Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hulk Smash Immigrants! Lou Ferrigno joins Sheriff Joe's Latino-hunting posse

-- by Dave

Well, we already knew that Sheriff Joe Arpaio's plan to create a "citizens posse" to hunt down illegal immigrants was one of the stupidest publicity stunts we'd ever heard of (not to mention a profoundly bad idea bound to end badly).

Now we get the proof: HULK SMASH IMMIGRANTS!

Television 'Hulk' actor Lou Ferrigno has joined an Arizona sheriff's posse targeting illegal immigrants in the Phoenix valley area, the sheriff's office said on Wednesday.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Ferrigno, 59, a body builder who donned green makeup to star in the popular 1970s television series 'The Incredible Hulk,' was among 56 people sworn in as volunteers for an armed immigration posse.

Arpaio said the posse would work with sheriff's deputies in operations targeting smugglers and businesses suspected of employing illegal immigrants in the county, among other duties.

Also sworn in alongside Ferrigno: Steven Segal, world's biggest wanker action star.

As a protester who showed up at the event said:

"They must have sunk pretty low in their career to stand by Sheriff Joe Arpaio."

This whole scheme gives me the willies. You just know it's going to turn out badly, for everyone involved.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

RNC front-runner (and Tea Party favorite) Saul Anuzis seems to have a thing about fascists

-- by Dave

According to the Wall Street Journal, Michigan Republican leader Saul Anuzis is the front-runner to replace Michael Steele as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

We're sorry to see Steele go, because he's provided so much amusement over the years. But where Steele never failed to provide us truckloads of Republican dumbassery, Anuzis may more than make up for it in far-right wingnuttery.

You may recall that Anuzis argued vehemently last year that Republicans needed to attack President Obama's agenda as "economic fascism" -- and from the things he was saying then, it's clear he had become an ardent follower of the cult of Jonah Goldberg and his fraudulent "liberal fascism" thesis.

But Anuzis' thing about fascists goes much deeper than that, as Heidi Beirich at the SPLC noted earlier this week. Because Anuzis has not only long maintained an association with one of Michigan's leading young white supremacists -- a former campus activist named Kyle Bristow -- he has adamantly defended him:

Bristow led the Michigan State University campus branch of Young Americans For Freedom (MSU-YAF) and was so virulent in his politics that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) began listing it as a hate group in 2006. Bristow also served as a Republican precinct delegate.

Bristow’s MSU-YAF engaged in extensive racist activities. One of its first stunts was presenting a 13-point agenda that would have established a “Caucasian caucus” at MSU and, in turn, eliminated all student government representation for practically every other non-white, non-heterosexual, non-male or non-Christian student group at the university. Bristow was on record saying, “Homosexuality kills people almost to a degree worse than cigarettes. … these [pro-gay rights] groups are complicit with murder.” MSU-YAF sponsored a “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day” contest, held a “Koran Desecration” competition, jokingly threatened to distribute smallpox-infested blankets to Native American students, and posted “Gays Spread AIDS” fliers across campus. Bristow’s YAF also brought several extremists to speak at the MSU campus, including Holocaust denier Nick Griffin, leader of the whites-only British National Party (for more on YAF, read here).

None of this seemed to bother Anuzis. “This [Bristow] is exactly the type of young kid we want out there,” Anuzis, then already the GOP state chair, said on a radio program in May 2007, the year after MSU-YAF’s more outrageous activities were made public. “I’ve known Kyle for years and I can tell you I have never heard him say a racist or bigoted or sexist thing, ever.” Just this past October, Anuzis’ Michigan GOP issued a press release attacking a Democratic candidate for secretary of state because she once interned at the SPLC, which the release said used “fear and intimidation” in its hate group listings.

Since receiving this outpouring of support from Anuzis, Bristow has graduated to the top ranks of the American radical right. Now a law student at the University of Toledo, Bristow recently self-published a novel, White Apocalypse, whose plot revolves around a series of violent revenge fantasies against Jewish professors, Latino and Native American activists. A major subplot ends in the bloody assassination of a character apparently based on an SPLC staffer. Several notable white supremacists and anti-Semites have endorsed the novel.

Anuzis compounded the creepout factor Monday, when he went on Neil Cavuto's Fox show and said:

Anuzis: And I think we've got to get back to the fundamentals -- find somebody's who's basically going to make sure the trains run on time, raise the money, and then implement the best get-out-the-vote program Republicans possibly have in 2012.

