RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
While there may not be much time left for us here in America before a combination of death panels and Sharia law overtake the nation, we still will rise up to defend the constitutional rights of the Twitter spambots that Obama seeks to crush!
5) Breitbart Uncovers The Truth The Liberal Media Is Hiding
The right-wing outlet Breitbart News went on a mission this week to uncover the dirt on attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch that the biased left-wing mainstream media has been hiding. Breitbart’s Warner Todd Huston discovered that Lynch had served as “a member of Bill Clinton’s defense team during the 1992 Whitewater corruption probe.”
Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak commented that Huston’s story “ought to provide additional fodder for Republicans during Lynch's confirmation hearings,” saying that the nomination was a reward “for her political loyalty.”
That is, it might have been if it they had been talking about the same Loretta Lynch. As Timothy Johnson of Media Matters reported, the Loretta Lynch profiled by Breitbart is not the same Loretta Lynch who President Obama nominated to be attorney general. Johnson notes that the “[c]onservative website American Thinker made the same mistake, misidentifying the 'Whitewater' Lynch as a graduate of Harvard — the school attended by nominee Lynch.”
Rather than actually correct the mistake, Breitbart kept the title and entire article up while simply adding, “Correction: The Loretta Lynch identified earlier as the Whitewater attorney was, in fact, a different attorney.”
Breitbart eventually removed Huston’s story, but such brazen misinformation from the conservative site is nothing new.
4) Obama Administration Suppressing The Free Speech Rights Of Spambots
Five years ago, many conservative politicians falsely claimed that the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act repealed the right to freedom of speech. This year, many in the GOP stoked similarly bogus fears to attack a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.
Now, one Republican congressman is accusing the administration of advocating for the “suppression of online political speech” by awarding a National Science Foundation grant to the website Truthy, a project of researchers affiliated with Indiana University which studies “how popular sentiment, user influence, attention, social network structure, and other factors affect the manner in which information is disseminated.”
Truthy’s reports include titles such as “Competition among memes in a world with limited attention” and “Political Polarization on Twitter,” but, as we all know, studies on how information disseminates on social media are probably just a way to censor conservatives!
In one study, Truthy discovered that a Twitter campaign targeting a Democratic senator was using spambots, or fake accounts, which led Twitter to terminate the phony profiles.
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, apparently believes this is a sign of political suppression, claiming in his letter [PDF] to the National Science Foundation that Truthy is “effectively muzzling the political free speech” of targeted conservatives on social media.
Let Wonkette break it down: “Truthy developed algorithms to detect spambots, they worked, and Twitter nuked the accounts for violation of their terms of service. It’s nice to know that Rep. Smith is so concerned about the precious free speech rights of spambots.”
3) Marriage Conspiracy In The Courts
The Coalition for the Protection of Marriage suggested this week that there is a conspiracy afoot to place is to place the same two Democratic-nominated judges on Ninth Circuit Court panels hearing cases involving marriage equality, thus rigging the panels in favor of gay rights advocates. The California group unveiled a new website insisting that there is a “disturbing” and “strong appearance that the Ninth Circuit did not follow its neutral, impartial assignment process in assigning” marriage cases.
The anti-gay group, however, seemed to ignore, as one political science professor told the New York Times, that “the accused judges voted against the lesbian and gay litigants in a full third of the cases deemed suspicious by the other side.”
In addition, the Times reports, judges are assigned at random to panels “long before particular cases are assigned to panels,” and many marriage cases were put on a “fast track” which were “assigned to the available panel with the most senior presiding judge,” who in this case happened to be a Carter appointee.
But the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage isn’t alone in pressing its flimsy conspiracy theory. Mark Joseph Stern points out that “Ed Whelan—a former clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia—penned a strange post at the National Review in October in which he ‘wonder[ed] whether nefarious hijinks in the Ninth Circuit clerk’s office in San Francisco’ accounted for the judge selection in the gay marriage case.”
2) RIP Dorothy Zborknak
Meet the first victim of the Obamacare Death Panels: Dorothy Zborknak.
Does Ms. Zborknak exist? No, just on Golden Girls.
Do death panels exist? Also no.
While the news of the fictional character’s Obamacare-manded death has apparently sparked anger on fringe outlets, more popular conservative sites like Breitbart are still intent on publishing ridiculous articles like, “The Death Panels Are Coming.”
1) Sharia By 2020
Kamal Saleem, the Religious Right activist who pretends to be a former terrorist, is pretty sure that the United States is secretly controlled by an Islamic shadow government led by the Obama family’s radical Muslim babysitter.
While speaking with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council this week, Saleem also brought us the stunning news that Sweden is now under the thumb of Islamists, and that the same Islamist rise to power “is happening here in the United States.”
Saleem told Perkins that Islamic control of America will be complete by 2020.
