Fighting the Right

Trump's New Pro-Life Adviser Doesn't Want To Talk About Contraception

Yesterday, The Telegraph published a largely sympathetic profile of Marjorie Dannenfelser, the anti-choice leader who is now heading up Donald Trump’s new “pro-life coalition.” Dannenfelser’s organization, the Susan B. Anthony List, is apparently pleased with the article and has been promoting it to its email list.

As The Telegraph notes, Dannenfelser is one of the best messengers the anti-choice movement has, intent on avoiding topics and tone that might make the movement look bad.

So it shouldn’t have been a surprise that when The Telegraph asked her about her stance on contraception, a critical topic in a movement that has differing views on where the line between contraception and abortion stands, Dannenfelser declared that the question was “not relevant”:

As a result, she doesn't want to speak about her views on contraception: apparently "it’s not relevant" and she is "not interested in talking about it".

A follow-up request to the SBA List spokesperson reveals why: the organisation is opposed to some kinds of birth control – namely, IUD coils and the morning after pill – because in both instances, there’s a chance they could prevent a fertilised egg from implanting.

As The Telegraph notes, SBA List does take a stance on contraception. The Guttmacher Institute reported in 2014, “SBA List has routinely referred to emergency contraceptives as ‘abortion drugs’ and describes the copper IUD as causing ‘early abortion.’” This view was critical to the group’s support for Hobby Lobby, which claimed that a requirement that it insure such contraception methods amounted to support for abortion.

Dannenfelser also repeated to The Telegraph her view that abortion should be outlawed with no exceptions except to save the life of a pregnant woman:

So what would her ‘perfect abortion bill’ look like?

“It would have an exception for the life of the mother only," she says, eventually, before her pragmatism rears its head. "But we’re not living a perfect world, and I have also been behind bills that have included the rape, incest and life of the mother exception."

Dannenfelser told the paper that she trusts Trump “immeasurably” (a change from her assertion during the presidential primaries that she was “disgusted” by his treatment of women), specifically citing his pledge to nominate foes of abortion rights to the Supreme Court.

Gordon Klingenschmitt: Providing Chelsea Manning With Gender Reassignment Surgery Is Unconstitutional 'Government Castration'

On a recent episode of his "Pray In Jesus Name" show, Gordon Klingenschmitt reacted to the news that the Army will pay for gender reassignment surgery for Chelsea Manning, who is currently in prison for leaking classified information, by declaring that providing this surgery violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on imposing cruel or unusual punishments.

After predictably declaring that Manning is possessed by a "demonic spirit of lying," Klingenschmitt asserted that providing her with the surgery amounts to "government castration of prisoners."

"Oh my gosh," he said, "I thought that was cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So when the ACLU says he has a constitutional right to this castration, no! The Constitution says the opposite, that your not allowed to treat prisoners with cruel and unusual treatment. That's clearly a violation ... of his constitutional rights."

"This man is not only confused," Klingenschmitt said, "now the Obama administration has joined the demonic spirit in the deception and now they're violating his constitutional rights by castrating him."

PFAW’s Latinos Vote!, Priorities USA Release Spanish-Language Anti-Trump Radio Ad in Nevada

Following last night’s debate, People For the American Way (PFAW) in partnership with Priorities USA launched a Spanish-language radio ad today encouraging listeners to get out the vote against Donald Trump. The ad features a mother with sons in the military discussing how Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric affects her and why it's critical to defeat him this November.

"Disparaging immigrants, slinging insults based on a person’s race or ethnicity, goes against everything that our country stands for, yet that's what we're hearing from the Republican presidential nominee," said PFAW President Michael Keegan. "We released these ads to highlight both how harmful Trump's rhetoric is and how Latino voters in particular can ensure that his hate never reaches the White House."

"We know that the way Trump describes us - as rapists and criminals taking down the American economy - couldn't be further from the truth," said PFAW Director of Latinos Vote! Lizet Ocampo. "So we must stand up against Trump’s lies and hate by casting our votes against Donald Trump. Who wins Nevada could determine who wins the presidency, and Latino voters can and will decide who wins Nevada."

The ads are part of PFAW's Latinos Vote! program which works to expose and counter anti-immigrant, anti-Latino rhetoric and policies. Previously this cycle in Nevada, PFAW launched the first anti-Trump Spanish-language TV ad, “Donald Trump’s Year of Hate.” The ads were announced during a press conference with former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who Donald Trump called “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping,” and civil rights leader and PFAW board member Dolores Huerta. Huerta also joined Latino leaders and voters in Las Vegas to challenge the hateful agendas of Trump and the Republican Party. For more information about the Latinos Vote! program, please email media@pfaw.org.

Listen to the ad: 

Translation:

Voiceover: Careliz has spent her life working hard, raising her kids right, to give them a shot at the American Dream.  She’s the proud mother of two sons who joined the U.S. military.

Careliz: I will never forget the day my sons came home wearing their uniforms.  They were so proud.  To be serving our country. To hear the things that Donald Trump says – it just disgusts me.

Trump:  “He’s a Mexican.  I’m building a wall.”

Trump:  “This is a country where we speak English – not Spanish.”

Careliz: My sons fight for our country.  And when Donald Trump says we don’t deserve to live here.  It’s just a slap in the face.   It disgusts me. He must never be President.

Voiceover: Together, we can stop Donald Trump.  We have a responsibility to vote.

