We have an idiot on the program today.
Why the one thing that should be a scandal definitely won’t be.
Here’s a random collection of conservative pieces (and pieces about conservatives) on the massive PRISM data-mining program:
Wall Street Journal: “Thank You for Data-Mining”
National Review: “A Small Price to Pay”
Jennifer Rubin: “Unwarranted hysteria over Verizon data collection”
Washington Post: “Congress all but silent on surveillance of Internet records”
The rightwing blogosphere is mostly up in arms over the program, but they’re up in arms if Obama has pancakes for breakfast. They haven’t really noticed that no one pays attention to them anymore. Their audience is the choir. The growing consensus on the right is that this most definitely is not a scandal, but Barack Obama finally seeing the wisdom of embracing his inner neocon.
The Atlantic’s Elspeth Reeve explains that a big part of the problem is tech-illiteracy — they don’t know what “metadata” means, so it can’t possibly be very important.
But the bigger part is cowardice. Conservatives are not brave. Brave people don’t support torture, hide behind assault weapons, blindly throw money at the military in the name of “defense,” or embrace a “security at any cost” mentality. As Ben Franklin said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” This is why the right is always first to suggest war and the first to demand we throw away rights in the name of being “tough on crime.” They have no backbone and insist that government do everything in its power to guarantee them a risk-free life. They support the data-mining operation only because they’re terrified of giving up a sliver of possible safety in the name of greater freedom.
The next time one of these people tells you how they love America and liberty, feel free to laugh in their face. They do not.
Gun lobby: immigration reform means lazy brown people are gonna take away your guns!
You Could Lose all your Guns before 2035 under the Amnesty Bill before the Senate
Contact your Senators and urge them to vote against the anti-gun immigration amnesty bill.
We’ve written you before about the immigration amnesty bill that will be debated on the Senate floor beginning June 10.
We had just been through a hard fight to stop gun bans and registration. And some of you may have even felt the immigration amnesty was not a “gun” issue.
But if the amnesty bill is passed, within 20 years, Washington could be as anti-gun as Albany, Hartford, and Sacramento.
This is because the bill will create at least 11,500,000 new citizens — but probably closer to 20,000,000 — and, if history is any guide, they will vote 71% of the time for far Left Democrats like Barack Obama.
By 2035, the battle will no longer be about stopping the expansion of background checks. Most likely, it will be about stopping the government from coming to take your guns away. And there is nothing we will be able to do about it.
Right Wing Watch notes that Pratt “has been going-all out against immigration reform, warning that immigrants will ‘vote to take away our guns’ and are ‘going to be probably just sitting around drawing welfare and voting Democrat.’ He told radio host Steve Deace earlier this week that if a reform bill passes, ‘you can buh bye to your guns and buh bye to the rest of your freedom because this would be a country that had been californicated.’”
Is anyone in the media going to notice that the gun lobby is getting blatantly racist?
Heritage Foundation’s downward trajectory.
The last we heard from the rightwing Heritage Foundation, they were nursing a self-inflicted credibility wound after releasing a BS report on the cost of immigration reform — a report written in part by an anti-Latino racist. Now they’re back, this time with economist Selim Furth testifying before a Senate committee on the restorative wonders of austerity.
The problem wasn’t that the testimony was bullshit, the problem was that it was such obvious bullshit that it would never convince anyone in a million years. He cherrypicked numbers and left out others — in short, outright lying to support his case.
Steve Benen: …Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) pointed during the hearing that Furth’s claims about [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] numbers are largely the opposite of the figures from the OECD itself.
“I am concerned that your testimony to this committee has been meretricious,” Whitehouse told Furth. “I am contesting whether you have given us fair and accurate information.”
For a Senate Budget Committee hearing, that’s pretty tough language. Indeed, the senator was effectively accusing an economist from the nation’s preeminent conservative think tank of presenting deliberately misleading information on an important issue.
