by FRCA Media Office
February 26, 2016
FRC Action’s Ken Blackwell discussed the GOP debate on Newsmax
FRC Action’s Ken Blackwell discussed the GOP debate on Newsmax
FRC Action’s Ken Blackwell appeared on Newsmax TV to discuss recent comments from GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Here is a terrific NRO piece from Marjorie Dannenfelser of the SBA List explaining the serious stakes before the U.S. Senate when it comes to defunding a significant portion of Planned Parenthood’s federal subsidies. Marjorie explains how this can be done on the budget “reconciliation” bill. This is a unique opportunity for Congress and for pro-life legislators. The House passed the bill overwhelmingly. Now it’s up to the Senate, and the opportunity to do so with 51 votes is within reach. Read Marjorie’s piece.
In a June interview with the Christian Science Monitor, Democratic Socialist and presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said the following:
“A guy named Adolf Hitler won an election in 1932. He won an election, and 50 million people died as a result of that election in World War II, including 6 million Jews. So what I learned as a little kid is that politics is, in fact, very important.”
As a matter of history, Hitler did not win an election in 1932. Hitler rose to power through deception and political manipulation, not the popular vote. But the larger point of Sanders’ comments is that voting counts and elections have consequences.
He’s right, and last night proved it. The conservative underdog won handsomely in Kentucky. Houstonians resoundingly rejected a city ordinance to give transgendered persons access to the bathrooms of their opposite sex. In Ohio, according to the Associated Press, “voters rejected a ballot proposal Tuesday that would have legalized both recreational and medical marijuana in a single stroke … About 65 percent of voters opposed the measure, compared to 35 percent in favor.” In “Progressive” San Francisco, “Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi lost his re-election bid late Tuesday to challenger former Chief Deputy Vicki Hennessy after an uproar over his sanctuary city policy, which was blamed for the death of a woman in July at the hands of an illegal immigrant … Ms. Hennessy won with 74,522 ballots casts versus Sheriff Mirkarimi at 40,128.”
But not all the elections were so lopsided, and therein lies a reminder and a warning: Voting counts. Consider the Commonwealth of Virginia, where the loss of a single Republican seat would have given liberal Gov. Terry McAuliffe a free hand in the state senate in order to enact what the Washington Post calls “an unabashedly liberal agenda.”
Conservatives should – must – take note. Next year’s national election will be critical to the future of our country. If America gets a liberal president and/or a liberal majority in the Senate, everything we cherish with respect to the sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, the nature of the family, and the religious liberty that undergirds all our other freedoms, not to mention myriad economic, military, and foreign policy matters, could well be adversely and profoundly affected such that it might take America decades, or longer, to recover.
This is probably the only time I will ever publicly commend Sen. Sanders for a political stance, but when a person’s right, he’s right.
Citizenship is a trust. Voting counts. Elections matter.
On Tuesday, November 3, Houston voters will finally be able to go to the polls and decide — under Proposition 1 — if they want the city’s controversial “Equal Rights Ordinance” (ERO) to be law.
Hopefully the voters will get a fair shake at the polls this time around, and this event will mark the end of the saga of the ERO’s tortured history, exacerbated and prolonged by its supporters’ attempts to cram it down the throats of Houstonians who simply don’t want it.
After Mayor Parker imposed her sweeping, religious liberty-trumping ordinance on Houston last year (and interfered with private church affairs by issuing an expansive subpoena for some pastors’ writings and communications), Houston area residents pushed back and rightly demanded a vote on the matter.
Yet the mayor wasn’t about to let that happen, and tried to declare petition signatures invalid to keep the question off the ballot.
Thankfully, the Texas Supreme Court earlier this year vindicated Houstonians’ right to vote when it issued an opinion ruling that Mayor Parker’s administration had violated the law and the City Council must either repeal the ordinance within 30 days or put it on the ballot this coming November. The Council chose to put it on the ballot.
Yet the City Council still resisted the Texas Supreme Court, attempting to confuse the voters by asking them to vote “yes” to repeal the ordinance. The Council’s obstinacy again forced the Texas Supreme Court to get involved and reject this contorted language. The Court held that the Houston City Charter clearly requires the ordinance be put to an up or down vote — a “yes” for the ordinance and “no” against it.