For questions or to request an interview with a PFAW spokesperson, please email media@pfaw.org.

###

20 Lies Donald Trump Told At The First Presidential Debate

Donald Trump, already notorious for his mind-blowing dishonesty, repeated many of his usual lies during last night’s presidential debate—and added some new ones.

Some of Trump’s whoppers were obviously false, while others required a bit more digging to disprove.

Here are just 20 lies that Trump told during his first debate against Hillary Clinton:

 

Trump’s lies about his own history

Lie #1: Denies making remarks about climate change.

Clinton: “Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it's real.”

Trump: “I did not—I do not say that.”

Trump has in fact said that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese:

Lie #2: Denies his own proposal to negotiate down the debt.

Clinton: “You even went and suggested that you would try to negotiate down the national debt of the United States.”

Trump: “Wrong.”

Trump has said that as president, “I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal” on the debt. Economists have widely panned this idea aseconomically catastrophic.

Lie #3: Denies supporting the Iraq War.

“I did not support the war in Iraq.”

Trump expressed support for the invasion of Iraq before it took place and only said that he opposed the war after the conflict had started.

Lie #4: Denies calling pregnancy a business inconvenience.

Clinton: “This is a man who is called women pigs, slobs and dogs, and someone who has said pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers.”

Trump: “I never said that.”

In 2004, Trump said that pregnancy is “certainly an inconvenience for a business.”

Lie #5: Contradicts himself about his tax audit.

Trump: “I’m under a routine audit.”

[moments later]

Trump: “Look, I have been under audit almost for 15 years. I know a lot of wealthy people that have never been audited. I said, ‘Do you get audited ?’ I get audited almost every year. And in a way I should be complaining. I’m not even complaining. I don't mind them. It’s almost become a way of life. I get audited by the IRS. But other people don't.”

Trump has previously claimed that he is facing an audit, which he has used to justify his refusal to release his tax returns, because he’s “a strong Christian,” but his own lawyers say that the “continuous examination” of his returns is “consistent with the IRS’ practice for large and complex businesses.” Experts also point out that there is nothing preventing Trump from releasing his returns.

Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., said that his father was refusing to release his return because it would be a distraction from his campaign.

Lie #6: Falsely claims he already released key financial information.

“You will learn more about Donald Trump by going down to the federal elections where I filed a one hundred and four page, essentially financial statement of sorts, the forms that they have.”

As PolitiFact notes, this information leaves out essential information, including “details on his effective tax rate, the types of taxes he paid, and how much he gave to charity, as well as a more detailed picture of his income-producing assets.”

Lie #7: Falsely claims he only received a small loan from his father.

“My father gave me a very small loan in 1975.”

Trump has been regaling audiences with the tale that he received a “small loan of a million dollars” from his father, real estate mogul Fred Trump, when he first went into business. Far from an up-from-the-bootstraps success story, Trump regularly relied “on his father’s connections and wealth” in the form of “lucrative trusts” and “numerous loans and loan guarantees, as well as his father’s connections,” The Washington Post reports.

“As Trump’s casinos ran into trouble,” the Post reports, “Trump’s father also purchased $3.5 million gaming chips, but did not use them, so the casino would have enough cash to make payments on its mortgage—a transaction which casino authorities later said was an illegal loan.”

Indeed, loans Trump received from his father amounted to $14 million, “a value of $31 million in today’s dollars.”

Lie #8: Claims Clinton’s campaign, not Trump, started the birther movement.

“They were pressing it very hard, she failed to get the birth certificate. When I got involved, I didn't fail. I got him to give the birth certificate. So I'm satisfied with it, and I’ll tell you why I’m satisfied with it.”

There is no proof that anyone in Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign pushed the birther conspiracy theory. Instead, Trump cited an interview with Clinton’s former campaign manager in which she said that the campaign fired a volunteer who forwarded a birther email. He also cited a conversation that Sidney Blumenthal, who had no formal role in Clinton’s campaign, had with a McClatchy reporter, but McClatchy “found no proof that Blumenthal questioned Obama’s birthplace.”

 

Trump’s lies about the economy and finance

Lie #9: Misleadingly claims jobs are “fleeing” abroad.

“Our jobs are fleeing the country.”

Employment has been rising since the end of the Great Recession, but Trump has been using bogus statistics to claim that unemployment is actually as high as 42 percent.

Lie #10: Falsely claims China is devaluing their currency.

“You look at what China is doing to our country in terms of making our product, they're devaluing their currency and there's nobody in our government to fight them.”

In fact, China has of late been doing the opposite of devaluing its currency.

Ian Talley of The Wall Street Journal notes that while “few U.S. economists would disagree China kept the yuan undervalued over the last two decades,” now, “many economists—including some of the strongest advocates for action against Beijing s—say the yuan is now close to fair value. Beijing appreciated the yuan from 2005 to 2014…. In fact, over the last two years, Beijing burned through nearly a quarter of what was once a $4 trillion currency stockpile to prevent the yuan from falling against the dollar.”

Lie #11 : Baselessly claims the Federal Reserve is “doing political” by not increasing interest rates.

“This Janet Yellen of the Fed, the Fed is doing political by keeping interest rates at this level. And believe me the day Obama goes off and he leaves and he goes out to the golf course for the rest of his life to play golf, when they raise interest rates, you are going to see some very bad things happen because the Fed is not doing their job. The Fed is being more political than Secretary Clinton.”

