Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Right Wing Nuts, Fruitcakes And Just Plain Old Fashioned Nuts!

Right Wing Nuts, Fruitcakes And Just Plain Old Fashioned Nuts!

“And There You Have It: Public Discourse In 2009.”

10 of the Most Obscenely Stupid Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories and Attacks Against the President

By Tana Ganeva, AlterNet. Posted September 8, 2009.


Obama's nefarious plan for the nation's genitals? His evil designs on your children? Here are the most absurd right-wing assaults on the president -- and logic and reason.

Today President Obama gave a speech urging America's schoolchildren to do their homework and stay in school.

Naturally, conservatives have been extremely alarmed about the address, because obviously the president is looking to create a vast army of adorable little zombies that will help him destroy America faster.

All last week, conservative bloggers and pundits gleefully accused the centrist president of plotting to force radical politics on America's impressionable youth, after Florida's Republican chairman Jim Greer said Obama's address would "indoctrinate" children and spread "socialist ideology."

The week of right-wing echo chamber freak-outs led to protests by conservative parents, which put school districts throughout the country in the unenviable position of having to deal with the "controversy": Some decided not to air the president's address; others required parental permission.

So, thanks to the right-wing saviors of America's youth, a bunch of kids have been shielded from the president's dangerous message that learning things is good.

Could this be the stupidest, most irrational way conservatives have tried to tear down Obama? Is it even possible to answer that question?

We've assembled the most absurd, logic-defying right-wing attacks on the president. Some you've undoubtedly encountered before; all are incessantly blared by conservative pundits and shock jocks, while many are cynically embraced by GOP lawmakers.

Assembled together, they illustrate the absurd extremes to which right-wingers are trying to drive the public discourse in their efforts to thwart essential reforms in health care, energy policy and the economy.

The Advent of Socialism/Fascism

Most historians would agree that fascism and socialism represent vastly different ideologies and historical phenomena. But not the historians at Fox News! Since Obama took office, right-wing pundits have lobbed these smears interchangeably, not quite clarifying whether Obama is leading the proletariat to a glorious Utopian Future or trying to bring the master race to world dominion.

Obama's Nefarious Plan for the Nation's Genitals

When news leaked of a CDC report recommending that boys be circumcised as a preventative measure against HIV infection, right-winger conspiracy theorists decided to fret that the federal government would mandate circumcision. Since Patrick Henry isn’t around, it was up to Rush Limbaugh to sound the rallying cry against tyranny: "Leave our penises alone, too, Obama!" roared Limbaugh in a July 24 radio broadcast.

The next day, while discussing an unrelated dispute with Jay-Z, the talk show host said, "I would remind the rapper Jay Z; Mr. Z, it is President Obama who wants mandated circumcision. We had that yesterday. That means if we need to save our penises from anybody, it's Obama."

Needless to say, Obama had nothing to do with the CDC report, and doesn't appear to have ever publicly uttered the word "circumcision." Nor did he recommend the CDC promote circumcision.

None of this, of course, discouraged Limbaugh from running with the best metaphor for white male anxiety in the age of Obama, ever.

The Birthers

Remember when the president invented a time machine and traveled back in time to plant his own birth announcement in a Hawaiian newspaper and forge a certificate of birth proving he was born in the States, all to hide the fact that he's a foreigner from a country filled with scary black people?

That, of course, appears to be the only explanation for why the birther nonsense continues to gurgle up online (even thoughcertain idiots, who for mysterious reasons still have shows on CNN, have finally stopped giving this nonsense the patina of mainstream credibility).

Recently, some birthers on Free Republic argued that the only way to determine the president's birthplace for sure was by checking if he is circumcised. (It would seem that there needs to be a subcategory on this list for these patriots' obsession with the president's penis.)

The Deathers

In America in 2009 -- a time and place where most people have access to a high school education and can read -- a rumor emerged that the overhaul of our terrible health care system would allow the government to put old people to death. This rumor was stoked by the crazy people on Fox News and talk radio, then embraced and propagated by Republican lawmakers and others who are supposed to be sane adults.

"A lot of people are going to die. This program of government option that‘s being touted as being this panacea, the savior of allowing people to have quality health care at an affordable price, is going to kill people." said Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga, said.

Then there was almost-a-heartbeat-away-from-the-presidency Sarah Palin, who contributed to the discussion by saying that under a reformed health system, the government would have killed her child Trig because he has Down syndrome. (Palin took back the comments after much outcry, but that didn't stop the vocal minority of town hall protesters from screaming about Obama killing old and disabled people all summer).

The End of the Internet?

Cass Sunstein, currently awaiting confirmation to head the Office of Information an Regulatory Affairs, is apparently doing Obama's dirty work on this one. Someone enterprising at crackpot site World Net Daily cherrypicked from a long-ago Sunstein statement, making it sound like he wants government regulation forcing blogs to link to opposing viewpoints.

In fact, as Julian Sanchez writes, in the statement in question Sunstein floated the theory as "food for thought." And then he noted the free-speech issues involved. And then he called the idea stupid and unconstitutional.


