On Monday, a brand new group called the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA) will be holding a march on the National Mall in opposition to a new immigration policy. Michelle Cottle at the Daily Beast today explains that BALA, far from being the grassroots group it claims to be, consists of “a dozen or so…seasoned activists who have long been conducting this same anti-immigration crusade by means of an evolving series of similar groups.” Last month, when BALA first emerged, we profiled some of its leaders and their deep connections to the anti-immigrant network stemming from white nationalist John Tanton.
As Cottle puts it: “As a result of the many links between BALA’s leaders and the Tanton network, hate-group watchdogs have expressed concern that the organization is merely the latest in a series of minority front groups providing anti-immigration extremists cover from charges of racism.” We wrote about the anti-immigrant movement’s persistent but largely unsuccessful attempts to drive a wedge between black and Latino communities in this 2011 report.
Unsurpisingly, anti-immigrant congressional leaders are jumping to associate themselves with BALA and take part in its rally. The speakers list so far includes Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Iowa Rep. Steve King, former Rep. Allen West, and, somewhat ironically, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions.
Also speaking at the event are some lesser-known African-American conservative activists, including Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, who has said he thanks God for slavery, accused the NAACP of being “no different than the KKK” and frequently claims that President Obama is “racist” against white people. Joining him on the podium will be radio host Kevin Jackson, who claims that feminists are waging “a war against beautiful women” and that President Obama “has taken America back into the 1960’s except now whites are enslaved to blacks.”
And we just noticed the addition of another fringe speaker to the list: Florida pastor O’Neal Dozier. Dozier made national headlines last year when, while serving as state chairman of Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign, he announced that Mitt Romney’s Mormonism would “taint the Republican Party.” A profile of Dozier by Mother Jones’ Adam Weinstein highlights some of the pastor’s worst anti-gay, anti-Islam rhetoric, dominionist rhetoric, which ultimately caused him to lose favor with the state's Republican establishment:
As Republicans courted him, Dozier continued to express some of his most extreme views. At a Reclaiming America convention in 2003, Dozier declared that "We should take control of every facet of society." He added that God was "100 percent for capital punishment. Oh, yeah, God knew some were going to slip through, a few innocent ones. He knew that. But you cannot have a society without capital punishment."
He reserved his greatest fervor for that "paramount of sins," homosexuality—which he declared was "something so nasty and disgusting that it makes God want to vomit."
In 2006, he declared war on a local Islamic group trying to build a mosque in the neighborhood. "One day," he intoned, "our grandchildren will live under the grips of sharia law. It's coming our way. Islam has a plan, a 20-year plan, to take over America from within. And they're doing it." The feds charged a charity that Dozier and local Republican activists had supported with swindling $3 million from Haitian immigrants. And Dozier started asking Florida judicial nominees if they were "God-fearing" and in favor of anti-sodomy laws. The GOP establishment began to sour on Dozier. By the summer of 2006, Crist and Jeb Bush had both dumped him.
Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims, an openly gay legislator, was blocked from speaking on the floor of the state House on Wednesday by a colleague who believed Sims’ plans to speak about the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage decision would be in "open rebellion against God’s law.”
According to WHYY, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe raised a procedural objection to stop Sims from speaking during a part of the House session in which legislators often give wide-ranging remarks.
"I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God's law," said Metcalfe, R-Butler.
Metcalf is a far-right legislator who has sponsored a marriage amendment to the state’s Constitution and “birther” legislation, and called for overturning birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment in order to “bring an end to the illegal alien invasion.”
Sims, who said he appreciated the apologies and support he received from other Republican members of the House, has asked the legislature to reprimand Metcalfe for his comments.
Gun Owners of America director Larry Pratt is upset that just because President Obama “got 50-plus percent of the vote,” he thinks can now carry out his policy agenda. In one of his frequent interviews with conspiracy nut Alex Jones recently, Pratt alleged that the president is a “communist,” a “full-bore Marxist” and a “Mr. Dictator” who is “grabbing ahold of every bit of power and centralizing in his hands.”
Pratt also agreed with Jones that Democrats “had to steal the election” and urged supporters to take jobs as election monitors because “it’s either that or the republic.”
Pratt: In his view, evidently, the fact that he barely got 50-plus percent of the vote means he can do anything he wants, that he’s not the president in a constitutional republic where the president can do certain things and most things the president cannot do. According to the president’s view now, Barack Obama thinks he can do just about any bloody thing he can get away with. And that’s a gross misunderstanding of the office of president. But it’s apparently not the misunderstanding that a communist has. And that’s really the way the president thinks. He was educated that way. He is a full-bore Marxist. And this guy is after and grabbing ahold of every bit of power and centralizing in his hands. And as he said even before the election – we should have been listening – ‘If the Congress won’t go along with me, than I’m just going to have to take action myself.’ Well, hello, Mr. Dictator. I guess you will.