The Federal Reserve is an independent institution and Trump has yet to offer any evidence that Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen is taking her cues from President Obama, a claim that he has been making for weeks.

 

Trump’s lies about national security

Lie #12 : Absurdly claims Clinton has fought ISIS for decades.

“No wonder you’ve been fighting ISIS your entire adult life.”

ISIS was created out of the Islamic State of Iraq, which was founded in 2006, and was in turn the descendent of Al Qaeda in Iraq, established in 2004. Hillary Clinton is 68 years old and graduated from college in 1969.

Lie #13 : Claims other countries don’t pay us for military defense.

“We defend Germany. We defend South Korea. We defend Saudi Arabia. We defend countries. They do not pay us what they should be paying us because we are providing tremendous service and we’re losing a fortune.”

The U.S. is hardly “losing a fortune” in military aid.

Lie #14 : Falsely claims NATO allies aren’t paying the U.S.

Trump: “We pay approximately 73 percent of the cost of NATO.”

Not even close .

Lie #15: Falsely claims the U.S. paid Iran $400 million.

“One of the great giveaways of all time, of all time, including four hundred million dollars in cash nobody’s ever seen that before that turned out to be wrong.”

As the New York Times notes, the money Trump referenced “was Iran’s money, for military goods never delivered to Iran after the Iranian Revolution.”

 

Trump’s lies about crime

Lie #16: Absurdly suggests America is experiencing a crime wave.

“We have a situation where we have our inner cities, African-American, Hispanics, are living in hell because it's so dangerous. You walk down the street, you get shot. In Chicago, they’ve had thousands of shootings, thousands, since January first. Thousands of shootings. And I’m saying where is this? Is this a war-torn countr y?”

Far from a crime wave, FactCheck.org points out that the violent crime rate “is lower than it has been since 1970” and “the murder and nonnegligent manslaughter rate nationwide, at 4.5 in 2014, was at its lowest point since at least the early 1960s.”

Lie #17: Baselessly says stop and frisk “worked very well” in New York.

“You do stop and frisk, which worked very well—Mayor Giuliani is here worked very well in New York.”

Katherine Krueger of TPM writes that a “2013 report from the New York attorney general found that out of 2.4 million stops by police between 2009 and 2012, the stops resulted in a 3 percent conviction rate, and just 0.1 percent of the total stops went on to a violent crime conviction.” Other cities that did not use stop and frisk experienced similar dips in crime, and one study, according to the Washington Post , “found that a high rate of stop-and-frisks was not associated with reduced crime when the practice was indiscriminate.” New York City’s crime rate continued to fall after stop-and-frisk was ended.

Lie #18: Falsely claims the murder rate in New York went up after the end of stop and frisk.

Clinton: “Well, it's also fair to say, if we’re going to talk about mayors, that under the current mayor crime has continued to drop, including murders. So there is—“

Trump: “You're wrong.”

Clinton: “No, I'm not.”

Trump: “Murders are up.”

Trump is wrong: Homicides in New York have been on the decline.

Lie #19: Falsely claims stop and frisk wasn’t ruled unconstitutional.

Lester Holt: “Stop and frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.”

Trump: “No, you're wrong. It went before a judge who was a very against-police judge. It was taken away from her and our mayor, our new mayor, refused to go forward with the case. They would have won an appeal.”

Trump is wrong: Stop and frisk was ruled unconstitutional in 2013 .

Lie #20: Falsely claims ICE endorsed him.

“I was is endorsed by ICE. They’ve never endorsed anybody before on immigration. I was just endorsed by ICE.”

ICE is a federal agency and has not endorsed Trump, or any other candidate for that matter.

Glenn Beck Reveals That He Was Planning To Retire From Radio And Run For Office, But Not Anymore

During his appearance on Dana Loesch's program last night, Glenn Beck revealed that his experience campaigning for God's chosen candidate, Ted Cruz, during the Republican primaries and his betrayal when Cruz endorsed Trump has dissuaded him from his plans to run for office.

Beck said that he will never again endorse a candidate. He also revealed that he told his wife last year that he was thinking of retiring from radio and television and running for office in a future election.

"I want to pray on it," Beck said he told his wife, "because maybe in 2020, 2024, maybe I'll run for something ... Not necessarily for president, I don't know, but I want to prepare myself to be worthy enough to run."

But after what he has seen, Beck said that he wants nothing to do with politics because "it's an absolute cesspool."

Trump Wasn't 'Endorsed By ICE,' But He Was Backed By Group That Attacked DACA

At last night's presidential debate, Hillary Clinton apparently got under Donald Trump's skin when she brought up a letter signed by 50 Republican national security experts who said that Trump would be "the most reckless President in American history." Trump responded:

I do want to say that I was just endorsed—and more are coming next week—it will be over 200 admirals, many of them here—admirals and generals endorsed me to lead this country. That just happened, and many more are coming. And I’m very proud of it.

In addition, I was just endorsed by ICE. They’ve never endorsed anybody before on immigration. I was just endorsed by ICE. I was just recently endorsed—16,500 Border Patrol agents.

Trump's boast of military endorsers seems to be a reference to a letter in support of his candidacy signed by 88 retired generals and admirals. The list contained no "major names," but did include such activists asJerry Boykin. Boykin, who was repeatedly criticized by President George W. Bush for giving speeches framing the fight against terrorism as a holy war between Christianity and Islam, now has a platform for his vicious anti-gay and anti-Muslim rhetoric as a top official at the Family Research Council.

