FreedomWorks

Five Conservatives Who Don't Understand Net Neutrality…But Are Definitely Against It!

On Monday, President Obama publicly urged the Federal Communications Commission to adopt strong rules preserving net neutrality, the principle that internet service providers must treat all data equally.

Obama’s comments placed a previously fairly niche technical issue right into the middle of the national political debate, forcing commentators to take a side on something many of them did not seem to understand. But luckily, many conservative politicians and pundits have an easy way of deciding where to stand on an issue: if Obama is for it, it will destroy America and they are against it!

1. Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz got the right-wing net neutrality pile-on started with a tweet calling the proposal “Obamacare for the Internet."

It didn’t really make sense, but as Matt Yglesias notes, that wasn’t the point: “What, if anything, that phrase means is difficult to say. But its political significance is easy to grasp. All true conservatives hate Obamacare, so if net neutrality is Obamacare for the internet, all true conservatives should rally against it.”

2. Bryan Fischer

As soon as Cruz spoke out, his far-right acolytes seem to have felt obligated to follow. On his radio program on Monday, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer struggled to grasp the proposal that he was definitely against, claiming that it would ban internet providers from charging customers more for faster service — something that already happens and that has nothing to do with net neutrality.

3. Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck is outraged that President Obama wants to end “the freedom of the internet” and ruin something that’s “working pretty well” because “the government is not involved in it at all.” Apparently unaware that current FCC regulations allow his online network, The Blaze, to stream on an open internet, Beck claimed that regulations preserving net neutrality would end this supposedly government-free system in which he operates his business.

Beck’s cohost Pat Gray accidentally debunked his own point by comparing Internet regulation to the interstate highway system, which he seems to also think remains open and accessible because it’s free from government interference.

4. FreedomWorks

The Tea Party group FreedomWorks got into the game yesterday with a video “clearing up” net neutrality for its supporters.

As Consumerist explains, FreedomWorks’ net neutrality explanation is basically a work of fiction:

“Supporters of the plan call it a [uses finger quotes] ‘free and open Internet’ but in reality it’s anything but,” says Somberg. “What net neutrality does is force providers to treat all Web content equally — the same speeds, the same prices, the same access.”

This is simply untrue.

Net neutrality merely says that ISPs can’t slow down, block, or prioritize any content. It doesn’t mean that everything gets treated with the same speed — just that an ISP does nothing to impede or boost any particular content company’s speed. So if it’s fast coming in from the company, it should be fast going out to the end-user. And if the host is slow, then it remains slow.

5. Alex Jones

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones added his own special twist to the net neutrality debate, claiming that it is a “high tech version of what the Soviets and the Nazis and the Chinese Communists and Fidel Castro and every other nut ball did.” 

Bonus: David Barton

While net neutrality might have just recently crossed the radar of many right-wing commentators, make-believe historian David Barton has been beating the anti-net-neutrality drum for years. In 2011, Barton called net neutrality “socialism on the internet” and “redistribution of wealth through the internet” and insisted that it is "wicked stuff" that goes against the dictates of the Bible and the Founding Fathers.

This launched Barton into a discourse on the concept of “fairness,” which he said “is a word no Christian should ever use in their vocabulary” because “what happened to Jesus wasn’t fair.”

Rick Perry, Ron Johnson And Jeff Sessions To Join Anti-Muslim Activists At Florida Beach Resort Confab

FrontPageMag editor and increasingly unhinged anti-Obama yeller David Horowitz is hosting his annual “Restoration Weekend” for anti-Muslim activists at a beach resort in Florida this month. This year, Horowitz has recruited an impressive slate of Republican politicians, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine to partake in the event’s offerings of golf, spa treatments, and Muslim-bashing.

Joining the GOP politicians at the Palm Beach weekend will be anti-Muslim activists including the Family Research Council’s Jerry BoykinJihadWatch’s Robert SpencerNational Review columnist Andrew McCarthy and, as Horowitz announced this weekend on Newsmax, far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders.

Conservative pundits Ann Coulter, Michael Reagan and Ben Shapiro will also be at the event, according to its website, along with FreedomWorks CEO Matt Kibbe, Heritage Foundation economics chief Stephen Moore and Wall Street Journal editorial board member Kimberly Strassel.

