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Posts tagged "Huma Abedin"

ABC’s The View reportedly plans to mainstream conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch by featuring her as a guest co-host on the February 3 program. 

The decision to give Loesch a national platform on a highly-rated television show is troubling considering Loesch has gained notoriety for her inflammatory rhetoric, expressing extreme views on topics from gun control to reproductive access. 

Loesch made headlines in January 2012 for her reaction to an internet video that appeared to show members of the Marine Corps urinating on the corpses Taliban fighters. On her St. Louis-based radio show, Loesch defended the alleged act, saying that she would “drop trou and do it too” if she was in a similar situation. Loesch criticized “a bunch of progressives that are talking smack about our military because there were Marines caught urinating on corpses — Taliban corpses,” and later defended her comments on a Breitbart.com blog post by claiming she was “defending [the Marines] from overly-dramatic hysteria.”

At the time, Loesch was an CNN contributor, and the network reportedly suspended her soon after these remarks.

Loesch was also one of the few right-wing media figures to excuse former Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) for his “legitimate rape” remarks. After Akin declared that it is rare for women who had been the victim of “legitimate rape” to become pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Loesch took to Twitter account and dismissed Akin’s comments, claiming he “failed a soundbite” and attacking his critics for “hypocritical overreactions.”

Loesch also has a history of leveling groundless and inflammatory attacks against liberals. Five years after the story was debunked, Loesch claimed on her radio show that President Obama attended a Muslim school known as a Madrassa in response to a caller’s comment that Obama was “born with a Quran in his hand.” Loesch attacked State Department official Huma Abedin by pushing the conspiracy theory that she had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and labelled then-Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke a “nympho” for advocating for a mandate for insurance companies to cover contraception.

See Also: Dana Loesch continues to smear Texas Gov. candidate Wendy Davis (D), will guest host on ABC’s The View

H/T: MMFA 

mediamattersforamerica

In the coming weeks, The New York Times Magazine will publish a story featuring an extensive interview with former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin, two sources familiar with the story tell POLITICO.

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

On Monday, People For the American Way delivered a petition with 178,000 signatures to House Speaker John Boehner calling for the removal of Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Bachmann, one of Congress’ leading purveyors of conspiracy theories, earned rebukes from Boehner and others last year when she accused several Muslim-American government employees, include top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, of being secret agents of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The petition, to put it mildly, hit a nerve among Bachmann’s allies in the anti-Muslim Right. FrontPageMag, an online outfit led by David Horowitz, has published a full three articles defending Bachmann and accusing PFAW of “smearing” the “vindicated” Bachmann by launching an “all-out war” on her.  In one article, Robert Spencer of JihadWatch argues, “If they really had any genuine concern for the American way, instead of calling for her removal from the Intelligence committee, the People for the American Way would be calling for Bachmann to be appointed to chair that committee.”

Yesterday, Horowitz launched his own petition, titled, ironically, “Stop the Witch Hunt Against Rep. Bachmann.”

Horowitz and Spencer aren’t the only ones coming to Bachmann’s defense. The Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney, who was the source of the bulk of Bachmann’s accusations against Abedin, and conservative columnist Diana West discussed the petition on Wednesday’s edition of Secure Freedom Radio. People For the American Way, Gaffney suggested, is part of the “Red-Green Axis” and should be called instead “People For the Islamist Way.”

H/T: Miranda Blue at RWW

Locked in the toughest fight of her congressional career, Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann defended her witch hunt against alleged Muslim Brotherhood infiltrators in the federal government last night during the final debate against her Democratic challenger, Jim Graves. “I certainly do stand by those letters,” Bachmann said of the five letters she sent to the inspectors general of various security agencies warning that they may have been infiltrated by Muslim Brotherhood agents.

“The events in Benghazi have proved that the United States remains under attack, both in the Middle East, and here in the United States,” she continued last night. When the moderator noted that there’s no proof that the Muslim Brotherhood was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. diplomats in the Libyan city, Bachmann replied that “we are only just beginning” to investigate and suggested that all radical Islamists groups are tied to the Brotherhood.

