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GOP candidate: Hitler invented separation of church and state

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Christine O’Donnell isn’t the only Delaware Tea Party candidate making waves.

The seat in the House of Representatives currently held by Republican Mike Castle — who was defeated by O’Donnell in Tuesday’s Senatorial primary — is also up for grabs. The Republican primary for that office was won by Tea Partier Glen Urquhart, and it turns out that his political positions may be even more unique than O’Donnell’s.

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“Do you know, where does this phrase ‘separation of church and state’ come from?” Urquhart asked at a campaign event last April. “It was not in Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists. … The exact phrase ‘separation of Church and State’ came out of Adolph Hitler’s mouth, that’s where it comes from. So the next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State ask them why they’re Nazis.”

“My jaw dropped when I heard it,” rival candidate Kevin Wade told Delaware Online. “And he was emphatic about it — it was not like a slip of the tongue. He got applause from half the crowd, and that disturbed me. I’d say half the room was stunned and the other half applauded.”

According to Delaware Online, “Urquhart says the statement was taken out of context and that he did not explain his point very well. If he could do it over, he said, he would add more historical context and explain why he rejects Hitler’s take on the relationship between government and the church.”

“I didn’t mean to suggest — and I am not suggesting — that people who are liberals are Nazis,” Urquhart told the paper. He did continue to insist, however, that “the Nazis used the same separation-of-church-and-state rhetoric for a very, very bad purpose” and charged that “the pendulum has swung dramatically against the Christian faith. It’s almost become a whipping boy in our society.”

That explanation did not satisfy his critics. “Urquhart has had trouble with Thomas Jefferson before,” blogger Celia Cohen noted. “Judging by the campaign Web site, Urquhart seems to think Jefferson included ‘life’ in the unalienable rights of ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’ in the Declaration of Independence because he was against abortion.”

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Other bloggers pointed out that Urquhart was correct about Jefferson only in the technical sense that Jefferson’s exact phrase in his letter to the Danbury Baptists was “building a wall of separation between church and State.” The concept is deeply rooted in America and goes back to Roger Williams, who founded the colony of Rhode Island in the 1600s.

Now that Tea Partier Urquhart has defeated the candidate backed by the Republican establishment and will be running against former Delaware Lt. Gov. John Carney. his remarks are drawing fresh scrutiny.

“There aren’t many ‘red’ House seats Dems hope to flip this year, but this is clearly one of them,” Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen noted on Friday. “A survey this week from Public Policy Polling showed Carney leading Urquhart by double digits, 48% to 37%.”

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And at PPP’s own website, Tom Jensen explained that “in contrast to most races across the country Carney has a more unified base, winning 75% of Democrats to Urquhart’s 66% of Republicans. Urquhart does have a 38-36 lead with independents but that’s not nearly as large as most GOP candidates across the country have and certainly not as large as he needs to win a strongly Democratic leaning state like Delaware.”

One anonymous commenter on Jensen’s post, however, suggested, “That’s not a particularly strong result for Carney. Weak favorability, running against a decent opponent with a supercharged conservative base?”

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If the commenter’s assertion is correct — and some of the other comments disputed it — Urquhart’s “Hitler” remark could yet become a factor in the campaign.

The following video is from a Republican candidates forum in April 2010 and was posted to YouTube on May 31, 2010.

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Ethics committee warns sitting federal judges not to affiliate with the Federalist Society

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On Wednesday, the Judicial Conference's Codes of Conduct Committee, a national panel of high-ranking federal judges responsible for policy-making on U.S. courts, released a draft advisory opinion warning federal judges against affiliating with the Federalist Society, one of the nation's foremost associations of conservative and libertarian lawyers.

The opinion also singled out the American Constitution Society (ACS), the Federalist Society's progressive counterpart.

"The Committee advises that formal affiliation with the ACS or the Federalist Society, whether as a member or in a leadership role, is inconsistent with Canons 1, 2, 4, and 5 of the Code," stated the opinion. "Official affiliation with either organization could convey to a reasonable person that the affiliated judge endorses the views and particular ideological perspectives advocated by the organization; call into question the affiliated judge's impartiality on subjects as to which the organization has taken a position; and generally frustrate the public's trust in the integrity and independence of the judiciary."

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Donald Trump’s Secretary of State apparently thinks Spanish is spoken in Lebanon

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The president of United States is often criticized for getting his facts wrong, especially when it comes to understanding the world.

Trump made up the country of "Nambia" while not knowing that Bhutan and Nepal (which he pronounced "nipple") are real countries. He said the country of Belgium "is a beautiful city" and once told the prime minister of India that the country does not share a border with China (their shared border is 2,500 miles).

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Jason Crow lays out the human cost of Trump’s Ukraine scheme — citing his military experience

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On the second day of the impeachment trial, Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), a veteran and one of the House impeachment managers, clearly laid out the risk that President Donald Trump's Ukraine scheme posed to human life — and drew from his own experience in the military.

"I know something about counter-battery radar," said Crow. "In 2005 I was an Army Ranger serving in a special operations task force in Afghanistan. We were at a remote operating base along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. And frequently, the insurgents that we were fighting would launch rockets and missiles onto our small base. But luckily we were provided with counter-battery radar. The 20, 30, 40 seconds before those rockets and mortars rained down on us, an alarm would sound, and we would run out from our tents and jump into our concrete bunkers and wait for the attack to end. This is not a theoretical exercise, and the Ukrainians know it."

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