Horowitz organizes and funds the annual Restoration Weekend through his David Horowitz Freedom Center — attendees pay between $1,750 and $20,000, but the group’s most recent available tax return shows the 2012 event didn’t even break even. At past events, Horowitz has attracted GOP luminaries including Sen. Ted Cruz, former Sen. Jim DeMint, Rep. Steve King and Rep. Michele Bachmann. All apparently undeterred by their host’s record of anti-Muslim extremism, including accusing former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and Republican anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist (whose wife is Muslim) of being secret Muslim Brotherhood agents.

In just the past year, Horowitz’s commentary has moved even further to the fringe. As the Justice Department launched an investigation of the shooting of an unarmed black teen in Ferguson, Missouri, this summer, Horowitz accused Attorney General Eric Holder of leading a black “lynch mob.” A day earlier, Horowitz said he was “sure” President Obama was secretly a Muslim because “he’s a pretend Christian in the same way he’s a pretend American.”

Such anti-Obama conspiracy theories have a welcome place at Horowitz’s Restoration Weekends. At last year’s event, for instance, Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona agreed with Robert Spencer’s statement that President Obama is either a secret Muslim or just acting like one:

Wilders, who has spoken at past Horowitz-affiliated events, including at least one Restoration Weekend, is currently on a U.S. tour that included lunch at the Capitol with Bachmann. Wilders, one of the most fiercely anti-Islam voices in Europe has compared the Quran to Mein Kampf and this year lost some prominent members of his own party when he targeted Moroccans living in the Netherlands to stir up support before the European elections.

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/29/14

  • Catherine Thompson @ TPM: Santorum: Obama's 'Minions' Privately Told Me They Thought I Could Beat Him.
  • Igor Volsky @ Think Progress: Rick Santorum Rebrands Himself As Working Class Populist, Promptly Announces Opposition To Minimum Wage Hike.
  • David Weigel: FreedomWorks President Denies All Those Stories About His Organization Collapsing.
  • Jeremy Hooper: Janet Porter pits gay people against the heterosexuals who keep creating us.
  • Eric W. Dolan @ Raw Story: Tea Party candidate Greg Brannon insists ‘in Obamacare there are death panels.’
  • Hemant Mehta @ Friendly Atheist: Radio Host, Discussing Donald Sterling’s Comments, Argues “All Racists Must Be Atheists.”

Ted Cruz Mocks His GOP Colleagues, Calls Newtown Families 'Props' and Takes Credit for Blocking Background Checks

In remarks to a Tea Party group, Sen. Ted Cruz again showed why he's a political liability for the GOP.

Right Wing Round-Up - 2/14/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/4/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/7/12

The Smearing of Planned Parenthood Reaches a New Low

Earlier today, Erick Erickson of Red State retweeted a tweet from Kristina Ribali, the Director of New Media at FreedomWorks, linking to a "disgusting" LifeNews.com article accusing Planned Parenthood of promoting a video that shows young women "how to cover up those nasty cuts and bruises that result from a beating."

The video in question does, in fact, appear to be a demonstration from an obviously abused young woman attempting to conceal the bruises and lacerations on her face with make-up until she hears a noise off-screen and quickly turns off the camera ... at which point a message appears that reads:

65% of women who suffer domestic violence keep it hidden.

Don't cover it up.

Share this and help someone speak out.

A URL for the London-based domestic abuse helpline that produced the ad is then provided.  Obviously, the entire purpose of the ad is to juxtapose the scene presented against the real message of speaking out against domestic violence, and LifeNews even eventually admits this, yet still presents the video as if Planned Parenthood is encouraging young women to conceal abuse:

But the way Planned Parenthood headlines it—with “How to look your best the morning after,” teens are mislead by Planned Parenthood into the cover up mentality. On the anti-domestic violence site, the video is introduced with the headline: “Don’t cover it up.” That headline makes a world of difference to young teens who run across the video.

Presumably, the reason Planned Parenthood headlined the video "How To Look Your Best The Morning After" is because the video is titled "How To Look Your Best The Morning After."  The title is intentionally misleading in order to drive home to real message. 

And, of course, LifeNews was not alone as the geniuses over at Twitchy are likewise outraged about the video because they are apparently equally clueless: 

The video, which is from a legitimate organization fighting against domestic violence, does end with “don’t cover it up.”

But the way Planned Parenthood framed it, the message is just the opposite: “You probably had it coming, girls. May as well try to doll yourselves up afterward.” Appalling.

But, what else can one expect from an organization that routinely aids and abets the purposeful selective aborting of female babies, and covers up statutory rape?

