People For the American Way


April 2011

In This Issue


Issa's Budget Hearings: Brought to You by the Koch Brothers

The Bullying Advocates: Report Exposes the Religious Right's Effort to Stop Anti-Bullying Programs in Schools

The 'Green Dragon' Slayers: How the Religious Right and the Corporate Right are Joining Forces to Fight Environmental Protection

Barton's Bunk: Religious Right 'Historian' Hits the Big Time in Tea Party America

Wisconsin Recall Update

Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network Frontline News -- Issue of the Month: Health Care

The Smithsonian's Censorship Forum....Over Four Months Too Late

--Featured Video
--News, Blogs & Right Wing Tracking

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ACTION CENTER: Save Medicare, Return to Tax Sanity


New polling shows that 64% of voters think the best way to address the deficit is to raise taxes on the wealthiest. A whopping 80% oppose any cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

Voters get it. Why don't Republican lawmakers?

Last month, when it was reported that GE and many other major American corporations paid nothing in U.S. taxes due to corporate tax loopholes and tax refunds amounting to more than taxes owed, we launched a petition calling on Congress to get its priorities straight.

  Read More and Take Action >  



Issa's Budget Hearings: Brought to You by the Koch Brothers

koch budget hoax

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa invited Wisconsin Gov. Walker to testify to the committee about fixing state and municipal budgets. It was an interesting choice of witness.

Walker has, in recent weeks, become a walking symbol of exactly the way Americans don't want to solve government budget crises. He caused a national uproar when he proposed taking away the collective bargaining rights of public workers...and then snuck his union-busting bill through the state legislature in the middle of the night.

Read More >



Please renew now!
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Please renew now!

We're on the ground in Wisconsin and Ohio fighting back against the most aggressive assault on workers' rights and the middle class that we've seen in generations. Now, as the fight moves to dozens of other states, and the battles to save Medicare, Medicaid, Planned Parenthood, NPR and more heat up in Washington, we need your help to make sure that leaders are putting the interests of ordinary Americans before corporate welfare and tax breaks for billionaires.

Please renew your membership for 2011 to help us in this fight.





The Bullying Advocates: Report Exposes the Religious Right's Effort to Stop Anti-Bullying Programs in Schools

bully report

As states and school districts work to stem a tide of anti-gay bullying in American schools, believe it or not a powerful group is actually out to stop them. Many in the radical Religious Right have been leading a concerted effort to stop programs that seek to protect LGBT youth from bullying and to deny that the problem of anti-gay bullying exists.

Check out our new report, "Big Bullies: How the Religious Right is Trying to Make Schools Safe for Bullies and Dangerous for Gay Kids."

Get the Report >



The 'Green Dragon' Slayers: How the Religious Right and the Corporate Right are Joining Forces to Fight Environmental Protection


As Republican officials accelerate their efforts to weaken environmental regulations and attack climate scientists, energy corporations are reaping the benefits of a decades-long effort to put a more benevolent, humanitarian, and even religious spin to their anti-environmental activism. Among their most valuable allies are the Religious Right organizations and leaders who have emerged as ready apologists for polluters and critics of efforts to protect the environment.

The Religious Right's attacks are intended to lend credence to the efforts of corporations and the GOP to quash the Environmental Protection Agency and chip away at state and federal environmental safeguards. And increasingly, Republican leaders themselves are echoing the same misleading arguments and themes of the Religious Right’s corporate apologists.

Read the Report >



Barton's Bunk: Religious Right 'Historian' Hits the Big Time in Tea Party America


A new PFAW report introduces readers to one of the most important behind-the-scenes players in right-wing politics today. Long the Religious Right's favorite faux "historian," David Barton and his factually-challenged take on American history are being well received by the Tea Party and several likely GOP presidential candidates. Read Barton's Bunk: Religious Right 'Historian' Hits the Big Time in Tea Party America and watch PFAW senior fellow and the report's author, Peter Montgomery, discuss Barton on MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Read the Report >

Watch the Video >



Wisconsin Recall Update


Democrats in Wisconsin have submitted the petition signatures to have the SIXTH Republican state senator, Sen. Robert Cowles, put on the ballot for a recall election.

That's six -- Dan Kapanke, Randy Hopper, Luther Olsen, Sheila Harsdorf, Alberta Darling and now Robert Cowles -- of the eight GOP senators eligible for recall, and it covers all of the senators who are considered most vulnerable. A net gain of only three seats is needed for the Democrats to take control of the Wisconsin Senate.

Things are heating up! If all goes as planned, we expect the first recall elections to be held in early July.

Read More >



Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network Frontline News -- Issue of the Month: Health Care


Last month marked the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law. Hundreds of events and actions took place across the country with seniors, children, small businesses, faith communities and young people coming together to speak about the benefits of the law and the consequences of repeal. The debate about this landmark legislation still rages, but the important thing is that we move forward with a health care system that benefits all Americans.

We are proud of the many YEOs who are at the forefront of the health care fight, and who are protecting the right of all Americans to affordable, quality health care -- some of whom are highlighted in this month's newsletter.

Read More >

YEO Network is a program of People For the American Way Foundation.



The Smithsonian's Censorship Forum....Over Four Months Too Late


The Smithsonian held a two-day forum on the institution's decision to remove a work of art from the National Portrait Gallery after a manufactured right-wing uproar.

