It’s Thursday Threatcon, your intelligence briefing on right wing activity. Below are the best reports, investigations, exposées, and debunkery of the wingnutosphere this week. Due to the GOP cage match tonight, our Threatcon Color Code is PANDERING PURPLE
- Defying court orders obtained by the legitimate for-profit biomedical enterprises that he keeps smearing, conservative flimflammer David Daleiden has released his fifth video purporting to expose an illicit trade in fetal tissues. But his narrative is collapsing under its own weight, revealing the true purposes of his false framing along the way. It doesn’t matter if the fetus is in pieces or whole, you see, or that Planned Parenthood participates in a completely-legal tissue donation scheme set up with the help of Congressional Republicans, or that two different states have cleared the organization of any wrongdoing, or that zero federal dollars support abortion services at Planned Parenthood, or that abortion is only a tiny part of what the organization does. None of these truths matter because the real point of the smear is to attack abortion rights — as exemplified by Rand Paul and the National Review resorting to the Godwinian language of “mass-murder” in their fact-challenged, emotion-driven condemnations of Planned Parenthood. The images and context-free hyperbole that Daleiden peddles are just another form of right wing abortion stigma and shaming
- Speaking of stigma and shame: twenty years after Dan Quayle was ridiculed for attacking Murphy Brown, some employers still consider a woman getting pregnant out of wedlock such a moral trespass that she must be fired immediately
- Pursuant to the previous point, here is the proper follow-up question for Republicans who patronize the forced-birth crowd at the debate tonight with promises of dire consequences for Planned Parenthood: “Why do you want to defund the most successful abortion-prevention program in American history? Is it because you love abortions so much, or because you hate mammograms and pap smears?”
- Fun facts: despite decades of disinformation and propaganda against their very existence, Planned Parenthood is still more popular than the National Rifle Association
- No matter how thoroughly debunked they are, these latest Planned Parenthood attacks are not going away, and they are already having effects in GOP-held states that will produce collateral damage in the form of higher disease transmission rates, increased cancer death rates — and greater demand for abortion services. But here’s a question: why does the Beltway class pretend abortion isn’t the single most important issue to Republicans, by far?
- Speaking of rule by idiocracy: as governor, Jeb Bush redirected Planned Parenthood funds to ‘abstinence-only’ education. When he says “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues,” he isn’t really misstating his position at all
- Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma says he has the right to lecture women on abortion because it’s a “men’s issue“
- From 2010 to 2013, nearly one million American women came to rely on publicly-funded contraception services like those provided by Planned Parenthood. Surely the lamestream media can find some of these women to tell their stories and dispel some of this smoke?
- President Obama’s Iran policy speech was precisely timed to give the Republican candidates an opportunity to fall all over each other endorsing warlike ‘alternatives’ and kiss Benjamin Netanyahu’s ring tonight. He even gave them a full 24 hours to can their replies. Rand Paul will try to effect nuance, but I expect even him to be hawkish on Iran regardless. After all, with a close family friend being indicted, Paul joins Scott Walker on the short list of candidates who have paid their way out of a scandal in order to run for president
- This man at the
white supremacistarmed southern culture gathering last weekend at Stone Mountain, Georgia, wore a KKK hat…and FUBU shoes. His violently-unresolved cognitive dissonance is a terrifying glory to behold
- Why are 44% of toxic release reports erroneous? Maybe because the Department of Homeland Security allows chemical plants to self-report them
- Jennie McNair returned home with her children to find the house destroyed and covered in racist grafitti
- The reality show candidate: Donald Trump is of course the wild card because of his growing popularity with the ‘outer party’ — grassroots conservative activists, evangelicals, and right wing paranoiacs who lately marched under a Gadsden flag and called themselves a Tea Party, and whose relations with party leadership are strained. I expect bellicose nativism and nationalism in Trump’s answers to policy questions, but he should prepare to fend off jabs about his ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton
- I’m going to say this again: anti-GMO propaganda is the new anti-vaxx propaganda, and I will burn it with fire wherever I find it lurking in progressive ranks
- The Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in New York City has killed seven times as many Americans as the world’s largest Ebola outbreak. Surely this epidemic deserves nonstop 24-7 screaming headlines and fearmongery?
- Speaking of fearmongery: the vast majority of health-related web pages are sharing your information with third parties. Surely First Look and The Intercept are on the case? Surely?
- ZeroFox, a private security firm which monitored #BlackLivesMatter protesters in Baltimore, labeled two prominent Twitter activists as “threat actors.” One of them was DeRay McKesson, the same activist that racist trolling pseudo-journalist Charles C. Johnson wanted to “take out” in the tweet that got him permanently banned from the social network
- Why are #BlackLivesMatter activists asking questions about the death of white teen Zachary Hammond last month in a scenario that sounds suspiciously similar to the murder of Samuel DuBose? Because the #AllLivesMatter ‘movement’ is completely silent about it, which says a lot for their motivations — and because there are plenty of white Americans who understand what #BlackLivesMatter really means
- Minor incidents: the Jade Helm-related ‘shots fired’ reports at Camp Shelby appear to have been set off by 61 year-old Afred Baria deliberately making his pickup truck backfire; Vincente David Montano, the hatchet-wielding mentally ill man who attacked strangers in a Nashville movie theater yesterday before he was shot dead by police, was unable to legally obtain a real firearm because his name was in the NICS system
- Land of the free: a Fort Wayne, Indiana teacher is being sued for isolating and stigmatizing a seven year-old child who committed the crime of expressing his atheism
- The Maine Supreme Court has ruled that the National Organization for Marriage really does have to disclose their donors, after all
- Trolling white supremacists on Facebook: you’re doing it right
- ‘Liberal media:’ the LA Times has fired cartoonist Ted Rall and attacked journalist Jeff Sharlett for their coverage of LAPD violence based entirely on smears generated within the department
- Love wins: this week, Alabama marriage equality litigant Paul Hard finally received the proceeds of the wrongful death suit that he won after his husband David Fancher was killed in a tragic accident. Fancher’s mother engaged the services of Roy Moore’s Foundation for Moral Law in an effort to keep her son’s marriage unrecognized — and to claim the monetary compensation for his death
- Charles Koch, who compares himself to the same civil rights leaders that he once funded the John Birch Society to smear as communists, restricted reporters at his billionaire policy get-together last weekend so tightly that it’s raising ethical questions about the Fourth Estate’s willingness to trade integrity for access. And just think: this man wants even more power than he already enjoys
- Thursday Threatcon is somewhat attenuated because I am sort of on vacation, but we’ll be back in full force next week