The immigration allies Trump mentioned are similarly troubling. Trump was clearly not, as he claimed, endorsed by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is a federal agency that cannot endorse candidates. He was probably referring instead to his endorsement that morning from the National ICE Council, a union the represents somewhere between 5,000 and 7,600 of the agency's 20,000 employees. The other endorsement he boasted of was that of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), a union for border patrol officers.

As the Center for New Community has documented, both the National ICE Council and the NBPC have close ties to the organized anti-immigrant movement. “Instead of fulfilling organized labor’s traditional role of advocating for respectable wages and working conditions, leaders of these particular unions appear more focused on coordinating with special interest groups in the Beltway to advance anti-immigrant policy goals,” the Center wrote in a recent report.

The Center explains how the leadership of the National ICE Council collaborated with leading anti-immigrant groups to challenge President Obama’s DACA order in the courts and speak out against it in public:

In August 2012, shortly after the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) was announced, but before it was enacted, ten ICE agents filed a lawsuit against then DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and the directors of ICE and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit was Christopher Crane, President of the National ICE Council. In anticipation of President Obama announcing the DACA program, the leaders of the anti-immigrant movement began exploring ways to counter the program by falsely arguing that DACA represented an unconstitutional act of executive overreach. In order to mount a legal challenge against the program, however, the leaders of that movement needed to recruit a plaintiff who could credibly claim injury and be granted legal standing in a court of law.

Chris Crane was their man.

Crane v. Napolitano was initially dismissed on a legal technicality, and then in a separate ruling on April 7, 2015 the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals once again dismissed Crane and his colleagues’ case. Despite this, the lawsuit allowed anti-immigrant groups like NumbersUSA to construct a platform from which Crane could act as a prominent spokesperson, helping to advance the anti-immigrant movement’s targeting of DACA. NumbersUSA announced that it would cover all legal fees incurred for the duration of the suit, and the anti-immigrant movement’s most prominent attorney, Kris Kobach, was recruited to represent Crane and his colleagues. …

In announcing the National ICE Council’s endorsement of Trump, Crane cited the Republican candidate’s support for “the canceling of executive amnesty and non-enforcement directives”—in other words, DACA and DAPA.

The border patrol officers’ group has had similar collaboration with anti-immigrant groups. That includes, according to the Center for New Community, a California official with the union helping to tip off the extremist anti-immigrant activists who in the summer of 2014 physically blocked busses of Central Americans fleeing violence who were being brought to a border patrol facility.

Glenn Beck Says Ted Cruz Endorsed Donald Trump Because He Lost Faith In Divine Providence

Glenn Beck appeared on Dana Loesch's program, which airs on his TheBlaze television network, last night to discuss his outrage and disappointment in Ted Cruz for endorsing Donald Trump. He speculated that "the smarmiest of the smarmy" within the Texas GOP had threatened to destroy Cruz's political career and derail his bid for re-election in 2016 if he didn't endorse Trump, which caused Cruz to cave because he lost faith in divine providence.

"I think he had a moment of doubt, not of the people, of the protection of divine providence," Beck theorized.

Beck said that if he lost his entire company and wound up in jail, he would trust that divine providence would ensure that he still had a voice because even "Nelson Mandela had a voice because he was in jail."

"If you really know your principles and you say, 'I believe in the protection of divine providence, whatever is supposed to happen and get His message out, He will get it out,'" Beck said, "I believe in that. What Ted did was, I think, is what all of them do, 'I've got to be there so I've to to triangulate, this will work and this won't work and I don't see a way of that working.'"

"Well, I don't see a way that any of this works. I believe that will work," Beck said, pointing to heaven.

Trump Justifies Criticism Of Miss Universe Winner: 'She Gained A Massive Amount Of Weight'

At the very end of last night’s presidential debate, Hillary Clinton brought up the story of Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe who says that Trump, the owner of the pageant, called her “‘Miss Piggy’ after she gained weight and ‘Miss Housekeeping’ because she was not fully fluent in English.”

Trump, who still seems to be nursing an inexplicable grudge against Rosie O’Donnell, also couldn’t help but continue to trash Machado after the debate.

On “Fox and Friends” this morning, Trump attempted to justify his treatment of Machado, whom he referred to as “a girl,” by citing her “attitude” and the fact that “she gained a massive amount of weight” after winning the beauty pageant.

“I know that person,” he said. “That person was a Miss Universe person and she was the worst we ever had. The worst. The absolute worst. She was impossible. And she was a Miss Universe contestant and ultimately a winner who they had a tremendously difficult time with as Miss Universe… She was the winner and she gained a massive amount of weight and it was a problem. We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude. And we had a real problem with her.”

Gordon Klingenschmitt: Hillary Clinton Is Possessed By A 'Demonic Spirit Of Hatred' For Christians

On his "Pray In Jesus Name" program today, Colorado state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt responded to Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" comment by declaring that she is un-Christian and possessed by a "demonic, evil spirit of hatred."

"She's talking about you, the viewer of this program," Klingenschmitt declared. "If you believe the Bible, Hillary deplores you! Now, those are just the facts; let's discern the spirits, let's take a moment and say what is it inside of Hillary that makes her deplore us? She's labeling an entire category of people as we're deplorable, does that mean she deplores us? Does that say something about what's inside of her, not what's inside of us?"

