In an interview with conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson repeated hisplan to have the federal government monitor college campuses for “extreme bias,” explaining that he would have “very strict guidelines” that would ensure that his plan wouldn’t hurt conservatives.
“What I would do is I would solicit examples of extreme bias and I would use those as the basis for helping to determine which places need to have their federal funding cut,” he said.
Loesch agreed with Carson’s accusations of liberal bias on college campuses, but said, “There are some who would say that it’s kind of like monitoring political speech. Do you agree with their assessment of that?”
“No, I don’t, I think it’s a very big difference,” Carson responded. “But, of course, that would be the first thing that the left would claim because they want to be able to continue to do this. And it’s not appropriate for public funding to be used to indoctrinate students in one direction.”
Loesch pressed on: “I just worry whether or not the pendulum would swing the other way and we would see sort of like monitoring of political speech for conservatives.”
“I think we would have to put in very strict guidelines for the way that that was done,” Carson explained. “And that’s why I used the word ‘extreme.’ I didn’t just say ‘political bias,’ I said ‘extreme political biases.’”
Donald Trump joined conservative Florida talk radio host Joyce Kaufman yesterday to talk about his presidential candidacy, where he said he would be open to forming a joint ticket with his Republican rival Ben Carson, boasting of his “amazing” relationship with women and Latinos, and wondering why Syrian refugees aren’t “back fighting for their country.”
Kaufman — a controversial radio host who once suggested hanging undocumented immigrants who commit crimes — could barely contain her love for Trump, joking that she and her friend Ann Coulter “have slumber parties” where they listen to Trump’s speeches. Trump, in turn, said Coulter “is fantastic, she’s been so supportive and I appreciate it, she’s been great.”
When Kaufman asked if Trump would consider forming her dream Trump-Carson ticket if he won the Republican nomination, Trump was open to the idea. “Well, we get along very well,” he said. “We get along very well and he seems to be in second place compared to these politicians, you know, the all-talk, no-action politicians. So the relationship has been very, very good, very strong, but with that being said, it’s just too early, we have to see how it all pans out.”
Kaufman, who is of Puerto Rican descent, told Trump that there are “an inordinate number of Hispanic women who are absolutely enthralled” with him, adding, “I don’t know how anyone could say that you’re against women when every woman who gets close to you becomes a millionaire.”
“Well, I’ve employed tremendous numbers at the highest positions,” Trump said. “Even right now I probably have more than virtually anybody in terms of high positions. And, you know, my relationship with women has been amazing and I have great respect for women and I will be doing things for women’s health issues, which is a very big subject, and I’ll be doing things that nobody else is going to be able to do.”
“And I get along great with the Hispanics,” he added. “You know, I have thousands of Hispanics that work for me and they’re great people, amazing people.”
The two also discussed Trump’s plan to build a wall along the southern border, which he said “works big-league” and resistance to resettling refugees from the Syrian civil war.
Apparently referring to migrants in Europe, Trump said, “I don’t know if you’ve seen this migration but a lot of young, strong, men, they look like why aren’t they back fighting for their country.”
Swanson told host Tim Wildmon, the president of the American Family Association, that persecution in America is “happening all over the place,” lamenting that now “accountants who refuse to submit forms for homosexual couples” are facing persecution.
“We’re looking at a massive increase in persecution,” he said, warning that religious radio stations will soon be taken off the air if they “refuse to give equal time to homosexuals on the basis of sexual orientation.”
He continued: “We’re all at stake. If you don’t want your pastor in jail, if you want your religious radio station still broadcasting, if you want your job and if you’re a Christian, you had better take this matter seriously in the 2016 elections. The next Supreme Court justices appointed by the next president will be, I think, the determining factor as to whether or not we will live in a highly socialist country in which Christians are persecuted or if we are going to remain free as Christians in the marketplace and in our churches.”
Tami Jackson of BarbWire laments that “Obama and his administration, from the first day of the first term, have been at odds with the biblical Christian worldview, mocking and decreeing ungodly legislation at will.”
WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush unveils his “many quote verifiable charges” against President Obama.
Texas Eagle Forum is upset that Gov. Greg Abbott isn’t defying the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision.
In Europe the culture war is taking the form of attacks on sexual and reproductive health and rights — even sex education — or what conservative Catholics and their allies collectively deride as “gender ideology.” Right-wing groups are active at the European Union, Council of Europe, European Parliament and other international institutions. The ACLJ’s European branch led the signature drive for the “One of Us” campaign — an anti-abortion effort that used a new European Citizens Initiative process. The initiative was rejected but the organizing that went into it has energized anti-choice activists — the Knights of Columbus called it “the revitalization of Europe.”The World Congress of Families facilitates this reactionary cross-fertilization with conservative groups from around the world.
