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Posts tagged "Herman Cain"

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

Subscribers to CNN host Newt Gingrich’s email list are receiving supposed insider information about cancer “cures,” the Illuminati, “Obama’s ‘Secret Mistress,’” a “weird” Social Security “trick,” and Fort Knox being “empty.”

Gingrich Productions, the company run by the Crossfire co-host, has been sending sponsored emails from shady sources filled with dubious claims. CNN has been helping Gingrich build his list by not only employing him, but also by promoting Gingrich Productions and its website.

While Gingrich’s team has previously claimed that they work hard to “vet” the organizations they rent the email list to, they have repeatedly violated their own apparently low standards.

For example, Gingrich Productions has sent at least 15 sponsored emails for Stansberry & Associates since June 2013. Stansberry is a disgraced financial firm that was fined $1.5 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for engaging in “deliberate fraud” and profiting from “false statements.” The firm sells financial products by pushing conspiracies about the Obama administration. Founder Porter Stansberry recently said it’s “fucking bullshit” that people get upset at him for using slurs like “nigger” and “fag” when he’s “not the least bit bigoted.”

Gingrich’s team previously claimed to distance the former speaker from Stansberry after questions surfaced about a sponsored email suggesting Obama would win a third term. ABC News reported in November 2012 that “according to Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond, Stansberry & Associates should have been on the blacklist. ‘We do not rent to the entity in question,’ Hammond said, speaking by phone Thursday. ‘In fact, we go to lengths to vet where we rent.’”

Gingrich is part of a movement where, as MSNBC’s Chris Hayes noted, “much of conservatism is a con and the base are the marks.” Fox News contributor Scott Brown was recently forced to distance himself from Newsmax after he sent a sponsored email for the group touting the findings of quack Dr. Russell Blaylock. The New Republic's Ben Adler wrote in a piece about Gingrich and fellow hucksters Herman Cain and Mike Huckabee that they “are pioneering a new, more direct method for post-campaign buckraking. All it requires is some digitally savvy accomplices—and a total immunity to shame.”

Gingrich’s list is primarily managed by TMA Direct. A data card on TMA’s site indicates that the list contains over 400,000 emails and costs $8,000 per order. The company is headed by Mike Murray, who is also the founder and president of Gingrich’s American Legacy PAC. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that American Legacy has advertised on Gingrich Productions’ list, and disbursed thousands of dollars to TMA. 

[…]

Sign Up For Gingrich’s Email List, Learn About The Illuminati And Obama’s “Secret Mistress”

Though a Gingrich spokesperson claimed in 2012 that “we go to lengths to vet where we rent,” Gingrich’s recent mailings are full of companies touting suspect medical “cures” and dubious financial schemes.  

The following are the subject line and quotes from some of the sponsored emails Gingrich Productions has sent to its list in the past six months.

"American Doctor Releases Cancer Cure Before Government Spies Find it." An August 29, 2013, email from Health Revelations claims that “cancer was cured back in 1925,” and “the annual flu shot is nothing more than a BALD-FACED SCAM.” The email takes readers to a page claiming that “Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease and Alzheimer’s” have been “DEFEATED” but suggests the government is covering up such cures.

"The Illuminati [Secret Society] Puts a Deathgrip on America." A December 31, 2013, Wall Street Daily email claims that the ”Illuminati was behind every consequential wealth event of the past year” including bitcoin. The Illuminati is a frequent player in conspiracy theories. 

"Obama’s ‘Secret Mistress’ Exposed." A December 12, 2013, email from Laissez Faire Club claims that “President Obama has made painstaking efforts to keep his ‘secret mistress’ hidden from the American public, and he has succeeded brilliantly… until now.”

"WhistleBlower: 7 Deadly Drugs the Government Wants You to Swallow." The Health Sciences Institute claimed in a November 19, 2013, email that an “insider near Washington D.C. has just blown the lid off the 7 Deadly Drugs the U.S. Government can’t wait for you to swallow.” The email assured Gingrich readers that it’s not a conspiracy theory since the “whistleblower has concrete evidence ‘the powers that be’ are shoving pure poison down your throat… and laughing all the way to the bank.”

"Weird Trick Adds $1,000 to Social Security Checks …" A September 12, 2013, Newsmax Media email claimed that they’ve “stumbled upon this weird trick that can add $1,000 to monthly Social Security checks.” (For more on this email claim, see here.)

