On Thursday, President Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, became the first sitting cabinet member to be held in contempt of Congress. The blatantly political move by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives was the culmination of a multiyear plan by right-wing activists and politicians to undermine the nation’s top law enforcement official. Let’s recall how we got here.
The problem of gunwalking was a field-driven tactic that dated back to the George W. Bush Administration, and it was this Administration’s Attorney General who ended it. Attorney General Holder has said repeatedly that fighting criminal activity along the Southwest Border – including the illegal trafficking of guns to Mexico – is a top priority of the Department. Eric Holder has been an excellent Attorney General and just yesterday the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee acknowledged that he had no evidence – or even the suspicion – that the Attorney General knew of the misguided tactics used in this operation.
Incredibly, the very same politicians who condemned Holder were supportive when President Bush asserted executive privilege in an unprecedented and expansive way to conceal potentially illegal activity by government employees. On the other hand, Holder and the Obama administration have gone to great lengths to accommodate the often unreasonable demands of Republicans in Congress:
Over the past fourteen months, the Justice Department accommodated Congressional investigators, producing 7,600 pages of documents, and testifying at eleven Congressional hearings. In an act of good faith, this week the Administration made an additional offer which would have resulted in the Committee getting unprecedented access to documents dispelling any notion of an intent to mislead.
Holder and the Obama administration only asserted executive privilege when Republicans demanded documents that would put the agents fighting gun violence at risk. This is yet another irony.
As Right Wing Watch reported, Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight Committee and Holder’s chief inquisitor, has been pushing a conspiracy theory for months that Obama and Holder intentionally allowed gun-smuggling to Mexico in order to boost violence and use it as the justification for an assault weapons ban here. It’s such a completely unhinged and baseless argument that it’s hard to take seriously. But Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the NRA and even elected officials like Issa have aggressively pushed this lie and whipped their base into fever pitch.
While Holder is taking it on the chin for protecting agents working to keep us safe, the right wing is saying that the Obama administration intentionally let people, including an American border patrol agent, get killed as part of some gun control conspiracy. In reality, Mexico is awash with American guns. And the right-wing created the extremely lax gun control system that makes it possible.
In the Republican House of Representatives, where up is often down and black is white, the people working to prevent gun violence are smeared as having blood on their hands. That’s why Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi rightly called the contempt vote a “heinous act” and “unprincipled.” Sadly, a full 17 House Democrats were successfully pressured by the NRA to part ways with Pelosi and condemn Holder.
It’s clear now, if it wasn’t already, that we’re up against people who will say just about anything to win. We should expect more nonsense heading into the election. But ultimately the best way to beat back their lies is going to the ballot box.
On today's edition of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green were discussing what they considered several positive changes that were taking place in the state of Michigan thanks to the election of lots of Tea Party candidates to the state legislature. In making the point that things were really bad in the state, Barton claimed that he was recently there and was shocked to learn that there is "not a single grocery store in the city limits of Detroit":
Detroit has a population of over 700,000 and Barton is claiming that there is not one grocery store within a city this size? How exactly does he think these people are getting food?
Now I haven't been to Detroit in person, but I do have access Google Street View which allows me to find various of grocery stores located within the city in about two minutes, like University Foods located at 1131 Warren Ave W, Detroit, MI 48208:
And an Aldi grocery store located at 15415 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, MI 48205:
And Parkway Foods located at 13210 E Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI 48215:
In fact, a simple Google Maps search for "supermarket" in Detroit returns dozens and dozens of results:
As we have said several times before, if Barton cannot be trusted to accurately report on contemporary issues that are easily verifiable to anyone with internet access, how can anyone trust anything that he says?
While collecting reactions from the Religious Right to yesterday's ruling upholding health care reform legislation, one person we didn't include was Bryan Fischer since we were waiting until his radio program aired to see just how outraged he was over the ruling.
And was he ever outraged, kicking off his program by declaring that "America no longer exists as a constitutional republic," suggesting that the authors of the decision ought to be impeached, questioning Chief Justice John Roberts' sanity, and calling the decision "legal garbage" that should be tossed in a landfill and left to rot:
Ladies and gentlemen, today the Grim Reaper has visited the United States. Unless this Supreme Court decision from today is repealed, unless it is overturned, unless it is repealed, America no longer exists as a constitutional republic and Chief Justice John Roberts will do down in history as the man who shredded the Constitution beyond recognition. His ruling today is unconscionable, it's inexcusable for somebody who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States to issue a ruling like John Roberts issued today.