Earlier this year, the Croatia-based Center for Education, Counseling and Research (CESI) released a report on the growing threats to sexual and reproductive health and rights in the European Union which also documented global connections among conservative groups and activists. Also this year, voters in Slovakia passed a referendum to put a ban on marriage by same-sex couples in the country’s constitution, an effort supported by American groups including the WCF, Alliance Defending Freedom, CitizenGo, Personhood USA, and the World Congress of Families. Several years ago, many of the same people signed a petition supporting Romania’s constitutional amendment on marriage, which stated that “equating same-sex couples with families can only weaken the natural family — which does society’s vital work of procreation and childrearing.”
The World Congress of Families meeting in Salt Lake City next week features a number of speakers who are intimately involved in this push to restrict access to abortion and prevent advances in LGBT equality.
Another speaker is Ignacio Arsuaga, the founder of CitizenGo and HazteOír, groups designed to bring online organizing techniques to European culture-war conservatives. HazteOír made a name for itself mobilizing protesters against liberalized abortion legislation in Spain in 2010, and hosted the 2012 World Congress of Families in Madrid. In 2013 his group bused supporters into France to support anti-marriage-equality protests there.
Arsuaga, Volontè, and La Manif Pour Tous President Ludovine de La Rochère were all in Washington on June 19 to support the National Organization for Marriage’s March for Marriage. Their more important business, however, might have been in a closed-door summit the next day, where representatives of around 70 countries met to discuss creation of an International Organization for Marriage, according to Volontè and another participant.
Another participant is Maria Hildingsson, Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe, which the Catholic News Agency said last year is “the only independent organization clearly registered in the EU as Catholic.” It rejects “an individualistic conception” of human rights that is says are supported by “hegemonic powers which tend to impose their partial views on developing countries within the international economic and political arena.”
Another speaker, Silvio Dalla Valle, works with the Association for the Defense of Christian Values, which is “inspired by the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church” and works in Italy and Eastern Europe. He was on the planning committee for Moscow meeting that took place last year without the formal sponsorship of WCF but with participation by WCF staff and allies,and spoke last year at a WCF regional event in Bolivia. Dalla Valle is a co-founder of and legal adviser to the Osservatorio della Cristianofobia (Observatory on “Christianphobia”) a project to lobby the United Nations and European institutions to take a strong stance against persecution and discrimination against Christians. He received a “Global Leadership Award” from the Howard Center, the World Congress of Families’ parent organization, in 2010.
Arsuaga, Velarde and Brian Brown are all on board of the Political Network for Values, a group launched last year that brings together advocates and elected officials from around the world to work for legal protection for life “from its moment of conception” and advocate for policies the promote marriage as “an institution between a man and a woman.” The group also declares its opposition to “the tyranny of relativism” and euthanasia.
Last month, the Political Network for Values held a summit in Washington, D.C. which was sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage, the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Institute for Family Policy, CitizenGo and others. The network says the regional summit “brought together in Washington DC more than 70 policy makers from Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Guatemala, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Lucia, Spain, Hungary, Kenya and the United States.” The group was addressed by three members of the U.S. Congress, Jeff Fortenberry, Chris Smith and Vicky Hartzler, who talked about the “fight for religious freedom in the U.S.”
Yesterday, Donald Trump told Fox Business Channel that he would “ absolutely” support shutting down mosques in America in order to fight ISIS, so naturally American Family Radio’s Bryan Fischer came to the Republican presidential candidate’s defense today, repeating his frequentassertion that the First Amendment applies only to Christians.
“So the question is, can you close down a mosque in the United States of America given the First Amendment and its guarantee of the free exercise of religion,” Fischer said, “and the answer is that you absolutely can. Yes, Donald, yes, Virginia, we can constitutionally close down mosques in the United States of America.”
This is, he explained, because “the only religious tradition that is being explicitly and expressly protected in the First Amendment is the free exercise of the Christian religion.”
Christian Broadcasting Network reporter David Brody today posted clips from a recent interview with Sen. Ted Cruz, in which the typically sycophantic Brody thanked the Republican presidential candidate for refusing to criticize his GOP rivals, a frequent Cruz talking point.
Of course, in the very next clip, Cruz proceeded to criticize his opponents for refusing to bravely fight against Planned Parenthood, unlike Ted Cruz.
Republicans have tried for years to use the terrorist attack — which led to the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens — to go after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is testifying before the committee today. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy recently admitted that the special committee was formed to bring down Clinton’s popularity in advance of the 2016 presidential election.
Of course, uncovering facts has never been the GOP’s primary motivation when it comes to Benghazi (or much else). As these five instances show, Republicans and their allies in the conservative media have been much more concerned with creating bizarre scenarios to claim that the administration, and fellow Republicans, are suppressing the truth of the attack.
