump and to the base that so decisively elected him. It’s as simple as that. You can’t tell your children and grandchildren that you stood against a man who proposed banning all members of a religious group from the country, who smeared an entire community as rapists and criminals, who claimed a judge couldn’t do his job because of his heritage. No, Trumpublicans will have to tell them that even though they said Trump was in the wrong, they stood by him all the way.

PFAW

Ohio Activists Petition To Classify Abortion As 'Aggravated Murder'

Activists in Ohio have filed a petition with Attorney General Mike DeWine seeking to put a constitutional amendment on the state’s ballot that would classify abortion as “aggravated murder.”

The proposed amendment would “prohibit abortion of all unborn human beings, without exception, and [classify] it as aggravated murder in the State of Ohio.” Its authors claim that it would not affect “genuine contraception” or “IVF procedures that respect the right to life of newly created human beings”—carefully worded qualifications that seem designed to ease public discomfort about the amendment while not actually creating exceptions.

Under Ohio law, “aggravated murder” can be punished by death or life in prison.

Cleveland.com reports that the amendment petition was submitted by Ohio activists Laura Burton, Anthony Dipane and Dustin Paulson. Although the news outlet reports that the activists are “not connected with Right to Life or other organized anti-abortion rights groups,” the language of the amendment is identical to a bill posted on the website of Abolish Abortion Ohio, a state group connected with the group Abolish Human Abortion. Dipane and Paulson are both associated with Abolish Abortion Ohio.

In a Facebook post about the proposed amendment, Paulson wrote that he and his allies were calling on legislators to ignore “the unjust rulings of an unjust Supreme Court” and “defy the higher magistrates” (i.e. the courts) on the issue:

We're calling our fellow citizens, Ohioans, Christians, to repent of their apathy and capitulation during this war on the unborn.

They've seen their neighbor left for dead and passed by on the other side.

The legislators who are sworn to uphold the Constitution, not the unjust rulings of an unjust Supreme Court, have helped to codify their murders.

Our message is simple and unchanging:

-Repent with us for failing to do for the least of these what we would most certainly have done for Christ.

-Call for, and only for, the uncompromising abolishment of abortion in our state and nation.

-Defy the higher magistrates who have become unquestionable kings in our nation, no matter the cost to state and country.

An Oklahoma bill seeking to classify abortion as first-degree murder this year was similarly pushed by the “abolitionist” group in the state. That bill foundered, but the Oklahoma legislature soon passed another bill seeking to make abortion a felony, which was vetoed by the state’s Republican governor.

Trump Protects Fraudulent Trump University with Racist Attacks, Possible Bribes

Donald Trump will seemingly stop at nothing to try to get what he wants at the expense of everyone else.

At this point, in the public eye, Trump University is seen for what it was: a scam university used to pad Trump’s pockets by deceiving students. The school offered no real degree, it lied to students about the caliber of its professors and it systematically targeted potential students who Trump University employees knew would have to take on debt or empty their retirement savings in order to pay for it.

But even with universal condemnation, Trump University has suffered no legal repercussions for its con. 

Now, though, Trump University is facing three lawsuits. One of these is a class action suit in California. Trump responded to the case in typical fashion: by launching racist, personal attacks. He baselessly attacked the federal judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, accusing him of not being able to preside over the case impartially simply because of his Mexican-American heritage.

It seems though that the racist attacks were only his backup plan. In at least two states, it appears that Trump acted before any charges reached the courts: Trump engaged in pay-to-play with attorneys general to get them to drop any possible actions against Trump University.

Here’s an excerpt from an interview that NPR’s Robert Siegel did with Associated Press reporter Michael Biesecker about Texas’ decision not to prosecute Trump University:

Biesecker: Well, in Texas, public records obtained by the Associated Press show that there was a very robust investigation of Trump University and that lawyers in [then-Texas Attorney General Greg] Abbott's own Consumer Affairs Division proposed suing Trump and his associates for about $5.4 million in fines and restitution back to their alleged victims. The case files show that they spent more than a year investigating Trump University, had what they considered very strong evidence that Trump University had violated numerous state laws and was operating in the state without a license.