Proposition 1 is infected with a host of problems. First, it suppresses religious liberty significantly. Should the ordinance become law, it will drastically increase the reach of government into private religious conduct and result in a less free society. Indeed, the tentacles of government will intrude into a variety of private conduct — religious and non-religious — under Proposition 1.
Moreover, the ordinance is a solution in search of a problem; there is no systematic pattern or record of the problems it claims to fix.
Finally, there are simply all sorts of privacy and other concerns on the question of who will be able to use what bathroom under the ordinance. The last thing anyone in a major city should want is to alter the law on such a matter before calm, cool, and objective consideration.
One of the bad raps we pro-lifers get for opposing elective abortion is that we’re waging a “war” on women. Never mind that pro-lifers contribute millions of dollars in volunteer time and financial gifts annually, staffing and funding a vast network of crisis pregnancy providers to care for mothers grappling with unplanned pregnancies. Never mind that many of us were, ourselves, children from unplanned pregnancies. Never mind that we grew up with ultrasound pictures on the refrigerator, or that we believe that abortion is the taking of human life.
Pro-lifers denounce violence and march peacefully in the hundreds of thousands every January, and we’re accused of waging a war. Meanwhile, an ideologically pro-abortion outfit protects child sexual abuse on procedural grounds. Guess who gets the free pass?
The sterile-named Center for Reproductive Health, which has filed multiple lawsuits in Oklahoma and Kansas against a variety of pro-life bills, is charging that Oklahoma’s SB 642 violates the state’s requirement that bills deal with only a single subject. The bill includes four measures, all designed to catch and penalize child molesters who bring underage girls in for abortion to cover up their crime:
Are such steep penalties necessary? Live Action’s undercover videos a few years ago demonstrated that abortionists are not above covering up child sex abuse:
The Center for Reproductive Rights claims the Oklahoma law is overly broad, but their simultaneous challenges to multiple, unrelated pro-life laws suggests an ideological motive. Still, it takes a certain amount of chutzpah to use a procedural challenge to protect the “reproductive rights” of child sex abusers.
Let’s hope and pray the Oklahoma Supreme Court promptly finds the law in order, and that protecting children from sexual abuse is a compelling state interest.
Great news! Today, the House passed the “budget reconciliation” bill to defund a huge pot of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding and gut key elements of Obamacare. The roll call vote was 240 ayes to 189 nays, with five members not voting. One Democrat voted for it, while seven Republicans voted no.
See Tony’s statement calling for the Senate to pass this bill here.
The recent, intense debate over whether Kim Davis should go to jail or be a hero means that many Americans are considering conscience rights in light of the redefinition of marriage for the first time. We can learn a lot by looking at a case involving a state conscience claim, not on marriage but on the issue of when life begins.
[T]he Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled [in July] that Washington State can force a pharmacy to sell Plan B despite their moral objections to doing so.
Plan B is a drug many object to because they believe it causes an early state abortion.
In 2007, the Washington State Board of Health created new rules stating that pharmacies must stock and sell Plan B. However, Ralph’s Thriftway challenged the rule and a judge ruled that the First Amendment protected their right to refer customers rather than sell a drug they objected to on moral grounds.
Did you catch that? Ralph’s Thriftway is being banned from referring customers to nearby pharmacies where abortifacient drugs are readily available. “With 33 pharmacies stocking the drug within five miles of our store,” said Kevin Stormans (the president of the company), “it is extremely disappointing that the court and the state demand that we violate our conscience or lose our family business.”
Part of the irony is the narrow ban on acting in accordance with a religious conviction. “The state allows pharmacies to refer for all kinds of reasons” including if a drug is not profitable, Stormans pointed out. “In practice, [the state] only bans religiously motivated referrals.”
Some pro-life views, however, are apparently more equal than others in state law. A recent article in U.S. News and World Report noted that the state’s physician-assisted suicide law “specifically carves out a health care provider’s right not to help terminally ill patients induce their own death.”
And earlier this year, leading pharmacist trade groups took steps to discourage their members from providing drugs that could be used in capital punishment, though states do not force pharmacies to do so.