Considering Anuzis' thing about fascism, maybe that wasn't an accidental reference.

Seem fitting, though, that Anuzis is being heavily backed by the Tea Party as well -- which is why he was so adamant in his support for the Tea Party's influence in the GOP.

George Zornick has more at ThinkProgress.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Thursday, November 18, 2010

David Duke's new role as white moralist kind of conflicts with his horndog past

-- by Dave

My latest post is up at SPLC's Hatewatch. It's all about everyone's favorite white supremacist and how he's becoming concerned about our morality these days -- hahahahaha ....

Now that he's gaining in years, longtime white-supremacy advocate David Duke, who in his youth gained a notorious reputation as a womanizing playboy, is apparently now shifting to a more traditional role of moralizing geezer. Witness his most recent video "lecture," wherein he lectures his audience (such as it is) on the historical roots of the "sexual revolution" – which, in Duke's view, is the product of Sigmund Freud's theories of psychoanalysis, and therefore is yet another civilization-destroying product of product of conniving Jews:
Duke: Wherever the globalist media reaches on this planet, there is an ongoing sexual revolution. It should be called sexual dehumanization. In traditional Western culture, sex is idealized and embedded with the idea of family and children and the deep and sacred respect for the love between a man and a woman, and marriage as a beautiful, even holy, institution.
A perfect example of the veneration of womanhood, fidelity and purity, as expressed in countless artworks, is the Virgin Mary. The Madonna is also venerated in the Muslim Koran, which defends Mary from the Jewish Talmudic slanders that claim Mary was a whore and Jesus a bastard. I hate to quote those words.
Today the name Madonna fits the Talmudic slander. It's the image of a degenerate superstar whore, engaging in gang sex and mocking the crucifixion. The latest media-promoted female phenom is Lady Gaga, and this teen idol is also depicted engaging in gang sex, sadism, masochism, and other forms of degeneracy, along with her trendy music. Now this is the hottest new star promoted by the Jewish controlled globalist media, including MTV – Sumner Redstone. Real name: Rothstein.
The media of the Western world, and thus of the whole globe, has become a weapon of mass destruction of the highest in human values. The human cost has been enormous. Hundreds of millions of families have been destroyed. Children now commonly grow up without fathers. Sexually rooted epidemics, including STDs, hepatitis and HPV are now soaring. AIDS, a disease primarily of promiscuity, will cost hundreds of millions of lives. Millions of people have suffered sterility, and will never know the joy of children. Child rape, molestation, and abuse has grown exponentially.

Nevermind the hypocrisy of the nation's foremost practitioner of racial and ethnic dehumanization lecturing us about "sexual dehumanization." What's agonizingly hilarious about this diatribe is how starkly Duke's new moral ethos contrasts with his own personal behavior over the years.

Read the rest here.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Ann Coulter wants Sean Hannity to cut Peter Johnson's mike

-- by Dave

This exchange among three right-wing Fauxheads -- Ann Coulter, who is adamantly opposed to the TSA's new airport bodyscans (hmmmmmm .... OK, not gonna go there), Peter Johnson, a longtime BushCo apologist who thinks they're just fine, and Sean Hannity, who just wants to be pals with all things RightWing -- really isn't particularly enlightening.

But it sure is entertaining. Especially because Johnson won't let Coulter get away with her vague platitudes -- Coulter, of course, thinks we can just do away with the scans and instead rely on good ol' American racial profiling, -- and so he insists on pointing out that Coulter has no solutions for dealing with the kinds of threats the bodyscans are intended to prevent. (I'm not so sure Johnson is right about the need for the scans, but that doesn't make Coulter anything other than the dead wrong she usually is.) So Coulter shrieks at him to shut up, when in fact he's just engaging in the standard Fox-style talk-show behavior, where interruption is the norm. Indeed, Coulter is a past master of this form.

Coulter has a history of not handling criticism well -- she always wants her critics silenced. I'm surprised she didn't ask Hannity to beat Johnson up.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Gee, d'you suppose Joe Miller is still shopping for a home in D.C.?

-- by Dave

It's ironic, isn't it, that all the talking heads on Fox -- Sean Hannity in particular -- were calling Lisa Murkowski a "sore loser" for refusing to accept her defeat in the Alaska primary at the hands of Tea Party militiaman Joe Miller and proceeding with a write-in challenge.

Now that the tables have turned and it's clear that Murkowski has won, it's self-evident that it's Miller who is the REAL sore loser, refusing still to concede even though everyone on the planet can see he's lost.