"Fort Knox is Empty (the Gold’s Missing…)." An August 20, 2013, Wall Street Daily email claimed, “Whispers are swirling around Capitol Hill that Fort Knox is empty” and “the U.S. government has been shipping gold to nations like China (as collateral for a weak dollar).” 

"New Scandal in the White House?" A cryptic July 11, 2013, Stansberry & Associates email claimed that there’s a “big new scandal brewing in the White House” and “when this scandal is ultimately exposed, it’s going to have major implications not only for Barack Obama, but also for our entire country.” 

Wall Street Daily, Laissez Faire Club, and Stansberry & Associates are connected corporately through controversial parent holding company Agora, Inc., which frequently markets to conservative audiences. 

h/t: MMFA 

Fox News contributor Scott Brown was forced to end his financial relationship with Newsmax after he sent a sponsored email to his list touting dubious Alzheimer’s disease cures from huckster Dr. Russell Blaylock. Brown is one of several conservative media outlets and personalities — including his Fox News colleague Mike Huckabee and conservative magazine National Review — that have helped sell out their followers to Blaylock in recent years.

[…]

In recent years, several prominent conservative outlets and personalities have sent emails to their followers touting Blaylock and his dubious medicine:

National Review. The conservative magazine sent an April 20, 2013, email from Newsmax / Blaylock with the subject line: “These 7 Things Activate Alzheimer’s in Your Brain.” (Last week, National Review told Think Progress that it was investigating emails it had sent out touting a separate shady sponsor. According to the magazine’s publisher, “National Review takes all complaints seriously.”)

Dick Morris. On January 18, the newsletter of former Fox News contributor Dick Morris sent a message to its readers stating: “Please find a special message from our paid sponsor, Newsmax Health. Sponsorships like this help to allow us to continue to send you Dick’s commentary free of charge. We appreciate your support. DickMorris.com.” DickMorris.com then enclosed Blaylock’s  ”5 Signs You’ll Get Alzheimer’s Disease” pitch.

DickMorris.com also sent an email offer from Newsmax / Blaylock on October 30, 2013, with the subject line: “These 7 Things Activate Alzheimer’s in Your Brain.”

Christian Broadcasting Network. Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network sent an email with the subject line “5 Signs You Could Get Alzheimer’s Disease” on January 9 to its email list. It contained the disclaimer: “This Select Advertising Offer is sent to you by the Christian Broadcasting Network as a paid advertisement and is not necessarily endorsed by CBN.”

CBN also sent an email offer from Newsmax / Blaylock on October 17, 2013, with the subject line: “These 7 Things Activate Alzheimer’s in Your Brain.”

Mike Huckabee. The Fox News host sent the “5 Signs You’ll Get Alzheimer’s Disease” email to his list on January 16, 2013. He wrote: “Please find a special message from our paid sponsor, Newsmax Health. They have important information to share with you. Sponsorships like this help to allow us to continue to send you my commentary free of charge but do not necessarily reflect my views.”

Huckabee also sent an email offer from Newsmax / Blaylock on September 10, 2013, with the subject line: “These 7 Things Activate Alzheimer’s in Your Brain.”

Herman Cain. Cain’s CainTV sent the “5 Signs You’ll Get Alzheimer’s Disease” to its list on November 1, 2012, along with a disclaimer stating it is from its “sponsor partner Newsmax.com - the sort of thing that helps us pay the bills here at CainTV. It carries no endorsement from us, but we appreciate your willingness to receive these messages.”

CainTV also sent an email offer from Newsmax / Blaylock on October 19, 2013, with the subject line: “These 7 Things Activate Alzheimer’s in Your Brain.” 

Russell Blaylock’s advice is rated quackery. 

See Also: Scott Brown Is The Newest Right-Wing Media Huckster

H/T: MMFA

Fox News contributor Scott Brown is renting out his email list to an outlet that touts shady products like Alzheimer’s disease cures and Social Security tricks.

Brown joins several of his Republican colleagues in attempting to cash in on their followers through dubious or shady practices. Mike Huckabee, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich have all been renting out their email lists to suspect sources. As Salon’s Alex Pareene noted, “the conservative movement is an elaborate moneymaking venture. For professional movement conservatives, their audiences and followers are easy marks.” 

Brown sent an email this morning with the subject line “5 Signs You’ll Get Alzheimer’s Disease” to his ScottBrown.com email list. Brown wrote in the email: “Dear Patriot, I thought you might be interested in the offer below from our sponsor Newsmax Health. Thank you, Senator Scott Brown.”  