Experts are watching to see if the Supreme Court will take the case and force Washington State to begin respecting the conscience rights of its citizens. But state legislators shouldn’t wait: They should protect conscience rights now, before civil servants like Kim Davis or private citizens like the owners of Ralph’s are sued.
Below are the remarks that Tom Rose delivered during the Values Voter Summit Breakout Session, “Irreconcilable Differences: Can Anything Bridge the Interests of the United States, Israel and Iran?”
74 years ago this morning German military police occupying Kiev, then the 3rd largest city in the Soviet Union, posted an order issued by the unit commander of Einsatzgruppen Task Force C — It read “Jews of Kiev; You are to appear at the Melnitkova Street entrance to the Jewish cemetery with your possessions, money, valuables and warm clothing by 7:00 AM. Jews failing to appear will be shot.”
Most of the Jews still left in Kiev — more than 100,000 managed to flee — those who were either too old, too sick, or too young to escape the advancing German army — appeared as ordered on a delightfully warm, cloud free late September morning. They were marched 14 miles to a large ravine northwest of town known as “Babi Yar”. There, they were forced to undress, leaving their clothes and possessions in marked piles until completely naked.
At gun point, Nazi guards forced them to run to bottom of the ravine — there, three 12-man SS mobile killing squads were waiting.
It was there — Husbands with wives, brothers with sisters, mothers with daughters and fathers with sons — were forced to lie face down on top of the bodies shot before them, then they too were shot with a single bullet to back of the neck. Ukrainian auxiliaries combed through the pits with heavy shovels looking for survivors to bludgeon. To save bullets, infants and small children were thrown into the giant pit and buried alive together with the others.
Late the following afternoon, the Einstatzgruppen Task Force Commander Freideric Jeckeln reported to headquarters that his two-day “action” resulted in 33,771 Jews having been “successfully evacuated”.
75 years ago, the Jews of Europe faced annihilation — powerless, voiceless and friendless. They knew what was coming — they saw what was coming. Because they had no power, no voice and no friends to speak of, they had no way to alter what was coming.
Today, the Jewish state faces a threat of annihilation no less genocidal than the Jews of Europe faced — ponder this —
Hitler never openly proclaimed his goal of exterminating the Jewish people. Today’s enemy does.
Hitler never openly conducted mass terror attacks against Americans or American interests. Today’s enemy does and has for 35 years.
There were no Death to America rallies in Germany before the war. Today’s enemy holds them weekly.
75 years ago, Hitler was dismissed as the Jews problem, today, Iran is dismissed as Israel’s problem.
75 years ago, Nazi Germany sought to become the sole dominate power, first in Europe and then elsewhere. Today’s enemy seeks identical positions of dominance in the Middle East and Muslim world.
75 years ago, America and Britain defeated Hitler before he could get nuclear weapons — two months ago, those very same two nations, together with others, signed a deal insuring that today’s enemy gets those very weapons.
But that is where the similarities between 1940 and 2015 end:
Unlike 75 years ago, today, the Jewish people are not powerless. Unlike 75 years ago, today’s Jewish people are not voiceless and — as evidenced by this magnificent gathering; today’s Jewish people are not friendless. What does Israel mean to us? Israel means never again will the Jewish people be unable to defend ourselves; never again will be unable to speak for ourselves. Israel means our Jewish voices will be heard, no matter what others might think; no matter what others might say.
Israel means that we Jews are again a people of faith, not fate. That we are choosers, not victims; that together with the Almighty, we will be pursue our own destiny. Israel means never again will the Jewish people be swept or tempest tossed by the winds or whims of circumstance
No — Today’s threat will be met; today’s threat will be faced and today’s threat will be defeated. It will be defeated by a Jewish state confident enough, courageous enough and powerful enough to defend itself by itself.
Israel can not accept a nuclear Iran for the simple reason that if gets nuclear weapons, Iran will use nuclear weapons.
I’m afraid the only option remaining is a military one — and it comes with great peril, and great risk. Those who support the so called “deal” which guarantees the world’s most dangerous weapons to the world’s most dangerous regime have 3 main arguments — all defeatist and passive in substance — you’ve heard them all before — but here they are.