Yesterday he went on Neil Cavuto's Fox show and refused to give in:

CAVUTO: Are you saying -- I`m sorry, Joe, but do you want a recount? Is that what you are saying?

MILLER: Well, we may. We may actually ask for a hand count of our ballots of well. And that was the benefit that she got. We will probably ask for that as well. But we will wait and see when these numbers finally sort out here at the end of the week.

Gotta wonder if he's still counting on that house and furniture in D.C. he went shopping for:

Hee hee. I love the smell of burning hubris in the morning.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Republicans postpone Obama meeting to avoid another ass-kicking, and then lie about it

-- by Dave

According to Fox News, the canceled summit meeting between President Obama and Republican House leaders to discuss the extension of the Bush tax cuts was just a matter of conflicting schedules.

But according to El Hacko Supremo Glenn Thrush at Politico, it's actually about Republican hurt feelings because President Obama supposedly "crashed" a GOP House gathering in January:

The roots of the partisan standoff that led to the postponement of the bipartisan White House summit scheduled for Thursday date back to January, when President Barack Obama crashed a GOP meeting in Baltimore to deliver a humiliating rebuke of House Republicans.

Obama's last-minute decision to address the House GOP retreat - and the one-sided televised presidential lecture many Republicans decried as a political ambush - has left a lingering distrust of Obama invitations and a wariness about accommodating every scheduling request emanating from the West Wing, aides tell POLITICO.

"He has a ways to go to rebuild the trust," said a top Republican Hill staffer. "The Baltimore thing was unbelievable. There were [House Republicans] who only knew Obama was coming when they saw Secret Service guys scouting out the place."

WTF? Are these guys kidding? Or are they just not even bothering to come up with halfway decent lies anymore?

Because not only did Obama kick their asses from Baltimore to Seattle in that meeting, but he did so because he was invited by Republicans who were eager to kick his and massively failed.

Josh Marshall hits this one out of the park:

So was it an ambush? Well, My God, not even close. Here's the press release from Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, thanking the president on January 13th for "accept[ing] our invitation to meet with the Republican Conference later this month." And here's the Politico's write up from January 12th, the day before. In other words, that's more than two weeks before these House Republicans who must have spent the month in a sensory deprivation chamber were stunned to see the president's motorcade driving up unannounced to crash their party. And if they'd forgotten here's the write-up from The Hill the day before the event ...

Emboldened by an unexpected victory in Massachusetts and frustrated with a "partisan" State of the Union address, House Republicans are eager to meet with President Barack Obama on Friday.

So here they are all gunned up and eagerly awaiting President Obama's ambush of them that they didn't know anything about.

And as Marshall explains, this was really about GOP hubris gone bad:

It was clear that for the House GOP this was inviting the president to meet them on their turf rather than at the White House where opposition leaders are always put in a somewhat diminished position just because of the trappings of the place. And by the time the event rolled around, Scott Brown had won the Massachusetts Senate race. So, as The Hill put it, the House Republicans were "eager" to meet with the president.

Only it didn't work out according to plan. The president came, talked, took questions. And with the president there making his own arguments it was much more difficult for folks like Pence and others to claim, unrebutted, that Health Care Reform was going to cost $50 trillion, enforce mandatory castration and have one out of five grannies ritually slaughtered on a stone slab the bend the cost curve for longterm care. Put simply, the Republicans came off looking kind of stupid, unable to make their arguments when the president was there to point out the holes in their arguments. In this case, I was sympathetic to the president and to reform. So I'm sure people who didn't share those sympathies saw the whole encounter differently. But House Republicans' reaction then and now suggests they saw it pretty much as I did -- that the president embarrassed them. Not by crashing the event, or ambushing them. But just because he did better at it than they thought he would and they didn't do well at all. They invited him to make him look diminished. But he ended up making them look unserious and unprepared because they weren't able to respond when he pointed out the holes in their arguments.

All of which means that this whole storyline of the president wrongfooting them or showing up uninvited is made up out of whole cloth. And the real story is that they're not confident it won't happen again if they have some sort of public encounter with him.

I can understand why they want to run. Because face to face with Obama, they won't be able to get with the kind of crap they get away with in the media, particularly on Fox, in evading a simple truth:

Republicans must choose between reducing the deficit and preserving the tax cuts for the wealthy, because they cannot have both. It's a simple impossibility, and they know it, and Obama knows it.

