Fighting the Right

Gary Bauer: Trump Administration Will Give 'Key Positions' To Religious Right

Longtime Religious Right activist Gary Bauer was among the 1,000 movement leaders who met with Donald Trump in New York last month as the GOP presidential candidate tried to cement their support, and it seems like Trump got Bauer on his side. In an interview last week with Ave Maria Radio host Al Kresta, who was also at the meeting, Bauer said that “values voters” have no “real choice” when it comes to Trump or Hillary Clinton, adding that he was confident that Trump would staff his administration with “people that have our values.”

“In some ways, he’s the most ignorant presidential candidate I’ve seen,” Kresta said, “and I don’t want to retract that. At the same time, he does show, he seems to show a willingness to learn. So on the Supreme Court issue, he consults with the Federalist Society, you know. You could do a whole lot worse.”

“I don’t think at this point there’s any choice,” Bauer responded. “It’s Trump versus Hillary Clinton. And while we may have questions about what Trump will do, I know what Hillary Clinton’s going to do. She’s not going to reverse a lifetime of being pro-abortion, aggressively pro-abortion, pushing the gay rights movement, being very insensitive on matters of religious liberty. So I just don’t think there’s any real choice here for values voters other than to support Mr. Trump.”

“But in addition to that reason, you know, the people they’ll put in their administration I think is a huge factor,” he added, “and Donald Trump, if he wins, is not going to be able to come up with 3,000 or 4,000 or 5,000 people that are clueless about the issues, he wouldn’t want that to be the case, it’s going to be people like you and me and people that have our values and end up having the key positions in the federal government.”

Mat Staver: America Will Face a 'Day Of Reckoning' Over Legal Abortion

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver ripped the Supreme Court for striking down a Texas law aimed at limiting access to legal abortion under the guise of protecting the health of women, declaring that America will soon face a "day of reckoning" from God over the sin of abortion.

Citing a passage from Jeremiah condemning kings who build their palaces through the injustice of slave labor, Staver said that abortion has done much the same in America, with the Supreme Court "mixing this injustice into the mortar" of this nation.

"There will be a time of reckoning," Staver said. "I think what this Supreme Court has done in 1973 [and] 1992, when they reaffirmed Roe v. Wade, and throughout the history and obviously with this decision is they have built this country with a policy of mixing the blood of children into the mortar of this country. And there will be a day of reckoning; God will not continue to allow his children to be slaughtered by any nation. It will come a time when this nation, or any nation, that ultimately takes the lives of their innocent children that will have a day of reckoning and I think we, as a church, have to wake up to this fact."

Staver went on the urge lawmakers in Texas to defy the ruling and "stop pretending that these people on the Supreme Court can divine anything they want to and then pass it off as though it is constitutional when it has nothing to do with the Constitution at all."

Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta, Pennsylvania Latino Leaders Denounce Donald Trump’s Year of Hate

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Civil rights leader Dolores Huerta joined Pennsylvania Latino leaders at City Hall today to respond to the DACA+/DAPA Supreme Court decision and discuss why it’s critically important to stand up against anti-immigrant politicians like Donald Trump and Sen. Pat Toomey.

Huerta’s visit to Pennsylvania is part of progressive advocacy group People For the American Way’s “Donald Trump’s Year of Hate” campaign. This month marks the one-year anniversary of Trump’s campaign launch, in which he infamously described Mexican immigrants as “rapists.”  Since then, Trump has only increased his attacks against immigrants and Latinos. As part of the campaign, digital Spanish-language ads are currently running in Pennsylvania, which you can view here.

At the press conference today, speakers discussed Trump’s hateful campaign and the critical importance of the Latino vote.

“We must use the power of our vote to ensure that Donald Trump is never in a position to appoint Supreme Court justices,” said civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, a board member of People for the American Way. “He has demonstrated over the past year that he is unfit to be a leader for Latino communities and for all Americans. And Senator Toomey continues to hold the Supreme Court seat open for a Trump presidency. Latino voters can determine who wins and who loses in Pennsylvania.”

"Pat Toomey’s inaction on the president’s Supreme Court nominee is a failure of leadership for Pennsylvania,” said Philadelphia City Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sánchez. “The disgraceful things Donald Trump has said about Mexican immigrants and Puerto Ricans show that he doesn’t have the temperament or the judgment to be commander-in-chief. Until Senator Toomey renounces any support for Trump, he has to be held accountable for the positions of his party’s nominee. Latinos will make our voices heard loud and clear this November.”

“In the last year of Donald Trump's campaign, he has shown what a dangerous, divisive president he would be,” said Lizet Ocampo, director of Latinos Vote! and manager of political campaigns for People For the American Way. “From his rhetoric against judges and every day Americans to his policies for a mass deportation force, he's made it crystal clear that he is forcefully against the Latino community and we must vote against him."

"For our community, the stakes have never been higher, and we are ready to fight back against hate at the ballot box," said Yaheiry Mora, elections specialist, CASA.

For photos, follow-up interviews, or questions, please email media@pfaw.org.

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Trump Supporter Wants Muslim 'Hibi-Jabis' Fired From TSA

At a campaign rally in New Hampshire today, Donald Trump fielded a question from a supporter who asked him if he would support putting veterans in jobs in border security or in TSA, adding that she is tired of seeing Muslims wearing “hibi-jabis” working in airport security.

“Get rid of all these hibi-jabis they wear at TSA,” she said. “I’ve seen them myself.”

Trump gave a characteristically vague response — “I understand, and, you know, we are looking at that, we’re looking at a lot of things” — before boasting of his support from Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the anti-immigrant Arizona official who once bragged about running his own concentration camp, and the National Border Patrol Council, a group with deep ties to the Nativist movement.