On his television broadcast last night, Beck grew increasingly manic during his opening monologue as he tried to explain to his audience his utter horror over the new Nicki Minaj video which features lots of Nazi-like imagery.
Saying that the video is "the most degrading thing I have seen," Beck then sought to explain that this video was somehow a violation of the Torah's requirement to keep kosher because it was mixing "graphic, awful sex with the images of death."
God commands Jews to keep kosher, Beck explained, because "milk is life" and "meat is death" and so "you don't put life and death together." And that is exactly what Nicki Minaj did in her video, Beck said, which is why, when you see it, "every warning bell in you goes off."
"That's not keeping kosher," he said. "You're mixing life and death. You put those two together, it is the height of evil, okay? That's what God is trying to tell us with keeping kosher. That's sacred! Creating life is sacred. Death, not good! Don't put those two together. Well, that's what happened. When you see that video, that's exactly what happened":
Rep. Doug Lamborn claimed yesterday that the Obama administration is overlooking religious persecution abroad because it is too busy defending LGBT rights.
In an interview on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program, the Colorado Republican told FRC President Tony Perkins that the Obama administration is “really more motivated and active promoting things like lesbian and gay rights, transgendered [sic] rights and those kind of issues” than in preventing religious persecution.
“We have the sad situation of persecuted religious minorities in the Middle East and other parts of the country, including Christians and other various sects out there, that are being really persecuted, sometimes they’re being beheaded or crucified or tortured because of their religious views,” he said. “So the State Department,y ou would think, would want to be all over that, would want to be pressing for countries to be respecting the rights of religious minorities.
“But it seems like they are really more motivated and active promoting things like lesbian and gay rights, transgendered [sic] rights and those kind of issues to the neglect of religious prosecution [sic]. And I just want them to pay attention to the severe and deadly prosecution [sic] of Christians and other religious people wherever that occurs in the world.”
Perkins agreed, saying that “Christians are dying around the world and they’re doing nothing.”
The claim that the Obama administration is “doing nothing” to combat the persecution of religious minorities around the world is a frequent refrain among Religious Right commentators — and it’s completely deceptive.
In fact, when President Obama announced airstrikes in Iraq this summer, he cited ISIS’s violence against Yazidis, Christians and other Muslims as a reason for the intervention. Obama and National Security Advisor Susan Rice recently met with Mideast Christian leaders, one of whom said he “felt how deeply moved he was by what was happening to the Christians there.” Administration officials have repeatedly denounced anti-Semitic and anti-Christian attitudes in the Mideast, and the State Department operates its own Office of International Religious Freedom.
Even when the Obama administration has helped to free Christians imprisoned because of their faith, Perkins and his fellow Religious Right activists have ignored the administration’s efforts. Perkins actually criticized the Obama administration after it helped free Kenneth Bae, a U.S. missionary jailed in North Korea, and he tried to use the imprisonment of Meriam Ibrahim — a Sudanese Christian who was freed with the help of U.S. diplomats —to attack Obama’s support for gay rights and attempt to overturn Citizens United.
Meanwhile, while Perkins has been falsely claiming that the Obama administration is ignoring the persecution of Christians, he has been actively opposing State Department efforts to protect LGBT people from oppressive laws and state-sanctioned violence abroad. Perkins has praised Uganda’s draconian anti-LGBT law and warned that Obama’s “radical sexualism” is promoting “global homosexuality.”
Next week, American Religious Right leaders including the Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore, pastor Rick Warren, Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput, and Latter-Day Saints official Henry Eyring will be joining opponents of LGBT equality from around the world at an interfaith conference on the “complementarity of man and woman in marriage” hosted by the Vatican.
The conference follows a synod at which Catholic bishops considered, but ultimately rejected, proposals to soften the church’s stances on homosexuality, as well as those who have been divorced.
Although he is not listed as a speaker, another prominent American opponent of LGBT equality will also be attending the conference. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in an interview on Newsmax TV today that he plans to attend the conference in Rome and expects the Catholic Church to “make a very clear statement that pertains to marriage and what the Church views marriage to be” to provide “clarity” to the confusion coming out of the recent synod.
“I don’t see the Catholic Church making a great deviation” on the issue of homosexuality, Perkins said. “They can’t because the scripture is quite clear on the issue.”
He added that there has been “a lack of clarity” on the part of the Catholic Church that have “allowed interpretations to be made that are less than accurate.”
On his "Washington Watch" broadcast yesterday, Perkins said that he will be broadcasting live from the event next week.
Glenn Beck ran an hour-long commercial-free broadcast of his television program Monday night so that he could tell his audience about a series of health problem that he has been battling for the last several years. Recounting everything from seizures and inexplicable pain to vision problems and vocal chord paralysis, Beck revealed that, at one point, doctors informed him that he probably had no more than five years left before he was completely incapacitated by various medical problems. Eventually Beck announced that thanks to changes in diet, lifestyle changes, and therapy from the doctors at the Carrick Brain Center in Dallas, he has largely overcome those problems.