Obama has "czars" in his administration. The word "czar" is Russian, which of course is scary ("Too Russian!" said former Oklahoma Rep. Ernest Istook. "Why not call somebody the Big Boss?").

One of Glenn Beck's favorite things to do is list off and rail against the czars in Obama's administration. Neil Cavuto, Mike Huckabee and others on Fox and like-minded media are also pretty excited about it and have made lots of puns (czar wars!) and wild accusations about Obama's alleged czar shadow army.

Somehow, their balanced take on this threatening phenomena fails to mention that George W. Bush was pretty fond of czars himself, overseeing the creation of a "food-safety czar," a "cybersecurity czar," a "regulatory czar," an "AIDS czar," a "manufacturing czar," an "intelligence czar," a "bird-flu czar" and a "Katrina czar," according to Steve Benen in Washington Monthly.

Our Half-White President Has a Problem With White People?

One would think Obama is pretty OK with white people, since he is half white and was raised by a white mother and grandparents. Beck would disagree.

In July, Beck bizarrely accused the president of having a deep-seated hatred for white people and "white culture," an attention-grubbing overreach that has led to a successful boycott campaign that has cost Beck 57 advertisers.

Beck's offensive statement was only the most extreme iteration of a conservative strategy to sneakily accuse the president of undermining the interests of whites. One other example is the absurd claim that the president is trying to trick white Americans into paying reparations through health reform.

Snitch Site?

A few months ago, the White House made a valiant attempt to help steer the health care debate toward existing things like policy, rather than totally made up crap like death panels. They did so by setting up a Web site where people could submit questions about the wild conspiracy theories circulating about reform.

Naturally, the fringe decided that Obama was asking people to report on their neighbors. And, of course, Republican lawmakers irresponsibly and shamelessly joined the fray, with Texas Sen. John Cornyn, for example, accusing Obama of compiling an "enemies list" and demanding the site be shut down.

An Expansion of AmeriCorps. The Horror!

And finally, what does Obama plan to do with all those kids he brainwashes during his speech today?

Wait, with diabolical patience, until their teeny little arms grow strong enough to wield heavy weaponry so he can draft them into his massive domestic paramilitary force. At least that appears to be a fear held by Beck, who has said Obama's "civilian national security force" is like Hitler's SS, or something Saddam Hussein would do.

Michelle Bachmann warned of a massive effort to herd kids intore-education camps. What were they talking about? The expansion of AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps.

And there you have it: Public discourse in 2009.

Could Bush Attorney General John Ashcroft Pay For Jailing an Innocent Man After 9/11?

Willam Fisher, IPS News. September 8, 2009.
A federal appeals court has ruled that Ashcroft can be held personally responsible for the wrongful detention of Abdullah Al-Kidd.

Proof That Texas Executed An Innocent Man Could Turn Tide On Death Penalty

Lucile Malandain, Agence France Presse. September 8, 2009.
Opponents of the death penalty hope the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in Texas, will be a turning point towards abolition.

Is the Constitution Suited to Today's Church/State Issues?

Nathan Schneider, The Immanent Frame. September 8, 2009.
A religion scholar discusses the failure of the courts to grapple with lived religion, the prison crisis and why we are all religious now.

Is Child Kidnapper Philip Garrido More Evil Than Jeffrey Dahmer? Expert Offers Handy 22-Point Ranking Guide

Anneli Rufus, AlterNet. September 5, 2009.
Not satisfied with calling heinous acts just "evil," author Michael Stone ranks "justifiable homicide" as a mild category 1 and "sexually perverse serial killers" at No. 17.

How a Legal Case Over an Idiotic Right-Wing Anti-Hillary Film Might End Up Destroying Our Democracy

Michael Winship, Bill Moyers Journal. September 5, 2009.
A nasty little piece of propaganda could unleash a new torrent of cash flooding into campaigns from big business, unions and other special interests.

How Do We Pass Rational Sex-Offender Laws With Psychos Like Phillip Garrido on the Loose?

Liliana Segura, AlterNet. September 4, 2009.
With apparent psychos like Garrido wreaking havoc, it's hard for society to be reasonable about the thousands of people have been wrongly swept up by excessive sex offender laws.

The Secret Government: What a Real Bipartisan Probe of Bush-era Crimes Should Look Like

Christopher Hayes, The Nation. September 2, 2009.
From CIA assassinations to domestic spying, a sweeping investigation of government crimes is not only possible -- it has been done before.

The Wing-Nut Code: What Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin Are Really Saying to Their Followers

Adele M. Stan, AlterNet. September 2, 2009.
You thought they were just unhinged. But here's what they're really saying to the armed and dangerous.

Rebuking Cheney's Torture Propaganda in 7 Easy Steps

Jeremy Scahill, Rebel Reports. September 1, 2009.
Cheney is all over the airwaves, trotting out his propaganda and defense of the Bush administration's serial violations of the Geneva conventions.

Seven Days to Beat Anti-Immigrant Bigotry

Eric Ward, Imagine 2050. August 31, 2009.
You can take a bite out of bigotry in less than five minutes a day!