Last year in New Hampshire, Trump, who has put anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies at the center of his presidential campaign, similarly refused to challenge a questioner who asked him if the U.S. could “get rid of” Muslims.

David Barton: Christians Must Accept That Trump Is 'God's Guy' In This Election

On his "WallBuilders Live" radio program today, David Barton fielded a question from a listener who will be serving as a delegate to the Republican convention but feels that he cannot support the nomination of Donald Trump. The listener asked Barton if there is anything that delegates can do to stop the nomination of Trump, to which Barton replied that Christians should simply accept that Trump is "God's guy" in this election.

Barton, who has already made clear that he will be voting for Trump despite the fact that he ran a super PAC supporting Ted Cruz, explained that since Christians were very active in the Republican primaries, they must conclude that Trump's victory was part of God's plans.

"One thing I know for sure is that in the race of primaries, we had a lot really good God guys in there," Barton said. "And we had a huge turnout of professing Christians and evangelicals and others, so there is nothing to complain about that we didn't get a voice, we didn't get a candidate. We had great candidates to choose from and this is who the people chose, and this is who the people chose with a really high turnout of evangelicals. So I kind of look back and say, 'Hmmm, I wonder where God's fingerprint is in this?' because this is not necessarily a failure of the church."

"This may not be our preferred candidate, but that doesn't mean it may not be God's candidate to do something that we don't see," he said. "We may look back in a few years and say, 'Wow, he really did some things that none of us expected.' So I am fully open to the possibility that because we did everything as Christians that we could, we can't complain about our turnout, we can't complain about our quality of candidates, and this is what the people chose; I'm a whole lot more open to the fact that God may have something going here that is much bigger than what we think or see."

GOP Rep: Apologizing For Anti-Muslim Comment Like Apologizing To Germany After World War II

The Alabama chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations asked Republican Rep. Mo Brooks to apologize last week after he said on a radio program that “the Muslim community … if it had its way, would kill every homosexual in the United States of America.” Brooks has refused to apologize, a decision which he explained on “The Dale Jackson Show” on Thursday by comparing apologizing to American Muslims for his comments to apologizing to the German or Japanese governments for stating their crimes after World War II. Islam, he said, promotes "death for a lot of people.”

Here’s a couple of analogies that I think are appropriate. Imagine the liberating American and allied troops as they go into Germany and they discover the concentration camps and the extermination of the Jews, the Poles and other entities that Germany was responsible for and the allied commander says, ‘Germany did this.’ Now imagine the outrage that would have occurred if Germany had demanded an apology from the allied troops that liberated those people that were still alive in the concentration camps. Or Japan in World War II, where Japan was brutally treating American POWs, where Japan was responsible for the murders of over 200,000 civilians in Nanjing, and someone stating the fact that Japan, Japanese troops, had done those horrific acts to American POWs or to civilians in Nanjing and then the Japanese government demanding an apology.

This is crazy. You’ve got Islam promoting death for a lot of different people, including people like you and me, unbelievers, specifically including homosexuals and then stating the fact that that’s what Islam promotes, people are demanding an apology for the truth and it’s not going to happen.

The Anti-Abortion 'Seneca Falls'

Last weekend, about 500 anti-abortion activists — nearly all of whom were women — gathered in Dallas for what was billed as the first-ever “Pro-Life Women’s Conference.”

The event’s organizer, Abby Johnson, said that she wanted to “reclaim the narrative” of the movement, putting women at its front and including “many different groups of people,” including nonbelievers and LGBT people. She repeatedly said that the movement needs to “embrace the f-word”: feminism.

“This is our Seneca Falls, baby!” she said.

Johnson recalled speaking at a recent March For Life alongside a long line of men. “We know that the pro-life movement is led and has been led by women,” she said. “But for many years, women have sort of been leading from behind. And we haven’t done a very good job with our optics, right? So there’s photos and in the photos, it’s dudes.”

The conference came immediately before the Supreme Court rejected Texas’ attempt to limit abortion rights by regulating clinics out of existence, an effort that had been dubiously promoted as an effort to protect women’s health. The mainstream anti-abortion movement in recent years has been trying to claim that their main focus is on “protecting” women and to portray abortion as an unsafe and damaging procedure promoted by nefarious, profit-hungry organizations.

But Johnson’s conference aimed for something more: crafting a narrative that presented opposition to abortion rights as an explicitly feminist movement, one that could attract more than what she called “the traditional Christian pro-lifer.”

While Johnson said she wanted to create a unified “pro-life” message, the conflicts within the movement — and the challenge of expanding its reach — were evident even that weekend in Dallas.

Finding Common Ground With Pro-Choicers?

Several speakers at the conference — all of the speakers were women — urged the anti-abortion movement to take on issues with which they might find common ground with pro-choice feminists , including family leave policies, poverty alleviation and access to child care.

Serrin Foster, the head of Feminists for Life, said, “There are three key reasons for the feminization of poverty: Lack of education, lack of workplace accommodation and paternal support. Do that, three-fourths of the reasons that women have an abortion are over.”

She accused the abortion rights movement of giving up on these issues, saying that “by accepting pregnancy discrimination in the school and in the workplace, by accepting … the lack of support for pregnant women and parents, especially the poor, [Sarah] Weddington [the attorney who argued Roe v. Wade] and the Supreme Court betrayed women and the greatest experiment on women and children began: abortion.”

Similarly, Leah Jacobson, the president of the Guiding Star network of anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers, talked about the need “to look at how women’s bodies function and make sure that our employers take this into account,” including by pushing for maternity and paternity leave laws, flexible work schedules for parents, and subsidized or on-site workplace child care.