Ultimately, people above the Consumer Affairs Division decided not to take action. Abbott denies that he knew of his agency's investigation or that he decided to drop the suit. What AP has reported is that three years later when he ran for governor of Texas, Mr. Trump put forward two checks to his campaign totaling $35,000.

SIEGEL: You can't demonstrate a quid pro quo here that either in the Texas or the Florida case somebody said, you drop the case; I give you money.

BIESECKER: We can't, but the former deputy chief of consumer protection of Texas, a man named John Owens, stepped forward and was quoted in local media there saying that he believes the case was dropped for political considerations because Mr. Trump was a donor of Republican causes.

In Florida, it looks even worse. From that same interview:

BIESECKER: Well, in 2013, Pam Bondi - the attorney general's office was quoted by the Orlando Sentinel as saying they were reviewing New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's proposed lawsuit against Trump University to determine whether Florida should join that multi-state case. Four days after that appeared in the newspaper, Bondi's campaign account notes that it received a $25,000 check from the Trump Foundation, the family foundation of Donald Trump.

It was subsequently reported that Bondi herself may have been involved in soliciting the contribution, so it should be deeply troubling (but not all that surprising) that Bondi chose not to sue. These allegations were first reported earlier this summer. If all this wasn’t bad enough, this story is finally picking up steam because not only does it seem that Trump potentially bribed Bondi, he made the suspicious donation to Bondi’s campaign from the Trump Foundation.

That’s blatantly against the law. Nonprofit foundations, which are tax exempt, cannot in any way, shape, or form contribute to political candidates! This isn’t some murky situation where the law wasn’t clear—foundations are nonprofits, and they cannot engage in political campaign work, much less make a direct contribution. But as Trump has made clear time and time again, he doesn’t care what the rules are or who he hurts along the way, as long as he gets his way.

Trump had to pay a $2,500 penalty to the IRS because of the donation. This is far from the first time Trump has found himself in deep water over campaign contributions (as just one example, in the 1990s he spent $47,050 over the campaign contribution limit in just one year). With the allegations against Bondi and Abbott, and with renewed focus on the Trump Foundation’s payment to the Bondi campaign, this story won’t go away any time soon. But if there’s one silver lining, it’s that as more and more details emerge about the pay-to-play schemes and the fraudulent university, voters can hold Trump responsible in the polls, and judges can hold Trump responsible in the courts.

PFAW

FRC’s Ken Blackwell: Democrats 'Sowing Grounds To Challenge The Election' If Trump Wins

Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state who is now a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, writes in a Christian Post column today that Democrats may be raising the specter of Russian tampering with election results in order to create “grounds to challenge the election” if Donald Trump should win.

Even if this is not the case, Blackwell insists, Democrats may be using hacking fears as a pretense to increase federal oversight of elections.

Blackwell is just the latest conservative activist to suggest that election security concerns are part of a ruse to reverse a Trump victory or justify a federal takeover of elections.

Blackwell:

The Democrats are now playing the Russia card. As Donald Trump rises in the polls against an increasingly unpopular Hillary Clinton, Democrats are raising the specter of the nefarious Vladimir Putin. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's famous reset of relations was a bust, but we are supposed to trust her to handle Putin in the future. More important, the Democrats are sowing grounds to challenge the election, relying on their unnatural ability to squeeze, as if by magic, extra votes from the courtroom.

There may be an even more insidious objective, however, than swaying the 2016 result. Outgoing Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, never a fan of election fair play, warned of Russian tampering and called for an FBI investigation. This followed warnings by Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, of potential cyber-attacks come November. He indicated he was considering designating the election system "critical infrastructure."