"What is inside of her but the spirit of hatred?" he continued. "This demonic, evil spirit of hatred and deploring is not inside of us, it's inside of her toward us. And her behavior, her hatred makes her a very hateful woman, a very deploring woman. Do you see it inside of her? Can you look inside of her and say, 'That must be a Christian woman who loves Jesus, who loves the Bible and even loves her enemies'? ... No, she deplores us. By her own confession now, she is manifesting the spirit of hatred and that makes her anti-Christian."

Klingenschmitt closed out the segment by praying that God will deliver Clinton "from this demonic spirit of hatred."

Rick Joyner: Donald Trump Is Just Like St. Peter

Last week on “The Jim Bakker Show,” Rick Joyner said that Donald Trump is the “warrior leader” that the U.S. needs at this time of war and insecurity.

Joyner, a conservative televangelist, even compared Trump to St. Peter, saying that like St. Peter, Trump is outspoken, bold, tireless and, absurdly, “humble.”

“All I’m saying, I’m just saying, I’m just saying, he is going to say some outrageous things but he’s an honest man,” Joyner said of Trump.

'You Should Resign': Sen. Warren Slams Wells Fargo CEO for Scamming Customers

In a Senate Banking Committee haering last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren was unrelenting in her questioning of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, who was giving testimony on the bank's fraudulent practice of opening unauthorized accounts for customers in order to help meet sales goals.

Sen. Warren is an ardent champion of policies that protect everyday Americans from bilking at the hands of wealthy special interests, especially those in the financial sector. In her questioning, Warren called out Stumpf for making millions of dollars in the Wells Fargo scam, and for showing "gutless leadership" by refusing to resign, fire any senior executives, or even return any of his earnings.

Warren said:

This is about accountability. You should resign. You should give back the money that you took while this scam was going on, and you should be criminally investigated by both the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. This just isn't right.

Watch the full video here:

PFAW

Pat Robertson: Halloween Is Satan Worship

Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson advised a viewer not to let her son attend a haunted house on Halloween and instead to explain to him that the devil is using the holiday to try to “destroy you.”

“Mother, don’t let your babies grow up to be demon-worshippers, if I can quote from Willie Nelson,” he said. “Don’t let him do it.”

Robertson said churches should organize their own alternative events with “all the nice, pretty girls and all the handsome boys” where “they’re praising the Lord instead of worshiping Satan.”

“Halloween has become a night when the devil rejoices,” Robertson added.

New List Makes Even Clearer the Dangers of a Trump Supreme Court

Much has already been written about the dangers that a Supreme Court with even one or two Donald Trump-appointed justices would pose to all our rights and liberties. Trump’s latest list of 10 more possible nominees makes that even clearer. In making his announcement last Friday, Trump proclaimed he was using the late Justice Antonin Scalia as a model for his picks, delighting the far Right. A quick look at these potential nominees’ records shows that they would in fact swing the court far to the right, maybe even further than Justice Scalia, on issues like the environment, voting rights, money in politics, consumer rights, gun violence, LGBT and reproductive rights and more. For the sake of all our rights and liberties, Trump cannot be given the opportunity to nominate Supreme Court justices.

Most of the attention so far has focused on Trump’s naming of Sen. Mike Lee as a potential Supreme Court nominee. Among his many other radical positions, Lee has denounced Supreme Court decisions upholding marriage equality and a woman’s right to choose, and has claimed that Social Security, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, minimum wage and child labor laws, and many more are unconstitutional. Although Lee has indicated he is satisfied with his current job, at least for now, the prospect of Lee on the court has excited the far Right.

The lesser-known candidates on Trump’s list are similarly alarming. Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles Canady, who as a member of the House helped lead the fight to impeach President Clinton in the Senate, has been dubbed one of the Florida Court’s “Scalia-Thomas duo” because of far-right dissents he and one other conservative have written. These included one dissent that would have invalidated state restrictions on soliciting campaign contributions by state judges, and another that would have reversed a decision protecting vulnerable seniors from mandatory arbitration rules by nursing homes.

Another new Trump candidate, Neil Gorsuch of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, recently argued that the Supreme Court’s Chevron decision, under which courts defer to environmental and other agency interpretations of ambiguous laws and which even Justice Scalia had supported, is unconstitutional and should be overruled. Tim Tymkovich, another 10th Circuit judge on Trump’s new list, argued in a dissent that a federal regulation banning the carrying and storing of guns on U.S. Postal Service property should be partially struck down as unconstitutional.

The records of other state supreme court judges on Trump’s list are also disturbing. Georgia’s Keith Blackwell wrote in one case that homeowners injured by a plant’s release of hydrogen sulfide gas could not bring a class action against the plant, even though several lower courts said that they could. Iowa’s Edward Mansfield argued in one dissent that a fired employee should not be able to claim retaliatory discharge when she was fired by an assisted living facility for complaining about a supervisor forging state-mandated training documents. And Michigan’s Robert Young campaigned for re-election as a Tea Party candidate, appearing before Tea Party groups and securing their endorsements. His judicial record has been criticized as “partisan, wildly activist, rabidly pro-insurance, and anti-consumer.” For example, in one case he dissented from a decision that restored the basic rule, which he himself had helped strike down in an earlier case, that allows auto accident victims to sue for pain and suffering. And Young wrote one opinion upholding a requirement mandating photo ID at the polls, despite another judge’s contention that “history will judge us harshly” for the decision.