Jacobson coupled this call with a heavy dose of maternalism, alluding to the transgender bathroom debate and saying that women must live out their “motherly calling”: “Men are wonderful but women are the heart of society. We love, we connect, we empathize, we are relational. Men are very good at seeing the large picture sometimes but they don’t see the littlest of all. We need to humanize the culture as women. And so it’s so important as women we live our motherly calling even if it’s not as a physical mother.”

While issues such as expanding family leave requirements and access to child care could be an area of consensus for self-identified pro-life and pro-choice feminists — whatever their reasons for supporting them — there seemed to be little enthusiasm at the conference for working with pro-choicers on these causes.

When Johnson asked who “the abortion movement” was united behind, an audience member yelled out, “the devil!” (The answer was Planned Parenthood.)

Similarly, when Johnson read a polite form letter that Hillary Clinton’s campaign had sent in response to a request to speak at the conference — Johnson had invited all three remaining presidential candidates, but Clinton was the only one to respond — it was met with howls of laughter and derision.

While Clinton has the clearly better record on policies supporting mothers — policies that speakers like Foster and Jacobson said help dissuade women from choosing abortion — the only positive references to presidential candidates at the event were allusions to Donald Trump’s promises to pick Supreme Court justices who would roll back Roe v. Wade. Anti-choice leaders as a whole have rallied behind Trump, who besides vowing to “cherish” women and appoint anti-choice judges, has not offered any serious plans for improving the lot of women in the workforce or helping women out of poverty.

The “pro-woman” talking points, ultimately, were largely meant to further one principal policy goal: recriminalizing abortion.

Many speakers hailed the slew of abortion restrictions that have been passed in the states in recent years, while noting that they don’t go far enough.

Karen Garnett, the director of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of Dallas, moderated a panel on anti-abortion politics, telling the audience, “We cannot get pro-life laws passed unless we have pro-life legislators sitting in the state houses to pass those laws and in Washington, D.C. And it’s been good that we’ve been able to get that much done. But have we ended abortion yet? No. Have we fulfilled our call yet — no — to end this? It matters — look at this, where we are, where we sit together today with this Supreme Court decision coming down tomorrow — it matters who is sitting in the Oval Office in terms of the appointments of the Supreme Court justices.”

Star Parker, a frequent speaker at Religious Right events, kept her standard pitch to conservative audiences, blaming government “safety nets” for people getting “lost” and implying that churches rather than the government should be in charge of poverty alleviation: “Maybe God was right that you’re supposed to take care of the poor, not throw them off to some government bureaucrat.”

Ending Roe, Eliminating Planned Parenthood

While some speakers made nods to policies such as paid family leave and efforts to support pregnant women on college campuses, the real political enthusiasm at the event was behind shutting down abortion clinics, defunding Planned Parenthood and eventually eliminating Roe v. Wade.

“Roe v. Wade started here in Dallas, Texas,” Johnson said, “and I believe we can end it here.”

Marilyn Musgrave, a former Republican congresswoman who is now the vice president of governmental affairs at the Susan B. Anthony List, gave a speech in which she praised the House committee investigating Planned Parenthood for “kicking down the gates of hell.” She commended Texas’ restrictive legislation that was before the Supreme Court, saying that it was “going to save thousands of lives” and praying “that those abortion clinics will close down that do not meet those standards.”

During the politics panel, Texas activist Carolyn Cline held up a brick that she said was “the last brick in the lot” of an abortion clinic that had been closed by the Texas law, another acknowledgment that the law’s goal was to close clinics rather than improve safety. The law, said the Family Research Council’s Arina Grossu, was another sign that the anti-abortion movement “is winning.”

Throughout the event, Planned Parenthood was portrayed as a remorseless villain. Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood employee who now runs a group that tries to get abortion clinic employees to quit their jobs, showed a video she had recently found from her time at the group guiding counsellors on how to speak to women who are considering abortion, which she said showed “coercion” on the part of the group.

Parker went so far as to pin America’s economic troubles on Planned Parenthood’s continued existence: “Is it any wonder things are so dark in our country? Is it any wonder our economy is still sputtering? I don’t think that God is ready to bless America right now.”

Erin Brownback, a communications consultant who has worked with a number of prominent anti-choice politicians, had a similar warning about legal abortion in the U.S., saying, “Societies throughout history that allow a culture of death are destroyed. That is historically true, you can look back at the gladiators and different groups that have not protected life and those cultures have all died.”

While the criticism of Planned Parenthood centered on its role as a legal abortion provider, there was an undercurrent at the conference about resistance to hormonal contraception, including a workshop on Natural Family Planning. American Life League, a Catholic anti-abortion group, distributed a pamphlet arguing that the birth control pill “may cause an abortion.”

One interesting trend among the women anti-abortion activists was a willingness to talk forthrightly about their opposition to rape exceptions in abortion laws, something that Musgrave’s group has trained male politicians to avoid addressing. (This was in part thanks to the prodding of Rebecca Kiessling, a “conceived in rape” activist who asked as many speakers as she could about exceptions.) Some speakers approached the subject by portraying abortion in such cases not as violence against the “unborn” but as additional violence against the woman.

Musgrave, in response to a question by Kiessling, boasted of her group’s efforts to unseat Rep. Renee Ellmers, an anti-abortion Republican who derailed a vote on a 20-week abortion ban because she was worried that its rape exception was too restrictive. SBA List opposed Ellmers, she said, “because you know what, if we had let that action go unchallenged, we would have dumbed down ‘pro-life’ to where it didn’t mean anything.”

LGBT And Secular Outreach

Johnson made a deliberate effort to expand the reach of her conference beyond what she called “the traditional Christian pro-lifer.”

The Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians (PLAGAL) set up a table. One piece of literature the group distributed explained that the line of Supreme Court cases establishing a “right to privacy” that encompasses both reproductive rights and the rights of gays and lesbians is irrelevant because LGBT rights would have succeeded anyway without the courts. “Abortion rights will fail because, unlike gay rights, they are not the result of a democratic process but rather a brand new ‘constitutional right’ created by a court impatient with democratic changes,” it said, seemingly dismissing the importance of major court victories that furthered LGBT equality. The group shared its table with the Pro-Life Humanists, who distribute anti-abortion literature at atheist events.

Kelsey Hazzard, the head of Secular Pro-Life, gave a workshop on “reaching non-Christian, LGBT, and other minority audiences with the pro-life message.” Aimee Murphy, the director of Life Matters Journal, gave a workshop faulting both political parties for what she said was an inconsistent ethic of human rights when it comes to abortion, capital punishment, torture and war, echoing the message of some early liberal Catholic anti-abortion activists. Kristen Day, the head of Democrats for Life, spoke and sponsored a booth.

A panel of mostly young women discussing activism strategies lamented that the anti-abortion movement had alienated LGBT people and others. Kristen Hatten, the vice president of the group New Wave Feminists, said that her gay friends “don’t really feel welcome in the movement. I would love to see that change, and not just for homosexual people, but transgender people and just everybody, everybody of all colors and creeds.”

Yet some of that alienation could be seen at the conference itself. Parker railed against the “war on marriage” and the “elimination of all gender binary.” She lamented that a “war on religion” had removed “any reference to God” from schools and that Americans were sending their kids “to these cesspools we call schools and they learn secular humanism.” She urged young, anti-abortion women to become lawyers “so they can make you a judge and you can get on these courts” and reject laws that are “unlawful in God’s eyes.”

The Family Research Council, one of the most stridently anti-LGBT advocacy groups in the country, sponsored a booth.

In some cases, the embrace of LGBT and secular allies didn’t seem all that sincere. Brownback, the conservative messaging consultant, said at a breakout session how delighted she had been to talk to the representatives of LGBT and secular groups at the conference. Just weeks before, Brownback had written on Twitter that while she loves her gay friends she thinks “they are hurting themselves and society” and opined that it’s “sad to see a feminized man.”

While the event seemed to be mostly comprised of Christians, and was heavily sprinkled with references to the Bible, Johnson seemed to catch on at the end as she noted before a closing prayer that not everyone in the room would choose to participate.

Despite the presence of Democrats for Life and other nontraditional allies, there was not much suggestion of moving beyond the movement’s current alliance with fiscally conservative Republicans who resist expanding the social safety net but are on board with punitive abortion restrictions. Many speakers steered away from explicitly political topics, speaking instead about building a “culture of life” in which women choose not to terminate pregnancies. But politically, there was little question that this self-proclaimed “feminist” movement would continue to ally itself with the party of Donald Trump.

Victims And Heroes

Brownback, a former Alliance Defending Freedom employee who said that she had worked with congressional Republicans on messaging around their efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and with the Texas attorney general, who brought the recent Supreme Court case, gave a crowded workshop on “Successful Pro-Life Messaging.”

She gave tips for how to connect with people on all sides of the issue. She recommended warming to pro-choicers by telling them “I hear you,” “that must be really hard” and, creatively, “you’re so pretty.” With people in the middle concerned with cases like rape and saving a woman’s life, she recommended not engaging on those issues but instead telling them that if they’re anti-abortion in 99 percent of cases, they’re anti-abortion.

Critically, she urged anti-abortion advocates to tell stories that “create the perception of a victim, a villain and a hero.”

In those stories, she said, the woman obtaining an abortion is the victim and the provider is the villain (with supporting villain roles sometimes played by overbearing boyfriends pressuring women to get abortions). “Anyone coercing women into having an abortion is in the role of the villain,” she said. “And keep in mind that a lot of times the people coercing women into having abortions are the ones who stand to financially profit from it. So that’s why we’ve talked about Planned Parenthood and we’ve talked about abortion businesses, because they are trained to sell abortions.”

“And who is the hero?” she asked. “You are the hero, your supporters are the heroes. You’re saying, here’s a victim that you have saved from this or someone that you could have saved. You are the hero, you are in that position.”

She said that she tries to bolster this image of anti-abortion heroes by taking “pictures of very attractive, beautiful, youthful people” at events and posting “a ton of them” on social media.

Brownback’s template story of the woman as a victim and the abortion provider as a villain looms large in the messaging of the anti-abortion movement. Yet not everyone at the conference was on board with characterization. Murphy said she was sick of anti-abortion literature that portrayed women as “a damsel in distress,” saying, “Let’s give them information that’s going to empower them and not play into this whole victim mindset.” Destiny De La Rosa of New Wave Feminists said, “When you make someone the hero of their own story, I think that’s very important, and I think the pro-life movement has missed an opportunity because, unfortunately, we tend to put women in the victim role a lot.”

PFAW Statement on RNC/Trump Diversity Coalition Meeting

As the RNC prepares for their meeting tomorrow with the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, People For the American Way Director of Latinos Vote! and Manager of Political Campaigns Lizet Ocampo released the following statement:

“No matter what the RNC and the so-called National Diversity Coalition for Trump say, Donald Trump can’t run from his record of attacks on immigrants and people of color. Just in the last year, Trump called into question the ability of a federal judge to do his job solely because of his Mexican-American heritage, performed a crude imitation of an Asian American accent during a speech, and suggested that an African American protester who was assaulted at one of his campaign rallies ‘maybe should have been roughed up.’

“Trump has spent his entire campaign demonizing people of color to increase his own popularity. And his policy priorities are no better: He believes that American wages are ‘too high,’ supports mass deportation, called global warming a hoax ‘created by and for the Chinese,’ and used his Trump University to defraud students, burying them in debt and pillaging their retirement funds.”

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.