Brown’s email contains a pitch touting the findings of Dr. Russell Blaylock, and “Simple strategies and natural therapies to prevent, treat, and reverse memory loss, Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative disorders.”

Blaylock, a repeat guest on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ radio show, has made numerous dubious medical claims through Newsmax and other far-right media outlets:

Brown has also sent an email pitching dubious financial offers. 

[…]

The Franklin Prosperity Report is a questionable newsletter operated by Newsmax that claims to be based on the “investment methods” of Benjamin Franklin.  

h/t: mediamattersforamerica

Fox News’ Neil Cavuto opened a discussion on Thursday by saying, “I sometimes wonder” whether fast food workers demanding $15 an hour wages are “union plants.” But instead of any actual reporting, he called on Herman Cain – whose record in the restaurant business is “marked by a long and largely successful battle against minimum-wage increases,” as Huffington Post put it. Cain assured Cavuto that the protesters must be plants because minimum-wage workers “appreciate those jobs.”

On December 5, the day that workers held protests in about 100 U.S. cities, Cavuto implied that Cain was a neutral expert with some kind of first-hand information. Cavuto’s first words to Cain were: “You hear and see what’s going on here.” Then Cavuto asked, “How many of those who are protesting are fast food workers and how many just might be union plants? I sometimes wonder.”

If Cain had any inside scoop to impart other than his (biased) belief, he kept it to himself. Instead, he came up with his own unsupported theory:

Neil, I believe that most of ‘em are union plants because my experience with minimum wage workers, having led the National Restaurant Association, is that most of them appreciate those jobs and here’s why: They are not minimum wage jobs, they are starting jobs, and what never comes through the liberal rhetoric is the fact that most people who start at minimum wage, if they do a good job, they get increases within six months. …If you artificially force the minimum wage to go up, …there would be job losses. The losers would be the minimum wage workers or the potential workers and the consumers because any prices would be passed on to the consumers.

Cavuto asked whether starting wages could be raised “a little higher.”

Not surprisingly, Cain was against that, too. “You could start them a little higher, but that means that we’re going to hire a little fewer. That’s just the fact of the matter.”


h/t: Brian at NewsHounds

h/t: Mark Gongloff at HuffPost Politics 

Recently GOP released an internal assessment of losses in 2012 elections, possible causes and recommendations. Though the report did state that party has been losing base with the minorities and many other groups, the response from the party was to “deliver the message better”. It seems to me that party has not understood the root causes of their losses in elections, less favorability in the nation and declining voter base. I became a US citizen in 1986, and voted as Republican till 2004. Since then I have been increasingly dissatisfied with GOP’s relationships with the Muslims in USA. The Islamophobic rhetoric, though not exclusively restricted to Republican Party, has been consistently increasing over years.

Muslims mostly identify with GOP due to conservative values, and up till 2000 used to vote in greater numbers with Republican Party. In 2000 national elections, George Bush was endorsed by Muslim organizations and over 70% voted for the party. Many of President Bush’s supporters give credit to Muslims in Florida for the win in the state, leading to White House. Last year about 4% Muslims voted for GOP. Over 40% of American Muslims view themselves as independent voters, 7% identify themselves as Republicans and rest are affiliated with Democratic Party. Over last decade there have been more Muslim voters added, as the second generation has become adults and more immigrants have joined the pool. The Muslim voters’ ratio has dropped dramatically, but the Party has not taken any constructive steps to improve the relationships or even look into the causes.