1) ‘No Evidence’ But What The Hell…
Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch unveiled an elaborate conspiracy theory earlier this year, alleging that the Obama administration wanted Libyan militants to kidnap Stevens in order to then do a prisoner swap for terrorist Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted in the U.S. for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. However, the compound attackers botched the job after Stevens died, Fitton said, and therefore we can never know if the administration was actually ready to release Abdel-Rahman.
Fitton conceded in an interview with WorldNetDaily’s Jerome Corsi, a fellow Benghazi truther, that there is “no evidence” to support his theory.
“Given what we know now, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the terrorist attack on Benghazi could have been a kidnapping attempt aimed at releasing the Blind Sheik,” Fitton said.
He noted, however, there is “no evidence” that the Obama administration may have been complicit in any kidnapping plot related to the Benghazi attack.
And since he can’t find any evidence to substantiate this claim, Fitton is pretty sure that there must have been a cover-up, insinuating that the State Department was trying to stop his group from receiving corroborating information.
2) Cover-Up Of The Cover-Up!
When President Obama first proposed bombing the Syrian regime after it used chemical weapons on civilians in Ghouta, Glenn Beck knew that Obama didn’t want to stop such war crimes — but instead wanted to cover up what really happened in Benghazi.
According to one conspiracy theory, Stevens was actually organizing an operation to transfer weapons from Libya to Syria to aid Islamic extremists (which of course raises the question of why these extremists would then want to attack the American post in the first place).
Seizing on that conspiracy theory, Beck speculated that it wasn’t the Assad regime that used the chemical weapons in Ghouta, but rebels using weapons delivered from the U.S. via Benghazi. Now, Beck reasoned, Obama wanted to bomb Syria because he was “covering the trail of the lost weapons from Benghazi.”
Beck later claimed that David Petraeus stepped down as CIA director not because he leaked classified information to his mistress but because he was about to blow the Benghazi scandal wide open. Beck’s theory ran into a slight hitch when Petraeus publicly praised Clinton’s response to the attack.
Beck has also alleged that the administration “let them die” in Benghazi after issuing a stand-down order, an accusation refuted on his very own news website.
While we weren’t surprised that Beck would pick up a conspiracy theory from such a website, it was a bit more shocking when a U.S. senator brought up WND’s conspiracy theory in a hearing with Clinton. At a 2013 hearing, Sen. Rand Paul demanded that a dumbfounded Clinton tell him if the U.S. was transferring weapons from Libya into Syria via Turkey.
Paul admitted that he didn’t “have any proof” before suggesting that the gun-running scheme was what was really happening “and the cover-up was an attempt to massage and get over this issue without getting into the gun trade.”
Investigations, including one led by Republicans, have found that Stevens was trying to find weapons, but in order to keep them out of the hands of extremists, with no evidence at all that he then sent those weapons to Syrian groups.
4) Marijuana A Benghazi Distraction!
Ben Carson is very upset about the Obama administration’s push to reform American drug laws. The GOP presidential candidate told Joseph Farah, the editor of WorldNetDaily (notice a theme?), that the administration’s push to liberalize laws on marijuana, along with its stance on the trademark of the Washington Redskins, is all part of a plot to “distract people” from the Benghazi attack.
Carson told Farah last year that most people now just think Benghazi “is a singer.”
“And these people vote and they have no idea,” he lamented.
Carson isn’t the only one to latch onto the “distraction” theme. Conservative activist Robert Knight of the American Civil Rights Union dedicated a column in the Washington Times about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s since-lifted suspension by insisting that the “Deflategate” scandal was part of an effort to distract people from Benghazi. Iowa radio broadcaster Steve Deace similarly wonder if NFL prospect Michael Sam’s decision to come out of the closet was also just a Benghazi distraction.
5) Benghazi Special Committee Is Part Of The Benghazi Cover-Up!
Since every single official committee, including ones led by Republicans, that has investigated the Benghazi attack has ended up debunking the conspiracy theories percolating through the right-wing media, a group of conservative activists has launched the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi to find the real truth.
This unofficial committee has embraced so many conspiracy theories surrounding the attack that its members even believe that the GOP-led Benghazi Special Committee is aiding the cover-up!
One member, Ret. Navy Adm. James “Ace” Lyons, told, guess who, WorldNetDaily, that committee chairman Trey Gowdy needs to go, lamenting that “this is a continued cover-up.”
Peroutka, who has said that Kentucky clerk Kim Davis gave “the entire country a civics lesson” when she defied federal court orders to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because “any purported law that is not harmonious with [God’s] word can’t be law and is not law,” includes lyrics such as: