Tag Archives | Conservatives

Catch of the Day: Who Believes in Crazy Conspiracy Theories?

climate changeJust to wind certain commenters up (you know who you are), here’s Jonathan Bernstein’s critique of that article I posted “Conspiracy Theories Aren’t Just For Conservatives,” at BloombergView:

A catch to Andrew Gelman for correcting an attempted but inaccurate catch by Alfred Moore, Joseph Parent and Joseph Uscinski, who thought they had caught Paul Krugman in an error on the always-fun topic of conspiracy theories. Not so!

Here’s Krugman’s original assertion:

Unlike the crazy conspiracy theories of the left — which do exist, but are supported only by a tiny fringe — the crazy conspiracy theories of the right are supported by important people: powerful politicians, television personalities with large audiences.

Moore, Parent and Uscinski take that quote and attack it on the basis that both liberals and conservatives are equally likely to believe in crazy conspiracy theories. That part, as Gelman agrees, is correct. Plenty of examples in both items for those liberals who are skeptical of it, but I’ll add one more anecdotal one: the belief among liberals in 2003 and 2004 that George W.

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Conspiracy Theories Aren’t Just For Conservatives

911 Was an Inside JobConcluding that “Neither liberals nor conservatives are more credulous or crazy,” co-authors Alfred Moore (Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, working on the Conspiracy and Democracy project), Joseph M. Parent and Joseph E. Uscinski (Associate Professors of Political Science at University of Miami and authors of American Conspiracy Theories), suggest that “Republicans and Democrats are equally prone to believing in conspiracy theories.” From the Washington Post:

Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory? Liberals, that’s who. Take Princeton economist Paul Krugman who ominously warns that:

Unlike the crazy conspiracy theories of the left—which do exist, but are supported only by a tiny fringe—the crazy conspiracy theories of the right are supported by important people: powerful politicians, television personalities with large audiences.

Krugman makes a fair point: in moderation conspiracy theories may show healthy skepticism, but in excess they can erode the trust needed for states to fulfill their basic functions and warp the respect for evidence necessary for sound decision making.

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Dinesh D’Souza’s Fantastic Summer Leads To Fall

Dinesh DSouza speaking at CPAC 2012 croppedHow Dinesh D’Souza became Fox News’s conservative poster boy is still something of a mystery to me, but regardless the Republican Right is championing D’Souza more than ever as his fantastic summer leads into the Fall, when he may go to prison. Profile in the New York Times:

Nobody wants the summer to end, but especially not Dinesh D’Souza.

In June, he published, “America: Imagine a World Without Her,” which spent a week as the No. 1 book on Amazon, and is currently No. 2 on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list.

In July, he released a companion film, which has grossed more than $12 million, already roughly the same as the total of such well-known documentaries as “Hoop Dreams” and “Roger & Me,” counting inflation.

But in September, he will stand before a judge in a Manhattan courtroom and face a possible prison term after pleading guilty earlier this year to a violation of campaign-finance laws.

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Fear Of Agenda 21 Sweeps The Nation

Save America Foundation

Save America Foundation

Who would have thought that fear of the United Nations would bring right-wing Republicans together at last? Slate reports on the amazing Agenda 21:

State lawmakers in Missouri last week revived an effort to significantly curtail local planners’ ability to adopt the type of smart-growth policies long touted by urban developers, demographers, and climate scientists. The bill, which sailed through the state’s lower chamber this past Monday, represents the latest victory for a onetime fringe movement that has spent the past two decades slowly gaining traction among conservatives by warning of an actual, real-life U.N.-orchestrated global takeover.

The specific target of the Missouri legislation may be well-known to heavy consumers of conservative media, but most Americans have probably never heard of it: Agenda 21, a nonbinding resolution that was signed by President George H.W. Bush and 177 other world leaders at the end of the United Nations’ 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

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Dinesh D’Souza, ’2016: Obama’s America’ Filmmaker, Indicted For Campaign Finance Violation

Dinesh D'Souza. Photo: Mark Taylor (CC)

Dinesh D’Souza. Photo: Mark Taylor (CC)

No doubt this will make Dinesh D’Souza (director of the breakout documentary 2016 Obama’s America) even more of a hero to a certain Obama-hating segment of the American population, but are the charges really politically motivated? From the Hollywood Reporter:

Dinesh D’Souza is accused of giving too much money to a candidate who sought to replace former New York Sen. Hillary Clinton. Producer Gerald Molen tells The Hollywood Reporter the charges are politically motivated.

Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, whose documentary 2016: Obama’s America took a critical look at President Barack Obama and was a surprise hit in 2012, will be arrested in New York on Friday for allegedly violating campaign-finance laws, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Federal authorities accuse D’Souza of donating more than is legal to the campaign of Wendy Long, who ran in 2012 for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton but lost to now-Sen.