The anti Muslim zeal increased over the last 2 years. American Muslims are becoming accustomed to bracing themselves for increasing Islamophobia during election years for political gains. The hearings by Representative Peter King (NY) on radicalization of Muslims in America were mainly airing anti Muslim sentiments. Many Muslim organization and individuals who could have given positive reports about American Muslims were not asked to testify in front of the committee. Law enforcement officials denied that there were major extremist Muslim groups in USA. Over 20 states introduced legislations, mostly Republicans to ban “Sharia law”. According to our constitution we cannot have foreign laws; the legislators very well knew that Sharia law cannot be and is not being implemented. But to appease their base and get political gains among the public they chose to waste their time and efforts on this nonexistent issue. Only thing they succeeded were in inflaming the anti Muslim feelings. According to CAIR in last 2 years 78 bills or amendments were moved in the country interfering with practices of Muslims; 73 of these bills were moved by Republicans. The voters at large did reject this message, as in last year’s election 4 out of 11 congressmen who were the most proponents of anti Muslim bias lost their seats.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), along with four Republicans colleagues alleged that Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton had ties to Muslim Brotherhood. This was based on pure speculations and Islamophobia. Some Republican leaders including Senator McCain did rebuke the comments but Rep Bachmann has not toned down her Muslim bashing. Herman Cain’s comments that he would require Muslims to take” a loyalty oath” in his cabinet were an insult to all Muslims who are hard working, productive members of the society. The remark was even more disheartening coming from Mr. Cain, who himself is a minority and has known the struggles of African Americans over years. Mitt Romney gave his tacit approval to the anti Islamic message during the campaign, while jogging our memories about difficulties faced by Mormons in the past.

President Obama has been “accused” of being Muslim and even his citizenship has been questioned. General Colin Powell aptly answered to this question of him being possibly a Muslim, “So what if he was”. Every born American irrespective of his/her faith, race or ethnic background can dream of becoming US President.

h/t: Ghazala Hayat at STLtoday.com

Fox News has hired former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain as a contributor. The move comes after the network encouraged Cain to run for president, and vigorously defended him against sexual harassment allegations that eventually sunk his candidacy.

Cain’s hiring follows a similar path that Fox News took with Scott Brown and Sarah Palin, both of whom were lauded by Fox News as political figures and then signed to contributor contracts when they entered public life (Palin has since parted ways with Fox).

Prior to running for president, Cain was a frequent guest on Fox News and was touted as a possible presidential contender because of his business background. During his April 14, 2010, Tea Party-themed program, Sean Hannity called Herman Cain a “rock star” job creator. Hannity then asked his audience, “How many of you would like him to run for president?” which drew loud applause.

Fox News host Neil Cavuto frequently hosted Cain and prodded him to announce that he was running for president on his program. Cain has called Cavuto, who is also a vice president for Fox News, “one of my closest friends,” and said in September 2010 that Cavuto “has been trying to drag” a presidential announcement “out of me for months now.” It was no surprise, then, that Cain announced he was forming a presidential exploratory committee in an “exclusive first” interview on Cavuto’s Fox News program on January 12, 2011.

When allegations of past sexual harassment during Cain’s business career surfaced during the campaign, Fox News rallied to his defense by dismissing the seriousness of the allegations and claiming that Cain was the target of a “smear campaign” because he’s a "black conservative," and the victim of a “gold digger” and “scam artist.” Here are ten examples of Fox News hosts and contributors defending Cain:

  • Then-Fox News contributor Dick Morris said of the allegations: “Well, this is ridiculous. … This woman is in search of money. … This woman has been unemployed for 13 years, and this is apparently payday. … I look forward to her spread in Playboy." Morris also called one of the accusers, Sharon Bialek, a “gold digger” and said her accusations were “outlandish.”
  • Fox News host Andrea Tantaros attacked Bialek as a “scam artist” with an “illegitimate child.”
  • Fox News host Sean Hannity reported on Bialek’s accusations in a segment called, “Anatomy of a Smear Campaign.”
  • Sean Hannity interviewed Gloria Allred, the attorney for one of Herman Cain’s alleged sexual harassment victims. Hannity repeatedly questioned why the woman didn’t immediately leave the vehicle after the alleged crime: “Why would one — if that happened, and it was so traumatic, and it was so bad, why would she stay in the car with him?” 
  • Fox News host Greg Gutfeld said: “We’re beginning to understand the ubiquitousness of sexual harassment claims and how because they’re happening so often and they’re everywhere, many of them are inherently meaningless, done to safeguard future reputation-damaging things, and you might not be guilty.”
  • Fox host Mike Huckabee dismissed the sexual harassment allegations against Cain by comparing his alleged behavior to someone ordering food at Popeyes.  
  • Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume claimed that superiors in the workplace are now “at an equal or greater disadvantage” than their employees.
  • Fox News host Eric Bolling claimed that the allegations were part of a “systematic taking apart of the right by the left.” He added that his “hunch is, you know, the left-wing nutjobs at Media Matters and all the other lefty blogs” were behind the Cain allegations.
  • Fox News contributor Mike Gallagher dismissed the seriousness of the allegations, explaining: “The left hates blacks who are conservative”
  • A Fox Nation post described Sharon Bialek as having “a Chicago smell.”

