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Archive for the ‘false prophets’ Category

Which side are you on, Ron? Part 1

Posted by Charles II on January 19, 2012

An interesting debate began, initiated by a recent troll graduate of our School on Manners. With a national machine of committed supporters, Ron Paul could be the GOP nominee for the presidency as Santorum’s deficiencies become more obvious and the attacks on Romney continue to chip away. So, understanding who Ron Paul is in the dextro universe is starting to look like a worthwhile question to ask. Is he a populist crackpot libertarian, or is he part of the corporate-funded reactionary network exemplified by David and Charles Koch?

What seems unambiguous is that Paul is fundamentally part of what is called the paranoid right, a movement that spans from the Freemen of Montana and the Michigan Militia to the John Birch Society to Pat Robertson and on and on. The basic theme of the paranoid right is that there is a gigantic conspiracy, often dominated by shadowy forces like the Bilderbergers, the Freemasons, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations or the Communists to take away American freedoms. The completely open conspiracies, such as that of corporations to dominate speech and of Republicans to deny people the right to vote are overlooked in the quest to find a conspiracy so immense that it doesn’t quite fit into the human universe.

The evidence connecting Paul to the paranoid right is pretty straightforward.
* The content of his survivalist newsletters, such as the militant rhetoric offering to fight a war with the feds here (also notice the reference to the Trilateral Commission; see also here) or this gem about the conspiracy between USAID/OPIC/the Ex-Im Bank and “Marxist” Panamanian president Torrijos, or the claim that the US government created AIDS, or that the the Interfaith alliance is a “hit squad” with “more friends in high places than the Christian Coalition can hope for”, that NPR is a socialist enterprise. There’s a big invisible conspiracy that only Ron Paul can see, but it requires being ready to fight a war against the US government. [TNR has released more and in some ways juicier newsletters here]
* His speeches to the John Birch Society (see, for example, here).
* His early support by David Koch. David Koch’s father was a founding member of the John Birch Society, but I haven’t yet found direct connections between David Koch and the JBS; Jane Mayer presents some evidence against this, although clearly both the JBS and the Koch brothers share many ideological roots. Charles Pierce does connect the younger Kochs, but supplies no evidence.
* The involvement of Paul aides like Stewart Rhodes in second wave Patriot militias, espousing extreme anti-government rhetoric.

So, here are some resources on the Kochs, the John Birch Society, and Ron Paul.

Mike Konczal, Roosevelt Institute clearly thinks that there’s no link at all between the Kochs and Paul:

Ron Paul is holding one of his first monetary policy hearings today and he hasn’t sold out. Ron Paul is from the school of libertarians that hates D.C. libertarians, which is weird since he is one of the most well-known libertarians in D.C. How does that work?

The term Kochtopus was originally used as a slur by some libertarians to describe the Koch brothers’ funded wing of the libertarian movement (Cato, Reason, etc.). There’s a lot of fighting over ideology, purity, funding and intellectual legacies between two groups of libertarians that splintered in the late 1970s/early 1980s, and Paul is on the other side of that divide.

Daniela Perdomo, Alternet on the Tea Party attempt to bring down Ron Paul; this could be consistent with Koch influence on the Tea Party:

Ron Paul, the libertarian congressman from Texas’ Gulf Coast, faces three Republican challengers this year — more than in his six past primaries combined. All three opponents are affiliated with the Tea Party movement. What makes this so fascinating is the fact that the Tea Partiers got their unofficial start through Paul himself.

Ed Pilkington, Common Dreams comments on how the Kochs plan to flood the 2012 election with enough money to control the outcome:

The secretive oil billionaires the Koch brothers are close to launching a nationwide database connecting millions of Americans who share their anti-government and libertarian views

The voter file was set up by the Kochs 18 months ago with $2.5m of their seed money, and is being developed by a hand-picked team of the brothers’ advisers. It has been given the name Themis, after the Greek goddess who imposes divine order on human affairs.