This would be followed by a Washington campaign to "assist" and "protect" balloting, which inevitably would turn into control. The Heritage Foundation's Hans von Spakovsky warned that Johnson's action "may be a way for the administration to get Justice Department lawyers, the FBI, and DHS staff into polling places they would otherwise have no legal right to access, which would enable them to interfere with election administration procedures around the country." That would dramatically, and permanently, transform the constitutional balance between the national and state governments.

'The Election Will Be Rigged, There's No Question About It'

Yesterday, Alex Jones spoke with fellow conspiracy theorist Steve Pieczenik, who suggested that Hillary Clinton, despite her “history of lesbian activities,” is blackmailing President Obama with information about his “homosexual history in Chicago,” proving that she is up to no good.

Pieczenik said that a nefarious actor like Clinton wouldn’t think twice about committing other evil deeds, like rigging the election.

“The election will be rigged,” he said. “There’s no question about it. It is totally rigged.”

Jones, warning that his InfoWars network may be shut down “if these people take over,” said that the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice will try to take over the election system under the guise of preventing cyberattacks like “giants foxes guarding the henhouse from imaginary Russians.”

The claim that President Obama is secretly gay is a favorite of Pieczenik’s.

Frank Gaffney: Matt Lauer May Go Easy On Clinton To Protect Her Health

Frank Gaffney, the conservative activist who runs the Center for Security Policy, latched onto the Hillary Clinton health conspiracy theory today, alleging in an interview with Breitbart News that journalist Matt Lauer may go easy on Clinton at a candidates’ forum tonight because he knows “if she feels stressed she will begin to fall apart.”

“I think that he will almost certainly be bending over backwards to give her a hand,” Gaffney said. “You know, one of the things that is now becoming a subtext is does her health begin to impinge upon her performance in something like this, if she feels stressed will she begin to fall apart for whatever reason? And we don’t know the reason, but I think there’s a question there and I suspect if no other reason, that may contribute to Matt’s well, shall we say a lack of even-handedness.”

Gaffney and the program’s host, Alex Marlow, also discussed reports that Lauer was once listed as a Clinton Global Initiative “member,” which Lauer and other journalists on the list say is not true.

Brigitte Gabriel: Stop Refugee Resettlement Because 'More Than 20 Percent Of Muslims Are Radicals'

The anti-Muslim group ACT for America is holding its annual conference in Washington, D.C., this week, where a major priority of the activists is to convince Congress to halt funding to the refugee resettlement program. In a speech to the conference yesterday, ACT’s founder and president, Brigitte Gabriel, said that this is critical because “more than 20 percent of Muslims are radicals” so allowing any Muslims to immigrate to the country, including through refugee resettlement, is like allowing the immigration of people who have a 20 percent likelihood of carrying a disease that is “fatal on contact.”

“Most experts agree that more than 20 percent of Muslims are radicals,” she asserted. “It is practically impossible to identify this group from the 75 or 80 percent who are not radicals. Impossible!” (In fact, “most experts” do not agree with this number.)

“So I’m going to give you an example,” she said. “Let’s say 20 percent of Chinese people are infected with a disease that is fatal on contact. Fatal on contact! Would we just continue to allow Chinese to enter America rather than be called ‘Chinaphobic’ or would we take the sensible approach of holding Chinese entering the country until we can figure out some way to know who was the carrier of the disease that was fatal on contact, such as suicide bombers or terrorists when it comes to the refugee population?“

“And we would want to check also the Chinese people who are already in the country to make sure they are not carriers of the disease,” she added. “That would be the sensible thing to do to protect the country and protect Americans. That’s why Trump’s approach makes sense. He cares about protecting Americans more than being called names. Let’s start being sensible and stop this political correctness that’s going to kill us.”

She urged ACT members, who headed to Capitol Hill today to lobby their members of Congress, to speak up against funding the refugee resettlement programs and “let these supposed nonprofit organizations who are religious charities, let them fund it out of their own pocket if they are so driven to bring refugees into the country.”

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