Fox’s press release about Cain’s hiring states that he “notably proposed the ‘9-9-9’ tax plan to solve the nation’s debt problem.” Fox News personalities, especially the hosts of Fox & Friends, presented Cain’s plan as alegitimate proposalFox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy claimed that Cain’s proposal is “attractive” to voters because it’s “so simple to understand.” Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson, meanwhile, proclaimed that “voters love, love, love” the 9-9-9 plan. In reality, as tax expert Edward Kleinbard and others have noted, Cain’s plan would have led to “a huge tax hike for the working poor.”

h/t: MMFA

WASHINGTON — Senator Saxby Chambliss, the Georgia Republican who helped lead efforts to find a bipartisan deficit reduction compromise, announced on Friday that he would retire at the end of 2014, a decision likely to set off a battle on the Republican Party’s right flank for a successor.

Already, organizations backed by the Tea Party were stirring interest in a primary challenge for Mr. Chambliss over his embrace of new revenues as a part of any comprehensive deficit package. Representatives Tom Price and Paul Broun, two Republican doctors and ardent conservatives from Georgia, had expressed interest in a possible challenge.

But without Mr. Chambliss in the picture, the Senate contest in Georgia could shape up to be a battle royale on the right. Other possible candidates could include Herman Cain, a failed presidential candidate, and Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state who ran for governor in 2010 with the backing of Sarah Palin. Ms. Handel lost that contest but went on to a senior position at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer foundation, where she championed a controversial move to withhold financing for Planned Parenthood cancer screenings.

In a statement, Mr. Chambliss took pains to say he did not fear losing a primary challenge.

“Lest anyone think this decision is about a primary challenge, I have no doubt that had I decided to be a candidate, I would have won re-election,” he said. “In these difficult political times, I am fortunate to have actually broadened my support around the state and the nation due to the stances I have taken. Instead, this is about frustration, both at a lack of leadership from the White House and at the dearth of meaningful action from Congress.”

Democrats insisted they would make a run at his seat.

“Georgia will now offer Democrats one of our best pick-up opportunities of the cycle. There are already several reports of the potential for a divisive primary that will push Republicans to the extreme right. Regardless, there’s no question that the demographics of the state have changed and Democrats are gaining strength. This will be a top priority,” said Guy Cecil, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

But in a mid-presidential term election, Georgia will present a steep climb for the Democratic Party.

h/t: The New York Times

Conservative talk radio host Neal Boortz unleashed an astounding array of attacks on President Obama on Thursday, likening him to figures such as Adolf Hitler and serial killer Ted Bundy, as well as terrorist groups Al Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia.

Boortz, whose Atlanta radio show is nationally syndicated, was addressing a commentary by Herman Cain, in which the former Republican presidential candidate congratulated Obama on his reelection. Boortz replied: “OK, Herman Cain, that’s BS.” He continued:

BOORTZ: I would like to congratulate Richard Speck. I would — you know, I would like to congratulate Ted Bundy on sneaking into yet another sorority house and killing another coed. I would like to congratulate Adolf Hitler on his invasion of Poland. I would like to congratulate the — Al Qaeda for their successful attack on New York City. I would like to congratulate the Ansar al-Sharia crowd over there in Benghazi for their successful assault on our consulate.

Congratulate Barack Obama? I’m sorry, Herman, love you but you can take that and stick in that phony damn cowboy hat of yours.

He went on to accuse Obama of being “dedicated to the destruction of our economic system” and the “weakening” of America and the U.S. military. Boortz also called Obama a liar and a thief and claimed he gave “away enough to con a bunch of ignorant, stupid voters into giving him the power to carry out his anti-American schemes.”

News/Talk WSB in Atlanta, Boortz’s flagship station, reported on June 4 that Cain will replace Boortz as the host of his daily show when Boortz retires in January 2013.

Boortz, who has a history of inflammatory attacks against African-Americans, working-class Americans, andimmigrants, previously likened Obama to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and said that Obama “is a bigger disaster to this country than 9-11.” That comment drew harsh criticism from 9-11 victims’ families.

h/t: MMFA

It’s been less than 24 hours since the polls closed and already the first shots in an emerging civil war within the conservative movement are being fired. Right-leaning pundits have been taking turns beating up on Mitt Romney and blaming him for the loss last night. Donald Trump just tweeted, “Congrats to @KarlRove on blowing $400 million this cycle. Every race @CrossroadsGPS ran ads in, the Republicans lost. What a waste of money.” And GOP leaders are already taking to the barricades on either side of the divide, which basically comes down to this question: Were Romney and the GOP too conservative or not conservative enough?

Steve Schmidt, a top Republican strategist who ran John McCain’s 2008 campaign, invoked the term on MSNBC this morning. “When I talk about a civil war in the Republican Party, what I mean is, it’s time for Republican elected leaders to stand up and to repudiate this nonsense [of the extreme right wing], and to repudiate it directly,” he said.

But on the other side of the fight, Herman Cain, the former presidential candidate who still has a robust following via his popular talk radio program and speaking tours, today suggested the most clear step to open civil war: secession. Appearing on Bryan Fischer’s radio program this afternoon, Cain called for a large faction of Republican Party leaders to desert the party and form a third, more conservative party.

“I never thought that I would say this, and this is the first time publicly that I’ve said it: We need a third party to save this country. Not Ron Paul and the Ron Paulites. No. We need a legitimate third party to challenge the current system that we have, because I don’t believe that the Republican Party … has the ability to rebrand itself,” Cain said.

Fischer, a social conservative leader, noted that he predicted this summer that if Mitt Romney loses, evangelical conservatives would start a third party. “If Barack Obama wins this election the Republican Party as we know it is finished, it is dead, it is toast,” Fischer said in September at the Values Voter Summit in Washington.

h/t: Alex Seitz-Wald at Salon

Guest-hosting on The Neal Boortz Show, Former presidential candidate and prominent Mitt Romney backer Herman Cain is hoping that gas prices increase significantly before November, regardless of the impact on consumers, in order to help defeat President Obama.

MARK: Is it wrong that since gas prices have been going up like 30 cents in the last month, month and a half. That for a while I’ve been hoping that gas would hit $4 so people would realize that we need a Republican in the presidency so that on November 7th, gas will be slashed to like $2 a gallon?

CAIN: That’s not wrong at all. If it hits $4 a gallon nationally, that would be a huge wakeup call for a lot of people who, quite frankly Mark, aren’t paying attention. And the other reason that I would agree with you that it was not wrong in order to wake people up in that manner because sometimes you don’t wake them up until it hits their checkbook or their pocketbook is the fact that some of the times when gas prices go down it’s manipulated. It’s manipulated by the oil-producing countries. There are some countries that are really really big as far as oil production that want Barack Obama to win.

It is unlikely that Cain will get his $4-per-gallon-by-November wish. Though gas prices have increased slightly over the past month, largely due to refinery outages and climate-related closures, they are still down 30 cents per gallon in the past four months.

In August 2007 the New York Police Department released a report called “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat,” claiming that the looming danger to the United States was from “unremarkable” Muslim men under 35 who visit “extremist incubators.” The language sounds ominous, conjuring up Clockwork Orange–style laboratories of human reprogramming, twisting average Muslims into instruments of evil. And yet what are these “incubators”? The report states that they are mosques, “cafes, cab driver hangouts, flophouses, prisons, student associations, non-governmental organizations, hookah (water pipe) bars, butcher shops and book stores”—in other words, precisely the places where ordinary life happens.

But the report wasn’t based on any independent social science research, and actual studies clearly refuted the very claims made by the NYPD. The Rand Corporation found that the number of homegrown radicals here is “tiny.” “There are more than 3 million Muslims in the United States, and few more than 100 have joined jihad—about one out of every 30,000—suggesting an American Muslim population that remains hostile to jihadist ideology and its exhortations to violence,” Rand’s 2010 report found. “A mistrust of American Muslims by other Americans seems misplaced,” it concluded. This year, an analysis by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security also described the number of American Muslims involved in domestic terrorism since 2001 as “tiny.” “This study’s findings challenge Americans to be vigilant against the threat of homegrown terrorism while maintaining a responsible sense of proportion,” it said. And a 2011 Gallup survey found that American Muslims were the least likely of any major US religious group to consider attacks on civilians justified.