And letting the public see Obama expose their mendacity as thoroughly as he did in Baltimore is something they're going to have to try to figure out before they dare tangle with him again. It will be interesting to see which tactic they deploy, won't it?

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Right-wingers have 'pushed the envelope' so far that open bigotry is acceptable again

-- by Dave

It's pretty bizarre, really, that we've now gotten to the point where Ann Coulter can go off on Bill O'Reilly's show last night with a bigoted rant demanding the TSA drop its body scans and instead revert to ethnic profiling of Muslim males -- and nobody even bothers to notice much.

Coulter's thesis, for what it's worth, is really proof of the triumph of ignorance in conservative ranks. She wants the TSA to simply start profiling Muslims, particularly young males, for complete screenings and let the rest of us go. But as we've explained previously, these kinds of measures are absurdly ineffective and actually make you more vulnerable, because they make it easy for terrorists to game the system:

If you want to profile every "known Muslim," you're going to have a hell of a time in countries like Indonesia and the Philippines, considering that their populations are a mix of the world's religions, and any Muslim who wanted to pose as a member of, say, a Christian church in order to fool authorities could do so with ease.

This just underscores how foolish the whole notion of racial profiling actually is, because when you embark on such policies, they actually make you more vulnerable, not less.

That's because terrorists are not that stupid. If you begin profiling for Middle Eastern men, they will find Indonesian or African or European operatives to perform the same task. If you begin profiling for Muslims, they will find ways to conceal their religious preferences.

We know two things about profiling, especially ethnic, religious, or racial profiling: 1) These policies expose the profilers to being gamed by terrorists; and 2) They are always a tremendous waste of resources and inevitably are counter-productive.

But even beyond the obvious ignorance, what's remarkable about Coulter's rant is just how nakedly bigoted it is. She practically spits out the epithets:

Coulter: I think the point is, as many have said, this is Hitler's last revenge. The one thing we won't look at is who is doing this. ...

... In this asymmetrical warfare, we have no advantages. We're not at war with a country. They are not fighting by the rules of war. If a Martian landed, he would say, 'The one advantage you guys have is, they all look alike. They're all foreign born. They're all male. They're all between a certain age group. They're all Muslim.

... If we had been attacked by Swedish terrorists, this would not even be an issue. It's only because our terrorists are from Third World countries that we will not even look at profiling them.

This is patently absurd, of course; after Oklahoma City, no one considered profiling white male American veterans as potential terror suspects. Indeed, the only reason it's an issue is that the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by identifiable Others.

What's kind of remarkable about this is that there's nothing really remarkable about Coulter's bigotry anymore. It's become such an ingrained part of the right-wing schtick that it takes something really overt and outrageous to even get our attention anymore.

After all, just in the past week alone, we've had Rush Limbaugh's classic dog-whistle race-baiting schtick about "Driving Miss Nancy" and James Clyburn, plus Glenn Beck's patently anti-Semitic rants about George Soros.

They've gotten some of the attention. In that context, Coulter's bigotry is pretty standard, tame and lame. She's not even out there pushing the envelope anymore, which used to be her role.

Digby wrote about this yesterday:

It is clear to me that most people in journalism and (non-right wing) blogging do not listen to right wing talk radio very often and simply cannot believe it when critics who report what they are saying. For instance, Andrew Sullivan seems to think this comment by Limbaugh is beyond the pale. It is. But it is so commonplace as to nearly be unworthy of mention by people who listen to his show regularly. Indeed, the idea that it's particularly shocking because it's "self-conscious" is laughable. That's his whole schtick. Just this week he's been winking and chuckling about this "Driving Miss Nancy" theme, sarcastically pretending that he's sticking up for the African American Clyburn, when it's quite obvious he's playing to his bigoted and sexist listeners.

I realize that it's hard to believe that Americans are this obnoxious. It's probably even harder to believe they are paid hundreds of millions of dollars to promote this bigotry on the radio to millions of other Americans, but they are --- they are speaking the language of eliminationism and hate day after day after day. If it soothes you to believe that those who are alarmed by that are the intemperate ones so be it, but it doesn't change what they are doing or the effect it's had on our politics.

It's getting bad when remarks that, 15 years ago, would have gotten you fired now barely even rate a raised eyebrow.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Glenn Beck's latest theory: EU building in France modeled after mythical Tower of Babel

-- by Dave

OK, here's your daily bit of comedy, courtesy of Glenn Beck ...

Yesterday, Beck brought his Black Robe pal, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, on to support his latest theory: that the new European Union Parliament building in Strasbourg, France, is actually designed to look like the Tower of Babel. Or at least, one well-known version of it.

