Tennessee Republicans realize bill doesn’t suck quite bad enough.
[Religious bigotry is on display] in Tennessee, where a plan to transfer taxpayer money to religious academies is running into trouble as GOP lawmakers slowly realize that all religions will be eligible for public funds (via Adam Peck).
“This is an issue we must address,” state Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) said. “I don’t know whether we can simply amend the bill in such a way that will fix the issue at this point.”
State Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and Tracy each expressed their concerns Friday over Senate Bill 0196, commonly called the “School Voucher Bill” and sponsored by fellow Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville), which would give parents of children attending failing public schools a voucher with which to enroll in a private school.
No, they can’t “simply amend the bill in such a way” as to exclude Muslim schools. Nor Jewish or Wiccan or atheist or Satanic schools, for that matter. The Supreme Court will put up with a lot from rightwing Christian fanatics, but I can guarantee that wouldn’t fly.
But imagine how completely removed from logic these people must be. Here they are, complaining that taxpayer money may go to a religion they don’t support or belong to, while trying to “fix” a bill designed to take taxpayer money and give it to religions those taxpayers may not support or belong to. And they seem to have no idea what would be the problem with that. It simply never occurs to them that they’re trying to do the very thing to others that they find so worrisome now.
Tracy and Ketron have almost literally been blinded by their own hatred. The people of Tennessee don’t need to be saved from Muslims, they need to be saved from American Taliban like their own Republican legislators.
OK, Wingnutosphere — just knock it off. We are no longer accepting new nominations for “Least Plausible Conspiracy Theory,” so can you just give it a rest now, please? The latest contender is a claim making the rounds about how John Brennan, Barack Obama’s nominee to head the CIA, secretly converted to Islam while he served in Saudi Arabia, and that he was recruited as an intelligence asset for foreign terrorists, to whom he passed government secrets! This information comes from a completely credible source on national security, a guy who was a guest on on a right-wing radio show last week. Is the guy, John Guandolo, credible? You bet! He’s an actual FBI agent! Well, former FBI, because before he became a fixture in the anti-Muslim-paranoia industry, he resigned from the FBI before he could be fired for sexytime with a witness in a case he was working. If you can’t trust a virile Patriot like that, who can you trust?
Republicans’ self-constructed immigration trap.
In the three days since the 2012 election, a who’s who of Republicans have admitted the obvious: the party’s current position on immigration is politically untenable.
“I think members on both sides of the aisle want to resolve this issue,” House Speaker John Boehner said at a press conference on Capitol Hill Friday morning. Earlier in the week he told ABC News: “This issue has been around far too long. A comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I’m confident that the president, myself, others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all.”
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice echoed that sentiment Friday morning in an interview with CBS. “Right now for me the most powerful argument is that the changing demographics in the country really necessitate an even bigger tent for the Republican Party,” she said.
The piece goes on to report that Charles Krauthammer and Sean Hannity have both experienced deathbed conversions on the issue. Then things get sketchy.
“But, a broader question remains: While the Republican establishment — and even some of its conservative elements like Hannity — appear to have found religion on the need to cut a deal on immigration reform,” Cillizza asks, “can they sell it to a party base that continues to vehemently oppose anything that condones illegal immigrants gaining legal status?”
I’m going to answer that with no. No they can’t. Not in a million years.
Check out this post at National Review by Andrew McCarthy. He’s not only making the stupid and bigoted “all Muslims are terrorists” argument, but he’s actually arguing — and I’m not kidding, check it out for yourself — that Latinos are just like “Islamists.” They both love the nanny-state and hate capitalism (not sure where he’s getting all that from) and worse, they think they’re better than us — and by “us” I assume he means white people. In the dog whistle racism code book, I’m pretty sure you find this use of collective pronouns under “‘real Americans’ wink, wink.”
“Islamists, like many Hispanic activists, are the vanguard of a different culture that they passionately believe is superior to the culture of individual liberty,” he writes.
Seriously, the whole thing is as offensive as it is insane and people like Andy McCarthy are the GOP base. The same people who’ve made a hero of a white supremacist sheriff in Arizona. They aren’t going to start loving immigrants because it’s political suicide not to. No, they’re going to continue to hate the dirty brown people because they’re racists.
You think you’re going to bring them around? Yeah, good luck with that. After decades of courting racists, you can’t just ask them to turn it off. Either the racists go or the non-whites stay away. Your choice, GOP — who do you think you need more?
Defending a Con Man’s Right to Run a Con
If the honor wasn’t already taken by wingnut blogger Jim Hoft, fellow wingnut blogger Glenn Reynolds would be a solid contender for the title of Internet’s Dumbest Man. They both deal in histrionic dishonesty and over-the-top fake outrage, aiming their posts straight at the most gullible, paranoid, and idiotic readers on the web. If their websites went dark overnight, the world would be a much less stupid place.
But, like Hoft, Reynolds serves a purpose — both are excellent examples of just how insane the right wing in this country has become and both of these would-be Glenn Becks demonstrate the strident, limitless idiocy that characterizes the wingnut blogosphere. If I were to write a counter post for every stupid and just plain wrong post just one of these two morons wrote, I would never post anything else — there are only so many hours in a day. So it’s not my intention to straighten out the readers of this Reynolds post, but rather to show just how unfathomably stupid those readers must actually be. Anyone who joins in on the hero-worship of known con artist and meth cook Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is a proven idiot, but this goes far beyond that.
Long story short, Reynolds believes (or pretends to believe — I’ll take him at his word and assume he’s dumb enough to believe it) that President Obama must resign because of this:
By sending — literally — brownshirted enforcers to engage in — literally — a midnight knock at the door of a man for the non-crime of embarrassing the President of the United States and his administration, President Obama violated [his oath of office]. You can try to pretty this up (It’s just about possible probation violations! Sure.), or make excuses or draw distinctions, but that’s what’s happened. It is a betrayal of his duties as President, and a disgrace.