Four Years After Katrina, Thousands Are Homeless and Struggling In New Orleans

Jordan Flaherty, Left Turn. August 28, 2009.
With recovery still lagging in New Orleans, thousands are living in storm damaged and abandoned buildings.

Liberal Lion Ted Kennedy Has Died ... What Happens Now with Immigration Reform?

Andrea Nill, Center for American Progress. August 27, 2009.
Kennedy “laid the groundwork” for the sort of humane immigration reform that he had spent much of his political career fighting for, but never achieved.

5 Ways to Build a Fascist-Proof America

Sara Robinson, Campaign for America's Future. August 27, 2009.
If we want to build a fascist-proof America for the long haul, we must stand up now for everything we believe and everything we are.

GOP Senators: U.S. Faces Terrorist Attack if Holder Probes Bush's Torture Program

Jason Leopold, TruthOut.org. August 26, 2009.
In a craven attempt to keep CIA abuses under wraps, nine senators wrote to the attorney general warning him not to appoint a special prosecutor.

The White House Needs to Go a Lot Further with the Torture Inquiry

John Nichols, TheNation.com. August 26, 2009.
The investigation into torture could be thwarted by a GOP counter-attack and an echo chamber determined to protect Bush and Cheney.

Marriage Equality: Why it Is Critical You Passionately Care About Maine

Greta Christina, Greta Christina's Blog. August 25, 2009.
One of the most important fights in the country over same-sex marriage is going on in Maine right now and you can help.

Political Fireworks Over Torture Prosecutor: Report Reveals Threats to Kill Children, CIA Director in 'Screaming Match'

AlterNet. August 25, 2009.
Senate Dems and progressives are pushing for AG Eric Holder to expand the investigation that CIA director Leon Panetta has threatened to quit over.

Holder Tapping Prosecutor to Probe 'Nearly a Dozen' CIA Interrogations

Stephen Webster, Raw Story. August 24, 2009.
America's torture debate is nowhere near over.

Obama Can't Afford to Take Right-Wing Lunatics Seriously Anymore

Frank Rich, The New York Times. August 24, 2009.
A GOP senator's apologia for far-right fanatics bearing arms at presidential events -- that the government makes them do it! -- cannot stand.

There Are More Slaves Today Than at Any Time in Human History

Terrence McNally, AlterNet. August 24, 2009.
One writer spent four years inside the world of modern-day slavery; an industry that produces huge profits and countless wasted lives.

Obama, Ignoring Local Outrage, Set to Expand U.S. Military Presence in Colombia

Moira Birss, AlterNet. August 22, 2009.
Obama continues to defend the expansion of U.S. military operations in Latin America, but against what threat?

Terror from the Right: 75 Plots, Conspiracies and Racist Rampages Since Oklahoma City

Southern Poverty Law Center. August 22, 2009.
Including plots to bomb government buildings, banks, refineries, clinics, synagogues, mosques, memorials and bridges; to assassinate police officers, judges, politicians and more.

Stop the Humiliating 'Sex-Testing' of Champion Runner Caster Semenya

Dave Zirin, Sherry Wolf, The Nation. August 22, 2009.
South African runner Caster Semenya shouldn't be the one humiliated by "gender testing"-- it's the outdated views of athletic officials that are embarrassing.

Date Set for Challenge of California Gay-Marriage Ban

Michael B. Farrell, Christian Science Monitor. August 21, 2009.
On Jan. 11, the two lawyers who argued the Bush v. Gore in 2000 will begin their case against Proposition 8.

Black Conservatives in the Age of Obama

Bill Berkowitz, AlterNet. August 21, 2009.
The most prominent voices for conservatism in African American communities continue to be those of Christian church leaders.

How Yawning Got One Court Spectator Six Months in the Slammer and Other Disturbing Acts of Judicial Tyranny

Liliana Segura, AlterNet. August 21, 2009.
When judges take on airs and lash out in fits of whimsical bullying, innocent people can end up paying the price with jail time -- or their lives.

Supreme Court Shocker: Troy Davis Will Get a Chance to Prove His Innocence In Court

Amy Goodman, AlterNet. August 20, 2009.
Georgia death row prisoner Troy Davis has had three execution dates despite overwhelming proof of his innocence. Now he'll finally have his day in court.

Afghanistan's Election Day: Don't Be Fooled By This Facade of Democracy

Malalai Joya, AlterNet. August 20, 2009.
We Afghans know this election will change nothing. It is merely a show of democracy put on by and for the West, to legitimize its future puppet in Afghanistan.

Utilizing Public Airwaves, Media Mogul Murdoch Is Big Muscle Behind Fraudulent Astro Turfers

Adele M. Stan, AlterNet. August 20, 2009.
Burrowing inside the radical right's gathering of astroturfers and mouthpieces, AlterNet Reporter Adele Stan discovers what makes the anti-health reform machine tick.

Is It Now a Crime to Be Poor?

Barbara Ehrenreich, The New York Times. August 19, 2009.
If you're living on the streets, engaging in the biological necessities of life -- like sitting, sleeping, lying down or loitering -- will get you in jail.

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