Jones: They stole the election, that’s what I’m worried about, Larry. There’s so much election fraud now. They’re about to legalize the 30 million illegals. But they know this is their last shot, because America is starting to wake up. I’m not just saying that. But that’s why we’re in so much danger, folks, because we can beat the collectivists and so now they are like cornered zombies.
Pratt: That’s right, they had to steal the last election or they could not have won. And it’s up to us to become part of the election machinery, to become part of those officials that are sitting there. It’s a long day, it’s like five in the morning to seven or eight at night, maybe nine or ten at night, it’s a killer day. But it’s either that or the republic, take your choice.
This week, the Associated Press reported that the Department of Justice had seized two months of phone records for its editors and reporters without any prior notification to the news organization, thereby denying it the opportunity to negotiate or challenge the seizure in court.
While it's true that there are complicated issues at stake in balancing the right to privacy and First Amendment protections for the media against the government’s obligation to protect national security, the Attorney General’s office has in place its own guidelines on subpoenas of news media for evidence and testimony – guidelines that they apparently failed to follow in this case. If true, the actions taken by the Department of Justice are beyond the pale of our Constitutional system. The right of all persons to feel secure that their privacy is protected is fundamental to our nation's character; we should pay special heed to that guarantee when it involves the freedom of the press, an essential bulwark of our democracy.
Any government requests for media records should be subject to automatic judicial review, and whatever exceptions to that principle that may exist should be extraordinarily limited in scope. According to reports, neither was true in this instance.
In response to this revelation, the White House has appropriately reiterated its support for more robust shield laws to protect journalists from undue government intrusion. Even without those laws in place, the Department of Justice should have understood that its actions in this instance were a gross violation of important Constitutional principles.
The Center for Immigration Studies, a leading anti-immigrant group that was invited to testify at last month’s Senate immigration reform hearings, has been making it very clear why it opposes comprehensive reform. In an interview last week, CIS director Mark Krikorian said that Republicans shouldn’t bother courting Latino voters or “importing more of them” through immigration reform because “generally speaking, Hispanic voters are Democrats.”
In an interview yesterday with VCY America’s Jim Schneider, the group’s research director Steven Camarota, piled on, calling GOP supporters of immigration reform “useful idiots” who “have no idea of the political preferences of the people who they’re trying to turn into voters.”
Schneider: I think it’s Politico, this week Monday, talked about this mega GOP donor, Paul Singer, making a six-figure donation to a group that’s involved with marshaling conservatives to support an overhaul of our federal laws on this issue. I mean, is there, it sounds like there’s tons of pressure that’s going on legislators at this time.
Camarota: Yeah, well, you know, what did Lenin, the leader of the Soviet revolution say, ‘There’s a lot of…the capitalist will sell you the rope to hang him.’ Well, you know, there’s just a…and he also talked about the concept of ‘useful idiots.’ These are people who help you inadvertently with your revolution. Well, that’s kind of a harsh statement but the reality is there are lots of conservatives who never actually looked at the voting data, who have no idea of the political preferences of the people who they’re trying to turn into voters.
And so, when you press them on this, a lot of times they’ll say, well, ‘I didn’t know,’ or, ‘We’ll fix that, somehow we’ll change their minds,’ as if they were malleable piece of clay and not human beings entitled to their own opinions. The fact is that if immigration continues, the United States will continue to move in a more left or progressive direction. That’s not necessarily bad or good, but it is a fact, because the new immigrants and their children, based on all the polling that we have, tend to favor expansive government. Again, in a democracy, you change the voters, the political system has to respond. That’s just the reality of the situation.
Elsewhere in the interview, Camarota went all out on the racial dog whistles, taking on Attorney General Eric Holder’s defense of the civil rights of immigrants and non-English speakers. “Unfortunately, there’s a whole industry designed to balkanize the country and remind people of their backgrounds and ethnicity and their race,” Camarota said. “And there’s a lot of what you might call ‘professional ethnics’ out there whose job it is to keep the country divided.” This "identity and grievance politics," he adds, is “one of the downsides of immigration in modern America.”
Schneider: He also used this term, ‘language minorities,’ and that sounded rather peculiar to me. Can you define, what is he meaning by ‘language minorities?’
