Brian Tashman's blog

Connecting The Dots With Frank Gaffney

For years, we have been covering the attacks that anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney has been leveling against Grover Norquist, a fellow conservative activist who has referred to Gaffney as his “stalker.”

Indeed, Gaffney has launched a very personal battle against Norquist, accusing the Americans for Tax Reform leader of helping the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist terrorist groups infiltrate the conservative movement. These attacks, which often invoke the fact that Norquist is married to a Muslim-American woman, have been demonstrated to be completely unfounded.

Gaffney has recruited other conservative leaders into his fight, including commentator Glenn Beck and Family Research Council official Jerry Boykin, and was involved in a campaign to get Norquist thrown off the board of the National Rifle Association.

Gaffney claims that he “saw terrorists in [Norquist’s] office space” and uses guilt-by-association logic to tie Norquist to all sorts of unsavory figures through the anti-tax activists outreach to Muslim voters on behalf of conservative causes. Recently, Beck tweeted a scandalous photo of Norquist and his wife “palling around with Keith Ellison,” a Muslim Democratic congressman from Minnesota who, according to the Beck’s tweet, is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and wants to “put thousands of prison converts to jihad on the streets.” Naturally, as one source of this “information,” Beck cited Gaffney’s group, the Center for Security Policy.

However, the recall vote against Norquist failed, representing a major rebuke to Gaffney’s efforts.

“The recall was simply the most recent nonsense from Frank Gaffney—my stalker of the last 17 years. The NRA membership defeated his effort last April and again this year,” Norquist said.

Now that the NRA members have kept Norquist on its board and rejected the message from Gaffney and others, it is clear that Gaffney, using his own connect-the-dots/guilt-by-association logic, is involved in the Muslim Brotherhood:

  • Frank Gaffney was a senior adviser to Ted Cruz
  • Ted Cruz has spoken several times at NRA events and praised the group.
  • The NRA board includes Grover Norquist.
  • Norquist is, according to Gaffney, a Muslim Brotherhood agent.
  • Therefore, Gaffney is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood!

While obviously it is patently absurd to suggest that Gaffney (or Norquist, for that matter) is a Muslim Brotherhood agent, his connect-the-dots logic works both ways, and can even be used against Gaffney himself.

Alex Jones: 'Michelle Obama Is A Man' Who Murdered Joan Rivers To Cover It Up

InfoWars broadcaster and Donald Trump ally Alex Jones is back to claiming that First Lady Michelle Obama is secretly a transgender woman, but this time he’s adding a new twist to his conspiracy theory: that Obama had comedienne Joan Rivers killed after she joked about the first lady being trans.

Jones told his listeners yesterday that he’s seen enough videos on the internet to substantiate the rumor.

“The national media takes it when I talk about this and acts like I’m crazy,” he said. “Listen, there’s hundreds of millions views on YouTube.” (There are also millions of views on videos claiming that Obama and other leaders are shapeshifting reptilian humanoids, another conspiracy promoted by Jones.)

He went on to say that the first lady acts like she’s “god” and that the president wants schools to “teach five-year-olds how to be trannies.”

“Don’t forget,” Jones said, “the famous comedienne Joan Rivers said, ‘Of course everyone knows she’s a tranny.’ She’s dead serious, ‘She’s a man.’ Deader than a doornail in a routine operation where basically she had fire poured down her throat and was a fire-breathing goblin. Dead on arrival. Shoot your mouth off, honey, you will die.”

Jones didn’t stop there.

“I really think — her daughters don’t look like her — I really think this is some weird hoax they did again,” he said, “just like he didn’t get sworn in on the Bible, it was the Quran. All this weirdness, I mean, I used to laugh at this stuff, but man, it’s all about rubbing our noses in it. I think it’s all an arranged marriage, it’s all completely fake and it’s this big sick joke because he’s obsessed with transgender, just like some weird cult or something. I think Michelle Obama is a man. I really do. I really do. I believe it.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/16/16

  • Elliot Mincberg @ PFAW: Supreme Court Punts in Zubik Case – and Shows Again the Crucial Importance of a Fully-Staffed Supreme Court. 
  • Sara Jerde @ TPM: Ted Cruz Flirts With Running Again In Emotional Campaign Closer. 