Though the Kochs have already stamped their influence on the American right, their impact to date looks like small beer compared with their ambitious plans for 2012. According to Kenneth Vogel of Politico, the brothers intend to use their leverage among billionaire conservatives to pump more than $200m into the proceedings

Richard Matthews, Green Conduct News, however, puts Ron Paul at a Koch-sponsored event, so perhaps the animosity isn’t too extreme:

The Koch brothers have a long history of influence peddling through front groups like Americans for Prosperity (AFP), which had a role in the formation of the Tea Party. Many Republican presidential hopefuls have been in attendance at AFP events like the annual Defending the American Dream Summit. These Summits focus on issues like reversing environmental protections, preventing new environmental laws and promoting policies that benefit big oil. At the October 5, 2007 Summit, the GOP Presidential candidates who attended included John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson. The speakers that day included Herman Cain and AFP founder David Koch.

Yasha Levine, Texas Observer on the Koch brothers’ grandfather, Harry:

Little has been written about Harry Koch. He’s the least-known member of the Koch family, which has been marching under the same laissez-faire banner for the past three generations. Harry Koch emigrated to America in 1888, settled in a North Texas railroad town and became a newspaper publisher and aggressive corporate booster. He advocated for railroad and banking interests, amassing wealth and helping big business fight organized labor and squelch reforms.

Much of the Koch brothers’ ideology can be found in [their grandfather] Harry Koch’s newspaper editorials of nearly a century ago. Take, for instance, the Kochs’ current fight against Social Security. Harry Koch took part in a multi-year right-wing propaganda campaign to shoot down New Deal programs. Grandfather and grandsons employ eerily familiar talking points to bash government pension and welfare programs.

This is where the research stood two weeks ago, when other duties imposed. I’ll try to pick it up, since understanding where in the dextro universe Ron Paul stands is important to understanding the derangement that America is going through. In many ways, the current Republican candidates (Romney, Santorum, Perry, Gingrich, and Paul) clearly illustrate what the Republican party is:

* The financial corporate right (Romney) is in the driver’s seat.
* The domestic corporate right (Gingrich) is unhappy with American decline, and is therefore willing to bloody Romney
* The religious right (Santorum) and the populist/racist/xenophobic right (Perry) are in a weak position
* The paranoid right (Paul), which includes a lot of military people presumably alienated by the wars, is attracted to the corporate libertarian views of Paul.

More as I am able.

Posted in false prophets, libertoonians | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

But is it any weirder than what he says all the time?

Posted by Charles II on November 27, 2010

The Glenn Beck Conspiracy Generator gave me this:

Whereas this is what he says all the time (Glenn Beck Insane-O-Matic Quote Generator):

”There are a lot of universities that are as dangerous with the indoctrination of the children as terrorists are in Iran or North Korea. … We have been setting up reeducation camps. We call them universities.”
—Glenn Beck, Glenn Beck show on FOX News Channel, Sept. 1, 2010

”You got to have an enemy to fight. And when you have an enemy to fight, then you can unite the entire world behind you, and you seize power. That was Hitler’s plan. His enemy: the Jew. Al Gore’s enemy, the U.N.’s enemy: global warming. Then you get the scientists — eugenics. You get the scientists — global warming. Then you have to discredit the scientists who say, ‘That’s not right.’ And you must silence all dissenting voices. That’s what Hitler did.”
—Glenn Beck, linking Al Gore’s campaign against global warming to Hitler’s campaign against the Jews, ‘The Glenn Beck Program,’ April 30, 2007

”When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I’m just like, ‘Oh shut up’ I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining.”
—Glenn Beck on his radio show, Sept. 9, 2005

And much, much more.

Posted in Busheviks, eedjits, false prophets, Flying Monkey Right, Fox Noise, rightwing moral cripples | Comments Off on But is it any weirder than what he says all the time?

