People For the American Way
 
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MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

MAY 2010
 
 
 

In This Issue

 
 
 

SPOTLIGHT: Oil and the Courts: Will History Repeat Itself?

House, Senate Armed Services Committee Take Critical Steps Toward Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Senator Cornyn Exposes Right's Hypocrisy on Judicial Philosophy

From the Annual YEO Network Convening: Big Money in State Elections

On Ellis Island, African American Ministers Leadership Council Are First to Sign Immigration Reform Covenant

Right-Wing Texas State Board of Education Rewrites History

ALSO:
--Featured Video
--Blogs

 
 
 
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The Equine Posterior Achievement Award

 
 

EPA Awared mini

 

April had two winners: Rush Limbaugh and John Hagee.

They deserved it, but this month was really good, providing an embarrassment of riches when it came to right-wing buffoonery. It was really difficult to narrow down our nominees to (roughly) five.

See who they are and cast your vote now! >

 
 
 
 
 

America's Future Now: The Conference to Take America Forward

 
 
 

Americas Future Now

If you can, join PFAW at the progressive movement's largest annual gathering June 7-9 in Washington, DC.

 
 
 
 
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SPOTLIGHT

 
 
 

Oil and the Courts: Will History Repeat Itself?

 
Oil Spill Pic

The devastating oil spill in the Gulf has already surpassed the size of the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, and the litigation that follows it is sure to be just as contentious and lengthy. Two years ago, 19 years after the Valdez spill, the tens of thousands of victims of the disaster saw their case end up before the Supreme Court ... and the Court gave Exxon Mobil a huge handout.

Read More >

 
 
 
 
 

The Right that will stop at nothing to take back Congress and derail any hopes of achieving the progressive reforms America so desperately needs. Please stand with us to make sure that doesn't happen by renewing your 2010 membership with a donation today.

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THIS MONTH

 
 

House, Senate Armed Services Committee Take Critical Steps Toward Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

 

The House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday took critical steps toward repealing the policy that bans gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

In a 16-12 vote, the Committee approved the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy as an amendment to the Defense authorization bill. Later in the day, the House approved the amendment in a 234-194 vote. The full authorization bill now has to be cleared by both chambers. In the Senate, Republicans have threatened a filibuster.

Read More >

 

 

Senator Cornyn Exposes Right's Hypocrisy on Judicial Philosophy

 

Senator John Cornyn accused Solicitor General Elena Kagan of displaying "disregard for the First Amendment and freedom of speech" by defending laws that limited corporate influence on elections.

Read More >

 

 

From the Annual YEO Network Convening: Big Money in State Elections

 
YEO poster

PFAW Foundation's Young Elected Officials Network gathered in Washington, in part to discuss how to work on national progressive issues on the state and local levels. A panel discussed local activism to fix the Supreme Court's decision to grant corporation's huge power to influence elections -- and the outsized impact that corporate money can have on state- and local-level campaigns with small budgets.

Read More >

And More on the Annual Convening >

Young Elected Officials Network is a program of People For the American Way Foundation.

 

 

On Ellis Island, African American Ministers Leadership Council Are First to Sign Immigration Reform Covenant

 

Members of People For the American Way Foundation's African American Ministers Leadership Council (AAMLC) gathered on Ellis Island to pledge their unified support for a dignified, just, and tolerant approach to reforming the country's immigration laws. The ministers, from five states and diverse denominations, were the first to sign a multi-faith covenant calling for "immigration dialogue and reform that will inspire hope, unite families, secure borders, ensure dignity and provide a legal avenue for all of God's children working and desiring to reside in this country to drink from the well of justice and equal protection under the law."

Read More >

 

 

Right-Wing Texas State Board of Education Rewrites History

 

On May 21, the Texas State Board of Education adopted new social studies textbook standards that minimize contributions to American history by progressives and minorities, include teaching about right-wing movement icons like Phyllis Schlafly and even the NRA, and teach students that the Founders did not intend for there to be a separation of church and state.

Help make sure the Texas standards don't get taught nationwide. Tell textbook publishers not to indoctrinate America's youth with false information and political bias -- history texts should contain history, not right-wing propaganda.

