McConnell vs McConnell on Campaign Finance Reform

Mitch McConnell has an op-ed in Politico accusing the Democrats of trying to “repeal[] the free speech protections the First Amendment guarantees to all Americans” by submitting a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United and allow Congress to regulate independent expenditures during campaigns. The rhetoric is soaring and absurd:
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7th Circuit Hears Appeal of Parsonage Allowance Challenge

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals heard the appeal of a case challenging the parsonage allowance that lets religious ministers pay far lower taxes than non-ministers. The case was filed by Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Courthouse News Service reports on the oral argument:
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AFA Commits ‘Economic Terrorism’ Against Target

The American Family Association is calling for a boycott of Target for submitting a brief urging the Supreme Court to rule in favor of marriage equality (the Christian right calls this “economic terrorism” when done by liberals). They don’t think their members should support a company that is “making a mockery of God’s Word.”
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Ben Carson Goes Full Godwin Again

Ben Carson sure knows how to appeal to the far right base. You do it by declaring that everything Obama does is just like Hitler. In an interview with JD Hayworth, he said that if you want to understand Obama you should “read Mein Kampf and read the works of Vladimir Lenin.” Oh, and that nutty Cleon Skousen book The Naked Communist. Because Obama’s both a communist AND a fascist.
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Santorum: Call Secularism a Religion and Ban It From Schools

Rick Santorum went on Bryan Fischer’s radio show and offered up a brilliant plan to get the Bible back into schools: “I think we should start calling secularism a religion, because if we did, then we could ban that too.” You’re a genius, Rick. Next you should start calling your car a horse and then you can be a cowboy.
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Wiles: Russia Good, America Part of ‘Antichrist System’

We have another Christian right candidate who would probably be happier living in Russia. Rick Wiles of TruNews this week said that Russia is “standing for traditional family values” while the United States is now “part of the Antichrist system” because we’re increasingly treating gay people equally.
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Gheen’s Bizarre Obama Conspiracy Theories

William Gheen, the virulently racist head of the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, has a theory on how Obama is planning to help Democrats win this year’s midterm elections that is, to say the least, absolutely bizarre. First, he thinks he’s having Mexico stop Central American immigrants from reaching the border, but only temporarily:
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GA Republican Refreshingly Candid on Desire to Reduce Black Votes

Georgia state Sen. Fran Millar is being refreshingly candid in explaining his reasons why he wants to stop Dekalb County from allowing early voting on the Sunday before the election in November. It’s because too many black people will vote, you see, and he prefers “educated voters.”
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RIP, Lillian Klose (nee Gobitis)

Hemant has a post about Lillian Klose, who was born Lillian Gobitis, who passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 90. Why should you know that name? Because she was one of the plaintiffs in Minersville School District v Gobitis, a 1940 Supreme Court case that ruled that children do not have the right to refuse to say the pledge of allegiance in school.
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Volokh: ‘So Help Me God’ Not Required in Air Force Oath

In discussing the recent case of an airman who was rejected for reenlistment because he refused to say “so help me God” at the end of the oath, I and others noted that the rules on this were changed to remove the ability to leave that out last year. Eugene Volokh, one of the top First Amendment scholars in the country, says this is not true, that the text as it stands still allows one to affirm rather than swear the oath.
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FL City Acknowledges Right to Sit for Prayer and Pledge

Remember the situation recently where the mayor of Winter Garden, Florida had police remove a man from a city council meeting because he refused to stand for an opening prayer or the pledge of allegiance? The city counsel has now fixed that situation, passing resolutions doing away with the prayer and explicitly acknowledging the right not to say the pledge.
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AHA: Don’t Say the Pledge of Allegiance

The American Humanist Association has launched a new campaign called Don’t Say the Pledge, urging people not to say the pledge of allegiance until the phrase “under God” is taken out of it (which isn’t going to happen, almost certainly). Their argument is that the pledge as currently written ties patriotism to religious belief.
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