This is bad behavior. All five of the judges that participated in this ruling could be impeached, tried, convicted, and removed from office. This is a gross dereliction of duty on their part.
I mean, John Roberts, ladies and gentlemen, this is embarrassing. John Roberts today participated and wrote legal gobbledygook, it is legal gibberish, it is irrational, it makes absolutely no sense. Not only is it unconstitutional, it's not even rational what he wrote in his opinion that is going to take away the freedom of million and million and million of Americans. It actually makes you wonder if something has gone wrong with his brain. He's not thinking clearly, he's not writing clearly.
The main ruling is just garbage, I mean it is legal garbage, ladies and gentlemen. That's the most polite term I can use to describe what John Roberts has written. It is legal garbage. It belongs in a landfill somewhere where it can be left to rot and decompose and decay in peace. That's how bad it is.
On today's episode of Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, hosts Steve Crampton and Harry Mihet were discussing the Pentagon's decision to no longer allow Bibles to be published bearing the official emblems of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps; a move which has, predictably, outraged the Religious Right.
Somehow Crampton and Mihet managed to tie this issue to a recent Senate hearing on the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA,) prompting Crampton to marvel that a transgender person was actually allowed to testify on behalf of the legislation and complain that ENDA is not about "equal rights" but rather "special rights" for gays and cross-dressers.
Crampton stated that if ENDA passed, he could come into work - "God forbid," he said - wearing a dress and would be allowed to use the women's restroom. "In years past," Crampton said, "we had another word for this: it's called insanity":
This afternoon, the Republican led House of Representatives approved a contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder as part of the GOP’s ongoing attacks against the Attorney General and his office.
People For the American Way President Michael Keegan issued the following statement.
“It’s been clear since day one of the Obama Administration that Republicans have chosen to put politics above principle in their efforts to attack the President at every turn, regardless of the facts or the needs of the American people. This move is no different. Attorney General Holder has been completely forthcoming about the problems in the Fast and Furious program, but that’s never been the issue. Instead Republicans are still looking for any excuse to tarnish this President.
“The more time Attorney General Holder is forced to spend on this manufactured crisis, the less time he and his team have to address the real challenges our country faces, including his efforts challenging restrictive voter suppression programs. Given Republicans’ eagerness to attack the Obama Administration at any cost, Eric Holder should wear today’s vote as a badge of honor. Clearly, he’s doing something right.”
We have spent most of the day collecting reactions from the Religious Right to today's Supreme Court ruling upholding the constitutionality of health care reform legislation and listening to hours of radio programs as movement leaders try to understand what happened, what it all means, and where to go next.
Based on what we have heard from them today, the emerging narrative seems to be that the ruling itself was awful and wrongly decided, but that it will ultimately end up doing more harm than good for President Obama as he seeks re-election by leading to a resurgence of Tea Party activism and and landslide for candidates running for office who will vow to repeal the legislation.
Tony Perkins summed it up when he explained on today's radio program that it was Congress and President Obama who were responsible for this legislation that "is a time-bomb of destruction for our nation" and must be replaced in November:
We're right to be disappointed and frustrated by the Court's decision, but it was Congress that did this to begin with. It was Barack Obama who did this to begin with, so I think we've got to go back and put this around them, making them responsible for something that almost 70% of Americans oppose.
We do have a way to correct this, and it's called the election in November. And folks, I'm going to tell you, if you're apathetic and you think "well, I'm not going to vote because I've got a choice between this one and that one and there's not that much difference," there is a difference! Barack Obama is responsible for this health care bill which is going to strip you of your rights as an American citizen in the ability to make your own decisions. It is an infringement upon religious freedom. We have rationing boards that are going to be put in place. These are not seeds, this is a time-bomb of destruction for our nation and President Obama is responsible for it.
Ken Hutcherson in on a mission to take back both the word "gay" and the symbol of the rainbow in his fight against gay rights and made his case on "WallBuilders Live" today with David Barton and Rick Green.