Perhaps the best summary of Trump’s new list was offered by Carrie Severino of the right-wing Judicial Crisis Network. Trump “continues to take unprecedented steps,” she proclaimed, to show that he would nominate people “like Scalia, Thomas, and Alito” to the Supreme Court. Severino and Trump are clearly hoping that this will shore up Trump’s support on the far Right. In fact, it has already helped secure Trump’s endorsement by former rival and right-wing Sen. Ted Cruz. But for all other Americans, the prospect of Trump nominees to the Supreme Court is truly frightening. This November, voters need to ensure that Donald Trump does not become President Trump.

This piece originally appeared in The Huffington Post.

Rick Joyner: Many People Say Obama Is A Secret Muslim Using Taqiyya

Last week, Rick Joyner revealed to his fellow conservative televangelist Jim Bakker that he is giving spiritual advice to Donald Trump.

Joyner, it seems, has been spending so much time with Trump that he has even adopted his rhetorical style, claiming that a lot of people are saying that President Obama is a secret Muslim and he is just asking whether Obama is using taqiyya to keep his true faith a secret.

After insisting that approximately 400 million Muslims are radicals bent on murdering Americans, Joyner said, “I know there’s an overwhelming amount of evidence and a lot of people believe he is a Muslim and using taqiyya.”

Regardless of whether Obama is secretly Muslim or has been deceived by dark spirits, he added, it is clear that the president’s work is “doing great damage to us, great damage to Christianity and great damage to our country.”

Rep. Trent Franks: Civil War Started Because 'The Left Was So Committed' To Slavery

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., compared legal abortion to slavery on Friday, insisting that it was in fact “the left” in America that started the Civil War because “the left was so committed” to slavery.

Franks made the remarks while speaking with Everett Piper, the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, who was guest-hosting the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program.

When Piper asked Franks about President Obama’s opposition to so-called “born-alive” bills that are a favorite of anti-choice activists, Franks responded that the president “knows that if this country ever wakes up and realizes that we’re in the center storm of the greatest human genocide in the history of humanity, what we’re doing to unborn children and newborn children, that there won’t be a Democrat left standing in the northern hemisphere… in an election, that is, if there’s ever a realization of what the Democrat Party has stood for.”

“It’s so sad, because we’re just not students of history, Doctor,” he continued. “You know, the left gets very angry when we use the slavery parallel, but the parallel is so profoundly appropriate. Because the Supreme Court said in Dred Scott that the slave was not a person, that they were chattel, and you could do whatever you want.

“And there were a group of people, they called them Republicans, they began to coalesce as a new party, that said, no, these slaves are children of God and we as Americans stand for the notion that we’re all created equal and that includes slaves. And we stood up for them and the left was so committed to it that it precipitated a bloody civil war and we ended up shooting ourselves to doll rags. That’s how committed an irrational conclusion can become when there is an investment of these kinds of political proportions in a certain narrative.”

Franks is far from the first conservative politician to conveniently forget the history of the last half century to declare that today’s Democrats are the party of slavery and Jim Crow.

Ted Cruz Tries To Justify Trump Endorsement To A Furious Glenn Beck

On Friday, Ted Cruz officially endorsed Donald Trump and the news did not sit well with Glenn Beck, who had campaigned for Cruz during the Republican primaries on the grounds that he had been anointed by God to save America, and who has vowed never to support Trump.

Cruz appeared on Beck's radio show today to try and justify his decision and it did not go well for Cruz.

Beck grilled the Texas senator on what could have changed about Trump to convince him that he can now support the man he once called an utterly amoral pathological liar. Cruz defended himself almost entirely by citing Trump's latest promise to appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court, which Beck wasn't buying because Trump first made that promise months ago and yet Cruz still refused to endorse Trump when he spoke at the Republican National Convention in July.

"I'm asking you for new information," Beck said. "Why now?"

Upon returning from a commercial break, Beck unloaded on Cruz and his disingenuous justification for endorsing Trump, declaring that Cruz had said things during their interview that Beck personally knows to be untrue.

"For the very first time, I heard Ted Cruz calculate and when that happened, the whole thing fell apart for me," Beck said, declaring that he blames himself for thinking that Cruz was a man of principle instead of just another politician.

Eventually, Beck's fury got the better of him as he worked himself up into a bellowing frenzy.

"We have become PETA. Shame on all of us," Beck fumed over being repeatedly told by Cruz that this election represents a "binary choice" between Hillary Clinton and Trump, outraged that on every issue, the only thing that seems to matter now is that you agree with the people on your side.  "Why not, if you won't vote for Hillary or you won't vote for Trump, why not just cover me in a bucket of blood?"

"Why not just shame me in the public square?" Beck thundered. "There is no difference between the two teams any more ... Which one is for the idea that all men are created equal? That all men have a right to pursue their own happiness and make their own goddamn decisions? Which one? Which one? I contend neither of them and so we will just soak each other in buckets of blood. We'll be a happy little bumper-sticker community that shames one another to make sure you walk in goosestep with all the other Hillary supporters or walk in goosestep with all the other Trump supporters."