Family Values Candidates

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 10, 2010

It’s rather amusing to see the Republicans fielding “family values” (read: social conservative trogdolyte) candidates, especially when so many of them turn out to be silly little hypocrites.

I was reminded of this again when thinking about the way the Republican Party of Minnesota has packaged Tom Emmer, fan of boozing and bullying (whether by himself or family members), as a “family values” candidate because he’s only been married once and has had seven kids so far by his wife, whereas Mark Dayton, whose own alcohol issues (unlike Emmer’s or Emmer’s staffs‘) have been confessed to and addressed in an appropriate medical matter before anyone could ask him about them, is somehow evil because he’s been married and divorced twice.

Oh, how soon they forget.

When Mark Dayton ran for Senate in the year 2000, his opponent, and the incumbent in the office, was a fellow by the name of Rod Grams. Grams, a former anchorman for what would become the local FOX News affiliate, first was elected to the U.S. House in 1992 and, rather than defend his Sixth Congressional seat in 1994, chose to run for Senate instead, and was swept into office in the 1994 wave election. Grams was such an airhead that he was utterly helpless to do anything much other than hit his marks and do what his minders ordered. His press secretary, Peter Hong, became known as “Senator Hong” to the local and national media.

Of course, Grams was a “family values” candidate, despite the fact — long unspoken by the local press — that his marriage was in a shambles and that rumors about him and his chief of staff Christine Gunhus had been circulating for quite some time. However, an attempted bit of dirty-tricksterism by Gunhus against Mike Ciresi, one of the Democrats vying to face Grams in the general election, wound up backfiring so badly that it led to the exposure of the inner workings of the Grams campaign, including the exposure of Grams’ affair with Gunhus. Grams would go on to lose the election to Dayton; after leaving the Senate, he divorced his wife Lolly and married Gunhus.

But that wasn’t the end of Grams’ political aspirations; he’s run for office a few times since then, though he hasn’t actually won any of his races. And of course, he’s endorsed Tom Emmer, a fellow “family values” candidate.

As for Grams’ right-hand man “Senator Hong”, he was last in the news two years ago when he was busted for trying to pick up a hooker. What was that about “Family Values” again?

Posted in 2010, false prophets, family values, Minnesota | Tagged: | 20 Comments »

Wednesday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 18, 2009

Obama’s plans for Afghanistan include an “end game”. In other words, it sounds like he’s not buying the arguments of McChrystal or McChrystal’s Australian guru, Dr. David Kilcullen, that we need to stay in Afghanistan for fifty or a hundred years.

Frank Schaeffer discusses with Rachel Maddow how all those “Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8” are actually calls for him to be murdered — “trawling for assassins” is how he puts it. As the Christian Science Monitor explains:

The psalm reads, “Let his days be few; and let another take his office.”

Presidential criticism through witty slogans is nothing new. Bumper stickers, t-shirts, and hats with “1/20/09” commemorated President Bush’s last day in office.

But the verse immediately following the psalm referenced is a bit more ominous: “Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”

As a commenter on Daily Kos mentions in a diary on this subject:

It’s important to note that in Hebrew poetic language (of which the Psalms is a part) repetition was a major form. A writer would say something and repeat it once or more times with slightly different wording to bring out a fully-fledged meaning. So it is not only possible that Psalm 109:9 makes 109:8 seem more ominous, 109:9 clearly shows that the author wants someone dead in order that their office will come to someone else. There is no other good interpretation. So don’t let anyone get away with some “that’s out of context” non-sense.

— Speaking of conservative efforts to misuse religion, the conservatives in the Catholic Church are not happy to hear this news that preliminary phase of the $2 million study commissioned by the bishops at the height of the Church’s sexual abuse scandal has so far found no connection between sexual orientation and abuse of children by clergy.