Bachmann, in her letters, targeted several people by name, including Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Abedin is widely liked by leaders in both parties in Washington, so Bachmann’s suggestion that she’s a terrorist sparked a backlash. “These allegations about Huma, and the report from which they are drawn, are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant,” Sen. John McCain said on the Senate floor in July. Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, along with House Speaker John Boehner, and even Bachmann’s former campaign manager, all condemned her publicly.

h/t: Alex Seitz-Wald at Salon

Jim Graves is a 58-year-old self-made Minnesota businessman and grandfather of seven, still married to his high-school sweetheart, running against a symbol of unhinged hyperpartisanship in the halls of Congress. Bachmann’s bizarre presidential run only highlighted what an awkward fit she is for the common sense civility that characterizes “Minnesota Nice.”

But she’s never faced a truly competitive opponent, despite a string of narrow wins—and that’s changed this time around.

“I started my first company in a basement with $2,000 in the bank, and I’ve been able to create thousands of jobs,” says Graves, who started the mid-scale AmericInn hotel chain. “I’m a person who understands the economy and has built real businesses on Main Street. Now I want to give something back. I’ll be a good ambassador for the district. And you can juxtapose that against Michele Bachmann—someone who’s divisive and antagonistic, ridicules our president, and spreads fear and division.”

“My policy approach transcends political lines,” Graves says. “I’m a centrist, a libertarian when it comes to social issues—I don’t think government should be involved with personal lives. I really believe in separation of church and state. Bachmann wants to blur those lines—she would [replace] our democracy with a theocracy … She epitomizes everything that’s wrong with Congress and this country—a lack of civility, a lack of bipartisan or nonpartisan approach to problem solving.”

Polls show the race is now neck and neck—with 48 percent for Bachmann and 46 percent for Graves and the remaining still undecided, according to a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll. Crucially, independent voters now lean toward Graves by a 15-point margin. Now the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is backing Graves in his campaign, showing it is very much in play.

But this is the most conservative district in Minnesota, compounded by redistricting. Moreover, Bachmann has been a successful conspiracy entrepreneur—raising millions of dollars in campaign donation by throwing out extreme statements—such as questioning how many fellow congressmen have “anti-American” views (to use one mild example)—and then fundraising off it by playing the victim.

“She makes these inflammatory comments for fundraising purposes,” Graves recognizes. “As soon as she says something outrageous, the money spigot opens up. I was just told she’s raised more than $20 million this race—that’s unbelievable in rural moderate Minnesota district. We’re more in the $2 million range—so she’s got a 10 to 1 advantage.”

But interestingly, Graves doesn’t connect his campaign to the current president. “My campaign isn’t an endorsement of President Obama’s first term in office,” Graves says. “I would have done some things differently than he did—I’m staying focused on doing what’s right for the people on the Sixth Congressional District.”

Graves believes the tipping point in the district was the combination of Bachmann’s presidential campaign creating embarrassment for constituents and a more recent self-inflicted scandal. “I think a turning point was Ms. Huma Abedin and the whole Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy theory. And when people in the district saw that Speaker Boehner and Senator McCain said this has no basis in reality, I think that woke people up here. That’s not what a person in Congress or especially a person on the intelligence committee should say.”

h/t: John Avlon at The Daily Beast

Back in July, Eagle Forum Collegians hosted their 2012 Annual Leadership Summit at the Heritage Foundation where Rep. Michele Bachmann delivered a speech warning of the Muslim Brotherhood’s supposed infiltration of the U.S. government, her baseless pet cause. Bachmann told attendees that the Obama administration’s meeting with an Egyptian lawmaker, who was vetted by the Secret Service and both the State Department and Department of Homeland Security, was part of a string of “outrageous, unbelievable actions on the part of the administration to allow influence by the Muslim Brotherhood at the highest levels of power: the State Department, the White House, the Pentagon, the FBI.”

She then attacked the media for “saying we’re going after individual personalities and that we’re being mean to Muslims.” But Bachmann did in fact specifically name individuals, including Secretary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, and other Muslims serving in the administration as part of a witch hunt denounced by Democratic and Republican leaders alike, including the Republican Speaker of the House and the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Bachmann went on to explain that “every day I’m in trouble for something, who cares, who cares?”

Later, the Congresswoman suggested that attendees read “everything Phyllis Schlafly has ever written,” calling her an “absolute genius,” and also recommended books by extremist commentator Ann Coulter and disgraced pseudo-historian David Barton.

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

The lengths to which our conservative establishment goes to bury Obama in mud often resemble D-Movie spy plots that set new standards for implausibility.

The frequency and outlandishness of their conspiratorial imaginations grows in sync with their desperation. With Obama leading in most polls and the election season drawing to a close, it seems like a good time to recap some of the more ludicrous conspiracies hatched by our conservative fearmongers. So with our tin-foil hats securely strapped on, let’s  venture down the primrose path of hair-raising hypotheses. 

1. Cooking the Unemployment Rate

The most recent crackpottery of the right was revealed last week as new unemployment numbers were released. The new data put the unemployment rate at 7.8%, the lowest it has been since the Bush administration helped crater the economy on their way out of town. Almost immediately, right-wingers declared that the numbers were manufactured by Obama’s henchmen in the Labor Department. Never mind the fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is an independent body that currently has no Obama appointees serving. That didn’t stop conspiracists like Jack Welch from alleging that they are “Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers.” That unsubstantiated charge was adopted by Rep. Allen West, Fox News’ Stuart Varney, and much of the rest of the right-wing media circus.

2. The Media is Skewing the Polls
For several weeks now, Obama has maintained a steady lead in election polling. That fact has been difficult for conservatives to square with their conviction that Obama is the most hated man in America. Consequently, they must conclude that all of the polls have been tampered with by scheming liberals. However, for their conspiracy to be credible, they would have to include Fox News and Rasmussen amongst the conniving lefties because their polling also puts Obama in the lead. One way they have found to workaround that inconvenient fact is to ignore the polls that challenge their thesis. Therefore, Fox News simply neglects to report on polls that show the President leading – even their own Fox News polls.

3. Politicizing the Stock Market
In a year when the economy is such an integral part of the news cycle, conservatives have found it necessary to glom onto any factoid that they can use to bash the President. That manifests into a frenzy of spin that casts any decline in the stock market as the fault of Obama, and any increase as investor speculation that Obama is on the way out. Last week, many of the right-dominated business networks feebly described a positive day for the Dow as a Romney rally, simply because it occurred on the day after the presidential debate. There is a long history of the right making idiotic assessments of the stock market. In May of 2009, Fox News anchor Brenda Buttner gushed, “Call it a tea party rally. Wall Street’s sure partying, up six weeks in a row.” In September of 2011, Fox Nation reported “Stocks Tumble Worldwide After Obama Speech.” Then in June of 2012, they fantasized that “Stock Market Drops After Obamacare Upheld.” Fox’s Neil Cavuto hosted a discussion of what he called the “Bush recovery” nine months into Obama’s term. What they commonly miss is that markets traditionally perform better under Democratic administrations than Republicans.

4. Obama is Coming for Your Guns
This conspiracy theory takes a considerable measure of willful suspension of disbelief. The National Rifle Association has alerted its members that a second Obama term will result in the repeal of the second amendment and a wholesale confiscation of guns. Their evidence of this is that Obama has done nothing at all to roll back gun rights during his first term. That, they surmise, is a devious trick to lull gun rights advocates into a false sense of security. Then, when Obama is no longer facing a reelection campaign, he will be free to curtail all of our precious liberties.