...

Heartbreaking and beyond repugnant ... Where is the feminist outrage at teaching young women to “look their best” after being violently beaten? So far, crickets. Abortion trumps all, you see.

Planned Parenthood had nothing to do with this video, other than posting it on one of its Facebook pages ... but the hatred of the organization has become so pathological that even simply linking to a video urging women not to cover up domestic abuse is portrayed as an effort to encourage women to cover up domestic abuse! 

New Analysis Shines a Light on 2012 Election Spending

U.S. PIRG and Demos issue an analysis of how much campaign money is being spent by a few individuals and corporations.
PFAW Foundation

Beck Tells Tea Party Activists They're Being Attacked, Just Like Washington, Lincoln, & Reagan

Over the weekend, Glenn Beck traveled to Arizona where he delivered a "spoken word speech while accompanied" by music to Tea Party activists attending a FreedomWorks "FreePAC" event.  For an hour, Beck lamented the loss of America's greatness while beseeching the audience to rise up and save this nation, but warning them that by doing so, they would be making themselves unpopular to the media and the elites who would ridicule and marginalize them, just as they have always done in the past: “They did it to Abraham [in the Bible]. They did it to Washington. They did to Lincoln. They did it to Reagan. They’re doing it to you”:

Who's Ted Cruz? Getting to Know the Next Senator from the Tea Party

Cross-posted at AlterNet

The power center that Dick Armey and FreedomWorks have been aggressively building in the U.S. Senate around reigning extremist Jim DeMint will almost certainly welcome Ted Cruz in January. The Republican convention gave most Americans their first look at Cruz, who has become a Tea Party folk hero after crushing the establishment candidate, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, in a bitterly contested primary.

Ted Cruz loves to portray his victory as an upwelling from the grassroots, as he did during his Tuesday night speech from the platform. “I have the honor of standing before you this evening for one reason, because thousands upon thousands of grassroots activists stood united, not for a candidate, but for the sake of restoring liberty.”

It is certainly true that his impressive come-from-behind primary victory captured the fervor of anti-government Tea Party activists as well as conservative evangelicals that Cruz has been courting for years at religious right gatherings. But it wasn’t an act of spontaneous combustion. Pouring gasoline on the prairie fire were national right-wing super PACs and Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks. Club for Growth Action dropped millions into the race on Cruz’s behalf; Jim DeMint’s Tea Party-backing Senate Conservatives Fund also kicked in with seven-figure spending. (DeMint has since cut his formal ties to the group so that it could create a super PAC.) A FreedomWorks spokesperson said after Cruz’s primary that wins by candidates like Cruz would “force Romney to the right.”

Cruz also benefitted from endorsements by an impressive roster of right-wing figures. During the primary he bragged that he was the only candidate this year supported by all four of his favorite senators: DeMint, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Pat Toomey. he Cruz campaign used video of a Palin campaign visit for its GOTV efforts. After his primary win an excited Breitbart blogger quoted Sarah Palin’s celebration on Facebook. She wrote that Cruz's victory was a win "both for Ted and for the grassroots Tea Party movement," and that the “message of this race couldn't be clearer for the political establishment: the Tea Party is alive and well and we will not settle for business as usual. Now, it's on to November!”

While the media accurately describes Cruz as a darling of the Tea Party and its corporate backers, he also had strong backing from religious-right figures. Cruz has campaigned for support at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit and the Freedom Federation’s Awakening conference, where he said “we are engaged in spiritual warfare every day.” James Dobson and David Barton are among the religious-right leaders who backed Cruz; Rick Santorum endorsed Cruz on Glenn Beck’s television show.

Cruz embodies Ralph Reed’s desire to merge the Tea Party and religious right. In his convention speech, Cruz talked about the Tea Party movement as a “Great Awakening” – a not-so-subtle shout-out to religious-right leaders who are calling for a spiritual great awakening that they believe will turn the nation back to God and its Christian roots. At Rick Santorum’s event on Wednesday afternoon, Cruz mocked media conversations about divisions between different “chunks” of Republicans, declaring the party united. “We’re all here because we believe in values and principles bigger than ourselves,” he said.

Response to GOP Win In Massachusetts Should Be Renewed Focus on Values—Ours and Theirs

In Massachusetts last night, candidate Scott Brown defeated Martha Coakley in the race to succeed Ted Kennedy in the United States Senate. In response, People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan called for progressives to respond with a renewed focus on shared values.
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