The Smithsonian's forum, featuring critics, curators and artists, was the right event to hold -- but it was held over four months too late. Extremist right-wing groups created a faux controversy and were allowed to call the shots when it mattered, while supporters of free expression and gay rights were left to voice objections over four months after the decision to censor and over two months after the end of the exhibit.

In advance of the the forum, PFAW President Michael Keegan published 10 questions on Huffington Post we thought should be asked of the panelists.

Read More >





Looking Forward and Fighting Back: Free Expression in a New Age of Culture Wars


Earlier this month, PFAW held a panel discussion in New York to discuss the censorship of the Smithsonian's Hide/Seek exhibit. PFAW cofounder Norman Lear, art critic Blake Gopnik, artist AA Bronson, museum director extraordinaire Dennis Barrie, PFAW president Michael Keegan, and journalist Katrina vanden Heuvel discussed the Smithsonian scandal and the return of the Right's "culture wars."

Watch >



News & Blogs


The Corporate Court Strikes Again: By 5-4, Supreme Court Undermines Class Action Consumer Protection Suits


The five conservative Justices on the Corporate Court handed corporate interests even greater control than before over Americans' daily lives. In AT&T v. Concepcion, a narrow 5-4 majority used a federal arbitration law in a way wholly alien to its intent: to undermine state consumer protection laws across the country. Even worse, under yesterday’s precedent, employers may now be able to easily cut off anti-discrimination enforcement through class action lawsuits -- often the only way to address employment discrimination by simply refusing to hire anyone who does not agree to resolve future conflicts through arbitration clauses that contain a ban on class action.

Read More >


Robertson: Left Backs Abortion Rights To Make Straight Women More Like Lesbians


Pat Robertson has figured out why President Obama supports the funding of Planned Parenthood and believes in a woman's right to choose: because progressives want women to have abortions as a way to achieve equality for lesbians.

Read More and Watch Video >


Tea Party Bemoans "Government-Corporate Cronyism" ... Really???


Tea Party groups have been busy protesting companies that support eco-friendly and other progressive policies or help Democrats ... they've even been protesting GE, NOT because the company exploits loopholes and tax credits to avoid paying any U.S. taxes, but because GE's CEO Jeff Immelt works with the Obama administration chairing its Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Read More >


Huckabee: Americans Should Be Forced, At Gunpoint, To Learn From David Barton


David Barton introduced Mike Huckabee at the Rediscover God In America conference, praising him as the epitome of the "Black Robe Regiment" mentality of seeking to apply the Bible to every aspect of the culture.

Huckabee, in turn, repaid the compliments to Barton, calling him one of the most effective communicators in America and wishing that every American would be forced, at gunpoint, to listen to every Barton broadcast.

Watch >


Arizona Governor Vetoes Birther Bill


In a nod to arbitrariness, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer decided yesterday that one particularly crazy, shameful and embarrassing proposal from her state legislature was just too crazy, shameful and embarrassing to actually sign into law. We are of course talking about the shockingly-still-popular "birther" trend in Republican politics, and Arizona was set to become the first state to pass a requirement that presidential candidates must prove their U.S. citizenship before they can appear on the ballot. According to Brewer, asking the potential next president of the United States to show his or her birth certificate (or perhaps circumcision records) is undignified and unnecessary.

Read More & Watch >


Creationists Warn That Teaching Evolution Leads To "Homosexual Indoctrination"


The Creation Studies Institute is warning members that, like the Nazis, gay-rights activists are using public schools to indoctrinate students. While many Religious Right groups have alleged that safe-school and anti-bullying programs lead to "homosexual indoctrination," the Creationist Studies Institute claims that the "gay agenda" has taken over schools because schools have "fully embraced Darwinian Evolution."

Read More >


Fischer: All Immigrants Must "Convert To Christianity"


The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer is doubling-down on his view that the U.S. should ban Muslim immigration, and on Wednesday he called Muslim immigrants a "toxic cancer." Fischer, who believes that the First Amendment doesn't apply to Muslims, now claims that the U.S. should use the Book of Numbers when establishing its immigration policy and that Muslims should "be prepared to drop his Islam and his Qur'an at Ellis Island." According to Fischer, all new immigrants must "convert to Christianity" or "stay home."

Read More >


Attacks on Mosques Spread Through U.S.


Last September, in the heat of the mis-named "Ground Zero Mosque" controversy and the hubbub over Terry Jones' first, aborted, Koran-building spectacle, People For's Michael Keegan warned of the "careful mainstreaming of Islamophobia" in American life...

Read More >


From Wisconsin: Palin Echoes the Right's Lies in Madison Speech


On Saturday in Madison, some of the right wing's favorite puppets rallied along with an estimated 1,000 Americans for Prosperity "Patriots" and 5,500 counter protesters at the Capitol.

Read More >


Big Pharma, Little Regulation


Congress may be in recess this week, but that doesn't mean policymakers are taking a break from cozying up to corporate campaign contributors. Today at a field hearing in California, the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform is inviting top pharmaceutical executives to testify about how government regulations intended to prevent drug companies from selling poison to the general public are hindering their ability to make money.

Read More >


Citizens United Freed Corporations to Politically Pressure Employees


The Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on politicking, has caused ripples of sometimes unexpected consequences -- from the toppling of long-established state laws to the rise of secretive corporate spending groups that operate outside the reach of disclosure laws. Now The Nation has uncovered another destructive consequence of the decision.

Read More >


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