Roger Stone Fears Real Assassination Of Trump, Fake Assassination Of Clinton

Yesterday, longtime Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone spoke with conspiracy theory broadcaster Alex Jones about potential “October surprise” events that the “globalists” might concoct to prevent a Trump victory in the presidential election.

“I fear for Trump’s physical safety,” Stone said, which caused Jones to ask about the prospect of “a fake attempted assassination on Hitlery.”

Stone, an informal adviser to Trump, warned that since “the globalists” have “killed John Kennedy” and “infiltrated the Watergate burglar teams to botch the mission and bring Nixon down,” they “will do anything” to achieve their goals.

Jones’ co-host, Lee Ann McAdoo, had an even bleaker outlook, wondering if the New World Order would start a nuclear war: “They’re already planning World War III behind the scenes. This might be the October surprise, that we’re all going to get nuked before anyone gets into office.”

Religious Right Leaders Vow To Defy Laws On Abortion, 'Sexual Perversion' In 'Declaration Of Dependence Upon God'

A group of Religious Right activists, including prominent advocates of dominionism, have joined together to circulate a “Declaration of Dependence upon God and His Holy Bible” in which signers vow to “refuse any mandate by the government that forces us to fund or support abortion” and to “oppose same-sex marriage, polygamy, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual perversion prohibited by Holy Scripture.

Colorado Springs pastor Andrew Wommack, who wrote the pledge, says that he will spend $500,000 promoting it online and in newspaper ads. On Sunday, Wommack’s ministry bought a pricey full-page ad in the New York Times that showed the full text of the “declaration” and some of its most prominent signers.

Among those who have signed Wommack’s pledge, according to the ad, is Religious Right activist David Barton, who has been teaching students at a Bible college run by Wommack to retake the “mountain” of government in accordance with the Seven Mountains dominionist belief that conservative Christians must take control of the seven areas, or “mountains,” of society.

Other signers are Jerry Boykin, the executive vice president of the Family Research Council; Focus on the Family founder James Dobson; prominent televangelist Kenneth Copeland; leading Seven Mountains advocate Lance Wallnau; prosperity gospel preacher Creflo Dollar; and Kelly Shackelford, whose First Liberty Institute has been at the forefront of the narrative that conservative Christians are losing their religious liberty in America.

Another notable signer is Oklahoma state Sen. Nathan Dahm, who earlier this year sponsored a bill to make abortion a felony in the state, which was vetoed by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.

Among the signers are some prominent supporters of Donald Trump’s presidential bid. Dobson and Copeland are members of Trump’s evangelical advisory board. Boykin was recently one of the retired military leaders to sign a letter supporting Trump, which was promoted by the GOP nominee’s campaign. Wallnau is a member of the “National Diversity Coalition for Trump” who has argued that Trump can help reclaim the “seven mountains” from Satan.

In a video message, Wommack says that he believes he was “divinely inspired” to write the declaration, warning that “Satan is fighting for the heart and soul of this nation.”

Another video promoting the declaration shows Fox News pundit Todd Starnes reacting to the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, saying, “The Supreme Court’s decision means gay rights now trump religious liberty. If you think the cultural purging of the southern states has been breathtaking, wait until you see what the activists are about to release on American Christians.” In the video, a young girl turns to her grandfather and asks, “Grandpa, we’re Christians, aren’t we?”

Wommack’s declaration reads like a shorter version of the Manhattan Declaration, a 2009 document that joined conservative Catholic and evangelical leaders in a pledge to commit civil disobedience in the face of the supposed impending government persecution of Christians.

Here’s the full text of the “Declaration of Dependence upon God and His Holy Bible”:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Since our Creator gave us these rights, we declare that no government has the right to take them away. Among these rights is the right to exercise our Christian beliefs as put forth in God’s Holy Bible.

We therefore declare that God grants life at conception and no one has the right to take that life unless it is a direct threat to the life of the mother.

Marriage was instituted by God between one man and one woman. The Lord gave only this family unit the responsibility to have children and raise them in the fear of the Lord.

We therefore respectfully reserve the right to refuse any mandate by the government that forces us to fund or support abortion. We also oppose same-sex marriage, polygamy, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual perversion prohibited by Holy Scripture.

We proclaim that Jesus has provided the cure for all sin and therefore reach out to the sinner in love, but do not embrace the sin, knowing its destructive nature.

Therefore, we, the undersigned—not only as Christians but also believing we have the constitutional rights as Americans to follow these time honored Christian beliefs—commit to conducting our churches, ministries, businesses, and personal lives in accordance with our Christian faith and choose to obey God rather than man.

Never Trumper Erickson: Church ‘Poisoned From Within’ By Trump & His Supporters

Radio host Steve Deace and right-wing pundit-activist Erick Erickson, two of the dwindling group of conservative Christian never-Trumpers, spoke on Deace’s radio show today about a recent Erickson column called “Reconsidering My Opposition to Trump.”

In spite of the column’s title, Erickson uses the colum to reaffirm his unwillingness to vote for Trump, whose campaign he calls un-American. He writes that he sees Trump “corrupting the virtuous and fostering  hatred, racism, and dangerous strains of nationalism.” (He also says, for the benefit of those who accuse him of being pro-Clinton, that he believes her campaign is anti-American.)

