Next week, the Senate will vote on the DISCLOSE Act, which would bring much needed transparency to the corporate and special interest money that allows the wealthiest few to take over our airways and coöpt our elections. Since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, corporations have been able to spend freely from their treasuries to overpower the voice of the American people.
While a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United or a change to the composition of the Supreme Court are the only ways to completely reverse that decision, the DISCLOSE Act is a strong step in the right direction.
It’s not a new idea. First introduced in 2010 in response to Citizens United, the bill would require groups airing election ads to disclose the source of the money. Because ads can be misleading, it is essential to for voters to know who is behind them in order to properly evaluate the constant inundation of political messages. It is a simple step to increase transparency in our elections.
Of course, the GOP blocked it.
Republicans in Congress weren’t always opposed to disclosure. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell once said, way back in 2000, “Why would a little disclosure be better than a lot of disclosure?” Yet afterCitizens United, he’s dramatically changed his tune, calling disclousre “a cynical effort to muzzle critics of this administration and its allies in Congress.”
The Republicans’ change in tune isn’t surprising, considering that outside spending overwhelmingly favors the GOP.
The Media Research Center’s Culture and Media Institute has been trackingSavage U, the MTV show where Dan Savage offers sex and relationship advice to inquiring students, and has not liked what it has seen. It seems that the biggest complaint of writer Taylor Hughes is that Savage speaks directly and candidly about sex without pushing the abstinence-only-until-marriage message, but Hughes appears to be especially upset that Savage has “used the show to push the gay agenda.” How so? By having regularly “featured people dealing with LGBT issues, reinforcing in its own little way the myth that gays make up more than a tiny percent of the population.” Disturbed that Savage “often fields questions from gay or lesbian people during the show’s Q & A session,” Hughes goes on to label Savage a “Neanderthal” who is “barbaric and uncivilized”:
Savage has also used the show to push the gay agenda, of course. The show regularly has featured people dealing with LGBT issues, reinforcing in its own little way the myth that gays make up more than a tiny percent of the population. (It’s an effective tactic. About half of all Americans believe nearly 25 percent of the population is gay.) Savage interviewed a lesbian who is now becoming attracted to men, a man who used to date women but now is looking to date men, and a transgendered person in the midst of becoming a woman. He often fields questions from gay or lesbian people during the show’s Q & A session.
Surely his most recent attack on Republicans will only further solidify his role in the liberal media. On Monday, June 25, he attacked gay Republicans in an article titled “On Booze, Meth, Suicide ... and GOProud” stating, “like gay meth addicts who aren't satisfied harming only themselves, the boys at GOProud aren't satisfied harming only themselves. They want to harm other gay people—they want to harm all gay people—by getting Mitt Romney elected.”
Dan Savage is what his name indicates, barbaric and uncivilized, yet the liberal media accepts and endorses him because he is a cultural progressive. MTV and its ilk would give a Neanderthal a show about table etiquette, provided he hated conservatives enough.
As we noted last month, the Religious Right and their allies in Congress are very angry about a decision by the Defense Department to no longer allow publication of editions of the Bible carrying the official emblems of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Now, Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-MS) has sent a letter to the Defense Department on behalf of himself and several other members of Congress demanding to know "how the decision to revoke this trademark permission was made and what the Department of Defense is doing to ensure that the religious freedom of the members of our military is preserved and protected."
This morning, Nunnelee was on "Today's Issues" with Tony Perkins where we asserted that "this is just another example of government assault on religion" while voicing his outrage over the whole thing because "to say that you can't link your service in the United States Military and the comfort that you find in the Word of God is just absurd."
And it is absurd ... but that is not what anyone is saying, of course; the Defense Department is not telling members of the Armed Forces that they can't take comfort in the Bible, but merely that B&H Publishing no longer has permission to publish editions of the Bible that bear official military emblems. In fact, a B&H spokesman told Fox News that the company had merely "replaced the official seals with generic insignias [and the Bible] continue to sell well and provide spiritual guidance and comfort to those who serve.”
But for Nunnelee, it is proof that there is clearly an "assault on religious liberty practiced by Christians" which is designed to undermine the Bible:
Molen was on the program to discuss a recent incident in which a scheduled speech he was to deliver to some high school students was supposedly canceled because of his conservative views, but after the interview, David Barton and Rick Green talked about how excited they were about his forthcoming film, with Barton revealing that Texas Governor Rick Perry was so enamored with it that he has "agreed to raise millions to put this thing in theaters":
Green: Well this new project he's doing - you know we had Dinesh on when he wrote the book "The Roots of Obama's Rage." I love Dinesh D'Souza, I think he's the C.S. Lewis of our day, just a great guy. But to make this a movie now that's going to reach far more people that's actually going to be in theaters even.