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We the People versus Donald Trump

This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

Donald Trump is an unhinged con man who regularly fans the flames of racism, sexism and xenophobia. Yet disturbingly, he has become the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States. Part of what appears to be bolstering the support he does have is his supposed business success and his claim to be insulated from special interest pressure by “self-funding” his campaign. But these claims, like so many others, are egregiously misleading. Whether it’s the predatory scheme known as Trump University, or his recent slew of fundraising events catering to wealthy donors, it’s clearer with each passing day that much of Trump’s support is built on manipulation and outright deceit.

Trump’s claims about not being beholden to rich donors was understandably appealing to an electorate that’s tired of an out-of-balance political system that shuts out the voices of everyday Americans. Throughout the Republican primary, Trump repeatedly lambasted his opponents for being in the pockets of wealthy donors. When Sheldon Adelson was considering supporting Sen. Marco Rubio, for example, Trump tweeted that Adelson wanted to support Rubio so he could make him into “his perfect little puppet.” But Trump’s actions don’t live up to his rhetoric.

Trump has made raising money from wealthy interests a top priority in recent weeks. As noted in a recent Bloomberg report, last week in New York City a cabal of hedge fund managers and private equity executives held a joint fundraiser for Trump and the RNC, at a price of $50,000 per person, with the hosts paying $250,000 per couple. Trump also recently held a fundraiser at the former residence of the late Senator Barry Goldwater, with attendees shelling out thousands of dollars per seat. Apparently Trump and the donors he was wooing didn’t mind that Goldwater’s widow said the senator himself would be appalled by Trump’s candidacy.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump’s campaign is expressing support for a super PAC founded by billionaire hedge fund manager Robert Mercer. The super PAC – called Make America Number 1 – is reportedly soliciting contributions from a who’s who of conservative mega-donors, including casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who has pledged to spend $100 million backing Trump.

Trump is also using this campaign to line the pockets of his own companies. A significant amount of the money that the Trump campaign has spent so far has gone to companies owned by Trump himself. In fact, according to Fortune magazine, an estimated 10 percent of total campaign expenditures thus far have gone to companies that bear his name. That doesn’t include expenditures billed to his estate, Mar-a-Lago, or his private plane, which has its own holding company.

What’s more, Trump has used deceitful, disingenuous and predatory business practices to further enrich himself at the expense of anyone and everyone else. Hundreds of former employees and contractors allege that they still haven’t been paid for work done for companies controlled by Trump, and literally thousands of lawsuits have been filed against him. One high profile example is a class-action suit regarding Trump University. Former employees of Trump University, an institution which never had accreditation, have testified in saying that they essentially “engaged in a methodical, Systematic Series of misrepresentations” designed to separate people from their money. This case is one of many that show Donald Trump for who he really is: a fraud who regularly exploits people for personal gain.

Donald Trump is a dangerous con man of epic proportions, taking money from – and profiting off of – the same special interests he has railed against. He is running on a business record rife with misconduct and malicious practices. The American people cannot afford to sit this one out – there is simply too much at stake. Trump must be taken down by the greatest political force ever known: “We the People.”    

PFAW

Right Wing Round-Up - 6/29/16

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 6/29/16

  • Donald Trump can’t stop asking foreign politicians for money. 
  • Judicial Watch spokesman Chris Farrell is not pleased with Trey Gowdy and the Benghazi Select Committee: “They made a huge error allowing Hillary Clinton to hold forth for 11 hours and appear as a martyr.” 
  • Linda Harvey wants to know, “When did a preference for anal sex between men achieve the same status as being an American citizen?”
  • Bill Owens says President Obama is a “sick man” who “thinks he can be a king like they have in Africa, but America don’t have kings.”

Michael Savage: 'Trey Gowdy Should Be Impeached For Wasting My Time' On Benghazi

Conservative talk radio host Michael Savage mocked Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., yesterday after Gowdy’s Benghazi Select Committee released a report that offered no new information about the 2012 attack.

“Trey Gowdy should be impeached for wasting my time!” he fumed. “He promised us a lot! Remember?”

He added: “He had a Benghazi hearing three months ago and it was an embarrassment. Hillary turned them into idiots. Trey Gowdy. Here he is again now, $80 million later, what did he find out? What we knew already.”

Savage, nonetheless, still stood by the claim that the Obama administration told officers to “stand down” during the attack, a debunked conspiracy theory that was not corroborated by Gowdy’s report.

GOP Rep Dave Brat Appears On Alex Jones' Conspiracy Radio Show

Donald Trump and Rand Paul aren’t the only Republican politicians enthralled by far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as Rep. David Brat, R-Va., appeared on Jones’ Infowars network show yesterday to claim that liberals are allied with radical Islamists.

After Jones falsely claimed that the city of London’s new mayor is imposing Sharia law and that President Obama and liberals have “allied with Islam,” Brat wholeheartedly agreed — “You nailed it” — and said the Founding Fathers never thought that an “intolerant” religion like Islam would be able to integrate into American culture.

Brat added that just as the British need to “go back to restoring their culture” after they voted to leave the European Union, Americans need to reclaim “the Judeo-Christian tradition,” lamenting that “religious toleration is becoming a ‘safe zone’ where you’ve got to sign up before you can go to church, it looks like.”

David Barton Accuses Us Of Lying About What He Said ... By Lying About What We Said

Back in 2014, we wrote a post titled "Barton: Not Allowing Women To Vote Was Designed 'To Keep The Family Together'" in which we posted an audio clip of David Barton defending the Founding Fathers for denying women to right to vote when writing the Constitution on the grounds that doing so was designed to protect the institution of the family. 

Here is what we wrote:

On today's episode of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton explained that women were not given the right to vote when the Constitution was written because the Founding Fathers were trying to protect the institution of the family by giving every "family" a right to vote through the male head of the household.