Erickson concludes:

That I see so many Christians justifying Donald Trump’s immorality, defining deviancy down, and turning to anger and despondency about the future tells me I cannot in good faith support Donald Trump because his victory would have lasting, damaging consequences for Christianity in America. We harm our witness and the testimony of the strength of our Lord by embracing the immoral, unrepentant strong man. We harm our American virtue by buying into the idea that one man can make America great again. Further, we risk losing Donald Trump’s soul for the sake of our selfishness.

In the column, Erickson criticizes Trump supporter Janet Parshall, referring to their recent debate as an example of the church being “poisoned from within.”

Erickson also slams Wayne Grudem for trying to justify support for Trump after having written in 2012 that if evangelicals didn’t support Romney, they would end up with Rudy Giuliani, “a pro-abortion, pro-gay rights candidate who is on his third marriage and had a messy affair prior to his divorce from his second wife. Then we will lose any high moral ground and the enthusiasm of the evangelical vote.” Asks Erickson, “How now can Grudem advance his witness to questioning unbelievers? He now praises an unrepentant man both guilty of and proud of the very sins he attacked Giuliani for.”

In response to a question from Deace about conservative fear-mongering about the consequences of the election—that the country could not survive a Clinton presidency—Erickson noted the same was said about Obama. Erickson says he tries not to demonize his opponents, saying that while he believes Hillary Clinton should be in jail, “she’s no Vladimir Putin.”

“This election is not the end of the world,” said Erickson, adding that the question that people will be asking the day after the election will be “who sold their soul and who didn’t?”

When Deace asked what his vocal opposition to Trump has cost him, Erickson said his radio show has lost advertisers, his kids have been yelled at in the grocery store, and he has had to hire armed guards to protect his house. 

Bryan Fischer Clearly Doesn't Understand His Own Incoherent View Of The First Amendment

As we have noted several times before, American Family Radio's Bryan Fischer has an understanding of the First Amendment that makes absolutely no sense, as he regularly insists that it only applies to Congress ... except for all the times when he insists that it applies to all sorts of government entities.

Fischer's incoherence has been on full display regarding the case of Joe Kennedy, a high school football coach from Washington state who was fired after he refused to stop praying with players and students after games. Despite the fact that Fischer has repeatedly declared that "it is constitutionally and historically impossible for a school to violate the First Amendment ... [b]ecause a school is not Congress," he simultaneously insists that the school district has violated Kennedy's First Amendment rights by not allowing him to pray after games.

"Good for you, coach Joe Kennedy," Fischer declared. "He's taking the district to court for violating his First Amendment rights, which is exactly what they've done ... What does the First Amendment say? It says that Congress—and Bremerton [School District,] they interpret that to mean any governmental authority, that would include schools because they're government schools—is not allowed to prohibit the free exercise of religion. What did Bremerton School District do when they told Joe Kennedy, 'You can't pray at midfield after a game'? They prohibited his free exercise of religion! They told him, 'Your constitutional right—even though this is government property and the government is specifically prohibited from infringing on your free exercise rights—we are going to destroy the First Amendment here, doesn't apply in Bremerton, doesn't apply on a football field, you have lost that right. You have not only lost that right, you have lost your job.'"

Today, Fischer posted a column blasting a report recently released by the United States Commission on Civil Rights that further undermines his argument in the Kennedy case, as he explicitly states that a school district can never be guilty of violating the First Amendment:

The very first word in the First Amendment is “Congress.” The First Amendment was intended as a restraint on Congress and Congress alone. It is simply impossible for any other entity - be it a state, a county, a city, a school district, a school teacher, or a student - to violate the First Amendment for the simple reason that it wasn’t written to restrain them.

Only Congress can violate the Founders’ Constitution, and it can do so in only two ways. First, it can violate the Establishment Clause by picking one Christian denomination and making it the official church of the United States. As long as Congress doesn’t do that, it can do anything it wants with regard to religious expression. It can pay a chaplain to pray Christian prayers and proclaim as many national days of prayer as it would like.

States under the Founders’ Constitution are free to regulate religious expression in any way they would like without any interference from the federal government. States can even have an established religion if they want to, and at the time of the Founding, 10 of them did.

Secondly, only Congress can violate the Free Exercise clause because it applies specifically and exclusively to Congress. Congress - and by extension the entire federal government, including the judiciary - is flatly prohibited from interfering with the free exercise of the Christian religion in any way, shape or form. Any such effort on the part of any branch of the federal government, whether it’s the legislative branch, the executive branch, or the judicial branch, is flatly and permanently forbidden by the Founders’ Constitution.

The federal government has zero authority to tell schools what they may and may not do with regard to Bible reading in classrooms, prayer at assemblies and graduation ceremonies, or the posting of the Ten Commandments on school room walls. Those matters are for state and local authorities to decide. Period. 

Just last month, Fischer accused the Bremerton School District of violating the First Amendment, but today, he stated that it is "impossible" for a school district to ever violate the First Amendment.

Unless Fischer is arguing that he believes that local public schools are also "Congress," then his argument makes no sense, especially since he asserts in his latest piece that states are "free to regulate religious expression in any way they would like."

Under Fischer's own argument, any state would be free to prohibit Kennedy or anyone else from exercising their religion for any reason, or, for that matter, to restrict the freedom of speech, freedom of the press or the right to peaceably assemble, which are also protected by the First Amendment. 

Fischer's outrage over the Kennedy case proves that he clearly does't believe, or possibly doesn't even understand, his own stated position. 

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