Barton: Well, I was just with Governor Perry and Governor Perry has agreed to raise millions to put this thing in theaters. He is committed to this thing in a big way ...
Green: To getting the truth out there for people to really know ...
Barton: He said it's phenomenal ... because they called him and asked him to help and he said "is it okay if I see the movie first before I agree to raise [money]?" And so he saw it and, man he is all over this thing.
Doug Mainwaring of the National Capital Tea Party Patriots took to the Washington Times today to ridicule Rep. Barney Frank’s recent same-sex wedding, asserting that marriage equality for gays and lesbians is an effort by the left to enlarge the role of government. “For them, it’s not about homosexual rights, nor is it about equality, fairness or freedom,” Mainwaring writes. “It is about the weakening of the two most hallowed structures of civil society - family and faith - which often stand in the way of government making further inroads into our lives.”
He said that Rep. Frank’s wedding was “skewering the very concept of marriage” and represented a “mockery, a parody, a staggering caricature of the most fundamental and towering of American Institutions.” Mainwaring concluded that same-sex marriage is nothing but a “joke” to the left and just another sign “of the contempt our liberal establishment harbors for Main Street America.”
Most Americans - yes, even those who may have a divorce in their past, view marriage as something sacred. It’s a solemn moment of commitment before God or, if not God, in front of their families and the community. Clearly, the intelligentsia in attendance were not most Americans.
An irreverent display, this was a scene from a cheesy comedy movie, skewering the very concept of marriage. No one would mistake this for a solemn moment when two souls are joined together for eternity. Instead, it was an absurd frolic, an “Alice in Wonderland” moment.
The politicos and pundits who aggressively promote same-sex marriage, many of whom were present at this event, have revealed something about themselves they perhaps didn’t intend to show: Same-sex marriage is a joke to them. It’s nothing more than political opportunism, straight from the liberal Democrats’ timeworn, dog-eared playbook - an attempt to corral and cordon off yet another minority group for the Democrats, adding yet another square to their patchwork AstroTurf quilt.
Putting their personal seal of approval on this act of contempt toward marriage by virtue of their attendance were House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, former Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry and House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer.
Mr. Frank’s vows are emblematic of the problem with the same-sex marriage lobby in this country: For them, it’s not about homosexual rights, nor is it about equality, fairness or freedom. It is about the weakening of the two most hallowed structures of civil society - family and faith - which often stand in the way of government making further inroads into our lives. The ideal world for liberals would be one where we all became like “Julia” on BarackObama.com - individuals deprived of the influence and support of family and faith. In that way, government can more easily have its way with us.
The New York Times wrote, “Ms. Pelosi said at the reception on Saturday that it was appropriate that a landmark same-sex wedding take place around the Fourth of July. ‘It’s about expanding freedom.’ “
Far from a cherished milestone in the advancement of American freedom, the Frank-Ready wedding was a mockery, a parody, a staggering caricature of the most fundamental and towering of American Institutions.
If this is how Washington’s political class views marriage, we should run - not walk - from its counsels.
The boisterous laughter and snickers among the 300 gathered guests evoked by Mr. Frank’s frivolous vows were a display of the contempt our liberal establishment harbors for Main Street America.
As RWW readers know, there is no end to the Religious Right’s dishonest campaign to portray Barack Obama as an enemy of faith and freedom. The latest salvo from Phyllis Schlafly on the president’s “record of hostility to religion” is a litany of the Religious Right’s favorite horror stories, half-truths, distortions, and outright falsehoods, wrapped up in a sweeping assertion:
When Barack Obama promised to “fundamentally transform the United States” we could not have anticipated the extreme transformations he would seek. The evidence is rolling in that he is determined to transform America into a totally secular land where religion is permitted only within the walls of a church, but is banned in every public place, public gathering and public school….
Barack Obama is trying to morph our traditional religious liberty to the lesser scope of freedom of worship. That means worship only inside a church, or maybe a synagogue, but not any public affirmation of belief in God.
Schlafly must have missed Obama’s inauguration, not to mention the administration’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and ongoing federal funding of religiously affiliated social service organizations. Or perhaps she cares less about the truth than about convincing conservative Christians that Obama is their enemy.