Read More & Take Action >

 

 
 

FEATURED VIDEO

 
 

PFAW's Marge Baker on Supreme Court Nominations

 
Fox Video

Earlier this month, just before the announcement of Elena Kagan as President Obama's latest Supreme Court nominee, PFAW Executive Vice President Marge Baker appeared on FOX News to discuss the upcoming confirmation process and the national discussion we should be having. The segment had a cordial tone and was far from a left vs. right debate, however, Marge was deft at reiterating our message that Americans need Supreme Court justices with a commonsense understanding of how the law impacts ordinary people and that the Court should not bend the law to rule in favor of big corporations over the individual rights of Americans.

Watch >

 

 

BLOGS

 
 

Right Wing Watch: The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer

 

AFA's Bryan Fischer took homophobia and anti-Muslim hate to extreme levels this month, and Right Wing Watch covered it all. Some of his exploits included:

  • declaring on his radio program that "God is obviously looking for is more Phinehases in our day," approvingly citing a story from the Book of Numbers about a man who killed two people with a spear for engaging in sexual immorality;
  • declaring that Adolf Hitler was gay and that he surrounded himself with gay soldiers because only gays were willing to be savage and brutal enough to carry out his agenda; and
  • reiterating his call to cut off immigration to all Muslims who refuse to renounce their religion.

Read More >

 
 

People For's Full Page Ad in the Post: "Is The Supreme Court Corporate America's Newest Subsidiary?"

 

People For and a coalition of progressive groups ran a full page ad in the Washington Post criticizing the Supreme Court's increasing deference to corporate interests.

Read More >

 
 

Attorney General Holder Buckling to Right-Wing Pressure on Miranda Rights?

 

PFAW had several blog posts this month on moves by AG Holder to expand the "public safety exception," possibly weakening an important constitutional safeguard.

Read More >

 
 

The Return of Soft Money

 

In the New York Times, Adam Liptak predicts that in the wake of Citizens United, the Supreme Court will reconsider, maybe as early as this summer, the constitutionality of limits on "soft money" -- unlimited contributions to political parties. The lawyer who won the Citizens United case appealed last month a lower court decision upholding the ban on soft money donations.

Liptak explains the difficulty of keeping the soft money ban in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to give corporations essentially free reign to spend on elections.

Read More >

 
 

Right Wing Watch: Huckabee-Backed House Candidate: Obama "Played With Terrorists" and Allowed "America-Hating Pastor to Baptize His Children"

 

Last summer, we wrote a post about Les Phillip who is running for a seat in Congress representing District 5 in Alabama after he received Mike Huckabee's endorsement and then ended up losing tens of thousands of dollars covering Huckabee's expenses when he appeared for a fundraising event ... Phillip is running a rather remarkable new ad..

Watch the Ad >

 
 

People For Signs on to Arizona Travel Boycott

 

Last month, Arizona's governor signed a draconian anti-immigrant law that has come under fire from civil rights and civil liberties groups, sports teams, the president, and even the occasional outspokenly anti-immigrant politician.

People For has now joined a number of other national groups in signing on to a travel boycott of Arizona until the law is reversed.

Read More >

 
 

Bork by Any Other Name

 

In the two days since Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul restated his long-held opposition to the portions of 1964's Civil Rights Act that prohibited racial discrimination by private businesses, members of his party have been keeping their distance and tripping over themselves in the rush to declare their allegiance to the landmark civil rights law.

But, as the Washington Post's Ruth Marcus points out, there was a time not long ago when Republican Senators were faced with someone with views very similar to Paul's -- and, instead of distancing themselves from him, tried to put him on the Supreme Court.

Read More >

 
 

Right Wing Watch: Backwell: Paul a Victim of a "High Tech Lynching"

 

Ken Blackwell has come running to Rand Paul's defense, desperately trying to explain away Paul's post-primary claims that he didn't support the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the idea of the government combating discrimination in private enterprises in general.

Or at least that seems to be Blackwell's goal, though it is hard to say as his "defense" is utterly incoherent.

Read More >

 
 

Advice for Obama from FDR

 

Jeff Shesol, author of the fascinating Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. The Supreme Court, has some advice for President Obama in a new blog post for the American Constitution Society. Shesol argues that Obama can learn a thing or two from Roosevelt's struggles with an "activist" Supreme Court that was overturning key legislative initiatives to protect individual rights and his success in shifting the frame of the public's debate on the Court and the Constitution.

Read More >

 


More Blog Posts >

More Right Wing Tracking >
 
 
 
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