Which leads Paul Krugman to wonder if Heritage has finally just jumped the shark entirely:
One does wonder, by the way, whether Heritage may at this point be destroying its own usefulness. Its purpose was never to do real research; it was always a propaganda arm of the movement. But it was supposed to create a plausible illusion of intellectual rigor, good enough to take in gullible journalists.
But is there anyone not a committed right-winger who, at this point, believes anything coming out of Heritage? And in that case, what’s the Foundation for?
That’s a good question. Heritage is a bullshit factory; the propaganda shop for the far right in America. But is propaganda worth anything when it’s such obvious lies that no one could ever believe it? At this point, they’re pretty much just crazy-assed talk radio dressed up nicer. Limbuagh, Hannity, Beck, etc. don’t convince anyone, all they do is rile up the base and get them to the polls. But that base is becoming too small to make the difference and are mattering less and less every cycle. Talk radio is a steadily declining influence in American politics and Heritage is right behind it.
How about that visionary leadership from Heritage leader and former Sen. Jim DeMint, huh? Everything started to come apart over there after he signed on.
Say what you like about Jim DeMint, but he sure knows how to get a plane to the ground in a big hurry.
Anti-immigrant Heritage study co-author a believer in racist pseudo-science.
WonkBlog: The Heritage Foundation made something of a splash with its study suggesting that immigration reform will cost the public trillions. Past work by one of its co-authors helps put that piece in context.
Jason Richwine is relatively new to the think tank world. He received his PhD in public policy from Harvard in 2009, and joined Heritage after a brief stay at the American Enterprise Institute. Richwine’s doctoral dissertation is titled “IQ and Immigration Policy”; the contents are well summarized in the dissertation abstract:
The statistical construct known as IQ can reliably estimate general mental ability, or intelligence. The average IQ of immigrants in the United States is substantially lower than that of the white native population, and the difference is likely to persist over several generations. The consequences are a lack of socioeconomic assimilation among low-IQ immigrant groups, more underclass behavior, less social trust, and an increase in the proportion of unskilled workers in the American labor market. Selecting high-IQ immigrants would ameliorate these problems in the U.S., while at the same time benefiting smart potential immigrants who lack educational access in their home countries.
Richwine’s dissertation asserts that there are deep-set differentials in intelligence between races. While it’s clear he thinks it is partly due to genetics — “the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ” — he argues the most important thing is that the differences in group IQs are persistent, for whatever reason. He writes, “No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.”
This is important, since this would seem to be one of the underpinnings to the argument that immigration reform will cost trillions of dollars.
“The main premise of the heavily disputed Heritage Study is that undocumented immigrants will be unable to reach education and income levels high enough to make them a net plus to the economy, even after several generations,” reports Talking Points Memo’s Benjy Sarlin. The Heritage study doesn’t come right out and say that Latinos are too dumb for America, but it would seem that’s only because it would rightly doom the study’s credibility.
Once again, we see that the Heritage Foundation is a bullshit factory and this particular variety of bullshit can be classified as “fullblown racist.”
“You got shit, you got jack shit, you got your dick in your hand. You fucking asshat.”
Boston bombing suspect rejected mainstream Islam.
Boston Globe: Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the brothers accused of bombing the Boston Marathon, angrily disrupted a January talk at a Cambridge mosque when a speaker compared the Prophet Mohammed and the peace activist Martin Luther King Jr., the second time in recent months that Tsarnaev’s radical theology collided with mainstream Muslim faith at a public religious talk.
In the days since the suspects were identified last week, a picture has emerged of 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev — the elder of the two brothers, who was killed Friday in the battle with police — as an increasingly militant immigrant, whom family members described as unhappy and mean.
In disrupting the talk in January at the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s shouted at a speaker: “You are a Kafir” – a nonbeliever, according to Yusufi Vali, a spokesman for the mosque. Tsarnaev went on to say the speaker was contaminating people’s minds, and accused him of being a hypocrite.