A group of anti-gay pastors is heading to Houston to hold a press conference outside of the NAACP’s convention today, protesting the organization’s decision to endorse marriage equality. The Coalition of African American Pastors is led by William Owens, a Memphis preacher who has been a consistent advocate on behalf of state constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage and is a founding member of the anti-gay Arlington Group. Owens launched a new coalition, 100,000 Signatures for Marriage, to stop the “hijacking of the civil rights movement by homosexuals, bisexuals and gender-confused people” and to “speak out against President Obama’s support for this destructive agenda,” and is now alleging that Obama is snubbing African Americans for not speaking at the NAACP convention even though he held a gay pride event:
"He can have the gay pride celebration in the White House, he can have Lady Gaga in the White House, and he's in the White House today because of the civil rights movement and the price that was paid for civil rights," said the Rev. William Owens, the president of the Coalition of African-American Pastors, a group that opposes Obama's gay marriage stance. "He has met with the Latinos; he meets with everything except for the people who put him where he is."
He told the Christian Post today that he is going to the NAACP convention not only to protest Obama but also attack the group’s position on marriage equality, saying that the NAACP is abandoning “its roots” and must do what “Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., called on us to do,” which according to Owens is to oppose gay rights:
"We are calling on the NAACP, a beloved organization in our eyes, to reclaim its mission. The black church founded the NAACP, and it is not the organization for the advancement of gays and lesbians – whatever the merits of that movement. Return to your roots and stand with the black church on marriage. The black church in our eyes remains the conscience of America.
"To the board of NAACP we say, 'Do not worry about the money, God will provide.' Stand with the Church and the Bible and the natural law, as our brother with whom we marched, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., called on us to do."
The coalition demanded on July 3 that President Obama meet with the group to address his stance on same-sex marriage. So far, the White House has refused to acknowledge the group's request but leaders say they plan to "turn up the heat" by asking black Christians to sit on the sidelines for the time being.
"We have requested a meeting with President Obama and until he meets with us, we are going to ask black Christians to withhold their support until he personally hears our concerns," Owens, told The Christian Post in a recent interview.
"More than anything, this is an issue of biblical principles and President Obama is carrying our nation down a dangerous road. Many African Americans were once proud of our president but now many are ashamed of his actions."
Owens added, "You have to stand on the Word of God regardless of your race or political affiliation. If the president is serious about his faith then why would he not meet with men of faith of his own race?"
During the discussion, Fischer ventured into David Barton territory when he claimed that Jesus preached the right to self-defense and therefore his teaching is "virtually the foundation of the Second Amendment":
We not only care about the First Amendment on Focal Point, we also care about the Second Amendment. And remember, the Second Amendment, this is basically the right to self defense, this is the right to protect yourself, it's the right to bear arms in your own defense, it's our surest guarantee against a tyrannical takeover by some occupying power or even by our own government. A government is stopped, they are stalled, they have to be mindful of the fact that the American citizens have arms, so there's a limit to what they can get away with under the use of force.
So the Second Amendment is very important to us. Jesus, his teaching [is] virtually the foundation of the Second Amendment because, remember, one time he told his disciples "look, the time is going to come when you're going to need a sword - if you don't have a sword, sell everything you've got and buy one, you're going to need one for your own protection." So Jesus [was] legitimizing the use of the right of self-defense, endorsing the right of self-defense, and that's what is enshrined in the Second Amendment.
He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
Republican Congressman Tom Reed is running to represent the newly created 23rd district in upstate New York, which covers much of the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier. He has a strong ally in WYSL, a right-wing talk radio station near Rochester that broadcasts throughout much of the district. On the one hand, it’s great to have friends who run a big radio station:
But Reed’s radio buddies caused trouble for him on Friday when they repeatedly ridiculed the Asian ancestry of Reed’s opponent Nate Shinagawa, a Democratic county legislator and hospital administrator from Ithaca. Shinagawa is a third-generation Japanese America whose grandfather was interned in California during World War II, only to enlist in the Marines upon release.
But that stuff doesn’t matter to WYSL host Bill Nojay and owner Bob Savage. They think Shinagawa has a funny name and must not be from around these parts. Here’s what Nojay, Savage, and a producer had to say about Shinagawa last Friday:
Nojay: Now you should be impressed that I know how to pronounce Shinagawa. Shinagawa ready to face Reed. He’s the guy who won the Democrat primary. He hails from the People’s Republic.
Producer: He’s gonna lose, just because of his name.
Nojay: Now that’s not a particularly nice thing to say.
Savage (in a stereotypical, derogatory Asian voice): Xenophobic. Xenophobic.
As the three go on talking about how “Shinagawa is going to lose” and “hasn’t done anything with his life,” a song begins playing in the background – it’s the 1963 hit song “Sukiyaki” by Japanese crooner Kyu Sakamoto. With the song mocking Shinagawa playing in the background, Nojay and his producer reveal just how tight they are with Reed:
Nojay: If I made a contribution to Reed’s campaign, I wonder if I can get a refund. He doesn’t need the money anymore … Whoop, I shouldn’t have said that. He’s gonna get mad at me.