Posted in Afghanistan, Christianity, evil, faith-based flim-flams, false prophets, fascism, fearmongering, gay rights, President Obama, Professional Christians, rightwing moral cripples | 3 Comments »

The Art of the Cutout

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 5, 2009

Many of us are familiar with the concept of the Bright Shiny Object, which is a relatively unimportant but attention-grabbing news item used to draw away our interest from a much more important story unfolding at the same time. (One could make the argument that most of our corporate media news output is almost nothing but Bright Shiny Objects. But I digress.)

A variation on the BSO is the Cutout. The Cutout, like its close cousin the Straw Man, is a Bright Shiny Object that has a deceptive similarity to the item the Cutout’s deployer wants to hide. The main difference is that the Straw Man is fictional, whereas a Cutout typically is based on a real incident or thing.

(A famous historical example of the use of a Straw Man — or in this case, a Straw Woman — was when the mythical “Elizabeth Lucy”, alleged wife of Edward Plantagenet, was created and then debunked by Tudor apologist Sir Thomas More in an effort to discredit the existence of real-life woman Lady Eleanor Butler, who had indeed married Edward, the future King Edward IV of England, before he’d married Elizabeth Woodville, the mother of his two sons and heirs. More, working on behalf of Tudor usurper Henry Lancaster (later Henry VII), wanted to hide the existence of Lady Butler, because the fact of her marriage to Edward meant that his children by the later bigamous marriage were illegitimate and therefore no longer in the direct line of succession — which meant that Edward’s brother Richard, who succeeded him as king when the existence of the Butler marriage was discovered shortly after Edward’s death, had no reason to kill Edward’s sons, as Henry and More claimed he did, whereas Henry VII, whose claim to the throne was far shakier than Richard’s, had every reason to want the lads dead. See also: page 102, The Daughter of Time. But I digress again.)

Over at Firedoglake, Teddy Partridge notices the Hacktacular Howard Kurtz’ weird obsession with the Letterman extortion case — which to me sounds very much like Kurtz is using it as a Cutout to bury the news of the Ensign extortion case:

Writing about Letterman’s extortion from the city where Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn acted as the go-between for a workplace adulterer and his extortionist suggests Howie Kurtz is dangling a shiny object for the Versailles media to fondle and examine, when there’s lackluster Village media coverage of an in-town crime worth reporting.

I mean, there was actual money paid out in Ensign’s case, and unlike in Letterman’s, no one notified the authorities. Unless you count FOX News as an authority.

Wouldn’t a real media reporter ask questions about the DeeCee’s media near-blackout of the ongoing Coburn/Ensign saga?

Good question, Teddy!

Posted in false prophets, family values, GOP/Media Complex, hypocrites, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | Comments Off on The Art of the Cutout

The Gathering Storm!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 14, 2009

Just perfect:

From the fine folks at Shoot the Messenger and Wake Up World.

Posted in false prophets, Fundies, gay rights | 1 Comment »

Focusing On The Family?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 7, 2009

Things that make you go “eeeewww!”:

Oooo dear. I guess being a fundamentalist Christian doesn’t make you a good person. Or even a law abiding one. Juan Alberto Ovalle, 42, who works for a Spanish-speaking arm of  Focus on the Family, narrates Biblical text for their Spanish language CDs and

founded Spanish Christian Audio in 2001 to help Christian organizations with their audio needs

was arrested on suspicion of using the Internet to arrange sex with a girl under 15. Jzs, ur dum.

I’d link to the audio, but FotF has apparently yanked it.

More on Ovalle here and here.

Posted in eedjits, evil, faith-based flim-flams, false prophets, family values, Professional Christians, WTF? | Comments Off on Focusing On The Family?

Colin Powell’s Revenge

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 20, 2008

Back in 1995, when he was still being praised and mentioned in the press as one of the heroes of Desert Storm, Colin Powell was one of the early favorites for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination. He was a desirable candidate, from the GOP’s perspective, for many reasons: He was popular, he was considered a war hero, he was thought to be honest and forthright (which made a nice contrast to the “Slick Willie” image the Republicans were hanging on Bill Clinton), and his Jamaican heritage would enable the Republicans to claim credit for being the first major political party to nominate a black man for president even as they continued to uphold the racist “Southern Strategy” that locked up the South and certain white-flight suburbs across America.