6. The Muslim Mole in the Secretary of State’s Office
A longtime aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton was accused by conservatives of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Huma Abedin has worked with Clinton for many years as a trusted and effective public servant. No evidence was given for the repugnant allegations that cast her as a traitorous double agent. She is also married to former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who is Jewish and unlikely to be affiliated with Muslim extremists. But that didn’t stop Rep. Michele Bachmann who said, “it appears that there are individuals who are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood who have positions, very sensitive positions” in our government. She was joined by other prominent conservatives like Newt Gingrich and Frank Gaffney. This conspiracy dove-tails nicely with those alleging that Obama is a Muslim plant as well.

7. Fact-Checkers Are A Liberal Plot
Creative and shameless conservatives are establishing a new and unique front in the political war zone. Not satisfied with bashing everything about the media (despite the fact that talk radio and their own Fox News are a huge part of it), the wackoids on the right have declared war against – get this – Fact-checkers! This may seem wildly deranged, but upon reflection it makes perfect sense. If your entire movement is built on a foundation of lies, then fact-checkers are your mortal enemy. This became clear a few weeks ago when Neil Newhouse, a Mitt Romney adviser, publicly declared that “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”Since then they have disputed or ignored every challenge of their truthfulness. The result is a record setting collection of dishonorable mentions from PolitiFact and other media lie detectors.

8. The Secret Behind The Gulf Oil Spill
When millions of barrels of oil were pouring into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, most Americans were disturbed by the devastating environmental damage and the negligence of the company operating the drilling platform. But conservatives led by Rush Limbaugh saw through the scheme and revealed that the massive malfunction was actually a deliberate act of sabotage devised to create a justification for eliminating all off-shore drilling.

9. Obamacare’s Death Panels
No list of conspiracy theories would be complete without a mention of Sarah Palin’s “death panels.” (Although the non-existant “death panels” have been roundly mocked, this did not stop Presidential candidate Mitt Romney from basically reviving them at last week’s debate. )

These nefarious groups were said to have the power to decide whether your grandmother would live or die based on her level of productivity to society as determined by a team of government bureaucrats. In reality the section of the Affordable Care Act to which Palin referred actually provided for coverage to pay for end-of-life counseling. These were voluntary sessions to help patients determine and document what sort of life-saving measures they preferred in the event that they were incapacitated and unable to communicate their wishes to their doctors. When that proved to be an embarrassing misinterpretation of the law, conservatives switched to another section of the bill, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, and called that the death panel. However, the IPAB was simply a board that assessed the best practices in medicine and made non-binding recommendations in order to prevent excessive billing and unnecessary procedures. Palin was awarded the “Lie of the Year” award from PolitiFact for her imaginary panel. 

10. The Green Plot to Enslave the World
Conservatives have never taken to science. So it should come as no surprise that many of them regard global warming as a hoax whose purpose is to enrich Al Gore and a few socialist wind farmers. But there is another faction of the anti-environment movement that has uncovered something even more dastardly lurking behind the effort to maintain a clean, sustainable planet.Agenda 21, a little known and non-binding resolution adopted by the United Nations is viewed by some on the right as an attempt to control the lives of people throughout the world by regulating everything they do.

H/T: Alternet

Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) speech at the Values Voter Summit Friday couldn’t have come at a better time for the firebrand Republican. Standing before a room of supporters and in the midst of a Middle East crisis, Bachmann led a master class in conservative fears about President Obama and Islam.

The thrust of Bachmann’s speech: Obama and his administration are appeasing — possibly even aiding — Muslims who want to dictate what Americans can say about Islam, and prioritizing Muslims’ feelings over the safety of the country.

Bachmann has been on the fringes of her party since she left the presidential race earlier this year, drawing rebukes from Republican leaders over her accusation that a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has ties to radical Muslim groups.

Bachmann never backed down, and with the nation’s focus on the embassy attacks in Egypt and Libya, she let her flag fly.

“It is my belief and my opinion that Barack Obama has been the most dangerous president we have ever had on American foreign policy,” Bachmann said.

Most of the fears Bachmann expressed are squarely within the Republican mainstream — the belief that Obama is appeasing Muslims and apologizing for American foreign policy. That’s a view that’s driving Mitt Romney’s attacks on the Libya and Egypt response this week.