Following the interview with Hutcherson, Barton and Green speculated that the gay rights movement has sought to co-opt these things in order to distort God's blessing upon mankind:
Barton: We don't even think about "gay" in the term it was, we only think it in the way of the new definition ... You know, I hadn't even thought about why they chose that word or how they came to use that word or how that became the denotation for homosexuals. I don't know.
Green: Well, when you take that or the rainbow, as Hutch was saying [is] a promise from God, isn't that part of the goal? To distort what God gave us and to distort what would normally be a blessing and be something that you enjoy and honor and worship God because of?
Barton: Well, it goes back to the Garden [of Eden.] The Serpent said "oh yeah, if you'll eat this you will have the knowledge." Eh, it wasn't the right knowledge; you got knowledge but it was a distorted form. And that's why the Bible also says that Satan appears as an angel of light - he looks like the real thing, but it's a distortion. He doesn't come to give you the good things, he comes to steal, kill, and destroy, not give you life and not give you all the good things Jesus wants to give you in John 10:10, but he looks the same when he comes. You know, he makes the same offer, it just doesn't ever work out that way. And so it's the same thing, you take something good like "gay" and you distort it into something else.
On yesterday's program, Bryan Fischer dedicated a segment to discussing a 2009 newspaper article about bestiality advocates in order to bolster his case against marriage equality, saying that "once you allow sex between two people of the same-sex, there is no place to stop" and it will inevitably lead to the legalization of polygamy, pedophilia, and bestiality:
The Associated Press is reporting that Personhood Ohio, a state affiliate of Denver-based Personhood USA, will likely fall short in its effort to put a so-called “personhood” amendment on the ballot this fall:
With less than two weeks before a crucial July deadline, the group's director says it has close to 20,000, or 5 percent, of the roughly 385,000 signatures required for the proposed personhood constitutional amendment to appear on November ballots.
Backers of the state constitutional amendments hope to spark a legal challenge to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 that gave women a legal right to abortion.
The advocates of the Heartbeat Bill have proven their willingness to push one person out of the boat to try to save another. How? By way of the bill's exceptions, its inappropriate penalties, and its counterfeit moral standard.
Burress, who headed the campaign that successfully promoted passage of the state's 2004 amendment to ban gay marriage, said the personhood group is going to need close to 500,000 signatures ensure they have enough.
"Unless a miracle occurs, they are probably going to be looking at 2013," Burress said.
Ultimately, Ohioans have no business pointing our fingers at the Supreme Court, the U.S. Congress, or the abortion advocates entrenched in political parties for the shedding of innocent blood that Ohio allows. […] Criminal justice is a local matter. God's wrath abides on Ohio for the innocent blood that has been shed in our state, and God obligates Ohio to do justice to protect the innocent from assault and murder, and thereby purge our land from the guilt of innocent blood.Until there is justice for the preborn, there will be no lasting mercy for us.
The American Family Association describes itself as “a Christian organization promoting the biblical ethic of decency in American society with emphasis on moral issues that impact families.” We know from AFA’s primary spokesperson Bryan Fischer that rank bigotry doesn’t seem to run afoul of AFA’s definition of decency. So where does honesty figure in?
The July-August 2012 issue of the group’s magazine, AFA Journal, includes a two-page spread from David Barton, the “historian” whose lies and misrepresentations have earned him condemnation from actual scholars – including evangelical Christians. The article, “Evidence of executive enmity” supposedly summarizes the evidence that the “anti-biblical” President Obama “has an ax to grind with people of biblical faith.” Barton complains about a range of Obama administration policies and recycles false and misleading claims that have been repeatedly debunked, as RWW’s Kyle Mantyla has noted repeatedly. Barton also claims that Obama demonstrated “preferential deference for Islam’s activities and positions.”
Among Barton's Christian-persecution claims is that retired Lt. Gen. William Jerry Boykin was disinvited from speaking at West Point “because he is an outspoken Christian.” (In reality Boykin was disinvited after many faculty and cadets – most of them Christian – opposed Boykin as an inappropriate speaker given his inflammatory statements describing US foreign policy as a spiritual war against Islam.)
Also featured in the AFA Journal is a quote from “Catholic sociologist” David R. Carlin, Jr, asserting in Crisis magazine that “[T]he drive for same sex marriage is not simply about same sex marriage or the moral legitimization of homosexual behavior; it is also about the de-legitimizing of Christian morality” and that “those who are pushing for the institution of same sex marriage are ipso facto pushing for the elimination of the Christian religion.” But what about all those Christians who support marriage equality? Carlin dismisses them: "The trouble with 'liberal Christianity' is that it isn’t Christianity."