Camarota: Well, this is something that’s evolved since the 1960s, not surprisingly, that if you don’t speak English you’re entitled to certain protections, including things like have voting ballots printed up in your language. Now, of course, a moment’s reflection reveals that basically that makes no sense. Because when you naturalize, when a legal immigrant becomes a full citizen of the United States, they have to display a knowledge of English, so they should be able to read English. And people born in the United States should also be able to have learned English. They lived here, they grew up here.
So who exactly are these foreign language battles for? Well, what it’s for is to preserve ethnic identity. And unfortunately, there’s a whole industry designed to balkanize the country and remind people of their backgrounds and ethnicity and their race. And there’s a lot of what you might call ‘professional ethnics’ out there whose job it is to keep the country divided, because if people assimilate, well, they have no one they can claim to represent. And that’s one of the downsides of immigration in modern America, identity and grievance politics.
Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver yesterday spoke to Vic Eliason of Voice of Christian Youth America on Crosstalk, where the two agreed that legalizing same-sex marriage nationally “would be the same as pronouncing the death sentence on America.”
Staver, who is also the dean of the Liberty University School of Law, even went so far as to say that marriage equality would “obliterate” morality, marriage and “the idea that there even is a God,” along with harming children, parents and society at large.
Eliason: You know as we see the comments, one website indicated that if the court strikes down marriage as we know it that it would be the same as pronouncing the death sentence on America that many of us know and love, recount the days of Sodom and Gomorrah as returning to our culture. Your thoughts?
Staver: Well I think so. Same-sex marriage is ultimately the abolition of gender; it’s ultimately the abolition of any moral behavior with regards to human sexuality. This whole assault on marriage is really an attempt to obliterate not only morality but Judeo-Christian morality, to obliterate marriage and to even obliterate the idea that there even is a God.
Staver: You’re going to have people lose their professions, you’re going to have parents lose their rights, you’re going to have churches and other avenues of religious free exercise ultimately throttled and marriage and morality are going to crumble. Children are ultimately going to pay the price and society will suffer.
He later cited California’s law barring the use of ex-gay therapy on minors as an example of how gay rights represent “a direct assault on the very core of our liberties and morality, marriage and even God.”
Staver described Rob Portman, Karl Rove and Reince Priebus as “cockroaches” which “start running” once “you flip on the lights” over their comments on gay marriage, and Eliason said of the Log Cabin Republicans: “Is there nobody to clean the cockroaches out?”
After discussing George W. Bush’s failure to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment, Staver joined other Religious Right leaders like Mike Huckabee, Tony Perkins and Gary Bauer in warning about the emergence of a “third party” and a “mass exodus” from the GOP “if the Republican Party were to adopt same-sex marriage.”
Staver: You know it’s like going into a building at night and you flip on the lights and all of the sudden the cockroaches start running, and I think this same-sex marriage issue has shown the cockroaches within the Republican Party, the RINOs: Republican In Name Only. That’s why we lost the 2008 election, that’s why we lost the 2012 election, because they put forth their party person who is not really a conservative and doesn’t resonate with the American people and couldn’t carry a conservative message and articulate it if it was handed to them.
Go back to George W. Bush, George W. Bush surrounded himself by a number of people that were not conservative and in fact though he was elected in 2004 on a marriage mandate, that was what ultimately pushed him across the line; remember that was the time when thirteen states passed constitutional amendments, eleven of them actually on the day he was elected, and Ohio was a key state and Ohio had marriage on the ballot and that pushed him over the top. He had a marriage mandate and coming into 2005 we asked him to push forward with a Federal Marriage Amendment; instead, he and Karl Rove backed away. They tried to reform Social Security, which was not a mandate of his, and he failed and we lost that opportunity.
So now you have Karl Rove and you have [Reince] Priebus and some others, [Rob] Portman, they’re going down a way that ultimately will split the Republican Party. I can tell you what, if the Republican Party were to adopt same-sex marriage, if they were to do that, evangelicals will leave en masse and that will create a third party. No one wants to create a third party, they want to work within the system, they want to make sure that it advances freedom and liberty and the sanctity of life and marriage, but if the Republican Party goes down that road you can bet that there will be a mass exodus from that party and it will not win elections again for many, many years in the future.
Eliason: You know Mat, as we look back to a term that isn’t new but they call them Log Cabin Republicans and that of course was the group that favored homosexual involvement and moral decadence, as I define it, but this was the liberal element. When I saw that happen years ago down in my heart I thought: Is there nobody to clean the cockroaches out? Why do you coexist with that?