Responding to a question from a listener who argued that the Founding Fathers denied women the right to vote not out of sexism but rather based on the biblical principle that a house divided against itself cannot stand, Barton said that this interpretation was exactly right because not allowing women to vote was designed "to keep the family together."

That introduction was followed by the audio of Barton's remarks and a transcript. 

Some people took Barton's comment to mean that he doesn't think that women should have the right to vote, which is not what he said, nor is it what we claimed that he said. 

But for some reason, Barton blasted us on his Facebook page last night while responding to someone on Twitter who accused him of not wanting women to vote: 

This past weekend, I saw a tweet blasting me by HGM@RightWingIdiot1 (see picture):

@DavidBartonWB I hope you wife and if you have daughters leave you and your hate for women. How dare you state women shouldn't vote.

This references a May 1, 2014 WallBuildersLive radio program in which I was answering audience questions, including one about women’s suffrage, the Founding Fathers, and the Constitution. The questioner did not believe the Founders were being sexist but rather that they voted more by households than by individuals. I affirmed that this was correct, and showed occasions of women voting as far back as the 1600s if they became the heads of the household. We also pointed out that the Constitution did not prohibit women from voting prior to that, but that the 19th Amendment was added to ensure women’s suffrage.

Nevertheless, Right Wing Watch – a far left secularist progressive group whose parent organization is funded by atheist billionaire George Soros – came out with an article wrongly claiming that I defended the inability of women to vote in early America. That false claim was picked up and repeated by others, including the tweet I saw this weekend.

Interestingly, one of my strongest critics and loudest opponents, Professor John Fea of Messiah College in California, actually defended me against this false charge. (I have been told by students of Messiah College that they actually taught a course there against me – that they use me to show the wrong view of American history in the Founding Era.) Dr. Fea acknowledged that he “just listened to the entire episode,” and then pointed out several reasons why the claim from Right Wing Watch was wrong, including:

“1. Nowhere in this episode does Barton say the 19th amendment was a bad thing or that women voting is a bad thing. Listen for yourself. Some might say he is implying this. If someone wants to make this argument, it is a stretch.”

“2. The clip I posted above [from Right Wing Watch] has been edited. The part of the discussion in which Barton and Green seem to suggest that women's suffrage is a positive development in American life has been cut out.”

Right Wing Watch omitted the part of the program that would refute their own false claim. (This is something they regularly do in their frequent charges against me.) Their false accusation that I oppose women voting continues to have life even years later because folks too often repeat what others say rather than following the example of critic John Fea, who listened to the entire episode and thus recognized the claim as false.

Furthermore, I have been on record for years stating that my goal is for 100% of all Americans to be registered to vote, and to vote – I want 100% citizen participation in voting.

Given all of this, my questions for HGM@RightWingIdiot1 would begin with:

1. Did you fail your Math and English classes in school? For years I have said that my objective is 100% of Americans voting in every election. Do you think that 100% of Americans does not include women? 100% is fully inclusive and means everybody!

2. You want my wife and daughter to leave me??? I would not wish that on anyone, even those who consider themselves my enemies. It is ironic that those who accuse others of being haters are often the ones who display the most hate.

3. You really think I hate women? I have reprinted books and appeared on numerous media programs to reintroduce female heroes from history back to the modern generation. In fact, in writing history and social studies standards for state boards of education, the official public records affirm that I have been solely responsible for including numerous women in the texts.

4. Why don’t you set an example for people from your side: check the facts for yourself rather than just parrot what someone else says – learn to think for yourself rather than be part of Right Wing Watch group think.

It’s time for the falsehood that I don’t want women to vote (and so many of the other fabrications distributed by Right Wing Watch and their allies) to come to a halt. Perhaps this post will help accomplish that.

DB

We never once claimed that Barton opposes the right of women to vote, as he repeatedly asserted. We were rather highlighting his absurd claim that the Founding Fathers were not sexist in denying women the right to vote because they did so in the name of "protecting the family." 

It is amazing that Barton is seemingly so incapable of telling the truth that he is now reduced to lying about us having supposedly lied about him. 

Austin Ruse: Trump 'Will Let Our Side Have What We Want' On Reproductive Rights

A conservative Catholic activist who was at Donald Trump’s meeting with Religious Right leaders in New York last week said on Saturday that while he wasn’t convinced of Trump’s sincerity in opposing abortion rights he was confident that Trump will “let our side do exactly what we want to do” on the issue.

Austin Ruse, who through his group C-Fam works to oppose reproductive rights advances at the United Nations, discussed the meeting with fellow conservative Catholic leader Deal Hudson, who was also at the Trump meeting, on Hudson’s program on Ave Maria Radio on Saturday.

Hudson asked Deal what he thought of Ralph Reed and others saying that Trump is “sincerely pro-life, that it’s not something that’s been an add-on for this election.”

“I’m indifferent to his sincerity,” Ruse said, “because I think that at the end of the day, he will do the right thing because it is what we want. And that gets back to constituencies that he wants to please.”

Ruse said that just as he trusts conservative allies to guide him on issues like economic policy that aren’t his area of expertise, “with regard to the life issues,” Trump will “let our side do exactly what we want to do.”

“These are things that he doesn’t care about,” he said, “and therefore he will let our side have what we want. For instance, if a bill comes to his desk to defund Planned Parenthood, he’s not going to shut the government down to avoid it. I think he’ll sign it because he doesn’t care. That’s what I mean, is that he will step aside on things that — now you say and Ralph Reed says that it’s something that he really does care about. That’s even better news. But even if he doesn’t, as long as he lets us have our way, then that’s fine.”