- The Genie’s out of the bottle; “Iran has mastered the fuel cycle”, they say. “There’s no going back”. Perhaps. But knowing how to fly a plane doesn’t mean much if you don’t have a plane. It has taken Iran decades to build its nuclear infrastructure — it does not have the resources nor capacity to rapidly reassemble that capability.
- A military strike will only set Iran back a few years — this point is probably true — but misses the point. In a battle for survival, time is everything. If it appears that Iran is subsequently able to reconstitute its industrial scale nuclear capacity in one, three or five years, they will just have to be hit again in one, three, or five years.
- It’s not possible to denuclearize without war — again, the apologists are probably right — but again, they miss the point. While war of some kind is now almost a certainty, it isn’t because peacefully de-nuclearizing a radical regime is impossible — it is not impossible. It has been done — in the Middle East; not just once — but at least five times since 1981.
- Iraq 1981 Israel took out the Osirak reactor near Baghdad
- Iraq 1991 US forces destroyed Saddam’s rebuilt nuclear program following the first Gulf War.
- Libya 2003 Muamar Gaddafi voluntarily relinquished his surprisingly advanced nuclear program in exchange for recognition and cooperation with the US
- Believe it or not, Iran itself — in 2003 suspended its own weaponization and weapons design programs — albeit not its enrichment activities — after it noticed 150,000 of America’s finest stationed right next door in Iraq.
- Syria 2007 Israel struck and destroyed a secret nuclear reactor built and operated by North Korea against the strong warnings of the United States and President Bush
Many friends of Israel ask, ‘can Israel go it alone?’ Good question. The answer is yes, of course Israel can go it alone, and if forced to, it will go it alone. Israel has two choices, one of which is no choice at all. Israel can either act to prevent a nuclear Iran or be destroyed by a nuclear Iran.
Israel’s only real dilemmas are timing and tactics.
- If Israel can’t destroy Iran’s program outright, it can disable above ground conversion facilities at Isfahan, Natanz and the heavy water reactor at Arak.
While we don’t know with certainty what Iran’s response will be, we do know with certainty there will be a response. A heavy one. Many people will die. Many of us, and many more of them. But Israel will be ready — and so my friends — must we be.
Mark Twain said “all things are mortal but the Jew”. “The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; made a vast noise, but they too are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high, but it burned out. The Jew somehow survived them all. All other forces pass, but the Jew remains.”
Today, Israel has a powerful army, a powerful voice and we have you. Good, powerful friends. Never before have the Jewish people had so many good friends. We are used to having enemies. It’s the friends that throw us for a loop. We’ve never had them before. Ever.
I know of no greater friend, no more loyal, reliable, tireless defender and protector of liberty at home and the State of Israel than your very own Gary Bauer. Will you please join with me in thanking this Lion of Judah who has earned the eternal gratitude and a permanent place in the memory of God’s eternal people.
In the spirit of the timeless words spoken to Joshua over 3,000 years ago, “let us be strong and of good courage. Let us fight bravely and May the Lord do what is good in his sight.”
Together we can defeat this peril, secure our future and protect liberty for generations to come.
Below are the remarks that Mona Charen delivered during the Values Voter Summit Breakout Session, “Irreconcilable Differences: Can Anything Bridge the Interests of the United States, Israel and Iran?”
No one in this audience needs to be convinced that we are in a profoundly troubling moment in American history. This is particularly true with respect to foreign policy. This administration’s goal has been to diminish and subdue not the terrorists or tyrants of the world, but the United States of America. It reminds me of Robert Frost’s reflection that “A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel.”
As someone who wrote a book called “Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got It Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First,” I cannot claim to be completely surprised.
The Democratic Party has been weak-minded on defense for decades, but with the Iran capitulation, they’ve achieved a new threshold of cowardice and treachery.
Only a handful of Democrats have resisted the President’s pressure to sign a miserable agreement with Iran, the overwhelming majority have chosen to go over the cliff with a President who never met an enemy he didn’t wish to conciliate or an ally he didn’t seek to betray.
Democrats have long tended toward appeasement of aggressors. Throughout the Cold War, they scared themselves (and everyone else) silly conjuring specters of nuclear holocaust. Then-Senator John Kerry was one of many prominent Democrats who endorsed the “nuclear freeze.” It wasn’t America’s enemies that we should fear, the Democrats argued, but the weapons themselves.