Producer: You’re gonna be getting a phone call.
Nojay: Alright. Send money now to Tom Reed’s campaign, he’ll make good use of it. Reed’s a great candidate. He does need our help.
You can listen to their segment below. Note that Nojay’s comment about the “People’s Republic” refers to Ithaca and is one of the few things from the segment that isn’t racist. The “People’s Republic” moniker is a popular, if lame, trope of conservatives who like to put down various college towns – especially Berkeley – as being out of touch with real America.
Nojay isn’t just a right-wing talker on WYSL, he’s also a candidate in the GOP primary for a newly drawn seat in the New York Assembly. When he and Savage realized on Monday that not everyone was laughing along with their racist jokes, they decided to play dumb and deny everything. I’ll have more on their cowardly, and implausible, denials shortly, but it’s important not to lose focus on Reed.
Reed hasn’t just appeared multiple times on Nojay’s show. He (or his campaign) is apparently in close contact with Nojay, who used his show to solicit funds for Reed’s campaign. And he had praise heaped upon him at the same time his radio buddies were mocking his opponent’s Asian ancestry.
Reed can’t just excuse himself from this controversy. He has a responsibility to publicly call out his buddies and say that their racism has no place in American politics.
[Right Wing Watch is a project of People For the American Way, whose affiliated PAC has endorsed Shinagawa]
Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been targeting the Obama administration since his earliest days as chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and recently he’s been waging a political witch hunt against Attorney General Eric Holder surrounding the Fast and Furious gunrunning operation. In the course of the investigation, Rep. Issa requested documents which the AG was prohibited by law from releasing, and for that, Rep. Issa successfully campaigned to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed an ethics complaint with both the Office of Congressional Ethics and the Department of Justice, alleging that in his zeal to embarrass the Obama Administration, Rep. Issa may in fact have violated House ethics rules as well as federal wiretap laws.
According to CREW:
Rather than releasing the warrant application to the media directly, which would clearly have been prosecutable, Rep. Issa inserted the information into the Congressional Record. This way, he shielded his otherwise illegal conduct behind the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution. Evidence also suggests Rep. Issa or his staff may have directed reporters to the Congressional Record to ensure the information contained in the leaked warrant application was discovered and further publicized. Such actions, which could constitute “republication” of the material, might not be subject to the same constitutional protections.
CREW also argues that there is precedent for holding Rep. Issa accountable for his potential violation of the wiretap statute, and that a refusal to do so would bring even more discredit to the House leadership than Rep. Issa’s botched and politically-motivated Fast and Furious investigation already has.
A New York Times editorial published yesterday takes aim at Mitt Romney’s continued obfuscation regarding his tax returns. Shirking a precedent embraced by previous presidential candidates, including his father, George Romney, the GOP nominee has yet to fully disclose the extent of his foreign investments and tax havens.
“Mr. Romney has resisted all demands for more disclosure, leading to growing criticism from Democrats that he is trying to hide his fortune and his tax schemes from the public. Given the troubling suspicions about his finances, he needs to release many more returns and quickly open his books to full scrutiny.
The 2010 tax return showed that the blind trust held by his wife, Ann, included a $3 million Swiss bank account that had not been properly reported on previous financial disclosure statements. (The account was closed by the trust manager in 2010 who feared it might become embarrassing for the campaign. He was right.) It also showed that Mr. Romney had used a complex offshore tax shelter, known as a blocker corporation, to shield the investments in his I.R.A. from paying an obscure business tax.
The use of that technique by wealthy taxpayers and institutions, long been blasted by Congressional tax experts as abusive, costs the treasury $1 billion a decade.”
Romney’s pattern of dishonesty extends beyond his personal finances. He has yet to fully explain the terms upon which he parted with the Bain Capital, the private equity firm he helped create. Although he claims he left the firm in 1999, just last month “his trust reported receiving a $2 million payment from Bain as part of unpaid earnings from his work there”. (New York Times) Recent reporting by AP and Vanity Fair raise even more questions about the millions that Romney has stashed away in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
President Obama has recently returned from a bus tour under the banner of “Betting on America” – placing trust and reinvesting in American industry. The contrast with Mitt Romney couldn’t be clearer.
Romney’s campaign slogan is “Believe in America”, but an apt subtitle may as well be…”but invest somewhere else.”
Listening to "ex-terrorist" Kamal Saleem tell his life story is like listening to the Forrest Gump of terrorism as he relates who he was an extremely important figure working in terror networks ranging from Al Qaeda to those established by Moammar Gadhafi to Saddam Hussein.