The anti-abortion movement has largely lined up behind Trump thanks in part to his repeated promises to nominate “pro-life” justices to the Supreme Court. Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony list and a former Trump critic, is now defending Trump’s anti-abortion bona fides . Troy Newman, the head of the radical group Operation Rescue, came out of the recent meeting with Trump saying that “the general consensus was he’s our man, and we’re going to work for him.”

Hudson also revealed on the program that Trump is planning to announce a Catholic Advisory Board, similar to his Evangelical Advisory Board, which naturally both he and Ruse hoped that they would be on.

Gordon Klingenschmitt, Colorado's Most Famous Anti-Gay, Demon-Hunting Legislator, Loses His Bid For Higher Office

Back in 2014, Religious Right activist Gordon Klingenschmitt won a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives despite this long history of saying truly outrageous things. Unsurprisingly, Klingenschmitt's brief term in office was repeatedly marked by controversy. At one point, he was even stripped of a committee assignment after saying that a brutal attack on a pregnant woman in Colorado was the result of "the curse of God upon America" for allowing legal abortion.

Klingenschmitt, though, never quite seemed to learn his lesson and announced last year that he would be running for a seat in the state Senate in 2016 while continuing to voice his radical views on his daily "Pray In Jesus Name" program.

Last night, voters went to the polls in the state's primary and Klingenschmitt lost badly to his Republican rival by a margin of 62 to 38 percent. 

Klingenschmitt, who believes that the most godly candidate will always win "unless the people are evil," predictably blamed the voters for thwarting the will of God that he be elected.

Instead of saying that the election results reflected the will of God, as religious candidates often do when they lose, Klingenschmitt said that his loss just shows that "God's will is not always done in this world": 

East of downtown at The Airplane Restaurant, Klingenschmitt's speech took on a religious tone.

"I work hard to establish God's kingdom, not my own, and, as you know, God's will is not always done in this world," Klingenschmitt told dozens of supporters beneath model airliners hanging from the ceiling.

Retta Blodgett, who volunteered for Klingenschmitt's campaign, was disheartened by the results.

"I'm disappointed because the kind of competition his opponent ran was a dirty campaign," she said. "The fact that he (Klingenschmitt) could go into the government and take a stance and not worry about what people thought - that's what conservatives need now to get our country back."

Klingenschmitt fielded handshakes and pats on the back from throngs of supporters encouraging him to keep faith.

"I thank God for the opportunity to run a clean race on my side, even if that was not reciprocated," he said in an interview. "I'm disappointed that people can lie, steal and cheat and violate their cadet honor oath and still win elections. I kept my cadet honor oath, and I ran with integrity, and I hold my head high."

The Sad And Expected End Of The Benghazi Select Committee

The House’s Benghazi Select Committee issued a draft Tuesday of its long-awaited report on the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound and CIA facility in Benghazi, Libya.

The New York Times succinctly summarized the committee’s findings:

Ending one of the longest, costliest and most bitterly partisan congressional investigations in history, the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued its final report on Tuesday, finding no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in the 2012 attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead.

In a continued embarrassment for the committee’s chairman, South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, one of the principal “new revelations” touted by the committee in an effort to justify its millions of dollars in spending was something that the public has known for years.

The committee reported that an antiterrorism team on its way to Tripoli to respond to the crisis was delayed for three hours as the team changed in and out of military uniforms. Far from a new information, this was raised by Martin Dempsey, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and by then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee in 2013. It was also discussed in the House Armed Services Committees report on Benghazi early the next year. 

Other “new” discoveries of Gowdy’s — that Hillary Clinton was considering a trip to Benghazi in October 2012, that the military did not deploy to Benghazi on the night of the attack, and that an anti-Muslim YouTube video was discussed during a secure video conference the night of the attack — had all been publicly reported years ago

Former House Speaker John Boehner did not create the Benghazi Select Committee to slightly advance our understanding of the 2012 attack. Instead, Republicans created the committee because they were under pressure from the far Right to use the investigative power of Congress to implicate the Obama administration, and Hillary Clinton in particular, in wrongdoing.

It was obvious from the start, despite Gowdy’s protestations to the contrary, that the select committee was simply a political tool of the far Right — one that would finally confirm their worst suspicions and bolster their conspiracy theories about Clinton, thus harming her chances in the upcoming presidential election.

Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy acknowledged this when he told Sean Hannity last year, “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi Special Committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.”

Ultimately, the Benghazi Select Committee will be remembered in history alongside other failed partisan efforts to investigate Clinton.

Whitewater, Travelgate, Vince Foster and now Benghazi. These investigations in total have cost American taxpayers well in excess of $100,000,000, yet produced none of the results that were promised at their outsets. Yet conservatives seem destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Rather than  being guided by facts, they allow themselves to be driven by the most extreme and conspiracy-oriented members of their party.

The Benghazi Committee report is a final testament to the fact that the supposed “stand down orders,” the charge that Susan Rice lied on Sunday morning talk shows following the attack, and the accusation that the CIA altered talking points “for political reasons” were all are myths. All were debunked by previous investigations whose facts were not contradicted by Gowdy’s committee. 

Clearly the results of this investigation will not halt the conservative noise machine. Accuracy in the Media is planning to reveal the results of its own conspiracy-laden Benghazi investigation at a press conference Wednesday.  But it is a signal to the press they should stop taking these conspiracy theories seriously.

The Return Of 'Unskew' The Polls! Donald Trump Edition

In the lead-up to the last presidential election, conservative bloggers thought they had discovered a grand conspiracy among pollsters to suppress Mitt Romney’s polling numbers, a claim that Romney’s campaign appeared to have embraced as well, and declared that the polls must be “unskewed” to find the truth.

Of course, the polls, if anything, underestimated President Obama’s lead, and conservatives who urged Romney supportersnot to believe the polls and instead to expect a Romney landslide were, at least briefly, mocked and humiliated.