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 5/16/16

  • Donald Trump once admitted to posing as his own spokesman, “John Miller,” but is now denying it. 
  • We hope Ben Carson is right and that Trump is seriously considering Sarah Palin to be his running mate. 
  • Arizona taxpayers “have already fronted more than $41 million in [a] class-action suit against” Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was recently held in civil contempt, and may need to contribute “$13 million more toward the legal costs in the racial profiling case against” him. 
  • David and Jason Benham lament that America is experiencing “total lawlessness and a meltdown of civil society.”
  • Chuck Norris says Harriet Tubman was not “some secular progressive or liberal Democrat waiting for her entitlements” but a symbol of “freedom from all forms of oppression and tyranny by the federal government, including the ginormous national debt that is suppressing future generations and us.”

'Michelle Obama Is A Transvestite! Why Can't People Get The Facts?'

Last week, Dr. Jerry Johnson of the National Religious Broadcasters guest-hosted the Family Research Council’s radio program “Washington Watch” and spent the entire time railing against facility access for transgender students.

One caller, Patsy, chimed in to say that it is no wonder President Obama has taken a stance in favor of nondiscrimination policies since the president “is a sexual deviant and Michelle Obama is a transvestite.”

“Why can’t people get the facts?” the caller asked.

Johnson, in a hurry to move on, said that alleging that Michelle Obama is a “transvestite” may not be the most helpful political strategy.

“That’s a theory that’s out there,” Johnson replied, “but I think, actually, Patsy, and to the listeners out there, we’ve got to come against this really in a different way, we don’t need that kind of theory to oppose this. And it’s an accusation that I’ve seen out there but there’s no fact to that. The facts, though, of this case are clear and that is the president is pushing this agenda and foisting it upon the schools.”

The theory that the first lady is a transgender woman has been promoted by Alex Jones, a prominent Donald Trump endorser, and other far-right conspiracy theory outlets.

Tony Perkins: Obama Wants Us To 'Surrender Our Children'

Last week on “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins chatted with Dr. Jerry Johnson of National Religious Broadcasters about the need to “resist” a recent letter from the departments of Justice and Education telling schools to treat transgender students “consistent with the student’s gender identity.”

Perkins said that when he was reading the letter he thought of the Tea Act and the Stamp Act, which helped spark the American Revolution, “and how the Patriots responded to that.”

“We’re talking about our children,” he said. “We’re talking about the next generation. We’re talking about our children emotionally being scarred.”

Perkins then compared the situation to the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah, in which Lot responds to a mob that wants to have sex with two angels that are inside his house by unsuccessfully offering up his two virgin daughters instead.

“I think this is a Genesis 19 moment,” he said. “This is a Lot moment where we’re going to decide whether or not we’re going to shove our children out the door in the pursuit of some false promise of temporal peace, and we know how that worked out.”

“It is wrong to surrender our children to a godless system that this president is promoting,” he said.

Donald Trump And Ralph Reed: A Match Made In Casino Heaven

While he may not have been their first choice to be the standard-bearer of the Republican Party, Religious Right leaders are starting to fall in line behind Donald Trump, jettisoning their usual messages about backing moral and ideologically pure candidates and instead saying that it is fine to support Trump now that he is the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee.

As Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition put it in a recent New York Times interview, conservative Christians “love a convert” and “are far more forgiving and extend far more mercy to political figures and others than is understood.”

We aren’t all that surprised that Reed is now praising the former casino mogul who once boasted that he never asks God for forgiveness, as the two actually have very similar backgrounds.