Every group has its loonies. And yet the idea that American Muslim communities are foul nests of hatred, where dark-skinned men plot Arabic violence while combing one another’s beards, persists. In fact, it’s worse than that. In the past few years, another narrative about American Muslims has come along, which sows a different kind of paranoia. While the old story revolves around security, portraying American Muslims as potential terrorists or terrorist sympathizers, the new narrative operates more along the axis of culture. Simple acts of religious or cultural expression and the straightforward activities of Muslim daily life have become suspicious. Building a mosque in Lower Manhattan or in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, or in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, becomes an act of “stealth jihad.” Muslims filing for divorce invokes the bizarre charge of “creeping Sharia.” A dual-language Arabic-English high school in New York is demonized as a “madrassa.” The State Board of Education in Texas determines that reading about Islam is not education but indoctrination. Changing your Muslim-sounding name to one with a more Anglophone tenor triggers an NYPD investigation, according to the Associated Press. Even the fact that some Butterball turkeys are “halal” was enough to fire up the bigotry last Thanksgiving, the most American of holidays.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll taken in October 2001 found that 39 percent of Americans held unfavorable opinions of Islam. After dipping for a few years, the number rose to 46 percent in 2006 and reached 49 percent—basically half the population—in 2010, the last year the question was asked. (Other recent polls show similar results.) Such anti-Muslim attitudes are not merely absorbed by law enforcement and the military or reflected on the airwaves and in the words of our politicians. Rather, the idea that American Muslims are to be feared or loathed or excluded from the United States is being actively promoted.

This past September, Wired broke the story that the FBI tells its counterterrorism agents in training that mainstream American Muslims are probably terrorist sympathizers, that the Prophet Muhammad was a “cult leader” and that the religiously mandated practice of giving charity in Islam is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.” The training materials, which stated that FBI agents had the “ability to bend or suspend the law and impinge on freedoms of others,” identify other insidious techniques Muslims use for promoting jihad, including “immigration” and “law suits”—in other words, the ordinary uses of the American political system. The revelations forced the FBI to remove 876 pages from its manuals.

Another egregious example that recently came to light is that the NYPD, as part of its training, screened The Third Jihad, a film that claims “the true agenda of much of Islam in America” is “a strategy to infiltrate and dominate” the country. The film ran on a continuous loop for somewhere between three months and a year of training and was viewed by at least 1,489 officers. Yet another example involved Army Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley, who taught a course at the Pentagon’s Joint Forces Staff College that informed senior officers that the United States would have to fight a “total war” against the world’s Muslims, including abandoning the international laws of war that protect civilians (deemed “no longer relevant”), and possibly applying “the historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki” to destroy Islam’s holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Claiming “Islam is an ideology rather than solely a religion,” the class taught that the United States was “culturally vulnerable” to this threat because of its “‘judeo-christian’ [sic] ethic of reason and tolerance.” The Pentagon canceled the course in the wake of the revelations, and Dooley maintains a nonteaching position, pending an investigation.

The consequences of these efforts to promote anti-Muslim beliefs and sentiments influence how American Muslims practice their faith, engage with their neighbors, cooperate with law enforcement, work at their jobs and study at school. Anti-mosque activity, according to the ACLU, has taken place in more than half the states in the country. And American Muslims, who make up 1–2 percent of the population, account for more than 20 percent of religion-based filings with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Republican politicians, meanwhile, have been falling all over themselves to vilify Muslims, especially during the presidential primary. Herman Cain proclaimed that “a majority of Muslims share the extremist views,” initially vowing not to appoint any Muslims to his cabinet. Rick Santorum endorsed religious profiling, saying that “obviously Muslims would be someone [sic] you’d look at.” Newt Gingrich compared Muslims to Nazis in 2010, when he opposed building an Islamic center in Lower Manhattan. “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington,” he said. And, in 2007, Mitt Romney said, “Based on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration.” Whatever happened to the matter of qualifications? But hey, if you’re a Muslim, that’s all you’ll ever be. Romney has hired Walid Phares, part of the active anti-Muslim network, as a foreign policy adviser, and GOP voters continue to consider that President Obama is a Muslim in large numbers (52 percent of Mississippi GOP members thought so in March).

It gets stranger still. When media portrayals of everyday American Muslim life are produced, the very ordinariness is attacked as a lie. TLC’s show All-American Muslim premiered in November to favorable reviews. The show, which focused on five Lebanese-American Shiite Muslim families in the Dearborn, Michigan, area, was a bit of a yawner for racy reality TV, but it was a useful kind of ethnography for Americans unfamiliar with the stuff of daily American Muslim life. Immediately, the organized anti-Muslim network kicked into gear. The Florida Family Association, basically a one-man show run by David Caton, led a boycott of the show via e-mail that was quickly picked up by the extreme right-wing anti-Islamic blogosphere, and led to Lowe’s and Kayak.com pulling their ads. Caton’s e-mail read, “The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.”