One such person who promoted the idea that polls were biased against Romney was Donald Trump, who said that polling firms oversampled Democrats to create an anti-Romney narrative:

Naturally, Trump is now saying the same thing about the polls, or “poles,” that are showing him lagging behind Hillary Clinton:

Several Trump backers also believe that the polls, which uniformly show him trailing Clinton, have been skewed against him.

Yesterday, radio host Alex Jones and WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah urged Jones’ listeners not to believe the polls showing Trump trailing Clinton, saying that in reality the two are either neck-and-neck or Trump has a double-digit lead.

Jones said that liberals are “attacking” and “stabbing people” in hopes of intimidating Trump supporters from voting because they know “Trump’s going to win with a Reagan-style landslide.” Trump campaign sources, according to Jones, tell him that “Hillary is just trying to act like she’s really winning and have the media say it because they’re looking at stealing the election.”

The bogus polls, he said, will help Clinton get away with the theft. He added that he wears his Trump hat in “communist areas” to inspire people to be more open about their support for the presumptive GOP nominee.

Farah agreed that polls aren’t to be trusted, adding that he knows Trump is ahead based on his analysis of “anecdotal relationships,” warning that “if they steal the election from him it’s all over, America’s over.”

Oliver Willis of Media Matters also found conservative pundits such as Sean Hannity and Jim Hoft alleging that the polls are skewed against Trump, just as they falsely claimed that the polls were skewed against Romney :

On Fox News host Sean Hannity’s official website, a blog post complained the poll “is heavily skewed.” On his June 27 radio show, Hannity cited the partisan breakdown and described it as a “misleading poll” because the media is “in the tank for Hillary.”

Hannity apparently didn’t learn his lesson about attempting to unskew polls in 2012, when he was saying things like, “These polls are so skewed, so phony, that we need to start paying attention to what’s going on so that you won’t be deflated.”

In a post purporting to highlight “More Polling Tricks” from an “EXTREMELY SKEWED” poll, conservative blogger Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit complained this week that “Reuters freighted their poll with 20 percent more Democrats than Republicans” and concluded that “we can safely say that Trump appears to be in much better shape than the poll suggests and could likely be headed to a landslide victory in November.”

Hoft made a similar argument in September of 2012, complaining that a CNN poll showing Obama leading Romney “drastically oversampled Democrats to get this stunning result.” He then went on to cite Dean Chambers, who said that when “unskewed” the CNN poll showed Romney leading by eight percent.

Dick Morris, who guaranteed a Romney landslide and dismissed the 2012 polls as biased “propaganda,” is now advising Trump.

GOP Committeewoman: Evangelical Trump Critics Aren't Being Forgiving Christians

Tamara Scott, an Iowa Religious Right activist and member of the Republican National Committee, joined radio host Jeff Angelo today to discuss why she opposes a possible delegate revolt against Donald Trump at next month’s convention and explain why evangelicals who have been critical of Trump just aren’t practicing Christian forgiveness.

“Here’s what I hate to see from my friends, my Iowa friends and my fellow believers,” she said. “Let’s not be judgmental ourselves. Maybe God’s called someone to a camp for various reasons. Daniel was in Darius’ camp, and because of it Darius saw the hand of God in Darius’ life. Who knows why people are being drawn to various candidates, but it could be a purpose beyond an election. God sees eternity.”

When Angelo asked if she was “comfortable with Trump,” Scott replied that she was because he has promised that “he’ll end the war on Christianity” while Hillary Clinton “created the war on Christianity.”

“So shouldn’t I, as a Christian, if I really think — you know, some of them think the end of the world’s coming because we don’t like this candidate,” she said. “If that’s the case, all the more reason I should have someone who’s going to allow someone to share my gospel. And that’s Trump, not Hillary, if you want to take it just to a spiritual level.”

She went on to criticize Christian critics of Trump for being judgmental and “not very loving” when “only God” knows the candidate’s heart “and God has allowed what has taken place this far.”

“So he may not know the scripture references, he may not speak Christianese. He may not be where we want him spiritually,” she said. “But politically, we’ve got to save a nation. We’ve got to save borders and save a country before we can save a culture.”

Later in the program, a listener called in to berate Scott for backing Trump despite his “racist comments” and making “fun of the disabled.”

Scott asked the caller if she was a Christian. “Have you ever done anything that you wish you wouldn’t have done?” she asked.

“I know in this situation,” Scott said, “he offers us the best opportunity as Christians to speak our faith, to live our faith and to continue to spread the gospel. So if that’s where you’re coming from, you’ve either got Hillary, who’s going to silence you, or him, who says he’ll end the war on Christianity.”

Gordon Klingenschmitt Says Transgender Student Athlete Is Possessed By A 'Demonic Spirit Of Cowardice'

On a recent episode of his "Pray In Jesus Name" program, Religious Right activist and Colorado state lawmaker Gordon Klingenschmitt weighed in on the controversy surrounding Nattaphon Wangyot, a transgender student in Alaska who recently competed in the girls' track and field state finals.

Klingenschmitt accused the high school senior of being possessed by "a demonic spirit of cowardice" and a "demonic spirit of lying" for competing against female athletes.

"Not only is it cheating and lying," he said, "but it's perversion and it's confusion. And I don't think it is even in this boy's best interest. There is also a spirit of cowardice here. Why do I say cowardice? Because he's afraid to compete with the other boys. If he were really a man and he were able to run so fast, he wouldn't have to beat up on these girls."

"There is also a sprit of theft," Klingenschmitt continued, declaring that Wangyot is "depriving these other girls of their college scholarships" because they lost "to this boy who pretends to be a girl."

Klingenschmitt closed out his commentary by praying that school officials would take a stand against "these liars and cheaters who would want to steal from the other athletes."

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