Right now, wildfires are currently devastating parts of Colorado and these fires are making the Colordao-based political arm of Focus on the Family think about ... sex?
It seems that to the folks at CitizenLink, the tragic consequences of these wildfires are just like the tragic consequences of sex-education since teaching students about safe sex is no different than handing them matches and sending them out into the woods:
Wouldn’t we all agree that it’s better to prevent a forest fire, if and when possible, than treat the immense damage in its aftermath?
These questions are similar to what the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) is asking Congress and state legislatures about our nation’s approach toward pre-marital sex ... Certain questions arise: Why aren’t our schools, our states and our nation placing a clear and unquestionable priority on sexual risk avoidance (SRA)? Why are we intentionally spending billions of dollars handing kids matches (condoms), which result in careless (sexual) “fires” and treating victims who have been unnecessarily burned by sex (STDs, pregnancy)? Wouldn’t prevention be cheaper and healthier?
“Safe” sex education – or promoting casual sex, while handing out condoms and birth control to kids – is analogous to passing out matches to kids in school, and telling them, “Be sure you play safely with these in the forest and, above all, have fun!”
It’s irresponsible messaging that encourages high-risk behavior at a great cost to families and our entire nation.
Yet our federal government currently pours nearly 16 times as much money into “safe” sex education than it does into helping kids learn how to avoid starting fires in the area of sexuality or SRA. Perhaps this is why we have so many uncontained “fires” caused by sex outside of marriage.
What can we learn?
- Neither adults nor children should ever play carelessly with matches or fire, especially in forests. Safe places exist to enjoy the warmth of a contained fire in the right context at the right time – started and monitored by responsible adults.
- Neither adults nor children should carelessly play with sex, especially outside of marriage. A safe place exists to enjoy sexual bonding within the right context at the right time – when a responsible, adult man and adult woman are able sustain a lifelong, commitment to each other within the context of marriage.
- Don’t get burned by fire or sex; both can get out of control quickly, and both have the potential to harm you – and to hurt many other people, as well. Keep fires in the fireplace, and keep sex inside of marriage.
Earlier this month, the flu-stopping, casserole-multiplying Rick Joyner hosted a "Freedom Congress" conference that featured speakers like Oliver North and Jerry Boykin, as well as Republican South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint.
DeMint used his address to urge the audience to get involved in politics because, at the moment, Washington reflects the fact that our culture has become increasingly secular, and so if parents want to teach their children right and wrong they "are likely to be persecuted in some way by the government" for doing so.
And the reason society and government is becoming so secular, DeMint said, is because parents have been sending their children to public schools where they are no longer taught that "God created this earth" even though "we know He did" because science is proving more and more that "it could not have happened by accident." As such, Christians must stand up because God "has put us in charge of this vineyard we call America":
Last week we noted that Bryan Fischer's Bible study has taken him to the Book of Ephesians and a discussion of Satan, demons, and spiritual warfare, prompting him to declare that Satan is behind everything from gay rights to Planned Parenthood to environmentalism.
Yesterday, Fischer wrapped up his study of Ephesians by stating that it is Satan that is ultimately responsible for attacks on Christians who speak the truth and that "the average liberal in the United States" was just someone who had been duped by Satan:
Satan and his evil spirits are not just kind of these vague floating beings that are out there somewhere where they can't get to us, they can't touch us, they can't affect us, they can't influence us; we struggle against them.
Now, we do have people that are adversaries but the point that Paul is making here is that what's behind them, what's behind the work that they do, the things that they think, the things that they say, what's behind them if they oppose us when we stand for the truth, what's behind them ultimately is the Prince of the Power of the Air. And that's why ultimately our struggle is not against people, they're just dupes, they have been deceived, they have been fooled.
You look at the average liberal in the United States, they believe things that are folly. They believe things that are irrational. They believe things that make no sense, that cannot stand up to the test of reason and logic. Why do they believe that? Because they are dupes, they have been deceived and fooled by the Prince of Lies, the Father of Lies and that's why they believe and do what they do.