President Obama answers questions during a virtual interview with Google+ and Americans from around the country to discuss his State of the Union Address. February 14, 2013.
Breitbrat Ben Shapiro apparently just made up a story about Chuck Hagel receiving donations from a group called “Friends of Hamas,” because as Dave Weigel reports, the group does not actually exist.
As with all these fake stories from the Breitbart crew, it immediately spread throughout the right wing echo chamber, repeated by Mike Huckabee, Redstate.com, the National Review, Fox News, etc. — none of whom ever bothered to check on the group’s existence.
Here’s the problem: There’s no proof that “Friends of Hamas” actually exists. At best, it’s an organization so secret that nobody in government has thought to mention its existence. At worst, it’s as fake as Manti Te’o’s girlfriend. The Treasury Department, which designates sponsors of terror, has done so to many charities tied to Hamas. “Friends of Hamas” is not among them. The State Department doesn’t designate it, either. And a bit less holistically, a Lexis search for the group reveals absolutely nothing.
I’ve been unable to find any Senate staffer who knows where the “Friends” rumor came from, and Dave Reaboi, communications director for the (generally conservative) Center for Security Policy, shared my confusion about the alleged group. “Looking back to the 1990s, there were several groups (some affiliated with Holy Land Foundation, some not) that functioned as fund-raisers,” he said in an email. “I wouldn’t put it past these people to refer to it this way in private, but I doubt highly that they’d actually call a legit group ‘Friends of Hamas.’”
This morning I wrote Shapiro to clear up the accusation. “Have you found any more proof that this group exists?” I asked. “Is it just shorthand for some people who might support Hagel, or a real group?”
“The original story is the entirety of the information I have,” he said.
For the head of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, America has turned into a nightmarish apocalyptic hellscape of roving drug gangs, terrorists, and looting minorities. Financial ruin. Tornadoes. Hurricanes. Riots. I don’t know how he even finds the strength to carry on.
And that description is not an exaggeration: Stand and Fight.
Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face—not just maybe. It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival. It’s responsible behavior, and it’s time we encourage law-abiding Americans to do just that.
This is the voice of America’s pro-gun movement — obsessed with paranoid fantasies and heavily armed.
What could possibly go right?
To accompany this whacked-out editorial, the NRA has released a new video — a classic in the right wing fear-mongering genre, standing up for Americans who need to be able to spray dozens of bullets in all directions as quickly as possible.
This is why the “Bad Craziness” tag exists.
Watching this house of cards tumble is enlightening, disgusting, and educational all at once.
An internal investigation of FreedomWorks—the prominent conservative advocacy group and super-PAC—has focused on president Matt Kibbe’s management of the organization, his use of its resources, and a controversial book deal he signed, according to former FreedomWorks officials who have met with the private lawyers conducting the probe. One potential topic for the inquiry is a promotional video produced last year under the supervision of Adam Brandon, executive vice president of the group and a Kibbe loyalist. The video included a scene in which a female intern wearing a panda suit simulates performing oral sex on Hillary Clinton. [Author’s note: The previous sentence contains no typos.]
In December, after months of bitter in-fighting, two members of FreedomWorks’ board of trustees—C. Boyden Gray, the White House counsel for President George H.W. Bush, and James Burnley IV, a secretary of transportation during the Reagan years—notified Kibbe that they had received “allegations of wrongdoing by the organization or its employees” and had hired two lawyers, Alfred Regnery and David Martin, to investigate. Soon after, Regnery and Martin began interviewing past and present FreedomWorks employees and officials. This list included Dick Armey, the former House majority leader who in November resigned as chairman of the group (and pocketed an $8 million payout), citing concerns about the management of the organization. The investigating lawyers, Armey says, “picked my brain. I told them a forensic audit would be imperative because so much is hidden there.”