In response to Beck's revelations, some medical experts came forward to say that Beck's diagnosis and the treatment he has been receiving were nothing but pseudo-scientific quackery. Beck, in turn, took to Facebook last night to say that he can't believe that people could be so "nasty" as to assert that his medical issues were fake, saying that anyone who would say such a thing is obviously just a sad and lonely person who is out to pick a fight:
Just a note before I go to bed. A couple of thoughts.
I am reading the go giver. It is great! A must read for anyone that wants to change the world.
Also, I have read some pretty nasty things about how I am faking my illness. Yep. That's me. I am making it all up. So incredible. Anyway, I just want you to know that soon, I will not be holding my sweet wife back from answering these posts herself. You don't want a piece of her, because she is about to give it to you. . Of course, I might just be making her up as well. Maybe I am not even married, I am just saying I am to sell gold rings.
I love it when The Lord gives me the wisdom and peace to just laugh at how people treat us. Even better is when he also couples it with real empathy.
I first laugh and then wonder how dark and lonely their life must be that they really believe that people are that evil that they would actually live this big of a lie over multiple years. Then it hits you. How lonely they must be that they want and need to pick fights just to have someone notice them.
It is sad.
Anyone else remember Beck saying last year that the health issues then impacting Hillary Clinton and Teresa Heinz Kerry were probably government cover-ups?
Yesterday, Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Secretary of State John Kerry, was rushed to this hospital after apparently suffering from some sort of seizure ... but Glenn Beck isn't buying it because he just doesn't trust anything that the government says, which is why he suspects that the entire thing was orchestrated as a distraction from the "huge scandal" that Secretary Kerry was on his boat while a military coup took place in Egypt last week.
While it may be true that Heinz Kerry (or, as Beck called her, "Mrs. Ketchup") did end up in the hospital, Beck "can't give you any sympathy now because you've lied to us too many times" ... just as when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hospitalized with a blood clot last year in an effort to cover-up Benghazi.
Though Clinton's blood clot was tied to a concussion she received after she fainted while suffering from the flu, Beck said "if she really had some weird thing in the hospital, then it should prohibit her from ever becoming president.
"She shouldn't be President of the United States if she going into the hospital for some sort of heart condition or brain condition or whatever she was in the hospital for," Beck said, "or was that just a scam so that we didn't talk about [Benghazi]"?
The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios today called on conservatives to voice their support for impeaching President Obama over his upcoming executive action on immigration reform, telling listeners that “the president has committed many impeachable offenses but impeachment cannot take place unless the will of the people is behind it.”
“The word that no one wants to talk about is the word ‘impeachment,’” Rios said on her daily radio show, insisting that Obama “is far more dangerous than Bill Clinton ever was.”
“Bill Clinton was immoral, selfish, a narcissist with a leftist view, but nothing, nothing, nothing compared to the bizarre, out-of-control, narcissistic, leftist, socialistic leader that we have right now who is running amok,” she said.
At least one of her listeners seems to think that Obama may cancel the next presidential election, telling Rios that the president “is a Muslim and believes in the Muslim life” who is “trying to bankrupt this nation so that he can declare martial law and therefore there will be no more elections.”
Rios replied that the caller is right to believe that “part of his goal is bankrupting the country, I don’t know how you can argue otherwise because that is exactly what he is doing and I think whether he is waiting for martial law to be declared or not I don’t know, I hear from people in the know here that he is trying to divide and cause tremendous dissension in the Republican Party.”
On Monday, President Obama publicly urged the Federal Communications Commission to adopt strong rules preserving net neutrality, the principle that internet service providers must treat all data equally.
Obama’s comments placed a previously fairly niche technical issue right into the middle of the national political debate, forcing commentators to take a side on something many of them did not seem to understand. But luckily, many conservative politicians and pundits have an easy way of deciding where to stand on an issue: if Obama is for it, it will destroy America and they are against it!
1. Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz got the right-wing net neutrality pile-on started with a tweet calling the proposal “Obamacare for the Internet."
"Net Neutrality" is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 10, 2014
It didn’t really make sense, but as Matt Yglesias notes, that wasn’t the point: “What, if anything, that phrase means is difficult to say. But its political significance is easy to grasp. All true conservatives hate Obamacare, so if net neutrality is Obamacare for the internet, all true conservatives should rally against it.”
2. Bryan Fischer
As soon as Cruz spoke out, his far-right acolytes seem to have felt obligated to follow. On his radio program on Monday, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer struggled to grasp the proposal that he was definitely against, claiming that it would ban internet providers from charging customers more for faster service — something that already happens and that has nothing to do with net neutrality.
3. Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck is outraged that President Obama wants to end “the freedom of the internet” and ruin something that’s “working pretty well” because “the government is not involved in it at all.” Apparently unaware that current FCC regulations allow his online network, The Blaze, to stream on an open internet, Beck claimed that regulations preserving net neutrality would end this supposedly government-free system in which he operates his business.
Beck’s cohost Pat Gray accidentally debunked his own point by comparing Internet regulation to the interstate highway system, which he seems to also think remains open and accessible because it’s free from government interference.
The Tea Party group FreedomWorks got into the game yesterday with a video “clearing up” net neutrality for its supporters.
As Consumerist explains, FreedomWorks’ net neutrality explanation is basically a work of fiction:
“Supporters of the plan call it a [uses finger quotes] ‘free and open Internet’ but in reality it’s anything but,” says Somberg. “What net neutrality does is force providers to treat all Web content equally — the same speeds, the same prices, the same access.”
This is simply untrue.
Net neutrality merely says that ISPs can’t slow down, block, or prioritize any content. It doesn’t mean that everything gets treated with the same speed — just that an ISP does nothing to impede or boost any particular content company’s speed. So if it’s fast coming in from the company, it should be fast going out to the end-user. And if the host is slow, then it remains slow.
5. Alex Jones
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones added his own special twist to the net neutrality debate, claiming that it is a “high tech version of what the Soviets and the Nazis and the Chinese Communists and Fidel Castro and every other nut ball did.”
Bonus: David Barton
While net neutrality might have just recently crossed the radar of many right-wing commentators, make-believe historian David Barton has been beating the anti-net-neutrality drum for years. In 2011, Barton called net neutrality “socialism on the internet” and “redistribution of wealth through the internet” and insisted that it is "wicked stuff" that goes against the dictates of the Bible and the Founding Fathers.
This launched Barton into a discourse on the concept of “fairness,” which he said “is a word no Christian should ever use in their vocabulary” because “what happened to Jesus wasn’t fair.”
Last week, "Coach" Dave Daubenmire wrote a column asking the reasonable question of whether President Obama is merely mentally ill or rather demon-possessed, concluding that either way he is a "sick, dangerous man."
Now, Daubenmire has turned that column into the basis for his latest "News With Views" video commentary, asserting today that Obama is a sociopath, not unlike serial killer Ted Bundy.
Declaring that Obama had no father, no mother, no home, no school, no country, and no religion, Daubenmire could only conclude that Obama is either seriously mentally ill or demon-possessed.
"People will say, 'You know Coach, it is probably a little bit of both,'" Daubenmire said, "and I'd say it appears to me that he is not a Christian man but he is of his father the Devil and the works of his father he will do":
- Tina Nguyen @ Mediaite: Colbert Applauds GOP’er Who Believes Obama Is Possessed by Demon.
- Catherine Thompson @ TPM: Steve Stockman, Aides Subpoenaed In Federal Criminal Investigation.
- Asawin Suebsaeng @ The Daily Beast: Ted Cruz saves America in This Right-Wing Coloring Book.
- Nicole Flatow @ Think Progress: Michigan Lawmaker Poised To Resurrect Plan That Could Rig The Electoral College For Republicans.
- Rosie Gray @ BuzzFeed: The Ben Carson Super PAC Is Pretty Lucrative If You’re Running It.
- Jerry Boykin calls upon military leaders to inform President Obama that "I can no longer support your ill-advised and reckless policies that I regard as threats to national security and the welfare of our men and women in uniform" and resign in protest.
- Focus on the Family's Glenn Stanton has a new book out entitled "Loving My (LGBT) Neighbor."
- Tim Brown says that "the reason people can’t take bisexuality seriously is because it is a mental illness that needs to be corrected via repentance, not coddled like a three-year-old. The same thing applies with homosexuals. They are not taken as a legitimate lifestyle choice by the world’s population because it is unnatural."
- Peter LaBarbera believes that "the government should be taking steps to discourage men and boys from practicing homosexual behavior."
- Finally, Glenn Beck will be releasing his first feature film next year and it is about a warrior Santa Clause tasked with protecting Jesus Christ. We really are at a loss for words:
Colorado GOPer Gordon Klingenschmitt's 10 Craziest Moments: Homophobia, Exorcisms And More!
11/7/14 @ 12:40pm
Bryan Fischer Suggests Native Americans Were Justifiably Removed From Their Land
11/7/14 @ 4:44pm
Five Conservatives Who Don't Understand Net Neutrality…But Are Definitely Against It!
11/14/14 @ 10:57am
Beck: 'Revolutionaries Will Come And They Will Pull You Out Of Your Car And Shoot You'
11/13/14 @ 2:42pm
Solomon: Obama Is 'A Homosexual Muslim Married To A Man'
11/10/14 @ 3:50pm