For the last week, Saleem has been the featured quest on Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program where he has been regaling Mat Staver with tales of being trained to be a terrorist from the age of seven, when he first led a mission to smuggle weapons into Israel from Syria.
As Saleem explained today, that mission was such a success that he became a hero and was then tasked with recruiting other children for future missions, which he succeeded in doing. Saleem claims that he recruited another child named Mohammed but only after promising Mohammed's mother that he would let nothing happen to him and that Mohammed would return alive.
Now eight years-old, Saleem claims to have led a second weapons smuggling mission into Israel, only this time, when they emerge from the tunnel they had used to sneak into the country, they were confronted by the Israeli military "which started hitting us with everything they've got," killing Mohammed after he "took shrapnel through his esophagus and severed his spine," prompting Saleem to pick him up, put him on his shoulders, and run back across the border in Syria, with Mohammed serving as a shield to absorb the bullets being fired at him by the pursing Israeli soldiers:
Buster Wilson of the American Family Association delivered a sermon at Hope Church in Tupelo, Mississippi, where the AFA is headquartered, “Calling the Nation Back to God,” where he insisted that America may impose “hate speech” laws against Christians to undermine their involvement in politics “and literally violate our conscience as believers in God’s word.” “If we don’t get involved we’re going to lose our country,” Wilson cried out, “let me just put it to you like this, if we don’t get involved and we leave the government of the people, for the people and by the people to be completely run by the pagans and the unbelievers then we are going to find ourselves in servitude to the pagans and the unbelievers”:
Later, Wilson said he is a membership in the extremist group Oath Keepers and broadcasted the group’s ten conspiratorial “Orders We Will Not Obey,” based on warnings of potential concentration camps, looming dictatorships and foreign militaries in America. “For instance, I will not ever obey a law to help encamp Tupelo as a concentration camp, I will never obey a law as a law enforcement officer to take away your firearms, I will never obey a to do anything to take away your constitutional rights, I’m an oath keeper,” Wilson said:
Washington Times columnist and Edmund Burke Institute president Jeffrey Kuhner doesn’t seem too happy with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the health care reform law, telling Janet Mefferd yesterday that the ruling “signals the end of our Constitutional republic as we know it” and “the end of traditional America as we know it.” “We are now living in an age of a creeping, soft, socialist tyranny,” Kuhner warned, even alleging that the government can potentially mandate that people stop “using toilet paper because it’s bad for the environment.” He argued that Chief Justice John Roberts “is a Judas” who “did it for his thirty pieces of silver” in the form of favorable reactions from the media:
Kuhner: Today it’s going to be health insurance, tomorrow it’ll be eating broccoli or buying an electric car or not using toilet paper because it’s bad for the environment. There is now no end; there is no limit on the power of the central government. That’s why it’s an ominous precedent, it’s a revolutionary precedent; I believe it signals the end of our Constitutional republic as we know it, we are now living in an age of a creeping, soft, socialist tyranny. This election I believe is the last chance for the American people to now stop Obamacare, stop the government takeover of healthcare, to stop this out of control imperial presidency, and to save our republic. After the next election, Obamacare will be fully implemented, the precedent of the Supreme Court will now be established and it will be the end of traditional America as we know it.
Mefferd: It’s interesting, when Obama has been issuing these executive orders, a lot of people have accused him rightly I believe of being confused of what his branch of government is supposed to do, do you believe that Roberts superseded his branch of government? He’s the judicial branch. Do you think he was doing something beyond the authority of the court to start saying alaw is this and not this regardless of what was argued?
Kuhner: Yes. In fact, I’m going to be very candid with you and I’m not going to mince words, I believe Chief Justice Roberts is a Judas. And I believe like Judas he did it for his thirty pieces of silver. And what were his thirty pieces of silver? It was one puff profile piece after another.
On yesterday's radio program, Bryan Fischer declared that there is "plenty of hatred in the debate over homosexuality," but it is all coming from gay activists and their supporters who are driven by a "heterophobic," "Christophobic," "dark, venomous, demonic hatred":
I am convinced that there is plenty of hatred in the debate over homosexuality, there's a lot of hatred, there's a lot of vitriol, there's a lot of venom - it is coming from homosexuals themselves. The real haters are homosexuals. The real venom is coming from those that support the homosexual agenda, either homosexual activists, homosexuals, or those that support the homosexual agenda. They are the real haters. There is a heterophobic hatred, there is a Christophobic hatred that is just seething, there's a dark, venomous, demonic hatred that is in the homosexual community.