“The fact is this administration is virtually outlawed understanding who the enemy is and at every turn the enemy the president is persistent on apologizing for who we are as Americans,” she said.

But the news of the week gave her fuel to amp up the old attacks.

“In light of the attack this week on our embassy in Cairo, we need to tell the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled government in Egypt, if you continue to inflame sentiment against the United States, we will immediately put an end to the United States taxpayer gravy train that we are sending your way,” Bachmann said. She called on Obama to cancel campaign fundraisers and an appearance on David Letterman next week and “instead, agree to meet with the prime minister of Israel.”

The social conservatives gathered at the Values Voter Summit hung on her every word, and rose to their feet on more than one occasion. It’s an old song for the most part, but Bachmann’s playing it at just the right time.

She’s an absolute moron.

h/t: Evan McMorris-Santoro at TPM

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said during a town hall meeting this week that top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and “her family network are deeply entrenched in the Muslim Brotherhood.” King — piling on Michele Bachmann’s anti-Muslim witch hunt — said he has never met Abedin but cited “news reports” and “investigations that have not yet been published” as his evidence.

h/t: Think Progress

When the Family Research Council wasn’t rallying support this week for Todd Akin or pushing to keep the ban on abortions in the case of rape or incest in the GOP platform, it found time to denigrate an entire religion. FRC sends out weekly Prayer Team alerts, asking “for your prayers relating to various public policy issues.”

This week’s alert called Islam – the religion of 2.6 million Americans and 1.6 billion people around the world – a “fanatical religion.” The alert also attacked a recent White House event with the American Muslim community – an Iftar dinner to mark the end of the Ramadan fast.
FRC characterized Obama’s remarks at the event as “amazing,” and not in a good way. What was so amazing, you ask? For one thing, Obama “praised Muslims in positions throughout his administration,” including Huma Abedin. The group also accused Obama of giving preference to Islam at the expense of Christians and Christianity:
The Iftar event stood in bold contrast to the National Day of Prayer. In four years, President Obama has neither hosted a White House NDP event nor sent a representative to the national event on Capitol Hill, as previous presidents have done. […] President Obama’s Iftar remarks are amazing reading. While he said great things about religious freedom, his tribute to Islam stands in shocking contrast to his dealings with Christians and the National Day of Prayer. He praised Muslims in positions throughout his administration.
This is a very telling line of argument. FRC is conflating the National Day of Prayer – which is chaired by the wife of FRC’s founder, James Dobson – with all of Christianity, and it’s not by mistake. Religious Right leaders have long thought of themselves and their followers as the only real Christians.
 
That’s why Obama’s 2012 Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House and Obama’s speech at the 2012National Prayer Breakfast don’t count. Obama’s 2012 White House Seder is probably just more evidence to them that he’s not really Christian. Obama even issued a presidential proclamation declaring the 2012 National Day of Prayer, but that’s not good enough. They want him to come and kiss Dobson’s ring.

Bachmann has stood by her false allegations and has even picked up support from high profile Republicans like Newt Gingrich. (Other Republicans, like John McCain, have denounced Bachmann’s attacks.)

Tonight, President Barack Obama publicly praised Abedin, calling her an “American patriot’ and saying that he personally has relied upon her counsel. From the transcript of his remarks:

They are entrepreneurs and lawyers, community leaders, members of our military, and Muslim American women serving with distinction in government. And that includes a good friend, Huma Abedin, who has worked tirelessly — (applause) — worked tirelessly in the White House, in the U.S. Senate, and most exhaustingly, at the State Department, whereshe has been nothing less than extraordinary in representing our country and the democratic values that we hold dear. Senator Clinton has relied on her expertise, and so have I.

The American people owe her a debt of gratitude — because Huma is an American patriot, and an example of what we need in this country — more public servants with her sense of decency, her grace and her generosity of spirit. So, on behalf of all Americans, we thank you so much. (Applause.)

h/t: Think Progress