On this week's "Hagee Hotline," Pastor John Hagee responded to a question from a viewer about whether God would hold this nation accountable if it ever legalized gay marriage by declaring that biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah was "God's pilot study for his response to the homosexual society," and warning that it was not a matter of the government approving it but rather "if the people accept it, and if the righteous accept it, judgment will come":
I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised when Republicans started complaining that President Obama's second inaugural address was too "partisan" and lacked "outreach" across the aisle. But who was left out? What did they find "partisan"? The acknowledgement of climate science? The idea that women should receive equal pay for equal work? The nod to civil rights struggles of our past and present? The hope that no American will have to wait in hours-long lines to vote? The defense of the existence of a social safety net? The determination to offer support to the victims of a historic storm and to find real answers to the epidemic of mass shootings? In the not-too-distant past, none of these would have raised eyebrows except on the very, very far right. But I guess that's the point: what was once the radical fringe is now in control of the Grand Old Party.
In many ways, Monday's inauguration ceremony was a Tea Party Republican's nightmare-come-true. The openly gay poet. The Spanish sprinkled into the benediction. The one-two-three punch of "Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall." It was the embodiment of all that the far right has tried to wall itself off from as the country begins to include more and more of the real America in its democracy.
What would have pleased this faction, short of winning the presidential election? I imagine they would have preferred a paean to the America of their imaginations -- where the founders were flawless and prescient about the right to bear assault weapons and the Constitution was delivered, amendments included, directly from God; where there are no gay people or only silent ones, where the world is not getting warmer; where there have been no struggles in the process of forging a more perfect union. This, of course, would have been its very own kind of political statement -- and one that was just rejected by the majority of American voters.
If embracing America as it is rather than as a shimmery vision of what it never was constitutes partisanship, and if it turns off people who cling to that dishonest vision, let's have more of it.
Yesterday, Bryan Fischer responded to the news that pastor Louie Giglio had withdrawn from participation in President Obama’s inauguration by declaring that anti-gay Christians were "the new Rosa Parks" and the victims of modern-day Jim Crow laws.
Please take a moment to watch this end-of-the-year thank you message for you and all of PFAW's wonderful supporters around the world from PFAW founder Norman Lear:
One of the most remarkable things about the Religious Right today is the amazingly widespread belief that any criticism or disagreement with their agenda is somehow a violation of their First Amendment rights.
The Religious Right seems to truly believe that the First Amendment protects their rights to say anything they wish while simultaneously rendering them immune from criticism or opposition, as if the very same First Amendment that protects their free speech rights does not protect the free speech rights of those who disagree with them.
Case in point: the day after the election, the American Humanist Association sent a letter to all the newly elected members of Congress, encouraging them not to join the Congressional Prayer Caucus. But to Rep. Randy Forbes, founder of the Prayer Caucus, this is nothing more than an attempt to "censor people" and prevent them from talking about their faith, as he explained on "Wallbuilders Live" today:
None of us, and no member of our caucus believes, that we want government to dictate what the church should do and we don't want the church dictating what the government should do.
But these extremist groups try to switch that around and they try to carry it to another dimension where they don't want anybody in government to have the right to even speak about their faith, or prayer, or God, or religion. And they don't want anyone in the church to be able to speak about government.
What they want to do is censor people from their faith and from their First Amendment rights.
Members of Congress have the right to join the Prayer Caucus if they want, just as others have a right to ask them not to do so. That is how the First Amendment works.
Disagreement is not censorship and the Constitution does not protect you from criticism.
Glenn Beck opened his program last night with a long segment responding to the recent controversy over a a painting that depicts President Obama in a Christ-like pose and wearing a crown of thorns that has gone on display at Boston's Bunker Hill Community College Art Gallery.
Beck began by pretending to be a snooty art critic taking shots at several paintings he disliked by artists like Jackson Pollock, Vincent Van Gogh, and Peter Paul Rubens, before switching over a French artist character who went around "correcting" these paintings by covering up the nudity they contained or simply painting over them, all in order to make the point that the Constitution protects free expression and that while people are entirely free to get offended by certain works of art, they just have to learn to accept that as the price of freedom ... which he proceeded to demonstrate by submerging a bobblehead of President Obama in a mason jar supposedly filled with urine:
As a piece of performance art, it was all mildly entertaining, but the most interesting thing about it is that one of the underlying themes of the segment was how all of these piece of art, which he considers to be "crap," have sold for millions of dollars while he couldn't understand why people would waste good money on things like this.
So, of course, Beck has now put all of his own pieces up for sale on eBay, with the proceeds benefiting his Mercury One "Hope for the Holidays" charity effort, incuding his pièce de résistance, "Obama in Pee Pee," which had been bid up to nearly $12,000 ... before it suddenly disappeared from eBay:
UPDATE: Beck reports that the item was removed by eBay for violating the site's ban on "the sale of bodily waste."