But then, he made a big mistake. A big, big, big mistake. He let it be known that he considered himself a “Rockefeller Republican”.

Immediately, the Confederate/Bigot wing of the GOP and the conservative movement set upon him, and with great vehemence. Pat Buchanan, Paul Weyrich and Gary Bauer were among those leading the charge. They had just finished purging the Rockefeller Republicans from all positions of power within Congress and within the party, and they weren’t about to let one become president. As Phyllis Schlafly said (original Eagle Forum link was here; it’s now dead): “It is a puzzlement why Colin Powell identified himself as a ‘Rockefeller Republican,’ when Nelson Rockefeller was the quintessential representative of the eastern liberal establishment. To the grassroots conservatives who are now the dominant majority in the Republican Party, Rockefeller Republicanism means ‘in your face’ Big Government liberalism.”

Furthermore, the bigots had been waiting for an excuse, any excuse, to oppose the candidacy of a black man; Powell’s calling himself a “Rockefeller Republican” was all the excuse they needed. William F. Buckley, recognizing that having Powell somewhere on the Republican ticket was the only way to beat Clinton in 1996, tried to raise enthusiasm among his fellow conservatives for the idea of having Powell as Bob Dole’s running mate, but to no avail.

The hardcores of the religio-racist right wing have continued to kick at Powell ever since, especially after the second Bush, in a sop to the moderate voters, followed through on his promise to make Powell Secretary of State — a position where Powell found himself increasingly outgunned by the neocons and the religio-racist right-wingers. He was not only unable to stop Bush and the PNAC Platoon’s push for invading Iraq, he actually promoted the yellowcake forgeries as legitimate proof that Saddam was on the verge of possessing nuclear weapons, even though they had already been debunked.

So now, Colin Powell, attacked and made to serve as the humiliating “moderate makeup” on an extreme neocon regime, finally gets his revenge on the people who scotched his 1996 presidential hopes by putting what prestige remains to him into an endorsement of one of the few people they hate more than him, Barack Obama.

Revenge is sweet.

Posted in 2008, faith-based flim-flams, false prophets, Flying Monkey Right, Fundies, Iraq war, Republicans, rightwing moral cripples | 2 Comments »

Republicans: People of the Lie

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 13, 2008

George W. Bush lied us into war with Iraq, lied about taxes, and lies pretty much about everything of consequence and sometimes things that aren’t.

Just as John McCain’s been a rubber-stamp for Bush on Iraq and every issue of importance, he also lies just like Bush — a fact that the national media is only now starting to acknowledge.

But now, perhaps spurred by the realization that McCain’s bypassing Joe Lieberman for Sarah Palin confirms that the GOP is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the religio-racist right, the stories on the lies of McCain, Palin and other Republican figures are finally being published:

McCain Barbs Stirring Outcry as Distortions (New York Times)

Harsh advertisements and negative attacks are a staple of presidential campaigns, but Senator John McCain has drawn an avalanche of criticism this week from Democrats, independent groups and even some Republicans for regularly stretching the truth in attacking Senator Barack Obama’s record and positions…

McCain Wrong on Palin Earmarks (Los Angeles Times)

NEW YORK — John McCain got it wrong Friday when he asserted that his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, had not requested any earmarks, the spending directives lawmakers insert in spending bills that McCain has vowed to eliminate.

Palin, in fact, requested $198 million in federal earmarks in February, including such expenses as $487,000 to fight obesity in Alaska and $4 million to develop recreational trails.

McCain Lambasted for Inaccuracies (Seattle Times)

Sen. John McCain has drawn an avalanche of criticism this week from Democrats, independent groups and some Republicans for regularly stretching the truth in attacking Sen. Barack Obama’s record and positions.

Obama also has been accused of distortions, but McCain is under fire for two headline-grabbing attacks. First, the McCain campaign twisted Obama’s words to suggest he had compared GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin to a pig after Obama questioned McCain’s claim to be a change agent by saying, “You can put lipstick on a pig; it’s still a pig.” (McCain has used the same expression to describe Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s health plan.)

He then falsely claimed that Obama supported “comprehensive sex ed” for kindergartners. (Obama supported teaching them to be alert for inappropriate advances from adults.)

Palin, McCain Contradict Each Other on Spending (San Francisco Chronicle)

In a televised interview Friday, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin defended her request for an estimated $200 million in federal projects from Congress – even as earlier in the day her GOP running mate John McCain insisted Palin had never sought money from Congress.

McCain Wraps Distortions Around One Truth (Washington Post)

THE AD

He was the world’s biggest celebrity, but his star’s fading. So they lashed out at Sarah Palin. Dismissed her as “good-looking.” That backfired, so they said she was doing “what she was told.” Then desperately called Sarah Palin a liar. How disrespectful. And how Governor Sarah Palin proves them wrong, every day.

ANALYSIS

This John McCain commercial, which contains two significant distortions, is part of a larger effort to rule criticism of his running mate out of bounds and to paint her as the victim of unfair attacks from both Democrats and the media.

Palin Reviews Are In, and Gibson Got a… (New York Times)

After taking in some of Charles Gibson’s interviews with the Republican vice-presidential nominee, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, Paul Begala sounded ready to cast his vote.

“I thought one person on my television screen looked ready to assume the presidency,” Mr. Begala, the CNN commentator, said by telephone on Friday. “It wasn’t Governor Palin.”

Fact Check: McCain on Palin and Earmarks (Dallas Morning News)

For more on John McCain’s incorrect claim that Sarah Palin has sought no earmarks as governor, click here. The Associated Press reports that Ms. Palin “asked for nearly $200 million in targeted spending for the 2009 fiscal year.”

Along the same lines, McClatchy declares a new Republican ad “out of bounds” for its claim that Ms. Palin “vetoed nearly half a billion dollars in wasteful spending and cut earmark requests by hundreds of millions of dollars.” While technically true, McClatchy says, the ad takes the remark out of context enough that its meaning is distorted.

They even lie about the size of the crowds at Sarah Palin events.  Oh, and when McCain says he won’t raise your taxes, he’s lying there, too.

They are, indeed, the People of the Lie.

Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, Bush, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, faith-based flim-flams, false prophets, family values, Fundies, John McCain, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples | 1 Comment »

Let’s Hold McCain Accountable

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 26, 2008

 

mccain-bus.jpg

Jane Hamsher has a message for us all:

Dear Friend,

John McCain is breaking the law.

When McCain’s presidential campaign was in trouble, he opted-in to public financing through the primary, limiting him to a $54 million spending cap.

But laws aren’t for “mavericks”…

McCain’s latest spending report, filed by his own campaign, shows he has spent in excess of $58 million so far — a public admission by his own hand that he has broken the law.

We filed a formal complaint to the Federal Election Commission yesterday, and we want you to sign-on for a second delivery of signatures later this week.

Please read and co-sign the letter to the FEC right now.

http://action.firedoglake.com/mccainfec

We’ve had a number of co-singers to the document already including:

MoveOn.org Political Action
Matt Stoller
John Amato
Robert Greenwald
Jerome Armstrong

All that’s missing is your name.

View the signers and add your name to theirs right now.

http://action.firedoglake.com/mccainfec


If you sign right now, your name will be included in our larger delivery later this week.

Sincerely,

Markos and Jane

P.S. We’ve got video of our first delivery up, and you can expect an update with video of the delivery.

You heard the lady. Go and do.

Christy has more.

Posted in 2008, corruption, crimes, false prophets, gravy train, hypocrites, John McCain | Comments Off on Let’s Hold McCain Accountable

 
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