The congregation disagreed, according to Vali, and “shouted him out of the mosque” on Prospect Street.
Take a swing through the rightwing blogosphere and you’ll learn that all Muslims believe the same things because the Koran has crazy, genocidal passages like this:
Suppose you hear in one of the towns Allah is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to Allah. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then Allah will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. “Allah will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.”
Oops, sorry. That’s the Bible. Where it reads “Allah,” go ahead and substitute “the Lord your God.” Not sure how I got things all mixed up like that. We regret the error.
It’s weird. It looks like the congregation at the Cambridge mosque treated Tsarnaev the way you hope a Christian congregation would treat someone using that Bible verse to call for genocide. It looks like maybe all Muslims don’t believe the same things and even that the terrorist interpretation of Koran verses is the minority view.
Throwing all Muslims in the same pigeonhole is ignorant, bigoted, and un-American. This belief on the right is just a way for cowards to justify being jerks. And worse, they’re ignorant, bigoted, un-American, cowardly jerks who are also lazy — because the only reason you’d believe it is because it’s too complicated to try to figure out who’s a criminal and who’s not. You just throw all Muslims in the criminal pile and be done with it, because you’re an intellectually lazy and immoral slob who’d rather prosecute the innocent than determine guilt on an individual basis.
Panicked, gullible rightwing bloggers get the story exactly wrong — again.
CNN: Evidence uncovered so far supports the theory that the two brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings had no help, authorities said Saturday.
“From what I know right now, these two acted together and alone,” Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau told CNN. “I think we have to be ever vigilant, and we’re learning as we go along, but as far as this little cell — this little group — I think we got our guys.”
Deveau said investigators were continuing to look into where Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26. and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, may have gotten the resources to amass the cache of weapons used in the bombings and afterward. “We have to figure that out,” he said. “There’s a lot more work to go.”
But, asked whether Boston residents can rest easy, Deveau said, “We got our two guys.”
You might recall that during the weekend, the rightwing blogosphere was breathlessly repeating a Daily Mirror report about an FBI investigation into a 12-person “sleeper cell” who were responsible for the bombings. No one else was reporting this anywhere, but the rightwing blogs ate it up — just as they’d fallen for the New York Post’s Boston bombing fan fiction. All of these people need to print the following sentence out in giant letters and paste it over the PCs they blog with: TABLOIDS ARE BULLSHIT FACTORIES!
The problem with the wingnut blogosphere is that they’re more interested in propaganda than in facts. So they’ll repeat the scariest stories, because that serves their agendas. They seem to think that sooner or later, GWB’s torture and wiretap legacy will get turned around by the facts and they’ll grasp at any straw that will make them look less like panic-stricken idiots who followed neocon monsters in the eyes of history.
But the facts never seem to do that job — mostly because they actually were panic-stricken idiots following neocon monsters. So they’ll keep making the same stupid mistakes over and over, because reality is never going to come to their rescue.
So just point and laugh. Because the only other option is to feel sorry for them… And they don’t deserve that.
Are rightwing blogs allowing themselves to be led astray by a tabloid again?
The rightwing blogosphere demonstrated their endless gullibility in the Boston bombing by running with the New York Post’s ridiculously bad reporting. The New York tabloid had misidentified suspects — twice in a row — and reported 12 dead. The first clue that this was all wrong should’ve been that the Post was almost alone in their reporting of these “facts” and that the only other sources reporting them cited the Post.
Now the wingnut blogosphere is once again running with a tabloid news story. This time, from the UK’s Daily Mirror, which is running a story about the FBI investigating a 12-person “sleeper cell” in relation to the bombings. Once again, almost no one else is reporting this and it’s all based on unnamed sources. While it’s too soon to say it’s not true, it’s absolutely true to say it looks a whole lot like BS — especially considering the tabloid’s recent history of inaccuracy.
Once again, I find myself wondering how on Earth anyone can ever take these people seriously.