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Why Are US Conservatives So Obsessed With Monarchies?

English: Philip II August and John Lackland ma...

Philip II August and John Lackland making peace with a kiss. (British Library, Royal 16 G VI f. 362)  (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (PD)

What do you think disinfonaughts, does America or the world need another king?

Something weird is happening on the American Right. Over at Politico Magazine, Michael Auslin, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, has penned a column titled “America Needs a King.”

Had Auslin’s strange desire not come on the heels of Pat Buchanan’s paean to Vladimir Putin, or an anti-democracy movement being championed by tech libertarians like Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, one might see this as merely an example of an academic being intellectually provocative. In other words, “trolling” us.

But this isn’t mere trolling. It’s a trend.

Now, there has always been an element of the Catholic Right with monarchical tendencies.

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Mayor Declares 2014 “Year Of The Bible” In Texas City

flower moundFlower Mound, a Texas city of more than 60,000, believes it can fix the world’s problems by becoming a bible-based society. Via Fox News:

The mayor of a Texas city is raising some eyebrows after he officially declared 2014 the “year of the Bible.”

Tom Hayden, the mayor of Flower Mound, made the declaration at a city council meeting last month. Hayden says he had considered making the declaration for years because he wants his community to connect through the Bible, and finally decided to do so in 2014.

“The morality that helped build our country is based on the values that are found in the Bible. And as we look at problems, maybe we’re getting away from those values,” [said Hayden].

Hayden hopes to do so by encouraging all the residents of his town to read the entire Bible together in a year. Daily passages will be posted on a website called thebible2014.com, which was created by the Calvary Chapel of Flower Mound “as a connecting point to fulfill the Mayor’s vision.”

 

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Climate Change Deniers Backed by Secret Network of Billionaires

greedy lying coverThe Greedy Lying Bastards are being exposed for what they are by the liberal media, but will governments resist the financial clout of the “secret network of billionaires” described by Lindsay Abrams at Alternet, who herself is reporting on this article by Suzanne Goldenberg in The Guardian:

Conservative groups may have spent up to $1bn a year on the effort to deny science and oppose action on climate change, according to the first extensive study into the anatomy of the anti-climate effort.

The anti-climate effort has been largely underwritten by conservative billionaires, often working through secretive funding networks. They have displaced corporations as the prime supporters of 91 think tanks, advocacy groups and industry associations which have worked to block action on climate change. Such financial support has hardened conservative opposition to climate policy, ultimately dooming any chances of action from Congress to cut greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet, the study found.

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Conservatives Plan 2014 Assault on Education, Healthcare, Workers’ Comp and Environment

474px-human-brain_257Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

According to internal documents obtained by the British newspaper and published online Thursday, the Guardian reports that more than forty state-level conservative groups are planning a “US-wide assault” on “education, healthcare, income tax, workers’ compensation and the environment.”

If you want to know how the right-wing State Policy Network—in concert with a network of other national and state-level conservative policy groups—has been able to overrun state legislatures with “model legislation” that carries the interest of the nation’s wealthiest corporations and individuals while undermining workers and communities, the ream of grant proposals obtained by the newspaper tell the tale.

For the second time this week, the Guardian has published internal documents from an influential U.S. conservative organizing group that reveals rare insight into how they operate and the way smaller, local groups vie for portions of the large amount of money made available by people like the Kochs brothers and other funders of the conservative, Tea Party cabal.

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Ted Cruz’s Father Preaches That His Son Is An “Anointed King” Who Will Bring The “End Time Transfer Of Wealth”

cruzAre you ready to hand all of society’s money over to the Christian leaders whom the heavens have anointed to be “God’s bankers”? More on the fascinating Christian Dominionist theology of pastor Rafael Cruz, father of leading Tea Party politician Ted, via Alternet:

In a sermon last year at an Irving, Texas, megachurch that helped elect Ted Cruz to the U.S. Senate, Cruz’ father Rafael Cruz indicated that his son was among the evangelical Christians who are anointed as “kings” to take control of all sectors of society, an agenda commonly referred to as the “Seven Mountains” mandate, and “bring the spoils of war to the priests”, thus helping to bring about a prophesied “great transfer of wealth”, from the “wicked” to righteous gentile believers.

Cruz spoke of “Kings who are anointed to go to war, win the war, and bring the spoils of war to the priests.” Discussion of the now-notorious speech by Rafael Cruz has missed the fact that Ted Cruz was subsequently blessed and anointed by prominent dominionist pastors, in effect as a “king” in the political/governmental sphere, at a special blessing ceremony at the Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, at a July 19th-20th 2013 rally designed to draw pastors into politics.

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