Shortly after he left his post as the head of the Christian Coalition in the late 1990s, Reed became involved in some shady activities with his friend Jack Abramoff, who later became embroiled in a massive corruption scandal related to his bilking of Native American casino clients.

As we wrote in a report on Reed’s Abramoff ties: “Beginning in 1999, Reed, who had once called gambling ‘a cancer on the American body politic,’ was hired by Abramoff on more than one occasion to employ his expertise in mobilizing the right-wing grassroots to help shut down gambling initiatives that threatened the interests of Abramoff’s casino-owning clients.”

In one instance, “Abramoff subcontracted Reed’s firm to generate opposition to attempts to legalize a state-sponsored lottery and video poker in Alabama, an effort that was bankrolled by the Choctaw Tribe in order to eliminate competition to its own casino in neighboring Mississippi.”

Because Reed did not want it to look like gambling interests were funding his Religious Right campaign, the tribe funneled the money through Americans for Tax Reform, the anti-tax group led by Grover Norquist.

According to emails obtained during a Senate investigation into Abramoff’s activities and reported in the media, Reed was well aware of who was paying for this anti-gambling effort. When the information began to surface in the press and the Christian Coalition learned of the source of the $850,000 it had received, it demanded an explanation from Reed who apologized in a letter saying he should have “explained that the contributions came from the Choctaws,” this admitting that he had been fully aware of the source of the funding. But by the time Reed offered his “after-the-fact apology,” the gambling initiative had been defeated and the Christian Coalition had been duped.

In 2000, Trump surreptitiously took out a racially charged advertisement to oppose an Indian casino in New York that could pose competition to his own casinos in Atlantic City:

Under a dark photograph showing hypodermic needles and drug paraphernalia, the newspaper advertisement warned in dire terms that violent criminals were coming to town. “Are these the new neighbors we want?” the paid message asked. “The St. Regis Mohawk Indian record of criminal activity is well documented.”

The ad, part of an advocacy campaign meant to stop a casino from being built in New York’s Catskill region, drew an indignant response from the tribe, which called it a naked appeal to racism. The incendiary ads, which ran in upstate newspapers in February 2000, were the work of the New York Institute for Law and Society, an opaque interest group that described itself as opposed to casino gambling.

It was only later that the man who bankrolled the ads identified himself: Donald J. Trump.



The anti-St. Regis ads drew the scrutiny of New York’s lobbying commission, and Mr. Trump acknowledged that he was the New York Institute for Law and Society’s primary sponsor. In a settlement with the state, he and his advisers agreed to pay a fine and run a set of ads apologizing, not for the content of the anti-Mohawk ads, but for evading state disclosure rules related to lobbying and political advocacy.

It turns out that Trump and Reed have a lot in common after all.

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/13/16

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 5/13/16

  • Donald Trump is very proud to have Sheldon Adelson’s support after once saying that Adelson turns politicians into his puppets. 
  • Ted Cruz, who spent the first months of his campaign praising Trump, lashed out at Fox News for the network’s positive coverage of Trump. 
  • Trump’s butler clarifies things: “I did write that I think Obama should be hung. I never said kill, I said hung.” 
  • Right-wing activists Jared Woodfill and Cathie Adams lost their campaign to become chair and vice-chair, respectively, of the Texas GOP. 
  • The National Organization for Marriage is quite upset: “It is mind boggling to think about the power that radical LGBT extremists now hold among the Democratic party and leftist politicians like Obama and Hilary Clinton. If they are willing to allow these extremists to force their way into our children’s showers and bathrooms, what limits to their agenda exist?” 

Paranoia-Rama: Obama Did 9/11, Gays Cause Destruction And Public Schools Create Slaves

Far-right activists are still determined to find the truth about President Obama’s background, although it may not matter in the end since, after all, the gay rights movement is on the verge of ushering in the total destruction of America and possibly the world.
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