Follow the logic. The only thing accepted as “normal” for a Muslim is to act like an extremist. Ordinary Muslim folk appearing to live ordinary Muslim lives? That’s just plain suspicious.

Does this mean that the United States is an Islamophobic country? Of course not. Large support for American Muslims exists in many quarters [see Laila Al-Arian’s essay in this issue, page 31]. Polls may suggest that about half the population is anti-Muslim, but that leaves half that isn’t. In many quarters of the country, there is genuine, not suspicious, interest in American Muslims and the realities they face, as evidenced by the fact that TLC produced All-American Muslim. Aasif Mandvi’s contributions to The Daily Show routinely deflate the power of this contemporary prejudice, and libraries, museums, classrooms and houses of worship across the country now regularly include Muslims and Islam in their programming in an attempt to further understanding and combat bigotry.

American Muslims have responded to events over the past decade and the expansion of an anti-Muslim network largely by being more, not less, visible. The number of mosques grew 74 percent over the past decade, despite the opposition Muslims sometimes confront in their construction. Even if a 2011 poll found that 48 percent of American Muslims reported experiencing discrimination in the previous twelve months, they also showed more optimism than other Americans in the poll that their lives would be better in five years (perhaps, in part, because of today’s discrimination). The guiding belief in the American Muslim community today is that the country will recognize that Muslims have always been and will continue to be a part of America.

h/t: http://www.thenation.com/article/168383/fear-and-loathing-islam

See Also:

Jack Shaheen, “How the Media Created the Muslim Monster Myth
Petra Bartosiewicz, “Deploying Informants, the FBI Stings Muslims
Laila Lalami, “Islamophobia and Its Discontents
Abed Awad, “The True Story of Sharia in American Courts
Ramzi Kassem, “The Long Roots of the NYPD Spying Program
Max Blumenthal, “The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate
Laila Al-Arian, “When Your Father Is Accused of Terrorism

After more than four decades on the airwaves in Atlanta, Neal Boortz this morningannounced that he is ending his syndicated talk show on January 21, 2013, replaced by former presidential candidate Herman Cain.

Cain will take over that day when the next president is officially inaugurated.

“I’m going to miss everything associated with doing a talk show,” Boortz said on air as his producer Belinda Skelton teared up.

Boortz, 67, has been the longest running talk show host on Atlanta radio. He is now heard locally on 95.5FM and AM750 News/Talk WSB from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays.

On December 5, 2012, he said he’s going to take the month off. After New Year’s, he will work until January 21.

“Neal is my brother from another mother,” Cain said on air. “Congratulations on the retirement. Congratulations on 42 years in this business.”

Boortz said he will do daily commentaries for Cain and will be a fill in for Cain and Erick Erickson. Currently, Cain has been the primary fill in for Boortz.

A self-proclaimed Libertarian, Boortz usually supports Republican policies and candidates but isn’t always in line with them on social issues such as abortion, gay marriage and drug enforcement. He espouses smaller government but has been more hawkish about terrorism after 9/11 than many Libertarians.

He portrays himself as an entertainer and castigates people who merely echo what he says and don’t think for themselves. His daily line about himself: “Home of the high priest of the Church of the Painful Truth.”

h/t: AJC.com

Herman Cain was on American Family Radio’s "Today’s Issues" program today with host Tim Wildmon where he was asked what he thought about the upcoming June recall election of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Cain responded by warning that if Walker is recalled, businesses in Wisconsin will leave the state and unions “will continue to destroy the state.”  Cain then went on to assert that when he was in charge of Godfather’s Pizza, his employees had ever right to try and form a union, just as he had every right to fire them for trying to do so. 

If Governor Walker is recalled, the unions win and Wisconsin loses. I already know businesses in Wisconsin that say if the unions prevail and Governor Walker loses, they are packing up and leaving. 

[…]

When I ran Godfather’s Pizza, my employees had every right - every right - to unionize if they wanted to. The good news is, because of the kind of work environment we created, they didn’t want to unionize. But they had every right to unionize. Now, if they had decided to unionize, I could also decide to fire all of ‘em.

Cain is stuck on stupid.

H/T: Kyle Mantyla at Right Wing Watch