He won’t resign, of course. First, the President has the appreciation of free speech that one would expect from a Chicago Machine politician, which is to say, none. Second, he’s not getting any pressure. Indeed, the very press that went crazy over Ari Fleischer’s misrepresented remarks seems far less interested in the actions of an administration that I repeat, literally sent brown-shirted enforcers to launch a midnight knock on a filmmaker’s door.
But Obama’s behavior — and that of his enablers in the press — has laid down a marker for those who are paying attention. By these actions he is, I repeat, unfit to hold office. I hope and expect that the voters will agree in November.
Yes, Glenn Reynolds really is that dumb (remember, I’m taking him at his word and assuming he means the things he writes).
Nakoula is, of course, one of the people responsible for a video that’s sparked Muslim protests around the world — including one in Libya that resulted in the deaths of American personnel. He’s also a felon on probation. And that means that the free speech rights that Reynolds is so freaked out about don’t actually exist. The man is serving a sentence for a crime (fraud, by the way) — he doesn’t actually have First Amendment rights. Or any civil rights. Technically speaking, he’s a prisoner — the only rights he has are human rights. When you commit a felony, you forfeit civil rights. He can’t own a gun or vote, either.
But Reynolds’ idiocy is far, far deeper than this. Demanding President Obama resign for violating rights that don’t actually exist is one thing, rushing to the defense of someone who was clearly trying to rip off the sort of people who read your blog is another entirely. And it is so clear that this is the case here.
The video in question is supposedly the trailer for a longer film. Directed by soft core porn producer Alan Roberts, the trailer for Innocence of Muslims is almost certainly the only part of the movie that actually exists. For one thing, the actors had no idea the video was even about Mohammed and Islam, but rather thought it was about war in ancient Egypt:
“The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer,” they said in a statement to CNN. “We are shocked by the drastic rewrites of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.”
Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress from Bakersfield, Calif., told Gawker that in casting notices the film was referred to as “Desert Warriors.” She also said that “Dr. Matthew” was the pseudonym actors were instructed to use instead in place of the name “Mohammed,” which was later haphazardly dubbed over their voices in post-production.
So there was clearly no movie-length script. If there was, the subject of the film would be obvious. No script means no movie. What’s apparently happening here is that Nakoula and Roberts were running a con — Nakoula is, after all, a con man. They produce a “film” that confirms every bigoted belief haters have about Islam (Mohammed is portrayed as a child molester, for example) and then get bigots to finance a movie that doesn’t actually exist, so they can get “the truth” about Islam out there. The riots and the attack on the Libyan consulate got it press before they were ready and now the whole con is coming apart at the seams.
And the police — under the direct instruction of Obama, according to Reynolds — picked Nakoula up for possibly violating the terms of his probation, which include a ban on internet use. Since the video was uploaded to YouTube, it’s pretty goddam clear that there was some internet usage going on there. It would be a dereliction of duty not to bring him downtown for questioning. Those brownshirted deputies Reynolds is so worked up over are investigating an actual crime — something Glenn thinks shouldn’t happen. Nakoula should be free to run his con on Reynolds’ readership, because liberty — or something. Police are trying to save those readers from falling prey to this guy’s scam and Reynolds is so convinced that this is the worst thing ever that he wants the president to resign over it.
This is aggressively idiotic. You couldn’t be dumber if you actually tried. But for Reynolds, it just comes naturally.
Meet the right’s newest heroes…
…a porn director and a meth cook.
The chumpishness of American conservatives is without limit. I have no doubt that these were a couple of con men looking to cash in on the fad of Islamophobia — and the nuts on the right still haven’t figured that out.
Conservatives need to choose their allies much more wisely.
If there’s one thing that’s true of modern conservativism — and the wingnut blogosphere in particular — it’s that it’s dominated by reactionaries. The reactionary is sort of a nihilist, with no real core principles of their own. Instead, they rely on a sort of parasitic reasoning to guide their beliefs — that their political opponent is always wrong.
By extension, this means that the enemies of their enemies are always right. And nowhere do we see this more clearly demonstrated than in the case of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula who, under the name “Sam Bacile,” posted a YouTube video that is — at least in part — blamed for widespread middle eastern violence and the deaths of Americans. For the Islamophobic right, Nakoula is damned close to a hero and the attention he’s getting from them begins to look a little like martyr worship — the right, obsessed with seeking any opportunity to play the victim card, do love their martyrs.
And who is the latest Hero of the Right?
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, has convictions for possessing drugs used to make methamphetamine and bank fraud, a declaration of bankruptcy, demands for unpaid tax bills, and a byzantine network of at least 17 aliases including “Kritbag Difrat” and “PJ Tobacco.”
Nakoula, a balding, married father of three and an Egyptian Coptic Christian, who once owned a petrol station, is believed to have worked on the script for “Innocence of Muslims” in a California jail cell.
Production began weeks after he was released from a halfway house in June last year.
He is currently on probation after serving a year of a 21-month sentence for fraud, which involved obtaining credit cards in the names of other people.
He was also banned from using the internet, computers and email without the approval of a probation officer for five years.
All of this is a matter of record and none of it is open for debate: Nakoula is a known con artist, jailbird, and meth cook. He is also the guy the right have chosen to ally themselves with. Those smoldering ruins, those dead Americans? Who cares? What’s important is that a small group of extremists make Islam look bad and Nakoula’s the guy that made it all happen.
And that makes Kritbag Difrat a fucking hero.