Beck showed the two buildings side by side, then launched into a long disquisition on the Biblical meaning of the Tower of Babel (zzzzzzzzz) and then wrapped it all up thus:

Beck: You're not saying, Rabbi, that they intentionally are building the Tower of Babel.

Lapin: I think they are. I really do. I do believe and was told that the design of the headquarters of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, was -- designers were asked to make it resemble the Tower of Babel.

Beck: They said -- because we called -- we tried to verify, and what they say is, [laughs] they're just reflecting like the Coliseum.

Lapin: Yeah, that's what we want to build in Europe -- right? A place where Christians got fed to lions.

Too funny. Of course, as a matter of fact, as the Wikipedia entry notes (citing a press release): "The architects were inspired by Roman amphitheatres."

Well, duh:

Meanwhile, it's always helpful to remember that if the Tower of Babel actually existed, no one has the remotest idea what it actually looked like. Which is why there are a gajillion different artists' renditions of the Tower of Babel. God only knows why Beck chose the version depicted by Flemish renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel.

I'm willing to wager that Rabbi Lapin's "source" for his information that designers intended the EU Parliament to look like the Tower of Babel is never made public. But then, this is a guy who already has quite a history of wingnuttery. There's a reason, after all, that David Duke loves to quote Lapin.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How an American Klansman was able to spread his ugliness Down Under

-- by Dave

I recently was added to the team over at the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch blog, and my first post is up -- this one concerning an "Internet yob" (as they called him in one Aussie headline) from Ohio creating an international incident Down Under:

Violent IKA Activist Lashes Out Again

Jarred Hensley is a white supremacist who likes to hurt people. He did prison time for it. And now he's figured out a way to hurt people and even break a country's laws without having to do jail time. Along the way, he's also caused something of an international uproar on the Internet.

Hensley is a Cincinnati-based activist in the Imperial Klans of America, one who already brought serious trouble to the organization. In 2006, he and fellow IKA member Andrew R. Watkins brutally assaulted a 16-year-old in rural Kentucky because they thought he was Latino; the pair spent three years in prison for the attack, and the SPLC brought a lawsuit against the IKA that resulted in a $2.5 million judgment against the hate group.

Now Hensley – out of prison and evidently with a lot of time on his hands – has joined the ranks of Internet "trolls" who haunt the Web and harass people for various reasons, including leaving ugly messages for bereaved family members and friends of the deceased. (A recent New York Times Magazine piece explored their weird world in depth.)
This kind of activity, as it happens, is illegal in many nations, including Great Britain (where one "troll" was recently jailed for polluting a tribute site for a former reality-TV star) and Australia. Which is where Jarred Hensley came in.

Go read the rest here.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Monday, November 15, 2010

George W. Bush's Image-Makeover Tour Features Interviews with All Major Fox Anchors ... Except One

-- by Dave

Somehow it's not exactly surprising that, for his Image Makeover Media Tour, George W. Bush decided to make Fox News the center of his activity last week. After all, if you can get a Hannity Job, an O'Reilly-pretending-to-be-tough-guy-while-lobbing-softballs interview, and a meek Greta Van Susteren appearance in all in one week, you've pretty much hit the trifecta of major Fox News hosts.

But there was one big-name Fox News anchor Bush didn't sit down with. Hmmmmmmm. Wonder why.

Could it have been this?/

This is why they called George Bush a fascist. Because progressives know what's at the end of the progressive road -- Nazis or Communists! Someone has to control your life. Someone will be at the controls.

Or maybe this?

Actually, when I heard this, I thought "wow, this guy, I mean he proves my point." He's right -- if, if you say, those people with George Bush, they thought he was okay and they didn't do anything about it. He's right if that's really what you thought about George W. Bush and you were wide awake, because then you'd be part of the progressive movement, and that makes my point on the railroad tracks.

Or maybe this?

BECK: What has [Obama] done that is different? I think he’s done exactly what George Bush was doing, except to the times of a thousand. I mean we’re talking about a progressive. And George Bush was a progressive. It’s the difference between a steam train and the space shuttle.

Especially when you wrap it all together and proclaim that "the progressive movement is the cancer destroying America."

Funny thing about this? Just three years ago, Beck was being invited to the Bush White House for personal one-on-one sessions with the then-president -- and Beck was boasting about it:

Ah well. Beck has bigger fish to fry these days. And so does George Bush.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]