Washington, DC – More than three-quarters of the young progressive candidates for state and local offices endorsed by People For the American Way’s Young Elected Progressives program won their election bids on Tuesday, People For the American Way reported today. The Young Elected Progressives program, in its first year, endorsed 79 candidates in general elections in 28 states and the District of Columbia, with 60 winning their bids.
“We started this program to boost promising young progressives, many of them making their first bid for elected office,” said Randy Borntrager, Political Director of People For the American Way. “We’re helping to build a lasting movement by providing young progressives with the resources they need to start their careers in public service. We are thrilled that our endorsed candidates did so well on Tuesday, and are looking forward to growing and strengthening the program in future elections.”
Eighteen of the endorsed candidates, many in particularly close races, were given extra attention through the new "On the Way" program. Fourteen of those candidates were successful on Tuesday, including:
For years, conservatives have claimed that liberals seek to criminalize Christianity and conservative opinions through imaginary hate speech laws. But today, WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush writes that the government should prosecute liberals and members of the press… in order to defend freedom, of course. He accuses journalists of “treasonous collusion” with the Obama administration and said the Founders would have wanted journalists to be “found guilty of high crimes.”
“Trials for treason and the requisite sentences would apply,” Rush says, “and I would have no qualms about seeing such sentences executed, no matter how severe.” He claims that progressives’ “seditious, anti-American” speech is “excepted from protection under the First Amendment,” hoping that “the political disenfranchisement of liberals, progressives, socialists and Marxists can begin in earnest, and in the open.”
Assuming that all goes well and that we are rid of Obama in January, there will be a nation to repair – but what about the causes for this necessity? Yes, many Americans are now cognizant of the fact that progressives have “progressed” America dangerously close to being a Marxist-socialist nation and that we are collectively responsible for not having checked that progress. But aside from grass-roots efforts toward electoral and political reform, there are other widespread, organized threats to America’s ongoing concern as a representative republic with guaranteed personal liberties, free speech foremost among them.
Here, I am speaking of the press, the conglomeration of national broadcast, digital and print media organizations that has been incrementally packed with ideological liberals and socialists, and so has disqualified itself as the impartial government watchdog it once was. During my lifetime, I have seen the press become an advance force for social engineering and global socialism. The degree to which they have deceived Americans and enabled the agenda of radicals in recent decades is beyond shame. As former Democratic pollster Pat Caddell said recently, the press has become an enemy of the American people. In the matter of this president, the press largely facilitated the ascension of Barack Obama. The instances wherein they have promoted, shielded and aided him are beyond enumeration.
This goes beyond such things as MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and his man crush on Obama – I’m talking about treasonous collusion. One particularly scandalous incident occurred during the second presidential debate, when CNN moderator Candy Crowley made an interjection that appeared to have been as spontaneous as Ambassador Chris Stevens’ murder, and which led to a solid point scored for Obama. Most recently, after Mitt Romney brought up Obama’s 2009 “Apology Tour,” the press did their best to support Obama’s claim that this never happened, despite boundless reams of footage that exist chronicling the event.
It is improbable that the framers of the Constitution anticipated a situation in which the press were entirely given over to seditious, anti-American policies. If they had, it is likely that their modus operandi would be similar to that for any faction found guilty of high crimes. Trials for treason and the requisite sentences would apply, and I would have no qualms about seeing such sentences executed, no matter how severe.
This is not likely to occur, however. Radio personality and nascent media mogul Glenn Beck has the intention of putting the establishment press out of business. While I wish him every success, it doesn’t seem likely that he will accomplish this through his organizations alone. In addition to the advent of powerful alternative media sources, I believe it will be necessary to codify – or reaffirm – the nature of crimes against the Constitution and the American people. In this manner, we can thwart the designs not only of the press, but all global socialists operating in America.
Those whose speech and actions impinge upon the God-given rights set forth in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution are, by definition, excepted from protection under the First Amendment (as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment). This is a very important concept to consider, because it is based on these presumptions of protected speech and equal protection for all that progressives and socialists have engaged in their predation upon our liberties.
If these truths can be acknowledged and widely accepted as such (as opposed to progressives’ Orwellian interpretations), then the political disenfranchisement of liberals, progressives, socialists and Marxists can begin in earnest, and in the open.
Speaking today at the Values Voter Summit, Rep. Steve King declared that President Obama and "his leftist minions" are working every day "undermining the pillar of American exceptionalism, attempting to bring down the shining city on the hill [and] turn it into rubble."
But, he declared, "we are not going to let them do that" because "we're going to serve God and country, in that order" and defeat Obama in November, which will be a victory for God: